October 2nd, 2015

marcus 2013

Another bundle offer - Indie Treasure Trove +3

This is a collection of recent indie tabletop roleplaying games, and interests me since it's the sort of thing I write myself when I can get my arse into gear.

Full details at http://bundleofholding.com/presents/IndieTrove3

STARTER COLLECTION (US$5.95 - retail value $26)
  • Indie Mixtape Megamix (Jonathan Walton, retail $10): Over three dozen small games to groove to, designed by the rockstars of indie gaming.
  • Chris McDowall, Into The Odd (Lost Pages, retail $8): Weird and wondrous steampunk-ish expeditions in Old School Revival style.
  • Joe Prince, Contenders (Prince of Darkness, retail $8): Blood, sweat, and hope in the shady and painful world of boxing.
Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $16.95 to start, also get the Bonus Collection with six more games and supplements (retail value $51):
  • Ben Dutter, Vow of Honor (Sigil Stone Publishing, retail $10): Paladins grapple with a rigid code of honor in a world of corruption.
  • A.P. Klosky, Cold Steel Wardens (Blackfall Press, retail $15): Roleplaying in the Iron Age of comics, where grim heroes bring justice to darkened streets.
  • Hannah Shaffer, Questlandia (retail $10): Create your own strange fantasy kingdom on the brink of collapse.
  • Caias Ward, Trigger Happy (TaleSpinner Holdings, retail $16): Fast, not to say "frenzied," cinematic action a la Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, and Quentin Tarantino. Includes the bonus supplements Bangers and Enter the Protagonist (retail $3 each).

All are DRM-free PDFs. As usual there's going to be at least one extra item for the bonus collection, to be announced later. The way this works is that the earlier you buy the bonus collection the cheaper it is - no matter when you buy it, you will get all bonus items.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the Rainforest Trust.

Usual caveat - The main reason I know about this offer is because I'm on the list to get this stuff free if I want it. In this case I'm interested, and I think it's a reasonable deal. If I think these are bad deals I'll say so.
marcus 2013

Today's Portobello Road bargain...

Has me going wibble wibble wibble... And I suspect will have any photographers reading this saying "You jammy bastard!"

It's a 50mm lens...

A Carl Zeiss T* Planar 50mm 1.2 (no, not F2.0, F1.2) lens...

With a Nikon mount, with the electronic contacts for use on digital Nikons. It's manual focus, but everything else links to the camera electronics.

There's a snag, of course - there's a teeny scratch right in the middle of the rear element. So far I've taken about 25 photos with it and can't see much evidence that it's affecting anything - focus may be just a little soft, but it's that's fairly usual for wide-aperture lenses, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of flare which is what I feared. Here's a couple of the pictures I took with it:

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I'm very tempted to keep it, but I've already got a 50/1.8 AF Nikkor which works pretty well for portraits, macro etc., and while the extra stop or so could be useful in low light, I don't use it much and I don't think I'd use the Planar any more if I carried that. I'd also need to buy filters etc. since it isn't the same size as my other lenses. And I suspect I can make a fairly hefty profit if I flog it on eBay, so that's what I'll probably do.

But I think I can safely say I got good value for a tenner...
marcus 2013

Freedompop update

The SIM has arrived and I've managed to unlock the mobile wifi thing and get it working. Seems to work well - a bit slow compared to broadband, of course, but good enough for my once in a blue moon mobile wifi needs. No idea of service reliability etc. yet, of course.
marcus 2013

I forgot to mention Wednesday's charity shop bargain...

...which was another lens. This time a Russian Helios 44-2, 58mm F2 manual lens which I got for £7 - I paid a bit more than they asked because it's a charity I support and it was too cheap. It's actually quite a nice piece of glass, not exactly in the Zeiss class but quite sought after by people who use them for portraiture and macro work, I sold the last one I had for £12. The shop had just been given seven or eight boxes full of old cameras and photographic junk, I had a look through four and told them what I thought stuff was work since they didn't have a clue. They ought to have more of it out tomorrow so I'm going to go back and see if there's anything else of interest. I'll reveal the location once I've had a good rummage...

The other thing I got today and forgot to mention was truly weird - a firewire-powered light for use with an iSight camera; the old one with a round tube that was sold for imacs etc. It's a ring light that goes around the camera and allegedly varies its brightness to compensate for room brightness. I don't actually own an iSight camera, but it's weird and cost £2 so I had to have a play. So far I've established it lights up but haven't been able to check the "adjusting for brightness" part because it was already getting dark when I tried it. I don't actually have much of a use for it, so again ebay is probably the eventual destination.

Later - I can only find one of these for sale on ebay - for $40 plus shipping! I doubt I'll get that, but I'll probably make a profit...