November 9th, 2016

marcus 2013

It's dead, Jim

My network hard drive, a Seagate Central thing, has been flaky (losing connections repeatedly) for a while and has now died completely. It's the housing that's dead, the drive (3TB Seagate SATA) is fine. So I need to replace the housing; anyone got any recommendations for a reliable housing that will provide basic storage capabilities, isn't noisy or a power hog, and won't break the bank? I don't need to be able to access it via the internet, or do anything other than use it as an external drive any computer on the network can access. Having said that, I would like to be able to use it for Time Machine backups on the Mac, and run an occasional backup from my desktop machine (which is Windows 7 Home, so doesn't have this capability in the operating system). At the moment I'm OK with USB and Firewire drives for backups but that isn't ideal for moving files around. I'm not a huge fan of Seagate's network hard drive software, something else would be preferable.

The one that seems affordable and has two bays (which should be useful) is the D-link sharecenter, but I know nothing about it. Does anyone know it?

Any other suggestions? Recommendations?
marcus 2013

Another RPG bundle offer - The One Ring

As you might guess from the title, it's a Tolkien RPG. Not something that interests me a lot, I tend not to play many fantasy games, but a lot of people will be interested. It comes with a discount offer on material that isn't in the bundle:

"Revived from its spectacularly successful October 2015 run, this is a large collection featuring The One Ring™ Roleplaying Game from Sophisticated Games and Cubicle 7 Entertainment based on The Hobbit™ and The Lord of the Rings™ by J.R.R. Tolkien. We're reviving this offer partly to promote the release of the brand-new Adventures in Middle-earth Player's Guide, Cubicle 7's adaptation of Middle-earth to the Open Gaming License. (Note, though, Adventures in Middle-earth isn't in this bundle.)

The One Ring Roleplaying Game is set in the Wilderland five years after the Battle of Five Armies. Wilderland is the region both Thorin's Company and the Fellowship traverse on their journeys. This land is filled with instantly recognizable locations (Mirkwood, Thranduil's Halls, Lake-town, the Lonely Mountain, Dol Guldur) and characters (Radagast the Brown, the Elvenking Thranduil, King Bard of Dale, King Dáin of Erebor).

Of several licensed RPGs over the years based on Tolkien's works, Francesco Nepitello's The One Ring has drawn high praise for its effective evocation of Tolkien's themes and atmosphere. The journey rules give the players the feeling their characters are embarking on an epic trek across Mirkwood or down the Anduin. Inventive Fellowship rules in the style of King Arthur Pendragon and Mouse Guard provide Heroes with the opportunity to rest and recuperate, to practice their skills or pursue a noble undertaking. But in every adventure there lies the insidious threat of Shadow -- the corruption of spirit and the destruction of hope. With its rich and detailed background information, character types unique to the world, and a setting that changes as the Tale of Years progresses, The One Ring Roleplaying Game lets you really feel you're playing in Middle-earth.

We provide each title complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these files have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their smartphones, tablets, and ereaders. Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Reading is Fundamental.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$129. Customers who pay $14.95 get our Starter Collection (retail value $45) with the complete RPG The One Ring (retail price $30) and its companion Loremaster’s Screen and Lake-town Guide (retail $15), both as DRM-free .PDFs. Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $29.95 to start, also get our entire Bonus Collection with four more supplements (retail value $84):
  • The Darkening of Mirkwood (retail price $23): Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan's massive months-long campaign against an ever-growing Shadow.
  • The Heart of the Wild (retail $20): The companion gazetteer for The Darkening of Mirkwood presents extensive details of the entire Wilderland region.
  • Rivendell (retail $23): Expand your campaign with this regional guide to eastern Eriador and the Last Homely House of Elrond.
  • Tales From Wilderland (retail $18): Seven complete scenarios set in Mirkwood, the Misty Mountains, Erebor, Lake-town, and other locales across Rhovanion. Play each separately, or combine them as an epic campaign spanning years.
There aren't any surprise extras this time, presumably because it's a repeat of an earlier offer.

To promote the game there's also a discount offer on material that isn't in the bundle at the Cubicle 7 webstore. Quote these discount codes:
  • TORBOH16$ if you are paying in US dollars
  • TORBOH16£ if you are paying in British pounds

If you're into Tolkien and RPGs this is probably a very interesting offer - if not, it probably isn't. I think it looks like good value, but I'm not going to be buying it or downloading it, so I'm not necessarily the best judge.