October 3rd, 2017

marcus 2013

The weekend's bargains

Friday was a surprise - I went to Portobello road for fruit, groceries etc. and came home with a Canon Eos 7000 35mm body and 38-76mm autofocus zoom (which I think is possibly the least useful focal length range I've ever heard of) for £5, and a Russian light meter for £3. More eBay fodder, since the lens really isn't terribly nice, I think it was a low-end special only sold with the 7000 body

Then on Saturday I got another 17" iMac G4 for £30, a set of Apple pro speakers to go with it (from a different vendor) for £3, and a Canon Eos 350D (under the US name of Rebel XT) for £15. The G4 will be my next upgrade project, which I meant to start on tonight but didn't, the camera is working but the battery has nearly run down and it doesn't have a charger.

I've ordered a USB charger for £3.99, my plan at the moment is that the 350D will become my camera for testing lenses, replacing the current 300D, which will go onto eBay once I'm completely sure the 350D is OK. There isn't a huge difference between the models - 8 Megapixels versus 6 is the most obvious, but the important one for usability is that the 350D is USB 2 so I can download the pictures fast without having to faff about with card readers, and allegedly has better battery life.

And Sunday? Nine or ten photographic filters for a fiver - nothing terribly interesting, but I can always use skylight and UV filters, the rest have gone into a big job lot I shoved out on eBay, the left-overs from the last couple of months of boot fairs etc. Already on £8.50 with nine days to go, so hopefully they'll make some profit.

All in all a reasonably successful weekend!


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marcus 2013

Another RPG bundle offer - Demon: The Descent

This is another bundle based on the Chronicles of Darkness setting, the revamped World of Darkness RPG Doom / Gloom / Angst / Horror background. This is one I really don't know much about, I lost interest in horror RPGs before the original Demon game was released, this appears to be different anyway:


"This new, comprehensive, bargain-priced collection features Demon: The Descent, the 2014 Storytelling game from Onyx Path Publishing of techgnostic renegades struggling against the God-Machine in the Chronicles of Darkness.

In Descent, the God-Machine is everywhere. It is under the everyday world, behind it, beyond it. Its mechanisms stretch through time and space, and alter events in ways humanity cannot imagine. The God-Machine sends forth its angels to enact its will, delivering messages, building Infrastructure, protecting some people, killing others. And you were one of those angels. But not any more. Now you are one of the Unchained, a fallen angel who defected to the human race. Yours is a world of false identities and clockwork conspiracies, stolen faces and hidden works of the Machine. You cannot -- will not -- return to the sterile embrace of Heaven. All you can do is reign in Hell.

A stark contrast to the original Demon: The Fallen (2002), Descent favors a noir-ish espionage atmosphere a la John le Carré, The Bourne Identity, and the TV series Person of Interest. Demons must move carefully through the shadowy streets and labyrinthine back alleys of the World of Darkness. The God-Machine and its agents are always watchful for a chance to reclaim these assets. The Unchained use a wide variety of powers, including Embeds that let them alter the world on a conceptual level, and Exploits, which allow great destructive and manipulative power -- at the cost of compromising their all-important Cover.

The Unchained must take extreme care as they search for Hell. They are pursued by a faceless, vastly powerful entity that has unlimited time and resources, and they have already fallen once. But what has fallen may rise again.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, All Hands Volunteers.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$108. Customers who pay just US$12.95 get all three titles in our Player Collection (retail value $57) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete 414-page Demon: The Descent core rulebook (previously presented in our January 2016 Nest of Spies offer), the player's guide Flowers of Hell, and the complete 226-page World of Darkness First Edition rulebook (2004) that underpins Demon and the other Chronicles of Darkness settings (Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, and more). (Previously in our March 2017 Changeling: The Lost offer.)

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $26.95 to start, also get our entire Storyteller Collection with six more titles worth an additional $51:

  • The essential supplements: The God-Machine Chronicle (retail $18) and the Demon Storyteller's Guide (retail $15)
  • Two location guides: Splintered City: Seattle (retail $8) and the Demon Seed Collection (retail $3)
  • Dark Eras: Into the Cold (retail $5), a demonic perspective on the Cold War
  • Necessary Infrastructure: Demon: The Descent Storyteller's Screen (retail $2)

At least one more title will be added after launch; "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early."

I'll be honest, I'm not incredibly interested in the concept, and don't remember the game from the previous spies bundle which possibly means I wasn't very impressed - or that I simply never looked at it, which may be more likely. For various reasons I don't really want to get into World / Chronicles of Darkness again, keeping all the factions etc. straight in my head was a nightmare, but a quick look suggests that you do get a lot for your money - you probably won't want to print it all out, because there's a lot of white on black text etc., but that's what PDFs are for. As usual I have to point out that I'm not paying to see this stuff, if you do your mileage may vary.
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marcus 2013

iMac G4 update

Success with a new bigger hard disk - in fact about the smoothest install I've ever done on one of these, possibly because the DVD drive appears to be in very good condition. Unfortunately it turns out that all of the RAM I have is either smaller than I want or the speed that's right for a 1.25ghz machine but wrong for this one, so that'll be a fun delay while it wings its way from Hong Kong. But so far the upgrade is looking good, the screen is undamaged and working well - I initially thought it was too dark and had a fault, turns out the previous owner turned the brightness right the way down - and fingers crossed it'll all go well.

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