“I’m Here For You” .. ?? Really, Isaac??

Oh how the mighty have fallen. In this case Isaac Clarke. You know, our beloved “engineer gone killing machine on rampage to hell and back that ended him institutionalization with a few nervous breakdowns before he destroyed an entire colony” in Dead Space 1 and 2. And it’s all summoned up in that one quote – “I’m Here For You”. What tha hell is that about, Visceral!?

A bit of warning – this will contain spoilers…

The Dead Space story, game wise, begins with Isaac Clarke being an engineer on a little ship sent to find a big ass planetcracker space ship where his girlfriend happens to work. And it all goes “Alien”-esque from there and he, mostly using a really cool and by now iconic weapon, the plasma cutter. He goes around that ship trying to fix things and majorly killing necromorphs like it aint a thing, stomping dead bodies and mutilating things like he just had breakfast. Sure, all the time he’s hoping to find his girlfriend safe and sound but hell no, cause she’s dead already having committed suicide to become one of those necromorphs he’s probably stomped to pieces! And he goes down to the planet, reaks havoc and kills the boss and rides into the sunset in his little ship with his girlfriend playing tricks in his mind.
And that’s just in the first one! In the second one he wakes up in a mental institution with a guy killed in a very bloody way a few inches from his face and he escapes, picks up a plasma cutter and goes on a rampage throughout the colony killing necromorphs and stomping things like it’s almost time for lunch. He finds this Ellen Ripley-like character that get’s her eye removed with a screwdriver by a mental “friend” of Isaacs that he later shoves that bloodied screwdriver through his cranium, but not before killing more people and even “babies turned kamikaze-bombs” and he even deliberately unleashes a horde of necromorphs on a bunch of GI Joes just doing their job and then he has his arm pierced by a harpoon before he turns the harpoon rifle on the man in charge and shoots one through his head in a very graphic way. Then he has another meltdown and destroys the “whetever that was” by killing his dead girlfriend 3-4 times and then sits down to await his death. But the previously mentioned one eyed chick returns to save the day and they ride into the sunset together.

Never during all of this has there been anything romantic going on on screen or in dialogue. Because this is a bloody and messy horror game and the hero has been to hell a back and had nervous breakdowns and done some horrible things in the quest to try to do what’s right and just end this nightmare. But now in the third installment all of a sudden “he’s a lover, not a fighter”!? What tha hell, how did that happen? How does a person go through all of this crap to end up in a romance threesome – and give a shit? The Isaac I played would either not have given a shit by now but this Isaac have apparently watched “Beverly Hills 90210” and says shit like “I’m here for you” between stomping dead necromorphs and climbing up exploding walls!

Most of the game was “ok”. Actually up until you come to the planet it’s actually quite good but once you land there and this entire romantical nonsense comes up it all goes downhill and in the end it leaves me with a bad echo in my head saying “I’m here for you” and that’s just messed up. And I won’t be buying the DLC to get more of that shit thrown at me! Why couldn’t he be more like Adam “stone cold” Jensen?! No matter what the story threw at him, his parent’s not being his parent’s, his girlfriend being dead, not being dead, ooops works for the bad guy, they even dragged his dog into the story and the guy just don’t give a shit, and in the end (and particularly the 3 endings!) are still the deepest most poetic endings I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching!


10 months ago when I was hired it was for one main purpose – to upgrade our Sharepoint 2007 to Sharepoint 2010. Sure it’s normal IT operations, some SQL and Exchange management and other stuff too but mainly it was to upgrade Sharepoint. And now 10 months later the day has finally come for me to start and reap the fruits of the past 10 months work!

All the scripts are written, polished and tested 3-4 times and everything is prepared so at midnight tonight the old Sharepoint 2007 will go into read only mode and I’ll start copying all the 250 gigabyte or so of data and migrate it to 2010. And we’re also taking the opportunity to clean up some previous wrongs (like “SiteDirectory” things). So it’ll take more or less the entire weekend but lot’s of downtime waiting for copying, backups, restores and moving things around in the content databases, all those nifty scripts will do that work, I just have to check in once a while to make sure there are no errors and start the next one. So I’m actually triple booked this saturday – first this work, then Star Trek day in Skarpnäck and in the evening we’re having our neighbours over for dinner and to celebrate Sams birthday. Then on Sunday I might still have some job to do (although if all goes well it’ll just be building the search index which I’ll just start and leave for 12 hours) and off the the kids funhouse at Barkarby. All in all a busy weekend.

But it really feels good that FINALLY! I can put all my scripts and preparation to good use, I’ve waited for over 6 months to get the go-ahead for this!

More Piracy Stuff

We have some more piracy stuff going on here in Sweden. Our big ISP’s are more interested in expanding internationally than care about the free speech on the internet, which has made it difficult for the Pirate Bay to find an ISP. But our political Pirate Party supplied them with internet access because .. well why not really, everyone has the right to be online if they want right?

Well not according to the anti-pirate corporation here in Sweden, you know the one that dragged on the Pirate Bay-court for years and years and are backed by an army of lawyers (fortunately none that I worked with) and every studio in Hollywood. They sent them an ultimatum to cut off the internet access to pirate bay bu feb 26th “or else we’ll sue the individuals in charge of the party”. And the pirate party isn’t a big party, doesn’t have much funds and the ones in charge of it aren’t wealthy either. So they knew they couldn’t defend themselves in a lenghty trial and “fight the good fight” even if there is no law or court order to support the anti-pirate corporations threat. So the pirate bay went to Norway and Spain and someone the anti-pirate corporation thinks of this as a win for them. And I don’t see how?

First of all – the pirate party just got atleast one new member and voter, so good going there. Secondly the pirate bay is still online. Thirdly, instead of going to court against the pirate party they’ll be going to court explaining what gives them the authority to demand this in the first place. Which I for one hope ends up like it did in Norway.

But don’t get me wrong – I’m not rooting for or even using Pirate Bay and not a big supporter of people who thinks “copyrights are the devils work” and the anarchy label that comes with it. It’s more that I’m against how the Hollywood studios are going about this and what their idea of how distribution should look like which I’ve said many times is so inconvenient and counter productive for the customer that I can’t possibly support it – something I’ve said for years since that Moby “18” CD fail a few years back!

This Is What Drives Piracy

So this week is a week I was looking forward to. The release of Dead Space 3! I absolutely loved the first one and liked the second one, so I’ve really been waiting for the third one. And the trailers for it hasn’t disappointed. But now it all has a bit of a bitter taste thanks to the publisher EA and Visceral Games for sticking with EA!

If you wind back the clock to pre-World of Warcraft and most of the games I played wasn’t legally acquired. Not something to brag about but something changed with WOW but probably more because of the evolution of Steam – a great way to buy your games and download them digitally to your hard drive over the web. It was a lot more convenient than going to the store, buying a physical CD/DVD and installing it. Not to mention when you felt like playing it again you had to find the CD and hope it still worked. With steam you just download it again and play. My Steam library has more games than can be displayed on the page so I’ve been using that a lot. I actually bought the first two Dead Spaces through Steam.

Then EA decided to start their own. I don’t remember what the first one was called but I bought Command and Conquer and it wasn’t as good as Steam. Then they decided to ramp it up and started Origin which is their own Steam platform and the only way for EA games to be digitally retailed (at least in EU). And I’ve bought the Battlefields, Syndicate and even bought Dead Space 2 again since it was that good. But I can’t say I like it. Things like them defaulting the install dir to C: (which nowadays is pretty small when most gamers have SSD drives as C:), and it’s not cheaper to buy them there. Actually it’s cheaper to buy codes off web-stores that you then claim in Origin to get the game. I did that with Battlefield Premium and it saved me $20. It’s why I jokingly call it O(verpriced)rigin. But now they’ve taken it one step further with the launch of Dead Space 3!

I preordered it around Christmas cause I had some money over and it now finally showed up in my library. But guess what? It’s not playable until February 7th! Why is that a big deal? Cause it’s a EU thing – my friends in the states are already playing it!!! And there is no possible practical reason to delay it – it’s not like they are gonna translate it or make it less violent for our censorship or anything. There’s no reason to delay it for 2 days for us! It pissed me off! But here’s the kicker – it’s available on Torrent sites! So if I wanted to I could’ve played the game yesterday, albeit illegally obtained.

And now I ask the suits that are making the Origin decisions this one simple question – give me ONE good reason why I shouldn’t download it from Torrent and play it now? Because of your idiotic no-refund rules I can’t get my money back so my money will still be yours so don’t dare play the “support the developers of great games!” card. Just give me a reason why I should use your service over downloading it through torrent? Anyone? How about “to enjoy the multiplayer”? To hell with multiplayer, I play Dead Space because of that “one man against the universe and winning” feel so multiplayer is directly negatated. Anything else?

This is what drives piracy – poor executive decisions. And whom does it hurt? Your customers and your developers. Because there is no way in hell I’m going to enjoy Dead Space 3 now because of this idiotic thing that forces me to the world of Torrents to play I game I purchased! That’s who, but what do you care – it’s the bottom line that counts isn’t it? Maybe if you would play by the rules and offer refunds or the ability to second-hand sell my digital games, your bottom line would take a hit. But I promise you I will never buy a game through Origin again – this was the last straw!

Updated: I gave it a try and talked to a EA advisor through their support and ask for a refund. It went as expected, if you’re expecting corporate greed and customer service incompetence at understand the issue that is.

Happy To Be Here

That title is a little inside joke, but anyway. Today as I walked back to work after taking a little walk after lunch and I saw our building with our logo I got this weird fuzzy feeling. It took me a while to get it but I think I do now. I’m actually proud to be working here at Thomas Cook (aka “Ving” for all you Swedes!). It’s been over 10 years since I could say that.

After working for companies like “Pulsen” who never saw me as an individual but rather something there to make them money, and Carema who tried to make the most of every dollar they had, it’s such a pleasant thing to be able to say that I work at “Ving”. Because unlike “Vinge” (the lawfirm), this company is very well known, have a very good reputation, are very visible in the media and really takes care of their brand. Recently we just had an ad drive and some of the pictures of people on holiday were of gay couples, and it’s not like they made a big deal out of it or anything, the pictures were just there just like that “happy man / woman” couple pictures. I liked that. And yes I do realise that I’m defeating the purpose by actually making a deal out of it, but it can’t be helped! Also the fact that Ving take very good care of their employees. Even though I was a bit peeved at my boss 2 weeks ago for not giving me the bonus I was promised all year, I’ve gotten over it and it’s not like it was personal or anything. And besides, me and the wife are going on holiday soon that’s alot cheaper than it would be had I not worked here.

So yeah, for the first time in 10 years I can actually say I’m happy and proud to be working where I am. Let’s hope that never changes!


Also saw “Flight” during the weekend. And there we go with those expectations again! When I hear the name Robert Zemeckis I’m thinking “epic”, “grandiose”, “visually awesome”, “visual f/x you never even see” and “deep”. Like “Back to the Future”, those were pretty damn epic, the score was grandiose, the visual f/x in especially the second one are just awesome! And then you have “Forrest Gump” and “Contact”, both of which had more special f/x than anyone could count, both epic and grandiose in scale. So “new Robert Zemeckis movie” = “I have to see it!”.

Had anyone else done this movie I would probably have thought it was good movie. But with the expectations I had, and insisting we see it in our home theater, well then it was pretty much a disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, the story is good, the acting is top notch. But it wasn’t epic or grandiose, or visually awesome (granted, crashing a plane is always visually awesome but that was only 5 minutes of the movie!), maybe there were a gazillion visual f/x I never saw (I missed most of them in “Contact” which is the highest praise you can give to the visual f/x guys!) .. and it was kinda “we’ve seen this before” kinda thing with two broken characters with demons find each other, it’s all been done before. I expected more. But still don’t consider it a waste of time though.


Saw “Brave” this weekend. The wife had decided we needed a little family “just sit back, relax and enjoy a movie and popcorn”-session. And since our son has a thing for Pixar movies it was time for their latest creation “Brave”. I didn’t expect much, the normal Pixar stuff really. But I was pleasantly surprised! If we disregard the story which was mediocre (chick flic?), I absolutely enjoyed that movie and would recommend it to anyone! I’ve dabbled in 3D rendering myself about a decade ago so I kinda have a feel for the work that goes into animating stuff like this and on that level this has to be one of Pixars finest work ever! They managed to capture and render that awesome atmosphere and environment so beautifully, and I joked to the wife that “the animators must’ve loved hearing the amount of hair on the lead character!” because hair and water are some of the worst stuff to try to animate. And they didn’t tackle that problem much in Toy Story or Cars but they did now and did it fantastically! Then there was the music which really put the cream on this semla!

As a matter of fact I’m gonna try to watch this movie in English some day to take that Scottish feeling one step further, cause swedish dubbing just doesn’t do it justice!!

Fixing The Fuckup & Image Gallery Redone – Again!

I fixed my little fuckup with help from Google. I tried restore files but MySQL didn’t like that, but fortunately Google had indexed these pages and I could use their cache to re-write the few posts that were lost. So thanks Google!!

I’ve redone the image gallery again. I couldn’t find a gallery system for wordpress that worked “the way I wanted it to” so instead I went back to Imagevue and created seperate galleries for every year, in seperate folders. What that means for you is that it’s easier to navigate, however you can’t navigate from one year to the next without going back here. Quite simply because the navigation thing in Imagevue didn’t look good when having over 10 categories and subcategories and sub-sub-categories, it just wasn’t practical!

Hope you like it, and as usual, the password is the short Swedish name of my current employer.

I Fucked Up

So I fucked up again … I rearranged things on my server and lost the SQL database for this site. So I went back to the NP.com which is dated early December, that’ll do until I have time to restore the missing month (which with my updating frequence can’t be much!)

Expectations Are Bad

I really do hate expectations and now they’ve cost me about $1500! I wish I could just eliminate them completely. You know when you go into a movie expecting one thing and getting another. I think I’ve learnt to not have expectations in that regard, I’ve been disappointed so many times (“Star Wars The Phantom Menace” anyone?) that I just don’t have them. When I went to see “Prometheus” I made damn sure not to expect an “Alien”-movie and in hindsight most of the people that are giving it bad reviews went in with that expectation!

Now how did that cost me $1500? During my hiring process here at Thomas Cook my boss told me about their bonus system. And at the same time I was pursued by a big company that wanted to hire me and give me a higher salary and when I discreetly hinted at that she again told me about the bonus system and said “over a full year we’ll be able to match them salary wise” and it was one of the reasons I started working here. That and the fact that my boss and the colleague I met seemed like the most professional IT people I’d ever met! And during all of last year I kept hearing about that bonus as a carrot for us to achieve our professional goals here. Even as late as last Wednesday I was promised this bonus is coming with this months paycheck. But I knew I wasn’t going to get the full bonus since I had “only” worked here for 8 out of the 12 months of the year, but that should still give me $1500 after tax.

Well this Monday she called me for a spontaneous meeting to give me the bad news. I had only worked 5 months of the fiscal year and I needed to have worked 6 to be eligible for the bonus, something even she didn’t know about until she checked with HR. So instead of $1500 in cash that I had counted on that was just 4 days away I get $0. I do get something on the side but nothing in real hard cash.

I can’t say that she lied to me during the recruitment process because she didn’t know about this, but it’s very damn hard not to feel disappointed over it. And more than that, I feel like they stole $1500 from me! Because I’ve been promised that bonus 5 seperate times last year and twice this year and when it was only 4 days away it just vanishes!! If they had at any point last year said I wouldn’t get it I think I’d been fine with that, but now it got to the point where I had actually counted on getting it, and it was all going to go to pay our vacation this summer. Even besides that there are so many holes that money would fill that I feel robbed of that money. Kinda like Clark Griswald! But this was after Christmas though…

Anyway, what can I do about it? I’m professional enough to suck it up and keep on trying to do the best job I can! I can’t say I’m less motivated to do a good job than before. But I can’t say I’m happy that Microsofts analysis of our Sharepoint enviroment that I’ve set up said “it’s the most healthy Sharepoint environment we’ve seen” and I get nothing for it except a “good job”.

I Keep Forgetting This Place

This time I can’t blame anything else than I’ve simply forgotten to write something here in a while. Last week my son was really ill so that took up pretty much most of my thought processor when I wasn’t working. But I really should be updating more often, I know. I’ve looked into getting my tweets posted here automatically but so far no go.

Anyway, I’ve dumped instagram now because their user agreement doesn’t agree with me so that’s out of here which is really sad. Other than that it’s pretty much same stuff going on here as usual – me playing computer games, us watching movies, our son complains that we don’t spend enough time with him. But all in all it’s going pretty well actually.

Suggestion To Hollywood

Read the other day that movie box offices in Hollywood broke the 10.7 billion dollar mark for 2012 which is a new record. Also broke the record of amount of movie premieres (655) for one year. And that’s while claiming illegal file sharing are killing them.

And I’m pretty sure when I say this – the problem is lack of options! In Sweden HBO Nordic just started up, but only after first opening up to people who have the “right” ISP and bought the “right” TV – that kinda thing would never happen with a file sharing site, now would it? And the fact that HBO Nordics list of movies and TV shows are seriously lacking anything I’m interested in. Ok they had Back to the Future, but what about new movies? And the new TV shows they were supposed to have? We also have Netflix who has a pretty good lineup so I’m still paying monthly for that.

But one suggestion I’d like to make to Hollywood is to think a little outside the box. When I watched a movie the other day called “Giant Mechanical Man” (great movie by the way!) I though it was one of the best movies I’ve seen for quite some time. And there is no way I would have seen it had it not been for the way I got it. But I felt bad afterwards because it was so good I wanted to pay for it. The thing is there is no way for me to pay for it. And that’s when it hit me.

How about starting a donation site to a movie for people like me, that see the movie and feels it was so good I really do wanna pay for! I think that most people would think that a donation of say 5-6 would be ok for a movie they thought was worthwile watching! This would hugely increase the revenue for these small movies that never make it to the theaters in sweden and that “only” made $5 million in the box office in the states. I’m damn sure that would double if we had the oportunity to pay for it online somehow. Because right now my best way to pay for it is to actually pay CDON $5 for renting it online. And I’ll do that only because it’s the only way I know how to give money back for it. Unfortunately there is no way the writer/producer is going to see that revenue!

Speaking of which – I wonder what the creative force behind that movie would think. Is he or she or them ok with as many people as possible watching the movie regardless of how we obtain it, or are they pissed that I saw it and liked it and gave it a good review at IMDB and want to give my money to them for it, if only there was a way??