July 14th, 2010

Retro gaming, Commodore 64, Forbidden Forest

Help needed: Someone in the UK (OK maybe not)


I was just looking for stuff on eBay today, having just received my Elite II: Frontier, for the Amiga - sidetracking for a bit here: I loved that game. It was one of the very few games we actually owned, being dirty pirates back then. I think we got it as a bonus for subscribing to a computer magazine, which goes further to show that we pretty much didn't buy games back then. So there was the game - which was awesome by itself, and there was THE EXTRAS. Including a short book of short stories, titled Tales of Life on the Frontier. I read it and loved it. Fast forward a few years, and the game is in my brother's possession, and it gets stolen/lost from his storage unit, possibly an overzealous roommate cleaning out old crap, resulting in the loss of lots of floppy disks and other cool stuff.

So anyway. A few months ago I was on amazon, where I searched for "David Braben" and there was apparently a book titled "Further Stories of Life on the Frontier" - a sequel! And, today, I looked for the sequel to Frontier, "First Encounters" on eBay - and found out that Further Stories is part of the extras of First Encounters. So, I need to buy that game.

Problem: While there are three or four of the game available, only one ships outside of the UK. (I could not find any in the US, but I'm not sure eBay even lets me find items not available to me outside of the .co.uk site; if I go to www.ebay.com it just redirects me to global.ebay.com now.) Maybe it was only released in europe? Anyway.

The one that ships worldwide is quite pricey. More than I'd normally pay for a used game, and certainly more than I'd pay for a booklet I'll read in less than an hour.

I need someone in the UK to buy one of the not-so-expensive ones and then ship it over to me. I'll of course cover all expenses. I can paypal you the money even before you place a bid if you like. It's okay if you can't get to a post office to send it my way for a week or two, I'm not in a hurry to get it as long as I get it.

1 - the expensive one: Buy it Now for £44.99 +£10 shipping.
2 - a somewhat better offer, Buy it Now for £24.99 or make an offer
3 - cheap? - currently at £0.99, but has one bid, so someone else is interested.
4 - The Amiga version which I before today didn't even know existed. Doesn't matter, it still has the book included. Suspect less competition here.

To play, I'd probably prefer the PC version (strongly suspect the Amiga version does not have texture mapping and thus does not look as good), but the main point here is THE BOOK.

Anyone want to help me in this? :)

Edit: Well, the stories are easily available online.. but I still want to own the game and have the physical booklet.

Writer's Block: No place like home

What are five things you love about where you live and five things that you hate? How does it compare to previous places you've lived?

Just five things, not necessarily ranked - just in the order I came to think of them.

1) Very few people here. I can be alone whenever I want to, and I don't have to worry about crime.
2) Low cost of living. There's no way I could afford to have a whole (small) house to myself anywhere else. No one to complain about me staying up until the wee hours and playing music at 4 AM because there's no one around to hear it.
3) Absolutely lovely scenery, excellent outdoor activity options. Trees and green things everywhere. I have a garden I can grow food in.
4) I get to live near my grandparents. I am useful to them and that does wonders for my mental health. Being away from the city helps in that department too.
5) The cat loves it here. So do I.

I can't quite say that I hate these things, but I certainly dislike them:
1) Limited public transportation. I can get places, but only if I get up pretty early in the morning, and I don't like having to do that.
1b) Long-distance travel very inconvenient; if going to the US, need to travel to Bergen the day before, and if cousin unavailable, pay to sleep somewhere before tackling the second day of travel.
2) Closest grocery stores are too far away to get to without car/bus, and even if I get there, the selection of goods is inferior to what you can get in a city. Also do not have a car.
3) Few opportunities for social interaction outside of relatives.
4) Can't get a nice and juicy broadband connection, only adequate.
5) My ceiling leaks. If it had been raining, that would probably have made #1.

Really the only things I miss from living in Oslo is being able to walk to get groceries, being able to visit all kinds of stores, particularly Le Palais des Thés, and being able to hang out with friends. I missed the extra bandwidth I used to have for a while, but I got used to the current speed a while ago.

I certainly do not miss having to lock my room for fear of landlady's son entering my room and stealing stuff while I'm gone, or having food stolen from the kitchen by the same person. The last time I was to Oslo, the first thing I noticed was how bad the city smells.

It's a trade-off, and in my opinion I have the better deal now. I don't want to live here for the rest of my life, but I do know that I want to live here again some years after I move away.