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#Contact by Carl Sagan

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The movie contact is a much beloved Sci-Fi film of mine and I've been eager to read the fiction behind it for some time.

The premise is of the notion of Earth's first 'Contact' with intelligent life from out there within the cosmos. Doctor Arroway is our leading character, an intelligent yet modest female scientist stationed at a radio telescope lab, of which some of her time is devoted to SETI - the search for extra terrestrial intelligence.

Upon breaking down the received signal they find a message. Whilst a lengthy search for a primer embedded within the message itself that holds the key to decryption, a swathe of political, scientific and religious debates continue regarding how humanity should react to the message.

As the message becomes clearer, they find within it instructions and blueprints, meticulously written, for some sort of transportation device. Requiring new materials, processes and a level of science currently unknown to mankind, further debate ensues…

#OffToBeTheWizard by Scott Meyer mini review

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Off To Be The Wizard by Scott Meyer is a comical take on the premise of what if this life we lead is actually just a part of a computer simulation? Well, what if?

Our protagonist, Martin, works a mundane IT job and in his spare time does a little low level hacking of company servers to pass the time. Whilst rummaging through the server of a telecommunications company he stumbles across a seemingly innocent looking data file. When making changes to the file, he finds he can manipulate the physical world, his height; location; bank balance...

Of course who could resist a bit of a splurge if they discovered how to do this? And of course the authorities quickly discover the Martin has had an influx of wealth appear from apparently nowhere! Martin's contingency plan - to escape back in time to Medieval England - as after some (very) low level research he concludes this would be the optimum place to exist with the powers he's discovered.

Upon his arrival, Martin quickly realises he…

Game Boy World 1989

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Game Boy World 1989 is a crowd funded book (via https://www.patreon.com/gamespite) written and compiled by Jeremy Parish, a video game journalist and authority on many things retro.

An unofficial look at all Japanese and American releases for the Nintendo Game Boy in it's year of release.


It's a nice looking, A4 sized book containing simple text and black and white screenshots throughout, and I found each entry on all the games, ranging from the well known greats such as Tetris and Super Mario Land, to obscurities such as Asmik-kun World and Pachinko Time, to be interesting and illuminating whilst being simultaneously entertaining.

Rather than a review of each game which are typically affected by our rose tinted bespectacled view on simpler, nostalgic periods of gaming history, I felt that Game Boy World was written extremely objectively. It details both the flaws and fancies of all of the games released in the first year of the Game Boy's life, providing praise and critiq…

Error 1722 Installing WSUS on Server 2008 R2

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Difficulties Installing WSUS on Server 2008 R2 – Fails at Configuring Database – Error 1722
Running Server 2008 R2 and trying to install WSUS 3.0 service pack 2, I found I consistently got an error upon trying to add the role, whether it be from using a dedicated installer from Microsoft or just by adding the feature from within Server Manager.

Lots of Googling suggested lots of different fixes, and I’ve tried a lot. I put it down to the old install of WSUS which had been working successfully but removed for a time, had left some files behind that were corrupting the new install. But I trawled through the server and ran powershell scripts to remove files all to no avail.
The error is really unhelpful, and the install would always fail at the ‘Configuring Database’ stage, displaying error 1722 and saying: There is a problem with this Windows Installer package. A program run as part of the setup did not finish as expected. Contact your support personnel or package vendor. 
I’d seen some …

The Lost Woods Play Along Piano Video - The Legend Of Zelda

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Marioverehrer’s YouTube channel is dedicated to ‘learn it yourself’ piano videos, designed to play along with whilst having a graphical score and actual keyboard to look at, so the ability to read musical notation is moot when using these tutorials.

There’s no vocal introduction or visual gumpf – just a text title and the block note score, which comes towards you in Guitar Hero style, the blocks hitting the keyboard at the exact moment you should play.

The quality of the Audio is decent enough, a high level of MIDI, but I personally would’ve liked the actual score as well, and maybe some Legend Of Zelda themed embellishments just to add that personal touch to the video.

The Lost Woods is a bit of the equivalent of a tongue twister for piano, and I’d also have liked the option to switch to a lower tempo, before trying the piece at full speed.

Still, the idea is good and works well, and if you want to learn one of Ocarina Of Time’s iconic tunes you could do a lot worse than starting her…

The Legendary Lullaby Performed on Violin and Ocarina

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The music in video games is such an intrinsic part to the whole experience, from the days of the looping MIDI sequences of arcade gems such as Donkey Kong, to the sweeping orchestral scores of Skyrim. The Legend of Zelda series in particular is extremely famous for the many recurring themes throughout its catalogue of games.

Zelda’s Lullaby is arguably most well-known from its use in Ocarina of Time on the N64 accompanying scenes with the famous titular princess as well as enabling link to make the jump from child to adult hood, and invokes with it a swathe of nostalgia for anyone who remembers leading Link into his epic quest throughout Hyrule.

There are so many tributes to the works composed by Koji Kondo that it’s obvious how much love people have for the music in its own right. This is particularly true of this performance of Zelda’s Lullaby by the talented and prevalent YouTube violinist Anime Martha Psyko.
Psyko has teamed up with Alonso Quijano who plays the Ocarina with a swe…

#LifeOnTourWithBowie mini book review

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Sean Mayes is a famous rock 'n' roll piano player from the group Fumble, who are best known for supporting Bowie on the Ziggy Stardust tour in '72. Further down the line, Bowie was recruiting musicians to be in his band for the Isolar 2 tour in '78. Although Fumble were well into the production of the Elvis musical at the time, Mayes couldn't not say yes to a request from Ziggy himself and was soon in the throes of a globular tour with one of the most inspiring, innovative and interesting rock 'n' roll musicians that has graced the Earth. The tour was recorded and subsequently released as Stage.

Life On Tour With Bowie is a short, edited version of Mayes' diary entries from his time spent on tour with D, and details everything down to the travelling between destinations, the costumes, the people involved both musicians and administrative, the fans and groupies, the night life and, most importantly, the live shows.

I found the entries to be less raucous…