Sam Holman - coder, gamer, geek.

Kids React To Gameboy

This video is awesome but makes me feel old! I loved my Gameboy and, for that reason, I love the kid in the green t-shirt who has obviously been educated into gaming. To be fair, for a 25-year old handheld, it stands up remarkably well - with one of the kids declaring it just slightly inferior to his tablet or DS.

Just to make me feel older still, I compiled a short list of other things that young adults just 10 years my junior probably won't know anything about:

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Upgraded To Https

SSL scan results

So I put onto HTTPS today - primarily thanks to Start SSL offering free certificates to individuals. Not because I collect personal information or anything like that, but simply because more encryption on the Internet benefits us all, and our privacy - even when browsing sites as mundane as this one. :-)

I've disabled a few of the older cyphers and enabled OCSP stapling, SPDY, etc - which basically means you're out of look if you're using the likes of Windows XP, but if you're using XP really I guess you've got much bigger problems. ;-)

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Chrome Copy As Curl

The Chrome developer tools have a really handy feature that allows you to copy requests out as cURL commands to allow for easy re-running and modification.

Open the developer tools and right click on any request in the network tab. Clicking "Copy as cURL" will copy that request, including all headers and cookies and such, into your clipboard; ready for pasting straight into a terminal. From there you can replay, modify, etc and it's great for debugging pesky API requests and whatnot.

Copy as cURL in Chrome

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Secret World Arrival In Tokyo

Issue #9: The Black Signal finally arrived for The Secret World on Wednesday this week. I've been a big fan of the game for ages (albeit not from launch), but haven't played for quite a while - primarily due to my finishing the story content, up until this update.

It's a real quality over quantity game - certainly for an MMO. It plays more like a single player adventure/puzzle game than any other MMO I'm aware of, and whilst there are lots of multiplayer activities (dungeons, PvP, etc) - the real meat of the game is the story content and the missions, so when I reached the end of that, up until now, I had a little less reason to log in.

Which is why I'm so happy to have a big new update to get stuck into. Before arriving in Tokyo, however, I had a fair amount of catching up to do. As I say, it had been a while since my last activity, and in that time had arrived the first of the "Side Stories" mission packs, curiously titled "Further Analysis". This mini-update contained four investigation missions, each of which probably took three or four hours to complete.

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Luigi Death Stare Helps Sell Wii Us

I previously talked about how much I was looking forward to Mario Kart 8, and I'm happy to report that it doesn't disappoint! It's a gorgeous looking game, running at 60 FPS*, and from my experience so far boasts some of the best tracks in the series yet, coupled with great kart handling, some brilliant new power ups, and plenty of scope for local and online multiplayer. It is awesome fun, but I'm not writing a review here - there are plenty of those already online that I recommend reading if you're interested.

What I will mention, however, is that so far it seems to be selling very well! Wii U console sales apparently increased 666 percent, and the game itself debuted in second place in the UK charts just under Watch Dogs - which is a multi-platform title, and itself broke sales records for Ubisoft. Previous sales numbers aren't available so there isn't really enough public information to judge just what that 666% jump is worth, but it can surely only be good news.

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Windows Web Development Environment


I usually work on a Mac or an Ubuntu box, but I do have a Windows PC for gaming, and in an effort to have the ability to do dev work on any of my machines, I did recently set up a little PHP development environment on Windows 8, so I thought I would document the tools I ended up using in order to simulate something Unix-y. You know what? It wasn't half as bad as I expected.

A Windows web development environment

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