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Most people’s story of how they became a geek usually starts with watching a friend play console games, or a parent with a PC for work that they decided to hack on. My journey into geekdom started far less prosaic; mine started with a girl.

I’ve always been into the fantastical and alternative – the first book I remember reading on my own was about a dragon – but my parents weren’t entirely sure about this computer stuff. I think the fact we had one at all is a shining testament to my brother’s ability to expound the Value of the Home Computer for Work and Study (insert cheesy 80’s synth here). This meant I knew how to work a PC when I hit High School, but computers were supposed to be a tool for education, and gaming consoles where right out.

So when my best friend asked me to go to ‘Computer Club’ at School because a boy she fancied was going, I was ambivalent. I thought I’d end up doing homework for an hour, but I went anyway because she was my friend, and she, like, was so totally into this boy, you know? (We didn’t actually talk in that manner, but it amuses my thirty-year-old self to picture my thirteen-year-old self like that).

 

So we rocked up to the smallest of the school’s three computer labs, and I was surprised to see a group of boys enthusiastically and completely engrossed in guiding little men and crustaceans around a map. The best friend went to coo over her amore, and I sat down at a workstation. I was asked if I wanted to join their game, and sat back as someone installed something called StarCraft, while someone else told me all about Terrans, Zerg and Protoss, and how they wanted to kill each other. This was the first time I played something that wasn’t an edutainment game, and though I was bad at it, I was hooked.

Which brings me to the meat of my post. A company called Man Crates got in touch and asked me if I would write about my descent into geekdom, and the sort of thing that makes me think of my history of games. With their Retro Gaming Crate filled with sugary treats and a NES console, they want to help kindle remembrances of crazier times, like sitting in your boyfriend’s living room, chugging Relentless, and cursing him out because he just scored a Humiliation on you in Quake 3, or watching your best friend button-mash her way to victory in Super Smash Bros, while you cheer her on with bowl of Haribo.

 

The crush that got me into gaming might have only lasted a few weeks, and I’m still really bad at most games, but what I got in exchange was a lasting passion, a radio station and a mild addiction to pixi stix. I would never change any of that, but it could certainly be enhanced by the presence of a retro crate of yummy sweets.

Disclaimer: This post is inspired by Man Crates, a company specializing in ‘manly’ gift boxes.

(Apologies if this is quite brief – as you may know I broke my shoulder, and cannot type with both hands. If there is anything you want more information on, leave a comment below, e-mail info@g3-radio.net, or pop into IRC)

This weekend, myself, Neothermic, Mr Potz and Crace all got together for what we call a ‘Station Elder’s’ meeting. I should probably start out by explaining that a Station Elder is someone who has been in the community for so long they are like furniture, has contributed a substantial amount of time to the station, or who has donated a substantial sum over the years (we’re talking +£500). To wit, Tigger, Kralian, and ArmEagle might also be considered Station Elders but it’s a touch difficult to ship them over from the Continent for a one day meeting.

So what did we learn, what did we plan, and what comes next?

We started out by looking at the results of the listener survey, which was overall positive (most people listen a few times a week), and largely unsurprising in terms of complaints (no one likes how the IRC bot works). This spawned a list of tasks that we’ll look at over the next 6 months, one of which was that not as many people as thought knew about the donations spreadsheet or guiding document.

After a pause for lunch we went back and highlighted what we think are our core goals:

  • To acive a 10% listener increase across the weeks programming by the end of the year
  • To achive a similar increase in donations

The main method for achiving these is currently to focus on our infrastructure:  server stability, presenter consistency, documentation. With that in mind we went back to the task list from last year to look through what we may have missed that was hindering the above, and added anything we hadn’t done to our current list. We then spent some time sorting the tasks into priority and timescale order.

We now have a list of tasks we think we can get done by summer I-series. So keep an eye out for any updates, and if you see none, give us a shout, as we’re probably slacking.

It’s not often that I don’t post something about baking, but I figured it was about time I gave the more student-y among us some suggestions of easy quick and cheap dinner ideas.

This is a really tasty dish, that contains things that you should mostly already already have in a store cupboard, and is pretty hard to mess up, you can also add and take away things you don’t like, which is the beauty of this dish.

Ingredients:

casserole-ingredients

  • Pack of chicken
  • Half a ring of Chorizo
  • 1 onion, diced – personally I use red, but white will do just as well
  • ~250g mushrooms, halved and sliced  – I use chestnut, but again, most will do
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 150g olives, sliced – less if you don’t like olives
  • 2x 390g cartons of Italian seasoned chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml chicken stock, made with one stock cube
  • a large tin of new potatoes (~350g), cubed
  • Pepper and herbs, to taste

Method:

  1. Fry the chicken and chorizo until golden, remove from the pan and set aside.pre-cooked chicken and chorizo
  2. Fry onions until transparent, then add mushrooms, and finally garlic.'shrooms, garlic and onion
  3. Add olives, tomatoes and potatoes, then return chicken and chorizo to the pan.
  4. Add stock and season to taste.
  5. Cover and simmer for around 15mins, until the chicken is tender.
  6. Serve with bread if it’s a bit sloppy.Finished Casseole

If you have a suggestion of what I should make next, send an email to dru@g3-radio.net, or leave a comment. Liked this post and want more? Check out all the Cooking With Dru posts.

Beetroot Muffins

If you ask anyone who remotely knows me, they’ll tell you I fracking love beetroot. I have roasted it, I’ve put it in pies, eaten it pickled, and fresh. I love it’s sweet, earthy taste, it’s vibrant colour, and how versatile it is (not only can you eat the beet, but you can cook the leaves, or use it as a dye). So you can understand why I was pretty excited when I found this recipe while I was looking for candidates for my breakfast muffins.

And how disappointed I was, when I discovered that I don’t like them.

Continue reading

Bored of your arena FPS of choice, or want to try something new? Quakelike are a series of articles looking at some alternative arena shooters that you may not have heard of.

From launching the game, it is clear that Warsow is very much aimed at competitive play. From the initial screen being a news feed of esports events to bot games being hidden behind the online play, Warsow makes it very clear what it aims to do. But does it do it well? Continue reading

During yesterday’s G3 Originals show, we discussed the current state of the station.

Play

There is the link to the full show podcast, but the discussion starts around 1 hour in and lasts for about 30 mins if you want to skip to the pertinent part.

I had prepared a report, which you can read here, but the basic TL;DR is we did very very poorly in 2014 compared to other years. Listeners, website page views, donations and staff were all down. In January last year we made a list of things we wanted to get fixed, but only managed about a quarter of the tasks.

If we want to make 2015 a far better year we need to have a serious look at what we’re doing, what we want, and generally need a motivational kick up the arse. So, to start things off, I’ve made a Listener Survey. If you’re interested in guiding the direction of the station and providing your views, please take 5 mins to fill it out. As always, if you want to share ideas and suggestions in general, you can e-mail us at info@g3-radio.net.

In the mean time, we’ll be pouring over the results and let you know by the end of the month were we’re aiming for in the year ahead.

This is kind of another Minecraft/ Gem Miner clone but with a slight difference: everything you mine goes towards making parts for a rocket ship to blast your way of wherever you are. I’d say this is more like Gem Miner, in that it is a flat, 2D game. It also brings different challenges with it – for example you have to buy torches (you can’t just find coal and wood), and the deeper you go, the more you run out of air. Each section of the rocket is a new quest, and you use each previous quest to help you build up parts of your rocket, and it’s launch pad, with the end goal being to escape the planet you’ve landed on.

So far it’s a nice time waster; easy to pick up and put back down. The graphics aren’t great – they look like they were made in MS Paint – but it honestly doesn’t affect the games playability. Everything is still clear and obvious as to it’s nature or purpose.

My only real complaint is that the prices don’t seem to escalate at a predictable rate. For example, rubble is your only real main selling resource – everything else goes into the ship – and sells for 15 coins. However, then the cheapest items, torches, go from 50 coins for a small torch, to 200 coins for a big one. If you want something like an oxygen tank upgrade, it’s 2000 coins. Maybe it’s just me, but those price jumps don’t seem quite right.

Still: It’s a fun, mildly interesting time killer, so it scores three out of five Dru Points

3 out of 5