Hyper Sentinel

I remember my youth during the video game arcade era: Space Invaders, Galaga, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, I Robot, Scrambler, and many others. Even after I bought my first computer, an Exidy Sorcerer, which supported many fine games (often clones of the arcades), I still would spend an AUS .20 piece or later CAD .25 in many a machine. Eventually home consoles would come to replace the arcade experience; arcades with pinballs and video games would slowly fade away.

I enjoy “retro” style games, even the ASCII graphics of NetHack , Air Traffic Controller, Empire, so when I saw on Kickstarter a campaign for a retro side-scroller shoot’em’up I was intrigued. After reading the blurbs, watching the vids, and testing the demo on a Android based Nexus 7 tablet and the promise of a Windows version I jumped in.

I’ve been waiting just over a year for Hyper Sentinel since backing it on Kickstarter. Today it was finally released on Steam and consoles. I finally got to install on my Windows laptop this evening and I played for almost a blasted (literally) hour. I’m love’n it. I probably spent the equivalent of 16$ in quarters.

Hyper Sentinel has almost the same intensity as Defender or Star Gate, but a little more forgiving; its not out to kill you at every turn in order to suck in all your pocket money. It doesn’t need too. While it is fast paced, challenging, and sometimes chaotic, its still fun. Its a game I can still play without needing the reflexes of a 16 year old. And combined with the visuals, it successfully has that retro arcade game feel.

Well done Huey Games! It was worth the wait.


Ed Mastery I’ve known about and used ed(1) on many occasions. Can save you in a pinch when all you have access to is /bin in single user boot mode. Even learned a couple of new things I didn’t know like chaining g and s commands. Once found myself on one of those other *nix that had no ed(1) nor sed(1), but had an ex(1) that I could use in a script to automate some configuration file edits.

Certainly worth knowing the old tongue of editing along with the Charm of Making, “Anál nathrach, orth’ bháis’s bethad, do chél dénmha”.

Motivational Posters



Some in the office this week were talking about motivational posters. The only one I could remember was “Knowledge is Power” from when I was a kid in the ’70s visiting my aunt in Montreal where it hung on the back of her bathroom door. Never forgot the image, though I think the writing on this version is different.



Before The Internet

Today’s XKCD comic, while funny on the surface, is a little cynical. I was born just before the Internet (I’m a Star Trek baby), though not much before, but certainly before the Web took off in popularity in 1991 (I was already doing email in 1986).

Before the Internet, as a kid I kept myself busy inside with variety of things from assembling plastic models, model rockets, model trains, and board games, to actually playing outside with the neighbourhood kids, skiing, Judo, running.

Later as a teen in senior school we had lots of school sports options of which I competed in track events like 800m 1500m, 3000m, and cross-country and fun runs up to 22Km; I did rugby in winter, rowing, and later basketball in summer. Throughout my youth and university I cycled everywhere I could.

Before the Internet, I bought my first computer, an Exidy Sorcerer, when I was 13. I used an acoustic coupler modem to connect to BBS’s and FTP archives. I had Mattel hand-held electronic games and my brother an Atrai 2600 console. Despite home entertainment systems, we both went outside (without prompting from mum or dad) for activities with friends. I went to lots of movies (Ok, I had to go out to get downtown), my brother went surfing at Bondi.

And when all else failed, I often huddle quietly in a chair and immersed myself in a book, a real physical paper printed book, where I actually turned pages (and got the occasional paper cut).

“And you try and tell the young people today that and they won’t believe ya.” – Four Yorkshiremen, Monty Python