Archive | September, 2008

Nintendo DS Lite (NDSL) vs PSP Slim

This has been quite a long debate between the gaming factions, since the original Nintendo DS (fat) came out and the original generation one Playstation Portable (PSP).

Now we are at the second generation with the PSP Slim and the Nintendo DS Lite, both are slimmer, sexier and have better specs.

The last time I bought something like this was almost 2 years ago when I got the PS2 – I was late to the race with that purchase as I am with this one. But then I tend to prefer that, the prices are lower, more games are available and the accessories are more refined.

So now I’ve been thinking of getting a portable but those times of waiting, airports, plane trips, taxis, waiting for meetings, whilst ladies are shopping and so on. I’ve had my eye on the PSP for a while but after playing it a few times I find it a bit limited…yeah the graphics are good but the games are about the same as PS2, very few originals mostly just ports.

Sony PSP Slim

Sony PSP Slim

You can watch movies easily though, surf the web and play music although the battery life is quite short and load times long with UMD media.

From my testing/observations and research:

PSP Pros

  • Multiplayer & Wifi capability
  • Built in browsing capability
  • Very good graphics
  • Homebrew support
  • Solid build

PSP Cons

  • Slow load times
  • Poor battery life (2-3 hours)
  • Limited range of good games
  • Poor RPG platform
  • Very slow game releases

Nintendo DS Lite

Nintendo DS Lite

Then the Nintendo DS Lite caught my eye, innovative games, touch screen and cheaper than the PSP.

I’ve always been a fan of Nintendo games and their innovative original gameplay, just look at the Wii – that’ll be my next purchase when I get a bigger place!

I loved my NES and SNES and only went for a Dreamcast after that as Sega have a similar heritage to Nintendo…Sony tends to go for flashy games and great graphics rather than entertainment.


  • More original games
  • 2 screens
  • Touch screen capability
  • Multiplayer & Wifi capability
  • Great battery life (5-10 hours)
  • Wide variety of game genres
  • Great RPG platform
  • Homebrew support


  • Browser needs additional hardware
  • Graphics not super good
  • Hinge can get weak

I’m heading towards DS Lite at the moment, what do you think?

VGEScape has DS Lite on top.
Metafilter – mostly in favour of DS Lite
Someone who bought both…on the SAME DAY!

At current price I think the NDSL is about RM650 and the PSP about RM750.

It’s a tough choice..

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Sunday Roast Carvery at Evesham Country Park

So it may sound weird to some people, but it’s common in UK for people to hang out at the garden center – especially on Sunday afternoons.

The one we went to was called Evesham Country Park which contained Evesham Garden Center and the delicious AppleBarn Restaurant.

In basic terms a Garden Center is a place that sells plants and things to go in your garden like statues, pagodas and so on. Generally however they also contain decent restaurants, usually some kind of factory outlet and a few other shops.

And of course because it’s Sunday we had to have the traditional Sunday Roast Dinner! In this case and in most pubs on a Sunday something called ‘Carvery’ is served. Basically there are fresh joints of roast meet (usually pork, lamb and beef) and a mixture of vegetables and side dishes (stuffing, carrots, peas, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower cheese and so on). And you choose which meat and veg you want, add some gravy and sauce (apple sauce for pork, horseradish sauce for beef and so on) and off you go!

The delicious roast beef with yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese and the full works.

Roast Beef Carvery

And even better, roast pork! Salty and delicious with a big dollop of apple sauce and a lump of crackling.

Roast Pork Carvery

It was absolutely fantastic! Carvery is not cheap though, but not too expensive either at about £9-11 per plate depending which meat you choose, yes that is RM60-70 but in economic terms it’s about RM30 if you are earning in pounds so it’s not too bad.

It was actually a pretty nice day so we had a walk around the garden center, this is basically what it looks like. It’s a very relaxing place just to hang out and mooch around checking out the flowers.

Evesham Garden Center

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Continue Reading · 17 Comments · Food/Eating, Photography

Movie Review – Mamma Mia! – Truly Entertaining

Mamma Mia! Movie

Donna, an independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek island, is about to let go of Sophie, the spirited daughter she’s raised alone. For Sophie’s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends–practical and no-nonsense Rosie and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tonya–from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos. But Sophie has secretly invited three guests of her own.

I have to say I like this new ‘movical‘ genre, it’s not strictly a musical as there is dialogue and not everything is sung…and it uses all the songs from one band.

The last one I watched was Across the Universe, which used songs from The Beatles, it was a fantastic movie but I somehow didn’t blog about it…anyway the next one is this, based on the music of the legendary ABBA we present you Mamma Mia!

The story is cute, pretty straight forwards but oh wow is it entertaining, I haven’t been quite so entertained the whole way through, you want to laugh, cry and sing along. Of course it’d be better if you’re familiar with the songs of Abba, but then most people are especially though *cough* of my agegroup.

The cast is good with Meryl Streep coining the term GILF (work it out please) and yes she is 59! If you are offended by wrinkly boobs on a 30ft screen then please don’t watch this show. I don’t think I’ve really seen Meryl Streep in a funny movie, but boy was she hilarious, especially with her two cronies and her performance of ‘The Winner Takes It All’ was moving.

Meryl Streep as Donna in Mamma Mia! Movie

Julie Walters is absolutely fantastic as usual, her closing rendition of ‘Take a Chance On Me’ had me in stitches. Obviously no-one in the movie could pass for a trained singer but it didn’t really matter, the singing was incredibly real and emotionally charged and the performances were superb. Pierce Brosnan obviously can’t sing for nuts but who wouldn’t pay to see Bond sing ‘SOS‘.

The use of the extras during the songs was really really funny too and the Greek scenery was simply breathtaking. It was a beautifully filmed movie and the pace is fast, really fast…do try and keep up.

Plainly speaking this movie is cheesy and sassy and very very silly, it’s just fun, plain and simple fun, the singing isn’t technically good, the jokes aren’t very advanced or subtle and the plot isn’t complex..if you don’t like ABBA please give it a miss…BUT if you hear an ABBA song and you feel like jumping on the dancefloor or singing along do go and watch this movie.

For me personally it’s one of the most entertaining movies I’ve seen for a long time, I shall watch it again…and probably again and again. It shall be filed next to Friday, Clerks II and Jay and Silent Bob.

I give it a Dancing Queen 9/10.

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A Day Out in Birmingham

So from Worcester the nearest major city would be Birmingham (home of Aston Villa and Birmingham City for the football fans amongst you).

It’s about a 40 minute train journey and to start ourselves off for a long day out…of course we must have the Full English Breakfast!

This is for you HB!

Full English Breakfast

Then off down to Worcester Foregate Street to catch the train…in the rain of course, with grey skies – typical UK weather.

British Rail Tickets

The train are nice and smart though with plenty of room and are almost always on time!

British Rail Train

I hardly took any pictures in Birmingham as it’s not a very attractive city and it was raining and there’s loads of dodgy people around….honestly I don’t particularly like Birmingham.

Church in Birmingham

The New Bullring is quite a fantastic building though…especially on the sunny days with blue skies, which is what? Twice a year! Ha!

New Bullring

The outside is covered in 15,000 spun aluminium discs.

We wondered around, did some shopping, got some bargains at Primark of course and then headed back to Worcester when the shops started to close (5.30pm for the lose).

It’s odd being a place where everything is not open to 10pm, oh well! More coming soon.

You can find all the posts on my UK trip:

UK Trip – August 2008

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Continue Reading · 13 Comments · Trips & Travel, UK

Movie Review – Run Fatboy Run – Hilarious

Run Fatboy Run

A charming but oblivious overweight guy leaves his fiancee on their wedding day only to discover years later that he really loves her. To win her back, he must finish a marathon while making her realize that her new handsome, wealthy fiance is the wrong guy for her.

Now it’s been a while since Hot Fuzz and before that the instant classic Shaun of the Dead, now Simon Pegg and his gang return with Run Fatboy Run. Scoring a solid 6.9 on IMDB this is a far less silly and far-fetched movie than the previous two.

It’s much more settled, based purely on real life and is very much character oriented. The lead character of course is Simon Pegg playing his gormless self very well as usual, he’s a bit pitiful in this movie (well a bit more than the others..) and is plagued by personal problems.

Simon Pegg as Dennis Doyle in Run Fatboy Run

The movie shows the real London and is really very British (that includes the humour), which surprised me when I found it was directed by David Schwimmer of Friends fame. He obviously really gets British humour, but then he was involved in Little Britain USA – so he should!

The much underated Hank Azaria (from Simpons fame) played the smarmy overly-perfect archetypal successful business yank perfectly (Hank the Yank how fitting).

Hank Azaria as Whit in Run Fatboy Run

Over all it’s not a groundbreaking plot, but it’s kinda of a feel good movie and offers some of the best dialogue I’ve heard in a movie for quite some time. Dylan Moran is hilarious as the whacky Irish cousin of Dennis (he’s actually a stand up comedian). There are a LOT of cameos in this movie too if you are familiar British comedy series and comedians you’ll spot a lot of familiar faces.

If you like Brit comedy (and actually understand it) then do watch this movie, you’ll enjoy it. Oh yah and check out the landlords daughter, she’s HAWT.

I give it a very funny 7/10.

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A Trip to Worcester Cathedral & Royal Worcester Porcelain

After a good long sleep and getting adjusted back to UK time it was off down to Worcester Cathedral for a walk around. We happened to be in town during the Three Choirs Festival, so there were lots of events going on.

This part of the Cathedral (the altar) always strikes me as odd, with the very classical architecture and the garish ‘modern’ stitchery below.

Altar of Worcester Cathedral

The ceiling is simply spectacular.

Worcester Cathedral Ceiling

There is even a little cart you can push around with an angled mirror on it so you can view the ceiling without craning your neck.

The glorious East Window.

Worcester Cathedral East Window

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Continue Reading · 12 Comments · Photography, Trips & Travel, UK

Movie Review – 21 – Geek Dreams

21 The Movie

The true story of the very brightest young minds in the country – and how they took Vegas for millions. Ben Campbell is a shy, brilliant M.I.T. student who — needing to pay school tuition — finds the answers in the cards. He is recruited to join a group of the school’s most gifted students that heads to Vegas every weekend armed with fake identities and the know-how to turn the odds at blackjack.

This is a movie I was interested in since I saw the trailer, the dream of all geeks that they’ll learn to beat the system and live the life in Vegas.

And the most awesome thing? This is all a true story based on the book by Ben Mezrich called “Bringing Down the House”.

The real subject of the story Jeff Ma also plays a small part (The Chinese dealer who the main characters calls “My brother from another mother”).

The lead is played by Jim Sturgess (Who you may recongise if you’ve watched the Beatles musical movie Across the Universe). He fits the role perfectly as he can play the nerd and the badboy pretty well, someone like Ashton Kutcher just couldn’t play this role

Jim Sturgess as Ben Campbell

Everyone fit in just right, they were convincing as MIT geeks and as high rollers leading a double life. The plot was fairly coherent, the effects were good, the filming was good (getting the right atmosphere in a low light casino is not easy). There was some funny parts, good tension and generally a nice pace.

I don’t think anyone can argue the fact that Kevin Spacey is an awesome actor too, especially anyone that has seen The Usual Suspects. Some people may find him a little intense but I thought he played the role very well.

Kevin Spacey as Micky Rosa

All in all definitely a movie worth watching, don’t expect a masterpiece of movie making – do expect to enjoy the movie.

For all the aspiring high-rollers, I’d give this movie a solid 7/10.

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My Arrival in the UK – KLIA – Dubai – BHX

I chose to fly Emirates back to UK as it’s the only airline that flies to Birmingham International Airport (BHX). The rest fly to Manchester or London, London is a real hassle to get out of (and expensive). Manchester isn’t too bad but it’s still a couple of hours drive up the M6.

BHX is just about 25 minutes from my house as it’s not far off the M5 motorway, and so is my house! It was a fairly uneventful journey, the planes were on time, I slept a bit in Dubai airport during the transit, we got exit seats for both legs of the journey (yay!).

Birmingham International Airport - BHX

Weather was actually pretty nice when we landed in UK (it was mid afternoon) and it wasn’t too cold.

Birmingham Blue Sky

Then a short trek back to Worcester down the motorway, it was such a pleasure to be back in UK with no-one hogging the outside lane, everyone in the inside or middle lane. It’s so relaxing to drive in UK compared to KL.

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Movie Review – Kung Fu Panda – Overhyped

Kung-Fu Panda

Po the Panda is the laziest animals in all of the Valley of Peace, but unwittingly becomes the chosen one when enemies threaten their way of life.

I have to admit I did laugh when I saw the trailer for this movie at the cinema last year and was quite looking forwards to it. I didn’t manage to catch it at the cinema and a few people said it wasn’t really worth it anyway.

I did however manage to catch it on the way to UK, it was a little disappointing I think. I still think Pixar is better and Dreamworks relies too much on celebrity voices. I mean how much must they have paid out for the voices of the 5 animals (Jolie, Chan etc), and they each had what 1-2 lines of dialogue each in the movie?

It was beautifully drawn on the whole and there were some entertaining moments.

Kung-Fu Panda

Although it was a bit of a lame story….well hardly a story at all, accidental hero? Seen that before no? Just not in the guise of a fat panda voiced by Jack Black.

It seemed like a relatively short movie, but then I guess it’s supposed to be aimed at a younger audience so it’s quite suitable. I have somewhat of a longer attention span though so require a bit more depth.

The anti-hero or baddy was quite scary enough for a kids movie, but far from tough enough. In real life he would have ripped the fat panda into pieces and stomped him into the dirt.

Kung-Fu Panda - Tai Lung

He appeared to be a snow leopard, but his name in Chinese meant big dragon?

Plus it bugged me that the name of the ‘master’ was shifu which is master in Chinese…so Po kept calling him master master..

There were a few funny moments but sadly I’d already seen them in the trailer, nothing much new after that. It does poke fun at the old school kung fu movies and there are a bucket load of cliches thrown in for good measure.

Anyway it’s worth watching, I can’t say I’d want to watch it again so don’t expect anything fantastic.

I’d give it a disappointing 5.5/10.

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More Woes….Water This Time

After having a filling fall out I thought I should be ok for a while in terms of bad fortune, but it seems not!

Oddly when I got back from the UK the water was fine, but perhaps it was just running out what was in the tank and the pipes…anyway now I have no water at all.

A day ago the kitchen tap was still working, but now even that has stopped working…time to shower at the gym I think before I start smelling like a mouldy asam.

The first course of action was too call Syabas who were surprisingly efficient (and not at the same time) after calling about 9+ they sent someone around about 11am to check the water supply. The water supply was fine and there was water to the meter…but they didn’t call me to tell me, they just left me in the dark so when I called them again later they checked my case and said my water supply was fine – it must be a plumbing problem.

But it was too late by then to call the plumber out, but I called anyway and he said he’d come the next day around 9.30am..that was this morning – so he came of course.

And he told me it’s a main pipe problem, it’s quite a big job laying a new pipe to the tank (about 20m in height of piping) digging the floor to lay a new pipe and drilling the wall to feed the new water supply into the appt.

The cost…a little out of my budget for a place I don’t even own, first quote RM1200, after a look of wtf quoted RM1000. I’ve used this plumber a few times too, they are pretty good and respectable..but the other jobs were RM100+.

At least the job will get rid of the horrible rusty iron pipe outside too, and replace it with something that wont give me brown water.

So I called the landlord, he’s on his way over now – I hope he sorts it out ASAP so I can have a bleeding shower!

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Continue Reading · 10 Comments · Serious Issues