Merry Christmas

December 25th, 2012

Hey all

The team at inLAN wishes that everyone had a safe and enjoyable time with good food, friends, family or how every you have celebrated this period of the year. We all look forward to getting together for InLAN: Steak Club Edition soon. More details on tickets to come.


December Event Photos Up

December 1st, 2012

Thanks to Freddy and Dave for taking photographs during the event. The gallery can be found on Flickr or Facebook.

Foreveralone LAN – Before everyone arrives

December Timelapse

December 1st, 2012

Thanks to Freddy who took this brilliant time-lapse at InLAN today.

No words can describe the horror…

Just as a side note, while I was looking for an icon for this article, I used Google image search for the term ‘mlp’. I usually keep safe search off or at moderate because it often removes legitimate results… eye bleach please.


The Importance of Passwords

October 31st, 2012

The importance of having not only a secure password, but a variety of passwords was recently highlighted though an interesting situation. For many years, I was doing what most people did on the Internet. I had only a couple of passwords which I used for most websites and a few unique ones for sites requiring higher security.

Yesterday I received this email:

A log-in attempt from the following location is currently awaiting your authorization.

City: Zhuhai
Region: 30
Country: CN


This email came from an automatic system implemented by ArenaNet for Guild Wars 2. If you attempt to log in from an unfamiliar location, it sends a message to your verified email address asking if the login attempt should be authorised. An excellent way to reduce the chances of your account being compromised.

The email is only sent if your username and password are correct so this set off some alarm bells. One of my secure, but general use passwords had been compromised. Most likely by a poorly designed site which doesn’t store passwords in a hashed format.

What this means is that I had forgotten to change my password for Guild Wars 2 to something different and more secure.

For the last few years, I have been changing my passwords so that every site has a randomly generated, unique password. They’re all stored in the cloud, double-encrypted with secure passwords. I use 1Password to create, store and access my passwords. It runs on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. It also has plugins for all major browsers to allow automatic entering of passwords.

1Password isn’t free, but I believe it is worth the price. There are cheaper alternatives such as LastPass (free with a “pro” option) and KeePass which is free open source software.

So heed my warning. Don’t use the same password everywhere. At worst, check out KeePass.

Far Cry 3 – Gameplay Video

October 19th, 2012

Gamespot has posted a 14 minute video of Far Cry 3 gameplay. It does contain some minor spoilers for the first section of gameplay but certainly looks brilliant. It was captured using a console (probably Xbox 360) so expect PC versions to look better with support for DX11.

I found one of the comments regarding jumping puzzles interesting given that they were playing on a console. Jumping puzzles which are challenging on a console are generally simple on a PC, so will the content be different to maintain the challenge?

Far Cry 2 was brilliant. I’m a sucker for open world sandbox games. Far Cry 3 is due out at the end of November.

Many of us purchased Borderlands 2. If you were lucky enough to pre-order at the right time, you should get the Mechromancer character unlock when it is released for free. Here is a rather excellent video about Gaige, the Mechromancer.


InLAN After Event Report

October 14th, 2012

Hi all

Just a quick thank you to all that came to the LAN Saturday. The event was all good fun and seeing the work put into the collaboration that is the Minecraft server was amazing. We had a few new faces to join the party and it would be great to have them join for future events.

The few hours we spent on GW2 was good to group up and dance around. If you would like to join us we are mostly on the Maguuma server.  There was also a short stint at some Team Fortress 2 on 2Fort for a classic laugh.

The date for the next event is the 1st of December so start planning for it now!
Keep an eye out for tickets sometime in November.


I keep a lot of my old hardware for posterity, but mostly just remnants such as CPUs, motherboards or case fascures. In the case of my first PC, I kept the whole thing.

  • CPU: Intel 80486DX33 @ 33MHz
  • RAM: 16 x 1MB 30-pin SIMM @ 33MHz
  • CD-ROM: 2 x CD Reader
  • HDDs: Various sub-500MB IDE
  • FDDs: 1.44MB 3.5″ & 1.2MB 5.25″ drives

Today I was reminiscing about the old beast with fellow InLAN Admin mr_messy and asked if I’d ever shown him the system. Out to the shed we go with a screwdriver to pry the obscenely heavy case from a frame which could happily prop up a small car.

I expected spiders. There were dead ones, many dead ones thank goodness. Nothing living inside my old case. The bank of 4 AA batteries to keep the CMOS memory alive hadn’t leaked and none of the plastic connectors had perished.

One of the most amazing things about this system was the number of RAM sockets on the motherboard. Sixteen of them. When I received this computer in 1990, it had 4 x 1MB 30-pin SIMMs. Over a couple of years doing odd computer jobs for people, I managed to accumulate 12 more. By 1994 I had 12MB which allowed me to run Wing Commander 3. It claimed 8MB RAM requirement but that was a typical translation to “8MB RAM available”. Even then, wrestling with config.sys and autoexec.bat to get it to run was a challenge.

Taking a look at the system, the motherboard was AT form factor which means a full size DIN keyboard socket and everything else was either ISA expansion cards or headers. Without a compatible keyboard, I decided to plug in and see if it would POST. The computer had not been turned on in 18 years, not since 1994 when I upgraded to a Pentium 166.

Plugging in the IEC power we were half expecting the magic blue smoke to escape, permanently silencing this old beast but instead I was blown away with what I saw.

It actually POSTed. The hard drives spun up, the floppy drives seeked, the CD drive wurred. Unbelieveable that a system 22 years old, dormant for 18, even turned on. I’m in the process of trying to locate an older keyboard with either a DIN plug or adaptor so I can see if it will boot to MS-DOS and Windows for Workgroups 3.11.

Last Day For Pre Event Special.

October 12th, 2012

Hi All

You have only 7 hours from this post to still get the $12 entry offer. You are still able to pay for the event at the door but the price of entry will be $15 with the same details. If you want to grab this offer while it lasts head to our event listing at Eventbrite


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