RogerBW's Blog

Apprentice in Death, J. D. Robb 30 September 2017 - 2 comments

2016 SF/mystery; fifty-fourth (roughly) of J. D. Robb's In Death series. A sniper is shooting people in New York – at random, or with specific targets in mind? Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates.

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Top Gear season 2.24 29 September 2017 - 1 comment

2017 motoring show, 7 episodes. Much to everyone's surprise, it's actually trying to be a car show again.

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Fisheye lens 28 September 2017 - 2 comments

Another bit of kit I borrowed recently: an Olympus BCL-0980 fisheye lens.

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The China Governess, Margery Allingham 27 September 2017

1963 classic English detective fiction; seventeenth of Allingham's novels of Albert Campion. Timothy Kinnit learns, on the eve of his elopement, that he was adopted, and tries to find out more about his parentage; then he becomes a suspect in a suspicious death and a housebreaking.

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Pyramid 107: Monster Hunters III 26 September 2017 - 2 comments

Pyramid, edited by Steven Marsh, is the monthly GURPS supplement containing short articles with a loose linking theme. This time it's another batch for the Monster Hunters setting.

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Building a File Server 2: hardware 25 September 2017 - 2 comments

In part 2 of this series on building a file server, I'll talk about hardware selection.

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 18 September 2017 24 September 2017

This Meetup-based boardgames group continues to meet at the Marlow Donkey.

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The Devil You Know, K J Parker 23 September 2017 - 2 comments

2016 fantasy novella. The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil. All he wants is twenty more years to complete his life’s work. But the demon assigned to the task is deeply suspicious. For one thing, it seems like an obviously bad deal for the human. For another, the philosopher asked for him by name.

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Food pills and energy density 22 September 2017 - 3 comments

In Marty Jopson's new book The Science of Food, he demolishes the idea of food pills by looking at the energy density of fat and working out the mass of fat-pills one would need to eat. But why would one restrict oneself to the energy that an unmodified human body can get from food?

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The Librarians, season 3 21 September 2017

2016-2017 modern fantasy, 10 episodes; the Librarians, who hunt down magical artefacts, take on a god and a government agency.

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September 2017 Trailers 20 September 2017 - 1 comment

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal.)

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Hand In Glove, Ngaio Marsh 19 September 2017

1962 classic English detective fiction; twenty-second of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. Friction in a pair of country houses is the precursor to murder, but everything's tangled in the extreme.

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Building a File Server 1: planning 18 September 2017 - 2 comments

Many people these days want to store more data than can be conveniently accommodated on one hard disc. You can buy boxes to store files, or build your own. I've built and upgraded several, and in these posts I'm going to talk about how I did it.

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The Elder Ice, David Hambling 17 September 2017 - 3 comments

2014 Lovecraftian horror novella. In 1920s London, ex-boxer Harry Stubbs is working for a firm of lawyers that's looking for valuable assets to pay off some of Shackleton's creditors. But what did he really find on those polar expeditions?

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Warehouse 13 Game 16 September 2017

Here's another boardgame kickstarter that may be of interest, based on a television series I quite enjoyed.

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Murder in the Dark, Kerry Greenwood 15 September 2017

2006 historical detection, sixteenth in Greenwood's Phryne Fisher series (1920s flapper detective in Australia). Phryne is invited to a decadent Christmas party at Chirnside Manor; someone's trying to discredit and kill the hosts. She might not have gone, except that someone's sent her a coral snake to discourage her.

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Lies that git will tell you 14 September 2017

I do actually like git. I find it needlessly obfuscatory and deliberately confusing in its syntax and terminology, but it basically does its job reasonably well. However, there are some popular blatant untruths that I think people would do well to know about.

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Extension tubes 13 September 2017 - 1 comment

Thanks to a blog reader, I borrowed some more macro equipment.

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The Women of Nell Gwynne's, Kage Baker 12 September 2017

2009 steampunk SF novella, very loosely connected with the Company series. The finest brothel in Whitehall is also a nest of spies, but very discreet ones.

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Conviction 11 September 2017

2016-2017, 13 episodes. Hayes Morrison, daughter of an ex-president and living with a party-girl reputation, runs a unit that reviews old cases.

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Type 31e Frigate: First Thoughts 10 September 2017 - 3 comments

Now that construction has begun on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, some early announcements have been made about the next British military shipbuilding project: the Type 31e frigate.

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Red and amber filters 09 September 2017 - 2 comments

There is a practice common to the road systems of many countries which we don't use in the UK. Why not?

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Dreamsnake, Vonda N. McIntyre 08 September 2017 - 1 comment

1978 Hugo-, Nebula- and Locus-award-winning science fiction. On a post-apocalyptic earth, various small groups of people scratch out a living; Snake is a healer, using bioengineered venomous serpents to produce drugs that cure ills and relieve pain.

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Science Fiction Nitpicking 07 September 2017 - 3 comments

Why do science fiction fans have a reputation for caring about nitpicky details that no normal person would regard as important?

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Marlow Tabletop and Board Games 4 September 2017 06 September 2017

This Meetup-based boardgames group continues to meet at the Marlow Donkey.

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Earth 2788, Janet Edwards 05 September 2017

2014 young adult science fiction, collection of short stories in the Earth Girl setting.

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Polaroid macro lens set 04 September 2017 - 1 comment

I picked up a cheap set of macro lenses for the GF1.

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False Scent, Ngaio Marsh 03 September 2017

1960 classic English detective fiction; twenty-first of Marsh's novels of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. The famous comedic actress Mary Bellamy has been getting increasingly troublesome, and now feels that all of her best friends have betrayed her. But only one of them is going to kill her.

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August 2017 Trailers 02 September 2017

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal.)

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Finnish Submarine Vesikko 01 September 2017

On Suomenlinna, a complex of islands in the bay of Helsinki, lies the submarine Vesikko. With photographs (all taken on the Lumix GF1): cc-by-sa on everything.

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