Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The voice on the page: Do internet comments ruin everything?

Something has bugged me about internet comments for years, and I've never been able to put my finger on exactly what it was... but I think I've just figured it out.

I saw Jerry Seinfeld talk about the relationship between the comic and the audience, and how critics, no matter how they may try, cannot get in between their bond. The comic has a direct link, artist to audience, that cannot be interfered with. In the moment of the performance, two people are connected.

Charlie Kaufman has talked about the importance of this same connection, about how hearing a voice revealing some shared truth makes us feel less alone. (You might even argue that's the function of art itself.) Stephen King has also written about what he sees as a genuine form of psychic communication, an almost magical connection, between author and audience, that allows for the sending of ideas from one brain to another.

That connection, the one we all feel while experiencing a piece of art that touches us, is sacrosanct. It's important, holy, ancient. It's the deepest parts of two people having a conversation that can't be put into words. At that moment artist and audience are connected.

And then someone forces their way into that conversation, sharing their opinion before you've had time to fully appreciate the experience.

Imagine going on a date with someone. The two of you are hoping to find a deep connection with another. Now imagine having a third-party sat nearby commenting after every sentence. Unless it lead to mutual frustration and the desire to go elsewhere, that person would completely prevent any chance of connection forming, and to me, that's often what internet comments do.

Don't get me wrong, debate is important and it's healthy, but it has its time and place. Do we really need the ability to comment on everything? Do we really want people interfering with our deeper connection to things? I think we need time to find our own thoughts and opinions about what we've just experienced, our own connection with it, and only then can we enter a debate about it -- should we feel the need.

But I worry that all this superficial conversation is just making us more lonely for a deeper connection.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

"Grand Theft Auto V has stopped working" - Potential Fix

Like millions of others, I 've recently purchased Grand Theft Auto V for the PC, and unfortunately like many of those the game kept crashing no matter what my settings were. After looking through Windows Event Viewer, at the Application Error list, I saw the following:

Faulting application name: GTA5.exe, version: 1.0.331.1, time stamp: 0x552e6cfd
Faulting module name: ICProxy64.dll, version:, time stamp: 0x5297da23
Exception code: 0xc0000417
Fault offset: 0x0000000000043430
Faulting process id: 0xfbc
Faulting application start time: 0x01d07a1d9a56e133
Faulting application path: X:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Grand Theft Auto V\GTA5.exe
Faulting module path: C:\WINDOWS\system32\ICProxy64.dll
Report Id: fc235624-e610-11e4-bfa7-10bf48b8b8dc
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:

After a quick Google I discovered that ICProxy64.dll belonged to a program I'd installed many months prior called "Identity Cloaker".

I never used this program (I can't even remember why I installed it), so I decided to get rid and uninstall it. I then loaded GTA V and reset my graphical settings. The game crashed.

Luckily, it was just a one off. Since removing Identity Cloaker the game has worked flawlessly. If you're having problems playing Grand Theft Auto V (or Grand Theft Auto Online), and have this program installed, you should probably remove it... It may be just the thing that's causing all your problems.

If not, make sure you open a support ticket at Rockstar Games. They should be able to help you, eventually.

Good luck!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Becoming a billionaire in Grand Theft Auto V using BAWSAQ stock market!

I'm super pleased to announce that my latest pet-project has gone live; It's a simple website designed to help players of Grand Theft Auto V become billionaires using the ingame BAWSAQ stock market (it's fun, you know). It began as a project to re-sharpen my coding skills after an extended break and turned into a bit of a labour of love.

It's still early days, but I've designed it to be as simple as possible, and hopefully it will be very useful to players of Grand Theft Auto! New features will continue to be added, too.

Visit the site: http://www.gta-bawsaq-billionaire.com

Let me know your thoughts and feedback if you use it!