Xbox 360 Gears of War Edition

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jan 28, 2012 in Tech, XBOX 360

While playing Call of Duty: MW3 on my old Xbox 360 Elite, I noticed some strange black lines appearing in the background. I switched around cables, ports etc as I assumed it was a cable issue, but the problem stayed.

So ‘google is your friend’, and I found a handful of forum posts suggesting that the Xbox was on it’s way out, and these black lines were early signed of the Red Ring of Death, and I could soon expect to see the E74 error message.

Now Microsoft have given an additional 2 years warranty to cover the RROD, but unfortunately the Elite is nearly 3 and a half years old…..so time to buy a new shiny one !

I spent the evening looking at online deals, and finally decided that I wanted one of the special edition Xbox’s. I currently own the Halo Reach special edition Xbox and know there are currently 2 others on the market, the MW3 edition and the Gears of War 3 edition…..so decided to go with the Gears of War 3 edition.

Same as the Halo Reach special edition Xbox, it comes with a custom paint job, custom sounds and 2 custom controllers, and obviously a copy of Gears of War 3. The guy who served me at Game also threw in a copy of Crisis 2 (via download code), so all in all quite a bargain at considering it has the 320Gb hard drive.

One final thought, the controllers are the new type with the transforming D pad, it’s still early days with it, but WOW what a difference !

As always, the unboxing pics are below.

Gears of War Xbox Gears of War XboxGears of War Xbox Gears of War Xbox Gears of War Xbox

Gears of War Xbox Gears of War Xbox

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How to stop spam bots on phpbb3

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Apr 18, 2009 in Tech

Over the past couple of months I’ve been having a bit of an issue with spam bots signing up, and posting spam all over my forums. I spent the best part of 2 days trying to combat this but to no avail. I was just about to tear my hair out, when I stubled accross a brilliant idea over at awesomestyles.com

The idea was to create a custom field which was compulsery on signup.

Custom profile fields are a feature of phpBB3. They allow you, as admin, to easily add fields that a user can fill out to their profile – such as location, age and so on. It is possible to use a custom profile field to help and prevent spam bots from registering on your forum.

Adding a new custom profile field

Firstly you need to login to your admin forum and click the Users and groups tab

Users and groups tab

From the left hand menu select the Custom profile fields from the Users menu

Users menu

This will show all the custom profile fields currently added. Add a new one from the box in the bottom right of the page.

Add new profile field

Use a name in the textbox such as ‘stop_spam’ or ‘no_spam’ (17 characters max, a-z and underscores only allowed). Select Dropdown box from the dropdown box and click Create field

The settings

You’ll now be shown a more detailed form. The field type and identification fields should already be filled in. Make sure that the Display profile field option is set to Yes and the Display on registration screen and Required field options are checked.

New profile field

Enter some text for the bottom 3 boxes. In this tutorial the Field title is Are you a spambot?, the description is Sorry we have to ask and the options are just Yes and No.

Once you’ve entered this text click Profile type specific options and you’ll be taken to the next stage in adding the custom profile field.

Add profile field options

The default settings here should be fine. Both drop down boxes need to be set to Yes. This means that “Yes” is the default option when on the registration page and that a value of “Yes” will cause an error. This means that whoever is registering will have to change this value to “No” – the idea being a spam bot would not know to do this so won’t be able to sign up to your forum. Click the Language specific options button. This will allow you to translate the text you entered (Are you a spam bot, etc) in step 1 to any other languages installed on your forum. Once that has been completed click Save.

That’s it! This won’t stop all spam bots however it will help to prevent some spam and it is a very easy system to implement.

Using just 1 field didn’t work for me, however adding 2, worked just a treat, my registration screen look like the below, and since implementing a couple of days ago, no more spam bots !!

Reg screen

Reg screen

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Busy, Busy, Busy

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Feb 22, 2009 in Fictionshed

Instead of spending the evening playing Street Fighter 4, I decided to start on a Fictionshed advertising campaign.

For anybody that’s not aware, I’m part owner of the Fictionshed company, we’re responsible for a number of machinima/ audio drama podcasts / youtube feeds.

We’ve been running for about 2 years now, but we’re recently take a few new members onboard, and the projects are finally starting to gain momentum. This being the case, I though it was about time I started to get the word out.

I’ve used twitter myself for about 3/4 months (please note: this was before it gained it’s recent popularity, and it seems every man and his dog is using it now….oh well). However, I have noticed that a lot of companies are using Twitter to feed “followers” with information about, their products, updates, etc, so decided this would be one of the vehicles I would use to get the word out. I’ve used the “Twitter Tool” addon for wordpress, so each Fictionshed announcement (blog post) will be broadcast on Twitter with a direct link.

The 2nd method, I decided to use MySpace, because let’s be honest, MySpace isn’t what it used to be, it a “Hi, I’m in a band, please listen to me”, or just pure advertising…so works kinda well.

The 3rd Method, is Facebook. I didn’t want to goto the effort of creating a Fictionshed member, then fill in all the details, etc, so decided to create a Fictionshed group.

Assuming we get more traffic from the above, I’ve changed the theme to kanata which I though was pretty cool, and also added the Page to Link addon, which has allowed me to give a more visual way of adding the forum link, which should in theory push more traffic through the forum.

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