Welcome to my blog - Read and enjoy

Thank you for visiting my Scooby1970 blogspot. I update whenever I can and when I have something interesting to share. You will also find published work of mine at Gaming Illustrated. Gaming Illustrated is where most of my work now takes place, but I will transfer some of my more popular articles from there over to this blog, in extended format.

Feel free to email me at:
Google+: www.google.co.uk/+MarkAdams1970
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Flikr - My Photos: www.flickr.com/photos/markyboyo/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/scooby1970
Twitter: www.twitter.com/markyboyo

I've just started a new blog for my upcoming book releases: http://mark-adams-writes.blogspot.co.uk/

Also check out my 10 Quick Facts for more sites I run.

Enjoy the blogs, and relive my ups and downs in life, view some interesting reviews and just enjoy the site. If you are interested in learning something about some of my favourite music then click here it's the official Jan & Dean Site that has taken me and my friend from across the sea, June many years to keep updated.

:) Mark

Monday, 30 March 2009

Free music - WHEN you want!

I have just discovered Spotify, and amazing aplication supported by all the major record labels. It looks simular to iTunes, but is far far far better if you have a PC and an internet connection.

You see, if you type in an artist into the Spotify search engine, it will 99 out of a 100 times display a huge list of tracks from that artist. You then can simply click on a track and it will instantly play in amazing quality!

I tried it out with "Jan & Dean". Now, even the best engines and programs rarely have much J&D, but this program has the largest J&D catalogue I have ever seen! Infact, everyone I thought of showed up. Only The Beatles are not on there as they would not give thier consent to stream the music.

The idea is to stop people downloading music, and just let them listen to music whenever they want. It's a fantastic idea for people who have access to a PC. You can set the settings to listen to random selections, or you can listen to albums by an artist. Whats more, there's a couple of pricing options... FREE and £9.99 a month. The free selection is supported by on-screen adverts and the odd occasional audio advert which is really not intrusive at all.

So, what are you waiting for? Download it now by clicking the title link and enjoy endless music!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Ferrari F355 Challenge (Dreamcast/PS2)

Ferrari F355 Challenge is a racing game that was released in 2002 on the Sony PS2, and before that was released on the Sega Dreamcast. It is a port of the classic arcade version, which when run side by side look almost identical. The arcade version was split into three screens, so that you had a view simular to if you were driving the vehicle, where as the home versions obviously do not have this, they come pretty damn close to the feeling of the arcade cabinate version.

Some people complain that this game is too hard, runs too slow or did I mention already that, it's too hard? Well, forgive me, but those people ain't nothing but a bunch of wuss's! This is arcade driving with realistic physics. This is a game where you have to concentrate in order to progess. I have been playing it for over 10 years and the best I have ever achieved is second place in a full on race! But, working your way up the track is a rewarding experience. When you are engrossed it does feel fast enough, this is not a rocket ship, it's a Ferrari!

The PS2 version has more to offer than the Dreamcast version, it offers more tracks straight from the box, it offers an external view instead of just the internal view, and it offers different game modes (other than just Arcade mode). But overall, they're both worth getting your hands on.

Graphically, I love the way this game looks. Played through a PS3 and upscaled the PS2 version looks just sweet! The Dreamcast version through a VGA cable also looks very good. Differences between them both are few and far between, so if you ever decide to play this game, it does not really matter which version you pick up.

So, all in all one of my favourite racers. I can happily play this alongside Ridge Racer 7, Grid and other classics such as Sega Rally and Daytona. 8/10

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Samsung Pixon Review

Ok, I've owned this Camera Phone now for the last three weeks, and I can not find that many reviews about this great phone, so I thought I'd share my thoughts with you all.

The Deal
First off, this version of the Samsung Pixon is in Silver and on the T-Mobile network. For £31.50 a month I get 1000 minutes/photo messages/video minutes or 2000 texts, plus 1GB download allowance and 5 free international texts a week. Having used the Pixon a hell of a lot for internet I am still under 30MB's of my allowance!!! That is a bargain!

The Looks
The phone itself is a very good size. It's thinner than my old SE k850i and about the same height, width ways it is slightly wider than the k850i. To put this into perspective, it is a millimeter or so bigger all around than an LG Viewty, but thinner! In Silver it looks absolutly amazing compared to the black version of the phone. It is very light, no more heavier than a standard mobile phone.

On the front of the phone is a huge 3.2 inch touch-screen, and below the touch screen are three buttons. One dial button, one button used for going back during an operation and one button to end calls and go straight back to the main menu.

At the back of the phone, the 8MP camera projects slightly, so when you are holding your phone in your hand, it actally looks like you are holding a digital camera. The whole camera is very pleasing to the eye.

The Pixon in use
Firstly, this phone gives really good call quality. That is most important obviously, as first and foremost this is a phone! The conversations are very loud, so even in a noisy environment you will be able to hear the other person. So far, it's the loudest phone I have used, and it makes a huge difference. All calls have kept connected, and the phone can give excellent results even in the lowest signal areas.

Then there's the 8MP camera. This can be accessed through the menu, or simply by holding the camera button on the phone for a couple of seconds. The camera is ready for action as soon as it registers you want to use it, which is awesome for when you need a fast photo. Photo quality is very good, and the camera works well in low light. The camera has an LED flash, which, although not as good as a "proper" flash does a respectable job in most environments. The camera also supports GPS tagging of photos, so when you are out-side, the photos you take will be marked with the coordinates of where the photo was taken... Very useful for my trip to San Francisco in a couple of weeks!

There is a great photo viewer, which let's you admire and even edit the photos you have taken. You can drag photos accross the screen and touch up photos using your fingers to point out the areas that need refining. The phone comes with an 8MB memory card, so there is plenty of room for thousands of photos and videos. The video camera supports full DVD resolution and speed recording, plus there is a 120 frames per second mode which allows you to have super-slow motion. Every thing you could dream of is support in the photographic department.

The next most important feature to me is the internet. This is handled well by the Pixon, and with download speeds of over 7mps the internet is very fast compared to other phones. It handles "real" internet, so you can view pages as they are meant to look, and to be fair, they look very good on this phone. There is no wi-fi sadly, but again, with my data-plan this is irrelevent to me. If I want to use the internet that much while travelling I have my netbook with me anyway.

One feature that is overlooked by many is the GPS. Some sites wrongly state that only the Camera supports GPS tagging. This is incorrect, the included Google Maps and any GPS applications you download work well with the Pixon, so you need never be lost again! This feature has already come in handy for me when I forgot my GPS system in the car... Out came the phone and destination was found!

The phone is also a great media player, it handles .avi divx files and many more, it also handles almost every audio codec out there. Pictures are sharp and contrast is great while watching films on the screen. I have watched Transformers on it, and it looked and sounded great. The built in speakers are loud, and if you so which, the phone comes with a 3.5mm jack adaptor to add your own headphones, though the ones supplied are actually very good.

Other applications on the phone allow you to use Facebook, Twitter etc, and also there are some great to-do list and calender programs. There's also a great easy to use alarm on there and much much more. Programs can be installed easily if they are Java compatible, which can make the phone quite a formidable force.

The only thing that this phone is lacking is wi-fi. This may annoy some people, but with a great data-plan it is no real loss, definitly not as much as I thought it would be. To date, after using a Nokia N95 for work, a SE k850i for personal use and having spent a lot of time with the iPhone, the Pixon is easily up there with the iPhone and because of the camera and fast internet abilities is my favourite phone by quite a margin.

Battery life is now excellent, after a few initial charges I now get a good three days use, which includes around 2 hours of phone calls, internet use and GPS and photos.

Highly recommended.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Spots before my eyes!

It's not moving!!! Honest, but if you stare at it then it is... This really freaks me out. Thank you to the guys at Twitter for that one.

Thursday, 19 March 2009


My new Samsung Pixon is many things, however one use I have had for it which I didn't think I would is the GPS. It's a bit of fun, and to be fair we did get lost going for a drive on the weekend and thankfully the GPS on the phone made the journey a lot quicker and safer once we knew where we were headed (damn small country roads!).

Anyways, as standard, the Map Locations are usually brought in by Internet use over the phone, which, while accurate, can sometimes be a bit slower depending on connection. Today however, I am working on making a map of Wales and putting it into the phone so that the GPS can work without having to draw the maps from the internet.

Cross your fingers... All is going well so far, just hope it works on the phone!

:) Mark

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Twitter Me!

Hey guys, sometimes it's hard to get to the blogger, so I have joined Twitter! Please join up also and add me so we can all keep in touch with what we are up to in life!

Talking of which... Not working at the moment due to the current economic climate of the UK - make that THE WORLD! Not signing on, because if I do I know I will turn into a lazy bum. Looking for jobs, prefrebly part time at the moment, and prefrebly in Aberystwyth.

Add me Twitter... http://twitter.com/markyboyo

I'll still use this blog for major updates!