A quick question

Hi folks!

So I’m just looking for your collective opinion on something which has been bugging me. I’m rewriting my CV (resumé) and wondering whether it’s appropriate to put anything about blogging – I wonder this because I don’t blog in a professional capacity and so it’s not a job but a hobby, however there are probably several good things to be said for it.

Your thoughts? Bloggers and non-bloggers alike are welcome to comment.

Vel.

P.S. This is similar to the age-old question “do I put being a Guild Master on my job resumé?”. I won’t be doing that.

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Have a break, have a Kit-Kat

It exists, I sat on it!

Well, after more than three years of continuous WoW-playing, I’ve finally decided to take a break.

Truth is, I’ve been bored with the game for quite a while now. It feels as if I’ve accomplished almost everything I want to do, and, without allowing this post to degenerate into a sea of QQ, it does feel as if the game is changing in a way I don’t much like. So I’m going to be permanently AFK for a few months; right now I’m planning to make a return shortly before Cataclysm releases (whenever that may be!) but I can safely say it’s going to be a while, whatever happens. When the main thing you enjoy in a game is just talking to your friends, it becomes nothing more than a very expensive chat room, and it’s not really worth it.

With regards to my guild (which, as some of you may know, I run ran) I’ve left it in the capable hands of my officers, and I have every confidence in them. I won’t necessarily be taking over again when I come back either – we’ll just see how it goes. On that note, I’d like to direct you here, to Cold Comfort, where Karatheya has been kind enough to take up my idea for a post and write not one but three articles about transferring leadership, and all things related to the issue.

But anyway, yes, I know. You don’t really care about my guild and you probably aren’t bothered in the least about what I’m actually doing in the game. You come here to read my blog, and what you want to know is – am I still going to be blogging? The answer is yes, I am!

Now, I won’t necessarily be keeping up with the development of the game, and so don’t expect to see many guides or breaking news stories. However, I do feel I can share a lot about what I’ve learnt from being a guild leader for so long, and I would sort of like to write some memoirs, per se. This could very well end up taking the form of fiction, which is an area of writing I once started in but never got anywhere with, so if you start seeing Veliaf the Warlock as the main character in a series of stories, don’t be too shocked. Oh, and of course I’ll be keeping up the weekly puzzle, which is what you’re all here for anyway.

See you next time!

Vel.

Be Secure – The Internet

Explosion

This week, we’re going to be looking at staying secure and safe when using a computer. Today, we look at how you can stay safe when using the internet in general.

Similar to yesterday, I’m going to try and spice things up rather than just give a boring sermon on using firewalls, etc. Having said that…

Firewalls

Just briefly (I swear) let’s discuss firewalls. They generally come shipped alongside antivirus software, which is very important too. Personally, I use McAffee, but other good options include AVG (a free one) and, apparently, Kaspersky. I’m hesitant to recommend the ubiquitous Norton, because I’ve had bad experiences (not the least of which is that it was stopping WoW working) but since they changed it to the 2010 model, it seems alright. Whatever you pick, just make sure it works, or you’re going to be swimming in malware and viruses faster than you can say ‘Patchwerk want to play!’.

Email

Somewhere else you need to be secure, although you may not realise it, is with your emails. Once you send something to someone, how can you be sure that they won’t keep that information or pass it on, even if they say they have deleted it? It would still be in their Deleted folder anyway. Well, like a rogue, we can use Vanish!

Vanish is a program which essentially creates self-destructing files, and it can be used in sending emails, posting messages on forums and even for blog posts. This is how it works in an email situation:

  1. You write the email message.
  2. You encrypt the message with Vanish, but you never learn the encryption key (like a password). A “timeout” is assigned to the message, in eight hour increments – this means you can set it to last 8, 16, 24, 32 hours, etc.
  3. The message is sent. Anyone can decrypt and read it for the time being.
  4. Eventually the message reaches its timeout limit, and essentially disintegrates.
  5. Nobody can ever read the message again, nor can you be forced to give up the password to unlock it, because you don’t know it.

Simple but effective! Of course, there is nothing to stop someone copying the contents of the message before it destroys itself, but it certainly helps if you’re sending very confidential or private information.

Unfortunately, I’ve got to cut the post short there, but if you’re reading a blog, you’re probably internet savvy enough to know not to give out any personal details, nor to meet up with people you don’t know in real life, and so on. Stay safe, stay happy, and I shall see y’all tomorrow.

Vel.

Be Secure – Your PC

Secure

The best way of protecting your data (the red dot).

This week, we’re going to be looking at staying secure and safe when using a computer. Today, we look at how you can protect your PC and its files.

Yesterday, we looked at some basic ideas with regard to protecting your WoW / Battle.net account. Now, rather than bore you all again with dry and generic tips – use a strong password! – I’m instead going to lighten things up a bit and suggest some free and useful pieces of software which might interest you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft drops epic loot

Windows 7

Finally, an upgrade for my Operating System slot to replace my rubbishy blue Vista item that I’ve had forever. After waiting and farming Microsoft for months, the Windows 7 tier piece dropped and I’m looking forward to equipping it as soon as possible.

Looking at the stats, it not only has a higher iLevel and a clear speed increase over what I’m currently using, but the durability is much higher, so it should break less easily, and let’s be honest – it looks a lot better too. Hopefully I won’t need to gem for +RAM to use it, but we’ll see.

Whatever it’s like, it can’t be worse than its predecessor, eh? I’ll probably give you my opinions on it when I get it enchanted with my new computer so that it’ll be doing the maximum DPS (data per second). I should hopefully be getting that next week, once I’ve saved up the last of the gold I need.

Vel.

A whimsical weekend

Well, after a fun-filled weekend (more on that in just a second) I’m back and ready to blog, which is what I’m doing right now just to prove it.

Firstly though, I’d like to address a question Vahan (a guild-mate of mine actually) left in my comments on a previous post, which was about the podcast How I WoW. What he asked was why I didn’t include it in my post about my WoW podcast subscriptions – I’d like to say that actually, I am subscribed to this podcast, but the reason I skipped it in the post is that I’d only heard one episode of it (#19) and quite frankly it was boring as anything. I really didn’t enjoy it. Anyway, coincidentally as I returned from my weekend-break today I actually listened to episode #20, deciding to give it one last try, and found it funny, interesting and informative. After planning a post about it, I then discovered Vahan’s comment. So whether #19 was just a bad episode or they just had a bad guest, I don’t know, but it certainly improved for me – I’ll be giving the next episode a try too. That’s why it wasn’t on my list, though.

The other thing I want to talk about is something great that happened this weekend while I was away. You see, I spent Saturday at an air show festival thing, and before I went that morning I texted my guild-mate Tom, who I’ve never met in real life but who I know quite well, with something like ‘Oh, I’m near where you live, we ought to meet up’ – as a joke, of course. However he actually took me seriously, and a little bit of planning later he took a train for two hours followed by a bus just to get to where I was, and we actually met! It has to be said, it was truly awesome, and it was brilliant to finally meet him face to face. It could even be considered the very first step towards some sort of real life guild-meeting, and I really hope to see him again outside of the game as soon as we can arrange it.

Anyway, until tomorrow,

Vel.