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End Of Holidays

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Thundery wintry showers

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Have just had a two-week holiday to Cleadon, and expect to be going back to Norwich on Monday. It's been a pretty fruitful holiday, and I went on three walks "out in the sticks", the second two of which were very interesting. It's also nice to spend some time in a nice big house after a while spent in either rented or student accommodation.

I also recently went on a computer game shopping spree as a result of some of my gaming friends picking up Steam accounts. For various reasons I am strongly against mandatory online authentication for offline use/installation of games- for me, the best balance between DRM and consumer rights is probably what Stardock uses, where offline use is DRM-free, but downloads and online multiplayer require a valid Impulse account. But I can't deny that Steam has a lot of good points as well, and the Orange Box (5 of Valve's high quality games for £16.99) was too tempting an offer to pass up. After that I downloaded a load of id Software's old classics on Steam, and then a few more (Descent 1-3, Painkiller, UT2004) from the download site "Good Old Games". GOG is particularly good in that the prices are competitive and the games are DRM-free, but it turns out that many of the old games you can get on Steam can be rendered DRM-free as it is often possible to use a source port to run them instead of Steam.

Other than that, the storm on the 31st August was somewhat unexpected. I just expected a bog-standard frontal rain event, and was surprised when a large amount of convective activity appeared along the front which eventually gave rise to a big thunderstorm- making Summer 2009 go out with a bang. As for the summer itself, I was quite lucky in that I spent June in Exeter (where it was a mostly warm, sunny and varied month, with two cracking storms), July in Norwich (where sun, showers and thunder dominated). The first third of August was pretty dull, dry and boring in Norwich, leading to my clashes with those who said "you can't complain about boring weather after we suffered all that rain in July!", but plenty of warm, sunny weather in the remaining two-thirds easily made up for it.
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