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Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Archive for August, 2019

What Is WooCommerce?

WordPress users will likely have heard of WooCommerce, but may not be fully aware as to what it is. WooCommerce is a way to set up eCommerce on a WordPress.com, or a WordPress.org website. This is a powerful platform for anyone looking to make some sales and to have ultimate control over their content, such as how their products are displayed or even the types of methods used for getting paid for their products. If you’re a small business and wanting your own shop, this may be a great route for you to go down. Here’s a bit of info on the platform:

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Advice for Creatives – Buy A Good Notebook

Sounds pretty dumb, right?

We all do it, at least all writers I know have notebooks at home that never get written in because dammit they’re just too damn pretty. Despite the acres of prime note-taking real estate on £30+ leather bound acid-free paper, instead we swamp our desks with post-its, cast off receipts and torn out pages from notebooks that cost a quid for a shrink wrapped pack of five. Oddly specific? Well there’s also heaps of dice, magic cards, and an empty chocolate raisin wrapper if you must know.

Here’s the perverse logic I realised a while back that has an oddly profound effect on confidence in one’s own work. All those disposable pieces of paper with your thoughts are too easy to throw away, and we apply the same disposability to the ideas we’ve written down.

And yet here are these pristine and beautiful notebooks that we spent money on and now keep on shelves, unwritten in because we don’t want to spoil them with our thoughts. Does that make sense? Would we put greater value on our notes if we wrote them on better paper that’s harder to throw away? Would our doodles and scribbles have greater importance if we actually put them between prettier pages?

From experience, let me tell you, yes to all of the above. Writing now for six years, starting my own business, and slowly but surely coming to value my own work enough to put an actual price tag on it has all taught me better and more productive habits. I’ve probably tried too many at this point, but among those I can say actually work, highest on the list are: writing to a regular schedule, and actually valuing your own work, holding yourself to a standard*, and part of that is actually putting your work into something you care about, like a good notebook.

Most of you have that notebook, and let me clarify that the notebook needn’t be a notebook, it could be a sketchbook, a particular folder, maybe it’s music that you’ve only ever written and heard via synthesised but you never actually play and record it on a real instrument. Maybe you’re surrounded by scribbles but you’ve never put those images to canvas… I’m spitballing here, I’m out of my format, I don’t know how the same hangups apply to other creatives, you tell me.

I am encouraging you all to apply greater value to yourselves than you may have done before. No, not all of you, some of you are already out there, putting yourselves out into the world and aspiring for something new, some of you don’t need to hear it. Some of you may be staring at your desk quietly nodding to yourselves and wondering what to write. Here’s the next part, stop wondering, and just start writing something about your current project, or resurrecting one that you loved once and haven’t touched in far too long.


*Not a high standard, not even a good one particularly, just set a certain expectation like word count, or upholding certain values like adhering to certain rules.


BlueStacks: Android Emulation

A while back, I wrote about a game I was getting into – RAID: Shadow Legends. This game has kept me pretty entertained since May, but I constantly have so much energy due to how I played the game so slowly. Considering I have so much, but a phone that is a little bit on the older side, I decided I wanted a more reliable way to play the game. Thankfully, that’s what BlueStacks allows me to do – Play RAID (or any other mobile game) on a much more reliable machine, which can handle all of the games that I throw at it. How does BlueStacks stack up to just owning an Android phone? Here are my thoughts on the emulator.

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Quick Website Update

Hey all, without lying about it, I had nothing planned for today as I’ve been out with our friends at Later Levels this weekend. Was awesome catching up with them all, so this post is literally just going to be a very short update on the website, what sort of directions we’re heading in and over to you. Basically, this is just a short catch up post, so I can also catch up with sorting other bits of the website out.

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Top 10 – Magical Menageries

A menagerie is a collection or group of animals, in today’s case, we’re going to be looking at magical ones. This isn’t just a list of herds or groups, but rather areas which feature a collection of the most magical creatures. In this week’s Top 10, we’re going to get all magical and in some cases, a little bit science-fictiony. But don’t worry, we’ll stick to our guns and only pick gatherings of creatures that have some strangely magical properties. (more…)


The Addams Family (2019)

They’re kooky and they’re spooky, but will this latest adventure of The Addams Family be at all memorable? An animated story, which presents itself in a great old-school way, but will modern audiences connect with it? Furthermore, will they get the characters right? A huge proponent to the 90’s films and before was how every character had a role within the family; so will this still be the case, or will this now be washed down? I’ve gone ahead and watched the trailers, seen the promo’s out there and I have to say, this is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Here’re my reasons why – And let’s see how much you agree (or disagree) with.

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Gen Con – Meeting Zombie Orpheus

Ok, last article about Gen Con* or I’m not coming off the subject until October and frankly I’ve got some other stuff wants writing sat in my to-do pile, but this one’s a big deal for me.

Regulars here know I have a particular fondness of the works of Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, more specifically The Gamers film project and it’s miscellaneous spin-offs (like Human’s and Households, Natural One, and so on) and Journey Quest which has just had it’s fourth season renewed via kickstarter. The fan supported studio creates comedy for nerds, and I’ve been watching and supporting them since I got into the hobby over ten years ago. The chance to get to meet some of the faces who have inspired my passion for the hobby was something truly incredible. (more…)


SummerSlam 2019’s Greatest Moment

SummerSlam 2019 has now come and gone. It was a night filled with very few title changes, although a major one changed. We also saw a couple of non-title feuds, which I’m honestly a big fan of. Sometimes, I prefer to watch an angle between people who just want to get to one another; take the current storyline between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon for instance. Great stuff… But there is one story that I think will have people talking for arguably years to come.

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Gencon 2019 – A Foreigner’s Guide

Foreign from another English speaking country, but I had to get on a plane and go over real water. Still, you take my meaning, America – to me – is a strange country with no mountains, straight roads, and personal injury billboards. Your food does strange things to my stomach, and you don’t appear to have trains. To your credit, only three people out of the countless I spoke to got my accent wrong, and in most cases not by much, but on the other hand some of you seem to think that Brexit is all done and dusted, and that made me cry.

So based on my one and only experience, here’s what I’d tell anyone coming from outside of America headed to Gencon, and some advice I’d give to any first-timers. (more…)


Why I Love Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

Throughout it’s 20+ year history, the Pokémon franchise has enjoyed several spinoff games with each new generation. Ranging from photography in Pokémon Snap, to Tactical RPG gameplay in Pokémon Conquest, even letting you battle Pokémon in 3D – long before the main series games made the jump – in Pokémon Stadium and Battle Revolution.

One section of their spinoff games made their mark on me: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.

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