b3ta.com user ruminator
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» Amazing Projects

Creation Of Significant Cultural Artefact
A couple of years ago I got pissed and accidentally created a Facebook page entitled "Campaign to get Brain Blessed to do a voice over for my sav". I didn't think much about it at the time, I just wanted a Brian Blessed Sat Nav.

Anyways, it got to 500 people and I thought "I'll phone TomTom and Garmin and see what they say." and they said "Impress me".

So I asked our local Rock Radio station to help me out and we another thousand, and I asked B3ta and we got to 3,500 overnight (I'm pretty sure B3ta was responsible for about 6-8,000 all told).

And then TomTom said "give us 25,000". So we did. Through the medium of making a film with Brian Blessed. In the back of a smart car. What larks.

That was nice, and the Blessed was happy, we had a party with Brian and TomTom paid for ALL the beer and we all wore Brian Blessed masks and had an "I'm Spartacus" moment led by Brian and it was good, and quite beardy. When it was all over I got my satnav and it was ace (it still makes me grin when I use it, only it's not a sat nav any more, it's just Brian).

Then life got pretty mundane, so I asked him if I could make a Brian Blessed Alarm Clock and he said "yes". Which was nice.

So I asked around and Terry, a friend of a friend, agreed to do the clock graphics up front, and another mate said he'd program it and we had a working prototype to show Brian, which I did, and he agreed to record it in his shed.

Brian's shed is fucking awesome.

So we did that and I got a mate to do the sound and we lost a couple of programmers to self employment and Canadian games companies and finally Steve finished it, kudos to that man, it's pretty solid. Not as good as the Apple alarm in some respects (you can't just hook into the alarm API, that would be too simple) but as good as the best 3rd party iPhone alarm clocks you can build (we know, we've tested them) and certainly extremely useable. Besides, the Apple alarm doesn't have Brian Blessed and ours goes off even on January 2nd.

I'm quite proud of the finish as well, you can pick holes in the bits I did but I think it has a lot going for it. I couldn't afford a AA grade games animator so we went for Terry Gilliam instead, I hope we did alright on that. It amuses me that I went to all the trouble of nicking the code for Moon Phases from the Royal Astronomical Society and Steve went to all the trouble of implementing it and we still haven't got a shit clue how to read the Moon Dial (but it does go round every 29.5 days, we've tested it). We thought it was important that it worked.

So there we go. I'm thinking we'll make enough on it so everyone who was involved thinks it was worth their while, and have a little in the bank to offset some of the money I've spent. If I'm lucky maybe next time I can pay someone else to do the bits that took me so much bloody time to do (mainly because I didn't have a shit clue what I was doing).

Anyway, sales and stuff. I'd certainly recommend sponsoring the B3ta newletter, I've been watching the traffic figures.

Of course later on on launch day we got linked by Stephen Fry on Twitter (you beautiful man, you).

So, we did alright but we're not retiring any time soon, peaked at 9 in the UK charts and stayed at number 1 for Utilities for 3 days, which was a nice start. Of course I'm hoping Brian's media appearances will jolt sales a little every now and then. More importantly it was just ace to make cool shit for a change.

So there we go, I've set up an anarcho-syndicalist collective in my spare time and it seems we make pretty good apps.

But back to an earlier point, which is that I wouldn't be doing this unless B3ta had helped create the Blessed Sat Nav, so in a lot of respects this is all your fault.
(Thu 24th Nov 2011, 1:24, More)

» Pet Stories

Hey - anyone else got a cat that's hooked on chlorine - we can't get the bugger off our swimmies when we get back from the pool, he nicks them off the radiator and gets well stoned on them.... Is he just weird???
(Fri 15th Jun 2007, 1:39, More)

» Claims to Fame

Here's some
Good grief, some of these are a bit tenuous aren't they? Let's broaden the brief a little :

My old man's band played support for the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
I once went out with a girl who taught Art Maliks kid trampolining.
My aunt worked on the original photographic stuff for the revolver image at the beginning of Bond movies.
I once had tea with Cliff Thorburn, the snookerist.
Rolf drew me a Rolferoo when I met him at a book signing.
One of my mates used to do the artwork on Count Duckula & Dangermouse.
My mates cousin is Jane out of Rod Jane and Freddy.
Talking of cousins, I used to live with Sylvester McCoys cousin.
Mick Jaggers grandad used to live next door to me and work at the same mill (closed down - trouble)- Mick was in our local the other week.
Went to college with Jasper Carrots daughter.
Boyhood local frequented by Toni Iommi (masons Arms in Solihull).

And half the Move have my autograph, but I did that one earlier.

My what a whirlwind star studded life I really do lead....
(Fri 25th Feb 2005, 17:21, More)

» Pure Ignorance

Cheese and Ham
I went into a sandwich shop the other week and asked for a cheese and ham toastie.

She (for it was her) : "We don't do them"
Me : "Well can I have a slice of toast with ham on it then?"
She : "Yes"
Me : "And can you do me a slice of toast with cheese on it?"
She : "Yes"
Me: "And can you put them both together in a sandwich like fashion plis?"
She : "OK".

On the subject of overheard at a party :

"What are you doing with that cheeseplant?"
"Oh, that, I'm trying to wear it like a fairly fashionable moustache".

So there we go
(Mon 10th Jan 2005, 14:07, More)

» Pet Stories

Weasel is a very good looking cat (although getting a little fat). He is also unutterably cute and rampantly psychotic in equal measure.

His reportoire of kills is extremely impressive, including bats, moles, frogs and various birds and fluffy rodents. He has also been witnessed attacking joggers and kids on bikes (he hides behind a tree a pounces on them, although I don't think he's ever done them any damage).

Anyways, we live behind a wood and one summer he realises that baby bunnies are good for a hunt. The first one he brought in was perplexing - where was it's head? We searched the whole house for hours until my wife finally treads on a pair of eyeballs and we begin to suspect that he has actually eaten it.

Sure enough a couple of days later we catch him chomping away at his next kill. He only eats the head, mind, nothing else.

23 baby bunnies later and funnily enough none the next year, can't imagine where they all went.
(Tue 12th Jun 2007, 15:19, More)
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