Monthly Archives: August 2013

Reichel Halls, Bangor University

I was going through my photos from uni that I took last year, and realised that people looking into accomodation at Bangor University might like to take a look at some of my photos of the inside of my halls. So here goes!

Reichal Halls
Outside of Reichel. To the right of this photo is the rest of the halls site.

My room looking quite sad.
My room looking quite sad.

I was in a large room looking into the courtyard. Mind you, you’ll mainly be looking into other peoples windows and the roof of the conference centre. These rooms are much bigger than any of the new building at the expense of not having your own bathroom. I was quite jealous of those with mountain views.

For me, paying an extra £17 a week for a bathroom didn’t sound exciting. The prices have all gone up, so I don’t know what the difference is for this year. Reichel isn’t like the other halls, it’s laid out a bit like a hotel along long corridors of rooms. Again, I didn’t miss not having flats that much.

The kitchens vary wildly depending on where you get located. My kitchen was one of the smallest with 5/6 people in it. The big kitchens (on the corners) are much larger and have 8-10 people in them I think. Our kitchen had too many people, so I had to share a cupboard. More photos?

You can't see them in this photo, but the mountains look great with snow on them!
You can’t see them in this photo, but the mountains look great with snow on them!

The Fridge
The Fridge

Nothing too fancy. Reichel seems to have some of the newer appliances on site which is nice. Wifi has recently been installed into the halls and whilst it wasn’t switched on when I left in June it is now! (I’m back for resits and staying in Adda.)

You’ll get a proper key for your room in Reichel and a code to get through the front door. No fancy smart cards for us! Also handy as your room won’t lock itself when you pop out for two minutes without your key. I recall it costing something like a tenner to security if you get locked out from your room and need them to let you in.

One of the downsides of Reichel is that it’s slightly further than the rest of the halls from the university buildings (not that far really, but you’ll notice it when it is tipping it down!). Other than that, the reduced cost makes it a great place to live (If you can go without the en-suite… which you most likely can!).

The sports centre is a two minute walk away and it costs something like £90 for a 9 month academic membership. Don’t bother. I never went even though it was so close. If you’re moving in to halls in September and you run Linux on your PC be sure to check out my post about how to authenticate with the network so you can access the internet to ‘study’!

Time to finish off this post with some more photos. If you have any questions, feel free to tweet me @geekyjames or post a comment on this post and I’ll get back to you!

Bangor Pier
Bangor Pier

The view from the Pier
The view from the Pier

The view from Menai Bridge towards Bangor Pier
The view from Menai Bridge towards Bangor Pier

Looking out for the Chem Tower Toilets
Looking out for the Chem Tower Toilets


Clearing my gaming backlog! Let’s do this…

I buy far too many games. It’s pretty obvious what the problem is. I don’t play them enough, then I get bored and buy more. It’s quite silly really. I’m not the only person either!


Anyway, it’s time to get this backlog under control! I’m going to take part in Four in February again like I did this year. And I’m going to aim to play through 1-2 games each month depending my available free time each month. I’m not sure if I even want to take my PS3 with me back to uni given how many Steam/3DS games I have to complete without extra PS Plus games being added monthly. According to some tool I found online, it’d take me around 2000 hours to complete all of my steam games. Almost four years at ten hours a week…

I’m going to set a few rules for my personal challenge mainly to stop myself from having to play through games I detest and can’t stand. Here they are:

  • If I don’t want to complete a game, I must play it through at least 3-6 hours from the start.
    …This allows me to get thoroughly into most games, by playing in generally 2×3 hour sessions. If I don’t like it here, I’ll mark it as null on Backloggery with the reason why in the comments.
  • For a game to be marked as completed on Backloggery I must at least complete the main storyline of a game (and each of the main DLC story-lines if I own them), and see the credits roll in some form. This marks the completion for my purposes. 100% is not a thing I believe in.
  • I cannot buy any new games until at least 5 games have been completed, or attempted and removed from Backloggery. This rule is active as of July 1st, and as such I need to complete 3 more games before I can purchase Pokemon X or Y.
  • Each month, I will post a blog post talking about my gaming experiences that month. The games I nulled, the reasons why and the games that I have completed. Basically a mini round-up of my gaming month.

Currently I am working through Dragon Quest 4 on the DS, and my next plan of attack is to play through some of these:

  • Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland
  • Big Bang Mini (although I suck at these type of games…)
  • Legend of Zelda (Gotta play those ambassador games at some point….)
  • The Dragon Quest games are pretty long, along with the Tingle game but I think I could complete these before October hits with a bit of luck. My choices are likely to change, by the way. Other games I want to try and tackle in the near future (basically, next year):
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 (It’s like 80 hours long, argh. I do love it though)
  • The various Zelda games my 3DS seems to have acquired
  • The remainder of the DQ games I own (5, 6, 9)
  • The Elder Scrolls Games
  • Half Life Series (Don’t judge me)
  • Gratuitous Space Battles /Gratuitous Tank Battles / Faster than Light
    Wish me luck!

Google Latitude Replacements

Google Latitude completes it’s migration into Google Plus this week and after the 9th of August historical location history stored in Latitude is going to be deleted. Make sure you get over to Google Takeout and save your data!

If you’re a heavy latitude user like myself with my close friends and family then this suck. Google+ locations is not up to scratch… You can’t see how long ago the location was refreshed. How are you supposed to tell if the location is still valid or not? You pretty much can’t. You don’t get a distance reading to nearby friends, and there’s no way to hide people who share their location with all their circles.

Update 31/08/2013: Google+ now reports the time that your friends location was updated! They listened, and now it is considerably more usable.

Current Alternatives

Anyway, this has prompted me to look for replacements. Glympse looks good, except the longest you can share your location to someone is 4 hours. No Latitude replacement. I found an open source project on Github called Rockwell which had some server code as well as code for an iPhone app. This got me thinking, why can’t I create my own for my friends and family?

Some other alternatives include Chronos which is a life logging app (it doesn’t let you share your location with friends) that allows you to import your data from Latitude. Another alternative is called Hemisphere which apparently replicates most of the functionality that we’ve come to love. I haven’t tried either of these yet, however.