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BackByDemand last won the day on June 9 2018

BackByDemand had the most liked content!

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About BackByDemand

  • Birthday 19/09/1974

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    ICT Technical Specialist

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  1. Are you still looking for a team? Our 3rd went AWOL

  2. epic26 Catering Menu and Feedback

    Tokens bought, fat pants ready
  3. epic26 - Venue Updates

    Not the first, or the last, time I will have poured beer on myself when sleeping
  4. epic26 - Venue Updates

    I can't see Boathouse on the floorplans, Portland is pretty obvious, is it unmarked? http://ketteringconference.co.uk/our-rooms/floor-plans/
  5. epic26 - Venue Updates

    Noting that 3 day breakfast is an in-advance item I would be very happy to see the same for 3 day dinner also, takes all the hassle from doing it on-site and when checking in and just grab the vouchers Next time maybe?
  6. LAN Survival Guide

    Many years ago I started a LAN Survival Guide, firstly when it was a bunch of guys after work playing Duke Nukem 3D on a bunch of 386 PCs in the mid 90's. Then it became a scout hut with 8 people. As the years progressed the LANs got bigger, the venues varied in quality massively and the whole thing has evolved into the amorphous blob of chaos we see today. Enjoy. ********** LAN SURVIVAL GUIDE: VR Hololens Version 13.37 (First Decade Edition) What is a LAN? A group of people bring their computer to a venue, network it and play games. Some games have structured and organised times for a tournament and event sponsors can offer prizes. Usually they happen over a weekend with food and sleeping in-between. That is the easy description, the harsh reality of course is that all the things that you take for granted at home can be sadly lacking at a venue as you have to bring it all with you. This guide has been painstakingly crafted and modified over several years to take into account real world experiences, pitfalls and pleasures. To quote Pitch Black, “It’s amazing how you can do without the essentials in life as long as you have the little luxuries”. SLEEPING Some of you will try to stay awake from whatever time you wake up in the morning, possibly have a full day at work then go to the venue, possibly after a long drive, then attempt to game solidly till Sunday evening. You will fail, despite mainlining energy drinks and sugary snacks. You will need a few things to make the weekend bearable, but with a bit of planning can actually be very comfortable. An airbed with a battery pump, foot pump or mains pump. An inflatable Lilo is suitable alternative. Sleeping bag / quilt cover, especially if you sleep nude, or we will draw on you with markers. Or shave you. Also comfortable are sleeping bag suits, like a sleeping bag with arms and legs, it is very possible to fall fast asleep at your PC with these however so you may want to stick with sleeping on the floor to avoid wearing a spacebar shaped groove into your forehead. Most venues have a separate area for sleeping, but die-hards may insist on setting up camp near their desks, just be mindful of your surroundings in terms of equipment and people. Some venues do not allow sleeping next to desks, so try to find somewhere comfortable. LIVING ESSENTIALS Pillow - not just for sleep, those venue chairs can make you ass go numb unless... Chair - not everyone has one, not everyone can bring one, but if you do and you can - bring your own big-ass comfy chair. Washbag - with razor, soap, facecloth & towel. There may be a towel onsite, which has probably been rubbed in 500 other people’s ass-crack first. Do you seriously want to dry yourself on that? Deodorant. Deodorant - just in case you didn’t see it the first time. More than one set of clothes. More than one set of socks & underwear. You know you stink!!! TOILET ROLL!!! GENERIC TOILET ROLL IS RUBBISH AND YOU KNOW IT!!! Also, in a big venue if they do have a proper cleaning crew and good paper, 600 guys can get through the stuff on the roll very quickly. Nobody wants to be the guy in the cubicle saying "erm, excuse me, can you help?" to guy in the next cubicle who is playing Candy Crush whilst also having a dump. Cup or glass, you will drink at the LAN and from the can or bottle is fine unless you want a cup of tea or a dram of Jack with that coke, plus drinking straight from the bottle makes you look like a hillbilly. Some venues have a bar. I’m not suggesting you retain the glass to use. But I’m not, not suggesting it either. Knife, fork, spoon, little spoon - well duh, there may be cutlery in the kitchen at the LAN, but would you trust where it’s been? Bits of dried Pot Noodle on a fork from 3 LANs ago are nasty. Venues with professional catering, don’t bother. Coffee, tea, milk, sugar - I personally find that grabbing handfuls of sugar and milk at McDonalds and a few teabags from home does the trick. Mobile phone, not to be forgotten, good for ringing the Admins to ask how to get back to the LAN when you wander off in the middle of the night to buy cigarettes/milk/food/hookers and get lost. Mobile phone charger, almost every phone uses micro-USB, Lightning or USB Type-C, but really old Nokia dumb-phone chargers will not be in the possession of other attendees, guaranteed. Slippers, OK don’t laugh, 3 days with the same shoes or trainers on can be very uncomfortable and stinky, also barefoot or socks only is nasty when walking to the loo and other attendees have peed on the floor. Comfy clothes - I have had LANs spent sitting in the most uncomfy jeans EVAR!!! Bring some trackies, you won’t regret it. Some people may bring Onesies, you get extra brownie points for having a Pikachu, Godzilla or Batman onesie; you may look daft but they are very comfy. Big comfy top or fleece – Most venues have sufficient heating, plus lots of PCs and bodies generate heat and it can be very toasty warm, but if you are playing an all-night Unreal-athon till 5am the temperature can drop and staying toasty warm is important. Going outside (Outside? What’s that?) for fresh air/cigarettes/flying a kite it will be BLOODY COLD, especially LANs in Autumn or Winter. Wallet and cash - If you pay on the door then essential, but don't forget nearby shops to acquire essentials like a crate of lager, or to pay for Dominoes deliveries, or for the aforementioned cigarettes/milk/food/hookers. Site with catering or a bar may take plastic, but good old cash never goes out of fashion. TECH STUFF Flash drives and/or external USB hard drive, sometimes it's just faster and more convenient to transfer the 7 seasons of Game Of Thrones to the guy next to you that way than burn the bandwidth on the network. Plus, any decent LAN network admin will see you burning the bandwidth and may feel your collar about it. Blank CDs / DVDs, for the luddites that still use physical media, also don’t forget the CD marker pen. Paper and pen. Yes, ordinary paper, for use with ordinary pen. If you use battery powered devices, like a wireless mouse, bring spare batteries. If you use rechargeable ones don’t forget the battery charger. Headphones or headset. Essential for TeamSpeak/Discord, etc, but also good for drowning out the din of battle if you want a quick desk-snooze. Earplugs are available at some venues also, but seriously, who doesn’t have headphones? USB hub, if you need a powered one don't forget its power supply. Screwdriver – Preferably with multiheads, for dismantling your machine whilst 'effing & blinding how much you hate it when whatever widget that sometimes pings off leaving you paralysed - pings off leaving you paralysed. Or for picking wax out of your ears, like all good Phillips screwdrivers. Spare watercooler fluid - If it leaks in transit or you now have minimum levels then a top up is always welcome. Some other attendees may have a watercooler and may have fluid, but they are not all the same and mixing them may be like mixing drinks on a night out. Be warned, bring your own. FRAPS – Record your moments of glory, or abject failure, for posterity. YOUR RIG PC or laptop, hell, even a Mac, but don't blame us if your Mac can't play LAN multiplayer games with PC's unless it is a Steam game, even then you are pushing your luck. Thanks to Gabe Newell you may also be able to run some Steam games on Linux. If you do run Linux, don’t forget the elbow patches on your tweed jacket, to smoke a pipe and your vegan diet. SteamOS may make an appearance at the LAN at some point, but bear in mind only a small percentage of your games will work, you have been warned. Also, some games played are standalone or use an alternate vendor like GOG, Epic, Ubisoft, etc and not run via Steam at all, so SteamOS would be pointless. Monitor, with the VGA, DVI or HDMI cable, don't forget it as no one will have a spare cable. Keyboard & mouse. If keyboard and mouse are wireless, don’t forget the receiver, (DUH, well it has happened before). Bring spare batteries too. Mousemat. Additional HDD space, either internally or externally, leeching is a fact of life. No matter how much stuff you think you have there will always be at least 20Tb of stuff you don't have and really, really, really want. Multiplug surge strip, with enough spots for each of your plugs, borrowing from the guy sat next to you is just rude. Power cables, one for each item that requires power, remember any different types like figure 8 and cloverleaf. Bring at least one spare. Ethernet cable, at least 5m. The venue may have quality cables. I have had issues where the cable to my machine did not reach as I use a left-handed case. Plus if it is coloured it will be easier to identify where yours is. Also, as the network will likely have a Gigabit switch and lots of file sharing then a CAT6 cable is ESSENTIAL. Big organised quality venues do not have this problem and if there is a problem their admins will sort it for you. But a dozen guys in a scout hut probably not. Recovery media or Windows disks, someone always does a fresh install onsite, they don’t know it yet, but it will happen. Games, either on original disk or those handy backups. The Steam library folder is good, but not all your games are on Steam. Don’t forget install codes for all your games. Some venues have internet, this is great for using Steam in its intended fashion, but for venues that don’t have internet you should update Steam client AND ALL THE GAMES, set to offline mode, cut off point 9pm the night before (usually). Ensure you have activated and run each game at least once whilst online or it won’t work offline. STUFF TO LEAVE AT HOME Speakers, 30 people all at once with music blaring or machine guns or engines roaring, no No NO!!! Alarm clocks, you may have set your alarm 30 mins after the guy next to you who has just had a marathon 18 hour Rocket League session went to bed, they deserve a nap. This also applies to alarms set on your phones. Electric Heater, sounds stupid I know but imagine what happens if you plug in a 1KW electric heater into a surge strip with a couple of people PCs attached, yep, it flips the breakers and it all goes dark for a bit, if you are cold there are heaters on site or like your Mum said when you were a kid “put a jumper on”. And yes, some Einstein has already done it. You know who you are. UPS - Do not bring a UPS for the same reason as an electric fire, any good LAN organiser will go Ape if you blow out the power and if you are still playing on your PC it will be a dead giveaway who you are. HEALTH & SAFETY (Booooooooorriiiiinnngggg!!!! but please, read it) The urge to run and leap around should be resisted at all costs, a few LANs ago someone (who shall remain nameless) mis-timed a jump at speed, tripped and went chest first into the corner of a large wooden box. The box did not yield and could easily have resulted in broken ribs, collapsed lung, death, etc. Please just take care when moving around the venue as there are a lot of wires, sleeping bags and other trip hazards. Even if you don't injure yourself, if you trip and pull my PC on the floor I will kill you myself. Usually the event organisers will try to have a half table per person, with a limit on attendees to ensure everyone has space. Tables are quite large and should be able to accommodate 2 people and all their gear. Some PC cases are very large though and it may require you to place them on the floor. Even if you do have space and place the PC on the desk, you do so at your own risk. THE BASICS Not everyone can bring the kitchen sink, so despite all the stuff listed above, bear in mind that I personally have attended LANs before now with only 5 items - laptop, PSU, mouse, headphones and a sleeping bag. All in a single backpack. SETTING UP On arrival at the LAN it can be quite chaotic, there are lots of things to do and the urge to simply plug in the PC and play is very high but practicalities are very real and not something that will be fun to do if you leave them to the early hours of the morning. In my humble opinion the timeline on arrival should consist of the following:- Arrival, you will either drive yourself in a car, or be driven to the event, or have small enough list of equipment to arrive using public transport, but assuming car you should enter the venue without any gear and once you have your numbered seating spot you can begin to unload. Take all your gear to your numbered seating spot, but don’t setup yet. PC or Sleep setup, either way round is fine with plugging in your rig or your sleeping arrangements but if you do your rig first resist the urge to just plonk down and play. Please setup your airbed or whatever during sociable hours, if you have a foot pump or motorised air compressor to inflate it then doing so whilst other attendees may have already gone to sleep is very unsociable. At some point after setup, if your venue does a big pizza delivery, get the order in quick. If everyone gets in on the action then seeing a delivery of more than 600 pizzas is a sight to behold, one of nature’s true wonders. FINAL WORD Just remember to have fun and enjoy the LAN, see you there!
  7. Glad to see you booked up, but sat in the causal section? I thought being embedded with the hardcore types was a blast, with them all shouting "YOU'RE SHIT!!!" across the room. See you there!

  8. EPIC 26 Camping

    Sure you could have indoor camping, if you used a drill to put holes for the ground hooks in the concrete Then again, if it's February you may need a drill to get through the permafrost outside too
  9. epic24 - Maps & Customer Info

    I always follow my Dad's advice growing up "You're only as old as the woman you feel" Of course this was shortly before being barred from his local for touching up the barmaids But the advice is still good
  10. epic24 - Maps & Customer Info

    I'm in my 40's and the last time my +1 was ID'd there was no such thing as HD TV I think we're safe
  11. epic24 - Maps & Customer Info

    Great stuff, but as always last minute my +1 has announced he doesn't have picture ID. Shall we just chop a leg off and count the rings? Or is that just for working out the age of trees?
  12. epic24 - Menu

    Tradition maintained, happy days
  13. epic24 - Menu

    Even though I will likely be "Snack Billy" all weekend it's a long held tradition to have Saturday as Pizza night. The look on the pizza shop dudes face when you order 100 pizzas, then the look on the assembled crowd in the gallery when 100 pizzas arrive. One of natures true wonders to behold. I don't see pizza on the menu, you think Dominoes would deliver?
  14. BIG GAMES and FUN TOURNAMENTS at epic24

    Don't always need a fun tourney to be organised, just throw one up on your machine and watch people flock to it
  15. Good call not everyone has email, I work in IT Support and even those that have an email address issued to them wouldn't know a right click from a kick in the arse, some people literally stopped evolving after the invention of the Spinning Jenny.