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Showing posts from 2016

Secure Wipe of Laptop Drives

We have a couple of laptops that are still technically working, but we have moved on to greener pastures so we no longer need them. Around the corner there's a charity that reworks old tech, so the laptops are heading there. Prior to that I figured it would be a good idea to securely wipe their hard-drives -- by basically writing random garbage to them several times over. Luckily there are quite some tools made for that. After some trial and error here's what I ended up doing: 1) Found an old USB disk, fittingly sporting a Batman logo. 2) Formatted it as a FAT (MS-DOS) drive. 3) Downloaded the free ISO of Darik's "boot and nuke" data wiping tool (DBAN) from 4) Dowloaded Unetbootin from and launched it. 5) Used this to turn the Batman disk into a bootable disk based on the DBAN ISO. 6) Due to a bug somewhere in this pipeline (Possibly Unetbootin? Or DBAN itself?), I needed to edit the "

6 nimmt! - The Ultimate Travel Game (Components)

Back in the days before rediscovering modern tabletop games we played classic card games quite a bit. One of the best features of those is, obviously, their travel-friendliness. Literally hundreds , and possibly thousands, of games can be played with just one standard deck of cards. (I should really revisit some of those, I realise!) Problem Even games that consist mainly of cards come with their own deck of specially designed cards now. (This is pretty obvious, as how/why would people buy these games otherwise?) For immersion and rules recollection that is neat, but for travelling this adds unwanted bulkiness.  Solution Lately I have compressed my travel gaming by bringing one tiny game that allows for playing several others, namely " 6 nimmt! ". Great games that work with this relatively small deck of cards are: 6 nimmt itself, obviously. An amazing game that plays from 2 to 10(!) players with increasing degrees of haphazardness - two player is an excellent tact

Gaming with kids #2: Monza and Jurassik

Second batch of rented games tested on the kids!* Monza Monza (as in the Italian F1 race track) is a classic dice-based racing game from Haba. Overview Players control cars racing around a colourful three-lane oval track using handfuls of colourful dice. The goal of the game is to, well, win the race. Each round a player throws 6 dice - each with the same six colours on its sides. Any dic result lets you move to an adjacent place on the board of that colour, as long as you move forward, forever forward. It's up to the player to chose the order in which their dice are spent. And that is where the game manages to introduce basic concepts of tactics. Rare stuff in a game for 5 year olds, but it works well here. Components Nice wooden race cars, efficient wooden dice. Nice, big enough player board. (Maybe it could have benefited a double sided board (ala Automobiles from AEG) for longevity?) From what age? Box says five, and I tend to agree. Some tactical thinking is ne

Gaming With Kids #1: "Pique-Plume" and "Hop ! Hop ! Galopons !"

I'm beginning to get more experience in testing games on tiny human beings. Oftentimes more focus-challenged, and less interested in... tactiquery than middle-aged ones of the same species. Oftentimes. Recently we have started renting board games from a local-ish friendly game store here in Lyon. To remember what we have played and what we thought about the games we have played I started making a list. And then I figured, why not put the list on this blog, in case it can inspire others. (And so that I will be able to find the list again.) Maybe this will become a series . Who knows. Anyways, first out is a post on the two first games we rented - the grand classique  Pique-Plume ("Chicken Cha Cha Cha" in English) and a game I had never heard of before, Hop ! Hop ! Galopons !  from Haba ("Hoppe Reiter" in original version.) Pique-Plume Pique-Plume is a game I've seen on many a list of recommendations for board games for kids. And since it has a kind

Top 21 (or so) games I played 2015

So, here it finally is, the list of my favourite games from 2015. (I learned some weeks ago that one can wish people a "bonne annĂ©e" the entire year, here in France (at least in some regions), not like I've been previously led to believe only the first month, so I'm not _that_ late... Heh.) This year I've decided to introduced categories - from silly to less silly, from, for the lack of a better word, slapstick to... well, worker placement games. OK, here we go... Slapstick games These are the silliest of games that still count as proper games. They manage to balance the ammount of complete bonkerness and interesting enough decisions. Winner: Incan Gold Incan Gold is an excellent push your luck game by Faidutti and Moon from 2006 (reimplementing Diamant from the year before adding, basically idols, and... more interesting... components.) Incan Gold Runner up: Colt Express Colt Express was the  Spiel des Jahres winner this year. Releas