Steam Update (Aug 14 2014)

steam games listI have always tried to keep my Steam games list in some resemblance of organised. I would try and add new games into the category they belonged, this was good as the games list would reflect the categories which made life a little easier.
However I now have over 260 games and what was originally a simple system becomes a little clunky as when the the tabs are expanded they expand beyond the screen and jump between them is more troublesome.

Focus on categories


Thankfully the the latest Steam client update I can now filter by category, which is kind of cool when I know which game type I’m in the mood to play.

Another nice point to mention is that games can be added to more than one category, which means that your FPS / RPG games can now appear in both lists.

The final feature around this is the ability to hide games from your games list.
YAY finally I can now hide that Left 4 Dead 2 Beta that has been on my list for the last god knows how long along with Chivalry: Medieval Warfare Beta.

Musical notes

Another feature that I have been keeping my eye on is the Music functionality. As I mentioned in my previous post the music functionality only seemed to be available in Big Picture mode, I can’t seem to find when this changed but it’s now available in the standard Steam client.


It’s worth mentioning that page loads on Steam are seemingly quicker in the applications browser based window after a Major update. Which is nice as in the last few years many of newer features like communities and badges have been a little laggy, while other parts of service seem to work just fine.

#Software #Steam #Blaugust

Mid-Blaugust Lull

In the years since I started running my own website the available software has become so much easier to interact with for those wanting to run their own blog. Hosting companies now offer system such as Installatron or Softaculous that allow One-Click setups of popular open source software ranging from blogging software such as WordPress to shopping cart software.

Once got into the inner workings of my static website, I bit the bullet and decided to code the backend of my website in PHP, it was a new language to me and in all honesty soaked up more time that I would like to think about.
However I designed and built a multi-user environment which granted the users of my website the ability to create posts via a WYSIWYG editor and upload images.

wordpressI have to say I was very happy with it considering my programming background was in Mainframe systems and desktop applications.As the web evolved the requirement to maintain such a system became a burden and I eventually moved over to a 3rd party software system. This was basic but handled the functionality I needed, plus had a theming and extension system.

The main problem I had with this software at the time was it was a pain to update and at one point my site was compromised and I ended up having to rebuild from scratch, thankfully my database and posts were intact and I moved them to WordPress.

Skip forward to now and the latest incarnation of the WordPress which is on the verge of releasing Version 4. The software can update without the need to download and install updates.
Wordpress hosted Extensions and Themes can be added on the fly, again without the need for any FTP software.
You can configure the software to automatically update everything without you needing to lift a finger.

There are many enough ways you can modify code and presentation to you’re liking in the time to takes to drink your coffee.


The reason this post came about was my wife wanted a website for her recipes, so it’s easier to share with friends and family, but also quick to pull up on a tablet or phone, for your on the fly shopping lists.

In the space of 12 hours we’d managed to build a website in WordPress that met her requirements, there are quite a few Plugins that offer similar things but in the end it was easy to go with simple posts for each, following a standard template that we hard coded for each post. We picked a suitable theme and added some custom CSS for the finishing touch. If you like you can take a look :


We have passed the Blaugust halfway mark, well done to all those taking part in the event. I have to say the first 13 days weren’t too bad especially with 3 days of travelling recently, however that said the last 2 felt rather awkward and weren’t very forth-coming. Hopefully now we are on the home stretch the creative ideas will flow freely.

#Blaugust #Hosting #Wordpress

A nervous Twitch.TV

Reports are out that Google has completed the purchase of Twitch.Tv for $1 billion which confirms the rumours about the purchase that were circulating in May.
I’m interested to see what steps Google take with the streaming service, whether it will include auto-saving of shows directly to The YouTube site along with tighter integration or if the Brand will be kept complete separate (save being able to logon with Google Accounts ofc). Whichever direction it would surprise me if there is much change before Christmas.

If the Google account are used the recent Google’s reversal on Real Name policy will at least mean streamers/viewers real identities are directly exposed to others, if they use decide/must use a Google account.

As with any time we see companies bought out, loyalties will be tested and it wouldn’t surprise me to see some well known streamers jumping ship to other streaming services such as UStream or Hitbox, but with an already strong Apple and Android presence other services may seem lacking.

Sadly my upload speed currently isn’t good enough to support Streaming my adventures in gaming, fingers crossed that the upgrade at the exchange completes sometime soon, as half my town have fibre, just not the half in inhabit.



Streaming Musings

You maybe aware that last week Valve rolled out one of the Key elements of the SteamOS/Steam Box combo, the In-Home Streaming feature. This will allow you to run higher spec or windows only games on your PC but play and control from the comfort of your living room. This bypasses the age old problem of having Windows games running on other OS’s.

This got me thinking about how Valve could reuse this functionality. Given that recent news hints at a suspected 1 Billion pitch for the video broadcasting website Twitch by Google/YouTube, perhaps online Streaming is a direction that maybe explored.


What if Valve allowed streaming to external party sites such as Twitch?
It would cut out the middle-ware that can be a pain to configure, the popular X-Split incurs a subscription cost that isn’t ideal for gamers trying out streaming for the first time.
With the rise of E-Sports including Valves own DOTA 2, it may only be a matter of time until this comes to fruition as part of the Steam Interface, lifting restricts around games that allow streaming and have a Let’s Play Friendly stance to avoid that murky legal quagmire.

Future Use

Perhaps it could move a step further, why not allow every Steam user to enable a stream for their profile?

That way a quick visit to would allow anyone to watch my stream via the web, via the client or Steam authentication chat can be easily managed.

#Streaming #Steam