Wow, A Castle!

This morning I might have been having a cheeky couple of laps on Gran Turismo 5. I was possibly attempting to win one of the seasonal events (which for some reason I find quite tricky).
While racing around the GT Original track I noticed a castle in the background. I was so fascinated by this that for a few laps I couldn’t really concentrate on the track. The castle is a rather good looking building and really adds to the atmosphere. Sometimes I wonder whether game designers have bets about the most ludicrous things they can add!

 Screen #1:


Screen #2


These two screen grabs were taken using the LG remote app on my iPhone that has a capture function!

Is That It?

After playing for a long time I have finally got to 900 cars in my Gran Turismo 5 garage. This represents a large amount of effort and time playing. Also, the process for buying cars in the dealership is laborious and boring.
All I get for reaching nine HUNDRED cars is a bonus colour and car horn! I don’t even customise my cars with these.
Some money or game points would have been rather better!


New Aquisitions

So, it’s been a busy time. I have bought a new TV to replace my 40″ Sony that I bought in the summer of 2006. I don’t know if six years is a good length of time for a TV. I guess so. The problem is that I am an early adopter of technology [see this post here – currently in draft form].

The old TV was HD Ready which, it turns out, is only 720 lines of beautiful picture. It looked deep and gorgeous in HD. But it was time to upgrade. There were just too many TV advances for me to ignore anymore.

I now have an LG 3D TV. I went for 3D because Gran Turismo will output 3D and I like playing that. Do I think that 3D is a good cinema format? No. But for Gran Turismo . . .

Current TV Room Set Up:

 Home Cinema

Current Equipment:

  • Television – LG 47LM670T
  • AV Amplifier – Sony STR-DN1030
  • BluRay player – Sony BDP-S790
  • Satelite Decoder – Amstrad Sky HD
  • Console – Sony PS3 320Gb
  • Front left and right and passive sub-woofer – Bose Acoustimass Cube
  • Active sub-woofer – Sony
  • Centre, SL, SR, SBR, SBL speakers –  Sony

When I get the chance I also use a Logitech Driving Force Pro steering wheel.


I’m happy.
There’s a Gran Turismo application (or program to someone my age) for the iPhone. It’s called GTune5 and is an app that should make the tuning of cars easier.
I think the idea is that it will give you settings based on a car set up you like and translate them to other cars. So, I like some oversteer in my cars and the app will allow me to recreate that in other cars once I enter the details for a car I can really handle well.
Lovely. Now I just need some time to play the game!
Find me on PSN as Kertz.

GT5 Set-up

Here’s a picture of my Gran Turismo set up. There’s a big tv with home cinema 7.1 sound and my music playing using GT5’s jukebox function (shame it doesn’t run from a NAS drive though). Anyway, here’s my Logitech (their stuff is brilliant) Driving Force Pro wheel attached to the force feedback stabiliser (ironing board).


Gran Tursimo 5 Cars

The recent seasonal events on Gran Turismo 5 have made me need a selection of good cars at different PP (performance points). Gran Turismo applies Performance Points to each car so that you can race cars of similar performance and know that you are evenly matched. I have selected, not very carefully, the following cars for the indicated PP. I have learned that it is best to have as much power as possible and to increase the ballast to counteract the power increase.

For the 400PP races my car of choice is a BMW Mini of all things! But it works well and thrashes the opponents.

A 500PP race gets me heading to my Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione ’91 for a non-race car. If I need a race car then I seek out my RE Amemiya AsparaDrink RX7 ’06.

A 600PP race and it’s the McClaren F1 ’94. Soemtimes I might use the Ford GT LM Race Car SPec II, you know, just for kicks!

For a 700PP race I turn to my beloved Mazda 787B. It’s a gorgeous car and was one of my favourites in a previous incarnation of Gran Turismo.



A glossary of terms used within this website.

ww – wonderful wife
#1 – son number one
#2 – son number two
GT5 – Gran Turismo 5 for the PS3
PS3 – Sony Playstation, third version. A delight.
MGS – Maidstone Grammar School

Constant speed or constant throttle?

So, which of these types of driver are you? Now, I’m not claiming to be a good driver, I’m too human to think I’m any good, I wouldn’t even claim I’m a good Gran Turismo driver! But I do know that these two types exist and I’m definitely one of them. This is probably a continuum so I’m not claiming a complete dichotomy.
Type A – Constant Speed
This type of driver maintains a constant speed along a motorway by varying the throttle as gradients increase or decrease. For instance, earlier today while travelling along the M20 I maintained a healthy and legal 70mph. I did this by increasing the throttle uphill and decreasing it downhill. Simple really.
Type B – Constant Throttle
This type of annoying driver maintains the same pressure on the throttle independent of the gradient of the road. This means that as the vehicle goes uphill it slows and then speeds up again as the gradient levels or goes downhill. Many times I have overtaken a car uphill only to be overtaken again going downhill. This is clearly wrong. How do I know this is wrong? Because cars have speed cruise control and not a throttle control.
This type of driving being wrong does not apply to big trucks but definitely to vans who like to go as fast as possible but slowing uphill because they are heavy, thereby blocking the outside lane.
Learn how to adjust your right foot, morons!


iPhone Apps

Here are some of my favourite iPhone apps and why:

General apps:

  • Podcaster – I listen to lots of podcasts! There’s a list here.
  • Tunein Radio – when I do the washing up I listen BBC Radio 4 via the internet as the FM signal in the kitchen is a bit iffy. I also listen to Radio Rock – Helsinki
  • Met Office – Get the weather and rain maps. Just great.
  • WordPress – for editing this site on the move and when I am away from a computer.
  • Wolfram – for maths stuff and finding out things that require time series or comparisons.
  • Flickr – puts my family photos onto the Flickr site.
  • Twitter – I can follow my favourite people and occasionally tweet about the aero-fauna I see.
  • IMDb – ever recognise someone in a film and wonder what else they have been in? If so then you need IMBd. I remember it when it was based in Cardiff (that’s a long time ago).
  • GTPlanet – I use it to check out interesting things about the Gran Turismo series.

 Sport apps:

  • WTCC – keeps me in touch with the World Touring Car Series.
  • William Hill – I can place my usual amount on the sporting outcomes on offer.
  • Spurs – just to keep up to date with the score and Premiership table. Football on the whole bores me as a sport.
  • ECB Cricket – because cricket is a sport that matters.
  • NFL – after motorsport this is probably my favourite sport.
  • F1


  • F-Sim Shuttle – in top 3%
  • X – Plane – 4G
  • RC Plane 2
  • F.A.S.T.
  • Real Racing 2
  • Slayer Pinball HD
  • Angry Birds – in the top 9%
  • Sailboat Pro
  • Flick Golf

My GameCentre name is Kurtz72 


  • Wind Tunnel – as an aero engineer (by degree) this is fascinating.
  • Star Walk – it’s always good to know what stars you are looking at.
  • Fractile – zoom into the Mandelbrot set which is just lovely and fascinating.