Helping my sleep pattern with F.lux

It’s now late October, the clocks have gone back an hour to GMT. In Scotland the nights are fair drawin’ in—it is getting dark earlier. All the more important then to make sure I look after my sleep hygiene.

For the last 14 years I have been working mostly sitting in front of a PC. I’m also a bit of a geek so I find myself sitting in front of a PC even when I’m not being paid to do so.

For years I found it hard to get to sleep at night. It turns out that staring at computer monitor for hours is not great for your sleep. The blue light emitted by a screen affects our attention, reaction times and mood (Source) and, crucially, our sleep.

In 2009, I discovered an application called F.lux that detects where you are in the world and automatically adjusts the screen colour temperature to gradually remove the blue as the sun is setting.

Continue reading Helping my sleep pattern with F.lux

Using a 4K ultra HD TV as a PC monitor

LG 43UK6950 PLB (4K Ultra HD TV)

Over the last couple of months I’ve been considering buying a TV to also use as a PC monitor. I’ve been surprised to find relatively very little information online about it so here’s what I’ve discovered and my experiences so far.

My experience has been great, so far.

Continue reading Using a 4K ultra HD TV as a PC monitor

Carcassonne on Steam

Playing Carcassonne on Steam with River, The Abbot and Inns and Cathedral expansions enabled
Playing Carcassonne on Steam with River, The Abbot and Inns and Cathedral expansions enabled

One of my favourite board games is the excellent Carcassonne from Z-Man. It’s a simple but fun tile-based game where you build and claim cities and roads, farms and monasteries and gardens to acquire points.

Over the last few months, I’ve been enjoying playing the latest official version of Carcassonne for Android but it wasn’t until last week that I realised the game was also available for Windows via Steam.

I wonder if any of the Tour de France cycling teams will be playing Carcassonne on the rest day in the city that inspired it this year?

How to activate cheat codes in Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition on Steam

Voivod the Fighter and Imoen the Thief standing in the middle of nowhere, somewhere near Candlekeep
Voivod the Fighter and Imoen the Thief standing in the middle of nowhere, somewhere near Candlekeep

For the last few years in Baldur’s Gate (in the few moments that I’ve had a chance to play it) I have activated the cheats (or debug mode). This gives me access to the entire game inventory to equip my character accordingly and a better chance to survive the adventure—I have never yet completed Baldur’s Gate, despite owning it since about 1999 (I still own my original copy on five CD-ROMs).

Having just reinstalled my PC, I was disappointed to discover that the old way of activating cheat mode (by editing baldur.ini) had changed. This is how I managed it today (on Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, with OneDrive installed).

Activate cheat / debug mode

  1. Locate the folder at Documents > Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition. On my desktop PC this was in the default Windows 10 Documents folder within OneDrive; on my laptop it is in C:\users\<username>\Documents. It will depend on how your computer was set up.
  2. In a text editor open the file Baldur.lua.
  3. Add the line SetPrivateProfileString('Program Options','Debug Mode','1').
  4. Save and close the file.

Now when you run the game, you can enter the game console by pressing Ctrl + Spacebar. It looks like this, at the bottom of the screen:

Enter your code then press Enter
Enter your code then press Enter

This allows you to enter codes that generate items, amongst other things. For instance this code allows generates a set of Ankheg Plate Mail armour for your current character:

C:CreateItem("PLAT06")

The older versions of Baldur’s Gate used the code CLUAConsole: but this has now been shortened to a single, uppercase C: followed by a colon.

Thanks to a tip from Craig in the comments. If you want to create multiple instances of the same item, add a comma and a number, e.g.

C:CreateItem("AROW01",200)

will create 200 arrows.

Voivod the fighter

Here’s how my intrepid fighter character started his adventure in Candlekeep:

Armed to the hilt, this fighter can even take on the Ogre Mage on the way to the Friendly Arm Inn,
Armed to the hilt, this fighter can even take on the Ogre Mage on the way to the Friendly Arm Inn,

Download the cheat codes

Feel free to download my full list of cheat codes, arranged by type (clothing, jewellery, weapons, magic, and miscellaneous).

You can look up what each item is on the Baldur’s Gate Wiki.

Updated

2020-07-08 Updated article to remove introduction and get straight to the how-to section. Added tip from Craig in the comments about adding multiple items at once.

2020-03-17 Updated cheat codes document to include instructions on how to activate cheats.

2017-04-17 Updated the location of Baldur.lua as it was in two different locations on two PCs running Windows 10. It depends, I guess, on whether Windows 10 is told to use OneDrive as the default save location.