Brrrā?? the day looks and feels nasty. In the words of the great Gord Downie, “We don’t declare war on idleness when outside it’s cold and shitty.”

While I don’t think I’ll be idle in here (the flat’s in dire need of cleaning and I’ve got editorial and translational duties to take care of – as well as a little bit of Half-Life-ing), I’m certainly aborting my mission to go into the city centre to find a WiFi cafe or two.

I’ve just gotten into Half-Life. I can hear veteran gamers snickering at this as HL was released back in 1998. Well, I’m just getting back into the gaming scene, and this is a great way to start.

I bought the collector’s edition of HL2 a couple of days ago. The package includes a digitally remastered Half-Life, the sequel, and Counterstrike: Source, an online game that I probably won’t get to until I’ve got a wireless network set up in the flat.

The first HL is a blast. I won’t go into detail, but suffice to say that I’ve never played a game that has made my pulse race and my palms sweat like this. It’s literally got me ducking, swerving, leaping, and gasping, and the storyline is brilliantly scripted. Man, have I been missing out. Fortunately, so far I’ve been able to stick to a two-hour time limit at the end of the work day – so it’s the equivalent of watching a movie.

But the best thing about HL so far hasn’t actually been the game, it was the experience I had buying it from the good folks at

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time reading user reviews for PC games. Before going to Funstore, I learned that the main issue that a lot of gamers have had with HL2 has been the insane registration process one has to go through via Steam in order to load the game. I won’t go into detail about it – just scan a number of the reviews here to get an idea of how much of a pain in the ass dealing with Steam can be.

With this in mind, I asked Jiri Pospisil, Funstore’s proprietor, if I could “borrow” a broadband connection in the Funstore office to load the game. He was kind enough allow me to use a cable connection, and one of his colleagues (I didn’t catch his name, but will post it here when I get it) very patiently helped me not only set up the game and get it working offline, but he even helped me sort out my graphics card issues (more geek-speak is required for that, I won’t bore you with it).

It took a total of two hours for me to get HL2 up and running on my notebook. I can’t (and would rather not) imagine the nightmare that would have ensued had I tried to do this through a Globe dial-up connection, or through the unsecured wireless network I can, for some reason, connect to at home.

Hats off to the wonderful folk at for providing such excellent service. They also sell digital cameras and accessories under the moniker of Fotoexpres. So, for all your gaming and digital photography needs, get thee to Funstore and Fotoexpres. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I got me some dishes to clean and some headcrabs to frag…

Jul 22, 09:49 (Filed under: Shopping in Prague, Personal )

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