A Twelfth Man At Silly Mid-On

Steve Pitts' Personal Pages

Not much to see here, sorry to say, as this is really just a placeholder for the pages that occupy the rest of the site, which are primarily related to the utilities – EAFFAnalyser, F2K5DUMP, F2K6DUMP, F2K7DUMP and F2K8DUMP – that I've written to read and report on the default, career and tournament data from EA Sports' FIFA 2005, FIFA 06, FIFA 07 and FIFA 08 football games.

The FIFA football analysis routines finally managed to get out of beta in May 2007, and thanks to the good offices of Dave Witts the utilities now have a proper home at Sweetpatch where you can find out more about the capabilities of the tools and also download the most recent version. Since that site is now the shop window for EAFFAnalyser it is still the case that all I have here is some sample output, which includes the output from all of my careers with FIFA 2005, FIFA 06, FIFA 07 and FIFA 08 plus some examples of the the FIFA 07 fixture decongestion process at work. I am continuing to work on the FIFA 07 and FIFA 08 versions – and indeed have already added board expectations and more control over the decongestion process to the development version – and I do intend to add more information here, including the full documentation for the utilities.

As far as the 'Hidden Statistics' go, they were extracted from the web pages of the LS Tour a few hours after the weekly cut-off and attempted to give a more revealing picture of some aspects of the tour that were otherwise difficult to glean. However, my involvement with the tour has been overtaken by events (the closure of the company responsible for running the site, and developing the game, and its replacement by something that was initially too flaky to maintain my interest). The introductory page gives some more information on what was collected along with links to a plethora of sub-pages with the data broken down both by swing type and ability level and sorted by various categories, but it is all of little more than historical interest these days.


A Potted Biography

This page was put here by Steve Pitts, a 47 year old Englishman whose hobbies include cricket, golf, listening to rock music, watching rugby union, baseball and American football and of course, computers and computer games :) Steve has been happily married to Janet for the past twenty years, and has three children – Darrell aged 17, Jacqueline aged 14 and Menolly aged 11.

I am one of those strange (and lucky?) folk who make a living out of something that he loves, since I am employed by Thesaurus Computer Services as a glorified programmer come Consultant come Lotus Notes expert. I have worked in the computer industry for the past thirty years, on everything from IBM mainframes (with which I still have considerable involvement) to Windows PCs, using languages as varied as APL, FORTRAN, REXX, C/C++ and LotusScript. You won't however find my CV here, as I last had one over twenty years ago.

My main 'claim to fame' in cyberspace would have to be the Badgers Cricket Club website, which is almost the definition of a narrow interest site, of use to no more than twenty or thirty people in the whole world. I also have a rarely updated blog (is that an oxymoron??) which I've yet to decide the purpose for, although I'd like to record some more pearls of technical wisdom there.


Recommended Places

The Lake District – OK, I meant on the web really, but I do love the Lakes!? The following list represents those places that I visit the most often or which hold the greatest attraction for me because of who they are about/for. They are in no particular order, so take your pick:

Music

When it comes to music there are two artists that stand out in my record collection (over 800 distinct LPs, spread over vinyl, cassette tape and CD with not a little duplication) – XTC and Roy Harper.

XTC have a site for their own record label, Idea Records and 'front-man' Andy Partridge has a fairly recent venture gradually burgeoning at APE, but for me the definitive XTC resource is Chalkhills which is both a mailing list and a treasure trove of information regarding the band.

Roy Harper also has his own site, but again my favourite Harper resource is both a mailing list and an information store – Stormcock. Oh, and for those that have been scratching their heads over the monicker of this site, it is from a Roy Harper lyric, the song being When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease.

Computer Gaming

Over the years I have sunk more time than I care to remember (or admit) into two long-running franchises – the Links golf series and FIFA football. More recently both Morrowind and Oblivion have provided hours of escapism.

I bought my first copy of Links – The Challenge Of Golf before I even owned a PC and it was the primary reason for my switching from the Atari ST back in 1994. Originally produced by Access Software the franchise, and my interest in it, underwent something of a lull when it was purchased by Microsoft, but it is still the best golf game around. I did have high hopes when the rights were purchased by Take Two and the development team reverted to semi-independence as Indie Built Games, but those hopes have since been dashed and it looks very much as if Links is dead as a developing entity.

In the autumn of 2004 I picked up a copy of Links 2003 at a bargain price, having not bothered with the previous versions since the first week of 2001, and was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had with the new Real-Time Swing, so much so that I was instantly hooked again. From then until February 2006 I played anything from eight to sixteen rounds a week, nearly all of them at the LS Tour under my handle of FatBloke. However, the demise of Indie Built and the official tour coincided with the arrivial of a new PC which allowed me to play FIFA 07 and not long after that Elder Scrolls: Oblivion appeared to eat up what little free time I had for playing games and I've not played a single round of computer golf since.

EA Sports' FIFA Football is an odd series for me to be involved with, as I have little or no interest in the game in real life (to the extent that I've even stopped following England's fortunes). I won't go into a rant here about the state of the English game, but suffice to say that it was my son who asked for a football game for the computer, and since then I've spent a considerable amount of time with its annual incarnations (with the exception of World Cup 2002, which we bought and hated, and Euro 2004, which we didn't bother with because of the experience with WC 2002). I don't play online, but I do find the Soccer Gaming forums to be a useful source of advice, although the signal to noise ratio can be a little daunting at times.

I wasted far too much time over a couple of months in early 2007 putting together a video of a single FIFA 07 goal – for the Sweetpatch Soccer Skills Academy Goal Of The Month competition – so I'm posting it here for your viewing pleasure:


Pet Hates

I thought I'd add a little colour here by moaning about a few things, albeit not in any depth. The following things get right up my nose:


All text copyright 2000-2007 Steve Pitts – All rights reserved
Last updated 6th November 2007