Promotional Microsoft Points may expire after 30 days

A quick heads up: some promotional Microsoft Points have expiration dates.  This is probably not new, but it is news to me!  From the billing FAQ:

When do my Microsoft Points expire?
Purchased points don’t expire. Any points you get through promotions can have expiration dates. Typically, points expire within thirty days of the date you get them. To view any points in your account that have expiration dates, go to the Billing and Account Management page, sign in with your Windows Live ID, and then click Microsoft Points under Stored Credits. If you have points that are expiring in the next thirty days, you can click View expiring points to view the points and their expiration dates.

The good news at least, is that promotional points are used up first if they are about to expire:

How do I use my expiring Microsoft Points first?
Promotional points with expiration dates are automatically redeemed first before purchased points.

Microsoft’s billing site can be found at if you want to check out if and when your points expire.

Thanks goes out to Zico on the OcUK forums for making me aware of this.

Gears of War

I'm getting back into multiplayer Gears of War after a short break. I've only been playing with people I know as everyone else seems to only use the game's exploits, rather than attempt to actually play properly. Playing multiplayer is great fun and hilarious at times, though I must learn not to scream down the headset so much. Speaking of which, I've abandoned the expensive wireless headset as it just doesn't work as well as the wired one.

Gamertag page improvements

I've added some code that allows you to sort the columns by forum name or gamertag name so that if you are trying to match a gamertag up to a forum user, its a little quicker. Let me know if it doesn't work or misbehaves in some way!

That will be all the additions to the page. I might try and make a more advanced page soon where it will list the user's gamerscore etc, but I want to keep the current page nice and simple, so its fast and easy to use.

Gamertag database for the Overclockers forums

I spend much of my time on a forum called Overclockers UK, or OcUK for short (link) and from there I have built up a list of people I play on the Xbox 360 who I can be (fairly) sure are not cheaters, whingers or any of the other annoying types on Xbox Live. One annoying thing though is that not everyone uses their forum ID for their gamertag, so I loose track of who is who. So partly for my benefit, and partly because I think it'd help over on the forums, I've created a database of forum IDs and gamertags here.

Its powered by a PHP script that fetches the info from a table. Normally you can't call PHP code from a WordPress page but I found a plugin that will let you: runPHP. I was a bit concerned that if the plugin broke it would expose the PHP and perhaps let those nasty script kiddies into my database so all the PHP code does is include another separate script somewhere else on my website. PHP security is not my speciality, I'm sure I'll soon find out if I left any holes anywhere!