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19th January 2009
You know what I hate about those free online virus scans? They're a bunch of fearmongering twats. Here's what I mean...I see a little unusual activity on my computer... I do a preliminary free scan to see if there's something wrong. It scans for a bit and then tells me I have 58 infected files. OH NOES!!! :
I cancel the scan to see what it's found (to see if I need a more complete scan or if it's bullshit) and what do I get told? I get told my infected files are nothing but cookies. I don't give a fuck about tracking cookies...I clean that shit out every now and then anyway... Doctors at the free clinic wouldn't say "I'm sorry but you've got a fatal disease...it's the sniffles" would they?
6th March 2008
Well, it's more wacky Texas weather. It went from 70 degrees, to snow, back to 70 degrees in just 3 days time, and now on the 4th it's back to snow. Of course it's still too warm to stick (36°F) but it's on the cars and bushes at least. I'll edit and update this post when I can get my camera hooked up to the computer to get the picture off. :
In other news, I had intended to do a lot today, but because my job has me going from 12pm-9pm one day to 5am-2pm the next, I had to sleep most of the day to make up for it...Even then I may still need a nap to make sure I'll be able to make it. I've still got checks to deposit and people to call about finding a doctor to fix my back, that'll have to be done tomorrow though. The change in time I have to be at work and the change in weather just made me sleep way too long.
I'm still thinking about going back for a nap...
5th March 2008
I finally did it!
I finally beat Half-life 2. That's not to say the game was too hard or something...Just that I'd lose focus and get distracted and go play something else. This time I managed to figure out where I was getting lost before and kept going till the end. Now I can actually start to enjoy Episode 1 and 2 which I got with "The Orange Box". :
I mostly purchased The Orange Box because I wanted Portal and Team Fortress 2, and the price for each separately was a little bit more than the price of the Orange Box. I had already had Half-life 2 (which is a part of the Orange Box) but that just meant I got to give a copy of HL2 away. Unfortunately the guy I gave the game to decided he'd make a steam account and then NEVER
log in to it. Plus he spends all of his free time involved in church activities and when he DOES get a bit of free time, he plays a flight simulator (for big 747 type jets)... Essentially the copy of HL2 was wasted.
I never actually got to finish Half-life 1 though... that's another of those "get to a stuck point and then give up" games. The point I always got to was when the helicopter shows up with the soldiers... maybe a little bit after that point. Part of the problem is that it's not immediately obvious where I have to go to get the story to advance. Sometimes it's as easy as "Open that door" and sometimes it's more like "jump on that ledge, walk around that corner, look for a window to climb in, go down some stairs, and THEN open that door". Half-Life 1 isn't really as cool as HL2 anyway. I'll get started on Ep.1 and 2 soon.
4th March 2008
Crazy Texas Weather
Ok, for the past few days it's been chilly at night, but 70°F or so during the day. So to me that says "Spring is coming early". But no, with all things in Texas, you can't expect ANYTHING (not even the unexpected). A week or so ago we had some hailstorms, this week? Snow. Yes, snow. It didn't stick but it came down in big fluffy flakes. I think if it hadn't been 71°F the day before, it might have had a chance of sticking. :
Tomorrow it'll be back in the mid 60's and by the weekend it'll be springlike again.
1st March 2008
Team Fortress 2
Well, I've gotten a chance to get VERY used to playing Team Fortress 2. I learned how to make a demo, and then later used fraps to record the demo. This is a complete game with no editing from me.
I plan on editing this down later to show some frag highlights from me playing as a pyro, which is one of my favorite classes.
Anyway, this is dustbowl 2 and a relatively small game (maybe 6 people on each side at most?). I usually HATE small games because one class will make all the difference. It just so happened that (for me at least) that one class was Pyro on this match.
Usually when it's less than 6 on a side, the other side will scout rush and before you've had a chance to take down one of the guys, they'll cap half the map.
When I got there on this map, they had already taken their first point. Usually the 2nd point is tough to hold on to unless you've got some sentries to keep them from sneaking in.
If you watch the whole 22 minutes you'll see that there were a couple of times that if I hadn't died when I did, we would have lost the match. I managed to respawn at least twice in time to catch a spy and a scout capping our last point.
Anyway, feel free to leave comments, and with Viddler, if you see a specific moment that makes you want to say something, you can hover the mouse over the "dot" that shows where in the video you are, and a plus sign (+) will show up allowing you to add your comment RIGHT at that moment.
28th January 2008
Vacation Day 3
Well, I'm still trying to get over this cold. I've gotten plenty of rest and drank plenty of water. I'd say I'm about 85% over it now. Just a little cough left. The part that sucks is that I've wound up sleeping away the first three days of my vacation pretty much... I've gone through one complete bottle of nyquil, and opened a 2nd bottle. :
There isn't a whole lot to tell at this point other than the weather has gotten a bit warmer. It's 66°F outside right now, which for late January is a bit unseasonably warm. I haven't had much to eat except snacks (pretzels and crackers and stuff) and some Ramen Noodle Soup (which I added some sausage to it for more flavor)...Other than that it's been water and not much else...
26th January 2008
Vacation Day 1
Yeah, this was a day to catch up on sleep and hopefully get over this cold. I dosed up with nyquil and went to bed last night at midnight...slept straight through till almost 10am and awoke to a knock on my door. Apparently a friend of mine had decided he was gonna show up unannounced...well, he called first, but when the answering machine picked up I guess he figured I'd have heard it and expected him. Instead I have it turned way down so I don't have to listen to the messages left if I'm asleep... :
So anyway, he offers to donate a mattress to me since right now I'm sleeping on a futon that's got a 3" thick mattress (which is really crappy)... Sounds like an improvement, except for the fact that my place is a wreck and I feel like crap...So I tried to clean things up a bit and got a few garbage bags of crap out the door, but in the end I was too sick to do much. I went back to bed and just as I was drifting off he calls again asking if I wanted the mattress today or tomorrow... I told him tomorrow would be better since I'm trying to get rid of a headache (the kind you get from coughing non-stop).
I then proceeded to lie back down and sleep until almost 9pm...so I really REALLY caught up on sleep today. I almost feel back to normal...just a little cough still left (enough to make my head hurt again if I am not drinking something) but otherwise it's not bad... I may be over this cold by tomorrow...
Also looks like the weather is supposed to get warm again tomorrow so that will help a lot... this apartment is drafty as hell so when it's cold it tends to have really cold spots in it...When it's hot outside you never notice any drafts, but cold air apparently pushes in more than hot air...I wish I had a nice bowl of chicken noodle soup right about now...
24th January 2008
Almost on vacation and then THIS happens
Well, my vacation time starts this Saturday. As of Tuesday of this week I've felt like I was coming down with a cold or the flu. It doesn't help that at least one of my co-workers was sick with the same thing last week and is still recovering. I just decided to use some nyquil and lots of sleep and that seems to have helped quite a bit. Still, I've got two days to get over this quickly or else I may wind up spending my whole vacation being sick. :
I bought a digital camera. 7.2 Megapixels. The most amazing thing about it? It actually takes half-decent video. 30FPS at 640x480. The only thing wrong with it is that it saves it as an avi at about 1 meg per minute. On a 2 Gig card that's about 28 minutes of video. I think with the right compression they could have gotten that smaller though...
I would write more but right now my mind is groggy. I don't feel like writing more.
15th January 2008
Sometimes I hate computers
I had been noticing some strange behavior on my computer for the last few weeks, but it wasn't anything crippling so I decided to ignore it. The problem I was noticing was that occasionally I'd get an error while trying to view quicktime files in Firefox. Something was wrong with Quicktime Alternative (I never use the plain quicktime anymore). The only major difference between Quicktime and Quicktime Alternative is that QTA didn't try to sucker you into paying money for a "pro" edition that really didn't give you enough features to be worth the money they were asking for it. :
What kinds of features? Well, I don't know the full list, but the only one I used regularly was "save source". If I happened to be listening to an mp3 in Firefox using quicktime, I'd listen to half of it and then decide "damn I should have just downloaded that". Well, with QT Pro you can easily save the file after it's completely loaded into Quicktime. So that's the only real "Pro" feature I was using and I wasn't about to pay for that (FUCK YOU STEVE JOBS!).
So anyway, it was screwing up on me so I figured I'd remove it and then reinstall it. The problem is, when I removed it, it somehow screwed up my computer. Maybe that was the doings of some virus or whatever, but when I tried to reboot after uninstalling, it said "cannot find ntoskrnl.exe" or whatever (it might have been .sys instead of .exe) and so I thought "Great, well I'll just replace that file and be on my merry way".
In Windows 2000, when you select "repair installation" it actually looks for any files that might be missing and then replaces those files. Worst case scenario is that you get downgraded by a service pack or two (whatever your disc was is what it gets set back to). Well, apparently in Windows XP Home, when you say "repair" it really means "totally fuck over the old install and put in a brand new install on top of that". So yeah, here I am going back to the starting board all because Quicktime/Quicktime Alternative had a glitch in it.
Now to make matters worse, about 4 and a half months ago, I promised to help a friend upgrade her computer to something out of the stone age and into the 21st century. I think I wrote about that here. I basically gave her my old CPU and power supply (I didn't need them) and bought a video card, motherboard, RAM, Hard drive and DVD burner for her through newegg. Then after installing all of the stuff in her old case (which wasn't easy since it was an eMachines case and wasn't really Full ATX sized) I then went about installing Windows for her, using her old CD key... well, those bastards basically told her since the old computer was "gone" she had to pony up for a new copy of windows (BULLSHIT!!).
So she goes and gets a copy of windows and I install that for her, and get her set up with all the stuff I thought she would want when she was just starting out on a new system. Somehow this doesn't work for her as expected and she blames me for it. This woman has the abolute worst luck with PC's, and she admits to it saying "Of course I'm having trouble, it's MY computer". I think that's the wrong attitude to have, but I'm guessing she's frustrated with all the problems she constantly has.
So she gets someone else to reinstall windows for her (apparently I put something in she didn't want/need/like or something) and everything seems to work just fine...I also had to go through hell and high water to get a modem driver for her that apparently only exists nowadays on spam infested websites that may also try to put in a trojan backdoor on your system. Also, she uses Norton... I halfway suspect the system instability is partly due to that bloated piece of shit, but she's already paid for a year of "Service" on it so she won't give it up at least until she's used up the year.
Ok, so then months go by and she finally gets DSL. I even sorta predicted she'd have DSL before the year's end. For a while, things still go smoothly. Then abruptly something gets screwed up. Her DSL doesn't work and she spent a lot of time talking to techs about the problem. They can't figure it out and they have her do a whole bunch of things to try and fix it, most of which don't really seem like they would help. Finally, I get called in to take a look at it and see if I can figure things out. At first she thought it was the DSL modem screwing up, so I took the DSL modem home and tried it on my own computer. It worked fine. Then I tried her ethernet cable, and THEN it stopped working. Ahh, so the cable is somehow wrecked?
So I give her a spare cable I have lying around, and suggest she keep it from being kinked or otherwise pinched or whatever... and the modem still doesn't work for her. I drive to her place and look around and first thing I notice that's odd is that her subnet mask is set to 255.255.0.0 (my Router uses 255.255.255.255 and my computer uses 255.255.255.0 to connect to the router). I brought a router just to see if there was something wrong, and it starts to act like it'll work, but it doesn't get the proper IP address assigned to it. The subnet mask is keeping it from working right. I can't see how to change it so I think "maybe I'll just uninstall the ethernet drivers and then reinstall it and hopefully that'll set everything back to normal".
It didn't work though. So I told her to use the Ubuntu Live CD and see if she could make it work there... only I didn't know (or had forgotten) the command to get it to set up PPPoE... I went home, looked it up and told her what to do. She then told me it still didn't work, and so I said she might have fried the on board ethernet and so she'd need to buy a new one... She went to Fry's and picked up a 10/100 Etherfast PCI card... sounds like she got the right thing, right?
So she then tells me that when she tries to use it, it "doesn't talk to my computer" and that it keeps asking for ptserial.sy when she goes to install the drivers. The problem is, I think it means ptserial.sys and the only things I can find that relate to ptserial.sy or ptserial.sys are for old modems on windows 2000 or earlier... this should have NOTHING to do with a plug and play NIC...
I think she needs to reinstall windows to get rid of whatever fucked up settings she got on her computer...or else she needs to get the techs back on the line and get them to tell her how to fix the subnet mask back to where it's supposed to be... and I'm still in the process of getting everything back to the way I had it...mostly due to the fact that I had a Linux partition that got blown away when I reinstalled windows, and some of the windows Partitions I had got their drive letters changed as a result. Find and replace from E: to D: in a 15 Meg file is no subtle job apparently.
6th January 2008
So I haven't blogged in a long while
It's funny. I haven't had a whole lot of free time for much of anything lately, and with EVERYTHING I do, there always appears to be something better just around the corner. I start browsing the web, and it's like "OMG There's something cool on TV"; I go to look at TV, and it's like "Hey, you just bought Team Fortress 2, wouldn't you like to play that?" and then I start to play the game and it's like "Hey Buddy, I haven't talked to you in a while, what you been up to?", so I go to talk to the guy I haven't said boo to in a month or two for whatever reason, and then it's like "Hey, you don't blog much any more do you?" so I go to write a blog entry...and then I realize I haven't had a chance to listen to much music lately, so at least there's something I can do while I'm blogging, and then I stop and think "man, when was the last time you wrote a paragraph long run on sentence?" and that's where we are right now. :
I am overdue for a vacation of some sort where I can just do whatever I want to do. The sad thing is, when I DO get this free time, all I want to do is nothing. I mean, I'll sit and veg out, sleep late, wake up and take a nap (because waking up was such hard work). I don't feel depressed but I bet someone would try and tell me I'm depressed. Even if I was going to be depressed, this would be like the wrong time of year. The Holidays are OVER. The only thing going on now is what would be my dad's 73rd Birthday (well it would be if he hadn't died last year).
So maybe you'd say "You're depressed about your father's death". No, that's not it either because prior to his death, I hadn't seen or talked to him in 6 years, and when I initially found out, I thought they got my father and his twin brother mixed up and found I was more concerned if it WAS my uncle. I also didn't bother to attend the funeral, and made no attempts to contact the family either. (Shrug) See, if I was feeling sad about it now, that'd be pretty stupid.
So what has really been taking up all my free time? Well, I wasn't lying about anything I said in the big run-on sentence up there. I've also been watching some Arrested Development on the advice of a good friend. She told me the series was awesome and I would like it, and I always have trusted her judgement. The series IS awesome. It goes on my list of awesome stuff that includes wine in a Box (Fully endorsed!), Long Island Iced Teas, Futurama, and a bunch of other stuff that is awesome but not on the tip of my tongue right now.
What else have I been doing? Working, sleeping and trying to get over the back injurly from a YEAR ago. (yes it still hurts). I will hopefully be seeing a chiropractor about it soon. I also need to buy that midi keyboard I've been wanting since I still plan on using it to write music with... I've also got plans to do SOMETHING with the video camera... I don't know yet what it'll be though. I was gonna put up a video of me talking about Stumbleupon, but honestly, I think that would have limited appeal. I mean, most of what I want to say has already been said in several entries there...
BTW: something I'd like to point out about some of the actresses off of Arrested Development.
There are some hot chicks in this TV show. A couple of them are cleverly disguised as ugly or plain, but yeah, they're hot... Not the best reason to watch, but it's a bonus.
21st November 2007
Someone really needs to change the "registry" system on Windows
You've taken time to install a ton of programs to your computer, and things are great. Then one day a virus or a hard drive crash or whatever makes it necessary to reinstall your OS. So now what happens? Well obviously you totally reinstall the OS and all the programs and games. Or else you hope you bothered to back up everything and hope you didn't lose too much from the last backup. It shouldn't have to be like this though. :
See, when I install Windows, I always put it on a partition by itself. I try not to install anything but the most necessary things to the same partition. Everything else goes on a partition by itself, preferably one partition for games and programs, and one for just plain files (videos, pictures, music, things that aren't required by another program to run). The way I figured it, if the OS craps out on me, I can reinstall the OS and still have all my files. The problem with this thinking is that when I reinstall, the registry gets wiped out, so even though the games and programs are still there, the registry entries are not.
(Got interrupted with a request for help on Xfire)
What should be done is, they need to fix it so that you can save the registry entries off somewhere, or else set up a "recover" file that you can run if you need to repair the registry entries after an OS reinstall. Or they should just ditch the registry and do like Steam: have one launcher file that handles everything.
Anyway, it's just one of those things that have always bugged me. In some cases (UT2004 Especially) it was easy to fix the game... I'd add back like 2 registry entries (one of which had the CD Key in it) and I'd be good to go... Other games (Quake 3 Arena) never seemed to depend on the registry at all...
8th November 2007
The first major time spent on Team Fortress 2
The first time I ever played, I only spent maybe 20 minutes in the game...I just wanted to get a feel for the game and the maps, and plus, the server I was on was kinda empty. 12 people on the server total. So yeah, games were over pretty quickly. :
This time, I found a highly populated server (30 people out of 32 max) and the conditions were quite a bit different. For one thing, a couple of people were just spectating. This made the rest of the players rather mad. Why? Because it was so evenly matched that nobody was making any real headway, and they felt the spectators were taking up valuable room for someone who might have turned the tide.
I jumped in the server and initially joined the red team since I saw that the blue team had more players (by 1). Within 10 minutes of playing, the teams were autobalanced and I was moved to the blue team. I spent the next 2 hours and 40 minutes playing on the blue team. It went pretty much back and forth with nobody gaining any real headway. I played every class except spy and medic, but spent most of my time playing as a Demoman, and Soldier (the two classes I was most comfortable with).
At the worst, they had us pressed back to the last capture point and at our best we had them pressed back to THEIR last capture point, but the game was just a little TOO balanced as we never really made any permanent headway in the game. After almost 3 hours of that back and forth, I just quit and went to bed. Maybe it was the map, maybe it was just that I sucked and the other guys were too good, but really, the game just waffled back and forth too much with no clear end in sight.
The game was great fun though. If you haven't bought the Orange Box, I highly suggest you pick it up...Or if you're not a fan of Half Life 2, at least buy Portal and Team Fortress 2. I still suggest the Orange Box though, because by the time you've paid for Portal and TF2, you've paid as much as you would have for the Orange Box.
Some things I've learned about TF2: The Demoman is the best guy to have on your team for taking out turrets. Soldiers are 2nd best (only because they have to have a direct line of sight to the turret to destroy it). The Heavy CAN destroy a turret, but it's a waste of time to do so because unless you're invulnerable with the ubercharge, you're a big target and will probably die just shortly after you destroy the turret (if you manage it at all).
Snipers have the added ability to expose spies (though it's rare for one to walk right in front of the scope). I think the best at discovering spies is the Pyro since he can just throw flames around to see if there's a spy nearby. I never got a chance to try playing as a spy though...and when I played engineer, I was CONSTANTLY under attack by spies.
I'd build a dispenser, then make a nearby turret (so I could protect the dispenser and have the dispenser restore my ammo so I could repair the turret) and before I'd have the whole thing up for 2 minutes a spy would use the sapper on both and have them mostly destroyed... Sometimes I could quickly repair them and sometimes the spy would backstab me before I could manage it. I think playing engineer was the most frustrating JUST because of this.
Anyway, GET THIS GAME and then look for me online...
My first experience with HD TV
I promised myself I was never going to bother with buying an HD TV, at least until they had decent sized HD TV Sets for under $400. I then saw an article in PC Magazine about how you could easily set up HD TV through your computer for much cheaper than a regular set. I decided to buy a TV capture card with HD and SD capabilities, and get it all set up, and today was my first experience with it. Well, I've SEEN it on display at Wal-Mart and other stores, and I know that it looks a ton better than regular (SD) TV, but this is my first PERSONAL experience with HD TV. :
So how is it? Well, it's cool to see so much more detail in every shot, but the content really isn't where it needs to be yet. For one thing, I've discovered that HD TV is VERY SENSITIVE. Normally when you're watching Analog TV, you may get a little static, the sound may give a crackle, and you might see some "snow". At least you can still watch it, or you can choose to fiddle around with the antenna to get the best reception possible. The worst an analog TV can do to you (besides not picking up the channel at all) is make the video flip as the horizontal/vertical hold goes haywire... I'm not sure if that's a reception issue though. Digital TV is either crystal clear, or garbage. Well, you do sometimes get half of a picture, or some "pixelated" look to the picture, but in general, it's pretty much perfect or unwatchable. There is no "I can tolerate the problems and still enjoy it" state.
The antenna also seems to be EXCESSIVELY sensitive. With analog TV, occasionaly there'll be a noticable difference in the picture when someone moves around, but it's a lot less common. Usually it'll be confined to one spot in the room. "Don't sit in that chair! Anytime someone does, the screen goes fuzzy." Well, digital is just like that only worse... I can wave my hand in front of the antenna (not touching it at all) and the picture will freeze, split in half, or go pixellated.
In fact, if I'm not sitting perfectly still or more than 3 feet away from the antenna, I can shift my sitting posture and that'll cause the picture to go bad. No, I'm not imagining it either...I sit with my back to the wall and enjoy a perfect picture, then the instant I lean forward just a bit, it freezes. It's either sensative or one hell of a coincidence.
I'm considering buying a long antenna cable so I can put the antenna FAR out of the way where it's unlikely to be affected by me. Right now, the cable provided with the antenna only goes 6 feet at most from the TV card, and 2 of those feet are just going from the back of the computer to the top of it (where it's resting right now).
There's the HD Antenna. You can see it looks quite a bit different from the old analog style Antennas... For one thing, they use flat blades instead of a series of metal "poles". For another thing, (and you can't really see it here) the blades aren't exactly parallel to each other. They seem to be at a variety of angles from each other, though that may be because I've mishandled it a bit. I've just discovered that I CAN bend the blades a little, though I don't know how much this will affect the reception quality.
Also this type of antenna seems to be highly directional. I had to actually look at Google Earth to figure out which way was precisely south and which way was precisely north. Without knowing that, I actually wound up orienting the antenna to the south to get good reception on most channels, but about 3 of them were terrible unless I oriented the antenna more to the northwest. In any case, this is one of those reasons why having digital cable would be a good thing. You're more likely to get a perfect uninterrupted signal than if you use an antenna on your house. I'm sure a bigger outdoor antenna would be much better than this small "set top" antenna seems to be.
Anyway, the BEST part of the whole thing is that now I can record digitally perfect copies of my favorite shows. I don't watch much TV in the first place. I mean, I spend most of the prime TV watching time at work, and at work I can't watch much TV. Not only that, but the TV I do get to watch at work is always "community ruled", meaning that if 4 out of 5 people in the room want to watch Soap operas, we're watching soap operas. (Bleah).
Well now, I can set my computer to record certain shows. I just tried it with PBS. Of course I had to be right in the area for the first part of the show (to make sure it was gonna work) so the very first 5 minutes suffers from the antenna sensitivity I spoke of earlier. But after I saw it was going to record, I left and went to bed...and when I woke up, I found it did a great job of recording. The rest of the video only suffered from minor glitches, which is much better than if I had set it up on VCR and then set to record to digital later.
Of course, the biggest problem you might face with digital recording is disk space. I recorded from 7pm till 10pm and it took almost 20 gigs just for that. Of course, this is video in HD 1080i (1920x1080 Interlaced) with an average bitrate of 18863kbps. Actually, that's a higher resolution than my monitor is capable of. I've got it set to 1600x1200 and that's the highest it goes.
What's really weird about this is, I set it to record 3 hours worth: 7pm till 10pm. When I look at the file in Media player classic, it tells me I've got 4 hours and 41 minutes recorded... when I look at the file with Gspot, it tells me it's only 2 hours and 25 minutes recorded. I'll have to figure that out and get back with what's causing it.
My little video camera doesn't do NEARLY The resolution the HDTV capture card does. I'm not sure if that's because the camera doesn't save it right, or if it's just the best it can do. I know the camera saves the files as MPEG2, which is the same the card saves the video. That's actually the nicest thing about the card. It does all the work of converting the video to MPEG2 rather than using the CPU to do it.
The reason I bring it up is: I can hook my camera up to the TV capture card (using S-Video cables) and maybe improve the quality of the recording by using my computer to handle it instead of the Video camera. Of course this negates the portability factor of the thing, but if all I want to do is sit in front of the camera and talk, that'll MAYBE be preferable. I'll have to see.
The card is all set up to take video from HD TV antennas, HD TV Cable, SD TV Antennas, or S-Video inputs and it comes with a little adapter to make the jump from SD Video using RCA cables to S-Video cables. So the next phase of my plan is to buy a MIDI keyboard to work with some software so I can better create music. I've already got a video camera, TV/Video capture card, and some software to create music with. I'll also probably start uploading to Viddler (instead of youtube) because Viddler allows you more flexibility in the file size and quality, and also allows you to tag your video better.
Oh yeah, the cost to get this setup (not counting the computer which I already had) was about $110 or so. About $20 for the HD TV antenna, and $90 for the video capture card. I guess if you counted the Computer, I'd have spent enough to buy a BIG SCREEN HD TV, but then all I would have is a TV. This way I have a TV, and a computer to communicate and play games on, and I also have the ability to save video like a PVR. I could even record and edit all the video from my favorite TV Series and put it on DVD. That makes this MUCH more worth it.
6th November 2007
Stumbleupon Youtube Ramblings
I recently stumbled on a : page
where the author called for Youtube to allow more than 10 minutes per video. While I agree that Youtube DOES need this, the author didn't get the point across in 10 points... more like 6 and I'll just say "Come on!" and "It would be cool" for the rest...
Anyway, so this guy makes one good point. It USED to be where you would sign up for a Director's account and then you could post up to 1 hour (I think), but then they took THAT away as well...so there's a ton of other video sites out there where you aren't limited to 10 minutes. The most promising video site is Viddler. Why? Well, for one thing you're not limited in length, and you have a healthy 500 Megs of space to put your video. That means I could record a short video in High Def and leave the filesize high and not worry about TOO much quality being lost. Then again, I have yet to try this so for all I know they'll downsample it to a lower bitrate when they convert it to flv.
I really wish Splashcast would support viddler since that would give me more options on where I can host stuff... And I'm still planning on making a video where I talk about SU and all the idiot things people do on it. I just need to figure out if I want to squeeze it into 10 minutes, make it in several parts and use splashcast to tie them all together, or if I wanna go with Viddler and just not worry about the length too much.
There's really a lot of options, but right now if you want the most exposure you go with Google video or Youtube...nothing else quite compares, though Dailymotion, Guba, and a few others come close...Though mostly those sites are popular because they can upload a full season of anime to the site and it'll take em 5-6 months to find it and delete it. Youtube makes you split it into 2 or 3 parts and then yanks it in less than a week...
One of these days I'd also like to find some people to help with the video making process (even though I haven't fully decided what videos I want to do)... I figure if I can find someone who is good at video editing, someone who is a good composer/musician, and maybe a few people to do some "acting" we could put together something great. I don't know if I'm ever gonna get to that point yet though. I'll formally put out a call when I figure out what I want to do.
Anyway, one of the things I wanted to talk about is: why is it when you do something most people don't care about, they try to stop you from doing it? I mean, if you don't care, you DON'T CARE... you can't say "I don't care" and then try to stop them from doing it. I get this all the time with my website reviews, and I've seen people complaining (about the article I linked) saying "Who cares about your stupid videos? it's 10 minutes too long already!!".
That last one kills me, because nobody is forcing anyone to see it (unless you're on stumbleupon and the dork who made his 10 minute numa numa tribute submitted his own page to SU)... This is all the more reason for SU to start letting people block certain domains from being stumbled. I don't enjoy seeing every single comic from XKCD or whatever put into the stumble, and if I could block XKCD (without having to block it at the browser level) I would be happy. I can still go look when I care to catch up, and when I don't care, I'm not forced to see it...
Ok, I'm really rambling now, so I'm gonna quit typing. Maybe I'll come back and rewrite this later when I'm feeling more coherent.
4th November 2007
I don't want to call them UPGRADES since they're not necessary... but I've decided to buy a SD/HD TV video capture card for my computer, along with the required HD TV antenna to get the signal into the computer...I figure if nothing else, I can record episodes of NOVA and "Secrets of the Dead" off of public TV... Lord knows I won't be using it to get American idol and survivor... :
I've also recently bought (and already received and installed) a PCI Card with 5 extra USB ports on it. It was rather inexpensive (less than $10) and helps me out a lot since I've got a lot of USB crap that I hate having to constantly plug and unplug...Most of the reasons why I got this is because I used to have two small USB ports in the front of my machine, but those fried or something and So I was forced to go to the back of the computer and remove stuff every time I wanted to plug in a USB device... now with the extra 5 ports, I can leave all the stuff in and just remove it when/if I have to transport the computer.
In other news, have you ever been threatened with pointless legal action by a 15 year old on the internet? I HAVE!
Yes... you see, I regularly make website reviews on my Stumbleupon Blog
and I ran across this page where a guy whines about webpages that autoplay music or videos... His idea was that rather than doing something where the developers might actually see it, he'd just post a page, submit it to the stumble and then everyone would see it, agree with it and TA DAH! INTERNET FAME!!!
Well, I blasted the idiot for being an idiot, and told him to get greasemonkey and a script to stop autoplaying media. These scripts are already out there and they do a great job of it (I have used one in the past)...so some 15 year old comes in and then tries to blast me for not being constructive with MY criticism. I had to point out to the dipshit that I GAVE A SOLUTION, and that had the guy gone to the forums he would have gotten the developers attention a lot faster. So, then he goes to my page and thumbs me down and calls me names (a troll, "probably a 5th grader")... actually no, I take that back. I hadn't seen his response to my review until after he reviewed me... that's when I went looking for what started the attack.
So THEN I go to leave him a review, I didn't thumb him down... I just pointed out that if I were 15, I wouldn't go around making fun of people for their age... See, I don't have my age shown currently... mostly because it doesn't really matter, and also, if anyone cares they can find out all the info on me they want via a little web stalking, INCLUDING MY AGE. But 99.9% of people don't care... So as a characterization of how stupid he sounded I said "What are you? 12 or something? I'm so much better than YOU! I am 15!!!
" which was not to be confused with a straight quote (though he DID accuse some guy of being "12 or something" in another review).
That's when Mr.Dipshit esq. decided it was time to change his review of me to tell me "Libel is a crime and I'll send a Cease and Desist Letter and get your account suspended!!" (cue the "rolling eyes" here). I'm not new to internet drama, so when I saw that, I just pointed out the review I was referring to, and told him "go ahead and send your C&D" and at that point I blocked him...not because I was afraid of what he might say, but because I know how kids are, and I figured after a while he'd get bored, lose interest and go back to masturbating to pictures of shitting dicknipples
Now, I haven't mentioned him by name, and I'm not trying to start any shit (which is why I'm not pointing him out)...But it amazes me that people think that I could really be sued for libel when I didn't say anything about him hurtful or untrue, and never even tried to attribute what I had said as a quote coming from him. I suppose I should have labelled it as a characterization of his retarded behavior... but his whole goal was to troll me, that's why I had to block him for a while. I only left him on block for a day, because I figured the ADHD would kick in by that time and he'd move on. So far it seems I was right...
A quick IQ test.
|Your IQ Is 120|
Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional
Your General Knowledge is Above Average
Of course it wasn't timed and I did take my time to think of the answers... It just bugs me that I didn't score perfect on everything
31st October 2007
Ask.com toolbar for Firefox is Malware
Well, maybe it's not Malware, but it behaves like it. I tried out this thing called "XP Safeguard" to see what kinds of things it would let you do... Supposedly it let you change the behavior of XP in helpful ways (and maybe it does). However, it ALSO installs a firefox toolbar without asking if I want it, and what's worse, it doesn't leave you any options to remove it when you decide you DON'T want it (short of uninstalling and reinstalling firefox). :
For the record, this is NOT the official Ask.com toolbar (2.0 or whatever) that you can currently get. This is some older version of the toolbar (1.0?)... I went trying to find the actual toolbar so that maybe installing it (from another source) would overwrite the previous one and then give me an option to remove it...and instead of overwriting the previous one, it just installed in addition to it so I had 2 Ask.com toolbars.
I finally had to go to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox and then find the "Plugins" directory to figure out where I could force this thing to stay the hell off my Firefox. I then found it helpfully tagged (by XP) as the Ask.com toolbar dll file otherwise known as "NPAskSBr.dll" file...I deleted that and then instead of the annoying "ASK.com" toolbar, I got an annoying blank space with a green puzzle piece in its place. I have (for now) just right clicked on the Navigation Toolbar and selected to have it not show. I would prefer it was completely removed, but there is no option anywhere to remove it.
If anyone ELSE knows how to properly remove this crap (or how to more thoroughly remove it than I have) please let me know. As for why I called it malware, anytime something installs itself without my knowledge or approval and then provides no removal instructions or method to remove it, it's already producing an unwanted effect on my computer and that's MY definition of Malware.
Oh and before anyone asks. Uninstalling the XP safeguard thing also does not remove the toolbar. Hell, it didn't even remove its own icon on the desktop.
28th October 2007
Well I finally played a game of Teamfortress 2 online
I've been waiting to play this game online for the longest time. I mean, I hate going into a game and feeling like a noob. Feeling like a Noob is one of the worst feelings ever. So usually before I even set foot online I've read all about the game, the characters, the strategies on how to play, etc. Then I play offline a bit (bots help) and get a feel for the weapons...then I try to get some friends in there with me (you know, so I'm not in a room full of strangers) and THAT is when I play online. :
Well, today I decided to give it a quick go...I've done everything but get friends to play (because all of them are into other games right now) and just finally I had to dive in. I'm glad I did... It'll make the next time I play go a little better with a bit of experience under my belt. I discovered a few things about the game and how it's played, as well as some of the maps and objectives in this game.
First off, there's 3 real game modes so far: Capture the flag (which in this case, flag = "Intelligence" as in Plans, spy shit), Control point maps where each side is trying to take the other's control points, and then I think there's a 3rd mode where one side defends and the other attacks for control of various points...But mainly each map is either a CP (Control point) or CTF Map... Secondly, there aren't that many maps right now, but they're all visually interesting and well balanced. I hope that they'll start releasing some new good maps (like De_Dust 2 level of good) and I'm sure the community will rise to that challenge even if Valve does not. Lastly, you're fighting for control of an entire server worth of maps... that sounds weird but it works like this: all the maps are spread out with some being marked blue and some being marked red.... When you defeat the other team, you move closer to their side of the maps...
I don't know how to explain that adequately so I'm going to try and draw a diagram...
Ok, the squares labelled B represent maps to play that are currently owned by Blue, the ones marked R are currently owned by Red, and the check mark is where you start (sorta, probably wrong)... Anyway, so as you can see by the arrows, you can go one step towards the red side if blue wins or one step to the Blue side if Red wins...
So if Blue won, then they'd own the last map they played on and the new map would be the one Red owned...BLue could continue pushing red back till there were no more red territories, or red could push blue back and they'd be playing on the same map they were a while ago... In fact, both sides (if evenly matched) would push each other back and forth over a couple of maps...
What happens when the maps are all one color? They go back to splitting things up again, that's all... They should give some extra points to the winning team or something, and maybe they do... I don't know...Unlike OTHER games where "owning" someone is all about the frags, they just give you points for every action you do successfully that is in line with your character. A medic isn't penalized for being concerned with healing first and foremost...so you don't have to worry about getting kills as a medic... in Fact it's probably far better if you don't...
Anyway, as the maps are laid out like that, each map might be a control point map, maybe the one right in the middle is a CTF map, maybe it mixes it up as it goes along, I don't know yet. The point is, you don't join a server for just ONE kind of gameplay. It will change as the game progresses.
I briefly tried playing as: the Heavy, Demoman, Pyro, and Soldier. I didn't try Medic, Engineer, Spy, scout or Sniper... but I will try them later on. As you're playing the game, there are subtle little tips on playing each class in between spawns...and you don't spend TOO much time respawning... But there is a benefit to killing the enemy all at once (you'll have the whole place to yourself for 10 seconds or so!)
Anyway, here's what I learned about the classes:Heavy
: He's slow, but he has a ton of hit points... His minigun spits out enough bullets to make him fearsome, but he's a BIG target and that makes things kinda even...Your minigun takes time to spin up, which means you're not gonna surprise anyone (except maybe a scout who is too distracted to hear the thing spin up as he runs into the room), but if you worry about being ambushed, you can keep the minigun spinning with the Right mouse button. Unfortunately, that means you can't move very much AT ALL...while your gun is spinning you move like a stubborn donkey...one or two steps at a time... He has three weapons at his disposal...the aforementioned Minigun, a shotgun, and his fists (for melee attacks)... You'll barely need the others unless you run out of ammo, but you won't have time to run out of ammo unless you totally suck...Demoman
: this is something I think I'll REALLY enjoy as I get more time to play. His main weapon is a Grenade Launcher (and if you know me from Quake 3 Arena, you'll know I was good with the GL) which actually has a bit more to it than the old Q3 GL... the longer you press the button, the farther the grenades get launched...but otherwise it's the old angle vs bounce style of aiming... and it's still an indirect firing method which means you can stand on one side of a hill and lob grenades over and the enemy will have to charge over the hill to get you. That's where the 2nd weapon kicks in... Sticky remote demo mines... Plant a few of these out of site, and when your enemies come charging around the corner or over the hill to get you, let em have it...and if nothing else, you've got yer bottle of whiskey to smack people upside the head with...Pyro
: He's not very fast and doesn't have tons of hit points, But you can really destroy people with the flamethrower. Best part is that the enemies lose health for every second they're on fire, and they stay on fire for a few seconds after you stop hitting them with it... The Pyro is best suited to taking out enemies in close quarters where they can't run away, and also great for ambushing people as they come running around corners. He's also got a shotgun for those times when you need to shoot farther than the flamethrower will get you, and a fire axe for a melee weapon...Soldier
: If you remember playing Quake 3, this will be very familiar to you. You get a 4 shot rocket launcher (that behaves just like it did in Q3a even allowing Rocket jumps if you're good), a shotgun, and a shovel for a melee weapon. There's not much special to the Soldier so he's easy to learn and play, and just as fun...and plus if you have no idea which class to choose, the soldier fits in pretty well enough to help out almost every situation. Sure it might suck to see a team of 8 soldiers, but those 8 soldiers are better equipped to fight than 8 medics or 8 Engineers.
As for the rest: well, I'll get there... I may go back and play some more tonight.
25th October 2007
Sick as a Dog...and on my day off too.
How nice, right? I went to work as per the usual, and when I get there, I notice the Lab Manager looking like crap... So I say "What's wrong?" and he tells me about how he has the shits, and he's puking and all this... I scowl with disgust (mostly because I didn't want to know he had the shits), and then he leaves early that day (big surprise)... :
So I finish my day normally, and nothing seems out of the ordinary...I have a couple of beers and some chips with bean dip.... nothing too spicy. I go to bed at 1am or so, and then I wake up at about 3am about to puke... I go to puke and the stuff in my stomach is coming up like SAND...I mean the bean dip seems to have settled at the bottom of my stomach with a layer of beer on top of it...and I puke it all up... I feel better for a brief instant and go back to bed... only to repeat the process 2 hours later... and again 2 hours later, and again 2 hours later... only by that time I was totally empty and I was dry heaving and puking bile...
This was most unpleasant, so I resolved to drink some water... if for no other reason, to give myself something to puke up rather than dry heaving... and yeah, I puked it up too.... like ALL of it... and it was curiously warm... most of the time, you drink some water, it goes right through you and that's that...and if you puke water up, it's cold... so the fact it's been stuck in my stomach long enough to come back WARM is just weird...
finally around 11am I figured out that the main thing making me puke over and over is that I'm physically burning up... my whole body is like it's on fire. So when I bundle myself with blankets, I overheat and puke... the problem is, when I remove the blankets, I feel like I'm FREEZING... I manage to stifle that feeling long enough to fall asleep, and this time I slept till 8pm... I briefly woke up, and determined that I still felt like shit...I watched a bit of TV while I waited to see if that feeling would go away after a bit... and it became clear it wasn't going away...
I wasn't puking because I didn't have anything on my stomach, but I had that queasy feeling that could easily have led me to puke some more...so Rather than stay awake and feel like crap I opted to go back to sleep and hopefully not notice I felt like crap. I wound up sleeping off and on for an hour to an hour and a half at a time like that till the next morning.. In effect, my whole day off was ruined... I didn't finally fall asleep after coming home from work Tuesday night until midway into wednesday morning, and then I had to go back to sleep all the way into Thursday...
In other news, for people who have tried "FlashGet" : Have you noticed there's an option to use emule or not use emule? The real question is, why is this option even there? Flashget is a program to download stuff from the web faster because it makes multiple connections to the site and downloads parts of the file concurrently...Some webpages have taken steps to prevent these kinds of download managers because it can increase the load on the server, but I don't use it much... I save it for the sites that are just unbearably slow... Anyway, So there's that emule option... You say "Cool! I want emule to help me download faster!" and if you happen to be running Peerguardian, you'll notice it connects to a bunch of fake Emule servers and anti-p2p sites...
184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, all of them on the block list (and probably for good reason)...
Ok, so you say "Fuck this lame Emule Bullshit!" and turn the emule thing off by the controls in the program... and nope.. you still get the same shit showing up on your blocklist over and over again... You might think 'Oh this is some kind of left over from when you had it turned on" but yet, if you shut the Flashget program down, the blocked sites stop showing up...IMMEDIATELY. Yes, flashget contacts fake emule servers and anti-p2p organizations while you're using it for the web content...
Either Flashget is made poorly with crappy servers as choices for use with the Emule thing, or else it's doing this shit on purpose, for what reason? I don't know...All I know is I pretty much have to decide to not use it anymore or else make sure I have peerguardian to block that shit before it does something destructive...
In other news: check out this Free Text to speech service
21st October 2007
Side entry: 4chan?
First off, I don't visit 4chan every day... I step in to see what insanity they're up to every now and then, laugh (or cry) at whatever is going on, and then move on... well last few days they've been unavailable... and there's numerous theories (from being V&, to Hacked by a DDoS attack)... I don't know (or really care too much) about why... I just want 4chan back up... 420chan and 7chan really are no substitute... :
What else is going on? Well, I'm still sorta half-fighting off a cold... it's not enough to make me miserable or anything... just enough to periodically annoy the fuck out of me as I cough in the middle of the night...also I've had to deal with allergies (which is unusual for me since it takes a pretty strong assault of pollen to make me sneeze)...
The Local Grocery Store I frequent now carries Guinness Draught, and Extra stout... I love me some Extra stout...and I still have a bottle of Pinot Noir to drink...I just haven't drank any of it lately...I am almost assuredly going to post a video tomorrow... I just need to decide what it's going to be about...
Blogging is contagious
A long time ago, the closest thing I had to a blog was a Deviantart page with a journal I would sometimes write to, and mostly nobody would read... Then I started hanging out online with a chick from Deviant art... I found out she had a blog (which wasn't hard to do because I think she had a link from DA to her LJ)... and I thought "Hey this could be cool" and started posting useless crap on LJ instead of DA... :
So that was one person getting me hooked on LJ.... then after a while I thought "what the hell" and started paying for an account... which was... uh...3 years ago this month? so then I went from writing a blog mostly nobody read, to PAYING for a blog that I wrote in to have nobody read it... a few people read it, but I don't think they come here looking for me... they probably stumble in and go "What the hell? ewww" and leave... (and if that's what they do I wouldn't blame them, but I don't exactly try to write for other people HERE)...
So yeah, Today, a friend of mine ups and decides to get himself an LJ... only he's not on the full premium account, which I'm sure wasn't even an option when I joined...So here's sanityze
and one of his first blog posts...And unlike my own useless ramblings, he may actually decide to try to post content on a single topic...
17th October 2007
A quick update
I finished Portal.. it was over too quckly. I haven't had time to really explore TeamFortress 2... I really wanna play it, but I'm not gonna jump in a game if I don't have like 3-5 hours to spend on it... I haven't touched the other games, but I've got them waiting on me just the same... :
I've also taken to writing some stuff while I'm at work, so I expect I'll either turn that into a video (with me reading some of my musings) or maybe I'll put it here... or on Myspace... I don't know yet... I've also gotten my Stumbleupon Blog rated G (after being Rated R for so long)... The only reason I was ever rated R was because I had Adult Humor as a topic... then I found that there was very little "adult" about the humor as it was mostly about boobs and farts and stuff, so I just quit out of that category and went G Rated (So I could claim my blog on Technorati)...
Lastly, if you've got some time I've got some trailfire trails for you to check out:http://trailfire.com/arleas/trails/30260/Internet%20Wiki%20Resources
for a list of wik'shttp://trailfire.com/arleas/trails/45027/Video%20Sites
for a list of video siteshttp://trailfire.com/arleas/trails/18563/Online%20flash%20Games
for some online flash gameshttp://trailfire.com/arleas/trails/16143/WTF
For a list of things that made me say "WTF?!"http://trailfire.com/arleas/trails/23994/Music%20related%20Webpages
for a list of webpages that were related to music somehow
That should be more than enough... one of those trails will keep you busy for a few hours (if you want)...a couple of them even got rated as "hot trails"...
I gotta get ready for work now...
10th October 2007
Well, the games are decrypting...
I had purchased the "Orange Box" from Valve, but since I bought it early, two games only "preloaded"... HL 2 ep.2 and Portal... I really don't care much about HL2/ep.2, I mainly bought it for the fact it came with Portal and Team Fortress 2, and since I was going to buy both (and the price of the orange box was $5 less than if I bought both separately) I went ahead... :
Well today it's decrypting the game files... I didn't even think about the games being encrypted in the first place... I just assumed that Steam wasn't going to let me play those games until it was "released"... but I guess a hacker wouldn't be deterred by a program telling him not to play... that's actually kinda disappointing though. I had hoped that when it was time I'd just be able to jump in and play, and now I find that it's taking time to decrypt the games first... (sigh)
Oh well... I'll probably spend most of my evening tonight playing Teamfortress 2...and I'm thinking of being either the heavy or the Demoman... Demoman suits me better since I always used to love the grenade launcher on Quake 3... But I've heard from a few that Demoman isn't as good as the others... but that came from someone who didn't know the way to use the character to the fullest.
I already know to bounce grenades off of walls, floors, and people's heads, and as I've just seen, they can place "Sticky mines" on the walls, which you should only do where people can't see (like behind blind corners and other sides of door openings so they can't disable them by destroying the mines... I'm sure there's lots of other techniques to learn...
Anyway, I've got to get to work soon...so no real time to play (even to see what the game is like)... sigh...
7th October 2007
Fixing a computer is maddening work.
Ok, where to start? First off, I've not written in a while because there really hasn't been time to write and wasn't anything worth writing about. I had offered to help out a friend who was badly in need of a new computer. Her old computer was a 1.2Ghz Celeron with barely enough RAM to run Windows in. She's also dealing with craptacular phone lines so when she dials out for the internet (yes, still on dial up) she's limited to about 28.8kbps at best... :
In short, she was using Fred Flintstone's computer. I Told her I could bring her at least closer to the 21st century for $250... a figure I later had to go back on because I didn't count on her having to get a new hard drive as well. So I get the "ok go and buy the parts and I'll pay you back" email, and I set out on the journey to buy a new computer for $300... This was just BARELY possible, because I was reusing some old parts.
I took my old CPU (a socket 939 AMD 64 3200+ Winchester @2.0 Ghz) and pretty much gave it to her and my old 450W power supply as well (actually I sold both parts to her for $30 total, which I think was MORE than fair). I found a decent motherboard that accepted Socket 939, bought a new heatsink/fan (Which turned out to be a MONSTER), bought some halfway decent RAM (it wasn't uber fast, but she isn't a gamer so it's not going to be that big of a priority). I also bought a new 160 Gig Maxtor hard drive which turned out to be super slim, and since she edits photos, I didn't waste my time getting a top of the line video card, but it turned out better than I expected... She got the GeForce 8400GS 512Meg which (if she ever decides to get Vista) is directx 10 ready....And last but not least, she got a decent DVD burner (not Dual layer though)...
From her old computer we reused the case (Emachines), one CD burner/drive, her old HD (Which I don't remember the exact size but it was pretty small), Floppy drive, and her modem... I believe that was all we kept...
So for the install, she cooked me dinner, and I figured since i don't eat "home cooking" anymore it was a pretty fair trade, since all I was doing was putting the parts together, and it doesn't take a genius to do that...but most people are too intimidated to try. Anyway, I start putting the thing together and for once I'm thankful that the board was a micro ATX board...Because her emachines case was BARELY ATX size... I connected the motherboard up, inserted the CPU... slathered on a bit of Arctic Silver, and then... OMG the heatsink was a behemoth. It looked more like a carburetor than a heatsink... big copper tubes coming out of it and a large fan placed on top (pointing towards the rear of the case)....
Figuring out how to get the heatsink on was a chore because it was made to fit either Socket 939 or the Intel equivalent (I forget what number)...So I had to remove some extra pieces to make it fit in on the motherboard...but I got that all set up and working.... Inserted the RAM (which was almost not going to fit because of the behemoth heatsink) which luckily went into the slots farthest from the CPU...yadda yadda yadda.. the whole thing was pretty easily installed and then I started to load it up with XP but by that time it was pretty late, so I had to come back a 2nd day... to which she promised a 2nd meal... Fine I said...
So I came back and installed XP...We used her old computer's CD Key, and it went fine... then when she tried to do the activation, she was told that her CD Key expired (WHAT?!) and then later told that she could only use it on the old hard drive, so if the HD was dead, she was SOL... great... Her only OTHER option would be to shell out $80 for a new XP home license (Bullshit!)...so anyway, I had installed Ubuntu (Feisty Fawn) so she'd have a backup OS in case XP decided to lock her out entirely...
Only one problem: When I put in her account and made a password, it seems I was the only one who knew how to type it. I told her the password, it was simple, I didn't do any fancy stuff, just wanted her to be able to access it easily in case of emergency... and nope... didn't work... I later REINSTALLED (because it seemed even I was unable to get in now... wtf?) and again spelled out her password in simple terms... and nope, she STILL couldn't type it in... (ugh)...
Well, by that time XP had fucked up on her and she had to have something so when I had to come fix that, I just said "Fuck it, you've got the live CD of Ubuntu if you want it, and I'll leave it off entirely"... I actually meant to put an older version of Windows on her PC so she'd have THAT as a backup, but I learned that when you install windows 2000 on a completely different partition, it fucks up the list of OS's so that even if you choose XP, it tries to load Win2k... so I had to nuke that too... BTW: I had to take her computer to my house to do lots of these installs because I couldn't wait for dialup to do any necessary downloading of software she might need...So for about two days on two separate occasions I had her computer networked with my PC...
So FINALLY, I get everything set up and running... and oops, now her computer BSODs every time she puts in a DVD... WHAT?!! It didn't do this when I was using it... why would it start now? I don't know... I couldn't figure out what to tell her over the phone, and so I just went over and had it figured out in half an hour... For some reason the downloaded IDE Drivers from nVidia (it's an nVidia motherboard) were causing the SATA DVD burner to crash... (the IDE one worked just fine)... So I uninstalled the IDE drivers from nVidia and it worked again...
Only one problem left... somehow (and I really have no idea) she has virtumonde spyware on her system. I had set her up with peerguardian with the spyware filter on so nothing was getting through, but damn if it didn't keep trying... and it was annoying to see an opened IE window that was totally blank for no good reason... The problem with this virtumonde thing is that it's set up in multiple programs, and it keeps reinstalling itself if you remove it... you have to remove it all at once or it pops back like the heads of the Hydra....
I've sent her some help on that one but I think it'll be a while till I have to go fuck with that computer again (I hope)... For the amount of money, it's a REALLY nice computer... I mean, if she had taken $300 and went to go get an emachines to replace the old one, she'd have wound up with another celeron, crap for memory, small hard drive and nonexistent video card (other than the built in one)... Instead she has a decent Video card for photo editing (which is why she needed the upgrade in the first place), plenty of HD space, a lot of extra software that she can actually USE (I loaded her up on open source shit that's free like the GIMP), a moderately fast CPU (it's not a speed demon, but it beats the hell out of any celeron), a heat sink that would allow her to overclock (if she wanted, but she won't for a while), and a DVD Burner (which really should be standard on PC's these days)...
Anyway, It's been more than a month since she gave me the go ahead to start buying and I just hope i'm done working on it for a while (at least until I want another free meal)...
In other news, I starved myself for no apparent reason... I debated on calling it a "Fast" and meditating or something, but in the end, I just drank lots of water, didn't eat much food (so it wasn't a complete starvation... just ate very very little for 2 and a half days).... the funny thing is, after I got past this one point, I stopped feeling hungry... and I was also monitoring my weight the whole time, and apparently I had lost almost 10 lbs in the 2 1/2 days of drinking water and eating only a handful of potato chips...
I did finally eat something today... a 1/3 lb Burger and fries at the local pub, and washed it down with a sprite, which really tasted TOO sweet after all the water drinking... and when I weighed myself again after getting home, it looks like I put back on about 4lbs... But I'm sure that'll go up and down as I keep on with this...Drinking lots of water seems to help the hunger a lot... I mean, I'm not drinking TONS of water... I buy a gallon of drinking water, and instead of buying cokes or whatever, I drink on the gallon of water... In the past week I've probably put away about 6 gallons of water, so I'm getting the recommended Eight 8oz Glasses a day + some extra...
I also can tell I'm eating a lot less snack food due to the water drinking... so give me a few months and the weight will be off, which will be nice since it's been dragging me down lately...especially with my back pain...
Anyway, that's pretty much all there is to talk about. Oh and I've tried a couple of other wines: one was a Merlot/Shiraz from Black Swan (Australian wine)... all I have to say is "What? Merlot? all I could taste was the Shiraz". And the other was a plain Cabernet Sauvignon from Yellow Tail (another Aussie wine)... and I wasn't too fond of it either... The acidity was way too much for me...
I realized why I loved Guinness so much after that: It hits hard, it has a little bitterness but it doesn't BITE you with acidity or anything... Plus it doesn't make me all "burpy" so I can drink about 3 tall glasses of Guinness to 1 Pilsner Beer (eww)...I also had a few Guinness at Bennigans and all I have to say is... man, they water it down! I'm used to a beer so black that light does not pass through it, and instead I got something that resembled a strong Iced Tea! It was still Guinness, and I still loved it, but it was far weaker than I'm used to...Maybe I should have told her I wanted it Extra stout? I Dunno...
That's enough for now...
17th September 2007
Well, not much to tell at the moment... Still have back pain, maybe a little more lately than usual. But I've been trying a few new wines and haven't been posting, so I thought I'd keep everyone updated. :
I tried a Merlot/Cabernet.... I don't recall what the percentage was, but it had both names listed on the front... it was all right, but I think I prefer a straight Merlot. I've also tried a Merlot/Shiraz, and that I can say with all honesty is not for me... I knew it was probably going to be "not for me" just from the word "Shiraz", But I thought I'd try it in case the Merlot made the Shiraz a bit less "spicy". It actually made it like a very spicy Merlot, and I didn't really care for it. I've still got half a bottle left, but I'd advise if you were to drink it to drink it with food, probably something like a nice steak... In that context I could see myself enjoying the flavor..
I've also decided that I need to do a few things: 1) I need to learn spanish. I see enough spanish speakers who speak so little english that it would be helpful to speak even 50%spanish so I could sorta meet them halfway. 2) I've decided to temporarily get back into Maple Story... Not going to spend my life playing the game, but I'm not required to pay for a subscription so I don't care... 3) I've decided I need to make some videos of something... the "Creative" urge has been overwhelming, and all I need to do is find something to apply it to... So I'm thinking of maybe making a video of some of the best websites i"ve encountered through stumbleupon, and maybe get a friend to help... not sure yet though how this will work, and if it's going to be on Youtube or not.
If I do the video thing, I've got several tools at my disposal. Either I could make a series of 10 minute videos to submit to youtube and then have splashcast keep them all in order and play them one after another, or I could just go with another video site like viddler and make the video there... OR I could make a series of short videos and use trailfire to keep them all tied together (since I'd be reviewing websites, I'd need to point you at the site in question so you could see)...
Speaking of Trailfire, I've got a new trail out... it's for a list of sites to watch videos on... it includes Google video and youtube of course, and everytime I find a new one I add it to the list... If you have the trailfire extension you can probably look for it under my profile on trailfire, OR you can just check this trail even if you DON'T Have the extension... http://trailfire.com/arleas/trails/45027
My other trails can be found at the Trailfire profile for arleas
(which is me)...
Check em out, leave feedback if you liked it or not, leave a comment if you want... Or not...