Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Random IMs - Ninja Football

Third blog post of the day :-o No intro this time, I'll let the quotes do the talking.

ErEf> what kind of football game needs to be 3.5gb?
ErEf> ffs
Kemp-> one involving ninjas
Kemp-> high enough res to see them
ErEf> you would need a lot more than 3.5gb to see a ninja clearly
Kemp-> not clearly, just enough to know roughly where they are
ErEf> ah
ErEf> still would need around 4.2 tho
Kemp-> "Ok, something's happening... erm... looks like someone has the ball, someone in black. GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!! Where did that come from? No-one here knows."

And elsewhere...
Overlord: XD
Overlord: How much detail would you need to CLEARLY see a ninja
Kemp: we don't have enough space available to find out
Kemp: nor sufficiently advanced camera technology

Windows XP Startup Items

Well my XP login time has got ridiculous, not to mention something killing the tray ("notification area" if you're being strict on terminology) the first time I log in which means I have to log out and back in again for things to work. Anywho, let's see what has sneaked into my startup list since the last time I cleaned it out... Sorry about the size of this post btw.

IMJPMIG: This is "used to simplify the input of Asian characters in the Microsoft Office suite". I don't input Asian characters, nor do I use MS Office. Goodbye to that then.
TINTSETP (x2): Again an IME related thing, but apparently a bit more important. I'll keep it until I find out it's irrelevant to me.
asrunhelp: Something ASUS related. Seems to be under review at various process description sites. It can stay for now.
NvCpl: If you're not using an nVidia card beware, a virus uses this name. My own copy here is a legit service (unneeded though and will come back every time you install new drivers). This one can go I think.
nwiz: As above, this can go too.
Acrotray: Acrobat nonsense. Never found it useful, never will. Go away and stop re-adding yourself.
[no name]: No command being run either. This can go.
Center: Great name guys... Anywho, this is used for ASUS WLan cards. Not necessary then and I don't even have one anymore, so definitely not needed here. It goes.
qttask: A good reason not to use Quicktime, just keeps coming back. Not needed, kinda pointless, it goes.
DragDiag: ADSL modem utility. I use an ADSL router at the moment, so this can go (I actually manually close it every time I log in, so this'll be a nice change =P ).
InCD: I don't use InCD stuff, so this can go. I've never trusted on-the-fly writing of CDs/DVDs.
NvMcTray: Something from nVidia. I don't really care about it, so it can go.
W: Erm.... gone.
MSMSGS: Go away, stop coming back. I renamed your directory so you can't run anyway.
ctfmon: Language bar and alternative text input for MS Office. I use none of the things in that sentence. Goodbye.
Adobe Acrobat Speed Launcher: Speed my ass. Gone.
Adobe Gamma: See above.

That looks to be all. I've skipped over the ones important to the applications I use. What starts up with Ubuntu for me you ask? Well there's... erm... there's gotta be one thing at least hasn't there? The network manager applet? A few agents to help me out? GDM?! It's all hideously outweighed by the hundreds of services and processes that my Windows sessions spawn. Ah well, it gives my HDD and RAM a workout I guess...

STS-120 Launch Post

Looks like we missed the launch this time (only by a whole day...), so here's a belated launch post for you. Also, I know the only reason Ryv ever visits is the chat log posts =P
Overlord: awwwwwwwwwww
Overlord: Missed a shuttle launch
Overlord: STS-120 launched yesterday
Kemp: belated magic carpet?
Kemp: in its honour
Overlord: /me is currently listening to: Star Trek - First Contact - Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf (Star Trek - First Contact).mp3 [04:25m/320Kbps/44KHz/foobar2000]
Overlord: As I watch archive footage =P
Kemp: lol

Oh, and trivia.
During STS-120, the lightsaber used by actor Mark Hamill in the 1983 film Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi will be flown to the station, and returned to Earth. Stowed on-board Discovery for the length of the mission, the fictional Jedi weapon is being flown in honor of the 30th anniversary of director George Lucas' Star Wars franchise.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Audio In Ubuntu

This is one for those of you fed up of only being able to play sound from one source at a time in Ubuntu. In fact, only being able to have one application open that may want to play sound.
"Hmmmm... I want to watch this video clip. Oh wait, I'm playing music so I can't. I know, I'll pause the music. Oh, still no luck. Stop the music? Oh, freakin' great. I'll just completely close the music player shall I?"
"I can't play music, what's going on there? Oh, I know, I had a flash animation open in my browser several hours ago and it hasn't released the sound device yet..."

Anyway, there's a new blog here which has all the answers you need (the only answer you need to be precise).

Enjoy your new freedom :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

tv-links Shut Down

Major pirate website shut down
Wow, FACT actually did something. I continue to be amazed.

Fact claims that was providing links to illegal film content that had been camcorder recorded from cinemas and then uploaded to the internet.

Well I'm sure his visitors enjoyed watching low-res, badly coloured, shaky versions of new releases with terrible audio. I've seen a few CAM releases in the past and you couldn't force me to watch another for almost anything.

The British Video Association estimates that at least £459m was lost to the video, film and TV industries due to piracy in 2006.

Half a billion? Yeah right. I don't have a TV license (I don't watch TV on a TV) and therefore I'm contributing to that loss, but not because I'm a dirty pirate. I'm contributing to that loss because TV has bugger all on these days that's actually worth watching. Why would I want to pay for a TV license to watch, maybe, one show a week? If I'm lucky... I'd rather go somewhere (legit) that lets me watch decent shows on demand, even if it does cost me as much as a license. Actually, someone with a TiVo/MythTV box does nicely also...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Draft Code

The first writing is almost always a throw away, you should expect it and accept it, it will be significantly better the second time around. Once you build the code once, you have learned 90% of what was wrong with the design. A large rewrite at that point will pay off exponentially down the road.

Source (the jump to that post doesn't seem to work in IE, use Firefox :-)

This is very true, and my burning of an old codebase is very overdue. Damn the fact that it works just enough to not make it as a priority item... Anyway, I'm pretty sure this should be considered the coding equivalent of drafts of a document.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Loopback Partitions

I guess moaning about Wubi previously pretty much guaranteed it would fail on me, and true to form it has. I don't know if this is actually a Wubi issue or a Gutsy development issue as I haven't had much time to check out reports yet, but I figured I'd present an easy solution for an easy problem, just in case you hadn't done this before.

The backstory is I grabbed the latest package updates (beta Gutsy gives me up to a couple hundred a day) and later ended up hard-resetting the system after a lockup that refused to be fixed another way. At this point serious alarm bells are ringing (especially if you have rebuilt three corrupt partition tables on two machines at various points). Anyway, no corrupt partition table this time, but Ubuntu refused to boot with Grub giving a message about "unknown device string". XP was still fine so I booted into there while I considered my options. Not knowing enough about Grub configuration to fix the obvious error I decided to directly mount the disk image under Windows and grab some files I needed that way. Unfortunately I couldn't make this work as it insisted the image wasn't formatted (I had already installed the Ext2 IFS so that wasn't the problem afaict). In the end I copied the entire image onto my USB drive and took it home, where I used the easy solution:

sudo mkdir /mnt/temp_home
sudo mount -o loop -t ext3 home.virtual.disk /mnt/temp_home
cd /mnt/temp_home

Oh look, there's all my files. One happy Kemp :-) Now to fix the booting problem...