October 2006


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Archive for October, 2006

Who is it worse for?

Posted in Life on October 30th, 2006

Here’s a movie I had never heard of: Knock Off. Here’s the plot outline:

Action star Jean Claude Van Damme plays a fashion designer who must join forces with a C.I.A. agent to combat terrorism.

Who is the CIA agent? None other than Rob Schneider.

So who has sunk lower? Rob for working with a one-shot pony like Van Damme, or Vane Damme for working with a kitsch actor like Schneider?

Did I kill it?

Posted in Geekery on October 29th, 2006

Feeling adventurous today, so I am going to try and dual-boot my windows disk to Vista. I’ll be writing this entry as the process goes forward, so don’t mind my changes of time tense. This is a long post (obviously) with pictures, thanks to having a roomie with more gadgetry than I. I’ll tuck the rest of this behind the linky…and my apologies for the lousy pictures, strictly operator error.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mo Beta somethingorother

Posted in Geekery on October 26th, 2006

I seem to be encountering a lot of beta software lately, so I figured I may as well go whole hog and started a download of the latest Vista beta release.

Mind you MS may be calling it a Release Candidate, but it is most assuredly still a beta release – and will stay that way, in my not-so-humble opinion, until Service Pack1 is built for it – at which point it will become a launch product. If history repeats, Vista SP2 will make it stable.

I will take a moment here to advise any who are thinking of partaking of the recent “Buy a computer now and get a free Vista Upgrade” program to NOT do so. Just wait until you can get it pre-installed if you absolutely must have Vista. M$ upgrades have NEVER worked right, and you will only bring yourself grief.

As for me, I’m going to pick up another hard drive and not even try to dual-boot Vista, I’ll just use my swap bays. The rest of the hardware in Hyperion (my desktop) is more than capable of handling the advanced features, so this will be my first chance to see it running live. Yeah, I’ve seen tons of screenshots, but it ain’t the same as having your paws on the keyboard.

As I run it through its paces, I’ll do my best to break it so the rest of you will know what to watch for. I’m expecting to run into problems with my media collection due to content licensing, and I am also figuring on there being issues with software installation. We’ll see just how well their “limited user” accounts function.

For this test, I will be using the 32-bit version. I figure I will deal with just one beta at a time, and last I looked there was still a scarcity of 64-bit drivers. If the 32-bit works out ok, I’ll re-burn it with the 64-bit build.


Murder most foul

Posted in Life on October 21st, 2006

The day was perfect – sunny and warm, despite the lack of leaves on the trees, with just a hint of breeze. The Pookster and I sought our prey with care, approaching on foot from downwind. We were amongst them before they knew we were even there.

We chose a likely pair of candidates, and quickly dragged them back to the car and secured them in the trunk. They were so stunned they didn’t even struggle as we hauled them, nor did they scream in fright as we closed the trunk. A perfect nab.

Back at our hideout, we cleared a workspace and laid down newspapers to prevent stains on the furniture and floor. Then we carefully selected our tools – knives, for the most part, but we included some large spoons and a comtainer for the messier parts to come.

The first stroke of the knife is always the hardest, but once you get the blade in, sawing further isn’t that hard. There is almost always that small moment of queasiness, however, when you reach for the spoon, knowing what comes next.

The container was not up to the task, and had to be emptied between victims, but the procedure went smoothly. We are both well-pleased with the results. I had considered something more complicated for my own, but my partner in crime beat me to the punch, so I opted for a more traditional mutilation. She always has been more artistic than I. (The eyebrows on mine are her idea, in fact.)

Click the link to see our handiwork – if you dare!

Muahahahahahaha!!!! Read the rest of this entry »

IE7 is out

Posted in Geekery on October 19th, 2006

And you shouldn’t ask it to come in.

Ok, that is a pretty fast opinion. I installed it last night and gave it a quick trial – literally less than ten minutes. I only gave it that long because that’s all it took for me to realize it sucked.

First and worst is the layout. Yay, they got tabs – but they put a row of buttons in the tab bar that can’t be moved elsewhere. It can be slid to the right to hide it, but it includes the “Home” button, so at least one button will always be there taking up tab space. The rest of the directional controls are spread out across the toolbars, and you can’t move any of them either.

Some might say this is a bold move, but it seems pretty stupid to me. Any device or piece of software should have all of the navigational controls in one spot. Look at your tape or CD deck – Stop, Play, FFWD and REW are all right next to each other. Why should my browser have Forward and Back in the top left, Refresh and Stop between the Address and Search boxes where the Go button should be, and Home on the tab bar?

Let’s get back to those tabs again. Yes, they have them, and you can even save a collection of tabs into a bookmarks folder. Cool. The problem they still have though, is that you can’t open more than one bookmark at a time still. One of the most-used features on my Firefox install is the “Open In Tabs” extension. How could they have missed this?

Speaking of extensions, there is a selection of them for download – although I can’t imagine a real use for any of ’em. Oh – and not all of them are free. Yep – you could pay up to $30 for a freaking browser extension! Gaah! Ok, that is actually a misnomer – these are not fast-and-light browser extensions like you find in Firefox and Mozilla. These are stand-alone programs, most of which display information to a toolbar or sidebar in your browser.

Top the whole thing off with the fact that someone found a security flaw less than 24 hours after releasing the product, and I highly recommend you avoid IE7 for at least a couple months.

Ahh, the joys of technology

Posted in Geekery on October 16th, 2006

So the Boss gave Da Roomie and I a new wireless firewall to play with – something that has some real security to it, compared to the Linksys model we have been using to date.

Installation wasn’t too much of an issue – I have used this model before, so it was just the usal jumping-through of hoops. The real fun came when I went down to the garage and tried to get the laptop online.

I had taken special pains to keep the setting the same, as I couldn’t remember at the time the name of the obscure file I had had to edit the first time I set this up. Still, no luck, even after a half-hour or so of bashing on it.

This morning, I gave in and booted the laptop to the Win2k install just to check my daily webcomics, when wouldn’t you know it? It didn’t work in Windows either! Now we’re getting somewhere!

It turns out that the Orinoco card that I am using is the culprit, due to them being cheap in the driver code. Orinoco cards only use the WEP key for encryption, not for authentication like everybody else. According to the article on the forums, I only need to change one thing on the firewall to make it work. So basically, to use the shiny new security device, I have to disable half of its security.

Dontcha just love standards?

Well, now that I have a real job again, I can add a new wifi card to the list. Come to think of it, maybe I’ll just dig a used lappy out of Craigslist or something while I’m at it.

A rose by any other…

Posted in Life on October 7th, 2006

…will still probably stab your thumb.

Okay, so I’m up way too late reading again, and decide to check blogs before I crash and I notice that Firefox 2.0 RC2 is out. So, clickety-clickety it is installed and now I have to test it. Low and behold, Da Roomie has done a likely meme.

–Sidebar– you ever notice how mispelling a single word can really mess with a meaning? I have a bad habit (as do many others) of spelling and as nad, which turns “Low and behold” into something only a dear friend should do.

I told you I was up late.

Anyway, on with the meme: Namings

1. YOUR SPY NAME: (middle name and current street name)
James San Rafael. Yes, it definitely could have been worse. I used to live down the road from Troll View Road. Then again, there is a “Skywalker Street” in Las Vegas.

2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on your dad’s side, your favorite candy)
Edward KitKat? That would be a no. I should go with “Butterfinger” instead, and go into slapstick.

3. YOUR RAP NAME (first initial of first name, first three or four letters of your last name)
D-Cro. Or should it be D’Cro? D’Plane? Yes, get off that aircraft right now.

4. YOUR GAMER TAG: (a favorite color, a favorite animal)
Black Wolf(e). Yeah, that was tough.

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
James Laguna – as in Laguna Beach, CA

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (first 3 letters of your last name, last 3 letters of mother’s maiden name, first 3 letters of your pet’s Name)
Cro Rcy Zoe. I dare you to say it out loud. It helps to use a bad Engrish accent.

7. JEDI NAME: (middle name spelled backwards, your mom’s maiden name spelled backwards)
Semaj Ycrep. Sounds like a symptom of some nasty disease. Please get me penicillin.

8. PORN STAR NAME: (first pet’s name, the street you grew up on)
Hmm…first pet was a female Elkhound named Gretchen. We’ll go with her pup and say it was Barney Hamilton.

9. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The”, your favorite color, the automobile your dad drives)
The Black Kenworth. I am a semi-hero. Beware my 18 Wheels of Justice!

10. YOUR ACTION HERO NAME: (first name of the main character in the last film you watched, last food you ate)
Scooby Tacos. (Pookie and I watched a Scooby-Do cartoon movie.) Prior to that was Tomb Raider, so then we have Lara Tacos. Mmmmm…Lara Tacos…