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Archive for March, 2005

Why? Oh, Why?!

March 22nd, 2005 No comments

Siemens, why do you mock me so?

My mobile phone contract is up for renewal, and I’m looking for a decent phone, and today, I thought that the search my be over. I saw on Gizmodo, the wonderful looking Siemens SP65. It’s a good looker, plus it looks like it has everything that I want……

….except for a bloody camera. Now, I know the purpose of it not having a camera is perfectly legitimate and understandable. However, how about making one available for us people who do not have such restrictions in our lives (yet…)?. It’s not hard.

On the other hand, the SP65 is actually a business version of this butt-ugly monstrousity. Maybe I’ll stick with an ugly, turd coloured lump rather than a sleak and professional looking model just for the sake of a camera.

And then again, may I won’t.

Sorry Siemens, one less customer.

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MythTV A GoGo!

March 21st, 2005 3 comments

Well, I’ve spent a semi-productive weekend turning an old PC that was donated to me into a hard disk recorder, using the wonderful MythTV package and Fedora Core 3.

It’s still not a perfect setup, as I’m currently using an old Hauppage WinTV Go card (with a bttv tuner), so the picture quality is not wonderful. The other problem I have is that although I can get TVTime, and XawTV to receive a picture, I’m not able to receive any kind of picture in MythTV – which is something that I will have to solve. Otherwise though, I can get everything else working (i.e. MythWeather, MythWeb, etc).

Once I’ve got this one up and running, I’m planning on building a much more powerful system, with at least 2 cards (probably Digital so that I can watch FreeView, and get a better picture signal), and put it in a pretty case next to the TV. I thought it would probably be best to see if I can get it running at first on some (relatively) free stuff, before I splash out serious cash on a better system.

If anybody wants, I should be able to provide some notes on how I acheived the setup, and how I got everything working.

Unfortunately, I still can’t get a picture on the damn thing. I think it could be to do with the bttv module, and I script I used to find the best settings for the driver. It asks you to add some lines to /etc/modprobe.conf and I think that is what has nailed it. Unfortunately, when I put it back to how it was, it still didn’t work. I’m coming to the conclusion that it may just be better to reformat and start again (“Build one to throw away” as Richard always says…).
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Grrrr!

March 18th, 2005 No comments

This must be the worst user interface that I have had the displeasure to experience.

Yeah, I’ve experienced bad looking and unfriendly interfaces before, but this is just annoying.

Check out the instructions:Use your mouse wheel to rotate the screens.And what if I don’t have a bloody mouse wheel? Huh, Genius? Oh, so I have to go through the pain of randomly clicking things? Brilliant. Tell you what why don’t you stick to your “designing”, and I’ll stick to thinking about what people may be accessing my website with.

What makes it worse is the pictures on the left don’t logically match up with the pictures on the right, and the site is painfully slow to load some really quite small images.

Just give me a list of sodding pictures and a description. It’s quicker, will work better and I don’t have to worry about which wheel I’m moving!

That’s why we shouldn’t let “designers” play with websites and software. Leave it to the people who have a rough inkling of what’s going on.

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Woh! Worrying!

March 18th, 2005 1 comment

It’s an interesting thing, checking your webstats (Yeah, OK, not that interesting, but y’know)

My pages have apparently been scanned by this Bot. Whilst I’m not here letting people download copyright protected MP3s and the like, it’s kind of worrying thinking that at some point I might be slapped with a demand for payment because I mentioned the word “Microsoft” or “AJAX” somewhere on this site.

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More New CDs

March 18th, 2005 1 comment

Having said that The Stereophonics were going to be my next purchase, I kept my word and bought it yesterday, along with “Pushing The Senses” by Feeder.

My first reactions? The Stereophonics still haven’t beaten “Word Gets Around”, but to be fair, this album is a very different sound, and I don’t think that it would be truely fair to compare this to any other album in the past, having said that though, I still prefer “Word Gets Around”.

One the other hand….. Bravo Feeder! An absolutely amazing album. I’ve got a couple of older Feeder albums, and I always felt that there were a couple of songs that I liked on each, but didn’t like the rest – this is completely different – I’m loving every song.

Only problem now though, is that I have identified another 3 CDs that I would like, so I’m probably going to end up buying them fairly soon too. So the next purchases will be (sorry, I haven’t worked out their names yet!) the new albums by The Bravery, Daft Punk and Moby

I’m going to have to stop this. I’m spending too damn much.

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Late Licenses

March 18th, 2005 No comments

This report (out today) kind of confirms what I thought all along – that most pubs and clubs may want to open a little later (probably until Midnight), but no one really wants to open a venue for 24 hours.

Think of it this way. All the time that you are open, you have to pay costs: Electricity, heating, staff, water, etc, etc, etc. So although a pub may be open at 6am, I doubt that there would be anyone in there, and they still have to pay costs – the pub would be losing money like water through a seive.

Plus you have other more practical things to consider, like when do you clean?, or “what time do we call the plumber round to fix that dodgy u-bend in the blokes bog?”

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Software is from Humans

March 17th, 2005 1 comment

This reminds me of something that we did last Friday for Red Nose Day.

Because of the way our product works, we are able to change parts of the system quickly and easily at will (e.g. Through CSS). We decided last Friday to get into the spirit of things, and change the menu that appears on the left of the screen to be red, and have the Red Nose Day logo at the top (usually it holds the company logo). So I spent a bit of spare time here and there over a couple of days, achieving this minor miracle.

We thought we would just do this in our Development environment, and in the Testing environment for the people that do our testing, but in the end we managed to get it (with permission) into the “Live” environment which large numbers of people have to use daily.

I think it must have been something new to the company, to do something like this, but strangely we didn’t receive any major resistance to our plans. Sure, they wanted to see it before we sent it out, and they wanted to make sure that it was not damaging or unconducive, but other than that, they gave us the go-ahead. Strangely, we didn’t seem to receive any complaints about it either (I was expecting 1 or 2 from some managers, somewhere).

My worry now is that we have set a precedent for things to come…..

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IE7 Details Leaked

March 17th, 2005 No comments

Apparently, according to The Register, some of the details of the up-coming Internet Explorer 7 have been leaked (assuming that the leak is correct). I’m most excited about this statement: If the rumours are true, IE 7.0 will have tabbed browsing, a built-in news-aggregator which brings IEs feature set in line with (let me think….) every other browser (so no surprises there then).

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FCKEditor

March 12th, 2005 1 comment

This looks like a good project. It’s an embedded Text Editor for the Internet

It looks like some form of applet (I haven’t had time to work out what though). Plus, it’s released under the LGPL.(Via)

Unfortunately, the site is completely lacking in any information that is relevant to how the thing works, or how to install it. The installation information is contained on the zip file, and on it’s Souceforge page, but judging by the quality of the information on Sourceforge, it’s going to be pretty lacking. As an example of what I mean, check out the information on how to install it into a different directory:You can place the files in any directory. “FCKeditor” is the default one. If you prefer using another one, just set the editor’s base path in the code. For example:
oFCKeditor.BasePath = ‘/Components/FCKeditor/’ ;
Jesus! What code and in what file? Also, I can’t seem to find any information on how to embed this into a web page – apparently I have to work it out for myself:The package comes with a test sample page available for every programming languages that the editor is compatible to. Take a look at the _test directory. And that’s it.

OK, so in short: It looks pretty good, but the lack of documentation brings that level of goodness crashing right back down again. Fortunately, that is something that can be resolved.

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Google Spoofs

March 12th, 2005 No comments

OK, I’m sure that some of you would have heard of the “Enter ‘French Military Victories’ and click on ‘ I’m Feeling Lucky ‘ ” thing that you can do with Google (It links to here).

Anyway, one of the girls that I work with showed me this website the other day, which will perform a Google search for you, and will completely reverse all of the text on the page. Not kidding. Remember, you need to enter your search phrase backwards as well!

I’ve also just come across this site, which puts it into “Snoop Dogg” language (as in “Fo-shizzle my nizzle”). (Via)

I never thought that when I started using the Internet (and Yahoo!) that eventually people would start to “have fun” (in the loosest sense) with a search engine.

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