Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Thursday, January 22, 2009

I’m not sure how I could have possibly forgot, but I let this domain expire. :)


I saw the email from Network Solutions on my phone this morning and assumed it was just one of those “your services expire in six months! renew now!” semi-junkmails. Nope! this one said “Your Network Solutions Service has Expired”.




And the DAY before payday, too. Ahh well. I suppose that’s what credit cards are for.

Since my laptop is down for the count (I’m expecting the new replacement laptop to arrive today or tomorrow) I haven't synced my iPhone for about two weeks since I installed Windows 7 to try it out so it hasn’t been syncing my calendar.

My email is downloaded via POP3 from my Exchange mailbox, so when I connect to Outlook Web Access, I don’t have contacts or calendar to remind me there, either.

In the end, no harm, no foul. I’m back up and running and the DNS servers probably didn’t even have a chance to propagate to the pending deletion landing page.

Dell now has three open service calls for me, and I sense it’s going to get worse before it gets better.The local firm that Dell contracts to do their re/re’s told me that I would be receiving a new unit. Then Dell’s national technician appointment center called me to let me know a new part had shipped out and I would be contacted by a technician to arrange a time to come and do it. Then the local tech’s dispatch called me to tell me that the parts hadn’t arrived and would call me back tomorrow (today now) when the parts arrived.

I stopped him and asked him if I was getting a new motherboard or a new system, and he didn’t know, but thought that it was odd that the delivery address was both my home address and their business address.

I got his cell phone number and name and said if nothing showed up by Friday noon I would call him back and he could sort it out with Dell. Fortunately (for both me and Dell) I’m not a one-computer household that’s relying on this one system. I’ve got Laurie’s desktop, her netbook she got for Christmas and a media server plus my work laptop all at my disposal. He thanked me for my patience and said he would be in touch shortly.

Thursday, January 22, 2009 8:24:54 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Tech | WWW#
Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tonight I received my first SPAM message on Facebook. I had 1 new unread message and was putzing around when I went to read it and saw that  I now had TWO messages...

CaptureI clicked into my Inbox and my heart sank...

The Inbox view only showed the first line or two, but that was certainly enough. This is the first time I've seen one that referenced the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, but the details are not the important part.

The important part is that these fucking scammers are starting to infiltrate Facebook. I suppose it was only a matter of time. They've made using Hotmail or Yahoo mail practically unusable. Hotmail at least has the 'exclusive' setting so that only people in your contacts/address book can  actually send messages through to your inbox, but I've had to abandon my Yahoo email account that I've had since 1997 because it gets about 50-60 emails a day, most of it various forms of the Nigerian 419 Scam. The sad part is that even now, in 2008 people are STILL FALLING FOR THIS CRAP. There are various names for it, I know it as a 419 scam because that's what The Register called it when I used to read that. They had a whole section on 419 scam-baiters each week it seemed. There's another one about a lottery going around to and even my mother nearly fell for, forwarding it to me to ask me if I thought it was legit. As if.

This is a pretty serious thing for Facebook, and I hope they figure out some way to nip it in the bud. The whole point of a social networking site is, well, to NETWORK. Meet new people. If everyone starts jacking up their privacy settings to the point that you can't contact anyone unless you're already friends, how are you going to get to be friends?

As soon as I saw it, I looked for and found the "report message" link right there underneath this scumbag's name. It came up with a warning that if I proceeded, the person would be put on my block list and any relationships I had with that person would be broken. The two choices were Spam or Harassment. I kind of flipped out a little bit and vented at the poor administrator who has to open that message. The next popup (remember when THOSE were the scourge of the internet?) said that the message would be forwarded to Facebook administration and that I would not be informed if any action was taken.

Unfortunately, this sets up Facebook staff for a never ending game of Whack-a-mole, where these scumbags who have nothing better to do than sit in internet cafes in Nigeria and create fake user ids and email addresses and send their spam out.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 11:49:43 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Rants | WWW#
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
If *I* had that much trouble "fixing" the streaming from WMP11 to Xbox360, how the hell are mere mortals expected to be able to figure this out? Ork had a similar problem and he ended up installing TVersity to make it work, and I initially installed Orb to get around it before fixing it the first time, too.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 2:45:06 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [4] | Links | Tech | Gaming | Microsoft | WWW#
Friday, May 9, 2008
As long as I can remember, I've been looking for a way to watch tv on the go.
Three years ago I installed a Slingbox at my parents house in Vancouver and then connect to it and stream their tv channels to me down here in Cayman, or on my laptop in a hotel room when I'm on the road (of course, I make sure to check in to a hotel that has free high-speed internet) :) it works pretty good. The main reason I did it was to watch Canucks games, and it works OK for that... My parents' upstream speed is just 512kbps and I find I can get about 489kbps fairly consistently. The lower the bandwidth, the slower the refresh and the blockier the video gets. Not ideal for watching something fast like hockey, but watchable. Upgrading them to the 'extreme' cable modem speed would double their upstream to 1024kbps for $10 month more. I always meant to do that, but never got around to it. Now that I'm moving back to Vancouver it's kind of a moot point. The only drawback is that it's "live" tv. if I wanted to record or time-shift anything, I'd have to buy, set up and configure a TiVo at their house. Slingbox supports a TiVo right down to the remote, but it's another expense and another device to manage.

I've been filling in the blanks with torrents anyway. Widescreen HD streams (although they're shrunk and compressed, they still look better than regular TV) and then watching on my laptop or desktop took the place of watching stuff on TV on someone else's schedule.

Last year when I picked up an Xbox360 and then did the fall update to support XviD, we started using that to stream the tv shows over the network to the TV. Wireless just didn't have the balls to do it though, so I went with a pair of Linksys powerline ethernet devices which promise up to 480mbps throughput. Using Windows Media Connect, it worked great. The only problem that remained was watching this sweet, widescreen, pseudo-HD videos on a shitty 21" TV (at least it has component input) with a nasty overscan.

Not anymore... just after lunch today I took a swing by my US freight/mail forwarder and picked up a new bulb for the tv we got our grubby little mitts on. Tonight, we dine in HELL! OK maybe not... but tonight we watch on an HP 65" DLP HDTV! SO THAT problem is solved, that just leaves.... mobile watching.

When I picked up a PSP a couple years back I had visions of watching tv via WiFi dancing in my head. It never materialized. Sony released the Location Free TV which had a PSP client, but it was $200, and then the client for the PSP was another $30, and then the inevitable nail in the coffin was of course no one knows what the IR codes are for the WestStar custom tv boxes. If you have a learning remote, you can program it to control your WestStar box, but that's it. I went so far as to use PSPVideo9 to automatically convert and sync every video that came down to the PSP, but with a 1gb Memory Stick it filled up pretty quick. I was hoping to be able to watch a show or two on my lunch break the next day, but it never worked very well. Consequently, due to my impending departure in august, I'm selling my PSP. The details are at the previous link on eCay Trade, the free classified ad website down here.

Last year I picked up an iPod Touch and stopped using the PSP for watching video on the plane. Yes, I'm on planes enough that this was something that needed to be addressed. It's an hour and five minutes from Grand Cayman to Miami, which is about 45 minutes of time when you're allowed to use your electronic devices. As it turns out, a 60 minute tv show minus it's commercials is about 42 minutes. Coincidence??? I now had 16 times the amount of storage that I had on the PSP in a device a lot smaller and with an almost comparably sized screen. The iPod's screen is way crisper than the PSPs somewhow, even though it's .1" smaller and slightly less resolution (I think).

It turned out I still had the same issues though, I had to plan ahead and convert videos using Videora's Ipod Touch converter which takes practically real-time to convert from xvid avi to an iPod compatible MP4. As of today, that's no longer a problem. Today I read an article on Lifehacker called OrbLive Streams Live TV to your iPhone or iPod Touch. Excuse me? JACKPOT!

I clicked over to Orb's How-To page and gave it a quick once-over. It seemed easy enough, install the streaming server on your computer and then whatever clients you choose can stream your data (videos, tv tuner, webcam, photos, documents, games, music and even youtube and other online video sites) including the Xbox360, PS3, Wii, Sansa and the iPod and iPhone. They went a step further in that if you have a jailbroken iPhone or iPod you can download a native app to connect to the server rather than a web-browser based interface. Slick.

I used Remote Desktop on my lunch break to log in to my computer at home and download the server. I installed it and created a username in about five minutes and pointed it at my Incoming folder.

Then on my iPod I went to the installer app, updated the sources list and then from Multimedia selected OrbLive. It downloaded the 1.8mb package and then installed it and restarted. After that I had a new OrbLive icon on my screen. I clicked it, entered my username and password as I had set up on my server and... it connected! I clicked Video, and then Folders and there it was: E:\Incoming-BT I clicked that and it brought up a list of the videos in that folder! Slick! I clicked on jPod S01E10 and after a few seconds of Connecting... and Buffering... there it was! it was streaming the video from my computer, over the internet to my iPod via Wifi! SWEEEEEEEEEEEEET! Everton and I then went to get a bite to eat at Cimboco and where we were sitting was within range of one of the C&W Hotspots of which I now have a working username and password. I tried streaming from there and while it worked, it was kinda chunky and stopped to buffer a lot. It was kind of like trying to watch ANYTHING on Real Player (buffering...) I switched to Photos and clicked through the stack of photos to some baby pictures of my brothers and I that Steve had going on a loop at the guestbook table at his wedding. Nice.

If I had a TV tuner and an input going into my computer I could stream Live TV to my Ipod or watch recorded TV in addition to everything else! In addition to the cool-as-shit iPod/iPhone app, the web interface is pretty cool, too. It looks like MediaMonkey and allows you to stream anything you've set to stream to another computer via the web interface, which then invokes your default players when you click play on something. And for some reason it's all free? It would be worth it at TWICE the price!

Friday, May 9, 2008 1:34:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Gadgets | Gaming | Wireless | WWW#
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I realized that the biggest gripe I had was the memory size; 16gb. Then I realized that I had been making do with 1gb on the PSP, and had even stopped carrying the PSP with me on the plane because it was getting too be too much to carry around. The only plus for the PSP was that it also played games, but I haven't used it for that in over a year.
Sunday, November 18, 2007 1:14:13 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Tech | Gadgets | Wireless | WWW#
Friday, June 8, 2007
Saw this on Yahoo Oddly Enough news this morning...

AP - A World War I veteran's watch lost nearly 90 years ago, has stood the test of time. William B. Gill lost his watch in France, where he served in the U.S. Army. Another man, Carl Grothaus, won it in a poker game and brought it back to South Dakota.
"The way your dad looked at it, this watch was your birthright. He'd be damned if any slope's gonna put their greasy yellow hands on his boy's birthright, so he hid it, in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you."

Yeah. just like that. :) I'm almost tempted to create a new blog category called Walken!
Friday, June 8, 2007 6:54:25 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Links | WWW#
Monday, June 4, 2007
The new version that was released a few days ago now supports dasBlog natively, which is the software that this website runs on. The best feature of the new Live Writer is that now it supports uploading of photos via HTTP. Before, it was kind of clunky as I had to upload the pics to flickr, navigate to the page, click all sizes, click the small link, then copy the html, come back here, go to HTML view and paste it in, THEn I could mess with the alignment settings and whatnot. Very labor intensive.

With the new version, I can click "insert photo" nav to the folder in my My Documents\My Pictures folder, select it and it automatically inserts a smaller version of it along with a drop shadow. Pretty cool stuff. I did the two posts about Rome last night using the new Windows Live Writer to try it out. You can set the picture to be a link to the jpg itself (default) or none, or a URL and put in a new URL. That way I could insert it locally and then make the picture link to something else, such as all the photos on flickr with the same tags (ie the picture of St Peter's square panoramic yesterday could itself be a link to which would take you to all my photos that are tagged with panoramic).

There are some other neat things in there that it does, or does better than before, but this is by far the one feature that was worth the upgrade. Maybe it has to do with the recent upgrade of the software we're running here, but we upgraded that for the Aksimet spam filtering plugin more than anything else. I also enabled Feedburner instead of the built-in rss thing. If you're using the built-in RSS feed, might I suggest you re-add it as ?

Next up, get this place re-skinned, clean up the categories and figure out how to re-tag everything that's tagged as "Cayman" because that's 95% of the posts. I liken it to putting a label on your monitor that says MONITOR and one on your mouse that says MOUSE. :)

Monday, June 4, 2007 1:30:35 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | dasBlog | Microsoft | WWW#
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The problem arose when I tried to sysprep the machine. I ran Sysprep and got an error that said There is an incompatibility between this tool and the current operating system. WTF?!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 8:20:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Tech | Microsoft | WWW#
Sunday, May 13, 2007
"You pick 'em up, rub their belly, scratch 'em, hug them, you might as well give 'em a smooch while you're out there." This was Dave's approach with the ladies at the bar, so why not with the nurse sharks in the sea?
Sunday, May 13, 2007 7:02:10 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | WWW#
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Is anyone else getting a deluge of "I've added you as a friend of Facebook, blah blah blah" in the last week or so? This seems to be almost as annoying as the "friends" site a couple years back that asked permission to look up your entire address book and IM buddy lists and then spammed them all to add you as a friend. Is MySpace dead already?

Who knows. If I set one up, I'll post the link to it here.

Saturday, April 14, 2007 2:59:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Tech | WWW#
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
If you've never used multiple monitors before, try it. It's like going from a Honda Civic to a, well.. a Honda Accord. :) Within fifteen minutes (if it even takes that long) you'll wonder how you ever got along without it for so long. I have a single monitor at home, it's an Acer 22" widescreen, but at work I recently switched to a pair of 17" LCDs and the productivity increase is staggering.

Then there are crazy setups that take it to the nth degree. Rich has a setup with an Apple 30" Cinema widescreen flanked by a pair of Samsung 21" widescreens in portrait mode for something ridiculously crazy like 3600x1200 resolution. More and more people (developers mostly I guess but also flight sim enthusiasts) are setting up monitor rigs like this now that the prices of LCDs are coming down down down. Dell makes a 30" widescreen that actually beats the Apple Cinema in the specs department, yet is marginally cheaper (and if you throw something like into the mix for Dell discount coupons it gets even better).

Yesterday I was scanning through some of my rss feeds in Newsgator Online and there was a post by Scott Hanselman on his site about multiple monitor setups for developers. Usually most of the stuff on his website goes straight over my head, and I cherry-pick the little tidbits relating to HTPC, Xbox 360, PSP, Torrents and things like that but the one absolute GEM that I took away from his post yesterday about multiple monitors was for a little app called Ultramon. it "fixes" Windows (ie does something that Windows should do built-in) to let it better deal with multiple monitors. If only for allowing one wallpaper to stretch across both (or x-) many screens it would be a neat utility. The dealmaker though is the taskbar. It stretches the taskbar across all your screens, and whichever windows are open on THAT screen show up on THAT taskbar. There are some other cool tricks it does, but within seconds of installing the trial version and seeing the new taskbar on the other screen, that's worth the $30 price of admission right there.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 6:39:59 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Tech | Gadgets | WWW#
Monday, February 19, 2007
I was in Florida again this weekend. Miami Int'l Boat Show AND Daytona 500 in S Florida jacking up hotel rates artificially again. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate yield management software? Sure it's great if you're the money-grubbing cocksmoker on the other side of it, but as a consumer, it sucks the bag.

I had the wrong time in my head for my flight back to Cayman from Fort Lauderdale. Fortunately it was later than I thought, not earlier than I thought! I decided since I was in FLL to go to Varsity Cycle, the Vespa dealer up there and poke around and see what kind of cool stuff they had. I couldn't remember where they were, and rather than drive up and down US1 for a couple hours I thought I would look it up.

The only problem was my Cingular SIM card for Miami doesn't have a data plan, and I didn't know what the connection settings were for my phone anyway. Then from some deep, dark recess in my mind I remembered that Google had an SMS service. I sat in the car after running into bed Bath & Beyond to pick up a baby frypan for Kendi and txt'd 'Vespa ft lauderdale' to 466453 (GOOGL3)

Within a minute I got two SMS messages back from Google with the name, address, phone number, etc for the two vespa dealers in Ft Lauderdale area: Varsity on US1 (the one I was thinking of) and Riva Cycle on Davie blvd just south of FLL int'l. How cool is that??

Monday, February 19, 2007 8:22:21 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Tech | WWW | Travel#
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Bit of a play on words there... douche in the sense that the guy who ticked the "embedding disabled" checkbox when he uploaded this clip to YouTube and douche as in the french word for shower.

This is the funniest video of the day. This is the funniest video of the week. This is the funniest video of the month. Since it's still early it's also the funniest video of the year. Serious.

I brought the office to a standstill today because I was laughing so hard that I caused a scene. After that, everyone wanted to see the video of the automatic cat washer. They should install one of these down here at Island Vetrinarian Services and then charge people to sit in the stands and watch.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 8:31:14 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | WWW#
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I bookmarked this weeks ago, but didn't get a chance to watch it until tonight. I have tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard at a few bits and pieces of it. It's pretty long for an embedded video clip, but I guess when you have so much material it's easy to keep going... and going... and going. Click on the Read More link below to see the Battlestar Galactica Season 3 blooper/gag reel.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007 9:11:20 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Misc | WWW#
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Going back to Red Robin last night brought back a lot of funny stories, a bunch of "where-are-they-nows" and an old familiar bout of indigestion, too!
Thursday, December 28, 2006 9:59:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Food | WWW#
Wednesday, October 18, 2006

If you haven't already checked it out, click over to and check out their video podcast(s). If this is the future of the Internet, the future looks bright indeed.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 7:45:40 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | WWW#
Monday, October 16, 2006

Every now and then I'd get an email saying that I had received a "trackback" which is when someone else links to one of your articles in order to quote it, dispute it, or something like that. I don't get them very often, so when an email comes in that says trackback, I would click the link and see who was linking to me.

Every now and then, I would see a trackback that went to some link-farm so I'd delete it. Sometimes people would leave a comment on an old article and either put a link in the body or use the website box to make their name a link to some link farm. A month or two ago, I got a slew of trackbacks all at once, about 20 spam sites all linking to the same page of mine. I went to the page they had linked to and deleted them all. What a pain in the ass.

Then it happened again a couple weeks ago when I was at home. I took the ten minutes to sit there and delete them all. I also started noticing on my activity page that the page views would shoot up to to 600, 700, 900 per day, which is a far cry from what I normally get. I found out that there was a blacklist function in the DasBlog configuration, so I added the pertinent terms. The next day would be more of the same but this time would be a refinance push instead of a drug push. Then casinos, then Texas hold 'em... you get where this was going. Everytime I added that day's terms, they would switch up and attack a different term the next day. It's proactive and a losing battle. I just ignore it now and gave up wondering what my REAL traffic is per day.

This morning, I was in a training session and we took a break to get up, wiggle around, stretch our limbs, go to the bathroom, whatever. I checked my email. :) First thing I noticed was that there was about 30 emails, all with the same timestamp, all trackbacks to the same page. I went to the page and deleted them all, and then went back to Outlook and deleted the notifications. When I clicked refresh, my blood chilled... up at the top, it said 1-35 of 691. I quickly went through it and saw that I had 680 splog trackbacks and 11 emails. FUCK ME IN THE GOATASS! What the hell? I suppose I should be flattered that someone thinks my website is important enough to target for spamming to help raise their profile in search engines, but then the reality of it says "no, you're just a random target" :)

For now, I've turned off the trackback service, decreasing the functionality of my website. If the comments start getting spammed in earnest, I'll shut them off, too.. decreasing the functionality and value even further. There's a way to turn off the referral stuff in a newer version of this software, but there is no RBL for splogs built in... yet. Now that I have my email under control, this is the last thing I need to 'harden'.

Monday, October 16, 2006 7:52:15 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | dasBlog | Rants | WWW#
Monday, August 21, 2006
I do a lot of desktop support at work. That means I do a lot of drive re-imaging and re-installing of Windows. I used to rely heavily on Norton Ghost and Ghostcast server, so that when we got a new flock of machines, I could set one of them up the way we wanted it, run Sysprep and then make an image of the hard drive. Once I had that, I could use Ghostcast to push that image out to the other machines (the highest # of machines I ghosted at a time was 15, using a 16 port switch). It was a great solution, and if one of those machines got buggered with a virus or spyware, I could re-ghost it and have it back in service in about 25 minutes.

The downside of that is Windows XP's product code/licensing and now Windows Genuine Advantage. Every time I ghosted a machine and started the install process, it would not accept the XP license code that was on the sticker on the computer. Even if I got past that, the OS would not activate. That meant a phone call to Microsoft, waiting on hold forever and then getting the joy of trying to understand Sandeep or whoever was on duty in the call center in India. I would have to read them off a 25-digit code, then they would verify it, then they would read me back a 25-digit response code, I would verify it, punch it in and then it would activate ok. It was a colossal pain in the ass and drove me to looking for cracks and patches for XP on more than one occasion. Ultimately it got to the point where it was faster for me to install Windows from scratch, manually, and then download all the security patches and whatnot (last time I did it earlier this month, it was 54 updates worth abut 80megabytes of downloads) and then install our applications, join it to the domain and all that sort of thing. There had to be an easier way.

Fortunately there is. As I was Googling around, I came across this site who's title was Automatically Slipstream Windows XP with SP2 and All Post-SP2 Security Hotfixes with a Single Command. Sounds like just what I was looking for. On top of that, this guy Ross updates it every month after Patch Tuesday! He has a windows script/batch file that will copy all the files from your source CD, then download ALL the patches and slipstream them into the folder structure. It's a bit of manual labor/clicking, but it sure beats having to download all that crap everytime I have to do a reinstall. There's also a make file for if you have Cygwin installed to run the script, download the patches, verify the downloads using an MD5 hash, integrate them to the folder structure and then burn it to CD, all in one step. I figured I'd give that a try, I installed cygwin and it didn't work. Then I went back and reinstalled some of the packages for Cygwin, and it still didn't work. I finally gave up on Cygwin and the make script and went back to the Windows batch file, which worked. If you're a Linux command-line freak, Cygwin will probably work for you, but for me it's just one more reason why Linux just won't catch on for the mom n pops and grandmas.

The next step was to create a bootable floppy disc which, even in 2006, is still a pain in the ass and easy to screw up. I've done it before, but I couldn't remember exactly how to do it. I made about a half-dozen coasters last month trying before I "stopped and asked for directions". Enter The Elder Geek. I've been to his site both directly and ended up there from Google a few times in the past and he has good stuff there in simple, easy-to-understand steps (at least for me). His tutorial on making a bootable CD-Rom has instructions for both Roxio and Nero 6. I was using Nero 7, but the dialog boxes were close enough that I could figure it out. The reason I kept making coasters was that I had the "number of loaded sectors" set to the default of 1, and on the tutorial it says to make it 4, or they won't boot. What "number of loaded sectors" means, I have no idea and would not have thought to try and 2, 3 or 4 by trial-and-error. I burned the new image to a disc and popped it in a cow-orker's unsuspecting computer and the Windows XP autorun menu came up. Good, but I'd seen that before. I rebooted and saw the magic "Press any key to boot CD" message come up, pressed The AnyKey and saw the Windows Setup screen come up and start loading files. Woohoo! As I type, I'm making 3 more CDs so that two of us can do the install on two machines at once. Once Windows Setup finishes, there might be a few downloads left, but a few downloads is better than 80mb of downloads.

Monday, August 21, 2006 9:50:39 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Tech | Microsoft | WWW#
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Notes on installing the Slingbox Media Player
Saturday, February 25, 2006 10:30:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Tech | Gadgets | Wireless | WWW | Travel#
Saturday, October 22, 2005
been offline most of the day.
Saturday, October 22, 2005 7:26:46 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Misc | Tech | WWW#
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I put my webcam up if you wanna see what it looks like out my window.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 8:41:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Hurricane | Pictures | Tech | WWW#
Sunday, June 26, 2005
I found a new XP Powertoy today, it's for viewing and thumbnailing RAW image formats for Canon & Nikon cameras.
Sunday, June 26, 2005 5:51:01 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Pictures | Microsoft | WWW#
Friday, April 29, 2005

OK I think I posted a link to in the past, it's the Hip-Hop search engine, complete with spinners on it's O's, but I never actually did anything with it.

I sent it to a guy at work, and he started killing himself laughing... he said “punch a URL into the search box...” so I put in my own URL, and let it translate my blog posts into Snoop Dogg shizzle-speak.

Holy crap was it ever funny. Here's this main page translated. Read it and weep (with laughter)


Friday, April 29, 2005 10:57:19 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | WWW#
Saturday, April 9, 2005
...who wants to poke out their eyes with red-hot knitting needles
Saturday, April 9, 2005 8:33:07 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Rants | WWW#
Tuesday, April 5, 2005
I think I've stumbled across the most heinous use of the internet. Ever.
Tuesday, April 5, 2005 8:16:32 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | WWW#
Friday, March 18, 2005

OK so it's not the WHOLE book, but rather a dramatisation based on the book, and acted out old-old-old-old-school radio style. I didn't even know it existed, but thanks to the wonder of the internet, I read about it on another site this morning, clicked over and alas, the direct download was gone due to bandwidth constrictions. There was a torrent file there though. Im currently downloading it and will give it a listen this weekend.

For those of you who don't know, Neuromancer is a book by William Gibson (who also happens to live in Vancouver) sometimes called “The Godfather of Cyberpunk” and the guy who's credited with coining the terms 'cyberpunk' 'The Matrix' and had visions of what the future would be like (that were pretty close to what's turned out so far) while being (reportedly) a bit of a cyber-luddite himself.

So click over to the page and download it. If you like it, consider reading the whole book. It's actually book one of a trilogy, along with Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive.


UPDATE: The torrent at the site I linked to is down. It was removed at the request of the BBC by the site's owner.

Friday, March 18, 2005 8:21:19 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | WWW#
Friday, March 11, 2005
Yes another one, also unrelated bits and pieces from the week.
Friday, March 11, 2005 6:07:56 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | Gadgets | Gaming | WWW#
Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Steve (see the blogroll to the right) and Rich (same) are involved in a charity auction to raise money for tsunami victims in Southeast Asia. Basically you're bidding on an hour of consulting time from one of the group. It's pretty much a who's-who of software development professionals. I haven't clicked on all their names in Steve's post, but I recognize a lot of the names from various posts at various sites over the last year or so. Rich posted about it on his blog yesterday as well, and there are references to it on Microsoft Watch as well.

I can count the number of things I know about software development on one hand and still have enough fingers left to bowl with, so the only thing I can do is try to help drive some traffic to their eBay auction. Go bid, even if you just want to chat with one of them for an hour. I know some of you have paid more than $100 to be someone's friend for less than an hour. Less than 20 minutes if I remember correctly... Lordy pants did Colin's 25th birthday present ever backfire on us. (smack forehead)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 7:19:23 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Tech | Microsoft | WWW#
Tuesday, January 18, 2005

If you're reading this with an RSS reader, here's the link to my Flickr Photostream RSS feed. It's pretty cool, I clicked it at the bottom of the “my photos” page and it showed me an RSS entry for each photo I've posted, and uses the caption text as the description in the feed. Clicking an entry takes you right to that photo in the stream.

Pretty cool stuff, I just may have to buy a Pro account at Flickr and get the 1gb/month upload.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 10:19:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Pictures | WWW#
Wednesday, January 12, 2005

OK, check out the menu at the right. Just under the calendar are a bunch of photo thumbnails. Flickr makes it really easy to add that, just like adding a badge to your site. I think the toughest part of incorporating it was editing the template file because it uses all these newfangled HTML tags that my Hot Dog Pro V4.0 old-school ass didnt really understand, but I made it work.

Don't bother clicking over there just yet, I haven't uploaded anything other than those five pictures. Flickr is in beta still, and with a free account you can upload 10mb of pictures a month (which would be five if I upped the full-res ones from my new camera) or 1gb/month if you buy a “pro” account for $42 for the year or something like that. Once I play with it a bit more, I may do that and scrap the old busted hand-coded HTML table albums that I've been using in the past.

What's cool is that it always shows my five most recent photos that I've uploaded, so if I upload new pics as I take them, then you'll almost always see some fresh pics when you come here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 6:08:05 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Pictures | WWW#
Wednesday, January 5, 2005

There's this neat utility that “looks into” an avi or mpg file and tells you all kinds of information including but not limited to WHICH FRIGGIN CODEC it's encoded in and if you have that one installed or not.

I guess in hindsight, it's pretty hard to see any detail in that picture.. the top left section has the path & size, below that is Stream Type and A/V Interleave, the 3rd window down is metadata. On the right hand side is the Video codec info and below that the Audio codec info. At the bottom is some DirectShow rendering information, but I haven't messed with that yet.

I was a bit hesitant to put “GSpot Video” in my Google toolbar, as it sounds rather... saucy and not safe for work. Everything here runs through a proxy, so there's a log of wherever I go on my work computer. I try to keep things on the up-and-up, just in case... Then again, very rarely does anyone “watch the watchers” I told the other sysadmins and we all had a good laugh about it.

Here's a link to the GSpot Appliance webpage. I like the program so far, and like you, I've never seen WMP of any version correctly identify a codec and auto-download it.

If you're curious, the video clip that I opened to take the screenshot is from Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago with Colin Farrel as Bono being interviewed on the spanish talk show “You know, quatorze is really fourteen in Spanish...”

Wednesday, January 5, 2005 10:27:27 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | WWW#
Thursday, December 2, 2004

MSN Music has an RSS Feed to their “top downloads” chart. It's beta, of course (or maybe I just have an old feed) so you get some weird instances.. usually it has to do with songs popping up with weird dates on them. Maybe it's because that was the date it was added to the Music Store, or whatever, but it shows up funky in my RSS Reader because I have them arranged by publication date.

This morning after my feeds all updated, there were two new songs on the MSN Most Downloaded chart. One was by Kelly Clarkson, and the other was Blue Oyster Cult's (Don't Fear) The Reaper.

Why on EARTH would an old song (but a good one) by Blue Oyster Cult be on the top downloads at the MSN music store in December, 2004? I guess a lotta people gotta have more cowbell, baby!

Thursday, December 2, 2004 6:10:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Microsoft | WWW#
Friday, November 26, 2004
Holy Crap! Mega traffic to the site since September 1st!
Friday, November 26, 2004 5:49:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | WWW#
Saturday, November 20, 2004

I've been messing around for awhile trying to make my 1gb USB flash drive bootable. I found some instructions here and there, and I couldn;t get any of them to work very well. Too much jacking around making a disk image and then copying it and yadda yadda yadda.

I was Googling today for it because I need to go take a look at Renee's laptop tonight. The poor girl is still without power, running a fan and a few other necesseties off a generator (it's been like 12 weeks now since the storm!) and went and got a GPRS/EDGE wireless card for her laptop. Those things are $229CI and then $50 bucks a month for 40mb of traffic, and then you get charged per kb after that! Add to it the fact that GPRS top speed is 115kbps and you get a slow, expensive connection to the net.

To make matters worse, she jumped off a dock onto her boat and nearly broke her ankle. While she didnt actually BREAK it, she did enough damage that she's in a cast. Someone told me that it was exactly one year to the day that the same boat “bit” her and broke her hand. Sounds like two good reasons to sell the boat, to me.

Before I went over there, I sat down to finally put together my “portable toolkit” on my USB flash drive. Things I might need to fix a computer, especially one that can't get online. Spybot S&D and the latest signatures, F-PROT antivirus for DOS and it's latest signature files, Belarc Advisor, KILLDISK, GetDataBack, those sorts of things.

As I was searching around today, I came upon a message board post for a utility for making a bootable USB flash drive. From Hewlett Packard no less. I've attached it to the bottom of the post if you want to use it. One thing to keep in mind is that it's a FORMAT tool, so whatever is on your flash drive WILL BE ERASED when  you format it! I copied everything off of it first, just in case. :)


SP27213.exe (1.98 MB)
Saturday, November 20, 2004 2:19:45 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | WWW#
Tuesday, October 12, 2004

OK, so some of you were checking here (either by RSS or old-fashioned web surfing) in the days leading up to, during, and after the storm, looking to see if we'd all made it through. I won't beat any dead horses about lack of coverage of the Cayman Islands in the news, because it's moot now.

A few days ago I posted an article about how I had figured out a way to get Mobile Web working on my Motorola MPx200 SmartPhone, and mentioned how handy it would have been to have that during the storm, as Cable & Wireless' GSM network did not go down through the hurricane (you just sometimes had to go to places where the signal was strong enough to make a call) unlike other providers who took up to six or seven days to come back up.

With that setup, I would have been able to surf on over here via the built-in version of Internet Explorer, log-in, and post a “we're OK” message. Probably not much more, because typing a long message with a cell-phone keypad is probably the same sort of sensation as masturbating with a cheese grater: slightly amusing, but mostly irritating.

I've now taken it one-step further by figuring out how to access my email from the phone. It wasn't hard, it was just one of those things that I never got around to setting up. I can now download headers of my email and if something is important, download the message and respond to it right away. Other than that, it won't automatically check my email and download anything, because I only get ONE MEGABYTE of data per month, and then I get charged PER KILOBYTE after that. In an emergency, I would use it, but not for casual emailing.

Not only can I check/receive email on the phone, but I can send it out as well. I've also configured my website to accept posts from me via email. I can write an email (see above about message length) to the website and it will show up here as a new post automagically! Wicked-cool, huh? (OK, it's cool if you actually own a propeller beanie)

So NEXT TIME a Category Five Storm-Of-The-Century comes along and happens to hit Cayman right in the nose, I'll be able to post a message while sitting on the roof behind the chimney to stay out of the 225mph+ winds! (except we werent sitting on the roof, and no one HAS chimneys down here... who the hell has a fireplace in the tropics? Besides Barrie & Leslie that is)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004 12:14:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Hurricane | Gadgets | Microsoft | WWW#
Tuesday, October 5, 2004

If you get an email from “Faccinmark” with the address IT  IS NOT FROM ME.

this is the second day in a row I've seen an email from that address show up in my inbox. Different subject lines, and just a :) as the body and an attachment that Outlook blocks, so it's a bad script or program.

If you get an email from that address, don't open it, and for god's sake, don't email me and yell at me that I sent you a virus.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 6:59:20 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | WWW#
Tuesday, September 7, 2004

And the only prescription is


Don't get it yet? click here.

Zac, you better not click it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004 3:05:34 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | WWW#
Monday, September 6, 2004
"They're the kind of scientists you would like to be but never quite dared to,"
Monday, September 6, 2004 7:33:59 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | WWW#
Monday, August 9, 2004

Two teams had test flights this weekend that didn't quite work out for them. Armadillo Aerospace (the guys who made DOOM, DOOM2 and now DOOM3) had their rocket crash during a test flight on Saturday resulting in a “total loss” of the vehicle. Seems like they had some trouble with the warmup phase and then ran out of gas during the flight. “Oops.”

The other one was right in my (old) backyard in Washington State. According to the Seattle PI, this one (as well) could have been saved by a parachute (this rocket actually had one but it failed to deploy) but instead crashed and is a total write-off.

Monday, August 9, 2004 8:27:54 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | WWW#
Saturday, July 10, 2004
if you EVER thought you were ANY good at Super Mario Brothers back on the old Nintendo, prepare to eat a lot of crow...
Saturday, July 10, 2004 10:29:38 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | WWW#
Tuesday, July 6, 2004
From eWeek: The IICA approach reminds us of the hopes of medieval astronomers that the universe would make sense with just one more layer of Ptolemaic epicycles. Things made much more sense when the center of the solar system was identified as the Sun, not Earth. In the same way, the center of the system of content protection must be the consumer of content, not the content producers and their obsolete business model.
Tuesday, July 6, 2004 7:27:44 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | WWW#
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
I installed it on my machine at work yesterday to give it a whirl...
Wednesday, June 23, 2004 7:41:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Microsoft | WWW#
Friday, June 18, 2004

I was all set to tear into a good rant today about traffic on the island. I had examples, such as when you get behind the wheel of a Honda Inspire (basically a RHD version of the Acura TL) you immediately become an asshole. I was going to pose the question “When is 'island-time' not 'island-time'” and the answer is whenever there's traffic.

I'll save that rant for another day.

Darlene sent me a link this morning to The Adventures of Seinfeld and Superman. It's basically a long commercial (or a short film) for American Express, but it's very entertaining. If more commercials were like this, there would be no need for the skip commercial button on your ReplayTV or TiVo.

Friday, June 18, 2004 10:03:13 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Rants | WWW#
Sunday, June 6, 2004

You might notice that everything seems a little “bigger” on the site today. Last night I was messing around with the CSS files and the templates. One thing I noticed in there was that all the font-sizes and line-height definitions were in pixels, which are fixed. What I ended up doing was changing all those references from px to em. Ems are an elasticy font definition size. Im not a pro, and Im not a traditional print-media person, so I can't remember if Ems are an electronic/CSS type thing, or if it's a holdover from old printing press terminology, but what it means is that now you can control the size of the font on the screen.

Want to see what I mean? if you're using IE click on View>Text Size and then select another size. Everything scales. Want it smaller? choose smaller. Do you have a high-res screen that makes 11px font require a jeweller loup to read? Click Larger or Largest and bam, there ya go. I also changed the size of the margins and padding on the outsides of the page, so if you do happen to have a lower-res screen, there's more real estate for text.

Tomorrow should be interesting. Tune in tomorrow same Bat time, same Bat channel for a world-class rant.

If you run dasBlog and want a copy of this template, shoot me an email.

Sunday, June 6, 2004 6:15:32 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | WWW#
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