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Saturday, January 31
So... It snowed.

And only a month late. =D Yes, I know it was a couple of days ago - but it was SNOW! The real kind! Amazing weather for Southern England, where it's almost a permanent state of rain (think Ireland, but a little more miserable).


I really need to redesign this blog... It's looking well dated. How about something in shades of grey... Hmm. I think this could be an 'exercise du style' on the part of CSS stylesheets... Got the CSS Xen Garden in mind here... Don't think I can be bothered with all that though :D


Woohoo, I just finished my first proper song (a bit of an experiment with beat slicing in Fruity Loops Studio that developed into a proper liquid funk jive)... Quite pleased with how it's turned out, considering my limited producing skill.


I must stick a couple of these snowy pictures up, if only as a memento of colder times :)


Oh, and can somebody buy me this flatscreen please? :D Mmmmmm, look at this lovely picture (apologies about the size, but it's got to be done ;)

yum yum

Lovely jubberly Iiyama ProLite E431S... PCNextDay have it for ?336 including VAT so it's ALL good =D


Ah well. Every geek can dream, can't he?


Cheers to anyone who's reading this incidentally (about 2 people probably), hope you all had a good New Year.
Christopher.


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/31/2004 12:24:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 107550864214341685
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Saturday, January 24
You know those lovely popup adverts that Windows farms out to you?

... The ones that you can disable by turning off the Messenger system service in Windows? Well, those nice clever people at Microsoft managed to screw up their coding once more, giving any potentional cracker the opportunity to send malformed data to your computer, and if they are successful, cause a buffer overflow on your PC, letting them do basically... anything on it.

Clever Microsoft.

Anyways, you can read more about this here and download the patches from the links on my ISP's web site (easier to find than on the Microsoft site itself, ironically).

I guess they have to muck about with even Windows 2000 once in a while.


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/24/2004 03:00:00 PM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 107495640996461952
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Finally, the long drag is almost done...

... We move into our new house on Monday. Woohoo.

And it's only taken 9 months. When they say that moving house is the second stressful thing to having a child, I can believe them. Unfortunately, I'll never have to try out childbirth in my lifetime. ;)


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/24/2004 10:46:00 AM. Roughly.
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Monday, January 19
Oh my .... dog?

On a continued note, here's something that I saw a long time ago in France - and amazingly it's still as popular as ever with the dog-lovers of Paris.

Oh My Dog - "The first eau de parfum created for the more... sensible... noses."


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/19/2004 04:43:00 PM. Roughly.
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Wednesday, January 14
Ok, own up...



Who's the Sun Solaris user? :D


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/14/2004 01:47:00 PM. Roughly.
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Oscar 'screener' found on Internet | CNET News.com

Oscar 'screener' found on Internet (CNET News.com)


Oh boo hoo. Go have a cry about it, then go wipe your tears with some $50 notes from your back pocket.

This leaking of movies will still happen Movie Industry, just like it always has, people will still find ways to get the movie out into the public domain. The Internet just... aids... proliferation. Don't you worry about that.


Or should you...


Perhaps you should worry more about whether a film's actually GOOD ENOUGH so that if people do see it on their computer, they still want to go see it in a cinema... There's too many poor films being made these days by all the major players in the industry, they should shake themselves up and make some quality indie-sourced movies for a change _



Rant over. Sorry ;)


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/14/2004 01:33:00 PM. Roughly.
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Remember kiddies:

iPod STILL has its dirty little secret. (Yes, I know it's from September, but it's still salient.)




.. Want a clue what I'm on about?


:D


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/14/2004 01:27:00 PM. Roughly.
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Tuesday, January 13
Well, ain't that cool.

Quake 2 on the .Net framework? Very nifty. :D

And, on a rather more comical note, nice to see that the US is as serious as its own Homelands Fries Security Measures as it makes itself out to be... Nobody spotted a suspect package placed deliberately in front of a memorial in Washington D.C. for an hour or so, revealed in a leaked internal report by the Dept. of the Interior :D :D :D :D :D

Check it out: http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30200-12972036,00.html


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/13/2004 11:12:00 PM. Roughly.
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O...M....G...

This is some immense performance skill! You just HAVE to check it out (requires QuickTime).

Steve Harvey's Big Time - That Man Can Dance!


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/13/2004 03:23:00 AM. Roughly.
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Monday, January 12
Just like to say right now...

... that ShiftedPhase.com has some AWESOME scripts on. Great if you're a web developer, or someone who's just trying to figure out how the hell to get GD working on PHP [b]AND[/b] learn some MySQL at the same time. :)


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/12/2004 10:00:00 PM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 107394480888521270
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Just like to say right now...

... that ShiftedPhase.com has some AWESOME scripts on. Great if you're a web developer, or someone who's just trying to figure out how the hell to get GD working on PHP [b]AND[/b] learn some MySQL at the same time. :)


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/12/2004 09:59:00 PM. Roughly.
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Wednesday, January 7
Blaster coming round for seconds?

Seven months on, W32.Blaster.Worm (aka ... Blaster) is STILL being 'actively transmitted' thanks to 'tardy' home users (cheers to Microsoft for that nugget). This is pretty amusing stuff... I would've thought the world and his wife had patched against Blaster, what with all the press it got and the big push from Microsoft to try and cover its losses (once again)...

Read more on this InternetNews.com article.


All this just after the revelation that industry experts regarded 2003 as the 'Worst year ever' for virii and worms.

Really morale-boosting news for the everyday net user.


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/07/2004 11:34:00 PM. Roughly.
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Woohoo! Trojan horse time (i.e. attacks from the inside)

An American DJ's dissed the US Record Industry - publicly - and severely. GREAT! Keep it coming is all I can say... They need a big waking-up already. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/28/34735.html to read more...


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/07/2004 02:52:00 AM. Roughly.
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The Bastard Operator From Hell returns!

The Register continues this fine tradition, and it's something I think anybody who's worked at a big corporation will know about or will have experienced at one point (I know... I was one for a week while on work experience haha ;)

Here's the original archives. Read 'm and laugh (or weep/relate to them) as you wish. :D http://bofh.ntk.net/Bastard.html

Thanks Need To Know... Another sterling facility of your cracking website. :D


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/07/2004 01:16:00 AM. Roughly.
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Tuesday, January 6
Mmmmmmmmmmmmm...

A Hi-Fi enthusiast's gadget of the month. I was keeping my beady eye on the Squeezebox from the moment it came out, and now I've decided that I'm going to have to get some money via a job to buy one of these lovely little gizmos, amongst other things - the prospect of having your music anywhere via wifi is just too appealing to put off any longer.

Take a goose:


Have some info: the SLIMDevices official site | a UK reseller


Very cool.


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/06/2004 12:28:00 AM. Roughly.
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Monday, January 5
Christopher's Kerfuffles And Miscellaneous Adventures With Cactus Copy-Protected CDs (DIE WARNER BROS., RIAA)

So...


...For Christmas I received, amongst other things, the latest Red Hot Chili Peppers album (not the greatest fan but I'll listen to some of their stuff).

I look at the CD... And am utterly disappointed to find that it's a Cactus-protected Warner Bros. DISC (cause it doesn't technically qualify for the Compact Disc standard as it doesn't meet the internationally-standardised Red Book criteria etc)... And I then set about to copy the disc.


I met with a few problems - namely that my DVD burner likes to crash my PC after trying to access the disc (strike one), my plain DVD drive just picks up the first two tracks as audio, the rest as data, and thinks that all tracks from track 3 are 1minute 36 long AND stops playing track 1 and 2 after about 20 seconds (strike 2)... By this point I'm starting to get juuuuuust a little annoyed. If this was purchased legitimately, don't I have a right as the end-consumer to protect my (or my Mum's) investment by making a copy for private purposes to avoid irreparable damage to the original? I copy ALL of my albums to my PC so I can keep the originals nice and neat in their jewel cases without scratching them all the time - and you're telling me that the record company is denying me this RIGHT to make sure that money isn't wasted (more than it is)?


Utter cobblers I say. The record companies should go to hell I say, because I wandered around the house for a few minutes and then decided to try the disc in my Dad's laptop, which has a fairly good combi-DVD/CDRW drive.


In goes the CD, up loads Exact Audio Copy, and up comes the tracklisting - entirely correct, with all the tracks, tracklengths and indices in their right places. So ok, I had a few problems with the initial copying (I had to tweak the EAC options to avoid a nice gap in the audio where the Cactus error correction codes are deliberately corrupted to fool PC disc drives), but after enabling the good old Paranoid mode in EAC, the tracks were being ripped fine and I'm now listening to MP3s of the first 6 tracks on the album - only another 10 to go.


The record companies have a problem - ironically, older disc drives (and some drives which are made which can intentionally ignore these corrupted subcodes on discs and just read off the audio as normal) will always be able to bypass whatever corruption that Cactus comes up with. They can't go so far as to stop people listening on their normal CD players, becuase then even less people would buy the albums than at the moment. So they're scuppered.


Long Live Fair Usage. Also, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation site, which has news, updates and insight into issues just like this. Digital Rights Management, the DMCA and filesharing are more hot topics investigated and discussed on this site run and contributed to by volunteers... A recommended bookmark in your collection.


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/05/2004 03:33:00 PM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 107331678240713787
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Saturday, January 3
Fancy a laugh?

Go check out this Hyper CD-ROM. I didn't know whether to laugh or shout at the screen it's THAT stupid an idea. Hahahah :D


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/03/2004 04:25:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 107310394244955415
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Friday, January 2
Anybody fancy an aircraft carrier?

Going soon - it's only $90,007,600 at the current time of asking - and with only 2 days 20 hours left on the sale, it's a bargain you wouldn't want to miss.


God bless the Internet.



Oh, and bah humbug, go away Christmas 2003 it was as bad as I thought it would be, hello 2004.


Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 1/02/2004 04:47:00 PM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 107306206213616327
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