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Sunday, September 30
Having problems with your Windows shares? This might help

This might be the magic command which fixes them...

I've been having a problem with getting a laptop running XP Pro to see (and be granted read/write access to) shares on a Windows Server 2003 box. In a nutshell, I'd fire up a share via Run (
) and it might once ask me for a username and password, which I'd type in, and then I'd be granted access, but after that I'd just be kicked back to the logon dialog again. The WS2003 machine was showing ANONYMOUS LOGON attempts - apparently null sessions that Windows uses to authenticate the user - which were succeeding, but the username I was supplying wasn't being authenticated for some reason. This laptop is the only device I've used or set up which has had this problem, and it's been driving me nuts.

I hate Windows filesharing almost as much as I hate using Macs. ;)

Anyway, I eventually gave up trying to fix it on my own, and decided to give Google a shake and see if any answers fell out of its pockets. Lo and behold, similar problems were being discussed on places like Experts Exchange, and I clicked through to one of them. ("Error: \\pc name is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource...Access is denied." When trying to access a share.")

Some way down the page, a guy called dvt_localboy wrote,

What is happening there is that your XP Home machine is trying to connect to the XP Pro machine with 2 different sets of credentials. I suspect that you've enabled the quick logon option, which caches network drive info aswell.

Try net use * /d to disconnect all network connections on the XP Home machine, even connecting via IPC$ uses a specific set of credentials, which could conflict with any other type of connection that you may be trying to connect with later.

Filled with anticipation, I fired up a DOS box on the laptop (using VNC, that was the most annoying thing - I could VNC to the laptop fine! haha) and typed in
net use * /d
. I then immediately fired up a share, this time the hidden root share
, typed in a username and password which had admin rights on the server.... And bingo! It worked!

So, if you're having odd, unpredictable bouts of inaccessible network shares, that command might just do the trick. I'll stick it in my brain for next time, that's for certain.

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 9/30/2007 07:56:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 6462541330313470614
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Wednesday, September 19
My Blogger account is learning German

It's not doing very well though... My post confirmation screen's been displaying its links in German for the past few days, though the rest of the interface is in English.

I've not changed anything, so what's going on here? Haha.

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 9/19/2007 03:27:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 137498358928177282
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Arrrrr, I be makin' my first digital music purchase!

And it be a grand one at that - the Official 2007 Talk Like A Pirate Day British Single, from Indiestore. I bought the original and the Edwin Van Cleef House Mix too, because it's downright funky. 79p each, all proceeds going to Marie Curie Cancer Care, so how can you argue with that?

You can download the track up to three times in your choice of formats (MP3, iPod-native MP4 or WMA), and you can download each track up to three times.

ALL PROCEEDS BE GOING TO CHARITY, YE SCURVY SINGLE-BUYERS! Just go do it, it's worth it. This is my first EVER digital music purchase (and it's likely to be my last too, the physical medium is great - vinyl and CDs for the win!) so if I think it's a worthwhile cause, you should too. There's also links to buy from iTunes or Virgin's site, but they'll both have DRM slapped onto their copies (fucking DRM, grr) so both they - and I - recommend the Indiestore route for your purchasing.

Oh, and it be International Talk Like A Pirate Day 2007 today, so ye best be speakin' like seafarin' folk or ye be walkin' the plank later! Eyepatches at the ready mateys...

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 9/19/2007 03:17:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 2986815350064690688
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Sunday, September 16
Finding the impetus to blog

Some people seem to be incredibly spontaneous about their blogging, doing so several times a day religiously all week long, week in week out.

I'm having trouble even keeping up a several-posts-a-month regime, and it's really annoying me - because I enjoy blogging (why else would I do it?) but something in me is just waiting for a *really* good reason to start doing it more often.

Maybe it's because I've run out of things to say........

.....nah, that can't be it. ;) I think I'm just too lazy!

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 9/16/2007 04:14:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 8760108395886274212
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Sentient tinfoil

I think that within five years, things like this will be coming with RFID tags embedded in the end of the roll that activate when they're put near your computing device (that's not counting the fact that kitchens will be most likely fully wireless and have embedded computers in most of the equipment), ensuring a seamless delivery of your next roll of tinfoil before you run out. None of that "stamping a reminder message" onto the end of your roll, like they used to do in the (sniff) 21st century.

We live in interesting times...

Blogged with Flock

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 9/16/2007 03:30:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 7729780682274632251
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Friday, September 14
KT Tunstall and her (great) album's Drastic Master

KT Tunstall's music was a bit of a late grower on me, but I really enjoy listening to her voice and her all-round musicality. Plus she's Scottish, and I have a bit of a soft spot for her. ;) Anyway, like any true music tech student, the first thing I do after I get the (limited edition gatefold with bonus DVD!) album back to my house is crack it out of the packaging and stick it in the computer, rip to PCM audio and go analyse the mastering in Audition.

I was a bit disappointed; I could hear it was a loud master right from the off but within two seconds of Track 1, we have digital clip on the left channel. The tracks are very well engineered (as you'd expect from any second album under the EMI imprint) but they're ALL TOO LOUD!


Get the message? Fortunately the RMS (the 'perceived') values aren't too high, but they do peak quite high, a bit too high for this kind of music. Plus there's audible pumping at certain times due to the radio-friendly compression, but it's a very clear mixdown which leans in its favour. Her voice is well placed in the mix, the backing vocals are just a smidge too high in the mix for me though, but the clarity and tonality of the guitars is the deciding plus point.

One of the slightly disappointing (but to be expected) aspects of this second album is its obvious 'studio' quality. It's a little to clean, a little too crisp for me, a little too sanitised. Her first album, Eye To The Telescope, was recorded at NAM Recording Studios - just a few miles away from where I lived, and grew up, for almost 15 years, in a small village called Holt (near Trowbridge, Wiltshire). For more info, see the Bath Venue Musicians' Studio Guide pages. If you ever see video footage of the setup, you can see how much more of an intimate setting it was when compared to a larger pro studio, and how the acoustic of the small performance space really lent itself to her musical and performance style. Her first album is a really gorgeous piece of studio work as much as it is a musical work of art, and her second album suffers from the bigger budget - the bigger, in-house recording studio contracts will have made sure of that (she will have been told to record at xyz venue as EMI have a contract with them for job lots of studio time, most likely). This is unfortunate, but I guess there's not much we, the listeners, can do about it.

My one regret with Drastic Fantastic? Her voice has too much reverb on it at times, and it sounds a little too polished (even when holding album 2 up against album 1!). Though, I suppose if you've listened to her first album as many times as I have, and had many hours to scrutinise its every little feature and peculiarity, nothing will ever sound the same unless it was recorded in the same venue then mixed and mastered by the same producer and engineer respectively. Still, there's not much to complain about at all with her second album. It's a great toe tapper, and it has enough radio-friendly tunes to give Tunstall (well, EMI) a decent amount of radio play for promo purposes whilst keeping the album-centric listeners (like me), who couldn't give a flying barrel of monkeys about her chart placement, happy with the same kind of content as we received in the first album.

Even taking into consideration all the different influences factoring into the sound of KT Tunstall's second album, it's still a great disc, and I don't feel like I've been ripped off by buying it - a problem which often plagues me post-purchase! (Buyer's guilt? Realisation that I've been mugged by buying awful quality music that shouldn't, by rights, have even been pressed to disc and published? heh.) Done right though, there's a lot to be said for the back-room-studio-recorded album, and Eye To The Telescope is testament to that! Drastic Fantastic compares favourably, and Tunstall's deliciously soulful voice is a treat to listen to. Annoyingly, the ASLAP (AS Loud As Possible) syndrome has struck again at the mastering stage, most likely thanks to EMI saying "LOUDER, WE NEED LOUDER BECAUSE LOUDER EQUALS BETTER" at the mastering engineer. Shame, because the whole point of CDs in the first place were that they could preserve a larger dynamic range than vinyl, thereby allowing more musicality to come through in the recorded tracks. I bet the master tapes (well, master Pro Tools sessions ;) sound far more dynamic than the end result on CD, but I guess we'll never know for definite.

Top tip: if you prefer the "Unplugged" KT Tunstall, check out her Acoustic Extravaganza album (which I like to think of as album 1.5), it makes a great listen if you like her stuff.

And the super-shorter version of my review? Well, it's a three-worder: buy on sight. :)

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 9/14/2007 05:46:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 3152940665287869915
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Saturday, September 8
Oh cool, I have a Lifestream

...Courtesy of 30Boxes (with whom I just signed up for their online calendar service, to give it a spin) - I noticed this People Aggregation feature on their main site (83degrees.com) and clicked through, typed in my email and got a ton of info about me aggregated from various social networking sites, my blogs, etc... Exceedingly cool.

Check this for fancy: http://30boxes.com/lifestream/5752111

You might have one too! Go look.

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 9/08/2007 12:18:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 6723967274369183458
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Friday, September 7

Oh, the unmitigated, unrelenting joy! Guinness is officially good for you!

If the BBC are saying that, then it MUST be true!

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 9/07/2007 11:51:00 PM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 9181394798792769644
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