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Monday, February 28, 2005

Subliminals [WK108] 

  1. You’ve got a friend::In me
  2. Immigration::Control
  3. Waitress::Cocktail Bar
  4. Snickers::Marathon
  5. Recognize::Remember
  6. Concept::Virus
  7. Birthday::Wishes
  8. Told you so::Chastise
  9. Unlikely::Event
  10. Extension::File
Join in the game

What? Sorry? Can you repeat that? 

Ah, there's nothing quite like being moved to a desk half the size, sitting at a 45 degree angle because the network cable doesn't reach far enough! It's cosy, I'll give you that. Can't say much for the view though, sitting on a mezzanine, looking out onto the vista that is the despatch department.

Well, at least I was cunning enough to nab the end desk with the wall, so I have some additional "posting" space, should I need it!

It's noisy here too, but in a different way to the relentless chatter of the sales floor. Here, there is the constant drone of the network servers, half a dozen blade servers and the extraction fans. Far too loud to be good for your hearing, if you ask me! (and here was me, expecting it to be quieter, how foolish of me! *sigh*.)
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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Hentai hits the highstreet 


Yes, I know you can walk into Virgin or similar and buy Hentai (possibly), but I have to say I did a triple take when I walked into my local "The Works" bookshop and found them selling Hentai title DVDs at £1.50 a pop!
10 years ago is was soft paperback "literature" now it's budget porn DVDs. Whatever next?!!
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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Wired 

Original story

I heard back today that the trials of that day were worth it afterall, because I passed the exam!
Yay!

Messenger Plus 

I installed and played with Messenger Plus last night. Damn, that's a whole lot of fun. It kind of turns MSN Messenger into something more akin to ICQ, with the element on fun. You can't really top telling you chat friend that his father smells of Elderberries in your very best Python voice! I spent most of the night sniggering and with the added bonuses that come with MSN 7 Beta it's twice as nice!

Here's a full feature list of Messenger Plus
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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Haiku to the rescue 

As spammers get evermore inventive, companies have desparately searched for a way to legitimise they e-mailing lists. One such method has emerged and seems to be being adapted as a standard.

The brainchild of Habeas, it seeks to validate email by use of copyright. Unfortunately the copyright had to be small enough to fit into an email header - that's where the Haiku comes in. Each "Habeas Compliant Message" contains a small copyright that basically tells ISPs that the email is not spam.

The headers look like this:
X-Habeas-SWE-1: winter into spring
X-Habeas-SWE-2: brightly anticipated
X-Habeas-SWE-3: like Habeas SWE (tm)
X-Habeas-SWE-4: Copyright 2002 Habeas (tm)
X-Habeas-SWE-5: Sender Warranted Email (SWE) (tm). The sender of this
X-Habeas-SWE-6: email in exchange for a license for this Habeas
X-Habeas-SWE-7: warrant mark warrants that this is a Habeas Compliant
X-Habeas-SWE-8: Message (HCM) and not spam. Please report use of this
X-Habeas-SWE-9: mark in spam to .


Companies are signing up to this as fast as they can, in a bid to legitimise their mailers.

Although on the whole this is a good thing, it means you now need to be particularly careful about validating your email adddress by clicking links to confirm, as once you have, you are effectively saying it's OK for the company to email you.

Afterall, you get enough junk in your inbox already, do you really want to be added into every company's periodicals as well?
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Monday, February 21, 2005

100 Words 

It's "claimed" that the eskimos have 100 words for "snow". I wonder what they call the kind that appears in flurries and dusts the area like a huge cake coated in icing sugar?!

Mirroring 

I find it fascinating how so many things in life mirror one another in bizzare parallel.

Let me give you an example....
I have been heavily involved on and off with IRC for a number of years now. Amazingly "life" within the working environment of IRC, starkly reflects working life in the real world. When things are going well with the people who staff the chat network, generally the same can be said about day-to-day life at work and conversely, if there are tensions or things aren't running so smoothly the same can generally be applied to the other.

The IRC network that I help to man during my free time has been going through a difficult period. There have been tensions, harsh words and upheavals. On Sunday we met for a crisis meeting in the hope that we could rectify the bad feeling that had developed over time. People don't seem to be as optimistic as they once were. Things didn't go so well and now there is an air or uncertainty, a transition - to where, I don't yet know.
Similarly at work, there is a strangely familiar feeling of flux. People are moving desks, new faces are appearing and no one quite knows what is waiting around the corner.

Life imitates life.
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Sunday, February 20, 2005

Subliminals [WK107] 

  1. Dirty work::Street Cleaner
  2. Shopkeeper::Trade
  3. Goodness::Healthy
  4. Yearning::Wishing
  5. Show and tell::Kiss and make-up
  6. Trapped::Nerve
  7. Malcolm::"in the middle"
  8. Season::Jolly
  9. Bestseller::Author
  10. Desk::Fan
Join in the game
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Keep on movin' 

I don't know what's wrong with me recently. I get periods at night when I'm sitting here and I feel restless and fidgety. It's happened a few times now and I really don't know what to do for the best. It's the oddest sensation and I tend to feel it in my forearms all the way to my fingers. Previous times I've tried to occupy my mind more by watching TV or going to bed. I guess I'll do one of them now.
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Monday, February 14, 2005

Do-It-Yourself Wallpaper 

Here's a great site I stumbled upon today. Ever been to a website or blog and found it had stunning pixel wallpaper and wondered how they made it? Well I'm going to let you into a little secret - they probably used something like this: Escher Web Sketch

I could (and probably will) spend hours on this site, just being creative! It's a lot of fun, trust me!
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Friday, February 11, 2005

iPods and Newspaper 

I had to go into London this morning. I don't use public transport much, as generally it doesn't go where I want it to. Today, it was more convenient than the car. Now, I understand the need for public transport and how it could help relieve congestion, but I'm not sure it's something I could put up with on a daily basis. Once, periodically is enough to remind me of all the reasons why I hate it so much.

The boss and I boarded the train with admittedly not a lot of time to spare, but based on the London Transport web timetables, the train would get us there on time. (That was a big and stupid assumption to make.)

The purpose of my visit was an early morning exam and we had to be there on time. No late-comers admitted. I was met with a sea of newspapers held at head-height in a unified effort to avoid eye-contact with the rest of the passengers. Then there was the "tsk...tsk...tsk...t..t..tsk...t..t..tsk" of several iPods together, playing a disharmonious collective back beat, puntuated only by the auto announcer, tannoy and constant coughing. (Only a doctor's surgery is worse than this. I hate them too. I always sit nervously in them, wondering what germs are floating about and waiting impatiently to leave and breathe fresh air again.)

Less than 10 minutes into the journey the train jarred to a stop. No explanation given. Several minutes later we continued only to stop further down the track. On the third halt the driver cheerfully announced that some moron on the train in front had "pulled the cord" and the train had had to make an emergency stop. I looked nervously at my watch. Time was slipping away and there was nothing we could do.

Eventually, after a couple of changes we reached the station, then we made a quick sprint for the exit, to be met with the only way out - a small lift. We waited in the queue for the doors to open, we looked at our watches again, it was looking more and more hopeless. The train journey took half an hour longer than it should have done and at that moment the only thing that would have given me satisfaction was to hang the individual who had wrecked my morning, by the emergecy cord that he was so eager to pull.

In a last pathetic attempt to make it in time, I left the map with my boss and sprinted up the road, hoping that if I got there in the last dying seconds, they might take pity on us and let us in. Well that was the plan, but in my blind panic I miss-counted and miss-read the street names and dashed way, way past the address. By the time I realised my mistake I had added another 5 minutes onto my time. I eventually turned up 20 minutes late. I stood at reception, depressed and dispairing at the fruitlessness of my efforts. I expected my boss to arrive behind me, but as it turned out she had walked casually to the building a few minutes before me and they had let her in.

Thankfully I was permitted to take the exam with the next intake, an hour later, so all luckily, was not lost.
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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ja nie rozumiem* 

After waiting patiently for two weeks, my magazine finally arrived.
Imagine my dismay then, to rip open the parcel and find this.....

Yup, it's not English is it? No, and you'd be right in thinking it's actually Polish!

Polish? What were they thinking? I live in the UK God-dammit, I've written several emails to them - in English! Not only is it in the wrong language, the DVD is from the wrong issue!
Now what am I supposed to do? I'll be a bit miffed if they expect me to send it back to them - at my expense, and why's my issue? Has some poor happless Pole received an English copy and is at this very moment displaying puzzled looks too?

*Ja nie rozumiem / I do not understand
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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Adventures in Thunderbird #2 

"The stupid thing keeps telling me I have unread mail after polling for messages, yet there are no new messages in any folders."
The above was fixed by enabling "Automatically download new messages" for every account. Don't ask me why it's not enabled by default of even why there is an option to turn it off in the first place! I'm just happy not to have "phantom emails" any more :)

Read the original post

Adventures in Thunderbird #1 

Get Thunderbird

I downloaded Mozilla's email client last night. Early impressions were good, it looked nice, had a reasonably intuitive interface and was skinable. Aparently it's even possible to hack the CSS, but I haven't got that far yet.
OK, things that are niggling me thus far:
  1. It wasn't easy to find out how to turn off the preview pane and with the preview enabled any email you selected instantly opened. I've now found out it's easy, you just toggle on/off with F8
  2. The stupid thing keeps telling me I have unread mail after polling for messages, yet there are no new messages in any folders.
  3. By default SMTP prompts for a username and/or password - how bizzare.
Consequently I am holding off promoting it!

To be continued........
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Monday, February 07, 2005

Today's the day! 

"Happy Birthday to me.... Happy Birthday to me...." "Happy Birthday to me-eeeeee...." "Happy Birthday to me!"

What? For me? Really? Ooh that's so thoughtful, thanks! *grin*

Subliminals [WK105] 

  1. Shelter::Homeless
  2. Karate Kid::Crane Stance
  3. Andrew::Morton
  4. Rib::Cage
  5. Push it::Salt ' n' Pepper (Remember them?)
  6. Creep::Radiohead
  7. Chainlink::Bicycle
  8. Squash::Racquet
  9. No mercy::Sisters
  10. Superhero::Spandex
Join in the game
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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Back with a vengence 

The generously donated RAM worked. (Lord, am I relieved about that!). The slipstream install however was an "experience" and didn't go at all smoothly.
Firstly the partitions refused to format with the slipstream, so I decided to install 98 and then put 2000 on top.
Then there was a read error from the 98 disc. In the end I had to use my 98 CD to verify that I was upgrading to 2000. On the first attempt I got loads of errors about unfound files during the final setup. Second time lucky however, I repeated the proceedure again and it installed without a hitch.
Even with SP4 pre-installed it still threw up patches within minutes of connecting.
The process has taken all night and I'm not even finished yet, but at least I'm getting there!

Note to PC shop: I'll pass on those 512MB sticks at £100 a pop, thanks all the same!
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Thursday, February 03, 2005

Insult to injury 

The continuing dramas of my PC...

So I got straight onto the phone with them this morning to ask them why they gave me back my PC without mentioning the lack of RAM. I was met with a moment's embarrassed silence followed by an offer to provide me with some RAM.
"Ok then," I quipped, how much? The young lad then proceeded to offer the RAM to me at double the retail value! (I know this because I went shopping for prices the night before). You can guess what my answer was.
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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

OK.... What did you forget?? 

I am fuming... no I'm angrier than that, I'm livid.

I picked up the Windows PC this morning, so I had to take it to work. I've been looking forward all day to taking it home and setting it up again. How my heart sank when I turned it on and it just sat there and beeped at me. No POST, no boot, nothing, nada.

So, having my suspicions as to the problem, I opened up the case (yes, the shop have learnt now, not to put warranty stickers on my gear).

My suspicions were affirmed when I looked into the cupboard and found it bare.
I looked in disbelief. No RAM. "You've got to be kidding me, right?"
I blinked... I looked again, the RAM did not materialise before my eyes.

So they didn't even test it on the bench ummm? I wondered if maybe they hadn't installed it, because they assumed I'd be using the RAM out of the old case - but even so....

So... I plodded downstairs, picked up the old case and brought it up two flights. "Good job I didn't tell 'em to keep it", I thought. I opened up the case, removed the three sticks and proceeded with the transplant.

"Oh FFS", my eyes rolled. "You have got to be joking, this is a joke, right?" (It was not a joke).
Not only had they not fitted any RAM, but the polarising key on the new board would not take my non-DDR DIMMs.

I should have heeded the advice of a friend and done the thing myself, despite the inconvenience. I have so lost faith in the shop now. I used to have so much respect for the founders, but the newly employed young lads have destroyed that. I can't see me going back again.
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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Subliminals [WK104] 

  1. Coroner::Death
  2. Mystify::INXS
  3. Corroborate::Story
  4. Misinterpret::Misunderstand
  5. Humorless::Fake
  6. Calculus::Maths
  7. Eye for an eye::Tooth for a tooth
  8. CPR::CPU
  9. Stitched::In time
  10. Facility::Toilet
Join in the game
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