Craig Box's journeys, stories and notes...

Archive for June, 2006

Fieldays special at the AV store

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

From the IRC quote database @ SBM-300 shiatsu massage cushion

<calin> we had a guy at school that wore black lipstick.. and was all gothy.. and then one day we caught him buying an assvibrator
<ecoli> ew.
<ecoli> wait, you "caught" him?
<ecoli> like, you were behind him in line at the assvibrator store?
<aero> he doesnt answer
*** Quits: calin (No route to host)

I was out at Harvey Norman purchasing a ducting kit for my dryer, when I saw an assvibrator (with attached shiatsu massager) that I just couldn't walk past. It was conveniently sitting in front of the vaccuum cleaner bags, when you always have to ring the person at home and find out what model of vaccuum cleaner you actually have.

It comes with a big list of donts, including pointing out it has a "15 min auto shutoff" because it's dangerous to use for longer. To me or the machine, I don't know (they say it gets hot if you run it for too long, and you should let it cool. I wonder what the duty cycle is? Is 15 mins in every hour OK?

FTA digital TV announced

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

The NZ Government have announced free to air digital TV will be phased in from next year. Now, all you need is a DVB-S card and MythTV. Did you know New Zealand had a MythTV users list? There is also lots of useful information at the KnoppMyth wiki page for NZ and, of course, the WLUG wiki.

Update: TVNZ and BCL both have press releases out. The content will not be encrypted, but the technology hasn't been anounced - probably not HDTV.

Zork over IP

Wednesday, June 14th, 2006

Ever wondered why you can't play Zork over the telephone? Now you can, with ZoIP.

Two hearts, living in just one mind

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

To follow up to my previous post, Vista Beta 2 still has my pet bug - if you assign a network drive an early letter (such as E or F) , and then plug in a removable drive, it will often get allocated a letter that is already in use.

Vista is also near impossible to use if you're in 16 colour mode, which the installer was, because it didn't correctly detect the onboard Intel video. After getting that fixed, the next order of business was getting Bon Echo (the Firefox 2 alpha) and Office 2007 Beta 2 installed.

If someone spent a while making feel and operate a bit more like, say Office XP, as it stands on Windows today, then it would be a real killer application (unless, of course, Google cuts everyones lunch). However, I really don't think that people are going to want Office 2007, when it changes the interface so much from what they've learnt to tolerate. I couldn't even find the File menu for four minutes! I hope there is a "make this feel like Office XP/2003" option, as lots of people I know don't even want to know about the newfangled Windows XP (green/two panel) start menu.

A Windows bug that should never have been allowed to happen

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

This is a simple one, and I only hope it is fixed in Vista (I haven't yet got it installed on a machine; the key that MSDN gave me was a 'home edition' key. I assume I'd rather have an Ultimate Edition so I can run Aero? Please update me if I am wrong here).

Why is it, when I have a mounted network drive F, and local disks C, D and E, and I insert a piece of removable media, such that it gets mounted on drive letter F, does it mount it anyway, and not pay attention to the fact that the drive letter is in use?

You plug your digital camera in and then you can't use it until you unmount your F: drive (which you don't think to do) or you change which drive letters it uses in compmgmt.msc (which you don't KNOW to do). So into your IT professional it comes...

Web 2.0 vs chmod a=rwx

Monday, June 5th, 2006

Meanwhile, over on Planet NZTech (I'll pony up the cash for for btw), Richard McManus (You're a manus, nah, you're a manus!) compares Web 2.0 to chmod 777. I think this is a horrible analogy, because to me, chmod 777 implies "anyone who has any access to this data has full access, including overwriting or deleting it". Not the impression you want to give people about their hosted online data!

I'm not sure what to think of the new Slashdot. You can tell that the owners liked their old design a lot.

Envision a world where IBM staffers run HP laptops...

Monday, June 5th, 2006

This may be close to the truth, if it turns out to be true that Lenovo intend to shun Linux, supporting only Windows on their Thinkpads and desktop machines.

In saying that, they hardly support anything anyway, but the general consensus is the build quality is decreasing with cost cutting, and I expect that Linux people will start shunning Lenovo anyway, in both developing drivers for, and buying, the hardware. But IBM were meant to move to a total Linux desktop internally by 2005 - a target they missed - and much of their development work is done on Linux desktops. I'm sure they have an arrangement to buy gear from Lenovo at or near cost, and probably without Windows licenses, and I'm also sure that the worlds largest IT services company can probably orchestrate their own driver writing and distribution maintenance. However, with the speed at which Lenovo are distancing themselves from the powerful IBM brand, it's not hard to imagine that IBM staff will end up using another vendors desktops and laptops in the future.

There were a lot of Thinkpads at in January.

At about the same time, the Chinese government purchasing agency announced that all new PCs they purchase must be Linux compatible, and Lenovo are a supplier on that list. Go figure.

Edit: turns out that the manager commenting was responsible for only the cheap 3000 series, and his comments weren't meant for Thinkpad. Foot in mouth please.

Look what arrived today...

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

In the spirit of the Telethon, I challenge all user groups in NZ to have a bigger or cooler banner by Software Freedom Day!

Edit: Contrary to what you might have heard, Matt does not have a monobrow.

I'm a Dapper Dan man

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

Allow me to be the first to notify you that Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, otherwise known as Dapper Drake, has been released.

If you were put off by Red Hat 5 and think that Linux is all about clunky command lines, try out the shiny Live CD and prepare to be amazed.