June 28, 2007
The 1 Hour Workout

Your Best Body in One Hour from body and fitness. Ideas and suggestions for your workouts. Obviously that's not 1 session of 1 hour, but 1 hour at a time :)

Posted by Arcterex at 10:42 AM
Microsoft Live Photo Gallery Beta

The MS Photography blog announces the Windows Live Photo Gallery, Beta 1. Vista and XPSP2 support, MS Spaces integration (does anyone use that anymore?), Panorama stitching and exposure tweaks are some of the features. Interesting move, we'll see how it pans out, and if it's good enough to move over other photo sharing sites and apps out there. Obviously integration right into the OS is a big plus, but being tied to Microsoft Spaces (if it stays that way) might be a deterrent for people to use it. We'll see how it goes.... right now it's an invite only Beta it seems.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:23 AM
More Transformers Clips

Movie reviews blog has 2 New Transformers Clips as does Forever Geek. Have I mentioned how much I am looking forward to this movie?

Posted by Arcterex at 09:04 AM
Google Desktop for Linux

Well shellac my barnacles, Google Desktop for Linux has arrived!

Posted by Arcterex at 08:29 AM
Stupid Action Movie Moments


Posted by Arcterex at 07:37 AM
Time's Websites you Can't Live Without

I figured that I had an idea of what was on the list of 25 Sites We Can't Live Without, and I was a bit right. Lots of ones on there that I never knew before and that look very useful.

Posted by Arcterex at 07:35 AM
June 27, 2007
MSNBC Journalist Refuses to do Paris Hilton Report

Mika Brzezinski of MNSBC rips Paris report to shreds on live TV, refusing to follow the rest of the so-called news stations showing 24/7 Paris Hilton news. The best part of this is the look of utter frustration and hatred as her producer refuses to change the teleprompter and as the other reporters around her continue to talk about it.

Not sure if it was journalistic integrity or simple frustration with the absolutely inane media circus surrounding the blond celebutard, I'm hoping a little of both.

BTW, Paris is looking fabulous, I heard she had a coffee ordered in, yes, a coffee, not sure what brand, let me get you some stock live video footage of the coffee van pulling up to her mansion, and we'll show it over, and over, and over, and over until you want to nuke her and the "entertainment news" from orbit (it's the only way to be sure).

Posted by Arcterex at 04:38 PM
Life at Google (From a Microsoft Perspective)

Interesting look at Life at Google from a Microsoft perspective. Nice look for any prospective Google hires as well :)

Posted by Arcterex at 12:28 PM
iPhone Review Roundups

Sorry for yet more iPhone news, but I'm going to be pretty busy the next couple of days, it'll be quiet around here :) Till then though, here's the Slashdot story, the Mossberg review after two weeks of use, and other reviews. Looks like basically the iPhone will be mostly a winner. Some details that people are pointing to seem perfectly legit (not being able to set itunes songs as ring tones for example) but knowing apple these sorts of deficiencies are either a) not really that big a deal, and people will quickly learn to live with out them or with the alternatives or b) quickly addressed with software updates.

There'll be lovers and haters though. How about a nice Windows Vs Linux flame war instead? :)

Posted by Arcterex at 12:24 PM
Spherical Renders

Sort of a neat photography bit, spherical panoramic images flattened out. The Astronomical Observatories of Jai Singh II has an odd title, but some cool imagery.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:19 PM
June 26, 2007
iPhone Costs

Engaget did some research and found out just How does the iPhone stack up in total cost? Hint: bloody expensive :) The base $500-$600 sure doesn't help that's for sure, but the yearly price is way above even double or triple that! Course, the other providers compared aren't that much better.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:50 PM
80G iPhone Hysteria

Daring Fireball has some thoughts Regarding the 80 GB iPhone Capacity in the Activation and Sync Video.

(a) The demo screencast was recorded using a super-secret pre-production iPhone 2.0 with 80 GB hard drive; or (b) the original 4 and 8 GB iPhones are still so secret that the screencast was recorded using an 80 GB iPod hacked to resemble an iPhone in iTunes.

See this post on the unofficial apple weblog about the mysterious 80G space.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:30 AM
Software EULAs

Coding Horror asks the question of Does Anyone Actually Read Software EULAs? Also a nice run through of why EULAs suck.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:26 AM
Josh Blue Standup

Video of Josh Blue's performance on Last Comic Standing. You'll recognize Josh as the comedian with cerebral palsy, and a damn funny guy. Note in particular his responses to the judges after his quick set. Via Reddit.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:53 AM
June 25, 2007
Blade Runner Still Holds Up

Adam Savage (of mythbusters fame) argues why Blade Runner still holds up special effects wise. I have to agree, there is definately something to be said for a movie that doesn't use all CG and green screens, sadly too many movies these says have horrible acting (*cough*ep1/2/3*cough*) due in part to (IMHO) the fact they are acting against nothing but massive green sets. Back in the day (Blade Runner for example) they had actual sets and props and you can tell (IMHO).

Sadly while I love the idea of Blade Runner, it really ends up being a favorite movie to not watch. Last time I watched it I found it almost..... boring, even though it wasn't, even though I know it's a great movie.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:02 PM
LOLCat / MEMECat T-Shirt

Thinkgeek, thinking fast (and cashing in) has got something for the Meme Cat lovers out there.... the IM In UR Blank T-shirt, with washable marker included so you can change your message as needed.

I'm in UR Internets, sending UR websites for example :)

Posted by Arcterex at 11:43 AM
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Quicky Review

So as I said yesterday I managed to get a key for the beta release of Enemy Territory Quake Wars, the new game from iD Software and Splash Damage (who also made Wolfenstein - Enemy Territory, Return to Wolfenstein, and Doom 3). This game was announced ages ago, and I've been watching it since at least 2005.

So yesterday afternoon I frantically hit the links for the stupid fileplanet registration that you have to have, then fought my way through a malfunctioning image capcha (which didn't work and eventually just seemed to let me through) and got my beta key (wh00t) then waited 20 minutes in line for the download from the public servers, and then a couple of painful hours waiting for the 900mb file to download (thankfully the speed was decent).

Note that this is a work in progress, I'll update as I start to "get" more of the gameplay aspects that I currently don't totally understand after a couple of hours of play.

Read on for my take on the beta.

Installation was nice and easy, and the game started up and got you to put in your key, create an account for online play, etc. I didn't tweak out the default preferences much other than setting the resolution to match my monitor (1680x1050) and adjusting a couple of the key bindings. My first bitch was that the way of doing keybindings seemed a bit odd, it warned you if a key was already bound, but it wasn't obvious (at first anyway, to me) how to unbind or overwrite the binding. Not a biggie. There seemed to be a lot of keybindings too, my standard setup from Battlefield 2 and 2142 took some knocks.

A bit of background about my hardware and my playing style.

Hardware setup:

  • CPU: E6600 - Dual Core 2.40Ghz
  • 2G RAM
  • 320G SATA hard drive
  • nVidia 7950 512mb video card
  • 1680x1050 16:10 20.1" LCD monitor

Basically a very nice setup that I'm happy to say hasn't lugged against any game I've thrown at it.

About me.
I'm an FPS bitch. I love 'em, but have played lots for a few minutes and then never played them again... there are very few FPS that keep my attention for very long. Quake3 (and the Urban Terror addon) kept my attention for years, and recently Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142 have been my game of choice for the last couple of years as well.

I particularly enjoy the online teamplay aspect of the BF series. It's not about the graphics or the "feel" of the game (though both are pretty good), but more in the way that if you play as a team (or a squad in this case) you get ahead compared to being a lone wolf. In fact, the first time I played BF2 I almost put it away to never play again because it seemed like you were all alone, would run around this huge map, then get shot and restart. Once I discovered how to join a squad and spawn on my squadleader the game suddenly changed and became 10x more fun.

Enough about not QW stuff, here's the actual game!

Graphics and Sound
Both top notch. The mega-texture technology looks gorgeous, though I didn't take the time to see if you could really see across the entire map or not. I haven't used the weapons long enough to see if the weapon sounds are as good as they could be, but to the first time player they seemed just dandy. A great thing was that the grass and trees had a nice natural "sway" that I first saw in the Battlefield series. When you're standing in grass or by foliage the leaves or grass will sort of sway back and forth in the breeze, which really helps with the immersion of the world. After seeing this, playing a game without this feature feels far more static and un-realistic. The foliage still appears to be sprite based, not as nice as Crysis promises to be, but still very nice.

Performance and RAM
Played fine for me, though I have to admit I've got a decent system to play it on. The game is based on the Doom 3 engine (I believe) which plays very nicely on older hardware such as my previous system, an XP2600 with 1G RAM. I wouldn't doubt that this game will not require huge hardware to be playable. By contrast BF2/2142 seems to need a fair amount more system to go nicely. I noticed that RAM usage (running on Vista Ultimate) was lower than BF as well. Based on viewing my task manager after the game closed, BF2142 used about 1G of ram while QW used about 700mb. The Mega-Texture technology is probably helpful here. QW also appeared to use both CPU cores as well, which was expected.

Non-Game Environment
The menus, options and non-game visuals were great and up to the standards of iDs previous games.

Gameplay and Teamplay
This is the most important part to me. The first time you join the game it's very confusing. It's similar to every other FPS of course, and similar to squad based FPSs such as BF2/2142 (my apologies for continually comparing BF2/2142 to QW, but the similarities are obvious and easily comparable). There is a lot of stuff on the screen and it's easy to not know quite what's going on and what to do.

You have a map which displays both friendly and enemy targets, an area at the top of the screen with tips and information, and a place on the left of the screen for messages from other players, death messages, etc. Pretty standard stuff.

The "feel" of the game (weapon switching, speed and movement) were good, comparable to Doom 3 and similar games. The crouch / prone switch isn't as good as it could be I think, or as fast. Sometimes it seems that going prone doesn't, or there is just a long delay. The difference between an overweight computer programmer going from standing to lying compared to a in-shape soldier throwing themselves to the dirt. Tweaks like this are easily changed at this point though as this is a beta to collect information like this.

I wasn't able to really "grok" the squads. When you die or are waiting to go into the game there is a limbo menu where you can change your weapon layout, class or spawn point. You have a map where you can select the place where you spawn and a countdown to the next wave of deployment (every 20 seconds or so). This is nice but sometimes it seems that you hit deploy and immediately spawn with your previous weapon load and class instead of with the new load out you just chose. This could be due to being revived while I was in the limbo menu. BF solves this by not covering up the gameplay screen completely while you're in the menu, but also grabbing you out of the menu so you know when you are revived. Sometimes this really sucks though :) There doesn't seem to be a way to join a squad (or fireteam is the terminology they use) from the limbo menu.

In the gameplay there were invites to join a fireteam, but there didn't seem to be that obvious way of showing what squad you were part of or spawn on the squadleader or anything like that.

The other thing I don't get yet are the objectives. I'm not an ET player, but I do know that the gameplay is such that you work as a team to do something, then you move forward in the map, do something else, etc. In the one map these objectives seemed to be things like build a big cannon, plant explosives, defend explosives / cannon for X minutes, that sort of thing. This is different than the BF way where a commander gives squads individual commands to move, attack, defend, etc. This other way works well if you have a good commander, but if you don't have one, it can suck. I think I remember hearing that QW was going to have the ability to do individual missions for squads, so it's just a matter of figuring it out.

In QW you have "missions". A notice will appear that a new mission is available and you hit the 'm' key to move through the missions available. They are things like 'defend ion canon <19xp' or 'attack sewer grate <2xp'. I honestly have no idea what this is for or what to do once you select them. I suppose there is probably a change in the HUD or the map, but I didn't see it or it wasn't immediately obvious. In the HUD there is a square overlay that may point you to where you should be going, but it's not obvious to me. This will hopefully be fixed with either a set of instructions or a tweaked tip system when the game is released.

XP Points and Powerups
XP points are something that I'm not totally sure what they are, how you get them, or what they are used for. They are mentioned in the 'm' mission menu and in the post-game stats, but beyond that I'm not sure. Probably something that's easily found with a bit of digging, but my concern when first playing was to kill and not be killed :)

Upgrades / powerups were also mentioned in gameplay a couple of time. I think I was awarded 'silent footsteps' while playing as a sniper at one point, but I'm not sure if this is a permanent thing, something you turn on or off, or what. I think there was also notification of an unlock that was available for the next round, but again, I'm not sure what/how/where to do anything with this.

Compared to the unlock system from the BF series I have to say that BF seemed to be simpler and easier to understand. That could be just experience talking though.

(Current) Conclusions
I'm going to keep playing this for sure. The look and feel is awesome, and I think once I "get" the team gameplay it'll be much better. The forums seem to indicate it takes a few hours of play to get up to speed, which seems a bit long, but it is a beta after all. Looking at the maps that have been in screenshots and the videos that have been floating around I'm really looking forward to the full release. In my 2-4 hours of play yesterday afternoon and evening I found no "bugs" per-se, nothing massively out of place or crash inducing, and the only things I see that need improvement is the introduction of gameplay and game concepts.

Compared to BF this game seems a bit more complex when you first go in. I seem to remember BF being a fairly gentle introduction to new concepts, ie: the first time you use a new weapon or vehicle you get a voiceover telling you about it and how to use any special features. The map seemed more useful as well, or at least the idea of what you are supposed to do and where you're supposed to be going was better placed. I'm not sure if I prefer the QW (see everyone on the map) or BF (see only your own team or any sighted enemys on the map) map type. Again, this is most likely more cause I've played way more hours of BF, and I plan to revisit this assessment as I get a bit more into QW.

Final conclusion is that if you're a fan of the original Enemy Territory, or of squad based online FPSs this is definitely a download to play around with. Check out the forums and see if your question or complaint is there and if not, ask. I'm sure the devs are reading it to hopefully make QW a kickass game when it appears.

If you can't get on the beta, well, try try try and hopefully another round of beta keys appear soon!

Informal results:
Graphics / Sound / Visuals: 9.5/10
Gameplay (feel): 8/10
Gameplay (squad): 5/10
Menus: 9/10
Ability to Jump in and go: 6/10

Posted by Arcterex at 09:41 AM
Fantastic 4: Silver Surfer Review

I had the pleasure of seeing Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer with Firefly and Dana (of the very famous security blog </plug> :)

Read below for my take on it.... may be minor spoilers in there (though I'm sure you can pretty much guess most of it anyway :)

First of all I was happy for Oneiros that Galactus was not represented by a guy in a robe. The trailer has a scene that indicates that the Surfer is talking to a hooded, robed guy who you assume is Galactus, but lucky for the comic book purists he's represented in a far bigger way.

The movie picks up a few months or years after the first movie, with the FF dealing with the ups and down of being superstars. They are drawn from their "normal" superhero lifestyle when a mysterious force in the form of the Silver Surfer appears, and they discover that the surfer precedes the complete destruction of any world that he visits.

Fun ensues.

The movie was fun, and in my opinion worth the $8 to see it in the theaters. There's definitely something about certain movies that, for me anyway, makes it worth going to the theater for the 'big screen' experience (of course, these days that involves over priced popcorn, 20 minutes of ads before the previews even start, people kicking the back of your chair, checking their cell phones, and spilling their drinks on your feet... not that I'm bitter!).

The special effects are great of course, and the characters are not bad. I still find Jessica Alba wooden and while incredibly attractive, somehow not sexy at all. She really tries hard to act in the wedding scene, but really (to me) seems to blend into the background. The Human Torch and The Thing were the main focus in this movie. There was a fairly good mix of comedy and seriousness, with the standard array of predictable characters coming in and out (the stern and unforgiving general, the evil guy who double crosses, etc). The action and storyline are probably very predictable for comic book fans (who know who/what Galactus and the Silver Surfer are and do) and only mostly predictable for most savvy movie goers.

Other than the predictability and wooden performance from a couple of the characters, the only real complaint I have about this movie (for what it is anyway) is there is a chase scene through some mountains with what I think were great special effects, but the chase happened at night, so you couldn't see the great effects!

My recommendation (as I don't have a proper rating system here) is go see it on cheap night at the theater, or go see it on DVD at a friends place with a nice 42" LCD TV and surround sound system ;)

Posted by Arcterex at 08:58 AM
First Person View in Real Life

Found via digg is a video and pictures of how to set up a first person shooter view in real life... the original site is down, but here's a mirror. That'd be really trippy to watch yourself as you move around.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:49 AM
June 24, 2007
QuakeWars Beta Key Distributing NOW!!

By the time you see this it'll probably be too late, but the Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars on FilePlanet promotion is on and beta keys and downloads are distributing now! I'm sitting waiting in line for my download.... so long Sunday!

Posted by Arcterex at 02:40 PM
June 23, 2007
Scott Adams on How to be A Cartoonist

Over on the Dilbert Blog Scott Adams of Dilbert fame shows us all How to Make a Comic Strip.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:08 PM
June 22, 2007
iPhone Guided Tour

The Unofficial Apple Weblog points out that Apple posted and iPhone welcome video. It's about 20 minutes and has a fairly complete tour of the iPhone functionality and features.

The graphics are nice, though I'm wondering if they are "real" at all or it's composited from the actor and CG.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:08 PM
Good Horses Say No to Drugs

I found scans of The most amazing book ever!

It's horses ("Latawnya" in particular) showing why drinking and drugging is bad.

Oh my.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:02 PM
Prarie Dog.... Remixed

Thanks to my buddy Brian for the Prarie Dog... but remixed! Here's Baron von Prairie by Nitro.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:17 AM
June 21, 2007
From Your IT Department

Via Craigslist is A Friendly Reminder from your IT Department:

2. If you are going to use my stuff, then use it properly. This means LEARN ABOUT FUCKING SPYWARE. If you absolutely HAVE to go to some site during work hours (and we’ll talk about this in a minute), then make sure, when the popups start showing up, you click the little black X in the upper right hand corner. Don’t click the big flashing “OK” in the middle. Don’t. Whatever it is you think you should do – if it’s not that little grey X in the uppermost right corner, don’t do it. Don’t. Just. Fucking. Don’t.

Much more IT love in there....

Posted by Arcterex at 01:30 PM
Giant F*cking Robots T-Shirt

Found on Micheal Bay's blog, a Transforms shirt: Giant Fucking Robots are Coming. Hilarious, regardless of the suckage of the movie (which I'll be seeing opening weekend regardless). I'll take one of those please :)

Posted by Arcterex at 09:59 AM
Morning Images

I ended up going through the top links on a blog and found a few interesting ones:

Posted by Arcterex at 09:55 AM
June 20, 2007
Getting Rid of Your Junk

How to Get Rid of Your Junk. Man I need to do this.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:22 PM
Stuff About Sushi

What you don't know about sushi. Be sure to hit the how to eat sushi link as well.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:51 PM
US History You Don't Know

Some random historic facts that either go against, or perpendicular to what you learned about them in school (if you learned about them at all of course). Of course, I have no idea how true the page is on it's facts, but it definitely is interesting if true.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:02 PM
Deep Questions

Officespam (almost as good as Darren for keeping me amused first thing in the morning) poses some Tough Questions with some interesting answers. Definitely a good read.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:30 AM
No iPhone In Canada (Yet)

Well, guess there's no point in me lining up for an iPhone on the 29th, as Darren pointed out that there's no iPhone coming to Canada anytime soon. Not even in talks with Rogers yet. Bastards!

Until things do happen this directory of Leapoard screenshots will have to do.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:46 AM
Weight Loss Pill Side Effect

Oh wow, this is hilarious..... check out this article on the Miracle diet pill with teeny-tiny side effect. Basically the cure is way worse than the symptom it's curing I think. Read for yourself though.

“You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it’s probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work.”

Posted by Arcterex at 06:37 AM
June 19, 2007
Overheard Conversations

Fantastically funny conversations Overheard in New York.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:15 PM
June 18, 2007
Nice Ruby / Rails Tutorial

Kevin Rose found a nice tutorial on Starting Ruby on Rails. Much nicer than some of the other ones out there, quick and to the point and oriented towards other programmers.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:57 PM
Sexy Mac Subversion Client

An apple weblog pointed to a new GUI subversion client called Versions. Unfortunately it's in a private beta at the moment, but sign up and maybe you'll get a chance to check it out (if you're on a mac of course).

Posted by Arcterex at 10:23 AM
Linux Commercial

Fairly amusing / cute / clever / meh-ok Linux commercial is out.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:09 AM
Cleaning up Windows Spyware

Coding horror has a nice article on How to Clean Up a Windows Spyware Infestation. Now, this is the 'by-hand' way of doing things, I personally prefer to use AdAware / SpyBot / HijackThis and friends. However, this is a nice article on how to know what is going on behind the scenes.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:48 AM
Onion Article on Lazy Terror Cell

Hilarious article on The Onion entitled After 5 Years In U.S., Terrorist Cell Too Complacent To Carry Out Attack.

"We remain wholly committed to the destruction of America, the Great Satan," al-Sharif said. "But now is not a good time for us. The season finale of Lost was such a cliff- hanger that we have to at least catch the first episode of the new season. After that, though, death to the infidels."

Posted by Arcterex at 08:58 AM
June 17, 2007
Cat and Mouse Armor

I think this is a new set of Cats and Mice armor. Very cool even if it is a dupe :)

Posted by Arcterex at 09:49 PM
June 15, 2007
Adobe Magazine

Never knew that there was a freely downloadable version of Adobe Magazine. You have to sign up and it's in PDF format though (no rss sadly).

Posted by Arcterex at 10:30 AM
June 14, 2007
Vancouver In FSX with Vancouver+

Great page with some Vancouver Plus Screenshots. For those who don't know, Vancouver+ is an patch for Flight Sim 9 and X (10) that greatly enhances the local scenery, including the outlying areas, from Squamish to Mission and more. Hit the link to see just how much it enhances it.

Posted by Arcterex at 04:14 PM
VW Show This Saturday

If you have a VW and out in the lower mainland, you might be interested in the DGLVK Westcoast Showdown 2007.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:54 PM
To Catch a Predator Doesn't Work (Duh)

I'm sure this is obvious, but this video on how To Catch a Predator (perverted justice) doesn't work.

Shockingly enough, the motives of Reality TV / Entertainment news / the utter shit that passes for "news" don't mix with actual law, law enforcement, or people actually interested in catching predators not for "good entertainment". Worth a watch for sure, even more so if you're a fan of this tv program (for real or for laughing at).

Posted by Arcterex at 12:10 PM
Subversion 1.5 Merge Tracking

Mark Phippard talks about one of the new features in Subversion 1.5, merge tracking, which allow you to: "Record and use merge history to avoid the repeated merge problem and allow for cherry-picking."

Posted by Arcterex at 10:42 AM
The Vista Ultimate Extras Sham

istartedsomething proclaims that Windows Ultimate Extras is a sham, and asks where the responsibility for selling the uber-expensive version of Vista for the extras, then having no movement on those extras (aside from the 4 (fairly lame) ones it was released with) is. Interesting discussion, some good links in there as well to other people asking the same question. More here (in the comments).

Posted by Arcterex at 10:33 AM
Bryce3D 5.5 Free

Bryce 5.5 is available as a free download for those happy fun people who like 3D modeling.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:22 AM
Online Predators Real Story

Very interesting article on Sexual predators online on Boing Boing.

Kids do get preyed upon, but not in the way that it's depicted in the media, and none of the cell-phone-tracking, spyware-installing fear-based parenting does squat to protect them.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:12 AM
Gravity Bookshelf

The gravity bookshelf is similar to the gravity gun, but more useful around the house.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:57 AM
June 13, 2007
MS Marketing Wins

I've criticized Microsoft and their marketing in the past, but this banner on why debugging matters shows a clear win for them from the Visual Studio team :)

Posted by Arcterex at 03:06 PM
Comedy Through Laughter

Dad at Comedy Barn is 100% proof (IMHO) that laughter breeds laughter, and someone with a funny laugh breeds even more laughter. Check from about 1:45 into the video above when they get to the guy in the middle.... keeps on going and going and going and is the funniest damn thing I've seen in ages!

Posted by Arcterex at 01:14 PM
Reasons Not To Piss off Your Crazy Girlfriend

Two words any man will cringe just reading..... "testicle attack".

Posted by Arcterex at 12:47 PM
Samuri Coder Funny

Confessions of a Samurai Coder.... familiar to anyone who has said "you know, I could do this better with a little refactoring...." :)

Posted by Arcterex at 12:26 PM
The iPhone Keyboard For the 30something Generation

JohnK, my ex-boss has some good thoughts on The genius of the iPhone’s keyboard that I have to agree with. I have a blackberry for work and find it very fast to type with, but a pain to have a huge form factor just to get that, and I also hardly ever text anyone with a normal phone.

I'm not sure that the iPhone isn't for the theoretical 17 year old who texts hours every day... I have a feeling that your teenagers will learn to text by feel on the iPhone, tactile feedback or not, just as they learned to text 26+ characters on a 12 key phone handset, though.

Worth a read, thanks John!

Posted by Arcterex at 09:57 AM
The Rat Race

Thanks to cuteoverload I have the coolest video of rats on a wheel you'll see all day.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:47 AM
ZFS Coolness

Eric Kustarz's Weblog talks about using ZFS on a laptop. Very neat to see what Sun's filesystem can do in a non-complicated manner. Of course, if you want to try this out you may come across the issues that Ian Murdock did to find where to download OpenSolaris.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:49 AM
June 12, 2007
Rangefinder Digital Mod

Have a Leica sitting around and want to create a little chaos through change? Check out the mod that DrLeoB did over at rangefinder forums..... a Digital Back for the M3. Via the online photographer.

Posted by Arcterex at 01:29 PM
Leopard is Like Vista?

I found a story over on Digg entitled Leopard looks like … Vista from ZDNet. Assuming the entire article isn't a blatant troll, please excuse me while I rant a bit about so-called tech writers. Or maybe it's all satire, not sure... if it is please ignore this :)

1. New Leopard Desktop: Not a whole lot different from Vista’s Aero and Sidebar.

... or conversely, not much different than the original OS/X desktop from 2001. The Leopard desktop is (sadly) not all that revolutionary and more a nice evolution from the original.

2. New Finder: Many of the same capabilities as the integrated “Instant Search” in Vista (the subsystem that Google is trying to get the Department of Justice to rule as being anti-competitive). The new Leopard Coverflow viewing capability looked almost identical to Vista’s Flip 3D to me.

Well, the 'instant search' in Vista could be said to be snatched from spotlight which was introduced in 2006 in OS/X 10.4. The new coverflow is fairly different from Flip 3D from what I can see, and is actually a modification of coverflow from iTunes which was introduced in September 2006. Flip 3D could also be argued to be Microsoft's interpretation of Expose from OS/X.

More below....

3. QuickLook: Live file previews — just like the thumbnail preview capability available in Vista.

Kinda sorta but different. Looks almost more like the 'quickview' that was in windows 95 or the 'preview' app from OS/X. Thumbnailing open windows is IMHO nothing like viewing files without opening an app.

4. 64-bitness: Leopard is the first 64-bit only version of a desktop client. Vista comes in 32-bit and 64-bit varieties. And most expect Windows Seven will still be available in 32-bit flavors. Until 32-bit machines go away, it seems like a good idea to offer 32-bit operating systems.

I think this is correct, but this doesn't seem very much of a "Leopard is Vista" argument.

5. Core animation: Not sure what the Vista comparison is here. The demo reminded me of Microsoft Max photo-sharing application. The WWDC developers attending the Jobs keynote didn’t seem wowed with this functionality.

They probably weren't wowed because core animation isn't all that differnet from the offscreen video that OS/X and vista use already, giving things like Expose and Flip3D. Or it could be there's no Vista comparison because there is no Vista comparison.

6. Boot Camp. You can run Vista on your Mac. Apple showed Vista running Solitaire in its WWDC demo. But I bet those downloading the 2.5 million copies of Boot Camp available since last year are running a lot of other Windows business apps and games.

Probably. And?

7. Spaces: A feature allowing users to group applications into separate spaces. I haven’t seen anything like in in Vista, but the audience didn’t seem overly impressed by it.

Not sure about vista, but there is a similar powertoy called virtual desktop manager. Sadly it sucks :) Oh, and people weren't impressed by this because things like the Unix desktop have had multiple desktops since the '70s or so.

8. Dashboard with widgets. Isn’t this like the Vista Sidebar with gadgets?

Vista sidebar and gagets, aren't those like the OS/X's Dashboard (introduced in 10.4) or Gdesklets or SuperKaramba (2003)?

9. iChat gets a bunch of fun add-ons (photo-booth effects, backrops, etc.) to make it a more fully-featured videoconferencing product. The “iChat Theater” capability Jobs showed off reminded me of Vista’s Meeting Space and/or the new Microsoft “Shared View” (code-named “Tahiti”) document-sharing/conferencing subsystems.

Not sure if adding silly effects makes something more fully featured :) File sharing / viewing does though. I have no experiences with Meeting Spaces and minimal with iChat, so I won't comment on how similar they are.

10. Time Machine automatic backup. Vista has built-in automatic backup (Volume Shadow Copy). It doesn’t look anywhere near as cool as Time Machine. But it seems to provide a lot of the same functionality.

This was a critique when Time Machine was first introduced (it ripping off VSC). However, I think that since OS/X is built on a Unix core there aren't the file locking issues that VSC allows you to get around (I think anyway, not sure if it does just that or does other stuff as well). I don't think that the idea of automated backup is new (or a copy from Vista by any means), but the presentation of it is something new, and if that gives users more inclination to use or be aware of backups, great. I'd be interested in comparing the numbers of people doing backups though. I think that windows 95/98/xp had the ability to do backups built in as well (might be wrong about that) and how many people used that? Again, so how is time-machine (a backup application) a copy of Volume Shadow Copy (a file conversioning system/service)?

Anyway, that's my response to the IMHO quite bogus article.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:23 PM
Safari on Windows 0 Day Exploit

If you're one of the fine folks who downloaded the Safari public beta be careful, there is a 0 day exploit out already. Don't think this is in the wild, but definitely potentially dangerous due to bad handling of URI protocols. Hmm... page seems to be dead....

Posted by Arcterex at 09:43 AM
Crazy Wheelchair Stunts

Via Darren again, my morning supply of distractions.... check out this stuff. If he's not careful he's going to paralyze himself! :) Very cool to see people so completely ignoring the fact that they have different circumstances than the rest of us.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:29 AM
June 11, 2007
Britain's Got Talent Opera Singer

Wow, check out this clip from Britain's got talent. This opera singing mechanic gives the audience and the judges an amazing performance. Very nice scene... amazing reaction from the audience for a massively talented dude.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:58 PM
Deskbar Applet Changes in GNOME

sebp posts about some new stuff in deskbar applet including a movie. Looks good!

Posted by Arcterex at 12:49 PM
Safari for Windows Quicky Review

So I finally managed to download Safari for windows (ironically it only worked for me in IE, not Firefox).

Nice look.
Nifty appleness with the input field highlighting.
Nice working with RSS.
Sheets work and look nice for bookmarks, RSS, etc.
Built in bug reporting from the toolbar, including option to send in screenshot as well... nice and fast and will no doubt lower the barrier to entry for bug reports.
Plugins seem to work out of the gate.
Nice font smoothing, cleartype-ish, almost a little too cleartypeish for me though.
Gorgeous apple native widgets.
Dragging around tabs works nicely and is great visually (drag a tag off the window and it gives you a shaded thumbnail of the new browser window that'll appear.
In page find is great and spotlight like.

My MS mouse back button doesn't work.
No adblock and other Firefox plugins I've grown used to.
No ctrl-backspace in text entry boxes and textareas.
No built in spellcheck in textareas (I'm very used to this in FF).

The way the address bar works I don't really like... in FF I can start typing in an address, then hit TAB to move to the autocomplete entries. In Safari TAB moves from the address bar to the search box, down arrow moves to the other autocomplete entries, which takes my hands off the home row. Maybe a familiarity thing, but kinda a con for me.

Sadly the lack of a working back button (might be just this particular computer... will test more when I get home tonight) and the lack of adblock are deal breakers for me :(

Posted by Arcterex at 12:36 PM
Apple WWDC 2007 Wrap Up

Probably the last Apple post for a bit, unless new stuff comes out, but here's the details of Steve Jobs live from WWDC 2007 from Engaget.

To summarize:

  • New games (including new iD technology) to flesh out the mac gaming experience
  • New Leopard features:

    • stacks
    • core animation niftyness
    • new finder with cover flow to browse anything (including remote machines, mac or windows)
    • downloads automatically put in a stack in the doc to clean up the desktop
    • eyecandy
    • 'Back to my Mac' feature works remotely and through .MAC
    • quick-view type thing for previewing without loading an app
    • new saved searches and browsing of todays files, yesterdays files, etc

  • Leopard is all 64bit and fast like a... uhmm... leopard
  • Bootcamp now integrated
  • some iChat stuff
  • Time Machine (no new info that I can see)
  • Safari for windows public beta to be available today (not active yet)
  • iPhone 3rd party app security handled by doing it all in a browser with JS and AJAX

So nothing really huge except I guess for the safari for windows and the new finder. Sucks to have to wait for September or October for the new OS / X, but I guess the next big thing is the iPhone at the end of the month... it'll be interesting to see the reviews, critics, costs, and availability (especially in canada.... we'll see if I can get it through my current Rogers / AT&T carrier or if I have to sell my soul for two years to someone else. Not that I have $500 or $600 to blow on a phone of course (wedding present anyone? :)

Posted by Arcterex at 11:42 AM
Funny Microsoft Photoshops - The Microtrix

Funny set of images with some Matrix themed images called The Microtrix.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:00 AM
June 08, 2007
Another iPhone Hands On

iPhone hands on: The iPhone is Great! (For Everybody Else)

Posted by Arcterex at 11:25 AM
Apple's New OS Full of Animation?

Another Apple story? Bah! Well, Wired says we will Kiss Boring Interfaces Goodbye With Apple's New Animated OS. According to them:

When Steve Jobs takes the stage Monday at Apple's programmers conference, he's likely to give the world a glimpse of an upgraded Mac operating system that could herald the biggest changes to the machine's interface in 30 years.

Basically this will integrate animation into the core of the OS. The example they show are a CD burning app that smokes while it burns CDs. If you blow into the microphone the smoke blows across the desktop.

I'm all for eyecandy, but that sounds a bit pointless no? That's just an example 3rd party app though, we'll have to wait until Monday to see what Steve will bring in this regard (if anything).

Posted by Arcterex at 10:02 AM
June 07, 2007
Insider's iPhone Hands-On

As WWDC on the 11th and the iPhone release on the 29th approach, more iPhone news, rumors and info are coming out. Gizmodo has An Insider's iPhone Hands-On & New Details. Most of the stuff there is either obvious or easily guessed (ie: already having aol/gmail/hotmail/etc set up already), assuming any of it is true, of course :)

Posted by Arcterex at 01:36 PM
Find Your Favorite Focal Length from Lightroom

So this one is pretty specific... if you use lightroom and want to find out what your most used focal length(s) are, this post on schussman.com has some perl + RRDTool magic to create a graph from your LR library file.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:07 AM

JWZ throws out a cool thing... Wikigroaning.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:02 AM
50 Things to Know Before You're 50

Hmm.... found 50 Things You Need to Know by 50 over at reddit, has some interesting and funny stuff on there.

11. We're all really, really small, in the grand scheme of things.

One thing they miss is "deal with the fact you're friggin' 50 years old! :)

Posted by Arcterex at 09:29 AM
Fun Video

Darren (again) passed on a link to a fun lip syncing video from the folks over at Threadless.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:10 AM
Hilarious Chat Log

So you get an MSN message from Valve saying they need to confirm your account details.... what do you do? Apparently, this. Absolutely hilarious, thanks for the link Darren!

Posted by Arcterex at 09:01 AM
June 06, 2007
Best MySpace Page

I have to give stopmyspacing props for being a great myspace page :)

Posted by Arcterex at 06:04 PM
Mythbuntu Public Alpha

I suppose it had to happen sometime, Mythbuntu 7.04 Public Alpha 1 has been released. MythTV has long been used on Ubuntu as the main installation platform, it makes sense to create a full release based on it!

This alpha can be used for running a live frontend from CD, and provides a good representation of where the GUI is headed for the installer.
The CD contains a backend/frontend full installation on disk with all plugins. Depending upon the choices made during an "Advanced Installation",
multiple packages will be removed from the installation.

Question is, do I nuke my current working setup which is a couple of mythtv releases behind to try this out or not :)

Posted by Arcterex at 10:33 AM
June 05, 2007
GMail PGP/GPG Encryption

Here's a cool little extension for firefox that allows you to Encrypt and sign Gmail messages with FireGPG.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:12 PM
Media Center Web Access

Craig discovered what he describes as Windows Vista Media Center Killer App. Glad that MCE has finally caught up with MythTV in 2003 :)

Just kidding guys, glad you can realize the power of setting up your soaps to record from work!

Posted by Arcterex at 04:24 PM
Cool Knife Block

Some people have fantastic ideas.... I really want one of these!

Posted by Arcterex at 12:13 PM
Vista Vs. OS/X

Perfect timing for a flame war.... here's Laptop Magazine's article on Mac OS X Tiger vs. Windows Vista. Of course, in a week this will be almost out of date with the new OS/X release that's expected at WWDC. Of course as with everything, this is completely subjective... Vista's advances with it's pictures folder will mean nothing to say, pro photogs (who will use something like Lightroom or Aperture anyway), while to mom and dad wanting to organize snapshots, it might count for a lot. Gamers will probably still pass OS/X by due to the far greater availability of games on Windows (course, based on the benchmarks I've seen they'll pass by Vista for XP as well). However, it's an interesting view of 10 separate areas of each OS compared against each other.

One item I do disagree with is the networking discussion. My experience with Vista has been that copying and moving files around, even on the local system, but especially copying files to and from a fileserver (maybe this is MS trying to mess with Samba setups?) is d-o-g s-l-o-w. Unreasonably so. I'm pretty sure you don't need 10-20 seconds of "calculating time remaining" to copy a 100kb file from one folder to another. Also setting a folder to be shared seems to take forever as well... over a minute on a dual core 2.4 G machine.... f*king unacceptable IMHO. That said, I haven't had a mac for years and don't recall how their network setup is compared to the new "network and sharing center". I do remember things generally "just working" though.

Another item I disagree with is backups.... backing up a few files online with .mac is fine, but in this day and age of mass media, having a disk based backup is a huge advantage. That said, I haven't actually used Vista's backup, and would probably go with a 3rd party solution (trueimage or ghost or the like) anyway. Having online backup only isn't a winning position IMHO (assuming that OS/X only has .Mac as a solution of course).

Flame on!

Posted by Arcterex at 11:42 AM
Amateur iPod Ad

Fake Steve Jobs has a cool new amateur ad for the iPhone based on the moon scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Posted by Arcterex at 11:22 AM
MT 4.0 Beta Released

Darren (again) pointed me to the Movable Type 4 Beta that was released. It's got some nice features, a new interface, supporting OpenID, a dashboard overview, etc. Eric has only this to say about it, and while I'm not that uninterested, I'm not hugely excited. One thing that was a nice little feature was the ability to reply to a post from within the admin UI. Since generally a blog owner will be replying to other people, this makes far more sense to me.

I threw MT 4 on a test server and imported my current blog into it to play a bit. The UI is nice and new, but a bit slow in parts, and there are a bunch of perl errors that are thrown out doing fairly simple and one would assume, well tested, operations (ie: approving a comment).

I'm going to keep my eye on this, but probably won't get too involved until beta2 comes out at least.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:53 AM
Quake 4 Running on a Mac Under Parallels 3.0

Thanks Darren for the link to some footage of Quake 4 running in Parallels 3.0, showing that the hardware acceleration seems to work just fine. Wonder if it goes fullscreen?

Posted by Arcterex at 10:39 AM
Realtime Bus View Mashup (Finland)

This Public Transport Map is super-cool..... it's a google maps mashup with GPS feeds from buses in Helsinki, showing you a real time view of where the buses are. Now all we need is real-time satellite view to compliment this. Found on reddit.

Posted by Arcterex at 09:50 AM
June 04, 2007
2 New Pentax DSLRs Next Year

Any Pentax users rejoice that after a Meeting With PENTAX there is news of new cameras and lenses.

There will be two (2) you heard it, at least two new DSLR's coming out in the Fall, that will not conflict with the K100 or the K10D!

Posted by Arcterex at 04:28 PM
Physics Flash Game

Found a fun little flash based physics game called Blueprint.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:52 PM
Powerpoint Mistakes (Stand Up)

Hilarious stand up routine on How NOT to use PowerPoint.

Posted by Arcterex at 03:07 PM
One Second Taser Blast

Ever wonder what happens if you give yourself a one-second taser burst? If so, read on!

Posted by Arcterex at 02:08 PM
Family Guy Star Wars

Darren points me to a video from JediInsider of the Star Wars Celebration IV: Family Guy Preview. Absolutely hilarious. Anyone know when this is playing for real? This looks like a preview shown on a big screen with an audience.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:48 AM
June 03, 2007
Wii Controlled Source Control

Hows this for making source control more fun for programmers? Check out this video of a Wii controlling Plastic SCM.

Posted by Arcterex at 12:42 PM
The Cat Cam

Now this is a worthwhile project for any cat-loving, photography-loving geek. The Cat Cam! A modified tiny camera attached to the cat collar, which takes pics to show a day in the life of a cat from the cats perspective. Very cool! Sadly if I did this to any of mine 99% of the pictures would be of the side of the couch where they lounge 18 hours a day :)

Posted by Arcterex at 12:25 PM
June 01, 2007
Early Transformers Review

Transformers review of an early showing (or screener or something like that) over at AICN. Check it out here.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:07 PM
Arguing Constructively

RVBurke points to a link on how to argue in a constructive way.

Posted by Arcterex at 07:37 PM
1986 Mac Vs AMD Dual Core?

Now this is funny.... benchmark comparing a mac from 1986 running System 6 against a brand new XPSP2 Dual Core AMD machine. You Won't Believe Who Wins.

3) All of the tests were performed with a generally recommended amount of RAM for the OS configuration. For the Mac Plus, that was 4MB. For the AMD that was 1GB.

Even benchmarks like the 'boot to desktop' had me giggling... wow, the more things change the more they suck eh? Course, they didn't have quake back then, either.

Posted by Arcterex at 07:32 PM
Speed up File Copying?

This is interesting..... Lifehacker points to how to Speed up file copying with TeraCopy. I never thought you'd need a special program for file copying, but I guess when you're copying large media files around (I moved 60G of data from one disk to another the other day.... took over an hour with Vista), it might come in handy.

The software optimizes buffer settings to do fancy things.... now if only windows/linux/whatever would/could do that natively! Well, assuming it actually does anything of course :)

Posted by Arcterex at 01:38 PM
Cool Homebrew Network Device

Boing Boing points to a WiFi slurper that grabs up to six open networks and makes one connection. Very cool, similar to what pfsense does, but on a way larger scale (and in the other direction :)

Posted by Arcterex at 12:21 PM
Focal Length Comparison Tool

Another nice link for photographers.... Tamron has a Focal length comparison tool, a flash based app that lets you basically see the effects of different focal lengths of lenses. Nice to see what you are getting when you're not familiar with the lens, or are getting a DSLR and coming from the "N-times zoom" digicam world.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:41 AM
Quake Wars Relase Date?

Shacknews found that Quake Wars is Planned for Q3 2007. Looking forward to it.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:28 AM
Camera Raw 4.1 and Lightroom Updates

Inside Lightroom has details of Adobe Photoshop Camera RAW 4.1 and the next update of Lightroom. Sounds like some nice little enhancements coming for the photogs around. Some other details and links can be found here.

Posted by Arcterex at 10:02 AM
Fast Food Salads... Just as Evil as Fries

Darren sent me a link to The Myth Of Salads: Why Why Fast Food Salads Aren't Necessarily Going To Help You Lose Weight. I know this, but it's nice to see it in black and white (as it were). Finally, justification to get that burger! :)

What if we told you that a Wendy's Garden Sensations Mandarin Chicken Salad had more calories, more fat, more carbs and more sugar than a Double Stack? Would that surprise you? It shouldn't.
Posted by Arcterex at 09:31 AM
Filling Forms Automatically in HTML::Mason

I seem to be the only person programming in HTML::Mason anymore, so this link about Filters And HTML Fill In Form, showing how to use HTML::FillInForm to automatically for checking / filling in the values. Different way than the way I do it, so good to know.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:37 AM
Steve Jobs at All Things Digital

Found the video footage of Steve Jobs talking about Mac, iPhone, etc from the posting the other day. Interesting read if you have 10 minutes to listen.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:29 AM
Nasty Breakup Letters

Hilariously Nasty Breakup Letter.

Watching you parade around my bedroom in a thong was a little like watching sea lions mate. Thought you might like to know.

Posted by Arcterex at 08:02 AM