December 22, 2005

Wag of the Finger

Oh my fucking god. Could this be any more of a tool of a column? I have no problems thinking of Google as a corporation, and I've always been suspicious of the way in which it has tried to "brand itself cool". Boo Hoo, companies being "irresponsible". I wish companies would be in it less for the profit and more for the jacking me off, that's what I say. If companies aren't jacking me off, they should be given a stern talking to by the likes of Mr Thurrott.

As a stunning corollary, we can have a look at the wonder and monomania of people who fixate on those who are not first (Economist premium access). Target "dicking" their workers. Makes me happy to love Walmart in my unseemly capitalistic running-dog fashion.

What I hate most is that because of my surroundings, I'm forced to change the tenor of my dislike, which is annoying to me. When can I sound reasonable again?

Gah your own damn self. You see what happens when you lose all self control? It's like a rage blackout.

Posted by subtitles at 3:28 PM

June 28, 2005

Instructions (and Pictures) on How to Disassemble a Microsoft Mouse

My Intellimouse's scrollwheel was acting up, so I decided to take it apart. The article was very helpful, mostly by pointing out that the screws you need to take the fucker apart are underneath the back feet - mine didn't have front screws. The rest are instructions on how to fix the cabling issues you might get, which I don't because I have fasteners on my very lovely mouse-pads. I might have to get more of this stuff before I go over. But yes, easy as pie, once you know how. I feel it gives me mastery over my mouse now. But contrary to my earlier beliefs, no extra weight - though I'll have a look at the others to make sure.

Posted by subtitles at 5:27 PM

June 25, 2005

On The Fidelity of Status

Boo Hoo, Poor Me, I have too many friends. 2 things for you, "Busy" and "Ban User?".

I know that some people are particularly conscientious, putting themselves as "On The Phone" or something when that's the case. Annoying people, however, do one of two things. They set themselves as perpetually "Away", or as perpetually "Online". The particularly annoying ones set themselves to sign in as Invisible. Anyway the Away thing is very evident in MSN, since you've applied the patch, and can differentiate between when a use is Idle, or setting him/herself as Away. But regardless the effect is much the same, to discourage people from sending you messages.

Telling people to fuck off has always been effective enough for me, you should try it.

I always feel like an idiot messaging people when I'm not sure whether they're in front of their computers or not, and it's pissing me off. Sure people can pounce on you - Deal with it. And then set yourself to "Fuck off and stop pouncing".

Gave your work colleagues your personal IM account and regretted it? Get another one. Or use another protocol, like ICQ or something.

Posted by subtitles at 8:10 PM

June 24, 2005

Microsoft Update (ie: not Windows Update) and @Max Tray Player

Microsoft Update is supposed to be the new be all and end all place to update your MS software - superceding Windows Update. You can access it, I think, by going to, or you can convert your windowsupdate link in the IE toolbar (tools, windows update) by using the IE link, and then following the instructions on the right hand side boxes about Microsoft Update - it'll install a MS Update in your start menu and convert the link in IE. Basically it saves you going to both Office and Windows update. (yeah, doesn't do anything special quite yet, you have look at the "news" section on the right hand side of the Windows Update page, and move your computer to MS Update manually)

Updating Windows is not optional. If in doubt, make sure you have a clean bill of health from XP's (SP2) Security Center, under Control Panel. If you need free antivirus, at least for 12 months at a time, try the one that has the least drain on system resources, from Computer Associates.

@Max Tray Player is a wonderfully small and easily tucked away in the system tray (screenies on the site), so that I don't have to use WMP to play music. Very spanky and worth a look - esp if you don't want to lose your place in your video file just to play some music. And the interface is so tiny and tucky.

In case you're curious, the updated keygen for XP SP2, that generates the valid product keys, manages to bypass all of this nonsense of people having problems validating, and genuine advantage blah blah. How I would know that, I couldn't tell you.

Posted by subtitles at 8:02 PM

June 19, 2005

Louis' Support Policies - Effective Immediately

One of the first things my first Platoon Sergeant very forthrightly said to us was this - if your problem is too small, ie: something you can ask someone else or you can solve yourself, don't bother me with it; if your problem is too big such that there's nothing I'd be able to do about, don't bother me with it.

This is how it's going to work from now on. If you want help, e-mail requests only. Give me a succinct diagnosis of the problem - not what you assume the problem is, but rather the specific symptoms. Tell me how you've searched for a solution but haven't found one, and perhaps why that is. Tell me what you've done to troubleshoot (restart, uninstall/reinstall etc.), to isolate the problem, basically everything you've tried and what you know the problem isn't. By the time you've done that, most likely you've either solved the problem, or it's not something I can do anything about.

If there is something I can do about it, you can call my home number and I'll walk you through it. I will no longer do troubleshooting over IM - my hands can't take it. You have to understand that that amount and frequency of typing causes me quite a bit of physical pain. If it's an emergency (though really, I'd like to see what you might consider an emergency) you can message me, ask if you can call, and just call. I suppose in the end if you just need help, phone is at least preferable to IM.

Asking me abrupt questions over IM (or really, in person) about computers, software, file-sharing, error messages, problems, complaints, "why doesn't it download faster", "why is there no sound or video", will get you what is referred to as "a right bollocking", ie: I will, without exception, tell you to go fuck yourself. Then I will direct you to this post. Hi.

Also, if you want from me any good will at all, when we are around "people", you are to protect me from annoying people and their endless little queries that could so much easier be addressed by using a search engine, or wikipedia. The only reason why their silly little minds haven't worked it out is they don't really care and don't really want to know, and are just idly interested without the will to do anything other than bitch and moan. It takes a good deal of effort to make these things understandable, and if you're not going to do anything with it, I'd rather you asked the wind if you could piss into it.

Learn it. Know it. Live it - No Shirt, No Shoes, No Dice.

Posted by subtitles at 3:36 AM | TrackBack

June 12, 2005

E-Mail Etiquette - The Wonder of BCC

I think I've been excessively rude to a bunch of people, though most of whom I don't know or don't really give a flying fuck about. Most - not all. That, however, is somewhat beside the point.

It's one thing to send an e-mail to a huge number of recipients - that's fine if it's something important (though importance is often pretty relative). It's another thing to do so without using one of the most flouted "rules" of e-mail etiquette - not putting those multitude of recipients (by omission, not by design) as BCC rather than To, or CC. Wikipedia is nice and helpful as to the exact what and why.

But to me the main reason is privacy. I give my personal address only to people who I give a crap about, as opposed to my public address which I plug into anything and everything up to and including $2 hookers. My personal address is not to be circulated around to people who (refer above) I really don't give a crap about. Also it's an invitation to receive spam and a big target board for e-mail worms - especially when you use e-mail clients that add all your recipients automatically to your address book (yes, you, the idiot who uses Outlook Express' default settings). Fun, huh?

When it comes to this, I have very little patience. Despite the fact that the perpetrator might not be someone I generally want to be rude to, I do what I do on principle. There's very little that's personal about it - I've done it to plenty of people - including people that it's not generally good sense to be rude to.

That said, there is a special place in hell reserved for people who see a long, non-BCCed recipients list and decide that the best thing they can do is "Reply All". Those people should take their knuckle-dragging incompetence and go swivel. These people should be cleansed in righteous fire and sent to the ovens. Fuckwit motherfuckers all.

But yes, there are actually times when you don't BCC, when *everyone* on that list consists only of close friends, or when you need a group to collaborate on something and actually want those addresses circulated. Otherwise, you can bite my shiny metal ass.

Posted by subtitles at 5:44 PM

June 8, 2005

DiscHub - Does What it Says on the Tin - Economically Incentivised

I have to admit, I scammed the makers of The DiscHub. I'd previously bought 2 of them, and I had really loved them, and when I saw them advertising on their front page for bogglers to review it in exchange for a "free sample", I thought, hey, why not.

I first heard about it via Tom's Hardware, which must have a been a coup for the dischub people. The fact that the article convinced me, and that I subsequently paid money for 2, and still want another one (admittedly for free) - pretty much tells you all I really need to say about my (surely much celebrated) endorsement of their product.

09062005.jpgMy particular caveat however, is this - it does what is says on the tin, but it's not the be-all and end-all storage solution; not that it advertises itself as such. Whoops, sorry, it does - "Say Goodbye to Stacking". As I've illustrated in what is as little a posed shot as possible, the dischub is good at what it does, but it hardly eradicates the problem for serial eye-patch junkies like me (a drop in the ocean, more like). At the same time, it also isn't the most efficient way of utilising surface area, which can so often be at a premium.

09062005(001).jpgAll that said, the Dischub excels at making certain discs readily accessible. If you use a particular disc very often, it can be placed strategically, and the jagged layout of the dischub means you can see what you're reaching for without flipping through an album or sorting through a stack. Unfortunately taking a disc out of the hub, while easy enough, requires two hands - one to get the disc, and one to hold the hub in place, since it's pretty light - something that their new rubberised feet won't really help (though presumably they must sell to a lot of igloo dwellers). Not a problem perhaps, but something to take note of, especially people who are used to spindles that just sit there while you yank.

Personally I don't make it a habit of keeping discs that need to be reused - that's what no-cd cracks are for. I tend to use it to hold things I want to keep in front of my attention, like movies I want to watch, or things I need to complete. I also keep one next to my home entertainment system in the living room to hold stray discs while sorting through things to watch - again an instance where the easy reading of the disc labels comes in handy.

What I'd like to do now though, is mercilessly mock the dischub people for their rather silly and not a little opportunistic marketing of their product. Their shop, at the moment, stocks 4 variations - See Through, Satin Blue (both of which are the prettier ones), as well as (wait for it) Vader (Black - duh), and Storm Trooper (White - get it?). Charming, but also not a little moronic. Also, I received as my "review copy", a not so charming "Vader" when I asked for a much more handsome "See Through" - something that doesn't bode well for their warehousing and shipping operations. Though previously when I'd paid for it, they'd given me what I'd paid for.

Yeah, one of the other issues I remember annoying me when I last bought one was that their web store only takes Paypal, which is fine for those of us who've signed up, but would be pretty annoying for people who haven't - and presumably those are the masses of Mensch that you'd want to sell such a consumer-oriented device to. Credit card numbers are just easy. And I know the signs say "Hacker Safe", but the word "Hacker" in any context is going to raise more questions than a poky little image is likely to answer. Of course it's perfectly safe, but I just think some things cause more anxiety than they alleviate.

But I've saved what I like most about the dischub for last. Because I can tend to procrastinate as much as I do, I tend to leave things unattended for longer than they should, and most of the time that means layers of dust. The dischub holds the discs upright, so that there's nowhere for the dust to settle - so your neglected discs (at least those in the hub) aren't gonna get dusty. More of a problem for me than you'd think (or not, depending if you know me).

Oh, and like they say, the neoprene things that hold the discs won't scratch them - though scratch worriers are just (mostly) paranoid anyway.

So if you want one, get it - it's pretty (well, some of them anyway) and surprisingly well made (though for 12 bucks US, it should be). And if you boggle, try before you buy more.

By the way, all images were taken with my spanky Nokia 6630 - which I'll post about when someone comes over with a digital camera that will do it justice.

Edit: Jon, who's the guy running this LSD-induced lava lamp of a boggling program, sent me a number of clarifications, all of which are fair, and as far as I know, perfectly true,

1. If you roll the disc out of the slot you can do it one handed! It pivots around the edge of slot and come right out (I've tested it, true enough - it'd probably require practise to get it to be effortless though - they're considering applying to the Olympic committee in 2045)

2. Sorry for the mistake on the black vs the clear, I send review samples out myself, and must have put the wrong one in - our fulfillment for orders on the otherhand is ace.

3. PayPal stopped requiring users to register in order to process a payment over a year ago. Had that not been the case we never would have used them - but in the next week or two we will be swithching to an in house payment processor.

So there, DiscHub is perfect and and I and my opinions can be bought for the low low price of US$12. I will cede editorial control to you if you ask nicely. But really at this point, I'm just too tired to care, and abdicate all responsibility.

Posted by subtitles at 9:49 PM

May 28, 2005

Free Antivirus (12 months) - Lowest System Resource Usage

It's produced by Computer Associates, it's called E-Trust EZ Antivirus. Dinky name, dinky interface, but it works and it's supposed to cause practically no drag on your system. Uninstall other antivirus (and restart) first. Don't install the firewall - especially if you already use XP's built in firewall. You can get it via Microsoft - they promoted it as part of their big push a while ago to get people to secure XP etc. Click on "Computer Associates, 12 month trial".

Bookmark the microsoft page, it'll probably still be there when your "trial" runs out in 12 months. Yes you have to register with an e-mail address - but I don't remember them sending stuff other than your serial.

Posted by subtitles at 3:56 PM

May 16, 2005

Grypen's Filters for Proxomitron

For those not familiar, the past few days of absolute gaping silence is more what my posting schedule has been like than otherwise. Which is why really I'm not too upset at the prospect of living with monthly archives.

But anyway, leaving the obligatory Opera reference aside (see what I did there?), the discovery I made over the weekend was Grypen's filters for Proxomitron, which are, excuse my french, the dog's bollocks. Which apparently is slang for out-side-standing.

Apparently they're based on JD's filters, and they work fantastically well, though there are always going to be one or two quirks. For those not faint of heart, just do a clean install of Proxo with his filters (like Opera, you can just install to a new directory - the startup shortcut just goes in the start menu). You start by installing this, then this. Then except for tweaking and setting your proxy, you're done.

I still say I'd rather have the non-nuclear option of Opera having better CSS filtering, but this is the next best thing. I suppose I'd like to do another idiot proof post, but I just suspect that no one gives a flying fuck. Though as always, it's just easy in terms of doing it for others. I wouldn't wonder if you could just install Proxo and then copy the files over, since I don't think the registry's even involved.

Personally I'd rather have CNet's front page back, and really it is a bit annoying smurfing my spite with ads - if only because of the flickery-ness of them. Oh, but SpelChek gets its ads well-filtered :).

Posted by subtitles at 1:31 AM | TrackBack

May 5, 2005

Google Web Accelerator - Browse Ads Faster

I've been using the aforementioned web accelerator - which I think seems pretty useful. Heard it first on BetaNews. I've been using it for about half an hour or so, and pages do seem to load faster, but that might just be a placebo effect. The best thing though is that I can surf with it and Opera still ad-free through Proxomitron, all you have to do is put the proxy info they give into Proxo's proxy and check "use remote proxy". Voila - ad-free sped up smurfing.

What I realised later when I finally wrestled MS Anti-spyware into submission (I had paranoid-ly stopped the toolbars from installing), what the fantastic secret was behind google's cunning plan. Because they have a counter for how much time saved I could see the moment when time saved was being racked up - and guess what - it's when the ads are loaded. Google is saving you time by loading the ads you don't want faster.

To be fair this is not an inconsiderable service - people who don't use ad-blocking like Proxo will probably have a much improved browsing experience, since ads are becoming more and more the cause of web pages loading slowly - either due to lags on the ad server, or the size of the graphical ads in relation to the page content.

So basically when I went to check my stats, I realised that the time I spent with Opera didn't show any time saved. I can only assume time was saved because it felt faster and google news loaded and reloaded in a flash - which is what I assume prefetching is for. So either it's all placebo and it's crap, or it doesn't log time saved for "other browsers", or it's just a way for Google to collect stats and help advertisers serve ads faster. Because really, the content of the page would load, then the ads would flicker on a second later, just as the "time saved" would tick over.

Ah ok, I'm seeing how it works now, it does indeed prefetch links - for instance they use styling to extra underline prefetched links - for instance the english wikipedia front page when I was on Though I think they do it in the time you're supposedly "reading" the page. I'm not sure if this works properly in Opera, since, I haven't seen the styling links flicker on. I'm sure cleverer people than me will talk about this eventually, but at the moment, it's useful, but funny. Really, it might just be my 25 Mbit connection kicking in.

Oh my, I just realised the WikiNews page that they loaded on IE was from 5 days back - silly buggers. But Google News loads faster, which is one thing - and accessing Google's cache instead of the wider InterWeb is probably that bit more efficient. There's probably some form of compression going on as well, I'd suspect. It's interesting that because of the pre-fetching, Google says this is meant mostly for Broadband users. Pre-fetched links still not showing up in Opera, might try turning on FF's CSS ad blocking and see how that affects on the landscape.

Well I'm not wrong - the counter doesn't seem to tick up when browsing with CSS blocking - even with the prefetch pages, which is odd. Well, ok, not *not* tick up, but tick up in increments of .1 and .2 of a second. So really it is just about speeding up ads. Or not, since I'm getting the feeling all of this is just me talking out my ass - in IE it does appear to tick up the same with the ads. I don't know, it might just be google's caching being efficient, and the ads do seem to take a second to load - though not as long a second as I remember - but then again I haven't seen ads for ages.

It does a great job prefetching my bog though, especially if you're going post by post - though then the prefetch underlines start to get particularly annoying.

I think my final verdict is gonna have to be to try it, why not - though the ticking up can get a bit obsessive, so you might want to turn that, and the pre-fetch underlines (eventually) off.

Posted by subtitles at 5:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 3, 2005

startlingly like Acer notebook keyboards

benq.JPGLSR did a post on how to avoid RSI. It's close to my heart, so,

Yeah, RSI can be a real bitch. I actually have 2 mice at my computer (I spend so much time in front of it) so I can alternate mousing with my right and left hands. Also, the best way to get rid of mouse strain is to not have the mouse too far to the right - normally this happens because keyboards extend to the right with the number pad. So what I do is I get very compact keyboards - normally those more or less ripped off from notebook keyboards, without the number pad. Benq has a nice one that I use - which look startlingly like Acer notebook keyboards :).

Ah, I see, the pings just keep turning up in the box - at least they're sensible enough to reject more than one ping. But I suspect they fund themselves peddling pop-ups, which is rather naughty, shall ask LSR, next I comment, in case they're his. But it would explain their business model, I didn't remember seeing premium services. Fine for Oprah users, and I suppose anyone who's updated their browser in the last year. Idiots using IE on 98 and 2k are pretty silly stuck though.

Fuck me, this is why I want my rss feed changed to my category feed.

Posted by subtitles at 8:11 AM | TrackBack

May 1, 2005

25 MegaBits Baby!

Oh my, this is cool. My ratio worries are a thing of the past (hopefully). Muahahaha. Why oh why can the US not be this good? I suppose the really cool thing is the 1 Megabit up.

Posted by subtitles at 9:37 AM | TrackBack

April 20, 2005

Like Flies to Wanton Boys

Good god - when the gods with to punish us, they grant us our wish. So yes, people moving to MSN 7 can use "personal messages", but now it also broadcasts paid links to people's playlists, so that the fact that people *I* know are listening to cack is being rubbed (along with ads) in my face. Dion knows who he is. Good god. Do yourselves a favour, maybe listen to Aimee Mann's new album before you get it. Or something. Jeff Buckley maybe.

Posted by subtitles at 3:20 PM | TrackBack

A Measure of Clutter

I'm on a break now because University Challenge was getting too exciting. I kid you not. Someone on there looks spookily like Ve-Yin. Just to tell people (I can't quite imagine who), the new version of Opera has an incremental increase in the version of search.ini, so if you want to retain your old search.ini, you'll have to change the backed up search.ini to version number 5. More detailed instructions can be found via the forums etc.

I'll eventually get around to re-jiggering a customised version. To be honest it's not a big deal, since most of the searches I have already or I don't use. They've added Opera Search as an option, which is cool. It's a nice useful search if you don't want to be innundated; it lacks features - and hence a measure of clutter.

Posted by subtitles at 9:14 AM | TrackBack

April 11, 2005

New MSN Video Codec - MSN 7 - Uber-Patch

It's good shit. Basically it's smoother, so less lag and more frames. I had it on while X-Lite was running, and it all seemed to do pretty well, though I turned off all P2P as a precaution. Haven't really bothered to compare it to say Yahoo, but it seemed fine. The ad that shows up at the start is a bit annoying, but having gotten rid of all the ads with patches otherwise, I'm not the most bothered.

I think has another uber-patch up, which might be worth checking out. If I remember they have something that differentiates people who set themselves as away or whether they're just idle. Makes me want to chuck ICQ really. There was a feature about the codec having already been reverse engineered so that it'll work on Linux etc.

New version of Skype is out, with more things I'm not bothered about. I have yet to be Skyped using my link, though I wonder if that's just because of my privacy settings.

Ok, definitely get the uber-patch - you never knew how much crap there was till you got rid of it all. I don't think I can link straight to it, just look for it on

Posted by subtitles at 6:52 AM | TrackBack

April 6, 2005

MSN 7 Released - Everyone *Please* Install It

Not that there's any real security reason why you should, but I'm just saying that you should. If only so I can stop viewing contacts by e-mail address. You can get the new version early via Neowin. You can get it patched via Mastaline. I find it interesting or whatever that Mastaline is a dutch (or at least dutch language) site. The build number is 7.0.0777 - it's scheduled for an april 7th release - clever huh?

Posted by subtitles at 11:44 PM | TrackBack

April 1, 2005

Recording Real Streams

The lovely people at UKNova were patient enough to point me in the direction of how to rip streams - particularly useful in getting stuff off the BBC website. It really is as simple as using NetTransport - very much like flashget, and can't say for sure that it's not a rip, but it handles real files, so yay. I can't say it was the easiest thing to find a crack for, but it's there. As long as you know how to get at the url of the stream, you're golden. So Louis now has Mamet's radio version of Faustus, which personally isn't bad. Rebecca Pidgen's the best thing about it. Pity the archive doesn't stretch further back than a week, or I could have gotten his interview and Glengarry Glen Ross - it might be time to start getting old episodes of HardTalk though.

Posted by subtitles at 2:28 PM | TrackBack

March 27, 2005

Search Blues - Opera, MSN, Yahoo, Google - The Importance of Width

I've been yoyo-ing about what search to leave as default and I'm still pretty flux-y about it. I was doing my best to use Opera Search, which you can get to via or the more expansive It's good - according to Haavard they use Overture, but it lacks features like image search, languages etc. But it also lacks ads. Unfortunately the main issues are that it's not customisable in that I can't get it to show more hits per page, though I'm sure it could be handled easily with a tweak to the url and it doesn't group hits by site; more importantly though, it's width limited, which annoys me.

Many pages limit how wide the content can be so that it will a) display the same to various monitor resolutions - ie the designers were just lazy b) they want to squeeze more ads in to less content - which I have not too much problem with, except it leads to squeezed content strips which are annoying. I suspect that in certain ways column paragraphs are less intimidating, though it might lead to the wish to format shorter paragraphs otherwise.

But getting back to the searches, MSN I like because the layout is pretty, and so is the butterfly icon. The annoying thing is that the paid searches aren't filtered out by Proxo. Yahoo I'm getting very fond of because it has tended to find the things I want to find - it's also doing a good job of indexing my site, especially my broadvoice sucks post (as is Opera, but not quite as well). The customised Google search is cut down and a bit annoying - I'll eventually upload a fixed custom search.ini. I think I'm sticking with MSN for a bit, but Yahoo is again climbing the charts, despite being a bit plain. But yes Google also tends to limit widths.

I make it a point to format this site to fit variable widths - and testing is easy, just zoom with Opera and you can see how it'll look. granted I have menus on the right with the main page, but that's mainly for navigation - if you read via the RSS feed, you'd never really need to see it, and you get full width pages - the MSN notification thing I still find pretty fun, more so if not for the frames. Not to say I'm able to fund the site on ads (yet), but prospects look promising, despite me not going crazy with them.

I'm considering moving back to the cheaper broadvoice plan. If only to spite them.

Posted by subtitles at 6:07 PM | TrackBack

To See If I Can Make It Not Ugly

I'm pretty damn sure that installing graphics drivers is going to piss me off. To be fair, I saw behaviour with Nvidia drivers that I wasn't too wild about, but I can't imagine how things could ever be quite as bad as with ATI - and the process is annoyingly painful. Makes me wonder if a clean install would even fix it. I think there are good reasons why I've become lazy about clean installing, not least of which is that it's a pain. I'm ever so slightly disappointed that no one's tried skypeing me via my link, I've even hooked up my telemarketing gear.

And so I'm getting ever closer to removing most of the ads from my site - the search boxes are annoying me now, and to be honest, their search is pitiful - unless it's just that indexing the site too difficult - the built in search is much better. The ring tones will be gone - I'll just stick to the adsense ads, maybe even cut out the economist link, or at least the image link, along with the other bits from CJ. The buttons I'm also getting annoyed with. Basically I'm just concerned at how long the page load for the main page is.

And so it's done. The old site I can't be bothered. I'm thinking of getting rid of the forum and auditioning WordPress, to see if I can make it not be ugly. I'm also reminded now that my junk fastmail address is starting to piss me off, so I might move to another one and abandon that one. Anyway it shouldn't really matter to anyone other than me, since I tend to send mail and give the address that is personal, and the e-mail link on the site will always be active.

Posted by subtitles at 3:43 PM | TrackBack

March 24, 2005

The 3-Headed Monster's Back

I don't know why, but it's important that you know that I've moved back to using the classic theme for XP, ie the Win2k theme. It's just cleaner, and if Win2k had a slightly expanded feature-set, I'd seriously think about moving backwards. Opera is back using Oxid, since the toolbars are so much more convincingly compact. The panel button will eventually annoy me enough. The black skin has great icons, if only it wasn't black.

I wonder if I could keep a promise to myself not to build a new comp till Longhorn comes out. It would mean that by then dual core would have become more commonplace, and the various platforms would have stabilised. And also it'd always be nice to be able to make use of all the UI features that they ask you to have a higher end graphics card for. I'm so going for Athlon 64 though, because I doubt Pentium M is going to make it to the desktop so convincingly in that time frame.

Makes me think I should go for a cpu upgrade on my shuttle - wait till the 3.2 gig P4s for my socket become dirt cheap. Oh, and the 3 headed monster is back - CMV still makes shitty panels - the backlight luminesence problem is still as pronounced. I can't put my finger on it, but my samsung looks cross hatched - it's probably just me being paranoid - and the zap was probably the dvi connector rather than the internal ones.

Posted by subtitles at 4:31 PM | TrackBack

March 21, 2005

Generation - Button, Mail - Wordpress

I've discovered how to make those lovely buttons that have been popping up all over the place, and I've spent 5 minutes making one for here. The generator is here. I think I like the second one better.


Speaking of generators, I can't remember if I've already mentioned that you can make e-mail buttons here - like so:

I've also been looking enviously at WordPress, especially since it specifically works towards valid XHTML and CSS - I'm probably too lazy to change over, but it looks cool. I'd have to figure out how to use MySQL properly someday though - and the idea of dynamic databases like that frightens me. Obviously I'd just like to be in a position where I could pay someone to do all the hard stuff for me.

Posted by subtitles at 6:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 20, 2005

Not Quite as Bad as Dialectic

It appears that all this time I've been misspelling the word - it's supposed to be weltanschauung, rather than weltenschauung. I wish someone would have told me, not that it would have made a lot of difference. But I could have sworn that that was how it was spelt in the narrative texts I read - misprinting or me being silly? Oh well, not much I can do about the e-mail addresses I have with it. I was considering putting up a button with my gmail address, as seems to be the rage, but it's just free advertising isn't it, for a service that I really don't use - and whose pop service seems to be flaking on me. Bugger, it turns out that I'm just the leader in following instructions - it's not my fault they don't provide screenies for the advanced screen and make sure you turn on SSL - bastards. But yes, the misspelled word above is my gmail address. But apparently the buttons aren't gmail produced, you can find the generator here. I suppose it's useful in that you can use the smtp for fastmail :). I still think IMAP is a more useful protocol, especially if you have as many accounts as I do.

The Frank Black version of Hang on the Your Ego is incredibly apt for him.

Posted by subtitles at 5:18 AM | TrackBack

March 19, 2005

How Incredibly Not Worth It is That Crappy-Ass Email Service?

Pretty damn - would be the answer to that question. There's a long documented saga of how that silly company seems determined to use things that break in Opera, the beta forum is full of people complaining. And really, I need another e-mail account like I need herpes, or an Alanis Morrisette/Coldplay album. Honestly, if you want free IMAP, I recommend, as I always have, - I've used them for years now, and not a single piece of spam that I didn't deserve. And their free accounts ask you to use long usernames, so all the better to frustrate dictionary spam. SMTP is an issue, but you can use your isp or any other smtp server. If it comes down to it, you could get a account if you wanted, just contact me - no strangers need apply, sorry. And please don't become a spammer, or I'll turn you into your father's sperm. I have about 90+ accounts on my domain with my hosting plan, so go crazy. Oh, and I'm not not mentioning names because they otherwise advertise on this site, I'm just tired of hear the tripping whine that is branding hell - and I think it's actually unlimited accounts if I'm not wrong.

Posted by subtitles at 3:31 PM | TrackBack

Opera's Nobody's Bitch

I get the feeling Opera's decided that they want to stop getting creamed, and have a much more effective PR strategy. It's just crazy the amount of headline news they've been getting in the past couple of days alone. Someone must being doing something right in their PR department. Whatever the case, I can only assume that this is the blitz before the big launch of the soon to be named not-Opera-8. And every big headline gives it more exposure, which for them would translate almost directly into downloads and sales. So no more being slapped around by ugly sister, it's moving day - graduation. So far no reals signs of "big thing badly".

How could you love me and leave me, it's only, your first time.

Posted by subtitles at 3:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 18, 2005

Louis' Definitive Guide to Buying CDR - Idiot-Proof Version

The simplest I can make it is this: look for 50 disc spindles that have a grey base and a flat edged top. That means getting spindles that look like this


rather than this


which has a sharp edged top and a black base. The brands that normally have the former are TDK and Maxell. TDK tends to have both (as evidenced above), so pick the right one. Maxell I've only really seen having the former. Beyond that, brand really doesn't matter. You should never be paying anything like $30 for 50 discs - the benchmarks should be that 50 shouldn't cost much more than $20. If you go to Sim Lim, you can get it for about $18 - $20. I recommend Z-Nix upstairs 6th floor, turn right as you get out of the lift. If you ask them for "Ritek" discs they'll tend to know what you're talking about.

End of Simple version. I might do more detailed versions if the need arises. That version would include the fact that Ritek manufactures the former, CMC Magnetics the latter. Also that these manufacturers make CDRs for many many brands - and brands don't always stick to a particular manufacturer. Manufacturers, however, stick to their own unique packaging - hence the diffentiation between spindles. Ritek happens to be the good (and compatible) of the cheap.

Posted by subtitles at 7:13 PM | TrackBack

Tempting Fate

I'd try to find and post the quote from Toby, but it's funnier when you watch it - Election Night, 4th season, directed by Lesli Linka Glatter. So I should be writing 2 speeches, one, yay computer, the other, I'm sorry for your loss. Apparently Eugene was asleep at home, so it wouldn't have been a good idea for me to have just gone over and tried calling him there. I'm bringing popiah, which is happily halal (there's a sticker on the wall), though there's one less than there was because I was hungry.

I'm currently reinstalling Neverwinter Nights, since I've discovered the new campaigns, I hope they don't suck. If only the DVD versions weren't all in Italian or spanish. The side glare of the panel is much better now that they changed the panel, and they'll get back to me about the colour issue. Not all that bad, them coming over, and prepared to do the swopsies on the spot - but still plenty of annoyance to get there. Tech repair people are so meek and unassuming, I wonder what that's about.

The Maxell discs I bought (well, eugene bought) are fantastic, especially with the Benq - exceptional in fact. I'm very tempted to replace the Lite-On, but then I wouldn't have pretty scans anymore. At least not on this box. I'm being stubborn about restarting but I really should, so my mouse gets turned back on and the monitors work properly again.

Posted by subtitles at 10:42 AM | TrackBack

March 13, 2005

Troubleshooting Narrative

Not surprisingly, I credit with a kind of wistful holding the half an hour I spent at the computer fair before the thronging, and the fire, and the jumping. I would walk and see them eating before, the dressing applying the final tart, primping and smiling and hiking, groups in huddles going through the ritual of preparation. And me, walking away with CD sleeves and - oh what was it again - a $500 Samsung monitor.

The Benq that Eugene got as quite a steal at $99, and I'm sure the Analog version of my monitor that they bought will do well. At some point I'll post the quote of what I'm getting for them, again to all comers. I don't really feel like telling the story so they mixed up and gave me the wrong monitor, I got a $1000 LCD TV instead of a monitor, but I gave it back because I couldn't stand the though of having to come back to get a monitor after all the drama and effort.

There's a whole troubleshooting narrative to accompany this, but what I choose to mention now is that the cloning of monitors appears to have made the old CMV look sultry. At the moment I'm still finding it endlessly useful, so all of the non-existent offers can now stop. Unless you're a vintage CMV collector.

Posted by subtitles at 7:13 AM | TrackBack

March 11, 2005

Customised Google News - No Sniffing, No Wowing

I suppose I should breeze past the fact that it doesn't seem to be as compliant with Opera as it should be, and hence there are at least some things that can't be done if you use Opera, and talk about how underwhelming it is. The biggest thing you realise is that it's nice to have gotten rid of some of the crap there that just didn't interest you. Without the pictures it's just boring.

Every other news service has offered customisation - Yahoo, MSN, MyWay - and for the first two, you can even add my RSS feed as a headline box (see under syndication on the sidebar). So let the day of jubilee commence. Really all I do there is browse headlines, loose interest, and perhaps click on a couple of the Reuters links.

You can apparently also share your customised page with your friends, who can then choose to mock or worship. Step One. I'm going to get my Big and Tasty.

Posted by subtitles at 3:19 AM | TrackBack

Laundry Day - It's an Allusion to a Bus

So again, my apartment smells like fabric softener, and I'm trolling about in my one pair of jeans that, honestly, are rather comfy - for jeans. Now if I could only stop waking up at 7 every morning. I forgot to put my towel in, and am wondering if I'm neurotic enough to change my sheets just so I can wash my towel. Of course you'd ask where my other towels are, to which my response would be - have you not *met* Louis? But if it ever happens, shower curtain, bedside table, new shoe rack, and uncontrollable weeping.

I just did the rather silly thing of checking how many episodes there would be in this season of 24. Wait for it. This also means that I can now test out my new firmware.

Apparently there's some computer fair thing on tomorrow at Suntec, and all are welcome to join me and Eugene - I must warn you though, that from my experience, these things are designed for one thing only - to clear old stock before new products are launched or price cuts announced. And I can build you one much cheaper and better - though I'm starting to think I really should charge.

Eugene seems to be wanting to help g/f to get new comp, and I'm just wondering whether it'd just be a better idea to go for a cheap socket 754 processor, and put some ass-indentations in Athlon 64. Though I'm wondering whether it's just not worth it if there's going to be no overclocking - the rated speeds are pretty low for the cheaper chips. And the whole SFF thing is making me wonder if it's a good idea. Well they can have a look at the crap being offered, then they can come crying back to clever Louis.

Posted by subtitles at 2:48 AM | TrackBack

March 8, 2005

Google Increasingly Irrelevant

I suppose I've noticed for a while now, that Google's searches have been returning more and more irrelevant search pages and links. (by the way, I'm writing this on the back of a Burger King tray liner - damn this dagger pen is useful)

I mean obviously I can't offer more than anecdotal evidence, but it's noticeable and I'm sticking with that. The wonder then turns to why. Maybe it's the product of google indexing *everything*, that now their previous strength, breadth, is now coming to bite the thing that's handed to them. And especially with idiots like me entering as much text as I do - and not just in easily closeted off domains like blogspot or livejournal or typepad, I wouldn't wonder if they're starting to get a bit swamped.

The other problem is no doubt the fact that they are still the market leader in online search, or since I lack figures to back me up, they at least have the largest mind-share. That would mean that most sites would be trying their darndest to optimise/fineagle their way into an improved google ranking. Personally I just skew my site to cater to the traffic they were sending my way anyway.

For better or worse, the fact that *I* get as many referrals as I do do off of google searches can't be the best thing yes/no?

I can't wait for it: "we're the market leader, so of course we'd be the most open to exploitation etc. etc.". Let the Microsoft schadenfreude begin.

Now this isn't to say that google sucks at everything - Google News is still by far the better new search service (compared to Yahoo news at least) - and honestly until MSN gets the stick out of its ass and starts being more standards compliant, it knows where the sun doesn't shine.

But all in all, my personal endorsement (as I've stated before), goes to Yahoo search. The only reason why I don't put that as my default search in my customised search.ini is that google pays me. The searches have been more consistently relevant, especially in certain instances. That and I find the interface fresher.

MSN search is the worst, cluttered interface, ugly and annoying - espcially compared to Yahoo after proxo has done its work. In terms of search relevance I'd have to get over a couple of bumps before I even find that out. You have to admire Google for making it profitable to have their search boxes and branding all over the fuck-shop, though it might get hairy eventually. I have to mention that MSN only recently began crawling my site (I didn't submit it I suppose) so I might check in and see if that leads to a rise in their referrals.

In many ways, the various blog search engines are the ones most likely to send me traffic - there are a bunch.

Oh, and Opera, as of 8 beta 2, now supports multiple ed2k links on the page being passed directly to eMule. Happened at the same time the started fully supporting Movable Type.

Posted by subtitles at 3:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 7, 2005

Fate Telling Me

For whatever reason it seems that the ads on my site keep disappearing in Opera - despite my having added my domain to the bypass list. It works find for a while, but when you refresh the page (any page) from then on the entire site stops showing the ads. The only way to turn it back on is to disable the proxy via Opera settings, refresh, and then enable it again. In IE it seems to work as it's supposed to. I might post on the MyOpera forums, since it does seem to be an Opera issue. Otherwise I can just take it as fate telling me that people who actually listen to me are not fated to view ads on my site.

So now I have to go to IE to see it with ads - I suppose I could have another installation of Opera and use Optool to move between.

Been listening to talk about Marqui - I want to agree, but some of it is *so* annoying.

Posted by subtitles at 3:43 PM | TrackBack

March 3, 2005

Hacking ICQ/ICQ Lite - Getting rid of the Banner Ads

It's really so easy. Shut Down ICQ. Go to the ICQ directory (usually C:\Program Files\ICQLite\) then go to the "LiteDataFiles" directory. You'll find a file called "banners.xml". Delete the file, and then create a new directory and name the directory "banners.xml". Restart ICQ.

As Michel commented, this is artful hacking 101, where you make sure the offending file can't be replaced - ie they can't copy over a new banners.xml so the ad spaces have nothing to serve.

Take note that doing this won't get rid of the space where the ad used to be on the contact list - that'd involve more hacking which I have no access to. But most important it gets rid of the banners/banner spaces on the message windows. I got this from the forums of a site called - check it out. They tend to keep up on happenings in icq world, and the last time I got an advanced patch, it was from there. Not sure how it's doing, haven't been there in a while.

Huh, apparently, they've been busy, so look here for the amped up crack. It'll send you here. This crack is absolutely superb, it gets rid of everything - kudos. Manual hack was fun, but this is sweet. It not only gets rid of the banners and the banner boxes, it also gets rid of the silly google search box. Really really, it makes the interface *so* much less cluttered.

Oh, and if you have problems using your centre mouse button to double click contacts - turn off tooltips: they're what's causing the problem.

If you're looking for patches for MSN Messenger, you can refer to my post about general MSN freakness, including where to get Beta releases - they generally also post ad patches etc.

Posted by subtitles at 2:01 AM | TrackBack

March 2, 2005

Who Needs to Go to Sim Lim - Monitor Shopping

Louis has resolved to get his lovely new monitor, and perhaps a side table. But Louis, as always, is shy and retiring and needs to be squired about. Louis welcomes all takers. I'd link to my monitor post, but I can't be bothered. Make me an offer on my LCD - if the whole dual monitor thing doesn't pan out, you can have it for cheap. Perhaps we could go before that dinner on Saturday that no one seems to have replied about. I remember rumblings of a Sheng Siong outing. I was also promised a play-date to disabuse people that Six Feet Under is anything but tosh.

I must stop being obsessive about the display of ads on my site. It's driving me completely bitchcakes and bonkers.

Posted by subtitles at 10:42 AM | TrackBack

March 1, 2005

Opera Customised Search.ini - Tutorial

I've uploaded a copy of my customised search.ini for all to use. It will give you more searches via the drop down search box, and you can add more searches to the address bar. Furthermore, if you enable your personal bar (right click on the address bar - customise), you can put a whole bunch of searches there.

In the interests of full disclosure, the search box of Google sends you to my customised Google search page, so that I recieve the advertising from the paid links in your searches - normally Opera would be the one recieving them (no longer true, but it now defaults to Yahoo Search). Similarly for and searches. I personally don't use Google any more, since Yahoo seems to have more accurate results. Also, you won't be able to set the number of searches per page through the Opera preferences.


Just download this (Updated for Opera 8.01). UnRar to your Opera Profile Folder (*not* the root Opera folder that has opera.exe in it) the exact location of which is explained here, or you can also refer to this. This will ask you to overwrite the existing search.ini - say yes. If you have problems, the default search.ini can be copied over from the root Opera folder.

Start Opera.

Simple huh?


If you updated Opera to either 8.0 or 8.01, they might have overwritten your old customised search.ini - but it'll have been backed up to something like search.001 or something in your profile folder - if that happens just close Opera, delete the current (new) search.ini and rename the old one, editing the new search.ini to change the version number to the current version - currently 6, as of 8.01. Or just download the file again from above.

If you want to know how to enable the personal bar look here. If you want more screen real-estate as a result, you can turn off the menu bar by pressing ctrl-F11 (this might change in Opera 8). And so it has, you now have to customise your keyboard shortcuts in advanced settings - use the Unix shortcut of Alt-F11, if you ask I might bother to post a download you can put in your profile folder.

To add more searches to the personal bar, right click on it and hover over "show searches". To move the search boxes around, press and hold the "shift" key while dragging and dropping. That's also the easiest way to move search boxes to the address bar to complement the drop down box. The other way is to right click and customise - the searches are under "buttons" category "search".

Press shift-F8 to highlight the drop down search box, shift-F7 to go to the first personal bar search.

Your right click menu is also enhanced so now when you right click after highlighting a word or phrase, your "dictionary" will be and "encyclopedia" will be wikipedia. All the available searches are also available under "search with". The default "search" will send you to Google, or the last thing you "searched with".

If you want to find out the various keywords to search in the address bar with, go to Preferences (Alt-P) - "search". There are examples in the preference menu to explain further.

When pasting something from your clipboard into a search/address field, you don't have to press ctrl-v and then enter, just press ctrl-d.

List of Searches:

Google, Yahoo, IMDB, (ad-blocker advised), Wikipedia, TVTome, Isohunt, Shareprovider,,, Google News, Neoseeker, Urban, Chicago Reader Short Reviews, for Artist/Song/Album, Pricegrabber, Pricewatch, Ebay,, Astalavista, Yahoo Bizfinder in Singapore. (there, have been changes, have a look at the trackbacks)

Further Reference:

All this was done with the Opera Search.ini Editor.

To move between different browsers, try Optool.

Also feel free to download the companion Customised default bookmarks, and Customised Toolbar Setup. Or all of these together as one file, together with the Opera Not So Compact skin, to unRar into the profile folder. These are also for me to customise peoples' setups when I install Opera for them. (This is too old now, you'll probably just want to get the search.ini provided above)

Note: if you want to keep up to date with this, you can comment, and then check the box to subscribe to changes to this post. I'll be tidying up the search.ini as I find the effort. It is now tidy - most hotclicked items are near the top etc.

Posted by subtitles at 10:07 PM | TrackBack

Proxomitron Made Simple/Idiot-Proof - Advanced Ad-Blocking

I'm uploading a copy of Proxomitron for you to download - it's my own setup, based on JD's filters. But what that means for you is that it'll cut out ads - so aggressively your head will spin.

Just download, unRar, preferably into Program Files or something. Then run Proxomitron.exe when you want it to be on - remember to set up your proxy settings in your browser to point to "localhost", port 8080.

In Opera this means Alt-P, Network, Proxy Servers, under "http", add those values. It also works with FF and IE.

If you need more details, the help/installation files are included as a directory of html files. If you want proxo to startup with windows, just create a shortcut to it in your "startup" folder in your start menu.

I'm doing this, at least in part, because proxo can be difficult to set up properly and tweak till it's useful - this way you just unpack it and you're ready to go. The best thing about these filters is that the pages still end up looking nice and nicely formatted, and you'll start to realise how much ads can mess up site layouts. I had problems with a couple of sites, but I just added them to my blocklist and they work fine.

Again full disclosure prompts me to say that I've added my own domain to the blocklist, which means ads will show on my site. I put a lot of effort into making my ads fit the look and feel of the site, so I set it up so that I can monitor them when I browse myself. If you want to delete the entry, the file is in the directory called "Lists", "Bypass Lists.txt". The entry is [^/] - just delete it.

I'll probably make this post definitive. Hopefully it'll be part of my series on advanced Opera techniques. There are a bunch of files in the directory that don't actually need to be there, but I can't be bothered to figure out which those are, so there.

Posted by subtitles at 12:34 AM

February 28, 2005

Broadvoice Sucks - Sometimes | Broadvoice vs. Skype | Vonage?

This is my definitive post on Broadvoice, whose service I still use. I'll update this page as and when I have faults etc. In the interests of full disclosure, if you click on the provided Broadvoice links and sign up for service, I get a comission of your first month's bill. Go straight to the bottom of this post if you're looking for the horror stories.

Update 24/04/05: I've pretty much given up on Broadvoice, but I'm leaving this post as a cautionary tale to people to stay away from the company. I stayed with them for about 3 months and it was 3 months of intermittent service and static filled calls. I did eventually manage to get through to their help line, but their magic bullet answer is to change proxies. There are 5 that I've found, dca, mia, lax, chi, bos - none of which really helps me - all have problems at some time or other.

Their customer service is so lax that even though I've been topping search engines for "Broadvoice Sucks" for weeks now, they've never contacted me to help solve problems - or point out that some of the info I provide is very wrong - for instance the disconnection fee does not apply if you BYOD. I've moved to SkypeIN - which is fantastic and fantastically cheap. I might do more posts on VOIP, but Broadvoice is dead to me. Any referral fees will no longer come to me, as I will no longer be a customer in good standing. Die bastards Die.


Broadvoice offers a tantalising solution - you get a phone number in the area code of your choice and it can be very cheap: $7.50 a month for unlimited incoming calls ($5.95 + $1.50 "Regulatory Fee"). Sign up price is $10.00 if you want use your own device ($40.00 if you want them to send you one) or X-Lite (the softphone).

Then comes the first problem they're not immediately open about - if you don't cancel within the first 30 days, you pay a "disconnection fee" of $50.00. So be sure to be sure if you want to keep the service.

This is my setup: I use Phoneconnector to connect a phone to my computer. I can then use that to talk using either Skype or X-lite (for Broadvoice). I use the latest version of everything, drivers, applications etc. I'm using XP SP2. My connection is through Starhub Cable in Singapore (6500 down/384 up), and I tend to talk for long periods of time to the US.

Broadvoice vs. Skype (Sound Quality):

I prefer Broadvoice to Skype.

The sound quality is definitely better, especially on your end if you're on Broadvoice and the other person is on a normal line. That's the majority of my experience, and I assume that that's how most people will use it.

The reason for this though, is that Broadvoice uses a much less "lossy" codec compared to Skype - it sounds better, but it takes up more bandwidth. I don't have a problem with this, and have an upload speed of 384 kbits/s - so I'm still able to run say eMule in the background uploading at 10 kbytes/s with no noticeable effects.

However, anything more than that and the voice quality suffers from excessive lags, regular crackling, and the sound cutting in and out - though mostly on the recieving end - you will still hear the other person fine.

So if you have a very slow broadband connection/super high latency, or you *need* to run your filesharing 24/7, Broadvoice is definitely not for you. I've found that Skype is much much better at working with limited bandwidth - but in the best case scenarios, Broadvoice is still better.

Broadvoice to Broadvoice I sometimes can't really distinguish from Skype, but like I said, I don't use it this way very often. I similarly have never really tried SkypeOut, so I can't say that much about its quality.

*caveat*: VOIP is really not about super-superb voice quality, even in the best circumstances, you're going to get the occasional echo etc. But having used plenty of traditional "budget" long distance services, the sound quality of Broadvoice is at least as good as those, only cheaper.

Broadvoice vs. Skype (Features):

Most important, with Broadvoice, I have a phone number people can call in to. And if the person you want to talk to most often has unlimited local calling in the US, you can just get a number in their area code and let them go crazy calling you for $7.50 a month.

With Broadvoice, there are unlimited plans, so if you know that's what you want it's definitely more worth it than say using SkypeOut.

Broadvoice vs. Vonage (Price):

I've since moved to using the $11.50 Broadvoice plan, since it was a chore to have people call me back all the time, and Phoneconnector has some issues I'll talk about maybe later. Vonage now has a cheaper plan at $15.00 (I'm not sure about other charges), but it's 500 free minutes out, unlimited in. They also offer X-Pro along with it. Personally I still find Broadvoice a better choice for me since I make my humungous amount calls all to the same place in-state.


My final bit of advice is to try out the various services yourself. Skype and Broadvoice are pretty much free/cheap to try, depending on what hardware you have and how much you know how to do. That's the best way of finding out. Just be careful of Broadvoice's 30 day limit.

My Litany of Complaints About Broadvoice:

This isn't the full extent of my problems, I'll save those for when I feel the need to get my bile up.

March 02 2005: Cut off in the middle of a call, wasn't able to call back. Still managed to get incoming call, but then got cut off after 20 minutes. After that could call in or out. All in all lasted about an hour of inconsistencies after which everything was fine. Concievably they were further fixing a previous problem, that I couldn't call my Singapore land line. But had been fixed at least a couple of hours before. Will probably be seriously considering whether or not to cancel up till my 30 day limit. You'd think if you pay for something it'd just work and not give you problems.

I've decided it's just easier for me to post my e-mails to Broadvoice below. I've *NEVER EVER* recieved a reply from them either by e-mail or with a callback - though the problems do tend to eventually get fixed. I edit out all the personal information.

Further Links:

From my own research the links below are the most useful, and contain the most horror stories for those who want to hear the worst of what Broadvoice can offer. If you're willing to trawl, you can go through these reviews at The most extensive and frequently updated report looks to be this one though: this seems to be the most exhaustive account of faults and problems a guy had before moving to Vonage. There are good reviews as well, but that's probably not what you came here looking for.

Latest e-mail to Broadvoice:

This is an update on the problem below that you’ve still not fixed and still not replied to me about.

The crackling sound still persisted, so I tried changing proxies from (which is what I’ve been using all along) to dca doesn’t ping quite as fast, but changing it to that seemed to fix the problem – however, after talking for an extended period (about 30 minutes), the regular crackling on the other side came back. When I called back, the crackling still persisted. I’ll say this again – this was never a problem before 12pm Monday March 14th Singapore/Hong Kong time.

Throughout all this, with either proxy, I was still unable to call the singapore numbers, though the mobile number might be okay now – the land line definitely isn’t.

You have to realise that I send you e-mails because your 24 hour support line is never *never* available.

At the moment, my “Broadvoice Sucks” post is now no. 2 on Google, by the way:

You can find the actual post, with these e-mails and the gaping hole of your lack of replies here:


Account no:
Order Number:
Broadvoice/Contact Tel. no.: call any time.
Using X-Lite softphone with Phoneconnector
Not using Router, connecting on gateway computer running XP SP2, ICS, Windows Firewall (exception for X-Lite)
Using Starhub Cable (Singapore), 6500/384

I’ve had a history of problems, as detailed below. I’ve received no replies to my e-mails, even though the problems below were eventually fixed.

As before, I find I can no longer dial this number: . Previously I had been able to do so without problems. That number can still call in to me with no problems. Other phones are able to call in. The error message in X-lite is “408 – Timed out”. The problem no. belongs to my cable company (they also provide broadband to me) – it’s a digital phone service.

Previously when this happened I was still able to call in to the country (singapore +65), for example the mobile no. . Now this is not the case and I can no longer call that mobile no. I get the same error message: “408 – Timed out”.

*The biggest problem though* is that when calling a US no. – – the person on the other end hears continual crackling sounds at regular intervals, at least as of 12pm Monday March 14th Singapore/Hong Kong time. Previously there had been no problems and I was able to call and receive calls from this number with no problems – this has occurred at the same time I noticed the above problems.

The only time I had previously had this crackling problem was when I had had limited upload bandwidth from running P2P programs. I’ve since stopped using those programs while calls take place and that solved the crackling (so there have been no problems with this crackling for weeks since I figured this out) – but now, despite having stopped the P2P during calls, there are still these artifacts as stated above.

The crackling occurs regardless of whether I initiate the call or I am called.

Drop me an e-mail or call when it’s fixed – it’s only polite.

I maintain a log of the deluge of problems that Broadvoice gives me:

The worst part of this is that this is the last day I’m able to subscribe to your service without incurring your usage penalty of $50 if I later cancel my line – you tell me what I should make of that.


From: Louis
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 8:23 PM
To: ''
Subject: Can't call to this no.

Account no:
Order Number:
Broadvoice/Contact Tel. no.: call any time.
Using X-Lite softphone with Phoneconnector
Not using Router, connecting on gateway computer running XP SP2, ICS, Windows Firewall (exception for X-Lite)
Using Starhub Cable (Singapore), 6500/384

I’ve had a history of problems, as detailed below. I received no reply to my e-mail, even thought he problem below was fixed.

When it was fixed though, I found I could no longer dial this number: . Previously I had been able to do so without problems. That number can still call in to me with no problems. Other phones are able to call in. The error message in X-lite is “408 – Timed out”.

Am still able to call in to the country (singapore +65), for example the mobile no. . Everything else has been fine, I’ve been able to call US no.s and they’ve been able to call in. The problem no. belongs to my cable company (they also provide broadband to me) – it’s a digital phone service.

Drop me an e-mail or call when it’s fixed – it’s only polite.


From: Louis
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 9:13 PM
To: ''
Subject: Unable to recieve incoming calls (but can still call out)

Resent to comply with support instructions.

Account no:
Order Number:
Tel. no.: (call the singapore no. because, well, I can’t receive incoming calls on my Broadvoice no. ATM), call any time.
Using X-Lite softphone with Phoneconnector
Not using Router, connecting on gateway computer running XP SP2, ICS, Windows Firewall (exception for X-Lite)
Using Starhub Cable (Singapore), 6500/384

I’m having problems receiving incoming calls. There had been no problems with the service previously, I signed up about a week ago and had been receiving incoming calls fine. But while I can’t currently receive incoming calls, I can still call out, without problem.

What happens when someone calls in (now, that is), they just hear silence for about 10-20 seconds then an engaged tone – or maybe a cannot connect message. On my end, I get a call through, but when I pick up, X-Lite says connected, but there’s just silence. If I let it ring, X-lite acts as if 2 calls are coming in, on line 3 and line 2 – by which time the caller has already gotten the engaged tone.

Please fix this. I’ve restarted X-Lite a number of times, and restarted my computer/internet connection – and I say again, I can still call out without problems.

Also, when are you going to allow support for more efficient codecs on your service? Things like ilbc? Or basically just codecs that are more bandwidth efficient.

I’ve also still not received a response from you regarding your site’s incompatibility with the Opera Browser. This is a copy of what I sent previously:

“When I sign in to my account, instead of being brought to my account page I’m sent to a page that says this:

You are using a mobile device.
Opera/7.60 (Windows NT 5.1; U; en)
Click Me

I tried this with numerous versions of Opera, including the latest 8 beta. I identify as Opera. Please fix this. For more details on browser sniffing/headers etc. please refer to
In addition, the automated referral service ( you provide does not work in Opera, ie the referrer’s no. is not filled in when you go to the sign-up page.”


Posted by subtitles at 4:19 PM

February 26, 2005

Slashdot says so

Good god, it must be because it's early and I just woke up that I just did this:

Did no one see this? Opera actually has benchmark testing that arguably makes it the "fastest" browser. It's true. Slashdot says so:

I'm not sure if you know this, but Avant Browser used to have another name: IE Opera - until the guy figured out what copyright was.

Also, since Microsoft has so recently found the religion that is inter'opera'bility, it'll only be a matter of time before we have a more agnostic interweb. I meant that's what IE7 will be about right? right?

Some things really have that effect - to put the fanboy shrill in your voice. If us scrappy underdog browser users can sound that way, it's from years of frustration.

Does anyone really think that something as clumsy and cluttered as these IE slappers will ever be more responsive, more elegant that the real thing?

Don't even get me started on Firefox.

So yes, that's me, angry Opera guy. *sigh*

You'll find it here, from here. Does no one else feel my pain?

This reminds me of the beginning of the Firefly pilot, Walsh playing with the dinosaurs, "curse your sudden, but inevitable betrayal... Oh, No - God."

Posted by subtitles at 11:35 PM | TrackBack

Category Feeds

I found this little helper to create category based RSS feeds - so if you're just interested in a particular category, you can subscribe to the relevant feed.

You can find the list of categories as folders here, and just get the respective feed inside - index.rdf.

Pretty spanky if I should say so myself.

Feedburner Feeds: Television

Feedburner I find a bit annoying, but since it's there what the hell. The ads only really show up in IE, but then that serves people right. In other browsers it's just a neater page to browse - in feed readers it just shows the content. I'm wondering who would continually read in IE that they'd see the amazon links though.

Posted by subtitles at 10:41 AM | TrackBack

Fanboy Heaven

I saw this on Scoble's blog and couldn't resist.

I'm probably too big of a Klipfolio ( fanboy (T-shirt anyone?), but what's up with RSS readers looking so incredibly boring - this one included.

Speaking as an Opera fan(person), I can't even say that its RSS functionality is that much less boring - but at least with that you get a proper browser/mail client along with it (html blocking, super-fast database searches). How much you want to bet NewzToddler's "embedded browser" is UI slapping on IE? And I've yet to see anyone particularly excited by any use of the Windows XP notification balloons.

So if Klipfolio is too radical for you, and you insist on paying money, I'm sure Opera's news/rss etc. functionality is still that much better.

I'm such a troll.

Apparently Eric Rice hangs out there as well.

Posted by subtitles at 7:34 AM | TrackBack

February 25, 2005

Smack Smack Smack - Opera 8 beta 2

It had to be just as I moved over to Movable Type 3!!! Opera has enabled document.selection and document.getSelection, as you can see here. Which means there is nothing I can't do with Movable Type in Opera anymore!! Happy day :D. I can now post links through Opera with abandon.

Opera da man.

Also, Google has fixed its Google maps service to work with Opera, and this beta fixes the much ballyhooed IDN security issue. More details here.

I heart Opera. I want to hug it like it's furry.

"Victory is mine, Victory is mine! Great day in the morning, people, victory is mine... I drink from the keg of glory Donna, bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land."

On another lovely note, Mozilla seems to have stumbled, or at least caused some controversy, with it's own version fo the security fix - disabling the feature. But then it's the Register...

Posted by subtitles at 9:26 PM | TrackBack

Finally Defrag, Gay Marissa

After moving my eMule temp files from the temp disk, it seems that they were what's stopping the drive from defragmenting - the bastards. Gay Marissa is probably the best thing about the OC this season.

I'm sorry, but how many rss related ads is google going to serve on my site? I encourage you to at least click on all the klipfolio ones. I personally endorse them - though if you click on them, they probably have to pay for it. The good part is the money comes to me. Me me me. Muahaha. Louis has gone ad-crazy apparently.

"I'm sure it's just a phase" - effective fade out on Kirsten. "It was for me". Alienating and severe. How could this episode actually be an okay one? Oh my god. Most fetching Marissa in loose shift ever in recent memory.

Lost in suspension.

But it would seem that the underclocking is doing good - I can only assume that I ran out of luck with the CPU, since the ram's supposed to be bending in the pollen.

For a film reference I must say that at least they can't be faulted for not building it up and working it. Though I think the roof was the better climax.

Merci Y'all is still cracking me up.

Posted by subtitles at 8:05 AM | TrackBack

February 24, 2005


Why do people still have to use 800x600. I'm feeling ever so slightly gumpy about the whole affair. At least I know now that that's one thing my Acer will be perfect for for a while yet - I should probably do most of my formatting there - it probably that much rarer for things to go wrong at higher than at lower resolutions. The ads are pretty much done - any complaints would be welcome.

As it is I'm much fonder of this kind of advertising, with a set rate of return per click through, that's not dependant on purchase. And at 8c a click, the returns aren't going to be too bad, espcially once they get around to indexing the pages. I'm really setting the target to break even in terms of hosting, to get back the $65 bucks. Doesn't seem unreasonable.

Unfortunately I'm never going to get to see most of the ads, since they're blocked most of the time, I suppose the search is the likeliest way in that sense, but even then the paid links get suppressed. I suppose I'm just going to have to leave it to the people using IE, haven't discovered proxomitron, an who use Firefox because the UI is snazzy. I'm probably the only one so rabid in blocking ads of the people I know though, really.

Hopefully Blogads comes through as well, and then I can tell the ringtones to bite me - though as I've noted, they do show up despite ad blocking. In many ways I'm not convinced Google does that good a job of indexing the site, the built in search seems more capable, and doesn't just scan the big amalgamated pages.

Posted by subtitles at 3:33 AM | TrackBack

February 23, 2005

Tell me my LCD is worth buying

I'm planning on getting a new monitor, because, as a great philosopher once said "because we want to, because we want to" - or was it "do you have a girlfriend?".

I want it with DVI, not just because someday I might find dual monitor useful, but supposedly for higher resolutions it's just the thing. And I won't have to boot from the TV any more. I've figured that 15 is getting too small for my britches, so 17's the way to go. I'm eying this Viewsonic one, that coincidentally has a Tom's Hardware article on it. It also appears to be the cheapest 17 with DVI available at Sim Lim that's not CMV.

The only thing in the article that worries me is the luminecense issue, which is so annoying with my current monitor. Latency doesn't appear to bother me, it's just I need to be able to show black properly so games don't suck.

Flame me. Flame me please.

Posted by subtitles at 11:53 AM | TrackBack

February 22, 2005

Mac-Loving Fanboy Freaks

I just felt like using that title. Move along, nothing to see here.

Posted by subtitles at 12:05 PM | TrackBack


Again, Nice Warez if you can get it. I'm not only using it to control my US comp, but I'm now using it as an extra remote control from my bed to my Shuttle. Now I can seek in WMP. Having my comp next to my bed also means I can now bog from my bedside, even as I smurf the interweb. Yay me.

Posted by subtitles at 5:15 AM | TrackBack


It's all kinds of naughty that I'm suddenly drawn to taking a look at Greymatter. It's just that open source blogging software would be that much more likely to be standards compliant yes/no?

Posted by subtitles at 3:32 AM | TrackBack

February 21, 2005

Pinned Entries!! (Short tutorial included)

Louis has finally figured out how to pin important entries to the beginning of his bog!!! The required plugin can be found here. Louis is also such a hack at doing these things. But yes, there will now be about 2 pinned posts at the beginning of this page, everything below that is as per normal. Just be glad I didn't refer to them as "sticky".

It is a bit crazy that this requires you to hack around in the templates, but it's done, so I'm not complaining. For those looking at this as trackback, using this is pretty simple - try adding the sample code from the original "MTEntry" post to your Main Index Template - just below the line div class="content". Once you rebuild you'll see how it turns out.

If you want your posts to look like they normally would, just copy and paste everything between the MTEntries tags within MTEntry - it's that simple. If you want more than one post on top, just duplicate. That is my super-inelegant way of doing it. Comment if you need help.

Posted by subtitles at 12:27 AM | TrackBack

February 20, 2005


I'm wondering to myself whether it'd really be better with someone actually teaching me XML, CSS, XHTML etc., or whether I should just go through what W3Schools can give me first. It'd be nice if Movable Type actually managed to be properly validated. But if the courses were anything like the York courses, I'd stab myself - well, a bit anyway.

The question is whether I can be bothered - but really, how long can I put off wanting to do things? Though I don't know how much playing bass is a part of all this. I suppose I'd like to go to a boot camp where I could be made to run every day, play bass and learn proper CSS. I think the problem with the bass is that they're going to want me to learn how to read.

Posted by subtitles at 11:19 PM | TrackBack


I've actually wondered to myself - and quite rightly I must say - that I played at least some part in Opera being so conscientious, in their releases over the past year or so, to release their browser on as many platforms as possible at/around the same time - especially with preview or testing versions. Sure they've been working with a common codebase, but at least someone must have had a mild attack of panic that a news site (even if it is the Inq) would cover a spat attributed to the disenfranchisement of non-windows users.

Actually, I am proud of myself.

Posted by subtitles at 9:19 PM | TrackBack


Yeah, I'm now putting that much more consideration into getting a 17 inch LCD. 15 now really seems a bit constrictive - and judging by how I liked 1280 on my CRT, it should be a day at the races. I'm sure someone'll want to get a slightly used and recently repaired LCD for cheap.

Posted by subtitles at 6:46 PM | TrackBack


This is really a bit weird - ever since I've been back, there have been times when there have been bandwidth issues with my p2p apps over Starhub. Download speed doesn't seem to be terribly affected, but upload speed becomes dismal. It's 1 am now, it's probably been going on since midnight. I did a bandwidth test, and bandwidth between here and the test sites is dismal. However the Singapore based Singnet test shows downstream is fine. I suppose I could call tech support, but I'd have to stab myself. Previously I had seen this happening just with eMule, Azureus doing okay - but it would go away. I had also previously recycling power to the modem, and that used to help. But this time, nothing. My IP address never seems to change, so that wouldn't have, historically, been an issue. I can only assume that starhub's infrastructure is still undergoing some work? Especially between Singapore and not-singapore?

And yes, I've confirmed that it is X-Lite starting up with Phoneconnector that's been causing problems. I now startup without X-Lite and manually turn it on. No problems. But they're still so going to fix it.

Just for the fun of it I'm going to point you to where you can find out more about starting a business in Singapore,

I'm still waiting on replies to my trackback queries. I suppose I should check in at the Serence forums again.

In a moment of weakness I've now decided to enable comments by default - but I'll probably also turn on the need to approve anonymous comments, so get ready with your typekey accounts. It'd be a chore if I had to keep approving new posts.

Ok: So it appears that it just goes away on it's own - they must have fixed the router or whatever. No need to restart next time then.

Posted by subtitles at 5:07 PM | TrackBack

Ah hah!

subtitles: RSS and Economist

So you have to use the bookmarklets in order for trackback to work.

Unfortunately the page is formatted specifically so as to annoy Opera users.

But otherwise: Move Along, Nothing to See Here.

Uh: I just pinged the MT site having posted their url. I'm confused. But at least I know that my auto ping thing is working. Sort of.

Posted by subtitles at 1:17 PM | TrackBack

Agatha Christie Freaks Unite

Someone I know might be interested in this: Miss Marple.

The best way to keep track of what's new on the site is to monitor its RSS Feed:

I refer you to my previous post on RSS and Klipfolio.

Posted by subtitles at 11:04 AM | TrackBack

February 19, 2005

Naughty Starhub

But yes, my bandwidth is so definitely affected by other users/usage. Either that or eMule has some issues with something. But it can't be coincidence that Saturday morning things slow down. And really generally during the day. Which is annoying because I feel I have to adjust the up speed accordingly so I don't choke the pipe.

I'm sure I've considered this before, but I suppose I could do a review section for the food places round here.

And again it pops into my head to update the IP filters in eMule.

Posted by subtitles at 8:52 PM

Eric Rice, AudioBlog, PodCasting and FeedBurner

Eric Rice used to be the guy (I suppose he nominally still is) behind most of buffyradio, later slackstreet/showtalkers. He's got a new thing going for a while now called AudioBlog, which is just what it sounds like. Hence the correlation with podcasting. He's supposed to be doing a podcast radio show with Josh AKA Suge White ++ eventually, but knowing these guys' penchant for promising things...

Which brings me to FeedBurner, which is an RSS service that provides stats, etc. It also makes the feed itself look more presentable in browsers amongst other things. My FeedBurner feed is here: I'll probably play around with it for a bit before using it as my klip url - if only for the stats I suppose. Doesn't seem to fix the paragraph break problem, but hopefully the Serence people can help with that.

On the other hand, I'm not sure I'm that wild about giving Feedburner that much publicity, it really isn't offering *that* much. And the image links it provides are just downright ornery, they don't align properly, and they're pretty ugly. I'm really not sure adding them to my klip would really add value. I'm definitely not going to put advertising in the feed.

Posted by subtitles at 7:22 PM


I've probably become too stuck in my ways, and have decided that eventually I need to look into other P2P networks. Gnutella 2 is supposed to be good, supposedly Shareaza is spyware free. DC++ is also quite lauded. Ares got mentioned but has spyware, from what I'm told.

Still need to get around to updating the forum. Or not.

Whatever it is I do seem to be endlessly chatty of late, who knows how long that'll last. Probably till another equilibrium break occurs.

Posted by subtitles at 2:15 PM

Firefox CSS ad-blocking

I've been talking about this to people, so here it is. It really is very idiot proof, just follow the instructions.

It blocks most ads, though probably not with the finality that Proxomitron does - but Proxo is anything but idiot proof. The downside is that you have to use Firefox. Well, the day will come when Opera will support those CSS extensions (or whatever). Maybe IE7 will help push for that - though ad-blocking in IE7 might never happen - besides I don't think style sheets would be a priority for IE anyway.

And yes, I think Eugene might be interested in Camino, a Gecko based Mac browser that is native and thus a bit prettier. It'll be on

Posted by subtitles at 2:56 AM | TrackBack


Having gone through all that, I feel at sort of a loss what do write about. I'm very tempted to go ahead and play around with installing the newer version of PHPBB, but I'm just not that anxious to do it. It'd be a drag if I had to fiddle too much with it. I suppose I could turn comments on, but that's not going to happen. I think for me I'd be pretty happy knowing, as I know now, that most people either don't read this, or don't really care. And honestly, people with anything interesting to say can just message me rather than cluttering this place up. And well, there's the spam which I'm avoiding, which is always nice.

Oh, I finally got rid of the festering sore that was the phpnuke bits on the Opera site, honestly I quite like that my hosting provider is self-interested enough to know what's causing them problems, and that they can tell me about it.

I suppose I could do a category to would be a kind of Opera news blog, but I'm sure that's done. I could also give a go to using blogger for the purpose I suppose. Off to the fan site listing I go.

Or I could just go to Opera Watch, which seems to do quite a good job at what it names itself. Pretty partisan by its tone, but we'll see. Posting using Firfox, or really, using Firefox just to post, isn't too awful. Hopefully Opera puts in document.selection by the end of the Opera 8 development cycle.

Posted by subtitles at 1:34 AM

February 18, 2005


I've been spending the past couple of hours playing around with Movable Type 3. Long story short you can have a look at it here. The annoying thing is that I'll probably not move over because the month archives don't come out right - also I still don't have formatting tools in Opera (*Firefox* does though) which is embarassing since even Blogger has got them now for Opera.

And honestly, I don't see that much of a difference, other than the new styles, which I have to hack rather relentlessly for them to be worth a damn, and which are otherwise quite limited. Thankfully security isn't an issue since I don't bother with comments.

After that I had the pleasure of finding out more about how X-Lite and Phoneconnector don't kiss nice. I'm sure Phoneconnector's tech support are going to get right on it. There's a workaround, but it's annoying and repetitive.

Posted by subtitles at 12:26 AM

February 17, 2005

Because of my recent penchant for posting banners etc. here's one for you:

mininova: the ultimate BitTorrent source

Unfortunately, if you use Proxomitron like I do, you'll see a blank space.

I weighed whether to make my Opera buttons (which now also occur at the bottom of every page) point to a page other than the "buy opera so they pay me licensing page", but then I figured that the banner in and of itself is advertising already, so the link isn't that big a deal.

Posted by subtitles at 10:23 AM

February 16, 2005


I wondered to myself for just a moment before being safe and registering with Do Not Call regardless. There's actually a rather happy way to find out my phone no. without asking. Just hover. But yes, Louis did a little broadside html hacking to put advert links more prominently. I suppose I should move the Klip link higher, but I figure it's fitting where it is, and people who don't read beyond the first entry aren't likely to be bothered anyway.

Posted by subtitles at 5:43 AM

Sygate Begone.

Ok, so I'm not saying that Sygate is Evil, I'm just saying that it can fuck more things up than it really fixes. As usual any security issues I thought I had was just so much paranoia. At some point I think I'll uninstall ETrust, but it's supposed to be harmless. The MS Spyware detector is okay, so whatever. I've just left Sygate off, so I can be paranoid in the future. And yes, it was Skype that opened up port 443, god knows why it chooses that.

The real problem with Sygate on was that CPU usage spikes. But more importantly it fucked up the latency for VOIP, so Skype was fucking up (it's not so great anyway) and then it led to BroadVoice fucking up. Lots of fucking up for paranoia. The XP firewall is admirably admirable.

I'm getting too happy with drama for headlines. Thought the next logical step is outre Inquirer-land. Smurfing... hilarious.

Posted by subtitles at 5:40 AM

February 15, 2005


I've signed up, so I now have a US telephone no. which you can have if you ask. Haven't had much time to fiddle with it, but it works, so yay. You can use this link if you want to sign up yourself. There's a referral program, but the buttons they have available are really annoying so I'll probably put a text link somewhere when I can be bothered. Apparently that link only works with Firefox and IE. I've complained to Broadvoice about it, as well as about their inadequate browser sniffing.

Posted by subtitles at 6:56 PM

Die Mac Mini, Die.

Since I'm doing this for Eugene right now, I offer this to all comers. A cheap, small, reasonably fast computer. The idea is to offer something that will keep people from the delusion that is the Mac Mini.

AOpen SFF system: $365
Sempron 2600+: $149
2x256 DDR 400: $140
250 gig hard drive: $260
BenQ DW1620 DVD-Writer: $130

This is a pretty good recent generation processor (like the G4), but with double the RAM, 6x the storage, and DVD writing. Software, of course, is free. All for about $895. A mac mini costs $928. If you added the ram, added a much slower Superdrive, and got a mere 80 gig, it would cost $1348.

In both cases you'll still have to supply a keyboard, monitor and mouse.

The AOpen is one of the prettier SFF systems - but best of all it has built in graphics, GeForce 4 MX, granted (which is less powerful that the mac mini), but that just means you can tack on more later. And it's so cheap I could spit. IGP means that you can't clock more than 333mhz, and unfortunately that's what the Sempr0n is at already, so if you want to overclock, you'll have to get a discrete graphics card. If you want to get similar performance to a Mac Mini, you can try this:

GeForce 5500 128ram DVI/Tv-out $105 (This can go much higher, depending what you want)

But remember, the IGP already comes with dual monitor and S-Video. You could even go for more RAM instead of better graphics, if gaming isn't the biggest issue.

Caveats include the fact that you can't add extra internal hard drives, but that's the same with the mac. No DVI with the IGP.

Louis takes no commission. This is a public service. I'd probably charge if you were a friend of a friend though.

Posted by subtitles at 8:05 AM | TrackBack

February 14, 2005

MSN Messenger Beta

I hate nothing more than people who use their "usernames" on MSN to put anything other than their name. Thankfully, the new beta shows that Microsoft feels my pain. You can actually broadcast a headline along with your username, as a kind of subtitle. Hopefully, i won't need to keep having to view contacts by e-mail address. You also get more integration of the avatar into the contact list, so you see thumbnails which can be small or large. I enlarged my contact list just to take advantage of this - it's a nice touch.

These are links to places that will give you everything you need, the installers, and patches to get rid of all the crap. This is a leaked beta, and you should know what you're doing if you want to install it.

Posted by subtitles at 3:40 PM | TrackBack

February 13, 2005

MPAA FUD-spreading liars: who knew?

Paranoia begone.

Posted by subtitles at 6:27 PM


I just realised there's probably a reason that the MPAA put its prints all over and (the subsidiary), but you just get a plain old 404 on

Posted by subtitles at 7:57 AM

February 11, 2005

Slashdot: Opera Fastest Browser

Gasp. Where have all the Firefox Fanboys gone? To bite my shiny metal ass.

Posted by subtitles at 3:57 PM

RSS and Economist

Just to inform people who don't already know, RSS stands for, amongst other things Really Simple Syndication. It basically allows you to read newsfeeds, to view headlines and some extra text, normally with a link to the full story etc. That's not it's only use, it does many things, including notification of new torrents/blog posts etc.

The RSS feed for my blog is this:

Though you could have found that at the bottom right of the main blog page, under syndication.

A convenient way to read RSS feeds is to use Opera, which uses its mail client to read feeds. 8 Beta even notifies you in the address bar when a page has a feed. Personally I prefer Klipfolio, made by Serence. I even have my own customised Klip (also linked on blog and site front pages). You can add any feed url you want to Klipfolio by making copies of Feed Viewer. Klipfolio has tonnes of preset and ready made klips for things from weather, stocks, news, to Hotmail/Gmail inbox feeds etc.

TVtorrents, at or (currently, they keep moving), has its own custom app to auto download and launch torrents, TVTAD. If you need another reason I use it instead of btefnet (if both have it) is that tvtorrents tends to only release torrents that are very well seeded as a opposed to just releasing them fast.

The Economist has added it's own RSS feeds just recently. I wonder if the ad-viewing free full access is still in effect.

Suspicious minds think that CNY has proved that cable speed/latency is dependent on the number of users, because there's been quite a bit of crawling from people being home, which alleviates in the wee.

Posted by subtitles at 2:39 PM | TrackBack

February 8, 2005

Louis got pwn3d

It was probably the naughty beta (the one that was withdrawn) of MSN messenger 7.

Posted by subtitles at 11:26 AM

December 31, 2004

Acrobat 7: Nice warez if you can get it

I'm sure my peeps can find it in the usual places, and I have to say, it's not bad for being free. Of course I'm talking about Acrobat, which the intellectually stunted will confuse with the normally free Acrobat Reader. It's faster, it seems less bloated, you can customise the install so you don't get annoying buttons in Office, though you can still get them in IE if you so desire. They've moved to an SDI system, which is honestly better, since unless you're Opera... Also the UI is snazzier, and the toolbar seems to zoom and squeeze, which is just dandy.

Unfortunately it led me to the realisation that Opera's printing is still not as nice as IE's, but with Proxomitron, that's not really that big a deal. And printing to PDF still seems more accurate/nicer than converting, though I can't say the difference between the two particularly announces itself.

And so I start wondering about when Opera will finally get around to implementing those CSS bits that will allow me to get rid of Proxomitron, and Michel coming over, and how disappointing eXeem has been, and other things that keep escaping me like ornery twinkies. What, we all wonder, will be the super duper new feature in Oprah 1.0? Opera's RSS reader's become more useful with the deluge of torrents from some places. Like a big net behind a boat.

The temptation to get a cheap Mac suddenly reminds me how not cheap they actually are. I'd only end up using Opera on it, there are no compelling features that I particularly want, the specs will suck, I'd have to get a KVM switch, etc. etc. Safari really wasn't *that* nice, and I'm sure the UI tricks get pretty old. And there is general irk. For 500 US I could build a much faster Athlon XP system (even a P4 HT system if I wasn't too picky with the board), overclock the fuck out of it, get triple the storage - AND have a Benq DVD writer chucked in. And Windows, like Office, is free.

VOIP is the wave of the future man. Once the fax stuff gets worked out, and with Skype for the regular people, and by BYODing, it's cheap and pretty easy. I wonder though, how Broadvoice can allow plan switching so often/easily, unless there's a catch somewhere.

I will some time get around to pointing out the futility, or just the crappy implementation of ratios on trackers. And being on the ass-handed end of Azureus makes me flick the foreheads of the ABC naysayers. When you seed, you should actually seed. I don't know why I feel like this time it'd be a good idea to donate to Lokitorrent, but just maybe. Iso hunt looks pretty good, and torrentspy will be better with feeds.

Ask me to show you my WiFi seeker :).

Posted by subtitles at 10:28 AM

December 24, 2004

Opera 8 Beta 1!!

Happy Day. Changelog/download link is here. Press coverage of Opera is always so reluctant/lazy. The only articles I've seen have been basically lifted from the press release, and they focus an inordinate amount of attention (no doubt partly Opera's fault) on new features. It's the UI/rendering engine/cache, stupid. Apparently there's going to be a new name, speculation is circling round Oprah 1.0 or Operate (Opera 8, get it?).

Basically I think they were doing previews of it as 7.6 so as to spring this as a kind of christmas present, and also to minimise the protests of version no. inflation. All good fun.

Those interested can read my Modest Proposal.

Posted by subtitles at 12:38 AM

October 20, 2004

So *that's* what Kad's good for

Louis obviously feels a bit silly now, but after much annoyance in dealing with server connections on ed2k with eMule, I've moved over to only using Kad, and oh my it's a nice feeling. No more LowID, no more servers disconnecting, no more check to make sure I don't connect to naughty servers.

It felt as if the ramping of servers went that bit faster, though speeds aren't quite topping out as they're used to, but it's only been up for about 3 hours? I just wonder why when you use both ed2k and Kad, that if ed2k fucks up Kad doesn't pick up the slack. Anyway, Kad's the future. Yay Kad.

Posted by subtitles at 2:24 AM

September 16, 2004

All over the place

Mozilla/Firefox fanboyness annoys the fuck out of me. To be fair I'm the last one to complain about people being evangelists (read: fanboys) even though I do; but the amount of news coverage that Firefox gets is ridiculous.

Yeah, boo hoo, you've finally gotten to the point where your precious open source sensibilities allow you to finally deem your product 1.0 ready - big fucking whoop.

Louis could not in good conscience recommend Firefox to anybody - though I've really begun to come around to how really evil it is using IE. Opera has a multitude of flaws that I'd admit to anybody, but it doesn't get close to the kind of news coverage that M/F gets.

I'd like to say that with 7.6, and the startup options of turning off mail and the sidebar, Opera is coming close to being as simple off the bat and free of annoyances as FF/IE, but I've come to the conclusion that to ordinary people (ie: Peishan) SETTINGS ARE SCARY. In my moment of weakness I really don't blame these people. Changing things, especially before you use something, is scary - irrational or not, the fears of changing things and things breaking is not unfounded - these are people who have lived with the nightmare that was windows 9x after all. It should be like an appliance. And I say that and yet those fucking remote control menus drive me absolutely crazy.

Posted by subtitles at 1:12 PM

September 4, 2004

Sennheiser PX 100

I cannot be anything but impressed with this lovely piece of hardware. The reviews and pictures you see don't convey to you how *small* this pair of headphones is. I feels a bit fragile and flimsy, but it's just lovely and small. If you've not seen these things fold up into a little case like you'd put your sunglasses in, you're in for a treat, since the elegance of the solution is quite lovely.

The reviews also say to let them warm up over a couple of days, so I'll get back to you on how it sounds after a while, but as it is now, it's pretty sublime.

The most fantastic thing about it is the reason I bought it, but I was dubious about. It's so *comfortable*. They should sell it with taglines you'd normally see pimping condoms. Me and my pointy head and jutting specs will no longer constrain how long I can listen using headphones. Granted I've only had them on for an hour or two, but the impression of comfort is worthy of monkeys.

Go buy some. Prices in Sim Lim vary greatly, I bought mine for $73, which is what I'd get it for online in the states after you include shipping. I'm sure you can get it cheaper if you look, but it's saturday and a few dollars isn't going to keep me in Sim Lim a minute longer than I can stand. Just don't pay $98 for it - price transparency should really come further to the fore.

Posted by subtitles at 4:04 AM

August 30, 2004

KlipFolio On A Stick

Okay let's go through the steps needed to install Klipfolio on a thumb drive. This is the easiest way I can think of.

After you have installed Klipfolio (or with your current installation):

1) Copy the KlipFolio directory to your desktop (for example). Do not just drag and drop, copy and paste.

2) Uninstall Klipfolio from Control Panel-Add and Remove programs. You can remove everything since everything you need is in the Klipfolio directory.

3) Create this batch file in your Klipfolio folder:

start klipfolio.exe /NOINSTALL

or just download the attachment from my guide here.

4) Execute the batch file (klipfolio.bat) whenever you want to run klipfolio. If you want, you can create a shortcut to klipfolio.bat and send it to your desktop. Similarly you can put the shortcut in your startup folder so that KF starts every time you start up (as long as your thumb drive is there that is).

5) The directory you created on your desktop (or whereever) is now your harddisk copy of klipfolio. If you want to run it from your thumb drive, just copy the directory to your thumb drive and run the batch file when you want to start klipfolio.

Easy as Pie.

If you want your OS to recognise klips, follow the suggestions provided here by jscott. The easiest way is to just use "save as" when clicking on new klips, and then putting the files into your "myklips" directory yourself.

Posted by subtitles at 5:04 PM

People who use Google News (even if they really wish they didn't sometimes) will be interested in this. It's a database of usernames and passwords that allow you to log-in to news sites without registering - absolute genius. Another thing to add to my search.ini.

Users of Firefox will be interested in a very nice extension to automate the process found here.

Posted by subtitles at 2:24 PM

August 28, 2004


I am currently becoming far too enamoured of my thumb drive. Personally I feel I should have followed the very sage advice of the people at, but unfortunately, M-Systems' DiskOnKey devices, and the people that brand them for the retail market (Kingston, Iomega, Fuji etc.) don't feel as if the highest performing drive on the market would penetrate here. Probably in no small part due to the fact that DOK drives (at least the classic fast ones) are huge, and the size of highlighters rather than the more de rigeur stick of chewing gum.

Of course I could have paid about double the price to get a Sony drive, but they're not *that* nice, and the key chain thingy apparently breaks off, and while the performance is supposed to be pretty stellar, it doesn't beat DOK (though it is much smaller) and there have been complaints in the forum. Data loss is not funny to anyone.

Hence I now have a very workmanlike Kingston drive, a proper USB 2.0 one, though obviously not the aforementioned DOK OEM'd one. It's not too ugly, and it's not too big that it's unwieldy as a keychaing. The cap is a bit snug, to make up for the fact that there's a cap to lose, and the benchmarks are not exactly stellar (esp for small files), but it works, and it was only $56 thanks to shopping around and, and Kingston gives it a 5 year warranty, which makes it an industry leader in that regard.

I also now have a nice bit of filesync software that isn't fantastic, but will do, it's not the easiest thing to find, but it's filesync 1.0.

I still haven't been able to run Opera off it without a whole lot of disk activity, and hopefully I'll bother to post about it soon. Firefox works like a charm after I discovered Free the Fox. I suppose in a pinch, that's what will do. If only klipfolio were so amenable.

Posted by subtitles at 12:02 PM

August 21, 2004


I know I'm really late coming to the party, but Proxomitron rocks big time. Basically it's ad filtering on steroids, but it's meant to be thought of under the larger umbrella of content control. Long story short, it means that PC World is no longer stubborn in having empty boxes where ads were, and Yahoo news is similarly no longer having empty gaps, so less scrolling involved. It also miraculously fixes the broken-ness of AMG.

I tried the sidki config set, but it really is pretty hardcore - so I'm now using jd5000 extra, with the pc world and block ad tables bits from sidki. Happy bunnies. Sidki did bad things to chicago reader, amongst others and was a bit zealous in blocking flash. The only thing that looks broken is the menus on CDFreaks, but then I just go there to view the articles, so I'm living with it.

Just by the by, limited bandwidth connections are a waste of money. I've blown through in a couple of days what would be nearly a months worth of alloted transfer, and that's without downloading anything above 2-3 meg, and mostly smurfing.

And I must have been really high when I thought the MS Natural Multimedia keyboards were worth anything, because they are sucking ass as we speak. The keys are so firm and sticky I'm considering getting another Benq just to travel with. And it *creaks*.

Posted by subtitles at 3:37 PM

August 20, 2004

Klipfolio 2.6

Be still my beating heart :P. Klipfolio is another one of those applications for which I will pimp indiscriminately to whomever will listen.

2.6 adds a whole bunch of features, including viewing your hotmail inbox, pop3 mail, google news searches etc. You can now also minimise it so that it fits on the window bar so you can have it visible and unobtrusive at all times. Most importantly, they've finally implemented the best feature Klipfolio could ever have, which is a global "Dismiss all items"!!! I've been requesting it for ages, and they've finally come through, bless their geeky little hearts.

In case you don't already know, Klipfolio is an application that reads RSS feeds, so you can view headlines of news sites, view weather, stock quotes etc. Extremely handy.

You can find it at

Posted by subtitles at 5:39 PM

Intellimouse 5.2 Sucks Ass: Program Specific Farce Revisited

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I installed to test out the new drivers by MS for their mice. OMFG. Not only does it screw up the new (clickless) scroll wheels by making them much less sensitive, if you have another mouse connected that isn't clickless, it makes scrolling horrendously slow.

And obviously that's not the worst of it. I have an article I wrote about Microsoft Mice and how good they are if you can be bothered to search for it. There's a section on the horrendous implementation of program specific functions for the 4th/5th mouse buttons. MS must have read it and decided to reimplement all the features they took out from 4.x to 5.x - and not bother to fix anything. Options still bleed between applications, the results of which are often unpredictable. In particular it did peculiar things to Outlook, closed explorer windows without asking, and it doesn't work with Klipfolio.

Seriously, it's like they took all the buggy code they took out of 4.x to make 5.x good, and then plunked it all back in. Fucking Idiots. Thank god I still have 5.0 - which does many good things (ie has useful functions forwhat I need) for Opera - and doesn't fuck up scrolling. Doom has given me a penchant for shotguns - this is where I'd use it.

If you own MS mice, prepare to be astounded by how badly they can fuck things up with nice hardware - stick to 5.0 if you know what's good for you.

Posted by subtitles at 2:37 PM

August 11, 2004


Someone on MyOpera asked, with reference to my professed belief in the free market, how I could concievably support Mozilla - hence -

I suppose that's a fair enough question. But it seems pretty simple to me - I'm a consumer in this equation, so I simply choose the product from which I gain the most marginal utility. But cost is not simply derived from money spent, but from effort. If I have to do all the configuration and troubleshooting for a particular browser that I do not enjoy, that is a cost to me. This may not seem to be the most logical of decisions but in many ways consumers are eerily teetering between being rational and irrational. In certain ways I can claim utility from being a professed Opera Fanboy.

On the other hand, there is not a zero cost to the production of Mozilla. Sure there is an aspect to which it is un-economic, in that no profit is directly derived from the "sale" of the browser and its developers aren't directly paid (mostly). But even then it is not so much an alternative to capitalism as a "parasite upon capitalsim" (search the for the quote). Without discussing that in too much length, it seems simple enough to say that just as I get utility from being a Fanboy, people who contribute code to OSS projects get utility from being Geeks. And again, while the Mozilla foundation might not be founded on an instinct for profit, it is not *unsustainable* - it intends to be a well run public service, which sustains itself by selling support/installation CD's, and recieving donations from big companies (in both time of their paid employees who work on the OSS and money). Those companies in turn are motivated by profit and do not support Mozilla out of the kindness of their hearts - they get an okay browser to bundle with their linux distributions etc. They also gain mindshare against a competitor: Microsoft.

Long story short, Mozilla is well within the realm of economic action. The wonder of Economics as a religion is very clear: "When the facts change, I change my mind, would you that it were otherwise?"

That said, the reason I mercilessly whale on Gecko based products (giving some kudos where due) is that I simply find that OSS has a deficit in creating really smooth and innovative UI - for some reason development for "Geeks" is more about feature addition and (often pointless) proliferation of skins than it is about (wait for it) *polish* - something that proprietary companies can tend to have in spades - Opera, MS, and, for instance, Elby, who develop CloneDVD - I nearly fell off my chair and pissed myself when I saw those animated sheep.

Posted by subtitles at 4:03 AM | TrackBack

August 10, 2004

Opera Needs to Step Up

People who know me know that I'm a card carrying Opera supporter and evangelist. I am, however, also a believer in the free market and competition, and not just when it suits me, and not in a fanboy manner.

Opera has very rightly been making noise the past years on how IE has dominated the market to the point where IE development has stagnated. But now IE has implemented its first significant improvements in years and has announced plans (whether that means anything or not) for more to come. Similarly, Mozilla has been doing well in putting together Firefox, which has made the choice of browsers more and more interesting.

In particular, open source has very good at adding features to their apps, and making those features work well (just think of eMule vs eDonkey), regardless of what I think of the polish they can sometimes lack. For instance, the latest versions of Firefox have added to their extended search functions to the point where they can readily compete with Opera. Now you can do in Firefox what you used to do with the Opera Search.ini Editor - add searches. The only point at which Firefox lags is in the breadth of searches (soon remedied) and having more than one search box (which Opera's Personal Bar excels at). But really 2 things stand out as reasons why I'm sitting up and taking notice of "alternative" browsers, by which I mean browsers other than Opera: ad blocking and pop-up blocking.

The most convincing thing about Firefox is the implementation of CSS based ad-blocking. With this, the majority of ads on web pages are eliminated - and very elegantly so, since in most cases you don't get blank space where the ad used to be. Opera can do this, but only by combining a rather more rudimentary CSS blocking with the use of filter.ini - 2 steps to Firefox's one, and not as well implemented. The only way in which Opera is still slightly ahead is that CSS blocking can be turned off more easily by switching between user and author modes - but admittedly this only seems necessary because the ad blocking style sheet in Opera sometimes blocks useful images.

What IE excels at is what Mozilla needs to learn the most from - elegance. Either there really is stuff Microsoft knows that allows it to write better software for its own platform or their developers just have a more developed sense of taste - whatever the case, the new pop-up blocker in IE convincingly raises the bar. Both Opera and Firefox allow you to "block unwanted pop-ups" which has been a pretty good way of getting rid of those that aren't manually initiated by a click. IE goes one step further and provides a nice subtle (though perhaps not subtle enough) notification that pop-ups have been blocked (you can turn it off if you don't like it) and better yet you can allow pop-ups for those sites that require it, such as (conspiracy theorists get ready) with the new web based version of MSN Messenger. In Opera, this has to be got around each time by pressing F12.

Moral of the story is this, when the gods wish to punish us, they grant us our wishes. People have been complaining about lack of competition, well, competition's a-comin'. Probably the clearest sign of this was when I was trying to demonstrate the superior caching in Opera to someone, I embarassedly noticed that IE seems to have caught on to it, just as Firefox has (though neither is *quite* as instantaneous).

That said, there are just those things that Opera still does fantastically that serve as examples of how it's been able to implement my much vaunted praise of elegance. Opera definitely wins out in having a very light and responsive GUI - when I open a new page it is instantaneous and smooth. Similarly, Presto is still my favorite rendering engine - IE's is much too chunky and Gecko is far too bleah. For those that don't understand me, IE waits till the page loads to show you anything and just makes you wait before it plunks things on you, and Gecko is just poky. Opera does well in loading the html and then the css, so that you see the content first and gradually see how it gets positioned, so slow loading pages can still be used for navigation before the page loads completely.

So while I'm not saying that I'm switching browsers, I am looking at the other side, and some of the grass really is greener. If Opera wants to convincingly retain users and recruit more besides, it needs to take a look at what's going on and react appropriately. As Microsoft has shown with this round of improvements, it's not a crime to copy the features off others, especially when you do it better than the original. So yes, innovate and provide more and better useful features, but things definitely need to be done to make the browsing experience in Opera a more elegant and less stressful experience.

Posted by subtitles at 10:20 AM | TrackBack

August 8, 2004


And so that's what happens with euphoria. The windows maximising came back after I started using Optool again, get the feeling I should file a bug report, but problem is it never caused problems on my laptop.

Also the firewall isn't completely stealthed, says it responds to pings, which is annoying. I'll see how it works with another computer on the network before shuffling the settings around too much.

Good news is that WMP 10 beta now doesn't prompt the firewall to open ports every time, so at least one annoyance sqashed. And it's nice that there is now application based filtering rather than just ports.

Mule seems to be opening fewer connections, wonder what that's about. Regardless, download speeds aren't much different, if at all, so we'll see how it pans out.

Oh, and I've discovered the wonder of the ABC web interface - and the php web interface to go along with it. There's more info on ABC's FAQ pages. Nice to be able to remotely administer both Mule and torrents remotely.

Posted by subtitles at 5:18 PM

Mad Props

I can't say I'm that nuts about it all, but I did download SP2 off, so I guess I just lack self-control. Before I get into that, I'd just like to give a shout out to Benq for manufacturing my lovely new keyboard, that now allows my mousing hand to be more ergonomically placed. It's a nice mini keyboard, so my mouse pad can move nearer to the center of my body, so my arm isn't at an odd angle due to silly things like the number pads on full-size keyboards. And as I was telling peishan, this keyboard is a sure demonstration that Benq is so a subsidiary of Acer - the keyboard is basically a repackaged notebook keyboard - like those used the more recent Acer notebooks - how do you like *them* apples?

But much as I wish I was Mary Louise Parker, and before I return to SP2, I'd also like to mention one of the things that Opera still does superbly better than any other browser - allowing me to customise my personal bar with searches up the ying-yang. IMDB is to be expected, but Chicago Reader's brief reviews is woo-hoo, and All Music would be better if they fixed their site, and ShareConnector are great, and I'm getting lots of mileage out of, Wikipedia and TV Tome. How do you like *them* apples?

So yes, Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. I've already slipstreamed a copy for those who would desire it, and was vaguely contemplating using it to accomplish all manner of minor bug squashing. Miraculously though, installing SP2 has fixed that for me. Even my annoying maximise bug is gone :). I'm actually in awe of the new Windows Firewall, since it does have outbound protection of sorts, since it prompts you when you run a program potentially as a server - so you get a notice when you start eMule, ABC, Yahoo Messenger etc. Lovely. Only issue is this - that the firewall acts globally, so I'm not sure file sharing will be as easy as before - hopefully they worked out the kinks before RTM. Anyway I can't check it out till Winston gets back from Tibet, unless I want to disturb chinese neighbour :P.

Having recently auditioned a whole bunch of firewalls, Kerio, Sygate, ZoneAlarm, etc. the new firewall is all the more impressive. Mad Props.

MS have also seen it fit to reinstate the click sounds that accompany opening of folders/links, which is not a bad thing.

And as I admit that the ad blocking in Firefox is amazing compared to Opera's more patchwork approach, I have to give much credit to IE's implementation of a pop-up blocker - the execution of it is flawless, with all the right prompts and a fantastically easy way of excluding certain sites, such as Opera's got a lot of work to do for its next version. The competition really is hotting up.

Oh, and the alarms I sent to people about non-640 PID's being blacklisted turned out to be just another MS bait and switch. They seem to have mastered their PR moves around this - threatening in the betas to keep people guessing and encouraging legal migration, but being lenient for such a huge security update - for the benefit of Mr. Kite. Much deftness there to do and not do at the same time. Many masterful.

On top of all this - and this might just be a placebo effect - but the responsiveness of my system seems to have gone up, especially with things like explorer launching etc. Good stuff.

Oh, and shame on Louis for only now figuring out how to emulate in Opera the automatic switching on and off of the page bar.

Posted by subtitles at 9:30 AM

July 16, 2004

When the facts change...

I'll probably elaborate further when I feel like it, but let's just say that Louis has discovered the wonders of eMule - and that when he next restarts, he will be installing another network card and using his dusty router as a switch while his gateway computer runs zonealarm 4.

Louis will also get into the business of "overclocking" his Lite-On DVD writer, since, apparently, that's what it's good for. Dual layer for 170 sing anyone?

Posted by subtitles at 1:19 PM

April 27, 2004


ABC is one of those open source projects that has taken on one of the most attractive qualities of the open source community, it's penchant for witty, faultlessly descriptive and devastatingly wry acronyms.

Michel was the one who told me about Apache, which is (if I'm not wrong) server software. Apparently it was put together by amalgamating numerous Unix patches. It stands for A Patchy Server.

My favorite though, is LAME, which stands for Lame is not An Mpeg Encoder. In fact it is used for that function, to encode mp3 files, but apparently the project was originally or fundamentally focused on another (I think more theoretically research based) aim.

I'm sure better information about these can be found through searching for them.

ABC isn't the most fantastic, but it's not bad, it stands for Yet Another Bittorrent Client. It is, however, a rather good client, in that it seems to offer queueing of torrents in a way that it doesn't strangle downstream like TorrentStorm seemed to. It's currently working its charm on getting me more Sports Night. It also happens to use Shadow's latest engine, ie it uses the protocol that my previous recommendation, BitTornado uses. Good stuff. I recommend it.

You do have to allow your torrents to seed for at least 30 mins after they complete though, but that is a small price to pay for queueing. And file sharing networks are about sharing, and the best way to make sure it stays that way is to make it easy on the people who share. Clever.

Posted by subtitles at 7:04 AM

April 25, 2004


Why would I think that I'd be able, or it would even be possible, for me to build a system for myself that would be "perfect"? I should know by now that it's always going to be more complicated than all that, that something won't be quite right and there'll be some form of compromise as there always is.

I wonder if I had a paycheck if it would be more or less inconcievable for me to just blow money on components because we want to.

It's just that getting a SFF PC would be fun, and having a hyperthreaded cpu would be nice, and a proper gaming platform would be good, and a mid-range Nvidia graphics card isn't too much to ask for.

Thank god Windows is free :), like most other forms of software.

Posted by subtitles at 3:23 PM

April 24, 2004


I've figured that a lot of people bump into this site looking for subtitles for their divx/xvid .avi files, so I've decided that I should provide the public service of pointing them to a place where they can actually find said subtitles. That said, I'm not sure there are places that specialise so readily in TV subtitles - eventually a dubbed version for your country will come out. The best suggestion I can give you is to look here. The suggestions below tend to be for films.

Here. The site is called - it seems to be the most central place online for finding subtitles for films - the database is pretty huge. If you're looking specifically for english subs for asian films, try here, note that you'll have to register at kloofy. These are not necessarily the best or by any means the only way of getting at subs, but it's what I know of. The other way being to search the file sharing network you were on for them, but I'm assuming people who end up here are just piss-lazy (and honestly, not the bluntest edge of the club).

Though I'm assuming people who bother to come here already know the best way to play subs with their files is with BSPlayer. There's another way, but let's not confuse the poor dears.

Oh, go on then: VobSub.

Posted by subtitles at 2:11 PM | Comments (2)

April 23, 2004


I've been using BitTornado for the past couple of weeks, and it seems to have significant improvements over the experimental client.

Apparently it's better known as "Shadow's Experimental Client" but it seems to have rebranded itself. Basically it fixes alot of things that were annoying about the original/experimental clients. First, it actually uses the most recent engine, as opposed to the experimental one which is a bit dated now, second, you can set a default download rate, ie dial-up etc., you can set the default download directory, and you no longer have a long allocation period each time you start or resume a download.

All basically reasons enough to move over to it.

There are other clients out there, but I tried Torrentstorm and the downstream seems limited when you limit your upstream, which is annoying since you can actually queue downloads. Azeureus, which is the Java based version, is supposed to be a bit buggy and take up a significant amount of processor overhead.

Posted by subtitles at 1:11 AM

April 22, 2004

Beta Time

It's hidden away in super secret places that only the Opera initiated know about, but Opera 7.5 Beta 1 is out in the wild, with a lovely new default skin!!!

I'm so happy I could... do something that happy people do.

Posted by subtitles at 6:38 AM

April 16, 2004

Overnet 0.53 Point Upgrade Goodness

Ok, having to admit that I was having my doubts about the efficacy of the new Overnet client, but 0.53 is turning out pretty fantastic. Download here.

If nothing else, the performance improvement is fantastic. On my brother's cable line, the downstream is consistently about 80-90 kbs, and for all the who-ha about the ratio changing, my upload doesn't go much past 10 anyway. I'm assuming that basically what this did was just make the community as a whole raise their upload barrier, so that downstream speeds have become rather ideal.

That might be the reason that MSN can't sign in anymore...

So yes, now the ratio is such that you have to set your upload to 20 to get unlimited downloads, but I've left my upload at 0, with no decrease in downstream, in fact, as I mentioned, quite the opposite.

I get the feeling I'm going to have a hard time keeping my queue to a reasonable number, as it is it's about 350+ at best, with about a quarter to a third paused. I'm trying to maintain at least a 10 gig leeway in terms of space on the temp drive. Which means I'm using up about 100 gig in temp files, but what else is new.

Buffy is still being rather fun. Makes me want to watch Buffy, strangely enough.

Posted by subtitles at 7:01 AM

April 15, 2004

Buffy on Xbox

I'm not sure if this is Computer Stuff, but if I ever doubted Xbox, I take it back. And I must say that the Buffy game is surprisingly effective at being buffy-esque, though I've only just started playing. The "witty banter" if not fantastic, is at least close enough to be amusing and qualify it as being what it says on the tin. And the buffy figurine is pretty accurate as well, though far too gamine to not be accused of Lara Croft syndrome.

Posted by subtitles at 11:40 AM

Opera 7.5 Preview 4

Beta Forum post here.

They weren't kidding when they said there were performance improvements - startup time has pretty much dropped to maybe a quarter of what it was. Opera used to have a start up lag of about 4 seconds, but now I hit my hotkeys and there it is. Obviously I'm talking about a cold startup of the Opera application, opening pages is still instantaneous.

What's very encouraging as well is that they've enabled the personal bar by default again, yay :). Main bar was always a waste of space anyway.

It now probably takes me about 15 mins-half an hour to customise a clean install of Opera. I move over my search.ini, my cookies, my wand.dat, my address book. I enable smooth scrolling, switch on my ad-blocking style sheet. Move plug-ins, enable trusted protocols. And any number of small things like disabling the mail client, removing unwanted panels, identifying as Opera, blocking pop-ups, making it default browser, changing the hotkey, setting Outlook as mail client, applying Blue Button as my current skin of choice now that search boxes have issues...

There have a been a fuck load of previews so far, and I'm still sort of wondering how they're shaping up on the UI stuff, since the new search panel is sort of lame - not that the start page was that great either. The fine tweaking has been fantastic overall, but I wonder at the end result of all the UI work. I'm assuming that my java related crashes are just temporary.

Oh, and smooth scrolling is nicer again, which is good.

Posted by subtitles at 11:08 AM

April 1, 2004

Wing Man

I need someone to go to Sim Lim with me, or at least tell me where CD media is cheapest. Leong? Winston next week? Should I call Jiang? Peishan perhaps? That place really does require moral support, or at least a wing-man.

Posted by subtitles at 7:33 PM

A Flop

And someone should tell the fuckwits on Alias that a Teraflop is a measure of speed, not a measure of storage.

Posted by subtitles at 3:54 PM

March 17, 2004


I have listed a number of faults in ascending order of importance. Please reference my previous inquiries using ref. no. 1655925, I spoke with Adam (both times). I'm referring to my notebook, a 3150HW which is about 3 weeks in my posession.

1) Whenever I open PowerDVD 4, the screen refreshes as if I had changed the colour depth from 32 to 16 bit. I have also seen this problem with display models I've seen in stores, so I wonder at how widespread this issue is.

2)Most of the time, when I unplug a USB device, the system completely shuts down. These are items that I cannot "stop" through the OS before I physically remove them - specifically my USB mouse and USB audio devices. I have updated both my bios as well as my usb drivers (uninstalling and reinstalling) to the latest version available. (3)If the battery was connected while this happens, the backlight will fail to come on when I restart the system. The only way I can get the backlight to come back on is to shut down, remove the battery, and start up again using only ac power.

4)USB audio devices have huge problems on my notebook. These devices, that work on all the other systems I've tried them on (and are hence not faulty), do not seem to function properly on the USB ports. I've tried both the Creative MP3+ and the Hercules Muse Pocket. After installing the latest drivers and restarting to fully install these devices, the sound is perfect. In particular, DVD's play perfectly with no problems. Video mostly plays with no problems. Video with MP3 soundtracks above 192kbs seem to cause crackling sounds. CD's consistently cause the same crackling sound. Music files of 192kbs (and perhaps below that as well) seem to cause the crackling. This crackling is loud, audible, incessant and continuous along with the sounds/music. Once the crackling starts, it continues indefinitely until the computer is restarted. Some times the crackling occurs after playback of a not-crackling-inducing media/file is stopped and later restarted.

A circumstance I would like to suggest and perhaps rule out/query as contributing to the USB problems would be that I am currently in the UK and have been using (obviously) UK power sockets to charge my batteries/use AC power. In the course of this, I've used both an adaptor for the american socket and a replacement input cable to the power supply that has a UK 3-pin head.

Would the wireless module be a factor in all this, since it (apparently) connects through USB?

I need to know if all this behaviour is consistent with your engineers' experience in dealing with faults regarding this notebook. I do not relish sending my notebook in for repair if this is simply an ongoing/novel issue that cannot, from what you've heard, be definitively/routinely repaired. I'm unclear on what your policy is regarding exchanges, but I'm more than willing to exchange my notebook for a tested replacement instead of sending it in for an uncertain repair process.

This of course is complicated by the fact that I will not be in the US for the next few months at minimum, so I would appreciate a clear course of action for when I do return to the US.

It's been suggested to me that I should RMA, but I would only do so if you can assure me that ALL of my issues stated above can be addressed by my doing so. In particular your tech staff has tended to suggest that the faults with the USB audio devices are the fault of the devices and not the notebook, which, if you've read the extent of my experiences, seems incredibly unlikely. I would need you to acknowledge all of these faults as recognisable and valid, and that they can and will be fixed, before I RMA. Nothing would frustrate me more than to recieve my notebook back with any of the above issues not satisfactorily addressed.

It's also come to my attention that you are in fact responsible for keyboard caused scuff marks on the LCD screen due to faulty keyboard placement and I would appreciate it that if I RMA, you would deal with those issues as well. ie: you would reposition the keyboard and replace the screen.

Posted by subtitles at 9:47 PM

March 12, 2004


Ok, so first really alarming thing about my lovely Averatec. It was on mains, I changed power saving mode to Max Battery, closed the lid, and when I opened it again, the backlight wouldn't come on. Restarting didn't help. Wasn't until I shut down and unplugged the mains, plugged in the battery that it came on again. Somewhere in what I've done is the reason but I can't for the life of me think what it could be. And obviously changelogs for bios' are too difficult for them. Thankfully it wasn't a hardware thing with the latch.

Well there's that and the fact that when I'm going to hibernate and unplug my usb mouse, the thing shuts right down. I'll see how it goes, if it keeps up I might give them a call just to get the lay of the land at their tech support dept. Maybe an RMA somewhere within the warranty year - where I can get them to flash the bios for me.

Posted by subtitles at 5:18 PM

March 10, 2004

More Gripes

So yes, it is pretty annoying that Caffe Nero's wifi access is absolutely superb on the ground floor. Admittedly it's not so smoky, but there are also no power points and it's right next to the drafty door. Mugsy. But no dropped connections and just a generally wonderful connection - while my battery lasts. Cunning bastards.

Posted by subtitles at 1:00 PM

March 1, 2004

So You Want to Buy an Averatec Notebook

At Michel's (rather cryptic) request, the notebook can be found at the Averatec page, and the price can be gotten at Pricegrabber.

Anyone who's asked me about buying a computer has gotten this as a recommendation from me. And now that I've finally gotten it, I'd say that was a well founded recommendation. No Neverwinter Nights, and laptop hard-disks are a bit poky after a raid array, but regardless a fantastic value.

For no particular reason I'd just like to wonder aloud at why editing/copying over my search.ini causes search boxes to disappear every once in a while. And also whether Caffe Nero will have power points.

Posted by subtitles at 5:13 AM

February 25, 2004


And yes, I now have a nice spanky new notebook, by everyone's favorite thin and light manufacturer, Averatec.

Coursey was right, there was a burning smell, but that's now gone. The only negative I've been able to find is that PowerDVD makes the display refresh and, I suspect, default it back to 16 bit.

3D gaming is not exactly ideal on it, so I'm going vintage and determined to play either Ultima 9 or The Longest Journey on it.

Otherwise, I've got only positive things to say about it, any caveats I have would be ones most other thin and lights are prone to, ports all at the side, etc. But for a 2 spindle notebook under 5 pounds, you won't find any other config that ideal - esp not at less than 1000. And they shipped it with max ram, ie more than they promised, which is fantastically welcome.

Posted by subtitles at 3:10 AM

January 8, 2004

The Overnet Mystery

So well it does seem that pausing items has an adverse effect on my downstream. The strange thing is that it doesn't seem to be directly related. Now that my downstream is back to 70+, it's not like it's those I unpause that are the main contributors. I suppose though, that I should wait overnight to see if this uptick remains consistent.

So yes, perplexing, another thing to add to the list of Overnet/Donkey mojo's I abase myself to in the search for consistently maxing out my connection.

Posted by subtitles at 12:50 AM

January 6, 2004

Overnet and RDF

I get the feeling my hypothesis about Overnet has been borne out. My download speeds have been horrific over the holiday period, when I presume more people are home and actually downloading stuff. Most likely many people either don't know/don't care that their clients might be starting up with windows and been sharing 24/7 when they're done downloading. Whatever it is, my downstream is back to the way it should be and that's rather grand - now it just falls to see whether I can pause downloads and not have that affect my downstream.

It's become a kind of tradition of mine to watch the MacWorld or whatever Steve Jobs keynotes - and the reality distortion field is very much still in place. What can they be thinking, making the iPod mini only about $50 less than the low level iPod? If their intent is to make that low level model more attractive I can see it, but it perplexes me nonetheless. I suppose they need room to drop the price as time goes on.

Those celebrity endorsements are really starting to piss me the fuck off. These are idle people with too much money, not very much know-how, and are sheep of the worst kind. Apple really is just selling the lie of a better lifestyle.

Spend money on something you're going to use more than once a year, Opera for instance - more fun every day :P. Or, well, educate linux users on how, *ahem*, windows software isn't exactly not free either.

Posted by subtitles at 2:04 PM

December 19, 2003

Opera 7.5 Preview 1

Louis has calmed down now enough to encourage you to have a look at the brand spanking new Preview of Opera 7.5. My Opera seems to be swamped at the moment, but it should be fine soon enough.

Be warned though you should read the warnings in the thread and install in a different directory for testing, and not install over the existing Opera install.

The UI is even more customisable now - and it now supports XP style skinning. Also changes to hotlist - now panels. More detailed changelog in the forum thread.

Posted by subtitles at 8:33 PM

October 29, 2003

Piracy's Bad Mmkay...

Lovely article on the difficulties of indoctrinating something wrong on young people who know better

Posted by subtitles at 1:37 PM

October 28, 2003

Louis has a webcam

Louis has finally capitulated and gotten a webcam. Happy Day. Come and see what Louis looks like.

Posted by subtitles at 3:15 PM

October 27, 2003

Longhorn 4051 Leaked

If you're a geek, you might want to have look at the section in my forum for registered users. You might find a lovely surprise - but only if you're too lazy/n00b to know better where to get this stuff from.

Posted by subtitles at 1:42 PM

October 25, 2003

Legacy Radio

I find it intriguing that there are times when the intention is to support legacy-ness not for technical or economic reasons per se, but rather for the sake of feeling and experience.

The latest hour of Showtalkers was initially posted as streaming only (on - you could stream it as if it was "live", so that it cycles every say 45 mins or however long the show is.

The whole idea of KSSX is basically as a radio station like other (I don't think all) internet "radio stations" - it plays content as if you were tuning in with an analog tuner.

I mean one of the most powerful or useful features of "internet radio" is that it can be on demand - if you "miss" a show, you can just go at any time and listen to it from start to finish, or if you aren't in time at the top of the hour, you can just stream/play from the beginning as if you were there at that time.

I wonder at the thinking behind it, but one of the motivations I can see is that it's like programming real time shows, so that if you're waiting for a show you listen/watch the channel/station until it's time for the show, or you keep listening/watching after your favorite show is on, therefore attracting the audience to your other content.

The other attraction I suppose is that if you had ads (KSSX doesn't seem to, at least showtalkers doesn't) there's no choice but to sit through them.

I suppose it's just the dialectical nature of my attitude to technology that I find it difficult to feel indulgent/retrograde/myopic to that kind of rehashing of past paradigms. Just to be clear it's not the economics of it that bothers me - the desire for profit of promotion, rather the unwillingness to translate that economic motivation along with the content to the new medium of delivery.

Posted by subtitles at 11:15 PM

October 24, 2003

Tell the Truth

Hopefully this is the last post about Longhorn, unless the stuff from PDC is really that worthy of comment.

Have a look at this comment in response to some Microsoftie posting more about the community project that's going on. I just wish they could be more honest about what they (MS) are doing, if they could at least say, well, open source developers have something in what they do - it's intelligent of them to create a community - and despite the fact that we're not too sure about the quality of the products this produces, they do help to create people who are happy with the product and have a place where they can be heard about what's wrong.

I'm getting the feeling that I might want to get my hands on the pre-beta to play with, when it's released, hopefully the shipping isn't expensive, or that the versions they distribute online aren't bad.

Posted by subtitles at 8:47 PM

October 23, 2003

Does Microsoft want to be a true leader?

What I don't understand is why Microsoft is so rabidly reactionary towards the Open Source Community.

When you are in a position of power, when you are sincerely assured that you are right - that is when you tend to be able to resort to civility, gravitas and self-assurance. You don't get reactionary unless you feel really threatened.

Microsoft is in a position of prominence, it should not behove it to stoop to the level that people in the OSC can be accused of. It should be able to take/ask for/act on criticism with aplomb and a sense of not-overbearing responsibility.

The fact that it does not can mean a number of things. First, that they've succumbed to a kind of paranoia, where everything around them is a threat and the people criticising them are stupid (they are patently not).

Second they may have come to believe that they are being criticised for things that are not really wrong/their fault - an extremely dangerous path to go down, since it leads you to miss the truth. People can hate you for no reason, true, but how can you assume that?

Third, they are feeling so threatened by the OSC that they're pissing in their pants and flailing when they should be maintaining an image that the OSC cannot, perhap are unwilling to, emulate - be professional, be stable, keep the poker face while being convincing that customer loyalty matters. Saying that OS software sucks is not the same as saying that MS software is good.

I suppose what I'm not doing too good a job of making clear is that what the Economist says here about the relationship between America and Europe applies very readily to MS and the OSC. Look through the article and substitute the respective terms. If I'm really that cack-handed, this is the last line of that article: "From a true leader, a little effortless superiority is called for."

And if I was totally unmitigated in my support for MS, that's what I would/should be saying.

Posted by subtitles at 4:15 PM

I Hate Microsoft/Longhorn

I've been looking at the "discussion" over at Longhornblogs.

Without going into technical detail, especially since a lot of it is developer level stuff anyway, the dynamics of the discussion is no end of interesting.

I'll try not to be hideously snarky about these people's understanding of a) logic b) economics c) writing.

The one who put up the original post is Robert Scoble, and his post reads (especially in context of the responses it recieves) as differing magnitudes of insufferable.

There's a certain amount of gall in the fact of what they're blowing their own horn about.

Let's just be clear about this, self-deprecation is not the mark of humility, not the mark of humour, not the mark of self-deflation, not the mark of supplication.

The general tone of the post is one of presumption: *everyone* will want to tell us we suck, because we are the be-all and end all. Asking for criticism and then expecting it in it's droves is an oblique way of saying the world revolves around you.

There is no real sense of "there are things deeply wrong, we are worried, help us out because we don't quite know what we're doing". First it's a kind of fishing, "oh it's so bad" "oh no it's not that bad, this and that just need a bit of work". Second, "we're so great and well meaning that how could you not cream in your pants at the thought of making us feel better about what we do".

Just the hyperbole with which he characterises the false expectation he has of how bad the criticism will be bespeaks only a very petty extent to which they are willing to be corrected. You're going to tell us this sucks, that blows - they are making the complaints already sound really trivial. It's the kind of expectation that the uncriticised has of what criticism will be like - they haven't a clue as to how or whether people will react.

That said, the idea of having a Longhorn that's actually good isn't a bad idea, and what they're doing in itself isn't horrible, it's just the way they do it reflects their naivete towards how and why people dislike their products. Telling yourself that people dislike you just because you are no. 1 (and being shy about that position even as you perpetuate your own paranoia about it) doesn't allow yourself to address what is really fundamentally wrong with what you're doing/making.

As far as I know, the only good (?)/ justifiable monopoly is a regulated one which they postively would never want. Don't pretend competition isn't good just because you wish it wasn't. If you want to insist on appealing to the market, where you are paid for your labour/knowledge, you have to respect that that has to occur in a competitive environment, because if money is the only objective (which is what paid software people predicates itself on), in a monopoly the only thing needs to get better is how to get the money.

In terms of how panicked they might feel and how hard they work, I have deep suspicions as to how much Orwell's maxim rings true - the higher you are on the food chain, the more delusional you are about the threat that others pose, the more you believe your own spin. This hardly sounds like a healthy competitive psyche at work.

Thank god blogs aren't expected to be *too* considered and can be expected to peter out and meander a bit. There are sometimes reasons why developers should have people who speak for them - communication is not something that anybody and everybody can do.

Posted by subtitles at 2:06 PM

October 21, 2003

It's your refresh rate Su-lin

In order to change your refresh rate, you go to display properties (right click on desktop, properties) - go to the "settings" tab - click on "Advanced" - look for the monitor tab - set the refresh rate to 85 Hertz. Happy Su-lin.

If that doesn't work, you can try re-installing your graphics driver - if I remember your family computer correctly.

It'll be much better for you eyes.

Posted by subtitles at 11:02 PM

September 27, 2003

Back to the Donkey

I'm sure it's just me, but I suspect that the Overnet client has so called "intelligent" bandwidth throttling - though why it would be so significantly different to ed2k is beyond me. This just means that if you start surfing your downloads (not uploads) decrease in speed, which is less than ideal. But of course, Louis is just obsessive.

Louis should write a how-to of his surmises how to avoid getting into trouble with the law over copyright issues.

So yes, back to the Donkey, which among other things, has a much cooler name.

I was also fiddling with my router settings, but having set them to the delight of Steve Gibson at, eDonkey slowed to a crawl, despite firewall status showing as "open". Pretty damn annoying.

So I'm now back to being DMZ, after figuring out how port forwarding works (sort of) - if only because I'm tired of experimenting, being the obsessive freak I am.

That said, I've now got very good things to say about the latest iteration of the free Kerio Personal Firewall, since it seems to have all the functions firewalls should, and yet allows file sharing without the latency problems. The only others to do this are ones that are hideously bloated and buggy - ZoneAlarm and Norton. Way to go Kerio (who were formerly Tiny, if that interests you).

If you wonder why there are no links: 1) even Movable Type seems to have issues with putting lovely URL links that work with Opera 2) Louis is lazy. As we tell Clarissa when she asks about Snowballing/Fisting/Golden Showers, Google is your friend (even if they don't employ you).

Oh, and leaving your maximum download speed at the recommended level below the max is a good way not to kill your bandwidth, as Louis discovered after all this time.

Posted by subtitles at 4:25 PM

September 26, 2003

Overnet First Impressions

I've just been using the newest Overnet client, basically developed by the eDonkey people and meant to solve issues of scalability with ed2k's server based searching. Not bad, downloads seem to move apace compared to ed2k, though I suspect they have an auto bandwidth throttling feature which doesn't quite work as well as hoped. Definitely worth looking at though.

Posted by subtitles at 6:31 AM

September 25, 2003

New Favorite Opera Skin

Perhaps it's because Christian Krebs is no longer so actively skinning for Opera, but it's also because the icons are absolutely lovely: I've got a new favorite skin, though admittedly by an author who I'm otherwise quite ho hum about. It's called "She", and can be found at the bottom of this page.

Posted by subtitles at 2:06 PM

September 21, 2003

Hardware Reviews

At the risk of doing this too often, I'd like to point you to yet another side-splitting article from the Inquirer - my tech tabloid of choice, this one entitled "How the Inquirer Reviews Products". Sensible stuff.

Since I fancy doing something productive, I'll be posting an article about input devices/mice some time soon. It's in the works. Delayed by both a 20 hr flight and MS releasing a new mouse/keyboard software. Oh and me being idle.

If that goes well, I might post something about file-sharing/dialectics/donkey/torrent/Pricewatch :D.

Posted by subtitles at 11:54 AM

August 25, 2003

Inquirer dispels myths

This was up some time ago, but I thought it best that I put it up sometime, since the "myths" it talks about are rightly quite silly ones.

Probably up there with "Outsourcing is the work of the devil", "all spam is foreign", "everyone should install and pay for antivirus and firewalls", "product activation/copy controls benefit users/deters piracy".

Posted by subtitles at 5:05 AM | TrackBack

David Coursey

There are things I think I probably should be doing now, but at least I feel that instead of doing those I can come here and mouth off.

I would like to write to David Coursey about a number of things but I just doubt he would read it, and I'd probably just end up sounding like an idiot. But then again I have real problems with some of his opinions which are exclusionary in the extreme - which is all the more frustrating for his disapproval of Republicans.

Makes me suspect that he's a particular brand of soft-core liberal whose concern for others is grounded in an affective kind of sentimentality.

And him writing a switcher's guide, yeah fine whatever, but him writing a book on troubleshooting windows? I could probably do a better job than he would. Norton Utilities my ass.

But then again I wouldn't want to be reading Dvorak on PCMag. In that case, it was so annoying I can't even remember what it was that he was an ass about.

Posted by subtitles at 3:24 AM

August 20, 2003

Donkey and Mule

In a move I should have done much earlier, I've paused most of the downloads on the Donkey, and my CPU usage has gone down dramatically. I suppose having 500 simultaneous queued downloads isn't the most efficient way of going about things?

Individual downloads now have a higher download speed, which is good. I really wonder how I managed to fill up the entirety (almost) of a 120 gig hard drive with temp files... :P. Hope it doesn't overflow when I go off and leave it running.

I was testing out the Mule, but really can't see the evangelism that accompanies it. It's still not the quick fix that Kazaa is, and by the nature of the protocol I suppose, there's not a noticeable speed differential with Donkey.

Oh, and getting rid of older corruption prone temp files seems to help. None of the more recent files are getting the frequent corruptions that have plagued some of the older files.

Would people be interested in finding out about places that host the gazillions of ed2k links out there? If you want it, you're going to have to ask. Forum link's on the right.

Posted by subtitles at 8:56 PM

August 15, 2003

Economist on Blogs

Huh, it appears the Economist has decided to do a fluff piece on blogs and say nothing particularly insightful (and get things very much wrong - eg: Blogger was selling Blogger Pro long before Google). I suppose the whole thing about the corporatising of blogs is something interesting, but then we know this already.

Like most mainstream newspapers the Economist tends to fall into the trap (less often than most though obviously) of writing about things that simply exhibit how little they really know about what's really going on.

Just because it's news to the doddering old and the intellectually stunted, doesn't excuse you talking nonsense about something you obviously have very little investment in, and something that you're obviously not too clear about. Worse when they decide that they should put aside anything they've ever been taught about tone and come off as completely uninformed and cack-handed.

What's especially disappointing is that for a newspaper that so often makes it its mission to push boundaries in how people think about things - to persuade and illuminate - as well as to provide startling and insightful observations about the unusual sides of overworn arguments, it can so often resort to this kind of sensationalised wolf-crying.

Regurgitating the opinions that could be found by any idiot in the know, much less by Slashdot responses reduces your newspaper from the bearer and illuminator of knowledge, to the rather pathetically journalistic function of nutella - all you do is spread.

Posted by subtitles at 2:37 AM

August 14, 2003

Fastmail, Power Outage and Typepad update

If people have been having problems contacting me it's because Fastmail is down for the moment due to the power outage. If you need to contact me urgently (esp because you think I'm deluded for thinking so) you can find an alternate e-mail address on a different server here. Of course IM is another cunning plan.

I'd just like to indulge in conspiracy theory and rumour mongering for a moment to point to speculation on the Inquirer's part (because they're so reliable) that MSBlaster took down the power grid :D.

On a very side note, kudos to TypePad for fixing the alignment issues with their blogging interface with Opera before they go gold - though obviously they should have done it much earlier. Now they just need to do what any good forum software is able to do with aplomb, be able to have hyperlink assistants that work cross platforms (ie in Opera).

Posted by subtitles at 8:32 PM

Urgent Security Update: MSBlaster Worm

This is to all my rather technologically challenged friends (ie: all of you except Michel, who a) would know about this already and know better b) is running linux and hence unaffected). The rest of us mere mortals who run Windows should take note (this only affects NT based systems, meaning Windows 2000 and XP, NOT 98 and ME as far as I know). Just to say, in all probability, everyone who's running XP WILL be affected. You'll probably notice that you involuntarily reboot about a minute after each time you go online. The way to overcome the rebooting is posted in the fix below.

There's a worm on the loose, which is much like a virus only you don't have to execute anything on your computer, like an e-mail attachment, for your system to get infected. You can tell it's on your computer if you right click on your task bar and click on "task manager". If you're infected you'll see a service in the "processes" tab that says "msblast.exe"

To remove this from your system you should follow these instructions. If you want to find out more about what's going on you can read this.

And for god's sake, visit once in a while to update your system before this crap happens again. People who are on broadband using Windows XP (and actually some earlier OS's as well if you get the right updates) can set your systems to download updates automatically. With dial-up you're better off making periodic trips (though using auto-update as notification might be a good idea).

I'm only doing this because 2 people have come to me so far with miscellaneous problems that have ended up being caused by this. Please get this fixed before I have to thump you on the head for asking me what's wrong with your computer.

Posted by subtitles at 12:07 AM

August 10, 2003

CD "Copy Protection"

I found this on Michel's site, thought I might as well share about it, since I've not as yet gone off on one about this particular topic - and thankfully the site does it for me.

Say NO to corrupt audio discs

As bad and as futile/alienating as product activation - stupidity worthy of complaint - return such tripe to the stores as a sign of your protest.

Apparently the Michelle Branch album isn't protected in the US, as it is in the UK. So I might actually get it.

I would put a button on my main page, but unfortunately the buttons are a bit ugly - I'll probably put one in the Links page though.

Posted by subtitles at 8:07 AM

August 8, 2003

ICQ Lite

I can't believe I'm saying this, but ICQ lite now doesn't seem half bad - no doubt because I removed those god-damn ads - which I'd never click thru just on principle, not because they were ads per-se, just because they were annoying. I'm again more than appreciative of Google's subtlety of ad placement (how's that for ass-kissing?).

And at least AOL has gotten enough of it's act together so I don't have to run both AIM and ICQ. Isn't interoperability just shiny? Can't wait till MSN can joing the fun. But then again I can't wait for pigs to fly out of my ass - some things are just shy on probability.

This does NOT mean I in any way like or endorse the use of ICQ, which remains a plague on human existence. MSN remains my IM of choice. If only MSN messenger would find out how to work with OE like Windows Messenger does - but then that would get around the buddy list ads... I see it all now. Not that I have buddy list ads...

Again, things that flash? can go and suck eggs. Static content is a wonderful thing.

Posted by subtitles at 4:53 AM

Remove ICQ ads and another keyboard

I've found a lovely site that assists in removing ads from ICQ and ICQ Lite, which many of you might be interested in. Very effective I must say, and looks like a rather organised little setup, so they should be around for a bit before AOL Time Warner shut them down... It's called This is the link to the cracks page.

I've also got my lovely old school Natural Keyboard, and I'm pretty sure it was the Intellitype software that was making the Alt and Ctrl keys sticky.

Posted by subtitles at 12:25 AM

August 7, 2003

Opera Fanboy

Due to the overwhelming, and fantastically funny, responses on the MyOpera forums, I've put up what I could whip up in an hour as a placeholder for my Opera Fanboy site. The "You Know You're An Opera Fanboy" link at the moment just links to the forum thread, but this should expand as I go along. You can find Opera Fanboy at and

Posted by subtitles at 3:47 PM

August 6, 2003

Traffic,, Opera and Rant Rant Rant

Yeah, I'm feeling a growing boredom at writing about events and occurances. Who really gives a flying fuck?

That said, I've had a spike of activity on my forum from random people coming to my site to download the RJC teacher clip. Some of them are obviously people that I know, and who are the ones I posted it for. The rest are probably fuckwits who don't quite understand the wonders of P2P file sharing. Not that the 2 groups are mutually exclusive... (what? I can't call people I know fuckwits? have you *met* some of the people I know?) (now that was rather bitchy wasn't it?) (I obviously think myself inordinately funny)

But yes, I'm probably not too interested in maintaining people who just come here to download crap off me - though the idea that people would come here for the sparkling wit and second rate computer commentary blows my mind. I have a feeling that the entry to follow might be the one where I defend my use of Movable Type to my potential (but increasingly unlikely) employers at Google, who now own Not to mention the fact that I've been promoting TypePad.

And please, honestly, the new blogger interface for "alternative" browsers? Absolutely fucking lame. While I admit that it's at least a try, and that there are things that Opera just can't do, the fact that they have to put it as a seperate page with no other settings is just not good enough. And the archiving bugs are hell hell hell. (If google hires me, I'm so going to slink off and delete this...)

Which brings me to say that I really really do want to get hired by Google, even though there are so many reasons why it just won't happen. The fact that I don't like one of their products doesn't (to me) mean very much. As it is, the way I see it, Movable Type and Blogger service very different markets. Not to be rude, but people go to Blogger cuz it's free, despite the fact that it's not great for anything but ease of starting-up.

People willing to pay money, and who aren't intellectual midgets, aren't going to pay what blogger pro charges, along with the cost of blogspot hosting (which is exhorbitant) when they can get cheap, reliable hosting from $5 a month (and all the other wonders that that brings) and figure out how to install Movable Type. At least the basic Typepad service is cheapish.

The fact that neither of them has a fantastic interface that Opera can use means that I'm sticking to a free solution and using hosting I would have gotten anyway.

Which brings me to the point where I insist that people who are canny enough to use browsers like Opera, Mozilla and Safari are the people that should be treated the best. These are the people, who, like me, are more than happy to buy everything they can online, who are willing to pay for genuinely useful services, and spend more time online than any other activity during the day. I can't even stand the way that IE loads pages nowadays, all heavy, with a feeling of weight. Presto is a nice rendering engine. Mozilla is okay, and getting better, but it's really not that fantastic.

Posted by subtitles at 2:20 AM

August 2, 2003


Well, so Louis has been a bit tetchy recently, but can you blame me?

Anyway I've got an offer for you guys, if you want to move to a blogging tool that's worth a damn, you might want to try TypePad, which I've been beta testing for a bit, and which is going public soon. It's from the same people who do Movable Type, which powers this blog, so I thought some publicity was in order.

I, being a beta tester, can recommend friends to get a lifetime discount of 20% off on signing up (I get nothing from doing this, just so you know) and the accounts start at about $5 a month (before discount), which is pretty reasonable - esp after the discount and when you're not quite proficient enough to buy your own hosting/domain and install Movable Type (which, trust me, is just that much better). Caveats are of course that you'll probably want to be an IE user, Opera isn't the best idea (which I should pillory them for, but I'm just too tired).

So if you're interested, post in my forum or e-mail me, the link is on my main page.

Small sample of what your blog might look like can be found here.

Posted by subtitles at 3:05 PM


This is how you permanently remove the ICQ bar from Outlook. Bastards.

And yes, it was the cluster size that was fucking up Outlook, but I suspect I'll be sticking with Outlook Express for the immediate future.

If you find me talking about computers boring you can fuck the hell off.

Posted by subtitles at 2:04 PM

August 1, 2003

Clean Install

Putting your OS on a RAID setup is underated I must say. Remarkably zippy.

ATI is very naughty - just for the record, the way to get my graphics driver to work after a clean install is to go to device manager and uninstall it from safe mode. And yes I so need a setup CD.

And the way to fix the scrolling issue is to just reinstall the graphics drivers.

Thankfully Opera's not the one at fault. It's a pity 7.2 beta 2 is so unstable. And they didn't fix the startup bug in Klipfolio - I'm off to complain about it right now.

Oh, and what the hell is up with Outlook slowing down after my nice new install? Viewing mails now takes ages, the loading is so slow. Have decided to move back to Outlook Express until Office 2003 comes out.

Posted by subtitles at 10:10 PM

July 31, 2003

Too tired for a Title

It's probably just what happens, that when so many things are happening, that you just don't feel like writing about it. There's been tonnes of stuff to talk/bitch about, but thats really probably all it would be, complaining about a hundred and one things.

But regardless I've just been feeling particularly reticent the past couple of days - and obviously things going wrong don't help.

I should, however be glad of having a nice, clean installed system in a couple of days time, pending a couple of inquiries in the right forums. When I'm done with my main system (and the ATI stuff doesn't fuck up - yet again) I'll probably get around to my notebook.

Doesn't help that I've heard SP2 isn't planned for months yet, so waiting for that would be pretty pointless. Pretty much going to stick with the as yet not updated ASUS drivers though, the nVidia ones would probably only cause too many problems.

Get the feeling I'm going to be avoiding Intervideo stuff, since it's really not that great, and it's not quite compatible with my S-Video out.

I do now have quite a few bits that I can bring to Singapore though, and at least I know they're gonna be quality. Vantec Heatsinks are to die for. If I never use another stock AMD heatsink it will be too soon. And I'm becoming all too adept at cleaning and applying thermal paste - and the Vantec supplied paste is pretty damn good I must say, in the continuing absence of Nanotherm PCM.

Oh, and I went to seen Mariah last night which was nice - not in the mood for a full review, but then Mariah is just Mariah anyway.

The whole writing in categories things is starting to annoy me a bit now, that I don't feel I have enough for another entry but just want to tack on a couple of random thoughts that are eminently off-topic.

Must resist the urge to go back to trawling forums - I really do have better things to do.

Posted by subtitles at 5:01 AM

July 23, 2003


Have rediscovered the wonders of eDonkey, a file sharing app that from what I've seen is probably the way to go from Kazaa, esp now that a bunch of people are probably going to be moving away from that subpoena-magnet. I could be stubborn and stay on Kazaa, but it's just more pleasing to move to an alternative that isn't being targeted yet. It's like Morpheus after Napster.

Small note, but please know what you're doing when you install eDonkey, since it's bundled with a bunch of Spyware - choose the advanced install and say no when they prompt you - if you can't be bothered to pay attention, it's your own fault. There's an alternative client that I haven't tried, called eMule, which uses the same network etc.

After that, you can just mosey over to ShareReactor to get verifieds that you can send to eDonkey through your browser (IE, haven't gotten Opera to work yet, check the forums, it should be there).

Oh, and I've changed my desktop theme again, I'll post screenies later.

Posted by subtitles at 11:01 AM

July 22, 2003

Computer Stuff Update

I seem particularly loquacious tonight, no doubt a function of my state of sloshed-ness. But I've been fiddling with my screen resolution, and am finding 1280x960 rather unexpectedly rewarding, despite the smaller text.

My overclocking is going okay, at least insofar as I've managed to get it up to 191x10.5 stably. I can go to 200x10 and probably higher, but it doesn't appear terribly stable, and I'm not going to push the voltage too high during summer till I get my new heatsink. It's not so much the performance increase that interests me though, it must be said, I'm more interested in the performance coupled with my clock not going horribly out of sync due to the irregular clock speeds. A particular problem with timed recording using my TV software

My plan of using the wireless mouse as a TV mouse, via the TV out on my AIW card is panning out rather nicely, except that I now miss the feel of that mouse for normal usage. And my switch is being rather disappointing, esp now that I've come to recognise the fantastic quality of my lovely monitor. Other than geometry issues, there's little I could think of to justify an LCD.

I've installed a nice new theme on my desktop, a lovely professional one by Nvidia no less. I was a bit squeamish, since my graphics solution is ATI after all, then I remembered I'm using the lovely Nforce 2 chipset. Details of the theme can be found here, along with screenshots.

Ah and due to the fact that Zonealarm is a flaky load of crap, I've moved over to Sygate once more - but again just for my machine as it's the DMZ. The slowdown in network recognistion speed I suppose is the price I have to pay. And probably reinforces my conviction that I might be better off having the IBM drive on HK's comp as a storage server, which I can add to later.

I've turned off my page file, just to see if it helps not having one, so far things seem fine. But then I'm wallowing in the splendour of my 1 gig of RAM.

Posted by subtitles at 1:48 AM

July 17, 2003

Messenger Spam

I've just recently been experiencing what is being called messenger spam. It's when alert dialogs appear with spam messages. There's a website that's been set up to combat the whole thing here. Just to be clear, this has nothing to do with Windows Messenger or MSN Messenger.

Apparently all this has to do with the fact that I'm now set as the DMZ host behind my router, and I'd uninstalled my firewall (since reinstalled), so that my IP and Netbios were somewhat exposed. Naughty bastards. But well, if you're behind a router it's probably not really an issue. I'm still not reinstalling my antivirus.

Posted by subtitles at 8:58 PM

July 16, 2003

RAM and Video Editing

My RAM arriving means that I'm up to 1 gig now, which is cool, and I suspect that what was the issue with Ulead was more to do with lack or RAM and hence constant paging which led to the slowdowns.

Shall have to wait to get my drive more fragmented before I really know if this increased responsiveness in editing is really due to the RAM.

Called the people about my drives, which shipped today. Hope the RAID sets up easily. My next motherload of DVD-R should be coming soon.

The keyboard I have here I just find better for typing, for whatever reason, even though they're supposed to be the same. Might be because it's slightly more worn and the keys aren't quite as stiff as they used to be.

Oh, the new 3.6 Catalyst drivers are great, in that the jerky scrolling I used to have is pretty much gone, and with the new RAM, it's smoother than ever.

I'll just have to see when I can be bothered to get my router sorted out - hope the warranty isn't over.

Posted by subtitles at 10:21 PM

July 15, 2003

SMTP, Site Plans, 'In A Lonely Place'

Hmm... checking out using my fallingbeam account for SMTP so again I don't have to be dependant on an ISP for sending mail. Finding out that actually the features of the hosting plan mail is quite cool, they actually allow both pop and imap, so if and when I ever migrate new addresses, they'll probably be fallingbeam addresses.

I know my site's been a bit neglected of late, except perhaps for the blog, but as I'm now in Chicago and ordering a sinful amount of computer hardware (RAM and 2 SATA drives for my RAID setup) I should be paying more attention to it. And also I no longer have the excuse of the books not being around for the front page quotes on my site. And all the assessment rubbish should be going too. Really need the RAID setup, since the IBM drive seems less than capable of dealing with the demands of video editing.

Found out that it's probably better to record Once and Again on analog cable rather than digital, less jerkiness. Oh and I'm taping Red Cap since it's not on DVD. I really wonder when I'll get around to watching all the crap I bought.

Oh and I've been using K++, not noticing too much difference from Kazaalite, been busy downloading the absolutely hot Liz Phair (thanks Tag and Rename) and getting the unaired episodes of Firefly. November seems a long way away to wait for the DVD.

Editing video is a bit tedious, but I suppose the policy is that I don't record to keep stuff unless it's not available to buy (yet at least) hence the taping of Once and Again season 2.

Gave Su-lin a little tutorial on using Kazaa. Su-lin seems to get it better than Peishan, though both had to be handholded - Su-lin just seems more intuitive about it. I get the feeling Su-lin takes issue with me railing against York, but then, as 'In a Lonely Place' suggests, there is every reason for being not 'normal'.

I'm still quite swayed by the idea that the film uncovers the futility of reading signs as if they were traffic-stop-signs, that the element of faith and belief - the appreciation of the unseen/unproven - is the post-lapsarian frustration of spirit in being unable to quite divorce the self from the need for interpretation, the need for reading and proof.

I don't think I'm wrong in asserting the urgency or primacy of this semiotic engagement in the period, I would assume that the detective fiction genre is merely a happy coincidence and convenient catalyst for these impulses.

Maybe Waugh can convince me to convert to Catholicism :P.

Posted by subtitles at 4:16 PM

July 7, 2003

Browser Stuff

Just installed Netscape 7.1, which is reasonably nice, if unsurprising, since I'd been using Mozilla 1.4. They turn on smooth scrolling by default, and mouse gestures install without a hitch, so it's definitely got my vote.

All the crap that installed with it is not for the uninitiated however, and as with most things, advanced settings for install are mandatory. As always, it remains second (actually third) fiddle to Opera, and is there mostly for Composer more than anything else.

There's also a brand spanking new beta for Opera 7.2, if you have a gander at the forums, you'll find it in the beta section (unsurprisingly). Very stable beta, as most of the Opera point release betas tend to be, and they seem to have fixed the rather annoying bug with my intellimouse, which is lovely. Looks like the next 6.05.

Posted by subtitles at 10:13 PM

June 23, 2003

Steve Jobs my Hero

I can't quite believe that I've set Opera to refresh every 30 secs on this page, so that I can watch another Steve Jobs Keynote. But that said, it's always entertaining to enter into the reality distortion field he generates. Though nowadays I really get a sense of how much I'd really never switch to a Mac. Click here to tell me how sad you think I am.

Posted by subtitles at 6:38 PM

CD/DVD recording and viewing software

I'm posting links in my forum to download really good CD/DVD burning software, particularly things like the new Clone DVD (from the makers of CloneCD) and the new version of PowerDVD. If you're already a registered member, click here. If not, you can register here.

Posted by subtitles at 5:50 PM

June 18, 2003

New Opera Skins and MSN Messenger

Hoorah for Christian Krebs, who designs rather nice skins for Opera. He's got a new skin out which is probably the nicest of the Safari clones I've seen - not really my thing, I prefer his older skins which were more graphical and strikingly colourful. But yes, a muct check out for all Opera fans.

And yes, the best of the stand-alone IM clients has a new version in official beta, which you can find here. Been running the leaked betas for a while now and it's nice and stable on XP; and it's got chat logging, which is nice and useful. If you're still running ICQ, shame on you.

I won't keep doing this, but here's a link to the ad-remover for this preview version: here at, thanks to

Posted by subtitles at 7:43 PM

Remember to do Work

I've got homework to do god-damn it. Basically I've still got to do the Solver thing from Excel and the picture bit from the end of today's lesson. I'm going to have to e-mail files to myself probably.

This might not actually get done.

Posted by subtitles at 2:06 PM

It's late

It's just past 3.30 at night right now. I didn't sleep the night before, thought I sort of made up for that last night already. I've had an excruciating day at my computer classes, so much so my eyes are vaguely swimming as I read myself typing this.

I suppose I'm being stubborn, as I tend to be, under certain circumstances, late at night, when I decide I'm not too fond of sleeping just yet - which is why I was awake to go and see Su-Lin the day before yesterday.

The visit with Su-Lin went well, she's handed in her stuff, I watched her photocopy and bind her thesis and hand it in. Apparently that bitch Alison (Alyson?) O'byrne is a TA at Leeds now. I gave her name the finger on the staff name list on Emen's behalf. Her kind (including Ulrika obviously) deserve nothing less than damnation.

The revival of Su-Lin's computer went well, she now has a reasonably up-to-date Operating System that wasn't installed 4 years ago. She's also made Opera her default browser the clever girl. If only all my evangelising went so well. Cross cable is a wonderful thing - as are PCMCIA network cards. I must remember to bring back whatever spare parts I can from HK's place to Singapore.

The Category system for the site is pretty useful, if a bit paranoid making since I tend to be composing halfway and thing of something that's more applicable to another categoy and switch halfway to another post. But it's all good, as long as Peishan doensn't whine to me about reading too much computer stuff (I'm not letting it go - boo hoo; muahaha).

I'm a bit torn about whether I should go to Andrew's birthday party on Friday, since it would be an ideal time to go to Leeds and play bridge with Su-Lin. Again, we'll see. It's nice to know that Emen's going to Andrew's do though, so I'll know someone at least. Shouldn't I remember that I hate events like these?

Posted by subtitles at 2:46 AM

Ask the man

Louis must remember to ask HTML guy how to create/automate the creation of a contents page from the headings of my content.

Posted by subtitles at 12:59 AM

June 16, 2003

Oh my fucking god. These people are actually fucking fantastic. I got the resolution to my issue (small though it was) by the time I'd posted that last message. I'm very impressed. I'm telling my friends. Oh yeah I'm already doing that. Clever huh?

But yes, this host is good shit. Have to find out if the latency in ftp connection and uploading is just them, but otherwise - outside standing.

Posted by subtitles at 7:18 AM

Reminder to Self

Must remember to open new subdomains for my resume and for operafanboy :D. Unfortunately my host seems to have fucked up already and I can't seem to access my Control Panel. The bastards. Let's see if their tech support is as good as they claim.

Posted by subtitles at 7:12 AM

What I Intend to do to Su-Lin's Comp.

Louis will probably be trying to install Win2k on Su-Lin's comp. Unfortunately this means that Louis will not be able to use the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard in XP, which is a pity.

Regardless, Louis still remembers how to back up e-mail folders and the like manually, and he will remember to export Su-Lin's address book properly. Other than that, most of this will be taken up with installing Win2k itself and whatever apps Su-Lin might need. Should probably make a back up of the Win2k CD for her. We'll see.

Posted by subtitles at 5:23 AM