Archives April 2006

Thursday, 20th April 2006


Damn ads, everyone hates bloody ads! Check out Philips' new patent:

From New Scientist:

The advert enforcer

If a new idea from Philips catches on, the company may not be very popular with TV viewers. The company's labs in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, has been cooking up a way to stop people changing channels to avoid adverts or fast forwarding through ads they have recorded along with their target programme.

The secret, according to a new patent filing, is to take advantage of Multimedia Home Platform - the technology behind interactive television in many countries around the world. MHP software now comes built into most modern digital TV receivers and recorders. It looks for digital flags buried in a broadcast, and displays messages on screen that let the viewer call up extra features, such as additional footage or information about a programme.

Philips suggests adding flags to commercial breaks to stop a viewer from changing channels until the adverts are over. The flags could also be recognised by digital video recorders, which would then disable the fast forward control while the ads are playing.

Philips' patent acknowledges that this may be "greatly resented by viewers" who could initially think their equipment has gone wrong. So it suggests the new system could throw up a warning on screen when it is enforcing advert viewing. The patent also suggests that the system could offer viewers the chance to pay a fee interactively to go back to skipping adverts.

Read the full patent here.

What a bunch of shit! Not only that but they are cheeky enough to suggest paying fees to skip the ads? WTF! I thought paying for a subscription service was the damn fee for not having ads. The whole thing is just out of control. Normal Free-To-Air TV is too hard to watch with 2 minutes of show then 2 minutes of ads! Cable it seems is not much better...

Wednesday, 05th April 2006


Ah! A day off. Or not.

Went into hospital with Kel today since I had the day off and watched her have her bi-weekly check up. Everything was good, although baby was a little narky about being poked and prodded when the nurse was manipulating them into position for measuring and checking of it's heartbeat.

After that we went into the shopping centre and bought a large selection of larger (0 and 00) sized baby clothes in neutral colours. Baby has more clothes than Kel and I combined! Poor bugger is going to be in pale neutral pastels (greens, yellows, whites, creams etc) for a while. We chose to keep the sex of the baby a surprise l33t!

Finally a triumph with an Old Game. Clive Barker's Undying. I've had a hankering for this game for a while now. I thought I'd blow the dust off it's case and load it up. No, InstallShield wouldn't have any of that. It seems the version packaged with the older EA Games doesn't like XP. Starts to load then craps out with a totally useless un-googleable error that means nothing. So, I went to work on the install files.

  • Copied the entire disc to hard drive, nope.
  • Tried doing a repair on the cabinet files included with the install, nope.
  • Tried copying the cabinet files to my Linux box and installing the 'unshield' utility - got the files out, but with no ordering or folder tree. Yay. I pored over the install scripts and config files for hours looking for where each file needed to be, failed, nope.
  • Ah! Hah! VMWare! I created a windows 2000 virtual machine, installed Undying and then copied the install to the real computer. BAM! We have undying. I'm not doing any more typing! I'm going to go play it! LOL!Tongue2
Edit: Undying is a great old game, very scary! Great ambience!

Sunday, April 2nd 2006


Whoa! I'm up to my backside, well my shoulders if you stack them on top of each other in server gear! It's nice to finally get going properly on actual server gear for this site. Monolith01 and Monolith02 got an upgrade today. The 667s in Monolith01 flowed down to 02 and it's 550s went to 03.


  • Dual P3 733MHz/133MHz FSB
  • 256MB PC133 ECC SDRAM
  • 6 x 9.1 GB U160 SCSI drives (2 x 9.1 [Atlas 10K Vs] RAID 1 - 9.1GB, 4 x 9.1  [Atlas 10K IVs] RAID 5 - 25.5GB) running off a DELL PERC2/SC RAID controller.

Monolith02 (Planned): 

  • Dual P3 667MHz/133MHz FSB
  • 256MB PC133 ECC SDRAM 
  • 1 x 18.2GB U160 SCSI Drive running off embedded U2W SCSI on mainboard.
  • 1 x 20GB IDE running off 2 x ATA133 PCI RAID card.

Monolith03 (Planned - pending essential parts like ummm, RAM?!)

  • Dual P3 550MHz/100MHz FSB (Possible Single P3 1.0GHz depending on slotket compatibility)
  • No RAM Yet
  • No Drives Yet

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