just another web log

30 Jan 2007 22:27
Windows installer currently reports 7 mins to completion but 13 hours ago it said 10 mins to completion, so I am not holding my breath.
29 Jan 2007 22:52
Updates are delayed due to installing windows, but it is not what you think ...
24 Jan 2007 22:49
I am still watching mindcandy volume 2
24 Jan 2007 22:46
I am pleased to say my tar based backup script has survived a full year, so I decided to backup my backups.
As each weeks backup was on a separate CD I spent almost no time writing this helper script to load the CD copy the details into a unique folder and then eject it.

# build backup folder and copy in contents
mount /mnt/cdrom
sleep 2
if [ -z /mnt/cdrom/varlog.tar.gz ]; then
     echo "Pausing for CDROM ..."
     sleep 3
if [ -z /mnt/cdrom/varlog.tar.gz ]; then
     echo "Trying for CDROM ..."
     sleep 4
if [ -z /mnt/cdrom/varlog.tar.gz ]; then
     echo "Required file not found varlog $c"
     c=`date -r /mnt/cdrom/varlog.tar.gz +"%U-%d%m%Y"`
     mkdir $c$r
     echo "copying ..."
     cp /mnt/cdrom/* $c$r
     umount /mnt/cdrom
     echo "done $c"

Not very good code but I just wanted to show how easy it is to create a nice useful hack script in no time.

date -r

bit gets the time from the file specified instead of the system time, very handy.
24 Jan 2007 22:38
I still have my original copy of Tomb Raider on the Saturn, I have completed it beginning to end twice, very good game.
But the sequels that I ended up playing on the Dreamcast left a lot to be desired, so when the opportunity to own the "Tomb Raider: Legends" came up I jumped at it.
Well OK, I ignored it until it came into my price range. I had been monitoring its second hand price for some time (and it is still over £15) but I ended up getting it brand new for a tenner.
I have played and completed it over the last two weeks. 18hrs 95% (I did not get all the bonuses).
The graphics are great, the game play is great and nicely varied the story is little far fetched but I came forgive that.
I did not get all the bonuses in all the levels but I did get all the bonuses in the Croft Manor bonus level.
Loads of fun, do not miss it ! especially at these prices !
20 Jan 2007 17:31
Last in my list of catch up reviews is "Final Fantasy:Advent Children" DVD.
Being anti playstation I have never come across the game but I had seen the orignal Final Fantasy Film and thought very highly of it, if nothing else the amazing rendered graphics.
I had seen a lot of positive reviews/comments coming from America for this film and technically it is very impressive but there are a number of flaws.
First off this film is directly from the Final Fantasy story world which is in contrast the last film that was merely in the same universe. For me I found the story very confusing and at times very difficult to follow.
The other problem with the film is the fight scenes, they just go on and on and on and so over the top you just tune out and wait for them to finish.
The DVD had lots of extras and the Venice Film Footage version on the second disk that was 1/5 shorter was much more enjoyable than the full film.
Recommended only to 3D junkies and playstation fan boys.
20 Jan 2007 17:23
I avoided buying into the original anime .Hack hype and associated cost, but I did get .hack//sign Vol1 sometime ago cheap and enjoyed it.
This is Vol2, four 23min episodes continuing the search for the Twilight key and trying to get the the bottom of the mystery of the play who can not log out.
Good, but is getting weirder by the minute maybe I just need the whole series...
20 Jan 2007 17:20
I tried to get some Gamecube games cheap but there is not a huge number of retailers offing game cubes and any that are do not seem to be lowering prices very much.
I did get "Smugglers Run : Warzones" for £7 but although initially I was impressed I have given up on this rather lacking title.
The Wii with an old Gamecube controller had no problems with this title and the physics engine appears to be be quite well rounded its just the game play feels like a tech demo, fun for a bit but then very repetitive.
But my major gripe for this title is the reverse radar, even after a few hours of gameplay I could not use the radar as it turned the wrong way and there is no other way of locating your targets.
Not recommend even cheap.
20 Jan 2007 17:14
Alex related jobs have taken most of my time a way so here are few reviews I had pending.
My bro. gave me "New Super Mario Bros." for Xmas and it is really good to get back to the is kind of 2d scrolling platformer.
Back in the days I used play super Mario on the orignal monochrome gameboy and I got so good that I could complete it multiple times in one sitting !
This version of Mario for the DS is 2.5D as although the game play is 2D the graphics are rendered in 3D and it looks great.
One strange thing is the saving system, completing a level is not enough for the game to save, you have to either complete the end of stage boss battle or open a special bonus level that can only be be done by finding special stars.
These special stars are sometimes hidden and hard to find, you can close the DS to send it to sleep but the batteries will run out eventually.
I was surprised to find it got very difficult very quickly and I am only on the second world :(
16 Jan 2007 22:07
Can you say "tag cloud" ?
coming soon !
13 Jan 2007 15:50
The other remote setup I wanted was from the zaurus to my gentoo machine.
Originally I thought of this as another VNC job but VNC clients seem to be thin on the ground for the zaurus -plenty of servers.
I had heard numerous times that the X window system was built with remote clients in mind but had never seen a practical guide, just foot notes that it was possible.
I had SSH already setup for the zaurus so in theory all I had to do was run

ssh -X user@machine command

where user is the user to connect to machine and command is the X command to run.
But it always gave an error about the DISPLAY not being available.
What I had to do was re emerge openssh as described here http:/ gentoo machine but the GUI shows on the zaurus
One last thing I did have to run

xhost zaurusmachine

on the server to allow it to connect.
I could not get blender to work but firefox had no problem.
13 Jan 2007 11:49
One thing I have had planned for sometime is remote access to the various systems in the house.
I was sure I had setup VNC for Sarah to connect from the laptop down stairs to her main windows machine upstairs, but I could find no sign of it so I installed realVNC.
I set it up and tried to connect, "Timed out try to connect", no problem I was expecting this. The other machine had tiny personal firewall (no longer available) and this had popped up a message noting the connection and blocking it. I selected to allow the connection and tried again, same error, checked other firewall settings and played with windows XP firewall, same error.
Hmmmm, if I delete the firewall rule for the connection then reconnecting popped up the message again, so it was working to some extent.
I downloaded http://www.wireshark.org/ and installed the packet sniffer on both machines but it would not capture any packets ! Turns out that it does not handle wireless interfaces in windows even though I was not interested in the machines in any wireless fashion.
Then I turned off all firewalls and VNC worked! Slow re-enabling the firewalls I found that windows XP had allowances for TinyVNC as a server but not realVNC, adding it in and all firewalls renable and Sarah can now use the main machine from the laptop !
11 Jan 2007 23:21
The beta version of Opera on the wii is good for one handed surfing while holding a baby.
So its a pity that my opera session usually end once its had crashed :(
Microsoft have released a virtual PC hard disk image containing a preinstalled fully licensed windows xp sp2 build plus IE6 that you can download and a virtual PC app to run it on.
Why? and what's the catch ?
The catch is simply that it is bobby trapped to stop working after April, the why is it is the only supported way of having IE6 and IE7 on one PC.
Now the fun bit, I downloaded and installed this on the machine at work and the network died. Turns out the switch see the two machine (one virtual, one real) and thinks it is under attack.
Joke is other developers did the same, luckily there were some unused ports we could use while waiting for the main ones to be re-enabled, unluckily those spare ports were just out of reach of most cables, so much reshuffling was done.
08 Jan 2007 23:01
I won the lottery (again) !
I got one main number and two lucky stars on the Euro-millions.
This prize bracket is 10% of the overall jackpot, the jackpot this time was 53m.
So I was due a part of 5.3m, unfortunately 468,000 other people got the same so my winnings was £8.80, which I spent on lunch and a bag of apples for the office.
Easy come, easy go.
04 Jan 2007 23:23
I have finally finished with Burnout 3

99% Complete
173/173 Events completed
173/173 Events completed with Gold
2,291,770 Burnout points
2,402 Takedowns
$131,802,876 Crash damage
65/67 Cars unlocked
10/10 Special events
10/10 Crash headlines
14/20 Signature takedowns
All extras unlocked
70h 47mins play time

And no, I will not be going back to get the last few signature takedowns just to get 100%
I am not sure how many people, QA tester included ever got to the last race.
The titles and information kept glitching, no clearing fro previous displays and then the end credits had a very poor frame rate.
Burnout 3 RIP
03 Jan 2007 16:19
Sarah took Alex out for the day yesterday so I had a few minutes to myself.
I tried to play a farewell game of Burnout 3 but beat one of the three races left out of 173 so I need to keep playing until I finish it [sigh].
I Also watched Tokyo grandfathers an anime DVD I have had sitting around unopened on the self for a while. I have to say I did not think this was going to be very watchable but ended up loving every moment. It is worth noting that it does not have an English sound track, which for me was perfect.
The story all revolves around three homeless people and what happens to them after they find a baby abandoned on Christmas eve. Including a mysterious key, gangsters, angels, a graveyard and heart, ahhhh.
01 Jan 2007 15:41
Welcome to 2007 !!
The yearly review is done and the archive is mostly up to date.
Also saltshaker blender script has been updated to fit with current releases without requiring python installation separately.



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