vented spleen

blogging internet stupidity

Thursday, May 25, 2006

american idol

um, how did peter funt win american idol?

i don't watch the show but i DO know they already voted off the island the guy with the most talent

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

bono's ego

sidenote for you kids that aren't getting the education you deserve. africa is a continent. there are 54 countries IN africa.

but i'll tell you what kids, africa isn't NEARLY large enough to hold bono's ego.

he wants africa to cure malaria or something. i realize he thinks of himself as one of the most influential people that ever lived, but does he really think he can get all 54 countries, of which i'm guessing only 1 or 2 ever heard of him, to rally around and fix the malaria problem. a problem, apparently that has gotten bigger than poverty, aids, and war.

i COULD be out of line here. if bono has set his sights on a smaller project than world peace, and decided to fix the african malaria problem then he IS making progress.

so i'm a little confused... i'm... "i'm mystified by the man". insert big ole snrk here.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

decoding the davinci debuggers

first off let me declare my bias. i think a good number of people claiming to be christians are narrow-minded, ignorant, and intolerant.

  • myth #1 - dan brown claims all the facts in the novel are true.

decoded: NO HE DOES NOT. for those of you claiming this about the novel and have not actually cracked it open , the "claim" actually says:

"All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in the novel are accurate"

emphasis is mine first, an accurately described document does not magically make it fact. and second the novel is fiction. as far as i'm concerned i consider everything after the copyright notice, dedication, and acknowledgements in a novel to be part of the novel.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

divx feedback

sent feedback to the divx people via their feedback interface.

they sent a reply back. in the body of the all  the replies they have the following:

"We hope your issue has been solved. If we do not receive an update
from you in this same incident within the next 24 hours, this incident
will be set to solved."

"Please do not reply to this e-mail. E-mail responses do not update
your request."

and below that they pointed me to where i could get a divx diagnostic utility. and then said to attach the two files it outputs and send it back.

so let me get this straight. if it takes me over 24 hrs to not solve the problem it'll be "solved"  on their end? chalk one up for tech support, another problem fixed [sounds of high fiving in the background.]

or. i give up on it completely? same result? solved?

but i like the second quote the best. which to me reads: "here's a convenient email address that has the word 'support' in it. so could you NOT reply to this address and attach the files we requested so we can solve your problem?"

if you add all the emails together, this is the basic content:

ME: divx 6.2 reboots my machine without warning before the install completes. an earlier version WILL install, but the codec isn't  recognized by windows

THEM: divx doesn't not work properly?

ME: 6.2 doesn't install, earlier versions aren't recognized.

THEM: here's a utility. run it and send us the results.

ME:  ok, i'll send it through the web based feedback interface. [i do that]

THEM: [instructions for running the diagnostic utility], then [here's an exact quote:]

 "Attach a screen shot of the error message to your Question. You can take a screen shot by pressing the 'Print Screen' key on your keyboard and paste in the Paint Application."

ME:  divx 6.2 reboots without warning before completing the install. earlier versions DO install, but the codec isn't recognized.

but with that last email, i actually emailed them to the support email address that email says not to reply to. just my way of sticking it to the man.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

windows users

for the most part windows users are clueless oh sure, you find  people who know everything there is to know about windows.

but who cares. they're  windows users. there used to be a fidonet tag line that read:

windows expert: the guy with the biggest font collection

bill has made a whole generation of computer users into idiots. and a lot of them can't spell either.

i went to the bookstore today, and i saw a computer book series whose covers actually made me chuckle out loud. i thought i would come home and write a sarcastic blog aginst the publisher.

and then i saw who the publisher was: oreilly

then i realized this was just tim's way of being sarcastic. again.  how do you appeal to a clueless windows user? get them buy computer books with covers like these.

thanks tim. your books are expensive, but the real computer books are  worth every penny.

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Sunday, May 07, 2006


another quick hello to anybody popping up here from the new shilobrats msg forum.

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divx and windows

i was watching episode 22 of and they were talking about  it turns out there are some real gems on this sight and they're in the public domain.

decided i would try both hosts favorite bitorrent client. patrick's was utorrent [that's a micro in the front there]. and robert's was azureus.

robert probably has the fastest machine ON THE PLANET because he's sticking with that client. the rest of us will see that it's HUGE and SLOW just like the rest of the java apps out there.

so i went to the site and that's  when i ran into some of the stupidity.

it was subtle but you could see fear of threats of legal action by riaa and the mpaa.

first off movies are only downloadable via bittorrent. that might be a great idea to save bandwidth, but you've eliminated the casual and  newbie end-user. and  the dial-up user. and  the user with a very flakey cable connection [snowzone raises hand]. bitorrents  are S-L-O-W for obscure files.

second the geniuses who go to all the trouble to crank out the movies in various video formats decided to NOT use a windows standard: wmv. and possibly locking out the mac and linux people . not really a problem because there are other cross-platform video formats. but the one they chose was the avi [divx] format. now that shouldn't be a problem either but it was.

you need to download and install a divx decoder. the latest as of this blog is divx 6.2. codec and now here's the interesting part:

it has all kinds of problems in windows xp sp2.

read that again. how many millions of machines are using that version? and there are a number of people having a problem [like me] because the knowledge base on the site was filled with problems and possible solutions.

i said possible because i spent ALL day yesterday trying to encode a public domain movie on legally purchased software/equipment and could not do it.

first problem the divx v6.2 codec would NOT install on my computer without rebooting before the install finished. ok, not a disaster, i just went  back a version, and that DID install ok.

next problem. windows xp sp2 didn't recognize the codec. windows media player didn't, winamp didn't, at least a dozen pieces converting software didn't. the bigfix program the divx site has available didn't work either. i went back to earlier versions [back to v5.0.2] and none of them were recognized.

i DO have a solution for the divx programmers. but i'm sure they won't like reading it. they can either:



i tried using a few trial versions of programs that had built in divx codecs for converting and the closest one that worked converted a 733meg avi at 1hr 7min of playbackl file to a 17meg mpg at  1min 38sec of playback. so i'm just gonna guess here and say it didn't work.

anybody has a solution i'm all ears. email me

*gdf is some swear words

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

hockey blog

well, i did it. i started a hockey blog.

this wouldn't have happened 10 years ago.

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hockey blogs

after watching calgary-anaheim last night i'm tempted to start a hockey blog to start commenting on some of the games i watch.

anaheim has a great passing game which was made just that much better by calgary passing to them every chance they got. snrk.

i was sorta hoping for an ottawa-calgary final, but last night it looked like the flames were tired and just not hungry enough for the stanley cup.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006


for those of you who track every change that happens on the web page you'll see that i added a "subscribe by email" option. a place called feedblitz makes this possible.

those of you who can't be bothered with configuring rss software can now read the spleen with your favorite email client. all three duped blogs have this option.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

qumana review

this review applies to the Qumana 3 beta.

  • stuff i didn't like

it's written in java. java is slow and huge. i doubt the developers will rewrite it for me :) so i'll learn to live with it. Qumana is a great front end to blogger/msn spaces so i can overlook java's glacial performance...

the drop pad. i know this is a big feature point for them but as "text blogger" i have no interest in it. and after reading the FAQ i found out that the drop pad isn't as intuitive as you would think. it didn't work like i thought, so i had to read the FAQ to see if it was covered there. the fact that it doesn't work with msn spaces would limit me to posting images to blogger. thankfully you can hide the drop pad but only after Qumana has fired up.

  • bugs

the only thing i encountered which could be considered a bug is when i clicked on the 'unordered list' button. i couldn't find a way in the "WYSIWYG" tab of getting out of the list. i had to go to the '"view source tab" and do some editing there before going back to the WYSIWYG tab and continuing on.

[later] after writing this blog, i see how to fix the above so it's not a bug.

  • stuff i'd like to see

the ability to turn off the drop pad completely.
- when you click on "publish post" i'd like to see some kind of  indication verbose of what's happening.  right now i sometimes see a "publishing" circle thingy
- the ability to see comments (or maybe a button to get to comments directly) for a particular post.

other than that i'm pretty happy with it. and because it's a Canadian company i'll continue to support it with the "powered by" tag at the end.

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