The new ferry has finally been introduced to the Den Helder – Texel line. The older ones already have a screen where you can follow all kinds of information about the trip (distance, speed, water temperature etcetera), which is also being recorded and used for sea research. But now there have also been installed bar-seats with touch-screen computers. I wasn't really interested, but the kids were around it like bees around flowers. One blonde little girl of aproximately 6 years old sat down at one of the “consoles”, with a big smile on her face. After studying the screen intensely for a while her face depressed. “Daddy, come here!!!” she exclaimed. A man in his thirties, apperently the father, stood up and walked to her. He took her on his knee and the next 10 minutes you could see her asking “What does this say?” and the dad “That is *mumble, mumble*”. You couldn't hear them because similar situations were taking place for all the other 5 computers. Later in the train. Two people, (a boy and a girl) presumably descending from Turkish immigrants, sit down next to me. So they start conversating. At first there's some general chit-chat, I wasn't paying attention. In the back of my head I was aware of the boy asking about the girl's purse (if it was €30). She said “no, it was 34 damn it!”. He asked if it was real. “Of course it is, I went to Egypt to get it.” “Seriously?” And her answer turned my attention to their conversation: “No, it's just a fake but don't tell it to anyone.” It turned out the purse was actually her mothers. “Do you know what's sweet?” the guy asked later on. “Yes, me” she replied with the greatest confidence. He was probably surprised at her reaction, but in the end he said: “Well, perhaps on the outside, but are you also sweet on the inside?” “Of course I am as sweet on the inside! Actually much sweeter I'd say! Although... perhaps I'm actually less sweet on the inside, but don't tell anybody about it!” It may also be worth noting that I forgot to take my earphones with me, so I could neither listen to music, nor watch Lost. I decided to play Solitaire on my laptop however. An older man, presumably late 50's, sat down in front of me, with a "the youth of today..." look on his face. Then they continued talking about her hair and I lost all kinds of interest. However, then an interesting development came forth. The girl had a very strong accent, but according to her, nobody knew where it came from, as apperently it didn't really sound like any kind of Turkish and/or Marrocan accent and her mother was Dutch! Then they left the train and went on to live their lives without my bored listening ears. Then a dad with two kids sat down. The father basically put down a philosophical question for his youngest kid. "Are we driving away from the station or is the station moving away from us?" The kids were starting to become a little annoying, but luckily I had to switch trains. Then I practically fell asleep because it was too warm and I was tired. And before you know it you're home again and for a couple of days you forget to post the thing you typed in the train. :P
All I've posted about recently was music. In fact I have yet another post planned about managing my ripped electronic (lossy) music collection. The past few days I've been playing around with various things. I've been checking out Last.FM recommendations, I read Last.FM functions better if you have MusicBrainz tags in your music, so I also played around with the new Picard tagger and added some information (mainly about release dates) to the MusicBrainz database. Sadly this seems to have introduced some kind of incompatibility with my current tag-setup, because Picard seems to remove the album art from the tags, whereas Tag&Rename seems to remove the MusicBrainz tags. I am slowly moving closer to a semi-perfect solution though. Tagging first with Picard, then altering some things with Tag&Rename (losing MusicBrainz info tags) still seems like the best solution, as convenience for me is obviously more important to me than convenience for some machine in England. So expect my post on what I consider the currently closest to perfect way to manage your music collection soon. And nobody should dare to say iTunes in response to it. :P
I decided to make an alphabet in music, but it got a little fucked up because I liked too many artists which made a chance. Then I changed by only counting frontnames and not surnames because that made it possible to list more artists without fearing my conscience. This list gives a better insight in what I consider good music than Last.FM, but as an A-Z into music it lacks. Art Brut. Close calls for Agalloch and Atrocity. Billy Talent for being the coolest new punkish thing I discovered lately. Close call for The Bloodhound Gang and Boudewijn de Groot. The Beatles have some cool songs and especially their latter material is also quite experimental and cool, but they'll probably occupy this spot on most of these kinds of lists anyway. Clawfinger. Perhaps Creedence Clearwater Revival if Clawfinger didn't exist. David Bowie. If I'd have let him count for B then Billy Talent wouldn't have had a chance and I like them. ;) Doe Maar is also quite cool, but Bowie simply made too much good music to let anybody else have a chance. Or perhaps I simply shouldn't make an A-Z list if I like Bowie and Billy Talent both better than Doe Maar. Eminem. Ennio Morricone as distant second for all of his brilliant soundtracks for westerns. Eurythmics as third for having this neat sound everybody likes (or should like). Feindflug. I don't believe they are right wing as they're accused to be, although I must admit that they make nazi material sound cool in a modern way. But they use such samples that if they'd mean that as support, then they'd be insane, nazi or not. They can only be meant as critisism. Fatboy Slim, Frank Zappa and Frank Sinatra very close calls as well. Gorillaz. Their sound is very cool and you can hear a lot of work goes into making each song sound just right. Garbage and Green Day fall off because I only really like one of their multiple albums. HorrorPops. They're pretty cool and there's no real contestant to the H-spot. Perhaps Harry Belafonte. But then he'd also compete to the letter B. That would make it too crowded there. Iggy Pop. In Extremo is close. JJ72. I really like their sound. Jack Off Jill and Jimi Hendrix Experience are close. Korn. I particularly like their first four albums and their latest, but all of their albums are good. There isn't really any contestant either. Krezip is fun, but not great or anything. Lordi. Especially Blood Red Sandman is a great song. Led Zeppelin is something everybody will say (with good reason though) and Linkin Park or the lostprophets are a little bit too much of my musical past, although they are certainly cool. Ludwig von Beethoven is also a contestant, but strictly speaking that's yet another one for the B, a seriously overcrowded letter. Metallica. I was going to say Marilyn Manson because there is nothing better until I realised there most certainly was. Michael Jackson and Muse are also considered. No Doubt. Nine Inch Nails is certainly the best, but I enjoyed No Doubt more the past few months. NWA and Nina Simone are also considered. Oomph! Possibly the band which most inspired Rammstein, but certainly much more than just good inspiration. Okkervil River is also very good, but sadly for them I am not that familiar with their music yet. Not that it matters much as I doubt more than ten people or so will actually do more than just give this list a quick glance and will actually read everything I wrote into it. The Offspring is a third, but would definitely have taken this position last year. Pink Floyd. There's not much choice, is there? Papa Roach isn't bad nor are the Pixies, but still inferior to Pink Floyd's The Wall. Queen. I have to as except for Queens of the Stone Age I can't think of any artist with the letter Q who has one song I like quite a lot. Rammstein. Rage Against The Machine very seriously considered. Samael. They are somewhat in the same genre as Shai Hulud, but better, are superior to Saliva's rock & roll sound, Shania Twain and Shpongle also have to move over, leaving Star One and System of a Down as very serious contestants. Actually considering it a bit more it's a definite tie with System of a Down Tenacious D. But Tool certainly isn't bad. Underworld. I don't want to say U2 and The Upskirts and Ultravox aren't top class material. Van Halen. The Velvet Revolver isn't my thing and the Vandals are quite cool, but not great enough. White Stripes. Close second for "Weird Al" Yankovic. Wagner isn't bad either. Although following the method I used he should compete for J. Xzibit. Complete lack of competition however. Yes. For the song Owner of a lonely heart (and a few others) and because of lack of competition. Perhaps the Yardbirds, but I don't like them. Zager & Evans. Better than Zebrahead, despite having only one song. Tom nicked my idea.
The Battlefield 2, Battle for Middle Earth and various other patches require a certain amount of space on your C drive, a drive which I use as a designated Windows drive which is as small as possible (still meaning close to 6GB, Windows seems to require a lot). WinRAR extracts things to your temp directory first. This is somewhat more normal than the above, but still an annnoyance in case you had some other stuff on the partition you have the temp directory. 7-zip directly extracts to the place you wish to extract to, making it at the very least faster because it doesn't have to move things afterwards, but also less annoying. In the end the message is, if I wish to do something to my I drive where I have 30GB free, then do it there and not on my C drive with 500MB free or my E drive with 2GB free. The latter is still 100% acceptable however as I pointed my temp directory there myself, but whoever thought of doing the first should be shot or something. Also, copy protections and stupid stuff with inserting CD's which shouldn't be required sucks. Everybody buy Quake 3 and other games which do not have such ridiculous demands. Games like Age of Empires 2 and Starcraft where you can multiplayer with like 8 people by having one CD inserted are also acceptible, even if you have to insert your CD to play. Yes publishers, it's definitely piracy which made me purchase less games and not the fact that it's just more of the same enhanced with stupid copy protections. Actually if you think about it, pirated games are more user-friendly on each front: you don't have to insert a CD every time you wish to play and you don't install some copy protection which might break your computer. Then they say that if you install a pirated game you can't know if your computer will break from it, but if you read the average EULA you'll see that the companies who made or distributed the game aren't responsible anyway, so it's hardly more or less risk. Perhaps there should be an open-source equivalent to Battlefield 2, that might be interesting...
Who doesn't hate going to the slow online lobby thing to play an online game? If I know whom I want to play with and I don't care about the score being kept on some global ranking I want Direct IP connect. The original C&C had it and even though the Westwood Online is now dead you can still play it without any trouble. Will you still be able to play Red Alert 2 or Battle for Middle Earth once EA decided to kill the lobby servers? I think not. This also makes Quake 3 much more pleasant to play online than Joint Operations or Battlefield 2, although it should be said that the slow online lobby isn't so slow in Quake 3 compared to them as well. Just blowing off steam from some yesterday frustrations.
Wether you like Clawfinger or not, I doubt you'd deny that they have this incredible sound, so pay attention if you think your own band doesn't sound fat enough yet. ;) Jocke composed a gearlist. Well, we've always got questions about what gear we're using, so once and for all....here it is. This is the live setup, since the studiolist is way too long. Let's say, it's basically the same ;) Bård uses Gibson Les Paul Studios in drop D or drop C tuning, and Epiphone Barytone for the drop A tuning. As a backup, he uses an old Schecter 5-string Alt-guitar in drop A or GGGDG tuning (own invention :D ). The Guitar is plugged in a PODxt Live (the floorboard version) that's been updated with the Model packs from Line6.com. That sucker is either plugged straight in the desk, or amplified with a monitor amplifier into a Line6 4x12" Speaker. Jocke (That's me) uses a laptop computer (Pentium Mobile 1.73ghz/1.2GB RAM) with an EMU 16/16m soundcard for the samples, and whatever piece of shit midikeyboard to send the midi data ;) It's a M-Audio Keystation at the moment, but that can change in an instant. When I'm playing the guitar, I use an OLP MM5, modified with a Gibson 490T pickup in a drop A tuning. As a backup, I use another old Schecter 5-string with the same tuning. I run the guitar through a PODxt Pro, with all Model packs from Line6.com, and routed just like Bårds guitar. André uses Epiphone Thunderbird Goth basses through an uppdated PODxt straight in the desk. Henka uses DW drums with Meinl cymbals, DW hardware and Promark drumsticks. His drumkit is more expensive than everybody else's gear combined, but it sounds fucking unbelievable too. :mrgreen: Zak uses whatever microphone available. Most often a Shure SM58, wireless or not.
I'm not sure if it's possible that some kind of thing figured out that I have a Paypal account and what e-mail address I use to access it, but on my Hotmail account, the only spam I receive are fake mails which try to make you believe they're from Paypal. Today one managed to get through Hotmails junkmail filter (until now all mails doing like they're from Paypal landed in junk). I suppose that by marking it junk I have helped quite a number of other Hotmail users. The content was as follows: From : PayPal Inc. <SERVICE@PAYPAL.C0M> Sent : Friday, January 6, 2006 6:31 PM To : ...@hotmail.com Subject : Unauthorized Access: (Routing Code: Q521-K001-Q-P090) You have added email@example.com as a new email address for your PayPal account. If you did not authorize this change or if you need assistance with your account, please contact PayPal customer service at: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_login-run Thank you for using PayPal!The PayPal Team Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot beanswered. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and choose the"Help" link in the header of any page. ---------------------------------------------------------------- PROTECT YOUR PASSWORD NEVER give your password to anyone and ONLY log in athttps://www.paypal.com/.Protect yourself against fraudulent websites by opening a new web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Netscape) and typingin the PayPal URL every time you log in to your account. ---------------------------------------------------------------- PayPal Email ID PP00510 It's sort of funny, a scam acting like you've already been the victim of a scam. Each of the links actually lead to http://ool-4350c367.dyn.optonline.net:82/webscr/index.php, which, as you can see, looks exactly like the homepage of Paypal. And I received the same scam again, only now it has a different code attached.
Yesterday, around 20:30. "Well mom, I've arrived at my mailbox, so I'm gonna hang up." "Okay, we'll talk again tomorrow!" I get my keys out of my pocket to open my mailbox. Two weeks of mail. A bunch of advertisements, a pre-filled transfer form of the health insurance and a specification explaining why the rent is up almost ten Euros. I could as well have left it all in there. And then the € 25 fine for driving without lights on in late November hasn't even arrived yet. I open the door, and continue directly with all of my packaging to my room. With my rucksack on my back, sportsbag over the left shoulder and mail in my left hand, I use my right hand to insert the key into the door of my room and open it. While carrying my luggage inside, I switch on the light, grab the remote and turn on the radio. My journey's done, I stretch and jawn. Then I feel something against my leg. I watch down right away. It's the rabbits. They must be hungry, otherwise they wouldn't be like this. The girl who'd feed them during the holidays probably last came here two or three days ago. So I walk to the shed, turn on the light, reset the flatserver (which had crashed halfway during the holidays) and grab the food. I turn around just in time to see the rabbits moving in at high speed, hiding behind the washing machine. Shaking the bucket so the seeds inside make noise against it I slowly walk out, expecting to be able to lure them with me. After all this is the sound they associate with food. Flokkie, the white rabbit, follows. JW, the brownish one, does not. So I offer Flokkie some food from my hand. The voracious reaction shocks me a little. I drop a few extra hands of food in front of him and go to the shed again to take care of JW. Luckily he had already left. Shaking the bucket, he comes towards me, anxious. I offer him food from my hand, he takes a quick bite and turns around. I quickly walk backwards while offering him food. He finally comes to eat, I drop a little more and close the door of the shed. I drop plenty of food in their own little home and go to my room and turn on my laptop. Five minutes later Thomas arrives. After a customary handshake and backknock he takes me into some kind of strangling grasp you'd expect a boa constrictor to perform on his prey. "I needed that," he explains while releasing me. Later we'll drink a bit in the kitchen, but first we each go to our room to perform some MSN-ing. The normal flow of life begins again. Or well, almost. I have yet to catch on.
Geek Philosopher is a resource for royalty-free imagery. As you can see I brought a bit of life into the header by cutting pieces an image from the Outdoor Photos and Backgrounds category. Grass by Sidewalk is the full image for those interested. I took a look around the various categories and most of them are pretty good pictures. I am not sure about the exact copyrights on any of them, as I couldn't find any pictures labeled with any of the descriptions which are on the about page of the site. I suppose I'll take a new fresh look tomorrow at that aspect of the site tomorrow after a good night's sleep. Luckily as far as the design is concerned I haven't yet managed to break anything in IE (although the gravatars are a pixel off). I might go with alpha-transparant PNG's though for some of the transparancy effects, as that would certainly make a much smaller image load and it would make things look somewhat less prettier in IE. After all, I do want people to switch to Firefox, Opera, Safari or whatever else isn't so annoying to anyone who wants to do a little bit more with CSS. If you take a look around in my CSS file you'll notice that I'm trying something new. Over the past half year I switched from full CSS to very compact CSS, but that's not really a difference. The thing I'm experimenting with here is to indent those properties which are basically a sort of subproperties of a certain thing to increase readability. I must say it's already working out quite well. So drop your suggestions now, as this is the layout I plan to extend on in the close future.
He has been back for a couple of weeks already, but until today I had not freed the time to read his recent log entries. If you followed my old log, then you are probably aware that my customized Opera browser relies heavily upon his work. If you use one or more of his customized ini-files, then you should head over to Moose's new site and download the latest editions. If you have never used them before, then you should go to the site and discover all aspects of it. It will take a while, but it is worth it. From the old CSS experiments to the thoughts behind the keyboard- and menu-setup. Try out the keyboard setup. To say that it is unconventional is an understatement. But give it some time. It might grow on you. Opera's browsing speed combined with those keyboard shortcuts make my browsing an experience where almost no futile time is lost on controlling my browser. Last, but not least, looking at the beautiful layout of the site, the lean markup and well-written CSS is a 100% convincing argument to drop support for IE. A must-visit for everyone who is interested in Opera customization.
I never quite followed Friends while it was still on. Over the past two months or so I have been watching all of the Friends episodes (mainly because I liked the show Joey which is a spin-off of Friends) and yesterday I watched the final double episode. In the end I realised that all I had already seen quite a few episodes from the last season, because a friend of me was a big fan. The strange part is more how you can grow so easily accustomed to things, especially if you have them so straight-forward available to you. While having no new Lost episodes for another 2 weeks is a little bit annoying, it's not like I really miss it a lot. That is more because I find season 2 incredibly less interesting than season 1, I would have missed season 1 a lot. Anyway, on average, I watched like 2-3 episodes of Friends every day. So all in all that was two months without any shortage. But now it's gone all gone. It feels like such a huge gap. I could start watching it from the top again. :P I simply didn't realise in the past that so many people liked Friends because it describes real life so well (disregarding too expensive apartments and clothes). Probably it didn't do so because I didn't live on myself back then...
Until now, I wasn't aware of the fact that regions will still exist on Blu-Ray discs. I have to say no more then that the following quote of the article fully represents my opinion. Of course, the pirates who engage in video swashbuckling are quite capable of removing this region encoding, meaning that the black market goods are user friendly, while the white market goods are a pain to deal with, and limit consumer choice. As far as I could discover in a quick Google-search, HD-DVD does not carry this heavy burden on its back. Why shoot yourself in the foot like this, Sony?
Actually the release of Wordpress 2.0 and this new weblog have no connection at all, it just so happened that Ethan gave me this as a Christmas present at the same time Wordpress 2.0 was released. I knew for sure that I wanted to try something other than Wordpress 1.5 and what can be better for that than Wordpress 2.0, the tool which already served me well for almost six months? So far I only set up a few basic things. It should be noted that a few setting related things, most particularly the permalinks, are even smoother than they already were. The usage of AJAX in the entry management is nice (it makes deleting so much smoother), but that doesn't make me hate the (in my view) abuse of the name of Ajax any less. Also it still displays replies related to a post after deleting it, which isn't bad, but it did cause me to click delete and get a "this reply doesn't exist" message, which certainly could confuse new users. The rich text editor is nice and can easily be disabled, but sadly a few tiny things like inserting links don't work on Opera. That's more likely the fault of the incomplete Rich Text implementation on the Opera Technical Preview I use than of Wordpress. Before the end of the year, I will finally put the Calendar back online, as I've had many mails requesting it. Further I doubt I will post much here during the rest of the holidays. For the record, the two posts previous to this one were a test of the importing mechanism and do not indicate the age of this spot on the web. This post does.
For this entry we'll have to go back in time. It was last year, September 2004, the second week of my first year in university. I was in Amsterdam switching trains. A blond pretty girl sat down next to me. She was 20 years old and happened to study psychology at the same university. You could say she was a bit of a movie-style stereotype college-girl. It was around 18:00, so after the conversation where I discovered what I just told you, I took out my lunch package, which I had prepared at my parents place earlier that day. She did the same. It was not a lunch package however. It was half a bread, a knife and a can of peanut butter. She then took a book out of her bag and put it on her bosom. As you can probably imagine she put a slice of bread on it and started to put peanut butter on the slice. Intrigued I inquired further about this behaviour. Her reply was simple and effective. "I am a student, students do that. For example see that guy at the other side of the train eating pickles from that jar of pickles? He's a student." "Interesting, how can you be so sure?" "I know him, he's in my year." I don't think ever I saw her after that trip, or else I didn't recognise her. I don't think I ever thought back at this until yesterday. Last Thursday we went out and came home around 5. I didn't get to sleep until something like 6. So when I got up around 11:30 I didn't do much except being lazy and tired. So when I wanted to catch the bus around 13:00, without thinking about it, I put half a bread, liver sausage, a knife and half a carton of grapefruit juice in my bag. When I got a book out of my bag, put a slice of bread on it and started to use my knife to cut pieces of the liver sausage, suddenly all of this entered my head and I thought: "Aha, I am a student".
Melantrys passed some meme to me, and, in lack of a different weblog, I decided to post this here for now and not in a comment. Else this place [the MyOpera blog] looks so deserted… oh wait, it already did? I can only say one thing to that: bluh. Seven Things I Plan To Do Spend some more actual time on my studies. Let that result in getting ECs. Get my hair cut. See every episode of Lost and keep up with the US (Mel already said that, but it applies to me as well. In fact, I'm her Lost-source, or whatever that should be called; Lost-source sounds really weird). Winter sports (skiing and snowboarding) sometime before I'm 80 and am not flexible enough anymore. Visit the US, Canada, Italia and… well, just more of the world. Own a huge library of books to read in peace and quiet. Seven things I can do Say very strange things semi-random such as My moon-name is Oela-Bikila! and make people laugh by that. Write amusing stories. Blow up a clap-switch by turning the voltage too high and clapping. Get two girls in my bedSurvive Italian pillows. Completely ignore the apocalypse while reading a good book or playing a good game. Notice the apocalypse three hours later when my laptop dies from lack of energy. Meanwhile I wouldn't notice the lights going out, of course. Automatically filter out advertisements and religious crap with my brain so that I don't remember what people told me if it had something to do with religion. Seven Things I Can't Do Concentrate on things I have to concentrate on. Watch Lost before it's broadcast in the US. Murder Bill Gates, put on some stupid glasses and pretend to be him. Stop considering Opera superior to all other browsers. Watch a big mess in the living room and not clean it up (well, usually). Keep track of time while playing Rome Total War or reading a good book. Consider Balkenende a great leader. Seven things I say most often "Hmm". Can mean anything from "what?" to "yes" to "no" or "not funny" to "crap, no inspiration to make one of my usual senseless comments". "Bluh". Braby gave me this word which I now always use for "whatever". "lol". Often in the Dutch sense, the consequence of which is that it results in the laughing out loud sense if foreigners don't understand that. "Skol". The word I use most often for "cheers". Other favourites include "proost", "prosit" and "santé". "Godverdomme". It sounds really good, it reliefs when you hurt something and it can possibly offend Christians. What more do you want? "Ja". Isn't yes possibly the most used word in any language (as long as "hmm" isn't used as global replacement)? "Girl, girl, girl". The start of the lyrics of Anouk's song "Girl" which is pretty much our flat anthem.