The One with the Thoughts of Frans

Today my dad’s “comrade” was removed. Comrade here means the thing with all the chords and stuff going into his blood. His fluid diet was also cancelled, meaning he can more or less eat normal again. He can almost walk by himself again (currently with such a walker old people use) and just a few days ago he could barely pull up by himself. So everything’s going well. My father, with the operation and everything hadn’t yet heard I switched to IO (Industrial Design/Industrieel Ontwerpen) and was very positive about the news, as was my mother earlier on. This afternoon, together with my mom, I took care of changing my parents’ connection to “InternetPlusBellen” (Internet plus Calling), KPN’s new ADSL and telephony offering. You don’t have a normal telephone line anymore, but VoIP instead. Not that you’ll notice any difference in how you call as it’s compatible with old phones via the box which enables the stuff. Further the internet will remain the same as it is, but the complete package will be € 34,95 per month, thus cheaper. Besides you can call for free to non-mobile numbers in the Netherlands in the weekend, which is not that interesting, but will presumably make a little difference for calling with some family which isn’t on Skype yet. It also includes compatibility with soon to come technology like video telephones and such, but I guess I’d prefer just to buy myself and my mom a cheap webcam and use Skype 2 for that and I doubt my mom would like a phone with all kinds of weird things. Her own mobile phone she considers just fine and mine with camera and stuff she already considers over the top. Frankly I agree with her, but there are no phones with colour screen and other stuff I like without a camera in it anymore… and besides it has proven to be quite nice at times, although usually it’s just useless because of the low resolution. So for my parents nothing will change, except that it’s slightly cheaper. A much bigger difference, also included in the package for free, is the WLAN which also comes with the box enabling all the technologies. Secured Wireless Internet Access at my parents, and I don’t have to put any work into it, nor do I or my parents have to pay anything for it since we ordered before the first of March. Can it get any better? ;) Last Friday I watched Funny Business with Rowan Atkinson, a not too serious analysis of (slapstick) comedy techniques. Having acquired it from an American community of lovers of British comedy, I was surprised to find it was recorded from Dutch television, so Dutch subtitles were integrated in the movie itself. It’s illegal of course, but it’s not like it’s available on DVD or VHS, so my conscience simply enjoyed watching it as much as the rest of me. Just a little while ago I watched 50 things to eat before you die, something I got from the same community. It was quite an interesting list, although (with some national pride perhaps) I’d say it lacked herring (Dutch style). On the other hand, with Sushi being at 9 and fresh fish at 1, one could argue it’s basically covered by that. On the other hand, I consider it as unique as octopus (Greek style) in a way. The program got me really hungry so I ate some of my bread, but then somewhere in the 20’s of the list the American Breakfast came along. It certainly looked pretty good, but the one person portion looked like you could eat from it with six people, or perhaps even six third-world families. The mere sight made me feel completely filled. Right now I’m finishing the remainder of my bread, most notably the parts I put Roquefort on. It’s certainly lacking from that list of 50 things (not specifically Roquefort, just cheese in general), but on the other hand it’s a British list, I’d assume we’d get a different list in the Netherlands. Typing this on my laptop keyboard in the train I’m making more typos than usual, but Word seems to correct all of them automatically. It makes me wonder to what degree Microsoft is helping people in a habit of bad typing, for example to type “teh” without even noticing it. Last Thursday I went to Nedtrain with a bunch of other Mechanical Engineering students (switching is no reason not to go on interesting excursions, now is it?) and I basically planned to spend my time in the train going to Nedtrain by talking to Thomas and Ivo. In the last minute however Thomas decided to bring “The World according to Clarkson” with him, which he lent from their “bathroom-library”. In the train however, it turned so that I couldn’t sit with Thomas and Ivo for lack of space and I nicked the book. I haven’t returned it yet and I will not either until I finished it. That brings me to another interesting thing. Except for Lost and Die Hard, I’ve only been watching British programs over the past two weeks. I’ve mainly been listening to British music (Bowie, Pink Floyd, Stones) and now I’ve been reading a British book. Ah well, it doesn’t mean anything really as just a month ago I was only watching Friends, The Simpsons, reading Jack Vance and Kurt Vonnegut. And of course I’ve been watching a lot of Dutch cabaret/theater, it’s just that my foreign “efforts” always seem to be so concentrated on one country. I just noticed my writing is getting a little vague and less comprehensive. I’ve been going on without looking back for almost 30 minutes, so I guess it’s time to stop. I could easily continue typing for the other hour my train trip will last, but I’ll continue reading and listening to music instead. But another thought entered my mind and I cannot yet stop typing. Since the late 90’s,
My order arrived today (The Offspring's Smash, David Bowie's Diamond Dogs and Pratchett's The Wee Free Men, which is a book, not a cd ;)). I just thought I had to mention that except for Pratchett's book (which was based upon Mel's recommendation) I probably bought all of them because of illegal downloading. By that I don't directly mean that illegal downloading is good, but I do mean that this is the only way I get the control over the media I want (by buying non copy-protected CD's), combined with the fact that the current marketing methods usually aren't good most of the time. In fact the last album I think I really bought without having listened to it first in one way or another (including downloading, but also at friends or such) was Slipknot's self-titled album, which I listened a bit in the record store and decided to buy it. It's not directly bad, but turns out it's worse than I originally thought (4 years ago that is). I suppose this post was sort of hard to follow, which is easy to explain. I'm just typing down an inner battle in the hope to get more clarity of my personal view on it. I do however think it's righteous for me to get like a 2000 prints limited album in mp3 form, simply because it's not available in any other way. I think the law actually states that that is allowed, at least for libraries.
There are a few sort of old sites I wanted to tell you about anyway. is the logical answer to Firefox helps communist nations, switch back to IE! The content on the site is too obviously fake to be funny though. Then there's I consider it quite a brilliant action by whoever bought the domain. Meanwhile, Opera Mini is the only Opera related thing I've been spreading lately. Everybody in my circle of friends already switched to Firefox or Opera, so there seems little left to be done.
The quick quote I basically copied (as an idea) from the MyOpera community forums wasn't really using its full potential. After trying a while I gave up and used a workaround to point to the comment it quoted from. I decided to check out how they had done it over at Opera. Turns out they did the same. Ah well, at least it works reassuring to my own skills. :P Further I had implemented the sidenotes already, but the stylesheet lacked a bit (basically one position:relative). Last, but not least, I removed a bug from the blockquote source-link script which linked to null if not right. It's not perfect yet though, as I do want it to show if it's not a link, but I'll get to that later. I'll also extend it to the Q element.
As you may or may not know, the only console of the "current" generation, disregarding Xbox 360, I've really had some playing time with was the Playstation 2. Last week I persuaded Thomas to put his Gamecube in the living room because he hardly used it anyway. Since then the Gamecube has been used quite frequently by the rest of us, and also by Thomas. The second controller however sucked and was broken on top of that (some kind of "GT-line" thing). A new official controller would be € 35, so I (with consent because it's not just my money :P) decided to order the cheapest one which didn't look like it came from the 80's (i.e. square corners instead of rounded corners). The Piranha controller arrived today and I think I might even like it better than the official Gamecube one. Of course it has to go through some more testing, but if we'd order two more of them, we'd have four good controllers (and a reserve which isn't very good anymore) and we'd still be 5 euros cheaper off than by buying an official one! Nevertheless, it has all the faults of the official one. I truly don't understand why they made the design that way. The green (A) button is huge and the other three "less important" action buttons are just small (less important my ass with the exception of racing games). Every time I'm pressing some button a bit too enthusiastically I press the green one instead. I think this is just a case of "not being like the PSX" gone wrong. But perhaps other disagree with me, who knows. It starts happening less frequently now, but it still strikes me as very unintuitive. Most importantly however, the low resolution works horrible. I remember that back in 2001/2002 the only reason I preferred playing Tony Hawk 3 on the Playstation 2 was the controller. Seriously. The Dual Shock 2 is superior to everything else, except perhaps a wireless version of it. Already on the 2001/2002 P3 1GHz Tony Hawk 3 was superior in every aspect, except that I never bothered to buy a good gamepad. High resolution, practically no loading times and a much clearer image. As said before, the Xbox 360 currently looks about the same as my 1.5 years old laptop. So if PC gaming decreases it's because of one thing only in my opinion: copy protection. Starforce 2, SafeDisk 4... they all seriously fuck up your computer. Ah well, it's still a fun machine. But only now near the end and the parts and games cost much less. Would this (now old) console persuade me to by a next-gen one? Nah, at best it convinced me to get a next-gen in 3 or 4 years... Console and handheld are somewhat related. I was surprised to learn that Opera will be available on the Nintendo DS.
Dear, I know this mail may come as a surprise to you, since we do not know ourselves or have any previous contact before now, my purpose of writing you is this. We believe that you would be in a position to help us in our bid to transfer the sum of twenty-seven million five hundred thousand dollars ($27.5m) into a foreign account. We are members of a special committee for budget and planning of the ministry of petroleum, this committee is principally concerned with contract appraisals and approvals in order of priorities as regards capital project of the federal government. With our positions, we have successfully secured for ourselves the sum of twenty-seven million five hundred thousand united states dollars ($27.5m). The present government in my country are seeking the support of foreign governments, so they gave directive to all federal parastatals to compile and settle all foreign contractors being owned for contract that has been executed, so our plan is to include the name that you will provide us, as one of the contractors being owed in my corporation, the Nigerian national petroleum corporation (NNPC). What we need from you is (1) a company name or a name of which to use as the company that did execute the contract (2) an account even if empty into which the fund will be transferred, this is because our code of conduct prohibits government officials from operation or owning foreign account. It has been agreed that the owner of the account will be compensated with US$8.3million of the remitted funds; we will keep US$16.5million, while US$2.7million has been set aside to offset expenses and pay the necessary taxes. It may also interest you to know that two years ago similar transaction was carried out with one Mr. George Brooks of (BROGE INTERNATIONAL TRADING CORPORATION) at number 135, East 57th street, 28th Floor, New York 10022 with telephone (212) 308-7788 and telex number 6731689, after the agreement between both partners in which he was to take 25% of the remitted fund (fifteen million united state dollars $15.000.000.) was duly transferred into his account only to be disappointed on our arrival in New York as we were told that Mr. Brooks was no longer on that address, while his telephone number had been re-allocated to somebody else, that was how we lost our money to Mr. Brooks. This time around we need a more reliable and trusted person or a reputed company to transact this project with hence this proposal to you, so if you can prove yourself to be trustworthy ready to partake in this project then we are prepare to do business with you. What we need from you is the assurance that you will let us have our share after the transfer of the fund ($27.5 million) into your account. If this proposal satisfies you,we can advice you on modalities of the transaction, and note that all modalities has been worked out and once started will take less than two weeks with the absolute support of all concerned. Note that this transaction is 100% risk free and totally safe now or after the fund transfer to your account. I will also like you to forward to me your telephone number for easy communication. Please treat as urgent and confidential as I look forward to your reply. Best Regards, From Engr.Nelson Barth N.N.P.C I wonder if I should start a conversation fooling the senders of such mails sometime. I once saw this site from a guy who always replied seriously and got the scammer saying all kinds of brilliant things when he said he had received another similar offer. The scammer would explain all the methods used, but still said he was trustworthy himself. On the other hand, it's been done. At best I'd get similarly funny results, so it'd be a waste of time.
I placed a reasonably big order at yesterday, basically combining a birthday present to self (The Wee Free Men) and a few things I wanted to order anyway. I would've ordered some of them earlier of course, but the sending costs are always € 1,95. This way it only adds about 40 cents per item. ;) Aantal Prijs Totaalbedrag Titel Levertijd ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 EUR 9.99 EUR 9.99 Piranha, Game 2-3 weken Controller Black 1 EUR 8.99 EUR 8.99 The Wee Free Men 3-4 werkdagen 1 EUR 7.99 EUR 7.99 Diamond Dogs 3-4 werkdagen 1 EUR 12.99 EUR 12.99 Smash 3-4 werkdagen 1 EUR 15.00 EUR 15.00 Mezmerize Op werkdagen voor 17.00 uur besteld, morgen in huis Subtotaal EUR 54.96 Verzendkosten EUR 1.95 Totaalbedrag EUR 56.91 Anyway, the funny thing is that Mezmerize is an "order before 17:00 on workdays, at your place before 12:00 next day"-item. The Piranha Gamecube controller was a similar item last week when I first considered buying it. I will come back at the Gamecube controller in a subsequent post. Turns out it turned into 2-3 weeks expected delivery time yesterday. When I checked early this morning (around 8:00 before I left like 20 minutes later) it said Mezmerize and the Piranha controller had been sent. Expected time unchanged. Later when I just got home (10:30) a friendly delivery guy came by. He brought a pretty big package. As expected, it contained both the controller and the album. I just thought it was sort of funny, considering that it still says that the expected delivery time is 2-3 weeks, yet it already arrived. Of course it's always better to say it will take a while and deliver it in a shorter time than the other way around. Perhaps game publishers could learn from that. On a different note, definitely consider buying Mezmerize and Hypnotize, it's basically a brilliant double album by System of a Down. The price for Mezmerize had finally dropped to an acceptable level and I will buy Hypnotize as well in a few months when it's somewhat cheaper. Since both and I use Postbank (and thus have Giro) my online payment (which I make after arrival and checking the items) is always instantly. The system thus also updates and changes the status to sent without any extra information (about delivery time). So the funny thing has disappeared, alas. ;)
Twenty is a composite number, its proper divisors being 1, 2, 4, 5 and 10. It is also the sum of the first four triangular numbers, making it a tetrahedral number. 20 is the smallest abundant number that is not a multiple of 3. It is a Harshad number and a self number.
I thought it was quite good. It was sent a while ago, of course. If you didn't receive one, happen to read this entry and happen to be close tomorrow, just drop by. Otherwise don't feel disappointed, I didn't invite you because I didn't think you'd make it anyway. ;) Geachte heren, U bent met behulp van de data in onze computer geselecteerd als de meest intelligente en getalenteerde mensen in West-Europa. Daarom hebben we besloten U in te lichten over geweldige kansen die Uw leven kunnen veranderen, dit is geen spam! Dit geweldige aanbod is slechts beperkt geldig en daarom hopen we dat U op onze bijeenkomst komt om de voorlichting bij te wonen. Deze is op donderdag 9 februari, rond de klok van 21 uur. De geheime locatie is Matenweg 6, "Patio Melba", op de campus. Mocht U niet weten waar dat is, de route vind U op Mocht iemand U naar inlichtingen hierover vragen, pretendeert U dan dat het een "verjaardagsfeestje van Frans en Ivo" betreft. Wij verwachten U op 9 februari te zien, Hoogachtend Ivo Stammis en Frans de Jonge Or, in English: Gentlemen, With the data in our computer, you have been selected as the most intelligent and talented people in Western-Europe. Therefore we are telling you about great opportunities which can change your life. This is not spam! This magnificent offer is only valid for a short while and therefore we hope to see you at our meeting. This is at Thursday February the 9th, around the clock of 21 hours. De secret location is Matenweg 6, "Patio Melba", on the campus. May you not know where this is, you can find the route at If anybody asks what this is about, pretend it's the "birthdaypartay of Frans and Ivo". Regards, Ivo Stammis and Frans de Jonge
Tell me what you think about the image hover effects as demonstrated on my post about my music collection. I don't really like it, but I'm not sure what else to do. I'll probably write a behaviour which removes the CSS hover effect and inserts a clickable source link below the downsized image, leaving the CSS hover for people without Javascript. People with Opera, Javascript disabled and drag=255 will probably be annoyed though. You can't have everything. ;) I also added a line to my stylesheet for code as displayed in the user stylesheet I posted recently. I think it's fine, but feel free to drop suggestions (smaller font perhaps) if you please. This is nothing new, I just forgot to add it to my "final" version of the stylesheet before. I just updated to the latest Wordpress version. The uploading took a while, despite multiple threads and my fast connection. Perhaps I should simply have put it to 50 simultaneous connections or so for this operation. Luckily not much has changed so that my custom Atom file (for 1.0 rather than 0.3) still functions fine. I noticed that the (in my eyes useless) TinyMCE editor took up most of the time however. I just thought deleting the files involved from my planned uploads would be harder than to wait a little longer while doing other things. I thought I'd inform people who don't know me a little better about the fact that I use valid HTML (and CSS etcetera). When I had done that I thought it would actually be much more important to give credit to a few people. Thanks Ethan and Tom, you're mentioned on my about page now.
Who doesn't love a new toy/tool? And best of all, it's free. I consider the Opera 9 technical preview 2 to be far more exiting than IE7 beta 2 or the latest Firefox nightly. "Living on the edge" as I am, I will migrate my custom settings and start to use it as my main browser. Not that I ever felt on the edge with an Opera technical preview (except perhaps with the experimental BitTorrent implementation), so kudos for that. I am not too sure about the new thumbnails if you hover over tabs. As I seldomly use that anyway I decided to enable them as well for ctrl+tab. It seems to slow down things a little without being really useful, but I'm going to leave it enabled for a while to see if I like it. Perhaps it's useful if I have more than 30 pages open, but I seldomly have and in the few cases I do have so many windows open, I consider the windows manager the most convenient way to deal with them in Opera. Then there's the addition of widgets, but you should know that I uninstalled Konfabulator quickly after trying it once it became free. For now the only widget I considered interesting enough to enable was the analog clock, which is not interesting at all, especially since I use the ASD Clock (don't mind the design, I'll be involved in creating something good looking, semantic and standards compliant in the future). Anne wrote about it. Tim wrote about it. Moose posted about his personal work on the internal stylesheets and, of course, updated the designer setup. I personally do keep the risky Javascript enabled however, so if you're like me, keep in mind that you'll have to edit that. Moose's idea is of course to only enable Javascript on sites you trust and keep it disabled anywhere else except to enable it to quickly check something out, but I'm lazy for now. First I should update my site-specific styles to the new method anyway. I don't think there's more to tell, except perhaps where to get it and where to read the changelog. I only just noticed. The history is finally similar to IE's history, which, as far as I'm concerned, is good.
I use MusicBrainz Picard to automatically give my files the right names and directory structure, based on the following formula: Artist/yyyy-mm-dd Album [filetype@bitrate]/Artist -##- Track For this purpose I use this Picard rename script. $if2(%albumartistsort%,%artist%)/%date% %album% [%_extension%]/%albumartistsort% -$num(%tracknumber%,2)- %title% Which, as Picard puts it, results in Beatles, The/1965-08-06 Help! [mp3]/Beatles, The -07- Ticket to Ride.mp3 Everything following this is outdated. To illustrate the procedure I use for ripping a CD, I will rip Heathen by David Bowie. I am currently in love with this album which has managed to somewhat hide from me, despite being in my CD collection for a couple of months. Everything I could find to download from the internet was low quality, so I had to rip it. To do this I use CDex. Development is apperently dead right now and it would be smart to replace the included lame_enc.dll by a new one to gain the advantages it offers. After having inserted my CD I queried CDDB (or FreeDB, I don't remember what I set it up to do). It now shows up like this and you could start ripping right away. But first you'd better adjust a few settings. As I mentioned I'm in love with this album. The settings I selected are pretty much the highest quality you should ever aim for before going lossless with something like FLAC. 320kbps CBR mp3's simply aren't worth the size they take as they're still lossy, despite having very few artifacts. For a CD you do not wish to experience on high quality you should select a more reasonable VBR quality, like VBR5 ("normal" quality). Or something lower or higher, whatever you prefer. In any case you're advised to use VBR to get the optimal quality versus size experience. As VBR method I used VBR-new, which is the same as VBR-MTRH, I just like the look of it better in the settings this way. In the past they were different things. Apart from this it is important to set the ripping method to full-paranoia under the CD Drive tab. That way the chance for reading errors in your ripped file is minimal. Now that my music is ripped I have to tag and rename it to make it fit into my collection. For that purpose I use Picard, which does most of the work for me and adds the MusicBrainz tags, which are important for integration of Last.FM with the MusicBrainz database someday. Little of my music includes this, as I only use it since recently. After dragging it into Picard and telling it so search, it found the album I just ripped. So I click tagger and it associates my tracks to the data in the database. I let it write the tags in ID3v2.3 instead of ID3v2.4 because that is more globally compatible among applications. Everything is ready and all I have to do now is let it write the files in their new directory structure and naming structure. But what is this. Apperently the month and day of release are unknown. Luckily there are more sources for this kind of stuff, most notably Discogs (specialised in music) and Wikipedia (many fans of artists hang around and add data like this). And indeed the data is available in Wikipedia. So now I can edit the folder name myself. I also added the information to MusicBrainz so that people doing a similar process to mine can profit from what I looked up. Now that this is done I use Tag&Rename to add some additional info, album art and album review to be exact. Both are grabbed from Amazon automatically. Now I'm nearly finished, but I need to do a few more things. Firstly I wish the release date to display completely in foobar2000, so I add it to the DATE field like DATE=yyyy\ddmm, where the backslash separates two entries. Also foobar2000 tells me the exact average bitrate of the album, which isn't that important as it's just an average, but it's a nice indicator for me to see that I don't need to rerip it. For example my Eminem albums had @160 in the folder which allowed me to quickly see that I wanted them higher quality. So now I add the bitrate to the folder name, manually. And a final check in foobar2000. The album is now ready to move from my temporary folder (for albums which I yet have to prepare) to my music collection folder (which is all organised like this). As a final note, I think I should have ripped this album in VBR quality 2, as the bitrate on this album was a little overdone. I do specifically not follow the ÜberStandard, for various reasons. I do however follow a few of the conventions in there, although I reached them by myself, before I knew of its existence. If you think this method eats time. All that ate some time I might have used differently was writing this down. The actual process is only very short and can be done while doing other things. For example while ripping the album I already typed the first few paragraphs. Did you consider my explanation useful or just a bunch of crap? Leave your comments. :P
I just decided to check my stats and apperently people coming from American-based IP's take up nearly 70% of my traffic. Not that I specifically aim for any kind of traffic, but it's still quite a surprise. Assuming that Ethan doesn't refresh this page all the time of course. :P
I'll simply quote myself. If anybody is able to tell me of a device which does this, or for example a custom firmware for a further nice device, please comment either here or there (no registration required here). I was practically ready to order the Sony NW-A3000. It has all the options I require, such as (most importantly) gapless playback, no extra battery sucking extra expensive making stupid colour screen with the ability to play video and that kind of crap [1], all that seemed to be against it since the recent pricedrop was the kinda sucky software you had to use to get your music on it. But what seems? It only does fucking gapless with the ugly stupid ATRAC format. I've got so much music which requires gapless, practically everything does. From the Offspring to Clawfinger to Tool to Pink Floyd to The Beatles. Am I going to rerip them from cd into ATRAC? No Sony. Just for the record, iPod, Creative stuff, iRiver stuff etcetera doesn't do gapless at all (iRiver seems to do some fake stuff with silence detection which can cut off up to 10 seconds of intended silence). So basically as it turns out to be the only players meeting my criteria are the Sony ones if I either reencode my mp3's (which is of course stupid), so I'd have to rerip my cd's onto the device (which is just as stupid really, especially as the format sucks). Alternatively there's the old Rio Karma of a dead company which meets my criteria quite nicely, however it's no longer available and seems to have trouble with the harddisk unlike Sony's device. Actually one of the reasons I use foobar2000 over Winamp is that it does gapless (yeah, there's plugins for Winamp but they all suck except with ogg). Now I wouldn't go back to Winamp for other reasons, but at the time I switched I viewed them as practically similar, only foobar2000 better blending in with Windows instead of a custom skin and gapless. My current Aiwa "discman" (portable cd player) which is starting to become a little less happy with living after 6 years of trustworthy service can play gapless cd's fine. This crap pisses me off. So much. I actually want to spend € 200-300 on such a device, but is gapless playback so much to ask for such an amount of money? Clearly not, as an "ancient" (2004) device such as the Rio Karma shows how it should be done. Obtaining that one would be too much of a risk because of obvious reasons however. Perhaps I'll simply invest in upgrading my non-mobile sound equipment (i.e. the boxes) and buy a cheap-ass new discman which has all the features my old one has with the addition of mp3-cd support if my current one happens to break down after all. [1] If I want to watch something I'll take my laptop with me in the train and in the bus I'm not going to watch anything anyway. On my bike I can't watch anything nor willl I watch anything when I walk although it might be possible.
At the IEblog a little was posted about ClearType in IE7. Of course this was posted at a time more suitable for Americans, so it was already filled with comments. Thus my opinion had already been posted by someone else. Why is this a setting in IE 7 and not taken from the system wide setting in display properties? It doesn't make sense to me that only one app (well, two, IE and Outlook Express) should have the option specifically for that app when all apps have the option from the global property. Particularly because this isn't a setting you would enable a per application basis. Clear type is nice and all if you have the right monitor, but come on, this doesn't make sense. There were more posts on the blog, some of which actually managed to make me laugh or raise an eyebrow. I'll quote an example. It's an old friend for us Opera users (and more recently to Firefox users with some extension and Maxthon users). What’s my favourite feature in the new IE? I’m an old Office hound myself, and so I really love to see Zoom. Available from the bottom right of the main browse window, this acts like it does in Word or Excel – it enlarges or reduces the entire page (text and graphics) to a specific zoom setting. My opinion of IE has not changed, nor is it likely to change. All that's changed is that it's moving a bit again, which might maintain userbase. But I still forecast a flow of users towards other browsers. The roots of "the others" have simply grown to deep to stop their growth now. Or one could write this into a "biblical" story, in which case my conclusion in the above paragraph would be like this: Cane just laughed, and the sound was as of a thousand coins of gold rained down from the heavens. Many heard the laughter, and felt comforted. Others, though, knew Cane for what it was: the same Cane as old, only polished, shiny and new. Since I was already promoting Opera over IE, you could as well see what the next version of Opera copied from the AOL Internet Explorer browser and how Opera already does something (much) better for years already which IE7 has recently implemented and Firefox can do through an extension.
Zak Tell, the vocalist of Clawfinger, posted his opinion on some of the music journalists out there. If a rock journalist uses 5 lines to sum up an album that is 40 minutes long, contains 11 tracks, has taken about a year to make and includes alot of love, dedication, personal opinions and food for thought from our side then I expect a little more than 5 fucking lines, what the fuck is wrong, don't you love your job, don't you burn for music, don't you care anymore? Speaking of five line reviews, I'm currently listening to the Arctic Monkeys which I avoided a little because of the hype around it, but it seems to be a well-deserved hype. Much more so to me than for example Coldplay of which I consider a few songs good, but a lot of songs on the albums just mediocre. There, my five line wannabe-review of the Arctic Monkeys and Coldplay, without any indepth reasoning. But I, of course, am exused for just being a listener and not a journalist who gets paid to write. I will just post a few of the lyrics of one of the Arctic Monkeys' songs, by which you can decide for yourself wether you like it or not. They are from the song called "Fake Tales of San Francisco", about a guy who tells about his moment(s) of fame in San-Francisco, which is all of course just utter crap. Fake Tales of San Francisco Echo through the room More point to a wedding disco Without a bride or groom There's a super cool band yeah With their trilbys and their glasses of white wine And all the weekend rock stars in the toilets Practicing their lines
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...
All blog posts

Featured posts

KOReader 2019.04
By Frans / April 6, 2019
By Frans / March 26, 2019
Six Years of KOReader
By Frans / February 22, 2018


Trois champignons
By Frans / April 27, 2016
By Frans / June 8, 2010


Tunnel Anxiety
By Frans / April 7, 2013
By Frans / March 17, 2013
By Frans / July 22, 2012


By Frans / February 2, 2014

Linux and more

KOReader 2019.04
By Frans / April 6, 2019

Thoughts on books

Of Horology and Letters
By Frans / January 21, 2017


On My Header Image
By Frans / December 23, 2012
Fireworks on the Scheldt
By Frans / January 1, 2010
By Frans / April 7, 2006
By Frans / March 25, 2006