Archive for February, 2009

  • The Purchase Brothers, independent filmmakers and commercial directors, have released the first part of their Half-Life-inspired short film series.
    (tags: film gaming)

Browsing to Ars Technica this morning the first thing that caught my eye was the graphic used for a story about Yahoo’s new Fire Eagle service.  Even the thumbnail sized graphic immediately reminded me of the Judad Priest ‘Screaming for Vengeance’ album cover.  I clicked through to the story and sure enough:

And here is the original Just Priest cover:

Hopefully Ars paid for the use of the original artwork…  somehow I doubt it.

Perhaps it is just dying?  Perhaps my expectations are just too high?

We use products from Watchguard Technologies for parts of our security infrastructure.  Part of the services they provide are email alerts to notify us of potential security problems that may effect our network.  Below is a capture of an alert email I received from them a few days ago:

Pwn my Exchange Server?  I’m sorry….  but who do they have writing these releases?  Are they grabbing 16 year old ‘leet speak’ gamers from some forum?  How many people who receive this message will know what ‘Pwn’ is slang for?

Lets say they made a mistake (in both the subject line AND the email body itself) and the meant to type ‘Own’.  Thats still improper as far as I’m concerned.  What serious business (aside from a gaming company) would allow a message like that to represent them?

Maybe I’m out of the loop and it’s now acceptable to just throw proper language away in business?  Somehow I doubt it.

I’m reminded of a resume I recieved via email a month or two ago.  The accompanying message stated ‘thx u for ur consideration’.  Uh huh…..  I considered you for all of about 2 seconds after reading that little missive.

  • Measurement Lab (M-Lab) is an open platform for researchers to deploy Internet measurement tools. By enhancing Internet transparency, we aim to help sustain a healthy, innovative Internet.
    (tags: tools internet)

After nearly 11.5 years of use, I have finally killed the email account phil@psychophil.com.  I was spending far too much time trying to filter the mountainous amounts of spam that has been pouring into that account.  It was a losing battle.  Recently I have been receiving 700+ messages per day.  I had resorted to using GMail to pop the account and filter out the spam.  It worked, but I realized the other day that I had received just two valid emails to that address in four days….  intermixed with a few thousand spam messages.  This address has just been in use far too long and it made its way on to far too many spam lists to be of any use.

I’ve gone as far as to completely remove the MX records from the DNS information.  Unsurprisingly, I’ve noticed an immediate reduction in the amount of traffic coming over my link.

edit: in case you’re wondering, the above graphic was created with the Tombstone Generator.

Like now.

I have a machine set up in the basement that I use strictly for gaming.  Its pretty much been a workhorse for me and I’ve never had any real issues with the box.  Until recently.  A few weeks ago the thing wouldn’t boot.  Not even a post.  No beeps…  just nothing.  After a bit of moving cards around, pluging and unpluging various cables and whatnot, I discovered that the machine would in fact post with a error beep sequence when the memory was completely removed.  I moved the two memory sticks (2Gb total) from bank 0 to bank 1 and the machine decides to boot.  Something died on the motherboard and the machine simply will not function with memory in bank 0.  Go figure.

No problems with the machine since that bizzare little incident.  Until last night.  For whatever reason, I decided to take a perfectly good machine and install XP SP3 onto it.  Luckly I did this after my nightly fix of Left 4 Dead…  mainly because once the SP3 install completed, the machine went into a reboot loop.  It would get as far as beginning to fade in the XP startup logo screen, freeze, then reboot.  Safe mode was a bust as well.  It was late so I just turned off the machine and decided to look at it again in the morning.

Sitting with my morning coffee I googled ‘xp sp3 reboot loop’.  Second in the search results was this link:

Windows XP SP3 reboot hell (and how to get out of it)

Quickly glancing through the article I happened to catch this:

Users who have seen this message say that their PCs are running one specific motherboard — an ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe — equipped with an AMD processor. Those same users claim that inserting a USB flash drive or connecting another USB-based storage device before booting solves the problem.

Odd…  thats my exact motherboard.  But come on!  Plugging in a USB drive can’t really be a way to get it to boot….  can it?

Sure enough, I grab a thumb drive out of my laptop bag, plug it into a USB slot and boom, the system boots without a hitch.

What.  The.  Hell?

The the drive out, no boot.  Put it back in, boot.  Crap like this drives me crazy.  How does that solution make any sense at all?  Obviously I’ve still a bit of work in front of me getting the machine back to 100% but at least I can get to a desktop to work on it.

Update:

This appears to be a more permanent fix, though I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet.

Windows XP SP3 Installation Fix For A8N32-SLI DeLuxe – v14.09 (Beta) BIOS from ASUSTeK Computer Inc.

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