Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Saturday, August 26th 2006

Windows XP/2000 Tip of the Day

Having installed four different IM/VoIP programs (Google Talk, Skype, Wengo and Windows Live Messenger), I felt it would clutter up my Windows QuickLaunch bar if I added one shortcut for each program. So I thought it must be possible to launch several programs in one go if I create a batch file.

It turned out it wasn’t as simple as I thought. You can’t just simply create a batch file (a text file named *.bat) with a list of paths to each exe file. You have to use the START command. And you have to use quotation marks if the paths contain spaces. And if you use quotation marks for the path, windows cmd.exe (which runs the batch file) will interpret the path as a title for the command window… so you have to add a random title to these lines, straight after the START command. To cut a long story short, my batch file looks like this:

@echo off
START C:Program FilesWengoPhoneqtwengophone.exe -b
START C:Program FilesSkypePhoneSkype.exe /nosplash /minimized
START “blah” “C:Program FilesMSN Messengermsnmsgr.exe” /background
START “whatever” /MIN “C:Program FilesGoogleGoogle Talkgoogletalk.exe” /autostart
exit

The @echo off on the first row is to keep the command window clean while running the coming rows of code. The exit on the last row closes the command window. Also, you should make sure you have each of the START command rows on single rows without line breaks.

As you can see, I’ve added a few tricks here too. Wengo, Skype and Windows Live Messenger all have switches that tell the applications to automatically minimize to the system tray. Google Talk doesn’t really, but the /autostart switch seems to do the trick some times. (Don’t ask me why it only does sometimes, but it does.) For the times that it doesn’t, I’ve added the /MIN switch to the START command, so it’ll at least be minimized to the Task Bar.

Screenshot of Windows System Tray with IM/chat applications. Google Talk, Windows Live (MSN) Messenger, Wengo/Wengophone.

It’s very nice not to have all the windows flood your screen when you launch them. I hope this little tip can be of help to someone!

Edit: I have noticed now that the /background switch for Windows Live Messenger only means that the signing in is done in the background. Once done, the contact list will show up on the screen unless you have a) set it to start automatically with Windows and b) unchecked Open WLM main window….

Saturday, July 29th 2006

New Gallery: Drops

I’ve just put together a new gallery at my photography website, Drops. Close-ups of rain-drops on plants, all taken with my EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 lens and the 500D screw-on close-up lens, at our summer cottage in June.

Friday, July 21st 2006

New Photography Web Site

I’ve just opened my new photography web site, over at http://davidnaylor.org/photography/. Instead of grouping the photos into subject categories (which I did before), I have now made smaller galleries with only four photographs each, grouped in much more arbitrary ways.

Sunday, June 4th 2006

Open Source and Microsoft

Role reversal. This comic strip really nails it.

Saturday, May 20th 2006

Hard Rock Hallelujah!

Finland have finally done it! Thanks to hard rock band Lordi, Finland have finally won the Eurovision Song Contest! Those in the know will know (obviously) that Finland have been taking part in the contest for 40 years, but have only acheived a sixth place as their best.

Finnish hard rock band Lordi

I really liked the song, since it was a breath of fresh air in the often stale Eurovision Song Contest line-ups. Also, the lyrics contain many humorous details, such as “arockalypse” and “day of rockoning”… 🙂

BBC cover the story here. My sister has all the results on her website.

Tuesday, May 16th 2006

Muchos Funny: BBC Mixup

The BBC made a bit of a mess (and a very funny story) when they got mixed up, and interviewed the wrong guy on the news. Here’s the full story for you, with a video clip of the broadcast.

Saturday, May 6th 2006

Memory Problems

Usually, it’s my brains memory that is the problem. But now it seems my RAM is playing up. I (like most other Windows users?) get blue screens from time to time. Lately I’ve been getting blue screens with the error code 0x0000004e. I’ve tried to find solutions to this problem on the Internet, but without luck.

I wanted to rule out that my RAM was faulty, so I’ve been running overnight memtests. Interestingly enough, when I test one RAM stick at a time I get no errors at all, but when I tested them both at the same time I get loads of errors. Does anyone reading this know if this could be because of different CL (CAS Latency) values for the two sticks?

Wednesday, May 3rd 2006

So Microsoft

Oh boy oh boy. This one is hilarious:
http://www.neilturner.me.uk/2006/May/03/installation_problem.html

Wednesday, February 8th 2006

Songbird – Pretty Fly For A Blackbird

Songbird has just been released by… er… I believe I don’t know who made it. Well, I know many of the developers behind Sunbird are ex-Winamp people. The website has just been slashdotted so it might take a day before you can get there. Anyway, the Slashdot post has a few mirrors for the time being.

Well, it seems pretty good for a 0.1 release. The slick, black interface is nice:

Sunbird 0.1 screenshot

Also, I can choose my language (Swedish) from the help menu. I was impressed by the fact that they had included Ogg playback capabilities already. Of course, there were a few obvious bugs:

  • When I tried to add extra columns in the song list I got some kind of error message.
  • All my Ogg tracks are listed as being 0:00 long, even after Songbird had scanned them. (Although it knew how long a track was while playing.)
  • The window doesn’t seem to remember its position after closing and opening, or toggling the mini player mode.

I would love it if I could access AllOfMP3 through Songbird. But I feel very handicapped without Firefox’s tabs. Maybe they will be added in the future? I know Songbird isn’t meant to be a full fledged web browser. But when I was looking around the various music shops in the sidebar I realized that I would need tabs in Songbird too, to feel at all efficient.

Wednesday, February 8th 2006

New Colour Schemes

I’ve made a different set of alternative colour themes now. The old ones were rather hard on the eyes. Hopefully these new ones are better. If you don’t get any colour at all when you’re reading this, clicking one of the links at the top should fix it.

Monday, February 6th 2006

Blake Ross’s Web 1.0 Website

I just found a real gem. It’s the personal website of Blake Ross, aged… hmm – 18. (The website states that Netscape 7.1 has been released, which means that it must at least have been updated sometime since June 2003. Blake was born in June 1985.) That basically means that it has to be a joke. I hope it is. It must be. And a pretty sick one at that. If you read this, Blake, could you give some clarity on this insanity? 🙂

I must be the first person to have listened through the whole embedded midi track…

Wednesday, February 1st 2006

Search Box Found

Important message to all readers!

I woke up this morning, finding that someone had left a search box behind. I’ve put it up at the top left for the time being. If you can’t find your search box, this may be it. Just send me a note. I’ll be more than happy to return it to it’s rightful owner.

Update: Actually, come to think of it – I think I’ve changed my mind. I’ll keep the search box for myself. I’ve always wanted one of those cool things that light up when you use it.

Saturday, January 28th 2006

Google Clarifies Their Chinese Censoring

The Google Blog has a good post about their Chinese launch and why they think they did the right thing.

Thursday, January 26th 2006

Google AI Not Quite There Yet

The artificial intelligence of the Google search engine is not perfect. Not yet anyway:

Google mistake

Click the suggested search and you, logically enough, got no results at all.

Wednesday, January 25th 2006

Anyone Surprised?

Bush ignored warnings of what probably would happen to New Orleans when Katrina struck.

Now, the investigation is being systematically delayed by the administration:

Sen Lieberman accused the Department of Homeland Security of a conscious strategy of [delaying] our investigation in the hope that we would run out of time.

BBC News

Sounds a lot like what happened to the 9/11 commission, if you ask me…

Oh, and there’s something similar about these two remarks:

I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees?

George Bush

Nobody in our government, at least, and I don’t think the prior government, could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale.

George Bush

Monday, January 23rd 2006

How Can Bush Still Be President?

Over the last couple of days I’ve been reading up on the events of the 11 September, 2001.

It amazes me that there hasn’t been a huge, national surge of protests against the US administration for all the blatant cover-ups and failures prior to and after 9/11. Even if only one quarter of all the facts claimed by the conspiracy theorists are true, that government is rotten to the core! How come you Americans never get any decent people to run your country and its security?

As I see it, what happened on the 11 September 2001 was …

  • At best, a complete and disastrous failure of the Bush administration to do their job. They should have been removed straight away.
  • At second best/worst, Bush & co let the attacks happen, in order to rally the US people behind dubious operations in the middle-east, Iraq specifically. This, to me, is beginning to seem like the most likely alternative, reading all the lies and bogus claims that Bush, Rice and Cheney made regarding 9/11.
  • At worst, the US government, and/or the various corrupted US authorities, masterminded the whole thing – paying off the suicide bombers (or agents) and whatnot. Also the Twin Towers were brought down using explosives, in a deal with Larry Silverstein who had just bought all WTC buildings and taken out a record ensurance policy.

It could also have been a combination of the last two, where the attacks were carried out by Al Quaeda et al. without any help from the US government, but the whole scenario was spiced up a bit by bringing the towers down. The whole building 7 thing makes this not all too implausible. Obviously, the explosives had been applied to WTC 7 before the 11 September. What’s to say Larry hadn’t done the same with WTC 1 & 2?

If 9/11 was/is one big conspiracy, then I must congratulate the Bush administration. I mean, the whole thing is just so unbelievably evil and rotten, who’s going to believe it? Lesson learned: If you’re plotting a conspiracy, make it such an over-the-top, gruesome plan that no one will believe it. Of course, there will be those who protest, but most people will just laugh at their outlandish claims.

Oh, that reminds me. You’ve got to read The Coincidence Theorist’s Guide to 9/11.

Thursday, January 19th 2006

Sweden is Cold This Time of Year

From news website DN.se:

På söndag klarnar det upp i södra Sverige, enligt SMHI. Trots att solen då kan titta fram mellan molnen blir det ännu kallare i landet: från 10 minusgrader i söder ner till 3035 minusgrader i Tornedalen.

I’ll translate that for you:

On Sunday southern Sweden will have clear skies, according to SMHI. Even though the sun may be coming out from behind the clouds it will be even colder throughout the country: from -10° C in the south to -3035° C in Tornedalen.

The Lapps had better stay indoors.

Update: They seem to have fixed the slight inaccuracy now.

Wednesday, January 18th 2006

Archives Not Working, Google Ads Removed

I noticed a while back that my archives aren’t working. (They simply don’t exist.) All my old posts are on the server though. Not sure why the collecting archive pages aren’t. I’ll send Blogger an email.

I’ve tired of logging in to my Google AdSense account, just to find that I have a click-through rate of about 0.1%. I don’t understand what other people do to get so much money out of Google. (Apart from having loads of readers, which I don’t.) Well, I guess I was never meant to be an Internet millionaire… 🙂

Update: Archives are back in action now. Apparently you had to specify a special folder for the archive when switching to FTP publishing. I thought that was handled automatically.

Wednesday, January 18th 2006

Umm…

Screenshot from Answers.com

I guess I did.

Tuesday, January 3rd 2006

Google Maps Made Useful

I was searching around for a way to map a certain combination of long/lat coordinates on satellite images, and came across Power Maps. Power Maps is based on Google Maps, but gives you much more control, as well as possibilities. It gives you the long/lat coordinates of the map center, and lets you specify a long/lat to go to. Great stuff!

It also gives you a tonne of options. You can even make it draw red tracks of your movement over the map! (Useful?)