Wednesday, 27 December 2006

My first post-apocalyptic dream

Well, maybe not the absolute first, but it's the first one I remember.

I was waiting in line, wearing my German army jacket, and another coat underneath. The line seemed to be for food rations, but the rations were freshly cooked, just like in Chinese takeaway shops. And they had a menu! I only remember seeing fried rice and tofu. I remember thinking, "Hmm.. I'd really like to get Ma Po Tofu, but I wonder if they have any mince pork."

I really should sleep earlier. Since starting the holidays I've been remembering a lot more of my dreams, though I think normally you finish the dreaming state and go back into "sleep" phase so most of the time you don't remember them anyway. But five hours of sleep a night doesn't seem to be enough. One more New Year's resolution!

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Sunday, 24 September 2006

flickr: wayne freaking flaming coyne

Sometimes you're just randomly clicking on flickr, minding your own business, then you come across a photo that completly floors you. I cannot even begin to describe my awe at this photo.

I really have to see the Flaming Lips next time they're in Sydney.

Hmmm.. can I afford to wait that long?

What if they suddenly go all Radiohead on us and become annoyingly contrary and anti-fame, "waa waah waaah.. we're too popular, everybody acts like they like us, waa waaa, let's make albums full of bleeping sounds and piss off the classic rock kind of crowd, let's stick to the cool crowd fan base, but let's keep my whining singing voice..."

Whups, went off on a tangent there. Sorry. I guess I still haven't gotten over Kid A. Heh.

7 Feb 2010
Shit, what a dumbass.. why didn't I download the photo?? Shit. No longer available on Flickr. Fuck. The photo was totally awesome. Sorry if anyone reads this and wonders

Thursday, 21 September 2006

From Outlook to Thunderbird pt3

OLEXP: How to Import MMF File into Outlook Express:

MAPI error messages when you import or export messages:;EN-US;Q179637

How to reinstall or repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP:

How to Import Archived Outlook Email Into GMail Using GML:

"1. Import your Outlook mailbox into Microsoft Outlook Express. Open
Outlook, then open Outlook Express. In Outlook Express, select Tools > Import, and instruct it to import Mail from Outlook.

2. Download and install Mozilla Thunderbird, an open source replacement for Outlook from the people who make Firefox. Be sure during the installation process to have Thunderbird import your mail from Outlook Express. Installing Thunderbird allows extraction of your old mail from Microsoft's proprietary (and difficult) PST file format into a more open
mBox file. While Thunderbird offers the option to import mail directly from Microsoft Outlook, the data is less likely to get corrupted if you add the intermediate step of importing to Outlook Express. "



O2M (formerly known as Outlook2Mac) may be the fastest way to move your Windows(r) Outlook(r) email, contacts, and calendar appointments from your PC to your Macintosh(r) computer!

And it's only $10!


"It is easy to do From Outlook Express to Thunderbird

But if you are trying to import your emails from outlook 2003 pst file but TB does strip all html stuff and you get plain txt emails instead of some beautiful email ....

Then you must do this..

Import it into Outlook Express, and then import it from Outlook Express into Thunderbird. That solves most Outlook import problems.

It also doesn't hurt to doublecheck "view->message body as" is set to "original html".

That was exactly what you do , Thunderbird will not "find" you Outlook 2k3 which is installed on your system. So do the Outlook --> OE --> TB and it works fine for email, about 600MB transfered into TB in less then 2 minutes!

The Contacts, however, you needed to export to a CSV and then put the columns in the correct order.

Somebody in another thread recommended using the shareware program Outlook2Mac to convert a .pst file to mbox's (the format thunderbird uses to store emails) if you don't have a copy of Outlook installed.

You might want to try converting the address book with Dawn if you have order problems.

Good luck..let me know who it all works out for YOU."

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

outlook mail conversion pt2

i thought i could use this:

but turn out it doesnt handle Outlook 2003 (according to the forums),
which i use at work.

converting Outlook mail to mbox format

Has there ever been a task more hideous?

Just tried using a program called "ABC Amber Outlook Converter". What a
piece of shit! I ran it and the first thing it does is try to convert
ALL of my .pst files it detected from Outlook, and the gui locks up,
leaving me no alternative but to shut it down. F*ck. I hate badly
designed software. Before you try and do some gargantuan task, at least
they should inform the user and give them a chance to *not* run the
process. Aaargh..

Oooh, talk like a Pirate Day was yesterday, 19 Sept... ARRRRR...

Next in line - Thunderbird! I used Netscape Mail long ago to convert
Outlook... but that was in 1999. Does Thunderbird handle compressed
Outlook 2003 .pst files? We'll find out...

Monday, 28 August 2006

Unix file processing magic...

Given a bunch of files like this


- divide each file into chunks small enough to upload to Dartmail.
Dartmail handles maximum of 1,000,000 bytes

-- find out how many lines in each file, and how big each one is

wc -l 2.csv

ls -l 2.csv

-- split a file into equal chunks, or max. specified number of lines per

$ split --help
Usage: split [OPTION] [INPUT [PREFIX]]
Output fixed-size pieces of INPUT to PREFIXaa, PREFIXab, ...; default
size is 1000 lines, and default PREFIX is `x'. With no INPUT, or when
is -, read standard input.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
-a, --suffix-length=N use suffixes of length N (default 2)
-b, --bytes=SIZE put SIZE bytes per output file
-C, --line-bytes=SIZE put at most SIZE bytes of lines per output
-d, --numeric-suffixes use numeric suffixes instead of alphabetic
-l, --lines=NUMBER put NUMBER lines per output file
--verbose print a diagnostic to standard error just
before each output file is opened
--help display this help and exit
--version output version information and exit

SIZE may have a multiplier suffix: b for 512, k for 1K, m for 1 Meg.

Report bugs to <>.

$ split -l 110000 2.csv 2

-- get header row from csv

$ head -1 2.csv > header.txt

-- add header file to other files that don't have header row

(doing it for 3* files

$ for i in b c <-- b and c is the array.. we'll be processing 3ab and
> do
> cat header.txt 3a$i > 3a${i}.csv <-- the 2nd i is in {} because of
the . after it.
> rm 3a$i
> done

do-done defines the block ...

-- can also be written out as one row, with commands separated by ";"
for i in b c; do cat header.txt 3a$i > 3a${i}.csv ; rm 3a$i; done


history of all commands:

split -h
split --help
cd e:
less 0.csv
wc -l 2.csv
split -l 110000 2.csv 2
ls 2*
ls -l 2*
head -1 2.csv > header.txt
cat header.txt 2ab > 2ab.csv
less 2ab.csv
cat header.txt 2ac > 2ac.csv
cat header.txt 3ab > 3ab.csv
mv 2aa 2aa.csv
rm 2ab 2ac 2ad
ls 2*
wc -l 3.csv
ls -l 3.csv
split -l 90000 3.csv 3
ls -l 3*
for i in b c; do cat header.txt 3a$i > 3a${i}.csv ; rm 3a$i; done
ls 3*
mv 3aa 3aa.csv
less 3ab.csv
wc -l 4.csv
ls -l 4.csv
ls -l 5.csv
ls -l 6.csv
ls -l 7.csv
split --help

Saturday, 26 August 2006

Bebot bebot bet bebot bebot

Damn. My eyes are glazing over. Why don't you guys just get an interview with Apl so you can grill him over what the songs really mean?

"So Apl... what is the moral of your song? What is your mesasge to all the Filipinos out there?" (ala-Germspesyal questions)

Juskoday. It's a freaking song. A freaking bad song - bad rapping, incoherent lyrics. (not Snakes on a Plane bad.. you know what i mean)

Ang tawag sa lalake, "kelots", ang babae naman yung "bebot". It's not a derogatory term. It's just ancient 70s slang. Di ko nga maintindihan bakit niya ginamit yung salitang "bebot", considering I last heard it used around the early 80s. =)

APL: (rings a family friend) "Tito, I'm kinda writing this song, and like, it's gonna be like an anthem about Filipinos and pride and raising our game and shit, y'knowhamsaying, giving us visiblity, without any sampling issues like that Asin jam I had on the previous album. (cos i know we should've paid them royalties for using the bloody stanza of "Balita", but let's not get into that)

So, like, I was kinda wondering what's a Filipino term for 'mah gurl', or 'baybeee'"

Tito: E di Baby! Like your Tita Baby, you know? You know what I em saying also, ha?

APL: Yeah, well, it's kinda too American.. isn't there a Pinoy word, something indigeneous?

Tito: Ah, like "bebot", "chicas", "chicks".

APL: So, that's not a word that's gonna get me in trouble Tito? I'm not going for that snoop dogg angle.

Tito: Ay, hinde, iho, that's a word we used in college.. tandang tanda ko pa nung magkasama kami nina Tisoy at Pomposa... (harp strums, fade out.. flashback sequence)

Fek. Academe. Tends to remove intelligible words from vocabularies.

Check this out:

"i suggest that this focus might be a way for the female poet to harness the political power to be garnered from heteronormative sympathy for the manongs and then by extension/lateral movement to inherit a largely male tradition of filipino american writing established by manong-generation writers bulosan, gonzalez, santos, and villa as well as the flip generation of robles, tagatac, syquia, penaranda, and others."

Goddamn! That's supposed to be English?

Thursday, 24 August 2006

Clerks 2, State Theatre, 22 August 2006

Went to Australian premiere of Clerks 2, with Q&A with Kevin Smith
afterwards. Made the BIG mistake of only lining up at 10 to 6. There
were probably a few hundred people before me, lined up from the State
Theatre entrance, down the alleyway beside the theatre, then going
back out again. By the time we were near the entrance the line was now
going down the side, back up, then out along Market St.

Kevin Smith introduced the film by saying, "This place is <i>way </i>too classy for a film like this"

There was 15 min break after the movie (finished around 9), then the
Q&A. It went on til 12pm! Originally Q&A was supposed to be 90 mins,
and it went for 150 (9.30-12).

Surprising, heart-warming story about Jason Mewes, his battle with
drugs and alcohol, and how cleaned up he was on this film, and he
played the role of cheerleader for the rest of the team.

Was his first time in Sydney, didn't think anyone gave a fuck over
here. Hah! And then the usual stuff about this place being really
nice, wanting to move here, bla bla. We lap it up anyway cos we love

Everyone except me, and my 2 other friends left. I knew my wife wasnt
really into it, but I thought one of my brothers might. Feh. They
missed out bigtime.

Sunday, 20 August 2006

Fixing Windows error "NTLDR is missing"

My friend rang this morning and asked if I had a Windows XP install
CD. His girlfriend's laptop wasn't booting up and she had an
assignment due this week. They were getting the message "NTLDR is
missing". Initially, we booted up using the Bootable XP rescue disk
(see Bart PE Loader) but didn't really know what to do once we got in.
Then tried booting with Windows XP install CD and selecting "Repair
Windows" option. It eventually got to command-prompt but again, we
didn't know what to fix.

Then finally, I went to google, entered the error message and in about
30 seconds I had the solution:

Windows XP users

1. Insert the Windows XP bootable CD into the computer.
2. When prompted to press any key to boot from the CD, press any key.
3. Once in the Windows XP setup menu press the "R" key to repair Windows.
4. Log into your Windows installation by pressing the "1" key and
pressing enter.
5. You will then be prompted for your administrator password, enter
that password.
6. Copy the below two files to the root directory of the primary hard
disk. In the below example we are copying these files from the CD-ROM
drive letter "E". This letter may be different on your computer.

copy e:\i386\ntldr c:copy e:\i386\ c:\

7. Once both of these files have been successfully copied, remove the
CD from the computer and reboot.


Makes you wonder why the hell these files constantly get corrupted!

Wednesday, 9 August 2006

Lily Allen!

OMG. I'm grinning stupidly. I love her album, Alright Still. I love it so much I'm actually thinking of buying the CD. Imagine that. All that adsl2+ bandwidth and this album's good enough to make me pay for it? Hot damn.

I was pretty sure I would looove the new Pharrell album, but it kinda fell flat. But with this one - love at first listen, baby!

NOTE: I wrote this at around 3am, and my English composition skillz are not as 1337 as they should be, and all these are first impressions anyway. I might be more coherent in a future attempt at a review.

Funny how Smile has already made its way onto TV, via the Just Jeans commercial, when it's only started climbing the charts. I guess the marketing department's learned the lessons of Moby - saturate the ether, by any means necessary! Not that this addictive stew of reggae, dancehall, funk, ska, girl group pop would have any trouble making its mark.

Knock Em Out is like a Streets-y successor to TLC's No Scrubs. How English - to actually be taking the trouble to find a polite way to say, "Just get out my face/ just leave me alone/ oh no you can't have my number/ cos I lost my phone". Possible next single?

Everything is wonderful in Everything's Just Wonderful. That 60s sounding beat. (papap-PAP, papap-PAP!) Handclaps! Farfisa! (or whatever makes that carnival-sounding organ sound). Harmonies. The heady chorus "Oh yeah, just fine/ everything's just wonderful/ I'm having the time of my life" contrasts with verses like "I wanna be able to eat spaghetti bolognaise/ and not feel bad about it for days and days and days/ all the magazines they talk about weight loss/ if i buy those jeans i can look like kate moss" This also gets a vote as the next single. The swearing might be an issue with radio though.

Not Big is one of the most hummable diss songs. Reminds me of that 90s song Short Dick Man, but clever. Telling your ex he's rubbish in bed and you'll making your way through his mates, and tell them that he's "small in the game". Damn, that's harsh. But you still end up singing it, even if you're a guy.

Shame For You reminds me of Dawn Penn's "No No No (You Don't Love Me)". There's a mashup out there, waiting to be made! Or maybe Lily's already made one.

Littlest Things takes the Karma Police intro, sends it through a harpsichord, then gets a bit Dido. But a bit more melody.

Take What You Take sounds like an indie-rock, girl power anthem - Spice Girls go back to '89 and hook up with the Stone Roses.

Alfie reminds me of The Beatles' "Obladi-Oblada". In a good way. =) Song to a younger brother wasted and smoking pot and pulling her hair. Unexpected closing song. Heck, it's all unexpected anyway.

Just emailed my friend MA to ask if she wants to check out Lily at her (only) Sydney gig at Club 77 in Sydney, on Thursday, 10 August. Hope a proper tour comes soon!

It's the melodies that hook you in. Reminds me of those old Beatle's albums where practicallly every song sounds like it was made as a single. No meandering, noodly, wanky, time-wasting, spinach art (it's good for you!). Hooks, melodies, and more hooks. My favourite album, probably for the rest of the year.

Friday, 21 July 2006

All I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From Voltes V

  1. There is no problem that cannot be solved by the judicious application of Chain Knuckles, Voltes Bazooka, Ultraelectromagnetic Top, Volt Boomerang, and a Laser Sword.
  2. You may be leader of a team of hyper-fit space fighters and the best fighter pilot in the galaxy but you will never get the girl because you don't ride a motorcycle or brandish a whip.
  3. The enemy is always supremely ugly, except for their leader - but that's only because he's actually your half brother!
  4. The enemy leader's female assistant is in love with him but he's too caught up with dreams of conquest and revenge to realise no one else actually likes him, and this may be his only chance at getting some.
  5. Aerial battles and explosions are always better with a funky track containing appropriate horn blasts.
  6. Little brothers may be annoying pipsqueaks but you never know when their robot pet octopus might save your collective skins using its tiny laser torch.
  7. Victory is always sweeter if you twist your sword once you have it in the enemy's sternum and then and pull it back upwards to slice them in half with a "V" flashing from their torso just before they explode into a million pieces.
  8. Anytime you have a heart-rending, emotional moment with your father, a giant beast robot's hand will punch in the wall and (again!) take him prisoner.

Friday, 7 July 2006

TODO - Programming ideas

- (for work) a web crawler to go through a URL, go thru all internal links, and validate that pages are all valid xhtml - to use on mobile site

- (for work) util to decrypt payloads, given a payload, and keys, -- able to select encryption method (twofish, blowfish, etc) and mode (ie,ECP) and padding...

- program to go through photos in a directory and verify that all photos are non-corrupt (ie, can be opened as images and all headers are valid)

- need to work on this... obviously, photos that can be opened but have their image data corrupted.. there's no way to know that other than viewing the damn thing... maybe get it to make a list of the suspect images.. perhaps just a html page with <IMG tags pointing to suspect images

- script to go to 2 different URLs and compare their contents... allowing for differences in whitespace

- Podcast manager - to allow you to 'podcast-ify' an arbitrary mp3.. such as mp3s downloaded from podcast archives that aren't in the feed anymore. is there a way to interface with itunes so it gets listed in the Podcast list in itunes?

-- as changing metadata in a photo will result in changes to MD5 of the file, how can we verify that the *photo* information is still the same but only the EXIF/metadata info has changed? (problem: the metadata is different in photos. some have none. some only EXIF. some IPTC and/or XMP - supported by Photoshop.) wouldnt we need to 1. make a copy of the file with all metadata left blank.. 2. calculate hashes based on this... store this info... and compare it when verifying an image...

Thursday, 6 July 2006

3d tetris

Installed the new Opera 9 last night and discovered the 3d tetris
widget. Goodbye productivity! =)

Good to check out these other standalone versions of Tetris.

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

using jetty in maven and webwork

Check these out:

and this:

Web Work Quickstart also look useful - uses embedded Jetty.

Monday, 3 July 2006

Oh yes, I've started to sip that Kool-Aid...

After years of wishy-washy longing to get some of that Mac OSX lovin', I've finally taken the plunge and purchased a Mac - a nice, shiny 17" Powerbook 1.67Ghz PowerPC G4 (M6989LL/A) with 512Mb RAM, 100Gb hard drive, Superdrive. Just when Apple has almost completely moved over to Intel for their CPUs, I somehow decide to get the End-of-line model. How so?

It all started with the Macbook. After looking at the specs, and the few reviews out there that I've come across, I'd decided that the Macbook offered better value then the Macbook Pro. To me the main difference was that the Pro had 1) a separate video card, 2) a spiffy looking case, 3) slightly faster CPU, and 4) ambient light sensor + illuminated keyboard. The great price difference by just getting the Macbook made it even more compelling. I planned to get one upgraded to 1Gb RAM and 100Gb drive.

But then the Macbook stains story came out, and Apple were at first unresponsive, denying that there was even a problem. Then I heard issues about excessive heat, cases warping, magnetic adaptors melting - it all became too much. The fact that things like this have happened before with ver.1.0 hardware or software, reminded me about my policy of avoiding products in their first revision. Get other people to sort out the bugs first! =)

So I started thinking maybe I should just get an iBook, as they would be trying to clear end of line stock. Domayne were selling the 1.33Ghz 12" iBook for $1099. I went to Myer, George St last Thursday to look for similar bargains. I saw a 12" iBook, 1.2Ghz going for $699! Awesome price. I rang my longtime machead friend just to tell someone, and so he'd encourage me to buy it. (I am extremely indecisive when spending anything over $200!) Then I rang my wife, to tell her about the new laptop that I was "getting for her". While on the phone, I kept glancing at the iBook display and noticed one woman spending quite bit of time near them.

When I went to the display to ask about it, the salesguy told me that someone had just purchased the last one! The woman I saw two minutes earlier had bought it, and I got there just in time to see the salespeople changing the display prices, and bringing the box out of the stock room. I actually said, "Bullshit, you can't be serious!"

Now the next day, I rang around to see if other Myer branches had any others left. Not all Myer stores sell Apple computers. Actually, the only ones I know off are in the City and Bondi. I rang the latter and ended up speaking to the same guy who told me yesterday it was all sold out. I asked specifically about the 12" iBooks selling for $699 and he immediately remembered me from the day before. They were all gone, he said, and instead he recommended checking out the 17" Powerbooks selling for $1799, discounted from $3300.

I went with a friend to Myer and got the damn thing. I almost missed my chance again, as my friend wanted to go to lunch first, as I asked one of the staff (the guy in the black polo shirt who's the Apple-employed consultant) if there was still any stock of this model and he said yes. I asked another guy and he said the display unit was the last one. Whew! I also got a 3-yr extended warranty from Myer for $150, which is much cheaper than Applecare, which goesfor the same amount of time but costs more than $400. I'm surprised Apple allow this, but I guess the profits aren't really made in the warranties. I left it at the store since I was going out that night and just picked it up the next day, Saturday.

But now the peripheral/ accesory spending begins! I first bought $105 worth of books, on Sunday, and am now looking to get extra memory (2Gb -- approx $360), then a bag - $59, then maybe a pouch for the powerbook ($55), then maybe the apple mighty mouse ($75) and keyboard ($70). God!

So much for the bargain.. i might end up spending a thousand extra anyway! =)

Friday, 30 June 2006

Recursive Grep in a subdirectory

To find a text in a subdirectory, do something like:

grep '' /etc -d recurse

if you're looking for '' in the /etc directory

How come I never found this in cygwin's "grep --help" but it actually

Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Australian Copyright "Reform" - yet another reason to say, "Fuck you Mr Philip Ruddock!"

Yes, it's kinda late but it's another case of me not following my gut instinct and posting immediately when an issue comes out.

This shows the sheer idiocy of this recent "reform" they've made to Australian copyright law. We have laws being modified to supposedly take into account things people have been doing normally for the past thirty fucking years, so why has it all been so half-assed?

Yes, it will now be legal to record TV shows on that 20-year old VCR you've had, BUT YOU CAN ONLY WATCH IT ONCE. Keeping those recordings to watch again on the weekend or anytime in the future is now definitely illegal. You can't even record something for a friend then give it to them without watching it. You can, however, invite your friend over to watch it. Goddamn.

How nice of them to not mandate an audience headcount or eyeball limit. I can just imagine that fervent consumer advocate Philip Ruddock heatedly arguing against the copyright assholes pushing for a 2-eyeball limit to viewing of recorded TV programs. Otherwise, me and my friend might have to wear eyepatches to be able to legally watch last night's episode of OC. (Damn - just noticed that Marissa's mom is *hot*)

Yes, you can now encode songs to transfer to your iPod. This is supposedly in recognition of that practice called "format shifting". Shit, how nice to have certainty for mp3 players that have been around for almost a decade.

But why this inconsistency? It's illegal to encode a movie from a DVD you own to your video iPod or any other portable video player (AOPVP).

HOWEVER, if you have a copy of the same movie in VHS, and are tenacious enough to go through the dumbfuck torturous rigamarole of bending over, putting your right middle index finger in your asshole and then pulling it out, then reaching over your back, putting it into your left ear, and whatever the hell else you have to do to encode it into a format viewable on said video iPod or AOPVP, well, hell yeah, that's all legit.

Encode video from digital source: bad. Encode video from crappier, almost obsolete "analogue"(?) format: okay. Why all this fuss on where the source video comes from?

The fact is, no matter where it comes from, the video gets encoded via a shitload of lossy compression, removing a helluva lot of information that isnt going to be noticeable when viewed on a 2.5" screen. And once it's in that smaller, re-encoded format - there is absolutely no way you can make pirate DVDs from these.

And you can't make backups of your CDs and DVDs. No sireee. Fair use provisions under US Copyright Law allow this in America. But in Australia? Nah.

Can you make mix-CDs just to play in the car or at a party? Absolutely not, if it's going to be an audio CD. If it's a compilation of mp3s however, it's okay. If you "format-shift", then it's fine.

But this also means you can still make backups of your CDs as long as they end up in another format. If you use a lossless audio format however, then you retain all the digital information from the original CD. Save the entire CD as one huge WAV file? Legit.

But a better way would be to use a format that is non-lossy and compressed. Something like FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec. You can use software like EAC and the FLAC encoder to rip the songs off the CD, then burn them to backup. Some postings I've seen talk about encoding it all to a single FLAC image and using a cue-sheet to retain track information, using tools like FlackAttack

Here's a posting detailing the encoding process, and burning the CD from FLAC.

Not as convenient as a straight-out CD copy, but entirely within the law.

Friday, 16 June 2006

Sixpence None the Wiser - Keys Me

I never knew this song was also about Charles Barkley.

According to the comments on YouTube this is a Filipina starlet with a stagename of Alyssa Alano, from the Viva Hotbabes group.

Almost as funny is the angsted comments from some Filipinos on the site, ranging from "this is a disgrace to the race, for shame!", to "oh, how could you do this to our country, we'll never get those IMF loans now!" Lighten up doodz. If there's one thing Pinoys excel at, it's making fun of our own. Which makes me wonder if the reaction would be worse if the person posting the video wasn't Pinoy.

Tuesday, 30 May 2006

macdaily: Microsoft wants to replace JPEG with Windows Media Photo


Microsoft wants to replace JPEG with Windows Media Photo
Thursday, May 25, 2006 - 12:46 PM EDT

Microsoft has spent their time and money creating something "useless," Justin Powell writes for The NET Results Blog. It's a new digital photo format called "Windows Media Photo."

"In case the folks in Redmond weren't aware, we already have JPEG for Internet and consumer applications, plus RAW and TIFF for professional applications. Adobe Systems even threw their hat in the ring to create the Digital Negative (DNG) format for digital cameras and professional imaging workflows and lest we forget the essentially defunct PhotoCD format from Kodak. There's also other raster image formats with varying degrees of usefulness: GIF, BMP, PICT, etc.," Powell writes.

"I'm not exactly sure why Microsoft believes we needed another digital image format. I haven't personally heard anyone complaining about the
available formats or begging for Microsoft to step in and save them. Could it be that Microsoft didn't control these other formats and likewise couldn't make them exclusive to Windows users? Microsoft's new Windows Media Photo will work in Vista and XP, but there's no mention of making the format available to older versions of Windows or other operating systems," Powell writes. "Microsoft calls the overall functionality 'digital memories,' but they didn't mention that you'll forget everything if you switch to a non-Microsoft product. No thanks, I'll stick with JPEG and RAW."

The pain of mp3 metadata cleanup

I have spent at least two weeks already trying to tidy up all my mp3 files before loading up everything back to my iPod. And it's still not finished.

The main issues I've had relate to metadata and file formats. Such as:

1. incomplete metadata. In a lot of cases the only information available is the filename, which always has the artist and song title, but occasionally has instances of track number, album title and genre. I've started using the excellent mp3tag, which has the "filename to tag" function, allowing metadata fields to be filled in based on information in the filename. Just right-click on the file, select the function you want (it also does "tag to filename", etc), select or enter the format of the filename info (eg, "%artist% - %track% - %title%"), then it will fill in the relevant fields. It works not just on mp3, but also on m4a, and FLAC formats.

2. inconsistent information. In some cases it can be as simple as some files missing a '.' at the end of the name, ie, N.E.R.D vs N.E.R.D. In some cases some files in the same album are tagged with a different genre. Or some, but not all files have a particular field filled in.

3. audiobook mp3s not identified as audiobooks by itunes/ iPod. This could be just because I've been to lazy to actually read up on the iPod documentation - which is probably in the CD that came in the iPod box - but I didn't know that your files need to end in *.m4b so iPod treats them as audiobooks and excludes them from any song shuffling that might occur. I've just been putting up with getting the occasional audiobook track mixed in when I select Shuffle Songs and just clicking to the next song. The problem is, the audiobooks I have are in mp3 format. So I need to convert them to AAC, then rename their file extension to *.m4b.

Thursday, 25 May 2006

Interesting linkies

Stateful programmatic web browsing in Python -

Using Wikipedia and the Yahoo API to give structure to flat lists -

Building bubble up folksonomies -

Yahoo Term Extraction Service -

Constructing Web Services with the Globus Toolkit (grid related) -

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Okay, let us start collating our linkies

Til Opera is able to export a session and save it online somehow, I'll just have to do it the old-fashioned way.. create a blog entry for the links.

Top 10 OSS Games you've never played -

So maybe Al Gore did kinda invent the Intarweb -

Kinda like - Info Q

The latest thing to catch my fancy - Self help stuff ala-Anthony Robbins and subliminal messages. Yay

I still haven't been able to download the damn thing - but Starlords is just geek dream come true -- LOTR AND STAR WARS mashup

BBC Podcasts

Google Video Top 100 -- check out Alizee at - -arrrgh!! I think she's dropped out of the list.. anyway, find her stuff at

Interesting essay about contemporary design - much noise signifying nothing - kinda like what happened to surrealism, which was originally rooted in the subconscious. But now everyone's a surrealist!

Clean up that metadata before loading your iPod! You won't regret it and mp3 tag is one of the best

While you're at it, add some cover art to your albums as well.

Additional iPod linkies -, ripping audiobooks, converting audio formats, importing audiobooks. I should really read the iPod instructions one of these days. At least set it up so Richard Clarke doesnt intrude on your shuffled songs, dude! "President Bush and Condi Rice stood in the Oval Office..." -- bla bla... Aaaargh! really destroys the mood you've just gotten into after hearing The Cramps' "She Said".

Gad. Doncha hate it when geeks start posing like they're in GQ? Those WROX Books set a baaaad example!! I hope O'Reilly never ever gets rid of the animal line drawings. =)

Someday, I will fill in this big gap of blog posts between February and May, when a lot actually did happen to me, including:

  • Philippines Trip, BenC's wedding, getting drunk for the 2nd time in my life (though didnt get photos of myself)

  • Girlie and Jasmine going home (wah!) and hopefully coming back later this year or next year

  • getting my wisdom teeth out, surviving on porridge and pumpkin soup for the first 4 days

  • reassembling and slightly upgrading my PC

  • oh, almost losing my hard drive and all my goddam photos

  • major RAID plans for the new PC, as a result of the hard drive scare

  • had the degustation dinner at Quay restaurant for my birthday

  • then Billy Kwong's for Lani's last nite (we got postponed last week as they were closed for a private function)

  • making the move to ADSL2+ and getting a 10x jump in bandwidth

Of course, these are in no order at all, and are just the first things to pop into my head!

Okay, time to go. This will make sense later, after much editing.

Tuesday, 7 February 2006

Delayed gratification

I was thinking of charging it a little bit while at work, so I could actually get to use it on the way home.

So I opened the outer box. Oooh. But this means when I get home and take pictures of the "opening" festivities, I would have to pretend I was opening it for the first time. It wouldn't be right! I couldn't bring myself to open the box itself.

Oh, let this moment last a little longer. Let it be near yet not in my grasp.

Self-denial. Just like any good Catholic. :)

The ipod arrived at work at 10.30am

So I cannot be reasonably expected to do any more meaningful work today. All brain cycles are now devoted to thinking of ipod accessories and what music to load on the device. ebay here I come.

Saturday, 28 January 2006

Songs about booty

Someday, I'll finish my compilation of "Songs about Ass":

A few that spring to mind:

Baby Got Back, Sir Mixx-a-Lot - Oh, the sheer poetry and insight. In just three lyrically dense stanzas, Professor Mixx-a-Lot touches on themes such as chivalry, positive affirmation of female self-image, differences in "black" and "white" aesthetics, cosmetic surgery, the differences in romantic approaches between "lovers" and "fighters", anorexia, the excessive influence of fashion media, the joy of backdoor coitus and booty, lots of booty.

Bootylicious, Destiny's Child - I honestly believe at this stage in my personal development, I truly am ready for that jelly.

Big Bottom, Spinal Tap - for the immortal line "the bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin'"

My Humps, Black-Eyed Peas - yes, apparently it's so annoying and uncool, but what do critics know? It gets me dancing (when there's no one around). This would also go into that other playlist called "Songs about Boobies" since she's also singing about her breasts in the song.

Little Red Corvette
, Prince - okay, it's arguable, but it *is* about him getting some ass. And near the end Prince sings "Girrrrl, you've got an ass like I never dreamed/ and the ride, I say, the ride is so sweeet/ you must be a limousine!"

Wide-Ass Whumping - I don't know who did this, I just downloaded it from somewhere. But it just goes "You got your wide-ass whumping/ bu-bump bu-bump!" over and over and over.

I need to get some more, though.

Places I've been to

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Wednesday, 25 January 2006

Kill those cane toads, but kindly

"In a bizarre twist, the RSPCA this week suggested residents try wiping haemorrhoid cream on the toad - to have an anaesthetising effect - then putting them into the freezer."

Thursday, 19 January 2006

Damir Dokic speaks!

Damir said it was Australia, rather than him, that was mentally suspect.

"Australia is a spoiled nation," Damir said.

"They can expect my revenge.

"I'm not crazy when I say this, they [Australia] are the crazy ones who give you hot sausages before the match when it's 40 degrees celsius outside." - Damir Dokic, possibly having had one too many...

Saturday, 7 January 2006

Oh the humiliation!

I feel pain, shock, horror. I am mortified.

Just did the What 80s Band Are You? quiz. This is what I got:

You're a sap. Either that or it's all just a way
for you to get some ass. You might have an
illegitimate child somewhere.

What band from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

And all along I answered those damn questions hoping I'd get someone cool, like Prince. Arrrrgh! The universe is clearly against me this Saturday.