Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordpress Is Winning Me Over

I think Wordpress is winning me over

It is quite simply, a far easier and far more intuitive tool than Blogger

There are some things over there that Blogger could do that would tempt me into staying put, but I doubt they are very likely.

As it stands I will probably continue to write on both for the time being, but I can't see that lasting very long, unless I get really inspired and end up having one or the other dedicated to a specific topic.

I Have Too Much Time On My Hands

I keep starting things that I can't finish, or that there is no point in starting.

I am currently testing out, to see if their blogging tools are easier to use than those provided here with blogger (a.k.a. the evil google). Check out my test blog -

Why? Because I have time on my hands, no readers here, and I'm bored.

I'm also thinking about buying a domain name and getting a free webhost to see how that might go. It is cheap enough these days to buy a domain name that almost everyone can afford one. Even a dole bludger like myself.

Aside from that I still have my projects on the go. Still researching the best/easiest to setup OS for a file/print/media server. Awaiting delivery of a wireless bridge (can you believe there was not one in any shop I visited) to hook my new Xbox/Media Centre into the network.

I have a couple of personal (read: not worth telling people about) projects on the go, so I have plenty to do, but still way too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lifehacker Will Be The Death Of Me

I have only recently discovered the tech tips and tricks/productivity blog lifehacker, but its already killing me. There is such a huge variety of small projects, tech tips, freeware downloads, and general advice for getting things done (they love David Allen's productivity framework "Getting Thins Done"), that it is just going to kill me. In the last hour I have gone from organising my harddrive to organising my filing cabinet, to eliminating cord clutter to building a linux based media server (which is actually one thing I really want to do).

There is just so much to read and do and download on that website it boggles my mind sometimes.

I don't even really understand my attraction to it. I am a lazy, disorganised slob, who tends not to care too much about clutter and mess, so it is almost as though I am reading it just for the sake of having something to read.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Patience Is A Virtue

And apparently its a virtue I do not possess.

My poker play had been going so damn well of late, and then I started to think I was a better player than I am. I play daily in a couple of tournaments that are pretty big, field wise. Recently I cashed in both of them.

The first was the $100 Freeroll, that has 2700 entrants, and pays places 1-27. I finished in 26th place. Being a freeroll tournament, the prizes are nothing spectacular, but I was nonetheless proud of myself for having the patience and the stamina required to cash in the tournament.

The second tournament I cashed in was "The Ferguson". This is a $1 tournament that runs daily at Full Tilt Poker, and usually attracts between 900 - 1500 entrants. I play it whenever I can (my account doesn't always have money in it due to poor bankroll management). The day I cashed, there were 1130 entrants and I finished in a rather paltry 118th place. Seems like a pretty ordinary place to get paid, but the standard of players is higher in "The Ferguson" due simply to the fact that you need to buy-in with real money.

As a result of these two placings, I felt like my play was getting better. Well, to be honest, my play is getting better, just not as much as I thought. Tonight I finished the $100 freeroll in 1679th place. Terrible. I was playing well to, until I made a move I would never have made before, thinking that my play was getting better and it was the right move to make. It wasn't and I did my chance at cashing again.

I guess I will just have to wait until tomorrow and give it another go, and making only plays I am comfortable with making.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Web 2.0?

Can someone please explain to me what this Web 2.0 business is? From my understanding it is basically an increased level of interactivity with the internet, and other users. I guess what that means to me is that web 2.0 encapsulates a whole lot of what we all do on the internet without realizing it.

The internet used to be static. You would put something online, and people could read/look at it, take what they wanted, and continue on their merry way surfing the internet. These days we have things like Facebook and Myspace (both of which I am an avid user), social bookmarking tools (i.e. and the like), blogs and things such as second life (which I can honestly say I have never even contemplated using, let alone looked at/explored what it does). You can interact with people in a much more personal manner, and let your opinions be known without having to know how to design a website from scratch, and without knowing a dozen different web languages.

I’m only just beginning to understand the uses for certain aspects of the new internet. In particular I am only just beginning to get to know social bookmarking, specifically I have tried to gain an understanding of it a number of times (I am sure that I have about 10 accounts there), but have never quite been able to integrate it into my daily internet activity. I can understand the uses for it to some extent. It allows you to organize your bookmarks in a much more meaningful way than internet explorer ever will (yes I still use IE, and version 6 no less – I don’t like the new interface or tabbed browsing), and the ability to share your bookmarks with others via the internet, and even remote access to your bookmarks if you are at another computer.

I still can’t get used to using it though. I am much more likely to simply ctrl+D a webpage I want to come back to, and organize my favorites at a later time. It is limiting, but it is what I know, and that makes it much more comfortable to me. I guess that in the end that’s what my lack of understanding of Web 2.0 comes down to, a lack of ability to adapt to the new internet, and almost a fear of it. I can see the uses to it, but I am too comfortable in my habits to want to change.

I guess in the end though, I will have to adapt if I want to keep up with the technologies out there.

Project Update 2

Okay, so a further update on my projects.

I have successfully softmodded my Xbox, and am now running XBMC on it. It would be fantastic if I had a wireless bridge, so that I could hook it up to the network and internet. Once I get that sorted it will be a killer machine.

Onto the server and I haven't made any progress at all except to say that I have finalised my specs for it.

I have an old system that I will be using as the basis.

AMD Athlon 1.4 GHz CPU
Asus Motherboard
Onboard sound and graphics (pity I can't get rid of the sound)
500Gb IDE HDD (7200 RPM)
Cheap NIC (10/100 Ethernet - looking to possibly upgrade to Gigabit)
Standard PSU - if I can work out how to underclock the CPU then I can hopefully install a smaller PSU.

Now I just have to work out what OS to use (I am thinking a dedicated Linux server OS, but I'm not sure of compatability issues with XP), and how to install everything.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Project Updates

So if you have been reading this, youwould know all about my projects to build my own version of the Xbox Mini, and a print/file server (but I want it to be sweet!).

A couple of updates on these.

Xbox Mini - This has been completely changed as of about 10 minutes after I wrote about the project on here. Turns out that if I only softmod my Xbox (not installing a modchip) then I won't be able to put it all in a custom box, and change certain aspects of the hardware. At this stage I am not comfortable enough with the idea of, and workload pertaining to, installing a modchip, so I am just gonna stick with the stock box once I manage to get a softmod on the thing. So as of right now, the only modifications I will be making is a new default dashboard (menu screen that the Xbox boots to), and installation of XBMC.

Print/File server - I haven't really done any work on this, because I can't seem to find any decent tutorials on how to do it well. I could just install Windows XP, and play around with it, but thats not what I want to do. I want to have a custom OS running on it (which means Linux), and have it be a dedicated server that cannot function as anything else basically. As I said, I wanna shove as many HDD's in there as possible to maximise storage capacity.

If anyone has any ideas on new projects for me, feel free to drop me an email at the link to the right, or leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New Projects

I have two new computer bsaed projects I plan to build.

Basically what I am going to do is softmod my Xbox to run XBMC (Xbox Media Centre) and build a new case for it (with a bigger HDD, a slimline DVD, and infrared reciever for a universal remote/wireless controller) based around the two things that have inspired this in me:

The Xbox Mini
The AppleTV (I'm not gonna give a link - just google it if you don't know what it looks like)

I also want to give it wireless networking capabilities and install and LCD in the front to show time elapsed/time remaining on media file.

Thats really about it as far as the Xbox goes. My other project is kind of lame to follow that with. I am going to build a file/print server PC. I can't seem to find a whole lot of good information out there on this, all the E-Hows and stuff are just ridiculously uninformative, and I can't seem to find a good forum dealing with this topic.

Ideally what I want to do with this is to use an old system I got given (I think its a Pentium III system), rip all the unnecessary bits and pieces out of it (sound card, graphics card floppy drive and the like), and jam as many huge HDD's as I can in there so that I can stream media to my new media centre, and any other computers I choose, as well as acting as a print server (currently I have shared a local printer on the desktop to print from anywhere). I will probably also want to underclock the processor, and if possible, install a smaller PSU to reduce power consumption.

Some other ideas I have for this project are to include a torrent downloader to download files into their respective places on the file server, and set one HDD aside for automated system backups of all networked systems in the house.

I guess that one is actually starting to look like a pretty intense project in itself too.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My First Attempt At Stencil Art

I have lately become fascinated with stencil art. It seems simple enough, but in reality it can be quite a difficult thing to master. Because at this point I lack the skills to make a stencil from scratch, I stole an image off of Bones And Skulls and used it for a stencil. Here it is. My first effort at stencil art.

A New Addiction

I have become addicted to writing reviews on iTunes.

God only knows why. I never pay for music through iTunes (if ever), and no-one reads the things anyways.

I am confident that it will only be a short-lived addiction.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Scribe - Rhymebook

It seems to me to be a little late to write about this album, however a copy of it has made its way into my possession and I feel compelled to write my thoughts.

Being a staunch headbanger from way back, the prospect of listening to hip-hop seems a little less enjoyable than fronting up for an enema, yet I am still willing to give most reccomended albums a go. I'm willing to do this for a number of reasons. Mostly because I am always looking to increase my musical horizons beyond that which I already love, and also because my friends have such diverse tastes in music, I want to be able to contribute to any conversation intelligently.

With that I mind, I sat down armed with a bottle of "V" energy drink and started Rhymebook spinning in my cd player. I will admit that I was very hesitant about this album, based almost entirely upon the MC's breakout single "Not Many", which was typical of most of the hip-hop that was being released at the time - that is self-posturing, self-important rhymes spat over the top of a beat that irritated my ears. After hearing the first song off Rhymebook I thought I would be in for more of the same. However, as soon as the second single "Don't Look Back" hit my ears, I knew I was in for something special. I may not know a whole lot about hip-hop, but I do know that my favourite kind of songs are introspective, and about things that have affected the artist personally, not their ego's. The rest of the album follows in much the same suit, with introspective lyrics, set on top of the kind of beats that you could ride away to a better, calmer place upon.

With that I am hooked. I have since gotten a hold of Scribe's previous release - "The Crusader",, and discovered that it too is quite a good album, not up to scratch compared to "Rhymebook" but quite an enjoyable release nonetheless.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Answer

BURNING! All the memories
Of you and me
And I’ll stare into the flames and wonder
“How’d it go so wrong?”

But the answer is too simple and
I can only blame myself for this

AT NIGHT! When the seizures rack my body
I pray to a God I don’t believe in
To forgive myself,
And forget all these things that I’ve done

But the answer is too simple and
I can only blame myself for this

I WAGE! A battle with this dying light
But my wrists are broken
And I can’t fight


But the answer is too simple and
I can only blame myself for this
But the answer is beneath my skin
But the answer is just killing me

But the answer is just killing me
But the answer is just killing me

Monday, January 28, 2008

Play Chips Are Ruining My Life

I play a hell of a lot of online poker, and lately I seem to have increased the amount of time I play greatly. I'm a decent player, and almost never fail to finish in the top 15% of any tournament I enter, depending on the cards I get, and the mood I'm in.

When I'm playing well, you can almost guarantee that I will make it to the final table every time I play. But that seems to be my problem of late. I am catching a really bad run of cards, and can't seem to make a hand whatsoever. I'm still finishing in the top 15-20% almost every tournament I play, but mostly that is due to making lots and lots of folds, and never chasing a hand to showdown, in the hope of hitting something.

It is starting to impact on my play though, and I am playing way to many marginal hands, and even when they hit, I am making the wrong moves more often than not.

As a result of this, I am not playing for money at the moment, but with play money. I'm doing this for two reasons, firstly, to protect my bankroll, and secondly, to try and ride out the bad run of cards, and when I start getting a more even distribution of cards then I will step up to real money again.

But I am getting increasingly frustrated with playing with play money due to the fact that most of the players only treat it like a bit of fun, and just move all in whenever they get the chance. I realise that I should expect this, but being so used to playing for real money, and the way that people actually care about their chips, I tend to expect all players to do the same.

After all, if you want to improve, there is no point in not playing in a manner that will serve you well if and when you start playing for real money. I guess thats my big gripe about play money tables and tourney's. Its so easy to just reload your free play chips that people don't care, and as such will never become decent players.