Move along...Nothing to see...

August 2009

M*A*S*H DVD Menus are the best

M*A*S*H is my favorite TV series of all time and I typically watch the entire series at least a couple of times a year. One of the things that took me a while to notice was how well the DVD menus are. Each season has a different look and most incorporate scenes from the episodes in the episode sub menu. Fonts are different, they sometimes wrap to scene elements and in one case they are backwards.
I am including a couple of screen shots to make my point.

Here we see the menu tacked onto the ring and it almost looks like it should be there

requiem for a lightweight

The topic for the episode, exchanging red for blue, is used as the menu. I like how they used both colors.

change day

This one is my favorite. In this episode Radar tries his hand at writing. I love how the font is backwards.

the most unforgettable characters

It seems to me this was the promise of DVD but very few movies and TV series really make use of the available media to make each disc unique.

Shadow Complex Completed!

I finished Shadow Complex last night. For those of you who don't know Shadow Complex is a 2D Platformer in 3D that uses the Unreal Engine. It's for the Xbox 360 and available via Xbox Live Arcade. It took me about 10 hours to finish it over three days on normal level.

This is the only game I can remember in a long time that as soon as I finished it I wanted to play it again! Luckily the game rewards this. When you start another game you continue at the level you finished at.

For my second play through I am playing on hardcore level. I am also striving for 100% completion. I had 68% completion on my first play through.

The game costs 1200 points which is about $15. The download size is 800MB. I guess the original 200MB limit is no more.

So if you have a Xbox 360 do yourself a favor and play this game!

My Top Mac Apps

My Favorite Machintosh Applications. In no particular order.

  • Transmit/Candybar/Coda/Unison
    File transfer (FTP, SFTP, Amazon S3), Icon management, Web development, News reader.

  • MacPorts
    Source based package managment system for OSX. Bringing a huge variety of UNIX/LINUX applications to the Mac.

Facebook iPhone App – Goodbye you piece of crap!

Today marked the third time I attempted to use the Facebook iPhone app to comment on someone else's status only to have it fail due to an error and loose my comment.

Golden rule: Don't lose data!

So I deleted it today. Not worth putting energy into it only to see it flushed. At the very least it should keep the comment around in some sort of draft state so it can be dealt with later but to just lose it is ridiculous.

I am very close to closing my Facebook account anyway since I get no value out of it at all. Zero.

Facebook no more

Well I did it. I quit Facebook today. Some of reasons are trite and some are well reasoned.

Let me first say that I like all my friends and love to hang out with them in the real world. Being connected to them on Facebook wasn't really real to me. I didn't feel any closer to them. I didn't feel like I didn't need to see them because we are connected on Facebook.

I also didn't really care what they were doing. Don't get me wrong I like my friends and am glad I have them but I don't really want to know the minutia of their lives. When I finally do see them or talk to them there is nothing to say because I know everything!

From my perspective most folks were more interested in playing Mafia Wars and other games like it, taking quizzes or promoting their latest cause.

Things I am interested in:

  • Marriages

  • Divorces

  • New Babies

  • New Jobs

  • New addresses, phone numbers and email addresses

Other than the list above; I just don't care. Facebook did give me the above information but lost in a sea of crap.

Some of you might call me a hypocrite because I have a blog and I can accept that however I blog for myself; not caring if anyone else reads it. I think of my blog as a journal or diary. Something to look back on in the future and reflect.

Finally I am not saying Facebook is bad for everyone - just bad for me.

UPDATE (12/11/16): That didn't last long…

Windows 7 RTM – I am now running it.

I upgraded my Windows Vista Ultimate game system to Windows 7 Ultimate this weekend. Overall the system feels faster and I like the new taskbar. I really like the "snaps" feature that allows you easily tile two windows together.

What I didn't like was they took away the Aurora screen saver - it was my favorite of any platform. Luckily I found it online.

My CPU doesn't support hardware virtualization so I can't run XP mode; oh well.

The upgrade took about four hours.

Tech Support: 1; Me: 0

I have a Brother laser printer and it recently quit working. I tried everything I could but it just would not print. It was also just a week outside the one year warranty so I thought I was screwed.

I avoided calling tech. support because I have never had luck with it. I am a Linux System Administrator and self-confessed geek. I can certainly fix my own stuff! (XBOX 360 RROD not withstanding).

Well I am working from home today and finally decided to call and go through the process. I had too because I was considering buying another printer and wanted to make sure I explored all my options.

So I call and was talking to a human at Brother in about three minutes after telling the computer what model I had.

The nice lady had me turn off my firewall and print out the general settings. She asked me about one line on the sheet and I told her what it said. She then instructed me to the printer and changed that one setting.

All of a sudden my printer came to life spitting out test documents I had been throwing at it for the last hour.

Turns out somehow my printer got set to only listen to print requests on the parallel port and ignore the others. She just had me set it back to AUTO and all was well.

Total call time: seven minutes.

So not only am I relieved that my printer is working and I don't have to buy another one but I am really happy I had such a great tech. support experience with Brother; makes me glad I chose them.

So sometimes the old dog can learn new tricks and sometimes tech. support can come through.

Tech Support: 1, Me: 0.