Life On The 48th Floor

Water boils faster up here. It\’s true!

Something Worth While?

One morning, not too long ago, I woke up feeling really rotten, feeling like I was going to die shortly. My insides felt rotten, my head pounded and my feet felt like there were long, rusty, iron nails in them.

Somewhere in the haze of discomfort and pain, it occurred to me. What if my life had indeed just been to serve as a warning to others, just like that thing I read on the Internet. Y’know, that one. From somewhere in that email forwarded a dozen times.

Now, wouldn’t that be cool. I could deal with that. Heck, I could make it into something. Got me thinking, it did. Maybe I could do this website thing. Short but meaningful description of what I had done (or not) and how you, Mr Reader, could make your life just that bit better by heeding the warning.

Oh wait, it can get better. Other folks can come visit and tell their stories too. Share their tales of their life gone wrong and why one shouldn’t do what they done. Whoa. I was on to something.. something worthwhile.

And it hit. Yeah! Somethingworthwhile.com!

So I fired up the browser and hit it.

Except that someone else got the domain.

And had done something to it.

Here’s what I saw.

“Here’s something worthwhile for”
“Friday December 29 2006”

“Joke”

“You’re going to die”

I am so screwed.

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30 December 2006 Posted by | Musings | 1 Comment

The Guild’s Website

has gone away. More accurately, it’s moved away from my box under the table to a commercial host. (I’ll write about them some other time.)

The new site is at http://www.yougotaggro.com.

Like its predecessor, it’s fronted by WordPress. I am wondering now if that’s the best decision. The newer content systems like Mambo and PHP-Nuke can do stories and forums on the same piece of software. Together is better cos there’re fewer logins to manage. However, I’m sure some WordPress expert will tell me that WP is perfectly capable of performing anything Mambo and/or Nuke can do. We’ll see.

Again, I have phpBB and eqdkp providing forums and dkp tracking respectively. Additional features are being added. The last one was ItemStats for phpBB.

9 September 2006 Posted by | Musings | 1 Comment

The Logitech G15 Keyboard

has been removed from its box and plugged into the computer. Yay. Finally. It’s time to celebrate by consuming lots of alchohol and red meat.

But.

Yeutch.

Small keys.

There are some other things about it that I don’t quite like but I can’t place it. More later when I have awoken up properly.

We silly adopters of Logitech version 1 products…

10 August 2006 Posted by | Musings | 2 Comments

Earth is Tiny

and Antares is pretty big.

http://www.rense.com/general72/size.htm

2 July 2006 Posted by | Musings | Leave a comment

Googling for Socks

and no, I don't mean online comparison shopping for socks. Is 5 years to soon to expect stuff like that?

My "now" mindset is absolutely against Google indexing stuff in my apartment (let's just forget the bit about how they're gonna do it ya?) unless .. it's just a Google-branded box sitting IN my apartment and I have proof (don't need to understand all of it, just knowledge that it's there) that my socks are really not Google-able from anywhere else.

Come to think of it, that would be pretty neat. I know of someone who would really like to find a beta Black Lotus that may be in his apartment.

15 June 2006 Posted by | Musings | Leave a comment

Speeds

started at 1200/2400 bps. That meant 1200 bps fax and 2400 data. It was the late 80's. It was a dinky little metal-cased box; the brand was Atrie (ZOMG, Google it! They're still around!) and it supported MNP4 (whatever that means). No Internet, no MMOs, no torrents; just bulletin boards. There was the Elite by Peter whats-his-face, and Lothlorien by Mark something-or-other. Everyone was simply elated to be able to continue chatting after we all went home.US Robotics 14.4

After getting hopelessly addicted, that got upgraded to 14,400 bps. The US Robotics Sportster (first generation). It was cutting edge, no, bleeding edge. It was the King of modems. It outperformed every other tooting and whistling box out there. It was also $800. That's another ponderous bit. I have no idea how I funded that. It must have been very early 90's. Still no Internet but downloads from BBS's were getting popular. What it was I downloaded then isn't clear. There were no MP3's, no episodes of TV series, no movies to be downloaded.USR Courier 28.8

The 28,800 USR Courier was ushered in with Pacific Internet. This was the mid-90's. Setting up an ISP in Singapore meant putting up a 1.5 mil deposit with somebody. (As far as I know, that rule still applies. So much for becoming a reseller.) SingNet came first (of course they did, they always do) but PI gave us choice in user names. This was the era of Real-Audio, usenet and Anime. It became possible to put 100 songs onto a single music CD but that's another story. Usenet became a major preoccupation for me. There was money to be made off Magic the Gathering.

In the early PI days, it was reasonably costly to get connected. There were 3 or 4 plans, all of which were hideously expensive. That's for someone who was online almost 24/7. I was elated when the $100-all-you-can-eat unlimited access plan came into being. Only phone charges were unbounded then.

Around this time also came Diablo. But that's another story.

Magix ATM came next in the late 90's. (Yea, consumer ATM connection rules!) It was expensive as hell ($180 a month?), required new hardware, new software. I had a unique IP address! Downloads came in fast and hard. 4 concurrent download streams of 250+kbps. Napster, Audiogalaxy, DC++ all lived on my computer at one time and they did their jobs happily there. Magix also came with certain perks, like Dawson's Creek season 1 on demand.

Around this time MaxOnline became available, and it being the significantly cheaper option made me give it a spin. (A spin here meant an 18 month contract, if memory serves). As it turns out, this (DSL) was mostly comparable to ATM. OK so I had to deal with slow start but download and gaming quality was not compromised. After figuring that d2jsp botting wasn't compromised also, I terminated Magix.

Over the last couple of years, the MaxOnline plan got upgraded through 3mbps to 6.5mbps.

Which leads to the point of this post. Starhub's coming this Friday to upgrade my line to 30mbps.

7 June 2006 Posted by | Musings | Leave a comment

Piracy rampant on eBay

It's pretty obvious, yeah but I wanted to remind myself of this source when searching for lost TV episodes of stuff.

Example: X-Men the Animated Series and X-Men Evolution, Justice League, Batman Beyond

Sellers seem to come and go (aka get banned by eBay) all the time so none of them will have any significant amount of positive feedback.

This is funny:

Q: A REAL DVD set was never released. So, how can this be a real licensed set? Unless it's from overseas.
A: It's not a production studio set. My supplier acquired the license to release these dvd's. They are not studio produced, just produced under license.

Kinda like money laundering? Somehow asserting legitimacy (and probably using a DVD surface printer) one can convert these sets.

2 June 2006 Posted by | Musings | 1 Comment

Good guy torture vs bad guy torture

Ok I'll admit it. One of the big reasons I watch 24 is to monitor the progression of interrogation methods allowed to the good guys. The bad guys usually have no such limitation (except for the purposes of acquiring a PG rating).

Season 5 of 24 presents some of that progress. Here are some of the methods now allowed to the good guys:

1. Shooting a loved one (of the baddie; in this case, wife) in the middle inner thigh + verbal threat to shoot again that will result in "permanent disability". I liked this one. In the past, loved ones were always out of bounds, it seems. This method is probably far more useful than any other interrogation mechanisms. 

2. Chemical interrogation by the introduction of drugs (possibly Sodium Amytal) intravenously. Strange one here in the series because the drug seems to cause a fair bit of physical discomfort. I think this is a 'grey area' method but it doesn't lend itself well to a craving of violence on screen. It's not exactly violent. I know that things are being done to the person but it's not the same. I think this type of interrogation may be more attractive to the BDSM/druggie crowd.

3. White noise + sensory deprevation. Again, this is pretty BDSM.

"24" has always been a decent watch, especially when most/all the episodes are watched back-to-back. Season 5 is no exception. We have here also a tribute to the weak and stupid US president stereotype.

31 May 2006 Posted by | Musings, TV | 1 Comment

Figuring out Moveable Type’s relativity to WordPress and the horrible typo strikes back

Having signed up for 30-day trial of the highest plan on typepad, the counter has started. Perhaps it was poor timing, my blogging now has to compete for bandwidth with Azureus and the Acoustic Energy box. Any case the Starhub upgrade should kick in some time during the week so I reckon it should be fine.

First thoughts of MT – slow (see above). The much vaunted functionality didn't make itself obvious and after about an hour of tinkering, I remain to be convinced. More work to be done on this at some point in time.

MT imports from blogger easily but I couldn't be bothered to make it import from WP. We'll see if/when there's a need to do so. Hence far, this much was clear. I'm not going back to blogger.

This morning, I gave myself a near heart attack when apparently most of my posts on WP disappeared. It was the typo. Again. I missed out 44 floors when I first signed up with WP and 48th became 4th. That was rectified but that initial attempt wasn't deleted til much much later.

WP makes much its functionality visible, and that provokes usage. I don't see that in MT. Yet.

More later.

29 May 2006 Posted by | Blogging, Musings | Leave a comment

Thoughts on exercise

(Stolen from http://happinessproject.typepad.com/happiness_project/2006/05/this_wednesday__3.html)

Always exercise on Monday. This sets the psychological pattern for the week.

Never skip exercising for two days in a row. You can skip a day, but the next day, you must exercise no matter how inconvenient.

DON’T link exercise to weight loss as a way to motivate yourself. Although it’s quite true that people who exercise regularly are far more likely to keep weight off, you’ll find yourself justifying missing your run by turning down two Saltines. And if you don’t lose weight easily (who does?), you’re likely to give up exercise as futile.

Give yourself credit for the smallest effort. My father always said that all he had to do was put on his running shoes and close the door behind him.

Think about context. I thought I hated weight-training, but in fact, I hated the weight-training area of my gym. Do you try to run in the mornings, but recoil from going out in the cold? Do you hate the loud music in your gym? Is your work-out so exhausting that you can’t face the rest of your day? Re-think your choices.

You must exercise frequently. If you think you’re staying in shape by joining games of pick-up basketball, you should be playing four or five times a week. Twice a month isn’t enough.

If you don’t have time both to exercise and take a shower, find exercise (weight-training, yoga, walking) where in many cases you don’t need to shower afterward.

Look for affordable ways to make exercising more pleasant or satisfying. Could you upgrade to a nicer gym? Buy yourself a new iPod? Work with a trainer? Get a pedometer? (they’re only $25). Exercise is a high life priority, so this is the place to spend some money if that helps.

Think of exercise as part of your essential preparation for times you want to be in especially fine form—whether in performance (to be sharp for an important presentation) or appearance (to look good for a wedding) or mood (to deal with a stressful situation). Studies show that exercise does help.

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, i.e., don’t decide it’s only worth exercising if you can run five miles or bike for an hour. I have a friend who never exercises unless she’s training for a marathon.

Beware of magical thinking:
 Having a gym membership doesn’t mean that you go to the gym, and owning a yoga mat doesn’t mean you practice yoga.
 Just because you were in shape in high school or college doesn’t mean you’re in shape now.
 Saying that you don’t have time to exercise doesn’t make it true.

25 May 2006 Posted by | Exercise, Musings | 1 Comment