STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Apple are funny

I was surfing Apple's website to have a look at whether they have Macs with Intel processors in them yet, and I stumbled accross this page. On this page, it compared a Mac with a Dell PC for graphic performance, and they used Halo as a benchmark. Here's the graph of the results:

I mean, wow, look at that. A comparable system with a G5 processor is faster. That is, if it's comparable. Here's a quote from the fine, greyed out print under this image.
The iMac systems used 128 MB ATI Radeon 9600 graphics processors. The Dell Dimension 4700c used a 64 MB ATI Radeon X300 SE graphics processor.

So the Dell system had a lower-model graphics card with half the RAM. Now there's a fair comparison. I haven't even investigated the speed of the Dell processor (I'm not going to bother), but it would seem to me that seeing as how you can put any graphics card into a Mac or PC now, it would have been a much fairer test to set both machines up with the same quantity of RAM, same graphics processor and same graphics memory. But are we interested in fair comparisons? Obviously not.

This isn't so much a Mac-hack as just a general advertising/corperate garbage hack. I just wish people would be honest, you know? Sell the thing on it's selling points. Don't mention it's shortfallings - that's fine. But just don't pretend it's something it's not.

Domain rename

Sorry people, but this is going to be a technical post. I'm just kind of "thinking out loud" and thought I'd put it on here so the tech-savvy amongst my readers can comment if they have stuff to contribute.

Currently at my work, we have a single forest, single domain Active Directory infrastructure. Simple, easy and now fast becoming impractical. Why is that? Well, we took the advice of Microsoft's deployment guides and set up an isolated internal domain (stpauls.lan) and then our external domain name ( is just setup in DNS using a normal zone file. Nothing wrong with any of this, and it's worked fine for a long time.
The problem becomes that some new services we're setting up aren't happy about this arrangement. For starters, our users don't know what this "stpauls.lan" business is all about. They don't know that their actual usernames include "@stpauls.lan" on the end of them. They're just happy with knowing two bits of info - their samid, and their email address. This is one of the primary reasons I want to rename our domain. Because then, their email address is their logon ID. Handy. Especially when our SharePoint Portal is assuming when a user authenticates with their samid externally, that it should tack "" on the end of it. Why does it do this? Well, the URL for the portal is within that realm. So it assumes users authenticating are within that same realm. Not good for the average user. They don't understand why it's not working. I need to fix that.
The other thing is that I'm in the process of planning to deploy Live Communication Server 2005. It does this wonderful thing called "federation" where users can connect from outside the local network. Only problem is, that LCS requires a SRV record in your DNS for SIP (YAY!!! 3 letter acronyms GALORE!), and that SRV record has to resolve to a host within the same DNS zone. So for example, if a user's SIP address is, and the server is rtc.stpauls.lan, it's not going to work. The client will look for the SIP SRV record in the realm, when actually the server is in the stpauls.lan realm. Not only that, but if you created a SIP SRV record in the realm that pointed to rtc.stpauls.lan, it wouldn't work because the SRV record needs to resolve to a host in the same realm. Craphouse, hey.
So yeah, basically I want to rename the domain. I have some minor concerns about this. One of these concerns is whether we have applications that have the domain statically stored in them. Another concern is whether client machines will update their domain membership after the rename, or whether I'll have to reattach our 400+ clients. Another concern if this will all just go belly up and I'll be so increadibly stuffed... :(
Ah well, you gotta do what you gotta do. Anyone who's had any experience in this, please let me know.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sickety sick sick

Have I mentioned how much I despise being sick? No? (Actually, yes. But that would make the post rather boring, so I'm going with "no")
I've got this nasty cold thing. You know the kind - lots of snot, sneezes, coughing and a general feeling of "ARRRGHHHHH!!! GET BETTER ALREADY!!!!" As a result I'm not going to work. I missed Friday, went on Monday because I heard there was some work I desperatley needed to fix up, missed today (Tuesday) and I'm not going tomorrow. I've also missed two trips to the gym as well. Oh, and work on Monday probably means that my workmates will be sick shortly as well. My boss (well, his wife) just had a new baby girl, so that's not going to be so handy for him.

OK, this post is really quite boring. Sorry about that. I'm going to go and eat some comfort food now. I'm already drugged to the eyeballs and it's not doing me any good... I'll post something more interesting when I'm well again.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Facts about w00t.

Here's some stuff I learned today:
  1. w00t is becoming more common. Today, a 16y.o. girl at my work who isn't known to be a gamer sent an email containing the word "wh00t!" Although this spelling is a slight bastardisation, it's still w00t!
  2. According to a contest on Merriam-Webster Online, "w00t!" is the third most popular word used in popular culture that is not in the dictionary.
  3. The emoticon "\o/" apparently means "w00t!" I had no idea.
  4. Some clever person created a "backronym" of w00t! for use in FPS games, which is: We Owned the Other Team. This person should be found and shot.
  5. Wikipedia maintains that w00t originally came from a rap song called "Whoot, there it is" which was released around the same time as the closely-named "Whoomp, there it is" - which was by a different artist. The second song I've heard of, but the first is news to me. Anyway, i'm not really seeing this as the birthplace of w00t!
  6. That's it. All done.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Lost in Translation

Being an avid anime fan, and also being a general "all things Japanese" otaku, I'm pretty interested in how my Japanese stuff is translated into English. Some of you might be thinking: "What do you mean? Isn't translation just translation?", and to you I say "あんたはとても馬鹿だよ!" (Can't see the Japanese? Install the Asian fonts, you baka gaijin!)
It's funny that this rant was prompted by a simple mistranslation. For ages, I've had the soundtrack to the game Final Fantasy IX on my computer. The ending of this game is a happy one, and as a result, the ending theme is an exciting and joyful orchestral piece that is by no means sinister. However, the title of this track was listed as "Toward that hate", which seemed entirely inappropriate. As it turns out, the word "hate" should have actually been "door" and the word "Toward" would have been more accurately translated "Beyond". I'll tell you what - "Beyond that door" makes a HECK of a lot more sense then "Toward that hate". SOMEONE needs to work on their translation skills.
Anyway, the subject of this rant is more to do with the two different schools of though regarding translating entertainment from one language to another: direct translation and transliteration. You see, the anime I watch is translated in America, and then the rights to the video and soundtrack are sold to Madman, who then sells the DVDs to me. Now Americans, being a little on the slow side, like everything to be painfully obvious. Anyone who has seen the Mr. Bean movie will know what I'm talking about. The scene with the vomit bag on the plane? In the original English version of this skit, the screen goes black just as Mr. Bean pops the bag, leaving what happens as a result to your imagination. In the American-produced movie, when the bag pops there's a spray of yellow goop, and an additional sploshing sound, just so that every intricate detail is explained away for you.
This is the problem - the American companies who translate anime are on the transliteration side of the fence. They like to take what's said, assess it's intention, then then rephrase it with local colloquialisms. Now the problem is, that they do an incredibly shoddy job of it. This may mostly have to do with the fact that ADV, the primary producer of the anime I watch, is based in Dallas, Texas. Of all possible places in America that this stuff could be translated, that would have to be the worst. Texans all seem to be... well, a lot like our buddy George Dubbya. He's not real bright. I mean, what DOES sovereignty mean? Well, if the president of the US of A don't know, I can't see any use in me knowin'.
Anyway, there's not really any conclusion to this rant, other then me not liking the fact that basically all anime ever translated and recorded with English dialogue makes me cringe in fear. Thank goodness for DVD and selectable audio tracks/subtitles.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Let me try something...

Any of you interested, I'm trying running a ShoutCast server for a bit between like 8:30am and 4;00pm while I'm at work. Be aware, this is what I'm listening to, and I have a habit of hitting the "Next Track" key a lot.

You can connect by going here, and clicking "Listen".
You will need Winamp.

Give it a shot. Let me know if it doesn't work.

EDIT: OK, experiment over. Might be on in the future, but it occupied my computer a little more then I would like. Thanks for all who participated... :D

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Children and Evenings

Tonight, my wife and I were supposed to go to our bible study group. During the day, I'd chatted breifly with the guy who organises it, and I'd said we'd be there. My wife is always more excited about going then me, so I thought for sure that she'd be up for it, and I guess in a way she was. The problem is our 14-month old son. He's beautiful, and clever, and is growing everyday - but he's also probably the most difficult obsticle to going out that I've ever faced. Today, he didn't sleep all day. This isn't normal for him, and is a terrible sign of things to come for my wife, because shortly he'll be up pretty much all day every day, and she'll never get a break. Anyway, as for tonight, it meant that at about 6pm he went to bed. And that was it for us. No night out, no hanging out with friends doing stuff.
Kids, hey. You love them, but they do consume your life. Like right now: He's asleep, I don't need to do anything for him, and I can't play with him or anything, but at the same time he's consuming every second of my time. How bizaare is that?