Microsoft thoughts

You know, it’s hardly suprising that Microsoft have so many detractors. Sure, they’ve produced a user-friendly desktop environment that’s used by about 90% of the known universe, so they’re doing something right. It’s just that they seem to be trying to deliberately piss off non-MS users.

Take, for example, Hotmail. I use Hotmail for my main address – it’s a free service that’s fairly easy to use, however it would be so much easier (and more user friendly) if they stopped pissing about with Javascript. For some inexplicable reason they’ve disabled the ability to open links in a new tab in my favourite browsers (Firefox, Mozilla, Konqueror) by using the usual middle-button. Occasionally I can open in a new tab by using the right-click menu, but why would they do that? Why even use javascript on the links at all? Wankers.

It’s also really annoying how they encode all links within the emails so that they open within a new frame still “within” Hotmail, like they don’t want to let you go or something. Hello? Using a tabbed browser here! I can stay in Hotmail and visit other websites at the same time! Tossers.

It’s free, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much, but seeing as they’ve screwed up the site layout now too (after the last site redesign – it now sucks balls) I really should try out an alternative. Or just use my own mail address with this hosting.

Balls to Hotmail.

Most Haunted Series 4 – #7

This week’s episode saw the team return to Edinburgh to explore Mary King’s Close, a collection of streets and houses since built over since the plague struck in the 17th Century.

The place looked really creepy, and with it’s history of death (many plague victims perished within those streets) you’d think that something interesting would happen.

Nothing did, and I really can’t be arsed blogging about it much. There were some orbs, a Weegie guest medium called Derek who fell over and a flying teddy bear which wasn’t caught on camera. As usual.

Shite.

Buxton

carlton_buxton7.jpg Yesterday I played in a brass band contest in Buxton with my band Carlton Brass. We played Hollywood by composer Goff Richards, and won second prize behind hot favourites Diggle.

As you can see, by the time I took this photo Ray was a little inebriated, especially having drunk some of the port and brandy from the cup.

You can see the rest of the pictures in the gallery.

Jessica Anne

Welcome to the world Jessica Anne, my new niece! Isn’t she just lovely?

Mother and baby are doing fine, sister Hannah seems rather pleased with the new addition, although I’m not entirely sure how long that’s going to last. Father Phil is very proud.

No doubt this little ball of fun will develop into the usual riot of noise and smells, but she does look really cute in the photo.

Linux installed – again!

I can’t help myself sometimes but I can’t help but fiddle with stuff. I wanted more space for the root partition on my Mandrake installation and I figured that I could probably steal some more from my Windows partition. Well, after deleting about 1GB of files, including many unused applications and a few “educational” videos and images, I discovered that I couldn’t resize that partition from within DiskDrake.

So, I decided that this was because my Linux installation was still there, so as I’d only just installed it anyway I figured it wouldn’t take long to reinstall it again, delete the present Linux partitions and resize the Windows partition from within the installation tools.

I was wrong – even after deleting the Linux partitions the Windows one refused to reduce by even 1KB. It’s wedged on 3.3GB (or thereabouts) even though there’s about 1.5GB of free space on there. Bugger.

So, I reinstalled Linux again, stealing a couple of hundred MB from the swap space (probably not really a good idea, but what the hell) and that went OK. THe soundcard worked fine first time (I’d left the webcam disconnected this time which I think was cocking it up last time), the mouse still refused to install the generic wheel mouse (piece of shit!) and I remembered to alter the colour depth to 16bit. Everything went on OK.

I’ve been wanting to rip some of my CDs so that I can get a decent playlist going from my PC, hence my need for space. I’ve managed to get enough space available in Linux now for a CD-worth of cached ripped tunes, and I’m ripping the CDs to the Windows partition. Should be enough space there for plenty of rockin’ tunes until I get my new hard-drive sorted out.

Where there’s no sense there’s no feeling

I like Rugby League – I was brought up within a short walk of Headingley Stadium in Leeds, and so have a healthy interest in the Leeds Rhinos, and I’ve also had the chance to watch a bit of rugby this season so my interest has been re-piqued.

Rugby players are a hardy bunch, tougher than your usual football-playing big girl’s blouse anyway, however I was amazed by a story on the BBC website that told how one Widnes forward managed to get an opponents tooth lodged in his head, and he was so hard that he didn’t notice.

Read the full story HERE.

Most Haunted Series Four – #6

This week the Scooby Gang visited a small hotel in County Durham called The Manor House – a lovely looking former orphanage with a gruesome past.

Well, there didn’t appear to have been much of a gruesome past, but Derek Acorah found one anyway. He could feel the presence of a Malevolent male who had hung several people or children over the course of history, none of which was verifiable. For a change he didn’t come up with any names in this episode at all and what he did come up with was impossible to check, so you’d think this was one of the more disappointing episodes right?

Wrong – this one was a cracker and had one event that seemed rather convincing. In the early hours, Rick, Stuart and the other fat one with the goatee who’s name I can’t remember were holding a vigil in one of the bedrooms and they were getting spooked out by some flashing lights (not caught on camera). They started to goad this male spirit to show himself, and they nearly shat themselves when he appeared to! There was a huge bump which scared the shite out of the three burly guys, then for no reason at all the TV turned itself on. It wasn’t tuned into any channel, it just showed static. If there’s been a young blonde girl and ghostly voices this would have been straight out of Poltergeist the Movie!

Earlier on stuart (the other fat one with a goatee who’s name I can remember) held his own “vigual” in the basement and got a headache – so did I listening to his annunciation. The basement also held shocks for Yvette who nearly had kittens when she heard some sort of groan in her ear, something that no-one else managed to hear. The big girl.

There were orbs, there was Richard Felix going on about Poltergeists, there was a clipboard that seemed to throw itself on the floor, off camera of course. Derek got possessed and tried to throw a lamp without realising it was still attached to the wall – kind of spoiled the impact. Alternative medium Ian was more subtle and said “Fuck” a lot. It was an eventful episode and one that I enjoyed a lot, especially when Yvette started crying.

The TV incident was certainly interesting, Derek’s possession was as unconvincing as usual and Ian Lawman exorcised the house afterwards to get rid of the ghost, thus ruining any future revenue from ghost hunters and paranormal researchers.

They’ve still to catch something on camera, even after four series, but I shall wait patiently and enjoy the show for what I can get out of it. Entertainment.

It’s a girl!

This morning at about 07:30 UK time, my sister gave birth to my new niece, Jessica Anne. She was 7lb 3oz and so lazy that she was 10 days overdue. If her sister Hannah is anything to go by she’s going to be a little handful when she gets a bit older.

So, congratulations Julie and Phil on your new daughter! Rather you than me ;o)

Love Dave – proud Uncle

xxxx

Faith!

I’ve just spent Sunday evening down at the church, and I really enjoyed myself.

My band Carlton Brass were playing at Carlton Pentecostal Church, which is an establishment that has had some visits from our band before. Tonight’s event was a kind of celebration of St. George’s day (two days later) and general worship type stuff.

I was very amused most of the way through, in a good way. The church obviously has a modern-thinking Pastor, because the service was littered with comedy sketches, singing puppets and a faux “Who wants to be a Millionaire” competition, all of which were very funny. Now, if church was more like this then more people would go; hell, I would and I’m not a believer!

The whole thing was not preachy at all, they had an overhead screen for the hymns, there were plenty of young people in the congregation and it had a very modern, forward-thinking feel to it. They put across the Message without boring everyone to tears, and there was no sign of a tambourine.

They even put on food afterwards, and it was a really nice spread too. We’re playing a concert there again on the 22nd of May, so if anyone’s in the Nottingham area on that date and fancy listening to a Brass Band in a modern church environment, then come and visit.

Arsenal

Well, The Arse are Premiership champions for 2003/2004, and deservedly so. They’ve been utterly amazing through most of this season, and as a Leeds fan (even though I’m supposed to hate their guts) they bloody well deserve it. No-one has come close to them at all this season.

Now, if only half their team would would kindly die in time for next season, then that would be nice. Not that Leeds will be playing against them, I’m just a bad loser ;o)