DVD Creation Canceled

Filed Under Rants

No that is not a typo – that is the error message I keep getting from ProShow Gold v3.00.1974.

Why am I mentioning this? Well it is because apparently it is quite a common error message and the best advice I could get from the interweb was to disable an option within the program. I even looked on the ProShow Enthusiasts forum.

There are a few things about this that bother me.

  1. $80 for the full version. You can’t even spell your error messages correctly!
  2. It doesn’t work properly so rather than investigate what the problem was, you (and your enthusiasts) suggest just disabling a function.
  3. Emails to your tech support go unanswered 🙁

Now I’m not a software programmer – but the fact that disabling the function stops the problem, indicates to me a very good place to start looking. So I did. And the problem was with DirectShow (quartz.dll). Using SherlockCodec Sniper and DirectShow Filter Manager meant that I could correct the problem in a few minutes.

Now what are the chances that this is the same problem other people are having (since 2006)? Pretty good I guess because the problem relates to video thumbnails which use … video codecs like DirectShow … *sigh*

Yet you still expect people to spend their hard earned dollars/pounds/euros/smarties on your product when the problem has existed for over a year and emails to your techsupport are left unanswered? Let me explain to you what happens then- FrustratedUser(tm) gets hold of a debugger to try and track the damn error down himself. On the way to finding the problem he notices the registration routine and saves himself $80.

Of course, that didn’t happen here – honestly 🙂 It’s just a what-if type scenario. You know, like what would happen if you found the blacklist of names and serials in PLAINTEXT in a DLL (with a cunningly renamed extension … oh noes … wh4t j00 going to do now h4x0r?)


UberServer Update

Filed Under News, Rants

UberServer is nearly ready to go online. A little behind schedule but still … hey ho.

The main reason for the delay is the morons at NST who failed, quite spectacularly, in every department except the ChargingOfTheCreditCard. Promised delivery for the 19th, come the 26th it still wasn’t here. Getting a call back from Jamie Williams was like getting blood out of a stone.

It’s on its way… The Driver has it on his truck… The Driver is nearly there…
The Driver says there is too much traffic to make the delivery!!!

WTF? The Driver wants to get himself another job if the very presence of traffic deters him from doing his job. Alternatively Jamie, you should learn not to lie to your customers. Else we cancel our orders and then we get the bank to chargeback the credit card payment you took and that costs you extra money. All because you decide that returning customer’s money is not a priority before you fuck off on holiday!


Righty – how is UberServer looking? Hardware wise … pretty damn spanky even if I say so myself!

Here are some piccies of the birth of UberServer

Read more

1st Cunswuppy Supplier

Filed Under Rants

Already the UberServer has had it’s first delivery hiccup. I hoped to post about positive, happy, huggy things but no … this is not my lot in life.

So.. big shouts out to ebuyer who managed to accept my order for a UPS, then two days later send me this email :

Unfortunately the above item on your order, has incurred a price discrepancy, this is due to the item being wrongly advertised on our website, therefore cannot supply this item of the price previously advertised.
The new price excluding VAT is £600.00

I am aware that pricing discrepancies can happen. This is not my major gripe. Though I haven’t a clue what would have happened had I ordered next day delivery … I wonder if they would have come round and said … err, ummm, ooops, may we have it back please?

The problem I have is twofold. One is the 66% increase in price. That puts it from cheapest (and then, only by a few £) to completely and utterly ridiculous. The only reason they got the order in the first place was the free shipping and now they almost double the price! Secondly is the delay – they confirmed the order at 15:00 on the 10th, and finally tell me on the 12th that the price is wrong. Fair enough the price is wrong – but something, somewhere should have happened immediately allowing me to order from someone who had it in stock and are prepared to sell it to me at pretty much the same price.

if ($salesprice < $buyprice){ Alert($Someone, “Potential undercost sale”);}

Ebuyer, I salute you for your cunswuppery. It takes practice to be this shite.

On the other hand, competent companies such as TMC, deliver on time, on budget and ship exactly what they said they were going to ship. </plug>

I’m off to dribble over my server chassis. I’ve re-ordered the UPS from Scan – at a cost of £30 more including shipping. Not an ebuyer £197 difference.

Not entirely unsurprising really. Cunswups.

The Devil’s Used Tampon of a Hotel

Filed Under Rants

On our rescue mission to find the world’s cutest dog, and to visit Mrs bb’s father’s grave for Father’s Day, we were lucky enough to spend some time at The World’s Worst Hotel.

I think it was probably the people who worked there that made it such a shitty experience.

We had a meal in the restaurant when we arrived and there was this GodAwful screeching noise throughout the entire meal. It seemed to be the breakfast cabinet thinggy [please note – this is not the one in question, just a picture of one] which was empty yet still turned on. We asked if there was anyway we could stop this awful noise at which the waitress kindly replied “I don’t think so, it does it all the time”.

I’m sure it fucking does do it all the time you dozy bint, it’s because it is on all the time. Turn it off, piercing noise stops. Simple.

The next morning we came down to breakfast and had a full Welsh breakfast. This is apparently identical to a full English breakfast apart from the fact it doesn’t come with any sauces (tomato, brown etc). When we asked for tomato sauce the restaurant manager looked at us as if we were insane and said “We don’t do tomato sauce here”.

WTF? You are a restaurant. You are serving bacon, sausage, egg, beans, hash brown … and you won’t serve tomato sauce?

To make matters worse, now that the breakfast thinggy had something to cool, it was borderline ecstatic to have work to do and let us know by screeching all through the meal again. Imagine if you will trying to eat when someone is dragging their fingernails down a blackboard all the time 🙁

We had our morning showers (with a shower that went hot/cold/hot/cold and only came out of half of the head) and went about our business for the day. Wisely we ate out at a lovely Indian that evening.

We get back to our hotel room and find that since we were quite a way from the stairs, it was obviously too much effort for the maid to make it all the way down to our room and do anything, so we had no soap, no shampoo etc and the towels were still damp. As it happens, Mrs bb is very tidy so the room didn’t need making up.

We asked at reception for some more soap and shampoo but were told that this was, of course, impossible since they do not replace them when used. God help anyone who stays for longer than a few days and doesn’t bring their own supplies.

The next morning, as we went down to breakfast, you’ll never guess what we saw on a table just outside of the restaurant … a big bowl of tomato ketchup packets (and mayo, mustard etc)!!! The guy in the restaurant couldn’t be arsed to even tell us where to get some – he just flat out lied and said “no, we don’t do it”. We are fit, able bodied indivduals quite able to serve ourselves from the screeching banshee of a breakfast thinggy so would have had no problem fetching it ourselves if that was what was required to obtain some. But no, the lazy cunswup of a manager couldn’t even say “condiments are on the table over there”. You lazy fucking fuck.

It was at that point we had a revelation – the eternal screeching from the breakfast bar was not a noisy fan, nor were the pulses of hot/cold/hot water from the half functioning shower random.

The screeching was the noise of a 1000 tortured souls trying to get something that resembled service in the hotel industry’s equivalent of the Devil’s Asshole Devil’s used tampon. The breakfast bar was really a portal to another dimension! The overwhelming pain of dealing with Beaches Hotel surly staff had become so much that it was leaking through via an eternal screech!

I think the pulsing of the shower was morse code for “You dumb fuck – fancy booking into this hotel – it shall only bring you pain. Leave while you still can”.

And if you think the website looks nice, you’ll notice it only has a couple of images … that’s because the rest of it looks like this :

The Beaches Hotel

So all in the The Beaches Hotel, Prestatyn gets a hearty bb_hotel_rating : 0/10.


Filed Under News, Rants

Somethings in life are righteous.

Today – two righteous things happened to me. And boy does it feel good 🙂

1. Old Landlord

Mrs bb and I have purchased our first house together. Naturally that means we have left our rented accomodation and did the whole check the property for damage thing. We all agreed, very nicely, that there was some wear and tear which we would have to pay for.

When the cheque for our deposit arrived – they had taken over £350 for a 3m sq piece of lino!

Mrs bb was a little more restrained than I in her reaction. After we had decided that perhaps a thermonuclear strike (my idea) was a touch over-reacting, Mrs bb crafted a kick ass letter and fired it off. It contained lots of things like “legislation xxxx paragraph yyy says that you are in breach of zzzzz by doing this”.

Our landlord was never the sharpest tool in the toolbox. You would actually feel stupider after speaking with im. In fact, the longur you tawked two hymn, the wurz it gott. No way was it his idea to rip us off.

Now Mrs Landlord was another story – anal to the point of OCD. She knew what she was doing when she sent through that phoney quote and everything. What she hadn’t expected was the awesome power of MadWife(tm). Even I don’t mess with that. Chuck Norris doesn’t fuck with MadWife(tm).

Today a cheque for the correct difference arrived in the post. Righteous! And quite lucky for Mrs Landlord else she would have had to face the awesome fury of MadWife(tm). And that is enough to ruin anyone’s day. Badly.

2. Barclays Bank

This is not my first blog about Barclays. But today, my relationship manager phoned up and was surprised to hear I was planning on moving banks and I actually got to explain to her that she is less suited to being a relationship manager than Harold Shipman was to being a GP.

I spend nearly £10k a year with Barclays, just on bank charges. I do not have an overdraft, I do not want an overdraft. I have no special account requirements (other than several accounts in different currencies). All I need is that when I make an international same day payment, it is processed quickly, efficiently and I get my MT100 (proof of payment) quickly to give to my suppliers. This is not too much to ask one might imagine.

To highlight exactly how poor the service has been at Barclays, one day recently I was expecting some funds from one of my customers. Normally these funds hit my account by 9am. When they weren’t in by about 11 I asked my relationship manager to see if she could try and track down where the payment may be. I provided MT100, reference numbers and everything.

Her response : “As for the payment it can come into your account at anytime today”.

Right. Fantastic. Thank you for taking the time to check into it. Don’t worry about me – I’ll just sit here with all the proof that the funds should already be here and reflect on the temerity of actually asking you to do your damn job.

I realise that yelling and shouting at people, and generally being offensive, is rather an unappealling trait. But ever since this lump took over running my account she has done nothing, nada, zilch to help. Actually reaching her by email or phone has always ranked as one of my most difficult achievements.

So to actually reach get her on the phone and manage to explain that just ignoring emails and phone calls has not endeared her to me, shoot down her “I never got any emails/calls” with read receipts etc but more importantly to actually get it off my chest was, indeed, RIGHTEOUS!

Dozy fucking cow.

Brief Update

Filed Under News, Rants

Hey all,

Just a quick update with where we are at atm.

New Rants:

Barclays :

Took 14 days to change a fax number – a freakin’ fax number. How hard is it – really? Not one, not two, not three … not even SIX different people could solve this monstrous conundrum within a fortnight. In the end the seventh person I spoke to, in a completely unrelated department said “Oh, your fax notification number is wrong then … let me fix that up for you now”.Tappity-tap-tap.

WTF? Seriously. WTFF? 6 other people… including my relationship manager could not manage this. How freakin’ stoopid do you have to be to get a job as a relationship manager at Barclays?

Inability to return calls – check.
Inability to answer any question – check.
Inability to locate correct field on Customer Details form – check.
Inability to walk and chew gum … You’re hired.


Sky :

Sky Sales : Yes Mr bb … no problem … we can do that for you.
Sky Installer : Not a freakin’ chance pal.

Spot the difference? And if you think I’m phoning you on your national rate line to tell you that my direct debit information is incorrect, you can guess again you idiots. You’ll call me soon enough when the money doesn’t go through.

Mr Half-Screw :

I fear Mr Half-Screw may become a bit of a regular in my blog. For he is the gentleman whose house I bought. For he is the gentleman who thinks that the fact that the number of holes equals the number of screws supplied is a bizarre coincidence. Photos will be uploaded to shame you … I promise. DIY to Mr Half-Screw is a complete mystery – a dark art practiced by those with ties to the Devil himself.

Jesus Christ on a pogo stick – you even managed to put the front door knocker on upside down! And there is a good 10″ of screw hanging out the back. And at NO POINT did this strike you as even slightly odd! I have yet to find one thing with the required number of screws. What were you doing with them? Eating them? Hording them to construct a spaceship? Maybe you were going to construct a large pyre to make a sacrifice to appease the God of DIY? Did you think they were secret spy things that transmitted radio waves that were the voices you heard in your head?

I swear I think you administer the OneTel mail servers.

You’ll be getting your own post soon. And Mrs Half-Screw, the hyperactive lady who seems to think that Mr bb is a cash machine who has moved into their new house. Not content with raping me over the price of the heating oil you left, you have now tried on 3 separate occasions to sell me your tumble drier. For £50. Without telling me anything about it. ANYTHING. Just “do you want it then?”. “Ummm … no. Randomise(age, model, type, condition, size) returns NO”. Now stop asking! And switch to decaf or something. Maybe Valium.

And Mr Half-Screw left a freakin’ tag on my line so I am now driving 60miles a day to work since I can’t get broadband at home. Cunswup.


Why bother. Please see other posts. You need to fire Mr Half-Screw, Network Admin extraordinaire and find someone who has a clue. Well at least more of a clue than your current admin. Maybe try asking some Amish – they are already light years ahead of your current admin. Seriously.

British Telecom :

When I call up to ask about purchasing a second business line into the house, perhaps the best way of serving this request is NOT to leave me on hold for 45 minutes and then transfer me to the wrong department. Just guessing though. I’m basing it on the fact that I am now NOT getting that line from BT. But I am just guessing – as I say.
That is that for now – unfortunately blogging on a tiny laptop keyboard is harder than it should be … especially when you are frothing about what you are blogging about 🙂

See you soon.

But the lights are green guv!

Filed Under Rants, Sighs

My very first post to this blog was the random musing that perhaps Onetel used the advanced system of checking its on-line status of sending the teaboy down to the server rack to make sure all the lights were green.

I am starting to think this was not just a random musing after all. Apparently the teaboy last popped down and checked the server rack sometime ago.

Lights are green

Now the lights may well be green Onetel, but the server is definitely NOT active and responding.

How do I know this?

Well – using my Clouseau like investigative powers, my suspicions were first raised when I got this (sadly becoming all too familiar) error message :


As you will notice, I use AVG as my anti-virus. Being of a naturally suspicious nature I thought that it might be my AVG mail proxy. So lets disable that and connect and collect all my emaily goodness. And a metric shed-load of spam (way to go Onetel, great spam-filtering :S ).

But wait! What is this?

It wasn't AVG

A pox on me for doubting you AVG. It appears it was not the proxy server after all. ‘Zis is most peculiar’, says I in my most convincing Clouseau accent. ‘From where could zis problem be coming. After all, ze zerveur at Onetel is Actif and Responding’.

Most perplexing. Further investigation is warranted.

Active and responding my $£%£$^%

Righty. I’ve got an idea for you Onetel. Perhaps pinging your servers once every twelve hours is possibly not the best way to determine if they are actually working. I had an x64 box not so long ago, about the only damn thing that would do was respond to pings. It certainly wouldn’t talk to my printer. So maybe you send a test message to teaboy@onetel.com and if it leaves and arrives back within say 10 minutes (?) then you can say it is responding.

If it gets back within one minute then you can say it is active. However since I can send an email from me@onetel.com to me@onetel.com and not once has this ever been achieved in less that 10 this may well be considered running before we can walk.

Perhaps, in an effort not to mislead your customers too much, we could drop the word active as well. As you can see from the definition linked, perhaps “Marked by energetic activity” may give the wrong impression. There is no argument that it qualifies as active under the “capable of functioning” part of the definition, but I fear active may be stretching the point a little.

Why don’t we settle for something more like this :

More accurate description

I suggest the use of recently but in a astronomical kind of way. You know, as in “Recently the sun was formed and pretty shortly after that some planets started orbiting it. Almost immediately afterwards life appeared and hoopla! here were are.”


Proprietary formats

Filed Under Rants

As you will see from this post I use the bittorent network from time to time. Never for copyrighted material obviously, just for stuff that is in the public domain. Using it for copyrighted materials would be a very very bad thing and if we all did that, you never know, ThePowersThatBe might have to start producing some quality material that we are prepared to pay for. Like this maybe.

But that would really just not do now would it? They might have to fire some of their lawyers and get some creative people in instead. Blasphemy of the highest order! Anyone who thought it was a good idea should hang their head in shame!

Anyways, back to bittorrent. If you were looking for a cd image, you might resonably expect it to be in one of several formats – ISO or RAR being the most popular. It takes a certain degree of cunswuppery to release files onto a sharing network in proprietary formats. See if you can spot the flaw in this otherwise amazing bit of logic :

  1. Share file with 1000’s of other people
  2. Release in format that only 1% of the 1000’s of people will be able to read
  3. ????
  4. Profit

Flawless – bloody flawless. No … idiots, bloody idiots.

Sometimes I think cunswup may just lack that killer bite to describe some people … but these sort of people probably couldn’t find out what cunswup meant if they tried 🙂

x64 Will Die

Filed Under Rants

Today is the day I leave the 64bit world behind me and go back to the safety of x32 XP Pro.


Because Windows XP x64 is the most cunswuppery piece of crap ever released to market. Nothing works on it!

My printer doesn’t work, no freakin’ webcams work on it, Paperport doesn’t work, OllyDbg doesn’t work … the list goes on.

It plain sucks donkey balls. So today it goes back to the shop to be fixed. And this is a first for me – normally I do all of this work myself – after all, I work in IT!

Sometimes it just isn’t worth it. I deal with tech problems a lot and sometimes you just want to give the problem away and say “here – you deal with it”.

Chefs eat out from time to time, so I’m doing just that. I’m dragging its sorry ass down to the shop that built it, handing it over and paying them to exorcise the demon that is x64.

It will die, oh yes .. it will die. And whilst it is being scrubbed off my hard drive I shall enjoy a drink or two awaiting the phone call to come and collect the nice shiney XP Pro install.

I can’t wait 🙂

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