Thank You Very Much

Filed Under News

I just wanted to say a big thank you to the people who helped me move.

Mrs bb … without you I couldn’t have done this. I am so lucky to have you in my life and I hope one day to make you as proud of me as I am of you. I cannot say thank you enough. I love you each day more than before.

The Kersh : Thanks for taking time off from work to help out. I owe you big time. Should you ever leave The House of Two Tales, I will be there for you buddy! Of course, to help out the same way, I’ll have to take up smoking, leaning over the porch observing and poking fun at your driving of the Big Truck in High Winds, but I think I’m up to it!

Splash and Billy : Dudes! Without your extra truck and your experience, this could have all been a bit interesting. No way could I have shifted all that stuff with your help. Cheers. I owe you a drink or 5.

Friend of Mint : Again, with your help at the receiving end we managed to unpack everything we needed to start living, almost by the time the 2nd truck arrived. One bottle of wine awaits as a poor token of my gratitude. And a special thank you from Billy for bending over a lot – he liked that ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mum : Mother’s day was never quite meant to be like that – cleaning and generally getting mucky. You were meant to be being taken out for dinner, wined and dined. Thanks for turning up with cleaning products, vacuum cleaners and tasty treats to keep the workforce moving. I love you too.

Dad : I’m not sure whether to thank you or curse you for the metric tonne of carpet samples you lent us ๐Ÿ˜› But for the help on the day, I thank you. Many hands make light work and all that – it made the day much easier. Cheers.

And to my friends, clients and suppliers that have helped me through the last couple of years – my thanks too. Without you all, we wouldn’t be here today. So thanks from Mrs bb too.

Normal ranting will resume shortly ๐Ÿ™‚

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 $ร‚ยฃ%ร‚ยฃ$^%

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 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 to 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.”



Filed Under News

Just a quick blog update to let everyone know that I will be AFK from this evening until Monday, probably Tuesday the 20th.

The reason – moving house ๐Ÿ™‚ Currently I am dismantling everything (well everything I should be dismantling, I think the landlord would take a dim view of me handing the keys back to his pile of rubble) and one of the things that has to be dismantled is the PC.

This weekend, we’ll be sticking everything we own into the back of two trucks and heading out to the country. Time to say goodbye to the big smoke. I will miss some of the fun stuff about being this close to London – ease of access to shops, clubs, pubs, golf courses ( ๐Ÿ˜€ ) but I won’t miss where we are at the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, the house itself is nice enough. No storage but nice enough. The main problem is we are on a main road (noise++ and dirt++) just down from the fire and ambulance stations (for each %f in (emergency_services) do noise^2) and next door to the youth drop-in centre (noise++ and scrotes++).

I hope to be able to post some pictures of the new place when we get it in order (and assuming that My God of CSS helps me with some more of my new plugins ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and hopefully, next week I’ll be able to post my poll as well.

In short, posting will be sporadic until the broadband and everything is set up. In the meantime, I strongly suggest you pop over to wish Merlijn good luck for his 1st Dan exam.

Have a good weekend all ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Hot Fuzz

Filed Under Reviews

My better half and I went to see Hot Fuzz the other day and I can honestly say I have not seen anything so funny since this episode of South Park .

Funny from start to finish and no let off. Just laugh after laugh after laugh. We seriously considered buying a ticket to go back and see it again. When it comes out on DVD, I will make an effort to go and buy it to support the effort that was put into it.

If you get a chance to go and see it – please do. It really is worth it ๐Ÿ˜€

And I hope you feel as bad as I did for laughing out loud when Nick takes out the shotgun wielding granny. You’ll know what I mean when you see it … priceless!

x64 is Dead! Long live XP

Filed Under News

Especially the nice shiny new XP I have now … check out the new desktop

Preview of nice shiny new desktop

Click for full scale shiny goodness ๐Ÿ™‚

100% speed of XP, 90% functionality of Vista. Everyone’s a winner! w00t as they say on IRC ๐Ÿ™‚

Check out some of the lovely features – the sidebar with nice Aero style icons, the preview of the firefox page (looks like someone is browsing the best blog ;)), natty new icons and the improved information bar at the bottom of each window. All of this for $0, 0รขโ€šยฌ and ร‚ยฃ0! How can you go wrong guv’nor?

It’s a deal, it’s a steal, it’s the sale of the freakin’ century!

So what about those gadgets on the sidebar? From top to bottom we have a nice month at a glance calender, a torrent search engine, WMP and a new recycle bin. You can also pin the preview of the page to the desktop so you don’t have to alt-tab to it each time to see what is happening.

You’ll also notice the nice shadows on the windows, and if you see the outlook bar at the top of the picture, it’s reduced to its title bar by a simple right click. I’m loving it. pah dah da da da!

That’s not to say it is without fault but this stuff is still in its infancy. The sidebar is not 100%, it is still a little glitchy, but 1.8 will be out soon (I’m running 1.7.8) and hopefully some of those problems will be fixed. The toolbar also likes to be only 1 bar high, change it to 2 and some windows don’t line up correctly. Auto-hiding the taskbar seems to fix this albeit a temporary fix.

Apart from that, it just looks nicer. I don’t know whether it is because you get bored after looking at XP for so long but I find it quite pleasant to sit in-front of for extended periods of time. The new sounds, the new look and feel, nice new icons and toolbar customisation – all together add up to a really nice user experience. I don’t know if I would have gone to Vista before SP2 (though I’m bloody sure it wouldn’t have been Vista x64) but I know now I won’t be. What for?

<obGeek> Oh – and the little graph … well, those who know, know ๐Ÿ˜‰ </obGeek>

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 ๐Ÿ™‚


Filed Under Misc

After yet another interesting call with one of my real-life contacts, I was struggling to come up with a word to describe the mind numbing idiocy that I had just had to deal with … and some random bashing on the keyboard delivered this :

fufsioud fhiosa cunswcup

Drop the last c from the last word and you get my new insult.

Which I really kind of like …

Online and feeling fine

Filed Under Sighs

You have to wonder how some companies check their online status. For over 12 hours I was unable to check my one of my email addresses ( Yet the network status site still proclaimed that everything was active and responding. No problems here ‘guv – honest!

I think they must have someone who pops by every now and again and checks that all the lights are green or something.

What you say? What if the machine has crashed? Oh no my good fellow, it can’t have! The light is green.