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Sunday, June 27, 2004

Internet Explorer Bad

With the current flaws in Internet Explorer and many sites, including some high traffic ones (Kelly Blue Book is one that was infected), infected with an exploit that allows the site to unknowingly install malicious code on your system. This code has been known to include a key logger that collects your passwords and credit card numbers. Everyone should, at least until a fix is released, switch to an alternate browser.

Browsers that don't have the flaw include FireFox, Opera (my personal favorite), Mozilla and Netscape.

If you went to the Kelly Blue Book site, or are worried that you may have gone to an infected site, and you are running Internet Explorer you'll probably want to scan your computer with up to date anti-virus software and spy ware removal tools. If you are runnings Windows and you don't know what Internet Explorer is, or you don't know what web browser you are using ,then there is a 99% chance you are running Internet Explorer.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Graham Norton Effect

I caught the premiere of The Graham Norton Effect tonight on Comedy Central and I have to say I was happy with the show. So far it's the exact same formula as the original British show. The main drawback of the Comedy Central incarnation is that most cable channels in the US, even though they aren't regulated by the FCC, censor their shows. I can't see anyone watching Graham Norton being offended by profanity or a little nudity. If you are offended by such things, you probably aren't going to be watching the show to begin with.

Let's hope it lasts a little longer than the US versions of Red Dwarf, Men Behaving Badly and Coupling. Those three turned to rubbish on the way over. TGNE so far hasn't. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Joint Operations

I was messing around with Joint Operations today and just had to rant about the annoying fact that you can't map mouse buttons higher than three. This was understandable a few years ago but now days most mice have at least five buttons. I'm sure this will be (may alread be) fixed in a patch but how can you over look that. I also wasn't very happy with the interface for changing your controls. I like that it showed yellow for keys that were mapped twice but I'm so use to games where if I map a key that is already mapped the older mapping gets cleared. It got really old having to constantly use the stupid clear button on the mappings screen. Being left handed I have a lot of mappings to change.

While I'm the topic of mappings why is WASD the default game mapping? Would'nt it make more sense, given you're right handed, to use ESDF since the F key has a nub on it so you know your finger is on the that key. There is nothing worse than not being able to find your finger placement in the middle of a heated battle. Plus you can still map the A key to something. The CAPS LOCK key is worthless for mapping in most games giving your pinky nothing to do.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Wow! Series four of Coupling so far has been extremely good. I have only been able to catch the first three episodes so far but will be watching four through six soon. This is still, in my opinion, the best show on television. I was worried with the absence of Jeff that the show would be "jumping the shark" but it has managed to still stay fresh and entertaining. Oliver, Jeff's replacement, isn't quite as amusing as Jeff but he seems to working out well, so far. If you haven't caught Coupling I recommend picking up, or at least renting, series one through three today. If you have BBC3 or BBCA series four is showing now. If you were unfortunate enough to watch the horrid US hack of the show try and find the courage to put it behind you and watch the UK version.

Monday, June 07, 2004

HP Printer Drivers

I recently had to reinstall Windows due to three hard drives crashing due to a hardware failure on the motherboard. Thanks ASUS. I'm now back to Abit whom I have never had any trouble with. The ASUS board sucked from the start. Anyways, back to the point, I had to reinstall my printer drivers. HP isn't as bad as they use to be but why do I have to install half the software in the world when I just want the drivers. They don't even give you an option with some of the software. Again, I just want the drivers. I have Photoshop and don't need your crappy and bloated image editing software or your digital camera crap. I have ACDSee which works just fine for organizing my photos. Did I mention, I just want the drivers. HP also makes it a bitch for me to share my printer with my laptop since you can't install the driver from Windows. You have to use setup.exe from hell on the CD. I guess I'm lucky that I can even share my printer. Some of their printers don't give you the option to install drivers for OS's that aren't currently installed. This is extremely handy when you want to share the printer on a network. When installing a printer at one of the local schools I had to move the printer to each computer, install every crappy image related piece of software on the CD and then remove the printer from computer to get it to work. Also, what is up with the 50-150mb printer driver downloads. Again, don't cram crappy software into your drivers, we just want the drivers. What a waste.

Sunday, June 06, 2004


I had to buy Half-Life again. I legally own the original but due to the fact that my CD key has turned up missing I am no longer able to install it. I understand why companies are using CD keys to help prevent piracy and block cheaters from online games, but it's a real pisser when you have to re-buy a game over something so trivial. I would also like to point out the extreme price differences in the Half-Life Platinum Edition. Most stores including Target, Walmart (shudder), Best Buy, GameStop and EB World want $39.99 for the package while NewEgg only wants $19.99 and GoGamer wants $22.90. I don't why the huge price difference but needless to say I bought my copy from NewEgg.

Worms 3D (Xbox)

I had a chance to play Worms 3D on the Xbox and it is a thousand times easier to move your worm. Accuracy based weapons such as the shot gun are a bit harder with the analog stick but I'll deal with it. If you aren't worried about online play, or custom sound banks, I would say go with the Xbox version of the game.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Worms 3D (PC)

I recently picked up Worms 3D for the PC and I have to say they did an excellent job translating the gameplay from 2D to 3D. This is something a lot of developers have failed miserably at over the years. Just look at the 3D versions of Contra and Castlevania. Shudder. The game's graphics are top notch, the sounds are spot on and the music is quirky and entertaining but everything isn't sugar and sunshine. Team 17 did not include an option to map your controls and stated that during play testing they concluded that the layout used was optimal. It's optimal if you are right hand and use the QWERTY keyboard layout. Anyone who uses the Dvorak keyboard is screwed. Normally for games I use the IJKL layout I grew accustomed to many years ago playing the Lode Runner games on the Apple ][. I'm left handed and therefor end up grimacing every time I have to use the WASD keys to move my worm. Wake up guys, you just alienated roughly 15% of the population. Adding user definable keys is not that hard and should be a given in any PC game now days. I also wish you could invert the Y-axis on the mouse but that is minor compared to the layout.

If you're right handed and use the QWERTY layout I recommend downloading the demo. If you're left handed, don't use the QWERTY keyboard or just think this is a bad idea, bitch to Team 17.

Friday, May 28, 2004


Well, it finally happened. TechTV and G4 have finally merged into G4TechTV. A lot of thought went into that name. The biggest lost of the whole merger was Call for Help which had a devoted following, but unfortunately didn't match the age demographic of G4. I didn't watch the show much myself, as it was more for beginners, but was a great service for those who had just bought their first computer and wanted to learn the basics.

McAfee AntiSpyware

With all the spyware floating around the Internet these days I decided to give McAfee AntiSpyware a try after hearing good things about it. Boy was that a mistake. I don't know if it has something to do with my system configuration, but between the two programs it runs, it uses almost 200MB of memory. This is totally uncalled for. I'm going to go back to running Ad-aware and SpyBot Search and Destroy once a week. They don't use 200MB of memory and they are free.


I got bored today and decided to give Blogger a go. Hey, maybe I'll even get lucky and they'll invite me to partake in the Gmail preview for signing up.