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Spam Spam Spam....Wednesday 11th June 2003
I personally have been getting a lot more spam recently, and it's beginning to get annoying. Especially as it's coming into my "official" e-mail address which I only give to people like propspective employers.

The people I know in 'real life' have a different one, and that's divided from the computer savvy to the computer illterate. The people I corrospond with over the Internet use yet another.

My mail client is packed full of filters to try and weed out some of it, and it works pretty well, but alas I don't have the time to sit about creating new rules all the time. I would like to see regular expressions or some sort of equally flexible string comparison feature integrated into mail clients, or even a 3rd party filter (probably is one, I just haven't looked).

There has been continuing discussion about Spam in the media and in both the British and European governments. It seems that everybody is against it, so much that it will probably be illegal in Europe soonish. Although the source of the problem has been identitfied as America (what a surprise), and they won't make it illegal.

Governments can seem to come to agreements over who to kill, and which countries to wipe out, but they are failing in stopping something as trivial as junk mail. If the Americans can be bent into a spam free world then all that would be required is a quick and simple legal system to tackle it. You can't take somebody to court for junk mail, it's pointless, and a waste of time (again, this is probably a more sane reason for suing somebody in the states).

I have been getting more mail recently that goes out of it's way to get round blocks. E.g. changing i to , and putting keywords in as GIF's and JPEG's to stop them from being picked up.

It's no longer a legitimate marketing system, it's a joke. A game, who can filter my mail? Not you, haha, etc etc...


Microsoft display evilness again.Saturday 7th June 2003
I have no great problem with Microsoft. Sure, their business practices suck, and their software is buggy and geared towards monopoly. The thing I object is to how they force people to upgrade.

I once bought a joystick, a Microsoft Force FeedBack Pro. With Windows 2000 you cannot "bind" buttons, which is one of it's biggest selling points. This is because the software that does this will bail out because you aren't running Windows 98 (to force people to buy Windows 98). So if you want to use Windows 2000 or Windows XP then you have to buy a Sidewinder ForceFeedback Pro 2, for another 100, just for the CD with the working software.

With my current computer problems I have been forced to install Windows 98 with some dirty hacks to read NTFS partitions in a DOS OS (note: this bypasses any security so is rather dangerous). But, oddly enough Windows 98 wouldn't start. On further investigation it turns out that Windows 98 will not work on computers that run over 2.1GHz. Fair enough, but to get the fix you have to call a premium line to Microsoft to get details. This no doubt will be "buy Windows XP".

IF there is a fix, why not release it? Because they can't make money that way and it can be parsed as Windows 98 being out-dated so it doesn't need a "fix" as such, because it was never designed for it.

Useless bunch of monkeys...

Royal Mail > Parcel ForceFriday 6th June 2003
Parcel Force is owned by the Royal Mail, but they work a lot differently, and even have competing services. But which is the better company?

The last 3 deliveries I have had from Parcel Force I wasn't here to receive. So they kindly left them on my door step and forged my signiture. Totalling in excess of 500 worth of goods.

Today I should have received delivery of a package from the Royal Mail, but I was out. They took it back to the sorting office and left me a note telling me about it.

Sure the Parcel Force method is nice, I don't have to wonder into town to collect it. But I'm not too sure about having several large parcels sitting in clear view of the road containing very expensive goods.

Dead Computer.Friday 6th June 2003
I've been having a lot of computer problems recently, I hope it will come to an end soon.

It started with the heat. Something in my system was overheating and forcing my hard drives to power down, although it wasn't the actual drives as they have enough cooling and rarely get more than warm. I thought maybe my south bridge. But a jab with my finger found this was cool.

I have a 2.4GHz 533MHz FSB P4 on a BL7 mobo, which only supports a 400MHz FSB, so perhaps it's the overclocked FSB. But I have a rather large heat sink on my north bridge, and even running at 400MHz it still died.

Then after a bit of ingenious something another I checked my mobo status on an especially hot day. Just before my drives spun down my +12V input from the PSU dropped to about 10V and started fluxating. And continued until the entire system rebooted itself.

Solution, new PSU. Unfortuently the day before it arrived I was presented with a new problem. My computer no longer wanted to boot up. Windows 2000, black screen loads, splash screen appears and loads fully, GUI... er... gui? It never appears just hangs.

So I put on a second drive and installed 2K onto that and booted up fine. I re-enabled my highpoint RAID controller (my primary system running on RAID-0) and it locked up again. Which is odd, as it obviously works as Windows starts loading off of it. But it doesn't complete loading. I'm guessing something fried in it.

Armed with a brand new Abit IC7 Canterwood, 512MB DDR400 RAM and a screwdriver, I fix it all up. Plug in and start up. Spend a good 2 hours to try and get it to recognise my RAID. Finally realise that it only supports Serial ATA RAID! Yes, it doesn't support PATA RAID, just this new fangled technology that most people don't have.

How annoying is that. I could replace my hard drives, but I have twin 80GB Western Digital Caviars, which, if you didn't know, are damned good. Plus it would be expensive to get SATA drives.

So I've invested in a couple of SATA/PATA convertors off of Asus. 15 a throw, insanely expensive for a bit of PCB and a single micro chip. Hopefully this will work.

To pour salt into the wounds my brother has just got a Dual Xeon 2.8GHz jobbie. Grrrr...

Donnie DarkoMonday 2nd June 2003
I have only just managed to get round to see this film. It was constantly out for rent and I've only managed to get my hands on a copy. I should have listened to my friends and just bought it. Well worth it.

The music, amazing, the directing, amazing, the story, stunning. The film, brilliant. The only thing that annoyed me was it only came in stereo sound, which is a bit odd for this day of DVD and 5.1 DTS etc. Wasn't too bad, but hey, it's just a little something.

I highly recommend this film to anybody, but please, pay attention. You'll still go "eh?" at the end, but you might avoid having your brain turn to mush.

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