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Visual Studio OrcasMonday 23rd April 2007
Microsoft has made available Visual Studio "Orcas". This comes in a 7 part RAR file, weighing in at a staggering 4.7GB once extracted.

These files can be extracted to the file system, personally I made this into an ISO for burning onto DVD. Just the right size I thought, stupidly. I know full well that a DVD only holds 4.3GB and not the advertised 4.7GB on the side of the packaging. Another case of people not being able to count bytes (multiply by 1024 people). I'm not sure if that counts as false advertising or not.

Anyway, to solve the problem I deleted the following directories, which contain setup files for the .NET 2.0 SDK:
/wcu/sdk/ia64 and /wcu/sdk/x64

Considering I don't have a 64-bit processor, especially an Itanium, then I could probably live without these. The install process went fine from the reduced ISO and it fits on a single layer DVD too.

You'll have to keep the setup file separately if you require such a beast; and remember to un-check that option on the custom install if you choose to do the same thing.

Local ElectionsMonday 23rd April 2007
The local elections are looming into view, being held on 3rd May. I've moved out of the city where I've lived all my life to a surrounding village, so have the same council, but am in a different ward.

Current, in the city it's a hung council between Conservatives and Lib Dems, with Labour not making much of an appearance. Looking at the votes for the ward I'm in, it's a close run between Labour and Lib Dem. Shows where the different socio-economic groups are located!

What surprises me is the lack of effort to get voted in where I am. There are two Lib Dem councillors for the ward, one of which is sending out newsletters all the time telling everybody of the great things she's done. She's put a lot of effort into getting re-elected. She also has a skivy who trying to get in.

As for the rest of them? I've had a note through the door about two independents that look promising, but nothing from any of the other candidates or parties. No effort what-so-ever. Sure, there is time left, but it's cutting it fine. Makes you think if they really want to get elected.

Armed AssaultFriday 20th April 2007
I recently bought Armed Assault, which is the sequel to Operation Flashpoint. I've been looking forward to this game for years.

Install was painless, although BIS still enforce some rubbish music playing while it installed. Not very nice for those of us who have our own music collection...

Started the game, a slicker game menu appeared to OFP. And so I started with a bit of training just to get back into the swing of the controls etc. Wow, I wasn't expecting it to look this good. Very lush environment, which all appears to be down to post-processing effects. I know this because when playing the campaign I had to turn this to low due to it being way to much of a frame-rate killer on my 7900GT.

Playing through the campaign, which starts reasonably easy, although the learning curve for non-OFP players is massive. The game isn't very intuitive and it's difficult to know what you have to do all the time. There are often moments where you are sitting in a field without the foggiest what you're supposed to do for some time before something happens.

There is a bit of use of driving around while radio chatter goes on. This is very dull and probably why many developers use cut-scenes. Something which is utilised better further on in the game.

Alas, further on in the game isn't really very far. The plot is fairly standard and predictable. Apon reaching what appears to be the last mission a feeling of being left short arrives. Ah ha, but there is a major plot twist in that mission allowing for more than a weeks worth of play. Alas, this is ignored and a rather rubbish end mission gets forced on you which is full of bugs and just abruptly ends the game.

I haven't tried the multiplayer aspect of it, which is supposed to be much more of an improvement; but I don't think I will recommend the game. If you have OFP:Resistance then you may as well keep to that, the only improvement is grass in the fields, which is nice but not worth 20.

Firefox and WPADMonday 16th April 2007
WPAD - or Web Proxy Auto Discovery is a great method of automatically setting up your browser to connect to a proxy server, without any of the hassle of typing in IP addresses and such.

I've recently set this up so I can access the Internet whether I'm at home or at work. I use the DHCP method of setting it which will detail where to find the PAC (Proxy Auto Config) file.

Alas, this doesn't seem to work in Firefox. Which is a shame as I use Firefox as my preferred browser. After a little investigation it turns out somebody wrote the code to do it, but never bothered checking it in (see bug 28998. Instead you have to setup your PAC file to be located at: http://wpad/wpad.dat

Slightly annoying, but workable.

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