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Eurovision Hilarity

Ukr_verkaserduchkaAnother evening of utter chessiness and block voting last Saturday threw up a bizarre result. Serbia? Nothing like last years winner, Lordi. The Serbian song was awful… well actually, they were all awful. This year was a particularly bad crop. But Serbia’s effort was hardly worthy of winning. I was plugging for the Ukraine with their joyful ditty, so at least they came second.

England’s entrant only just missed out on zero points thanks to Ireland and Malta but it was a gazillion times better than last years (which isn’t saying much). I was actually surprised it did so badly given it’s credentials seemed to fit in with what should make a popular Eurovision song. But because of the poor showing they got a hiding from the Sunday papers, which made for some entertaining reading.

Uk_scoochThing is, the political voting is really spoiling it. Switching to telephone voting was such a bad idea and they should go back to old style jury. But I doubt that’ll change, with 100 million people across Europe tuning in to watch, they’ll be coining it in from the phone votes! Image if just 1% of the audience voted, 1 million votes is a whole lot of cash. Ah well.

You’re probably wondering why I watch it since all I do is slag it off? Because I like cheesy shit and I enjoy shouting at the TV. That and Sir Terry’s sarcastic commentary.

Site tweakage: Comments fixed, old theme is back!

Thanks to a heads up from Pope I’ve fixed comment entry. I’d change themes and forgot to put in a box for the math comment spam protection thingy, which would explain why there have been no comments for two months!

I’ve also switched back to my old WordPress theme. I’ve not been very keen on any of the minimalist ones I’ve been using, but I’m not so happy with this one any more since it’s a bit long in the tooth. So I’ve either got to find another one I really like or make one meself. Doh!

Results May Vary

An oldie I know, but this made me laugh.

ExceptYouHitler-VGCats-060206

From VGCats.

Well that’s me told…

2006-12-11-cats-not-that-funny

And I thought they were :(.

From Wellington Grey. This is another of my faves. Very true. Oh and this is exactly what Roomba’s do (we have one at work).

I think the MotoGP site uses a bit of Flash…

Thanks to Firefox’s Flashblock this is what I was presented with when visiting MotoGP.com.

MotoGP-FlashBlocked

Hmmmmmm. Yes. A few clicky clickys later:

MotoGP

Much better!

Yay for SiteGround!

My website was shifted to a shiny new server (Dual Core Xeon 2.4 Ghz with 4GB of RAM) last night since SiteGround noticed that it was running slowly under it’s old home, which is very nice of them.

Only snag appears to have been someone posting a comment during the move which appears to have been lost, which is a tad unlucky.

#tf stats for January

New Year, more crap. Check out the new funky “relation maps” on the Top 10 Peeps pages.

<Biff> releasing maps is for losers

Biff with another pearl of wisdom. He’s right too.

The Famous Minor Formula

Not that you should ever be a situation where you have to ponder this, but still, it’s funny!

FamousMinorFormula

From Trick Living: mathematicians. If anyone has any problems reading it, I’ll post it in the comments :)

DooooooooM!

Doom_logo

One game you can buy on Xbox Live Arcade (XLA) is Doom. Ultimate Doom in fact, which has the original three episodes of Knee-Deep in the Dead, The Shores of Hell and Inferno, and then the extra fourth episode of Thy Flesh Consumed.

It’s been fun playing through it again and I found the first three episodes to be incredibly easy whilst the fourth is an utter pain in the arse. But that makes sense since that final episode was made after Doom 2 and by that time ID were pretty damn good at churning out sadistic maps.

I did have a go at playing on Nightmare skill but for my pitiful skills it’s too much. Respawning enemies is just plain cruel. I also tried playing online but nobody seemed to want to. Perhaps if Gom gets it, I can whoop him at it

Anyhoo, I’ve had a lot of fun on single player trying to get 100% on all the levels and it’s scary how many of the secrets I’ve remembered. Help was at hand though for the ones I couldn’t remember from this excellent site. All of various Doom maps are listed here with nifty animated pictures showing where the keys, secrets and teleporters are.

Whilst I was searching for that I came across this site as well, where the author has done pseudo 3D renders of all the original Doom maps, which just look ace! Like this one of E1M1:

E1M1-Ian-Albert

Tangent aside, the main thing I’ve realised is that Doom is still fun. It still has the potential to scare pants off you (pesky imps and dark rooms) and is damn sight more fun than any recent FPS I’ve played on the PC. Yes, the music grates and it looks cheesy but the intense atmosphere is still there. I’m hoping Doom 2 and Final Doom will appear on XLA at some point as well since Doom 2 was my fave!

Edit: It appears Doom isn’t for sale on XLA in Germany :(

Office Fun

So here I am at work (yes, on a Saturday) trying to resurrect our mail server which appears to have been a victim of the recent storms. For reasons unknown, even though it’s connected to a UPS, we had a brief power cut and two out of the three hard drives in its RAID array died. A support call to Dell is pending but in the mean time I’m setting up another box to take its place.

As you can imagine it’s a fun job but watching progress bars of varying forms complete their tasks can only hold your interest for so long. And I’ve read all my blog feeds in FeedDemon, played Pizza Frenzy, Bejeweled 2 and Zuma to death, drunk enough Tassimo produced “liquid” to have me up all night peeing and I’ve tidied my desk. 

Ok, so I’m lying about the last one. But anyway, I was out of things to do and I know what you’re thinking, why don’t you actually do some work work whilst waiting for the server to install? Ha, don’t be silly, that would be a constructive thing to do and I can’t possibly do two constructive things on a Saturday.

So I needed something else to do and went to look in the place. Yes, the place, every office has one. Even yours. What is the place? Well, it’s were “crap that nobody uses any more but want to keep just in case we do need it” is stored and in this case, it’s the desk opposite me. On it and under it at the moment are:

  • A 17” CRT monitor (TFT’s FTW!)
  • An OKI A4 letter printer (that sounds like a machine gun when running)
  • A Lexmark black and white laser printer (that has the most annoying out of paper beep ever)
  • A paper shredder that only works in reverse (kinda looks like it’s vomiting paper back up, very cute)
  • A PS/2 keyboard
  • A fan heater
  • A Dell Dimension 4100 with Pentium 3 processor! (and Windows 98 Second Edition)
  • A second non-descript Dell tower
  • A cardboard box containing another fan heater and some misc wires
  • A plant pot which had the remains of the office plant in that died because nobody watered it
  • And finally an IBM Personal Computer XT

An IBM XT. One and half tons worth of Personal Computer with 4.77Mhz of pure processing muscle, a gigantic 128kb of RAM and a whopping 10MB hard drive. And! A colour screen.

Ibmxt

Beige madness!

BillionXTs

A billion pounds worth of XT’s circa 210 BC

It’s almost, but not quite as old as me. A bit ago we’d moved stuff round the office and this got put in the place. Whilst faffing with it we went though it’s old floppies (of the 5 and quarter inch variety) and found old DOS copies of our software, but more importantly disks with games on.

Two disks from the riveting, I’m sure, PC Plus, Issue 54 February 1991, had been overwritten with an innocuous looking “Chess” game. So I fired the beast up (lots of hand cranking and billowing of steam followed). After 5 minutes of booting up (some things haven’t got any better) I had a DOS prompt where I quickly copied across 600kb’s worth of Chess goodness.

Imagine my surprise when I ran chess.exe and saw this:

Battlechess1

Battlechess2

It wasn’t just any chess game, it was Battle Chess in all its CGA glory (not VGA as shown here)! Amazing stuff. It even had PC speaker sound effects, which now sounds like a cat being put through a mangle (I know from experience), but was the height of sophistication back then. 

Surely this would help pass the time? Unfortunately not since I’m still as crap at chess as I was nearly 20 years ago and promptly lost within 5 moves…

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