MPQ Archive now open!

Whoop and stuff! Everything is there with a shiny new coat of paint. Reviews are searchable, maps downloadable, comments readable. Why open it on the 31st August? Well it was seven years to the day that I released my one and only half decent Quake map, Vaguely Interesting. It’s a good feeling to have it done and dusted. It’s been on the todo list for a while… *cough* 4 years *cough*. I also uploaded the old site too. It’s very broken, but it’s fun to see it again.

I was bit gutted that only three peeps gave feedback (Vondur, Biff and DaZ) but it is an old site that wasn’t very popular to start with and people have moved on from it now, so I shouldn’t really be surprised. Anyway, on the plus side, no more nagging about it in #terrafusion now!

Busy bank holiday weekend

We had family down for the weekend so I’ve been kept away from the computer (which from time to time is a good thing!). A good time was had by all with lots of food and drink consumed. I’m sporting several new bruises thanks to the various nieces and nephews using Uncle Paul as a climbing fame.

This week I’m finishing off my minor research report for college so won’t be posting much. As part of it, I’ve created a short and sweet survey on how people use their computers and the internet. It’s nothing too serious and it’s slanted towards the computer user non-technical end of the spectrum. I foolishly posted the link in #terrafusion and was quickly berated by two people for not mentioning porn as a computer related activity (computer + internet = porn a given?) and that I should RTFM on how to create surveys. Perhaps RTFM on how to give constructive criticism would have been useful to the latter person.

Oh well, at least I know for next time! I didn’t think it was bad effort for my first attempt.

Gallery added

I finally sorted out installing Gallery 2. Was pretty easy actually. A couple of files didn’t uploaded properly but that wasn’t a problem.

All I did download the latest typical install, extract it locally then upload all 18 Mb of it. Created a new MySQL database for it (Siteground provides CPanel / phpMyAdmin access). Followed the guide for tweaking security settings. Ran the installer and then uploaded some photos and jobs a good ‘un.

I’m not much of a photographer so most likely it’ll all be of the cats! But it’s a start.

Related guff:

Total tangent: Bizarre Nintendo DS game (Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan) with annoyingly catchy music.

Fun at

After getting past the password / login fun just to download Fireworks I was slightly concerned by this highlighted link…


Why would I have problems downloading? I ignore it and click Download. Getright picks it up and… it doesn’t download. Can’t even connect to get a file size. Great. So that’s why they have help there. Lets click that Download Help link.


Huh! What? Why can’t I use a download manager? What possible reason could they have for not letting me? Gaaah… you know it amazes me how some companies stay in business.

MPQ Archive Update #5?

I dunno, I’ve lost count. You’re probably sick of this waffle, but I’ll carry on anyway. Current status is this, I’ve finished the site (yay!) and I’ve emailed various peeps who I think will hopefully give some useful, constructive feedback. Fingers crossed!

I’ve already had some excellent help from Vondur and RPG. Vondur found a cracking bug and was getting this on the search screens:


It was puzzling because only his home machine was affected and it wasn’t just one browser, but all 3 he had installed. IE, Firefox and Opera. It was the first time I’d come across it and I’d developed the site on two machines without any problems. I had various peeps at work try it, Vondur even tried it at work, and it was all fine.

It turns out it was down to input controls not having a width defined in the CSS (oops). I kinda figured this was the problem  when I asked Vondur to look at the contact form on my works website. It had recently been redesigned using similar CSS and it suffered from the same problem. Anyhoo, a quick fix of a new CSS class with the width defined and a tweak to the PHP to use that class when generating the HTML sorted that.

RPG came up with a great suggestion of anywhere a map author’s name was listed it should be a link to display what other maps they’d had reviewed. A quick tweak to the search code and that was implemented. It’s not perfect, since there is some inconsistency in how author names were inputted (mostly by the author themselves), but in the main it works. Perhaps if it’s a big problem I’ll go back and tidy them up.

I finally got the logos done as well. My brother, Jay, was busy, and I itching to get them sorted. So I downloaded a trial version of Fireworks and tried my hand at creating them. As it turns out, I’m pretty damn happy with the results. Here’s a sneak peek of some of them (there are 15ish in total):


I really enjoyed making them since it involved lots of tweaking with screen shots, layers, transparency and various filters. Graphics editing has always been something I’ve stayed away from since my results are usually pretty crap, but I think I’ll practice a bit more at it now.

Things that annoy me – #532

Websites that make me sign up just to download trial versions of their software, that annoys me. Unless their software is amazingly fantastic they’ve already done a good job of putting me off. At most I’ll give out my name and email address, but when they start asking for my address, shoe size and how I like my eggs (fried, sunny side up) I have to ask, why? I just want to try your software, I don’t need the Spanish Inquisition… and no I didn’t expect it.

I downloaded two apps last weekend, Macromedia Fireworks and Ulead VideoStudio, and both wanted my blood… erm.. sorry full contact details. I’ll pass thanks. Of course, there are ways and means of avoiding this, and this is where comes to the rescue. A quick look up on there got me round that hurdle.

As it turns out, Fireworks is a really nice app, where as VideoStudio is not so nice. But that’s another story.

Things that annoy me – #24

Warnings like this annoy me (from here):


I don’t much appreciate being told something in a condescending manner that is mostly untrue. Plus it puts me off visiting the site in question since they’re the one being a pompous twat. I somehow doubt how that’s going to change the 85% market share Internet Explorer has in Firefox’s favour.

So how did I come across this nugget of useless information? Well for the majority of my browsing I do use Firefox, but I also use FeedDemon for browsing blogs. And occasionally I go from the RSS feed to the site, which is where IE comes in, since FeedDemon uses it as it’s internal browser (you can change to a Mozilla plugin but it’s pants) and that’s when I saw this little annoyance.

Instead of calling your readers a bunch of c*nts for using IE, why not put a small link, graphic or section describing the virtues of Firefox over IE? Good idea, no?

Ahhh… much better… urge to kill fading…


Complete tangent: Simpsons Shinning episode versus The Shining film. Excellent stuff!

Blog oddness

For some reason my blog wouldn’t load last night. Other sites on my domain did and I don’t actually know what caused it. I went to the trouble of re-uploading WordPress but that didn’t do anything. It’s a bit annoying since I’d like to know what the problem is! Hopefully it was just a one off thing.