Archive for November, 2009

BitTorrent and Magnet Links

November 18, 2009

Trying to get updated torrent to work

Since TPB has shut down their tracker and going with a more decentralized torrent tracker system, I decided to follow suit. Now still being relatively new to Ubuntu, this has become a bit of a challenge. I have been using KTorrent and been pretty happy with it. Nice interface and reasonably uncomplicated configuration overall. So I test out the ‘magnet link’ and firefox gives me an error with “Firefox doesn’t know how to open this address, because the protocol (magnet) isn’t associated with any program.” type message. Do some digging and find out how to setup the new protocol. Do so, restart FF and still same error message. More digging and many people are experiencing the same thing.

Then I find out that KTorrent does not support the ‘magnet’ protocol that is needed for the new decentralized tracker. Ugh. Ok, so lets go back to the BT client I used when I ran XP, uTorrent. Oh wait….there is no Linux version of uTorrent but here are some nice examples of how to get it working under WINE. 15mins later and still it just wants to keep installing/install does not complete. Ok, screw that, back ever further to Azureus.

I left Azureus when it had become just too slow and painful to run, seems that a lot of people don’t the Java-style program and that it chewed up a lot of memory. Also, when they went to that ‘vuze’ interface, that really annoyed the shit out of me. Luckily there are bright people out there and quickly a ‘no-vuze hack popped up and all was reasonably good again.

Ok, so let’s try Azureus now. Ok, it’s installed and working….had to tweak the port forwarding on my router (damn Azureus wouldn’t go as high as I wanted…..ugh). Ok, so I got it to work ‘normally’, without using the magnet link. Damn FF won’t recognize the protocol. I suspect it has to do with the version of FF I’m running (3.5.5). More digging….

20mins later and still no answer. Everything says to do ‘this’. And do it and triple check and still the error message happens. FF is one of those love/hate relationships. I’m gonna take a break from this for awhile.

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"Are you serious?"

November 15, 2009

There are times in my life when the skills I have developed in technology really do have a big impact on me. I realize that not everyone puts so much effort in understanding technology as much as I do. Heck, how many people will follow a Google search 40 pages deep just to see what’s there? Or who do you know that has ever made a university’s print out 20 colour copies of the candy bra and laugh their ass off while having a hard time seeing the screen through teary eyes, all from their home system?

The point is that with all this technology that has been in all of our lives there are still people who seemed to live in caves and stare in wonder at awe at a wooden wheel. The following is a true conversation that happened this past saturday night.

LLPH “Do dvds have to be rewound?”

I was about to laugh but something made me pause. The way it was said that had an odd flavour of innocence to it.

Me: “Are you serious?”

LLP: “Oh, I uh, guess you don’t eh?”

Me: “No, you don’t.”

True story, as painful as it was.

Really says it all….

November 11, 2009

In case you missed this classic vid, I suggest you watch and learn!

See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.

A few of my favourite things

November 11, 2009

Ever wonder what makes me tick? With all the crap out there you might be asking ‘what the hell does he like any ways?’. Or maybe not, but I’ll be telling you any ways 🙂

Having been annoyed with my last post getting blown away before it properly saved (so much for autosave eh?) I decided to write about something I like to help get over that annoyance.

Let’s go with my newest acquisition: Logitech TrackMan Wheel. (Sigh, browser is stupidly slow…gonna reboot…..)
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(Ok, back, let’s see if this is any quicker)

As I was saying….the

2009-11-08 11.06.37

Logitech TrackMan Wheel:

I had a ‘trackball’ a few years back, lost it, probably during a move, and have been pining for one for a while. Finally bought one the other day. Ahh…..the control….the ‘no need to move the cat so I can click on a link because the cat is taking up the whole damn desk’ feeling!  Maximum amount of control for minimum amount of effort.  What more reasons do you need for getting one?

Ubunubuntu-logo1tu: This free operating system is a pure joy for the geek in you! Heck, it even works just fine for the non-geeks. I love it because I finally NOW have the freedom to do things I simply could never do with

Windows, or even Macs. For example, I work with a lot of digital media at times. Let’s say I have about 100 pictures that I want to put online. I don’t need 100 times 6MB high-quality images(web browsers only display 72dpi anyways so the rest is just wasted server space and upload time). it was simply stupid to have to go into each file, edit them down to the right size/resolution when I ran XP. Not now! I found a Script by ImageMagick and bam, all edited at once! It was awesome and HUGELY time saving!

Let’s not forget mass editing of MP3s!  While not ground breaking here, what you may not realize that having the ability to also convert MP4 (iTunes songs) into MP3s with a simple script, screw anyone trying to ‘protect’ anything!  Seriously, you have someone who wants to share his creation with the world but only conditionally?  No true artist has ever really done that.  But that is a whole other debate 🙂

PCV jar. A cool little device that removes the oil from the air intake of a car.  Car??  Yes, I said car.  Surprised that my techie love goes beyond computers?  Don’t be, modern technology really isn’t that modern when you really understand what is going on.  Regardless, the PCV jar is a stupidly simple device and one that works for every vehicle.  The basic premise is this:  ever car has a ‘pcv valve’.  What this does is to allow excess pressure from inside the engine (no, not the combustion chamber, the part where things are moving and oil is stored….) and vent it back into the intake where the excess oil vapour gets burned.  Problem is that cars are really designed to burn gas and not ‘hot oil vapour’.  The PCV jar simply removes the oil vapour thus allowing clean air to flow into the intake and the energy wasted in trying to burn oil goes back to burning the gas vapour.  In theory, this gives you more improved combustion which translates into better power and/or gas mileage.  Ye old ‘your mileage may vary’ warning applies here.  Here is a shot of what my jar collected from my 1978 Volare (Slant 6) after 2 months of daily driving.

PCV jar results

I had the same device on my 1991 New Yorker Fifth Avenue and after 2 month all I got was 2 drips.  Obviously a significant amount of difference in how much oil is being consumed by the cars 🙂  Still, these things make a difference and it’s yet another piece of ‘tech’ that I enjoy 🙂  I’m actually working on making a new version that may be for sale.  We’ll see how that goes.  Wait till I build a MegaSquirt device for a car!  Then I’ll be controlling all the tech directly!

That’s really what it comes down to.  Controlling tech and ‘making things happen at your will’.  That’s where I get my giggle.  Having an idea, implementing it and seeing it work.

Dammit….

November 6, 2009

Had a new post ready to go….was winding up for the last little bit with a few links and the damn browser hangs……so fine, I’ll let it be and see if it recovers….come back 10mins later and nothing.  Fine, drafts of my posts are saved automatically.  So I force close the browser and reopen.  Guess what……no more post!  Dammit….I give up today….maybe get into it tomorrow…..gonna take my shower now.

You simply don't know what you are doing….

November 4, 2009

And that is by design. It’s a scary world out there when you open your eyes and see what has been happening all along.

Look up the term “behavioral modification”. Simply put, it means changing the way someone does something. Happens all the time. Parents do it, teachers do it, even your boss does it to you. The majority of people never question it. Oh they will complain (kids cry, students whine and employees rant) but they never really question what is going on. This is by design and the majority of people never see it. “The Matrix has you Neo”

Think about it. You are told what to know as a child, then you are told what to know as a student then you are told what to do as an employee. Where, in this equation, do you ever stop and think about what you are doing? Let’s take a school subject that we are all forced to take at least once in our list of ‘choices’. History. It is a given fact that History is written by the winners. You never hear the ‘other side’ of the story do you? Heck, even when it IS the other side, it is either glossed over or shown to be an act of heroism but don’t you DARE try to pull that stunt here! (i.e. George Washington was a traitor. Simple fact. He defied the ruling body and created something new and what most Americans know today. Not judging, merely pointing out history.) Yet this single fact is ignored and you only hear his side from then on. I don’t recall see any movies that spoke from the British side (the government of the time) and hwo they felt about it. I’m also willing bet that it was never spoken of in school either.

So, there is a prime example of something you were told in school but never questioned nor given a moment to think about the big picture. You have be told what to believe. Behavior modified.

Things are not any different now except it’s more insidious. Not only are the same old stories told about history, now we have the Internet. A truly new frontier to learn and hear from the other side…..except when it’s censored.  Still, for the most part there seems to be a lot more openness online and freedom….or is there.

Kids today are subjected to more than you can possibly imagine, assuming you even bother taking the time to pay attention to your kid.  Let’s take games shall we?

Grand Theft .

“The name “Grand Theft Auto” is a reference to the legal term for vehicle theft.
The games allow players to take on the role of a criminal in a big city, typically an individual who rises through the ranks of organized crime through the course of the game. The player is given various missions by kingpins in the city underworld which must be completed to progress through the storyline. Assassinations, and other crimes feature regularly, but occasionally taxi driving, firefighting, pimping, street racing, bus driving or learning to fly fixed-wing aircraft are also involved.”

Wow…..what are our kids learning with this eh?   There has been close to 100 million copies of this games (since it’s introduction in 1997) sold.  There was the rumour about a hidden rape scene in the game.  Upon further research, it seems to be nothing more than that, a rumour.  The rumour is based on the “Hot Coffee” mod will gives characters a ‘nude skin’ and some sex scenes.  Still, not all that educational or helpful in enlightening the populace.

Ok, so GTA caters to the young/pre-teen crowd and into the teens easily and with a warped sense of reward/accomplishments.  What about younger kids?  A friend of mine told me that his daughter has this ‘virtual pet’ and that if she doesn’t go online everyday the pet horse will die!  Whoa!  If that ain’t blatant behavior modification, I don’t know what is.  Seriously, you are teaching a 6 year old that she simply HAS to go online for there to be life!  Wow, talk about taking our freedom and wrapping it in the most vile form of control that has ever exists…..corrupting an innocent mind.

Technology is here to help us.  The problem is who you have allowed to control your view of technology.  Get out there and get educated.  See things for what they are and learn to use technology to your advantage!