Wednesday, 23 May 2007

If I should lose my sanity

In case I ever lose my sanity (assuming someone can tell the difference), here are some things to try, to bring me back to mental health:

* Chocolate. Chocolate cures everything... it's most effective on nearly-insane (rather than completely insane) patients though.
* Say "Basingstoke". There is no evidence that this is of any value to me, but it worked for Miss Mackintosh, so it can't hurt to try.
* Electroshock therapy: put a ThinkPad beneath my fingers. Effectiveness never tried, as the ThinkPad has seldom been anywhere _but_ beneath my fingers.
* Appeal to my sense of service. Come up to me and say, "Chris, I need a hand with some REXX work". Quite effective.
* Distract me with an appallingly disastrous concept. Something like: "Bill Gates has been proclaimed Emperor of Earth". Effectiveness depends on your creativity.
* Force of habit. Say any line from any Gilbert and Sullivan, and see if I respond with the next one. This has nothing to do with restoring sanity, but it might be entertaining to see what an insane mind comes up with.

Remember, the continued mental health of Threshold's most annoying geek may depend on you! So the question to ask yourself is... Shall I go to lunch, or shall I keep borging?

Monday, 21 May 2007

RosMud version 1.3.5

Version 1.3.5 eliminates a couple of potential crashes, and adds some minor features. There's also a new plugin, a calculator - see the web page.

* Analogously to Ctrl-PgDn to scroll down to the bottom, Ctrl-PgUp now scrolls up - to the most recent activity. Think of it as an "on-demand More pager" - when you press Ctrl-PgUp, the display will scroll such that your most recently entered command is at the top of the screen, followed by its output.
-- (See Options|Advanced for how to control automatic pausing on Ctrl-PgUp.)
* Fixed bug in plugin handlers that meant that Use_Hooks wasn't behaving correctly
* Eliminated a crash caused by DNS lookup failure
* Attempting to eliminate the crash that occurs randomly when travelling rapidly. The cause of the crash is uncertain, making debugging dodgy at best, but I've made some changes that have a positive (rather than negative) effect on performance, so it won't hurt to have made them even if the bug's still there. :)

Same download link, as always. The plugins are unchanged, except for calc.

Monday, 14 May 2007

RosMud version 1.3.4

A few minor tweaks. The scrolling improvements may not be obvious to all, but if you noticed any sort of visual problems with RosMud, hopefully this will fix them.

* Fixed the mini-icon which had some unsightly white pixels

* The MRU Window Position now saves the Normal position even if the window is maximized.

* View|Color now has two quick buttons on it - Monochrome and Default. Monochrome selects black text on white, ANSI disabled; Default selects grey text on black, ANSI enabled.

* Scrolling should now be much smoother and completely reliable.

Monday, 7 May 2007

RosMud version 1.3.3

RosMud 1.3.3 has some bugfixes and some new features.

* Added automated logging option - see Options|Advanced. Filename may include strftime() directives to incorporate portions of the current date.
* Improved prompt handling - local commands will no longer wipe out the prompt
* Made the prompt termination characters configurable (see Options|Advanced)
* Changed the default input box color from Windows default to coloured
* Changed a number of defaults to be more like GMud's (won't affect people who have INI files)

Friday, 4 May 2007

09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

My first thought on seeing the number above was that someone was posting a couple of MAC addresses or something.

But it's not. As Elvion said:
Basically thats the decryption key that was released (leaked) last night to HD-DVD allowing linux users to watch HD-DVD. Incidentally it can be used to copy/burn it as well.


The question was asked, is DRM worthwhile? My response:

I think DRM is tackling a real problem by the wrong method. Copyright protection is a genuine issue, but DRM is not the right solution. As I see it, the solution is to imitate another realm.

Look at photocopiers. When they first came in, the printing industry got really afraid. What happens now? Do people go to the library, borrow a book, photocopy it all, and return it? Not often. Why? Because it's against the law, and because it's so convenient to buy the book for yourself.

DRM is an attempt to prevent unauthorized use. It also makes legitimate use much harder. That is not a good thing. It needs to be really easy and convenient for someone to pay their money and listen to the song (or whatever it is they're wanting to do), and then people will do it. But get into an arms race against the pirates, and they'll win - because it's much harder for the manufacturers to uproot and change techniques. Freely distributed information will always beat the lockdown - eventually.

Anything involving embedded devices (eg DVD players) gets locked into whatever technology was considered stable at time of production. Suppose that includes some brilliant encryption technique, straight from the military. All DVDs could be encrypted, and all players have the decryption. That'd prevent other people from decoding the discs in some other system. But what happens in a couple of years, when that encryption algorithm is cracked? Do you recall all DVD players? Impossible. Do you release a new standard and try to expire the old? Also difficult.

Make it easy to do the right thing, and prosecute pirates in the civil courts. Build a culture in society that says it's OK to buy and not OK to steal. It works in other industries - shoplifting may add something to the price of your groceries, but it doesn't drive supermarkets out of business.

RosMud version 1.3.2

A bugfix release for RosMud, 1.3.2 incorporates the following changes:

* Smoothed out scrolling a little less, hopefully eliminating a redraw problem with the use of a scroll wheel.

* Eliminated a potential resource leak (I think!) regarding the use of CreateSolidBrush() in response to the WM_CTLCOLOREDIT message. This should cure the reported problem that sometimes the whole window goes white - this seems to be due to a lack of GDI resources available, due to that leak.

It's available from the same URL (see the links on the right hand side).

Songs and Hymns

Want some worthwhile music to listen to? How about old famous hymns, rendered by skilful singers who love what they're doing and are singing for the glory of God?

www.songsandhymns.org has a large number of hymns represented, and for each one you can access an MP3 file of people singing it, the music score in GIF format (scanned in - the quality's not 100% perfect but you can read it), a text version of the lyrics (excellent for Google integration - if you get a deep link to the Lyrics page, you can access the rest from there), the story behind the hymn, and a devotional piece relating to it.

They've recently undergone a bit of a web site revision, so deep linking may not be working at present, but that will settle down somewhat over a little while as the site gets reindexed.

A good hymn to start with is Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah which has a spectacular rendition.

If you enjoy singing harmonies (as I do), these make excellent backing. The chords are clearly audible in both the accompaniment and the singing.

To God be the glory!