Shaun Of The Dead (Again)
When I found the Shaun Of The Dead site the other day what I omitted to do was check the UK site. It has a much better version of the game and the trailer. Enjoy - and remember the DVD is out in just over a week.

Entry 927, Thursday, August 26th 2004, Filed In Stuff

Mini Blog
If you follow lazylaces regularly (I know there are a couple of you out there) you'll know I love my mini so you can imagine my excitement when I discovered autoblog has a special nook devoted to the coop. Bookmarked!

Entry 926, Thursday, August 26th 2004, Filed In Stuff

So last night my automatic updates started downloading service pack 2 for XP, except they didn't because it fell over and I had to do it manually. Whatever - I wasn't expecting things to be easy with this one, I'll be fair to Micro$oft they're projecting 100 million installs in total (so I read somewhere anyway - not sure if I really believe that figure, it seems scarily large - anyway lets just say there are going to be a LOT of downloads).

Anyway having kicked off late, and even on a fast connection a 75Mb+ download and install isn't to be sniffed at, I ended up going to bed and leaving it to do it's stuff. This morning, before work, all seemed fine. The first thing you see is lot of stuff about security - fine, I'd read the blurb - I was expecting a security-esque focus, I'm not sure the non-technically orientated user would be that happy though. Firewalls are all well and good but you don't really want to worry about that stuff if you just want to use a computer, rather than really know what's going on. I was fine though.

At this point I was impressed for the first time (I wasn't expecting that). Not only did XP detect that I was using zonealarm, it told me I was protected with it, and left the XP firewall switched off. Nice. Less nice was the fact that my internet connection seemed to have totally switched off (now that's safe). A quick re-boot later though and all was fine. Even the novice Windoze user has to be used to a multitude of reboots and the fact that they fix 90% of problems.

So what about now it's all is up and running? Well, as I say, I liked the zonealarm thing, and there's this program access feature that let you choose between Micro$oft and non-Micro$oft profiles - not only does XP recognise the fact that I have Firefox installed it lets me switch to a profile in a couple of clicks that only allows Firefox access to the internet and switches off IE's access. That's lawsuits for you. I'll not use it, access for all I say, I like a choice, but I'm impressed that it's there. It didn't recognise that I use Opera for everything though, not even that it existed, I can live this with though since it didn't actively stop me doing my own thing (you end up with the 'other' profile). Also, and I know this is silly, I liked the cute little new XP shield icon for the security settings (see pic above). If you are going to make users do security at least make it look good. Bonus points.

Finally, I didn't really notice at first, but IE has some new settings for things like blocking pop-ups. Could be good, I don't really know, I don't use IE at home if I can help it, although I'm sure it's going to cause merry hell with apps I'm developing at work when we have to have lengthy conversations with users about why some functions in their intranets are 'no longer working'. Experience has shown that explaining that Micro$oft has changed some defaults and they'll need to make a couple of adjustments to their settings will be a long and painful, and in some cases totally 'unexceptable', process. Oh well these things are sent to challenge you. What riles me most is how this is such a great 'innovation'. Whatever next? Tabbed browsing? It's a revolution I tell you.

So all in all the XP SP2 upgrade wasn't totally painless, but it wasn't exactly the complete nightmare I'd been led to expect from some sources either, there's even some quite nice features in there and I haven't even touched half of it, like the wireless network set-up wizard, yet.

Just one additional thing - whilst getting the links for this post I noticed that Micro$oft have updated the look of their website. Not quite the same shock value as when google changed their stylesheet, but another one of those little changes that makes you sit back in your rocking chair, in your slippers, with your pipe, and reminisce about ye olde internet from the good ol' days.

Entry 925, Thursday, August 26th 2004, Filed In Stuff

That's Life
Calvin's spot on as usual with his life advice - click the picture for a bigger version [at calvin & hobbes].

Entry 924, Wednesday, August 25th 2004, Filed In Stuff

Disco Squirrels
The Disco Squirrels sing "Disco Sauna"... er... obviously
[via angry monkey].

Entry 923, Tuesday, August 24th 2004, Filed In Stuff

YoPpi the AliEn
So you're ultra proficient at point'n'click gamery now are you? YoPpi the AliEn is darn cute, but very easy to complete (I managed it in about 5 mins without any hints), so for a challenge I'm starting the stopwatch now. Go...[ta allegra].

Entry 922, Tuesday, August 24th 2004, Filed In Games

Warning! Time to stop blogging/surfing in the nude until you have those latest virus definitions downloaded: A worm capable of using webcams to spy on users is circulating across the Net. I am fully clothed as I write this (and I'm downloading from Norton in the background).

Entry 921, Tuesday, August 24th 2004, Filed In Stuff

Another non-Russian-spam-esque mail in my inbox this week; what have I done to do deserve this? Thanks to Hazel for If We Believed Everything In The Movies..., which I've seen at least in part before, but I do enjoy the truisms within. Also another post without a link gives me another excuse to link to a pic of my X40, which according to the on-line tracking is now "ready to dispatch". Woohoo! Anyway, I digress, those movie things:

Large, loft-style apartments in New York City are well within the price range of most people -- whether they are employed or not.

At least one of a pair of identical twins is born evil.

Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don't worry which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one.

Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communications system of any invading alien society.

It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts: your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.

When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish.

If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to become a world expert on nuclear fission at the age of 22.

Honest and hard working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement.

Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their arch enemies using complicated machinery involving fuses, pulley systems, deadly gases, lasers, and man-eating sharks, which will allow their captives at least 20 minutes to escape.

All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets that reach the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.

All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.

It's easy for anyone to land a plane providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.

Once applied, lipstick will never rub off even while scuba diving.

You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.

Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German or Russian officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German or Russian accent will do.

The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.

A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.

If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long.

If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear.

Word processors never display a cursor on screen but will always say: Enter Password Now.

Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.

All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.

A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.

If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you meet will know all the steps.

Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their total opposite.

When they are alone, all foreign military officers prefer to speak to each other in English.

Entry 920, Tuesday, August 24th 2004, Filed In Stuff

Rom Zom Com
A link to the official film site over at milk & cookies reminded me that I really had to say something about Shaun Of the Dead. It's the best film I've seen in a long time - I watched it on the long-haul return flight on my holiday and almost went into fits trying not to laugh out loud as I viewed it on the personal video player and most of the rest of the flight was asleep.

As far as stories go it's your normal run-of-the-mill Rom Zom Com (Romantic Zombie Comedy)... You know; boy meets girl, falls in love, loses girl, country gets taken over by zombies, gets back with girl, etc... The sound track is top notch too - scroll over to the right of the pub on the flash site to play the jukebox and hear some of the tracks. And while you're there make sure you watch the trailer and have a go at the zombie killing mini-game.

The only negative thing I would say about the film is perhaps the humour is a bit too British. I'm not totally sure what I mean by that myself, but of the 3 of us who saw the film, while I thought it was excellent, the other 2, both South African, didn't rate it at all. I think they're mad. Likewise they don't get where I'm coming from on this one. It still won't stop me getting the thing on DVD when it's out next month though.

Entry 919, Monday, August 23rd 2004, Filed In Stuff

DC Flyby
This groovy interactive icon-esque map of Washington DC is fun, but really makes me want to see one of London more than anything else. If you find one let me know [via ritilan].

Entry 918, Monday, August 23rd 2004, Filed In Stuff

Shoot The Cliche
Shoot The Cliche is a nice little shooting game from those nice Dutch folks over at flabber, although shooting cute little domo kun and avoiding the awesome burninating power of trogdor is a little disconcerting.

Entry 917, Sunday, August 22nd 2004, Filed In Games

I don't normally post stuff from my inbox (as most of it's Russian spam - why I don't know), but this 'vocabulary of the office' from TIJ tickled me. I put my hand up to being a confirmed mouse potato, do you recognise any of these?

BLAMESTORMING Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and deciding who was responsible.

SEAGULL MANAGER A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

ASSMOSIS The process by which people seem to absorb success and advancement by sucking up to the boss rather than working hard.

SALMON DAY The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.

CUBE FARM An office filled with cubicles.

MEERKATTING When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on. (This also applies to applause from a promotion, because there may be cake.)

MOUSE POTATO The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

TESTICULATING Waving your arms around and talking bollocks.

SITCOMs Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids or start a "home business".

STRESS PUPPY A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

XEROX SUBSIDY Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.

PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

ADMINISPHERE The rarefied organisational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the "adminisphere" are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve. This is often affiliated with the dreaded "administrivia" - needless paperwork and processes.

404 Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found" - meaning that the requested document could not be located.

OHNOSECOND That minuscule fraction of time during which you realise that you've just made a BIG mistake (e. g. you've hit "reply all").

WOOFies Well Off Older Folk.

PS. Sorry if you're looking at these and saying they are soooo old. I think I recognise at least some of them too, but they still gave me a Sunday afternoon chuckle.

PPS. As I didn't have a link for this post I've linked to a picture of the IBM X40 I've just ordered - just 'cause I can, and I'm all excited about it. More on this later (it arrives next weekend) I'm sure.

Entry 916, Sunday, August 22nd 2004, Filed In Stuff

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