Everything, Everything - January 2005

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2004: J F M A M J J A S O N D
X Factor
Sunday 30th January, 2005 02:11
I was chatting to (yet another person I know called) Helen, and she said I'm a nice guy, but I'm missing that X Factor that makes a girl want to rip my clothes off. She's right.

I wonder how much longer I'll keep my beard.
Pizza Cretins
Saturday 29th January, 2005 22:08
I decided to try out the Domino's website tonight, ordered a Pepperoni Passion and a Hanky Panky dessert. But the person turned up with the wrong pizza and no dessert, so he had to go back and get the right one. Ah well, maybe I'll stick to repeating the order three times over the phone in future.

I've only managed half the dessert, feeling sick and bloated, it's really rich and nice but filling. Watched Phone Booth again, I had forgotten how good it was.
Hilltop Hoods - The Nosebleed Section
Saturday 29th January, 2005 00:00
What a great song, I've been playing it a bit over the past couple weeks, but not since I got SilentBob (and my music collection) up and running again. But it's on now. Maybe I'll move my music across to my fileserver tonight. But it is a lot of data.

The O.C. didn't really cheer me up, not exactly an upbeat episode.

It's Chloe's birthday today (29th) but I can't wish her a happy birthday as she's on holiday.
The O.C.
Friday 28th January, 2005 19:51
I can always rely on an episode of The O.C. to cheer me up. I hope. Still, it's the start of the weekend! I'm going to look at the fuses in my car, as the driver's electric window has stopped working - looks like there might even be some spares in the car that I can switch over. I now have chocolate in the flat, although I don't know how long the big bar of Galaxy chocolate will last.

Actually, I'm in a fairly good mood because I got an email from Ursula. It's great to hear from her, I haven't seen her in about a year. Will write a reply later tonight.
Wednesday 26th January, 2005 20:27
I could do with a cuddle.
SilentBob Is Alive
Sunday 23rd January, 2005 19:52
Had to call the Windows Activation number, mind you.
Quick Update
Sunday 23rd January, 2005 01:38
Movie night went well on Friday. We had loads of pizza, snack food, lots of different things to drink, and I even managed to borrow my parents' big widescreen TV (I still have it now, will return it tomorrow). We watched Heat, I hadn't seen it in ages, it's supposed to be a cool action film (and it is), but Maria made us laugh because she thought Al Pacino and Robert De Niro were brothers.

My new motherboard was finally delivered on Friday, and I finally got around to putting it all together this evening. It didn't post. I tried using a spare PSU, spare processor, spare graphics card, with and without memory, I've tried pretty much everything. There's still a few things I can do to rule stuff out as working, but I suspect my new motherboard is dead and will require an RMA (which will cost money and probably mean I have to take more time off work) I'm very pissed off about this, because I've been without my main PC for two weeks now. Even worse, I still don't know if my 2800+ works (I may still have to buy a new CPU, would probably pick up either a cheap 2400+ Sempron as a temporary fix or maybe look on eBay for a bargain). I really hope it does work, as it's a week 7 CPU so it's multiplier unlocked, so I can probably run it at 10.5 x 200MHz with the Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe if I ever get it up and running. Why can't things go smoothly?

I've not had much luck with Socket A boards, my K7S5A died on me after just over a year, then my 8RDA+ died on me after about 7 months, then the replacement 8RDA+ appears to have died after about another 18 months, and this A7N8X-E Deluxe doesn't seem to be working.
Monday 17th January, 2005 02:18
I should be fast asleep in bed now, but I'm in one of those moods. I was bored, so looked into a few sites. Maria's friend Rebecca from the party over the new year added a chapter on her Linkin Park fan fiction site on Saturday. She hasn't added me to her MSN or replied to my email. I'd even read several chapters of her story, and I've got quite a few suggestions and things to chat about. Although it is saved on my main PC, which is still dead.

I'm wondering what sort of career change I could have, as the current path isn't exactly filled with joy. I just want to be happy.

We could be having a few friends over for a movie night at the weekend, I hope that'll cheer me up a bit.

And one last thing, I managed to upgrade the firmware on my dad's NEC 2500A so it now supports writing dual layer DVDs. Very cool.
Sunday 16th January, 2005 06:42
Apparently filming starts in London next week, and it'll be on TV in late 2005. I'm still not sure how good it'll be without the original 3, but if we get to see more of Sam I'll be happy.
Sunday 16th January, 2005 05:02
From the Windows Server 2003 x64 Customer Preview Program: Frequently Asked Questions page:
Q. I want to download the trial software but I do not have a CD burner. What should I do?

A. There are third-party software products available on the Internet that will create a "virtual CD drive."

What kind of an idiot downloads this 550MB file (presumably over an expensive broadband connection, or over a long period of time on unlimited dialup) for an expensive 64bit processor and doesn't have a CD burner on any system? A CD burner will cost you no more than about £20 nowadays, a dual layer DVD writer is about double that. If you can afford the CPU and the broadband connection then you should have a CD burner. I'm surprised they don't also cover their backs with...

Q. I don't have a processor that can perform 64 bit instructions.

A. You can try Windows 2003 or Windows XP.

Or perhaps even...

Q. I'm an idiot, why did I download this file?

A. Go away. Leave us alone. Buy a Mac.
Motherboard Layout
Sunday 16th January, 2005 04:26
I was reading up on the A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard that I'm hoping to buy to replace my dead EPoX (despite the fact Gareth syas some of his mates had them die on them - although it looks like the original A7N8X board was the one with some trouble). It was criticized in a review for not changing the layout, as there isn't much room for some heatsinks. I have a large Alpha PAL 8045 that has worked fine for years now, so I basically need a board with the 4 mounting holes (otherwise it's a case of swapping HSF with my dad's slightly louder Volcano 7+), and it looked like it'll fit, but I decided to take a look. They only list the A7N8X board on the Alpha site, but if the layout is the same around the CPU then it should be fine!

It looks like the board supports changing the multiplier, assuming my CPU is okay I might try running my 3200LL ram at its proper 200MHz speed (the Ultra chip supports it in dual channel), and lower the multiplier from 12.5 to 10.5 so it can run in sync. That should make it still appear as a 2800+ (as it's only about 17MHz faster) but with a slight edge, and running everything at the faster FSB. I could try a multiplier of 10, but I suspect the drop would outweigh any potential speed games from the higher FSB. If the CPU complains I could try running at 198MHz. I hear the board tries to run at 202MHz normally, which is a little odd.

I tried running my 2800+ at 3200+ when I first got it, it would manage a few hours before blue screening, but being an nForce 2 'Ultra' chip I might be able to run things better (I never worked out what the limiting factor was, my guess is it's possibly the 5V rail from the PSU, otherwise it's the CPU, but I've heard of 2500+ chips that overclock to 3200+ speeds, so why couldn't I get the 2800+ reliably up to 3000+ speeds?). I could raise the voltages a fair bit and see how far I can push the processor before it dies. It'd be nice to get it at 3200+ speeds again without blue screening. Even 3000+ would be nice. That would keep me going a bit longer until I upgrade to some sort of dual core setup sometime after the summer. I wonder how Windows XP will cope with a pair of dual core Opterons, as my copy of XP Pro is only for 1-2 processors (they plan on sticking with a per processor model for now). Or will I have to get a copy of Windows Server and/or some kind of 64 bit version anyway to get the best performance from my chip? I might just buy a brand new system to save the hassle (EDIT: I eventually went with Windows 2003, not exactly a cheap option, but it works perfectly).
Darth Tater
Sunday 16th January, 2005 01:43
All credit to Dave for spotting this.

I spotted that Apple are trying to take over the music world with iTunes. I tried to install QuickTime and apparently the download for 2000/XP now comes with iTunes, so you start downloading it - except it's just the usual iTunes software (because it also installs QuickTime). I decided to grab the 98/Me version instead. Apple, we're not stupid. If we wanted iTunes we'd have gone to the iTunes part of the site.

Looks like eXeem will be out next week, I don't know how successful it'll be, as it doesn't sound like it's anonymous or anything special. They reckon we can rate files if people put fake stuff up, but presumably the fakers could fake the ratings too? And the ssoftware itself contains adware and only runs on Windows. I don't think it'll do very well. People will just stick with the other sites until something better comes along (MUTE sounds great in theory, but it doesn't have any content and things take longer to download, but perhaps something like it will be all the rage next year?).
Thursday 13th January, 2005 23:09
One of my biscuits is just an empty wrapper.
Tru Calling
Thursday 13th January, 2005 21:10
Tru Calling has been cancelled and the Season 2 episodes that have been completed will apparently never air on television. B******s!
Thursday 13th January, 2005 20:54
Why can you get almost any flavour cheesecake, except for cheese? And who thought that cheese would be a good ingredient for a dessert?
Monday 10th January, 2005 23:03
Dear Sir,

Provided that the following criteria can be met, we can carry out warranty repair of your mainboard at EPoX UK :-
Unequivocal proof of UK purchase can be provided along with proof of valid warranty.
The mainboard has not been modified in any way.
The mainboard has is not damaged in any way
The mainboard has not suffered electronic damage consistent with that of overclocking beyond our perception of the capability of the component set.
Carriage to and from the repair site is met by the customer.
At present repairs are on a 14 day turnaround cycle.

We can arrange return carriage at cost for ?7.95 provided that a cheque is made payable to "Actron Electronics Limited".

Please send all proofs of purchase along with proof of warranty, mainboard product and any payments to :-


B******s! So if I pay to send it back, pay for them to return it, and can wait two weeks while they do it, I can get a repaired motherboard? I have the GSC capacitors on it and the USA lot were even covering boards outside of the warranty last year. But it seems the UK lot aren't so generous. I'd rather buy a new (non-EPoX) motherboard.
Play With Webcams
Sunday 9th January, 2005 05:51
With the right query in Google you can find webcams that you can not only view in realtime, but also control! Isn't Google great? I suspect it's potentially illegal, to control the cameras though.
Saturday 8th January, 2005 17:48
I managed to buy the latest album by Zero 7 in the sales at HMV for just £6.99!

The bank was closed, so I wasn't able to putmy money in. Will have to find time sometime during the week.
Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware
Saturday 8th January, 2005 15:28
In beta from the MS site, just a shame they can't fix their OS so it doesn't get stung in the first place.
SilentBob Is Dead
Saturday 8th January, 2005 04:37
I'm pretty sure the motherboard is dead (we're talking 99.9% sure), just depends if EPoX will replace it for me, of if I have to go through Overclockers - I bought the original board from them just over 2 years ago, so it's outside the warranty now, but the fact the replacement board only lasted 18 months might be good enough for EPoX UK to replace it (especially as this is my second board in such a short period of time). Or I'll just get myself a new motherboard and AMD 64 bit processor, I've gone 18 months with my trusty 2800+, that's impressive for me (I used to go about 9-12 months befor replacing a processor). I can probably reuse most of my existing kit, and pass down the 2800+ to my dad (replacing his 1600+). Still a pain to have to reinstall XP and activate it with the new motherboard, and install all my software again. I might throw the disk into another PC to get the partitions ready for a clean new install, it's a good job that disk now has a spare 16GB on the second partition that I can use to duplicate the first partition onto before wiping it clean.

It's a good job I have a TFT and wireless keyboard and mouse, as it was easy to hook it up to SilentBob2 in the cupboard. It's quite weird to be working on such a quiet PC again, although it's still sluggish.

I love my new headphones though! At least there's been one good thing about Friday. My plan is to buy both of Zero 7's albums and a big tub of chocolate icecream this weekend, then bring it in with my CD player and new headphones to listen to at lunchtime as I devour rich fatty icecream in front of everyone.
Saturday 8th January, 2005 01:13
Not only am I having trouble installing Nero onto SilentBob2, but my main machine SilentBob now refuses to boot. He'd had trouble over the past few days, but I didn't realise he was this bad. I think it's the motherboard, but that's only a guess after resetting the BIOS, pulling out the power on the hard disk and optical drives. Perhaps it's time to finally get a new processor and get an AMD 64 chip.
Friday 7th January, 2005 21:53
Got my new ones today, they're great. So good that I can easily hear the compression on the MP3s I haven't encoded with LAME with VBR.
Wednesday 5th January, 2005 16:53
1) Work part time
2) ???
3) Profit

I don't think it'll work.
Wednesday 5th January, 2005 16:53
I just bought myself some fairly expensive new headphones, Shure's E2C through Amazon. I hope they're worth it.
Monday 3rd January, 2005 21:08
Oops, I seem to have broken my iPod headphones. I can probably glue it back together, but it's probably not worth the hassle. I could buy a new pair, I think, but I believe they're expensive and I might as well buy some really nice expensive ones, given how much I use them at work.
Top Gear
Sunday 2nd January, 2005 21:50
Never drive home after watching the best of Top Gear. They are trained professionals in expensive cars. But my car is quite nippy, especially in 3rd gear once the engine gets warm. It feels like it needs a long drive again.
Feeling Better
Sunday 2nd January, 2005 17:32
I had a chat with Caz on MSN, if it hadn't been for her I'd probably have spent the entire day in bed feeling sorry for myself. She's such a great friend.
Sunday 2nd January, 2005 00:28
Apparently, the fourth season of 24 will premiere on Sunday January 30th at 9:00PM on Sky One in the UK. Which makes sense, as America begins on Sunday 9th (2 episodes on Sunday, followed by 2 episodes on Monday) with a new episode aired every week for the entire season, from what I've heard.

There's also a double episode of Alias in America this week, to kick off the new series. It follows Lost, JJ Abrams' other hit TV show. And a double episode of 8 Simple Rules this week. Obviously it's the fashionable thing to do.

I decided to start watching the old Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie from 1992 with Kristy Swanson. It's a little different to the TV series. Vampires float.
Salad Fingers
Saturday 1st January, 2005 22:11
My brother sent me this link, it's so totally weird, disturbing and f**ked up, but undeniably unique and entertaining.

There's a scene where he's rubbing the bars on his window, and it reminded me of when the girl at the coffee shop cleans the machine between each latte - there's a disturbing sexual quality to it.
So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish
Saturday 1st January, 2005 16:38
It's been 3 years since I started my diary (an idea I had when I was struggling to make it through my 2nd year at university, but started while I was at home with the parents). Back then I wondered what the difference between 2001 and 2002 would be, "Not much, I'd imagine" was my prediction, and in many ways I was right. In fact, it still holds even now. Despite learning lots of new things over the years, I don't really get to do anything I couldn't have done when I'd completed my GCSEs. I have an office job, so I managed to avoid going back into retail, but PC World's pay was probably no worse once you take into account commission.

I still listen to lots of music, but mostly the same things I listened to 3+ years ago. My hatred of the Foundations CA back then has been replaced by my love of the Foundation books by Isaac Asimov, that I'm now 5/7ths of the way through re-reading.

I still get the occasional cold and nosebleed, that hasn't changed over the years, and I still prefer to get up and stay up late. I probably watch more TV than I used to, especially compared to 2003 when Kev, Helen, Jackie, Caroline, Natalie, Jon and I would go out clubbing (mostly at Arena). Despite graduating so long ago, I'm still in touch with most people, although sometimes I can tell when the friendships are falling apart.

Back in January 2002 I regularly got called a star, something that I keep getting called at work, for my fast turnaround and attention to detail. I even got called a 'start' a few months back, which was apparently a typo for star, and not tart.

Valentines Day is six weeks away now, three years ago I went by myself to CinSoc to watch the repeat of Bridget Jones, meeting the presidents, one of which I later discovered was a friend of Katie (probably the most wonderful person I've ever met, it's a shame she lives so far away).

I know where Lynne lives, which is a step up from 3 years ago, but at least I was going over for coffee 2 years ago (while it's been over a year since I've seen her, after having to cancel going to Woking a couple times now, I might make it next weekend if I can). The strange friendship is still there, but we barely talk anymore as she's always busy. I still care about her a lot, but I won't be sending her a gift on Valentines Day. In fact, I doubt I'll be sending anyone a gift at this rate.

The only Valentines Day card I've had in the past 3 years was one from Liz, in sympathy more than anything, and I've now lost touch with her. Liz from Blue Peter has also moved on, I believe, I don't watch it as much as I used to. Or at all.

I'd forgotten Oceans Eleven was out 3 years ago, the sequel is out in the cinemas in a while.

My plant, Alice, is still doing well, and the real girl (who the plant is named after) is working in London now. I still haven't spoken to her, and I doubt I ever will.

Things I'd do differently? I wouldn't have helped Lynne so much with her work if I'd known it would have affected mine so much - at the time I still hoped we'd end up married and that would have made everything worth it. I wish I'd made more of an effort to let Chloe know how I felt about her in my final year at uni.

This isn't really a good place to end things, so I might post again later today. It's been a strange 3 years, and I've debated having this diary for a while. If I ditch it I'll be able to make the whole site XHTML compliant far more easily.
Happy New year
Saturday 1st January, 2005 06:19
Just got back from Maria's party, it was pretty good fun, but mostly because I spent the majority of the evening talking to her lovely and beautiful friend Becca. I was also surprised to see Kev and Helen turned up, it was nice to catch up with them.
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