Everything, Everything - March 2011

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RadioPlayer
Thursday 31st March, 2011 15:58
I'm not surprised it's cheap to run ("in the low six figures"), I've run something very similar for free for the last 3+ years!
Framerates
Thursday 31st March, 2011 11:13
I wasn't particularly excited about Avatar 2 (and 3) as I wasn't too impressed with the original movie, but then I saw that the framerate might be 48 or 60fps instead of the more usual 24 (ish). That might not sound very interesting, but I like high framerates. I think I'm sensitive to slow framerates or refresh rates (I used to find the flicker of 60Hz CRTs unbearable and 70Hz annoying; 85Hz was much nicer). Given how the industry has adopted 3D for almost everything (even terrible movies), hopefully they'll adopt 48 or 60fps. Hopefully they'll quickly forget about this 3D fad too.
Windows 7 SP1
Tuesday 15th March, 2011 11:22
There seems to be a small number of people having issues with this service pack. It's been fine on every host I've upgraded, including over half a dozen Windows 7 and three Windows 2008 R2 boxes. The only slight issue I experienced was the Hyper-V server took a long time to reboot. I jumped onto the KVM over IP device and was able to see the server was shutting down, but seemed to be hanging on:

Shutting down Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service

After waiting about 20 minutes, I decided to walk into the lab, unlock the rack, take off the faceplate and look at the hard disk activity. There was none. This surprised me as I figured, even though the VMs had been paused or stopped, it might be trying to write a lot of data to disk. I suspect it was doing some intense CPU calculations, but there are no flashing lights on the box to show that, and I can't imagine it'd take that long for this one service. At least the spinning icon kept spinning, so I knew the server was okay as I sat back at my desk with the KVM window open.

After resisting the urge to go back in the lab and hold down the power button for several seconds, it eventually rebooted and moved onto the next set of stages. It probably took an hour from clicking "Restart" to being able to log in again. More painful than I expected, but at least I didn't hit the 0xC0000034 error that some people are seeing.
Outcasts
Thursday 10th March, 2011 10:53
I've been enjoying Outcasts on BBC One. Despite some initial bad reviews, and I admit it started slowly (and the cut diamonds was an obvious flaw), I think it shows a lot of promise. Unfortunately, the low viewing figures has already forced Outcasts into a late night slot on a Sunday, and I doubt another season will be commissioned (although the BBC won't anounce such things until after all of the episodes have aired). I imagine it'll suffer the same fate as Paradox, never giving us answers, and being left wide open for another season that will cruely never arrive.

When I watched the pilot episode I saw a ship approaching the planet and I immediately thought of Defying Gravity. I should have guessed Outcasts would suffer a similar fate. Too many good shows are cancelled, while crap yet highly popular shows like Two and a Half Men go on for years (and TAAHM only gets postponed when their lead actor, Charlie Sheen, goes completely nuts).
Internet Explorer 9
Thursday 10th March, 2011 10:27
I've been using the beta and RC for a while and I'm quite happy with how stable it's been (I remember the good old days when even the release candidates of IE would make a system blue screen), so I'm looking forward to the final version when it's released on March 14th.

Sadly it seems to be bringing out the crazies. One person commented on the IEBlog:

"Our websites will break for all our customers if they upgrade to IE9"

If they do then it's their fault, not Microsoft's. My website, although fairly basic in its use of CSS and JavaScript, didn't need any changes to be made. Nothing broke. It looks identical to IE8 (and other browsers).

  1. You can change the "Document Mode". Ways to force IE9 to emulate IE7 or IE8 were posted almost a year ago on the IEBlog. It's as simple as adding a custom HTTP header (X-UA-Compatible) to your affected website (the same technique used when IE8 was released), or you can use a meta tag if you don't have full control over the web server.
  2. IE9 has been available as a technical preview, beta and Release Candidate for a very long time. It wasn't even limited to TechNet subscribers; the whole world could download them. There has been plenty of time for developers to code websites to work with IE9, and in many cases the IE team have blogged on good ways to detect JavaScript features before using them.
Apples vs Oranges
Wednesday 9th March, 2011 09:54
I was reading an article on Comparing Hardware Accelerated SVG across Browsers with Santa's Workshop and stumbled across this comment:


Dumbass Compares Apples to Oranges


Microsoft clearly stated (in italics!) that: "these results were generated from a Dell Laptop (2.26 GHz Intel Core i3, 4GB physical memory, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M, 250GB 7200 RPM drive, Windows 7)". I doubt mbreslin has exactly the same specification PC. One with a faster CPU and better graphics card could make a considerable difference.
Intelligent NTFS Permissions
Tuesday 8th March, 2011 12:38
Metasploit have fixed this bug: 3.5.2 Windows installer takes a long time to set permissions. Not only did it increase the time taken to install, it also caused problems for me when I tried to launch Metasploit Framework with UAC enabled (I could only get around it by using an elevated Command Prompt to launch the GUI, for example).

Their fix is simple:

Fixed in 3.6 by using inheritance intelligently instead of recursing.

I was amazed as I watched the old installer set permissions on every file, rather than use inheritance (which should be easier to implement!). I'm very glad they've fixed this.

You can grab 3.6.0 from here.
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