TideLog Archive for May, 2009

I found a reason to like the PC Version of GTAIV a couple of months back! I’ve found some of the dialog in it hilarious, “Are you going to start? Fack dis sh*t! Fack me!” and have been looking into trying to extract the sound files. I found the way, and it’s the not-so-imaginatively named Spark IV. It’s an open source program that allows you to extract sounds, music, and textures from the PC version, with the mad Serbian terrorist’s funny dialog.

It’s hosted on Google Code, and programmed in Visual C# (Pronounced ‘See Sharp’) that comes with Microsoft Visual Studio. It comes in prebuilt ZIP, or you can download the source, tweak it, build it, snd run it. I’m not sure if you can re-inject textures or audio yet, but i’ll post more, plus screens, tomorrow.

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I’ve noticed like most of you, that when running Windows Live Messenger on Windows 7, that when the window is minimized, and supposed to disappear from the taskbar, it doesn’t, and it is annoying, especially if you’ve done my Windows 7 Classic Taskbar Fix. There’s a fix, and apparently the problem isn’t a bug, but intentional, so it stays on the new taskbar as a button, but when you’ve restored the XP taskbar style, it stays there with its label, and takes up space.

To fix it, we’ll use the easiest method, and that is Compatibility Mode. Navigate to your Live Messenger folder,usually in Program Files, and right click ‘msnmsgs.exe’, and select Properties. Go to the Compatibility tab, and select Vista under the Compatibility area.

Hit Apply, and it should go to the notification area, and disppear from the Taskbar!

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This is something that has baffled me recently. I’m an avid reader of the free Metro paper, while on the tram and bus. However, on the buses, Metro have their own adverts that say “Leaving your Metro behind is littering”. Fair enough, I’m sick of people leaving Metros on bus seats, only for them to slide off with the constant braking and accelerating of the bus, as if ignorant chavs’ littering wasn’t bad enough with McDonalds litter etc purposely left there as if the bus were a bin, it makes the buses look like Metro graveyards at the end of the day, with Metro copies all ripped, dirty footprints all over them. True, it is the passengers’ ignorance that causes it, the passengers should be made to put their copies back into the tray at the front of the bus where they most likely got it from once they disembark from the vehicle, if they do not want to take it.

But, on the other hand, Stagecoach Limited, who run the Metrolink after Serco’s contract ran out, have signs above the driver’s door on the front carriage encouraging the opposite to Metro’s bus adverts. They state, “Please take your copy with you, or leave it folded on the seat for the next person to read”. Conflict! OK, the braking of the trams is smooth, 99.9% of the time, but don’t you think Metro should leave it to the transport companies to decide?

I certainly do, it’s daft, and if there was a littering law in force on Manchester’s public transport that included Metro, there would be complaints on the basis of the issues on this very blog article.

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The computer hardware & software industries have gone nuts. Microsoft have been sued for including Windows Media Player and IE with their OS, when they’ve been doing it for YEARS, everyone branded it ‘anti-competitive’. Apple forced people to use their crappy iTunes software with iPods. They’re now forcing you to use their shitty earbuds with the new Shuffle, or pay 150% more for third party higher quality ones. The new design has the playback controls on the earbud data cable, meaning one of two things:

1. You stick with the shit things that come with the Shuffle;


2. You buy a special set of earphones from companies Apple have done schmuck deals with, such as Bose, and Sennheiser, which are vastly overpriced! You see them on display in Apple stores, for £200, about 40% more than the cost of a 160GB iPod Classic!

Yet, no one seems to have cried….not even FANBOIS….you can here a pin drop…….

Plus the new earphones are reported to have DRM in them….DRM, in earphones? Apparently so, there’s a tiny chip, minuscule, hiiden under the button board, glued to the plastic. This could mean headphone manufacturers having to pay fees to make earphones for the Shuffle!

Why? Why should Microsoft be done for the tiniest thing, yet Apple get away with something like this? Hello…this is ANTI-COMPETITIVE, even WORSE than Microsoft, at least you can still install your own browser and media player alongside their built in stuff. I’m starting to go off Apple. I don’t give a crap about Steve Jobs being ‘ill’, he’s been ill all his damn life, it’s called running Apple and mugging customers off, plus getting away with it. At least now the open source movement means i’m not stuck with iTunes, which becomes more and more bloated with every new version.

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Fed up of the default images Microsoft give you as UA pictures? They’re cute, but the creative side in us comes out once in a while. Here’s how to create your own:

1. Open up Photoshop, or your favourite image creation program.

2. Create a new image NO BIGGER than 128 x 128.

3. Put in it whatever you want, and tweak it so it looks right.

4. Then save it as a .BMP in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\User Account Pictures\Default Pictures\. It can be either a 16BPP OR 32BPP (Bits Per Pixel) image depth, but 32 looks better.

The filename doesn’t matter, but I named it incrementally after the last one, which was ‘usertile44.bmp’, so mine was ‘usertile45.bmp’

5. Then, go into Control Panel, User Accounts, and Change Account Picture, and your new one should show up. Select it, then hit Change Picture, and you’re done!

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