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;

or:

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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Frankly, I hate the new Taskbar style, and wanted to destroy it as soon as I saw it. Here’s how to get things back to normal, XP style:

1. Right click the Taskbar, and uncheck Lock Taskbar, then select Properties:

taskbar-properties

2. In the dialog that follows,  click the Use Small Icons checkbox, and set the Taskbar Buttons dropdown to Never Combine.

taskbar-properties-change

3. Unpin any icons next to the Start Menu Orb, by right clicking them, and selecting Unpin from Taskbar.

4. Right click your taskbar again, and select Toolbars, New Toolbar:

new-toolbar-menu

5. In the dialog that follows, navigate to C:\Users\(your user name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\, and highlight the Quick Launch folder:

choosing-quick-launch-folder

Your address bar will probably use the new style, I changed it in my example to show the full path. Make sure to susbsititute Tidosho with your user name!

6. Click Select Folder, and there should be a Quick Launch label right over the right side of the taskbar. Drag it to the middle of your Taskbar.

quick-launch-menu

7. We’re now going to get rid of the labels.

8. Right click the Quick Launch label, and uncheck Show Text, and Show Labels:

getting-rid-of-labels-and-title

9. Drag the whole lot right over next to the Start Orb. Any open taskbar buttons will probably move where the Quick Launch came from, it did with me, but you can drag them back.

10. Drag any buttons back, right click your Taskbar, and click Lock Taskbar! Your whole bar should look like this:

end-result

11. Finished! Yours may look slightly different, I removed some icons from mine, but thr result is the same! Congratulations!

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ccleaner-header

The lovely guys at Piriform Ltd have fixed a bug that appeared in the Beta of Windows 7. When the “Run CCleaner” and “Open CCleaner” Recycle Bin shortcuts were selected during install, they failed to materialise, even after a reboot. Now it’s fixed!

ccleaner-menu

They’ve even added a new feature in the latest version, 2.19, that lets you remove System Restore checkpoints, which is useful. Take a look:

CCleaner's new System Restore checkpoint cleaner, in version 2.19

CCleaner's new System Restore checkpoint cleaner, in version 2.19

I like CCleaner, both for its small footprint, ease of use, and backup function, when removing Registry errors. To download it, visit Piriform Ltd’s CCleaner Homepage

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In WordPress 2.7.1 (and probably previous versions), the admin page that allows for theme activation has a bug that you might find annoying

Today I was setting up a blog for Rikku and completely replaced the default ‘wp-content/themes’ directory with a ‘wp-content/themes’ directory checked out of our SVN. This removed the default theme (Kubrick) and left only the theme I was working on for her blog.

For some reason, the theme admin page did not show any themes – it took me about 20 minutes to trace the code to figure out what was going on.

The wp-admin/themes.php file has code at line 139 that checks to see if more than one theme is present:

if ( 1 < $theme_total ) {

If more than 1 theme is found, then the grid of themes is shown so that you can choose between them. However, in my situation I had deleted all other themes leaving just 1 theme but had not yet activated that theme. In this case, no theme is active, and there is no way to select the 1 theme that is in the ‘wp-content/themes’ directory.

To fix it, change that code to:

if ( 1 <= $theme_total ) {

or upload another theme so there is more than one theme installed. Then you can select the theme you need, and you’re sorted!

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My life wouldn’t be complete without my cats. My parents have two cats, a ginger Tom, called, well, Tom, and a black and white cat called Cheeky, who I like to call Cheeky Angel, because sometimes she’s an angel, and sometimes she’s a cheeky little madam! Kassie has two cats, Eponine (also known as Ep, or Eppy), and Fluffy. They’re both girls, and naturally, like most females, get on well together. Kas has a dog, a lovely sandy Labrador we named Nala after the female lion in Lion King, she’s the softest most wonderful Lab I’ve known, and has a really cute big pink nose!

Here’s Ginger Tom:

Ginger Tom - The sweetest Ginger I have ever known!

Ginger Tom - The sweetest Ginger I have ever known!

He was a stray, and I don’t think he was treated very well. He used to roam the street where my parents live, crying, and he wouldn’t come near anyone. Eventually I managed to gain his trust, and once he started purring upon me stroking him, I knew I was almost there. It’s taken a while, but he now knows that not everyone is evil. He’s a big softie, and loves cuddles!

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I’ve been playing about with the new Atahualpa Theme, if anyone has noticed things changing dynamically over the past hour or so! It gives you COMPLETE control over the layout and appearance of your blog, without having to mess with any coding. It is AWESOME, I recommend you check it out. The modified Classic theme was only temporary, and boring.

Cheers BytesForAll, it really is an awesome piece of work, a donation is coming your way from TideLog and myself, Tidosho, shortly. Keep up the good work!

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Windows 7 is re-installed again. All my laptops drivers were sorted by Setup, except my WLAN driver, which I had on a pendrive. I’m going to learn from that Pictures mistake, and never make it again…. famous last words, until next time 🙂 I’ve decided to give Comodo’s Internet Security software a go, it’s 100% free, because AVG is turning totally cr*p, mithering for restarts every time it updates. I tried Comodo System Cleaner, but… Comodo didn’t want to let me install it, and gave me this rather strange message:

Comodo's 32bit software will *apparently* not work on 64bit!

Comodo's 32bit software will *apparently* not work on 64bit!

I’m sure that the Program Files (x86) folder is there for the purpose of 32bit software! I run quite a bit of 32bit under 64 on Win 7 too, so that message was a bit strange. The 64bit did work, however!

Did I forget to mention that I have Mac OS 10.5.6 x86 dual booting on Ami too? That reminds me…. I have to fix the bootloader for the Mac MBR with EasyBCD. It was easy enough last time. Make sure you install Mac OS FIRST, it hates being second, and will throw a tantrum! Mac shots coming soon!

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I’ve put most of my stuff back where it was (It’s getting as bad as moving house), but Easy Transfer made the job A-OK. Here’s my laptop’s System dialog:

Windows 7 specs on Tidosho's Laptop

Windows 7 specs on Tidosho's Laptop

The image uploads is working again, for some reason images were trying to upload into a wp-content/uploads/year/month/day folder structure, whereas WordPress was configured to upload stuff into the root of wp-content/uploads! I thought this might have been something messed from the old TideLog migration, but then TideLog v2.0 was a fresh install.

Anyway, I’ll fix all other posts where I’d manually FTP’d files in, so images and links might break temporarily while they’re fixed.

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I think I managed to recover those files from my mistake on Sunday, tomorrow will tell when I scrutinise them byte by byte to make sure they’re not corrupt. I also managed to get my 2007 version of Volvo Impact running again. It’s the Volvo truck & bus workshop software, my mate down at Volvo acquired it for me, I’ve had trouble getting it to run with various versions of IE, and it doesn’t work at all with Firefox, whereas my 2006 copy does.

So, more Volvo repair stuff coming soon, as long as Volvo don’t see it, I don’t think they allow it to be published in blogs 🙂 Ricky (Rikku’s nickname, she’s also affectionately known by Riksy from me) bought 3 B7RLE’s and 2 B9TL’s from them, they owe her a favour!

If anyone knows where I can get Dennis Alexander stuff, or a Wright “bespoke” Urban Eclipse CustomCare manual, that’d be great! I might trade my Volvo software in return 😉

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Jordan (aka Katie Price), makes me sick. What is it with the big fake boobed, no brained attention seeking plastic bimbo? She thinks she’s the queen, and as soon as the only bloke who will ever pay her any attention (Andre) dumps her, she plays the innocent wimpy slag that she is, and blames him? “He is boring, i’m now in love with another man”

Give me a break, Jordan, or Katie, as you insist everyone calls you. You’re plastic, fake, thick, and a big wuss to boot. Any woman who needs her boobs the size of Richard Branson’s Virgin baloons to get attention needs to go and jump off a cliff, because as soon as us guys look at you, you cry, “Pervert!” Now he’s realised there are REAL women made of FLESH with bigger REAL boobs than you, he’s woken up, and to be honest, i don’t blame the bloke. I might start respecting him, even though I think he’s a sad pipsqueak.

Sad pathetic BINT! Any woman who can’t age naturally, or be happy with her body the way God intended, and looks to YOU for idolisation must be totally brain dead, like yourself. Even Barbie turns me on more than you, at least her boobs are natural!

Jordan looks like a melted reject from an injection moulding factory! Big natural boobs are possible (Lucy Pinder, Michelle Marsh!)

Jordan (Katie), that proves how jealous you are of natural beauties, because they are what you will NEVER be. Smart, gorgeous, big boobed, and kind.

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I’ve just found a rather annoying Mac-esque feature in Windows 7. I’ve been forced to re-install RC1 due to certain software not being able to connect to the Internet. Now, in Windows XP & Vista, i could go into My Documents, and make complete copies of My Pictures, My Videos, etc, and place them elsewhere ready for backing up.

I’ve tried that this morning with Windows 7. I thought i’d copied My Pictures, but instead Windows decided to do an Apple trick, and only create a shortcut to it, without actually showing that it was a shortcut. I’ve deleted the original from the My Documents, and the whole lot is gone, I now need to use GetDataBack on the drive to recover. I’m now stuck on my ancient 400MHz PowerBook, which compared to my Core2Duo Amilo Li 1818 laptop which Win 7 is on, is a piece of poorly built junk! Until i recover the files tomorrow, Ami is staying switched off.

Moral of the story: In Windows 7, don’t copy the My Pictures & co folders, copy the contents to another folder!

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