Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Fruits of My Labour

OMG!!! I JUST WON THE LOTTERY!!!

Actually, no, but I'm just as ecstatic. Ever done something well and right and you just feel so suddenly good? Well I'm feeling it now because I done something that I feel proud of.

I fixed up two of my PC's in 3 days including a new hard drive, total installation of all files, new graphics card tweaking and finally, new game.

I'm not going to make any sense because I've been trying to fix a shutdown/restart error of my laptop for the last hour. The time is 5:12am.

Two things I want to address in this blog/diary note and the main purpose is for me to share information with others facing similar issues to me. If you're reading this, thank me because my work did not come easy. Fuck no.

1) Counter Strike: Source. An interesting game I bought a day ago. Quite different to 1.3 haha and too damn realistic. Fucking grenades don't bounce the same either and damned noobs can't throw flash properly. Kids, you throw the 'nades at the enemy, not your fucking team mate you little turds.

Anyway, I tried to play this game on my low end laptop which had a 945GM Graphics card. Integrated of course. I got a black screen and can't get into the options. So it runs but not good enough. After much research and reading loads of shit, I found only 2 articles which mentioned that Source can be run on this card. Determined to prove this myself, I searched further and asked shitloads of people who mostly abused my card and made fun of my laptop.

Well guess what fuckers, it ran. With new drivers, and the well known Casey's config as well as dropping -dxlevel to 7, it ran biatches. On net with half full map, I got an amazing 10fps average!! You won't believe how much fun I had... So people, you can run source on low end cards and even integrated provided you tweak the settings enough and lowering your -dxlevel to 7. If anyone bumps into this article and want more info, email me.

2) Ever experienced shutdown problems? Or reboot problems? Sometimes it takes you fricking 2 mins to do either?

Well, I did on my laptop again! What a damned headache... I had no idea why so I formatted the shit (it needed that anyway). So it did the same again after a format (along with all new installations...) so I formatted it again. Yeah, I formatted it twice with the second time done after installing everything... You know how painful that is? It's fucking depressing sitting in front of the PC doing that. I now know I'm not the IT type. I get lonely and depressed but then again who don't after playing with 2 PCs non stop for 3 days in a row...

Anyway, the third time round, I decided to declare war. One can't have peace unless one uses force. I should've learned that from WW1. I went on the net again scouring info. about what the problem was. Mainly got loads of old shit about random crap not applicable to modern situations.

But with a few gold nuggets here and there I pieced together a war plan. Firstly, I realised I needed to identify my source of problem. To do that, I needed to access the Event's Manager in CP. With that I was able to see all errors and it showed that one or more of my resources are not unloading their memory properly @ shutdown/restart. It however didn't tell me which one so I followed the error code and found a program (UPHClean) which supposedly unloaded it without me finding out. Unfortunately it was snake medicine and didn't do what it purported. But from it, I was able to find out which program was fucking with me and it was a Toshiba sound program. Dodgy programmers who can't program for shit, they fuck up so it conflicts with my other shit which fucks me up... Fuck.

tvstray.exe you bastard. You know how much misery and pain you've caused me? I hope the programmer goes to hell. So armed with msconfig I disabled the fucker for good. Now it doesn't fuck with me anymore. I'm telling all you processes, fuck with me again and I'll delete you for good. Hear me.

It's late, so tired, sorry for so much expletives but 3 days of this shit really tires you out. Ciao.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Beating the iPod

mmm, after reading an article relating to Apple and Universal Music, I suddenly had a thought.

Why doesn't music companies realise that in order to beat Apple, they need to seriously invest into product development.

Apple's iPod succeeds because it's cooler, useful and much more classier than all other music players outplayer, even for a simple Nano.

This is a similar situation to Nintendo's Gameboy. It's a premium gaming device that has a premium price attached to it with a stranglehold on all the top games. Sony went into this market with it's PSP which was a class higher than the Gameboy. I think in hindsight, it's launch and resulting sales was quite successful.

Likewise, Microsoft went to compete with the Playstation and the Nintendo Gamecube with it's Xbox. It went to become a cost leader, and with it's huge piggy bank, this was acceptable in return for a huge chunk of the gaming industry. I think while it made losses, it's quite justified in the long run.

So why don't music companies launch a product that's even classier than the iPod. For one, I know this is achievable. With the right investment and dedication, the human mind is almost limitless. Reasons that come to mind include: 1) Not enough money to invest. 2) Waiting for a better opportunity. 3) Inability to collude successfully.

I figure companies are thinking hard and testing to see what they can do but the longer they wait, the more penetration Apple will achieve in the music industry. The low end market of the industry is not really worth the effort if they want something big and to compete head on with a product similar to the iPod is quite futile as we have seen with Zune (Seriously, what a lame name. Based on the name alone, you'll know it'll never beat the iPod).

So launch something superior in quality focusing on the high end and eventually dropping it down to tackle the iPod with economy class products. If it gains enough coverage and class, I would even consider despite the fact that I'm a poor ass student. For example, Louise Vuitton is considered a luxury in many parts but in big cities in China many consider it mediocre.

Apple's iPod reign must be brought to an end soon. It might bring an end to itself but that's gonna take a while. Companies must compete to bring its downfall quicker. The risks are quite clear and the poor attempts has been made (Zune...). Be brave, be revolutionary. Of course, in today's market where people fear risk-taking, I seriously can't forsee how iPod's doom will be speeded up.

I think I'll have to be satisfied with the boring iPod for now... and it's extremely priced parts. For a replacement earphone, it costs a fricking $48. For twice that, I can buy another damned iPod.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tired of My Job

It's official, I hate my job. It has a poor environment with poor pay and poor treatment. I hate all the kids I have to manage and all the colleagues I have to be nice to who in truth needs to have their heads checked.

With a little background info., I'm a manager of a world famous fast food chain (lame..) and I get to manage 15-20 yr old boys and girls. I also have to associate with 40 yr old colleagues who mostly lack social skills in their treatment of everyone.

When I first started out at this job, I was 17. After being hired, I decided to set myself a goal of reaching "Silver" status in the crew hierarchy before quitting. I got that in 10 months. Rather than quitting and moving on, I stayed as the work environment was fun and I got to associate with smart individuals my age from all nationalities.

Nearly two years later, due to a variety of situations from deteriorating work relations to poor promotional prospects (I wanted management, crew was crap), I decided to transfer store.

Now this was no easy choice and I had to forsake a range of benefits. In hindsight, it was a correct choice because in any decision, one has to try to maximise as much of his most valued values as possible while minimising as few as possible. I chose promotion and challenge over intrinsic benefits @ old store.

Within 2 months, I obtained a spot in the management chain. So I got the privilege of running the store of 50 odd individuals alongside 4 other managers. It was fun at the beginning and I've learnt alot. However, I'm been doing this for almost 4 months now and it's a dead end and frankly, even if it was open end, I'd been sick of it.

The challenge's gone and I can't set myself anymore challenges without resorting to being a full timer which frankly, is out of the question considering my ambitions and desires. Furthermore, I detest the majority of my kiddies and my fellow managers who always seem to have a pin up her ass. I swear I'm going to do something regrettable to her one day... Call me an organisational psychopath...

Also the pay is poor considering what they pay people for part time jobs these days and there is NO PRETTY GIRLS HERE!! Well, they're all too young and too.. dim. I hate dim girls. Without wit, they're just boring...

The only good thing is free food and that's bad for me.

So I figured these reasons must be why I always dread my work everytime I think about going to it. I'm burnt out and I need a new job. With this vent out of the way, I'm going to officially start looking for something that'll begin my career. It's time to get serious.

I'm sleepy now...

Adios.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Point of Suicide?

Recently, I watched an interesting film called "Someone Special". It had a particular scene in it where a woman walks in front of a coming car and is killed by the collision. The scene suddenly slows with the woman suspended in the air (after being hit) and a bystander who also wants to die having a conversation before she dies. He asks her: "What's it like? Is it worth it?" She says: "Now that I've done it, no, I don't think so..."

Please note the previous sentence was subject to my distortion.

But the point I'm trying to make is that we take things for granted too much these days especially with our lives. Too often someone becomes depressed and tries to commit suicide.

At this point, I'd like to ask you a question: "What if you have successfully committed suicide and then suddenly felt regret - that you didn't want to die and that you still wanted to live despite how much you wanted to die?"

So what do you do then? Well, I guess the answer is simple. You can't do anything, you just die. You die with one of life's major regret hanging over your soon-to-cease-functioning brain.

Perhaps, it's only through dying that we truly appreciate the beauty of living. But I sincerely hope that no one comes to this conclusion the moment before they are about to die, especially through suicide.

I guess in a cost-benefit analysis, it's simply not worth it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Magical Korean Films

This ones for you Happy Fool! :)

Korea, The Land of Morning Calm is a beautiful place indeed. With a rich culture and amazing yet deadly history, it's a place where most people associate with fashion and fast internet (well for South Korea at least ^_^). With over 72 million people including both North and South Koreans, it's the 18th largest nation in the world if ranked.

In the past few months, I've been somewhat addicted to another wonderful part of the Korean culture, it's films. Call me a movie fanatic or a movie buff, Korean films hits the spot for me. Most in particular the ladies (=P) but also the beautifully crafted plot and amazing actors and actresses.

Today I finished watching a top war film called Tae Gu Ki (태극기) AKA Brotherhood of War. Similar in style to Saving Private Ryan, it details the lives of two Korean brothers fighting (trapped) in the deadly Korean War. It brought back the memories of our forefathers who fought and died to create the nations we are living in. God bless them whoever you may be.

Another interesting film that comes to mind is The Art of Seduction (작업의 정석) starring the damned gorgeous Son Ye-jin (손예진). Her acting is simply spot on, flirtatious yet stopping from being slutty. Sexy, sophisticated and attractive, the perfect woman.

There is so much out there and I've seen most of the popular ones I believe. On a side note, if you are looking for good Korean movies to watch and not sure, please don't hesitate to give me an email. I'd love to help!

It's late so let me conclude with a song from my culture for you: "At Least I Still Have You"

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Top Earphones and A Song

mmm so my poor iPod 'buds was KIA partially due to mistreatment on my part... Intent on finding something superior for the price of $48 for a replacement, I went on a 2 hour research spree.

The search was fruitful after visiting a variety sites including Amazon, CNET, eBay and Whirlpool. Well, ok, maybe you think the sites are crap but they have a large number of reviews and recommendations which was what I seeked. So my aim was to find something sub-$100 AUD that was somewhat famous and superior in quality in clarity and bass than the old iPod stock 'buds.

After looking at a variety of Sennheiser buds, I was kind of settled on the MX 550. After some more research, I decided to look out for some cheap Etymotic due to its quality but then realised they were quite expensive and outside my parameters.

So in accordance, I hunted on. After a recommendation from a friend, I went to visit heaphones.com.au which listed a large number of top brands including beyerdynamic, sennheiser, ultimate ears, alessandro, koss etc etc.

How surprised to find that this site was the holy grail. It had everything I wanted including free advice and all top brands with free delivery in Australia. So after much work, I decided to settle for either a Yuni PK3 or Koss KSC-75 both of which are highly recommended. More so in that both are superior stock iPod buds.

I am currently awaiting an email regarding some advice before I settle on one. The only regret I kinda have is that iPod's marketing hype is so effective that if I'm not seen wearing a stock iPod bud, people may think my MP3 is crap... yeah, I'm very image focused. Nonetheless, I'm going to settle for insider pride! For those in the knows, they will know my brands are top quality. I'm also hoping the brand names are very clear and showing :D

Like a person once said, just because you havn't heard the brands I listed doesn't mean Sony is better - nothing against Sony, I have a set of Sony headphones ^_^

Now the main purpose I had in publishing this post is to inform people who are doing similar research like me. If you happen to stumble by my little world, please head over to headphones.com.au and have a look. The brands advertised are not mass marketed brands and chances are you'll not have heard of them - what they are though is top class brands catering for the sounds professionals who knows what's the best. Go with any of them and you'll not go wrong. Just remember iPod buds are not as shit as everyone says, they're decent but you can get better ones at a decent price. If you're budget limited like me, stay with the stock until they're burnt. Then look for one of those brands because I feel the improvement in quality will allow you to get over the marketing hype.

Finally, I've been listening to a song called Bleeding Love. Wonderful, good melody. GO download it! I'm looking forward to listening to it on my iPod with my new 'buds.

Until next time, take care.