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Messages - Kamel [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Nuclear fallout from the latest netsplit....
« on: February 26, 2010, 10:55 PM »
[23:30] * Metshrine ([email protected]) Quit (
[23:34] <Stephen66> erm
[23:34] <Stephen66> wtf
[23:35] <Stephen66> did something just go horribly wrong, or am i still here
[23:36] <Kamel> you farted...
[23:36] <Kamel> why did you do that?
[23:36] <Stephen66> lol
[23:36] <Stephen66> did everybody just die?
[23:36] <Kamel> netsplit
[23:36] <Stephen66> ?
[23:37] <Kamel> they're usually caused by nuclear fallout
[23:37] <Kamel> in the event of large wars
[23:37] <Kamel> beginning
[23:37] <Stephen66> lol
[23:37] <Kamel> causing splits in the internet pipes
[23:37] <Stephen66> efnet just exploded
[23:37] <Kamel> sometimes they will rejoin after the dust falls
[23:37] <Kamel> not always

Living Room / Re: Pirate vs. Paying Customer illustrated
« on: February 25, 2010, 03:14 PM »
Piracy and theft are facts of life. There are proper ways of handling them and improper ways. This picture simply outlines the fact that a stolen product is actually superior to a purchased one. This doesn't make sense, and that's the operative thing here.

I don't support people going around and stealing things, but I (even more so) don't support the use of DRM or other crippling software to try and prevent something from being stolen (which is not preventing anything)

Living Room / Re: Confessions of an Internet “Shock Jock”
« on: February 25, 2010, 12:02 PM »
trolls are not to be fed

I've still not decided on a VOIP provider or an ATA for the said provider. I like skype a lot, and am very interested in the dial plans available in the advanced VOIP/SIP boxes out there. I hate having to use USB, that makes me cringe. If I could find a decent skype ethernet adapter I'd be all over it.

Anyway, that's my current snag, as well as wife lost job, funds dwindling, mom sick, the standard my life sucks crap

I voted for vista 32 bit, honestly my vote shouldn't count since i don't really use circledock.

I have absolutely no desire for a 64bit OS, not that I'm against it, but honestly, what's the point? epenis is the only true explanation, except for those with over 4gb of ram, which is consequently closely related to the former reason listed.

Kamel, it's not that I don't believe you, it's just that I have to have SOME kind of interface.  I'm all for minimalism, but not nothing-ism!  That's why I've never adopted all that poweruser keyboard-shortcut stuff that the hardcore guys do.

Ah, ok, so...

until i see new requirements that aren't listed

Has happened, lol. Mplayer does indeed have a gui, but honestly, it's very easy to use the keyboard for standard things. left/right for seeking, up/down for seeking a lot, space for play/pause, and f for fullscreen. not too complicated, and honestly that's all i ever use

Anyway, just trying to help. Good luck finding your holy grail. I might recommend trying mplayer gui though (NOT kmplayer or <insert some letter>mplayer, but the mplayer gui in addition to mplayer. it does literally that, and just that, adds a gui to mplayer.

Edit: The original one I was referring to may have stopped development? it was an official one. At any rate, I highly recommend >> http://sourceforge.n...jects/mplayerguiwin/

I never claimed mplayer was the best, i don't even use it myself. if you want the quickest loading and the one that has the smallest impact on your system integrity, i seriously doubt you'll get any better.

you can make your other arguments about it, but i think this is something that can be measured, according to the OP's requests. mplayer meets them all. until i see new requirements that aren't listed, i will assume that mplayer is the correct answer to your question, despite the assumption that no correct answer exists.

honestly, for the quickest player i would my money on straight up plain old mplayer. not mplayer+gui, not kmplayer, not qmplayer not anythingmplayer, just mplayer. it has no gui and loads/plays basically immediately. for an even faster response (according to your video card) try changing the video out to gl2.

Thanks for your response JJ. I have not tried magic jack yet, I have a trial coming in the mail. If I have trouble with it similar to what you described, I will definitely be kicking it to the curb. From what I've heard it's pretty good, but I've only heard from less advanced users.

I did some research and I saw some other adapter options, it looks like this one seems to be the one I am most interested in currently >>

It would be preferable to combine the VOIP into the SOHO server (purely looking at cost in that statement), but it may not be practical in many different senses. A hardware solution will offer more reliability and with an FXO port, I will be able to combine it with a POTS line which is very interesting to me.

I am seriously considering many different aspects of this, I may end up changing the design a lot, but in the end I will definitely be using a SOHO server pc of some sort, it's just the types of things I'll put on it I am still considering.

I may end up with a setup more similar to this dual internet gateways >> SOHO router >> off the shelf router >> network, but still working out the kinks. Apparently, what I'm trying to accomplish hasn't been done before, and no one seems to care lol.

It's my thought that it can be done with advanced iptables scripts etc but my knowledge is limited in the area of making my own. Perhaps this project will be a revenue for me learning these things, but I would prefer not expend the energy if it will not payoff ultimately with the setup I intend.

We'll see what happens, I'll keep this post updated as I progress :)

First just would like to say I wanted to post this somewhere to document what I'm doing, but I did not know where to post it. Please move to a more appropriate section if available.

SOHO Router/Server Project

    I'll be building a linux based router PC (If all goes well), which will also act as a normal SOHO (small office home office) style server.

  • Electricity - I need to run a SOHO server PC anyway, so combining the SOHO with the router will have some power saving benefits
  • Power - A standard home router is generally on much weaker hardware, such as a slower embedded processor such as a RISC processor with 16 megs of ram. While I admire how much has been accomplished through custom firmware, I am looking for something much more capable.
  • Flexibility - With a full blown linux server as my gateway, I will not be restricted in hardware or software compared to an embedded router solution which the entire unit must be changed in order to upgrade a single component (wireless hardware, networking bridge, ram, cpu, etc). Software for a 32 bit/386 platform is vastly available, while building software for the different processors for embedded devices can be a difficult and tasking process. I do understand an impressively large number of apps have been ported and designed to work very well with OpenWRT, but it is no comparison to the number of applications available to the 32 bit platform.
  • Connectability - Using a linux server pc as a router will allow one to connect and route any type of layer2 network that can be ran on a standard linux box. Basically this means it will be more or less trivial to add a bluetooth tethered connection and route my entire network through that in the event of an outage. I could also use a 3G cell service without much headache, while getting these services to work under an embedded solution is quite difficult. Finally, dual WAN failover is very interesting to me. With DSL direct only being $20/month and ISP's beginning to monitor and restrict bandwidth, getting 2 ISP's and having dual wan failover is something we all may have an interest in as power users someday. I am preempting this a bit by getting a setup with dual wan failover which will ensure reliability of service and the ability to see the internet from 2 completely different vantage points without the need for purchasing commercial or dedicated lines such as a T1 for my residence.

Why Not?:
    It's a good question worth asking. I have had many suggest already to not do this, so if you're thinking this may be a good project for you to delve into yourself, you may want to consider some things. It will be very difficult to get this system working properly without purposely selected hardware and a rather difficult set up. To be entirely honest, BSD might even be a better OS to run on something like this, but I'm not as familiar with it so I have chosen linux for the time. Since I am just using the cheapest hardware I can get, or am simply using the stuff I already have laying around, getting it to play nice might be one of my biggest challenges. If this is something you're considering trying yourself, please first fully understand the challenges involved, and the alternative solutions that may be more suitable

    Also, there's a great risk the configuration may be just an SSH interface, rather than a pretty web GUI that we all love with those off the shelf routers. I might be able to use webmin or something similar, but doing so may incur a security risk as well as not really have the routing options available (more system maintenance than anything, really)

    Finally, as has been mentioned many times, price. The price of this may be much higher than a regular WRT54GL router which you can buy off of the shelf, load OpenWRT/DD-WRT/Tomato on and get up and routing your network in a matter of an hour or less. This setup will be far more costly as far as price to purchase and maintain equipment, and the time required to put into it. I would not recommend this for everyone, but it may be something we begin to see more of in the future.

    I hope to have this server act as a routing platform for routing my home network through unlimited amount of gateways to the internet. I may be using cable, dsl, cell phone service, 56k, etc. This will change depending on availability to me and what I feel like playing with. I also use skype (soon switching to magic jack) for my home phone service, I need to have this server run this as well, since one of my primary objectives is to combine all of my server needs into one machine. This may be challenging due to lack of linux support both skype and magic jack hardware have. Finally, I have some standard services I'd like to serve, including: NFS, Squid, httpd, ftpd, identd, pybnc, and openvpn. I will be adjusting this list constantly according to needs of course.

    I have not entirely decided yet, but since there seems to be no viable existing linux distros which will allow what I am trying to accomplish, I am leaning towards Gentoo due to its flexibility, and lack of a "standard build". IPCop and pfsense are very appealing, but do not offer the amount of expansion I'm hoping for. It would be silly to go through all the effort then be limited by the distro I chose. eBox ubuntu based SOHO distro is _very_ appealing, but unfortunately makes my current box chug quite a bit because of how much it has on it.

  • Processor: P3 1Ghz
  • Ram:512mb pc133 (non-ECC)
  • Network:3Com 3C920 Integrated 100mbit NIC, Linksys NC100 100mbit NIC, Foxconn 54g pci Wireless card (rt2500 chipset)
  • Expansion:5 PCI slots (2 in use), 2 USB slots (1 in use)
  • VOIP:Zoom Skype ATA 5900
  • Cost:$30 (so far)
Anyway, that's about it for the overview. I am going to be updating this thread with pictures and information as I progress.

If you have any suggestions for good hardware to use, especially for wireless (range+linux compatability most important) and VOIP (magicjack+skype) please let me know.

Current pic of setup:

My personal view on this is python. Reason being, python is intentionally designed to be concise, yet readable. If python code is difficult to read, it's usually done that way intentionally.

Also, it is very good with data and string manipulation. While it isn't insanely picky about variable types, it's not exactly lax either. It is a good mix which allows for easy adaptations to many environments, making it not only very quick as a rapid prototyping language, but also very multipurpose for a very wide variety of tasks.

Basic Info

Product NameZelda - Spirit Tracks
Product URLhttp://www.nintendo....mtev0W0aGPUWIrewwhh_
Supported PlatformsNintendo DS
Pricing$20 - $35
Reviewer Donation LinkDonate to Kamel, the Author of this review
Relationship between Reviewer and Product At the time of writing, absolutely no relationship between myself or donation coder (that I am aware of) and Nintendo, or any of Nintendo's affiliates. There is absolutely no exchange in any form taking place as a result of this review.


Zelda Spirit Tracks is a bit of a new fresh rendition of the classic Nintendo series, Zelda. Dating back to the original NES, it's one of the longest running series of games and one of the most well known series.

Who I would recommend:

I would recommend this game definitely for all ages. A small child may be overly challenged by some of the puzzles and give up easily on the game though. Due to this I would recommend you only get this for a child under the age of 12 if you are willing to assist with the somewhat challenging puzzles the game presents

The Good

This game has a wonderful mix of different gameplay aspects. It is a rare thing to see, and pulled off on a handheld platform is even more impressive. From the challenge of driving the train, to the challenge of playing the flute, to the challenge of solving puzzles with 2 characters to control at once, the game offers a very diverse playing experience not seen to this depth in any prior games that I'm aware of.

It is also worth mentioning that the difficulty of the game seems to be tuned to perfection. While it was very challenging, and some parts made me want to pull my hair out, I was never forced to go look at a game guide to see what I was supposed to do. This doesn't mean I wasn't tempted, but the point being, the challenge of the game relied more so on the challenge of figuring out what or how to do something, rather than physical skill and ability to manipulate the controls quickly enough.

The puzzles found in this game were very challenging despite the long history of Zelda games, they seem quite fresh and not repetitious as series of this type tend to me.

The ending was also quite good, while it was to me surprisingly easy compared with the challenges faced earlier in the game, it was very rewarding and forced the player to go through a long series of challenges to reach an ultimate goal. I will try to not spoil anything about the ending, but on a 1-5 scale (5 being the best), i would say the ending was about a 4. Very good, but could have been improved.

This is actually the best game I've played in years (not saying much as I've not been spending much time playing lately). It is also the best game I've ever played on a handheld platform. Again, this isn't a huge accomplishment due to the lack of handheld games I've played, but no doubt worth playing for sure. I could definitely see this game earning a GOTY (Game of the Year) award for the DS platform at some review sites.

The needs improvement section

The primary thing that could be improved about this game is the controls. It is really nice how well they made everything work with touchscreen, but essentially the buttons were just about useless. While this came in handy many times, when I was tired of playing in a position I would have preferred my hands have a rest while I played on the D-Pad for a while. Having said that, they did do a very good job with the controls

Controlling zelda when teamed up with her in a phantom body to solve challenges could have been way more intuitive as well. Having to click and draw a line for her to walk and then waiting for her to walk it was many times quite annoying, especially when timing was imperative. It would have been much more sensible, in my opinion, to have the ability to switch characters as the focused character, then have the option to draw a line for the other character while controlling the first one, that way you still had that option, but wasn't forced to use it.

Also, this game is extremely linear. I actually like and prefer linear RPG's (sorry fans of non-linear RPG's) -- since it allows the creator to make an excellent game and concentrate all efforts on one experience rather than spreading them out affecting the quality of the game -- However, there were a few parts of the game which solicited a response that would result in the exact same reaction no matter the result. It is my opinion that if you are going to add content like that, you should in the least create a different response cut scene for each possible response. It also felt like they intended for those decisions in the game to lead somewhere, but in the end seemed very empty and uneventful no matter which response you decided upon.

I am not a big fan of using the DS microphone to play the flute, as aiming for the microphone was quite a task in itself. Things like this I find annoying more than anything, as getting it to work right gives me no feeling of accomplishment at all.

The story line could have been developed just a bit better as well. While it was quite good, and the compelling reason to play this game is the puzzles in the first place, I do believe in order to make a perfect game, one would have to have both a strong plot and strong gameplay. Having said that, the story isn't a complete joke, it's just sometimes hard to follow and feels like some parts were more or less stitched in rather than developed properly. It feels as if this game may have slightly suffered from some deadline requirements that could have changed my rating from great game to greatest game.

Finally, the replay value doesn't seem to be that great. You can't go through and change difficulties (to my knowledge), and there is the option of upgrading your train, but it's so difficult to do that it's honestly not worth the effort. I'm unsure why they would have put this into the game while making it so challenging that honestly I can only see fewer than 1% of all people who play it will actually take advantage of it. Those who will take advantage are probably those who have already beat the game and want to go back to play over and over to beat the game to 100% completion.

How does it compare to similar games

Honestly, though it has its faults, I would imagine this particular Zelda release is leaps and bounds better than the competing action RPG's out there. I haven't played them all, so I couldn't truly say that until doing so, but as a general statement, it's very difficult to surpass the quality found in a good zelda game.


May not be the best game you've ever played, but good enough that I believe anyone can find enjoyment out of it. The fact that it's something that can enjoyed with the entire family is in itself very worthy of praise if you ask me. Too often these days games are being geared towards the adult generation when games such as this are quite enjoyable no matter what age you are.

This game has excellent gameplay, takes advantage of so many different aspects, and is just all around good wholesome fun. I would say it will be one of the better game purchases you can make.

Overall Rating
4 out of 5 Stars

Links to other reviews of this product


Circle Dock / Re: circledock DELETED ALL MY FILES! help!
« on: February 04, 2010, 01:42 PM »
i wont comment on the "they could have ignored you" post, as "i could save initiated a lawsuit" is the only answer to that attitude. However, I understand the point that some programmers out there dont care, and that these guys are not part of that group.

sarge- where is the updated version posted?

seperately, why can it not be made portble already, without the needto install and "make a portable" whenyoure already inside the program?

I'm sorry if my words were taken wrong, I didn't mean to be anything but encouraging by the post I'd made. If it hurt more than helped, I can assure you my intent did not come across properly at all.

The offer is still on the table for the backup software. The only thing is, it only works on NTFS volumes, so if it's NTFS, feel free to ask and I'll see what I can do.

Oh, sorry! Thought 1.5 was already released. Nothing to see here... move along :P

Please update this topic when you get the opportunity, thanks :D (may be the newest version still, but it's written wrong if so)


Circle Dock / Re: circledock DELETED ALL MY FILES! help!
« on: February 04, 2010, 12:51 PM »
I'm sorry to hear about your loss. It is, in the least, a very good thing that you discovered it and others will not make the same mistake due to the software being fixed.

Legally, they could have ignored you and not cared, but I think it does show their true heart that they did respond as promptly and diligently as they did. I've actually had paid for software wipe out entire windows installs before, adobe premiere being one of them. Nothing I could do, sue them perhaps? Not that I had any shred of proof that their software had actually caused my program files folder to be wiped (and essentially had to reinstall windows).

In the end, I think the operative lessons learned here are A) The programmers do actually care about the people who are using their software B) It is, indeed, a very good idea to keep good backups for many reasons (Hardware failure does happen) C) When something like this happens, as soon as you notice, do not allow ANY file operations to happen, as it makes recovery more difficult/impossible. (It's a good idea to turn off the computer and remove the drive entirely until you have done enough research on how best to approach the recovery of the software)

This isn't to say that you did anything wrong at all. Data loss is a part of life unfortunately. I store my important data in an encrypted DVD library, but even then a single fire and I would be 'toast'. In highschool, I was taught by my physics teacher that there are no constants in the physical universe, and that's an unfortunate truth of life.

I feel sorry for you losing your data, if I or anyone else here could do anything to help, please let us know. I believe we have shown our willingness, as a community, to assist you with this of course, but please do not hesitate to ask for any additional assistance. Quite a few brilliant minds are here, who have had to do extensive data recovery, so we may be able to assist you.

PS. I'll never forget the night my friend and I spent all night long reading a data recovery forensics book, trying to write a program to recover the files that were lost from my hard drive. Once finished with the program, it did its job well, as good as any enterprise solution could (seeing how the data is either there or not), only about 5% of my data was recovered properly in the end. Several years later, my friend came to me and told me he had found a bug in the program which caused it to improperly recover files that had to be segmented on the disk. My data was never recovered, but the resulting program still works extremely well. I could ask him to allow you to use it, if you are still interested in trying (assuming you haven't ran any write operations on that disk). It works extremely well, it just may take more space to the files than the size of the disk itself. The reason for this is the fact that it ignores all "sanity checks", so if there are 2 references to 1 file, it will still restore it and the resulting file will have a good version and a corrupt version. It's the most thorough form of data recovery you can do though, and has the highest chance of recovery.

Anyway, I'll stop blabbing. Sorry to hear about this, but at the same time it is encouraging to see that the community took such great efforts to help.

DC Gamer Club / Re: countdown (7 hours left)
« on: January 27, 2010, 10:57 PM »
it's duke nukem forever

General Software Discussion / Re: AVAST! 5 released
« on: January 21, 2010, 12:43 AM »
Nice, thanks for the heads up.

I'm extremely picky about anti-virus (that doesn't even really describe it tbh) and I've found avast! to be the only free one that has been able to win me over so far.

Hope this new update is a true update and not a 1 step forward, 2 steps backward kinda deal like many tend to be in the software world =\

Living Room / Re: A programmer`s appeal for donation (not me :))
« on: January 16, 2010, 10:52 PM »
I do love donating and helping in all that I can. Unfortunately, that's not always possible... I've had times go by when I've had to call out to others just to pay my rent and electricity (no lie, and not long ago)

The thing about donating that I love is that you can be sacrificial in some way. You may give $2 and it be a more heart felt gift than $100 from a large corporation etc.

Having a set, single price for software makes it more unattainable for poor people, and people who make much more are pretty much restricted to just the license price. If people gave in proportion to what they earned, it would be fair and right in the end IMHO.

This, of course, only applies to software that people actually use. If you do not use software, no point in making one give money to that unless they just want to.

At any rate, that's my 2 cents worth, take it or leave it.

wow, for once i actually read the whole thing.

it's really a shame how they acted. i really know how it feels to be put in a situation like that (to some extent), i've had to deal with fraud crap that wasn't fraud at all with companies and it was never fun. it's as if they assume you're the bad guy, and don't want to talk to you because of it.

glad i read this though, i know a certain company i will not use for collecting funds :O

Yes, that's correct. You can play it by ear... don't let it adjust the clock settings on reboot automatically until you've found settings that work well for you. It's my estimate that going down 5 on both sides will help eliminate any graphics card related issues you're having atm.

Let us know how it goes.

Living Room / Re: How would you improve a standard PC keyboard?
« on: November 15, 2009, 06:33 AM »
I actually wrote up a large article on how to improve input handling on PC's, I believe this would apply.

I don't remember exactly how it went (and no clue where the article went or if it even still exists), but basically it would serialize input devices so that they could be distinguished between programmatically. Of course, they would still have a legacy behavior, but for a program which was aware of the specifications, they could do some neat things.

For example, one could have 2 mice on a computer, working independently. One could hold many keys down on the keyboard at once and it would not error out, etc. Some of these features (especially holding many keys at once without erroring) would require the use of drivers.

Also, each key could be assigned to any other key function or scancode. This would allow one to easily map any key to what they want to do, rather than being limited by the configuration options of the program itself.

Again, I had a large write-up on how it would actually work, but i forgot it. People will argue it's not possible, but i actually had shown it was possible in the writeup. It did have some caveats though, like the requirements of a driver, more hardware within the input device itself [thus, more $$$] but I would be willing to pay more for such a setup.

Living Room / Re: Netflix might delay new release shipping by 1 month
« on: November 15, 2009, 06:11 AM »
Honestly, all they are doing is giving people darn good reasons to start pirating movies. Netflix actually got many people to stop pirating, and that in itself probably helped the MPAA more than anything.

All they are doing is shooting themselves in the foot, and they wonder why people don't respect them

Living Room / Re: Dual monitor setup advice needed
« on: November 14, 2009, 07:52 PM »
You can actually buy a cheap card with a single vga port and use it in conjunction with your current video card, rather than replacing it if you prefer.

There are plenty of cheap cards that'll do the trick. I would recommend getting the cheapest you can get for your needs, tbh.

I found the following in an article titled 'GPU and OpenGL Features and Limitations in Photoshop CS4' at

Display card: ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT
Issue: Images display in chunks and with lines.
Solution: Turn off Enable OpenGL Drawing.

So looks like this is a known issue and the only workaround is to disable OpenGL.

Just like i thought. This is a lot like when Doom3 came out. ATI clocks their cards quite aggressively, so in turn when new applications come out sometimes they suffer from artifacting.

I would still recommend clocking your GPU and memory down by about 5mhz. You wont notice a difference in performance [usually], but it will let you re-enable the opengl functionality of photoshop.

Also, loosely speaking, it is caused by heat (unless for some reason there is an incompatibility, which I doubt), so you could get the same results from improving the cooling to your card. If your card is on the verge of artifacts, it may affect its lifespan, so even though disabling the feature helps photoshop, it would be wise to fix the root of the problem still.

Finally, it is highly unlikely to be caused by the opengl version, since this is a common problem associated with clock speeds and/or too much heat.

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