nullstream weblog - June 2006

Run Host! RUN HOST!!!


June 18, 2006 09:44 PM PST


Xbox Live is a great thing, probably one of the coolest things Microsoft has done. It has changed the way I play video games online: no more trying to find a random server with enough space for all your friends, then hoping that the ping time for everyone is reasonable, and that it isn't full of 14 year old griefers. Once you've found such a server, you have to somehow tell your friends about it, probably via IM, then jump in before the spaces are taken up. And good luck trying to communicate during the game. You could always set up your own server, but then you'd need a publicly accessible IP, and the person that ran the server would need to play each time the group played. Switching games would also mean switching servers, along with all the inevitable configuration issues and max player limitations.

Xbox Live eliminates the problems of moving, setting up and tearing down machines for LAN parties: you can stay home and play which makes spur of the moment pick-up games possible during the work week. I find that my favourite features are voice chat and having private servers. Voice chat in Midtown Madness, a game I'd ordinarily not play, gives it at least another order of funitude, nevermind the ease of coordination / taunting in games with team play. Since Xbox Live brokers all the server set up, private games are trivial to have and it works seamlessly across dozens of different games. The only connection problems I've encountered tended to be ISP specific, with Xbox Live being rock solid (I would love to see the code and design docs).

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World Cup Homage


June 14, 2006 10:54 PM PST

iTunes Icon
(removed because of direct linking)
Nuttin No Go So
DJ Mummy and Notch
3.7 MB mp3

With all the World Cup talk, I ran across this soccer skills video (audio may be NSFW). The "ball handling" by Soufiane Touzani of Holland is pretty good, but the song really got stuck in my head. I did some research and found out a bit more about it.

The song is mixed by DJ Mummy, who seems to have sped it up and added the beat. The original song is credited to Sean Paul, but is actually a character called Notch. Thus, the song is referred to (incorrectly) online as Dj Mummy vs Sean Paul - Nuttin No Go So. You can hear a short clip of the original, which appeared on Riddim Driven: Buy Out CD. The MP3 linked here is a slightly different mix, and higher quality. If you're wondering about the title, I got this from Urban Dictionary:

nuttin' no go so
Said of something you absolutely shouldn't do, like putting cocaine in your cigarettes or being born ganjaman and now wanting to forget.
I also did a bit more research on riddims and found that that often, a CD will contain the same beat, with different artists doing a song over the top. I can really see how this type of thing would be fun to re-mix.

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Getting in sync with SyncToy


June 11, 2006 01:43 AM PST

Using the Google browser sync forced me to do a bunch of house cleaning on my bookmarks. The result of all that labor however is a very organized list that is in sync across all the computers I use. That little spring cleaning victory inspired me to go on and try to tackle an even bigger chore, one that I’ve been putting off for years: syncing all ‘My Documents’ between my laptop and my desktop.

I’ve been experimenting with a powerToy from Microsoft called SyncToy for about a month now, to sync some folders between machines. Nothing too heavy however, my pictures and some dev files. But I decided to go all out this weekend and turn it loose on the grand daddy of them all; ‘My Documents’. After a bit work and re-organizing I now have all my documents in sync and a strategy in place to keep them that way. Read on to see a very long entry on how I did it, and how you can too.

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Google Browser Sync

Cool Tech

June 7, 2006 10:14 PM PST

Just announced, Google Browser Sync plug in for Firefox. It syncs your browser stuff across multiple computers: bookmarks, history and passwords. It also claims to remember the last tabs you had open on and offer to open them on any machine you use. Could this be the holy grail of bookmark sync tools that I've been looking for? I'll try it out and give a full report.

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New 360 Dashboard Update


June 6, 2006 09:56 AM PST

A new 360 update is out today. Download now. Engadget has some coverage here.

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Brilliant Code

June 5, 2006 10:45 PM PST


NodeBox is a cool Mac OS X application that allows you to write python code and have it drawn by the application. NodeBox itself is written in python and comes with a collection of functions and libraries you can use, and even does animation (see the gallery here).

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The Grand Experiment


June 4, 2006 11:44 PM PST

macvspc.jpgI've embarked on an experiment to actually switch people from Mac to PC. The family's aging Bondi-blue iMac running OS 9 was basically unable to run modern software and a decision had to be made. Either a new Intel based Mac could be purchased, or a Shuttle mini-PC would be handed down. Since either would require an OS transition (to OS X or XP), here are my thoughts:

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Jack PC

Cool Tech

June 1, 2006 09:32 PM PST

I like the thin client approach. For everything but games RPD works pretty well, especially on local 100 MB connections. Now Jade Integration has taken the 'thin' approach to a new level with their Jack PC The Jack PC is a thin client condensed into a wall socket. It only draws 5W and can be optionally powered with 'power over ethernet'. The device is powered by an AMD Risc processor running Windows CE. I don't believe is supports VNC or remote X sessions, but there is at least one RDP Server project for Linux in case your OS preference slants that way.
For a guy who has more computers in his house than he will admit, the idea of condensing all that configuration and maintainence into a single server sounds more appealing every year.

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