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voices from thé-crypt

Friday night LAN [5-June-2003 23:05 EST]
After some weeks of heated discussion and preparation, we've finally organized a work LAN for tomorrow evening. The stats for the big event will be posted at this site sometime this weekend so stay tuned to see if Tim "Lil' General" Baker really is the big-shot he purports to be!
-
Calmer Llama.


Alternate history FPS [4-June-2003 23:59 EST]
Lately I've been playing Iron Storm, a first person shooter set in the mid 1960's where World War 1 has been raging for the last 50 years and both sides of this vicious conflict have floated their armies on the stock-exchange in an effort to fund this internecine conflict. It didn't get a lot of positive press but it's actually an absorbing game with an intriguing and original plot, great gameplay and plenty of atmosphere. I won't reveal any spoilers but if you revel in a FPS with spectacular graphics, sound, challenging puzzles and plenty of gun-play, then you will love this game.
-
Calmer Llama.


Microsoft strikes again [18-Apr-2003 22:02 EST ]
By now you've probably heard about the Registration Wizard "feature" that recently reared it's ugly head in volume license editions of Microsoft's Office 2000 Service Release 1.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/30301.html
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/30323.html

So after experiencing an absolute "ball-buster" of a week at work, you can imagine how I felt when incidents of this particular bug started manifesting across the agency's workstations.

We're still a bit unsure of the severity of the problem as some workstations apparently have only prompted us with the "Would you like to Register Office 2000 SR-1?" question once whereas others repeat the invitation (until presumably the client's reluctance to register the product forces the application to enter "Reduced Functionality Mode.")

I've taken a look at the various workarounds Microsoft recommend and have come to the conclusion that:

a) I don't want to set my Primary Time Source back by two years.
b) I'm pretty good with scripts but I'm darned if I'm going to script a handful of registry fixes and an un-install and re-install of Office 2000 in an administrative security context across a WAN.

Which leaves us waiting on Microsoft releasing a hotfix to resolve this issue. The current joke around the office is that the patch will be 600Mb and include the source files for Office 2000. It's going to be a long Easter break.

On a lighter note, I just installed Postal 2 on my home PC. If I'm lucky, maybe Bill Gates makes a cameo appearance in-game?
- Calmer Llama.


vbScripting ad-nauseum [15-Apr-2003 01:26 EST ]
Well I felt rather inspired this evening and decided to completely re-write Inquisitor, mainly to experiment with some data arrays and to consolidate the HTML generation into a single sub-routine. Net result? Some crazy loops, better comments and an incremented version number. Whoopee!
- Calmer Llama.


vbScripting [06-Apr-2003 23:30 EST]
Having just experienced a vbScripting course (held at our Agencies usual training haunt), I thought I should put my newly discovered talents to the test. So under the projects banner we now have the first iteration of Inquisitor, a remote workstation interrogation tool developed for use by our service centre to assist with client helpdesk calls. It's a bit rough around the edges, but it works and it'll get some serious optimizations in the coming weeks (and maybe an installer package as well).

I can hardly wait to finalize the error trapping code; "bullet-proofing" vbScripts looks like a right bitch of a job.
- Calmer Llama.