Dear Santa, thank you for the dolls and pencils and the fish. It's Easter now, so I hope I didn't wake you but... honest, it is an emergency. There's a crack in my wall. Aunt Sharon says it's just an ordinary crack, but I know its not cause at night there's voices so... please please can you send someone to fix it? Or a policeman, or...
Back in a moment.
Thank you Santa.

Wednesday, May 31



I uploaded a couple more videos, and Broadcast Machine lost the plot completely. So I've (a) switched it back to flat file mode, and (b) given up on it entirely.

I'll just do it as a Movable Type blog, I think.

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Thursday, May 25



Went to upload some new files to Broadcast Machine. It informed me that a new version was out and that I should upgrade immediately. I did so, and it utterly ceased to function.

Installed the new version to a clean directory... twice... and it's working again, or at least not giving any errors. Of course, there are no files there either, but that's a relatively minor detail.

It also comes with some new themes, which while being prettier, use a different size for the images, so all the old images get rescaled in the browser and end up looking like crap. It still has the old theme, only it has changed too, so it ends up looking like crap anyway.

I'll post the new videos, or some of them, since I've spent the hour I'd planned on using to upload the new files beating my head against a wall instead. Then I'll upload the old files. Then I'll upload some more new files. Or something.

Update: Or not. This new release looks like a major downgrade. Bah. And bah again.

Update: One of the things that is particularly broken about the new version of Broadcast Machine is that instead of showing my lovingly handcrafted images on the individual torrent pages, it embeds the file. Yes, it takes your avi file - or your mp3 or zip or whatever it might be, but it assumes it's an avi - and sticks it right there on the web page. Of course, that only works in Internet Explorer 6; other browsers have quite an entertaining variety of ways of not working when they encounter this particular... trick.

Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, their web site seems to have crashed, so I can't visit their forums to ask what drugs they were on when they decided that this was a good idea.

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I was disappointed with one of the episodes of Dirty Pair I subtitled last month because there were some lines of dialogue that weren't translated. There were just gaps; no subtitles at all. Only a few, but still not the sort of quality I want for a MuNu Fansub. I thought the problem lay with the original translations, which were produced back in the early nineties when the fansubbing community was much smaller.

Because I never considered the possibility that a popular subtitle editing program would have a major bug relating to one of the most common subtitle file formats that could lead to the deletion of words or entire lines of dialogue without any warning.


I am now editing the subtitles for episode 4 in Wordpad.

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Tuesday, May 23



Last Friday, I wrote:
The next telco sales rep who tells me that we have to connect to them using ATM because they are selling a business grade product is going to get a punch in the snoot.
Today we have a winner.

But he did it via email.

Sneaky weasels, these sales reps.

But for crying out loud, it's 2006! ATM is a 1970's solution to a 1960's problem. The increases in speed of computer networking mean that the QoS features built into ATM are now effectively redundant, and at the same time, enormously expensive.

Just. Go. Away.


This Wikipedia article provides a good overview of the issues. What it comes down to is that I can get at least three times as much bandwidth over ethernet for the same price, even though I am buying the ethernet from one of the most expensive players and the ATM from one of the cheapest.

Update: Here's a Wired article from ten years ago explaining the problems, only with more personal details. Of course, it's Wired, so half of it is crap, but it's still useful for perspective.

Basically, it's another example of Worse is Better.

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Saturday, May 20



The next telco sales rep who tells me that we have to connect to them using ATM because they are selling a business grade product is going to get a punch in the snoot.

Don't give me that "guaranteed delivery" crap. Yes, ethernet is best-effort, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper than ATM. If I can do a gig of ethernet for half the price of your OC-3, I know whose packets are going to end up on the computer room floor. If you're out of bandwidth, you're out of bandwidth.

(And I'm informed that Australia is out of bandwidth. As far as I can tell, all the major telcos here are being run by idiots. Which is no change at all from 1995 when I first started dealing with them. No wonder Telstra's shares are in the toilet.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:36 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Thursday, May 18


Dear iSCSI Vendors

You suck.

Update: Except, possibly, for these guys. Maybe.

Update: I was wondering why I hadn't run into the Kano Technologies iSCSI products before. Answer: They were launched today. The only reason I found them was that I was looking for eSATA storage at the time.

Update: Yay! Kano don't suck. They're not what I'd call cheap, but once you've bought the system, you're free to buy your own drives and slot them in. When you've seen the markups other vendors charge on standard disk drives, you realise that this is a huge win.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:39 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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