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Pat's Blog

Squage and Pats' Big Adventure

Saturday, December 09, 2006 at 7:46 AM

It started a month ago.

It continues at present.

It's going on until September 2007.

Find out all about it here!

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 at 11:13 AM

Please can you explain to me why is it that Windows Task Manager is:

a) An executable file that needs to be loaded from disk whenever called upon, rather than something living in the Kernel
b) Taking up 4MB of RAM
c) Unable to forcably kill processes


(1) comments

Scary Driving Moment

Friday, September 15, 2006 at 8:52 AM

It might be a bit of a bloke (or just a bit of an idiot) thing, but I occasionally like to push my car to see how many miles I can squeeze out of a petrol tank.

Back in the days where I didn't have a "miles remaining" on screen display I used to be fairly conservative - filling up about 10 miles after my petrol warning light came on (which generally appears when you've got about 40-50 miles remaining).

However, since I've had a car, which has an onscreen display showing "Miles remaining" in my petrol tank, I've become a bit more daring (read reckless) with regards to this - generally only filling up when there's less than 20 miles remaining in the tank.

This has generally been fine, apart from last night where I pushed it a little.

I'd gone past the last petrol station en route, 13 miles from home with "22 miles remaining" in the tank and thought "Hey, this'll be fine... it'll be tight but fine".

I didn't count on the high quality estimation of my lovely car, which went as follows:

Miles Left "Miles Remaining" in tank
12 19
11 15
10 12
9 10
8 8
7 7
6 5
5 4
4 3
3 1
2 0

It was around the "10 miles remaining" mark that I really started to brick myself. What also didn't help was that my phone was about to run out of battery.

By "1 mile remaining" I was actually starting to laugh... surely I couldn't actually get stuck at the side of the road, without the ability to even get help?


Well, in an unexpected bout of luck, I didn't, and with some expert coasting managed to get back the last 2 miles with (supposedly) no petrol in the tank.

I think to be fair there were a good few more miles left (I guess the ol' "miles remaining" thing is a bit on the cautious side), although of my 50 litre tank I managed to squeeze 50.2 litres of petrol in whilst filling up.

So, driving 2 miles with 0 miles remaining. I wonder if I can beat that next time...

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Career Break!

at 8:44 AM

As you may or may not be aware, I'm having a career break and sodding off to Australia for just under a year in November.

A big, unexpected step? Damned right. But a great one.

Check out Squage's Big Adventure for more details and to keep up to date with the trip as I wander around the planet...

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Monday, August 28, 2006 at 6:12 PM

Somewhat appropriately, I forgot to mention in my previous post that on both visits to the cinema last week I left things in the cinema.

Once is bad enough. Twice is very poor.

On Monday (Snakes On A Muthafuckin Plane) I had been given a lift to the cinema, but for some reason still brought my car keys with me.

I left my car keys in the cinema.

On Tuesday (A Scanner Darkly) it was a nice, warm evening, but for some reason I still brought my coat with me.

I left my coat in the cinema.

Luckily in both instances the nice people at the cinema had kept the items in lost property so on wandering into the cinema the next day in each case, I managed to get my items back.

Of course, being one of those big cinema chains there is no easy way to get in contact with a real person via phone... so I decided I'd ask if there was a lost property phone number.

I forgot to ask. Both times.

I think I might need more sleep...

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Two Films I Heartily Recommend

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 at 10:04 AM

1) Snakes on a Plane

Massively hyped. Fan dictated. Clearly it was going to be the worst thing ever.

I saw this on Monday and I'm happy to say it's not. I hope my brother won't mind me quoting from a text message he sent me regarding the film, as this really does sum it all up:

So bad it's good? Snakes on a plane wins hands down. Breasts, violence, swearing, snakes, cliches and Samuel l Jackson. Muthafuckin yeah!

Also, it's got Keenan from Keenan and Kel in it. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT, DAMNIT?

2) A Scanner Darkly

Based on the Phillip K. Dick novel of the same name (which I've not read so hey, it may be better/worse), this uses clever rotoscoping techniques (basically it's shot with real actors in (mostly) real locations, but "cartoonified" in post production) to mess around with perspectives / allow clever "trippy" effects.

I saw it yesterday. It's a real headfuck.

Great acting, crazy and twisting storyline, thought-provoking themes and mad-ass, "tripping on drugs" graphics.

I spent most of the film thinking "woah" and feeling a little tripped out / uneasy - but also intruiged, transfixed and entertained (there are a number of comedic sections amidst the drug-addled confusion).

It's really left some food for thought, made me appreciate just how fragile the human mind can be... and how drugs really can permanently fuck it up.

Pint, anyone?

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Squage Balls Is Here!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 at 6:48 PM

I'm so, so sorry.

It was funny in my head. Not entirely sure what happened but, sod it, I promised it'd be here and I'm sure you've been utterly desperate for it so, well, here it is.


THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD is not anything to do with this rubbish mp3

Did I mention I was sorry?

P.S. I love Coca Cola!

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"Sht Dwn Plz"

Friday, July 28, 2006 at 4:22 PM

It's been a long time since something in the IT world has made me smile. Between DRM, lawsuits and general irratation coming from working with computers for a living I've got used to IT being frustrating.

But this definitely got a grin from me:

Dell Turned Off by Text

Very funny... essentially, it appears that a guy managed to get a Dell GX520 to switch off simply by having a phone sitting close to it - and having the phone recieve a text. It's not just one person who's had this either - one person's even taken a video of the experience.

Now, I admit this could be a wind up. But it didn't stop us trying this at work on the GX520 we've been evaluating.

The result: the GX520 didn't turn off. It didn't get affected at all.

This could've been due to a number of factors:
  • The phone used to recieve the text (mine) was low on battery and perhaps was using lower power to send and recieve (does this even happen? I've no idea)
  • The phone used was operating in the wrong frequency range (Orange's) to create the issue
  • It's a rare issue
  • Our GX520 is a one-off lead-cased beast
  • This whole thing is a load of balls.
Either way, we're going to try it again on Monday with 10 phones. I'll let you know the result...

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