More this and that

Since I started work at the new place, I’ve been living in the Windows world during the office hours. As I change a setting here, delete a registry key there, I’ve had a lot of deja vu moments harking back to those days when I was primarily a Windows user.

Here’s a tip for Windows running folks. If you just want to play video files without being bothered to hunt down codecs and players, this is what you should do. Install Real Alternative and Quicktime Alternative from this page. Both of these come with a player called Media Player Classic. Install it from either one of their setup programs.

With Media Player Classic and these alternative codecs, you should be able to play any avi, quicktime or real media file out there. These installs even come with browser plugins, so you don’t have to install Real Player and Quicktime at all!

I got tired of the comment spam that this blog has been attracting of late. Nothing as drastic as last time, just one spam every other day. Still, it required manual effort on my part to delete it. So I hunkered down, deciphered the perl foo that powers this blog just enough to be able to plug in a hackish anti-spam measure. Go comment to see what I mean by hackish :-)

The problem with the spam filters run by the likes of Gmail and Yahoo is that they are designed to learn from the spam messages coming into the inboxes of all of their users. So it takes that much longer for the algorithm to tune itself to the kind of spam that one particular user gets, unlike the spam filters in a standalone email client like Thunderbird. What this means is that I’ll keep getting Japanese, Chinese and other weird spam mails delivered to my inbox for some time to come.

When it comes to TV ads, Heineken : Carlsberg :: Pepsi : Coca Cola

Speaking of TVs, yesterday night, the TV switched itself on. I heard the sounds around 12 in the night. I assumed one of my house mates had turned it on. I asked in the morning, none of them had. The reason I asked was because I knew it was quite possible that the TV had come to life on its own.

You see, this isn’t the first time this is happening. There’s a ghost around our house. It’s either in the television or in love with the television.

We’ve seen this happen over half a dozen times now. The spookiest was when I came home one evening and heard Friends playing on the TV inside as I opened the main door. I told myself, “Well, for once, someone is home before me!” But no sir! I entered the house to find it pitch dark. The TV was switched off. The sound was coming from the speakers hooked up to the cable set top box.

Full volume.

If it were running at full volume in the morning when we left for work, at least one of us would’ve noticed!

Well, at least the ghost is enjoying the $$ we pay for the cable connection.

Having put out that ghost story, I don’t know how appropriate it is to write here that we have a room free and are looking for someone to move in. If you are brave and looking for a nice place to live near Clementi, contact me.