Champions League Picks 11/27

My picks for games on 11/27, lets see how many i get right

Group E

Group F
Man Utd

Group G
Inter Milan

Group H
Slavia Prague

UPDATE : Bold items above are the ones i got right. 3 out of 8. Pathetic.

Wii Pool Party Review

Techie Certification : Denied

So, i was at Blockbuster on Saturday to see if they had FIFA ’08 for the Wii so i can check it out before shelling out $50.00 for it, they had it.. and they had this game called “Pool Party”. Being a huge Snooker fan, i picked it up to see if in fact it did have Snooker as a game to play, and sure enough, it did! So, i took them both to the counter to take home and check out. Unfortunately the only FIFA ’08 they had in stock, was a damaged disk, so i had to settle jsut for Pool Party.

Got home, turned on the Wii and put the disk in. After a few minutes, i was navigating through its really poorly designed menu’s, and finally started a game of snooker.

So heres my problems with this effort. Snooker is a completely different game from pool. Pool is possibly the easiest game to play on a table, its just way too simplified, but can be a lot of fun with a buddy.

Snooker, is not an easy game. The table is 2 times bigger in all directions, thers a lot more balls on the table and there is some serious tactics required to win the game due to the size of the table, and the rules of the game (which are relatively simple). The problem with this game is that they took the same arcade pool – inaccurate shooting mechanism, and put it into the snooker game play. That simply doesnt work for snooker. The pockets are smaller, hence the angles are a lot more precise. With the wiimote, its possible to get such accuracy – but they chose not to fine tune it for the snooker mode. I’d played Wii Play’s pool mode, which was a ok attempt at trying to get the cue movement into the game for play. This game doesnt even try to do that, so in essence yo ucould be playing this game on an xbox or any other console, and it would be the same, completely wasting the Wii’s spectacular ability for realistic motion. One more thing, after each shot, it gives a summary of what just happened – which really really slows down, a game thats supposed to be slow. So thus, this game is boring.

I didn’t bother playing any of the other modes, i just gave up after getting frustrated.

So my verdict. Boring, frustrating, useless, waste of time, waste of money.

The Best ‘Curb’ Yet!


This episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO was the best yet. Just perfectly crafted from start to finish linking in stuff from the whole series. Wonderful! Its the episode that first aired 28th October 2007. Don’t know the episode number, but its the one where Jeff goes in to get an operation.

Perfect i say, PERFECT!

RPC problems

So after spending a great deal of time trying to figure out why one of my customers servers had stopped responding to ports 135 and 445 (RPC), i found that someone had ran an “ipseccmd” script to run some blocking ports on the machine, for a reason that i don’t understand completely. Why on earth would a hacker want to block ports, if they want to use it to send spam through it ? Makes no sense. In any case, if you ever come across a machine that clearly has a blocked port, but there is no firewall running on that machine, check the ipsec rules. They may not show in the Local Security Policy manager, but they will show in the registry and the Security Event log straight after a reboot.

Routers and CD’s

You know. I’ve seen so many people have trouble with wireless routers. D-Link’s, Linksys’s, Belkins.. you name it. So, heres my public announcement.

When you get a new router, throw away the cd that comes with it. You dont need it. All modern routers have a WEB interface. That means you can get to it using your browser. The cd that comes with it, is just useless. Just plug in your laptop or pc to your router, and go straight to the router address. How do i find my router address? its the default gateway. Look around your PC / Mac for the network ip address you got from the router, and it’ll tell you what the gateway is. then type in http://<gateway ip>


Warning – Dell Inspiron 8500 Video BIOS Flash

So, a warning to all users of Dell Inspiron 8500 Laptops with the GeForce 4200 Go video card. Do not attempt to flash the bios on this video card using the Dell utility from their website. It doesnt work, and will brick your video card. When you download the utility, it appears to be nice and safe and made by nVidia. However, after you start it – it’ll tell you it’ll take a few seconds to flash. After minutes and even hours, that message won’t change. You have thus killed the bios on the video card. You can kill/close the fladhing program window, and still resume your windows activities but the system will not boot up again.

You have been warned

Update : Just looked at the download page again, it still says “Recommended”. I recommend you ignore this patch till they fix it. I’m talking to Dell support, and will update this entry with any information.

Update : Spoke to dell. They replaced the video card on the machine for free, and they will be investigating the bios update on the site that reads recommended. Thank you dell.

How To Redirect Permanently with PHP


To do a permanent redirection using PHP, for whatever SEO needs you may have, the code is

//Standard 404.php file

//Looking for my tnmailserver?
if(strpos($_SERVER[“REQUEST_URI”], “/Projects/TNMailServer-Full.aspx”) !== FALSE)
header(“HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently”);
header(“Location: /TNMailServer”);

The exit is importantly, especially if you still have other code below this snippet performing other checks, or showing the standard 404 page.

Rooney and Ronaldo, following Donovan?


Today’s game should have been a white wash for Chelsea. Theres really no excuse why Manchester United couldnt hit Chelsea for 6 afer the special one’s departure. And thus, i think i’ve come to a psuedo conclusion on something. I think that some talented players, fade once in a while. I dont know why it is, but it appears that they peak, and then fade. I don’t know if they fade forever downwards, or if its a phase thing with life, like a planetary alignment issue that triggers some weird neutrons in their brains.

Take, for example, Landon Donovan. FIFA Young Player winner for 2002’s world cup. He had a terrific run in that world cup, and then with the MLS in that period of time. But since then he’s gone down, and i’d say he looked like the worst USA player on the field when USA played Brazil earlier this month.

Since Landon is older than Rooney, and Ronaldo – it’s quiet possible that my theory is plausible. Maybe these two stars are fading now. If i remember correctly, my biggest hero Jurgen Klinsmann went through this patch after departing from Tottenham to go to Bayern Munich. If my memory serves me right, he faded between 97 and just before the start of the 98 world cup. Although he scored 3 goals in the 98 world cup, he was hardly stellar. And then he was gone for almost a decade, before coming back as a coach in full form. Maybe he hasnt taken a job recently due to another slump.

So, maybe thats why Ronaldo, Rooney and Donovan suck recently ? Maybe in a few years they’ll come back for a facinating season or two ?

VMWare and Virtual Server

For ages now, I’ve been wanting to switch from Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2005 (mvs2k5) to VMWare Server.

Why? Well, at first I started off with a few production Windows Servers (Exchange, Development for clients and a few Windows XP machines to connect to customer’s VPN’s) and this worked beautifully well on mvs2k5. Using Microsoft’s recommendations of using fixed sized vhd’s and “virtual” SCSI adapters, things were just looking spectacular.

However, with the latest version of mvs2k5, i couldn’t get Fedora 7, Slackware 12, or Ubuntu 7.04 to install on mvs2k5 despite Microsoft saying they added Linux support. This is my problem. I need to be able to test Linux and other open source technologies without busting open real hardware.

Thus, VMWare is my only real hope, since it supports Windows stuff, and Linux stuff, and VMWare’s technology works differently. For a start, each of the virtual machines runs in its own process space, so you can kind of see where the memory and cpu utilization is going – which you can’t with mvs2k5.
So, i decided that my Dual Core 3.4Ghz machine with 4gb of RAM shouldn’t be wasted just for Windows Virtual machines, and started my quest in converting everything to VMWare.

Not so good. The conversions for my current Windows machines have problems. If you have WPA Activated virtual machines, you’d have to re-activate – which I’m ok with if everything worked out fine But it didn’t. It’s a painfully slow process. I also couldn’t get the VMWare tools to work right on these converted machines. My first machine i converted (my development machine that i use constantly), worked fine – if a bit sluggish – in Remote Desktop mode, but over the VM Console, I couldn’t get my mouse to work, and it was really slow. If I wasn’t so obsessed with stuff working right, this would be ok. But i need things to work right so I can be sure that the machines environment is safe.

So for this reason, my rule (for now) will be let Windows Virtual machines, built on mvs2k5, stay on that platform till its life cycle ends. I’ll just have to bite the bullet and use two physical machines for now. I’ve desperately needed Linux virtual machines to test out my latest version of TNMailserver in which my project is getting sadly old without updates.