Wanted: Boolean Filters For Gumtree

or them to apply their own standards for listings

Gumtree – owned by eBay – is much more popular in the UK than Craigslist, for some reason. Whatever that reason is, it’s definitely not due to the advanced search options they offer. As far as I can tell, they have no support for simple boolean operators.

So instead of the (say) Ford Docus you’re looking for, you might see a “Vauxhall Astra 2006 Like Ford Fiesta Focus Golf Polo”, which is definitely not what is wanted…

*: I mean, I tried -, NOT, (NOT)

Bass

Ah bass, king of the gamefish. At home in both fresh and saltwater, one of the most sought after fish in the US, this fish has its sporting origins in the nineteenth century… No no no! What? Oh, not that kind of bass. Right.

Throwbacks to A Bit of Fry and Laurie aside, I feel a rant coming on. The flat below is having some kind of box social or mixer or shindig and where there is box socials, there is music. And where there is party music, there is an excess of bass. So sleeping is off for the moment… hence this rant.

I don’t know where my aversion to bass comes from though. I can tell you my subwoofer has its bass knob turned the full way down, and the software mixers on my various computers have bass set low (if applicable), and the music player equalisers have it similarly adjusted so as to de-emphasise the lower frequencies. I do like a good beat, but I find bass lines overwhelm and muffle the rest of the more important (in my opinion) instruments. It may completely fail to surprise you that I tweak up the treble response a bit too.

But anyway, before I get called Buzz Killington, buzzkiller, I should point out that these box socialites don’t even have the good grace to let us get used to a particular beat. The music is getting changed with about as much care as and ADD DJ. The reverberations are spasmodic, coming up through the floor for 30 seconds, then a change, then 2 minutes of something similar, then a minute of silence, then 4 minutes of something completely different, then 5 minutes of silence, then a few changes in quick succession. Concomitant with this joyous musical indecision is a grand variance in the volume of the music. As I write this sentence, I can feel the floor vibrating through the rug and carpet; earlier, I had to put my ear to the flow, then actually go downstairs to confirm the music was indeed coming from the flat below. Why there quite is so much variety I am not sure, perhaps they are playing some brazen, adult form of musical chairs that I wish to both remain ignorant of and take hearty part in.

I begin to ramble, partly because it is nearly half 1 and I am tired, while being subjected to weapons-grade bass and listening to songs with odd lyrics on Last.fm; and partly because there is a word counter right below this ever-growing wall of text, and I feel I have been short-changing in recent posts.

Anyway, the lovely people (can you feel the restraint that went into those two words?) downstairs have about half an hour before I strap on the kevlar and helmet and go SWAT on their music system.

Thumbnails Still In WordPress

(follow-up to my previous post)

And in other news, I jump to conclusions too quickly. WordPress does not generate thumbnails for lage images – I’ve heard both 1M and 3M quoted. There is a disussion on the support forums here. For large files I’ll have to run ImageMagick manually.

What would be nice is for WP integrate with ImageMagick or another image processing library so that thumbnail generation can be done for bigger files. Of course, the library would have to be present, but a plugin would be nice…

Thumbnails Removed From WordPress?

While uploading photos, I noticed that the “thumbnail” option seems to have been removed from the latest version (2.3.2 at time of writing) of WordPress. Uploading images no longer generates thumbnails either. A few quick Google searches were not much help, except that a few people with blogs on wordpress.com saw it had been removed too. I’m going to have a look at the changelogs in case there is a reason it was removed (like the preview pane for writing posts), and see if I can get it back. I will post an update if I have any success.

Malware Woes: procsystem.exe

So I was being plagued by ZoneAlarm alerts for outbound DNS requests by an unknown process on a laptop. The offending process was procsystem.exe. A quick Google search didn’t reveal much, other than a few malware-related results. Some of them looked pretty nasty, but since there was only once process running in this case, it was easy enough to kill off. There was also a related ini file and a temp file.

As I say, this one didn’t require any external tools to pick up and clean, which is just as well as AVG, Adaware and Spyware Search & Destroy all missed it.

Irritation: Xbox 360 Games on PC

Everyone’s heard a great many things about Kane and Lynch, and it sounds great on paper: by the makers of Hitman; squad-based action shooter; co-op mode; innovative multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work quite like that.

First of all is the annoying Live! screens:

Kane and Lynch Profile

If I wanted an Xbox experience, I’d play it on the Xbox. Points off for making me feel like I’m not playing a PC game.

Second is the fact that, contrary to expectations, the PC mode doesn’t have a co-op mode. Well it might, if you can hook up two 360 controllers to your PC. If this is possible, you might be able to play co-op mode.

Third is that you need a Live! account to play all the game modes – 2 are for gold members only. I don’t like the Live! integration in this game; it’s cumbersome and unclear.

Fourth is the crashes, reported by a number of people. To date I have had 5 crashes, which is better than some other people, but still pretty bad.

Fifth, though it doesn’t really affect me, is 64 bit compatibility. Apparently the launcher for the game is 16 bit, which means Kenny can’t play the game. If turns out to be a widespread issue, it’s going to look bad for everyone involved (IO, Eidos and Microsoft). The “Games for Windows” certification is meant to ensure the game runs on 32 and 64 bit versions of XP and Vista.

Update: Turns out it wasn’t a widespread issue. See Kenny’s comment below. Of course it still crashes like feck, so my “Games for Windows” comments still counts.

Of course, if the game hadn’t been just a rushed Xbox 360 port (or indeed recompile), these problems may not have happened.

Long awaited return post!

I have been away for a wee while down in the London trying to get some work experience and generally not doing any work at all. I returned a few weeks ago, but have been busy wasting time so haven’t gotten round to posting here. It seems the quality of posting dropped dramatically in my abscence so I am here to restore some order. I thought that I would start by going on a bit of a spiel about all the games coming out before the end of the year and tell you why they look promising. I have an awesome plan for another post, but I need to pace myself. So, get ready for a (not so) quick rundown of (in my opinion) the games to look out for this year.

Continue reading “Long awaited return post!”