Friday, June 30, 2006

Greatest Social Experiment in History

Whoever 'Mike' is from, I congratulate you.

For those of you that hadn't gotten swept up in the massive digital tide that was, let me enlighten you. A strange internet poster known as x21b made a few vague posts about a website, These messages were cryptic, including random strings of text and links to files for download.

Visiting would give the user a feeling that they were unwanted. Ominous error messages pertaining to security audits being failed, actions being recorded, and so on prevailed. The glory of this website was a counter, counting down until July 1st at midnight. The counter was elaborate in the fact that it took into account fake times on the computer, and relied on the server's time.

The site even had 'Secure Areas' protected by an SSL script and required HTACCESS usernames/passwords. Overall, the site looked like it really could be something bad.

I came across the site while reading, which I am guessing is what sparked this gigantic moment in internet history. I saw forums crumble and die as a result of people pooling their knowledge (and that knowledge being ignored, and rediscovered over and over and over because people are too busy to read the previous posts) together in an effort to find out what is going on. Unfiction, I thank you for at least humoring the amount of new traffic that you now have. I may even join.

IRC channels began to pop up in an effort to keep the forum servers from dying as the counter got closer and closer to its mark. I joined two, just to see if there would be any difference (and there really wasn't).

The clocked ticked finally reached Zero.....

And (wonder of wonders) the page auto refreshed to nothingness as hundreds of thousands of people effectively requested the site at once.

For those that got in, they were greeted with a message from the site's creator. To summarize:

"{eon8} Complete
As of July 1st, 2006, the E8 Project has completed.
The purpose of this project was to determine the reactions of the internet public to lack of information."

Mike, I wish to one day shake your hand, or at least duplicate what you accomplished on this night. The only thing you have to fear now are the rabid, disappointed geeks that are now probably finding out where you live, stealing all of the money from your bank accounts, signing you up for massive amounts of gay porn (or straight porn, in case you are gay), and the zombies that I have resurrected and are eager for your brains.

Oh, and the gigantic bandwidth bill in case you didn't notice that the site was hugely popular.

As a side note, leave a comment if you want to see all the files associated with the completion of, I have them saved to keep as part of internet history.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Chronicles of George

For anyone who has worked in technical support and had to work with people of poor verbal/written communication skills, please read the following website and laugh your ass off. I nearly passed out from some of the posts on this website.

Thanks John.

Chronicles of George

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

$25 iMac = Mac Happiness

So during my hiatus on posting on this blog, my local high school had a garage sale. I was hoping to pick up a new laptop since my Compaq has become a fire hazard due to the powercord, but alas I got there too late. While it started at 2pm, my wife and I arrived about 10 minutes early and people were already carting things out.

I had been tipped off that there were going to be quite a few iMacs there, and there were. At least two had been sold, but there were almost 25 left. It was nothing but the light bluish-green iMacs, but sticking out like a sore thumb was a Grape iMac. It contained a stock 333 G3 proc, but had been upgraded to a 30gig HD and 96 megs of RAM, and was running OSX. I paid $25, and the iMac was all mine (after a few trips to pick it up after the were supposed to wipe it clean).

With just a bit of trouble on my part, I got it up and running after reinstalling Mac OS 10.3.9. I installed Thunderbird and Adium, and my wife now has a computer to match her corner of the office.

I myself am very pleased with how well it runs. I did upgrade the RAM to 160meg since my laptop is dead (and thanks Apple for deciding to use SO-DIMMs in the iMacs instead of regular desktop RAM. I had planned on raiding my server for RAM, but no...)

If anyone is looking for a nice internet computer, getting an old iMac is well worth the few bucks. Here are a few iMacs available at, both old and new.

Monday, June 19, 2006

USB Teddy Beat Holds Data, Scares Children

Hilarious story about a somewhat creepy but funny usb drive.I will build one, this is so awesome!

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Lost Mother 3 / Earthbound 64 found?

Beta discs of Mother 3 / Earthbound 64 have surfaced

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Open Source Windows Clone ReactOS releases 0.3 RC1

ReactOS is a free software implementation of Microsoft Windows.

You can test it without installing by using a Live CD, or Images to be run by emulators. It already works with Software like Microsoft Office and Nero Burning Rom and games like Deus Ex and Unreal Tournament.

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IMDB for Comic Books is the fastest-growing comic database on the web. The first goal of this project is to catalog every comic, graphic novel, manga, creator, character and anything else that could possibly relate to the field of comics. And it is built by anyone and everyone who wants to help.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

US Senate has no idea what videogames are

On Wednesday the Senate fired many angry blows against the gaming industry and the ESRB for "poor ratings" and violence, but nobody at that hearing seemed to know what they were talking about. They thought you could STILL buy hot-coffee-capable GTA and they showed the most violent GTA footage possible and claimed it was "part of the game".

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Best Games Never Published

TwitchGuru explores the video game industry's development hell to find the greatest games never published.

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Pocket NES Emulator running Mario on Motorola Q! (w/ video)

"Wow, what can't this phone do? We've already heard about the Motorola Q allowing users to watch TV through Slingplayer Mobile, and rock the satellite tunes through XM Radio, but the latest video that has popped up on the internet shows the Q running "Pocket NES.""

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Funny Videos of the Day

This video is just hilarious, because I have seen all of these dances:
Evolution of Dance

Any video containing Bob Saggett and George Lucas rule:
Bob Saggett Video

Leave it up to the Japanese to create the most kick-ass doomsday simulation ever!:

Mario doesn't have it any easier than the rest of us:
Life of Mario

Rare Nintendo Prototypes Discovered

This lucky person has put up the collection for sale on eBay a piece at a time, releasing new copies of the Star Fox Championship Weekend game pak into circulation as well as prototype versions of Tetris and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past plus the second known copy of the English version of Earthbound for the NES.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Top 50 Game Ending Songs

You will no doubt find some old favourites in the list, and probably a lot of other titles you�ve never played or even heard of. There are MP3 files for each one of the songs.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

This website is down because someone removed the X-Box

A frugal public university installed a Linux'ed Xbox as a student server. Of course, most people wouldn't suspect that an Xbox might be a file server. You can probably guess what happens next.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Blizzard's Secrets Revealed

Several articles outlining in detail how Blizzard Entertainment (makers of World of Warcraft, Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, etc) have gained power, how they are wielding power, and the how the entire game industry has changed because of them. Especially how the rest of the world has changed views of people that play multiplayer games.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Play Zork over the phone

Zasterisk is the old text-adventure game Zork, implemented as a voice-based game that you play over the phone using the open source phone-switcher Asterisk.

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The Wii Virtual Console: How it will change everything.

The Wii Virtual Console has the potential to be one of the biggest things to hit gaming in a long time. Imagine having a huge library of great games all available to you at any time. The controller is not the only part of the Wii that is truly revolutionary. This could mean big things if Nintendo plays its cards right.

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Fothyl's Adventures in Cyrodiil

I finally picked up Oblivion, and I'm loving it. It runs pretty decently on the Radeon 9700, if only at 1024x768. It's not anwhere near as bad as I thought it would be.

Because I'm a big geek and the Elder Scroll games are extremely open ended, my character Fothyl (a Nord Knight who casts destruction magic) has decided to keep a log of what is going on in his life. Check it out at

The No Internet Connection Blues

Assuming anyone actually reads this blog, you'll have noticed a distinct drop in the frequency of my updates since this weekend. This is because my DSL connection is down. Yippie.

In an effort to not be without internet, I've tried finding open wireless APs around me, tried my hand at WEP cracking, and even going so far as to hobble together the worst wireless antenna setup ever. What do I get out of it? 20% packet loss.

The fruits of my labor shall be for naught, however. In the course of my desperate attempts to create an internet connection, I have learned much (among failing much). I shall impart such knowledge unto thee.

Wireless AP Searching/WEP Cracking
Perhaps one of mankind's greatest inventions was the Linux Live CD, specifically the Auditor Security Collection. This nify Live CD has just about any network testing program you can think of, both wired and wireless. Using a guide found at, I learned how to use Kismet. I did not get to actually crack a WEP key as the one wireless network that had clients connected...I already knew the WEP for.

Overall though, the guide is very in-depth and well written. It oulines how to run the software, what some of the things mean, and the third part of the tutorial even shows how to secure yourself against such hacks. It's amazing what a 13db panel antenna and a 200mw card will pick up. If you live in a fairly populated area, it might be worth a shot to check out what wireless packets are floating around.

Please keep in mind you will need a Prism-based chipset in your wireless card. I did everything with a Senao NL-2511CD EXT2(F200)CY card ripped from a dead Engenius (Senao) bridge. From what I understand the cards themselves can be kind of hard to come by, so check on eBay for them. (As a side note, you can use those cards in a WET11 v1 box. Strangely, I got a few more DB doing this than compared to a regular Engenius bridge, but it may just be coincidence).

The Live CD is worth checking out, especially if you have a Prism-based card. The only thing wrong in the above tutorial is a command that was left out - to turn on 'Monitor' mode fot he NL-2511CD EXT2 cards (which the tutorial recommends), you have to run the following command before trying out airodump:

monitor.wlan [card id] [channel]

My Crappy Wireless Connection Setup
After my failed attempts at finding an open AP, I resorted to using my work's wireless towers. I have no line of sight, the Frankenbridge (Senao card inside a WET11 box), and two antennas - a 13db, and an 18db panel. Strangely the 18db panel is no better than the 13db, so I decided to not use it. Since work has access to lots of wireless equipment, I am now connected to the tower using a 13db panel, plugged into a 500mW amp (12db gain), plugged into a spare Engenius (~10db gain), netting me a total of 12db. So, doing the math, with just an unamped bridge I'm at...-23db signal. That's awesome.

And to top it all off, I have to mount the antenna in the bedroom window (ie: it's sitting on top of the bottom window pane beind held by only the blinds), not the office. So I've got my wireless router in the bedroom plugged into the bridge, and then the Frankenbridge in the office pulling the signal in that way. Because the Senao card has no real antenna and the jumper from the box I ripped it from is cracked, I've got even more loss in the office!

I miss my DSL...

Great tornado photos

Scroll down just a bit for a collection of amazing tornado pics.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Ubuntu Dapper Drake Released

I did the upgrade yesterday, and it was the least painful upgrade I've ever done on any computer. If you have Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) or one of the Release Candidates of Dapper installed, you just run the regular 'Update Manager' and it pulls it all down while you continue to work on what you were doing. After it's all done, restart at your convience, and you're all set.

Total time to do two machines: 30 minutes, both downloading at 110kbps a second. Not a single problem on either machine.

Software Stacks
I still have my server running 5.10, and will most likely upgrade when I have too. One thing that Drake has are 'stacks' of software to do common software setups, such as LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) installs. While doing 'apt-get install apache php4 mysql' works too, but should be a much tighter integration.

Ubuntu has been working with VMWare, and now VMWare Player is available via apt. Now I can run VMWare Player without having to jump through hoops to get it to work on Linux. It is currently downloading, so we'll see how well everything works.

Other Updates
Gnome has also been updated, as well as other core programs. I'm not seeing a gigantic difference in things after the upgrade, but the boot-up and shutdown times are much faster now. If only Ubuntu had a nice, built-in way to play many commercial 3D games, I'd be all set. As for right now, it does everything other than that.

You can download Ubuntu Dapper Drake 6.10 here.