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Home Update

Dolores (and our soon to be borne child) are home and healthy, although she has to take medication and rest to prevent contractions. That means quite a bit less spare time for me as I become a ‘man of the house’ aka do-it-all.

Even so, I like having her here – better than visiting her in the hospital every evening with Tom.

Tom especially is happy that his mummy is back. He didn’t talk a lot about her being in hospital, but when I talked to him about it he would start asking questions, making sure that mummy was coming back, that she had to stay there because the doctor said so.

We get a lot of hugs from him now that both parents are in one place again !

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Pocket PC Amiga Emulator

Haaaaa – I didn’t think it could be done, emulating an Amiga with all it’s custom chips on an itty-bitty pocket pc, but it seems that I was wrong 🙂 🙂 🙂 : there exists an amiga emulator for the pocket pc (Windows 2003 SE edition).

I haven’t tested it out yet, I will let you know if it is playable or not.

Update :
Some things work, but not (yet) all of them. The emulator itself starts up fine, the game starts up fine, but my simulated mouse buttons don’t work, they should be mapped to the ‘calendar’ button as well as the ‘contacts’ button, but they are not responding. So you get a start screen where you can move the mouse but not much more. Apparently on some pocket pc’s it does work, however not on my iPAQ hx2410. Too new a model ?

Apparently it’s a one-man project, and it seems that the author doesn’t always have time to work on it, there are long periods of silence. Lets hope that he can finish the project, it’s very close to being usable !!

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WP Plugins to investigate :

Here are some plugins which I’ll be looking at (mostly this is a note to myself).

  • Backup your WordPress : One-Click Backup for WP 1.5 – also read the tutorial ! Done.
  • For small to medium large databases,
    your WP database once a year.
  • Have a icon showing the local weather. Use this link to find your weather station code. Done.
  • Statistics for your blog : Ba Stats. Done.
  • Here’s another note to myself : reminder : BACKUP BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ! Done.

    Blog News

    Another update

    Dolores is home, but has to take beta-inhibitors (which have some nasty side-effects) to prevent contractions. She has to rest a lot, which means that I have to do most of the housekeeping, but better this than her in hospital. I look at it as a preparation for when our second child arrives !

    The car has been repared, free of charge (it’s got a 2-year warranty, and it’s not yet a year old) and is back with us.

    I’ve started looking into a gps solution for the car – I’m currently looking at the iPaq hx2410 handheld together with a TomTom gps solution, more on this later…

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    Vacation it was not !

    Well, we were supposed to take a midweek vacation in a Sunparc domain. A way to relax before the strenuous business of having a new baby and all that comes with it. At the end of the very first day, while walking between pools in the sub-tropical swimming paradise, Dolores slipped and did a belly-flop. Now this is not the thing to do when you’re 7 months pregnant.
    She was not hurt badly, but both her and me were in shock and concerned for the baby, so we went to the local hospital in Veurne to do a check-up. The gynecologist at hand did not find anything wrong with the baby, but the monitor showed that there were some contractions. It was decided she would stay overnight.
    Tom and I went back to our little house to spend the night, thinking we would pick her up the next day. We both had a hard time getting to sleep, and Tom woke up at 3 crying for his mommy.
    In the morning Dolores called me – the contractions continued, she had to receive a medicine to stop them, but this meant a 3-day stay-over in the hospital. This was prolonged for 3 more days as the contractions came back after the first dose of the medicine.
    Dolores is back home since Sunday, everything seems to be ok, but she has to rest as much as she can.

    On top of that, when I wanted to drive home on Friday to pick up some clothes for her, the car broke down. I had to have it towed to Halle, as it was full of our vacation stuff, and my replacement car is a Renault Clio.

    I’ll be busy the next few weeks…

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    Privateer Remake!

    Privateer was a DOS game made by Origin sometime in the 1990’s, when a 486 CPU with 8 MB RAM was still the top of the line ! I remember buying it and being flabbergasted by the video and renders in the game intro.

    A group of people took the opensource vegastrike engine, and rewrote Privateer with up-to-date graphics.

    Version 1.0 is out *NOW* and it’s playable for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The file weighs in at 178 MB, so you are advised to use a bittorent download if your internet pipe is not large enough (and it keeps their ISP happy).

    Go get it !

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    Something on my mind

    When I was young, each choice was a sacrifice.
    Now that I am older, each sacrifice is made by choice.

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    Carnaval in Halle

    Candy. In huuuuge quantities (at least for a 3 year old) generously distributed by advertising cars with big, powerful soundboxes.

    Big, rotating whatsamacallit polyester ufo beasts spinning round and round forever being pulled by an aging tractor covered up in painted plywood and polyester while children go aaaah and ooooh.

    Children dressed up as tigers, elephants, crocodiles, rabbits, clowns, vampires. Whole teenager school classes participating in the stately ‘stoet’ going down the street, dressed up as tables, violins, cave people. Old people dressed up as young people, young people as old.

    Brass bands (with majorettes), sometimes from the next city, some from as far Hamburg or Rotterdam.

    And a bit later and a bit further down in the city, the consuming of large quantities of alcohol and greasy food.

    Excellent !

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    Quicksilver Beta (Mac OS X)

    I’ve been using QuickSilver beta35 for some time now, and it is simply excellent. However, you do need some time to switch your thinking caps over to using it. I’ll clarify some more…

    On the website it is described as a Framework for launching applications – for now. However, even in it’s current form it is already very useful. Basically it is a search engine that indexes user-selected parts of your harddisks (or all of your disks) and lets you use keyboard commands to select ‘stuff’ and ‘do things with it and to it’.

    For example, you can do the ‘ctrl’+’space’ key combination (the default way to activate QS) and up pops a small window, you type the first few letters of the application you want to start, and it’ll show you – as you type – the results. Hit ‘enter’ and QuickSilver will launch the application, simply as that. Very handy to quickly launch an application if you know it’s name, which you often do. Takes you all of 3 seconds.

    Now, just by letting you use the keyboard for this the application is already useful, however it allows you to do much more : if you hit ‘tab’ once you select something, you get an additional menu that allows you to do things TO the selected item.

    Let me give you an example : ‘ctrl’ + ‘space’, type the first letters of a document you have on your hard disk, ‘tab’ to open the second menu, start typing ‘mail’, arrow down the list to select ’email SEND’ , type the name of a person in your address book you want to send it to, hit enter, and boom, you’ve send a mail with the file attached to the person.
    Time used : 7 seconds.

    I admit it takes time to remember that you can do it this way, and I don’t always think of using it like that, but heck, yo have to admit it is a very intuitive way of working, it’s all those years of working the wrong way that are making it hard to switch over.

    In order to do some of these extra things, however, it needs plugins – this allows it to be infinitely adaptable – you install only those plugins you need, or all of them. You can install an iTunes plugin so your songs show up, or a Safari plugin so your bookmarks are indexed as well, there are several others.

    My only wish : QuickSilver for PC…

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    New Maps for Counter-Strike:Source

    Valve entertainment just released 2 new maps for Counter-Strike: Source as well as some bugfixes. I’ve started playing CS:S about 2 months ago, after I finished Half-life 2, and despite the many times I’ve cursed it, it’s very addictive.
    I did like HL2 Deathmatch a lot more early on, but in the end, CS:S is much more rewarding when you think things through. I’ve noticed some new behaviour in my game playing style : I tend to rush less (erm, sometimes), and I try to aim better for the parts that count. And I don’t do foot shots (that automagically become headshots, due to a bug). And just this last week I noticed that I’m bettering my scores (from time to time). Depends on the map though, sometimes I’m still worth nothing. Slowly but surely I’m making it out of n00bdom.

    I also think CS:S makes you think longer about what you do than HL2 DM : in CS:S once you’re dead, you’re out for the round, and have to sit it out. In HL2 DM, you die only to be respawned somewhere else immediately. Like most similar online games, really.

    Sometimes I wonder if kids don’t take the wrong lesson from these games and become callous in real life : in real life, you often only get one chance to do something right (or wrong). After that, you can make amends, but there is no ‘respawn’ or ‘undo’ button.

    Oh well, I guess they will learn from their errors as I did (and still do).