24 December 2009

Bah. Xmas.

And so yet another Christmas is upon us! "How time flies!" the people becry the old cliché!

I had so many honorable and noble intentions this year, I really did!

Firstly, there was starting a shopping list for Xmas (and I do distinguish Xmas and Christmas) in October of this year, amid rumours that we may be spending the 25th of December in the cold confines of a New York apartment.

As time went by, and the rumours started to gain an unearthly momentum, we started to shop. Shop, shop, and more shop. Window shopping, trinket shopping, senseless shopping, online shopping. It never ended! And then we got confirmation that we were going to New York!

Shopping heated up. Our preparations intensified (while our productive preparations remained slow). We began to book our hotels, changed our departure dates so we could stay home with family for Christmas, and did some more shopping.

Fast forward about six weeks and it still feels like we are on high alert status. Shopping still isn't complete, travel stuff still isn't complete, and we are leaving in two days!!

What makes this all the more troublesome is that we have friends who would have joined us on our trip to the States had we all understood a mutual desire to go, in addition to so many dear friends and family coming back for the precious week before Christmas Day, while we are still nowhere near perfectly planned as I would have liked us to be.

Enter a frantic juggling stage of friends, family, travel plans, and Xmas shopping, and you know where this is going for us.

I'm sitting here with regrets that Kat and I haven't (a) had more time with family, (b) had more time with friends, (c) stopped worrying about the travel and just enjoy being spontaneous, and (d) spent so much on trinkets and trivia for Xmas!

We've had many late nights, very few moments together, and a mishmash of time with the ones that matter to us most.

Hopefully next year (God willing) we'll know to get shopping done in a weekend in October (and stop worrying about stupid obligation presents or waste-of-time trinkets), make time for each other and also friends / family. Maybe also (God willing) we can do another trip and just let it happen!!

Hopefully we'll have both learnt a very valuable lesson from this year, but I fear I'm playing a very old and very familiar tune right now :(

15 December 2009

Continuity Game

Being the avid gamer that I am, I am very saddened at the apparent slow death of modern gaming.

You see, I have a lot of reasons for saying that, but I won't go into them right now, except to say that I feel we're getting too many franchises and big publishers aiming at suckering the "new generation" of gamers into a world of blockbuster titles that have more money spent on promotional material than the actual quality of the game (this isn't entirely true, but hopefully you get the point I'm trying to make). The worst part is, games are promoted so aggressively, that probably most sales for a game are enjoyed from the first week of release and all of the pre-orders, before a game can truly be measured for its quality (or lack thereof). This is in large part due to the hype machine. Do we really need another Call of Bandcraft Sims? I think NOT!

What we DO need, is more indie games like Continuity - go and play it; you'll be enthralled (and if you don't know what to do, give me a shout)!!


The Silly Season

This certainly is the Silly Season. Overindulgence, overspending, and what-not. Our Employee Assistance and Wellness Unit has just sent out a very nice email advising everyone to be moderate and loving and careful this holiday season, which is great... only thing is, my cursed gift of the English language has left me rather bemused at one of their statements, see if you can pick up the very subtle humour in this:

"Behave responsibly if you are consuming alcohol and ensure you do not drive if you are over the legal limit because you could land up behind bars"

14 December 2009

Blackberry Messenger 5 download

Anyone that knows  me probably knows my story about BlackBerry devices. I have owned one for five years now and counting, and over the years I've managed to convince others to take the delve into the Black divide ("once you go BlackBerry, you won't go back" or something to that effect). My most recent handset has been the 8900 Curve "Javelin", and when I migrated from my 8707v it somehow decided that the BlackBerry Messenger on the 8900 wasn't right, removed it, tried to put my 8707v Messenger on, figured it wasn't compatible, and broke. I was stuck without the Messenger, and became the laughing stock of my contemporaries. No matter. I persevered without it, relied heavily on GOOGLE TALK for BlackBerry, and occassionally kept an eye out for an OTA downloadable version for Messenger, which never seemed to be there (with some stupid excuse that it was available on the supplied CD bundled with the phone, or available through the Desktop software, which is both rot).

10 December 2009

CDWOW savings of 12%

If anyone shops with CDWOW - today they are giving away 12% discounts on their e-vouchers. What this means is, you buy yourself an e-voucher, it mails it to you instantly, you redeem it, and then spend it on the item you were intending to buy from CDWOW originally. I just bought HALF-LIFE 2: ORANGE BOX (XBOX360) for 12% less! Entire process took me about five minutes to score the discount!

HINT: for those that don't realise it, see how much the product is, and enter that amount in the e-voucher box and you will get a complete 12% discount, but I think it may be for today only, so hurry! ONE CAVEAT: Voucher takes 24 hours to go live, so you can't spend it until 24 hours have passed... so in truth I have not just bought HALF-LIFE 2 ORANGE BOX, I have to wait another 23.5 hours... :(

Windows Server 2008 R2 complex passwords

One of the new "features" with Windows Server 2008 is the password complexity "security" that ensures you have a complex password on your monster servers. The problem is, this is supposed to be defaulted to DISABLED on first installation, but in my experience, it isn't!

To find out a bit more about what sort of complexity you need to have in your passwords (so you can just darned well log in for the first time to change it), check out this link:

To find out how to fix it once you're logged in, check out this link: