ROFL! The n00b got a BSOD on his HTPC


Or in plain english:
Rolling on the floor lauging! The inexperienced user got a serious error on his home theatre personal computer.

People keeps asking. And a while ago I realised that my mother is reading this blog. She wasn’t the one requesting this little roundup of strange computer geek language but I have a feeling that she will be one of the persons learning a couple of new abbreviations from this article.

There is no point for me to give something of a complete guide to internet language. I’ll explain a couple of the abbreviations I have used here on and lead you to some excellent recources in the end of this article. Here we go:

HTPC – Home Theatre PC. A computer that is tailored for media playback. Very often built to stay in the living room besides amplifiers, DVD players, VHS players and other audio and video equipment. And, regarding the DVD players and VHS players the HTPC is very often replacing them, not sitting there besides them.

IMHO – In My Humble Opinion

LOL - Laughing Out Loud

ROFL – Rolling on the floor laughing (laughing even more than when you laugh out loud)

BSOD – Blue Screen Of Death. The blue screen that a Windows computer will give you when something goes seriously wrong. Usually the most horrible error message of them all. Very often connected to complete hardware failures.

NSFW – Not Safe For Work. “This link is NSFW“. Used to indicate that the content might be offensive. So far the closest thing you get to something that is NSFW on would be this. (…ouch. Did I mention that my mother reads this blog?)

WTF? – What the fuck? Hmm. Maybe one of the words there is NSFW?

w00t! – Something like WOW!, Fantastic!, Yippeeee! Difficult to translate directly, and a part of the very advanced l33t-language. Read the complete explanation of w00t here. Yes, you write w00t using the number zero instead of the letter “o” and l33t using the number three instead of “e”.

OMG – Oh My God

n00b – Newbie. An inexperienced user. “I am a n00b, please be gentle.

RTFM – Read The Fucking Manual. If you ask a very stupid question in a forum you sometimes could get a simple RTFM as the answer.

The list goes on. You find one of the most complete lists of internet slang on Wikipedia. Together with the Urban Dictionary you should be covered.

And yes, the fact that my retired mother actually reads this makes me proud of her. :-) …problem is that before I know it she’ll start commenting on my bad english.

ROFL! The n00b got a BSOD on his HTPC

The web page that eventually will show every picture possible

Everything possible

In May 2005 I posted an article that described an insane, yet slightly interesting supposition: Everything you would ever want to see

To put it short:
Make a computer program that renders all pictures possible within a given limitation. Store them on a hard drive and you would have a repository of all footage necessary to make any movie or TV show that will ever be made.

The article is one of my most popular so far. If you look through the comments you will find a lot of suggestions and attempts on making such a program.

Now, half a year later I have recieved the best one so far. Paul has made a page with a 64 x 64 greyscale frame. It is possible to create 2^1048576 pictures in that frame.

The frame will start with a black pixel up in the left corner and “count” up to the last picture as people visit the page. At some point something interesting will show up. A picture of the American president somewhere you have never seen him before. A picture of you somewhere you have never seen yourself before. Well, in a couple of million years everything possible will have been displayed at this page…

The web page that eventually will show every picture possible

Pandora – Music recommendation radio that works

I just started playing around with Pandora, a recommendation radio built on the Music Genome Project. Just wanted to share that this is the first time I have tried a recommendation radio that actually works and that actually recommends stuff that I like! After my first half hour of use it seems a bit US-focused, but I’ll have to try it out some more before I can jump to any conclusions.

This is a service that meets some of the most basic requirements for something that could be a hit:
1. It is easy to understand the concept
2. It is easy to use
3. The price seems right

Unfortunately, the sound quality is not perfect, but I guess that will be better as time goes by and the general quality goes up regarding network speed, cost of storage etc… Now, could you give me Pandora for my Media Center please?

Pandora – Music recommendation radio that works

The Telecrapper 2000

I remember back when I had an ISDN line. I used our computer as an answering machine and had the possibility to make personalized messages depending on the number of the caller.

For the people calling from an “empty” number, i.e. telemarketers, I routed them directly to the answering machine and simply said “Based on the number you are calling from it seems like you are a telemarketer. Please leave a message and I will call you back“. The only messages I got was some mumbling about “what is this?” etc..

Now, welcome the Telecrapper 2000. Record a series of short audio files and activate the Telecrapper. It will answer your phone with one of the files. Each time it senses silence for a given time from the caller it plays another file. This can lead to some fantastic virtual conversations with telemarketers.

You find a conversation done by Telecrapper 2000 with a real telemarketer, illustrated with a nice flash animation here. There are more audio examles at the bottom of the Telecrapper 2000 page.

We closed our fixed line a long time ago, and the telemarketers seem to stay away from my mobile. But, I guess that won’t last forver. I see a market for a Telecrapper 2000 software for Symbian already…

Via (Hack a day)

The Telecrapper 2000

The Champagne Blog up and running

Bernt and Bjarne has started a very important blog. The Champagne Blog. It will be interesting to see what they will bring. You can already learn how to sabre a bottle of sparkling beverage, and it will be interesting to follow their experiment on how to turn cheap white wine into a sparkling beauty. :-)

If you want to try to sabre a bottle of champagne, it might be smart to start out with something that’s not too expensive. However, we don’t want to drink bad champagne, so it has to be a good one. I can recommend Tarlant Brut Zero. An excellent budget champagne. If you happen to live in Norway the product number at the Norwegian Vinmonopolet is 4673801. And the price is a ridiculous NOK 215,-

Still, if you want to do your training on something even cheaper, try the Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Millésimé from Les Caves des Hautes Côtes. The closest you can get to champagne without actually drinking the real thing. Product number 731401, NOK 136,-

The Champagne Blog up and running

Could YOUR computer help scientists look into the future?

A while ago, I read about The Global Consciousness Project over at RedNova News. Being a quite sceptical engeneer I usually don’t find experiments like these very interesting, but this one tickled my brain…

From RedNova:

“One of these new technologies was a humble-looking black box known was a Random Event Generator (REG). This used computer technology to generate two numbers – a one and a zero – in a totally random sequence, rather like an electronic coin-flipper.

The pattern of ones and noughts – ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ as it were – could then be printed out as a graph. The laws of chance dictate that the generators should churn out equal numbers of ones and zeros – which would be represented by a nearly flat line on the graph. Any deviation from this equal number shows up as a gently rising curve.

During the late 1970s, Prof Jahn decided to investigate whether the power of human thought alone could interfere in some way with the machine’s usual readings. He hauled strangers off the street and asked them to concentrate their minds on his number generator. In effect, he was asking them to try to make it flip more heads than tails.

It was a preposterous idea at the time. The results, however, were stunning and have never been satisfactorily explained.

Again and again, entirely ordinary people proved that their minds could influence the machine and produce significant fluctuations on the graph, ‘forcing it’ to produce unequal numbers of ‘heads’ or ‘tails’.”

Read the story at RedNova and think about it. If you find it even remotely interesting then start experimenting with the idea that the data from random number generators could actually say something about global events when analyzed properly.

If the nodes are simple random number generators then you could easily turn your computer into a node. Someone should make a project like Seti out of this. A software that you could download to your computer and turn it into a node for this project. You would have millions of computers generating data to the project. It would be possible to add location to the data and see if changes are greater near the events that will make a change in the flow of numbers.

I also immediately start thinking about another wild project that I have suggested here before:
Everything you would ever want to see

Even for a sceptical engeneer it is important to sometimes let go of physics and what I base on current knowledge. If not for anything else, for creativity alone…

Could YOUR computer help scientists look into the future?