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

Usability and error messages

The Bloglines Plumber

I’m using Bloglines as my RSS reader. I like the fact that it is independent of the computer I use and that it lets me keep a list of clips and a blog of links that I can follow up later.

Today when I tried to access it the site was down for maintenance. Bloglines seem to have systems that let them maintain and keep the service running without having to take it down often, but today they apparently had to take it down for a short while.

What kind of message they give to their users while the system is down is an important part of their communication with their users. And I admit it. I am used to such horrible messages of “Error-whatever-please-come-back-later” that I actually get charmed by messages like this one:


I’m the Bloglines Plumber. Bloglines is down for a little fixer upper. We will be back shortly. Bloglines will be all better when I’m done with it.

The Bloglines Plumber

The result of such a communication? Well, the downtime doesn’t bother me at all. Simple as that.

Usability and error messages

Experimenting with Lightbox for WordPress

Most of the pictures in this blog are thumbnails with a bigger version of the picture behind it. If you click the picture it will simply open the large version in a blank page.

There is a nice java script based plugin for WordPress that gives a bit of extra functionallity for pictures. When you click a thumbnail the bigger version will open on top of the same page with the rest of the page “dimmed”.

The question is: what do you think?
Leave a comment here if you have any thoughts…

The plugin seems to automatically work on all pictures in this blog. Click around and have a look. Should I leave it on, or would you like the good old “open-the-picture-in-a-blank-page”…?

You can try it here by clicking on one of these images (you can simply click it again to close it):

Matterhorn and a plane 3883 meters above sea level

Some info about the images. Taken above Zermatt, Switzerland. With a Canon S2 IS.

The one to the left is the top of Matterhorn. Snapped at the right moment when a plane passed by. The one to the right is at the top of Rothorn. 3883 meters above sea level. Move slowly…

Experimenting with Lightbox for WordPress

How to waste your company’s money and make an utterly stupid audio format


1. Be careful about timing.
Find an exact point when the majority of the users of existing formats are willing to change their habit. Around 1999 something happened to the way people wanted to consume music.

2. Analyze what this change is all about.
At this point people clearly moved towards more availability and was actually willing to sacrifice quality for the availability. Uncompressed audio was compressed and moved quickly between devices. Welcome MP3, Napster, iPod etc…

3. Now plan a format that is exactly the oposite of what people want
Welcome Super Audio CD (SACD). It was released in 1999. Most of you haven’t even heard about it. It is a very high quality audio format that is so insanely well protected that it won’t play on any of your existing devices.

It’s five channels but it won’t play on your new five channel home theatre. It’s digital but it won’t play on your new media center PC. Or Mac. Or Linux box.

This is just as stupid as it would be to launch a digital version of the good old Compact Cassette at the point when people got used to portable CD players and the professionals that wanted recording capabilities already had the high quality DAT system.

Oh. Wait. Someone did exactly that.

Or failing to understand that a special little disk with very low storage capabilities is not the way to go when people are used to carrying around their complete music library. Eh. Someone did that too

How to waste your company’s money and make an utterly stupid audio format just got some cheap ad-space


My friend Mykle just sold his MSN Display Picture for $122,50. The lucky winner of the auction on eBay was Norwegian search engine

Now, every time Mykle logs on MSN messenger the logo of shows up above all windows on about 50 computers automatically.

Every time Mykle chats with someone the logo of will be there loud and clear stating that “Mykle supports – better search”.

At $122 that’s a bargain if you ask me. just got some cheap ad-space

Building a quiet bleeding edge PC

Zalman CPU Cooler

Yesterday ExtremeTech featured an article about building a quiet but high performing computer for gaming. When building a computer that you want to place in your living room as a media center the question of noise is more important than the question of performance.

You need some power, but not the same kind of bleeding edge processor and graphics that gamers need to drive their advanced 3D action.

That’s why it’s interesting to have a look at people that have tried to silence a very powerful PC. By using the same methods and simply replacing some of the components with slightly lower performing components you can end up with a seriously silent media center PC.

Of course there’s always the question of looks. The important wife acceptance factor (WAF). The computer that ExtremeTech have built does not fit in on top of your amplifier. It looks too much like a regular PC. To solve that, I can simply recommend my own solution: a well ventilated cabinet with a silent fan in a noise reducing mount.

(Via Slashdot)

Building a quiet bleeding edge PC

Run WinXP on a Mac


The contest is over. You can now run WinXP on the 17- and 20-inch iMacs, MacBook Pro, and new Mac Mini.

It’s just a question of time before someone manage to run MediaPortal, GBPVR, Meedio or a full Windows Media Center Edition on the new MacMini. A computer that has a seriously cool form factor as a media center. It looks good. It’s quiet.

Throw in two Hauppauge PVR-USB2 and a 1 TB external disk and you have a very nice HTPC.

This could bring a complete Media Center solution with TV-functionallity, an electronic program guide and a large user base to the Mac before Apple gets its act together and completes Front Row. But both CenterStage and MediaCentral seems to be alive and kicking. Maybe sticking to native OSX is a good idea after all? I need to get hold of a MacMini to do some tests…

More on Engadget

Run WinXP on a Mac