How quick things change

Check me out, less than a week I was thinking of getting a chipped xbox and moving or buying a new wireless access point. Now I’ve got a chipped xbox for a the same price as a new one. By the way Microsoft dropped the price of xboxes to take out the gamecube. So 130 pounds will now get you a new xbox with no games and one controller, good business move on microsoft’s part – cant believe they sold for 300 pounds when first launched, and i sweared not to buy one because it was the same as my pc. Now thats the reason why I’m getting one.

Anyway, basicly the xbox has already been chipped / modded and has evolution dash board, media player and some other stuff on there already. So it should be a simple case of plug it in and away I go. Already plugged the optical cable into the digital processor and got the ethernet connection ready. It looks like I may have to switch scart sockets with the playstation everytime I want to use it because my television only has one scart socket that can produce a rgb signal. Luckly I got a two scart switcher box, but its a little crap and already has svideo input from the computer in the other socket. Seeing how the xbox will become the main movie player, I will disconnect the svideo for now. More details and maybe another log when I actually get the xbox today.

On the wireless side of things. I moved the access point to a much better location in terms of spread of the signal, the middle of the house. I was outside in the garden getting a pretty good wireless connection the other day (its nice and sunny at this moment in the uk) and I’ve taken to the garden alot more for just checking email and the like, instant messager on the ipaq outside in the garden is also a favourate of mine. Still thinking of getting the 802.11g access point on the next pay cheque to really cover the whole house and garden with a nice even spread of wireless. Should speak to neighbours about using my bandwidth.

Hacking the xbox

Hacking the xbox – A book so controversial that publishers are afraid to print it
'Banned' Xbox hacking book selling fast

Oh yes, i was thinking about getting a copy just because theres little like this out there at the moment, to my knowledge. There usually based around software hacking, cracking, blah, blah.
No we so need more books about “hardware hacking.” stuff like mobile phones, pda's, digital tv boxes as well as xbox's would go down a treat.

But I'm honestly in two minds about the whole issue. Just because its in print people are going nuts. But you only have to look at xbox scene and xbox hacker to get all the information you need to start.
So whats the big deal really? Because its about reverse engineering, or is because its reverse engineering in print? Hummm? I think it speaks for it self.

Zdnet – Hackers 'improve' Xbox Microsoft's next-generation game console's PC-derived design is encouraging unprecedented tinkering
Business week – Story about the book

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Hackers use Xbox for more than games

There seems to be alot more media coverage of the xbox now than ever due to Microsoft's plans to bring the xbox to the living room as more than a console.
A direct link to the story

Of some interest…
Hackers have modified an estimated 150,000 of the 9 million Xboxes Microsoft has sold worldwide to turn them into PCs that would normally cost $800 or more. What it takes:

A new Xbox, with 733-megahertz processor, custom graphics
chip, 8-gigabyte hard drive: $180

A keyboard and mouse, with adapters: $35 – If you get the usb adapter

A modified start-up chip: $21

120-gigabyte hard drive: $120 – do you really need this size hard drive?

Linux or other free software: $0

Total: $336

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File syncing

I really need to sort out file syncing when it comes to my weblog now, most people are lucky they have one way of writing into there weblog only. Me, well i have about 5 or so. The ipaq and tabletpc are going to be the most used i feel and I need to sort out a way of centralising my syncing so for example this weblog i'm writing on the ipaq while on the bus will not be over written by old data from the tabletpc

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Blojsom themes

I'm a little lost on how to change things around on blojsom?
I've looked at how to customimse blojsom and it seems quite straight forward using css but to actually move things around seems a little more difficult. You seem to need some odd kind of *.vm file. Now I think I understand as default blojsom uses the Jakarta Velocity engine instead of jsp. And I'm unsure if I should change it to jsp which I know and understand a bit or learn what the weird commands in vm mean?
I remember reading on david czarnecki's weblog that the performance of jsp was poor and there were other issues. I cant remember what the other issues were but I need to know before i make the change.

But that aside, if I did want to change the current blojsom theme. How the hell would I do that? seriously because I cant see any *.vm files which I can change except the ones in the themes directory. And thats a different theme from the current one.
I'm either really stupid and missing something really obvious or need to do lots of research. Looking at the log file might help, when i find the time.

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Blogging desktop tools

I've been thinking of ways to get the students blogging. One of the easy ways is a desktop client. The list is mainly from searching the web for desktop clients. Will reduce the list as I try them out and look at there actual interopability with blojsom and features.

w.bloggar – Looks quite big and very developed. Too many features to mention.
blogBuddy – Seems very under developed but has th ebasic features and nice and small. No xml-rpc but supports the blogger api.
Slug – not good, seems to work for the moveable type only and requires the .net framework. One to forget for sure.
Kung-Log – oh this looks good, first things the developer is looking at the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines draft and his thinking seems to be going in the right direction. Ah but its totally for mac osx only. No good but looks sweet. Maybe one for the mac heads?
EspressoBlog – another osx only app, whats the deal with macs and blogs?
Azure – J2me based, so any mobile phone in the uk should work fine. Supports xml-rpc and moveable type. Looks promising and could be a extra app for those students without expensive phones or pdas which supports instant messager
My simple Google query


Something's buzzing online about weblog APIs. Someone posted a comparison between the Blogger and the MetaWeblog API on his weblog. Then Dave Winer is getting pretty riled up about Google's plans to develop a new version of Blogger API, which should better be based on the MetaWeblog API instead.

Another interesting service in regards to blogging which I came across.
TypePad is an upcoming hosted service providing powerful tools for creating full-featured weblogs. Built in response to the needs of webloggers, online diarists and writers, TypePad harnesses the power of Six Apart's popular Movable Type personal publishing system into a turnkey service, suitable for beginners and experts alike. Google's blogger beware…

Chronicle Lite – java based works with any platform which supports java but only plays with the blogger API.

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Blogging and the cubicgarden

So yeah its a weird one.
i've been thinking about blojsom and how this affects cubicgarden.com
realisticly i've been thinking this is what cubicgarden was about orginally, but i feel things have progressed on. I want to have solid links I can depend on when quoting things etc. I know you can have Permalink which will basicly do that but the arrangement isnt as I would like it. Maybe its the designer in me screaming for control again?

Anyway what I'm thinking is if I keep my source weblog files as xml then I can always apply a xsl to cetain ones or all of them to fetch out the best content for direct linking and what not. Yeah it seems blojsom does support html and xml because it just outputs the lot to the browser, and of course any tags which dont make sense to the web browser are ignored. So in all my postings I've included a content tag to enclose the lot. It seems about now is when I need my generic xhtml schema more than ever.

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Welcome to the cubicgarden

I'm now starting to actively promote the cubicgarden.com as my news site which is kind of weird because its just evolved not really changed. Anyhow I guess with this whole new blog area and the ability to comment on what I write, its starting to come together nicely.
I'm hoping to add less techie things, but that will come as I start to do less techie things. I mean for example the last time I did mix on my computer was such a long time ago. And I love and listen to dance music everyday. Oh well hopefully gatecrasher in 2 fridays will inspire me to do more mixing.

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The state we’re in

A great show, the kind of show you wouldnt see in america. BBC's best new comedy – The state we're in it is on BBC Three, Tuesdays at 11.30pm and is repeated throughout the week.

The State We're In – where news and comedy collide. As the world keeps turning, the news keeps rolling and the politicians keep spinning, we'll keep bringing you stuff you won't read anywhere else on the BBC News site.

wondering if channel 4's new political comedy can beat this? channel4's gash
– Armando Iannucci's new project – a political comedy show timed to coincide with the local elections and airing every weeknight from Monday 28th April to Thursday May 1st.

Written and filmed on the day, Gash is intended to be as topical as it possible. The show will try to compress 24 hours into 24 minutes of talk, jokes, bits, VT footage, more jokes, blindingly well-informed opinion, jokes, utter lack of balance, jokes and Armando Iannucci.

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The night of reloaded

I'm still on a super high after watching one of the most perfect films ever. Matrix reloaded!
Its 3am and i've started watching it again due to the fact i was so blown away by the film. All those people slating it must be off there heads. I mean this film has everything, serious everything and its raised the bar so high I dont think I can watch another film between this and revolutions.

Also just watched the revolutions teaser trailer and man I had to watch it about 5 times to take it all in. And its the same with reloaded, I need to watch it again and again to take the whole thing in.
Obviolulsy I wont spoil it for anyone, but you need to watch this movie. Let me repeat that again you need to watch matrix reloaded!!!

There are somethings which change the way you think about things and matrix did this, and reloaded has done it again. The brothers did themselves proud.
To my students I'm teaching tomorrow, expect me in late! I cant sleep…

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Sitting on a bus listening to bible bashers

Oh my goodness me, what on earth is going on? I'm sitting on my bus 354 in london writing this blog. And there are two bible bashers on the bus talking to people (obviously around my age). Guess where there from? America – ohio.

Ok I just spoke to them, engaged in convosation found out there from the church of the latter day saints? and she gave me a card which has a url on saying mormon.org, before they got off the bus at beckenham junc.
We argued about religon and the need to spread the word. I explain we are not a bible basher country and that they need to give it a break for a bit. I'm not on form due to staying up very late watching matrix 2 again and I've had no breakfast – ugh. Can't you tell?
Anyway I made some quite unique comments about religon and was starting to explain the difference between that and faith before they had to go.
She wanted to come around my house and talk longer about this and left her name and landline phone number on the card. Now I'm starting to think a night with dave, me and sarah could be interesting but ulimately a waste of all of our time. There are more important things to think about at the moment for me at least. And it would be wrong of me to poke fun of other peoples faith???

I use faith but you know i mean.

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Give the matrix some credit

Theres something different about the matrix, something almost non hollywood. I know it isnt but we all like to think it is. Mmmm its a tempting one to talk about in depth specially with the whole thing sitting on my hard drive and cinema tickets booked for the first day it hits the uk (wednesday). God knows why i dont just spend tonight watching it?
Anyhow its raising some unexpected coverage on the net due to the research the brothers did.

First it started with this…
From my friend daves blog
Now its everywhere like this
Or was it the other way around?

Interesting stuff, maybe the command line is due for a renanssance?

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Getting started

Finally installed Bloxsom or I actually mean Blojsom
just need to convert all the old weblogs over to the new format then we'll be ready to change over the website.
Shame I cant control the file dates better.

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