Getting There

And some people spend Chrimbo buried in turkey, pud and crap cracker jokes. I’ve been slaving over a hot keyboard to try and make this place a little more personal. Just the graphic banner across the top to work on. Shame my graphic design skills leave a little… erm… lot to be desired.

Let’s see what I can come up with, eh?

Current MP3 playing: Meaning of Life by Disturbed

Layout Update

Hey folks. I got a bit sidetracked this morning and decided to change the appearance of the blog. I had a nip round the web and found that the Official Spiderman Movie web site had some blog templates for Blogger. So I ripped one off, fiddled with it a bit and used that. The Spidey images will disappear once I find something a little better to replace them with.

Hmmm… and I may add a counter to the bottom of the page too…

Bah Humbug

Suppose I should wish you lot a Merry Christmas. Or Yuletide Felicitations. Or something. Mind you, I got what I wanted for Chrimbo. A whole day to myself with no interruptions, annoying phone calls or people insisting I come round for turkey and egg nog.

Miserable? Maybe. But I get so little time to spend with myself that it can be a strain being around people at times. The only annoying thing is that I didn’t get up till midday. Been a few long days recently and, being the kind soul I am, I stayed up till gone 2 this morning to give a friend a lift home from a nightclub.

Taxi fares in Bradford last night were tripled for some reason inexplicable-other-than-by-greed. How many other industries do this for a job that they’d be doing anyway? Has anyone noticed the Esso 24-hour garage on the corner tripling the price of fuel and Mars Bars? What really galls me is that – no racism intended here – virtually every taxi driver round here is Asian and not a Christian anyway, so it’s not like they’re working a religious holiday that infiltrates into their family life or anything.

Mind you, one great point about living in Bradford is it’s probably one of the few places in the UK you can still buy fast food on December 25th. Two years ago, a mate of mine (hi, Hans) was helping me lay a new floor in the kitchen. Yes, on Christmas Day. As a result, the oven was stuck up on the worktop and therefore somewhat unuseable. Come 5:00 and we were both a bit peckish.

So off we go to KFC. Shut. McD’s. Shut. Pizza place up the road. Shut. The two Chinese on the main road. Shut.

On a whim, we headed for Studentville. Anyone who knows Bradford knows that BD7 is about 50% student and 50% Asian. And thanks to the Asian population for not giving a fig about other people’s religious holidays and just opening for business as usual. Take your pick – burgers, pizza, curry… name it. All open!

Oh, and an idea for The Colonel at this time of year – Kentucky Fried Turkey. Come on… it’s got to be a winner!

Happy hols to all you folks out there. I’ve got what I wanted today – I hope you do too.

UK Government Arses Up Again

Oh, this one is a doozy. Thanks to PC Zone magazine (Jan 2004) for bringing this one to my attention.

Previous to The Copyright And Related Rights Regulations 2003 Act (henceforth called “The New Law”) coming into effect, the 1998 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (Section 50(A)) (henceforth called “The Old Law” stated specifically that legal purchasers of computer games are explicitly allowed to make backup copies. Essentially, you purchase the right to execute the code – not to own a copy of the disc. And so therefore making a backup is just ensuring your continued right to run the code in case the CD gets damaged.

As anyone who’s ended up with a knackered disc has found out, it’s either a nightmare to get a replacement (software no longer published, no details of how to do so) or the publisher charges some stupid fee for the privilege. I have myself had to create a copy of NOLF disc 1 and use a third party “patch” to allow me to run the copy. The original CD cracked in the centre and became unreadable.

Now, The New Law (a blatant rip-off of the United States’ Digital Millenium Copyright Act designed to bring us in line with European legislation) states specifically that it is illegal to copy, or provide information to a third party to enable them to copy, any protected media. So that’s a big slap on the wrist for me as I’ve copied NOLF, even though I own it. It’s also up to 2 years in jail for whoever provided the patch I used to enable me to run the copy. And the host of the site where I got the instructions on how to configure Nero to make the copy.

Ah. But. Here it gets even more interesting. The Old Law still stands. I (and you) as a consumer still have the legal right to copy games as long as they’re legally purchased and only for backup purposes. The only thing stopping you is the fact that you can no longer copy protected media legally. Which means that anyone who puts copy protection on a CD, and therefore stopping you making the copy within the bounds of the law, is breaching your legal rights as a consumer.

Any lottery winners out there fancy taking Electronic Arts to court to force them to remove all the copy protection from their CDs?

How Low Can You Go?

Current mood – rather low. And then some. But I’ll get over it.

Sat in the office with nothing to do. Things aren’t looking great jobwise. I’ve made a mess of my relationship (and a friendship) in the last few weeks and it all came to a head yesterday. The upside is that I’m sure things will sort themselves in time, or at least that’s what I’m hoping.

Life kinda sucks right now, but for some reason it usually does at this time of year. Bah humbug and all that. I think I may become a hermit for the next 5-6 weeks until I go on holiday.

Talking of holiday, that’s all I got for the week in Nigeria, the inconvenience of not being able to give blood for a year, getting to an airport at 3:00am, getting home at 6:00am, working an 84-hour (count ’em) week including two weekend days, having various injections, suffering lack of sleep due to malaria medication… Two extra days’ holiday I can use next year. Woo-hoo. This from an MD who promised he’d “see me alright” after I got shafted the last time I went.

Guess I learned that lesson. Don’t trust people more senior than you. Next time they ask me to go they can definitely go jump. Off something very high. Onto something very hard.

God *damn* I’m depressed. Times like this I have a lot of sympathy for other people. I know how bad I get when things don’t seem to be working out and, on the whole, I’ve got a good life. Suppose that puts it in perspective and perversely makes me feel a little better. Which makes me feel mean for using other’s misfortunes as a method of making myself feel better. Gah!

Hopefully this time next week I’ll be starting to get merrily drunk… Actually, I may make a start at lunchtime. Hmmm…