Tuesday, June 28, 2005

"When a shark has you in its jaws, try poking at its eyes ....."

Sometimes the explainer on Slate comes up with some really good one-liners.

When I lived in Australia (I will never stop bragging about that; its a wonderful life there) there were shark stories all over the place. Not just the not-so-often-but-more-often-then-America story about a death or limb-loss from a shark attack, but also the sightings, and chance encounters by friends who were surfing.

So punching the shark works? And poking it in the eyes while you scream at the top of your lungs underwater? Great.

The Biggest Lie On The Internet?

WARNING program rage coming!!

Guess what is on of the most often used phrase regarding computer programs (and I believe is also the biggest lie on the internet).

Yes, exactly : "Easy T0 Use!"


My case: I go searching for advice on the .bin file I have extracted from a .rar file (that took some doing). So I google ".bin extract". and add "free download". And don't you know, I come across the most obtuse explanations from various web discussion boards. (See Below) I swear the guys answering are either car salesmen with a product to push on you or very honest guys that don't have a clue how hard it is to pass over the information in a SHORT and CONCISE manner.

If anyone counters with the argument that I am lazy and don't want to take the time to read a textbook of instructions, I have to say that there are experts in every field that I will call the particular field anal expert. Think about it.

Example: You're up skiing and you inadvertantly skid into some experts skiis on the slope and if you are drawn into a discussion, he will probably expouse his opinion that 1. you shouldn't be skiing unless you fully understand the art of the sport, 2. you take better care of the people around you, 3. you wear the right colour combinations (ok I am joking here). Basically he is giving the right answers but to an extreme length. Either he wants to show off or he is over zealous.

Or the guy who you ask about stock advice and he goes on about the cheapest broker to use and how it is insane how anyone can use a 1. probably unethical broker 2. a broker that allows offshore accounts for tax minimal-hiding-ization 3. one that charges what you are paying.

Or the guy that you ask for simple advice on how to lay tiles in the bathroom and he goes into soo many questions about the floor support quality (wood or cement), the pipes behind (will you change those in the next two years? no sense puting new tiles in unless you do the pipes now!), or the room next to it, (maybe you have got to take into the whole house consideration before doing the tiles).

And they cannot understand the wierd looks they get in return. Sure, I will admit I want the simpler answer. But can't these anal experts deliver it better?

But seeking help on programs is the worst. See this guy answer, in a kind way, admittedly, about the .cue and .bin programs. I think he should come with a warning or an "obtuseness ratio". Especially when the seekers of information (read hopelessly-seeking-easy-answer-drones) like me need help.

I have highlighted my favorite lines. Read them out loud.

1) What is a .BIN? What is a .CUE? What is an .ISO

The .BIN / .CUE CD image format was made popular by the CDRWin software. Afterwards many programs have started supporting or partially supporting it, including: Nero, BlindWrite, CloneCD, FireBurner. The .CUE file contains the track layout information, while the .BIN file holds the actual data.

.ISO is also a CD image format, but is sometimes used for 'ISO9660 format' (standard, recognized by all applications) and sometimes
for unique Easy CD ISO format.

2) I have download .BIN&.CUE/.ISO files - what to do with them?

You can burn them to a CD-R or a CD-RW with:

-Alcohol 120% - My
favourite, excellent software, easy and yet very advanced (burns ISO, BIN/CUE, CCD, CDI, BWT files!):

- BlindWrite
- easy to use: http://www.cd-rw.org/software/cdr_software/cdr_applications/blindwrite_suite.cfm

- FireBurner -
also very good, a single .EXE file! http://www.cd-rw.org/software/cdr_software/cdr_applications/fireburner.cfm

- BurnAtOnce -
A handy and FREE tool for burning .bin/.cue/.iso. Easy to use!

- Nero - many of you have this, but it can't handle all image files:

- CDRWin - This is the original BIN/CUE software:

You can also mount image files as virtual CD-ROM drives using

Alcohol - http://cd-rw.org/software/cdr_software/cdr_tools/alcohol120.cfm
Daemon Tools - http://www.cd-rw.org/software/cdr_software/cdr_tools/daemon_tools.cfm

There are also several softwares you can use to exploit & manipulate BIN/CUE files in various ways:

CDMage - http://www.geocities.com/cdmage/
IsoBuster - http://www.smart-projects.net/isobuster/

3) I have a .BIN file but no .CUE?

.CUE can be made with just Notepad. A typical Playstation(One or 2) .CUE file looks like this:

FILE "image-name.BIN" BINARY
TRACK 1 MODE2/2352
INDEX 1 00:00:00

A typical PC CD-ROM .CUE looks like this:

FILE "image-name.BIN" BINARY
TRACK 01 MODE1/2352
INDEX 01 00:00:00

"image-name.BIN" being the name of the image file (IWDII.BIN, CIV3.BIN and so on...)

Notice the difference of the track mode - PC-ROMs being Mode 1, Playstations CDs Mode 2 and (Super)Video CDs are also MODE2/2352.

4) How do I make .BIN/.CUE files?

CDRWin or the BIN/CUE format is not ideal for distributing. BlindWrite suite and CloneCD perform a lot better in this purpose and can also handle various copy protections. Both of these softwares can also create .CUE files
for increased compatibility

5) I have a .BIN & .CUE, but my CD writing software can't locate the .BIN file?

Edit the .CUE file with Notepad (or similar) and verify that the FILE "C:\path\image.bin" matches the location of your image file

6) My image file is IMAGE.BIN.EXE and I can't rename it!

Read here

7) Sector sizes of CD image files (by Aldaco12)

When you talk about images must think on SECTORS not on DATA SIZE.

The rules are:

1)A standard 74 min CD is made by 333,000 sectors.
2) Each sector is 2352 bytes big, and contains 2048 bytes of PC (MODE1)Data, 2336 bytes of PSX/VCD (MODE2) Data or 2352 bytes of AUDIO.
3) The difference between secor size and data content are the Headers info and the Error Correction Codes, that are big for Data (high precision required), small for VCD (standard for video) and none for audio.
If you extract data in RAW format (standard for creating images) you always extract 2352 bytes per sector, not 2048/2336/2352 bytes depending on data type (basically, you extract the whole sector).

This fact has two main consequences:

a) You can record data at very high speed (40x) without losing information, but if you try to do the same with PSX or Audio you get unredable CD (for PSX) od audio CD with lots of clicks because there are not error correction codes (and error are more likely to occur if you record at high speed.

b) On a 74 min CD you can fit very large RAW images,up to 333,000 x 2352 = 783,216,000 bytes (747 Mb). This should be the upper limit for a RAW image created from a 74 min CD. Remember that if you store standard data (backup files),
you can burn only 333,000 x 2048 = 681,984,000 bytes (the well known 650 MB limit).

Please note that an image size is ALWAYS a multple of 2352 bytes (you extract SECTORS), if extracted in RAW mode......

................ rah rah rah ad infinitum

But guess what, its really Easy to use!

Monday, June 27, 2005

What Kind of World Is It?

I have been a bit down this last week, worrying about money and career. Typically me.

And then on the way to work today I saw a delivery van with the words "Kruti Svet" on it. I had to laugh out loud at how poignantly it described my feelings. (I also like the fact that my rudimentary Czech allows me a laugh now and again. )

Kruti Svet = Turkey World.

What kind of world is it today? Its a turkey world! Spot on.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A Crude Roadside Bomb

Wierd article that both belittles soldiers for their slacker, white trashy side, and yet ennobles them for not wanting to ship out.

"IEDs, man, these things are our kryptonite," says Rodriguez. (IED, a crude roadside bomb. )

Monday, June 13, 2005

Norm's Palookaville

Not sure why Norm Geras wants it, but here is my list of best movie stars. Sure, you will think I am a wierd one for some of my choices. But here are my reasons.

Cate Blanchett
Very talented, gorgeous, Australian; yet the number one reason is her CHOICE of movies.

Naomi Watts
Again gorgeous, again Australian; but very VERSATILE and a consummate, hard working, actor.

Cary Grant
STYLE, that's all there is to say.

Giovani Ribissi
Bizzare and also noted in my book for his CHOICE of movies in which to act.

Ralph Fiennes
Incredibly talented but perhaps not as prolific because he chose not to become mainstream.

Harry Dean Stanton
Ok, this one is weird. Mainly for 'Repo Man' but also because of his POPPING UP in a movie ability. Love the guy.

Jennifer Connelly
BEAUTY and yet, she can act. Did you ever see Requiem for a Dream?

Val Kilmer
UNDERRATED. That's all there is too it.

Peter Sellers
Wacky and incredibly engaging in his earlier stuff. UNCLASSIFYABLE. (Sorry, that is not a word).

Tobey Maguire
Ride With The Devil, Wonderboys. This kid is SMART.

About the new book on Hillary

"Mrs. Clinton told me she would considering suing him for outright libel," the top Hillary source explains. "This is the right wing attack machine on crack!"

Odd but the very first thing I thought about was how I could not imagine that Hillary's staff condones using the word 'crack'.

Murder Metamorphosis

"The insurgents know how to kill, but they no longer know who to kill," Taheri said.

Via NeverDock

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou: a Bill Murray classic but with Wes Anderson style.

I just saw The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. I cannot even think how I am going to remember all the great things about this movie. So, I will probably watch it again and maybe one more time after that. If you get bored, just skip this. If you admired the same things as me (and wished you could be in the room with me as I guffawed with you), let me know by posting a comment. If you didn't like it - and I can understand that some people wouldn't like it - please skip this.

I just loved it. The kitschy, odd, colorful, underwater scenes; the deadpan delivery of Bill Murray (ok, his trademark) when acting next to Willem Defoe acting as a ridiculous German.
The great assembly of actors (Cate Blanchette, Noah Taylor for Christ sake!, Angelica Huston, Jeff Goldblum).

The odd scene changes by the even odder Bowie music. (By the way, did anyone recognize the Devo music played in this movie? Fantastic song).

The three-legged dog (although I cannot understand why they finished that character the way they did).

And the colors, just the colors.

The cutaway boat.

The use of explosives.

The Interns!

An last but not least: the loyalty to Steve Zissou. If any movie seemed to be a 50-50 bet, add loyalty and you have a winner.

I am going to watch it again tomorrow.

Heckler Koch vs Glock

In this report of a cop that ran away while his partner gets shot, the wounded officer was said to have taken a few 45 caliber bulletsto his vest and one to the gut before emptying his Glock nine millimeter pistol into the assailant's car, striking him twice. All captured on video.

Now the point of this post is that I cannot recall when the details of the gun companies were ever so proudly mentioned. And also to ask if anyone realizes the power behind the 45 bullet. Its immense. To be able to pick up your own, smaller caliber Glock gun and empty it, with what, 14 or 15 bullets? That took some doing.

The cop that ran away just hid behind a car a short distance away while he called backup. Didn't pull his gun.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

More On The Gulag Comment

Now we have the answer -- it was a publicity stunt.

'Now we have the answer -- it was a publicity stunt. As the Washington Times notes, Amnesty International's Executive Director William Schulz basically admitted as much on "Fox News Sunday." Unable to defend his gulag analogy, Schulz instead observed that if his group hadn't asserted that analogy, he wouldn't "be on this station, on this program today." To which Chris Wallace responded, "So you're saying if you make irresponsible charges, that's good for your cause?"'

'Not that long ago, Amnesty International represented the gold standard on the issue of human rights abuses. It has now forfeited that position apparently in order to get on television, obtain a temporary spike in contributions, and (of course) scratch the anti-Bush itch of its leaders, including Kerry campaign contributor Schulz.'

From Power Line

Russell Crowe Takes A Dive

So Russell Crowe throws a phone at a hotel concierge and gets arrested.

I knew a young lady that was his PA in Sydney and she mentioned he was a real pain in the ass for a boss. That was, wait, 1995? And then I have read numerous stories about his temper and his bad attituded. And then he causes the Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid break-up while working on the film "Proof of Life".

The worse offense in my opinion?

Thinking he could do justice to Captain Jack Aubrey in "Master and Commander", a character in the 'Aubrey Novels' written by Patrick O'Brien.

Down you go, Russell.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

How to impress your colleagues.

Open a chart on the Euro vs the Dollar. Add lots of trend lines, Fibonacci goop. Pretend to study during the morning brokerage meeting. Scribble notes. Then leave the room excitedly.

They will all then think you went out to place an order with your currency broker.


Actually, they will probably think you are an idiot.