The Daily Grind

Random ramblings from a random admin.

I thought I better post something for the month, lest this crappy script o’ mine gets upset when there’s not a post for an entire month.  O’ the humanity of it all!

Christmas was fun yet a tad sad without my gran, but my family gets on well enough so a fun day was had.  I still don’t think I’ve fully recovered from eating so much food on Christmas and Boxing day.

I’m supposed to go to two NYE parties tonight, and quite frankly I can’t be bothered going to either, the apathetic bastard I am.  But one must be sociable, plus I know I’ll enjoy myself once I’m there among friends.

It’s been a very dry year for me, not a single date to tide me by. \o/ All in all I think it’s easier to give up on the whole shenanigans so that’s what I’m trying to do.  It’s not a new year resolution though, I don’t believe in them; either do it `cos you want to or don’t do it at all, don’t force yourself because of some drunken midnight promise to yourself.

I’d now like to take this opportunity summarise this post and everything else I’ve said and done through the year;

No, I don't really have a point.

Cheerio for another year.  Hugs ‘n’ kisses and assorted terms of endearment to all my friends and readers, you fools!

@_; - Wow, on a scale of one to ten… I am so drunk.

It’s just a coincidence.

I know this may seem like I’m jumping on the bandwagon, but this is something I saw yesterday, and a certain blog reminded me of again today.

Complaining about and belittling the leader seems to be a worldwide pass time.  We all love an underdog, and to this end Microsoft predictably gets picked on all the time.  I’ve always maintained that whatever Microsoft does, they just can’t win.

(Unless you define ‘winning’ as ’selling the most damned software, ever’)

Today my chosen topic is Internet Explorer.

Those who read from scratch will know that I use MyIE2, as I have no problems with the rendering capabilities of IE, it’s just missing two important features; pop-up add blocking and tabbed browsing.  People bitch about the lack of one, the other, or both all the time.

Queue Tech Report who have seen fit in their excuse for an informative article to criticise Microsoft for planning on implementing a pop-up add blocker in service pack 2.

Pop-up blockers are usually seen as positive, but in this case, they may do more harm than good. Having a pop-up blocker integrated into Internet Explorer will make it very easy for a wide range of mainstream PC users to block annoying pop-up ads, which should be great for Joe Sixpack in the long run. However, it’s unlikely that advertisers will sit idly by while the masses tune out pop-ups; advertisers may turn to more insidious ad formats that make pop-ups look innocuous.

So let me guess, it’s ok for MyIE2 to have it, for Avant Browser to have it, for Mozilla, Opera, Netscape etc, but if Microsoft dares dip their toe into the water…?

Now don’t get me wrong, the author might have a valid point, if pop-ups stop working then what will they resort next?  However I don’t think it’s particularly smart or constructive to start criticising Microsoft for implementing what is not only a good feature, but a feature that users have been crying out for.

What will the advertisers think of next?  Filler pages?  Too late.  Framed adverts?  Too late.  Adverts that follow you on the page?  Too late.  Quite frankly I think they’ve used all the god damned annoying techniques under the sun already.  We’re talking advertisers here, you think they’ve held a few of their cunning plans in reserve for a rainy day for when Microsoft implements pop-up blocking?

This really reminds me of someone commenting on Windows Update as “really needed because Microsoft software…”, but Linux’s apt-get as “makes it really quick and easy…”.

As a parting note, I’d also like to point out that IE currently has pop-up add blocking, however to be fair (and blunt) it’s crap.  It’s an inclusion list.  Add the site you don’t like to “restricted sites”, though I have a feeling it won’t stop all of the varieties of pop-ups.

.end get-a-fucking-clue rant

Breaking my jaw

1 comment

This fruit juice tastes weird.

You know you’re tired when you dislocate your jaw.  I didn’t do that.

However I recognise the fact that when you get out a glass for juice and a mug for coffee, and you start spooning the coffee into the glass, one might actually need a bit more sleep.

Lookout world, it’s grumpy jase!

Hiding nothing!

5 comments

Random ‘interesting’ fact, though I’ve already told a few readers of Grind this, though Jhael doesn’t yet know, and I believe she’ll be extremely interested.

I’m reading a book by William Goldman; The Princess Bride.  He also wrote the script for the movie.

He is not the original author.  A fellow by the name of S. Morgenstern wrote it.

Imagine the movie where the uncle is reading the book to the sick child.  Now replace the uncle with a father, and make the sick child William Goldman, and you now know how he ‘read’ the book.

For years the book was read to him by his father, he loved it, it was read twice over to him while he was sick in bed.  In the later years he got his father to read out random parts to him.

He loved it, and it wasn’t until he had a child of his own that he actually picked up the book and read it.  His boy was ten, he gave the book to him for his birthday, and the kid didn’t like it!

I was outraged too!

So Goldman picked up his old copy of the book, worn and creased by his fathers hands.  He read it… and his son was right, the book wasn’t very good.

What the…?  Sacrilege!

Let me quote from the prologue;

“I skimmed the first chapter, and it was pretty much exactly as I remembered.  Then I turned to the second chapter, the one about Prince Humperdinck and the little kind of tantalising description of the Zoo of Death.

And that’s when I began to realise the problem.

Not that the description wasn’t there.  It was, and again pretty much as I remembered it.  But before you got to it, there were maybe sixty pages of text dealing with Prince Humperdinck’s ancestry and how his family got control of Florin and this wedding and that child begetting this one over here who then married somebody else, and then I skipped to the third chapter, The Courtship, and that was all about the history of Guilder and how that country reached its place in the world.  The more I flipped on, the more I knew: Morgenstern wasn’t writing any children’s book; he was writing a kind of satiric history of his country and the decline of his country and the decline of the monarchy of Western civilisation.

But my father only read me the action stuff, the good parts.  He never bothered with the serious side at all.”

The original book is titled;

THE PRINCESS BRIDE
S. Morgenstern’s
Classic Tale of True Love
and High Adventure

The book I’m now reading is;

THE PRINCESS BRIDE
S. Morgenstern’s
Classic Tale of True Love
and High Adventure

The “Good Parts” version Abridged by
William Goldman

… if it’s like the movie; it’s bloody good.  A true classic.

@_; - The idiot didn’t post this for half an hour because he got caught up in the first chapter.  He only stopped at the first kiss.  The soppy bastard.

Massive thanks to those who recently sent me emails of support, plus to those who don’t need to `cos they express their support in other way.  Though the whole thing is ridiculious and without merit, it’s extremely disheartening to know that someone is actively trying to ruin your career and a web site you have spent four years of your life developing.

I did receive even more email at the same time, though on a different vein.  However I’m quite comfortable with the current state and size of my dick, so thank, but no thanks.  I get dizzy as it is.

@_; - I bet you’re not happy with how underused it is.

This is a fun read.  Honest.

It all started on Tuesday morning (my time) when I read my morning mail…

One “Thomas J Dawe” sent me the following:

Ok, colour me confused… again.

My last public post on RPOL was October 9, a harmless off-site advertisement in a message section made just for that purpose.

Before that was my big upset with your moderational tactics, September 12th – nearly a month previous.  A whole month of near silence from me, except for one small off-site advertisement.

Now, I try to update my off-site post, more than a week after my last one I might add, and I find out I’m bad because I’ve been a bad boy?  Can you explain this to me?  You don’t really see me as a threat when I’m not posting in the General nor Community Chat boards, do you?  Is there some fear that my little Yahoo! Group might steal all your players away?  Not very likely.

No really… I’m dying to hear the reason behind this.

dollsteak

 
I simply replied:

Simply; it took me a month to get around to the ban.  Ban’s are hard coded, so it took effect when 1.4.43 was implemented.

j

 
I then received the reply:

You banned me from general boards because I was insulted enough to leave?

Whatever helps you sleep at night.

 
Once more I simply replied:

Whatever snide comment you want to make.

 

I knew I’d get another reply, somebody really had something to get off his chest…

Thomas J Dawe replied:

Your banning me was a classic example of your over-moderation principles at work.  It doesn’t suprise me… though it saddens me to see you act so petty about it all.  As you are so fond of telling everyone, it is your site to run as you see fit.  Of course, I did nothing ban-worthy except defend my honor.

You know, Ironsite had a good point about allowing people into your house only to have them shit on your couch.  However, people you allow into your house don’t appreciate you shitting on them as well.

Enjoy your life, and sorry you had to royally screw up any chance at a decent parting relationship with your need for an ego trip.

 

See!  Evidently we had to have this out, and by this stage I was happy to oblige.

I replied:

… or possibly I don’t see why I should pretend that what transpired on RPoL never happened and let a disrespectful, ungrateful, insulting user utilise my bandwidth and the web site I have worked so hard to develop, purely for his own needs.

I don’t trust you to keep a level head, thus I don’t trust you with posting privileges.

Your last antic on RPoL was your third strike, you’re out.  I have taken measures to make sure it was your absolute last antic.  Blame me all you want, but I gave you more chances than anyone else thought you deserved, I’m disappointed you proved them right.  Yet extremely relieved it’s now all over.

Tata.

 
Thomas J Dawe replied:

You’ve lied to yourself well.  You allowed Ron to insult my integrity and attempt his character assassination – then you allowed others to sling their insults at me.  Many of them are still there for everyone to see.

Then when I expected moderation to treat the situation evenly, you admitted that some people are treated differently because they are less liked.  You’ve admitted to an inner-circle, and uneven moderation. Instead of working to get those who insulted me to apologize for their unacceptable behavior – the same behavior you claim I exhibited – you gave me a lecture and told me in essense “You deserve to be treated like shit”.

Now, you ban me when I’m not even posting there as an method of silencing me?  Isn’t that sort of redundant? Hard to silence someone who’s not saying anything. All you’ve proven to do is discriminate against me personally for no good reason.

You think you’ve struck a blow against me, taught me a lesson … like it matters, jase.  I left your site. Ban me all you want. I can’t say I won’t miss it, but I’m not reliant upon you and your blessed web site or my happiness.  I’ve gone to a professional site where they treat their customers with respect and courtesy… and even-handed moderation.

Your responses are not welcomed unless they start with an apology for your behavior towards me.  Any other responses will be reported as unwanted spam from your beloved web site.

Ciao

 

Remember kids, once you’ve initiated contact and have had your say, it’s ok to block your ears and go “nah nah nah can’t hear you!” Dob `em in to your parents if they try to retort!

I replied:

You’re funny.

You’ve reaped what you’ve sown, don’t come crying poor to me now.  I allowed you and Ron to bitch at each other plenty of times on the site, initiated by both parties, you’re no saint.  I think I clearly stated I wasn’t interested in being some mediator between the two of you, that I’d had enough. Strangely, whether he felt he was justified or not, Ron always emailed me an apology, all I ever got from you was deluded abuse such as the e-mail you’ve sent me.  You should read your initial e-mail you sent yesterday, what a polite piece of poetry that was.

Sure people were bitching at you a whole lot in the CC thread, I could see that.  But while you were digging your heels into the ground, and refusing to budge or address their issues (yes, you did make compromises initially, but then you dug in) I saw no reason to come and bail you out.  I’m through trying to single out users, now I just post messages such as “Not even cute kittens can save this thread now” because I’m not your fucking mother, and I’m sick of spanking the bottoms of users.

Wow, I’ve certainly admitted to a lot of stuff.  I’ll admit something right now; I don’t like you.  At all.  Emails such as the ones I’ve received yesterday and today are the reasons why, I can’t find one fucking polite thing in the whole lot.  Your comment about a “parting friendship” was rich, yet ironic, and all the while; a completely hollow statement.  I’ve never read a sentence that someone meant less, what are you trying to do, dredge up sympathy with a blatant lie like that?  Regardless, hell would freeze over before I ever called someone who sent me all the emails you have a friend. “Sure, you can be a friend, just make sure you send me abusive emails once a month.  And don’t forget to be condescending!  That’s great shit!  Oh, and before I forget, always outline how everything I do is wrong, and mention that I only invite you over for dinner because I’ve got a nice house and like to lord it over you.” You’re funny.

How many people have flooded with you to the Yahoo groups this time, Mr Dawe?  Very few?  Could it perhaps be because this time you’re completely and utterly fucking wrong?  No!  What a silly man am I!

It’s not that I want to silence you, I don’t want anything to do with you.  If you think that I’m going to let you benefit from the hard work that you treat with such disdain… well… I suggest next time you take the blue pill.

Kind regards,

Your dedicated spam source,
The leader of the clique group that’s everyone but you.

 

Interesting, though blunt, insulting and clearly fed up, there I was still trying to explain stuff.  Idiot.

Thomas J Dawe replied:

I warned you.

 
I replied:

You’re funny.

Knock yourself out!

 

Mr Dawe then sent an e-mail to the GM & BGM of the company I work at.  The e-mail was sent to an information address as to get past my ‘defences’ (which wouldn’t be hard, I had none).

The e-mail accused me of sending abusive and insulting spam.  It detailed my name, my e-mail address, the bandwidth, visitors and hits from the site, accused me of running a ‘dedicated server’.  The e-mail went on to accuse me of suspicious activities, implied I was stealing from the company, stated I was in violation of my network’s acceptable use policy (which I wrote part of).  If that wasn’t enough it also claimed RPoL contained p*rn*gr*phy (I’m not getting that word indexed by search engines!).

The e-mail was clearly an attempt to get me fired and the site shut down, not just an “I’m getting Spam” complaint.

Fortunately, without any prompting from me, the Business Development Manager reported the e-mail to SpamCop, and after a brief chat with the General Manager, he requested I block the offending e-mail account from sending mail to the Perth iX network.

It was a good try, and though it could have had catastrophic effects for RPoL and myself, all in all it was a failure.

I don’t really think I need to detail my thoughts on Mr Dawe.  Besides, I think words would fail me.

Messages of appreciation can be sent to thomas_j_dawe@yahoo.com.

@_; - …

My faith in humanity has been restored.

No, wait, I’m wrong.  It’s all gone to shit.

Once more friendly users have struck.  Those who demand a mile but won’t budge an inch.  Those who cry unfair while managing to be insulting.

It’s a finely crafted skill, I’m convinced of it.  People can’t be this pathetically successful at … well, being so pathetic.  It must be something people actually plan out and do rather than just successfully stumble upon that winning irritating formula again and again.

It does really make me wonder why I bother to run a web site, and the biggest driver behind continuing is that I’d be letting a lot of people down if I quit.  I know there are a lot of silent but happy users, and the crap it is often briefly punctuated with periods of enjoyment; either stemming from vocal grateful users, good RP’ing, or implementing a particularly nifty or well received feature, but when the shit really starts to get me down, the one thing that stops me chucking a hissy fit and throwing in the towel is all the users, and that’s kind of a sad state to be in.

It also makes me wonder where I get my patience from, and why I don’t ban more people more often.  Why I insist on try to explain this to users, why I persevere with trying to be helpful to those who just won’t accept any help.  My patience amazes me, but I’ve got to impress someone, no?

Are you 1337?

5 comments

No, I’m 31.

Rather than going elbows deep into the code for RPoL today and yesterday I’ve instead been wresting with this thing `ere.  After a long, bitter and hard fought struggle with HTML tables I’ve surrendered and can’t get the thing to do what I want, so I’ve done the same thing a different way.

Code wise you can now all add in your thoughts, which will make a pleasant change from my lack thereof.

Of course I don’t need to threaten you with ‘be nice’ etc and mention the fact I can remove it at a moments notice, or force posting to be done via a RPoL account.

@_; - I’ve got your IP address right `ere, chum.

Is this usual?

I’ve been having a bunch of fun (read as: I’m all knackered out) today redoing part of the corporate website, which has been developed by a professional web company.

Now maybe it’s just me, because I edit everything in TextPad (read as: NotePad but useful) but I’ve noticed some rather interesting facts;

1) There’s a toolbar across the top of every single page that has all the drop down menus.  The code for this is entered in every single page, there isn’t a ‘toolbar’ file that’s included.  This makes expanding the toolbar a very labour-some process.
2) Similarly there’s a standard footer, again the code is present in every page.
3) Pages that are identical in every aspect except for some choice text in a table are not formatted and laid out the same when viewing the code.

Now, maybe this is all due to using some WYSIWYG editor, I don’t know… and I’d really like it if someone could tell me?

Par for the course, or terribly bad practise?

On another note, I was doing my Penny Arcade catchup today and noticed a mention to Avant Browser (go on, guess the url!), a tab browser for IE with the fruit.  Like me Tycho had tried FireBird and Opera (though I only needed to see the latter to know I didn’t like it) and realised that all he wanted was IE with blocking and tabbed browsing.

Now you might know, then again, you might not care, that I’m already using MyIE2, which I verily like, however I’m now using Avant and am quite liking it.  It’s almost identical to MyIE2 (who’s copying who?) with the exception that the google search bar comes inbuilt and that popup windows (ones that you want, you understand) aren’t forced to full fricking screen (though they’re still not in a separate instance like with FireBird, which I do like).  Huzzah.

Now if I could just get the text and padding in the toolbars a bit smaller, then it won’t take up so much screen real estate.

And why is it none of these tab browsers behave like Alt-Tab when doing Control-Tab.  They just cycle through the windows… what if I want to swap between two?

Maybe I should have a look at the options before I complain to loud…

Lastly, is it just me or is this page ugly?

@_; - Sordid site makes me sick!

Really, clues should be handed out at birth.

I’ve been coding my own web site for over three years now, I’ve been in the thick of IT for over ten.

toots trumpet I’m not one of those computer people that decided “hey, there’s a few bucks to be made here, stuff this gardening gig, let’s try this computer thing stuff” either.  I actually enjoy (well, used to…) what I do and I’m bloody good at it.  I got one of those clues allocated at birth; not only for real life, but for computing as well. stops tooting

So why do people insist on doing stupid things like creating multiple accounts when it’s expressly forbidden, part of the ToU I would add… as much as I hate having the thing there… as much as I hate having to refer to it.

Begin reminiscing I remember a time when nobody did anything stupid (glares at Snufkin; the sole exception) and there were no moderators, the was no ToU.

Then moderators had to be added as people started to get stupid.  Yes, stupid.  Typing stupid things, doing stupid things.

Then I thought I better add the Terms of Use.  Not because I thought I needed one, but it’s an unfortunate by product of this day and age, every one wants something for nothing, so I thought it was best if I covered my arse… and by doing that covered RPoL’s (which doesn’t look as good as mine, I might add) so that it’d be around from one week to the next.

Then I had to start writing banning routines… I could already ban accounts, but now I had to start coding it so I could ban IP’s, or blocks thereof… or accounts/IP’s from forums to give people a ‘get in line’ prod.

Then I had to start actually referring to the ToU.  Then I had to add to it and expand on it.

Then people starting bitching about moderators. “You’re stupid” they’d post.  We’d delete.  Not only did they get upset that they’d been moderated, but they were outraged we didn’t explain to them why.  Maybe I should start breeding my life-clue and IT-clue… I could hand out the little baby clues to the less fortunate.

And the latest is I had to add more text to the ‘Create an Account’ screen, so people might get it through their thick skulls that even tho I provide RPoL as a free site out of my good graces (oh yes) they better start bloody behaving.

I swear, if people paid they’d behave better.  But no, it’s free, so let’s piss in the pool… or poo on the couch… whatever way you’d like to phrase it.

Oh yeah… End reminiscing

So anyway…

What, you don’t think your bolded purple text in every post you do is so common that I won’t pick it out as something you do?  Do people think I can’t look through web logs and cross reference IP’s?

Do people think their logins aren’t recorded?

And who’s fooling who when you claim it was your third cousin twice removed that posted, not you.  Even though it was the same style, the same annoying purple text.  Apparently they snuck on… for 8 hours!

But really, come on now!  If you’re going to make multiple accounts, at least don’t insult everyone’s intellect by deciding that “BSmith” would be a tricky alternative when your normal account is “BobSmith”.

Or course, random numbers on the end would fool anyone.  So tricky I don’t know how you manage to remember your login name!

The breeding program commences…

Sammy the snail says:

@_; - Shove off south you stupid snots

… The potty mouthed bastard.