Modifying The VodPod Widget

Update: This post is aging, I believe VodPod might have changed their code a little bit, so if you read this and have any problems PLEASE let me know so I can update the content. 🙂

VodPod is a social video tracking service. If you come accross a video while surfing the web, you can post that video to VodPod and share it with others. One of the coolest things about VodPod is the VodPod widget, which displays a queue of your most recent videos, most popular videos, top rated videos, or videos from a certain category.

WordPress.com offers a VodPod widget that you can add to the sidebar of any given theme. Even though you can customize your VodPod widget to an extent from your Pod widget page, the default layout of the horizontal widget tends to look really nasty on some themes on WordPress.com. So, I decided to customize my VodPod widget. Continue reading “Modifying The VodPod Widget”

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Make coffee, don’t sleep.

Well, yesterday (technically) was a complete waste and now I’m going to tell you why.

It all started Wednesday evening. I was finishing installing the two other operating systems I wanted for my triple-boot setup, when I decided to hop on Enemy Territory to play for a few hours. Well, a few hours turned into all night, and well into Thursday morning. So when I finally got around to crashing at 5am (after watching 3 hours of Law & Order Criminal Intent) I ended up sleeping all of Thursday.

Now, I’m here, again. It’s late and I’m trying to stay awake to fix my sleeping schedule.

Night/Day Watch

Recently my family rented a movie we had seen previews for while watching another film. The movie was Day Watch, which is toated to be more action packed than the Matrix. While the movie was good, it left me with a sour feeling in my stomach that I was missing something.

It turns out that Day Watch is the sequel, or rather the continuation, of another movie titled “Night Watch“. While watching Day Watch, there were references to past events and characters that you didn’t immediately understand. This caused the plot of the movie to become quite hard to follow. It also led to a lot of “WTF” moments, like when you see the son of the main character housing with the “Dark Others”, when he is a “Light Other”.

Once I had looked up more information about the film and found out that it was actually a sequel, my dad and I decided to go rent the first movie and watch them back to back.

Watching the first movie in a set of films after having seen later films from that series is always full of “Ah Ha!” moments. Like in Night Watch, you learn more about the special abilities of the characters and why the son of the main character is housing with the enemy. In short, you can’t watch Day Watch without first having viewed Night Watch, in my opinion. Once the first movie had played out, we watched the second movie again, but this time with the back-story fresh in our minds, making the movie seem much better than it had the first time around.

After it was all said and done, this isn’t the best set of films in the world, but it’s a damn good watch. The special effects are outstanding, and the story line, while not perfect or always what you would expect, is actually pretty decent. The only real downside to the film is the feeling that you’re watching an old Godzilla movie, because the film was originally in Russian and dubbed in English.

680i Won’t Support Quad Penryns

I wrote about this on my new tech-only blog, ThisIsTech.org, but I wanted to give a bit more of a personal rant about this announcement.

Here’s the simple gist of what was announced by a forum moderator on EVGA’s support forums:

EVGA 680i users,

The EVGA 680i SLI motherboard will support 45nm Wolfsdale (dual core) CPU’s with an upcoming BIOS update. 45nm Yorkfield (quad core) CPU’s will be supported on upcoming nForce 700-series SLI motherboards.

Thanks

This really pissed me off. I’m not going to be smug about it, I spent $230 on a motherboard that I had researched and was told would be completely compatible with the Intel Penryn 45nm CPUs. Nowhere during my reading did anything state that it would only be the dual core Penryns.

I’m not the only one angry about the situation. If you read the thread linked, many users are demanding that Evga extend the step-up period for their 680i motherboards because their own support pages claimed general Penryn support.  Now this puts me in a situation. I was planning on switching out my year-old E6600 for something a bit more. . . quad core. . . but now I own a motherboard that isn’t compatible with the CPU I was planning on buying. 😦

Scrubs, My Old-New Favorite Show

Yesterday I made a post about how I hate watching series on television because I always want to know what happens next. Although I refrain from watching television series every week for that reason, I do catch up with most of the series I take an interest in after the season has wrapped up.

Scrubs is a show that I usually catch on Comedy Central when I’m winding down my day. It’s one of those shows I liked, but usually would just catch and episode, enjoy it, and then move on to some other show or channel. Though, over the past two weeks my view on Scrubs has done a complete 180. I’m absolutely in love with this show, so much so that I might just break my rule and start watching the new season (well, what portion has been written and filmed).

I know it’s a bit hypocritical of me to write and entire post about not watching series, then turn around and say I love a show enough to put myself through the agony of “to be continued”s and “on next week’s show”s. But look at it this way, I’ve spent the last few weeks watching every season of Scrubs. I watched seasons 1-5 so far, and I’m amazed. The show has more substance to it than I could have previously seen by catching the occasional out-of-order episode and has actually made me think more about my diabetes (thanks to the character Turk’s diabetic situation in Season 4). So, naturally a show this good in my opinion deserves my viewing hours. Plus, I really do want to see what happens in the seventh season.

The show is awesome, a perfect mix of comedy and serious drama. It’s way too sad that the current season is the last, but at least the writers have already stated they will actually finish the show, unlike the writers of the series “Angel”, which I watched years ago. . the series just dropped with a huge cliffhanger.

I really suggest you stop reading now and go buy the first complete season of Scrubs!

Of Logitech & XTracPads

I’m one happy go-lucky geek right about now. Last week I decided that I needed to finally purchase a mouse pad and a new keyboard. The cheap piece of junk Logitech media keyboard I have been using for about a year now has overstayed it’s welcome on my desk, and the lack of a mouse pad is sometimes. . . frustrating during online gaming.

So, I have with me today, a shiny new Logitech Wave corded keyboard, and a rather large, suede-feeling XtracPads mouse pad. Both of which I am very happy with indeed.

Logitech WaveThe Logitech Wave is probably the mose innovative keyboard of today. It sports an ergonomical design, without splitting the keyboard into two halfs and requiring me to change my bad typing habits in order to use the device. Instead, it has a “wave” design, the center keys being the peak of the wave at about 4mm higher than the lowest point. Yes, the wave isn’t extreme, but it’s slight enough that while typing this mini-review, I haven’t had one cramp or had to shift positions in my chair; something I often experienced with my regular Logitech Media keyboard.

Besides the wave, the Logitech Wave also has several really useful features. The top row of “F” keys is completely customizable in the Logitech Setpoint software (included with the keyboard). I now have a key to launch Firefox, a key to launch Gmail, and a key to launch Pidgin. Needless to say, I need to browse through the lacking Windows Vista start menu less frequently during my time at my PC.

I’m not saying the keyboard is perfect. As you can see in the picture, the “comfort pad” doesn’t look like it will be too resistant to normal usage and might end up being a dust magnet. It’s a little hot in my room right now, and just having slightly sweaty palms left clear palm prints on the pad. Something that isn’t very attractive, not at all.

Mouse PadMy new mouse pad, well, how many paragraphs do I need to write on that. The only really good thing I have to say is that the size does matter. Too often during online gaming do I run out of space on normal mouse pads, forcing me to lift the mouse off the pad and shift it’s position to continue moving the cursor in one direction. I actually taught myself to play at super high sensitivities in order to counter act this problem. Now I think I can safely return to my old, low sensitivity game play, because I have enough room to do a 720 degree turn around at the lowest sensitivity settings.

Watching TV, More Complicated Than It Looks

Like most people born before, during, or after the 80’s, I spend a lot of time each week plopped down in front of the television watching random television shows on cable. Though over the course of my life my choice in programming has changed a lot, something hasn’t changed at all; I don’t really like following a series.

Usually when I sit down during the week to watch TV, I turn on the Discovery Channel or the History Channel. Why? Well, I do have an outside interests in the general topics the channels deal in, but also because every program has a start, a middle, and a clear, satisfying ending. You never see a documentary on the history of cotton that stops during the era of the first cotton gins, the narrator saying “Tune in next week for the exciting tale of slavery and blue jeans!”. It just doesn’t work out that way.

I hate watching new episodes of TV programs because I want to see more immediately after watching one episode. This is why when Heroes debuted on NBC, I watched the first two or three episodes, then barred myself from the show until the first season had ended. I had decided I liked the series, but I didn’t want to be waiting on edge to see what happened next week, I wanted to watch every episode back to back and get the full understanding of what was happening, how characters evolved, and so forth. Call me weird, but I just can’t take the suspense.