Archive for the ‘Things You Find’ Category


Friday, November 19th, 2010

Danc gave those who read LostGarden a heads up that Spry Fox was releasing SteamBirds for the Android platform. I have been watching Spry Fox since Dan mentioned it on Lost Garden. Due to being plain busy (no pun intended) I never got a chance to try SteamBirds on the web. Now it is on my phone I get a chance to play it while on the bus!

The premise is you are flying a nuclear-powered steam driven air plane. I encourage you to read the embeded back-story in the initial levels, it is great to see good writing has gone in with the game.

The game is turn based, you control your planes by selecting the type of manoeuvre then dragging navigation icon to the location you wish the plane to be at the next turn; the black line shows the path your plane will take.

If you tap your plane you see the name, health, stats and the manoeuvres it is capable of, as you have probably gathered by now the concept is to shoot down the other teams.

The healthier you keep your planes the more stars you get when you are victorious, the more stars you get the higher the rank you achieve.

I am really pleased I took the time to download this game, and even more pleased that Danc and SpryFox have been able to break away from the mould and start creating well designed, fun and highly polished games without loosing the indie edge.

Login failed for user ”

Monday, January 25th, 2010

There is an excellent post on the SQL Protocols blog about diagnosing the “Login failed for user ”. The user is not associated with a trusted SQL Server connection.” message displayed by SQL Management Studio and other applications which use the same API; Notice the blank username ”.

I believe there is one possibility missing from the above post: that is the Group Policy setting “Deny access to this computer from the network”. Which can be found in both Domain Group Policy and Local Security Policy in the following path:

Computer Configuration » Windows Settings » Security Settings » Local Policies » User Rights Assignment.

I have been using this policy more and more to lockdown access to site systems in accordance with our security and access policy. It pays to be cautious when applying User Rights Assignment policies to a machine, as in Windows 2003/XP they are not very granular.

Ordering Pizza

Monday, December 1st, 2008

I know I have only just blogged, but this wouldn’t fit in Twitter.

Ordered a Pizza tonight from Famous Moe’s Pizza, we ordered a large deep pan pizza with pineapple, sweetcorn & mushrooms; on the side we were going to have coleslaw, two sprites, garlic bread and [[Wikipedia:Häagen Dazs]].

Just had a phone call from said Pizza company who said they have no sweetcorn, coleslaw, sprites or Häagen Dazs. Leaving us with a pineapple and mushroom pizza with garlic bread… strangely enough I asked them to cancel the order and refund the money to me. In times when people are less likely to spend money on take-away it doesn’t bode well for your business model to not have 70% of products in stock.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog on iTunes

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

I promised myself I would blog about Dr. Horrible again once it was released on iTunes UK, it seems like an age since it was available for free over the web, and then so quickly it disappeared again. It is however now available through iTunes UK, along with the sound track (which has been available for a few weeks now). Unfortunately I didn’t pick it up on my RSS feeds until too late to download and watch tonight, hopefully get a chance to plug in and watch at the weekend.

Thank you Joss, Jed, Zach and Maurissa and everyone who plied their trade to bringing this story to life!

Driving Tips

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

The BBC has posted a list of 10 “driving tips” to make your driving experience more enjoyable and rewarding, the article has the added advantage of providing an insight into the day-to-day driving skills that people develop on thier own without any formal instruction.

I particuarly liked number 3 – “Make Eye Contact When You Can”; which is something I picked up a few years ago while walking around town making eye contact with people walking towards you often helped both parties to pass eachother without bumping or jostling. It is not something I had thought about with regard to driving, although I am going to try and put it into practice at pedestrian crossings if I get a chance.

Google Chrome

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

I am sure almost everyone in the whole world will have seen this as I got told by two friends, my RSS feeds and my wife almost simultaneously, which was a disturbing experience in itself. Google has released their own browser, Google made a rather amusing and informative cartoon too. There is pleanty of coverage from all of the usual suspects such as Lifehacker, Lifehacker (Again), Official Google Blog and The Register.

I am making the commitment to use Google Chrome for the Google Web Applications that I use, from what I have skim read about the product it is probably more suited than my add-on rich Firefox install (I do a fair amount of website coding, and even more debugging other peoples code – for which Firebug is a must).

I will try it for a week or two, see what it is like… it certainly seems faster than Firefox for browsing the web!

Getting into the Groove

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Catherine and I put on a barbecue this weekend, in theory it was a housewarming party, however we have been here for 16 months – so not really a housewarming. One of the things that we didn’t have to put any effort into was the music, and that was down to something called Grooveshark Lite.

[[Wikipedia:Groveshark]] is a Florida start up company who’s business model is basically to allow users to upload their music collection to Groveshark’s servers, registered users can download the music (at a price), of the said price a cut goes to the artist, a cut to the person who uploaded the music and presumably the rest goes to Groveshark.

The lite service allows you to stream music for free from the Groveshark library without even registering, in addition there is an auto play feature that is similar to [[Wikipedia:Pandora (music service)|Pandora]] which picks music based upon your tastes, which you identify by rating each track as a happy face or a sad face.

The best thing about using Grooveshark for the music is once a couple of people had been shown how to use it all of our guests got to choose the music, someone would come along and queue up a couple of tracks someone else would come along and rate some of the tracks, when the track listing ran out Groveshark guessed pretty well.

As far as I can tell it is a legal service, as they are sharing out the profits from downloads to artists, ReadWriteWeb and TechCrunch seem to suggest that it is legal too. The fact it is in Florida and has not been shutdown by the [[Wikipedia:RIAA]] is also a good sign.

In summary, if you have a party give Groveshark and your guests the job of picking the music, you won’t be disappointed.

Watching Films

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

I spent some selfish time on Tuesday watching [[Wikipedia:Donnie Darko]]. I wasn’t giving the film my full attention so I had to watch it again, in between I spent some time on the website and reading the FAQ both of which are well worth going through, however they are full of spoilers, so best to watch the film first.

Anyway, watching the film re-kindled my love of watching films with a complex plot, films like [[Wikipedia:WALL-E]], [[Wikipedia:The Dark Knight (film)|The Dark Knight]] and [[Wikipedia:Iron Man (film)|Iron Man]] are great to watch, however you hardly leave the cinema wondering what just happened… in a good way. It is a fine balance between creating a film that totally confuses, and makes you think.

The one thing that has stuck out from talking to people about it is that it doesn’t make much sense if you look at it in [[Wikipedia:linear time]], what we watch in the film is the final iteration. I won’t say much more as I am sure there are people who haven’t seen it before.

The final upshot of watching spending selfish time is I went on the hunt for other things to watch in the evenings, these are three of the best [[Wikipedia:Computer-generated_imagery|CGI]] Animated Shorts I have seen over the past few days, sorry about the YouTube quality, it is the best I could find:

Enjoy and post your favourites in the comments as and when you come across them.


Seen this one before but couldn’t find it untill now, not sure it beats the above it is a great story however.

Where the hell is Matt?

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

I know this is quite old news really, but I had not seen this until it was linked on [[Wikipedia:Twitter]], so I thought I would blog it on the off chance that some one else hadn’t seen it either.

Essentially all it is three videos of some guy ([[Wikipedia:Matt Harding]]) who travels round the world recording short clips of him doing a little dance (very badly – his own words), each video has been set to the lyrics sung in a dieing [[Wikipedia:Solomon Islands]]. in the third, and most recent, video Matt is joined by thousands of people who wanted to dance with him.

It sound really lame when I try and explain it all I can say is watch the videos it is worth it!

“Where the Hell WAS Matt?” – Origional Video

“Where the Hell is Matt?” – Second Video

“Where the Hell is Matt? (2008)” – Third Video

You can read more about him on his website at There is also a really interesting lecture by Matt in three parts on YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Never underestimate the power of the Internet?

Friday, August 8th, 2008

I have been using [[Wikipedia:StumbleUpon]] for a couple of years now, it is a superb way of finding websites that you wish you had known about a long time ago. Once in a while you stumble upon a page that you really wonder how they got there so fast.

I am not sure if this person has underestimated the capacity of the Internet to spread information really quickly or if it is a marketing thing. I have decided to blur out the identifiable information until I can work out which of the above it is.


Well it seems that I was wrong, unlike some recent events it seems that putting invitations up on the internet and them working their way onto socal network sites dosn’t always end in disaster.