“I’m Here For You” .. ?? Really, Isaac??

Oh how the mighty have fallen. In this case Isaac Clarke. You know, our beloved “engineer gone killing machine on rampage to hell and back that ended him institutionalization with a few nervous breakdowns before he destroyed an entire colony” in Dead Space 1 and 2. And it’s all summoned up in that one quote – “I’m Here For You”. What tha hell is that about, Visceral!?

A bit of warning – this will contain spoilers…

The Dead Space story, game wise, begins with Isaac Clarke being an engineer on a little ship sent to find a big ass planetcracker space ship where his girlfriend happens to work. And it all goes “Alien”-esque from there and he, mostly using a really cool and by now iconic weapon, the plasma cutter. He goes around that ship trying to fix things and majorly killing necromorphs like it aint a thing, stomping dead bodies and mutilating things like he just had breakfast. Sure, all the time he’s hoping to find his girlfriend safe and sound but hell no, cause she’s dead already having committed suicide to become one of those necromorphs he’s probably stomped to pieces! And he goes down to the planet, reaks havoc and kills the boss and rides into the sunset in his little ship with his girlfriend playing tricks in his mind.
And that’s just in the first one! In the second one he wakes up in a mental institution with a guy killed in a very bloody way a few inches from his face and he escapes, picks up a plasma cutter and goes on a rampage throughout the colony killing necromorphs and stomping things like it’s almost time for lunch. He finds this Ellen Ripley-like character that get’s her eye removed with a screwdriver by a mental “friend” of Isaacs that he later shoves that bloodied screwdriver through his cranium, but not before killing more people and even “babies turned kamikaze-bombs” and he even deliberately unleashes a horde of necromorphs on a bunch of GI Joes just doing their job and then he has his arm pierced by a harpoon before he turns the harpoon rifle on the man in charge and shoots one through his head in a very graphic way. Then he has another meltdown and destroys the “whetever that was” by killing his dead girlfriend 3-4 times and then sits down to await his death. But the previously mentioned one eyed chick returns to save the day and they ride into the sunset together.

Never during all of this has there been anything romantic going on on screen or in dialogue. Because this is a bloody and messy horror game and the hero has been to hell a back and had nervous breakdowns and done some horrible things in the quest to try to do what’s right and just end this nightmare. But now in the third installment all of a sudden “he’s a lover, not a fighter”!? What tha hell, how did that happen? How does a person go through all of this crap to end up in a romance threesome – and give a shit? The Isaac I played would either not have given a shit by now but this Isaac have apparently watched “Beverly Hills 90210” and says shit like “I’m here for you” between stomping dead necromorphs and climbing up exploding walls!

Most of the game was “ok”. Actually up until you come to the planet it’s actually quite good but once you land there and this entire romantical nonsense comes up it all goes downhill and in the end it leaves me with a bad echo in my head saying “I’m here for you” and that’s just messed up. And I won’t be buying the DLC to get more of that shit thrown at me! Why couldn’t he be more like Adam “stone cold” Jensen?! No matter what the story threw at him, his parent’s not being his parent’s, his girlfriend being dead, not being dead, ooops works for the bad guy, they even dragged his dog into the story and the guy just don’t give a shit, and in the end (and particularly the 3 endings!) are still the deepest most poetic endings I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching!


10 months ago when I was hired it was for one main purpose – to upgrade our Sharepoint 2007 to Sharepoint 2010. Sure it’s normal IT operations, some SQL and Exchange management and other stuff too but mainly it was to upgrade Sharepoint. And now 10 months later the day has finally come for me to start and reap the fruits of the past 10 months work!

All the scripts are written, polished and tested 3-4 times and everything is prepared so at midnight tonight the old Sharepoint 2007 will go into read only mode and I’ll start copying all the 250 gigabyte or so of data and migrate it to 2010. And we’re also taking the opportunity to clean up some previous wrongs (like “SiteDirectory” things). So it’ll take more or less the entire weekend but lot’s of downtime waiting for copying, backups, restores and moving things around in the content databases, all those nifty scripts will do that work, I just have to check in once a while to make sure there are no errors and start the next one. So I’m actually triple booked this saturday – first this work, then Star Trek day in Skarpnäck and in the evening we’re having our neighbours over for dinner and to celebrate Sams birthday. Then on Sunday I might still have some job to do (although if all goes well it’ll just be building the search index which I’ll just start and leave for 12 hours) and off the the kids funhouse at Barkarby. All in all a busy weekend.

But it really feels good that FINALLY! I can put all my scripts and preparation to good use, I’ve waited for over 6 months to get the go-ahead for this!

More Piracy Stuff

We have some more piracy stuff going on here in Sweden. Our big ISP’s are more interested in expanding internationally than care about the free speech on the internet, which has made it difficult for the Pirate Bay to find an ISP. But our political Pirate Party supplied them with internet access because .. well why not really, everyone has the right to be online if they want right?

Well not according to the anti-pirate corporation here in Sweden, you know the one that dragged on the Pirate Bay-court for years and years and are backed by an army of lawyers (fortunately none that I worked with) and every studio in Hollywood. They sent them an ultimatum to cut off the internet access to pirate bay bu feb 26th “or else we’ll sue the individuals in charge of the party”. And the pirate party isn’t a big party, doesn’t have much funds and the ones in charge of it aren’t wealthy either. So they knew they couldn’t defend themselves in a lenghty trial and “fight the good fight” even if there is no law or court order to support the anti-pirate corporations threat. So the pirate bay went to Norway and Spain and someone the anti-pirate corporation thinks of this as a win for them. And I don’t see how?

First of all – the pirate party just got atleast one new member and voter, so good going there. Secondly the pirate bay is still online. Thirdly, instead of going to court against the pirate party they’ll be going to court explaining what gives them the authority to demand this in the first place. Which I for one hope ends up like it did in Norway.

But don’t get me wrong – I’m not rooting for or even using Pirate Bay and not a big supporter of people who thinks “copyrights are the devils work” and the anarchy label that comes with it. It’s more that I’m against how the Hollywood studios are going about this and what their idea of how distribution should look like which I’ve said many times is so inconvenient and counter productive for the customer that I can’t possibly support it – something I’ve said for years since that Moby “18” CD fail a few years back!

This Is What Drives Piracy

So this week is a week I was looking forward to. The release of Dead Space 3! I absolutely loved the first one and liked the second one, so I’ve really been waiting for the third one. And the trailers for it hasn’t disappointed. But now it all has a bit of a bitter taste thanks to the publisher EA and Visceral Games for sticking with EA!

If you wind back the clock to pre-World of Warcraft and most of the games I played wasn’t legally acquired. Not something to brag about but something changed with WOW but probably more because of the evolution of Steam – a great way to buy your games and download them digitally to your hard drive over the web. It was a lot more convenient than going to the store, buying a physical CD/DVD and installing it. Not to mention when you felt like playing it again you had to find the CD and hope it still worked. With steam you just download it again and play. My Steam library has more games than can be displayed on the page so I’ve been using that a lot. I actually bought the first two Dead Spaces through Steam.

Then EA decided to start their own. I don’t remember what the first one was called but I bought Command and Conquer and it wasn’t as good as Steam. Then they decided to ramp it up and started Origin which is their own Steam platform and the only way for EA games to be digitally retailed (at least in EU). And I’ve bought the Battlefields, Syndicate and even bought Dead Space 2 again since it was that good. But I can’t say I like it. Things like them defaulting the install dir to C: (which nowadays is pretty small when most gamers have SSD drives as C:), and it’s not cheaper to buy them there. Actually it’s cheaper to buy codes off web-stores that you then claim in Origin to get the game. I did that with Battlefield Premium and it saved me $20. It’s why I jokingly call it O(verpriced)rigin. But now they’ve taken it one step further with the launch of Dead Space 3!

I preordered it around Christmas cause I had some money over and it now finally showed up in my library. But guess what? It’s not playable until February 7th! Why is that a big deal? Cause it’s a EU thing – my friends in the states are already playing it!!! And there is no possible practical reason to delay it – it’s not like they are gonna translate it or make it less violent for our censorship or anything. There’s no reason to delay it for 2 days for us! It pissed me off! But here’s the kicker – it’s available on Torrent sites! So if I wanted to I could’ve played the game yesterday, albeit illegally obtained.

And now I ask the suits that are making the Origin decisions this one simple question – give me ONE good reason why I shouldn’t download it from Torrent and play it now? Because of your idiotic no-refund rules I can’t get my money back so my money will still be yours so don’t dare play the “support the developers of great games!” card. Just give me a reason why I should use your service over downloading it through torrent? Anyone? How about “to enjoy the multiplayer”? To hell with multiplayer, I play Dead Space because of that “one man against the universe and winning” feel so multiplayer is directly negatated. Anything else?

This is what drives piracy – poor executive decisions. And whom does it hurt? Your customers and your developers. Because there is no way in hell I’m going to enjoy Dead Space 3 now because of this idiotic thing that forces me to the world of Torrents to play I game I purchased! That’s who, but what do you care – it’s the bottom line that counts isn’t it? Maybe if you would play by the rules and offer refunds or the ability to second-hand sell my digital games, your bottom line would take a hit. But I promise you I will never buy a game through Origin again – this was the last straw!

Updated: I gave it a try and talked to a EA advisor through their support and ask for a refund. It went as expected, if you’re expecting corporate greed and customer service incompetence at understand the issue that is.


Saw “Brave” this weekend. The wife had decided we needed a little family “just sit back, relax and enjoy a movie and popcorn”-session. And since our son has a thing for Pixar movies it was time for their latest creation “Brave”. I didn’t expect much, the normal Pixar stuff really. But I was pleasantly surprised! If we disregard the story which was mediocre (chick flic?), I absolutely enjoyed that movie and would recommend it to anyone! I’ve dabbled in 3D rendering myself about a decade ago so I kinda have a feel for the work that goes into animating stuff like this and on that level this has to be one of Pixars finest work ever! They managed to capture and render that awesome atmosphere and environment so beautifully, and I joked to the wife that “the animators must’ve loved hearing the amount of hair on the lead character!” because hair and water are some of the worst stuff to try to animate. And they didn’t tackle that problem much in Toy Story or Cars but they did now and did it fantastically! Then there was the music which really put the cream on this semla!

As a matter of fact I’m gonna try to watch this movie in English some day to take that Scottish feeling one step further, cause swedish dubbing just doesn’t do it justice!!

Fixing The Fuckup & Image Gallery Redone – Again!

I fixed my little fuckup with help from Google. I tried restore files but MySQL didn’t like that, but fortunately Google had indexed these pages and I could use their cache to re-write the few posts that were lost. So thanks Google!!

I’ve redone the image gallery again. I couldn’t find a gallery system for wordpress that worked “the way I wanted it to” so instead I went back to Imagevue and created seperate galleries for every year, in seperate folders. What that means for you is that it’s easier to navigate, however you can’t navigate from one year to the next without going back here. Quite simply because the navigation thing in Imagevue didn’t look good when having over 10 categories and subcategories and sub-sub-categories, it just wasn’t practical!

Hope you like it, and as usual, the password is the short Swedish name of my current employer.

Suggestion To Hollywood

Read the other day that movie box offices in Hollywood broke the 10.7 billion dollar mark for 2012 which is a new record. Also broke the record of amount of movie premieres (655) for one year. And that’s while claiming illegal file sharing are killing them.

And I’m pretty sure when I say this – the problem is lack of options! In Sweden HBO Nordic just started up, but only after first opening up to people who have the “right” ISP and bought the “right” TV – that kinda thing would never happen with a file sharing site, now would it? And the fact that HBO Nordics list of movies and TV shows are seriously lacking anything I’m interested in. Ok they had Back to the Future, but what about new movies? And the new TV shows they were supposed to have? We also have Netflix who has a pretty good lineup so I’m still paying monthly for that.

But one suggestion I’d like to make to Hollywood is to think a little outside the box. When I watched a movie the other day called “Giant Mechanical Man” (great movie by the way!) I though it was one of the best movies I’ve seen for quite some time. And there is no way I would have seen it had it not been for the way I got it. But I felt bad afterwards because it was so good I wanted to pay for it. The thing is there is no way for me to pay for it. And that’s when it hit me.

How about starting a donation site to a movie for people like me, that see the movie and feels it was so good I really do wanna pay for! I think that most people would think that a donation of say 5-6 would be ok for a movie they thought was worthwile watching! This would hugely increase the revenue for these small movies that never make it to the theaters in sweden and that “only” made $5 million in the box office in the states. I’m damn sure that would double if we had the oportunity to pay for it online somehow. Because right now my best way to pay for it is to actually pay CDON $5 for renting it online. And I’ll do that only because it’s the only way I know how to give money back for it. Unfortunately there is no way the writer/producer is going to see that revenue!

Speaking of which – I wonder what the creative force behind that movie would think. Is he or she or them ok with as many people as possible watching the movie regardless of how we obtain it, or are they pissed that I saw it and liked it and gave it a good review at IMDB and want to give my money to them for it, if only there was a way??

Site Update

A small little site update:

I bought a theme called “Axiom” for wordpress, looks pretty good I hope!

Secondly I’ve started moving from Imagevue for my image gallery to NextGens image gallery for WordPress. The old imagevue is still working fine, but all the updates will go here in WordPress. The biggest change is that to see if you have to register on the page – you can either manually register or you can use your Facebook credentials. After you’ve registered I have to approve you and add you to a either friend or family so you can see those images. I know it’s a hassle but shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you really are friend or family and want access.

Now They Can’t Stop Beating The Horse!

After putting this site up yesterday to vent frustration I thought I was done with it for a while. That didn’t even last 12 hours because guess what I found in my mail this morning?

“Kristoffer Strom,
We would very much welcome your feedback on support case: Re: Credit Card will expire soon (RUN-859550)
We are hoping to find out how we did assisting you with the resolution, what you think about your services overall and want we can do to keep you happy. Your comments are extremely valuable – please help us to serve you better. To take the survey, please click on the following link: https://helpdesk.softcom.com/index.php?/myhosting/Tickets/Survey/Index/867021/xj4e0dqwhr6h
Looking forward hearing from you! Thank you!

I don’t even know what to reply to that? My wife said “Oh my god, they know exactly what buttons to push!” and she’s right, they do. But for a company so dependant on customer service you would think that they wouldn’t want to push my buttons? Which says it all about their attitude towards customer service! But not only does it say what bad customer service they have, it also proves that they are in fact liars. I know there are some people in the customer service field that have an attitude to say anything and make up any story just to get rid of a pissed off customer. But I have never heard of that behaviour via emails, I didn’t know it existed! When you have a pissed off customer on the phone it may be very hard to actually want to help that person but once you realise it’s your job you just have to. But over emails you have all the time in the world – and especially when the customer specifically doesn’t want a reply it should be very easy. Yet “Allan M.” lied and said I had been removed from their system. Yet I get this customer survey email proving I’m not. They can argue that the customer survey system is a seperate system, but that would only prove that they are incompetent at integrating their systems. And to me, as a customer, it’s irrelevant what system is doing what! I didn’t want to be contacted by them at all and he replied that I “wouldn’t receive any further notifications”, yet I did – hence, they lied.

You know, I wish some company that specializes in customer satisfaction would, through some kind of miracle, get a contract to check up MyHosting. Because they are apparently blind to how bad they are that that is what it would take. And it wouldn’t be pleasant reading.

I mean, how many companies have a whole website with a dedicated address just to explain how much they suck? And how many of those have actual proof that they are correct and have every conceivable fact on their side to prove that “yes, MyHosting does indeed suck”.

Just How Much Does MyHosting suck?

Yes, I’m gonna beat this horse until it’s dead –

MyHosting sucks so much that they have even registered the domain name “myhostingsucks.com” (and several derivatives at $35 a pop!) just to stop customers they have mistreated so badly that we want to dedicate a page to how much they suck from doing it – because that’s how much they suck!

MyHosting And Customer Service

Ah, this never ending struggle of getting the customer service right, you know, some companies just can’t get that right. I went to Dressman the other day to buy some clothes – so very polite staff and a guy that even welcommed me into the store, without trying to get me to buy something specific, just a nice “welcome”. I liked that. Our company, knows as Ving in Sweden, has that as a major point all the time, treating the customer right and always knowing that “they have alot of other options than us, but they called us so it’s up to us to make their dream come true”. I like that thinking.

Then we go to the US of A. And a little webhosting company called “MyHosting”. We (as in NataliePortman.com) tried to run our site on their servers but it just wasn’t working and their customer service was kinda bad so I wrote that off as a bad idea and wanted my money back, cause I had double checked that they had a money back guarantee. Which they did. Unless ofcourse you used one of their promotional codes that the package builder comes preconfigured with! So lost $200 on that bad experiment and just dislike the company, wrote bad reviews about it – but thought it was over. But when my credit cart expired a few months ago they have mailed me over and over again to update my credit cart. Last night, after a couple of beers at our kick off party, I got another one and decided to reply. And in that reply I made it perfectly clear I wanted nothing to do with them, erase all of my information and ever contact me again. And less than an hour after I got a mail saying “I’ve deleted all of your information, please let us know if there is anything else we can do”. That just pissed me off how they could reply to an e-mail sayind “don’t ever contact me again”. So I replied “yes, you can take a reading comprehension course so you understand what “never contact me again means”. And guess what.. yeap, they replied to that one as well. Now it’s just not bad customer service. Now it’s a customer service out to provoke and aggrevate a customer. And that’s just so wrong!! So for anyone every considering hosting some website anywhere – stay clear of MyHosting, ok 🙂

It’s Been 10 Days Dude!

I dunno, not much is happening in my life to report on. I could go on about how I hate the world politicians for being too nice in regards to the current Isreal vs Palestine conflict but that get’s old very quickly, and me going on about it isn’t gonna do jack shit, babies and children are still being bombed and killed. It kinda makes everything else seem small in comparison.

But work is moving along nicely, still learning a lot every day. But I still hate computers – I’m trying to have HTPCs everywhere at home now that the online streaming is becoming a reality, it’s good to have a computer connected to the TVs and projector. But building HTPC’s and trying to make them efficient yet quiet enough is quite challenging, something I found out when watching the latest Batman movie which is almost 3 hours long which really heated that computer up! The latest F1 race from USA was almost ruined because I installed a new quiet CPU cooler on my HTPC that wouldn’t start after putting it back together again. So had to tear it down (my wife said it looked like it had been raped and pillaged) and eventually got it working and now it’s quiet, but still idling at 45 C which is way too much really.

Anyway, other than that, my son Sam is learning the language really really quickly now, every day he’s learning new things and putting words on feelings – “Wall-E is sad”!

I Used To Be A Millionaire

A few years ago when we were sorting out our bank loans we were millionaires thanks to the wrong press of a button on our banks side, but was was quickly fixed. Yesterday it happened again!

As I was sitting in the couch I decided to check our bank accounts. And as I was checking our funds that’s what I saw – we were millionaires! Of course I know exactly how much should be in each fund so I quickly realized that somewhere it had been multiplied by a factor of over 100. I know exactly how much but I’m not telling since that’s none of your business and it’s irrelevant to the question of how the hell this happend? If it was a factor of exactly 100 you’d just assume someone missed where the seperator between dollars and cents goes, but this wasn’t an even 100. It was a interestingly a prime so not even at all except that it was an integer. And as the programming nerd I am I was asking how did this happened? And considering our entire society is based on systems like this to keep working it’s kinda scary how it could make me into a millionaire just like that. And if it wasn’t a fund that takes two days to sell I would easily have transferred money from the account to the real one but that just wasn’t possible.

And this morning when I checked it it was back to normal. I will mail them and ask “what the hell happened here” but I’m not expected any answer, not anything more than “it was a glitch” when I wanna know the exact glitch. Only thing I can think of is that the file the system was importing and reading had a line missing resulting in it importing the wrong fund values for the funds which would result in this. Which of course begs the question “who can an import routine accept an input over 100 times what it should be?”?

But yes it was easy for the mind to wander off into the “what if it’s real?”-zone. Because for me it was easier to explain our funds increasing the value of a factor greater than 100 than a program glitch this big! And it was a pretty picture of my wife sitting in our greenhouse enjoying coffee and her creations while I work 50% for the rest of my life. But you also know that the entire economic system in Sweden is built to stop people like me from becoming millionaires. And once again that theory was proven correct.

Still Here

Sorry for not updating for a while. Not been much to update about.

Except an aspect of my job that came into play last week. Every month Microsoft releases their patches and every IT department has their way of dealing with it. 99% of the patches are for security holes that you don’t need to care about if you have an isolated secured environment. Sometimes your business can accept you rebooting servers during lunch, or as we did at the lawfirm early friday morning. But here we’re 100% exposed to the web and we can’t bring the IT systems down during daytime at all, some systems can’t even be down at all. So last thursday me and 3 other geeks here teamed up at 9 pm and started patching and rebooting the servers that weren’t super critical. And then at midnight we proceeded with the routines to restart our webs, that generate about 75% of our business. So there’s a few things that needs to be done to make sure that anyone wanting to book a holiday at like 1 am can still go ahead and do so. And then we went home at 3 am and I got the day off on Friday 🙂 I kinda like it and will probably do it again. As usual it’s fun until something breaks – and it’s just a question of when a server that’s in our seconday site doesn’t reboot properly and we have to go there at 2 am! 🙂

I like my job 🙂

The Internet Is A Scary Place

Do I have your attention with that title or what? I’m not talking pedophiles or people trying to steal money or some stuff like that. Now I’m talking the devious lurkers that will take over your accounts and play havoc with your online life! For the regular Joe that has an e-mail account and Facebook it might not be much of a problem. But for someone like me that has so much stuff online, use so many online services and not only have personal but also professional life on the web, we are most certainly shaking in our boots that what happened to Mat Honan last friday won’t happen to us!

Full coverage of the story can be found here on Wired.com. But to summarize – Mat Honan is an tech journalist writing about tech, the internet and stuff. So he has Google account, Twitter, Facebook, iCloud, Amazon and all that jazz. Now through some work, which just about anybody can do, they managed to get his last four digits of his credit cart, his home address and his e-mail address and with that Apple Support was more than happy to reset his iCloud password and let the scammer take control of it. And through that his Google account and then on to the rest from there. And they also wiped all his iDevices which were linked to his iCloud, as Apple wants you to.
The worst loss for him wasn’t to be publicly hacked and the embarrassment than he if anyone should know better. The worst part was that he lost all the files on his Macbook, most importantly photos of his kid that were just gone. And I can relate to that. I use an online service for my “important data” so I know it’s backed up online, but at the same time, if someone were to hack the account bound to that they could wipe it all. Fortunately I have it backed up locally to my NAS, but it’s still a very big convern that if someone were to hack my big e-mail accound they’d have access to do alot of things. ‘Cause this can happen to anyone!

The lessons learned is : have one e-mail accound per online service and try not to link them! Use 2 stage verification where possible. Backup your data. And for the love of good don’t trust a fruity company with all your stuff 🙂

Thank you NASA

Just wanted to post a quick “thank you” to NASA for not stopping this space exploration thing they’ve got going. If it wasn’t for them an the american taxpayers, Roddenberry’s dream wouldn’t stand a chance!

Win For Swedish Legal System

If you’re swedish, read this. If you’re not, let me summarize. An expert and translator of Manga (animated stuff from Japan) here in Sweden was caught with some animated magazines and images portraying animated 12-13 year old characters in sexual context. So they raided his home and computer and found alot of it. So he was charged with one of the worst accusations – posession of child pornography. The reason was – this was children in sexual context and it didn’t matter that it was animated and thereby without victim, it was the fact that this guy had these in his possession and, supposedly, enjoyed to look at it. And they didn’t care that this was his job. He was found guilty by the first two courts but today the supreme court acquitted him on the grounds that it was animated and could not be confused with the real thing.

And I gotta give credit to the guy for defending this and taking it all the way. And he didn’t hide away or try to cover himself, he publicly admitted to having these things but didn’t agree it was a crime to have them, if anything they should go after the “twisted mind” (his words) that created them.

Two problems with this story:
1) So the state decided to put a man on trial for what he likes to look at? … I mean I would seriously want to give any person who watch child pornography for enjoyment a good beating and yes it’s illegal, but really, if it gives the state that much power to put a person on trial for what he likes to look at, where could that end?
2) This has set a legal precedent for whoever makes these godforsaken images and films to just add a filter in post production to make it look animated and it’d be completely legal to sell in Sweden! Somewhere someone has to decide what constitutes “animated” and where that line is drawn.

I really hope the lawmakers sit down to go through this decision and comes up with some way to handle this. And all I can say is … Lawmakers, tread carefully!

I’m Projecting

Here’s the story of when we (or rather I) bought a new projector.

After looking around the web for “what’s the best projector I can get for under 10.000 SEK” (which was the approved budget) I found the answer – Epson TW3200. It had gotten great reviews from reviewers and consumers and it was going down in price. So on Saturday before we went to a 2 year old’s birthday party and then my own birthday party we stopped by one of my favorite stores in the whole world – Netonnet. They have good electronic products for good prices, good internet store and a “no bullshit, no fanciness, no flashy stores, just the products”-attitude I love. And they had just lowered the price of it to from 8.300 to 8.000 SEK so I was happy camper. When we got home on Sunday (yeah, I managed to wait a whole day!) I mounted it in my universal ceiling mount and turned it on. I guess I should have turned it on first because I was met with a “Auto iris error, please contact Epson support”… tried the old “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” and it started up without the error. Did some quick calibation and tested a bit of Star Wars Episode III (the opening space battle is pretty sweet) and it looked decent. Turned it off again, did what a husband, father and homeowner does on a Sunday (which included mowing the lawn).

On the evening my sister came by for the F1 race from Canada. Turned on the projector .. same error. Turned it off and on and it worked. But I don’t want to have to turn it off and on again until the error message goes away, especially not on a newly bought product for 8.000! So I called Epson who simply said “return it for a new one”. Called Netonnet customer service who agreed, no questions asked. So after I got home from work on Monday evening I took a 20 minute drive to Netonnet to have it replace, making sure they had one in stock. I turned it in and no questions asked, money back or buy a new one. So I went to pick up a new one … and no, as I’d feared they didn’t have any. According to their inventory they were suppose to have one, but reality said otherwise. But their other store in Slagsta on the wrong side of town had one, or I could get my money back. More than that, I noticed on their computer screens it cost 8.500 now! Yeah, for some reason it had gone from 8.300 on friday, to 8.000 on saturday to 8.500 on monday? But I argued against that since “there’s no reasons I should pay 500 more today for something I bought on Saturday just because I had to return it” and they agreed. Also I could have bought it anywhere else cause 8.500 was the price it was going for everywhere else!

But I was really set on this projector so I took another 30 minute drive to Slagsta and eventually found the one TW3200 projector they had in stock (which wasn’t where it was supposed to be). Went to the cashier who played the “I’m just a blonde girl at the checkout counter I can’t authorize this reduced prize, I have to call my manager”. Fortunately for me he had the very good service mind I had hoped for and I ended up paying 7800 for it after a 200 reduction for mileage and fueld for the car since I had to drive all the way there! And another 45 minute car trip home, tested it quickly to see I didn’t get the same message and mounted it.

That’s then the other setback hit. I had measured and mounted everything in my home theater, most importantly the ceiling mount, after my old projector. And the lens on this projector was about 4 inches off. Had it been more towards the center it’d been easy fix but this was more away from the center. And this very specific projector doesn’t have a digital compensator for keystone effects like my old one had, which means when it’s that high and that much to one side the image if projected in a straight line is skewed. The way this projector compensates for it is optically, which when it comes to the final image the result is better than digital compensation. And because it’s not only to the side it’s also mounted in the ceiling which means I needed to compensate both vertically and horizontally for it. What this meant is I had to mount my projector so that if the image would be projected in a straight line it would end up in the upper left corner of the room. But when adjusting the lens the image ends up where it should be and with straight lines (or more accurately, “right angles” i.e the corners are 90 degrees). But it took aloooot of fine tuning and with my ceiling mount it was way too much precision for it to be fun or challenging, it was just annoying. Why didn’t they have a digital compensator AND optical compensator for it like my old Panasonic projector had? It was so much easier to sit in the couch and adjust the screen with the push of a button than trying to find that sweet spot where everything lined up! .. but for now the deed is done and it’s sweet as hell!

Diablo Time!

A week ago Blizzard finally released “Diablo 3”!! If you wind back the clock to 2001 I actually took 2 weeks off from work to play “Diablo II – Lord of Destruction” so you can imagine how much I’ve been looking forward to this game! The biggest difference though isn’t in the game itself, rather that I’m a husband, father and homeowner now. That doesn’t give me much time for playing computer games! Fortunately for me I have the best wife in the world and she’s given me a lot of time to play in the past week because she knows how much I’ve been looking forward to the game and love gaming, so although she doesn’t like it when I go into my crypt, boot up the computer and put on my headphones she still respects it.

But the game is just so addictive and the “just a little more” and “I just wanna try this as a different class” feelings are all over the place so no matter how much time my wife gives me it’s never gonna be enough for me to do all the things I want to do in the game. But I’ll survive. After all, at the end of the day it’s her that I wanna fall asleep with and wake up next to.

Oh, and the game kicks ass! .. too bad Blizzard is screwing it up so hard with all these server issues, which you kinda saw coming when they said “no offline mode”.

Transferring servers

If you think this place is a bit unstable right now it’s because last week we transferred servers to try a new place out. And that worked pretty well although their services and support was a bit lacking so we managed to press the price of the old place and get a virtual server running there so hopefully this’ll be stable enough. Talk more when I have a chance…