About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

11 January 2007

Authentication Failure

Hot of the wire ... A Standard Bank branch was robbed by men who posed as security guards. The guards followed the same protocols as the security company, and made off with R1.4 million. It all boiled down to the fact that there was no real authentication mechanism at the bank to verify the identity of the security guards, other than a name. When names are hardly unique, they make really bad authentication elements anyway, so the flaw was bound to be exploited.

09 January 2007

Hardware Blues

It started the week before Christmas; I bought a TV Card (manufacturer: Gigabyte) but I just couldn't get it to work. On Windows XP (SP2), the drivers would just not install; giving an error "Access is Denied", and would always rollback just after getting to the "registering" phase at the end of the installation. Trying out all tricks suggested from Google didn't help a bit. So I tried Linux, with little success ... and even KnoppMyth did not work. Surprisingly enough, it did "work" in Windows Vista, but my machine is too slow, and the sound does not work anyway (XP drivers in Vista that is).

The card itself works, and I suspect the main reason for all these problems is the VIA chipsetted motherboard. Many comments on Linux based TV card sites seem to confirm this theory; and it is yet another let down by the VIA based motherboard. My USB ports are already very dodgy and the onboard sound card does not seem to support 5.1 surround channels in Linux. And to compound all these problems, my Windows hard drive seems to be on its last legs, making all sorts of weird noises.

Off course, with a 2.5 year old computer, the best answer is to buy a new one; but I really want to save my money and buy a laptop and travel. So for now, I hope my other hard drive lasts until I finish my thesis (yes I do have back ups on two other machines).

Movie: Little Miss Sunshine

I had seen the trailer a long time ago, and the descriptions at first did not really appeal to me. But after recommendations from a number of people, I decided to see it; and I was quite impressed. As a comedy, it is superb; and has all the right ingredients. The motivation speak father, who is a failure, a nutcase uncle, a pervert grandfather, a young girl (Olive) wanting to be a beauty queen (but does not fit the mould of the traditional beauty queen) and the brother who has taken a vow of silence. The mom is the only one who seems normal ...

In part this is a road trip movie, part a movie about family and all those "msuhy" things ... I just think it is a great comedy; anda comment on the absurdities of life. And the final scenes involving Olive's talent show is easily one of the best comedic I have ever seen.

08 January 2007

Trailer Park Lynching

That was the theme for our house warming party (and incidentally, our housemate Donal's birthday). And although not many people (including, I am ashamed to say, the hosts) dressed up - the party itself was a great success. A whole lot of people pitched up, and counting the number of people who had a bit too much to drink, most seemed to have enjoyed themselves. My new place, is simply a great spot to host parties; and it showed. A special mention must be made of Sara who definitely had the best costume. I would post a picture, but I am afraid I could be lynched ... .so if Sara is brave enough, she can post one on her blog :p