Nerd Meat

There's something terrifyingly awkward about that title... What could it be?

Ah, yes!

Nerd Meet

Much better. Well, somewhat better, a gathering of nerds would hardly be thought of as the best thing since sliced bread anywhere, realy.

Incredably Sensual Topless Sweedish Bikini Models Meet

Dream on... No, back to Nerd Meet, the fourth installment of the National Informatics Students Rally. It's on now! I skipped on it some years ago, because I wasn't really in the mood to travel, but this year it's being held on my own doorstep. I had no reason to decline.

Actually, I was rather hoping to spend some days at my hometown this weekend, after a particularly unpleasent Wednesday, but never mind that...

So today, a conference was held, with cmputer interface guru Alan Dix, and I'm all too pleased to report I attended it. I got to meet this genious, whom I had known only from his work, and he did not disappoint me. He even went as far as to give me the thumbs up for remembering my Avogadro number and invited the local media to snap a picture of me (for no ill intend, I can only hope) when I could translate "provenance" into the local native language. My fiftenn minutes of fame... were actually in Dominican Republic, in the Easter of 1999, but you get the drift. At any rate, I got to meet Dix!

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark is most displeased with the Secretary to the Minister of Science and Technology's response to his enquiry at the end of his lecture on The State of the Art today, at the event's inauguration cerimony. I guess politicians will never change...

Windows Genuine Advantage Validaaaargh!

Seriously, Microsoft, WTF!?

I could rant about how you're swarming my market and my very young children with your personal sort of infectious insincere generosity which will, ultimately, increase our foreign debt and darw this rotten shamble of a country further down its doom-laden path o mediocrity. Instead, I'll address a more personal issue.

So over a year ago, I took you (dubiously) generous offer and applied for a free, valid Windows XP key from MSDN Academic Alliance. All went sparklingly well, and I had my little computer that could up and running for well over a year. Recentely, however, it all went to mush, and after a penous period of backups, I was comfortable with the idea of formatting and re-installing. So I whipped out my Windows XP Professional SP2, burned from an ISO image provided by MSDN Academic Alliance (it might sound as though I'm singing praise to this entity. Well, only partially), and went on to throw the irrevokable reset switch. Only this time, my key was no good.

As I would find out, the key MSDNAA assigned me is good for a single installation. After that, I'm just hoping it might be renewed. So I had to make do with an expired VLK licence key, and, just as expected, today the WGA thing started wreaking havok in my PC.

Seriously, Microsoft, what were you thinking? You know how your system is likely to need the occasional extreme solution. You know how useres are likely to upgrade their core components. For peanut butter and jam's sake, your system will even cry out bloody murder if it's transfered to another, exactly alike disk drive just because the serial number doesn't match, and you had to make disposable keys? Is it sadism or just the sort of misguided idiocy the world has come to expect from the self-proclaimed leader of the alledgedly free world for the last eight years? And what is it with that WGA tool? I've had viruses that were less harmful and annoying that that.

And dont get me started on your client support. You would have charged me €60,00 (not a typo! Sixty sodding Euro!) for a call, had I resorted to that service of yours twice before, and the gent who ansewred was even more clueless than I was. Would you have charged me €60,00 for "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do"? I don't doubt it, you profiteering gluttons!

Well, then, Shark, old bean, why don't you just stick wholeheartedly, full-time to some other operating system, one which won't pester you for CD Keys and $149,90 for something you're already entitled to and isntead is mantained and supported by entire communities of keen programmers for free?

You mean Linux?

Oh, well, now... yes.

Thank you for that lovely intervention, Nagging Doubt In The Back Of My Head.

Please, just call me Gaz!

Gaz. Of course you're more than just some measure of right. I just wish software developers (a free beheading coupon for anyone chanting "Developers, developers, developers, developers", à lá Steve Ballmer) would realise this and think of the little ones who wish to free themselves of the tyranny of this oppressive monopolist, but don't want to relinquish the use of their magnificent products (for which, incidentally, we're willing to pay... ONCE, Electronic Arts!). Sure, there's OpenOffice and Gimp and whatnot to offset all your work needs for free, but I need not tell you all work and no play makes ArabianShark a dull, sour and very irritable member of the elasmobrachiae family of water-dewlling animals.

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark ponders the issue of weaseling his way out of the current predicament with a crack. On one hand, piracy isn't something this sea treader encourages or enjoys; on the other, I have a legal right to what I would seem to be acquiring through dubious ways. Oh, and how hard can it be to secure a legitimate copy of Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 Premier Edition? In this land of NO opportunity, quite hard indeed...


So Fate spat in the face of my kind offer... Onwards, then.

Not long ago I posted about entering Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Beta program. Well, my Beta priviledges have been revoked (as have everyone else's, rest assured) almost a month ago, to make room for my pre-order priviledges, which I waived, seeing as the pre-order bonuses, juicy though they may seem, were wasted on me.

However, I have recentely taken to scouring the Red Alert 3 site. Most of everything I've been reading there has come to be redundant, but I still managed to find this, which I recommend, for a laugh.

So right now you've either gone straight for the link, without so much as a modicum of restraint or overlooked it with more than a modicum of suspicion or, as a compromise, opened it in a new tab, in which case, assuming you have a decent web connection, you should be listening to something right about now. So, to soothe your fears, it's just an embedded music video and God god won't punish your immortal soul in Hell, because he likely doesn't exist.

The music part is less than great (does it seem to you that the glorious days of "Fight, Win, Prevail!" are behind us? Me too...), it might even strike you as a overly self-indulgent or shamelessly self promoting (funny, it does to me too, and I'm a fan of the series), but the clip features some rewarding eye candy (it won't rot your teeth or make you fat. Best kind of candy ever) and, for the Sci-Fi and/or retro-gaming buffs, George Takei has a funny little morsel for you.

Not for you, Fate! Off! Off! Bad bitch!

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark is well aware that the Imperial Defenders' ability to slink into a "spider hole" is blatantly ripped off most of Starcraft's Zerg units, as they have been able to burrow for bloody ages now. Don't rub it in.

Old Flings...

Actually, that's not exactly accurate...

Old Crushes...
Or "How the Mighty Have Fallen"

So just last night I happened to sort of run into an old crush of mine. How old, you say? Well, I suppose it could have been more than a handful of years, it's hard to tell exactly, so I'll refrain form just saying any number. Still, it got mw thinking...

Have I ever been so superficial that I could be so madly enamorated (as I recall, it was quite a crush indeed) for this gal? Whatever mild impression I got from her just yesterday would have put me off, were we to start anew, with no recollection of the past at all. I was really disappointed, I can't tell if more so with her or myself.

Still... the years have been most kind to her. She looked even better than I recalled, and, seeing as I held such a deified image of her beauty, that's no small task. No small task indeed.


Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark offers Madam Fate a chance at redemption today. Reward will come as an apology and strawberry jam. Everybody likes strawberrys, it seems...


Sci-Fi buffs should know that at no time during this entry will Fate mean the supercomputer which rules the United Kingdom in the bleak retro-futuristic world of V for Vendetta. So...


Fate is a cruel mistress.


Fuck you, Fate, you sadistic bitch! The pox is too good for your wretched arse! A thousand blights on your rotten carcass... and the pox on top of it.

... fucking cunt...

Pax vobiscum atque vale. Not you, Fate!

ArabianShark is a bit irritable tonight, and possibly for the next week(s). And it's all your damned fault, Fate!

What's happening to me???

Something isn't quite right. That fulfilled my understatement quota for the whole millenium. I'm going positively batty.

Up until last Monday I wanted only four small thins from life: a smalll fortune, a small mansion, a small Aston Martin and a small Brittish passport. Insert laughter here, because I'm a bit distressed to do that myself. Last Monday, however, my world got a pretty vigorous shaking.

You may or may not believe this (you won't. Never mind), but I woke up that very same day with what could only be described as a Force Premonition of what was about to happen (having finished The Force Unleashed in just a few sittings may have had a bit to do with it). The Dark Side, however, everything clouded, and instead of the upcomming upheavel, I sensed only a mild amusement, which I was only too swift to dismiss.

Then later that day I had plenty warning of the cataclysm to come, and it would not have taken any measure of clearvoyance whatsoever to read the signs which, like my earlier inkling, I chose to ignore.

Then... it happened.

Now four small things aren't enough. Now I want more. Now I stress over that newest desire every waking hour. I have not felt like this in nearly ten years. It did not end well last time and-

No, wait, that's not entirely correct. I haven't felt like this in over five years, and last time it turned out to be nothing much, but still...

Come to think of it, if a pattern is to be observed, perhaps this time it turns out for the best. Third time is the charm, they say. I'd very much like to meet with them. Sometimes they turn out to be wiser than Yoda and sometimes they spew more lies than Palpatine. I'd like a word, please. "Granted" would do...

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark tried his hand at baking this week. It turned out fairly enough. Next time might go better. The time after that, however, is when I expect the coveted charm to occur.