What Made OiNK So Special?

[Updated 10/31/07, see bottom of post]

I had a professor ask me for more information on what made OiNK special and what it was all about. I assembled the following information for him:

Why Oink Was Special

  • The community was very tightly controlled:
    • Only albums that had a certain level of audio quality (192kbps+) were allowed to be uploaded. Albums had to fit a stringent set of criteria such as being original rips from real CDs, and not “transcodes.” A transcode is a song that has been ripped to mp3, decoded back to wav, and then re-encoded to an mp3. This was despite the fact that many feel double compression is not noticeable to the ear.
    • All torrents had to fulfill certain basic requirements such as a complete tracklisting. A basic description, accurate meta data, cover art scans and a playlist file were highly encouraged and more often than not taken care of by the uploader.
  • The community was self-policing and highly active. Torrents of albums were uploaded weeks sometimes months in advance of their official date. High profile albums were combed over very quickly and rejected if either they appeared to be transcodes or had been doctored in any way.
    Continue reading What Made OiNK So Special?

Upgrades For Security, Drupal, WordPress, vBulletin

I performed a number of upgrades this weekend to help keep my web software up to date. I’m looking at this new media wiki / vBulletin integration called vBwiki Pro and before I tantalize myself with the possibility of adding the software I knew I needed to bring all of my web stuff up to current version first.

I’m running Drupal as the CMS on Weekly Davespeak, vBulletin in the forums and WordPress for this blog.

Upgrades are usually pretty easy, although I did a ton of Drupal customizations when I installed it last year and was worried I would overwrite some of my work.

Continue reading Upgrades For Security, Drupal, WordPress, vBulletin

Adsense Textual Advertisements Returning To This Blog

Piggy BankI’m bringing some G Adsense advertising back to this blog because I’m a student again, and the monthly checks help. Until my mindset changes I’ll include ads in entries I think will be getting a lot of search engine traffic.

I dislike web advertising as much as the next person, and for people who read my blog regularly, I highly recommend Adblocker. This is a Firefox Plug-in, Add-on, Extension, what-have-you that will block G Adsense ads and just about every other advertisement. I’m including my ad filter criteria that I’m using below. If you take a moment to install the add-on and import this advertisement filter list you can begin surfing my blog and just about all other websites advertisement-free instantly.

Check out the difference:

Download Adblocker

Here is my filter list… Continue reading Adsense Textual Advertisements Returning To This Blog

Setting Up Bluetooth Sync in Windows XP Using Blackberry Desktop Manager on a Dell D630

bluetooth drivers xp native stack blackberry desktop sync

I have been wanting to sync my Outlook 2007 calendar to my Blackberry Curve (8300) since I entered all of my Babson class data earlier in the semester. My Dell D630 came with Windows XP SP2 installed.  When I installed the Blackberry Desktop Manager 4.2 SP2 and chose the Connection Options I noticed that the Bluetooth sync options were greyed out (disabled) and inaccessible.

I did some searching around and found that for whatever reason, the Blackberry desktop manager’s Bluetooth sync is not compatible with any third party Bluetooth drivers. It turns out you must use XP’s native Bluetooth drivers in order to get the Desktop Manager Connection Settings to properly recognize that you have Bluetooth at all.

The fault lies squarely with Research In Motion (RIM) for not creating a desktop management solution that recognizes major Bluetooth drivers like Toshiba’s. I think that this shows that they clearly do not care about giving their customers an easy opportunity to sync their blackberry over Bluetooth.

If you configured it so when you bought it, your Dell D630 has a Bluetooth device built into the box. When Dell sets the computer up at the factory, they install Toshiba Bluetooth Stack drivers. From what I can tell, the reason Dell uses its own drivers is because they have extensions that control other hardware on the laptop. Specifically, the little LED that lights up the Bluetooth icon near the WiFi light on the laptop itself. Using the Toshiba driver, if you turn off the Bluetooth this light goes off. If you change it over to the Windows driver the light will stay on whether Bluetooth is enabled or not.

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Download Rock Show, the Concert Posters app for the iPhone and iPad

This takes away a glance intelligence at your current battery consumption, and I have not determined how to power off Bluetooth to save battery life using the XP driver. So there is significant sacrifice in making this change, it may be that if syncing wirelessly is not very important to you, then you should simply keep the Toshiba drivers and keep a USB cable at home and at work so that you don’t have to mess around with Dell’s D630 native driver set.

A final note on this: The Blackberry application loader and media loader tools are not available over Bluetooth. So this means that setting up your Blackberry to sync over Bluetooth is only worthwhile if you need to be able to sync calendar, task and contact information frequently without being encumbered by a USB cable.
Ok, You still want to proceed? Keep reading.

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Continue reading Setting Up Bluetooth Sync in Windows XP Using Blackberry Desktop Manager on a Dell D630

I am Downgrading Vista to Windows XP

vista downgrade to windows xp sp2I’m very disappointed with Microsoft Windows Vista and am on the verge of downgrading to Windows XP. I started as an advocate for Vista when I rebuilt my machine in February. However, eight months later it is clear that making the leap was a mistake.

Vista presented an enhanced interface where everything looked nicer. This had a big impact at first because it also seemed to operate at the same efficacy of XP. Over time, I have seen a substantial performance degredation. The shell, Explorer, crashes frequently and the entire OS becomes unresponsive.

Some small but staying problems I encountered:

  1. Vista does not allow access to wave out as XP does. For whatever reason the drivers for my sound card do not allow it to be captured even using this tutorial as a workaround.
  2. Vista does not maintain folder view information. Common sortable column headings such as date modified, type, and size won’t stick. If Vista sees mp3’s in a folder it tries to display totally irrelevant meta information such as “author.” I am tired of adding the correct column information such as Date Modified and having it disappear again and again.
  3. Speed. I liked Aero, but I put a pretty decent processor in there. The Intel Core Duo E6600 coupled with high-speed RAM should have applications flying open. This just isn’t the case, it feels slow.

Continue reading I am Downgrading Vista to Windows XP

In Rainbows Delivery Dissapoints

I paid 5 pounds plus the transaction fee on October 3rd, pre-ordering the new album. However, I did not receive an email from WASTE (Radiohead’s merch arm) with my activation code. I emailed them and asked what was up, and got an auto reply as follows:

“Thank you for your message.

Here is some information which may answer your question….

If you are having problems placing an order please check that your
cookies are enabled. You may need to try a new browser and you may need to use a new e-mail address if you failed to place an order with your original e-mail address. You can track successful orders by following this link.

http://www.inrainbows.com/Members

If you are yet to receive your activation code (please check your spam
filters) or are having download problems please e-mail
downloadinrainbows@waste.uk.com

Please contact us again next week with any Discbox postal address
changes.”

After checking my spam folder on gmail, I found some other mail I should have gotten, but not one from WASTE. I emailed them back saying Continue reading In Rainbows Delivery Dissapoints

Radiohead Is The Answer

Radiohead is the most innovative band in the worldI have a lot of catching up to do since moving to Boston but this is perhaps one of the most exciting and important things to happen in the music industry since Napster was released.

A Time article included a quote from an American producer that reads as follows:

That’s the interesting part of all this,” says a producer who works primarily with American rap artists. “Radiohead is the best band in the world; if you can pay whatever you want for music by the best band in the world, why would you pay $13 dollars or $.99 cents for music by somebody less talented? Once you open that door and start giving music away legally, I’m not sure there’s any going back.”

Via Green Plastic

I’ve explained my feelings in depth that Dave Matthews Band has the potential to do an independent release, but this seals the deal in my eyes. Dave Matthews loves Radiohead and York just created an artistic milestone DMB could only dream of taking part in at this point.