Closing & Reborn

We'll tomorrow will be the 'official' last day of a website I set up in December 2004.

It's had a funny live, started off as a community website for people I had met online, first it was a pretty open entry system and then after about 6 months swapped to an invite only system.

There were good and bad points to these methods, the latter was in retrospect the one element that secured it's demise. In it's popular phase it would see 100 forums posts a day from over 30 members, sadly towards the end the underbase sank to around 10 active members per week.

I've half written a post about managing online communities, detailing the good and bad. One day it will make it's way into my blog.

RIP CJs.

And onto a lighter topic, my redesign of my clans website KhaosClan.com.

I have tried to deliver 2 themes for users to choose from, one of them is Light and one Dark. Although, truth be told they are both greyscale with varying tones to match the name. in addtion to the new themes I also whated to come up with a new logo/title bar that would give the whole thing a new feel.

So after playing around the chaos star, a logo that we have stuck with for sometime now. I was about to give up and start thinging of something new, when I accidentally dragged the “K” of Khaos over the star and instantly stumbled apon a way to revamp the old logo.

So after a good few hours of tweaking, redesigning and more tweaking, the final version came to life. So for your viewing pleasure i present the final logo/title.

logo_6.png

I'm very happy with the way it turned out to be honest, I wasn't sure the 'K' was going to intergrate and be noticable. But thankfully it shines out wonderfully.

Stoning

So after getting a nice little windfall from my shares, I decide it was time to get a new mp3 player as using my phone to play songs isn't an ideal solution.

So on Wednesday evening I had a browse of the mp3 market to see what was on offer. My aim was to get something that could hold a reasonable amount of songs without costing a silly amount of money, also I wanted something that was small.

thumb_zenstoneplus.jpgSo after scouting around several websites, I decided to go for the Creative ZEN Stone Plus. I have previously seen the Zen Stone but latest version has a few more features.

Firstly the 2GB offered by the Plus was a extra 100% over the 1GB the standard Zen Stone offering, and it was available for an extra 13 pounds.
Secondly the Plus has a display, which is a feature I like to have if I'm going to be carrying a few dozen albums around with me.

I also ordered a Skin for the mp3 player, as they can tend to get quite beaten up over time, so anything to extend the longevity of the device was an additional bonus.

Today it arrived \o/.

It's alot smaller that I thought, which was nice as it can be pocketed in my workshirt without too much trouble. My first complaint sofar is that the data/charging USB cable is very short (3 inches). This isn't a massive problem as i have USB ports on the top of my PC. If you are plannig on purchasing a Stone plus, kind in mind a seperate (lengther) cable maybe a good purchase.

Another small annoying fact is the instructions that come with the player are simple enough to get you started but don't have that much detail listed. But never fear it came packaged with 4 copies of the instructions (odd).

So after 3 hours of charging, it was time to try it out.
I've loaded on three albums now and had a good play about with all the settings.

The player has a 64×64 OLED, which doesn't sound like alot I'd admit, yet the onboard software is extremely well designed to make full use of this display, which is in a Blue/Cyan colour.

The one item that was missing in the documentation that accompanied the player was a layout of the menus and their uses. Although they are pretty self-explanitory.

Overall : This player expands on the original stone with the great display thats doesn't take up 30% of the devices layout, but still offering the user an interface for easy interaction.

Hunting for an ISP

My ongoing exprience with freedom2surf/pipex/tiscali is getting annoying. Until now apart from the occasional blips, the service was fine.

But now I appear to be getting slower and slower speeds and last night I was unable to play world in conflict as i would be booted from the server with high ping times.

After checking tracert and checking the massgate forums, it was indicated that all users connecting via the pipex network in the uk are suffering the same problems.

I've logged a support ticket with F2S but i'm not really holding my breath for anything to happen or for me to even get a response.

So on with the hunt, I'm looking for an ISP that can give me the following:

  • 2MB fixed speed connection (not a ADSL MAX pretending to be 2mb)
  • No adverse traffic shaping (throttling users that connnect to multiple IPs to reduce p2per traffic, but also causing gamers to be impacted too)
  • No port blocking
  • Suitable monthly download allowance (10-15gb)

Not asking alot really, but i'm struggling to find many that fit the bill.

My shortlist sofar:
VivaCiti – £19.99/2mb/50:1/30gb (Wholesale supplier : Entanet)

Entries include Price/speed/contention/allowance per month.
I'll update this list as i gain more information about products/isps.

Microsoft aim to expand IE7's usage

This is copied from my post on ZDNet

Well considering how much effort Microsoft has put into the Windows Genuine Advantage program. It's suprising to learn they are going to disable it in Internet Explorer 7 for users on XP.

But since launch IE7 hasn't really seen a big uptake. people choosing to remain on IE6 either by choice or because they can't pass the WGA validation. Another reason is that people are using other browsers now and like some of the options other browser offer.

Personally I have IE7 on my desktop and still have IE6 on my laptop, but always I use Firefox on both, unless i'm website testing. 🙂

Source : IE Blog