Well, as you can see here, my blog has a new layout. The layout itself was written from scratch by me, although some parts of it were based off a nice two-column CSS layout tutorial I found whilst searching in Google. This layout is not yet complete, I'm still working on it. What do you think so far? :)

The only problem now is my lack of blog posts. I haven't really had time to blog, but I'll definitely try to write some more posts here soonish :P

Today, I fixed the "transparency" issue on the Facebook Flash Embed application. Rather than using a transparent background for all Flash animations, it now allows you to set the background colour. Some animations that did not display correctly previously will now appear correctly.

Additionally, a few minor bugs with the Import a Flash "embed" code were fixed as well. FlashVars in <embed> tags should now work properly.

As usual, please report any bugs to me :)

A funny easter egg I recently came across in Windows XP, relating to files created in the future:

  1. Set your system clock to a date in the future (something far in the future; eg December 2030).
  2. Create a new file (anything, a blank text document will do).
  3. Set the system clock back to the real date.
  4. Open the directory containing the newly-created file.
  5. Choose the View → Arrange Icons By → Modified option.
  6. Tick View → Arrange Icons → Show in Groups.
  7. Look at the group heading of the newly-created file:
    Windows XP Easter Egg - “Sometime This Millenia”

Of course, that should be "Millenium"... Millennia is plural :P

Around 46,000 students did their English exam today, me being one of them. The English exam sucks; I'm so bad at writing essays :( . It was alright, but I screwed up a bit of it. Basically, we have to write four essays — Two text response essays (essays based on texts we read in class), a language analysis piece (analyse the ways language is used in some articles), and a persuasive/opinionative piece. I spent too long on the analysis and persuasive pieces (as these are what I'm good at). I completed one of the text response essays and then noticed I only had like 25 minutes or so to do the last one. So it was horribly rushed and probably quite incoherent :P

So yeah, I'm soooo glad that exam is now over; it was the one exam I was really dreading. The exams I have left are:

Monday 5th November
3:00 PM–4:15 PM — Specialist Maths Exam 1 (non-calculator)

Friday 9th November
9:00 AM–10:15 AM — Maths Methods Exam 1 (non-calculator)

Monday 12th November
11:45 AM–2:00 PM — Maths Methods Exam 2 (calculator)

Wednesday 14th November
11:45 AM–1:30 PM — Physics

Thursday 15th November
9:00 AM–10:45 AM — Chemistry (ewwww :P )

Friday 16th November
3:00 PM–5:15 PM — Specialist Maths Exam 2 (calculator)

So yeah, after that, No more school! On to University next year. I'm hoping that I get an ENTER score above 87, that way I'll get into Computer Science at Melbourne University :)

Edit: Some people were asking about the title of this post. It was referring to my MSN Messenger display name, which I had set to "It's Survivor: English Exam Edition. 46000 students, 4 hours, 3 essays. Who will survive?" for a while :D

Recently, I was working on some DNS tools, including DNS lookup and WHOIS tools. Needing to test the WHOIS tool, I used google.com as a test domain (as I usually do). The WHOIS lookup returned some rather interesting results:

Read more ⇒

Update 2010-03-28: MySpaceTools.ws is no longer available, due to MySpace blocking my server from accessing it.

Edit: This has been moved to MySpaceTools.ws. Please email errors [-at-] myspacetools.ws for support, do not comment here.

Based on a blog entry I read about backing up your profile, I decided to try and write a script that would grab your entire friend list so you can have a local copy of it. It was kinda hard to do, but I've managed to write a relatively simple script that will grab your entire friends list, and display it on the one page. It does so by grabbing each page in the "View All Friends" section, and essentially merges them all together. What you end up with is one page that contains your entire friends list.

Take a look at [broken link removed] for the script so far. Note that it will currently not work on private profiles (although I'm working on a fix for that). For now, if you have a private profile, you must temporarily set your profile to public in order to export the friends list.

You can easily save the page it generates (via File ? Save As...) and keep it as a local copy of your friends list. Yes, I know how it displays its output is kinda ugly at the moment, but I'm a coder, not a designer :P

Hope it's useful for someone. :)
I originally posted this to the MySpace Forums, but thought I should also post it here

Yesterday, I had a hard drive die on me  :(. It was a 160 GB Seagate Barracuda, and was less than a year old. It started with strange error messages late last night. I went to the server, reset it (need to power it off - It wouldn't shutdown cleanly), and now it won't boot. When I try to boot the system, I can hear the drive head hitting against the side of the drive, which makes me think there is a problem internally with the drive...

I'm looking into recovery options, though I think it will be way too expensive for my needs. If it is too expensive, I'll just have to cut my losses and move on. A lot of my development work was on this server (it was my backup PC as well). Whilst I have local copies of stuff, a lot of it is slightly old. It's kinda depressing to have something like this happen, so I'm not really in a good mood at the moment  :(

Update: About two weeks after the hard drive "failed", I tried it again. It was working, but made a strange sound. I quickly copied all the data off of it, and disconnected it. I was able to get a copy of all the most important data. So, it's not so bad... This story has a happy ending :D

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