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Do we change so much in the space of a few years that things that seemed hilarious to us at one time are no longer even mildly amusing? OK, maybe a teensy weensy bit amusing but not very much :p I'm reading a few books from Keith Laumer's Retief series at the moment. The first Retief book I read was "Retief's War" and that must have been all of ten years ago or more. I found the book to be extremely funny and can remember many scenes where I laughed out loud or had a good chuckle. I started searching for more Retief books from then onwards but didn't find any at all till I went to the US. There, I got a whole bunch of Retief books but didn't get the time to read any of them and that brings us to the present where I've actually started reading them :p However, I haven't found so much as one laugh-out-loud bit in the two books that I've read so far! There were a few scenes that I found mildly amusing but it wasn't as half as funny as I remember the first book to be.The same thing is happening to me with Terry Pratchett. The first books of his that I read made me chuckle and laugh with almost every page turn but not so any more. I still get a smile on reading some of the stuff but mostly, while interesting reading, it doesn't make me laugh as much as it used to. Am I losing my sense of humour or is it just that with age humour loses its surprise because you've heard all the jokes before? I really don't know but I can do with a good laugh right now and none of my books seem to be able to provide it .. Ah well, maybe I should go back to reading Asterix and see if that is still funny :p
posted at 06:00:12 AM link comment
I must thank Aaron Freeman for sending me "The Replacements" DVD off my movies wish list - thanks Aaaron :-) He also mentioned the fact that he'd actually wanted to get me "Morrowind" for the XBox but that Amazon didn't have a "buy" button for it - I checked and turns out that Amazon is not shipping the game outside the US for the moment! What's up with that, I wonder? Is it for just this particular game or is this the case for any XBox game? I haven't bothered to find out yet but might have to if Sierra ever releases "Malice" - now renamed to something like "Kat's Tale" or something I think ...Haven't heard anything at all about Snipper - good or bad :p It's as if nobody really wants to work with the app or need the functionality it provides <g> Or then again, it might be like BOB in that it provides the kind of niche functionality that not many really want but the few who do, can't live without :p As far as I know, there's only a handful of people who use BOB and I'm probably the only one who currently uses Snipper ... Ah well, it was a challenge to develop the HTML parsing and the exact logic to create a snippet but now that it's done, I guess I probably will not work on it much further unless somebody else shows some interest in it ...
posted at 06:28:53 AM link comment
First of all, I put the latest build of Snipper online as Snipper 1.0. You can get it here or from the link on the sidebar. The feature set is not complete since I don't have snippet definition importing and I'd also liked to have had some sort of documentation to go along with it but things are becoming a bit hectic at work (I'll get to that rant/whine in a bit :p) that I don't even have time in the evening to complete any of that work and might not for a while since I have to work Saturdays till the end of July or so ... Anyway, hopefully the method of defining a snippet should be self explanatory since it a new snippet definition leads you through a sort of a wizard-like interface and since there is already a snippet Collection in there for some of my favorite comics, anybody who is interested should be able to figure out how the definitions are done by looking at the existing definitions. At least I hope so - and of course, if anybody finds it interesting and wants to suggest features or simply wants help with it, let me know ... but be warned, creating snippet definitions does require a bit of HTML knowledge ...Now to the whine :p My latest responsibility at work has turned out to be something which keeps me constantly on the go - as well as at work late :-( So far we've always found ourselves right-smack on top of deadlines since it all started around last Wednesday and since then I've gone through setting up and getting out three different newspaper pages in three different languages. Yesterday was the Sinhala page's turn and while yesterday we should have sent the final copy to the paper for printing, we weren't able to do so since some of the articles were being typed out only yesterday. I stayed late with another guy and the assigned graphics guy and we worked on the layout till we got it right but we found out that the first proof-reading session didn't catch all the errors and by that time, the graphics guy was eager to go home. So I'm planning to get to work, correct the mistakes caught in the second proof-reading and then rush out the copy. Of course, in the mean time, the next English and Tamil pages are ready to for layout and that begins today *and* we have to get started on the articles for the next Sinhala page which has an internal deadline of Friday! So it looks to me as if I'm going to be constantly in this cyclical struggle to get the pages out weekly and since my other project is already behind schedule and we are working Saturdays to try and finish it by the end of July (which I don't think we'll be able to do - my estimate is the second week of August ... purely because we don't have all the footage in-house and are still shooting stuff or expecting stuff from stringers), I don't think I'm going to find much time for coding in the next few weeks ... Of course, I could be wrong :p
posted at 06:26:00 AM link comment
First of all, a big thank you goes out to whoever who sent me "Daughter of the Empire" off my wish list! Either Amazon UK does not allow people to include a message or the person didn't feel it was necessary but I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know who you are so that I can add you to my Hall of Fame :-)
I've received reports from a couple of people who tried to upgrade to Blog 6.0 and discovered that the upgrade wouldn't go smoothly and it turns out that this was because they were running a beta of Blog 5.0 instead of the final version and so didn't have the database tables updated to the latest version. I'm just puzzled as to how this could have happened since I thought I had the version numbering in the About dialog set correctly for each version and you could tell the difference between the Blog 5.0 final and the betas but then again I might be wrong since it was quite a while back ... But if any of you are having problems, this might be the cause. If you are one of the people with this particular problem, contact me and I'll tell you what you need to do - oh yeah, also let me know where you downloaded Blog from since I'm beginning to believe that there is a rogue mirror site/download site which lists an invalid download file as Blog 5.0 ...
I've been extremely busy at work since they've just given me the task of coordinating the publication of a newspaper page devoted to the issues discussed by two of our programs, in the three major languages of Sri Lanka - Sinhala, Tamil and English. Since all three have their own alphabets and are fairly different from each other, it's a bit of a task to keep track of all three in written form - while I can read both Sinhala and English pretty fast, my Tamil reading skills are pretty atrocious and it takes me about an hour to read the page :p However, I think I am one of the few people at the company who can read all three languages and so I got "volunteered" <vbg>In the midst of all the work, I've been beavering away steadily at Snipper and finally have a working version. I've currently tested only image extraction but do have three online comics displaying in one window with none of the banner ads or any of the other junk! I don't know if it will always work or even if it will work for HTML extraction (while Snipper has the capability, I haven't tested it yet :p) But hopefully, it should work fine in most cases. However, it is not as simple as selecting a bit of a page and expecting Snipper to show you that bit - you have to do some boundary definitions and to do that, you should at least have a basic knowledge of HTML. I guess what I'm trying to say is that Snipper is not a novice-user tool but the good news is that it's possible to export definitions created by you to an external file and once I add the import feature, even a novice user can use Snipper as long as they have access to a large enough definition library :p Of course, before doing all this I should probably release Snipper and see if anybody really wants it but I've been reluctant to do so since I don't have any documentation done but I think I will do a release sometime today anyway to see what the user reaction is ....
posted at 06:34:01 AM link comment
Copyright (c) 2001 Fahim A. Farook