Year: 2006

Best Codec Pack

I see the K-Lite codec pack bandied about anywhere anytime anybody asks for recommendations for a codec pack, or as a solution to playback problems. Sometimes the monstrous “ACE Mega CoDecS Pack” makes an appearance.

When it comes to codec packs less is definitely more, as exemplified by my pack of choice, the Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP). Originally developed for playing fansubbed anime, it is tweaked and tested for maximum quality and reliability and is able to handle just about anything I care to throw at it. That one of the players included in the pack is the excellent Media Player Classic is just a bonus.

Make sure to read the installation instructions.

The only major formats lacking are RealMedia and Quicktime, and that is easily fixed by installing Real Alternative and Quicktime Alternative (both are designed by KL Software, creator of the K-Lite pack, so they are doing something right). Also, CoreAVC (not free) is an option for slower PCs for decoding H264 content.

Satsuki’s Decoder Pack seem pretty nice, and XP Codec Pack is another viable alternative. They decode more audio formats than the CCCP, so they may be more suitable for some people. Me, I have QMP for all my audio needs, but that’s a topic for another day.

Note: K-Lite has a “CCCP” profile, but it does not work well, and with none of the tweaks, so what is the point? Get the best, accept no substitutes.

Note 2: Graphic shamelessly ripped from the official CCCP wiki.

Update (12-Jan-07)
The latest betas of CCCP contain newer builds of ffdshow with some impressive gains in speed, by up to 20% it seems. Of course CoreAVC is still that little bit faster, but I can now play most hi-definition (1280 x 768) H264 content without slow downs on my 1.5 GHz Pentium M laptop. Excellent!

“Somebody should come up with parody blogs for superheroes…”

Not like its an entirely original idea, but here we go.

Hulk
Small child throw stones at Hulk. Call Hulk ugly. Hulk sad.

Batman
Ran drug dealing scum off the piers. Harvey seems normal…for now. Tim filling out nicely.

Peter Parker
Called out Felicia’s name during sex with MJ…she wouldn’t listen. Now I’m sleeping on the cold, cold floor.

Robin
He’s looking at me in THAT way. Again.

Reed Richards
I…I think Susan has a thing for that aquatic creep. Are not my abilities enough for her?

Frank Castle
Scum killed so far: 573. Must remember to update counter tommorrow.

The Atom
Rode in Wonder Woman’s bosom again. Doesn’t suspect a thing. A superhero’s life is full of peaks and troughs….currently it’s all peaks. Hehe.

Batgirl
Tried a Pinky and the Brain joke on Batman today. Not even a twitch, sigh.

Wonder Woman
Clark hitting on me again, jerk. Felt his x-ray vision.

Got tied up again today. Cursed Lasso kept slipping out of my fingers…Clark suggests it might be a subconscious reflex. Must explore this with Cassandra when we are alone.

Alfred
I caught Master Bruce trying to sneak into Master Grayson’s room again. Twice in a week…I better call Miss Kyle before things go further.

Jean Grey
Was Logan’s pheromones that made me do it.

Optimus Prime
Running low on energon…again. Contingency plan: cannibalize Bumblebee.

Tony Stark
Note to self, change underwear before suiting up.

Aquaman
Talked to the squid again. BORIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING! Been waiting for the JLA signal for weeks….still nothing.

Galactus
Ate a small moon…it was barely filling. Surfer was whining as usual, he never stops. Ever. SO AGGRAVATING! He started crying when I called him chromedome again, like I care about his feelings.

Reign O’er Me

Never thought I would say this, but I am actually looking forward to the release of the next Adam Sandler movie “Reign Over Me”. Pearl Jam does a killer cover of The Who’s Love, Reign O’er Me and I am totally looking forward to owning the complete performance.

The bit of Pearl Jam goodness comes in the last 30 seconds of the trailer.

Visual Studio 2005 SP1

Good: Much more responsive IDE is the biggest plus. Also, according to Scott Guthrie, it contains over 2200 bug fixes.

Bad: I could not uninstall the old Web Application Project package, so I tried fiddling in the registry which led to me reinstalling Windows. Okay so its actually my fault, but I choose to blame Microsoft anyways.

I do wish I did a little more reading before installing it.

Pearl Jam 03-03-95 (Singapore)

After years of on and off aborted snail mail attempts to snag this bootleg, I finally got it thanks to dimeadozen.org. Thank you DIME users. Thank you MS (taper). The only references to this concert that I can Google for are a contemporary fan review, and a description of the concert on Five Horizons and an interview from local Singapore magazine Big O.

The experience literally changed my life.

Taper
MS

Source
ECM-939 > DAT-M > DAT1 48khz

Transfer
DA-20 > Monster coax > Dio 2496 > Soundforge 6.0 (resample to 44.1) > CDWave > FLAC

Disc I:

  1. Intro
  2. Release
  3. Go
  4. Last Exit
  5. Spin the Black Circle
  6. Tremor Christ
  7. Corduroy
  8. Not For You
  9. Lukin
  10. Even Flow
  11. Dissident
  12. Animal
  13. Deep
  14. Jeremy
  15. Rearviewmirror
  16. Immortality
  17. Alive

Disc II:

  1. Blood
  2. Daughter/(ABitW-II)/(WMA)
  3. Little Wing (tease)
  4. Why Go
  5. Porch
  6. Sonic Reducer (with Mark Arm)

Eddie did a parody of Richard Marx’s Right Here Waiting, right before Blood which was utterly brilliant. If memory serves me correctly, Richard Marx performed at the same location (the Indoor Stadium) a day before Pearl Jam did. Lyrics according to Five Horizons:

whatever you do
wherever you are
you can fuck [?]

wherever you piss
wherever you shit
make sure not to fall asleep in it

wherever you pee [?]
wherever you spit
make sure you’re not caught by the cops

don’t want to be caned
don’t want to be shot
i just wanna… rock

Bittorrent Acquires uTorrent

Announced a few days ago. I am not optimistic about the future direction of uTorrent, given that Bittorrent, Inc has a deal with Warner Brothers (the enemy!). While I will continue to use the current version of uTorrent, I am already looking out for alternatives.

BitComet is definitely out, as it is still banned on a number of trackers due to it being considered harmful to the network, I am also not comfortable with the interface. BitLord, no, just no. Azureus is just too heavy for my poor little machine. ABC, BitTornado and the bevy of clients implemented in Python, lacking on some crucial features. Halite seems promising, but the libtorrent library it is based on lacks some features I need.

Since libtorrent has gained a higher profile thanks to the uTorrent situation, and I am hoping this will spur someone to get some heavy development work done to fill the gaps in its feature list, such as protocol encryption.

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