iTunes Randomizer is not Random.

Ever since I’ve been using iPod and iTunes, I’ve noticed that the “random” function in both of them isn’t so random. Not only do the same artists and songs appear over and over, but I’ve even noticed the same sequences of songs appearing in the same order! And that irritates me somewhat. I did some research and found that I wasn’t crazy, and this actually does happen. CNet did an article on iTunes’ random function and tested its “randomness.” It’s pretty interesting, worth a read for any iTunes and iPod users!

Shared Songs in iTunes?

I’m in the library at my school right now, and I plugged in my laptop and iPod to have some background music to enjoy while I study. As iTunes opens, I see that there are “Shared” playlists. Curious, I click on one and scroll through the songs, and then find that I can actually listen to them!!

How come no one ever told me about this? It’s so cool! But I’m kind of ashamed to show what I’m sharing, lol. It’s Mike’s iPod (mine finally died), so it’s full of pretty much Final Fantasy Piano Collections and Metallica, lol. Good thing I have this shared music thing! Now I can hear some more of my new obsession, Common, instead of listening to Mike’s crappy music haha

Computer Infestation

The other night I had to use IE to view some shady sites, and I was rewarded with a nasty trojan installing itself on my computer. Spybot didn’t detect it, so I found a solution at the Bleeping Computer forums. It’s a lengthy process, but it only took me about 45 mins to fix. I’ve learned my lesson though… stick with Firefox!!

Anyone know of any good antivirus software that I can get for free?

Upgraded to WP 2.0.2!

I’ve upgraded to the latest version of WordPress and it’s so… colorful! I love the new admin panel. Haha, I know, I’m slow. Well, this post is to test out how things are going. So far my hide/cut text plugin doesn’t appear to be working.. I guess that’s no big loss, I never used it 😛

*edit testing out linkifier — nevermind it doesn’t work.

&+*edit again — installed akismet, hopefully that helps with the spam. something is wrong with my WP grins… i’ll figure it out later when I’m less tired x)

I added a new page: 150 movies in 2006!!

GLACE!

My brother just told me about this totally fun and addicting game called GLACE:

Glace is a high-energy side-scrolling game that has been designed to be unique, easy to play, and fun for all ages. Collect gems and magical items, help new friends and battle enemies across 12 levels in four distinct environments. Enjoy an action packed and colorful world, complete with an excellent soundtrack and a lively cast of characters. Glace is available free of charge from the download section (no spyware or adware either).

it reminds me of mario or kirby :3 it’s really fun, try it!

Stupid Jury Duty

The professor for the only class I like this semester (Contemporary Novels) told us on Tues she was called in for Jury Duty the next day, and if she was picked then she would not be in class for the next 10 days. I sincerely hoped they wouldn’t pick her. She was going to post on BlackBoard whether or not she was picked last night.

She was. 🙁

So now not only do I NOT have the only class I actually like for the next 2 weeks (because after 10 days is our Spring Break) I still have to get to school at the same time, thanks to traffic and parking. If I leave even 10 minutes later it takes twice the time to get to Fullerton and the parking is full up to the top floor of the parking structure. So then I’ll have to do nothing for 2 hours just so I can go to classes I really dislike. Where is the justice?? 🙁

In good news, I’m slightly ahead in my classes so the last few nights I have rejoined my Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker game. I don’t know if I’m almost done with it but I think so… according to the walkthrough I’m halfway through (at the part where you rescue Aryll at the forbidden fortress). So Mike plays WoW while I play Zelda haha. I can’t wait until the next one comes out.

Hope y’all are doing well!

iPod Drama: Over. I hope.

ipod and i reunited Oh iPod, we have led a fraught journey but I have high hopes it is at an end at last.

For the past three months, my iPod has been out of commission. At semester end though I was a bit more concerned about passing English 305 than getting my iPod to work. So once the commotion of finals, Christmas and NewYear’s passed, I decided to get down to the nasty business.

My iPod had continually been showing the infamous “sad face” icon, signifying some kind of harddrive problem. After doing some research online, performing multiple resets and restores, I decided to take my iPod to my nearest Apple store location. I knew that my warranty had expired already, but I was willing to pay to fix it as long as the price was reasonable. Someone came up to us and put us in the line right away, but that didn’t stop us from having to wait about two and a half hours to finally get serviced (I am not exaggerating here). The man did not know anything about anything, unfortunately, otherwise he could have saved us a lot of time. Once we finally reached the beginning of the line, the man behind the bar informed us, “Sorry! Your warranty expired last month, therefore we cannot help you. And we don’t do parts replacement, we only do whole unit replacements, so you can’t pay to have your iPod fixed here.”

… What? I know I didn’t just wait TWO HOURS for you to tell me in five minutes that you can’t do anything to help me. Why didn’t it say this online? In all my research online, it said nothing about needing a warranty to get service, or even anything about the non-existence of parts replacements! I was on the verge of tears at this point, so Mike asked, “So there’s nothing you can do?” And the man replied, “You can donate your iPod to the iPod recycle program and receive 10% off of your next iPod purchase! Other than that, you can take your iPod to a third party vendor and see if they can fix it.” “Do you have any reccomendations?” “Just Google ‘ipod repair’ and you’ll find something.” (I am not kidding, this is what he said to us. Thanks for nothing, buddy.)

So a whole afternoon wasted to tell me that my iPod, my precious iPod that had been my constant companion for the past year, was dead. We went home and did some research on other mp3 players, the cost of buying a new iPod and iPod repair sites. Eventually we decided to go with the wonderful people over at iPodMods.com who will do a free diagnostics test to find out what’s wrong with your iPod, then they will give you a quote on how much it will cost. If you decide to go with their service they will then bill you, if not they just charge you the cost of shipping it back. Pretty cool deal if you ask me!

So before Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday I sent my iPod in. I received a confirmation email the next Thursday saying they received my iPod and would send me a quote in 1-2 days. Five days went by and I heard nothing, so I emailed them, whereupon they told me to CALL and they would give me a quote. Now, anyone that knows me knows how I dread, hate, LOATHE the phone. I don’t know why, but I really strongly dislike talking to strangers on the phone. The simplest tasks, such as calling my eyebrow waxer for an appointment, encite extreme anxiety in me and I spend hours dreading it. But for iPod, I would do anything, so I called.

They told me that it needed a new harddrive (surprise, surprise) and they would install it for $160. At first I was blown away. On eBay you can find iPod harddrives for like $80. iPodmods.com actually will install a harddrive if you send it to them, but they charge a $30 service fee. So we figured it was safer and cheaper just to pay them to do it. I gave them the go ahead and they said it would be done in 1-2 days and they would send me a notification email when it was sent out.

They charged my card and yesterday it came in!! I was so excited, even though it was nearly 11PM and I needed to wake up at 7AM the next day, I immediately started the process of updating and importing. I think it took about 2 hours to import all 2200 songs, but I went to bed at midnight and didn’t see the result until this morning. I used it today and it’s just like new! It doesn’t freeze in between songs or skip them altogether, and it hasn’t gotten the sick face once.

Apple makes a great product, but their customer service and support is shit. If you own an iPod, make sure you keep that warranty as long as possible or else Apple will fuck you over should anything go wrong with it. But if they do fuck you over, you can always go to iPodMods.com and have them fix it. I was a little miffed about them not emailing me about my quote until I pestered them about it, but they were always there when I called and they were very patient and helpful. But they don’t stop at fixing iPods, they also have this service where you can change your backlight color (rad). They will even buy your iPod from you if you don’t want it anymore.

“Reunited and it feels so good…”

Reading over Break

Now that my Winter Break is over, I’ve had a chance to reflect on it and appreciate that I actually got a LOT done which makes me immensely happy and satisfied. (Warning: the following is pretty uh, longer than I intended)

One of my goals was to read extensively over the break. So I asked for a lot of books over Christmas. The first book I read was The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s an incredibly moving story about a butler in England who spends his entire life serving Lord Darlington, sacrificing all personal relationships and enjoyment. It’s only at the end of his life does he start to regret some of his choices, particularly in connection with Ms. Kensington and his naivete towards Lord Darlington. We watched the film in my British Lit class so I wanted to read the book and I wasn’t disappointed. Don’t listen to Family Guy on this one. 😛

The second book was Geisha: A Life by Mineko Iwasaki, the woman that Arthur Golden supposedly based his book, Memoirs of a Geisha off of. After having read the two, I seriously cannot see how these were even supposed to be the same woman. Basically all that Sayuri and Mineko have in common is that they were both dancers. It’s no wonder Mineko was at all dissatisfied with Memoirs, it has nothing to do with her life and the two do not even take place in the same time period. I really like both books though, but after reading Geisha, Memoirs just seems so unrealistic.

Next I delved into the world of Jane Austen and read Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility. I just love Austen and reading these was nothing short of fun. It’s weird for me to say it since a lot of people have such a hard time reading her work, but it was so easy for me to get into the sometimes silly worlds of Austen.

Persuasion was kind of sad, it’s about Anne Elliot whose mother has died, leaving her with a father and sister whose greatest admirers are themselves. She has a friend and mother figure in Lady Russell, who incidentally was also her mother’s best friend and loves Anne exceedingly. Anne was once in love with a young sailor named Wentworth but as he had no fortune or good connections to reccomend him, Lady Russell persuades Anne to reject his proposal. Years later Anne still regrets it, but once Anne visits her other sister Mary in a neighboring town, she meets the now Captain Wentworth again. OMG do they get back together?? Read it and see ;D I rented the movie a couple of days ago and they sure took some liberties! There were a few instances where things that characters did were so out of character it made me angry. Like when Anne was at the concert and she was practically begging Captain Wenworth to stay? Yeah, that would not have happened!

Next was Northanger Abbey. This one is about Catherine Morland, who falls in love with a man named Henry Tilney while in Bath with some friends. Although some of her “friends” and “family” seem determined to thwart her plans, she is eventually able to strike up a friendship with Henry’s sister and father and invited to stay at their home, Northanger Abbey. Will Catherine be able to win Henry’s heart while she’s staying so close to him?? (The answer is yes, obviously, this is an Austen novel. But just barely.) I guess there’s a TV movie about it. Don’t plan on seeing it. 😛

After Northanger Abbey came Mansfield Park. I think I liked this one the best out of the three. This is about poor Fanny Price, whose mother’s rich relations the Bertrams decide to take her in and give her a better life. However, she’s always treated as second rate by everyone except her good cousin, Edmund. Of course she eventually falls in love with him, although it’s against the family’s better wishes. Eventually the family pretty much disintegrates through a series of unfortunate events: the oldest son, Tom Bertram, falls extremely ill after several years of philandering and being pretty much useless; the oldest daughter Maria destroys her extremely fortunate marriage; the youngest daughter Julia elopes with one of her brother Tom’s friends; leaving poor Fanny and Edmund to pick up the peices. Throw in the good for nothing Crawford family, whose siblings are trying to woo Fanny and Edmund apart, and you have a nailbiting adventure that I couldn’t read fast enough, if only to GET IT OVER WITH AND END THE SUSPENSE. Also has a movie, maybe I’ll Netflix it. 😀

The last Austen book I read was Sense and Sensibility. The movie starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet is one of my favorite movies, so I was pretty acquainted with the storyline. After reading the book I appreciated some of the differences between the two and how the book had some supplementary material, but the movie did an EXCELLENT job of preserving and even enhancing the book’s storyline. Excellent. But I have to say, in the book (if possible), the Miss Dashwood’s brother and her wife, along with Lucy Steele are even more hateful than in the movie haha.

The last book I read over break was My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. At first I loved the premis and thought it was really thought provoking: thirteen-year-old Anna was conceived to be an organ donor for her sister Kate, who is dying of leukemia. Finally after years of donating blood and bonemarrow Kate seems to be on the last downward slide and she needs a new kidney. Anna disrupts the fabric of her family by challenging her very purpose in life and refuses to give the kidney, and files for medical emancipation. The first 7/8s of this book were really good. The ending just sucked though. I felt like all of a sudden it turned into a shitty soap opera and ducked out of dealing what would have been a really interesting issue. I hated hated HATED the ending, and unfortunately that caused me to hate the book. I’ll probably never read any Picoult again if this is how her books are going to turn out. Anger.

Now I’m in school, and aside from the normal tripe I have to read (ie: Beowulf) I am really enjoying it. Mostly I’m enjoying my contemporary novels class. We’re reading The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (by the way, I love that this class FINALLY taught me how to say those dutch names that end in “tje.” ON-DAH-CHEE. I love how his name does not sound like it looks, it fascinates me. Thank you Dutch people for your wonky spelling!) and I’m really enjoying it so far. I think what I like best is the part where I get to imagine Ralph Fiennes being all so fine when I read it. HOT. By the way, about the movie, am I the only one that thinks Kristin Scott Thomas was WAY too old to be playing Katharine? Katharine was supposed to be way younger than Almasy, but in the movie they look about the same age. And if I were Katharine, I would be torn, too. Who could choose between Ralph Fiennes and Colin Firth (who happens to be one of my true loves)? It’s cruel and unusual punishment to even think of choosing. Just have a menage-a-trois instead. 😀

Site all better!

If you visited yesterday, you might have seen a sign up saying that the site was fucked up. And it was. Here is what happened.

I had a number of CodeGrrl Scripts running on this domain, including PHPFanBase and Flinx. A while ago I found out that the PHPFanBase script has a vulnerability, but the awesome gals at CodeGrrl came up with a fix. I installed it and thought all was well until yesterday when I logged on to my domain and saw this:

Immediately I freaked out. I was able to log into WP and my CPanel, and I immediately changed my passwords. It seemed the offfender had only placed a new index.html file in my root directory, so I deleted it. I found out on {DMB} that this was the result of the CodeGrrl vulnerability, but how could that be? I fixed that!

After a visit to the CodeGrrl Forums I found out that ALL of their scripts were vulnerable, and as yet there are no fixes. Well, as much as I like their scripts, I’m not going to expose my site to further attack, so I sadly decided to switch to another script I saw a lot of FLs using, Enthusiast. I’m so glad I did! It’s much more secure and also a lot lighter. Instead of having to re-install PHPFanBase everytime I acquire a new FL, I only need to use the Control Panel to add the new FL. It’s so very nice. It will make my FLs a lot easier to manage as well.

I’m still waiting to convert my Flinx over to Enthusiast, but all of my owned FLs are already converted with little problems. Thanks so much Angela for Enthusiast!

After I installed Enthusiast, I noticed something else. All of a sudden my WordPress blog was displaying all janky and none of my themes worked. Also some of my posts were cut off mid-post. I was especially upset about this since the themes are such a bitch to fix. I had to go out though so I couldn’t fix it yet.

Luckily, before I installed Enthusiast I backed up all of my databases. This morning I decided to restore my WP database since the post symptom seemed to point to that. Lo and Behold, it worked! Everything is fine again and I’m so glad. 💡

Hopefully all of you out there using CodeGrrl scripts will be aware of their vulnerabilities now. It’s too bad though, I liked their scripts. Hopefully they get them fixed soon!