UWI is F^%$ Retarded

February 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm (Rants, Stress, Stupidity, Technology, Trinidad) ()

Seriously, the University of the West Indies is full of shit.

Bored today I thought I’d throw in an application for a Master’s degree at UWI. The deadline is tomorrow. I don’t know what will happen between now and September, the start of the new academic year, I may change my mind, but I think its better to apply now to at least qualify, as changing your mind does not require an application.

I knew beforehand that the application as claimed by UWI is online-based, so no worries. They state this here :

APPLICATION PROCESS
Please note that The University of the West Indies has moved to ON-LINE APPLICATIONS and you will therefore be required to visit our website at http://www.sta.uwi.edu/postgrad where information on all programmes to be offered for the upcoming academic year and instructions on “How to Apply” are available.

Let me pause for a minute and share the Wikipedia definition of “online”.

Online – Describes a system which is connected (generally electrically) to a larger network; Available over the internet; Available on a computer system, even if not networked.

However upon completing the application form, I’m being told that I must send my referees a form which they must print out, complete, sign, put in a sealed envelope, which I must then collect, and bundle that along with other hard copy documents including a printout of the completed application form to be submitted by post or by hand to UWI

In other words UWI is fucking retarded. The application process is NOT ONLINE. Its like saying let me give you this book for free, but excuse me while I hold your wallet and take $5 out of it for no particular fucking reason. Needless to say I’m not making the deadline, and can only hope its accepted by next week. Assholes.

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Trinidad’s Prime Minister Illegally Spies on Citizens, Opposition

November 22, 2008 at 5:06 am (news, Politics, Technology, Trinidad, Weird) (, , , , , , , )

TV6 has begun a multi-part series on the topic of spying in Trinidad. Here is what they’ve reported so far :

1) Prime Minister Patrick Manning used state agencies and state funds of over $60 million to funnel and smuggle Israeli spying equipment consisting of Carnivore-type software that harvests text messages, emails, phone calls, etc. of ALL citizens of the country.

2) He has been using this to persecute the opposition through an undisclosed, illegal “State security agency” as he is strategically releasing information on what he has “learnt” through his illegal spying on opposition senators when his party is criticized strongly by them.

3) The government has therefore no absolutely excuse for failing to control the increasing crime rate which includes an all-time high in murders for the year as with such spying equipment on hand, they should easily be aware and therefore able to counter the activities of criminals, druglords, etc. Its like losing at scrabble with a blind opponent when you have a dictionary and computer in front of you.

Appalling. $60 million dollars. Even if it were $1, the government of a democratic country has secretly and illegally bought something with tax payers money to spy on tax papers and suppress democracy.

I don’t really have any further comment on this. I am totally speechless, shocked, angry again and further disenchanted with the direction the country is going. The saddest part is idiots everywhere will most likely just say “hmph” or worse yet agree with this, or there may be some controversy over this for a week or so, then it will all die down, and life goes on, no MASS RESIGNATION of government officials as normal, civilized people of a normal, civil society would expect, absolutely nothing.

But, that’s that, i’m not about to get riled up now. Maybe in the future I’ll be able to come back and give more of my opinion on this, right now I need to sleep.

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Online Gaming with DotA

July 26, 2008 at 8:48 pm (Gaming, Misc, Technology) (, , , , , , , )

It’s been a while. Recently I’ve taken up online gaming as another pastime…probably a cause and effect situation there..Traditional RPGs and strategy games are continuing to bore me with either their impossible or idiotic AI. As a matter of fact all games are boring to me. I look forward to getting a Nintendo Wii as the control dynamics are a radical departure from what we’ve been accustomed to in gaming for the last 2 decades.

However, so far PC games still manage to interest me, particularly Warcraft 3 with the Frozen Throne expansion. The replayability of the game is infinite. The ability to design and play custom maps is the most valuable feature I’ve ever seen in a game. It gives the game a DVD player feeling…you can never get fed up of it as long as new DVDs (maps) come out. Its gotten to the point that some people know about a particular custom map more than the client, WC3, itself.

That custom map is Defense of the Ancients (DotA), and its taking the world of gaming by storm. DotA is played at countless worldwide gaming tournaments, including Blizzard’s BlizzCon, a DJ guy from Sweden made a song about it (almost 5 million views), approximately 50,000 people play it everyday on the Garena Gaming client, its popular at LAN parties and its by far the most widely supported, most popular game mod of all time. I play DotA on Garena, mostly the Caribbean, US, Canadian or Australian rooms. I learnt a lot since my first time playing online :

1) Computer AI even on the Insane setting can never compare to Human players. They aren’t necessarily harder than AI, but they mostly use cheaper methods to win.

2) Online gaming sucks because of people who leave in the middle of a game.

3) If you’re playing DotA online, 99% of the time its AP (All Pick) mode.

4) Most DotA players are rude, nerdy, cool-in-their-own-world, assholes.

Number 4 is the most annoying. Many of a time I’m teamed up with people through random meets who take the game too seriously, they abuse you with the word “noob” if you make the slightest mistake or can’t literally work magic in game situations, and ban you from their hosting a game if you’re not an obsessive asshole like them. The banning thing is another out of the loop with reality situation. What if one person bans you from their host out of thousands of people including yourself who can host games? Is that a power thing? It makes them feel important? What’s next you gonna take down my IP address and cross it out with red ink?

Another thing is some people leave if they don’t like the hero or mode they got, if they get killed too often, or if they’re upset that after making money (farmining) for the entire game without helping out, that they don’t make much a difference to its outcome. Some players know every single detail of DotA as if it were the alphabet, anally stick to skill and item builds, use scripted, cheap moves, and call themselves “Pro” as a result. They also laugh at and tease people who don’t share these inane “skills”.

I have no problem with “pros” but the attitude of some, is the most ironic thing I’ve ever seen on the net. They believe that real noobs, or accused noobs like me, are….losers. lol. The skills, items commands and strategies of DotA are so vast it would likely take someone new a good few weeks into months of excessive gaming to halfway master. In other words, you’ll have to truly devote your life to it, memorizing item recipes, using complicated shorthand like ww, vang, chick, mid mia, SK, DC, AoM, PotM, FF, etc…In other words…be a total frickin geek.

Therefore if I was “pro”, I’d keep that on the DL, I think its pretty embarassing to people who live a normal life that you’ve mastered a custom map of a dated game and u can pwn noobs using lycan in 30 mins. So what if someone sucks at DotA, there’s no need to be an unadulterated pompous dickhead to them for asking questions which you happen to have the answer to because you spent hours of your life mastering a videogame or for simply beating them. I won’t say “better than” because most losses I’ve had in DotA and mainly because of lack of communication and teamwork There were many instances when I would lose in a 5v5 game then come back and have long winning streaks against the same people in 1v1 games. I’d love to know the stats for the average amount of times “pro” DotA players have sex, with the opposite sex or how many have girlfriends…jobs…cars…you know, real things you should really be “pwning”. People may suck at DotA…but for those who don’t, they most likely suck at life.  Which is more important to you?

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The Horror of the New Windows XP SP3 and How to Escape it

April 29, 2008 at 7:32 am (Technology) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I would have liked to spend the last 7 or so hours doing something more enjoyable than cursing, hitting my head on the wall, praying that time would turn back itself, wishing there was an “undo” button for life, and being brought close to tears, but the good folks at Microsoft were determined that I should complete such actions here last night into this morning.

“The Windows® XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) includes all previously released updates for the operating system. This update also includes a small number of new functionalities, which do not significantly change customers’ experience with the operating system. This white paper summarizes what is new in Windows XP SP3.”

“Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), the update scheduled to release next year, runs Microsoft Corp.’s Office suite 10% faster than XP SP2, a performance testing software developer reported Friday.”

I made the mistake of downloading this shit from DOWNLOAD.COM/CNET.COM, a site I consider reputable, as I’ve been experimenting with lots of software from that site since I got my first computer. The comment on the board there were also positive..when I scrolled down I saw some people saying negative things but I thought forget them, this is an official Service Pack from Microsoft, what could happen? They probably did something wrong. Had I googled about downloading it from before though I would have realized that its actually a serious problem with the SP3…

After rebooting to supposedly finish the installation of the SP3, my computer came to a BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH which read :

STOP: c0000139 {Entry Point Not Found}
The procedure entry point GdiGetBitmapBitsSize could not be located in the dynamic link library GDI32.dll.

The only option is for you to reboot, where it will come right back to that screen, effectively stopping the user from accessing Windows, putting the PC in an endless loop of inoperability. It doesn’t stop there, you cannot boot up in Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking nor Safe Mode with Command Prompt. If you manage to get a boot cd to work, you won’t be able to access your C: drive, at one point I got the message access denied. So basically you can’t boot up, you can’t uninstall the service pack, you can’t use XP system restore from a saved point, my HP non-destructive system recovery didn’t work and you can’t access your files. Now that is one hell of a service pack. The only viable option seems to be to reformat your hard drive. But, seeing that over 50,000 people downloaded the SP3 at download.com alone, there just has to be someone who had the same problem, and managed to solve it harmlessly.

After hooking up my other PC, I found great help over at Tip and Trick which saved me a ton of trouble and headaches :

The solution is to restore the GDI32.dll from the service pack into Windows system folder with the following steps:

  • Boot from aWindows CD or BartPE.
  • At Welcome to Setup screen, press “R” to start repair option and open up a Recovery Console’s command prompt window.
  • Select the Windows installation to use:
    Normally is C:\Windows and just one option. If so, press “1″ and hit Enter.
  • If prompted for administrator password, enter the password (normally blank) and hit Enter.
    (If unsuccessful because you can’t remember your admin password, use this program to reset it to blank. Also mentioned at the end of this guide.

  • Make a backup of existing GDI32.dll in system folder with following command:

REN C:\Windows\System32\GDI32.dll C:\Windows\System32\GDI32.dll.orig

(One line command, Replace “C” of the drive letter of your Windows installation drive if necessary.)

  • Copy backup GDI32.dll from c:\windows\servicepackfiles\i386\gdi32.dll to the system folder with the following command:

copy C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386\GDI32.dll C:\Windows\System32\GDI32.dll

(One line command, Replace “C” with your own system drive letter if applicable.)

  • Restart computer.

    Problem here is you may not be able to access your C: drive because your access is denied for some reason so you may have to use this great program to clear out your admin password as mentioned before (usually is blank, but it may contain a password which you conveniently may not remember) and then repeat steps 1-7.

    You will also need an original Windows XP cd from which you will boot from as stated in the guide. If you don’t have one, get a copy of a friend’s. The process doesn’t require any serial numbers so you won’t be into any kind of full blown piracy…but you might as well since this is what Microsoft does to legit customers! Another problem you may encounter is it may not detect the CD, especially if its a burnt copy. In that case keep trying, and it should detect it eventually, as it did with mine after about 15 tries. If that doesn’t work you’ll just have to source and use an original copy of Windows XP. Luckily I got mind working with a burnt copy. I had no choice as I lost my serial number and the original CD got shattered into pieces in a drawer.

    Last but not least, I hope you have another internet connection on your phone or Wii or something in order to find guides such as these else you’re screwed on your own 😉

    Voila. It will work from there on once you had the prerequisites and you’ve followed that guide, don’t worry it worked for me and SP3 is now installed on my system, and its also operational, after much ado. When the PC boots up and you see the Windows logo and the message “Thank you for installing service pack 3”, it feels like you’ve completed training or passed a test.

    But what got me the whole while is….WHY THE FUCK IS THIS FILE AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD??? Its there, stated as being from MICROSOFT and legit and everything…but it totally FUCKS up your system! The amount of hell this thing caused me warrants an apology from Gates himself! Some people have reformatted their systems just because of this! Do I hear the words “class action lawsuit”?? I’m totally sick of Microsoft. I can’t wait to have a totally clean new system with absolutely no Microsoft software..

    BTW direct all thanks to the people at tipandtrick.net, that is their guide which I slightly edited and I’m just spreading the gospel of it. Glad to see that I actually helped some of you guys.

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