Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Dog's Dying :(

My dog Monty is dying.

He's 12 years old so i've had him for pretty much as long as I can remember (i'm 19 now).

A couple days ago he was sort of going off his food so we took him to the vets and the guy there felt his kidneys and stomach and abdomen (he said they tense it when they are in pain) and said he seemed fine. Then he did a blood test and said he found that enzemyes in the kidney had increased but that wasn't abnormal if he hadn't been eating.

Today as he was still off his food we went to some vets to see what we could try feeding him. The Diamond Creek vet said that if they don't want to eat boiled or roast chicken then there is something wrong with them, and that's what we'd been trying to feed monty.

He saw what the other vet had written regarding an enezyme incresae in his kidneys and straight away said that was very bad (without being able to see the blood test results for himself).

We went back to the vet at Bundoora where the guy originally looked at him and a woman felt his kidneys and straight away said there was something going on. Monty got given an ultrasound and it was revealed that he has bad cancer in both of his kidneys :(

Tomorrow we are going to take Monty for a walk on the beach and to my nans place (she has a dog named Missy that he gets along with)

Ripping DVDs to AVIs

So I have a ton of Stargate SG-1 dvds that I want to rip to Divx to put a lot of episodes onto single dvds rather than 3 per disc, it took me awhile to refine my process but i've got it nailed down to:

* Insert disc :P
* Use DVD decrypter to rip each episode seperately to its own folder
* Encode using StaxRip

Might detail my settings more (for StaxRip) but it's an easy enough process as StaxRip will by default give you an h.264 file with aac audio, nice but won't play on my divx capable dvd player.
Plus you don't gain much as it's only dvd quality to begin with.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bad Job Ads

I was looking for jobs today on and came accross from very bad advertisements for jobs. Here's a few of them:

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This was the first particularily bad ad I found.
It's practically saying "Do you provide good service, do you work in a safe manner? Better change that!" :P
They also fail to list where this new store is opening.

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This one is very hard to take seriously, they wrote it in "chat speak" or "sms speak".
Whatever you call it, it looks bad and unprofessional.
It doesn't help that they put the title in capitals or used exclaimation marks excessively.
Also, what the hell is a 'pick packer'?

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This one isn't really that bad but I was interested to know what the twist was...

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I'm not sure what to say about this one.
It suffers from all caps, from exclaimation points galore and it has an awesome anecdotal pay rate.
"A new guy in his second week made $1200" - and we are supposed to believe that?

And so ends our look at glamourous adverts for today, has anyone else seen similarily poor advertising? If so, let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Recovering A Scratched 360 Game

While playing Lost Odyssey I got to a point in the game where it came up "Disc Read Error" ever time I tried to get past it. I took the disc out of my 360 and lo and behold:
The disc has a circular scratch going around the outside, the 360 has claimed yet another disc to an early grave :(

Although my 360 has the ability to read backup discs (Flashed firmware) and although I have the drive in my computer for reading 360 discs I hadn't backed up Lost Odyssey (It was a 4 disc game and I didn't want to spend the money on DVD-DL). I really should've though.

Since my disc is screwed I decided i'd try and make a backup (it's a bit late now :P), so I opened XBOX Backup Creator and was ripping it:

After about 40% of ripping the disc I hit the scratched part of the disc and was getting this message:

Now thats not good news, I clicked retry a few times but it was a no-go, the data is lost. So I clicked "Zero Fill Sector(s)" and I kept getting these messages so I tried to tick "Apply zero fill to all remaining sector errors." but I guess that feature is broken because it kept asking me all the time anyway. To solve this problem I went and downloaded AutoIt and made this script:

While 1 == 1
 WinWait("DVD Read Error")
 ControlClick("DVD Read Error", "&Zero Fill Sector(s)", "&Zero Fill Sector(s)")

This just waits for the error and makes it click Zero Fill, 1 will always equal 1 so the script loops.
Pretty basic script eh?

But this doesn't solve the problem that i'm getting a shitload of bad sectors in my dump (as a result of the scratched disc) does it now? Now this is the fun part :P Even though my disc has the lovely circular scratch on it and a lot of sectors are unreadable for the most part all the data is intact though (about 5% of the disc is lost) so my drive is making a nice clean ISO :)

It's taken me 12hours so far to make my ISO (66.09% at the moment) - will complete this post when it's finished.

Edit: ok done ripping, here is a screenshot:

Ok, as you can see it took 13hrs and 33mins for me to rip it and I have 44,574 bad sectors on my ISO. Clearly this is rather unacceptable even if its not a large amount of data (about 200mb), how am I going to fix this? The answer is what everyone is always trying to hate on, the torrents! Even though my disc is damaged and I can't get all the data off of it I can still recover it by using a torrent, all I have to do is download the torrent and get the add dialog open:

Now expand DVD1 and check the filename (you probably wont have to as most games are single disc), rename your ISO file to be the same as the torrent one:

Now i've renamed my ISO i'm going to click OK on uTorrent and it should recognise the ISO I made as being the same (ensure you get same region as your disc, mine is PAL as I live in Australia)

Unfortunately this didn't work as well as i'd planned it:

But at least having 2.85gb already completed is alright..

I really wish Microsoft had some sort of disc replacement program for discs that were damaged by your console.

Finished The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (360)

Finished The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (360) today, this one i'm renting from Blockbuster and it's due back on Thursday. It's Wednesday right now. Going to finish up getting the treasure chests tomorrow. Finished this game in a day :) The bonus footage of mocap is neat although it makes me wonder why so many of the animations in-game look rigid :/

Gameplay-wise it was the average hack n slash adventure game, I skipped all the cinematics except a few while I was eating/drinking. The way they have cut together footage from the movie and new footage they made up for the game is silly and they haven't put enough bridging footage in leaving me sitting there wondering "what the hell was going on just then", ah well you never play this style of game for the storyline anyway :D

Have been playing through Call of Duty 4 on 360 as my PC is dead, I traded mice with Josh Bond as my G5 was messing up on my computer yet works fine on anyone elses. Joshs MX510 is working great for me though :)

I want to keep playing Lost Odyssey (360) but my disc is scratched =[ I will make a post about how i'm remedying this sometime soon :P Now as it's 5:06am and my head is sort of hurting a little so i'm going to bed.

Update: Got all the treasure :)

For some reason one piece of Bonus Art hasn't unlocked though, even though i've finished all the bonus levels and got all the chests, hmmm..... :/

Monday, January 12, 2009

Traded Mice Today

My Logitech G5 has been screwing up on my computer. For some reason it just loses power randomly and then a few moments later it will get power again and make the re-added hardware sound (it doesnt move when it loses power obviously :P), this makes it nigh impossible to game or even use the computer effectively so i've been using a crappy (Logitech) notebook wireless usb mouse.

Anyway, Michael Smith was over my place the other day and I got him to use my mouse and I was using his G5 (he has the newer revision with the blue pattern on the back and the extra side button) and it worked perfectly on my computer, I kicked some ass on Quake Live using it too :P

Anyway, since my mouse works fine on Michaels computer and on my media center pc I decided to trade mice with Josh Bond, now I have his MX510 and he has my G5. The MX510 isn't quite as good as the G5 but it's still a pretty good mouse :P Beats the hell out of a wireless mouse. I haven't played any FPS after getting it though so i'll have to try it out on Quake Live or something.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Finished Thrillville: Off The Rails (360)

Finished Thrillville: Off The Rails (360), wasn't a very difficult game but was sort of fun. It's sort of like a collection of flash games but with more professional graphics. Also makes for a pretty good party play game (4 player).