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Steve Taylor's Journal

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Date:2009-08-29 16:52
Subject:Watching and listening to the BBC from abroad
Security:Public

With the Super Saintees back in the SPL, there's a lot more media coverage. Unfortunately, most of this has been on the BBC, and they block access from outside the UK. This includes BBC Alba (streaming through Zattoo), Radio Scotland commentrary (real audio and/or flash), and BBC Sport website highlights (audio and video, using flash).

I'm working around these blocks using a UK VPN egress point. There are a bunch of commercial and non-commercial offerings: In my case, I'm using http://www.hidemynet.com/, which costs $5/month. The setup instructions are very straightforward from my laptop -- it's just a standard PPTP (GRE) VPN.

I did hit one hiccup: The flash based streams (including Zattoo) use a Content Delivery Network for efficiency. In other words, your streaming client is given a server IP address that is as 'close' to you as possible. Since the streaming all seems to be TCP based, this is significant.

Unfortunately, the CDN redirection is implemented using DNS. This meant that, when I was using my standard ISP's DNS settings, I was being redirected to a streaming server in San Jose, even though my IP address was in the UK. The net result was that the video streams were maxing out at around 250kbps, which isn't sufficient. By default, Windows XP continues to use your default DNS settings even when you're pumping all your Internet traffic through the VPN.

There is a fix: After connecting the VPN, I run this script which puts the VPN's DNS settings at the top of the list that Windows uses. I picked up the script from this site.


' KB311218 - Cannot Change the Binding Order for Remote Access Connections
' ========================================================================
' VBScript that places the \Device\NdisWanIp entry on the top in the 
' registry value Bind (multi-string) that is found under the key 
' HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Linkage\.
' If the entry already is at the top, no registry update is done.

Const HKLM = &H80000002

sComputer = "."   ' use "." for local computer

' Connect to WMI's StdRegProv class
Set oReg = GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" _
         & sComputer & "\root\default:StdRegProv")

' Define registry location
sKeyPath = "SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Linkage"
sValueName = "Bind"

oReg.GetMultiStringValue HKLM, sKeyPath, sValueName, arValues

arValuesNew = Array()

For i = 0 To UBound(arValues)
   If i = 0 Then
      If LCase(arValues(i)) = "\device\ndiswanip" Then
         ' Entry is already first in the list, no point in continuing
         Exit For
      Else
         ' Put NdisWanIp in the first element in the new array
         ReDim Preserve arValuesNew(0)
         arValuesNew(0) = "\Device\NdisWanIp"
      End If
   End If

   ' Continue adding the rest of the elements to the new array
   If LCase(arValues(i)) <> "\device\ndiswanip" Then
      iCountNew = UBound(arValuesNew) + 1
      ReDim Preserve arValuesNew(iCountNew)
      arValuesNew(iCountNew) = arValues(i)
   End If
Next

' If there are elements to be found in the array, update the 
' registry value 
If UBound(arValuesNew) > -1 Then
   oReg.SetMultiStringValue HKLM, sKeyPath, sValueName, arValuesNew 
End If

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Date:2009-02-27 08:33
Subject:The History of VisionFS
Security:Public
Mood: sleepy

Roger's written a somewhat nostaligic history of what is still the finest thing I ever worked on.

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Date:2008-11-28 11:28
Subject:Histon vs Leeds
Security:Public

I notice, with some interest, that the FA Cup second round on Sunday has thrown up IXI vs Visionware.

(I can already hear the whooshing noise of that reference going over nearly everybody's heads.)

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Date:2008-09-14 07:45
Subject:SBASL Premier Division: Update after game day 5
Security:Public
Mood: optimistic

We're mid-way through our first season in the top division after being promoted, and we've been holding our own with a 50% record so far.

We should have got something more from every games we didn't win too.

Premier
TeamsGamesWinsLossesTiesGFGADiffPointsP10Streak
 Real Madrid  4  3  0  1  10  3  7  10  3-0-1  W 2
 Arsenal FC  5  2  1  2  17  10  7  8  2-1-2  L 1
 Clockwork Orange AFC  5  2  2  1  13  9  4  7  2-2-1  W 1
 FC Spain  5  1  2  2  9  12  -3  5  1-2-2  L 1
 Celtic  4  1  2  1  8  8  0  4  1-2-1  W 1
 Monaco FC  5  1  3  1  5  20  -15  4  1-3-1  L 1

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Date:2008-08-28 11:34
Subject:SBASL Division 1: Spring 2008 Final table
Security:Public

We blew it on the last day with a 2-2 draw.

Division 1
TeamsGamesWinsLossesTiesGFGADiffPointsP10Streak
 Arsenal FC  10  7  1  2  44  24  20  23  7-1-2  W 2
 Clockwork Orange AFC  10  7  2  1  28  14  14  22  7-2-1  T 1
 La Sombra Negra  10  5  4  1  29  27  2  16  5-4-1  L 1
 SJ Mustangs SC  10  5  4  1  21  23  -2  16  5-4-1  W 1
 Inferno FC  10  2  7  1  15  22  -7  7  2-7-1  T 1
 Real Sunnyvale  10  1  9  0  14  41  -27  3  1-9-0  L 5

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Date:2008-07-06 11:15
Subject:SBASL Division 1 Update after gameday 9
Security:Public
Mood: excited

With one game remaining:

Division 1
TeamsGamesWinsLossesTiesGFGADiffPointsP10Streak
 Clockwork OrangeAFC  9  7  2  0  28  14  14  21  7-2-0  W 4
 Arsenal FC  9  6  1  2  38  20  18  20  6-1-2  W 1
 La Sombra Negra  9  5  3  1  25  21  4  16  5-3-1  W 3
 SJ Mustangs SC  9  4  4  1  18  21  -3  13  4-4-1  L 1
 Inferno FC  9  2  7  0  15  22  -7  6  2-7-0  L 3
 Real Sunnyvale  9  1  8  0  12  38  -26  3  1-8-0  L 4

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Date:2008-06-25 14:11
Subject:SBASL Division 1 Update after gameday 8
Security:Public
Mood: optimistic


Division 1
Teams Games Wins Losses Ties GF GA Diff Points P10 Streak

 Clockwork Orange AFC

 8

 6

 2

 0

 26

 14

 12

 18

 6-2-0

 W 3

 Arsenal FC

 8

 5

 1

 2

 33

 19

 14

 17

 5-1-2

 T 1

 La Sombra Negra

 8

 4

 3

 1

 24

 21

 3

 13

 4-3-1

 W 2

 SJ Mustangs SC

 8

 4

 3

 1

 18

 19

 -1

 13

 4-3-1

 T 1

 Inferno FC

 8

 2

 6

 0

 14

 17

 -3

 6

 2-6-0

 L 2

 Real Sunnyvale

 8

 1

 7

 0

 12

 37

 -25

 3

 1-7-0

 L 3

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Date:2007-12-11 11:21
Subject:Not gutted any more
Security:Public

I'm a few games into the new season with both my indoor and outdoor teams. It's been "interesting".

Outdoor: Won 3-2, then 6-1, then 10-1.
Indoor: Won our first game 13-0.

I'm clearly not accustomed to this sort of form, and have had to spend most of the past few weeks sitting down and fanning myself.

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Date:2007-09-22 15:23
Subject:Gutted
Security:Public
Mood:high on codeine

In many ways, the mistake was in getting my hopes up. Thursday night was the first time that I can remember challenging for any footballing success, with the end-of-season playoffs in our indoor soccer league.

We'd finished the regular season with only one defeat, in second place behind the unbeaten Cosmos and things were looking great when we strolled through our semi-final 7-0. I even had the luxury of resting some of the guys towards the end of the game.

The final was an hour later, and we faced Sudacas, who had surprised everyone by getting through at the expense of the aforementioned Cosmos. The rumors implying that they were playing with ringers were not unjustified.

Either way, we had a heartbreaker: Ahead early on, we faded and eventually lost 5-4 to a sudden-death 'golden goal' in extra time.

I wasn't happy. I was even less happy when I woke on on Friday with a migraine.

Bad to business as usual then.

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Date:2007-09-13 11:23
Subject:Fitba' update: It keeps getting better
Security:Public

I'm on a bit of a roll right now. Saints finally won a game last week, after their dreadful start to the season.

That was followed by another CWO victory on Thursday evening which meant we finished in second place, with six victories out of seven, and bye through to the semi-finals of the playoffs.

At the weekend, Scotland won on Saturday, followed by a decent CWO result outdoors on Sunday.

And just when it couldn't get any better, this happens:



I watched that at the Brit in San Jose, and I was still coming down this morning.

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Date:2007-08-31 08:24
Subject:Bad to winning ways
Security:Public

After last week's disappointing defeat to our rivals for the title, last night's indoor soccer was a pleasant return to form. Once again, we showed great character in coming from behind, and dominating the game with our slick passing when both sides started to tire.

For the record, it ended 8-6. That gives us five wins from six, and we're still the top scorers in the league, averaging nearly ten goals per game. One more match and we're into the playoffs.

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Date:2007-08-04 11:08
Subject:Soccer update: Another win!
Security:Public

I'm getting dizzy up here at the top of the table... A more comfortable 13-5 scoreline this week at the indoor. Dancer!

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Date:2007-07-29 09:17
Subject:Today's our wedding anniversary
Security:Public

Being married is great.

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Date:2007-07-27 11:53
Subject:Soccer update: A win!
Security:Public

I've been working hard on building a new team for playing in an indoor (7v7) league. Last night was the first game and we came back from 3-0 down to win 5-4.

This is a nice feeling, one to which I could become accustomed.

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Date:2007-07-11 11:15
Subject:Bummed out and knocked out
Security:Public
Mood: pissed off

Last night was the end of my first season playing in the Over-35's indoor league (as one of two permitted players who're just the wrong side of thirty). And I'm pissed off.

It was a play-off game, and we were coasting at 4-1 up, until I was inexplicably sin-binned twice in quick succession. The meant that we were a player down for over 5 minutes, and it cost us the game, which eventually finished 5-5.

We were then knocked out of the competition in a shoot-out.

Even though it was due to a couple of ridiculously bad refereeing decisions, I can't help but feel responsible. So I've been in a foul mood all day. Bastards.

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Date:2007-07-06 13:16
Subject:Summer vacation
Security:Public

Last weekend: The 3-Degrees (née Shimmer, née Vibrant) summer campout, up in the hills near Willits. Curtis has photos.

This weekend: we came down to San Luis Obispo to a hot spring spa resorty place to relax. I'm posting this from the restaurant with a nice cup of coffee, and Aliya's having a facial or something. Life is good.

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Date:2007-05-29 11:36
Subject:Photos from Craig and Rachel's Wedding
Security:Public

Now up at the usual place. And, yes, my photo album software is still prehistoric, I know.

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Date:2007-03-01 10:06
Subject:More good footie news
Security:Public

I had to sit out last weekend's CWO match with an ankle sprain, but the boys didn't need me and dispatched FC Inferno with a 5-0 thrashing. This sets us up nicely for the run in to the season end.

And then, yesterday, I went down to the Britannia Arms to watch the Super Saintees spank Motherwell in the cup.

Sweet.

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Date:2007-02-20 10:39
Subject:Yes, it's my birthday
Security:Public

And, yes, I don't normally celebrate. But tonight, Matthew, I'll be the third Mersenne Prime.

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Date:2007-02-05 14:35
Subject:Another good weekend for the fitba'
Security:Public

3-0 to the Saints in the Scottish Cup, and 3-2 to Clockwork Orange in the SBASL. "Yay."

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