Den Yerec

Sunday 2359hrs

I’ve noticed a few of the people I’ve done photos for now citing the photographer as “Den Yerec” (Incidentally I have a kungfu certificate made out in the same name, much to my amusement). It’s understandable I guess, given that I’m only ever introduced as “Den” and the web address kinda, sorta makes it look that way. Anyhow this post is just to attract the attention of the search engines and clear up that I’m not actually Mr Yerec, just Denyer. You might also be interested in the Flickr profile of Den Yerec too ;)

If you’re like me, and seem to spend what time you’re not sleeping or working on the telephone, then a headset is a mighty sodding good idea. Plantronics make one called the C65 which pairs with any GAP (Generic Access Profile) capable DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) phone such as the handy-dandy Seimens Gigaset E495 I now happen to own.

However, pairing the DECT headset trips some people up as indeed it got me earlier. The snag was the base station PIN.

  1. Reset the PIN for the base station to 0000
  2. Confirm the PIN is 0000 by re-registering a handset as per your DECT phone manual
  3. Hold down the volume wheel on the C65 headset for 3 seconds (When the light comes on, you can let go)
  4. Put your base station into pairing mode (On the E495 base unit, this simply requires you to hold down the button on the front of the unit for ~3 seconds)
  5. After 4-5 seconds, the light on the C65 should go out. Press the main button on the headset and you should get a dialtone
  6. You can now set the base PIN to something less obvious if you wish, but as registering a handset requires physical access to the base unit you’re not at risk from pikey neighbours stealing your phoneline.

Hope this helps someone, I had a brief headscratch moment earlier thanks to my over exuberance with changing the PIN before I’d registered the headset!

Blowing off the dust

Thursday 1004hrs

Wow. April was the last time I made a meaningful contribution to the internet via the medium of blogging, between then and now not a lot has changed, but a lot has changed. Cryptic zen nonsense perhaps, but there’s a shift in my outlook now that is going to promote a flurry of relaxed activity over the coming months. Whether it’s down to the sun coming out, or the magnesium citrate that I’ve taking to examine its effect on depressed mental states I don’t care, but I’m more enthusiastic about things in general than I have been in years. Don’t expect anything overnight, but at least in the coming months the plan is to finally start doing all the things I’ve thought about instead of just thinking about them. Hopefully the change in mood isn’t temporary, as that would be devestating.

In other news, Trier is a really, really nice city to visit in Germany if you like old things (Roman, Medieval, etc) and getting there by Ryanair can cost you as little as £8 each way (ALL IN!) so long as you read the smallprint. Never quite understood why people get so passionately aggressive toward companies like easyJet and Ryanair, as what can one really expect when paying so little?

Finally, it was brought to my attention recently that the Government is subsidising rail transport so heavily that it may as well re-nationalise it and stop the idiot managers creaming off the “profits”, which turn out to be just un-spent subsidy. East Coast Rattletrack is already back with Big Brother, I just wish they’d get a move on and fix the lot, the current situation is a sham of a mockery of a mockery of a sham of a mockery.

TVLA – The Saga Continues

Thursday 1807hrs

Turns out my occasional ranting about the really really rude people at the TV Licensing has picked up its fair share of traffic from Google, leading to an email from the owner of a site called NoTVLicenceFee. Go ahead and take a look, he’s certainly more motivated than me when it comes to raising awareness and actually doing something about it.

That’s mankind, generally at least.
Fortunately there are a few people who buck the trend and do things like this: Hubble Deep Field Image

If you feel nothing when you watch this, then, well, I’ve got no words for you that’ll make a damn bit of difference.

Image Thieves Update

Saturday 1426hrs

After a brief exchange of emails and original full-resolution JPG’s to prove authenticity, the outstanding case of one of my images being displayed without attribution has been sorted out amicably. As it turns out, the chap (Mr Roux) who used the image came by it on a CD of images bought at a car-boot sale. Turns out to be more a case of innocent possesion of stolen goods than direct bank robbery so an apology to Mr Roux for that one.
As for the stealing bandits authoring the CD’s I can only wonder what other knocked off clobber they’re writing to disc and flogging for 20p a pop at carboot sales. The location in question is “D’Auvergne School La Pouquelaye” in Jersey, so all I need now is a friend over there who feels up for having a couple of polite words. Heavy wooden stick shaped words… :) I doubt it’s piracy on a scale that FACT would have any interest in, though, no matter how grass-roots they attempt to appear with their Don’t Copy That Floppy adverts and the like.

A common problem experienced by 8800 owners in BF2 is that if they have their lighting and shaders set to “high” or “medium”, after a short while they get the dreaded Yellow Texture Bug, where things appear in flat yellow, then it gets worse and worse until it looks like a bad accident at the Birds factory, then the game will crash.

Turns out the same fix that sorts out the OS Page Pool Memory error in TF2 also alleviates the problem with BF2. Looks like the yellow textures might be proxies for when the game can’t pull the required textures out of swap fast enough. Or something…

Anyhow, the fix works as follows (The following was scoured off a TF2 help thread)

First load regedit. Remeber to back up your registry first, I take NO responsibility for any damage you may cause at all. Ever.

Start Menu > Run > regedit

Head down to this branch:
HKEY\_LOCAL\_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management

Then find this key on the right hand side: REG_DWORD “PagedPoolSize”

Double click on “PagedPoolSize”. Hexadecimal is listed first.
Change the “Value Data” to one of these below:
Note: You only need to enter EITHER Hexadecimal or Decimal.

Code:

Megabytes Hexadecimal Decimal
192Mb 0c000000 201326592
256Mb 10000000 268435456
384Mb 18000000 402653184

As I’ve got 4gb of system memory, I set mine to 384mb and left it at that. Apparently it’s not wise to go above 400mb, though I’m unsure of the technical implications.

If this doesn’t work for you, try the 169.04 beta drivers from Nvidia, as I’m running those also. Now to find out if this fixes the Jinx in Bioshock…

Update:
Yes, indeed this also fixed the high-detail-shader issue on Bioshock. Whoo-hoo!

I’ve been playing Team Fortress 2 a little lately, and it’s most entertaining. As some of you may know, it being a Valve game, the option to “spraypaint” a tag onto the walls is present as it was in Counterstrike, however, creating these custom images for use can be a bit of a pain.

First of all, you’ll need something like Photoshop. GIMP will do, but these instructions are for Photoshop.
Next you’ll need VTF Edit, which you can get from the bottom of the VTF Edit website. It’s a lot cheaper than Photoshop…

  • Now open Photoshop. Create a blank 256×256 RGB 8-bit image.
  • Fill this image with mid-grey R 128, G 128, B 128.
  • Create a new layer on top of this, and draw / add whatever you want to it. Delete from this layer any bits you want to be transparent in the final spray image
  • Press CTRL and click the layer you’re drawing on in the layers pallete, this selects only what you’ve drawn onto the layer
  • On the Channels tab, click the second button from the left to “Create alpha channel from selection”
  • Go back to the layers tab. Click Layer->Flatten Image
  • Now save the image as a TGA file, make sure Alpha Channels is ticked, hit OK and select “32 bit” if a little dialog pops up
  • Open VTF Edit, go to File->Import and select your TGA file
  • In the dialog that appears, uncheck “Generate Mipmaps” and leave everything else default. Alpha Format should read ‘DXT5′. Hit OK.
  • To confirm that yout TGA alpha map worked OK, you can check View->Mask, which should turn on the alpha map preview
  • Go to File->Save As and save the file

Once you’ve generated the VTF file you need to place it in two locations:

  • \Steam\steamapps\ \team fortress 2\tf\materials\VGUI\logos\
  • \Steam\steamapps\ \team fortress 2\tf\materials\VGUI\logos\UI\

If the folders don’t exist, then just create them. As far as I can tell, it is case sensitive, so watch out for that. When you’re all done with that, load TF2 and go to the Advanced tab on the options page and select your spray tag image.

Simple… ;)

Update:
Blagpuss points out that some users might need to add “_english” to the ‘tf’ portion of the path, this might vary for users with other regionalised copies too, so watch out for that.