Monday, October 26, 2009

Recommended Reading: Sharp Objects


I don’t read many books, so you won’t see me recommend much.  But I picked up Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn because it’s cover looked good and had a sticker boasting awards it won (how else do you choose?).

I loved it.  It was disturbing and kinda messed-up—the kind of story that makes you wonder about the author (who’s pretty cute, by the way).

I immediately read Dark Places after that, which is also a great story—more violent but less sexual with an ending that it is neither obvious nor ridiculously obscure.

Read Gillian Flynn’s For Readers page to get an idea of if you would be interested in this author:

I wrote a dark, dark book. A book with a narrator who drinks too much, screws too much, and has a long history of slicing words into herself. With a mother who’s the definition of toxic, and a thirteen-year-old half-sister with a finely honed bartering system for drugs, sex, control. In a small, disturbed town, in which two little girls are murdered. It’s not a particularly flattering portrait of women, which is fine by me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How to remove the tail-light from a Ford Falcon, style-side ute

I hate forcing things.  I’ll waste much time examining why something won’t move before I force it.  I’ll even search the web first.

When I searched the web to find how to remove the tail-light from my Ford Falcon ute, I found nothing.  So I post this in hope that it’ll help others.

To remove the tail-light from a Falcon, style-side ute, drop the tail gate and unscrew the two screws that would otherwise be obstructed by the tail gate (this is no secret).

This next step is where you may need to apply a significant amount of force.  Two wedged shape pins hold the tail-lights in place—one at the top and the other at the bottom.

The pins are angled towards the center of the ute, so you need to pull the light diagonally away from the corner of the ute.  On my ute they were held very tightly, so it was easiest to pull to release just one pin at a time, rather both at the same time.

Easy when you know how, but frustrating when you think you might be about to break something.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Episodes from Liberty City – She’s Got the Look

Rockstar always make great trailers for their GTA games which always feature great music.  I wouldn’t say Roxette’s “The Look” is a great song, but it works so well in trailer:

I’ll also take this time to say that GTA IV, is the best in the series.  I miss some of the distractions from the previous games, such as “Rampages”, but the missions have the right amount of difficulty, and the story and characters are brilliant.  For all the flak the GTA games get from the media, these games deserve to be played.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Notepad++: Linebreaks in Regular Expressions

Believe it or not, Notepad++ does not support the use of linebreaks in regular expressions for its “find” feature—it’s regular expression support is quite weak actually.

But if you don’t use regular expressions often enough to look for an alternative to Notepad++, here’s a trick to get around the limitation.

Open the find dialog and select the “Replace” tab. Change the Search mode to “Extended”.  Now in the “Find what” field enter “\r\n” and in the “Replace with” field enter “__RN__” and click “Replace All”.image Now all the linebreaks in your file will be replaced __RN__ so you can use this string in your regular expession in place of the \r\n.  When you’re done, use the same method to convert __RN__ back to \r\n.

I used this method to identify multiple linebreaks in an .srt subtitles file and replace them with a single linebreak.

tsMuxeR – Invalid SRT format

I’ve been playing with converting some videos to different formats and tsMuxeR is one tool I’m trying.   When including a subtitle SRT file in the mux, I would get the following error:

Invalid SRT format. "0036D148" is invalid timing info

Google didn’t reveal what the cause could be, so after much trial and error, I found that tsMuxeR does not like it when multiple lines of subtitles are seperated by two linebreaks instead of just one.

So the following text would trigger the error:

00:02:26,400 --> 00:02:29,551
He would wait for her

until he drew his last breath,

So it needs to be changed to:

00:02:26,400 --> 00:02:29,551
He would wait for her
until he drew his last breath.

The percentage that tsMuxeR errors at is roughly relative to where in the srt the invalid data is.  This can help you identify where to start looking for problems.