Geothermal Heating

Wow, I have learnt something cool, from Gladwell’s blog already, (not hard when you have a backlog to read) using the constant ground temperature for heating/cooling.

People just love heat pumps here in New Zealand, but the downfall of heat pumps is performance when it is really cold weather. I knew about the earth constant temperature, having visited an ex-military underground base, and been told it was always 18°C. Putting the two ideas together for heating is just brilliant.

Now if I only had the backyard to lay the piping in.

Blink – Malcolm Gladwell

I was wondering the shelves at the library on Sunday, and spotted Blink. I’d heard good things about it, so grab the book, and started reading while Jacob played on the Playstations.

Well I finished the book Monday evening, and I loved it. I could read books like that forever, just because I find them so fascinating. I’m an “interesting titbits and did you know” kind of guy, and that is what the whole book is.

I was talking it up today with a co-worker, and we did a book swap (I had it with me so I could blog about it), and now I have The Design of Everyday Things to read, another book I have heard fascinating things about.

Did I mention that I think everybody should read Blink? Oh, no, well then do it now.

Woot, Malcolm also has a blog, subscribed

What I learned today

Following the lead of Alex and his “What I learned today” or “WILT” series, based on the principle, that if I didn’t know it, maybe someone else also didn’t.

Windows Explorer mass file rename.

I’ve been refactoring some code, make new files the hold classes of vehicles. So I have files in my vehicles directory

vehicle_dozer.cpp (and)


Now to make a new vehicle I select both files, copy and paste to get

Copy of vehicle_dozer.cpp

Copy of vehicle_dozer.h

Now if I select both and rename (F2) them, one is editable, so I change the file name part to vehicle_loader and I get


vehicle_loader (1).h

Now I remove the (1) and they are done.

So ok I still have to edit both files, but I only need to remove the (1) which means I don’t need to select the text to edit, or do any typing.

I was shocked when I discovered did this, because it’s just plan clever that it preserves the extensions, that it auto numbers the files to avoid conflict, oh and that it even works full stop.

Windows Media Player

One of the background task I’ve been doing now that I’ve started a new job (2 months already, so not really new any more) is update all my MP3’s because the meta data is not stored in the actually MP3’s because I used to use WinAmp, and hated ID3v1 tags. So cleared all the tags out, and just name the files.

So any way, I’ve been editing the Meta data, which sometime is seems to get written to file (via the Advanced Tag Editor), but when I alter the title/artist it doesn’t. This is all in WMP 10.

I did install WMP11 Beta here at work, but then my PC started to crash with RAM error check, so the IS guys rolled the machine back, and removed WMP11 and it’s been sweet since then. But when I was using WMP11beta, I found the Advanced Tag Editor was really bad. If I moved the window (to see the track information from the file name) the window would go go over full screen. It would appear 4-8 times bigger than my display, and refuse to be shrunk, so I could press any buttons that where off the screen.

So anyway, in my editing, I’ve discovered so things I never knew before, and if I didn’t know them, then maybe some else doesn’t.

  • After editing fields white-space is trimmed of the ends.
  • When editing Ctrl+LeftArrow or Ctrl+RightArrow move you to the next non white space. But even better is Ctrl+Shift+Arrow, as you can then do word based selection.

So a line that looks like:

05 Tokyo Ghetto Pussy – I Kiss Your Lips

after getting edit the field into edit mode, only takes:

Home, Ctrl+Shift+RightArrow, Delete, Ctrl+Shift+RightArrow x3, Ctrl+x, Tab, Ctrl+v, RightArrow, Delete

and you have

“I Kiss Your Lips” “Tokyo Ghetto Pussy” all nice and clean. The funniest thing is that I got so used to doing this, that I can just look at line and think “select” “trim” “move” “fix” “next” and all the correct buttons are getting pressed. I can usually only handle about <10 track at a time because its so hand intensive, and oh, not what I getting paid to-do. But I usually only do it when I’m listen to a favourite track, and notice it’s not “correct”.

  • I spend most my time is Library mode, as I like it playing files from random mode, from the complete list, thus in WDP11 where you cannot see a list of all the song (without the sickly summary bar thing that outlook also has, that I hate in both apps). Anyway WMP10 is how I like it, but it often painful to find the track currently playing so you can edit it. See above. Recently I found that if you click the “Now Playing” tab and then back to the “Library” tab, the current song is in the middle of the screen. With 3000+ track, this is much faster than panning the list looking for the highlight bar, which is what I used to-do. *shakes head in shame*

Microsoft Virtual PC 2004

If your making new PC images from scratch, make sure you install the “Install or Update Virtual Machine Additions” off the Actions menu.

This allows you to not have your mouse “grabbed” by the VPC, also allows sharing of your host folders as network mappings in the virtual machine.

The other feature I really like that not on by default is “Undo Disks”. When this is enabled a delta imagine is made, which you can or not merger with your main hard drive image. This is a must for installer testing, as you can close without saving and reboot the machine clean in 10 seconds, and install again. It can be slow when you want to merge, so I turned it on after letting all the update software do there thing.