MSN Spaces and Firefox

I don’t know about anyone else out there, but whenever I try to write a blog entry using Firefox it crashes. I’ve just found this great plugin for firefox that helps with this problem – it allows you to run IE within firefox, for those problematic pages. You can even specify sites that should always open using the IE engine, for example
You can download this plugin from here.
Jonathan Giles.

Anyone got a loan? :-)

I’ve been spending the last few weeks looking at houses with Julia (the fiancee). It’s kind of depressing knowing that I’m going to need to go to the banks and try to get a loan on my income, which as a student may be ok, but it’s certainly not going to satisfy any bank. On top of that, looking at the online calculators, it’s crazy to think that a small loan will be payed back in double (nearly triple) by the time we pay it all off. Didn’t Einstein say compound interest was the 8th wonder of the world?

Looking through another nice house today, and meeting with a mortgage broker tomorrow. It’s strange, I’ve never had problems in the past with having a little bit of money, but now that I want to borrow $120000 to $150000, I all of a sudden have a feeling of disinterest in purchasing a house

So, I’m accepting donations to the ‘House Jo and Julia Fund’. Come on, let’s spread the joy to a happily engaged couple . Donations would be happily accepted, and could help with tax writeoffs .


So where does everyone stand?

Based on my discussion with Waylon earlier in this blog, it would be interesting to find out what areas of computing people find themselves interested in. The more replies the better, especially from the other student ambassadors.

For me, I’m certainly on the software developer end. I enjoy learning interesting languages, and doing cool stuff with them. I like tackling new and difficult problems, all through the software spectrum, from server software to client software. I have yet to write mobile software, but I don’t take particular interest in that area anyway. In terms of my future, I really don’t know what particular area I want to focus on. I think that as long as I’m given a relatively large amount of freedom in designing software, I’ll be happy. I think of software as art, in that you know when you do a redesign or add a new feature if there is a better way or not. I always strive for that nicer painting that I can see . With my fiancee being a vet student, I have plenty of time to work continue to do postgrad study if I want, and that is something that interests me, either to the masters or Ph D level.

Software comes pretty easily to me, I’ve had no struggles at Massey in terms of grades, and all it comes down to is how my brain works and what interests it. Thus, I’m interested in how your brain works, and what keeps you interested in your world, both computers and everywhere else.

Windows Media Center

Man, I’ve spent the last few months reading about Windows Media Center 2005 / MythTV / PVR-software. I am going to build one as soon as I find the time (I’m supposed to be contracting out on three jobs, as well as writing a report for Massey). I have a decent box (a Athlon 64 3000+, 1Gig ram, 500+gigs hard drive) that I don’t use (I’ve become a fulltime laptop user – I love my Inspiron), and then all I need to buy is a tv tuner card. I have in mind the Hauppauge WinTV PVR-500MCE card – it rocks – it has two tv tuners in it so you can record two shows simultaneously, or various other combinations of multichannel goodness.

The other piece in the puzzle is a media center extender, say, an Xbox 360. Wouldn’t it be nice if Microsoft gave the ambassadors a 360 in return for their hard work? What? That’s what’s happening? cool…….Now all I need to do is get Paul to get them to us in March, when they’re released (*hint* *hint*).

The only thing missing for us kiwi’s is that they haven’t sussed out an electronic program guide (EPG). This is what you get on Sky Tv, where it lists all the channels, and whats playing. Using this, you can tell the media center to record all episodes of a program, schedule recordings, etc. I hope this feature is made available soon, as that, along with the missing xbox 360 , are the only things making me wait.

Why am I interested? Because I’m engaged, and I’ve been doing furniture, bed, and house shopping with my fiancee. I need something which I can claim as my own (because I let the fiancee have the say when it comes to things like furniture and stuff). So, for me, Media Center is gonna be cool