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Microsofts open source push

Microsoft is now a major sponsor of the Apache Software Foundation and is putting its protocols and formats into a royalty-free license, all part of a larger open-source push.

Big things are happening with Microsoft lately. As an Open Source developer by nature I can say that I was a little shocked when they first opened their Microsoft Office document format specifications (which I was sad enough to read!). There are various news stories where Microsoft is becoming more open. I like it. I like it a lot.

As to why they are doing it, the only reason I can see is that they are taking a beating in the the computer industry with competitors like Apple, IBM, Mozilla and Google all peaking at their profits. Not to mention the European computer laws on monopolistic behaviour. They need to form alliances and change market opinion about them if they want to remain unchallenged.

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Compiling git on OS X Leopard

Git is a "distributed version control system" (DVCS). It's website is http://git.or.cz and you can read more about it on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Git_%28software%29

There are precompiled versions available for Windows, Linux (via apt-get/yum/etc) and OS X, but if you want the most recent version, or to install it in a non-standard location, compiling it form source is actually very easy (on OS X at least).

This guide was done on OS X Leopard (version 10.5.3), but the steps are basically the same on Linux (just skip the bit about fink and Xcode), and other versions of OS X.

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Automatically rename your torrent'd TV episodes

Download!

http://github.com/dbr/tvdb_api/tarball/master - Always the latest version as .tar)

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MacPorts/Fink folder icon

MacPorts/Fink folder icon

(click for full-size 512x512px PNG with alpha)

MacPorts and Fink are basically like apt-get on OS X (it installs open-source software on Mac OS X)

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Download music from songza

Songza is a popular website that allows you to listen to almost any song instantly. Most of the songs are MP3 files, but there doesn't seem to be a way to download them. Some of the results are youtube videos, but the videos are invisible, only the music plays. Let's fix that.

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The curious condition called "Life"

Yes, we are all still alive! The slow release of new content has been a side effect of "life". We apoligise. We hope to correct this situation called "Life" as soon as possible and return to our regular nerding.

For myself, I have been very busy socially and professionally for the past month. Still got a bit to go before it's over. I am getting a new laptop soon (later today in fact. My parents are coming to stay and they are bringing a new one for me! I'm looking forward to seeing it more then I am them!) so perhaps I'll have the processing power to actually open up OpenOffice and get some article writing done!

As for everybody else, they have either been caught up in "Life" either socially or professionally. Ben has a job working for a video editing company (or something like that). Nemmy I think got a girlfriend (the traitor!). Cyrus is still full of excuses why he hasn't posted his mythical article yet. AtnNn seems busy with University. Michael has gone AWOL again and Neil. Who knows?

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DVDs vs Piracy

Pretext

This article will pretty much be my opinion, thinly disgused as a subjective comparison between watching films and TV shows, either on DVD, or by downloading them via Bittorrent and the likes.

I am totally ignoring the legality of this comparison. I am only going to cover what should be the most important factor: Convenience for the viewer.

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Relaunch of some nullnetwork tools

As part of my directory clean up I have reinstalled some of my old subdomains, but for the neverfear.org project!

wol.neverfear.org is a web based Wake-on-LAN client. Great for using your cell phone to wake up your computer. After a busy day at the office to save time, or perhaps you are being a Girl back and you have your computer set up to play mood music on wake ;-) (not so unrealistic, I've done these sorts of things!). Whatever you need it for, here it is.

paste.nulldigital.net is current under spam bot attack so I've disabled the paste list function, however still a nice little tool, mostly because when anything is pasted it signals our IRC bot to let people know!

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Editing Microsoft MSN Messenger Ads

Ok earlier on IRC a discussion about editing MSN ads to show a custom message for use punters at LAN parties. So basically heres how I did it, be kind its my first post.

Here's how I started

First I launched wireshark and started to capture packets then I loaded up MSN Messenger.

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Regex tutorial for people who should know Regex, but do not.. Part 2

This is the second part of the catchily named Regex-for-people-who-should-know-regex-but-do-not guide. If you are unfamiliar with the basics of regular expression syntax, then I recommend you first read part 1, or any of the many regular expressions primers available online.

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