BLUE SCREEN (BSOD) ON VIRTUALBOX VM

So I was happily trying to debug my code in a Windows XP box and I was trying to mess with the network settings before I re-started the machine. Upon restarting, lo and behold, I get the dreaded BSOD. (Disclaimer: I haven’t had much experience with this monster anymore, as I’ve switched out all my machines at home from Windows to OSX  some years ago so just seeing that blue screen triggered a lot of old anxieties).

newbluescreen

BSOD Message:
DRIVER_UNLOADED_WITHOUT_CANCELLING_PENDING_OPERATIONS caused by intelppm.sys.

Anyway, after googling quite a lot, I finally found one solution that worked for me. Turns out, you can actually manually disable these INTEL PPM drivers (with no negative side effect) by going to the following location in the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Processor

Or

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Intelppm

And changing the ‘Start’ value to ‘4’.

以上です

Desktop as of March 20, 2012

The North Remembers — Wyman Manderly, Lord of White Harbor

Whoa, it’s been ages since I’ve updated this. Goes to show that I absolutely have nothing to say or ramble about eversince I (finally) got out of Japan (omedetou, self). I’ve just been thoroughly immersed into street photography though, going as far as to meeting one of the famous ones (oh my goodness, I met a Magnum photographer, it was so totally awesome, almost as awesome as talking to Sara Bareilles after her concert a few months ago in Shibuya). But anyway, I still have a lot to learn and a long, long way to go so … I dunno, I’ll just turn this blog into some sort of behind the scenes thing for when I do some shoots or whatever.

By the way, oh, I also managed to catch Wicked here in Singapore — oh, if I somehow forgot to mention, yeah, I’m now currently in Singapore. Anyway, back to Wicked, so … yeah, I finally got what the fuss is all about. I mean, sure I’ve fangirled about it for ages and caught some vids over youtube and listened a gazillion times to the score but the actual show is a totally different thing.

So there.

Gah.

Okay, enough word vomit.

Age++ in a few hours.

NO ME GUSTA.

D80 HDR Bracketing Cheat-Sheet

「Showa Kinen」 Lake

I’m just putting this in here in case I forget and I usually do so … I guess, knowing me, this will be very helpful in the long run.

Now, I don’t do much HDR (I tend to do Nature and Conceptual shots and just recently, Street) but it never hurts to branch away from your comfort zone once in a while eh? And since I tote around my trusty old Nikon D80, I’m listing down some of steps/things to remember on how to configure that camera whenever I get crazy enough to try HDR photography. No, I’m not going to discuss HDR and how it’s done and how it’s supposed to look because frankly speaking I don’t know much about it, just that if done right, it could be really pretty to look at and if done wrong, it will move the viewer to tears (because it will hurt the eyes lol).

Anyway, apparently, the D80 has this feature called Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) that makes it easy to shoot photos with the same aperture in three exposures (normal, under, over-exposed) automatically (hence, the A in AEB).

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the list.

① Image quality → RAW. I usually shoot in RAW so I won’t have to set this most of the time.

② ISO. Go with the lowest (probably 100 in the D80).

③ Focus Mode. Manual.

④ Camera Shooting Mode. If you’re masochistic and just a sucker for doing the nitty-gritty, then by all means use Manual Mode. But usually Aperture-Priority works (in almost anything too, except long-exposure shots).

⑤ Bracketing. From Julien Viet’s blog:
“Press the BKT button and rotate the main dial to choose 3 shoots and the sub-command dial to choose the bracketing increment with the value 2.0EV. At this moment you configured the D80 to change the exposure of the photo each time you shoot. Therefore the first picture you take is a normal one, but the second one will be underexposed by 2EV and the third one will be overexposed by 2EV. The fourth one will be exposed normally.”
Oookay, I’ll try this later on the camera when I get home.

⑥ Shooting Mode → Continuous.

And voila — shoot, shoot, shoot. And then go open your favorite photo-processing software to merge the exposures into an HDR image. (Photomatix, PS CS5, Topaz Labs, some plugin I forgot the name of, yada-yada et cetera).

Other references:
http://blog.julienviet.com/2009/01/06/nikon-d80-hdr-bracketing-tutorial/
http://www.vanilladays.com/hdr-guide/

A Song of Fire and Ice

So, I’ve finally finished Confessor (11th book of The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind), right? And I’ve finally found my reading groove again. It’s been too long since I last spent my time reading massive novel series like SoT and I’ve probably just read quite a score of YA novels the past two years. Now, now, YA novels are awesome in their own right and I think they really should be enjoyed as well. But I’ve missed those times during college — oh how long ago those times were — when I’d rather read Stone of Tears instead of revising for my Probability Long Exam. I really loved fantasy novel series back then. I can’t even … ugh.

Anyway, so there’s this new HBO series — well, it was new 9 weeks ago — based off the “A Song of Fire and Ice” novel series by George R. R. Martin that had Sean Bean (Boromir from The Fellowship of the Rings to those who don’t recognize him) at the lead. My friends were all going going gaga over it so I thought, what the heck, might as well join in the fun, too.

The series was awesome, despite holding back on some parts of the production because of budgeting shite and stuff like that. The cast is phenomenal and the plot is just so good, even if GRRM seems like a sort of sadistic maniac for killing off his characters just like that. Lena Headey is great as power-hungry Queen Cersei Lannister, Bean brings his understated and yet very good portrayal of honorable Eddard Stark, and oh gosh, Maisie Williams is just perfect as the headstrong Arya Stark. Peter Dinklage is also another one of the draws with his brilliant acting as The Imp Tyrion Lannister.

Anyway, so the TV show is awesome but some of my friends said that there are a lot of things missing from the series still, even if they really made quite a great adaptation of it. And so that’s why I’ve finally found myself picking up this book:

I’m actually enjoying the prose and the voice GRRM uses here. After reading Confessor and finding the narrative (and the endless sick-cyle-carousel type dialogues) somewhat lacking, I’ve latched unto AGoT like Robert Arryn to his mom. (This disturbed me to no ends when I watched this scene and again when I finally came to that in the book). It’s been an awesome, awesome read so far and I’m loving the characters as the story — more like stories — progresses.

30 Days of Literature — Part I

Permission to do this in two parts! Haha. I’m pretty sure I won’t finish this if I had to go through the questions daily.

* * *

DAY 001: How many books have you read so far this year?
This year? Uhm. Lemme see if I can remember all of them. So far I’ve finished Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, Ash, Huntress, Confessor, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Hours, Game On! (by Jayda Evans). Currently I’m reading Fragile Things, Bird at the Buzzer, Geno: In Pursuit of Perfection, Game of Thrones, and other stuff.

DAY 002: Your favorite book of the last 365 days.
A toss between Mockingjay and Huntress. And probably when I finish the first book — Game of Thrones.

DAY 003: Your favorite book of all time.
Oh Lordy. Uhm. Let’s see. THG Series, LoTR Series, Silmarillion, Huntress, Harry Potter Series, and a host of other books that I’ll just keep to myself.

DAY 004: A book you love that everyone else hates (or at least that no one else seems to like!)
Hmm. Can’t think of anything. Anita Blake? But that’s only because no one else seems to know this series.

DAY 005: A book you hate that everyone else loves/is overhyped.
Hahahaha. Oh I dunno. I used to love the Bob Ong books but after so many releases I kinda got tired of him. Also, anything by Coelho. He’s too optimistic for me.

DAY 006: Do you prefer series or singular novels? Why? What is your favorite series?
Series. The longer the story the better for me. I don’t ever want a story to end. If there could be an epilogue to the epilogue to the epilogue, the better.

DAY 007: A literary cliche you hate.
Love Triangles. Goodness. Or if we actually had to have a love triangle, don’t make it equilateral. Make it an obtuse triangle — one character is actually closer to one, and the other so far but angsting LIKE A BOSS.

DAY 008: A genre you love!
I’ve always loved fantasy. I’ve been addicted to Goodkind’s characters — not so much his prose, now that I’ve started to read George R. R. Martin — and I absolutely adore Lord of the Rings and practically everything that had to do with Middle Earth. Guy Gavriel Kay and the Fionavar Tapestries too.

Aside from that, I also enjoyed reading about Mafia stuff books. Puzo for the mother-frakking win.

And lastly — Y.A. There’s only too much angst you can take from fantasy and mafia books. We all need the right dose of young love and *kilig* sometimes.

Y.A. + Fantasy, tho, is what I really love. No wonder I love Huntress so much.

DAY OO9: Your favorite quote.
“There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.” ~ Gaiman

DAY 010: A character you wish had not died.
Rue. And Dobby. And OMG Prim. And Dumbledore. And Hedwig the Owl. And — wait I can’t remember all the characters that died in the Sword of Truth Series.

DAY 011: Two characters you wish had ended up together.
Nicci with someone (SoT); Harry and Luna; Peeta Mellark with someone who deserves him; Kaede and Taisin, et cetera.

DAY 012: If you could take any character from one novel and set them into the world of another, what would you choose?
Hahaha. I saw an answer to this meme earlier that made me laugh out loud — PUT BELLA IN PANEM. That would be hilarious. She’d probably just stick to the Cornocupia and get killed the moment the Games started. Or put her in either the Imperial Order Camp or D’Hara circa Wizard’s First Rule. Or maybe throw her into a Mord’Sith Temple. That should probably teach her to become a strong female character.

DAY 013: The most agonizing cliffhanger is…
Katniss … there is no district 12. && Goodkind’s Phantom:
Richard is a captive in the Imperial Order’s main camp, without his sword or his gift; Kahlan is a captive of Jagang with a Rada’han; the Boxes of Orden are in play by Sister Ulicia; there is a problem with Chainfire and with magic; that the Imperial Order is slowly making their way into the central stronghold of the D’Haran forces: the People’s Palace, but also the D’Haran forces appear able to cut off the Imperial Order supply lines just as winter starts.

DAY 014: A book that never fails to make you actually laugh out loud.
Harry Potter. I can’t think of another book right now.

DAY 015: A book that never fails to make you cry.
Mockingjay. Harry Potter. Mocking-frakking-jay.

* * *

Part 2 tomorrow. My eyes already hurt huhu.

 

Live-Blogging Confessor

After years (3++) of reading Terry Goodkind’s 11th book in the Sword of Truth series, I’m finally moving along. Yay, improvement. But anyway, since I waited this long and because I’ve read countless other works (yeah right), I’m not sure I’m enjoying reading this book anymore. Compared to others, Goodkind’s prose seem a bit, I dunno, not that pretty.

But anyway, since I apparently won’t be able to move on with my life if I don’t finish this and also I really really want Kahlan to kick Jagang’s ass or something, I guess I’ll just soldier on through this thing. After that I’ll decide if I’ll still read The Law of Nines and Omen Machine.

I have a lot of thoughts (and apparently, feelings too) when reading this book so I guess I’ll sort of do a live-blog thing while I’m at it. So, yeah, here goes:

# At Chapter ~11 — Why the fuck are all these people trying to push Nicci to Richard anyway? Don’t you guys fucking discount Kahlan!

# At Chapter 4 or 5 — How on earth did Zedd become the First Wizard if he cannot grip whatever Nicci was trying to tell him about the Ordenic Theory?

# Argh, Goodkind why are your explanations so long-winded?

# OMG, I thought I’d never say this because I kinda hated her when she captured Richard and made him stay with her in Altur’Rang but I sorta kinda like Nicci now. And her unwillingness to accept everyone’s urging for her to go get Richard for her own only increases my respect for her.

# O hai there Jennsen Rahl!

# After making me get annoyed at Prelate Ann Aldurren in Chapter 20, Goodkind had to make the Sisters of the Dark kill her?! What the hell!

# Oh God. Nicci’s captured.

# By the way, Book!Richard is way > TV!Richard. Probably the only reason why my sister doesn’t want to watch Legend of the Seeker ever.

# Still trying to decide whether I like Book!Kahlan over TV!Kahlan more. I have to say Bridget Regan is kinda close to that image I had of Kahlan in my mind tho.

# TV!Cara > Book!Cara. No doubt about it.

# I haven’t been so tired of long-winded conversations since Pillars of Creation, maybe even since Blood of the Fold. Discussions about Order, prophecies, and the teachings of the Order make my head hurt.

# Chapter ~25 — This opened my eyes to potential Nicci/Kahlan or maybe even Nicci and Kahlan as BFFs. So much admiration for the woman that Richard, whom you yourself had feelings for, wouldn’t give up on, Nicci.

“You have a beautiful voice, Kahlan Amnell,” Nicci whispered as she stared at Kahlan. “You really do.”

“Thank you, but it doesn’t seem beautiful to me. Sometimes I think I sound like a frog.”

Nicci smiled. “Hardly.”

Also, as much as Richard is the main protagonist in this story, I’m heartened to say that the series wouldn’t be without its strong female characters — Kahlan, Nicci, Cara, Prelate, Confessors, Sisters of the Light, Sisters of the Dark, Mord’Sith, Shota, Adie, Jennsen, Jillian, Rachel, Six, and countless others.

# Mistress Berdine.