Updates from April, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Vanberge 5:02 pm on April 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gta, ringtones   

    Grand Theft Auto 4 – Mission Complete Ringtones 

    Back when I was playing through Grand Theft Auto IV, Vanlandw and I were trying very hard to find the sound samples used when the player successfully completed a mission…

    For those that may not know what I’m talking about:  Depending which mission you were playing in GTA 4, one of three various sound samples would play upon successful completion – and they were all very catchy, cool sounding clips.  Mainly, our thought was that they would make great ring tones on a mobile phone.

    After I had long since given up, Vanlandw did actually manage to find and make one of the sounds into an mp3 ringtone – for which I give him immense credit.  I’ve used that very ring tone off and on as my ringer for some time.   Today, I came across a youtube vid that sampled all of the various mission complete sounds (even 2 additional “sad” mission ending sounds that I didn’t think about).  The sampling on the two “sad” clips is kinda shaky – you can hear traffic and footsteps from the game, so I elected not to use those.  But, I decided to use some rip/dub/export awesomeness to get the audio into a usable mp3 format and create a ringer for each different sound clip.   Check them out below, or just click on the “Files” tab up above and find them under Ringtones.

    #1 is my fav, I think…

    Noticed these ring-tones were very quiet when played on a cell phone – So I’ve uploaded amplified versions – as well as a double ring version of the 1st tone.


  • Vanberge 4:35 pm on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , kissyface, , sadface   

    LoRD Brb 

    Well, it was fun while it lasted everyone…

    Setting up everyone’s favorite BBS game to give us all a blast from the past and a taste of the good ol’ days was certainly a worthy experience. But, with lowered attendance, lack of interests, and everyone just generally being too busy, I have made the decision to decommission LoRD.

    Thanks to everyone who joined in and signed up – it really was a great time while we were all playing. Highlights for me include the utter espionage engagement with Vanlandw, various fights against rival Jjafuller, and being one of only 3 people to slay the beast and complete the game.

    In summary, I offer a bullet point listing of things taken away from this experience:

    • Vanlandw is a noob.
    • Nobody cares about your singing, Seth Able
    • Violet is promiscuous
    • Death Knights pwn noobs
    • People should just “not gone into the forest” in the first place
    • Vo 12:09 am on April 28, 2010 Permalink

      I will miss LoRD. After I got out to an early lead, my studies caused me to tank and everything in the damn forest killed me in one hit. It will be missed.

    • Vanberge 12:06 pm on April 28, 2010 Permalink

      Yeah being at level 5-8 the forest was really hard for some reason.

      You did have a pretty massive early lead – so it maybe was good that your studies got in the way. 🙂

    • Kramer 9:28 am on April 30, 2010 Permalink

      Install LoRD again in a couple years.

  • Vanberge 4:25 pm on April 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    A Van’s Search 

    I used Google’s new search story video creator today to create a semi-comical little test video. It was kinda fun to use and to see the results; which it then allows you to publish on youtube if you want. Clearly I did, and my results are below.

    • vanlandw 4:50 pm on April 13, 2010 Permalink

      Even Google doesn’t have the answers for the eternal Blade 2/Signs debate.

      Even though I’m not a billion dollar industry I do have the answers

      Blade 2 is clearly a much better motion picture


    • chouse 12:47 pm on April 14, 2010 Permalink

      Just EPIC

  • Vanberge 10:38 am on April 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Get Bent Apple 

    I would say most “techies” these days are privy to subscribing to RSS feeds using their favorite aggregator of choice (read: Google Reader).

    Therefore it is impossible to miss the outright flood of Apple/iPad/iPhone OS/etc/etc/etc news that continuously pours in from every single feed I subscribe to. It’s to the point that it is just effing ridiculous and it’s totally out of hand. I simply do not understand why everyone cares so much about Apple products and why they get the media attention that they do.  I’m definitely not alone in this, as some media outlets actually offer an “Apple Free” feed option.

    Let’s just run down this all star tech item called the iPad:  With the starting price of $500, you get an AMAZING 16 GB of storage, you get no USB ports, no media card slots, no camera, overpriced apps, no flash support, and proven Wi-Fi issues.  I see nothing to tell me that it’s not just a gigantic iPod.

    Any other netbook or tablet device will give you more functionality for your money.  Call me crazy, but I think a built in camera is simply an absolute must for any netbook or tablet device…  But, people won’t line up for hours on end to buy a netbook or tablet with a camera.   The “Apple hardware is better” argument doesn’t fly with me here, especially given the early Wi-Fi issues the iPad is experiencing.  I know a lot of people that have owned various netbooks for various lengths of time and have never heard of any of them having any hardware issues.  At some point, all hardware devices could and will have issues on some scale, and they will do so at random times…  Apple is not in a special boat; and in fact they lag behind more then half of their competition.

    Yet, with all this in mind the iPad still owns the news across the board, and it just makes no sense to me whatsoever.  Somehow, Apple has managed to be one of the most closed/communist companies on the planet and still manage to get the majority of people to eat candy right out of their hands.  “Oh, the iPad doesn’t support flash… That’s ok… Every major company will just re-design an iPad specific homepages to function on this awesome device!!”  Seriously???  How and why is that even a possible scenario?  Apple should be conforming to existing standards (even if flash sucks).  In no possible universe should the internet be forced re-tool and comply with a device.  It’s asinine, plain and simple.

    Just imagine the backlash if Microsoft’s Internet explorer or Mozilla’s Firefox did not support flash.  I would wager that the browser would be in ruins instantly.  Keep the thought going – just imagine if Microsoft had to pre-approve ANY application that you installed on a Windows 7 netbook, tablet, or Windows mobile phone…  Nobody on the Earth would stand for that level of censorship from the evil empire of Microsoft, yet when Apple does it, everyone just seems to accept it willingly.  There have been numerous documented cases of fair and usable apps that Apple rejects or pulls with varying degrees of vague reasoning, and it really pisses me off that they can get away with that.  I give props to the hackers and modders that give the world the option to jailbreak their Apple products, freeing them to install the apps they want.

    In the end, all I can really do is hope that some day soon Apple’s antics will catch up with them and they’ll ride their wave of undeserved success right back down to ground level…

    Unfortunately though I don’t think it will be anytime soon – The media flocks to Apple once again today while they announce and show off the iPhone/iPod OS 4.0.  Wow, an effing software update…  One that you’ll probably have to pay for no less.  Microsoft, please hold a massive media event when Windows 7 SP1 comes out!!  Or, better yet… at your next patch Tuesday even.  Oh, wait – nobody would go to THAT.

    In summary: Get bent, Apple.  You continue to charge too much for your products while your earnings seem to reach record highs.  I consider it literally no different from $4/gallon gas prices while ExxonMobil reported record breaking earnings (except for the fact that the public got angry when that happened.. Oddly).  You gouge your faithful fan-base of their hard earned money on the premise that you’re simply better than everyone else.  The majority of media and public seems to think you are as well…  But, I promise you, you’re not.

    • vanlandw 12:29 pm on April 8, 2010 Permalink

      I went to the apple store a few days ago to try the iPad and even though I don’t feel as harshly about the product and apple as a whole as you do I couldn’t think of a use for it in my lifestyle.

      It feels like a vanity loafing content reader/viewer/listener device. Facebook, twittering, youtube, browsing reading…primarily online loafing i couldn’t put it any other way.

      It’s not that it’s not a nice. It’s fast it works well looks nice and is functional but really it’s not for everybody.

      I unsubscribed to all my apple feeds and the only tech feed I have is techmeme other then a few personal blogs I follow. It honestly is insane who much iphone/ipad crap there is on the net and I agree with you I’m over all the apple hype around their products.

      A netbook is great for me. Windows XP that will run just about anything I throw at it with a full keyboard. I would recommend one for anybody on the move or an occasional couch loafer.

      Your rants have been fantastical recently vanberge brb

    • vanlandw 1:38 pm on April 8, 2010 Permalink

      I loved my mac when it was newer and I love my iPod for running.

      My iPod in particular is an indispensable item with truthfully no equal for the money IMHO.

      My next computer more or less will be a mac since building computers take alot of work and arnt’ worth saving a few bucks only to ef it up.


    • Vanberge 2:50 pm on April 8, 2010 Permalink

      I agree the iPod is an irreplaceable device – strictly because of how cars/stereos/TVs all have built in iPod integration these days.

      But, at the same time, it sucks that is the case. I hate being stuck with iTunes to manage my media. I despise that application.

      I will admit that I enjoy and legitimately like my iPod touch.

    • chouse 10:41 pm on April 8, 2010 Permalink


      Two thumbs up. Eff ’em.

  • Vanberge 12:39 pm on April 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Better Twitter Integration 

    I both love and hate the Twitter-Tools plugin for WordPress.

    On one hand; I really like how it can integrate Twitter into my blog via both sidebar widget and weekly Twitter digest posts… But, on the other hand, I was really starting to feel like these digest posts were cluttering up both my blog and my archives. Several times recently I have found myself scrolling back through way too many Twitter digest posts in order to get at my ACTUAL blog posts and content that I had written. Basically, I came to the conclusion that “I didn’t like this” and I had to modify how Twitter integrated with my Blog.

    Today I’ve taken the steps necessary to achieve what I believe is the best of both worlds. I now have weekly Twitter digest post created as usual; but they do not display in my main blog page or in my archives page — AND you have to specifically navigate to a “Twitter” page in order to see them at all.

    This was actually a little more challenging for me than I’d like to admit – but I’ll go through the steps below:

    First: Exclude the Category
    To block out my Twitter category from displaying on my blog and archives, I added the following function to the functions.php file within my theme directory. The “-28” below refers to the corresponding category ID for the Twitter category. This code made it so all posts within the “Twitter” category are ignored in both my blog page and my archives.

    function exclude_category($query){
    if ($query->is_home) {
    $query->set('cat', '-28');
    return $query;
    add_filter('pre_get_posts', 'exclude_category');

    Second: Make the Category “Navigateable” from the Main Page
    The more challenging part for me was figuring out an “easy” way to navigate to these Twitter digest posts. It sounded like a fairly easy thing to do; but I had a surprisingly difficult time with it.

    I experimented with some .htacces redirection, and also some plugins that claimed to do exactly what I wanted (but, sucked). In the end; I chose to just modify my theme’s main loop logic and save it as a new page template. I copied the the text from my theme’s index.php file, and and pasted it into my a file called “twitter.php” which I saved as a new page template. I then replaced the following code:

    if (have_posts()) :
    while (have_posts()) : the_post();

    With this code:
    $recent = new WP_Query();
    if ($recent->have_posts()) :
    while($recent->have_posts()) : $recent->the_post();

    This actually worked fairly well, and in retrospect is very easy – it just took me quite awhile to arrive at this solution! The final step here was then to add a page called “Twitter” via the administration panel; and simply change the page to use this Twitter.php template instead of the default page template.

    Voila, a Twitter page that you can navigate to which displays all the weekly digest Twitter posts created automatically by the Twitter Tools plugin.

    **** UPDATE ****
    Vanlandw had a great recommendation about excluding these Twitter digest posts from my RSS feeds as well. That was very simple to do… My exclude function in the functions.php file in my theme directory now reads as such:
    function exclude_category($query){
    if ($query->is_home || $query->is_feed) {
    $query->set('cat', '-28');
    return $query;

    And, now the Twitter digest posts are excluded from my RSS feed as well! 🙂 WordPress and PHP are both awesome.

    • vanlandw 3:05 pm on April 2, 2010 Permalink

      Good call GG this is much better. Does this also remove your RSS feed sending weekly twitter posts?

    • Vanberge 3:13 pm on April 2, 2010 Permalink

      I don’t think so – I believe they will still be in my RSS feed. That’s good call though; I will investimujate.

    • Vanberge 3:18 pm on April 2, 2010 Permalink

      I have immediately implemented a similar function to BRB the twitter digests from my RSS feed. GG.

    • Jeffrey 4:40 pm on April 2, 2010 Permalink

      This was a fantastic idea, I’m glad you implemented it. However, I believe there are numerous plugins that could have achieved the functionality with much less hassle. i.e. Advanced Category Excluder.

    • Vanberge 2:18 pm on April 6, 2010 Permalink

      Fulljeff I’m pretty sure I tried that plugin and it I couldn’t easily find a way to create a page of just the one single excluded category.

      But you’re probably right – I often do things the hardest way possible.
      At least this time I have avoided changing wordpress core files that get over-written every upgrade.

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