So I recently discovered Motion City Soundtrack...

A few years ago I got Burnout 3 for my PS2. Great game and I still play it from time to time now. It had a good soundtrack too and I got exposure to a few bands that I really like now from it; Jimmy Eat World, Ash, Yellowcard, My Chemical Romance, Letter Kills and others. I now have multiple albums from all these bands but there was one song I left as a single; My Favourite Accident by Motion City Soundtrack. I really liked the song and had it on my car playlist but never got the album and I'm not sure why. I wish I had.

I got it the other week. I immediately loved it. Like, wondering why the hell I didn't get this album years ago like all the others. I had it on for the whole day. I rarely do that even with my other favourite albums. Then the next day, I wasn't bored of it so played it all day again.

I then got their other four albums and played through them all. Again, I loved them. Go, their most recent album, was the best out of these four overall but the others are all very good.

Motion City Soundtrack I Am The Movie Album CoverMotion City Soundtrack Commit This To Memory Album CoverMotion City Soundtrack Even If It Kills Me Album CoverMotion City Soundtrack My Dinosaur Life Album CoverMotion City Soundtrack Go Album Cover

 

I Am The Movie, Commit This To Memory, Even If It Kills Me, My Dinosaur Life and Go. Five albums you simply must have. I Am The Movie and Go are my favourites but I could still happily listen to nothing else all day. Some songs aren't too serious, some I can't help tapping my foot or hand to, some are emotional and lyrically beautiful. There's a mix of everything. They also have a very distinctive sound as a lot of tracks make heavy use of a moog synthesizer; you'd instantly be able to recognise a song of theirs you haven't heard if you've heard some of their others.

Standout tracks for me: The Future Freaks Me Out, My Favourite Accident, Capital H, Mary Without Sound, When 'You're' Around, Time Turned Fragile, L.G. FUAD, This Is For Real, Calling All Cops, A Life Less Ordinary, Disappear, Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Everyone Will Die, The Coma Kid, The Worst Is Yet To Come, Happy Anniversary. Not many then. In fact the more I listen to them all the more I like them all. There isn't really a song I don't like and I can play through all five albums in their entirety which I can't even do with some Jimmy Eat World albums, who are still my favourite band. I have to say, I think Motion City Soundtrack have very rapidly moved into second place. I've gone from liking one song to loving five albums in 2 weeks, but what's wrong with that?

Get the albums. Thank me later.

Why did you start programing?

I'd been using MyBB and supporting users for a while and wanted to know more about how the software and websites in general worked. The first script I ever wrote was when I was in college, must have been some time between 2007 and 2008 I guess. In maths we'd been taught some algorithm for finding what day of the week you were born on based on your birthday and I decided to write it in PHP as a little script. I learnt later you could do the same thing with one line of code using date() and mktime() but that was really the first thing I did. Went from there really, wrote some MyBB plugins and some small sites and now I work as a web developer.

The cheap way to reset BMW E28 service lights

Once every few months or so your car will turn on a little light telling you it needs attention. Sometimes it might tell you it really needs attention, like this:

BMW E28 All Service Lights

For some reason or another you may need to have these reset other than when the car is serviced. BMW often forgot to reset mine and we had to go back and ask them to do it, or you might take the car to an independent garage who either forget as well or don't have the tool to do it.

You could take it back to BMW or the garage that worked on the car and have them do it. You might be there a little while (I was sat waiting for 30 mins for them once). All they do is stick their little diagnostic computer tool thing into the connector port under the bonnet; they might even do it for free.

You could buy a tool yourself, if you can find one that is; it'd likely come from either America or Germany and probably won't be cheap.

Or, you can do what I did.

Get a paperclip, and bend it in half so it's in a V shape. Take the cap off the connector port and stick each end into ports 1 and 7; the numbers of the ports should be on the back of the cap.Turn the ignition to the second position, i.e. where the dashboard lights would usually come up. Then, wait for 3-4 seconds if you've got Oil Service up or 8-11 seconds if you've got Inspection up, and the lights should go off; you should turn the ignition off again as soon as it's done.

There we are, job done. You should have no orange messages and should have 5 green lights again. If the red service light came on you'll only have 4 greens; that's what always happened to mine even if BMW did it, I guess if it hits the red it forces you to have the next one sooner so only gives you four greens.

Anyway, might save you some time or money if you're in a similar position to me. Just don't blame me if it breaks something.

Top 10 Things I Hate About Driving

Don't get me wrong, I love driving, but there are a number of things which can make it not so enjoyable.

10. Blind junctions; one in particular

I don't like these purely because they're dangerous and a lot of them are just down to bad road planning. There's various roads around here where you have to stick out half a car's length to be able to see what's coming, and although they may only be in 30-40 limit areas it's still enough to cause a problem, especially if someone is going too fast.

The junction onto the main road from our house is a bad one too. You basically need to have eyes on the side of your head like a rabbit to be able to pull out of it. If you look at it on a map or even drive around the bend itself you wouldn't think the junction is that blind, but it is. The road's a 60 and when cars are doing that speed you have about 2-3 seconds between seeing them and them coming past the junction. It's very hard to know what's coming from the left and the right at the same time when they're doing that speed and you have that amount of time, and it's worse when people are going faster than 60. You have to look left, right, left, right, left; if it's clear, you have to go for it, and once you've committed to it you can rarely back out of it. Far too often I've pulled out heading right and something has come round from the left 0.5-1 seconds after I've moved out; it's too late to stop because I'll be in the way of cars coming from the right, you have to just carry on. Some people realise it's a bad junction and will slow down when they see you're pulling out. Others just honk you and flash their lights, as if it's your fault you pulled out in front of them, and some will then overtake you, whilst still on the bend, because they can't slow down in time, or because they're just angry at you.

What do the council/highways agency do about it? Fuck all. And we've lost count on how many times we've written to them about it. The road from the right used to carry on being a 60 for another 2 miles or so, and a little while ago they changed it to a 50; however, the national speed limit sign at the end of that 50 is still before our junction, and it's right where the road widens out, so people will now be accelerating from 50 to 60, going onto a wider, seemingly faster road, only to then come past this bad junction at that speed. The council/highways agency admitted the sign was in the wrong place and said it will be moved to after the junction, but I can't remember how long ago this was, and nothing's changed.

The danger of this junction is plain to see. We've lived here 6 years and in that time there's been a car on it's roof, a car in the ditch, and an accident on boxing day a few years ago where a flatbed truck was literally ripped in half after hitting another car, where one person died and two air ambulances were needed; the air ambulance was needed for another accident too, and there have been more accidents than these mentioned. Yet the speed limit is the same and there are no extra warnings about the junction. Unfortunately 4 people need to die at a particular location before anything is done about it. The situation is made even worse when you consider the council/highways agency didn't even know the correct location of the accidents because the police told them they all happened at the next junction along; this may explain why the 50 limit ends there instead of past our junction, but also doesn't fill us with much confidence in the people supposedly in charge of our safety and the maintenance of the road. Either way I know it's only a matter of time before there's another fatal accident there and I just hope nobody from my family is involved.

9. Multi-storey car parks

I hate these things. Why do they have to make the ramps so narrow and tight? There's always scrapes along them from people who have misjudged it, wouldn't it make more sense to sacrifice one space per ramp to make them much wider and easier to drive up and down? It's worse in my car as the mudflaps always scrape along the floor and the exhaust often hits the floor too. I always think I've hit the side! Now that I park in one every day I'll hopefully get a bit more practice in so I don't hate them as much in future.

8. Relaying the wrong roads, and using crap materials

A lot of the roads around here are pretty poor. Rough, bumpy, potholed, gaps and patches all over the place. More often than not though, the roads that get relaid seem to be roads that were pretty good as they were, and it's more a waste of materials if anything when OK roads are relaid and roads in need of relaying are not. This problem is made worse when they use rubbish materials, primarily that gravel stuff that means you have to drive at 20 over it for a week before enough people have driven over it to wear it in a bit, and until then you just get stones kicked up at you. Sometimes roads relaid with this stuff just start to deteriorate again very quickly, I mean they're only really covering the road with another layer rather than actually relaying it; one road that was done like this had holes appearing no more than 24 hours after it was done, and within a week it was relaid again with better materials, meaning the first job was a complete and utter waste of time and money. Whatever happened to relaying roads with tarmac and a steamroller? Do they not do this anymore? If you relay it properly and do a decent job of it you won't need to keep coming back to it.

Another road surface I have an issue with is that shiny black stuff they sometimes use. When it is wet, it is a total hazard and has no grip whatsoever. It is terrible stuff and I have absolutely no idea why they use it. It's bad enough having to brake on it when in a car (I usually see it's this stuff and slow down a bit or brake earlier/softer to avoid locking up) but once I was on my bike approaching a junction where the end of the road was covered in this suff, and when I braked, the back wheel instantly locked, I had no grip, and I just carried on across the junction to the other side. A car was coming from the right and if it had been about 2 seconds ahead of where it was I'd have been killed or at least ended up in hospital. I wasn't going fast at all approaching the junction but it was like hitting sheet ice when I tried to brake and I was very lucky not to get hurt. They should stop using this material at all costs.

Why did you make Goodbye Spammer for MyBB?

I got tired of spam on my site and on the MyBB Community Forums where I'd have to delete posts, threads, clear out the profile (avatar, signature, profile fields) which all took time, plus some spammers sent people PMs, added calendar events and even reported posts, all of which took time to deal with and would annoy users, and after all that you had to then manually ban them. Goodbye Spammer does all of this for you in one go, taking seconds instead of minutes to completely get rid of a spammer. There are already several plugins to try and stop spam from happening in the first place but there weren't any to help clear up after spam that got through; now there is :)

Person of Interest - First Impression

So I caught the first episode of this the other day. It wasn't bad but wasn't quite what I was expecting.

Basic plot is thus; after 9/11, some guy built a computer for the Government to use ever-present surveillance to predict future terrorist attacks. However, it began predicting normal crimes and because the Government weren't interested, the guy who built it uses a backdoor to the system to get the social security number of someone who will soon be involved in a crime, even though they don't know what, when, where, or if the person involved is the victim or the perpetrator, and the computer guy along with an ex military/CSI guy then try and prevent the crime.

I thought it was going to be similar to FlashForward; there was some huge conspiracy and over the course of a season or few you'd be drip-fed tiny pieces of information every episode until the finale where it all came together. However, it seems it's more like other crime dramas with an episode-by-episode case with a season-running subplot. On the face of it it doesn't sound bad and the first episode was OK... as usual with shows like this you might be able to guess whodunnit quite early on or it'll be a twist at the end. It was watchable.

Some not so good points. First, the lead guy looks too much like Christian Bale. My first thought whenever he was on screen was "Hey look it's Bat-... oh, no...". Second, it has Ben Linus Michael Emerson in it. Nothing wrong with him but I will forever associate him with Lost; in fact most of the Lost cast are now typecasted as such for me (it was the same with Charlie Dominic Monaghan in FlashForward), and that'll spoil it a bit for me. I mean he even says 'John' in the same almost shaky voice he said it in Lost; I mean I know that's his voice but still. Something I doubt I'll be able to shake.

I'm not sure how long until the idea of going after a random person who will be involved in a crime gets a bit old, but then again other crime dramas seem to get by with similar storylines every episode. Difference is the way this show is portrayed is that it's dark and sinister and clandestine, which means there's less room from the humor or wit you get from shows like The Mentalist and Castle, and to an extent NCIS. I know that's not the vibe they're going for but FlashForward was similarly sinister and that only lasted one season.

I'll continue to watch it if I remember or see it's on... which is in itself a problem as I'm not looking forward to the next episode like I did with Lost. It hasn't gripped me as much but I'll give it another go. It's not the best show I've watched but it's also not the worst.

Top 5 Things Scientists Need to Hurry Up and Make

There are numerous things from films and TV that we all want but that haven't been made into reality yet.

I'll put all the images after the break for you.