Month: August 2005

I Passed!

Although the exam was fairly taxing in the usual Microsoft way where you think “What on earth are they on about” and “How many do I pick when it says select all that may apply”, I passed the exam with flying colours. The password was 700 (70% I guess) with 61 questions to be answered in 155 minutes. I got 899 – which works out at about 6 questions wrong – more than I would have liked but I’m sure that at least one of the questions was missing a ‘t when the question was “What must you do so that Andrew can do …..” and yet all the answers were talking about what he can‘t do.
Now I have to work out if I can afford to do the second exam to get the MCDST qualification……

4400 ends – Go Switchfoot

Well 4400 has just finished season 2 and a very weird ending it was too. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered (as a good series end should) but I do wonder what the directors were smoking to dream up the “Hello Shawn” comment. It was good to hear Swiitchfoot’s This Is Your Life played in full over the ending too.

Exam on Monday!

I’ve signed up to take the first of the MCDST exams (70-271) on Monday. It would have been nice to have taken them whilst employed (to get the often practised employers rebate of a successful test) but as that does not seem to be happening I’ve decided to fork out to get some more certifications on the resume as after all my most recent ones are some time ago. I took advantage of the Measureup tests where you get the practise tests for free if you sign up for the voucher for the exam. I’ve taken the practise tests and have clarified some of the points that I needed to learn. The hardest bit is remembering which options are on the xp dialog boxes as that is what the test seems to be about – how well can you memorise the menus, screens and dialogs. If you had an xp box in front of you it would be very easy to work out which option in which order you need to use to satisfy the exam question. This is not my favourite kind of test as I’m more of a visual, hands on person as opposed to a remember for the sake of it person.
One of the bad things about the measureup tests is that their sales pitch says it has 150 questions, but there are actually only 106 – seems like false advertising to me – if I had purchased it I would have pursued a 30% rebate (based on the number of questions) but as it comes free, its more difficult to argue. I certainly think that you’d have some case for a rebate if you had paid the (overpriced) $60.
Depending on how this exam goes, I will sit the next exam by Wednesday to get the safety net of the second chance which will then get me the MCDST certification – which is a starter to proving my skill set which is an expensive thing to do when unemployed.

Pandora’s music.

Adam was kind enough to send me an invite to Pandora, a new music radio site. First impressions are that it looks pretty good but I do not think it is as good as Launchcast with yahoo.
The first artist I added to the radio was Petra – It didn’t have any Petra tracks so decided to add a track similar to Petra. Now Petra are a rock band and the track that was similar was some kind of latino string music – NOTHING like Petra’s stuff at all. I deleted the station and created one for the Newsboys. It told me that it would play a track similar to the Newsboy’s music…and proceeded to play Take Me To Your Leader by…..The Newsboys! The next three tracks were Sunfair by Creeper Lagoon and HumanKind by Grant-Lee Philips (who sounds VERY similar to Newsboys) followed by Radiation Vibe by Fountains of Wayne.
Without the possibility to pause, rewind, fastforward or add other artists to a station to influence the music I’m just not impressed. The only good thing is that it doesn’t have the ads that Launchcast has – but then this is a paid for service (when it comes out of beta) and the paid version of launchcast also doesn’t contain adverts (allegedly). It does live up to its promise of introducing you to new music as I had never heard of any of the three bands that it proceeded to play after the named track.

Google Talk.

From the bbc I found a link to Google Talk – their latest beta product enabling free voip for computer to computer chat.
What I can’t understand is the need for yet another im/voice chat running on yet another protocol. Surely all these conflicting services mean people end up with too many ways of communicating so they need to buy faster machines and bigger screens to cope with all the icons in their system tray (I have 19 at the moment!). This also seems to be moving away from the “one number gets me anywhere” philosophy that people would like. Now to get hold of me you can send me an email, ring me on the home phone, the mobile, send me an sms, yahoo, google, msn, aol message me (and you used to be able to contact me via irc but I don’t do that anymore).
The big drawback of this app is that it doesn’t do talk to landlines.
Update I’ve added my systray picture to flickr tagged with systray – what does yours look like?
My systray

geocache day

Kristen woke me up yesterday morning with the phrase “Its a nlce day today, you should go geocaching”.Needless to say I didn’t need asking twice. I had a good 5 hours caching and managed to do 7 caches, 2 of which I had tried to do before and had failed and 1 other cache that I couldn’t find but was probably already missing. Whilst out doing one of the caches I saw about 6 or 7 deer which were pretty curious about what I was doing in their woods. I had a great time, got loads of exercise with all the walking and saw some nice animals, now that is what it is all about.
Update I’ve corrected the flickr links so that you will be able to access the photos now. Thanks Kristen!