03:00pm Nov24, 2009 

Wow, talk about shattering my own record on time between Minutes updates!  If I didn't post this BTM update in the next few days, it would have been one YEAR between postings...  That's so sad even Maddoxx emailed me to tell me I'm pathetic.  Well let's try to make friends again and get this whole LAN Party deal rocking for this season and we have good reason too!  In recent weeks, a batch of great games have surfaced and we intend to give them all a run for their money -- First thing's first though...  Registrations are now open for BTM66 "Frag4Food" Edition, scheduled for November 28th (yes, that's this coming weekend, so unless you've been reading-up on the Abattoir.Net BBS, this is real short notice).  As the title suggests, this is our annual Food Drive BTM, the price has been dropped to $20 but you must bring at least two, large (540ml) cans of Chunky "Healthy Request" soups (any type) -- Each pair of cans gets you a random draw ticket, bring another pair of cans and double your chances (but feel free bring more!)  The winner of the draw walks with a big box containing Logitech X540 140Watt 5.1 speakers.  The registration page has been cleared so head to the sign-up page and get your name on the attendance list now!

BTM Triple-ThreatSo let's talk games!  Team Fortress 2 will of course be played (Duhz!) as it has simply become the staple of the Abattoir LAN Parties, but there's some great new action to be had and we'd like to put these new releases through their LAN Party test; no better place than The Abattoir...  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for starters.  Anyone who's not lived under a rock recently is more than aware of the awesomeness that is this franchise and Modern Warfare 2 from Infinity Ward continues to deliver.  Although the single-player campaign is short, game action is huge and sure to be a pleaser in the head-2-head LAN enviornment.  If you've not grabbed your copy yet, you're missing out!

Also on the horizon, Shattered Horizon from Futuremark Game Studios is out and available for download via Steam for only $19.99 USD...  Shattered Horizon brings multi-player team based combat to space where up is down as you float with your jet-pack in 360° enviornment in order to sneak-up behind your opponent and open his visor so his head explodes...  The double bonus is, Futuremark are now offering a 3-day guest pass for the game, so you can try it out for free at this BTM courtesy of players who've already purchased a copy! (and we're saving our free passes just for you.)

Certainly not dead-last will be Left4Dead 2, the wonderful expansion pack being sold as a new game, because no LAN Party is complete without a massive zombie slaughter and we all know, zombies need slaughtering.  Get your name on the list, grab your cans and your PC and we'll see you this Friday for the Early-Bird and Saturday for the main slaughter!  I can smell the pizza and frags already.  Tell your wife you have a business meeting.


03:00pm Dec01, 2008 

The tables are folded-up, the chairs have been stacked and the Cheetos have been vacuumed up...  Thanks to all who called the Abattoir home for the weekend and a big thanks from the local food bank for all the canned food hauled over for our season opener!  Congratulations to Dave (BammBamm) Bamforth who won the random draw for an external Blu-ray burner, he also scored an advance copy of "The Dark Knight" in Blu-ray...  Thanks to Horus, we also gave away a Logitech AudioHUB, Congratulations to Mike (RocketRobinHood) on that grab, it's sure to pump-up the sound on any laptop!  CommanderX also provided an additional copy of Left 4 Dead, Wink scored that after we held the draw three times -- the first two winners had just bought it and were downloading it from Steam when their names were drawn (nice timing).  Photos are up on the Gallery page if you want to take a peek...  Stay tuned, we'll announce BTM63's date soon.

Also of note, it's been a long time coming, but we're finally (finally) revamping the entire Abattoir.BBs, the new, bigger, faster, stronger, more absorbent forum will host a plethora of new features too numerous to mention here -- keep checking the BBS as the upgrade is underway, we should be running the new system shortly...  All posts, forums, user stats and such will be preserved, only our colour scheme will be lost in the upgrade so don't worry, you won't have to re-register.  For those who have been trying to open an account on the Abattoir.BBs but have not been able to due to a database corruption, relax, you'll soon be able to join us!


10:00am Nov27, 2008 

We're just a day away from opening the doors for our season opening LAN Early-Bird and as of this posting, there's only one remaining port open...  On another note, I'd like to thank Infinity who has spent many hours re-doing the Abattoir SuperFTP Server which suffered a hardware failure recently, not only has it been repaired, but the 4 terabytes of additional storage that's been there for about 8 months has finally been mapped to the server restoring all the directories that 'vanished' some time back -- thanks for that Infinity!  It's also time to announce our winner of the Abattoir Best Seat In The House!  Congratulations go out to Torque!  VIP features include massive arm room, seat-side free beverage service (including beer!), munchie plate, wings delivery, 4.1 sound, 22" widescreen LCD monitor with mouse & keyboard included, Early-Bird fee waved and several other perks...  Enjoy your own private box seat in LAN Central!  For those not attending, don't forget, you can always spy on the LAN using the live MeatCAMs!  Have an awesome weekend everyone and catch you at the BTM!


11:00am Nov12, 2008 

Anyone miss us?  Yes, believe it or not, we're still here...  It's been a busy, busy Summer around the Abattoir but with Fall finally here, it's time to officially re-open the Abattoir for our next BTM LAN Party Season.  It's been seven months since we last posted a Minutes update, I've almost forgot how to type!  Without further delay, let's get things going...  The Sign-Up Page has been cleared, and we're now accepting reservations for BTM62 "HD4U" Edition, to be held on November 29th -- get to that Sign-Up Page and slap your name on the list to reserve your port now!  Keeping with our "Season Can Opener" tradition, the need at the local food banks for supplies is always greatest during the holiday season so once again, we're having a canned food drive...  Bring two 540ml size cans of Campbell's Chunky Soup (any flavour) and receive one draw ticket for a Liteon DH-4B1S Blu-Ray HD Burner mounted in a DataOne ST-852 Black External Enclosure, the package even comes with CyberLink BD Solution, the ultimate playback and burning suite for Blu-Ray disc -- plug-in to your USB connector and experience stunning 1080P HD video, or slap a Blu-Ray recordable in and archive up to 25GB of data on one disc!  If you prefer, remove the drive from the external case and mount it right in your PC -- an awesome addition to anyone's rig!  Imagine creating a single disc image back-up of your PC!  As always though, don't think you have to stop at just two cans, for each additional pair of cans, you'll get another draw ticket...  Let's feed some hungry tummies again this year.  Game on!


03:00pm Apr04, 2008 

What a Creative way to shoot yourself in the foot...  If you're one of the millions of people out there who've purchased Creative Labs sound cards (...glances to the left at a drawer filled with old product...) and you're also one of the hundreds of people who've adopted Windows Vista as your rigs operating system, then chances are you may have had issues with your "Vista Ready" Creative product...  On Creative's Forums, many users aid each other with support issues and some have even taken it as far as to write their own modded drivers for the products, one such person, Daniel Kawakami, who goes by the handle Daniel_K is this updates focus.  Daniel_K "fixed" the drivers and enabled features that Creative purposely disabled/crippled in their Vista driver releases, now Creative has threatened legal action against Daniel for violation of their Intellectual Property.  Creative's own forums have been hammered with thousands of posts from customers who, to put it simple, are pissed-off with Creative's strong-arm tactics to force obsolescence of perfectly functional cards using Vista as the reason you need to buy their newest noise-maker.  Creative sent Daniel this warning which made its way to the forums pretty quick:

Phil O'Shaughnessy

We are aware that you have been assisting owners of our Creative sound cards for some time now, by providing unofficial driver packages for Vista that deliver more of the original functionality that was found in the equivalent XP packages for those sound cards.  In principle we don't have a problem with you helping users in this way, so long as they understand that any driver packages you supply are not supported by Creative.  Where we do have a problem is when technology and IP owned by Creative or other companies that Creative has licensed from, are made to run on other products for which they are not intended.  We took action to remove your thread because, like you, Creative and its technology partners think it is only fair to be compensated for goods and services.  The difference in this case is that we own the rights to the materials that you are distributing.  By enabling our technology and IP to run on sound cards for which it was not originally offered or intended, you are in effect, stealing our goods.  When you solicit donations for providing packages like this, you are profiting from something that you do not own.  If we choose to develop and provide host-based processing features with certain sound cards and not others, that is a business decision that only we have the right to make.

Although you say you have discontinued your practice of distributing unauthorized software packages for Creative sound cards we have seen evidence of them elsewhere along with donation requests from you.  We also note in a recent post of yours on these forums, that you appear to be contemplating the release of further packages.  To be clear, we are asking you to respect our legal rights in this matter and cease all further unauthorized distribution of our technology and IP.  In addition we request that you observe our forum rules and respect our right to enforce those rules.  If you are in any doubt as to what we would consider unacceptable then please request clarification through one of our forum moderators before posting.

Phil O'Shaughnessy
VP Corporate Communications
Creative Labs Inc.

It didn't take long for outraged customers to start the posting barrage that (as of this writing) exceeds 2,400 posts, here's just one sample:


With this, you've lost another customer, Creative.  I've been using this X-Fi in Vista for over a year now, and putting up with the glitches and the badly written software.  Because your development team (although I can't imagine you're paying even a single person full-time for what we're seeing) would not work with us, the community was forced to work together to clean up your mess.

You made this mess, Creative.  If you think we're going to sit by and do nothing while you ramble on about IP and business decisions, you're out of touch with the internet.  Feel free to make your business decisions, right up until you pay the last janitor to clean the building out.  If you want to sell a product in a world where you control what you sell, you've been born into the wrong era.  Take your hands away from your eyes, and face the truth that hobbyists are doing better things with your hardware than you are willing to.  Isn't that shameful?

Smart consumers--the kind that do research, the only kind likely to purchase aftermarket soundcards--are catching wind of this.  I guess that's why you're selling assets to make a profit, and focusing on licensing versus actual product.  We don't want crippleware.  If modifying your software is "wrong", why is making poor software right in the first place?  You thought we would just allow it to happen?  That some EULA would magically bar the doors and keep people from making your hardware actually useful? Fortunately, the purchasing power and the initiative both belong to the consumer, not the producer.  Quit trying to be in control in the marketplace, it doesn't pan out when you don't even invest in R&D.

All I can say is, welcome to the finally-emerging real free market.  Where competition (with people who do it because they love it) will either keep you sharp or sink you.  Looks like you've made your choice.

Although Daniel has been forced to remove his Vista drivers, many have grabbed them and thrown them on torrents in order to keep them alive (such as The Pirate Bay).  Now don't get me wrong, I fully understand the reasoning behind Product Life-Cycle, it's to allow a company to make more money...  But it leaves a real black-eye with consumers when a product manufacturer is caught crippling its own hardware in order to force consumers to buy new product -- it will be interesting to see how this fiasco pans out and what the folk at Creative do for damage control.  You can follow the saga on Creative's forums.


10:25am Mar31, 2008 

What a party!  A big thanks to all who made it happen...  Our 60th BTM LAN Party was filled with music, gunfire, beer, presents, food and a couple thousand pounds of fun.  Not only was it a BTM weekend, it was also my birthday (...which means I got in for free!..)  Thanks to all who made the surprise happen without leaking -- Isis must have thrown a few death-treats in there to keep everyone so tight-lipped.  This BTM again proved that around the Abattoir, the cake is not a lie.  The extra Playstation3 will be put to very good use folks, thanks again!

We would like to also like to throw a thanks out to good folk at CPU Magazine for their continued support -- not only did they ship us another crate of magazines, but also allowed us a giveaway of a tee-shirt and a one year complimentary subscription to CPU, thanks for that!  Atari also nailed a one hundred dollar bill from me after I dangled it in his face while he was drumming on Rockband -- I challenged him to hit 4x bonus multiplier on hard level, guess I was a little cocky and he got a little lucky, don't spend it all in one place (...like I just did...).

Lt.Fransky rather enjoyed the comforts of the VIP Best Seat in the House and a huge congratulations are in order to Luke (Horus) Baltus who scored the 24" Spectre widescreen monitor as a very welcomed upgrade to his game rig in the random door prize draw (...which was actually won by Isis, but she put it back up for redraw...)  In a gracious and unexpected move, Horus immediately offered-up his 22" widescreen panel for draw which Renneck won -- pure class buddy, good on ya!  We'll be posting the date for our final LAN bash before we close the Abattoir doors for the Summer, keep an eye on the LAN Minutes!  Pictures from our bash will be up shortly in the Gallery section.


02:00pm Mar27, 2008 

Our 60 LAN bash is about to get underway, but first we have to announce who has won the draw for VIP treatment and will be sitting in The Best Seat in the House at BTM60 -- Congratulations to Lt.Fransky!  You can leave your monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers at home, your box-seat awaits you...  Doors open after 6pm, we'll see you all tomorrow night!  We'll be drawing for the Sceptre monitor early on Saturday so whomever the lucky winner is gets a chance to play on it, good luck to everyone!


08:00am Feb29, 2008 

Happy Leapday!  Okay, it's time...  The wait is over and the sign-up page has been cleared, let's get BTM60 "widescreen" Edition started!  It's our 60th LAN bash at The Abattoir and to celebrate, we're introducing the VIP Box...  One week before the BTM, one lucky person on the Reservation Page (drawn at random) will win the Abattoir VIP Box treatment.  Features include massive arm room, seat-side free beverage service (including beer!), munchie plate, wings delivery, 4.1 sound, 21" monitor with mouse & keyboard included, Early-Bird fee waved and several other perks including not having to smell the geek beside you because you're in your own private box seat in LAN Central!  If you think the BTM LAN Parties are fun now, wait till you play one from "the best seat in the house".  BTM60 will be held on March 29th -- also to commemorate our 60th (and to justify the stupid name we've picked) we're giving one lucky patron a Sceptre X24WG-Naga 24" Widescreen LCD Monitor featuring super-fast 2ms response time, a stunning 4000:1 contrast ratio, full 1920x1200 (WUXGA) pixel native resolution and did we mention it's 24"?  I have this beast and love it, so let's spread the love!  Hit the Sign-Up page now and get your name on the list fast, your woman would be thrilled if you came home with twenty-four inches, mine was!


10:25am Feb19, 2008 

It's officially over...  The long, drawn-out battle between High Definition media formats ended and as I predicted from day one, Sony's Blu-Ray format has come out on top.  Over the last short while, several major motion picture studios one at a time have announced their sole support for the Blu-Ray format over Toshiba's HD-DVD -- the final and fatal blow came when Wal-Mart announced it will be carrying Blu-Ray discs and not HD-DVD.  Toshiba's president and chief executive, Atsutoshi Nishida, said today that after a thorough review of its strategy, the company had decided a swift end to the format war would help the HD market and has bowed-out of the race.  You had to know it was going this way when HD-DVD players started popping-up at CostCo for $199.  Sony's win is largely attributed to the Playstation3 (which doubles as a great Blu-Ray player), with over 10 million units sold verse about 1 million HD-DVD players, it didn't take long for the chips to fall in place.  Rest in peace HD-DVD, for we barely knew you.


Keep posted to the LAN Minutes, we're going to be announcing the play date for BTM60 soon and you do NOT want to miss our sixtieth event for anything!  Sign-ups will open after we post the date and it's going to sell-out fast.  More details to follow, we just wanted to wet your whistle.


12:55pm Jan15, 2008 

Well it didn't take long for our next BTM's date to be decided!  Voting opened on the Abattoir Forums and with no small margin, the date has been picked...  Keep your calendar clear for February 2nd and join us for BTM59 "Headshot" Edition -- Sign-ups are now being accepted, it's only a few weeks down the road so please don't hesitate!  I'm not too sure, but I think the fact that we'll also be watching UFC81 "Breaking Point" might have swayed a few votes.  Game of choice (again, by no small margin in the vote) will be Team Fortress 2; this time, there will be bagels.


11:30am Dec28, 2007 

A lot has been happening around the 'ol Abattoir the last few months, I've been tardy on LAN Minutes updates due to being "in between computers" sorta' speak...  Christmas has come and gone and we can't say thanks enough to the Abattoir Elves who spent many nights building super-computers for all the good little boys and girls -- couldn't have done it without you guys!  Infinity, Vitolagy, IceMan and of course CorpsE all pitched-in on construction projects -- the end result, MiniMeat now has a top-notch gaming rig and workstation (not too shabby for a three-year-old) and I'm now the proud owner of a custom designed screamer of a gaming rig featuring the Intel® Core™2 Extreme quad-core processor (QX9650) as it's engine and the GeForce 8800 Ultra OC for its GPU, if you're a system builder and want to read-up on the trials and tribulations of the build, check-out the forum for details and disasters.


As you all know, we've pushed back BTM58 while the entire first floor of the Abattoir received a major make-over (new floors throughout)...  The construction really displaced everything as we had to empty the entire first floor for renovation, needless to say, we're still digging out but our first LAN Party of 2008 is officially a go for January 5th!  The reservation page has been cleared and we're now accepting sign-ups for BTM58 "Elimination" Edition -- this will be a long overdue tournament BTM featuring Team Fortress 2 as the game of choice, but be sure to have Call of Duty 4, Half-Life 2 DM and Quake Wars handy as well!  Don't be left out, seats are limited and so is time!  Head to the sign-up page and get your name on the list fast.


10:30am Oct31, 2007 

The witching hour is almost upon us!  The Abattoir is decked-out in scariness and we're all ready to hand-out the chocolate bars of death to the little ghouls...  We hope everyone has a spooky and safe Hallowe'en, please remember if you're out driving tonight that there will be droves of sugar-hungry goblins running amok gathering goodies door to door -- keep watch and slow down.  It goes without saying that there's a darker side out there that might try to trick rather than treat, so always check your kids confectionery for tampering before they get their hands on it and never let them sample anything while they're out gathering.  Have a great evening and good luck getting the little ones to bed after they've pounded six-times the daily allowable sugar.


Each year on Hallowe'en, I usually recall a story from my childhood, this year, my Son Myles gave me the topic -- Tampons.  When I was a wee-lad, I broke into my parents bathroom and ripped apart every tampon my Mother had under the bathroom sink -- then, with my Sister Karen in tow, we canvassed the entire neighbourhood trying to sell "telescopes" to all the neighbours...  I would throw my sales pitch on how great these little 5¢ paper telescopes were while Karen stood in the background holding one to her eye, sliding the cardboard applicator tube in and out for a visual demonstration on how they worked.  Our biggest sale wasn't until we made our way around the entire street that we hit our next door neighbour who stood there at the door attempting to choke back her laughter while I pitched the product -- she bought all our remaining telescope stock!!  We were in the money now!  Later that evening she came over for tea, it was then that she pulled the telescopes out of her purse to show my Mother what we had done.  I've never seen my Mom turn that shade of red since.  Last night, we discovered that our creative Son is following in his old mans footsteps...  He built a rocket from a paper roll end-cap, a pen and four tampons.  Thank God we found it before he started going door to door.


09:20pm Oct25, 2007 

A big thanks to all who came out for BTM57, our season opener was a hoot!  The local food bank would also like to extend their thanks for 140+ cans of fart-inducing chili everyone brought to kick-off the Frag4Food drive -- you've all helped to fill tummies and make many homes a little more stinky as we approach the holiday season, take a bow!  We would also like to thank Stagg for donating cans as well since it was their product we picked, but we can't because they didn't even reply to the Abattoir's professionally written letter, even after I spell-checked it -- you suck.  Congratulations to Luke (Horus) Baltus who brought a whack-load of cans and justly walked with the 500Gig Western Digital MyBook Premium Edition external drive door prize </run-on sentence> -- we salute you.  Keep posted to the LAN Minutes </redundant-link> for the quick to come date announcement of BTM58 "Got Skillz?" Edition where the l33t players have a chance to win big in our first tournament BTM of the season.


It's safe to say that Team Fortress 2 was (without contest) the totally captive title of BTM57; I'm trying to remember if anything else was even played...  If you've not yet nailed your copy of The Orange Box and you intend to bust-a-cap at BTM58 you just might find that you'll be playing with yourself in the corner; the folks at Valve Software have yet again kicked-out another killer game.  So impressed were the patrons with TF2 that four regulars showed-up in costume, well done!  Meet David (Atari) Gomes the Engineer, Mitch (Commander X) Staniek the Heavy Weapons Guy, Thomas (Asdferty) Nowak the Demo Man and Dave (Cyclone) Nowak the Spy... [the big picture]  Just a side-note, my 3 year old Myles loves TF2 (or "the boom-boom game" as he calls it) and I'm proud of his mad skillz, but I've always reinforced (by hitting him) that the violence he's seeing is make-believe -- these people don't exist, it's just a game... then David walks around the corner in the Engineer outfit (I play the Engineer 98% of the time in TF2, so that's "Daddy" to Myles) and little mans' jaw drops...  So much for "they're not real Myles, it's only a game."  Thanks for that Atari.  For those who broke a toe or lost their bus fare and missed the romp, photos are up in the Gallery.  Again, thanks everyone and we'll see you at BTM57 in 6(ish) weeks!  We're already fighting about the date, so join the forum and throw your word in so we can post a date already.


02:00pm Sep26, 2007 

Okay, enough's enough...  We're getting swamped with sign-ups even though the date's not been posted, so here we go -- BTM57 "Season Can-Opener" Edition will be held on October 20th, reservations are now officially open so head to the Sign-Up Page and get your name on the list fast!  Every attendee is asked to bring two cans of Stagg Chili (425g).  As with all food drives, we won't be all pissy if you bring four cans, hell, we'll even let you bring eight or more!  For every two cans brought you'll get one draw ticket for our door prize -- due to the popularity of the Western Digital MyBook Premium external drives, we'll be giving another away to one lucky ticket holder.  The good folk at CPU Magazine have also contacted the Abattoir and are sending everyone a little extra present.  Let's get the frags flying and the food on to the food banks shelves for the holiday season!


06:36pm Sep25, 2007 

Stop emailing me, we're back!  It's been an eventful Summer but now that Fall is here, it's time to get the Abattoir back in business...  A few weekends back, Matt Harding (from the site "Where the Hell is Matt?") started his third World tour to make his third video (Dancing 3 - due out June 21st, 2008) and this time around, the Internet celebrity booked time to visit Canada -- he invited us out to come dance badly with him on Toronto's harbour front, so we packed-up the kids and headed into Toronto for the taping...  Matt's a very personable guy, it was a pleasure to meet him in person.  My little 1½ year old Chaz took a moment to steal the spotlight and get all Happy Feet with Matt -- Matt must have enjoyed the dance as he's featured the video of the two of them on his site.  Enjoy the rest of your trip Matt, we can't wait to see the finished project!  If you want to travel vicariously through Matt, check his journal out and follow along as he hits dozens of countries in the months to follow.


Although I've not had the worldly exposure that Matt Harding has enjoyed, our Abattoir.Net European Vacation was great fun...  Three weeks touring Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the like -- If you want to read-up on our adventure and enjoy the little picture-blog we have, head to the Abattoir.BBs for links to all the photos on my Facebook page (don't worry if you're one of the 78 people who don't already have a Facebook account, the links will bring you right in).  Our adventure was full of sights, sounds, food, drink, culture and violence.


Anyone hear about this Halo 3 thing?  Here's the tag-line on it: "The Covenant control Earth. The Flood is unleashed and on the loose. With the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance, Master Chief is the only one that can save the human race. Master Chief, the last of his kind, is a warrior born for combat, bred for war … and humanity’s only hope." -- Oh!  I'm all goose-bumpy!  Yes, Master Chief is back in the third instalment of Halo and the crap hit the hype-fan on high at midnight this morning when it was released.  Over 500 retailers opened across Canada at 12:01am today for this highly anticipated title and the stats are already running rampant -- useful stats, like the Bungie designers who worked on Halo 3 over the last three years consumed over 20,000 pounds of pizza...  Two months before the game was even released, there were over a million copies pre-ordered -- this game is expected to shatter entertainment sales records within its first twenty-four hours, we'll see.


In more important news...  Now that TF2, Halo 3, Portals and a bunch of other titles are coming out, plus the fact that Summer is over, that can only mean that Abattoir.Net's BTM LAN Party Season is ready to fire up!  Once again, our season opener will be a Frag4Food Drive, details to follow, so be sure to tune-in tomorrow at 12:01am when we announce the date and open registrations!  (just kidding, we'll post it tomorrow afternoon, we don't want to cut into your Halo time.)


12:00pm Jul01, 2007 

Happy Canada day long weekend everyone -- nothing beats a campfire, cold brew and a bunch of friends to start-up the long weekend.  Evan (DieJestor) Smith booked a great site up at Rattlesnake Point in Milton, Ontario where friends from near and far gathered to do what campers do (talk trash and drink).  A great time was had.  Tonight, it's the CostCo-sized crate of fireworks at the Abattoir so the kids can 'oh-ah'.  Have a safe one.


I'm not one for taking vacations but a recent wedding invitation came in from Croatia for my in-laws, so as of tomorrow, the whole family's heading to Europe for a three week tour -- we'll be landing in Munich, picking-up our rental van and heading all through Croatia with a week long tour of the islands along the Adriatic; there will be a little Hungary, a little Austria, a little Bosnia-Herzegovina a little diarrhea -- it's going to be grand!  I've packed my tech-bag chock-full of equipment and will report in as often as connectivity allows.  Since the LAN Minutes isn't the place for such happenings to be documented, I'll be keeping my Facebook profile up-to-date if you want to see "Where the Hell is Meat" (no, I'm not dancing).  Just head to Facebook and look-up Craig Milton.  Of course, we'll keep it all fresh in the forums first.  Wish us luck.


12:00pm May18, 2007 

Oh my, a LAN Minutes update!  Welcome to the May-two-four long weekend, and of course you can all bend-over and pay homage to the oil companies for their traditionally predictable ass-ramming of consumers as they blast the price of gas to an extortion rate of $1.139/litre to start the holiday weekend.  Thanks a lot ass-holes.  In Vancouver you can expect to pay as much as $1.275/litre -- the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives research confirms that Canadians are getting gouged at the pumps, "The analysis, by economist and CCPA research associate Hugh Mackenzie, calculates how much Canadians should be paying for gas and finds that since August 2005 prices have consistently exceeded levels that would be justified on the basis of costs and normal profit margins."  you don't say?  I never thought I'd say it, but someone needs to be assassinated.  Just wanted to get that off my chest.


To celebrate the oil companies, we're calling our season-closing LAN bash BTM56 "pumped" Edition where we will award a $100.00 gas credit to one lucky patron -- that should be enough to allow you to drive home after the bash.  BTM56 will be on May26th (yes, that's next weekend) and we're now accepting reservations -- it's pretty short notice but you all knew it was coming...  Hit the Sign-Up page and get on the list, this BTM will be a chicken & steak BBQ so bring your appetite too...  Hope to see you there.  Have a safe weekend and please don't hold the fireworks in your mouth (if you do, please make sure someone is filming).


10:04pm Mar06, 2007 

BTM55 "Mii give Wii" Edition was crazy-fun...  A big thanks to all who packed the Abattoir from Friday to Sunday morning, we had a blast.  Games from Battlefield 2 to Counter Strike: Source to Company of Heroes to Quake 3 and more rattled the walls, the Abattoir was pumping out the punishment for 48 hours straight -- well done on your endurance geek-warriors!  Congratulations to Erich (Torque) Belan who won the Nintendo Wii by random draw while he was enjoying a free BTM (since his birthday fell within 7 days of the BTM date) happy birthday double-time.  Keep posted for BTM56's play date to be announced soon and be sure to get your name on the Reservation List fast so you don't miss the chance to be photographed wearing a stupid looking hat.  BTM56 might have something to do with a BBQ perhaps...  If you want to see what a BTM LAN Party looks like, just check-out the Gallery Page where we show all the digitals (fit for the public) that were taken during the BTM, full resolution archives as always are on the SuperFTP (...I still can't remember why we called it that...)  Again, a big thanks from all of us at the Abattoir for another class crew this BTM; sleep it off.


Tradition at the Abattoir...  When a company does us right we make a point to mention it.  You'll note that the Abattoir has long resisted the normal curve of the Internet in that there's not 433 advertisements and/or pop-up ads on Abattoir.Net -- as a matter-o-fact, there are zero ads other than two small endorsement icons for Exahost and Net@ccess to the right (both for good reason).  At 1:48am this morning the Abattoir's connectivity dropped; typically we just take the DSL modem and smash it with a hammer and all's good -- not this time.  Figuring the connection issue was with our service provider I called tech support to see what was up (or down, as the case was).  Tim Marshall answered at Net@ccess and checked us out remotely to see what the issue might be, unable to be sure it wasn't the modem on our end that was acting-up, he left his office in Hamilton with a new modem in his hand and drove to the Abattoir in Oakville where we swapped-out the old for the new and were back on-line with upgraded hardware in less than an hour.  This hardware failure had nothing to do with Net@ccess, I own the modem; they had no obligation at all yet here's their tech hand delivering and setting-up a new ADSL modem in our server room...  That folks, is why I sport the Net@ccess logo at the right of every page on Abattoir.Net -- Continues being a pleasure doing business with you.  Check them out for yourself; personal and professional service still exists out there, if you know where to look.  Sorry for the short outage.


03:45pm Feb13, 2007 

We've been getting a little mail lately from people who are concerned we might not be able to secure a Nintendo Wii by the time BTM55 "Mii give Wii" Edition rolls around on March 3rd...  Fear not!  As of one hour ago, the Abattoir secured the Door Prize and it sits in its shiny white box in the Abattoir's Prize Vault.  You can all throw a thanks to Isis who tracked a unit down this afternoon, but I would also like to throw my thanks out to the folks at EB Games in Mississauga (Heartland Plaza) for their help -- they understood what the Abattoir was doing and came to our aid giving us the heads-up.  I arrived at the store within minutes of the call and grabbed the last one, I had not even finished handing over my credit card before a huge dude (who oddly looked like the stereo-typical Linux Root type) walked in, saw the box in my clutches and said "that better not be the last one!" -- I almost felt bad (almost).  We still have just a couple of ports free on the Reservation Page, but like the Wii, they don't last long.  Head to the Sign-Up Page and get your name on the guest list for BTM55.


08:40pm Feb02, 2007 

In my short life on this planet so far, I've seen my fair share of some pretty bizarre shit, today's not over, but I think this takes the cake...  I was driving home from work a short time ago and my cell phone went off, I answered (after pulling off to the side of the road, yeah right) to find myself being verbally peppered by a frantic wife.  She was freaking-out and I couldn't understand a word, she was yelling something about a turd in the toilet...  After "What!?" for the ninth time, she took a breath and said "there's a bird in the toilet!".  Now, a fish in the toilet might be okay, but a bird in the toilet isn't something you hear everyday while cruising the 403 on a Friday.  When I arrive home at the Abattoir, I head up to the third floor to find out what the Hell she was blithering about -- sure enough, there was a bird in the toilet.  Here's the mystery; we have a bird, this isn't it -- We have a cat, she's not been outside for weeks -- We have two spawn, neither of them are bird hunters last I checked -- We have windows, but they've not been open.  How the friggin' Hell did this huge bird get into the third story toilet of the Abattoir!?  If this has happened to anyone else, or if anyone has theories on some new species of "plumbing-bird" I don't know about, I'd be all ears to hear your story...  What's next, a horses head in the bed?  Was this a warning from a disgruntled BTM'er who didn't win the 500 GB drive, or should I start to question what I ate last night?  Perhaps the poor bugger tucked into a vent pipe on the roof in hopes of finding a nest but found shit, I don't know; it's just not something I expected in my toilet -- maybe it's just me.


Breaking to another topic, a little bird told me that BTM55 "Mii give Wii" Edition will be held on March 3rd, 2007 -- but I think he might be full of shit (had to go there).  Registrations are now open.  Since the Abattoir finally acquired a Nintendo Wii, the level of nightly fun and activity has kept us all up past 2:30am on a school night.  Frankly, these units can give you a workout and I for one think the Nintendo Wii might be the best thing for our ballooning nation of channel surfers and chili eating Super Bowl watchers...  Since the Abattoir is extremely concerned about the health of our patrons, it's my duty to get you off the couch by giving you a Wii.  One ticket, one kill -- random draw.  The Early-Bird at BTM55 will NOT have the centre station set-up, this means 9 seats are gone for the Early-Bird; on Friday you'll have a chance to play the Wii in the best way, on a 115" screen with 500 watts of 5.1 sound, sub woofer and room to move to it for four on the floor -- It'll be like a Drive-Inn Early-Bird.  Saturday morning the screen goes up and so do the tables, if you're there for the Early-Bird you can pick your spot.  This means if want to get in on the Early-Bird you must sign-up fast if you want to set your box up.  Lowest score in Wii Sports Bowling kisses the large bird swimming in my toilet.


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MeatMan Says:
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(check the Abattoir Archives for all the LAN Minutes updates of the past)
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