Archive for July, 2001

That Silence On The Other End

Telemarketers are like flies around a carcass. They can sod right off.

Equivocation, huh?


Trust Your Technolust

I’m so pissed off right now. I hate my computer. I’ve been having problems with Adobe Premiere and Sony DVGate, so I’ve been trying to figure it out because I’m working on this huge video project. I called Sony tech support and they told me that I’m no longer under warranty, so they couldn’t help me without charging me ludicrous amounts of money. So I was trying =another= uninstall-reinstall when the computer crashed. I had just finished reinstalling Premiere and it asked if I wanted to restart my computer. I selected ‘Yes’ and clicked ‘Ok’. But nothing happened. Since the mouse was still moving, I decided to try again. Nothing. So I did a ctrl+alt+del to find out that the setup program was ‘Not Responding’. I ended its task, but the computer still didn’t restart. A few quick ctrl+alt+dels took care of that. On the restart, I was greeted by the ugly default windows appearance (I usually have a black desktop and bright green title bars). I got an error saying that some .dll file couldn’t load. I figured that a restart would solve the problem, but to no avail. In fact, not only were my appearances changed, but all my preferences were reverted back to the factory defaults. Worse than that, all my files were in alphabetical order (not the order I wanted them in) and all my programs thought they were being run for the first time. All the user names and passwords that IE used to have stored were lost. Everything was reset. And I’m livid. It was bad enough that I had to waste time trying to fix my computer (which is supposed to work just fine and had been up until recently), but now I’ve got this to deal with.

I feel a rant coming on…

This is perfect fodder for those who are anti-technology. What’s wrong with those people? They claim that technology is going to ruin our lives. They’d rather do it the hard way and be sure that it ‘gets done and gets done right’ than take a small risk and let a computer do it for them. Or a robot. Or some machine that will make life easier. And I’m not only talking about the techno-phobes, I’m talking about the people who refuse to buy NT (New Technology, not Windows) simply out of principle. For example: I’m a DJ at a Jazz station in Cheney, so we have a lot of older listeners. Since it’s Cheney (and the surrounding area) many listeners live out in the boonies. So I’m there one night (spinning the platters that matter) and I get a call, which is not uncommon. This guy asks if I can play a certain song by this one artist for him. I look in the computer and though I didn’t find the song, I found that we did have a few albums by this artist. Now, not all the songs are listed in the computer, so I told him that there’s a chance we might have the song and I’d do what I can. He replied by saying that he’d really appreciate it if I could play the song for him. He said he could listen to the song if he bought the CD, but that he didn’t ‘want to have to buy a CD player just to listen to it.’ What the hell? A new CD player costs like $30! What in the world is wrong with you? Hello? Anyone home? Geez!

In the words of Eddie Izzard, ‘I don’t have techno-fear, I have techno-joy!’ I embrace NT and try to make it work for me. Smaller computer? I’ll take one! Faster Internet connection? Sign me up! I always say that I couldn’t last a week without my computer, and it’s true. I need to check my e-mail on a multiple daily basis. If I ever committed a crime and was sent to jail for it, I would be punished beyond belief. All they would have to do is put me in a room (or a house, for that matter) without a computer and I’d go nuts. Computers can do in one second what used to take a whole year, sometimes more! I just don’t understand why anyone would want to make life harder for themselves. I mean, if you had to choose between being paid to do whatever you wanted to do for the rest of your life (including nothing) or being forced to work for no pay, no food, no shelter and no benefits in a coal mine for the rest of your life (which, in a coal mine, probably wouldn’t last too long), chances are in the favour of getting paid to do nothing. Humans are lazy. We learn it from our elders. Which I find interesting, since they’re the ones who’ve had to live without all this great technology.

A lot of people like to blame technology for my generation’s laziness. While that may be true, I sincerely doubt it’s the only reason. I mean, if our parents are letting us get away with zoning out in front of the TV, we’re not entirely to blame. In fact, if they don’t encourage us to do other things, what right do they have to complain? They need to try and motivate us to do other things. I hardly get outside anymore (but I try to jog on a daily basis, so that gets me out) for sitting in front of my computer all day. I would probably be more apt to go outside and break away from the computer if my parents would not only find something interesting to do, but something that we could do together. Now, I’m not complaining about my parents (and as far as I know, they don’t complain about me). I’m just using myself as an example for my generation (and following generations). You send your kids to school to get an education, but you may not realize that you, as parents, have the greatest influence on your children.

A lot of parents seem to feel stupid when their kids know more about something than they do, especially when it comes to technology. It’s a fact that kids have the tendency to learn about computers (and such) faster and more readily than their parents do (my dad recently got promoted to computer tech at his library. His second day on the job he called me up to ask me about a hacking program (because they suspected they had been hacked). It’s not that he needed my help, he just knew that I knew about the program. I thought it was funny, though).

It’s late, now. I had a point when I started writing this, but I can’t recall what it was. I guess the underlying message here is: Trust your Technolust.

Drugs are bad. Funny, but bad.

This is mad, mad stuff.

EDIT: Expired link. -TJB 9 August 2004

Additions To ALLO

Hi everyone. I’ve been working on various things over the past few days. ALLO is complete enough to where it’s presentable. I don’t think I’m going to make any major changes to it anytime soon. Like a true hypocrite, I’m redesigning HOD2 to be like ALLO. I’m trying a whole bunch of new Javascript and CSS tricks, as well as giving the site a bit of a make-over, so we’ll see how that goes. I’ve got a preview at the ‘construction site’. Bear in mind that nothing really works yet, I’m still trying to perfect the layout. The popUp comes up and that’s about it. But it looks really cool, I think. Check it out if you want.

EDIT: Expired links. -TJB 9 August 2004

Okay, Blogger =REALLY= Sucks!

Well, it’s official. Blogger sucks. I hate it. Thanks to Blogger I’m going to be up all damn night fixing my webpage. I hadn’t planned on doing this so soon, but it would appear as though I need to convert HOD2 to the ALLO style. Which I like, but it’s tricky. It takes a lot more work than I really want to invest in the page. At least I’ll be able to achieve things I never had before. And anyone who can’t see my page properly can =SOD OFF!=

Blogger Still Sucks

Well, Blogger is still being stupid and won’t let me update my blog to try and fix the errors on this page. Which is sad. However, I do have a working version of A Life Less Ordinary available for viewing. It’s at geocities right now, which sucks, but it’s free and it’s right now, so that’s good. Hopefully I’ll get a new URL and a big server so I can upload tons of great pictures. I’m glad I’ve got the format fleshed out because that will make it easier for me to input new images. On the downside, the page isn’t for everyone. It’s best to view the page using MSIE v5.5 at 1024×768 or higher resolution. A fast connection speed is also advisable due to the amount of content.

A lot of people get upset when they can’t browse a page because they are using out-dated technology. Hi! Welcome to the 21st century! Over 50% of Internet surfers use Microsoft Internet Explorer and, guess what folks, =IT’S FREE=. That’s right, you can stay up to date for free. Shockwave, Flash? Free. Media players like MS Media Player and RealPlayer? Free. Money-hungry suits might be running the Internet, but there are iChe’s everywhere working to make the Internet a more user-friendly environment (in case you didn’t catch the reference, by iChe I meant Internet Che, as in Che Guevara). Granted, it does cost more money for a high-speed Internet connection than some people are willing to shell out, but with decent computers being sold at unheard of prices (unheard of in that they’re such good prices) and the availability of free and inexpensive access to software (and sometimes more hardware), there’s no reason why you can’t indulge your wetware with Broadband. I feel that my main page, the Heart of Darkness2, should be viewable by the greatest amount of people possible (meaning, no Shockwave, Flash, or other media that requires special software, plug-ins, and download time, decent file sizes so that people on dial-ups can see pages and images without waiting forever, and cross browser/platform/resolution abilities (works in most popular browsers (if not all of them), is viewable on PC, Mac, Linux, et cetera, and you can have a screen resolution of as low as 800×600 and the primary content will still be clearly visible)). That’s all fine and good for my main page, because it’s my about me page. It’s the page I refer the most people to. It’s the page I give out to potential employers (which might not be such a good idea, but if they read anything they don’t like, at least they think they’re smarter for ‘seeing a potential problem’ ahead of time). I do not, however, feel that the same rules apply for other pages of mine.

For example, A Life Less Ordinary. This page was made for me, by me. It was made to cater to my tastes, my browser, my platform, and my resolution. If you can’t see something or are waiting forever for content to D/L or your resolution is too low (thankfully, more and more people are realizing that higher resolution = better and are switching to 1024×768), then tough. I have a splash page that tells you the minimum requirements. If you can’t handle it, then go somewhere else. ALLO doesn’t need traffic from the average netizen. ALLO, to be frank, doesn’t need traffic from anyone but me. Just like no one really cares what I have to say here, it’s more like an online diary for me to collect, organize, and record my thoughts. If I refer anyone to ALLO, it’s because I want them to see what’s there, or expect them to be up to par on their system settings. I haven’t cross-tested ALLO at all. Partly because it isn’t finished, but party because I don’t care. Will in work in Netscape, Opera, or Mosaic? I don’t know. If you happen to find out, let me know. Even if things show up, they might not be displayed properly. I use JScript, CSS, and other such things on my page that older browsers might not be able to handle. My advice is to update.

You think it’s cool to have a browser that no one’s every heard and see which pages display properly? Be my guest. But I warn you, all of you, that the Internet was not made for you. It was not made for you, me, Bill Gates, the President (or Al Gore), or anyone else. It wasn’t made for anyone; it was made for everyone. It used to be that the only way to gain access to a supercomputer was to get security clearance, or hack it (the latter being, of course, much more fun and interesting). These days, people connect to giga- and tera-class computers on a multiple daily basis and they don’t even realize it. Talk about dumbing-down!

Speaking of dumbing-down, I think the Internet has helped society reach a new low. Now any jerk-off with his thumb up his butt can surf the Internet and screw with people’s heads for free. My generation (and the one after mine) is lazier, stupider, and ruder than any generation ever has been (on record). We’re also far more tech savvy and live in infinitely better conditions than any generation before us (although, I suppose that might be a case by case basis as well as a point of view issue). One of the problems that I’ve noticed with extended Internet access is that all the stupid people (who usually have nothing better to do) are getting online and talking to one another. More and more stupid people use the Internet every day and make it harder for the smart (or at least benign) people to find one another. You may be a stupid person and not even realize that you’re plaguing the rest of us! We’ve realized the dreams of old men, made some new ones, and let in many nightmares along the way. But in the Internet, as in life, you have to take the good with the bad. It’s up to you to sort through the weeds if you want the wheat (that was a metaphor, kids. Can you say metaphor?).

Still can’t find high-speed access? Most libraries connect at around T1 (my dad’s is out in the boonies and they’re got a T1 =and= an air bridge. Fancy stuff) and offer free Internet access. Or at least really, really cheap Internet access. And what about cyber cafes? There are tons of them and they’ve got high-speed connections at (usually) decent prices. So what am I =really= trying to say? I guess I’m trying to tell all those people who think the Internet should be able to be viewed by everyone to shove it. It makes a =HELL= of a lot more work for the designers and programmers. Think of the Internet as an annex to the real world. It’s full of interesting (and often stupid) people, it’s a multi-sensory experience, it’s instantaneous, it’s 24/7, and not everyone is going to have access to everything. There are still crimes, there are still laws, and there are still all the pitfalls that make real life perilous. But remember, sticks and stones may break your bones, but the Internet is just a constant stream of ones and zeros. Until next time, heed this advice: when chilling in the cyber-world, keep it real. Peace out.

Blogger Sucks

Stupid Blogger. It’s not doing what I want it to! Blogger’s pretty good, but it would be better if it didn’t keep being a bitch!

Edible Plastic?

Wow! I just revisted an old friend’s web page that I hadn’t been to in a long time and it reminded me of all the good times we shared years and years ago and how much I miss him. He’s such a cool guy. *sigh* Oh well. That’s really about it. I applied for a job at the local NBC station, but who knows how that will go. I mean, I’m quite qualified and could easily do whatever they’d want me to do, but I’m not sure if they’re looking for part-time help or someone to take on a permanent position. ALLO is coming along. I’ve solved one problem that was driving me up the wall. One down, two to go. Also, if anyone has noticed that this page has an error, I think I finally figured out what’s wrong. I am working on a fix for it. Thank you for your patience. Off to bed, but not before reading from Small Gods!

EDIT: Expired link. -TJB 9 August 2004

Proximo Estacion: Esperanza

I got the new Manu Chao album today. It’s pretty good. I wrote a CD review for Bolt, so hopefully they’ll use it. If they do, I’ll get a music reviewer award. Cheeky. If I can get four more badges, I’ll be in the top 10 for most badges. That would be kind of neat. Oh! I found out today that I might get a whole bunch of cool Moulin Rouge schwag from the movie theatre down the road. That would be boss as well. Not too much is going on here. It’s funny, I did a lot today, but nothing is really that interesting. My mom and sister got back from Canada tonight. Their plane was delayed several hours from what I hear. I don’t know when they were supposed to get in, but they didn’t get in until 23:15. I documented it all for ALLO. Well, off to bed, I suppose. Cruise!

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