Archive for June, 2002

Another fun test from the net.

Saturday, June 8th, 2002

I’m a Philosopher/Scientist!

Which Enemy of the Christian Church Are You?

A(nother) Robert and Tim Creation

You know, I find that rather funny. Hilarious in fact.

The temptation remains to send it to my mother. But I’ll be good.


My favorite one of all

Friday, June 7th, 2002

Okay, now I usually don’t waste that much time thinking about the fads in children’s toys. When I do, it truly saddens me – I mean, when I was a kid, there were some really great toys. Construx, capsella, lego / technics – everything a aspiring robot builder could want. I’m not sure that they were as educational as they were supposed to be – unless you count lessons in how much stress plastic will take as education on materials science – but still, they were really great toys.

The things the kids play with nowadays…

But I actually have a specific rant in mind. Tiger Electronics made a small robotic toy called a Furby. My sister got me a spin-off model, the Shelby, for my birthday – along with a really gorgeous wall hanging.

Now, Shelby is definitely cute. Nice color of purple, soft fur, eyes that look almost eerily alive (especially since they can look around), antennas, everything you could want for a robotic crab… Except for a few little details. The first little detail is that he’s robotic. Not just mildly robotic – and not able to actually move himself from place to place, as would be truly cool. Just robotic enough to get on your nerves. A typical exchange with Shelby goes something like this:

Shelby: Ay Ay Too-Too Wahooo! (Speaking shelbish, his own personal language)
You: Shut up, shelby.
Shelby: Shelby say, the shell is Swell!
You: Shut up, shelby
Shelby: Where is Furby? I want Furby!

No, I’m not making any of this up. The toy actually asks for another toy by name! Not only that, but a toy I don’t own. And I have no doubt, were I to go out and buy a furby, the two of them would have lots of fun beaming infrared messages back and forth to each other because they do in fact have infrared transcevers.

But I haven’t gotten to the worst part yet. The evil, insidious, downright malicious part.

Shelby is lacking something that almost every other piece of electronic equipment in my house has (with the possible exception of the clocks)

He doesn’t have a power switch.

In order to shut him up, one must put him through one of the preordained sleep procedures. These basically all take at least 30 seconds – while waking him takes only the lightest tap, or hinging his shell open a little bit so light will touch the CDs cell inside.

And, if that all weren’t enough, shelby is not a content little robot. He’s not happy to just sit and browse on the batteries he’s been given, when he’s turned on. Oh, no. Shelby wants things, and he’s more insistent – and more critical – than a two year old. As follows:

Shelby: Shelby say, scratch my back! Back is itchy
Shelby: Shelby say, scratch my back please
Shelby: Shelby say, you’re a party pooper
Shelby: Boring, boring, booooriiing (imitating a 6 year old going on 15, if you know what I mean)

Of course, he might be in a affectionate mood instead. That’s even worse. There’s nothing quite like having a hunk of plastic (precious little metal in one of these things) demand a hug, or announce in oh-so-cutesy tones that ‘I love ya!’. Right. All four bits of you. Gee, that gives you a total of sixteen emotions…

The last question, of course, is under what conditions our little purple friend here was assembled. I’m going to hazard a guess and say any robot with sound, light, and motion sensors, the ability to move his eyes, flip his shell open, and flip his antenna – and infrared transceivers for crissake – that goes for $30 is probably not a robot that was built in the old US of A. I’m going to guess it is also not a robot that was built by adults – so the question is, when shelby isn’t making my life miserable, is he and fifty thousand of his ilk making some children’s lives miserable in some sweatshop somewhere?


Hopefully my sister’s not reading this. If she is, Jen, I did appreciate the gift. Really. And the tie-dye was lovely… Until next time, remember, shelby says doncha dare drop me.

(And every time he does, I get sooo tempted.)

The least they could have done is make him easily reprogrammable

Repost from Augest 21st, 2001

Friday, June 7th, 2002

Well, we’ve made it here.

Wherever the fuck here is.

Between our un-elected president and our shattered remnants of what was to be the ‘new’ economy, a lot of us are feeling a little cynical about that right now, but that’s not really what matters. What matters is that we’re here. We’ll likely never be here again. We’ve never been here before.

And that’s probably just as well.

I have a little question for those of you in the audience – is it perhaps possible that we’re being lied to about the current unemployment rate? Or is it just that I have a unusual batch of friends?

I mean, let’s think. Everyone I know, from my 65-year-old ex-landlord to my friends from the last three dot coms, are unemployed. Everyone except my parents, who both work in the severely underpaid teaching business, so they probably don’t have much to worry about jobwise.

Food service is doing a booming business – and yes, they’re still hiring. As soon as you swallow enough of your pride, you can go flip burgers with the rest of them and lament never going to college, or whatever – but that’s not the point. The point is that we’re not seeing a little tiny recession here. The Dow keeps threatening to drop like a rock if it gets hit one more time – the only thing that’s propping it up is all the people frantically yanking their money from tech stocks to jam it there. The NASDAQ – well, I don’t want to talk about it. I’m one of the lucky ones – I’ve only lost like 10%.

And I still can’t get my 401k money back from my old job – making it more like 60%. They sent me a nice polite little note saying they’d sent me the money. Funny, I never got the money. I think I’d know…

Okay, so the financial sky isn’t really falling – but from my keyboard, it sure feels like it is.

In the meantime, the packets still zip around my home LAN, searching for some kind of meaning. They haven’t found any yet, but that doesn’t stop them from searching. I’ve been spending the last week or so porting a piece of software that took me a day to write to Windows. It’s been _real_ educational. In some ways windows is a pretty cool widget kit, and sometimes I even get excited about programming for it. In other ways, it’s just dumb, dumber, and dumbest – a crash waiting to happen.

The thing that irritates me the most about windows, more than anything else, is that it exists and that I use it.

The thing that irritates me the most about life, more than anything else, is that it exists and that I use it.

Wait, no, that came out wrong.

Repost from Augest 10,2001

Friday, June 7th, 2002

Today’s rant is about quality of work. Giving a damn about your job, that kind of thing. Today’s rant is going to star a certain very hapless mechanic. We’ll call him mechanic X. He works at a fairly overpriced garage, which we’ll call garage Y.

Now, garage Y usually does pretty good work. They get all the parts back in the right places, they don’t break things, and they generally seem more or less clued. In other words, they’re far from the worst. They charge about three times what the going price is down at the AutoZone for any given part, however. But one gets used to this, and really, in today’s world, they probably have to do that in order to stay in the black.

I went in to Garage Y prior to taking a extended road trip, with a long laundry list of things I wanted done to the car. Most of them were done correctly, no problem. But there were two minor sticking points. The first was that I wanted the CV joints changed. They’d been on there 80 thousand miles, and were starting to make that distinct clacking noise that CV joints make when they’re nearing the end of their useful life.

Garage Y didn’t agree with this decision. Rather than put two new shafts on (parts cost, ~ $300), they wanted to put new boots on, 4. I was in a hurry, didn’t have time to argue with them, so I let them. They claimed to have done a visual inspection on the joints, and they claimed they were fine.

Now, friends, it doesn’t take a visual inspection to know when a CV has had it. They have a limited life, and you can just put the car in the air and spin a wheel and you’ll know if they’re beyond it or not. In addition, on a car like the Integra, pushing the gas hard while turning gives one a very definite and clear picture of whether or not the CV joints are a bit on the toasted side.

But I digress.

What makes me really annoyed is that I called Garage Y a week later (for reasons that will be detailed in a few minutes – the reasons that I’ll never be using Garage Y again, as it happens) and they protested that they had visually inspected the joints, and they were fine.

Now, friends, I KNOW those joints had been on there for at least 80 thousand miles of very hard driving. And the sound of a worn CV joint on a Honda driveline is NOT subtle. We’re not talking about a click that could have been mistaken for a turn signal here.. But no, insisted Mechanic X, those CV joints were fine.

Okay, now there’s a few possibilities here. Either mechanic X is so slow that he doesn’t realize that he’s lying (possible, he did after all manage to cut off his hand on a table saw..) or he just doesn’t care about losing me as a customer. If it’s A, sorry, I apologize, stupid people have a right to earn a living too. But Mechanic X doesn’t _sound_ slow… He seems to be a fairly bright fellow, at least he comes off that way.

Personally, I’m voting for B. But whatever happened to wanting to do a good job?

Anyway, all of this is just a sideline on the way to my main point. My main point is thus:

I asked the mechanics to do a Vis. inspection of the timing belt. For those of you who don’t have Hondas, almost every Honda engine from 87 – 91 (and possibly quite a bit after that, I don’t know, never having owned a Honda newer than that) can be visually inspected by removing two bolts and popping off a plastic cover. And you should do this visual inspection every 20k miles or so, because the damn things wear out, and bad things can happen when they do.

But, sir 20 years of experience said, ‘it’s almost as much work to do a visual inspection as it is to change it’. At this point, I made two very bad mistakes.

1) I assumed he knew what he was talking about. After all, this was a Acura, not a Honda… Maybe things were different. I’d never had the Vis. inspection port open on this one…
2) I backed down.

This is a bad habit of mine. When I’m told by a (quote) authority figure that I’m wrong, I’ll often just curl up and accept it. When the bank says I owe them sixty bucks, I just nod and pay. When the cop says I was following too close, I nod and say ‘Sorry officer’. Usually, however, this bad habit doesn’t cost me very much, and it makes it easier to get along with people.

This time it would cost me my car.

For you see, all was not hunky dorey in timing belt land. A little spring loaded roller called a tensioner had come loose. How? Who knows… Might have even had something to do with the valve job that Mechanic X had just done. But it was no longer putting tension on the timing belt.. and the timing belt was a disaster waiting to happen.

A visual inspection would have revealed this immediately – in fact, a visual inspection was what finally did reveal it, after the car came to a mysterious stop by the side of I-76 in PA.

Now, I don’t have to tell you that I-76 is not a good place to find out your timing belt isn’t being held firmly in place. A mechanic’s shop, before the belt has jumped, while repairing the damage is still just a matter of buying a new tensioner and putting it on, is a much better place. But Mechanic X, despite having 20 years of experience as a mechanic, didn’t know that you could easily look at the timing belt on a Honda – something that a 25-year-old high school dropout with little more than a passing interest in cars knew.

It’s not that this scares me or anything.. but we are now finally getting to the point. The point, ladies and gentlemen, is that Mechanic X talked me _out of_ getting a timing belt change. He wouldn’t do a visual inspection – when in fact he could have made himself some money by doing one. I can’t guess why he didn’t want to fix my problem – other than that it might involve actually thinking – or working – when changing brake pads and charging three times over for the parts doesn’t.

But what I’m left with is the following observation: this mechanic didn’t want my car on the road.

I came to him having done all the hard work – telling him exactly what the likely problems with the car were, and where to go to fix them. He didn’t fix THREE! (he also decided he couldn’t change the oxygen sensor because it was too firmly screwed in. If he’d removed it while he had the radiator out, he would have had no problem undoing it – however, this would have involved thinking through the problem before he approached it with a tool).

He argued with me – not forcibly, but disagreeing with me heartily none the less – about what service the car needed. Me, the customer, the guy who drives the thing every day.

This is his JOB! This is what he does to put food on the table, and he approaches it with the sincere desire to NOT do it!

Does he not give a shit what happens with the machine when it leaves his garage? Personally, I can’t look at the inside of a engine without feeling a strange mystical feeling… Just like opening the hood of a quad P-III. All that power, all that precision, the finest man can do. I couldn’t close the hood again on a car knowing I’d not done everything it needed – nor could I put new boots on worn CV joints in good conscience.

But that’s just what this guy did.

Nor is he alone. In fact, I have YET to find a mechanic that I didn’t eventually get heartily sick of… they just don’t care.

And it’s not just mechanics. While the dot com failures were partially due to bad business models and excessive spending for chairs for offices, they were also partially because half the sysadmins, three quarters of the programmers, and fully ninety percent of the sales people out there are effin’ incompetents who don’t give a shit about the work they do, and who want to just put in their eight hours and get the hell out of there. People who truly don’t care about the work they do.

People, if you don’t give a shit about the work you do, here’s a novel idea: DON’T DO IT! Because it’s probably not worth doing! Go invent something better – you, yes you over there flipping burgers! Open your own burger joint, and use real meat! You over there wrenching cars for a Mechanic X – open your own garage, and actually guarantee your work!

I’m so sick of this mediocrity – of this utter lack of quality anywhere, anywhen, ever…

Just my $0.02.

Repost from June 9, 2001

Friday, June 7th, 2002

Okay, I promised I was going to do a rant on the senator who defected. But, actually, it occurs to me that I have more important things to say:

To start out with – I don’t know if y’all have been following the news, but Ashcroft is trying to make people who operate porn sites do some hard time. Now I’m not a huge porn fan, but I am a huge fan of the first amendment. I’m not saying that I consider kiddie porn acceptable (though I don’t think there’s much of that served inside the US), but aside from such extremes, as far as I’m concerned people should be free to publish whatever they want. I think this is usually called freedom of the press – one wonders if Ashcroft intends to shut down Playboy as well?

One wonders even more if Ashcroft intends to do anything about the thousands of ads that use sexually explicit symbology to attempt to sell their product? Or is he simply upset because all his dot-com stock crashed out but the internet porn sites are still making money?

In theory, this was a democratic republic – in other words, what we the people wanted mattered. In theory. Okay, so there are thousands of porn sites because people, well, like porn. I can agree that certain types of porn degrade women – but wouldn’t the sensible thing to do be to educate the people better about this, and let them make their own informed decision?

Personally, I’m seriously thinking I’d better reevaluate my pacifist beliefs. Because it may be getting around that time where the sons of liberty (sic) have to fight the bad evil imperialist empire if they want to remain free. Anyone starting to feel like they’re living in 1984?

On to another front – the mass corporate screwing of the current generation. I’m sending a heads up – to investors, to dot-coms, to non-dot-coms.. to all of ya’ll who participate in the great global mass orgy that we call a free market. You all fucked yourselves. Big time. Not only have you gone out of your way to destroy corporate loyalty in the last generation (See Roger And Me) – and not only have you forgot that corporations exist first and foremost as PART OF A COMMUNITY – NOT to make profits – you’ve also managed to alienate this generation so thoroughly that you will never see corporate loyalty out of any of us again. Fucknuts.

Okay, so what we recently saw was a transition from the early scam dot-coms run by con men to the quasi-legitimate brick-and-morterish people. Now instead of actually trying to make music free, is working for the man – etc, etc. Okay, we can live with that. You were panning for clue.. But you panned too hard.

Now, not only do those of us who stayed not trust you – the ones who got ‘laid off’ (right. Fired.) _really_ don’t trust you – and will never trust a company again. Smooth fucking move. Bad enough that the first generation had to make all the promises it couldn’t possibly keep – but now you’re making promises that you could have kept, but found it more convenient not to. Right. Well, I’ve got bad news for you – all the people you canned – prolonging their job hunt until the market was saturated and there were no jobs to be found – are gonna be drawing unemployment, living off your taxes – and I hope, takin’ it to the streets.

In the meantime, many of the companies that purchased the dot coms keep buying more companies.. Thinking you can buy solutions and they just snap together like legos – and keeps laying people off (read: firing them – when you ‘lay off’ someone, it implies you might bring them back if you had something for them to do). Okay, so we need to reduce headcount to save money – while we’re dumping millions into all these little dying companies. Right. And the CTO has a multi-million dollar house _why_?)

The problem is that this generation of kids is so far normalized, medeocrisized, and conformized that they’ll sit in front of the TV set mooing and believe that they got a fair shake. Okay, so they were overpaid. Nooo shit. They were overpaid because the tech people wouldn’t work for less, and all the artiste-types got jealous of the tech people. Why wouldn’t the tech people work for less? Hrm, maybe because it’s a really shitty job? Involving waking up at outrageous hours, completely changing your mindset to mate with the computer’s, potential insanity, and the wonderful feeling that any time you could hit the wrong key and (supposedly) cause a million dollars in loss. Oh, but now microsoft’s going to fix all that.. hrm… oops, that’s another rant in and of itself.

Anyway, my point is, they were overpaid – BUT A LOT OF THEM DIDN’T KNOW IT! And, you kept cramming ads for credit cards, cars, etc down their throats – and now you’re about to see the longest string of young bankrupt people in history. I tried to warn them. I really did.. but you’re all going to pay for it now. Every one of you. How many dot coms actually worked on ad-share rev? Did any of you ever stop to question whether ads themselves were ethical?

Hrm. I think I’ve strayed from my original point, whatever it was. But to make the basic point clear again – you all fucked us, because you wanted money so bad. We’re never going to trust you again. And, I hope we’ll all get mad enough to get politically active – because there were a lot of us, and I’m pretty sure we could make some changes..

Maybe we could even shut down Ashcroft. But I doubt it. After all, Bush wasn’t really elected.

We’re living in hard times, my friends.. hard times. And it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Hang in there

Repost from June 20, 2001

Friday, June 7th, 2002

Well, it’s been another fun week at the ol’ farm – work on the EV continues nicely, and I haven’t electrocuted myself yet. On the other hand, I have recently discovered what has to set a new standerd for just plain _wrong_ in the spamming industry.

Recently, I’ve been filling out assorted surveys and when they ask for my fax number, I’ve just been typing it in without thinking about it. Apparently I typed it into one too many, because I started receiving – you guessed it – !fax spam!. At first I figured it was a isolated incident – but when the papers started piling up in the output tray, two a day, I realized I had a serious problem.

At first I figured I’d just call up the company and talk to them for a while – hence costing them more in 800 charges than I was worth. This was amusing, and I’m sure I frustrated the hell out of a couple of people (usually phone reps aren’t allowed to hang up on the customers, and this can make for very entertaining moments). But, it seemed clear that doing this wasn’t going to stop the torrents of spam piling up in my fax machine’s output tray – so I decided to try doing something truly nutty – and call the remove number.
Did so. Got a nice cheesy voicemail system.. and evil set in. The options included a number for adding a fax machine. So I added the system.

After that, the voicemail system was down for a few days. When I called back again to actually remove myself (since the faxes were still piling up), I got told that I could get redirected to the new number – for $2.95.

Okay, NOW I was mad. So I called the 800 number for the service on the spam, and talked to them for 30 minutes. Finally at the end they relented (the magic words are ‘can I talk to your supervisor?’) and removed me from the system. But I ask you, is this fair? Now they’re _charging us_ to remove us from a service that _costs us money_ every time they use it? This is just WRONG! Fax spam is technically illegal (see the california penal code segment at the bottom of and yet they have the unmitigated gall to _charge_ for removal.
Ashcroft, meanwhile, is too busy fighting porn to do anything about it.

In the meantime, I’ve recently had most of the mistakes and poor judgement calls of my life detailed on fuckedcompany. Oddly enough, I’m all for this – if we didn’t have free speech, life wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. I’m still a little incensed at being called a script kiddie – but hey, maybe that’s all I really am. It’s hard to tell from the inside.

What annoys me is that someone is trying to make any connection at all between my private life and the work I do. Lately this has been considered more and more acceptable – look at how many employers perform drug tests – and look at the hoops you have to go through to work for the federal government. Let me ask you a slightly pointed question – do you honestly beleive that in a honest world, George Bush could get a security clearence even adequate to sweep the _floors_ in the white house?

Back to drug tests for a second – WHY is it that my employer has any business at all knowing what chemicals I do or don’t use? One could argue that use of controlled substances indicates a lack of respect for the law – but almost any upstanding business breaks the law several hundred times a day, or at least bends it real hard. And with good reason – our laws vary from silly to stupid to unenforcable. For that matter, aren’t those who break the law in ways that don’t hurt other people the ones you want? The best, brightest, and most creative? The non-sheep?

Oh, wait. We don’t want non-sheep – because we’re trying to become America the Mediocre.

repost from May 27, 2001

Friday, June 7th, 2002

Chat… hahah!

I just spent a night hanging out in MSN chat. Not that I really was that lonely, or that bored, but just that I was sort of curious as to what sort of people join MSN chat.

It’s certainly easy enough to sign up. I filled out a few feilds, clicked ‘yes’, and away I went. The interface was nicely intuitive, and I had a wide variety of channels to choose from, all aparently well filled. No shortage of people.

What there was a major shortage of is conversation. I went from room to room, and even tried whispering to a variety of people, but for the most part, the only conversation I could get was ‘Hi’, ‘How are you’, ‘A/S/L’, and the occasional ‘want to have cyber sex?’ or the equivelant – usually
from males not smart enough to check my profile for gender.

Is this really the best we can do? The most interesting conversation I had all night was with someone who was quoting a infomercial to me. Not only could I not get anyone to talk about anything intelligent – I couldn’t even get them to talk about the weather. Apparently, anything more
complicated than ‘hi’ or ‘wanna cyberfuck’ is beyond these people. This really scares me. These are (one presumes) the smarter eggs.

Theseare people who figured out how to get their modem working, their ISP hooked up, got on the net, and decided they wanted to talk. Okay, so they aren’t mega-geeks or they’d know better than to use microsoft’s chat service – but… It’s just disturbing. I mean, have we really fallen this far? Has
television so eclipsed our abilities to think that we can’t even manage to hold a decent conversation? Maybe a little back-and-forth?

And then, of course, at the end of my fine netting experience came the ultimate. Two people got in a flamewar, and I swear it was like watching 3 year olds:

xxx: Fuck you
yyyy: Fuck you too
xxx: like I give a shit
yyy: you don’t, do you. What if I come make you?

OVER THE INTERNET? HELLOOOOOOO! Is there anybody IN there? You’re not even smart enough to figure out what a IP address IS, much less how to map one to a geographic location. About the only chance you have of getting the other guy’s address is if he’s dumb enough to give it to you – which if
what I saw tonight was any sample, MIGHT HAPPEN!

This is TERRIFYING! No wonder microsoft gets away with writing such horrid software – the users probebly just think it’s their fault when the computers crash anyway. Is this my imagination? Or has thinking in general gone out of vouge in favor of simply accepting the grass that’s handed to you like a good little cow?

At one point I commented that I didn’t like Las Vegas, except for DefCon – and someone asked me why not.. I gave four reasons, and she agreed with every one of them. Then I commented that I was glad it suited her even though it wasn’t for me – and she hemmed and hawed and it came out that
she basically didn’t like it much either, but she felt the need to defend it because it was ‘her city’. Is this why my parents keep telling me what a great place America is? I’m not sure…

Whatever happened to trying to _change_ the things you don’t like? Okay, so we’re never going to make Lost Wages any less hot.. in fact, I think the best solution is to just abandon the city – geothermal cooling won’t even work there because the _ground’s_ too hot – but we could certainly
figure out some way to make it so people didn’t always look so miserable coming in. Not sure how, but surely it could be done… I don’t know. Just ranting.

Repost from Nov 11, 2001

Friday, June 7th, 2002

I think I’ve just been through hell.

We lost a motherboard the other day, to lack of tender loving care or something. It actually still works, except the USB ports and PCI slots. But seeing as to how it was the board for a gaming machine, this was deemed unacceptable and I went to get a new motherboard.

This was great – in theory. In practice, I discovered that the state-of-the-art slot 1 has been discontinued in favor of socket 370, a less reliable socket with the SAME PINOUT!

You’ve gotta be kidding me.

Tried every local place i could think of. No slot one motherboards, sorry.

Then I started noticing a more disturbing phenomenon.

No one sells processors any more..

I guess they decline in value so fast that you can’t make any money buying them – because trying to find these things was like trying to find R-12 – that is to say, I’ve had easier times trying to buy illegal drugs. I went to several computer stores, and the story varied.. sometimes it was ‘we don’t sell processers any more’ (but they still sell the motherboards.. wonder what they think we’re going to do with them?) and sometimes it was ‘we’re out of that particular product – try back in a month’.

Sooner or later, I started to get annoyed. I mean, they had these $900 celerons (who is going to pay 900 for a celeron? I don’t _care_ what brand name you stick on the front, it’s still a effen’ celeron, and it’s still a $300 computer).. but they didn’t sell processors. No, sir, you should really just buy a new computer. I mean, it’s the safest thing.. are you sure your processer’s bad anyway?

Finally, something snapped.


“Well, sir, no reason to get upset – that’s a obsolete motherboard”.


Then I got everything home, and foolishly threw away the boxes – not realizing that I’d need them so I’d know what product i had to install the drivers. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, they no longer give you CDs suitable for merely your product – no, that’d be inefficient. Now they give you drivers for every product the company you bought your product from has ever made on the CD. Actually, in some cases, there are several companies to choose from. I have to wonder how the Rage 3D drivers, NVidea drivers, and Voodoo 5 drivers all ended up on the CD for my video card. Must be a interesting story there.

Actually, it gets worse – I decided to crack the cover and look on the card itself for the model number – you’d think they’d put that on there somewhere, wouldn’t you?

You’d be wrong.

And, as usual, to get the ROM drive working, one has to install the IDE drivers – which are conveniently provided on CD-ROM.

Am I the only one who has this problem?

You know, maybe there’s a _reason_ the bottom is falling out of the computer industry. When it takes me three hours to get a PC up and running, that’s _sad_. I mean, we could blame this on me, and in the sense that if I’d been a good little consumer and bought the package system this wouldn’t have happened, this is my fault – but it still seems to me like the manufacturers really don’t want me building my own computer.

Have I ever talked about my theories about selling each other hamburgers?

Repost from June 20, 2001

Friday, June 7th, 2002

–Begin quote–

re: Love them mnemonics Jun 20 2001 06:10AM EST
Originally posted by Buzz Word:
RIF, LOA, MIP, RNC, etc.

As in “Combined with our

MIP offering, we will be positioned to emerge from this recession” blather.

What recession? The economy is doing reasonably well. The problem is that the stupid funding bubble of dotcoms is over.

Years ago, we had to contend with confusion between “revenues” and “net profits”. Now, the dotcom industry is confused between “capital funding” and “revenues”.

Everything is just fine outside the dotcom (and the related telecom) implosion.

Keep telling yourself that until you beleive it.

You and I both know that many of the non-service jobs in this country have gone south or north – that most clothing, auto, farming, etc happens off these fair shores.

You and I both know that the federal government owes more money than bill gates could ever dream of having – our tax dollars just go to pay the interest.

You and I both know that Bush is going to drum up a war, just to try and get the hard-stalled service-bullshit economy to (maybe) crank over.

Yes, the DJIA looks good. But in the real world, the situation is grim. 1% of the population is in jail.. something like 8% works for the government.. another 5% (!) works in the transit industry, in one way or another (insurance, car sales, car repair, airline, etc) – oh, and let’s not forget those who don’t work at all.

You may think the economy is healthy and everything is going just fine. But I have bad news – you can only sell each other hamburgers for so long..

The internet is a real innovation – the computer in general seems to be a american thing – but unless it’s successfully deployed internationally, it doesn’t pay the bills. With IPv4 so entrenched in it, it won’t be deployed internationally because the addressing doesn’t permit it.

Also, the government and the Powers That Be are quickly deciding they don’t really _want_ information to flow freely. Gives us too much ability to think. Thinking’s bad. Sit in front of your TV, load up the credit cards with the products we advertise, and be good little consumers. Yay.

Mark my words: This one aint gonna fly long term.


Rant Repost

Friday, June 7th, 2002

I’m reposting a bunch of rants from TheSadTruth – they were taken down there [apparently I suck too much to be worth saving, or else wasn’t writing often enough]

Anyway, I figured I wanted to save them somewhere, and this is as good a place as any…

So, the next few entries will be rant reposts