Wednesday, December 05, 2007

All Glory to the Hypnotoad!

Well, Futurama: Bender's Big Score came out on DVD last week. Two weeks ago if you downloaded it illegally because you couldn't wait, which I did, but I was going to buy it anyways so lay off damnit.

I enjoyed it enough, it wasn't like the TV show in that it was widescreen and actually felt more like a movie than 4 individual episodes. Which is both a positive and negative I suppose. I like the short episodes better perhaps, because they're forced to jam more story and comedy into a shorter space, wheras the movie takes its time.

Favourite scenes include Hedonism-bot's purchase of Professor Farnsworth's doomsday devices, Niblonians attacking and getting defeated by chairs, and the scene where the confusingly titled"Bender from the very end" shows up early in the second part. Also where hypnotoad kills a bitch.

Speaking of hypnotoad, I enjoyed the everybody loves hypnotoad feature, and I think it'd be amusing if they threw an episode of everyone loves hypnotoad on each DVD movie. I mean, how hard would it be. just swap a few frames and add a few commercials. Not to downplay the genius that is every episode of hypnotoad, as written by hypnotoad,
produced by hypnotoad. In conclusion, I demand more hypnotoad.

I liked the packaging well enough. The fact that the DVD is labelled with a solid gold death star is a nice touch, and the packaging sort of goes will with the television season dvd packaging.

The story was a tad weak, but I consider this essentially a first episode showing us a glimps of things to come, where they're still experimenting on things, and they may have rushed it out, and for that I'm impressed, I expect there to be much improvement in the next DVD.

Elzar and Bender doing a cooking show would also be an amusing extra feature that would require little animation. Look at me with my ideas.

All in all, It was worth the $22 Canadian I paid for it, though I resent the fact that Americans always get this shit so much cheaper. Lousy Americans.

Oh right, I rolled my eyes at the global warming carbon neutral stuff. Again, I live in Winnipeg, Canada, and most people here want global warming.

Won't somebody PLEASE Stop Will Smith?

Fresh off from whoring out his son in the Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith is back with "I am Legend", ostensibly an Omega Man ripoff starring, who else, Will Smith, directed and produced by, who else, Will Smith, and also, briefly, his daughter, Willow Smith. Maybe the Fresh Prince is worried the residual cheques for Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire will run out before he gets old, and thinks "Hey! I need to start whoring out my kids now!"... Anyways, I haven't liked any of his movies since.. well.. I haven't liked ANY of his movies, It all started with Independence Day, which I hated, and it is now fashionable by EVERYONE to hate, but I refused to pay to see it in theatres and refused to pay to rent it and only finally watched it when it was on prime time TV and I had lost remote control privileges for reasons I won't go into. It was punishment beyond all comprehension. Like being thrown into a bottomless pit, dying of hunger after eating all your limbs off as stumps, then realizing that as a ghost you're still going to die in the bottomliss pit, but you're a stump ghost with no arms or legs because you ate them, and also you're hungry because ghosts presumably maintain how they felt when they died (so either die having sex, or try not to die in a painful way)..

The point of this ramble fest is as much as I hate Will Smith's movies (I enjoyed the fresh prince for what it was, and he was a good rapper) I hate him whoring out his children on us even more. His daughter not only has his name in a feminine form.. "Will-ow... short for will-ow my eyes what the heck is that creature take it away! TAKE IT AWAY!" (Picture to the right) but she has his face. Which would be fine if she was a boy, but she's a 7 year old girl. So now you're saying, Reed, why the heck are you picking on a 7 year old girl? The answer? Because Will Smith is whoring her out to the world and I do not want! It's bad enough his last movie was about a fucking rubics cube or something, but now he wants to out-act Charlton Heston? Impossible! He ruined I Robot by whoring himself out rather than the story (And I wanted to like it because it was directed by Alex Proyas, who did Dark City among other things, and I enjoyAsimov's stories), he ruined Men in Black.. well ok, Men in Black wasn't that bad,but mostly because Will Smith wasn't the main star of that film and he's alright in comedies.

I feel sorry for her because Will Smith is saying she wants to be like the next Paris Hilton. Even Paris Hilton is somewhat pretty compared to that smile. I really hope she outgrows this ugly duckling phase, but Willow Smith totally got hit with the ugly stick, and its all right for me to say all of this because Will Smith whored her out. So There. I'll leave you with the following quote from Will Smith:

"You kind of don't work with Willow, you work for Willow."

But I'm not a plastic surgeon!

Ba-dum-ching!

(In all fairness, I did search for the ugliest picture I could find of her, but damnit, I'm so fucking sick of Will Smith whoring out his kids)

I'll link to the fucking toronto star article that I got the quote from.. it's only fair.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Toronto Maple Leafs 2-Ply Tissues from Dollarama

Dollarama is a great store. Aside from Furniture and Clothing, you could go to Dollarama and get almost everything you'd ever need, for the price of ONE DOLLAR.

Now, I hate the Toronto Maple Leafs, like all intelligent Canadians. So I was surprised when I came across a package of "Toronto Maple Leafs 2x16 2-Ply Tissues" at the dollarama. Basically a package contains 2 little tissue packs. Now, why would I buy this if I hate the leafs?

Heres the thing. I only saw Toronto Maple Leafs brand tissues. No Phoenix Coyotes brand tissues (they beat the Leafs tonight, the lowly Coyotes) No Edmonton Oilers or Montreal Canadiens tissues. Just the Leafs.

Does that make sense? Yes. Yes it does. Leafs fans are idiots, and furthermore they are idiots who will buy anything with the leafs logo (and some say are to blame for Canada's flag being the maple leaf. Heck they wanted it to be blue) .. Also, Leafs fans are the sports fans with the most reason to cry of any sports fans out there.

So, the point of this post was to mock Maple Leafs fans. Yes, I'll kick you when you're down you're that annoying. The only fans that came mildly close to being as annoying and deluded as Leafs fans are fans of England at the euro/world cups (Soccer, or as its know there, Football). They lost to the superior team a couple days back, to Croatia, and couldn't believe it, made tons of excuses, are out of Euro 2008, have to play Croatia AGAIN for the 2010 World Cup as they are in the same division, and STILL think "OH yeah we can beat them EASILY".. NO YOU CAN'T! YOU SUCK! DONT YOU GET IT? They just don't.

In any case, this guy makes a good point at this link here as to why the Leafs are garbage.

Alas, I'll end this with the CFL where the Winnipeg Blue Bombers lost in the Grey Cup to those evil sons of lucifer themselves, the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Too many injuries destroyed the Bombers chances. It just wasn't to be. I'm actually amazed they made it to the Grey Cup game at all this year. Hopefully they can pull it together, and win it next year. I'll give the Bombers credit for exceeding my expectations, and then meeting them in the Grey Cup. Congratulations to Saskatchewan. I guess we'll have to get a conservative provincial government too, then we'll win. In Fact, I blame Gary Doer for losing the coin toss. Jackass. Increasing the minimum wage is dumb too. It just means more people will be making minimum wage. Why penalise hard workers? Oh right, I forgot. This is the NDP we're talking about.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Holywood Writers Strike

If you haven't heard by now, Hollywood Writers are going on strike. They want more money from internet sales, but they aint gettin it. So strike it is! Now, I know people come here for the news, so, this is how you'll be affected:

- Immediately: Late-night talk shows, which depend on topical material, will go to reruns

- In about one month: Daytime soap operas will go to reruns

- By January-February: Current prime-time shows will likely run out of fresh episodes

- Reality shows unaffected; Fox, with fewer hours to program and powerhouse "American Idol" returning in January, in best shape if strike continues, according to The Hollywood Reporter

- ABC has stockpiled several new shows, could put them on in midseason if strike persists

- TV networks have stockpiled TV movies

- Movie studios in decent shape for now


- By July: Military Juntas roam the streets rounding up anyone who has discovered the outside world

- By September-October: Mass Canibalism, some Zombie skirmishes.

- By November: Lindsay Lohan runs out of crack and heroin, online gossip sites beg washington for financial aid. Saturday Night Live wins an emmy for its best season ever, despite having produced no episodes.

- By December 2008: Thermo-Nuclear war. Dogs and Cats living together.

Clearly its no laughing matter. A world without poorly written hollywood television is one too frightening to imagine. People might resort to watching the BBC or Canadian Television or cancelling their Cable TV subscriptions because now there really IS nothing to watch.

Still, I'm pretty sure most cartoons are unaffected by this, so Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, and all the rest of the shows that I watch will continue as if none of this mattered. Which it doesn't. Well, except for The Colbert Report. Maybe Colbert will use the free time to run as an independant candidate in the election. Though why anyone would want to follow George W Bush into the presidency and try to fix his mess is beyond me. Even if you win, you lose.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Worst Halloween Candy ever!


What is the worst halloween candy ever?


I remember in my youth there were some pretty crappy candy's given out. Stuff that tasted like blue soap, which is not an actual flavour that should exist, but does. I never cared for popeye cigarettes, and leaving aside utter crap like Candy Apples and popcorn in a bag (seriously.. ), the worst candy ever is this:

god I hate these candies. I bought some this year to give out to kids who are annoying looking, but there were barely any trick or treaters this year. It was actually quite dissapointing, though I have a lot of leftover chips/various treats left over for myself to munch on. It's quite dissapointing.

Anyways these candies are some sort of maple caramels made by some quebec company called bonbon something or other.. they used to be given out all the time, luckily people dont give them out anymore it appears. then again, im not going trick or treating so how would I know, but I assume by what they sell at the store they don't give these out.

I would have liked to have handed out sunflower seeds, but the only company selling sunflower seeds in tiny halloween packages was 'spitz' and they were only the seasoned kind, which i hate. salted is how i like my sunflower seeds and thats it. I wont risk having crappy leftover treats I wont eat. Still it was a step up from last year when you couldnt find anyone selling sunflower seeds. What is it with that? They used to give them out all the time around here. Nutty Club sunflower seeds, or that other brand that uses the silver foil wrappers.. whatever.

Another thing they gave out when I was younger were packs of trading cards with the gum stick in them. Those were great, because I'd amass a huge collection of those cards and had perfect card house building material. (blue/yellow cards looked better than regular playing cards) I still have them somewhere. Even Back to the Future trading cards. Good times.

I suppose it all comes down to overprotective interest groups ruining things for kids by not allowing "advertising" to "warp" kids minds. Now Saturday morning cartoons are almost a distant memory, partly because of the fact that there are a billion channels now, but also because of the fact that they first wouldn't let them sell toys for the same products within a certain time frame of something being aired, then McDonalds wasn't allowed to advertise, and now breakfast cereals! It's disgusting, and kids today will grow up without the same sense of humour as I did about the whole thing. They may even end up more susceptible to advertising in the end, not being trained at an early age to weed out the crap toys from the ones that were actually good. And it's not like kids are stupid. They know Transformers are better than GI Joe. Not that GI Joe was bad, but if you had a choice of Megatron vs Sargent Slaughter, you'd fucking take Megatron. Except todays transformers are 100% cheap plastic. And if you wanted a Megatron toy, he wouldn't be a gun, cause you can't give children weapons! That'l make them violent! As if.

Regardless of my whole rant, those orange candies are disgusting. Though they don't make me throw up. Oh yeah, one last rant. Tootsie rolls. You know those coloured ones? Why do they make so many blue and red coloured ones, but not yellow and orange like I like ?? It's like black jujubes. NOBODY LIKES THEM, so why do they make them? It makes no sense! And it always seems like in a mix of candy, the kind you like is the least likely to be there.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Green Lantern finally gets a Movie


Variety and Newsarama report that we will finally be seing a movie based on my favourite comicbook series, Green Lantern.

It's about time, because really, Every major comicbook character like Spider-Man and Batman have had movies already, and even lesser characters such as Elektra and Catwoman. Even the Flash had a TV Series back in either the 80's or 90's (which I remember being done quite well... so, I'm quite happy it's happening.

I'm even happier its not the rumoured Jack Black comedy take on the series. Green Lantern has more in common with Star Wars or Star Trek than the Mask or School of Rock.

It's being written by a Greg Berlanti, who apparently pitched his concept for a Green Lantern movie series last year when the Jack Black fiasco was going down. Presumably he is intelligent enough to know that a GL movie would do far better if it stayed true to the comicbook series (merchandise wise, future sequels wise) than to have Jack Black do some sort of Comedy. Really, making Green Lantern a comedy.. insane! Comedies do not do the same business Sci-Fi type movies do. Space cops with future science rings that do anything they will them to? C'mon.

I'm only slightly apprehensive about what I read about this so far. It seems Hal Jordan comes across a dying alien who gives him his power ring.. now, not to be nitpicky, but the dying alien actually crash lands on earth and the ring searches for a replacement, gets confused, and choses Hal Jordan (as opposed to Guy Gardner) due to his proximity to the crash site. It really is an important little aspect of things as it allows for future movies with different Green Lanterns yet allows the story to progress.

So other than that, what touchpoints should there be in the movie?

Hal Jordan should go into space, we should see other Green Lanterns who could be CGI or whatever, we should hopefully see Kilowog, who is a great visual character, and perhaps Sinestro.

Hopefully Sinestro is the main villain here, or if he isn't, he could be a Green Lantern who turns bad and sides with whatever villain the movie has. Perhaps the Qwardians.

I would like to see a scene involving Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner. Just quick cuts say if theres an alien invasion or some sort of explosions, you have a school teacher saving some kids (Gardner), John Stewart perhaps in the army or something, doing something fearless, and maybe a little kid named Kyle drawing outside while his mother tells him to get inside. I'm sure someone could think of better ideas, but it'd be nice for us Green Lantern fans to at least quickly have our fears assuaged that we'll never see our favourite characters.

We need to see the Guardians in some form, either ephereally or in person, and Hal should get some sort of training with the ring and not have to stumble and figure it all out on his own.

Carol Ferris should be in it in some fashion as the love interest. Though Hal Jordan has gone through more women than Batman probably.

The ring isn't magic, its not midi-chlorians, its super-science created by an advanced race. thats important.

NOT everyone can be a Green Lantern. A Green Lantern has to possess great willpower and be free of fear.

It would be prudent to have the storyline reflect the current state of the world, like transformers included the army in its storyline, although not to the same extent, it shouldn't be an anti-war propoganda film, it should be escapist "shit gets blown up and this guy has the greatest weapon in the universe" deal.

It should be stand alone, but lay the seeds for future storylines. Also, go Big or Go Home. It's Green Lantern, the technology exists to make it great, I'm sure the more talented people at ILM and other places would beg to work on this if done right.

Now, I'm not 100% convinced it's going to be done right, but I'll give this Greg Berlanti credit for stopping the Jack Black thing, so he better not dissapoint me and give me a Spider-Man love story with Mary Jane thing. Thats fine for Peter Parker, who is a loveable dweeb, but Green Lantern, and this is EVERY Green Lantern, not just Hal Jordan, are not Peter Parker. They're Cops/Soldiers/Space Sherriffs. They're the least Super-Heroic type characters in the DC Universe. They use a weapon, they follow orders, its a JOB for them. A DUTY. Hopefully the movie reflects that.

DONT SCREW THIS UP GREG BERLANTI. The world has been waiting for something to replace the Star Wars and Star Treks and such of the world. This is it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fucking Bombers! @$^%


If, like me, you are from Winnipeg, then you've made this statement many times over the course of your life. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers, our CFL team, needed to win one game to lock up first place. They failed, and now the odds of them getting that first place position and the bye week that acompanies it is in the hands of Saskatchewan. If Saskatchewan beats Toronto, and the Bombers win their next game, they can still make first place and beat Toronto. But the odds of that are like 5%. So the Bombers blew it yet again.

I've never attended a Bomber game where the Bombers have won. Maybe I don't go to enough Bomber games, but them winning when it counts (like a game against Hamilton, CMON) would go a long way to convincing me to shell out money more often. I understand you cannot win them all, but why is it that every Bomber game I go to they lose? They still lose when I don't go, but I try to go to games where they're playing the worst teams in the league to give them a chance to win when I go to their games, but no! They always lose those stupid games. But thats beside the point.

The point is, the Bombers cannot withstand any little injury to the team. There are certain players who are good, who win games, and then theres the rest of the team who are mediocre at best.

So now the Bombers have to take the hard road to win the Grey Cup. I've never seen them take the Hard Road and end up showering us with anything but excuses for when they inevitably lose. I suppose it could be worse, I could've been born in Hamilton. I mean the Bombers are at least in Second place right? Whats so bad about that? Do they deserve to be in second place though? Theres no awards for coming in second.

So now us fans in Winnipeg can watch as those Fucking Bombers blow another season and become the first team to get knocked out of the playoffs. Fucking Bombers.

SIGH.

OK. Well. Go Bombers. Convince me I'm wrong. Please!

Heres a video someone made of the Bombers in better times

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Calvin & Hobbes

I was putzing around bannination.com as I tend to do (see the RSS feed on your right) and along came a story about this guy who is trying to collect little seen Bill Waterson/Calvin and Hobbes related drawings and such. Anyways, the discussion at bannination.com is at http://www.bannination.com/comments/5014791#436886 and the web page titled RaRE bill waTTERSoN aRt is at http://ignatz.brinkster.net/cbillart.html. In any case, its part of a general Calvin and Hobbes related web page. The point is here:

In the early years of Calvin and Hobbes (1986-89), when newspapers announced the comic strip as a winner of their annual "reader polls," Watterson would occasionally draw an original sketch for their articles. I'm actually looking for fellow Calvin fans in these cities to go to the public library, look up the following reader poll articles (in microfiche archives, etc.) and see if there are any such sketches:
* Chicago Tribune - January 04, 1987
* Times-Advocate (Escondido, California) - March 08, 1987
* Westchester Rockland Newspapers (New York) - March 22, 1987
* The Press Enterprise (Riverside, California) - March 22, 1987
* Sacramento Bee - April 23, 1987 (found!)
* The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) - September 28, 1987
* San Diego Union - November 01, 2004
* Rocky Mountain News (Colorado) - December 06, 1987
* Dayton Daily News: The Journal Herald (Dayton, Ohio) - December 06, 1987
* Houston Chronicle (Texas) - January 31, 1988 (found!)
* Westchester Rockland Newspapers ("The Journal News" in New York state) - May 01, 1988
* Winnipeg Free Press - July 01, 1988
* The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida) - July 17, 1988
* The State (Columbia, South Carolina) - July 10, 1988
* San Antonio Express-News (Texas) - September 25, 1988
* Sunday Camera (Boulder, Colorado) - October 16, 1988
* Toronto Star - November 25, 1988
* St. Louis Post-Dispatch - December 04, 1988
* The Philadelphia Inquirer - December 13, 1988
* The Hartford Courant - January 06, 1989
* The Chicago Tribune - January 29, 1989

Thanks for the help!

My 10 year old self little realized that my local leftie nutjob newspaper.. err.. I mean, the Winnipeg Free Press, was one of the earlier newspapers to carry this strip. In any case, the love for Calvin and Hobbes was great even within its first years of existence, and it shows in the article that acompanied the drawing Bill Waterson made that I am about to show you.

I decided, HEY, I know where the Library is, I can take the Microfiche from July 1st 1988 and get the picture and help the guy out. Alas, July 1'st of every year in Canada is Canada Day, and the Winnipeg Free Press don't work holidays (which I don't mind on Christmas, but how hard is it to publish an issue on Canada Day? It's always bugged me)

I decided to hang in there, like the original LOLCat, and lo and behold, the image was on July 9th, with an Acompanying article. So first, here is the image as drawn by Bill Watterson before the cruel world broke his spirit and bade him to stop writing anything Calvin and Hobbes related.


Cute. Not his funniest work, for sure, its basically quoting a humourless Winnipeg woman who may or may not be in a mental institution today, who was most assuredly also lamenting the lack of Beetle Bailey or Family Circus strips on Sundays.

Anyways, whatever I can do to help the world document one of the greatest comic strips of all time, I will. Heres to you, guy whose name I don't know who put together the Calvin and Hobbes web page I referred to earlier, and heres to you Bill Watterson, wherever you are, Thanks for making me realise at an early age that as talented as I was at making Comic Strips, I would never achieve the brilliance of a Calvin and Hobbes or Far Side. No, I decided, I would not subject the world to another Hi and Lois or Family Circus. Also my humour is lost if I cannot curse. Perhaps I should write a screenplay for a comedy involving teenagers trying to have sex instead.

Anyways, the Article is on the right. Hopefully it is legible enough. OCR scanning of the image seems to take a long time on Kubuntu, so, for now just an Image. You can click on it to get the full screen image, because its probably too tiny to read it this way.

It's a fun article, considering its almost 20 years old. A lot of the old people keeping certain comics published are clearly dying off, but their curmudgeonly work is done, the comics page is clearly not what it once was. Sure there are great strips, Pearls before Swine, and the rest, but Peanuts is still being published, which it probably shouldn't be (as much as I enjoyed it) Same with B.C.. and Beetle Bailey and Family Circus. Leave the classics to their collected books, and lets give more comic strip writers a chance to make something great again like Calvin and Hobbes (though not a horribly written wannabe like "Red and Rover" .. talking dog? C'mon.

Although, keep Marmaduke. It's only a crappy comic strip until you realise that Marmaduke is an Asshole. HE THINKS HE'S PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!



Followup: I looked closer, and realised this image is the same image as the one from the Houston Chronicle on January 31 1988. All that work, and Watterson was just being lazy. THANKS A LOT, WATTERSON. Anyways, the acompanying article at least is interesting, and the typed out alternate quote for Calvin is amusing, though one wonders if the editor put that in there, as it doesn't share the same lettering as Wattersons other strips.. Regardless, the guy who maintains the Calvin and Hobbes site can cross the Winnipeg Free Press off his list. I guess Watterson didn't think us yokels in Winnipeg would NOTICE. 20 YEARS LATER, YEAH WE NOTICED.

... cough.. anyways... whats done is done. Hopefully we get a personal apology from Bill Watterson for this grave insult. Hopefully in the form of a never before seen Calvin and Hobbes strip. ...............

yeah right :)


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Where have I been!!! OH HERE AND THERE...

Well, I'm alive and well. I completely forgot about my blog.

So, whats happened in the last month?

Well, I bought 8 Feet of Bridgfort Beef Sausage stick from Wal-Mart. They also have Pepperoni, and for the longest time I was confused because last year I bought the pepperoni one, and it tasted like crap, and I swore the crap off. Still, I noticed the other day while I went to the recently (First in canada) 24 hour wal-mart that they had Beef and Pepperoni style, and I like Beef, so I bought it, and it was good. Still, you have to wonder, why do they say 8 feet of pepperoni? It's Canada, we use Metric. Isn't there some sort of weights and measures law or part of Nafta that regulates this stuff? Granted Feet are how we measure height generally still in Canada, one of the few holdovers from the imperial age of measurement, probably as a result of the Americans. In any case, It was good. I still hate wal-mart, but nobody else sells that brand of beef/pepperoni stick here so I'll go there for that. I don't shop there for the prices or convenience thats for sure.

I perfected my spaghetti and meatsauce making ability. If I ever find a woman who loves spaghetti and meatsauce, Steak, and breakfast, then I'm set.

I bought a Creative Zen Stone Plus. I bought it because I was tired of using my Windows Mobile device as an MP3 player. It works, but its cumbersome. Plus, the Zen Stone+ has FM radio features, which are quite well programmed. The interface isn't apple ipod-like in ease of use sadly, I hope apples patents on the scrollwheel run out soon. Still, I'd rather have this little device with cumbersome controls than the proprietary garbage ipod owners have to put up with. Plus the ipod shuffle has no screen or scroll wheel either. The Zen Stone+ has a cute design, barely weighs anything, and I like it well enough. SO THERE.

What else.. Oh, I bought a USB->PC Gameport adapter for my PC. Works great. got an old gravis controller from the garage, played commander keen via dosbox. Very old school. Quite fun.

Updated Kubuntu to the latest version of Gutsy Gibbon. I'd say Ubuntu/Kubuntu are one or two versions away from appeasing most users. Wine, the windows emulator, is getting surprisingly good at running random things you throw at it. Windows Vista's utter failure couldn't come at a worse time for Microsoft.

Fun linux trick.. if you have a desktop running linux and ssh, try doing fish://192.#.#.# to that box with konqueror. It makes saving files from your laptop to the desktop incredibly easy. No more using scp from the commandline all the time. Also, while using Kubuntu 64 bit edition I noticed it didn't come with lxsplit in its repository to join split files. but you can overcome that by doing cat file.0* > file.avi or whatever and it'l be pieced back together. You can even test it with par2 and it'l be fine.

And thats all I got for today. I should try to post something bi-weekly at the very least. Kindof defeats the purpose of having the blog otherwise. Firefox even forgot to remember my blog password! Crazy. One more month til the new Futurama DVD is out! YAY!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

remember me!

whenever I sign in to blogger, theres that little checkbox that says "remember me".. and I always think to myself.. why am I clicking that? In case something bad happens and some sort of monster gets me as I'm logging in, google will at least have some sort of memorial service for me? "He was a great blogger. Always had something to say about something. Let us remember him, as the great blogger he was"

Unless it's just the sad lament of a checkbox with low self esteem.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

universal widescreen lcd compatible speaker bar



Something that pisses me off is that you can't really purchase a cheap, easily attachable, usb powered speaker bar to the bottom of your speakerless wide screen lcd monitor. Why not? Because I don't see them for sale anywhere. Sure you can buy the "HP" speaker bar for what, $200, but its grey, and presumably only for HP monitors, so , they lost a sale to me by not thinking about people who don't just buy HP monitors. Sure I could have bought a monitor with a speaker built in, but why? I didn't realise how cool it would look to have a speaker attached underneath at the time. So, if any chinese knockoff companies without any creativity whatsoever are reading this, now you have an idea that you can pretend you came up with yourself, steal it and mass produce the shit out of it. Theres probably a demand for shit like this.



Also, something else that pisses me off is buying a stereo or alarm clock these days, and they all include "iPod Compatiblity ports".. WOW. Guess what, there are other MP3 players out there that aren't iPods, as a non Apple whore, why not create shit that other people might want to buy? Like I want a big freakin hole in the front of a Stereo I buy? Though, a good idea would be for Sirius satellite radio to make a device the size of an ipod to fit into those stereos with a usb connection. If they haven't already. But apple probably doesn't let any competition use that style of port (which I hate, USB ports look better)

Thats another thing I'm going to whine about, all these different types of ports for no fucking reason. They could all use USB plugs, but they don't want to. Why? Cause they're freakin ripoff artists. Nintendo is the worst for this, not even including standard audio plugs on their GBA SP's and such. not even 2.5" plugs, which I don't like either but I can at least see the practicality for them. Though I have to give the ipod credit for creating an interesting gadget aftermarket, and bringing back quality earbuds and splitters and encouraging the use of usb chargers.



Speaking of apple ipod jacks, the fact that they don't sell Apple Jacks in Canada anymore. We only have the crappiest cereals. And I wish we could go back to the days before green and blue froot loops, when there was only red yellow and orange. who the hell wants green and blue and purple? Those are poison colours. Everyone knows that. Except in apple jacks, because at least green makes sense there.

Well until next time. that's all for now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Winnipeg's Exchange district good news


The Exchange district is home to a conglomeration of some of the nicest old buildings in North America. The fact that it exists is one of the few things in Winnipeg that give me any sense of pride in this city. When I heard that the owner of one of my favourite buildings had plans to demolish it for a parking lot, I was incensed. Granted theres nothing I can really do about it, but still, what a dick.

Bedford Investments has owned the building for almost two decades. They wanted to demolish the building, which is not only a heritage structure itself, but is located in a national historic site. They've wanted to do this for two decades. They've wanted a parking lot there for two decades and were willing to let this building rot for that period of time and unwilling to sell because they knew if they waited long enough, it would fall apart or they would get government funding. Well, they got their wish, in a sense.

All article quotes are in italics:

Back in June, city building inspectors broke down the front door, found the block infested with pigeons and on the verge of collapse. Insane! Disgusting. How can we as a city allow this to happen? I mean its a national historic site, and its a heritage building! Why aren't we creating laws to punish bad building owners who sit on property and own surface lots? Why aren't we encouraging development with creative taxation methods? People who own surface lots in the downtown should pay higher taxes than they do for it, and people with buildings should get some sort of tax repreive for keeping their property well maintained and having tennants and basically helping the city look alive and vibrant.

But city council voted to at least save the King Building's facades, which form part of the visual landscape of Old Market Square. Mayor Sam Katz and several councillors even mused about expropriating the block if a deal could not be reached with Bedford Investments.
I wish they had expropriated it, thats probably what got Bedford Investments to come to the table. At least this means the building facade will stay, and the parking lot next door to it will see some development and probably with a facade that maintains the visual appearance of the area even further, more than the piddly little parking lot Bedford has been milking for years which used to be home to a building just like 104 King Street.

"I believe 104 King Street is like the canary in the mine. If we lose this building, we may as well put up demolition signs all over the Exchange District, because it sends the message that government does not believe in preserving heritage buildings," said Coun. Russ Wyatt, who chairs council's downtown development committee.


Russ Wyatt is right. That's exactly what it is. Nothing lasts forever, but as a society we should do what we can.

Either way, all parties appear confident the King Building can avoid the wrecking ball. "We feel under the circumstances this is in fact a win-win situation, where the multi-storey structure, along with the retail component, will be developed," said Bedford director Ken Reiss. "That was always our No. 1 objective."

Righto. Your number 1 objective. Unfortunately your number 1 objective could have been accomplished 20 years ago, and probably cheaper, if that really was your number 1 objective. No, your number one objective was to get money from the city for owning something you have no moral right to own.

Reiss claimed "several parties" are already interested in the main-floor commercial space, which would be kitty-corner to Old Market Square.

Of course they are! It's a great site! Visable from all sides!

So, I'm glad the building is being saved for the most part, disapointed in society, bedford investments, and the city for letting things get to this level, and optimistic that the Exchange district isn't going to be run into the ground any more, especially now that its getting a lot of momentum and investment lately.

Link to the Winnipeg Free Press article I quote from

7-11

So I went to 7-11 today and the total of my purchase came out to $7.11 for 3 things. So I said that it should be free! And they laughed, and I laughed, but they didn't give it to me for free! I was serious :(

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bright light!

Gremlins 2: The New Batch was on TV today. I haven't seen this movie for years. I was surprised to find how many relatively well known actors were in this. Christopher Lee from LOTR and Star Wars 2, was in this as a geneticist. Robert Picardo the doctor hologram from star trek voyageur (which sucked) was in this as a building security head. Howie Mandel did the voice of Gizmo, Tony Randall did the voice of the Brain gremlin, and kinda stole the movie, Hulk Hogan, Leonard Maltin, Dick Butkus, Bubba Smith, all appeared as themselves for some reason.. Julia Sweeney from SNL and Pulp Fiction was in it, Gedde Watanabe from UHF was in it. some of the main characters in the original gremlins back for this as well. And it was just as entertaining as I remember it. What a great movie. Comedy horror. Theres nothing like killing a crazy monster with an office shredder, or electrocution, except of course when comedy is added to make us accept the violence more easily. Strange how they went more into the comedy aspect of things than they did in the original gremlins movie, but given the setting, it was probably the best choice. Truly an amusing movie. Plus the character Robert Picardo plays gets raped at the end. Insane!

Also saw Die Hard with a vengeance, which is a pretty decent movie. C'mon, Jeremy Irons, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L Jackson? And they all do a good job? That's a good movie, and throw in a pretty interesting cat and mouse game and explosions, truly a good movie. People should give it more respect. #2 was the only really bad one, though it's still watchable. I should go see the fourth one.

Shopping luck.


I went to Office Depot the other day because they had a decent price on an HDMI cable, which I purchased. So while I was at Office Depot, I found they had a table set up for discounted items, and they had an HP Ipaq 1700 on the table for $39.99. Which, is a pretty decent price, even despite the fact that it came with no boxes, charging cables, manuals, or anything except the device itself, which was missing a stylus and whether it worked was questionable. I then purchased a retractable cable for $9.99 elsewhere for the thing and tried to charge it. It seemed dead, until I tried a few soft resets, and eventually the screen lit up but it was stuck frozen at the boot screen. Which, while annoying, gave me hope that I could get it to work, and so I searched the internets for the technique to perform a "Hard Reset" on this thing. Which I tried, and the first time it didn't work, but the second time, success! Now I have an extra Pocket PC PDA. While my other one does Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and much more, this one can at least play mp3's and read ebooks, so $50 total for an ebook reader/mp3 player/calculator/solitaire playing device isn't that bad a deal I think. Basically, its rare to have a decent shopping find, but when you do, yay! Also the guy behind me in line at office depot saw the price when I bought it and seemed to be silently cursing me for finding it before him. It was a display model, and it had some sticky stuff on the back, but I managed to remove it and clean it and its good as new. What to do with it though, I'm uncertain. Basically I'm just gloating to the internets about my good luck. It could happen to anybody!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Ah Telus, Revenge is so sweet. Cry for me. Your tears taste so good.

An Article at the Financial Post proclaims that since cellular number portability began in Canada, Telus Mobility is the biggest loser. The article speculates that part of the problem is the CDMA technology that Telus uses. I must say, I prefer being on GSM for the most part. I like being able to swap a SIM chip and have a reasonably up to date phone. CDMA seems to be far too prevalent in North America and it was one of the reasons I switched, but the main reason I switched away from Telus, and kept my old telus phone number, was because Telus Mobility are a bunch of Greedy pieces of shit with the worst customer service in the history of the universe. I will never, ever, recommend Telus to anybody, and when I see someone signing up for a Telus contract at a Telus store, am very motivated to walk in there and tell them "Don't do it!" Just to have them lose a sale. Telus has no concept of customer service, we're all just cattle to the slaughter to them, free money. Disgusting. I'm glad to see them suffering for pissing me off. Couldn't happen to a worse company, cause there aren't any. Shitheads. Try to find someone to email on their website, you won't find shit. They took them off, because they don't want you to contact them because they know they're garbage. If you're thinking of buying a Telus phone, take my advice, don't. You'd get better reception by hammering a nail into your head and holding a car battery. Though I do not recommend doing do, it is a better experience than dealing with Telus's customer service.

Telus only does one thing right. They have an excellent advertising firm. Too bad even the best advertising won't help you sell a polished turd.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lord Voldemort is a little bitch.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, released on July 21'st 2007, is the final book in the Harry Potter and the something something series. Like all great stories in literature, the author, J.K Rowling has created a superb group of characters, that inhabit a vividly engaging world of wonders and excitement. She has become a huge success and has made millions of dollars and is expected to make millions more with this latest edition, and most believe she deserves every bit of it.

But does she?!

Recent events have come to light, and yours truly, has unearthed some incredible facts that will shock and disturb even the most devoted muggle fan of this "scarlet woman". I may inadvertantly spoil the seventh book for you if you haven't read it yet, so, be warned.

The books describe a world very much like our own, but with certain hidden segments of society capable of what can only be described as magic. This world operates alongside ours, but these Witches and Wizards, as J.K Rowling describes them, are capable of modifying memories, flight, teleportation (or as they call it, apparition), and even time travel. Pure drivel, you might say, there is no such thing as magic. This is a work of fiction! Alas, if only it were so.

This J.K (if that is even her real name! Some sources have told me she goes by Joanne or even Jo!) has made an obscene amount of money in a short time, and not only that, anybody connected with the Harry Potter phenomenon, has equally made millions off of this story. What is so engaging about this character that it could possibly sell so many books?

The answer will shock and surprise you. The only logical explanation is that this is not a work of fiction or fantasy, but a work of fact. Harry Potter was and is a real person, a famous person, in his magical society, and is so celebrated, that these Witches and Wizards deemed it appropriate that even non magic capable personages would be able to read his story. They clearly cast a spell over the books to make them addictive reading, and many minds both young and old have had thier wallets emptied by this trickery.

For evidence, the story of Harry Potter is surprisingly set in Britain in the 1990's. The main character was born on July 31st, 1980, according to the book, and this month will be 27 years old. the events in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, therefore, take place in the period between 1997 and 1998, except for the epilogue, which conveniently happens 19 years later, in 2017. This, faithful readers, is clearly meant to confuse us with math, an old trick. But trust me in this, that the likelyhood of Harry and Ginny Potter waiting a decade before having children is somewhat suspicious, considering the fact that he is rich and famous, and she is a redhead. Therefore that 19 years later part is a lie, and that final scene takes place in the current year.

Clearly, the story of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is based on reality. JK (whose initials are conveniently a common abreviation for "just joking" on the internet) has yet to deny this, or even be asked the question. She claims Harry Potter just popped into her head one day and she began the process of producing these books. How does an idea just pop into someones head? Through Wizardry, thats how.

I don't for an instant claim that JK Rowling is aware of the way Witches and Wizards have used her, no doubt she will say she has been justly compensated. However, the truth should be known, and I leave it to you to judge for yourself.

As for the final book, I enjoyed it for the most part. We followed Harry Potter, his friend Ron, and Ron's slutty girlfriend Hermione as they seek to fulfill Harry's destiny of destroying Lord Voldemort, and being destroyed. Many characters die. Because Lord Voldemort is a serious dick. Harry eventually, with the support of his friends, Dumbledores Army, the order of the phoenix, dumbledores prescient consciousness, and the titles Deathly Hallows, manages to not only defeat Lord Voldemort, but to get Lord Voldemort to act like a little bitch at the end, which is great. It's like the scene in Death Proof withere Kurt Russell, a sadistic murderer, can't appreciate the irony of just being shot and cries like a little bitch. No doubt, if this story wasn't based in fact and set in the past, I would accuse J.K Rowling of stealing from Quentin Tarrantino, but I won't.

The Deathly Hallows, are basically JK Rowlings attempt to shoehorn the game Rock Paper Scissors into the story for some reason. Basically, Lord Voldemort always picks rock, cause nothing beats rock, and thats how Harry Potter beats him.

Characters who died include Dobby, who should have gotten a slightly better death scene, as I liked the little guy. George's twin Fred, also dead, which clearly, had to happen, as it rhymes. Harry Potter was a Horcrux, like everyone thought, and even JK Rowling lying couldn't convince anyone otherwise. I was dissapointed the clever idea of Parseltongue wasn't used a little more in the story. Why can't people who talk to snakes talk to Dragons? Aren't Dragon's serpents? Oh well. Still, the ending left a lot unanswered. Did Harry Potter end up playing Quidditch professionally? We will never know. Did Hermione's elf rights thing get any traction? She built up this whole world, then basically turned it on its head, and then left it up to our imaginations how it would end up. And she has the nerve to tell us that she won't be making any more stories based in the Harry Potter world. That's what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said as well, but he wrote tons more Harry Potter stories after he killed Harry Potter off. The chick who wrote Anne of Green Gables wrote books about Anne of Green Gables daughter and it had nothing to do with Lord Voldemort. There can only be one explanation why she cannot write any more stories in the Harry Potter world. Because she can only write about things after they have happened, because it is a story set in fact, not fiction.

Logically then, she should give back all of her awards and trophies for excellence in writing fiction.



And in memorium of what will happen on the Friday night of release at every Harry Potter book release tomorrow night, I present the popular youtube video "Barnes and Noble Snape Kills Dumbledore Spoiler jerk"

Monday, June 18, 2007

Birthday Wishes to famous old people who read my blog probably.

While its still June 18th, I'd like to wish Roger Ebert happy birthday. Hope you get better soon, so I can tolerate watching your TV show. Richard Roeper is just such a slimy guy.

(It is also Isabella Rossellini and Carol Kane's birthdays, so happy birthday to them too.)

It is also Paul McCartney's birthday. Paul, in your honour, I will eat three double hamburgers well done, you anti seal clubbing vegan authoritarian jerkoff who was always the least talented beatle..

Yes, I actually believe people read my blog. Hell I google my name, why wouldn't they.

I think McCartney is actually 65 now, which is interesting because I think one of their songs references that age. The rest are only freedom 55.

I don't wanna sound like a queer or nothin but..

RAINBOWS!!!!!!

This rainbow picture was taken today near my place. I did an auto-adjust in Krita (photoshop like program for Linux) which ended up making it brighter.


By contrast (pun intended) this one, with auto-contrast, turned all black and evil and pink-floydy. Still, it has personality. Here is the original.

Kinda funny how the auto-contrast works. I think both look kinda neat. Didn't really want to mess with the pics too much. Heres a double rainbow! .. well, if you can see it. It's very faint.


And Finally, I swear this is real. I saw a freakin Unicorn for a split second and cought it on Camera. behold!
Prove to me that's a fraud. It was right there! OK, Maybe I may have used some effects in Krita to make the unicorn more obvious, the mylittleponyization tool, but it was only to add to what was already there! I'm not mad. Anyways, hope you enjoyed the Rainbow pics. If you have become diabetic as a result of viewing these overly saccharine pictures, I absolve myself of all responsibility.

If you would like to learn more about Rainbows, or Unicorns, or My Little Pony, consult Wikipedia, or your local library!

Finally, a bunch of clips from the movie Orgazmo via Youtube.

Buy it on DVD!

(don't click on the youtube thing if you're under 18, because you wouldn't understand the complex humour, and also you're underage, you little punks. Though its probably not obscene..)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fucking goddamnit, Mayor of Winnipeg Sam Katz

I, for some reason, live in a city run by dimwits. I could have moved to Vancouver, or Calgary, or Toronto, at any point, but like an idiot, I decided to stick around in hopes that the people in charge aren't self delusional bastards who make their fortunes on the backs of taxpayers. Or at least, not so blatantly so.

Last election (for mayor of the city of Winnipeg), Sam Katz, the incumbent, promised WI-FI access at the local libraries. WOW. I was surprised, wi-fi access at a local library.. how ... progressive! Well, not really, considering the fact that most major cities in North America generally offer free Wi-Fi at local libraries. You'd think it'd be easy, considering Libraries already offer internet terminals. Just plug in a freakin wireless router and you've got some wireless. Heck they could have filtered it for all I care.

But, of course, now almost a year or more after his promise, we find out that it's going to be an MTS hotspot. That's right, you can charge it to your credit card to do internet research on your laptop at the library when you've got free computers right there. Apparently the libraries in Winnipeg are Chargebraries. Apparently, if you can afford a laptop, in Winnipeg at least, you can't even get free wi-fi access at the Library to do your research. Sorry, students, you gotta pay for it from MTS. I doubt I would really use the service personally, but it would be nice to have that option available at a Library without having to pull out the credit card. But not in Winnipeg.

I've already been leaning for years to moving, possibly to Vancouver, a city I know has had free wi-fi library access for years, which has cheaper property taxes, and less obvious political corruption (or incompetence, I'm still undecided which this is), especially with the recent reelection of Gary (wont) Doer. It's really a shame that there are such few intelligent people left here. Just dimwits, Car theieves, corrupt officials, gangsters, drug dealers, sycophants, people who just don't care anymore, and me.

The hardest thing will be moving away from my family. As much as I can't stand them at times, its nice to know they're nearby. But seriously, Winnipeg, and the province of Manitoba, make it easier every day with the little bonehead moves they make. Heck, the previous mayor is living in Toronto now, whats that tell you?

The killer is, there was originally going to be free wifi at libraries, but it looks like Katz scuttled it in favour of this MTS bullshit. Way to prop up the overcharging local company, Katz. You fucking miss the point entirely once again.

For the record, I have nothing against MTS charging for wireless, but its a fucking library. there should be free wifi at the fucking library. you fucking imbeciles.

check out http://wpl.winnipeg.ca/library/pdfs/wireless.pdf for all the mind killing idiocy that is Winnipeg. Oh yeah, apologies for my foul language, but this bullshit is just pathetic.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

BITCHSLAP!

I have to preface this by saying that perhaps I've been overly critical of the CRTC in my past postings on this blog and I should apologize, they seem to have actually been making decisions in the best interest of all Canadians lately. At least the last two decisions that affect me, cellular number portability, and digital OTA (over the air) broadcasting.

A couple weeks back the CRTC finally released the results of their study on the next phase of OTA broadcasting in Canada. (located here: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Notices/2007/pb2007-53.htm). I was shocked and actually relieved to take note that they have introduced a cutoff date of August 31, 2011 for requiring a Digital signal to receive over the air broadcasts. The shocking parts, in bullet point form below:

  • The Commission will not adopt a fee for the carriage of OTA television stations by broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs).
What does this mean? It means that you don't have to pay an extra fee to get OTA stations on cable or satellite. Which is quite sensible. These stations have for years rebroadcasted american entertainment with little effort to increase Canadian entertainment (Which by the success of shows like Trailer Park Boys and Corner Gas, we as an audience clearly desire.. not artsy CBC Dramas about Pierre Trudeau, though I suppose theres an audience for everything somewhere).. Granted I wasn't really AGAINST the idea of the Cable company paying carriage fees per se, but considering everything it just doesn't seem worth the bother, more to the point, I don't trust the OTA broadcasters are telling the truth that they need the money. It's just a cash grab pure and simple.
  • The Commission will increase the number of advertising minutes that OTA television stations may broadcast. Specifically, it will increase the 12 minute per hour limit on traditional advertising to 14 minutes per hour in peak viewing periods (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) effective 1 September 2007. The limit will be increased to 15 minutes per hour for all viewing periods effective 1 September 2008, and eliminated altogether as of 1 September 2009.
This one I'm surprised by. Certainly there will be some increased costs for going to digital, nevermind HDTV, in the near future, but advertising is moving away from the 30 second spot format in my opinion, and going back to product placement and such. That might be why they plan to get rid of the limit by 2009, though I'm not fully grasping this. But whatever, advertising pays the bills for OTA TV, let them do what they want as long as its not overkill. Certainly its fair business.
  • Television licensees will be authorized to broadcast only digital OTA signals after 31 August 2011, although exceptions may be made in northern and remote communities where analog transmissions will not cause interference.
EXCELLENT (if only 2 years later than I would have hoped for) Personally, it makes sense. Northern communities don't need to rush to switch over to digital broadcasting. Frankly,
  • The Commission will examine Canadian programming expenditure plans and exhibition commitments by licensees at the time of licence renewal.
Yes Yes, the commission will do lots of boring things.

Anyways, its Nice, and I was going to go off on a rant about the whole thing, but for once I'll keep things relatively short and say, thanks for doing something right, CRTC, this and actually making Bell Globalmedia follow the law were very heartwarming. Keep it up.

/as an aside, local AM talk station CJOB wants an FM antenna to rebroadcast, which I think is a good idea, because many MP3 players don't have AM but include FM.. and a lot of their audience is missing out as a result. Good luck with that, CJOB.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

JUMBO REMOTE CONTROL


Look at this sonofabitch. It's huge. It has no real use, it's bigger than most jumbo calculators. They keys are about the size of the keys on my laptop, it's 3-4 times the size of my other remotes, it doesn't work with my (admittedly crappy) dvd recorder (Which I plan to replace as soon as quality dvd recorders with ATSC/QAM are available in Canada) but WHO CARES? ITS HUGE. It was $9.99 on sale. I plan to make sure any future TV/DVD's I purchase are compatible with it, and that means bringing in this huge monster remote into the store just for fun.

Seriously, GREAT IDEA. It was worth the 10 bucks, even though I don't really watch TV or anything these days that much. I doubt its compatible with my clone satellite receiver as well, but I don't care! I will now make purchases based on whether they are compatible with this beast.

Seriously, its fucking huge.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

She Sells Cell Phones at the Cell store

If you've been reading my blog for a long time, which you haven't, unless you're stalking me (hi!), then you'll know of my pathetic experience with those dchnzzl's at Telus, Canada's worst cell phone company with the most horrendous customer service on the planet Earth.

Luckily, a couple months back the CRTC, Canada's mostly innefectual government radio/telecommunications regulations company, did something that actually benefits the consumer. They made Cell phone number portability mandatory for those who want it. That is to say, if I am fed up with the pathetic service offered by Telus, I can switch to any number of cell phone companies and keep my old phone number, which I'm attached to for sentimental reasons.

As a recap, basically, Telus stole $50 of my money for a whole weekend before giving me the minutes I had purchased. Apparently they wanted me to believe there was nobody who could solve my problem on a weekend. Later on of course, someone called me on behalf of Telus to do a customer service survey, which I found ironic. I told him only if it doesn't waste my minutes as I used pay & talk as I don't use my phone particularly frequently, and only had about 5 minutes of time left. He said it wouldn't, and wouldn't you know it, it did, and I got cut off before his survey was done. He never called back, obviously, because that would have given them the worst customer survey of all time. Though I'm sure they're used to getting bad customer feedback considering how woefully pathetic they are.

Another reason I wanted to keep my old cell phone number was to spite Telus, who would not get that number back to recycle for another hapless victim. I reason if everyone who hated Telus transferred their number over, they would be out of phone numbers to give out to new customers, and go out of business and die of dysentry and smallpox hopefully.

Anyways, first I purchased a phone with MTS, the Manitoba Telephone System, or something, I don't really know what it stands for, all I know is they had a flip phone in the colour black that didn't have a useless camera in it, and nobody else did. It had bluetooth, and was interesting, but MTS charges way too much per minute, so I let the minutes run out and screw them. They always did overcharge for other services here in Manitoba before competition came out. As an aside they own Allstream, and they want to become the fourth national carrier in Canada behind Rogers AT&T/Fido, Telus, and Bell. Frankly I hope they don't because while I don't particularly care how the underlying technology compares, I like the convenience of a SIM chip and being able to purchase unlocked phones. Sadly Rogers was able to purchase Fido and eliminate them as effective competition, but I hope they get broken up again one day. That said, Number portability took about an hour but I got it ported, despite I'm sure Telus's stalling.

Frankly, my minutes did not last as long as I thought they would with MTS, but fortunately 7-11 of all places was offering a $100 Speakout Wireless phone (it operates off of ZTAR who in turn lease the rogers cell network). The phone was free with the purchase of $100 in minutes. plus, 20 cents a minute is the cheapest I've seen pay as you go phones in Canada. Plus I could always transfer the sim chip to an unlocked phone, so, all in all, I purchased the phone.

I did encounter difficulty moving over my phone number this time. They had trouble doing it, but I bitched at MTS and the second time it went through. I suspect MTS was just stalling, and realised I wasn't going to take any shit, but I have no proof so I'm not going to dwell too much on it.

The phone they give you is a Nokia 1112, as seen in the photo here. You can see why they're able to give it away for free, but as a phone you can bang around and not have to worry about, its pretty decent. I got a dud as soon as I walked out the store, but when I went to return it, of course, it worked again, but I'll probably just end up returning it to Nokia in the next few days to see if they fix it, replace it, or whatever. We'll see. I'm interested in seing how good Nokia's customer service is here in Canada, so maybe I'll blog about what happens if it gets interesting. Another bonus with these 7-11 phones, at least the 1112, is they are completely unlocked. I put in a simchip from another company from another country and it worked for me. So that's a bonus. Plus the simchips for 7-11 seem to work in Rogers phones, as I tested it out on one locked rogers phone.

In any case, for now I put the sim-chip in an extra GSM phone my sister had lying around her house that I removed the
lock on. It'll do for now until I get this one fixed or I purchase a replacement in the next year or so. I find the 7-11/Ztar wireless customer service incredibly helpful and polite. They have probably the best customer service of any mobile provider in Canada and I found that shockingly refreshing. Another bonus is the cell minutes last for a whole year. If I decide to move to another province, I can keep this phone as a backup phone and keep my old manitoba phone number going for when I travel back or for people who want to contact me, and it would cost probably $25 a year if I barely use it. Plus Telus wouldn't get that number back ever. It's just such a great experience all around that even a broken cell phone screen (it stays all white for some reason) didn't turn me off of it. So, all in all, I'm rather happy with my current cell phone company.

Though I wouldn't mind if Nokia put out a black bluetooth flip phone with wifi, that charged and sync'ed via mini USB, that DID NOT include a fucking camera. I'm so sick of camera phones. I have no use for that feature. Plus if it had an mp3 player that'd be a bonus too. with some sort of controls
for the mp3 on the outside (and only black and white display on the outside cause who really needs colour on the outside).. and wasn't too big or blocky or have an antenna sticking out of it.. If that phone came to exist.. I think I'd buy it.

Man that was a fucking essay. I hope somebody learns something useful out of it. I could write a Stephen King novel if I wanted to I bet.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sony Karabiner Headphones MDR-KE30LW (black)




A couple years ago, I used to purchase Sony Headphones exclusively. I was very much a fan of the Sony MDR-E755 MDR-E755 Series Headphones
series of earbuds, they weren't too big as to fit poorly, and they were quite comfortable and produced a good sound. Unfortunately Sony phased them out and replaced them with
MDR-E818LP series Headphones in their place, which are bigger, clunkier, and not all black (They have a bit of grey on them). In any case, the point is I was righteously pissed with sony, and have been avoiding them altogether. Now though, they seem to have realised the errors of their ways, and have introduced what may be an original idea in terms of earbud headphones. They have combined a pair of headphones into a convenient karabiner that roll up when not in use and prevent entanglement.

Now, As you can see by the pictures I have provided, aside from being Karabiner style they are reminiscant of the MDR-E818LP series headphones I enjoyed so much back in the past. That plus the fact that they were in the handy karabiner and were on sale at circuit city:the source for $24.99 meant that even if I didn't like them, they were only $25.00 and were probably decent enough in quality that I would find some use out of them. The only real question for me was how the Karabiner was designed.

Unfortunately the Karabiner is poorly designed, the clip part is a cheap piece of plastic that doesn't clip very well. You can go to a dollar store and buy an actual metal carabiner for $1 and it will perform better. Which is what I ultimately ended up doing. the pulling mechanism for the earbuds is decent, but the length of the 3.5mm plug is woefully inadequate, and does not extend beyond what is shown in the above picture. I solved this again, by purchasing at circuit city:the source this $6 headphone extension cord, which had the added bonus of including a volume adjustment. I listen to
mp3's with my pda most of the time, and having the volume control is very useful. But I'm not going to bitch at sony for not including that, I'm just saying if you want to lengthen the jack cord, this is a reasonable solution, though the cord should still have been a few inches longer in my mind, and the fact that it does not roll up into the Karabiner is poor design. I have usb cords for my ipaq that do a far more effective job of rolling up into their casings, same with those rollup ethernet cables.

In any case, I managed to make up for the shortcomings of the Karabiner headphones, by purchasing the aforementioned volume control headphone extension and a cheap metal karabiner from the dollar store, which I attached to the cheap plastic karabiner that came with this product (as opposed to a pair of keys, which is what that karabiner was designed for) and all in all, it works for me, but Sony should hopefully realise the shortcomings of the karabiner casing, and any future versions could easily be improved with these suggestions.

Furthermore, the cord's could have been a bit longer, but my general dissapointment with the karabiner and casing should not be confused with the excellent sound quality sony gives us as usual. The earbuds are perfectly sized, everything is all black, (there is a pink version as well for some reason, surprised they didn't just go with black and white but went with pink and black) .. An amusing thing I noticed was that while circuit city: the source had them for $24.99 (and I still call them Radio Shack in my mind even though Circuit City changed the name to the source by circuit city here in Canada) it amused me to see the exact same headphones at the Sony store in the exact same mall for almost $50. Which is strange, as the sony style website has them for $24.99. So, all in all, a decent product with obvious shortcomings, but for something that at least to me seems an original idea, that's bound to happen and hopefully they can improve on their future revisions to this product in a way that makes my having to adjust for the shortcomings unneccessary.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

NHL Playoffs in perspective

As a Winnipeger, I have spent the last decade without my NHL team.. That said, It's playoff time, and there are 4 teams left. I think and hope Ottawa wins the Stanley Cup this year. It would no doubt make millions of Torontonians' brains melt instantly from the shock. Furthermore, I hope Detroit manages to beat the Anaheim Ducks. I never really considered Detroit as a contender for the cup, but some crazy force is pushing them through, and there would be nothing better for ratings in the USA and Canada for Detroit to play Ottawa (except if Detroit played Buffalo maybe but that's not going to happen)

So tomorrow, Ottawa plays Buffalo in the middle of the day, which is a horrible time to watch a hockey game. Hockey games are an evening thing. 6 or so. It's all NBC's fault, but what do they care about tradition. CBC got jacked though, considering NBC doesn't pay a damn cent up front.

I have to qualify that I don't want the Ducks to win mostly because I don't believe they should exist as a team. I like the San Jose Sharks, and the L.A Kings, and find the ducks existence superfluous. I like Teemu Sellanne and coach Randy Carlyle well enough for being ex-Jets, but they're working for a team that I don't believe has any right playing for the Stanley Cup. Still, I can live with any of the other 3 teams winning the cup, for some strange reason, as Detroit, Buffao, and Ottawa winning would just be like a stake to the heart of Toronto Maple Leafs fans, and anything that shocks them into seing the reality and futility of their obsessive compulsion to root for a failure of a team is a good thing.

Monday, May 14, 2007

They Got Over It

I've been a Fark user for a while now, and a few weeks back, Fark.com did a web redesign. I personally found the redesign a bit jarring and unnecessary, but its their site, and what do I care. However, when one of their moderators, "Jeff", told paying members of that site to get over it, many swore off fark.com as a sellout (it may just be) and left. Meanwhile, Fark.com is trying to take over ownership of user submissions, banning people for idle chatter it finds unsuitable, deleting posts of images of hot chicks, and generally turning into something acting like it was owned by Rupert Murdoch.

I was actually a paid member of Totalfark for all of one month (figured I'd try it before I decided I liked it or not) and while it was interesting, it wasn't worth $5 a month to me, especially after the site change. Doesn't really matter, Drew Curtis is rumoured to make around $600,000 a month from his site, which I find astounding if true. Plus he's selling a book, so good for him.

That brings me to bannination.com, which I found out through subtle posts on Fark.com. It's a site where all of the dissafected former paying members of totalfark (and probably some others) created a (still work in progress) answer to fark.com. I think it shows promise, considering it is only 3 weeks old. Hopefully they give Fark.com some good competition. Unfortunately I'm user number 688, and not 666. Which will haunt me to the day I die. But, its my own fault for signing up too late. So, today is invite all of your enemies to bannination.com day, and since everyone who reads my blog is probably an enemy of mine in some way or another, go for it.

How do you know if you are my enemy? Do you like the Toronto Maple Leafs? Do you hate me? Then you are my enemy, and you are obligated to sign up now.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

WB threatens mass muggle killings, no more preview screenings, unless Canada changes copyright laws to suit its whims.


Various news outlets a week ago reported on WB banning preview screenings in Canada, because they claim 70% of pirated movies come out of Canada.


So we here in Canada won't be able to attend preview screenings of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, or Oceans 13. (Not like we would have gotten tickets anyways, mostly well connected folks in the entertainment industry get those hookups)

Now, I'm not against stronger rules against piracy per se, but I don't like having a foreign company dictate to us about copyright laws. In fact, my first impulse upon hearing about WB doing this was to petition my MP to ban WB movies altogether, or some act of retribution in a similar vein. It's not like they won't make money on Harry Potter.or Oceans 13, nor is it likely that they are telling the truth about the percentage of movies that come out of Canada (They mostly come out of Asia, but are they doing anything about them? Nope not a damn thing)

Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with piracy, and everything to do with creating a mood in our country. American media intrests want us to change our copyright laws to conform to restrictive american copyright laws. They want things to remain copyright to business esentially forever. So if you want to sample something for a music track, well, tough luck.

Why do they want this? Well. look at youtube. Many beatles songs are coming out of copyright pretty soon, In 2013, copyright for the Beatles' first album expires, also recordings from Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard and other performers of the same era. That trickle will lead to a flood of music being public domain. Imagine being able to use this music and creating your own movie with some songs in the background without having to pay WB or whoever getting a cut. Imagine being able to sample this music in your rap songs without worrying about being sued. The major entertainment companies despise this notion, even though thats how copyright works. Copyright is a TEMPORARY right to a monopoly on an entertainment release, allowing it certain rights such as protection under the law from infringement, for a reasonable amount of time.


Media interests want this amount of time to be forever. They want to own the creative process, make money off of someones work they own in perpetuity. These copyright laws aren't about stopping camcording of a movie (who watches cams of movies? Nobody who would pay to see it in the first place) Media interests want you to watch their movies on their special magically encrypted box or in their theatres where they control how you watch it, along what previews you see.

If you are Canadian, please mail your MP that you are against rollin over and givin American media interests any extra provisions in OUR laws so that they can monopolize the public domain forever and ever and limit OUR creativity in the process.

Fact of the matter is, We owe WB nothing. The Trailer Park Boys movie never aired in American movie theatres. Why is that? Because American's have no problem restricting us from making money off our cultural exports. WB, Disney, all these conglomerates own all of the american distribution channels and lock Canadians out. We should do the same, and say screw off.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spider-Man 3

So I saw Spider-Man 3. It would have been a good movie if:

1) Less of Kirsten Dunst "singing"
2) Less of Tobey Maguire dancing
3) Less of Emo Peter Parker (seriously is that the toughest they could make him?)
4) No Venom.

No Venom you say? Exactly. I'm not saying the alien costume shouldn't have been left in the movie, but it was wasted. The costume did nothing for peter except make him angry. It didn't form into other clothes. It may have made him stronger, but it didn't have the same effect. Eddie Brock should have become venom after the credits rolled, as a cliffhanger for Spider-Man 4. Plus not having venom would have changed the whole final fight in the film, and even moreso, Venom was not used correctly. Clearly Sam Raimi didn't want to use Venom, as can be deduced how totally he disposed of the character. I mean, Venom said "I like being bad"... that's not the character! It misses the point. It really felt like they wanted to wrap things up completely, which was a shame.

The previews before the movie were quite horrible, including one for some chick whose brother dies and then she says to herself "I'm going to become a butch lesbian soccer player on the boys team to live up to him" What? What a stupid idea for a movie. I don't see anybody paying to see it. Fact:Girls are not on the same level as Guys when it comes to sports. Ridiculous.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Blogging is hard work

It really is, I just have not had anything interesting to say in the last few months, that includes everything I've posted to this blog and what I'm about to post right now. I was perusing another website when a picture of the Provincial Legislature was posted, and I thought, that scene looks totally familiar, and it just cried out to be photoshopped.. so here it is. Hope you enjoy it. All apologies to the guy who took the original picture, but once you see the 'shop you'll see that I had no choice in the matter whatsoever, it had to be done. Click on it for a bigger view.


As you can see, I find the current election boring. I really don't want the NDP to win. I'm already not especially socially minded, but on top of it they're bribing us with our own money, misappropriating funds from government run corporations for NDP advertising.. they've been in power too long and they've become even more corrupt and unaccountable than any the federal Liberals in my opinion. Hopefully my riding votes Conservative, even though Hugh McFayden hasn't particularly done anything spectacular to win over the populace yet.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Quit your crying, environmentalists.

The Conservative party of Canada has created newer, more stringent environmental policies that go further than any before now, while at the same time, trying not to hurt the economy or too greatly affecting people's abilities to live. Obviously the Liberals, Environazi's, and other hypocrites don't think it goes far enough to stop "global warming". Who cares! It's a step in the right direction, and its probably the best you're going to get for now considering the fact that you people are the only chicken little's worried about this (and considering David Suzuki toured the country in a gas guzzling RV of some sort, even they aren't) Clearly Canadian's aren't going to single-handedly stop "global warming", nor should they. Al Gore popped his head into the whole thing saying its not enough, Canada should do more to serve as an example. Shut the hell up Al Gore! It's more than you ever did. We're not all going to return to living in the 1800's. It's not even a question of the environment anymore, its now about politics, not the environment, because the environment IS being addressed. It's about propoganda. Creating a sense that the Conservatives aren't doing anything about it, and that only the Liberals can. Nice try, idiots.

Monday, March 26, 2007

VINDICATION!

I Hate the Toronto Maple Leafs. Mostly its because, like a homeless man who takes the same bus as you every morning to work, you cannot escape their horrid stench. Luckily, the CBC and Gary Bettman have signed a 7 year deal that will decrease the amount of Leafs games shown on Hockey Night In Canada, and increase the number of ANY OTHER TEAM being shown. It's about time, as I have been sending psychic negative vibes to the CBC and Gary Bettman for YEARS and only now finally has it paid off. It's been a lot of hard work, and I'll need the rest, but thank you in advance for your appreciative comments on the matter.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

MY FRIEND SHAWN... SHAUN.. shawn? .. steve.

My friend steve has a website at http://www.fakelaughter.com/ ITS AWESOME.

OK I've never been to it. But I figure if I post it here on the blog then I'll remember it when I do actually decide to visit it. Easier than bookmarks!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kirk - The Video Game

Like all brilliant ideas I have, I was just walking down the street and it just came to me. You know how most Star Trek games you're on the ship or whatever and they suck? Yeah. Well, why not make a game where you are Captain Kirk, and the only point of the game is to fight other Star Trek characters in hand to hand combat. Like the Gorn (which a nerd once told me what that lizard guy was called) or Khan, like, each level you have a new enemy to attack. And even that battle scene where Kirk fights Spock under mind control.. That'd be a great game. It doesn't need a point, its just you controlling Captain Kirk and doing what he does best. Perhaps at the end of every fight you get the blue alien girl or something. Hey, its genius, I tell you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Retarded



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH ... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHH

Ah For Better or For Worse. Funny. Funny stuff. Retards in school with normal kids. Where does she come up with this stuff. What happens when they bang their heads on the desks and start drooling? Or can teachers not tell the difference anymore.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ad(non)sense

Heres why Google Ads is ridiculous. The following two ads showed up on my post about Linux:

"Fix linux.exe - Download a Free Scan Tool & Fix linux.exe Instantly!"

"You'll Love a Mac. Make great stuff. One-click Blogs. Podcasts. Books. Websites. More."

Yeah, ok google thanks for the intelligent ad placement there. I only signed up for google ads to see how effective it would be matching my ranting to some sort of advertisement. Apparently not very. Anyways I'd post more, but I gotta go my linux.exe is acting up and I need to scan it and fix it -- or maybe buy a Mac.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Linux, Daylight Savings time, blogging, and you.

It's been eleven days since I've typed anything into this blog, though to me it felt far longer, because even though I know nobody is reading, I don't do it for you. I do it for my own need to say what I'm thinking and throw it out into the abyss that is the internet blog hole. And the problem I had for eleven days was I couldn't think of anything worth talking about. I still technically can't.

Certainly I could fall back on bashing the CBC or Canada's media/entertainment companies, or I could bash Winnipeg, the NHL and Gary Bettman, or how cell phone companies are crooks in collusion with the government (in every country that exists), or the lack of any broadcast HDTV in Winnipeg (which kindof mixes options one and two together) but I don't want to get repetative. I mean, I've already essentially said a lot on the subject already, and unless I have anything interesting to say (even though nobody is reading this) whats the point in wasting time typing it all in?

I could talk about Daylight Savings Time and how its probably the one and only decision from George W Bush that was logical. Frankly, I'd rather have more daylight in the evening than at 5 in the morning, because a) people who wake up in the morning have lights. Car's in Canada already have low beams on when you start them up. and b) whats the point in wasting all the daylight for when you're at work? Then getting only one hour after work before the sun goes down? I'd rather have two. Of course, I've never wrapped my head around the whole daylight savings thing. So, yeah, I could talk about Daylight Savings Time, but everyone else already is. Besides, surprisingly, Linux automatically adjusted for DST.

I could talk about Linux, I suppose. I think Linux is currently at a major crossroads, but all of the things that are happening with it seem to be behind the scenes, slowly gelling in the fridge to finally - hopefully - make it so that anyone can use it and enjoy its lime flavoured gellyness. In my view, as someone who has been using linux for a while now, I'm going to post a list of 5 things Linux does right, and 5 things Linux has left.

Five Things Linux Does Right.(and ways it can be even better) (or: how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb)

1. Installation. Installing Linux in most distributions is appallingly easy and fast. If your computer isn't hopelessly made up of horrid cheap hardware, you can be up and running into a working desktop in less than a minute through the use of Live Distributions. Once one of Linux's worst problems, Linux is now comparatively easier and prettier to install than Windows. Assuming,again, your hardware isn't complete crap, and even then, 9 times out of 10 you'll be fine.. A lot of credit has to go to the invention and propogation of live distro's like Knoppix, without which we would not have the *Ubuntu's of today. An added bonus is that an advanced user can use the live/install hybrid CD's of today to repair trashed filesystems. I had a hosed filesystem a few months back after I made a questionable decision to do something I should have known better not to do, and a live CD helped save my entire home directory. Sure I could keep backups, but I'm a bit of a packrat both in the physical world and in the world of data, so an unsalvageable filesystem is a bit like an act of God telling me to discard the old and start anew. But, I managed to save it so hell, big deal.

That's not to say Linux developers should rest on their laurels. The various Ubuntu's are great, but I ran into a problem installing Ubuntu on a laptop that would overheat during the install process and freeze (maddeningly) at around 70% IIRC. Sure I ended up taking it apart and cleaning off the thermal paste and putting on some Arctic Silver Ceramique instead, but there are people out there who won't do that, and the point is to get the distro installed. Kubuntu didn't freeze until I tried installing it on that machine. Plus the lack of memory on that machine didn't help things either. If Ubuntu's installer had a "Just install it" mode, that didn't go into the GUI, it would have saved me a lot of hassle, I ended up using Ark Linux in the end, which doesn't have a built in live-CD (though has a Live-CD without an installer) which has the alternate problem. The Ark Linux installer is great in that it asks three questions, and gets on with the business of installing the system while you play Tetrix. If somehow the two different methods were combined, things would be great. The Ark Linux install had the added bonus of not REQUIRING ME to reformat my ext3 partition, which meant I could keep my renamed /home directory inode and just install everything overtop. It still works to this day (though sadly ArkLinux development has slowed down substantially).. One other thing, it'd be nice to be able to setup a plugged in USB flash drive as the home directory automatically, to save your changed preferences in a live CD if you move around a lot.

2. The Internet If All you do with Linux is internet related, all the tools exist for you to never need to boot into Windows. Especially since Java is now GPL'ed, you can run JBidwatcher for your unfortunate need to use ebay, there are at least 4 major web browsers including Firefox and Konqueror (although internet explorer isn't, but who needs it nowadays) and dozens of specialised ones available like elinks, and all the rest. News Aggregators, Skype and other telephony programs, web page creation, torrents, its all there.

The only negative thing that can be said about Linux's network support is that it's currently a pain to get many wireless network cards working, confusing non standardized drivers mean strange names for your wireless 802.11* cards assuming they work, lack of gui to connect to your WPA-PSK encrypted router, and legal issues forcing occasional hunting for firmware reminding you of Windows. Also Flash 9 isn't compiled for 64 bit Linux for some peculiar reason, showing the negative side of proprietary software. Hopefully GPL'ed flash software catches up one day.

3. Emulation Theres a lot of software out there that runs on Linux created to emulate other systems from commodore 64's to gameboys to dos and windows to Bochs and VMWare. A lot is being said for virtualization in terms of operating systems, and Linux was probably one of the first OS's there. Certainly running Windows programs with Wine is still an imperfect proposition (though again, closer than its ever been) But it can be done for certain programs, even some games. There are also game interpreters like REminiscence or ScummVM or even some for text based adventure games. Or you can run many old dos games with DosBox. Certainly many of these emulators run in Windows as well (such is the nature of free software) but the point is these emulators enable us to run old software that we might be attached to for even emotional reasons.

Of course, the negative aspect of Emulation is the expiration of copyright doesn't keep up with the expiration of old software. Businesses would prefer you run Microsoft Office Vista rather than an old copy of Wordperfect 5 in Dos through an emulator. Further, a lot of games out there that could be re-released and repackaged with ScummVM and Linux installers aren't! Confusingly, though there might be money to be made by taking advantage of the emulation, and forevermore creating a package that can be run on linux and (even though emulated) adds to the available repository of programs for linux. What could it hurt to repackage some sotware package that runs emulated in Linux? I don't know why more isn't being done. Flashback was a good game I rediscovered with REminiscance, but who owns the rights, and why can't they repackage it online and take advantage? Another aspect is that even though a lot of free software home brew games are out for various emulated systems, the tools to download them to flash carts have often been windows based. Certainly it'd be fun to be able to play a game like Supertux on a gameboy advance or DS, but it hasn't happened. Still, emulation is a fascinating and at times underappreciated aspect of the Linux users experience.

3. Programming. Lamentably, I haven't programmed anything since high school. I Submitted a patch to a driver for a hardware device once, but even that was just noticing that the device simply needed to be recognized by the kernel for what it was, nothing special. Still it was heartening to think that I contributed in some small way to the Linux Kernel. Fortran, Cobol, Basic, C, C++, C#, Java, Ada, whatever the heck you want to program, you probably can.

The problem for me is that Linux has so many tools for programming it's almost overkill. Where do you start? What graphics library should you use? (QT or GTK?) It's overwhelming and getting over that hump has kept me from creating my killer app (not really) I don't have any confidence in my programming ability and though peer review is probably helpful, taking the plunge and putting your abilities in front of thousands of judges, some of whome could be condescending or ridiculously biased, is not necessarily an enticing prospect. So I keep procrastinating. Hopefully I get over that sooner or later and jump in and find the water is fine and not strangely yellow tinted or surrounded by sharks.

4. Office Programs Sure Microsoft Office doesn't run on Linux. Of course it doesn't. What do you expect. We all know how Microsoft operates by now. And sadly, a lot of people are currently brainwashed into thinking there can be only one way to run an office. With MS Office and Outlook on a Windows Server. Sadly, theres no hope for those people, they're lost to us. That doesn't mean we can't run Open Office (or even pay for Sun's Star Office) Which works and has a plethora of features. Or you can use KOffice which is quite interesting. Scribus itself is not a part of KOffice but it is a fastly maturing publishing software which surely meets the needs of many people. I've found myself entering photoshop contests using the KDE Krita program (which even offers CMYK to those who are sick of the GIMP, but doesn't offer yet the same amount of tools as the GIMP and eats a "tad" more memory). There was a big push in Linux to meet the needs of the Office a couple years back, and now Office Programs are quite mature and if not adequate, quite good.

Projects like Open Clipart are very useful but need more work. There are a few usability/eye candy areas the various Linux office programs could improve.

5. Playing Multimedia. MPlayer and Xine and all the rest accomplished a few years back what people thought would be impossible. They can play back almost all video and audio files even proprietary ones like Quicktime and RealVideo. Certainly one problem again is the anti-progress and freedom patents and such out there in the United States that restrict whether you can play your DVD's with DeCSS (you probably can even in the US, but its such a litigious country most people avoid anything there) But if you live in a Free Country, you should be fine. Plus Amarok and its ilk are great mp3 players and integrate well with even ipods. Nowadays with the Helix player and RealPlayer thats based on it, theres a lot of options out there for someone who wants to watch content online or on DVD or whatever. Plus Flash 9 is finally out for linux so theres a lot of online content you can get.

But theres also some you can't. I've had pointless problems navigating and viewing content at NBC, CTV (owned by bell globalmedia! the dastards), etc. Sure you can watch TV online there if you use Windows, but if you don't, well, Yargh Matey its a pirates life for you. Also, even though Linux can play the media great, thanks to creative and talented folks throughout the world, there are enroaching problems such as DRM, Proprietary drivers for video cards (and poor communication with linux driver writers to create open drivers), encrypted digital TV that you need to buy a special box from motorolla to watch, and so on. Plus creating your own DVD's, though possible, is still a bit cludgy under linux. Sadly theres no easy answer to these problems, luckily half the fun for many linux users is finding solutions to difficult problems.

Now, Five places where Linux really currently fails.


1. Sound/Movie Creation/Editing software.
That's not to say you can't do anything in Linux, but that the options out there are currently not at a state acceptable to most people would be content with. The tools are there in some form, tools like Blender and Rosegarden are two of the most advanced and celebrated, but this whole area is currently lacking.

2. Games. If you like playing Solitaire and Mindsweeper and Tetris, Linux has all the games you need. (Though strangely, Kubuntu didn't have any games on it when I last tried it, a disapointment to say the least when youre waiting for e2fsck to finish and can't connect to your encrypted wireless router) .. Otherwise, you're stuck with Cedega, Wine, Dosbox, various emulators, and playing halfheartedly with your overpriced Nintendo Wii (Yeah you heard me) It's a catch-22 situation, again the video card companies come into play with their drivers, and Microsoft makes it appealing to lock game companies into its directX environment. There are games out there for Linux, but if games are your life, you're stuck in windows. Of course, if ReactOS ever gets to a useable state, Gamers might have a lifeline to ditch Microsoft, but who knows when and if that could possibly happen.

3. Priorities and Permissions. If I plug in a CD, in Linux, nowadays, it gets mounted to /mnt/cdrom. Great. All is as it should be. Of course, in the Windows world, things are quite a bit more simple (and arguably, dangerous) where they are assigned to a drive. Same thing with a USB flash drive. Can I write to that drive? Hopefully if the Linux distribution is set up correctly.. but when it isn't, a new user can easily become frustrated and give up on Linux. Also, incompatible hardware. It would be nice if there was a file of hardware that doesn't work in Linux kept, along with a reason why it doesn't work. So that if someone has problems with something, at least they'll know why and can complain to the appropriate people. Maybe a popup window when KDE starts up that says "HEY, YOU, YOUR WIRELESS CARD DOESN'T WORK BECAUSE IT WAS CREATED BY COMMUNIST ANARCHISTS" or something like that. Maybe a bit more informative. Anyways stuff like that has always been a pet peeve of mine but thats the way it is. Also filesystem confusion is out there for a lot of people. It could be nice if even though files are sorted according to /bin/etc, you could have a virtual directory based on the original package that shows all the related files.

4. Science and Education. Sure there are some programs like Kalzium and KStars and Stellarium, and online tools like Wikipedia. But what if you aren't online? Certainly a wikipedia DVD would come in handy for a lot of people. I'm mostly surprised at how I've never seemed to come across many really good learning tools for Linux. There are a few out there, but for some reason I find it strange that there aren't more. Certainly I remember a game for the old Commodore 64 where you would be in a mansion of some sort and have to solve simple math problems to get through. Not difficult stuff, but woefully under-represented in Linux. Plus the kids aren't going to be able to play the latest "Kick Elmo in the Face" game from Sesame Street. I guess Google Earth does everything you need or science nowadays, though again, sadly not Open Source.

5. Embedded systems. Whatever happened to the Sharp Zaurus? Seems Microsoft owns the pda market nowadays, the phone market looks to be theirs for the taking. What happened? Sure people are out there trying to get linux working on these machines, and encountering hardware difficulty (which some people might enjoy tackling, while others just want to get the end result).. It's just a strange and dissapointing result and I'm surprised nobody brings it up. Linux was gonna OWN the embedded market, wasn't it? Now everyones all hush hush and mumbly. Maybe things are going to get better, but really, you have to admit that Microsoft outplayed, and outwitted linux in this space. Will it outlast? Remains to be seen. And they currently have the immunity idol. Who will be voted off? Opie? GPE? Uclinux? Also I AM THE KING OF ANALOGIES.

There. I've said everything there is to say about Linux that I can think of, and that last thing about the Embedded Systems required quite a bit of reaching down deep within my inner critic and coming up with something to bug me. I suppose I left out things like K3B (Great linux cd/dvd burning frontend/program) and Kopete within the last year has stopped pointlessly crashing.. even though I don't like to use instant messaging a lot of Windows users do.

Amusingly enough, as with every time I hit publish on my blog, I'll think of at least 5 other things I could blog about. Writers block dissipates immediately after you don't need to write anything. Oh well.

You know what'd be nice? If I didn't have to automatically add url's for certain words. like Opie or GPE, if blogger could automatically figure out to give a link for them. Cause I hate doing that.

Crappy google quote of the day