10-22-09 - Inaction

There's a mistake on my cable bill. They're charging me $5/ month for cable modem rental, when I had my own cable modem and not renting. Calling them to fix it will take at least 30 minutes and may or may not involve some aggravation. I'm just not gonna bother and pay the damn $5/month. Maybe if I have some other reason to call them someday I'll fix it then.

I broke my TiVo a month ago or so. I was trying to replace the fan, which I did, but now whenever I boot it freezes up. If I do the status-46 key code thing, it tells me it detected a temperature too high and shut itself down. I think that's spurious, there's no way it's too hot, something is busted in the temperature control. Whatever, I'm just not gonna fix it. I'm not watching TV live or on DVR any more at all. I get torrents for shows occasionally, mostly I just download whole seasons.

I've written before about how my damn Nokia 1208 cell phone randomly doesn't send texts. Obviously it's a bug in the firmware which this guy describes decently . There is a firmware update which probably fixes it (Nokia is totally mum about the bug and whether they fixed it because they're fucking cunts who don't want to admit a bug because it's bad publicity). It's totally not worth trying to flash my fucking phone firmware. It was free after rebates and I can get another newer phone for like $10 after rebates. I'll just live with the bug until I get a new one.

I sort of feel like if my laptop or car broke, I just wouldn't replace them and I'd quit driving or computing or whatever.

Why do visually striking movies have to be such fucking pieces of turd? Can't a director make beautiful images and also make the movie not suck balls? We just watched "The Fall" which is just unbearable; yes, it's occasionally beautiful (the beauty if basically just shots of India, but seeing India well framed is nice). But you could say the same of "The Cell" or "In Dreams" or "The Science of Sleep" or etc. etc. I guess when a movie is incredibly beautiful and also has a tolerable plot, it's a rare and delightful pleasure. I'm also just kind of sick of the flashy high-saturation "beauty" that has characters dressed up in bright red flowing cloth standing in the middle of a desert with cameras flying around them.

I'd like to have torrents that run at full speed when I'm doing nothing else on the net, but automatically shut off when I'm trying to do something. And the torrent server is a separate machine from my laptop so it can't be software that just runs on my machine, I guess it has to be in the router. Does a router that does "QoS" actually do this right?

One of the interesting articles in the IEEE magazine recently was on "Flow" streaming routers .

I'm pretty annoyed with my HTPC. It's annoying enough that I wind up not watching TV or listening to music because I don't want to deal with it. There's nothing wrong with the software or hardware, it's just inherently a bad thing I now realize. I like having the music as physical objects. I want to be able to set my favorite music on top of my music player. I want to move them around the room. I want to be able to browse my music collection at the same time that I have something on TV - this it turns out is a major annoyance of the HTPC. In theory you can still watch shows and browse music at the same time, but in practice it just sucks to have a single device that controls both. And having your TV as the interface to your music sort of sucks too, it means you have to turn on the TV to play music, which is not cool when you're trying to lounge around on your bear skin rug with scented candles lit and whatnot.

I also keep forgetting that it's just a PC. Like I still can't get the fucking MediaPortal Netflix plugin to work right. But you know that doesn't really matter, I can just use the mouse to go to Netflix through IE and just play movies that way, I don't need the damn MediaPortal integration.

I also get annoyed by making playlists with the remote control; it's just too hard to browse through a giant music collection to find things and assemble a playlist. But of course it's just a computer! I can browse the shared music folder from my laptop, make playlists, and save them to the HTPC, which auto-loads them. (the only bit of a fudge there is WinAmp saves playslist as relative paths, so I have run a script to make them into absolute paths; no biggie).

Anyway, I guess I'm stuck with it, there's not really a reasonable alternative. I've been thinking now that I only use the computer to watch things, I could just have a monitor instead of a TV. I'm not really clear on what the difference is between an "LCD TV" and an LCD monitor. It seems like the TV's are just generally worse in terms of contrast and black level and response times.

Watched "Sin Nombre". It starts out pretty promising; I like the story of the immigrant family and the extra silly fictionalized action element from the violent gang to spice things up. But then it degenerates into "girl being a fucking stupid cunt" story element which I find so intolerable. This is a standard narrative crutch in which writers create tension and danger by making the female characters just do completely retarded selfish emotional stupid shitty things.


Aaron said...

My receiver has a usb input. I've been putting music on a 2GB thumbdrive. The receiver will also connect to the mediaplayer server thingy, but there's something just... wrong about listening to music that way. There's no way to organize what you want to listen to or navigate very well. Setting everything up on the PC though and blasting it onto the thumbdrive works great. Plus it does feel kinda old-school. I get a cd I like and blow it onto the thumbdrive. It being only 2GB is also good, because it means I have to really think about what I'm keeping on there. It doesn't get huge and ridiculous and unwieldy.

Aaron said...

I've been super lucky with customer service lately. Electrolux appliance service: AWESOME. They just ship me all kinds of replacement parts pretty much no questions asked, and they're super nice on the phone. Sandisk Rebate: wow. Yes, good customer service from a fricking REBATE CALL CENTER WTF. Honda of Kirkland: very courteous, and totally respectful, unlike Sunset Honda in SLO, which were a bunch of condescending ass hats. The contractor I used for my gas conversion and furnace/hw heater install was great. Even the deliver service (sunshine trucking) for my range to my house was great (other than delivering on odd days of the week), they carried the whole damn thing all the way into my kitchen (even though I didn't pay the $100 for the 'white glove' service that is supposed to do exactly that).

Metatron said...

> Watched "Sin Nombre"

I recommend, "La Vida Loca". My cousin-in-law was the audio-guy, and is safe now. Poveda (the director) got shot in the face.

I liked the film, because it gives an illusion of hope or dignity - not the bleak hard reality of the a country which is the most violent on the planet (besides war-zones).

How "rich" people live here reminds me sometimes of how we were living in the medivial ages, in castles, maybe not so much to protect us from the other Knights but from the savage mob in front of the door.

Sometimes I feel ashamed, in a strange way; being german and all ... and then I know I can push some up, even if I didn't came for that.

You know "La cuidad de dios"?

old rants