About norconkm

I'm a person. I live in Grand Rapids, MI and work as an Electrical Engineer. My hobbies at the time of this writing are kayaking, skiing, archery, photography and maybe biking. As this is my personal blog, my hobbies are likely the primary topics about which you will be reading.


I recognize that the iPod was more or less the original HDD MP3 and other music player, and I realize that it’s design is wonderfully compact. Given this, I still don’t really like it. Why…
1. I don’t find that ‘wheel’ comfortable to use, and I like some sort of tactile response from a control unit, not just knowing that some internal thing is sensing if my finger moves. Having messed with one, I’m semi-disappointed with it’s accuracy – I did not like how often it jumped two menu items down when I only tried to go one down.
2. I cannot just drag and drop files to it, I must use MusicMatch or iTunes.
3. I must browse my music based on ID3 tag, not by directory and filename. ID3 tags are nice and good to use, but not something I care to rely on.
4. The low resolution of the screen, or at least the poor use of it. There’s space there that could be used for displaying something useful.
5. Lack of a user adjustable equalizer.
6. Too few buttons, I know simplicity is good, but a few more buttons would eliminate my having to guess what one to use for functions. To expand on this, the same 4 buttons with LCD displays behind them would be absolutely amazing since they could have many different functions and the functions could be shown not guessed at, think soft buttons on a phone or calculator one generation more advanced.

One thing I do like about the iPod is that using the wheel to scroll through a list of a thousand songs is amazingly great. The iPod picks up that my finger is moving faster and skips faster through the list, and there’s no delay like having to hit a button and have the device pick up the fact that you held the button and didn’t let it go.

Also, they are still one of the smallest sleekest designs out there for 10gb and up players.

Basically if the iPod would let me mess with my files directly instead of having to use some shit software and if they replaced the wheel with a scroll bar of sorts which scrolled faster as you moved further from center I’d probably have bought that instead of the iRiver player.

Now, as for the iRiver, likes and dislikes on that…

1. It lets me directly manipulate files, without any stupid DRM issues or such garbage.
2. Hardware capabilities such as recording from the built in Mic, a external Mic or line in, and optical input and output.
3. It sounds great and has a user settable equlizer.
4. Although not as absolutely simple, I think the menus etc. are much more intuitive to use.

1. For as great as the hardware is, it’s under-supported by the firmware. I mean it took two updates to get the shuffle mode working reasonably well, for such a basic feature that’s pretty sad. It would be great if someone developed a replacement firmware like was developed for the Archos.
2. The joystick is a little small and slick, it would be better as a cupped d-pad of sorts so one could use it like a joystick but pressing on the sides would not be like clicking the joystick but like pushing it to the side. Yeah, I know that description is about as clear as shit.
3. Using a joystick to scroll through a great number of songs is a pain. It needs some form of accelerated scrolling feature.

Things I like

To offset the hatred spewed forth to the world in my last post, I’ll list things I like.

1. Anything that goes boom. And by this I pretty much mean bombs or guns.

2. Any tech gadget I can get my hands on. I have a PocketPC… do I have any real use for it which wouldn’t be served by a small notpad… hell no, but it’s cool.

3. Star Wars – the movies are good, but there are three main points which I like above all others:
light sabers – if one is ever fabricated, I am sure it will be the most wonderful thing on earth.
x-wing fighters – just because it would be awesome to have something with which you could single-handedly lay the entire US air force to waste. And, yes, they’re that good.
the force – if light sabers are the epitome of an awesome item, telekinetics and telepathy are the epitome of awesomeness itself.

4. My car… no justification, I just like it.

5. Mitsubishi 3000GT’s – they’re like the better looking parts of a corvette and a viper put together into an overall smaller car. And they’re fast.

6. College scholarships because they kept me from being wonderfully in debt.

7. Beer. Not sure why, but it seems that in any list of good things beer gets listed, so I figured it better be in my list.

Ok.. back to things I hate.

1. People who get an award and thank God. I have no issue with thanking God, but it seems just a bit disingenuous coming from someone who’s accepting an award for a “song” about smacking his bitches around.

2. People who ask questions but aren’t interested in the answer. This is related to, but not the same as useless conversation. These people ask your opinion on something just to give themselves a chance to impose their opinions on you.

Things I Hate

1. Stupid people – and by this, I do not mean people who aren’t as knowledgeable in a specific field as me, I mean people who just don’t get it and probably never will.

2. SUV’s driven by people who never intend to go off road, haul or tow anything. Particularly humorous in this category are the 5 ft. tall women who drive an SUV larger than their house. Not that it’s any worse for a small woman to drive an SUV than anyone else – they’re all equally useless, this case is just funnier to me.

3. People who don’t understand that a double white line in a roundabout is NOT TO BE CROSSED. If I’m making a right turn, I shouldn’t have to wait for anyone except the guy directly in front of me – who’s also making a f****** right turn. People in the circle should be able to exit at any point without worrying about the people making an immediate right turn. You see, that’s how it works, right lane turns right, the left lane circles around until they care to exit (still in the left lane).

4. People who have good jobs in electrical engineering. Because they have one and I want one damn it. Of course, I’ll put off hating you if there’s a chance you’ll help me get a job.

5. Snotty, bratty kids in TV commercials. Spy Kids the movie as also included here because it’s as stupid and annoying as a TV commercial.

6. Useless conversation, this kinds that you know is leading to absolutely nothing that there is any reason to remember beyond the end of the conversation. Many of these take the form of casual greetings such as “Hey, how’s it goin’?.” No, you don’t care so don’t ask. Believe me, I’d rather you not ask than try to make it look like you care, you’re not that convincing of an actor.

7. Insistence on saying he/she, or spelling women as womyn. In both cases, the existing method has been around for years, no-one is trying to offend you by it, get over it already. Changing shit like this doesn’t get your point across, it makes you look like a whiny piece of shit who’s opinion I rapidly disregard – congrats.

8. People who refuse to back down in an argument even if they know they’re wrong due to proof being presented by the other side. Any, no, I’m not talking about complex arguments where many people can have different views and never truly prove themselves or others right or wrong. I’m talking about trivial bullshit that no one really cares about in the first place. Maybe I just need to let it go… that might do me good… but then again, maybe it’s better to keep arguing and watch them be stupid, you never know depends on the mood at the time.

9. Nextel phones and their stupid chirping nationwide walkie talkie BS.

10. People who install every piece of garbage software the some half brained high schooler sends their way, then complain that their computer is slow and infested with spy ware. No shit… you did it to yourself.

11. Phonetic spelling of any sort when used by anyone above age 10. Phonetic spelling of simple words, even when done by kids under the age of 10. Learn to spell and type, it’s not that hard. “where r u?” – now neither ‘are’ nor ‘you’ are hard words to spell or type.

12. People who speak in chat room acronyms… it’s one thing to type LOL in instant messenger, quite another to start saying it to friends instead of actually laughing.

13. People who don’t clean up after themselves. Come on, I don’t like your mess any more than you do, and you’re the one who made it.

14. Anyone who exists in a state of constant excitement. Life can be exciting, but it isn’t always so you shouldn’t be either.

15. Cigarette smoking… yep, it’s still disgusting and I still hate it. Cigars and marijuana are OK though.

16. Explosive devices that don’t work, because then you have a dilemma… leave it for an hour to make sure it’s really a dud, or go get it and see what went wrong – risking your left hand in the process.

17. The fact that CMT plays more artist interviews, and ’40 greatest songs of …’ than actual current, or even not so current country music videos.

18. The fact that BET exists. It’s not music, it’s just a bunch of women shaking their asses. Also, all the women who complain about the spelling of women or the use of he as the generic pronoun… this seems that it would be much more degrading than the use of an ‘e’ vs. a ‘y’. Please consider and redirect your efforts.

19. Useless movies which leaving you feeling that you should have been paid to waste your time in such a fashion. Torque, Matrix III and Wrong Casa rate near the top of this list.

At this point, I’m sure there are a lot more things out there for me to hate, and I’m sure I missed some very important ones but I’m bored of this…