Woot! Bag of Crap

So, despite my lack of desire to see money traded for random, typically useless stuff shipped to me, I acquired one of these Woot Bags of Crap.  I think these in particular are more about the nerd cred than the actual thing.  Once again, no major scores like big screen TVs, etc.

BOC headphones

Item one – green headphones.  Maybe useful, after all, I don’t really care what color my headphones are.  At least they’re the silicone tipped type which are preferable.

Outlet Timer

Daily outlet timer… Based on past experience (I have one of these) I will never trust this to keep accurate time.  Not that it’s not useful for some things, like, if the picture is to be believed, turning on every light in your house.

Michael Jackson Bobblehead

Michael Jackson bobblehead… this is not useful at all.

Towel

All purpose cloth!  At long last, I can get rid of my massive collections of single purpose cloths.  At least it’s stupidly bright orange.

Screaming Flying Woot Monkey

And, the standard issue flying, screaming, Woot! monkey – this time with a disposable Woot! cup.  This will be taken to work to annoy people until it breaks, which is predicted to be after 2 hours.

Further Issues with the Zune Software

So, I plugged the Zune in and fired up the software. I don’t have the external drive with all my music on it plugged in, but I want to see if I can make some playlists from the songs on the device. Dabble around a bit trying to figure out if this is possible – nope, it doesn’t seem to be. It would appear that the only way to do anything at all to what is on the device is to make that change to my music library and then sync the player. That sucks, but here’s what sucks more. The Zune software decided, since it couldn’t find my HDD with music on it, that I must have deleted all my music and it starts wiping the device. That is fucking ridiculous. I caught it before more than a few MB were deleted, but that would have been a sever downer to my skiing enjoyment.

I think I never should have strayed from my original claim that I would never buy a MP3 player that required proprietary software again. My debate now is should I sell the Zune, which is like new, or hold on to it in hopes that it becomes Rockbox supported?

Anyone with an iPod… does iTunes pull this shit??? Because really, that’s what Microsoft is competing with. Toshiba did a good job making a player, Microsoft is sucking ass on the Software end (which you’d think is where they’d excel).

Questions to Microsoft

I will preface this by saying that I am not trying to jump on the MS sucks bandwagon. If MS really sucked that bad, people would be using Linux. I have tried Linux and I do not believe it is ready for wide spread adoption by people who “just want it to work.” Now:

Why are Zunes completely locked until you sync them with your computer for the first time? You can’t even see what the interface will be like and what settings and options are available until it’s been synced with the Zune software.

Why is a Zune harder to install in Windows than an iPod? The Zune interface took an hour plus to install because it wanted to update it self first. Never was there an option to not download updates right now. It then spent more time “preparing the computer,” whatever that means. I’ve never had any other piece of software take that long just preparing to install.

Why does the Zune require the installation of the Zune software when a variety of other MP3 players work just fine with Windows Media Player and other third party apps? In iPod terms, the Zune software is equivalent to iTunes which puts the pre-installed Media Player as the equivalent to Quicktime (?). BUT, MS has gone to some length to make Media Player work with portable devices, why not their own???

The only hardware issues I have: why can’t the Zune show up as mass storage for non-music items, same as the iPod? Other than this, which is in reality an interface issue too, I generally like the Zune hardware, but the above software / interface issues are to be honest, ridiculous. How are you going to claim any semblance of ease-of-use when it takes 5 hours just to get the thing to work with your own operating system?

So, to Microsoft: Your hardware team (which may well have been Toshiba) did a good job. Your software team, they dropped the ball.

Computer & Internet Status

So, as you all know from your dedicated reading of my bullshit, I have internet via my neighbor. I have forgone the giant parabolic reflector around a d-link omni antenna in favor of a 5″ x 10″ double biquad. This gets me nearly 2x the signal strength of the parabolic and was settled on after I confirmed that the design did not require a balun transformer.

The only problem with my current setup is that I’m using a router as a wireless card for my desktop. Not ideal and it won’t DHCP the address, and thus won’t automatically find the DNS. I might try to go to wired if I can find a way to string it. Otherwise, I might end up getting a desktop wifi adapter.

My tests have shown that my link to my neighbor is better than his link to Comcast. I’m impressed with myself. I am not impressed with Comcast, and postulate that our internet would be of the same quality if we purchased it from them. Solution – maybe look for a better connected person (across the river???). This will likely happen when and if I can get my hands on a used Primestar dish. So, if you know of any, send them my way. If I build something cool, I’ll post awesome pictures of me smiling beside it.

Linked to the internet discoveries, I now have my desktop at home. This has several effects, First, I will no longer be able to get IM messages at work this ought be good for productivity even if I wasn’t exactly sitting on IM a lot. Secondly, it will keep me from chillin’ at work until midnight sometimes. Also good because it defines the break between work time and Matt time. Third, hopefully it encourages me to get one with job searching and such.

Now for more even oriented news and less about my computer situation:

COGS bowling tonight: success I’d say. It was fun. Enough beer, pizza and bowling were attained to make it worth the $5 and gas.

Casino Royale afterward: not a success. Because the 10:40 was sold out and the 12:00 apparently didn’t exist. I also find it shady that Jill, who apparently suggested the movie, wasn’t going.

Tomorrow: potential pool time in Grandville MI. If Doug wants to make the trip. I’m not sure it’s worth the gas to go on my own. Also have to rake leaves if it’s dry enough. Joy.

Room: clean and tidy once again.

Time: 4 AM – why am I awake?

Other: who knows, it’s not like adding more stuff here is going to make this post exciting.

Stuff

I got me a bluetooth adapter. It was cheap, it’s tiny and it’s bluetooth 2.0. On the downside, it has a picture of the king of spades on it. WTF??? I can now go online with my cell phone, without having to actually connect the phone to the computer – bitchin’

I have also successfully de-hacked my old phone and packed it up for shipment back to Verizon, hacked my replacement phone and transfered all the data over without loosing any phone numbers, pictures or ring tone credits (which I honestly don’t care about anyway, but bought accidentally).

I might use one of the ring tone credits to get Back in Black as a ring tone… not sure how I’d feel if my phone then proceeded to ring in a public venue.

I really should update with more interesting stuff – or at least stuff that is interesting to more people. That and get a job.

Tired… sleep now.

Want

I want a PDA phone… like the Samsung SCH-i730, Treo 650, or Audiovox xv6600. My finances don’t quite allow that though, so I’m just letting everyone know that I want one in place of actually getting one.

see:

Phone Hacking

This post is being brought to you over an internet connection provided by my cell phone. Really, this and transferring my phone book from my old phone was the goal of all the hacking, the rest was just added bonus.

I need to experiment with transfering pictures, ringtones, etc. Custom ringtones are nice, but not all that important. Same with picture transfer. Not that I’m willing to pay a cent for either of them.

I like Verizon because they have good coverage, good phones, and a cheaper plan than anyone else, but I dislike how they attempt to screw you into paying for everything through their services. The number of people who are going connect computer and phone is minimal enough that it wouldn’t be much of a loss for them to just allow it without requiring a hack.

In other news, this next week is going to be hell in work form to get the TTA ready to ship to Samsung. After that, I’m heading down to FL for a while (assuming I can get a cheap enough flight, or borrow someone’s car that gets 50mpg on the freeway). If you want to loan me your car, I’ll change the oil after my 2500 mile round trip – I promise. If you have a hybrid car, and loan that to me, you’ll be my hero, because then I’d get to experience a hybrid car as well as save lots o’ money on my trip to FL.

Plus, Matt has a new camera en route 😀 :-D.

Phone Hacking

Let it be known that my e815 survived almost 36 hours without being hacked. I can now adjust the picture and video quality, have faster voicemail access, can use my phone as a modem, and can in theory transfer files by bluetooth, among other things. Of course, I did some research on this phone prior to buying it, so I knew it was hackable.

DSLR Envy

The desire to spend exorbatant amounts of money on a digital SLR camera is welling up inside me again… I’d really like to take some pictures of campus before winter and before I leave. I know I don’t need such a camera for this, but it would be really nice and take awesome pictures.