Friday, January 28, 2011

Online Communities. Or, rather, "communities".

There are a number of places that I just can't seem to stay away from. Most of them are online, and one of them in particular is where I actually met a ton of people whom I later became friends with in real life.

The thing is, places, especially online-places, are volatile. They change with time, and the makeup of the community itself changes, sometimes in ways that aren't always agreeable to, well, me. But the power of nostalgia, the impulse to believe with a little bit of effort the places that I remember will become those places again, is like gravity for emotions. It can be enormously powerful, despite the very real truth that the place that you remember will never, in fact, exist again. And so, if you're me, you get incredibly frustrated by the fact that, as an old and cranky bastard, the new population of these places I used to remember are now different, and I don't really want them to be different, but they are.

So it's time to try and take another break. I won't ever say "I'll never be back", because that always turns out to be a lie -- that nostalgia, it's like crack -- but it's time to go spend time somewhere else.

And I miss my friends. Which reminds me, I need to call the Milwaukee people back, since I said I would last week and failed miserably, because I'm a terrible, terrible friend.

So anyway. Maybe I can channel some of my energy into actually, y'know, posting in this damn blog.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

The default state of technology is broken.

Score one for DRM making me a pirate.

I had bought a blu-ray player for my new computer so I could watch hi-def movies on my entertainment-center projector.

Apparently, despite paying extra for the hardware, I needed software to play the blurays.

OK, fine, I said, and the person who helped me build the machine downloaded some software that would play the blurays.

Then, tonight, I went to watch my copy of Inception, and it played for 4 minutes, at which point the software stopped working and insisted that the bluray disc wasn't valid, unless I ponied up $60 (59.95, 25% off for the new year!) to "upgrade" to the latest, licensed version of the software.

So, not only did I have to pay extra for the hardware, and extra for the media, I now have to pay extra for the software.

Pardon my language, but FUCK THAT SHIT.

So, now I'm working on finding a less-expensive way to watch the movie (well, actually, the extra content) that I ALREADY BOUGHT.

I've also uninstalled the software, badmouthed the company in every fora I can think of, and sent a less-than-complementary email to the company (not that I expect it'll change anything).

I never, ever should have given into the impulse to move to blu-ray. My mistake for thinking that I wouldn't get entirely screwed...