So I was bored and noticed I had Famitracker sitting on my computer from an earlier venture in to chiptunes, so I decided to recreate an old favorite.
+5 cool points to anyone who knows what this song is.
Actually, I take that back. -5,000 to anyone who doesn't.
Personally, I'm not one to fight a land war in Asia
I work in technical support. Needless to say, I get some interesting people. I've only done it for several months so far, but I could probably write a book on some interesting conversations I've had already.
Here's a few that come to mind. They're not the most interesting ones I've had, but they're interesting nonetheless. I might even add some as time goes on.
Caller: Hi, I just bought a new computer. It's a mac. How do I get it on the internet? It's still connected to my old computer...
Me: Well, once you have your new computer hooked up, all you need to do is take the Ethernet cable from your old computer and plug it in to the new one. Do you know what the Ethernet cable looks like?
Caller: No, I don't...
Me: It looks like a phone cord, but thicker. It has the plastic connector at the end that has a prong which you need to push down in order to remove. *Sounds of caller shuffling through cables for several seconds*
Caller: *Sound of an ethernet cable clicking in the background* That's it? That's all you need to do?
Me: That's it.
Caller: Wow, macs are easy!
Caller: (angry)My internet and phones aren't working!
Me:I can certainly help you with that, sir. Just give me a minute to take a look at your services from our end to see what the prob...
Caller (Nearly yelling): You know what? This is I have to call you damn people almost every day for this shit. The other companies xxxxx and xxxxx don't have any problems! Get your stupid shit together! God, I cannot believe this!
Me:(At this point, the system indicates to me that he hasn't called in for months) Sir, we're on the phone together to fix the problem together, so let's get to the bottom of it and get everything working again, okay? (Our systems also show that his modem, which provides both his phone and internet service, is offline) ... Do you know where the modem is in your house, sir?
Caller:Yes, it's in the basement. I'm calling on a FUCKING cellphone using my GODDAMN MINUTES because my phones aren't working!
Me:Would you be able to do me a favor and head over it to see what the lights are doing?
Caller:And how the hell am I supposed to do that? As soon as I go in the basement the call will drop! Remember? I'm on a
Me:You can just put the phone down if you need to. That is, if you don't mind. Take all the time you need sir.
Caller:(I hear him put the phone down. He walks away, mumbling to himself loudly) ... Stupid son of a bitch ... (He is gone for several minute. He returns, picking up the phone and speaking as angry as ever) ... There aren't ANY lights on!
Me:Did you check the connection of the power cord?
Caller:That's not going to be the problem, no!
Me:Aside from the making sure the connection of the power cord is good, are you sure that the modem isn't plugged in to a power strip that's turned off? Maybe it's plugged in to an outlet that's controlled by a light switch, or perhaps one of your circuit breakers went off?
Caller:No! It's not any of those problems! It's this goddamn piece of shit that you people gave me! Ever since I got your service, I've been having problems with it ever since!!
Me:(It's obvious that he hasn't checked for any of the above problems) Okay. Then at this point, we'll want to know if it's a problem with the modem, or if it's the outlet that it's plugged in to. Would you be able to disconnect the modem and plug it in to a different outlet and see if you can get any lights to come on?
Caller:No, I can't do that! There's only one outlet down in the basement!
Me:Well, our current objective is to see if we can get any lights to turn on on the modem. You can plug it in to any outlet for that -- it doesn't matter which.
Caller:(He slams his phone down again and walks off, mumbling out loud like last time) ... Fucking bitch ... (I hear him go down the stairs again and there's several minutes of silence with him presumably working on the problem. I hear him approach the phone again. Before he starts talking, I check on the status of his modem and it's still offline. At this point, he's absolutely fuming) ... How the am I supposed to plug it in to a different outlet! There's only one outlet down there, god damn it!
Me:It doesn't have to be an outlet down there. It can be any outlet in the entire house. We just want to see if any lights come on when you plug it in.
Caller:(Again, he puts his phone down and walks away, cussing) ... Stupid asshole bitch ...
He spends a lot less time away from the phone this time. Within a minute, I hear him approach the phone again and pick it up. Instead of saying anything, he hangs up on me.
I immediately check our system and his cable modem was back online. The modem was obviously unplugged when he called in. He was such an ass about it that he wouldn't dare embarrass himself by telling me, so he hung up hoping I wouldn't find out. Nice.
The audio is from a prank call I did a couple years ago. The call is a little rough around the edges and completely improvised, but I was having a lot of fun with my audio tools! When I first made it, I went around seeing if anyone wanted to make an animation to it. There seemed to be a lot of interest in it at first, but unfortunately nobody picked up on it.
That's not the case anymore! Go check it out!
There's been a lot of demand for me to do more calls like this. I might just do that some time!
First, let me begin this post by saying I never wanted to have a bias towards any type of machine. It's just not worth it. However, with the knowledge and experience I've gained over the past several years, I just cannot help it. I'll try and keep this short.
Are you a victim of aggressive branding? You might be if you purchased Apple hardware. After all, they just LOVE to rip you off. Now, I know fervent Apple enthusiasts would love to man their battle stations and pull some reason out of the air as to why they're not too expensive. However, some of the things I have pointed out on the BBS have gone unanswered and ignored, even by Mac nuts defending their territory to the left and right of me. I'm posting this here in hopes that somebody can enlighten me regarding the points I am about to bring up.
Not too long ago I was curious about what Apple has to offer on their online store. I clicked on the "Mac" tab and began to configure a Mac Pro (Apple's only computer that is reminiscent of the modular hardware that most of us are familiar with). What I saw on the configuration page was one complete ripoff after another. I'm talking about some of the biggest ripoffs I've ever seen in my life -- coming right off of apple.com. Here are some of them.
This is the worst deal I have ever seen in my life. You can build an entire computer that has 4gb of RAM for the price of this upgrade alone. You would think the RAM is really high end, so I checked. DDR2 800 mhz. Gee. I built a machine a couple weeks ago that also had 4gb of DDR2 800 RAM. The RAM cost me $75 (And it came with really nice metal heat spreaders too).
I hope you don't want 8gb of ram. That'll be $1500. Forget that you can purchase an entire computer with 8gb of ram for this price and still have room for a new LCD monitor -- Apple wants your business.
Anyone want to tell me what justifies this?
Where the fuck do they come up with these prices? Most of you probably aren't that familiar with RAID cards. Basically, the Apple RAID card lets you use up to four hard drives in a RAID configuration. I mean, forget that you can get a card that lets you connect up to eight drives for only $250. The Apple card has Apple in its name. That's worth the extra $550, right?
So what's up with that?
Price rape with an LCD. What a great idea -- Ripping people off who still think that LCD monitors are "the new great thing". They'll never know that you just reamed them. For $600, this better be a wonderful fucking monitor. Let's look at its specifications:
Apple Cinema 20":
-Opt. Resolution: 1680 x 1050
-Brightness: 300 cd/m2
-Contrast ratio: 700:1
-Response time: 14ms
Wait, are you kidding me? No, are you serious? This is possibly the worst 20" monitor I have ever seen on the market, and you're being charged up the ass for it. Don't believe me? Let's take a look at another 20" LCD on the market.
KDS K-20MDWB 20":
-Opt. Resolution: 1680 x 1050
-Contrast ratio: 1000:1
-Response time: 5ms (2ms grey to grey)
Jesus Christ, people. If you're not fucking shocked, then you might need to read this again. This monitor is EQUAL OR BETTER THAN THE APPLE CINEMA IN EVERY SPECIFICATION. YET THE APPLE CINEMA COSTS MORE THAN THREE TIMES AS MUCH. That's right. You can by THREE BETTER monitors for less than the price of one Apple Cinema 20". I'm going to have to say this one more time: Apple is charging you three times as much for a monitor that is not as good. Or good at all, for that matter. Apple's 14 ms response time is going to give you ghosting while you game. The other monitor's 5/2ms response time is VERY GOOD. Without being a third the price.
It's bad enough that you get ripped off for a monitor with bad specifications, but it doesn't stop there. At least not for me. I've seen Apple Cinema displays in real life. Tons of them, in my school's digital arts labs. They are the worst monitors I've ever seen. If you leave a window up on the computer for five minutes, the image of the window gets burned in to the monitor so bad that when you close the window, you can still see a ghost image of it that's vivid enough that you can even read its text.
By the way. The Apple Cinema has a couple USB and firewire ports. For a little extra money (We're talking in the ~$220 range), you can get a monitor that has all of that plus a 9 in 1 card reader and extra input connections. Unfortunately for the Apple Cinema, Firewire is all but phased out at this point, and USB ports are abundant everywhere.
What about the OS? I could almost leave that to another news post. Just let me say that Mac OSX has crashed on me more than any other operating system I've ever used. We're talking about on high-end Mac Pros that have been booted from a fresh disk image. Multiple Macs have crashed on me while I was simply using Photoshop, Maya, or even clicking "Go -> Connect to Server". It's not just me -- Everybody has these problems.
By the way. At my university, there's a large computer lab that is divided in to two. One side has 12 high end PC computers. The other half has 12 high end Mac computers. As of the last time I checked (About five days ago), all the PCs are operational, but 4 out of the 12 Macs on the Mac side had paper taped over the screen saying they were out of order. That's just in that room alone. I know ITS has been busy with the Mac lab down the hallway.
Also, the OS has so many annoyances. One of the foremost annoyances is that you can not treat dropdown menus as an active object. For example, in Photoshop on the PC platform, you can select the dropdown menu for font, or perhaps the blending mode of a layer, and then use the arrow keys or mouse wheel to quickly zoom through all of the options and quickly see which one works best. The Mac OS doesn't let you do this at all. Things like that, aside from crashing and being less functional, is just another thing on the list that drives me away from Mac machines.
Oh, and Macs being better at video/imaging/art crap? Stop living in 1989. Not applicable anymore. There are so many fucking idiots who still believe this. There was a topic recently where a user wanted to know if he should buy a computer from Apple or from Dell. Long story short, the Mac was half as powerful as the Dell (It had half the processor cores and half the memory), and yet numerous idiots were still recommending it for imaging/media work. Nice job, recommending a dual core over a quad core for video editing. Along with having less memory, slower memory, and a worse video card. (By the way, the Mac still managed to cost $300 more).
I'm sorry, people. A couple years ago I would have said that Macs are just another approach to computing solutions. Now I just think they're shitty ripoffs. I'm not as familiar with the Macbook line of products, but I'm already completely turned away from Apple as it is.
Any rebuttals to this damning evidence? Anyone?
I'll be turning 21 on the 13th of March, 2008.
While turning 21 has a lot of legal implications, such as being able to purchase alcohol and getting a driver's license with a horizontal orientation (Instead of an underage one with a vertical orientation that makes you look and feel like a complete retard every time you take it out of your wallet -- Most US states do this so it's easy to determine if you're underage), there is one that takes my interest above all others.
21 is the minimum age required by federal law for the purchase of a handgun. I don't consider my self a gun nut to any extent, but I have taken sincere interest in owning one simply under the premise that one should be educated on the safe and effective handling and operation of firearms. In addition, the state that I live in grants concealed carry permits without too much of a fuss. I figure that if I'm going to get a handgun, I might as well take the extra step in going ahead and getting that permit.
Don't get me wrong here. Firearms are nothing to be trifled with, and if I purchased one, the very last thing I'd want to do is have to shoot somebody with it. Ideally, this situation would never happen, but it sure would suck ass to be a gun owner who needs it when it's not there. As the saying goes: "Any gun is better than a gun at home".
With that said, I've been doing plenty of research, looking at different types of guns, watching videos and lectures on operation and safety, and etcetera. I think I may have come to a decision on what gun I'll buy.
Enter the Para-Ordnance M1911 .45 ACP. See below.
I'll spare you all the boring gun talk (I'm not much of one to discuss guns, anyway). To put it in a concise manner, it's a pistol that means business. Overall, it just seems to be the most powerful pistol while still being reasonable in terms of ability to conceal, accuracy, dependability, and just downright looking neat. Although this type of gun takes a little more training to use than other pistol designs, it sounds like it'd be absolutely worth the experience.
There are many models available, ranging from those built for high capacity to those designed for concealment. That's a detail I'd have to work out later when I'm able to do more hands-on research.