AlphaNvmerik

= Shawn + Internet

  • So, I get that my PC software past is well known.  
    (Last name = Roberts)+(High School mascot = Pirates)+(a certain movie staring a certain bridal princess) = The writing on the wall, I never had a chance.  :)

    I get that the problem with being a liar is that nobody believes you when you are telling the truth.  I could even be called a monumental hypocrite for this post.  But, I don’t believe that any of my past actions deprived anyone of anything.  I didn’t have the money to give them even if I had wanted to.  No, that didn’t give me any special right to have their products for free.  I look at it like public urination.  (stick with me on this one)  Peeing in public is illegal most everywhere that I know of.  But, I challenge you to find one instance of a back country backpacker getting fined for defecating in the woods.  Everyone knows they do it.  It’s not like they can hold it in for days on end.  But, it doesn’t hurt anyone so nobody cares.  I sat alone in a dark bedroom listening to electronic music and pirated games.  I don’t see the difference or the problem.

    No, I didn’t buy Spore.  It’s a toy, not a game, certainly not worth $50, and it has DRM.

    No, I didn’t buy BioShock.  DRM.

    No, I didn’t buy Mass Effect.  DRM.

    No, I don’t buy music on iTunes.  DRM.  I do buy music on Amazon though.  No DRM and they have good quality tracks.

    Yes, DRM matters to me.  I have enough problems with my machine to introduce another point of failure.  Also, I am not interested in renting games.  I want to own a license.  An irrevocable right to use said product as long as the product is usable.  It seems to work well for every other software market, why doesn’t it work for games?  Why should we be different because we are “playing” instead of “photoshopping”?  Also, in the dwindling instances where I choose to be a paying customer, why should I have to go through more work and problems to get something that would be easier to get elsewhere for free?  It would be like paying $50 for a gallon of gas, having to sign 5 pages of paperwork, and having to carry it 5 miles from the gas station to my house instead of getting a gallon for free from my neighbor.  I think DRM is costing the publishers customers and money.  I know for certain it has cost EA at least 1 customer and about $150.

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  • We have had FIOS internet in the House of Many for a while now.  It is pretty awesome.  The internet and phone connection bits are wicked good and basically impossible to beat in our area.  15/2Mbps, hell yeah!  There was no problem with the connection at all.  We had it connected to our own Linksys router, with sweet custom firmware, and life was good.

    Then we decided to go and ruin it by adding video…

    Don’t get me wrong, I think that the quality of standard def TV is far superior on FIOS vs. Regular cable.  Aaaand that’s all the positive thoughts I have to express about the video service.  The FIOS DVR is pretty bad and I miss my Windows XP+Beyond TV setup more and more every day.  120GB of non-upgradeable storage is just the tip of the iceberg.  The menu system is laggy and not well thought out.  Sure, I suppose in some board meeting they went through a list of bullet points that said it needed to have features X, Y, and Z.  Motorola/Verizon did the absolute minimum to pull those off.  I can just imagine how that conversation went.

    Corporate type: We need to have the ability to allow users to select favorite channels.
    Firmware mystic: *waves hands* We could put that in a confusing button arrangement on the remote that will be misunderstood by all.
    Corporate type: Great! Let’s check that off the list and move on. 

    Then there’s the stuttering.  The video will stutter and drop about 5 seconds of content at least once an hour.  Wow, it’s a good thing that I didn’t go with that unreliable satelitte signal that goes out when it rains…  grrr…

    Oh, and did I mention that the boxes (we have two) bug out and need to be unplugged from power every so often?  The damned things will just decide to stop recording scheduled shows.  No red light, no GUI indication that somethings wrong, nothing.  You just show up to watch your time shifted content and it’s not there.  Then after 10 minutes of navigating the horribe menu, you figure out that it’s not a scheduling problem, the box has just silently crapped out again and needs a timeout.  I cannot believe that we have come so far in consumer electronic devices and cannot make a freaking cable box+HDD not crash every week.

    Also, the DVR boxen are fed their network meals (for programming, TV scheduling and the like) by the damned COAX jack.  *Sigh*  Why can’t they get their data via RJ-45 like every other “advanced” media device in the world?  Since they need a COAX connection to do their buggy dance, I also have to use Verizon’s hacked up Broadcom router to serve the House’s internet needs.  In addition to the wireless AP functionality of the router randomly crapping out about once every 2-3 weeks, the router does not play nice with p2p traffic.  

    Note to Verizon: Blizzard uses BitTorrent to update their game World of Warcraft, you may have heard of it.  If your router needs to be rebooted every 8 hours to handle all those extra ARP entries, maybe you chose the wrong device.

    Once again, I am left with the impression that Verizon has great network ideas, but lousy firmware development.  They seem to ruin any resonably decent hardware device by pushing their own f’d up firmware agenda.   They have been known to do this with their cell phones and now I can tell you that they do the same crap with their routers and DVR boxes.

    So, once I was done channelling my inner Kirk (KAAAAAAAAAAAHN!!! *inhale* and VERIZOOOOOOOON!!!), I drummed up a plan that seems to be working out.  I have connected the raw internet feed from our optical network terminal to a switch that feeds their craptacular Broadcom router and a seperate D-Link gaming router.  The Broadcom serves the DVRs, the D-Link serves the house.  It seems to be working great so far.  We can actually do more than a couple things at one with our wicked fast internet connection again.

    Wow, it’s late.  But at least I got that out.  Time for bed.

    1 Comment
  • …four gamers get done with their Dungeons and Dragons game and walk into a room with a Rock Band kit setup.

    IMG_0084

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  • Finally got around to snapping a few pics of my new car today and decided that is was high time to get a new page going.  So, here it is: http://www.alphanvmerik.com/gear/alphanvmeriks-2008-civic-si/

    And here are some of the pics:

    Civic Civic Civic Civic Civic
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  • Added a couple of new sets to my Flickr page tonight.

    Check em out here.

    Shawn and Cyn pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alphanvmerik/sets/72157607070741639/

    Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn Shawn+Cyn

    Kites!: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alphanvmerik/sets/72157607070787433/

    Kites Kites Kites Kites Kites Kites Kites Kites Kites Kites Kites Kites
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