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Derek Carter’s blog » fail

Archive for the ‘fail’ Category

SITE UPDATE: Valley Road in the snow

Friday, December 19th, 2008

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Today I boldly ventured out into the blizzard we’re having to take some photos of the trolleys at Valley Road.  Those photos can be found here.

Last Sunday I went up to Seashore again to help out with the last day of Christmas Prelude. It turned out that, due to the ice storm a few days previously, operations were canceled all weekend (Seashore was without power until Saturday night), and no one had bothered to send out an email about that. I did take a few photos of the ice-encrusted trees while I was there. This is the only shot that really came out well.

Everything except the song I want

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

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Since Amazon opened it’s MP3 store in September, I’ve been slowly converting my collection of DRMed songs acquired for free from iTunes to DRM-free MP3s as they become available on Amazon. I’m now down to 44 iTMS free songs that haven’t been replaced with MP3 or iTunes Plus versions. Not bad, all things considered, but there’s a handful of those remaining songs in relation to which both stores have become quite annoying. For two of those songs (”German Test Drive” by Spymob and “She Moves In Secret Ways” by Polly Paulusma), both stores offer high-quality versions of every album released by the artist - except the one the song came from. >_<

Another song ("Telescope Eyes" by Eisley) appears to have all but completely disappeared off the face of the earth. Even the physical CD ("Laughing City") is out of print. Making this even more annoying, the song itself is not entirely gone - but all the available versions of it are 30 seconds shorter than the one I have. I don't care if the upgraded version of a song I buy is from a different album, but I want the same version of the song.

Finally, there's one other song ("In The Shadows" by The Rasmus) which is available from Amazon. However, since I ended up buying the whole album from iTunes shortly after getting the song for free, I'm waiting for it to show up in iTunes Plus (which, btw, has another album by the same artist >_<).

That brings me to another rant. At this point, all four major labels have decided that DRM isn’t working and agreed to offer their catalogs on Amazon. However, only EMI has agreed to do the same on iTunes. This is getting rather annoying, as I’d like to upgrade as many as possible of the remaining 728 DRMed songs I have in my library, both for the higher quality and to get rid of the DRM. While iTunes and the iPod are unlikely to disappear for decades, I’d like to future-proof my library as much as possible in the event they do disappear, as well as leave open the possibility of using equipment that can’t handle Fairplay. Hopefully the contracts will come up for renegotiation later this year and the other labels will agree to make their music available on iTunes without DRM.

On an unrelated note, Apple today released a 32GB version of the iPod touch. That’s the minimum size I would consider buying, as my music library is some 18GB. The $500 price tag means I won’t be buying one anytime soon, though, unless I get a lot of cash and/or Apple gift cards for my birthday next week. I read somewhere that flash memory prices are supposed to drop dramatically this year, so I expect by September Apple will cut the price. Or better yet, release a 64GB version, which I’d rather have as it’s about the same capacity as my current iPod, so it will hold the same amount of photo and video content.

Front Row 2.0: One Step Forward, One Step Backward

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

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Last night I poked through the revamped version of Front Row that comes with Leopard. The look has been changed considerably, but in general it works the same as it did before, with two exceptions. First, Apple stopped using a random number generator to sort TV shows. Why they were using one to begin with is unknown, but its removal is much appreciated. Unfortunately, the other change was that they removed the Season submenus for TV shows where you have episodes from more than one season. Front Row now lists every episode in one menu, with the most recent at the top. So if someone had every episode of The Simpsons on their computer (I don’t, but it makes a good example) and wanted to watch the first one, that person would have to sit around for a few minutes scrolling through all 405 episodes to get to it. As you might have guessed, this is considerably slower than the simple click-click-click you would’ve done in Front Row 1.0 to watch the same episode. Time to send Apple a note.

WTF is up with AIM?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

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The last two weeks AIM has gone to hell in a handbasket.  While private chat still works normally, group chat (aka chat rooms) has become almost unusable.  People are being locked out of group chat left and right, and for no apparent reason.  At first I thought AOL might be updating their servers one at a time, as initially it was just one person at a time being locked out of the Daria chat room I frequent.  But the last few days have seen multiple people being locked out simultaneously.  Currently it is unknown if anyone is able to access that chat room: five of us who frequent the room are all locked out, and are using IRC as I type this.

As I mentioned here, some of us who are especially computer savvy have been experimenting with other chat systems, including IRC and Jabber.  The general consensus appears to be to use IRC.  It remains to be seen if AIM will fix itself or if a full migration to IRC will be necessary to maintain chat among Daria fans.  Ironically, there’s still an old IRC channel for Daria fans that’s been running since the late 90’s.