Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wanna see my Jr. High School AV qualification card?

***I want to do a lot of things. I don't seem to do many of them. One of my desires is to update this blog at least once very couple of weeks. It's been three, so I've been feeling a certain unnecessary pressure, on top of all of the other stuff that's been not working in my life, lately. So, here we go:***

I have always been a gadget geek, and I suspect that, although there are many varieties of geek, I am one of the worst kind. I tend to buy cheap stuff and spend endless hours finding ways to make them work, rather than spending the money to buy something that works right out of the box, or - better yet - not buying it at all. As I teeter on the precipice of my golden years, I'm tending to buy better stuff, when I can, but even now, on my computer desk, my fabulous iMac suffers the indignities of the insertion of various USB, DVI, and Firewire devices into its ports. The iPod that I received as a Christmas gift confirmed all of this for me. A couple of years ago, I bought my phone, a Motorola RAZR, and soon learned that my carrier had it pretty much locked down in ways that did not please me; capitalistic pig-dogs that they are, trying to maximize their profits by charging me airtime to transfer files! So I hacked it, and have spent probably 3 times more time getting it to do what I want it to do as I have doing what I want to do with it. While there is some satisfaction in this, it's beginning to wane. My iPod does what it is supposed to do, and more, like saving my spot and returning to it in the middle of a podcast. Of course, my Mac-running-Vista-running-iTunes isn't perfect, but it's pretty close. I'm growing more comfortable with irony, every day. HA!

At work, I've been trying to get a PC-based Character Generator/video player thing to work. It's kludgy. It doesn't work anywhere near the way that (what there is of it) the User's Guide says it will. The supplying company, up there in the amorphous mass that is Orange County, has a guy, "Steve" (I think all of the geeks that live in Orange County are named "Steve", I think they're aliens living among us, just biding their time until they can overtake the Disney headquarters and rule the world), who has been extremely helpful, but unable to get me to get it to work. It very nearly does what I want it to do, but fails to complete the entire program. Of course, it does not fail in the same place, nor does it fail in any sort of logical manner that "Steve" has ever experienced. Of course, the implementation of this video programming involves those with political clout in my little world, so I've been under a bit of pressure to make it happen. Because this 'thing' runs on a 24-hour schedule, I've been faced with making a minor change/ticking or unticking a checkbox/etc., then waiting several hours - or until tomorrow - to see if anything positive occurs. After about six weeks, I've finally run out of options, so next week "Steve" will either be coming to visit me, I'll be taking the box up to see him, and/or we'll be buying another box. In this instance, my willingness to "make it work" has probably cost me more in the long run than if I'd given up a month ago. Frugality in the electronic age is not always a virtue, I guess.

Friday afternoon, on the way home, I bought a fairly expensive gadget. I brought it home, hooked it up to my iMac, and it didn't work very well. I goofed and fiddled with it, and figured out that I could eventually get it to do the things I wanted it to do, but it wasn't going to be as easy as either promised, or it should be - it would require geekyness on my part. I resisted my primal urges, packed it all back up into the box, and returned it to the store. I'm still going through withdrawal, and looking for an alternative, but I do feel strangely better. My house is filled with stuff that sorta works, so we keep it (that's probably Vicky's attitude toward me, now that I think about it). I guess I'm trying to behave as if I've learned something, after all of these years.