Skip navigation

Category Archives: Uncategorized

This one really grinds my gears, a lot. I hate public restrooms.

First, for me, I need privacy when I do my business. That is just the way I grew up, I got used to it, so even if I really –wanted– to I couldn’t even use a urinal or pee somewhere else when others are around. I just can’t, I can try – I have tried, but nothing happens. Yeah.

Then number two, well, I –could– do that in public I suppose but I wouldn’t -want- to.

So, in either way, I need walls or total privacy.

But it’s not only visual privacy that I need. No, for me, I need to know that my business are my business alone, and no one elses. That means that I don’t want others to hear my business. At home, or at someone else’s home, it is usually fine. The door is thick and normal and offers good sound isolation. Sometimes I turn on the faucet a bit when I’m really in the mood for neither hearing the outside world and to mask my own situation.

So, who is the hippie idiot who designed most of the public restrooms? Seriously – doors and walls that end a few inches over the floors, leaving a huge gap. They don’t even reach the roof, they just go up a bit, and leave another huge gap. Whatever you do in there will be heard in juicy bitty detail for everyone in the room.

Now, it’s not so bad. I mean, they have installed some sort of panels in the ceiling that prevent echoing of sounds, that absorb errant sound waves and makes a less noisy surrounding, much like they do in most other places like classrooms, corridors, and so on. Right?

Of course they haven’t. Every surface is as flat as possible possibly to allow for easy cleaning, the doors are as thin as possible to work as amplifying membranes, and the toilet bowls are quite often made of some shiny easy-to-clean metal that also seem to amplify each and every little potentially embarrasing noise.

Standard (but unrealistically clean) Public Restroom

Standard (but unrealistically clean) Public Restroom

I usually don’t use public restrooms, but if I do, it’s usually because I really have to. This often means either that I have to pee – which is ok – but it is quite often an urgent case of number two as well due to some crappy restaurant or somesuch.

For the love of fuck, people, design public restrooms for the user in mind, you fucking idiots! I know you can optimize comfort with cleaning in mind, which leads me to believe that those that designed these didn’t really want to put walls in there in the first place – they are so used with excreting feces out their rectum in front of their family members while singing “tralala” for each little brown lump of intestinal produce that hit the water, just to celebrate its coming into this world. Or, they never use the damned restrooms themselves and say “I won’t be using these, so what do I care about doing a good job?“.

Fucking morons.

Give me a proper door and proper walls, for retard’s sake. Add proper ventilation that prevents smell from lingering there for ages and ages. I don’t really care much for getting forty-nine grandpas’ shit particles dancing the tango in my nostrils…

Another thing that I’ve noticed during the years is a funny detail. Not very funny once it happens, but a phenomenon that makes me want to turn the face of the one responsible funny with a shovel. Public restrooms that actually charge you a bit of money are usually the ones, in my experience, that are the worst of them all. I can’t count how many times I’ve paid for what I believed was a “public restroom of higher standards” just to be greeted with… a cracked bowl. A cracked sink. No hook on the wall to hang a jacket and bag, so you have to put them on the mysteriously sticky floor. No soap. No towels. No toilet paper. And the most freezing temperatures and over-the-top (and obviously worthless) ventilation you could ever find. And what can you do about it? Open the door, try to find someone responsible? Yeah, right, they are at that point hiding somewhere far away. And the money you paid – probably the only change you had, because you pay mostly by card nowadays – is forever gone so you can’t just try another restroom either.

Once upon a time, there was an application called Hello. In short, this program was an instant messenger client, much like MSN Messenger or ICQ, but with one big central feature – it was designed for picture sharing.

hello

The program was simple, from a user stand-point. You started it, logged in, and the program fetched your info and your buddy list from their central servers. Once in, you saw a list of buddies that were online. Doudle-click one, and you’re chatting with him/her/it/whatever.

The image above shows what the chat looks like. In the picture, though, no one has said anything; the chat part is the right-most frame, and the only thing in the chat is “blabla is sending 12 Pictures”. Anything written in the Message frame below will then show up in that frame, in order of occurrance.

The sweet thing with this application was that it had a simple drag-and-drop interface for sending images. Just drag them into the application, and they were added to the pool of images currently being shared between you and your buddy. Isolated, no “share this with friends”, no “select a folder”, no “publish this on the web so that all the wrong people can see”, no “share this with family and strangers” – but simply put, total control of what you wanted to display. The images added by both you and your friend were shown as thumbnails below a large version of the image you were currently watching. Easily manouverable, and you could even choose to see what your friend is viewing. Another feature was that whenever anyone wrote something in the chat, a miniature was shown in the chat message showing the image you or your friend was viewing at the time of that message, making it easy to keep track of what you were talking about or commenting on.

Images were saved to a specified folder automatically, and you could also save them manually… and this was probably the only bad part, in my opinion – it wasn’t really consistent. It also saved a cache of all images a bit hidden away, which I personally dislike. Software should stop spreading out like a disease over your computer and leave traces of everything everywhere – they should work under your control.

One last thing that I loved with Hello was that transfers and chat were all encrypted. That is important for me, especially in days of mass surveillance, mass registration of actions and behaviour, not to mention for the sake of speed.

It was simple, and exposed the most basic features in a clean way for the user. No enveloping badly designed things in cotton like many dumbed-down applications of today in their pursuit of “user friendlyness“, but simply offered its core features without portraying the user as stupid. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of computers could use the application without large popup balloons telling them what to do, and “wizards” doing things that they probably didn’t want to do.

However, Google purchased the rights for Hello from Picasa, and a while after they closed it down. No apparent reason really, but some think it had to do with it competing with a similar product also owned by the same company. A product that lets you fuzzily share images with your friends, that scans your computer for you for images, and does things a bit more automatically. Fuzzy, automatic, “user friendly” so to speak, and with less control.

And you want control.

Because, quite frankly, either if you are discussing art design on a professional level or if you are trading personal porn with a friend, you really want full and complete control of who sees what, and where things end up on your computer as well, as you sometimes don’t want others in your family to see photos of what you and your special buddies or girlfriend or whatever did last weekend…

I know, there are plugins and stuff for various chat applications that allow for the same functionality, more or less. But it’s far from easy most of the time, and it’s quite a lot easier to just tell someone to “hey, get Hello and add me as a friend and I’ll show you” instead of saying “hey, get this software, then create an account there, and then download this plugin, and then set up encryption like this, then share a folder like this, then add me like this“…

What really grind my gears should be apparent by now – I hate that Hello was discontinued, but mostly I hate that there are still no simple and similar alternatives!

So, with all this explained, I send out this request to the world of random programmers:

An application much like Hello, that has a buddy list or similar, that has no central server to log into but is independent. It should have a 1-on-1 chat capability, but also the ability for more to be invited to the chat session (mutually decided by all involved). There should be encryption, activated per default, with settings so that you can modify it as you wish. Proxy settings, firewall settings, most things that you expect a good internet application to have. There should be drag-and-drop, and an interface not far from Hello’s. There should be settings for where images are saved, if you want to use a disk-cache or not, where that should reside, and maybe even a setting to clean such cache once not in use through algorithms that make retrieval of that information impossible. Perhaps add support for text files, video files, and audio.

Maybe even add support for third-party plug-ins if one would like to extend its functionality, even though most commonly used things should be included in the main application.

I mean, all these things do exist, but sadly not in the same applicaton…

Keywords:

Easy to use and control, but not dumbed down a la Skype 4
Safe and encrypted, and leaving minimal traces on your local machine
To the point, as an image/media trading/discussing chat application
Stand-alone, one simple friendly download, no fuzz
NOT FUCKING WEB-BASED!
Free, of course

Open source and portable, while not necessary, would naturally be welcome

Honestly – if someone were to take on this task, and really resist the urge of making it a derailing feature-fest (and then resist the urge of making wizards as a means to put spackle on that derailed feature-fest) then I assure you that a lot of people will be very happy with you. You would be a hero to many, who would probably want to give you cake. Hello was as close to a perfect application as you could come, and a lot of people were very upset when Google announced its death.

Soon after Hello closed, someone started a project called “Hello (again)” that was supposed to be an alternative, but it seems to have died quickly after that announcement.

I’ve heard this so many times now, that the other day when I was watching the news, I could fill them in even before they had started saying that particular line.

It was about a child in a neighbour town that had been with its parents to visit a couple of friends. These friends had a dog, which had for some reason bitten the child in the face, and now the child had undergone surgery for this.

I knew what they was about to say from the beginning, and once she started, I could completely sync her words and create a sort of mini-choir of bullshit.

“The reason for why the dog bit the child is still unknown.”

Sigh.

Of course they say that. First; the parents, and especially the owners, wouldn’t want the child portrayed as having done something bad. It’s easier to put all the blame on the dog, because it can’t say anything in its defense. The downside is that the dog is usually put down for this in order to “prevent it from doing it again”. Using a member of our community of lesser worth as a scapegoat and executing it is OK in our society… but using that vocabulary, despite it being completely correct, is uncomfortable to most of us because we need our construct of us being supreme and high above the rest.

And second… dogs don’t bite unless provoked. Usually, animals won’t bite unless they are provoked. Or sick. If the dog would have been sick, then they would have quickly mentioned it in the news as a probable cause of aggression.

But, most probably, the child was a little bitch and tortured the dog in some way or another. Would the news EVER say that? No. No one in the chain of voices that leads to a news story would ever say that a child was the culprit, that the child had it coming. It’s not politically correct.

It’s more correct to put the blame on the animals, and remove them, kill them, just to protect a child’s image. To make it less awkward for the child as it grows up and gets the question “what is that little scar you have there?” Mmmm, the responsibility.

I say the child – to a chance of 99.9999% – had it coming, and someone should pat the dog.

Everything must go wrong at the same time. Few things annoy the piss out of me (ew) like computers being bitches.

But, I won’t give up. I don’t believe in a God in the standard sense, but I do believe that life is deliberately testing me. It’s Darwin, sitting there, pointing at me and staring at me like the evil monkey, hissing “survival of the fitteeeeeeeeeest“, now and then twitching with his left never-blinking eye. Yeah, I’m fit. I would travel through a hundred mile forest full of ogres. Speaking of Ogre… I got it working today. Yeah, take that, Darwin bitch.

Warranty, hopefully. And my mate’s computer is my friend.

The occurance of these is something that is, luckily, on the decrease. But nonetheless, some software still does this.

Yesterday, I installed something called “MouseWare” on my computer. They are drivers for my Logitech mouse, which after installation only proved to make the mouse work worse (one button couldn’t be assigned in games) than if I used the generic mouse drivers in Windows. When I installed them, they just installed and were up and running instantly.

Now, when I uninstalled them, I got this (it’s still lingering behind this window as I type):

This is our way of saying "Hi! We are incompetent programmers! Have a nice day!"

This is our way of saying "Hi! We are incompetent programmers! Have a nice day!"

Of course I don’t need to reboot. The drivers are gone, or at least as gone as they need to be. If there is any action that has to be made that can only be done upon a restart of the operating system, then it can most definately wait. Why? Because upon uninstallation of the drivers, I clearly noticed the mouse behaving differently and back to normal again.

Now, a somewhat more competent software developer would have added a “No, I’ll reboot later” option.

An even more competent developer would have just added a note (if needed) at the end of the installation stating that “You should reboot, just in case” or nothing at all. If what I’ve installed isn’t completely rewriting the foundations of the operating system or if some hardware is really dependant on it to operate at all, then I understand a reboot.

These are mouse drivers. And my mouse works fine.

ctrl-alt-delete, click on uninstall process (with my fully working mouse btw), end process

Stupid incompetent garbage producers grind my gears so bad.

There are few things that make me as furious as computers. I am usually very patient, but when it comes to computers I can get in a rage. Think… road rage, but with a mouse and keyboard. Not… german kid idling in the Tokara Forest in Unreal Tournament -rage, at least not when I’m not alone. But not always. Only when I want to do something really simple, that should go really fast, but for some reason takes forever.

This brings me to one perticular grind – uninstallers. Or rather, programs that upon installation does NOT include an uninstaller in their short-cut folder in the Start Menu (Windows).

One program's shortcut folder. Can you see an uninstaller?

One program's shortcut folder. Can you see an uninstaller?

All programs, except the most putrid and nasty ones, have uninstallers in one way or another. Most add an uninstall shortcut, making it easy to remove the program once you don’t want it anymore. You can in the majority of cases go to the “Add/Remove programs” -tool located in your Control Panel and do the same thing, or try to find the executable file somewhere in a mess of files where the program is installed – something that might be harder than it sounds. So in order to uninstall a program that has no shortcut for it, I have to open the “Add/Remove programs” -tool.

I am an average user, I guess. I don’t install things that I don’t need, and I try to keep the computer clean and uninstall things that I no longer use.

However… opening up my “Add/Remove programs” window takes 55 seconds for my computer, from when I double-click that pesky link to the point when the tool actually shows a list of all the programs it found. And that is just to see the list. Then you have to wade through that list and find what you are looking for, which might also be harder than constipation because some software developers don’t call their software the same thing in the uninstall list!

A program called “Twatter” might actually be called “Spam-Laden’s Twatter” just because they felt it was cool to add their company name “Spam-Laden” in the title. And I’ve seen worse.

So, over 1 minute. That’s not so much, you ask? Try it. Try, when you open up – say – your internet browser, you immediately click “Stop” and then force yourself to wait for 50 seconds before going on to any real page. Or, the next time you want to write a chat message to a friend, open your IM client and just stare at his/her name for 50 seconds, before you can click him/her and write something.

Pretty frustrating, no? Add to that the fact that this is far from everything that can go slow on your computer.

This is an annoyance that a software developer can remove, easily. Just add that fraking “uninstall me” shortcut to the Start Menu, and voila. The world is a faster, more efficient and most of all happier place!

I love Steam. And I love the concept of browsing games, demos and forums, making purchases and downloads right in the integrated browser.

But for the love of Gods…

Why does it have to be so slow?!

I have a good internet connection. My other web browsers are rather quick, and my downloads are always around 200 kB to 2 MB per second depending mostly on the source. But sometimes, I have to restart Steam to even be able to load the Store page, and when it loads, it’s usually soooo veeeeryyyy sloooow. So slow, even, that things fail to load.

To prove my point;

Good.

This is how it should look. This is Good.

Now, here’s an example of it usually looks;

Bad.

This is the usual look. This is Bad.

Ahaha… by the love of BBQ!

This is pelvis sausage.

This is pelvis sausage.

Now, it would be one thing if this happened all the time. Then the problem would probably be on my end, or at least something that could be figured out. But no! It’s only syruppy slow about 80% of the time, and when it’s not, it’s just as flickery fast as the rest of my internet browsing normaly is!

This grinds my gears a lot sometimes. I just want to check the screenshots of a game and… No. Failed to load. White screen. Restart Steam in order for it to retry. Almost load everything again, but fail to load something else instead. It’s as if some of my data is a rhino trying to cram itself in through a small window…. sooooo slooooow….. and when it finally pops through, everything comes rushing through as though nothing had happened!

…until that next rhino comes along…

Update: After not being able to load the store page at all, I figured that maybe this problem is with Internet Explorer. It seems as if Steam wraps, or uses, IE in their own browser and I remember now that for some reason my Internet Explorer (7) is pretty bad (slow, can’t find some sites). I’m a Firefox user (naturally) so I hadn’t given it much thought. I updated my IE from 7 to 8 and now it seems as if the browser in Steam works better. Temporary perhaps. Placebo perhaps. I don’t care as long as I get to keep some of the hair on my head.

What is a flamethrower?

It’s a container with flammable liquids being squirted in a stream through a sort of gun part, like a hose. This liquid is ignited as it leaves the gun, usually by a form of source of fire at the tip of the gun. The not ignited liquid then continues as a jet, emitted from the flamethrower, more or less in the same fashion as a jet of water would from a gardening hose. Anything and everything that the burning liquid touches will, naturally, catch fire as well.

But, the point is, it’s a jet. It’s designed to squirt liquid at a good distance, not to spray it in a cloud just in front of the wielder of the weapon, burning the wielder to a crisp in a second.

This is a flamethrower.

Flamethrower

Now, what really grinds my gears is that there are plenty of games with weapons called just that – “flamethrowers” – but hardly any of these actually act even remotely like a flamethrower should. Instead of squirting a devastating jet of burning liquid, creating an infernal arc, sticking to every surface and scorching it… they puff little clouds of fire. Puff. Puff. Like a little spray can, puffing yellow glowing balls of cotton.

Like this.

Yellow glowing cotton puffer

Puff. Pffft. Poooh. Puh. Pfff…

A flamethrower doesn’t puff out clouds of fire that somehow just floats, burning in the air for a bit. They emit a stream of flammable liquid, which flies in a jet that eventually falls to the ground. It doesn’t just puff out in a straight line, vanishing in the air.

Only a very few times, I think, have I ever played a game that shows the flamethrower for the devastating monster it really is. With punch, and many cases a fair distance as well, where it’s not just magical flames slowly drifting off, burning using gravity-defying cotton as fuel.

Only in Renegade (if I’m not mistaken) does the flamethrower actually squirt flammable liquids, set on fire as it leaves the gun – or not so that you can spray fuel around and wait for a nice opportunity to set it on fire.

It’s simple stuff you learn in elementary school when you are taught the fire triangle. Simply put it’s heat, oxygen and fuel. Not just heat and oxygen. Where is the fuel? What is in the tank? Gas? Really? Ka-boom, anyone?

You either make a cute little puffer wich no punch or range whatsoever, or you make a freaking fearsome FLAMETHROWER leaving burning pools of fuel and destruction everywhere. It’s a huge difference, and once you’ve tried any game with a flamethrower with real punch you will understand exactly what I mean.

A real flamethrower would kick most weapons’ asses in most shooter games, at least at a normal shooter game range. Maybe that’s why developers makes them into puffers. Puff. Pfft.

But please, for the love of something that could be really fucking awesome, leave the flamethrower out of your game if you can’t make one that lives up to the name!

It grinds my gears when people says that Scientology is weird, or when they chuckle at the “bisarre” gods and magic of all religions… but Christianity. Even many that are not religiously Christian do this, as if Christianity made more sense than all else.

Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree…

That, in short, is exactly what Christianity is. [Thx Shogun]

I think most religions are pretty weird, and seen from a more objective point of view, Christianity is one of the weirdest.

Trust me, religions grind my gears from time to time as well, but not nearly as much as hypocrites.

This is mostly just annoying. It concerns art, music, games, movies… any form of art. Or any form of handicraft.

People who get their work critizised, and turn to the “you try it and see if you are any better” argument. Or, “you can come back when you have started drawing”. Or, “oh yeah? Then let’s hear if YOU can sing!” (if you have a TV, you have heard that one).

The fact is – you don’t have to be a musician in order to be able to say you think a song is good or bad.

You don’t have to be a game developer in order to be able to say you think a game is awesome or sucks balls.

You don’t have to be a painter in order to be able to say you think a painting or drawing looks really lovely or like rubbish.

You don’t have to work in the movie industry in order to say you think that movie was pee-drippingly marvelous or just Uwe Boll.

You don’t have to be a writer before you can say you like or dislike certain books, or a mechanic before you can say that the new car lights look really stupid in green, or a web designer before you can tell if you hate the interface of a web page or not.

It’s totally absurd. It’s like saying anyone “less good” than you have no ability or right to judge you. And that should, logically, mean both bad AND good judgements. You make food for your loved one, who can’t cook. She notices that it tastes like vomit, because you have mistakenly put a three year old dead road-killed dentist in the stew. She could probably not cook anywhere near as good as you, and thus with your reasoning, she has no right to complain. Mmmmm, crunchy decomposed dentist. Or she could be honest, tell you what she thinks, you could accept that she don’t like your work, move on, and together go and buy a pizza.

I get that people sometimes dislike critisism. It’s only natural to defend your own work if you put lots of time into it. But the argument of “shut up until you can do it better than me”… is just trying to run away from the facts. The fact that there might flaws in what you have done according to some standards, and the fact that people all have their opinions. Now, if you didn’t ask for any critisism (good or bad) then it’s another story, but if you deliver your work of art to others for viewing, then you invite them to analyze and judge it.