by zutgorak | Dec 13, 2012 |
Ok, då vet jag.
Jag är en cineast. Jag spenderar pengar på saker jag tycker om. Jag går
på bio på filmer jag tycker är intressanta, jag använder spotify, jag köper
böcker… mycket böcker, speciellt på reor och fyndlådor. Kort sagt, jag
är en mediakonsument. Men inte nog med det, jag är dessutom en kräsen
och selektiv mediakonsument. Jag ger helt enkelt inte mina pengar till
vem som helst. Jag är dessutom vad som i folkmun kallas “piratpartist”
även om jag inte är en aktiv sådan i bemärkelsen att jag deltar i
evenemang och events, utan snarare att jag använder den allmänna rösträtten
och yttrandefriheten för att visa vart jag lutar.
Jag skäms inte över det heller. Det finns otaliga inlägg här på
bloggen om min oro över den ständigt ökande övervakningen och ingreppen
i den personliga sfären och integriteten som finns och frodas. Även
den extremt missriktade ilskan som de flesta större mediebolag har
är ett orosmoln för mig.
Nå, vad vill jag säga med det här? Jo, det här är en liten känga
till människor som saknar argument, som lydigt nickar och gör
sig själva till driftkucku’s för att man har felaktiga uppgifter
från en jävig person eller organisation och sedan blir irriterad
när argumenten man fått diktade för sig visar sig vara just dikter.
Att man då inte kan vara så pass storsint att erkänna att; Jo, jag hade
nog fel, men det betyder inte att jag tycker om det, för man har rätt
till en åsikt. Både du, jag och Ulf Malmros.
Vart kom han i det här? Jo, han har de senaste dagarna varit på twitter
och utfört vad som i mina ögon kan vara det dummaste en mediaproducent
kan göra. Låt mig förklara.
Det började med en debattartikel där han och flera andra förfasade
sig över att piratpartiet förser the piratebay med internetuppkoppling.
Notera, uppkoppling, inte serverplats, inte heller filer, enbart en möjlighet
att skicka information från plats A till plats B. I denna debattartikel
hävdas det att förse TPB med uppkoppling är olagligt. Jag skulle tro
att denna slutsats dragits av domen mot Carl Lundström, där det rörde
sig om “tekniska tjänster” där det rörde sig om gratis rackplatser
hos rixport80 samt servrar.
Anna Troberg, Piratpartiets partiledare svarade i SvD opinion
Sakligt att, nej, det är inte olagligt att tillhandahålla en uppkopplingsmöjlighet.
Det var då som det stora twitterkriget drog igång.
Att när man möts av en replik, gå till
personlig attack på en så pass låg nivå att att till och med
mellanstadieelever förstår att där har argumenten redan
tagit slut kan inte ses som ett direkt tecken på vare sig
kreativitet eller intelligens, åtminstone inte enligt min
högst personliga åsikt.
Han får givetvis då en hel del mothugg på twitter, för det är trots allt så
att Anna Troberg nu har en hel del followers på twitter så det spred sig
Det resulterade i en del protester, som bemöttes på ett
i mitt tycke infantilt sätt. Att förlöjliga presumtiva köpare av sin produkt
kan väl till viss del jämställas med ett finansiellt självmord, eller är
jag ute att cyklar med det?
Efter ett tag dyker även den gamla slagdängan “enfrågeparti” upp.
Vänta nu. Personlig integritet, Upphovsrätt, yttrandefrihet. Rätta
mig om jag har fel nu, men är inte det där 3 frågor varav en är
ett monster av en fråga. Personlig integritet innefattar en hel del.
Så … nu är det bara att ta fram kaffet, luta sig tillbaka och
vänta på nästa utspel.
by zutgorak | Dec 7, 2012 |
I while back a good friend asked if I could take a while and play his little game that was initially released
for Xbox. Fine. I dont own an Xbox, being a ps3 guy, but since he wanted me to test the windowsversion, I
figured I could do that. I like games, and I like to find odd things in them so I said yes. He gave me a nice
little download link and I almost expected to be rick-rolled but lo and behold, a file was downloaded.
I extracted the file and ran the setup file, accepted to sell my soul to the devil (AKA EULA) and off we went.
So, this was the game “Smooth operators – Call center chaos”.
Now, keep in mind that I have been working in the call-center world for quite sometime, so the
irony of it all was not really lost to me, in fact, it made me smile. So, I started a new call center
and named it after one of my workplaces. I chose normal as mode since with these types of games,
regardless of how good you think you are, you will hit bumps in the road that might send you
down into the ditch. What you get when you enter the game is a nice little lobby with a pleasant
hostess who likes to give you good and useful tips every morning that you pop into work.
Ok, ok.. so she isn’t some high resolution “Pussy Galore” but still… Jill does take her
job seriously. You also have 20000 cash to play around with.
From the start, you get 1 client, who has different demands in InBound calls (IB),
OutBound calls (OB(Also known as the much hated and dreaded Telemarketers))
and BackOffice (BO) wich takes care of the administrative side of things.
What you need to do is build a call center that can handle pretty much everything
that gets thrown at you.
So, you need to build a workingenvironment wich house at least these three types
of workers, and dont you forget about amenities such as cafeteria or toilets, because
yes, its a game, but you are “playing” employer, and you cant really expect your
workers to go a full day without taking a leak or a snack.
With that in mind, I set up to build the best call center ever, one that everyone wanted
to work at, who takes care of the employers and who actually rewards good deeds……and
fell flat. Turns out there is a huuuuuuge economics factor to take into considerations and
damn you to bankruptcy if you dont.
Now, as you progress, you also get new features, such as project managers wich helps you
develop your site, aswell as funny little pom-pom swinging coaches that tries to urge your
slav… err minio.. oups workers to do better and also account managers that tries to get you
more clients and help that type of contacts. This makes for a challenging situation with
very complex economics that you have to balance out to be able to get the best callcenter
Now, I used to play SimCity, SimHospital, Themepark and all those games back in the day
and they where easy, most of the time. This game seems to be designed to be a challenge.
A challenge that once you try to accept, will keep nagging at you wich makes you spend
hours on end, trying to balance it all out, getting people to do their best and whatnot.
You want a game that actually demands that you have a brain and not just good hand to eye
coordination? This game is for you.
My hat is off for Andreas Heydeck Games you made me very happy, and my social life unhappy..
and I dont mind.
Now, shoo.. I have to play some more.
by zutgorak | Feb 29, 2012 |
Mediacorporations want to make money. It is that easy, and I can see where that is coming from
of course, and piracy is a big issue for them as they represent a downloaded media file with a
lost sale. Now most of us know that this is not true, that you downloaded the file doesn’t automatically
mean that you wanted to purchase it just to see/listen to it. It has also been established that
media pirates are willing to pay for media in various ways if it has easy distribution.
(Look at spotify will you).
I saw a retweet from @janlindgren to the following image:
And the idea in general is sound, no doubt about it, but there are some things there that even I can see
as not being plausible, for instance to include boxart and extra content and similar issues.
So I gave the idea a few thoughts and a few minutes of my time and came up with this:
So what is that then?
Well, it is an application that can simplify distribution of movies and tv-shows.
You can easily choose the categories you wish to browse, you can choose resolution
and for those of us that has extreme bandwidth, stream both dvd quality and hd quality,
You have the ability to gift media to another person, you can sync to a device
or pherhaps to itunes for you apple-eaters. You can either stream the file through
the application (would make it pretty good for tablets and similar devices) or
download the actual file.
You can also order a physical disc and THERE is where the extra content should be stored.
Include special features like “how was it made”, extra box art, etc etc in these discs to make
purchasing the physical thing a viable option, also you can have the standard order X discs, pick
one or two extra for as a bonus.
Now how should it work. Well, to tell you the truth, I haven’t given that as much thought as I
would like, the quick thought that entered my mind would be that each file that you purchase
should in some way be branded with a unique “tag” for lack of a better word that would
be hidden from the users, only viewable from the mediacorporation and this should be embedded
somewhere in the file. No tracking software, no DRM, just a simple encrypted ID that in no other
way alters the file, making the removal of it redundant (if you can move the file as you wish between your
different devices, what’s the point of breaking it up just to get rid of some text, right?)
So that once you buy this movie, it is a file that you “own” so to speak.
Tether this ID to a string that combines creditcard number and one more factor like
social security number or similar. (means it can be crosschecked with card issuer)
So, lets say a file ends up on a file sharing network. Media company snags the file, reads
the user tag and promptly ban this user from further purchases and from using the network.
Now then, make this application in different formats, so it can be used directly on devices, for
Android, iOS, windows phone, Windows for pc, mac OS X and Linux and also for consoles like
PS3 and Xbox360. Do you see the market impact this has the potential to have?
So what you would do is instead of trying to battle piracy with methods that obviously doesn’t
work, causing disturbances and public hatred towards you, learn from them. Create a platform
that is fast, userfriendly and without hindrance for the paying user and you will see an increase
in generated money from people.
Of course there will always be freeloaders, there always has been, there always will be, but
once again, look at spotify. Music download has drastically gone down since the start of it.
Now, I am not sure how to pull all this together. I have to admit that is a bit beyond my
abilities, but isn’t this something that you, personally, might like to see and try? I know I would
by zutgorak | Nov 30, 2011 |
Now, I am no Apple fan by any stretch of the road, but read this out fully before
you mac addicts burst up in flames.
iTunes is a vampire/leech/whatever bad description you can think of.
It has been stated by record companies aswell as artists, the self same companies
are also bashing spotify, however, they themselves own a majority in spotify.
It seems that the record companies really are scared that they are becoming
obsolete and that people are starting to realize it. Here’s a little thing about
those comments of “leeches” and similar that the record companies probably
doesnt want you to read, since reading may be caused by independent thought.
Ok, I can see that the artists that create a song wants to generate
a revenue stream. I dont begrudge them a revenue, but it is not something
that can be considered a “right” that just because you made a song,
you will make money of it. Let me give you a case in point:
The swedish edition of Absolute music 66 consists of the following lineup:
1. Born this way – Lady Gaga
2. In the club – Danny Saucedo
3. Just the way you are – Bruno Mars
4. Leaving home – Nicke Borg
5. Oh my God! – Moniker
6. Indestructible – Robyn
7. Price tag – Jessie J
8. F***in perfect – Pink
9. Like a prayer – Jay Smith
10. White light moment – Tove Styrke
11. Idiot – Lena Philipsson
12. 25 – Oskar Linnros
13. What the hell – Avril Lavigne
14. Heart and I – Robbie Williams
15. Loca – Shakira feat Dizzee Rascal
16. Are you leaving – Erik Hassle
17. Alive – Linda Pritchard
18. Desperados – Pernilla Andersson
19. The king – Playtones
20. 7 days and 7 nights – Brolle
21. I’m in love – Sanna Nielsen
22. E de fel på mej – Linda Bengtzing
23. Spring för livet – Sara Varga
24. Popular – Eric Saade
25. S&M – Rihanna
26. Me and my drum – Swingfly feat Christoffer Hiding
27. My heart is refusing me – Loreen
28. Hold it against me – Britney Spears
29. Higher – Taio Cruz feat Travie McCoy
30. Yeah 3x – Chris Brown
31. Dance alone – Love Generation
32. Baksmälla – Petter & September
33. Blow – Kesha
34. Just can’t get enough – Black Eyed Peas
35. Rocketeer – Far East Movement feat Ryan Tedder
36. I just had sex – Lonely Island feat Akon
37. More – Usher
38. Turn around – Flo Rida
39. Please don’t go – Mike Posner
40. Invincible – Tinie Tempah feat Invincible
41. Follow me home – Killabite
42. Animal – Neon Trees
43. The hunter – Melody Club
44. Like suicide – Christian Walz
45. I’m so happy – Salem Al Fakir feat Josephine Bornebusch
46. Jag vet vilken dy hon varit i – Håkan Hellström
It’s 46 songs, not bad you say, but take a look at the lineup again,
how many of these are songs that you actually would like to have in
your collection? For me, there are 1 song (maybe 2 if i stretch it)
and I will push it, its “Lonely Island Feut Akon – I just had sex”
But if I buy this cd, I will be paying off both Håkan Hellström
(in my eyes, a swedish version of the plague) and Britney Spears
(The american version of the plague) aswell as Salem Al Fakir. Nothing
personal about him, but …. no, i wont even start because I wouldn’t be
able to stop.
Now the price for this setup is as follows: (note that I am not a record
company executive, so I cant tell if these are actual numbers or not.)
Lets assume for simplicity that the artists on the disc will share what
the price is for the disc, IE not calculating store profit, cost for
packaging etc etc etc.
The CD in itself is 159 SEK, estimates to roughly 18-20 dollars.
There are 46 tracks. So, 159 divided by 46 is 3.45andalotomoredecimals.
So each artist is entitled to 3.45 per song. Some of these have dual
artists, so then divide 3.45 into with two (you have a calculator on your
computer, you do the math here) 3.45 ish or half of that per song…
3.45 is about 53 cent or thereabouts.
Now lets bring in the price for shipping, subract VAT (moms) and also,
the cut for the record companies and I am pretty damn sure that the take
would be a lot smaller, probably around half or even a third of those 53
cent so we are below 25 cent per sold disc per artist. And they think
iTunes is a leech? I dont know how much iTunes takes to list a song, but
I pretty much guess that at 99 cent per song, the artist will earn more per
sold song then these “collection CDs”
So .. since the price of this collection CD is about the same as a standard
one artist full length CD, it is still the same equation when you take in
effect that I mostly do not want ALL songs on a disc, there are 1 or 2 that
I really want. So, I have to by 12 pieces of what I consider to be crap
to get those songs. Not bloody likely. I would then rather listen to the
song through youtube or spotify, but guess what …. that is getting restricted
so, I am relegated to using iTunes or piracy, or if the device I choose
to listen to has streaming capabilities, spotify.
Now who is the leech? Itunes, or the record companies?
by zutgorak | Aug 31, 2011 |
Att ladda ner ca 2800 låter är numera jämställbart med
en barnvåldtäkt eller brutal misshandel .
Detta har nu ifpi fastslagit tillsammans med tingsrätten
i och med domen mot en 60-årig man i uppsala idag.
Detta gör att de av oss som har laddat ner mer
än X antal filmer med andra ord kommer att tilldelas samma
straff som någon dömd för dråp eller liknande
enligt samma straffskala.
Detta ger också polisen (Jag vet, dom gör bara sitt jobb… eller
nej förresten, jag ska förklara det sedan.)
rätt att kräva ut uppgifter angående ett IP nummer av leverantörer.
I förlängningen innebär detta att FRA och IFPI tillsammans kommer
att trängas i våra internet-rör och avlyssna trafik för
att sedan stämma var och varannan liten finnig tonåring som
helt enkelt vill se om en film kan vara intressant innan
dom besöker biografen.
Så, vart fick jag då barnvåldtäkt och grov misshandel
ifrån Jo, härifrån:
Varför gör polisen inte sitt jobb då?
Eller snarare, varför tycker inte jag det?
Jo, för att svenska staten helt enkelt svänger efter
företagens pipa och låter sig styras av en gammalmodig
organisation med föråldrade distribueringskanaler och
panik då de ser att det går att sprida kultur genom
andra kanaler än deras egna.
Monetära organisationer tvingar med lobbyisters samarbete
polisen att gå deras ärenden och ta resurser från brott
som faktiskt har reella offer, och dessutom att få en sådan
straffsatts på ett brott som skulle kunna klassas som spridandet
av kultur. Ska vi hårddra det till att kräva att alla olika
avbilder av Mona Lisa ska brännas eftersom någon annan
äger rättigheterna.. Oj, förlåt mig. Leonardo har varit
död i mer än 75 år, men ni fattar poängen.
Hela systemet med lagstiftningen kring fildelning är
rutten och genomsyrad av finansierade intressen som
styr debatten åt än det ena eller än det andra hållet
och rättsväsendet som i mångt och mycket inte förstår
vad det innebär nickar snällt med mössan i handen
och hoppas att mer pengar kommer att skjutas till.
Jag skulle dock vilja veta om vi alla är lika inför lagen.
Enligt LAGEN själv är vi det. Per Gessle delade ut 9000 låtar,
lite styvt 3 ggr så mycket som mannen i uppsala, och erkände
det med, men är det någon här som har härt att Gessle har
suttit 4-6 år i finkan? För med tanke på mängden
så måste ju brottet klassas som grovt, inte sant?
Men vänta nu. Han är en artist. Han får fildela eftersom
skivbolaget inte vill bli av med en kassako…vääääänta
nu. Hur var det med lika inför LAGEN
Vissa kommer nu att debattera om att “brottet” begicks
för länge sedan. Jo, de kan måhända stämma, men lagen
om fildelning fanns redan PÅ PLATS NÄR DETTA SKEDDE
men ingen anmälan har formellt gjorts av skivbolaget
trots att GESSLE HAR ERKÄNT både för bolaget OCH för
media. Så, är man artist i ett stort skivbolags stall
så är man tydligen exkluderad lagen.
Betyder det att om jag börjar tillhöra jobba på trafikverket
att jag kan ha fri fart och ignorera kamerorna, eftersom
vägarna är trafikverkets “skötebarn”? (dumt och kanske galet exempel
men det är det bästa jag kommer på med så kort varsel)
Jag skulle vilja ha en prövning.
En LIKA INFÖR LAGEN prövning. Där artister och skivbolagsfolk
SAMT styrande politiker som röstade igenom fildelningslagen
får sin lagringsmedia kontrollerad av såväl MPAA, IFPI samt
BSA (Sök på Google om ni inte vet vilka det är) och att straff
utmäts till var och en enligt samma straffsats som mannen
i uppsala. Helvete, varför begränsa sig. Vi kan lika gärna
ta ALLAS datorer SAMT stänga av alla domäner. För vi har
ju redan fått veta att det är olagligt att länka med hjälp
av HTML, PHP, ASP samt annat scriptspråk.
Till de som röstade igenom fildelningslagen har jag följande
Ni säger att den som har rent mjöl i påsen har inget att dölja.
Seså. Öppna era påsar (datorer) och visa det rena mjölet.
by zutgorak | Aug 23, 2011 |
This is a blatant theft of a post. The original is found here:
I read it, and frankly, I loved it.
By my calculations, about 96 percent of all computer repairs are done, not by the local computer guy or the Geek Squad, but by The Friend Who is Good With Computers.
Often that friend is nothing more than an average computer user who knows how to look up error messages on Google, but it doesn’t matter —
Once they become known as TFWIGWC, they will get the call every time something goes wrong. And they will fix it, probably for free, because TFWIGWC pities you.
Still, any time a bunch of TFWIGWCs get together and share their computer repair horror stories, you learn that there are certain things their “customers” do that make them want to ram their head through a wall.
So, before I touch your computer, friend who may or may not do me a favor in return for this free repair job, here’s what you should know:
#6. Future Computer Problems Are Not Automatically My Fault
This computer is yours. You know exactly who has used it. It is in its current condition without any outside interference, especially from me. I, on the other hand, am about to spend several hours of my own time trying to get it back into the condition it was in before you or someone you love screwed it up. So, two months down the line if I get a call from you, saying, “That program you installed messed up my computer.” I will beat you until it causes hydrogen fusion. Or at least I will imagine myself doing it.
This is how it’s gonna go down, chief.
See, the vast majority of the computers I fix are broken because of some bullshit the owner has installed, like Weatherbug, or some program that changes their cursor into an amusing animated kitten. Or, they’ve been playing some online flash game that just funnels in malware as fast as their connection and processor will allow. While fixing your computer I will explain all of this, and talk about how an entire industry of malicious free downloads thrives purely because so many Internet users are trusting souls like you. You believe all men are good at heart, especially on the Internet, so no amount of antivirus warning popups will convince you that the people distributing “Wild Bill’s Poker Roundup” for free want anything but the best for you.
So, I go through and strip out the malware and toolbars and Trojans, then install protection like Malwarebytes or something like it to help block this type of deceptive shit in the future. Then, two months later, I get that call:
“Yeah, I don’t know what you did to my computer when you were here but it’s so slow now that I can mow the lawn waiting for it to check my email. I need you to undo whatever you did.”
At this point I will drive over, again, imagining myself slamming the owner’s dick in his own laptop. Five minutes after I arrive, this exchange will occur:
“Wait, where’s Spybot? The program I told you to leave on there?”
“I uninstalled that. It was messing up my computer. It wouldn’t let me play any of my games.”
But at least you have this fake scanner.
Yes, it was Spybot. Not the programs that I told you would cause the exact problems we’re looking at right now, you impossible dipsh- “Wait, where’s the antivirus?”
“Oh, I got rid of that, too. My cousin was downloading music, and it wasn’t letting him open the files, so we had to get rid of it.”
“Sure, sure. Now, this is going to seem like an odd request, but for this next step, I’m going to need you to take out your dick, and lay it on your laptop’s keyboard.”
Anywhere around the “G” key will do just fine.
#5. Expect One More Person for Dinner
“Wow, I didn’t think it would take that long,” you’ll say as I’m into hour two, removing eight months’ worth of stupid bullshit from your hard drive. “Is it going to take much longer?”
Yes. It’s going to take much longer. Much, much, much longer. Probably. See, the thing is, I have no way of knowing how long it’s going to take me to find the problem. That’s why before I came over here, I canceled all of my plans for the rest of the day.
The only reason I’m not punching you in the neck right now is because I know this ignorance isn’t your fault. Despite owning a computer and probably using one at work, much of your knowledge comes from Hollywood, and Hollywood hasn’t got the slightest goddamn clue what they’re talking about. In movies, everything from hacking the Pentagon to creating Kelly LeBrock can be done in one flurry of keystrokes.
Oh, that reminds me, we’re going to need some bras.
In real life, the same symptoms could be the result of any of three billion different problems. Especially when the symptom is that the computer is “slow.” Or when the thing you’re complaining about only happens once every two days, and never when I’m around. If it’s a result of the malicious software and other bullshit I was just talking about, remember that it’s specifically designed to be hard to remove.
Half the time I’m going to wind up Googling for other people who’ve had the same problem, because none of the standard spyware removal tools will do it. Half the time, my search will take me to a message board and I’ll find this:
Posted: 8.1.11, 10:24 PM
Subject: Trojan, Malwarebytes and Combofix Don’t Detect It
Body: (Exact description of the same problem we’re having)
Posted: 8.1.11, 10:36 PM
Subject: Re: Trojan, Malwarebytes and Combofix Don’t Detect It
Body: (Request for more information, OS, HijackThis logs, etc)
Posted: 8.2.11, 8:15 AM
Subject: Re: Trojan, Malwarebytes and Combofix Don’t Detect It
Body: Never mind, I fixed it.
Posted: 8.2.11, 8:29 AM
Subject: Re: Trojan, Malwarebytes and Combofix Don’t Detect It
Body: Issue resolved. Thread locked.
OK, try it now.
You might notice me becoming steadily more frustrated as this process repeats itself eight or nine hundred more times. And you’re making it worse by being the kid in the back seat who’s constantly asking, “Are we there yet?!” I want to make it clear: I have no problem whatsoever bending you over my knee and spanking your ass until you shit blood. Go find a movie to watch, and I’ll let you know when it’s fixed.
#4. Assigning Blame Is Not a Priority
The subject of who is to blame for your screwed up computer is sure to come up. There are a couple of reasons — one, some people, usually douche bags, live in a world where everything is somebody’s fault. The computer can’t just break. Somebody has to have broken it. Nothing “just happens,” right?
But other times it’s just that whoever’s computer I’m working on wants to make sure I know that they didn’t screw it up. It’s, “I told my son not to install that Firefox thing.” Yes, Firefox broke your computer, not the 27 “free screensavers” websites that each came with their own toolbar, or the hundreds and hundreds of sketchy porn sites.
“Yeah, but you were shopping on eBay the other day!”
But the focus here should not be on blame — I don’t want to hear how stupid your wife is. It needs to be on repair and preventative action, so that we don’t have to go through this again. And by “we” I mean “I.” And, the thing is, there’s a good chance you’re not going to want to hear why your computer is actually in this condition. At least not from me. Let me talk to your son in private, and you’ll be a much happier person. I’ve tried the direct route with parents before about their teenage son’s porn use, and how he’s not old enough to know to keep to the reputable porn sites, and it never, ever ends well.
“Bobby?! He wouldn’t do that. He’s a good kid.”
“Yep. He’s also a teenage boy with a volcano full of dick-related hormones that require an outlet.”
“OK, what’s the cup fo- OH MY GOD!”
“I know my son, and he wouldn’t. Maybe a hacker did it.”
“Yes. A hacker, out of the blue, decided to break into your computer and place temporary files onto the system in the hopes that a repairman would see them and then report them to you. Evil hackers have it in for your son, and this is by far the best way to do it.”
But even that isn’t as bad as when there is no kid involved at all. Then I have to figure out which spouse has the poop fetish. Saying the wrong thing to the wrong person can cause an instant rift in a marriage. But saying nothing at all means that the activity will continue the second I pull out of their driveway. And a month later, I’ll be getting the blame for the computer’s relapse. “You know, eBay sure does have a lot of popups for shemale porn sites these days.”
#3. Don’t Ask Me How to Make Your 10-Year-Old PC Faster
“I just bought this game, and my computer won’t run it. What’s wrong?”
If your computer is more than five or six years old, the answer is most likely going to be: “You need to buy a new one.” No, I can’t upgrade it, you bought it at Wal-Mart and one reason you got it so cheap was that the motherboard has absolutely no place to add any components.
“Can’t you just put more memory in it?”
That long blue slot is your RAM slot. Most new computers have four or more.
Nope. All of your RAM slots are filled. Replacing the motherboard with one that has room for more RAM creates a domino effect where everything other than your monitor, mouse and keyboard also has to be replaced. The hardware is obsolete, all of it, and it’s not my fault.
“Yeah but even the stuff I used to do runs slower.”
Yes, because you are using newer, updated versions of those programs and the people who make that software assume you are regularly upgrading your computer. Each version of Microsoft Office is going to be more of a hog on your computer’s resources than the last one. Everybody makes their programs load on startup because they assume you have vast stores of RAM to keep it in. See those six rows of icons down by your computer clock?
“OK, so here’s what we do: I sell my computer on eBay for a couple hundred bucks, and we buy the new system with that.”
Not so fast, Johnny Mnemonic. Your setup wouldn’t sell for a couple hundred bucks. It won’t sell for 10 bucks. Remember that “obsolete” thing I mentioned earlier? That means that virtually nobody on the planet has any use for it. I don’t care that you paid $1,000 for it 10 years ago. Right now, it’s worth less than the shipping and handling fees it would take to deliver it to your customer. Computers degrade in value at roughly the same rate as bananas.
How about instead of me buying those from you, you pay me to haul them off.
No, it’s not some huge scam on the part of the people who make computers and computer programs. And even if it is, I’m not in on it.
#2. Toolbars Are Bad News
I’ve used the word “toolbars” several times, and you’ll notice I use the word kind of like how you’d use the word “virus.” Toolbars are little strips that get glued to the top of your browser, bearing some advertisement and a bunch of buttons that will probably take you to even more advertisements. When you downloaded that free program that rotates pictures of your children on your desktop while playing inspirational songs, way down in the Terms and Conditions it mentioned that the price of downloading that free program was that they got to stick a toolbar on your browser.
And when you download the next gadget, its toolbar will not replace the last one. It will glue itself to the other one, and the next will get stacked on top of it. Eventually it will look like this:
The first thing I’m going to do when I start poking around on your machine is open Internet Explorer and Firefox, and the number of toolbars I find there will tell me everything I need to know about the problems I’ll be encountering and what caused them. And I’m going to uninstall them all.
But I bring this to your attention because from now on, when you download anything, pause for a moment while you’re blindly and rapidly clicking “next” on each window that pops up, and look for the word “toolbar” on the list of things they’re asking to cram onto your computer. Uncheck it if it will let you. If it won’t, just bail out of the whole thing.
That “cancel” button is there for a reason. The program won’t be offended.
Even if you don’t mind viewing your Internet through a two-inch window at the bottom of your screen (maybe you like to pretend you’re seeing the world through the slit of a knight’s helmet or something), a lot of these are malicious programs that track everything you do and, at random, will boot you out to some site they control.
I’m also going to get rid of a lot of free programs that sounded really useful when you clicked on the banner ads offering them. Again, I don’t want to lower your opinion of your fellow man, but “Registry Cleaner 5000” was, in fact, not cleaning your registry, it was spawning fake warnings to make you go download more bullshit. Weatherbug will, in fact, tell you the temperature, while it’s spawning popup ads on your system. But there are other ways to get that information.
#1. “Wipe” Means EVERYTHING
Worse has come to worst. I get to your place, and your PC is so screwed that it won’t even boot — not even in Safe Mode. Maybe you have a boot sector virus or maybe some key files got corrupted, but one way or the other, our only troubleshooting option left is start over and do a clean install of your operating system. With an exasperated sigh, you tell me, “Yeah, fine, just wipe it and start from scratch.” I ask if you’re sure because that means you’re about to lose everything, since you did not keep backups. You say you know. You just want to start over.
Several hours later, all of the drivers are installed. Windows is up to date. You have a new antivirus. Your system is smoking fast (well, compared to what it was). You can actually see a whole screen’s worth of Internet in your browser. It’s like new again.
<=”” a=””>John Dies at the End by David Wong
You sit down, open up your browser and ask in horror, “Where’s my email? And all of my music?! And my pictures?!”
You just told me to wipe it. Did you not know what that means? Because when I said “lose everything,” I didn’t mean, “lose just the bad stuff.” I meant every motherfucking thing. In some cases, this is a breakdown in communication. The person has heard a “computer guy” use the term “wipe” before, and they’re just repeating it. Trying to connect with you by using terms you’re familiar with — even if they’re not. “Yeah, ‘wipe,’ like when you’re cleaning a window, right? You wipe it off?”
Or, they figure I couldn’t have wiped everything because, look, Windows is still there. Hey, maybe that other stuff is still hiding somewhere, too!
No, Swordfish, you didn’t keep any of that important stuff on any kind of a backup drive, you kept it all on the exact same bit of hardware you have been dragging through a shit gauntlet of adware, spyware and Trojans. So, you’re starting from scratch. Think of it as a second chance. A fresh start; to clean up all off those bad habits, and to treat your computer like the crucial yet fragile tool that it is.
See you again in about three months.