Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
Monday, November 8 1999
Amongst the engineers in my company, it's common courteousy to rip all the songs of personal CDs and put them on the intranet for the enjoyment of all. Today I discovered that all the CD tracks I'd been ripping with RealJukebox were all encrypted in such a way as to be playable only by me! These tracks cannot be saved in a non-encrypted format either; to make unencrypted recordings, I have to re-record them with the default encryption setting turned off. Not only that, but RealAudio actually has the audacity to label this default setting "recommended," as though it is the option that most people would want to choose. Picture if you will some Dan Reitman sitting at his computer making sure all his music files are encrypted so no one except himself can listen to them. Now imagine a representative from RealAudio narrating the scene with the words, "This is probably what you'll want to do with your music collection." It's absurd, of course, just like the warnings on adult websites telling people less than 18 years old that they must not enter. Mind you, I understand the music industry's hysteria at the ease of music copying and distribution, but RealAudio's solution is nothing short of harrassment, just like all the spam they send me and all the data they nefariously collect about my music interests. This shit doesn't leave me with a good regard for this company. They're only a few notches above Microsoft in the unmitigated evil metric.
While I'm on the subject of Microsoft, let me just say that I really enjoy my pirated copy of Office 2000. It's the first version of Word to actually load in the blink of an eye, just like a word processor should on an AMD K6 400. That said, I find myself wondering what is so stunning and new in the Office 2000 word processor format that it can't readably load into Office 97. The answer, of course, is nothing; the format was deliberately made incompatible to force Office 97 owners to upgrade. I'm pretty sure that Windows hasn't made word processors backwards-compatible since Word 5.0. I never upgraded the pirated copy of Word 5 on my mother's Macintosh specifically for this reason; all the work my Dad does is still done in Word 5 for Macintosh, which came out back in 1992. It runs just fine on a PowerPC 233, though its code is entirely Motorola 680X0.

In the evening Kim and I watched the rest of the French/Dutch film The Vanishing, and this time we didn't fall asleep. I was sure the movie was going to suck until nearly the end, but when it was over it left me troubled with the dark side of the human condition. The matter-of-fact way fucked-up things unfolded was unexpectedly creepy. I sort of want to see it again sometime so I can pay better attention to the subtitled dialogue.

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