Archive for April, 2010

I’m Sorry Mr. Jobs, but I’m Afraid This is it.

April 30, 2010

I’m not an Apple fanboy. Quite the opposite, actually. I dislike almost everything “Apple”. The control restrictions they place. The overpriced hardware. The (parts of the) community that consider Steve Jobs to be godlike. Hell, even a God apon Earth. But, I could handle it for the most part. Maybe a jab here and a small rant there, but I never hated Apple. That is, until now. Enter the 2010 Apple/Steve Jobs. The massive turd that is the SuperSized iPod touch, err iPad, rather. Steve’s “Thoughts on Flash”, where he has the balls to rip the “openness” (or lack of) of Flash. Steve, shouldn’t you look at the products you produce before even talking about openness? How come I can’t install whatever I want on an iPad? Why can I not install OS X on any old IBM PC compatible system? You’re just as “open” as Adobe is, Apple.

And then today Steve talks about a patent battle against Ogg Theora, where he says:

All video codecs are covered by patents. A patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other “open source” codecs now. Unfortunately, just because something is open source, it doesn’t mean or guarantee that it doesn’t infringe on others patents. An open standard is different from being royalty free or open source.

Steve, how about that openness you spoke of earlier?

Written on my Windows XP x64 system, and proud of it.

Yet Another Steam Rant

April 28, 2010

The “new and improved” Steam UI update was released today. The new user interface is too shiny and overly verbose. For a comparison:

Simple. Streamlined. Perhaps even a hint of elegance. And now we have:

As I said: Too glossy. Too verbose. And just plain “ugh”. Why is it that “News” is now a separate tab? Why was it that in the old UI I could look at updates for games in a secondary window but this is no longer the case with the new UI? I dare not complain on the Steam forums for fear of getting my head bitten off by the “gamers” who’ll consume whatever Valve PR tells them, like the obedient leashed dogs they are.

And then there’s the fact that they’re dropped support for Windows 2000. Don’t give me the “But it’s x years old” bullshit. The box said the game supported Windows 2000, and it had better support Windows 2000, should I decide to install and play it on a Windows 2000 machine. Don’t give me the EULA bullshit either. I could very well write an application that has an EULA that states that the users soul is now my property (much like that game retailer in the UK). But would it be legal?

As I’ve said many, many times prior, no DRM at all is “acceptable”. They are all just as horrible as the next one, but in different ways. They all restrict your rights to software you purchased (nee, rented or “subscribed” to). The only reason at all that I put up with Steam is because of Valve’s good games. Perhaps I should stop and no longer play such games.

Those of you whom have had bad experiences with Steam may speak your mind here. There is no corporate kool-aid around here, I’m afraid. Just an angry geek that’s about to snap at DRM bullshit.

UPDATE: There are also reports that the update created performance problems for several games (such as Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead [2]).

A Rant on Windows XP x64.

April 26, 2010

I can’t remember how many times I’ve discussed “upgrading to Windows 7” on the blog, but I do remember that I did that a lot (however I most likely will upgrade to 7 fairly soon). This post isn’t about that, but rather it’s about the operating system I use now: Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. When I tell people that I use it, they freak. “Why the hell are you using that? It’s not compatible with almost any software or hardware! Hell, Windows ME is more compatible!” They tell me, rather they almost demand me to upgrade to either Vista, 7 or even back to 32-bit XP. I’m going to be bold here and say this: Don’t tell me how the hell to run my system. If I wanted to (though, I doubt it would work) run Windows ME on an i7 980X system with 24GB of RAM, I can very well do that. If I want to use a Commodore 64 as my primary computer, I very well can do that. If I want to run an OS that gives me several benefits: Can use more than 4GB (most likely less) without kernel hacks, and has a familiar environment I very much like. I very well can.

And then there’s that “compatibility” thing they speak of. Let’s see.. Of all the systems I’ve run XP x64 on, I’ve only had one device not work, a KWorld TV tuner (that has since bitten the bucket). And you know the funny thing? It doesn’t work on Vista/7 x64 either. It might work on Linux x64, but I haven’t tried. The thing is: if you have somewhat modern hardware made by a decent company (which I would assume x64 users would want anyway), I see no reason why XP x64 shouldn’t work.

I’ve very rarely had software compatibility issues with XP x64. One of the times was a 16-bit (DOS & Win16 apps aren’t supported on x64 Windows) installer for a mid-90’s 32-bit video game, all I did was install the game in a 9x based Virtual machine and copied the files over. The game worked fine after that. Another time was when setup thought XP x64 was Server 2003 (which it is. They are both NT version 5.2.3790) and would not install. Most likely because the developer had an “enterprise class” version of the software for Server 2003. And there are times where you can just use compatibility mode. Nearly all the apps I used in XP 32-bit work in XP 64-bit (Microsoft Security Essentials, aside. Probably because Forfront works on Windows 2000/Server 2003/XP x64 and because it costs money).

All in all, XP x64 compatibility is not as bad as people say it is.

Technology is Grand. Or is it?

April 24, 2010

A few days ago I was having a discussion with a fellow geek on IPv6. I asked “Why do we need so many IP addresses?” Wikipedia states: “The very large IPv6 address space supports a total of 2128 (about 3.4×1038) addresses—or approximately 5×1028 (roughly 295) addresses for each of the roughly 6.5 billion (6.5×109) people alive in 2006.”

He told me that “with so many addresses, each and every device that you own can be connected to the Internet!” At first I thought it sounded kind of cool. But, after a while I got to thinking “Is that really such a great idea? To have every device you own connected to the Internet?” I got to thinking about a lowly refrigerator, but now connected to the Internet. Imagine a hacker/script kiddie somewhere rooting your refrigerator, and then disabling it, thus spoiling your food. Also imagine having to install firmware to fix a bug that allowed it in the first place. This might sound like a crazy thing, but I helped set up a new 42″ television for someone and I spotted an option for “Firmware updates”, and my old DVD player actually had firmware updates out for it. I could updates for those types of products to be (somewhat) acceptable. But imagine A Russian script kiddie turning on your washing machine at 3:30 in the morning while you were trying to sleep. It’s a wild world out there, and it’s only going to get more wild.

An Update on What’s Going on.

April 21, 2010

The “Service Pack 2” project has been suspended for reasons I’m not yet disclosing. I’ve decided to continue with the blog format for some time longer. And I’ve got some great posts lined up that contains classic STOP Error material (DRM, rants and raw anger).

It’s Here! Well, Somewhat

April 14, 2010

Here it is: STOP Error Service Pack 2, as I’ve called it. It’s not finished, but it’s a representation of the near final product. Tell me what you think about it.

Real Soon, Now.

April 8, 2010

STOP Error Service Pack 2 (as I’ve codenamed it) is currently in development. Some of the major changes from the current incarnation is that it won’t be a “blog” anymore. I’ve always thought the blog format was a bit restricting, in that I couldn’t easily format and plan out the site in a way that I desired. The blog posts/comments/resources from here will be transferred to my new site, so you won’t have to fear that all your insightful comments were deleted. Since it’s no longer going to be a blog format, I’ve been wondering on how I should do it? Should I link each and every post I make to a thread in a forum and have users comment there? Should I create a custom comment solution? Should I just some hosted service (like Andrew used to use)? They’re all good questions. And they’re questions that are going to get answered. Expect the “RTM” for Service Pack 2 to be in May or June. I want Service Pack 2 to be something I can be proud of, not something I shoved out just to say I finally released it. Think more of a “It’s done when it’s done”, aka: Duke Nukem Forever.

Changes are Coming Soon…

April 7, 2010

Yes, Stop Error has been dead for the last year, pretty much. Yes, you all probably thought I decided that enough was enough and that I was going to call it quits soon enough (the blog has pretty much been on “life support” for around a year now). However, that is NOT true, folks. Stop Error is coming back, and it’s coming back big (well, compared to its current incarnation). Be ready.