Something about Linux, Time, and Value.

So, the drive in my DirecTivo is going bad. Hangs every few days, "DriveStatusError BadCRC" in the logs. The usual. Good times.

The annoying part here is that I just replaced a failing drive back in February by buying a pre-formatted replacement drive from -- and the drive they sent me went bad in eight and a half months.

Turns out they only offered a 6 month warranty, but I mailed them anyway ("Come on, guys, 8 months to failure? Seriously?") Their answer was, "Get fucked."   "See if the drive manufacturer will replace it, send the new one to us, and then we will charge you again to copy a new image onto that drive."


So now I have a decision to make.

Option 1: Borrow someone's linux machine, figure out how to get MFSTools running on it, try to use that to copy the failing drive to a new drive, and pray. (Because apparently Macs can't read Tivo partition maps, so I can't just rsync or dd the fucker.)

Option 2: Just pay these asshats another $300 for a new pre-formatted drive, re-enter all of my season passes, and hope this one lasts longer than eight months.

I know -- I KNOW -- that Option 2 is the right thing to do. I know it deep inside the place where good decisions come from. But Option 1 is still so viscerally tempting because it infuriates me to give more money to people who have already ripped me off, even when the amount of money is small enough that it is far outweighed by the amount of hassle that not spending it would cause.

Computers are stupid and my indignance is trying to sabotage me.

In related news, I understand that the new HD DirecTivo is still on track for release in mid-2009. Har har har.

Incidentally, recent investigations show that "just torrent everything" is still a shittier experience than the increasingly-shitty experience provided by SD DirecTivo.

Update: In case you're curious, I ended up cloning the dying 750gb drive onto a spare 1tb drive I had lying around using ddrescue and that seemed to work fine, geometry be damned. So, yay. Without repartitioning it (which I think would require Linux-based indignities) I'm missing 1/4th of the drive, but who cares, I've never filled the thing anyway.

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Jesus Pug Butt

Previously, previously.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein it's DNA Lounge Day, with special attention given to wifi and turkeys.

Happy DNA Lounge Day! DNA Lounge is 26 years old today.

A few recent upgrades:

We've finally retired the old AST Linux-based POS ("Piece of Shit" or "Point of Sale", your pick) system that we inherited with DNA Pizza. Now we're using Ordyx. It runs on a Mac Mini with a touchscreen, and apparently half of it runs on their server (oh, the kids call this "in the cloud" these days) meaning, presumably, that various things go wrong if we're ever off the net, and they get to charge us a monthly fee instead of just selling us the software outright. But, it seems pretty good, and it's a million times better than what we had before.

We've also upgraded our network quite a bit in the last few weeks. I've already written about how we recently got a DSL line in addition to our existing T1, and were using the T1 for the webcasts while using DSL for the wifi network. We worked out the kinks on our DSL install and are now getting the advertised 20mbps out of it instead of the 5mbps we were getting before; and we've also upgraded the radios in our nine Aironet wifi hotspots, so they now do both 802.11b and 802.11a, which means that you should be seeing upwards of 17mbps downloads on laptops and iPads. (Bafflingly, iPhones don't do 802.11a, so you'll "only" get 5mbps on those.)

Also we're now experimenting with running the webcast over the DSL instead of the T1. Back in 2001, webcasting 24/7 over DSL just plain didn't work at all, but we'll see whether it does now. I hope so, because we're paying a couple hundred bucks a month for that T1, and I'd really like to be able to cancel it!

Last week, Jeremy said "Let there be light", and lo, there was light within the pizza sign. It's not quite bright enough yet, but it's a good proof of concept. He found a string of waterproof 12v RGB LEDs. They're small enough that we're able to tuck them away and light the sign from the front instead of from inside. Very futurey! We may end up replacing the fluorescent tubes behind the big sign with these as well, because they last forever.

Once you're done gorging yourself and fighting with your family, come out to Meat: Thanksgiving on Thursday. It's been a bit over a year since we've done Meat. There will be grillin'. Oh yes.

Some videos have emerged of the Obscura show. No photos, though.


Star Wars Burlesque, again

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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"Where are the cops who walked off the job rather than attack their neighbors drowning in debt and despair?"

A Children's Treasury of American Cops Brutally Attacking Citizens

How did America's heavily militarized security guards for the 1% spend the work week? Oh, just pepper-spraying sitting students in the face, macing old ladies, stomping peaceful protesters, yanking women around by their ponytails, destroying libraries and bloodying the faces of America's citizens. You know, what they've dreamed of doing for decades.

Remember the fat, smug face under that helmet and behind that ridiculous mustache in the picture above. This happened yesterday at UC Davis, a California college in a delightful, sustainable little town between San Francisco and Sacramento -- the kind of place earnest liberals move to, when they have kids, so they can all ride around on the town's famous network of bike paths. It's a well-off town, mostly, and it takes quite a lot of tax money to keep a bunch of vicious thugs overfed and dressed like junior Darth Vaders with their portable hard-ons, on the off-chance some college kids might one day peacefully sit outside to protest this nation's revolting descent.

One scene, one town. How many of these scenes have slipped by during these very busy weeks of protests and cop attacks? Up the I-5 in Portland, the stereotypical Brooklyn of the Pacific Northwest is apparently home to an absolutely insane paramilitary gang of thugs who cannot contain their glee at finally being able to go batshit on the people of Portland, with truncheons.

And more, from everywhere, because the kleptocrats told their rent-a-cops to smash heads, put all this to rest, or else. Or else what? In Egypt earlier this year, the cops refused to attack the people. East Germany and then the whole Iron Curtain collapsed when the local cops wouldn't smash heads when Erich Honecker ordered it. What about America? Where are the cops who walked off the job rather than attack their neighbors drowning in debt and despair?

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jwz mixtape 105

Please (try to) enjoy jwz mixtape 105.

It looks like, again, half of these will not play embedded. I really don't know what to do about it, short of hoping that one of these years Youtube gets their head out of their ass about embedding.

They tell you "You must watch this on Youtube", and yet the interface that they provide for watching an entire playlist full of videos is fucking worthless! The "Large Player" button doesn't stick, so it snaps back down to "postage-stamp sized" each time it advances to the next video. "Full screen" mode sticks, but then it commandeers your entire computer and you can't watch the playlist while doing something else at the same time.

So there are no sane solutions here.

Thanks a whole fucking lot, Youtube.

Anyway: I really love the Uffie video -- it's halfway between Gondry's Come Into My World and Let Forever Be. I'm glad that people are still imitating his old stuff, since he hasn't made something worth watching in a decade.

There are a lot of videos that look like the Niki and the Dove one, and all the corresponding bands sound like that, too. What are they putting in that Scandinavian water? If we imported more Voss, would music and clothing go that way here, too?

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Current Music: as noted

Fear, Racism, Rehab and History: The 25th Anniversary of Run DMC & Aerosmith's "Walk This Way"

The Golden Age of Music Video:

So, I wrote the idea, they bought it, and then I had to get on this I spoke to Aerosmith's manager, and he said, "Hey, these guys just got out of rehab." (Laughter) "There is just no way you, we can do this in New York because these guys-- these are heavy junkies. You gotta be out of New York." So where do we go? The heroin capital of the world -- Union City, New Jersey. (Laughter) Bad place. So we set up this thing. I find the location, I came up with the set, the design, the whole thing, and we're gonna do it, and I convinced them. I got on the phone with Steven Tyler and explained to him. He only said one thing to me that was important. "Please don't make a fool out of us." He was really not into -- don't forget, he hasn't stepped into the video world yet.

I advertised on the radio that Aerosmith would be playing so we could get a crowd, and the black radio station, they made the announcement too, but when we got there at 10 o'clock, there must have been five thousand black people there. There were no white people. That's when I said "Shit, I can't do this with no white people -- it's supposed to be an Aerosmith concert!" Now I'm outside walking around with my assistant director and we could see all these rockers sitting in different cars. There were hundreds of them -- they were just too scared to get out of their cars! (laughs) So, we knocked on the windows, and it took us about two hours to load all these white chicks and guys in the back door so we could fill up the first twenty five rows with white people. Meanwhile, the black guys and girls realized what was going on, so they start pounding the front door eventually breaking through the door, so we had to call the police. So, the police showed up with shotguns, stood on stage and they were trying to close us down.

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Versabar VB10000

Oil-Rig Lifter: This is a thing that exists.


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Current Music: Ema -- Grey Ship ♬

Wired asks: Why are Occupy not flying their own drones?

Occupy the Skies!

It's too bad the AR.Drone only has a battery life of 10 minutes...

Though I suppose that for this, where you want it staying in pretty much the same place for many hours, you really want a Terror Blimp instead of a copter.

Previously, previously, previously.

Scene missing! A video that used to be embedded in this post has disappeared. If you know of a copy of this video that is still accessible, please mail me so that I can update the link.
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Concrete Misplots

Concrete Misplots

Based on iconic housing shapes, these buildings were intended as prototypes for mass-customization. Yet, as things go with computerized manufacturing, there have been misplots. The cartridge was not loaded properly. The concrete was set to the wrong parameters or scale. The printer module falsely translated a data set...

These misprints are the rejects of this early process, and they are now being used as shared homes by elderly people from the former squatter scene.

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