When a piece of hardware ships with a piece of software called EasyMumble, you just know that:

– The software will slam ten icons onto your desktop. The icons will be obvious (“Oooh, arrows pointing every which way, and doggies or blobby things, and little jaggy lines!”)

– Hey, look! A new snazzy dialog appears every single time the system boots. You’re not sure what the dialog about “Optimizing the system Perforamance” [sic] means, but you’re pretty sure that dismissing it before it is good and ready causes a crash;

– One of your favorite Emacs bindings, control-shift-L, now brings up one of those apps that the desktop icons point to. It seems to be all about mucking with network protocols. Why would a disk product want to do that?

– After about an hour of using the thing, the working set of the software will be approximately five hundred megabytes and you are no longer able to launch any applications;

– The uninstaller will leave your system a nearly unrepairable, smoking, unbootable mess;

Look: Disks store bytes. If they do anything else, I don’t want to hear about it.

“All I said was…”

Every time I hear the name of the town Falluja, my mind goes to the stoning sketch in Life of Brian. With minor edits –

[Matthias is about to be stoned to death]
Matthias: Look, I don’t think it should be a sin, just for saying “Falluja”.
[Everyone gasps]
Jewish Official: You’re only making it worse for yourself!
Matthias: Making it worse? How can it be worse? Falluja! Falluja! Falluja!

From the boneyard

I just found a folder with a bunch of my own report cards, and some photos from when I was about ten. Here’s a class photo from fifth grade [I added the highlight. Don’t know why I’m not wearing glasses here, I’d had them for nearly a year at this point] –


Here is an example of some early extra-curricular work, apparently a wiring diagram drawn on the back of a math test.


Frankly I don’t see what it’s trying to accomplish. At all. Which is really nothing new, since I often go back to things I’ve written only six months ago with the same sense of bewilderment. “This is so unstructured. What undisciplined child wrote this garbage?” Now you know why people hide their eyes and groan when I go to a whiteboard. “Let’s have this robot represent the database. Now, the rays from its eyes are the persistent TCP connections to….”

Heck, I’d go for that kind of “fun” angle on UML any day.

There’s a bunch more where these came from, including a short story titled “The Short Circuit Robot,” which is indeed about as bad as you can possibly imagine, and a bunch of report cards that say the same depressing things year after year. Other folders from later years have nearly every receipt from Computer Literacy (I don’t know why, either) and my first performance review from Atari (which jumped me from slave wages to merely a really good deal for them after I made them literally millions on a couple games I wrote for them. Hoo ha).

More later, unless I am implored to stop, please God, stop enough already… 🙂


Got a chance to see Serenity.

Quite good. A few bobbles here and there (the character “Mr. Universe” wasn’t that believable), but on the whole it was a very good film, certainly better than Sith.

DVD sales of this are going to be a surprise (I hope).