The Humble Geek

Stuff I write.

Keyword - dumbening

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Ugly Cars Olympics

The following vehicles are so ugly that I cannot post photos of them as they would otherwise tarnish this fine establishment. Just image search if you have been living under a rock.

Bronze: 2000-2010 VW Beetle

What started off as an economical and functional car (see 60s Beetle) ended up being a marketing tool to drive sales. This must be the most plain vehicle ever designed. Its symetrical body leaves nothing to the imagination. If you're caught driving one your masculinity will be in question.

Silver: Chrysler PT Cruiser

An original design that was never warranted. Undoubtably the people in Detroit that put this monstrosity together all patted themselves on their back as it sold more than it ever should have. Is it a "beach-going" car? Is it a "fun-economical" car? Neither. It looks best in a car crusher.

Gold: Pontiac Aztek

Without contest, the Aztek takes gold. It's received countless commedations across numerious publications for being butt ugly. Amazingly there are individuals who have paid with their hard-earned money for one of these. I would love the opportunity to interview an owner and find the source of their desire for the ugliest car on the planet. It would be a sincere and cordial interview of course.

We Take Our Existance in Vain

You know what really grinds my gears? When you pull out of a drive-thru window at a restaurant and you get behind some old guy going 5 below the speed limit. --Old Chinese Proverb

  • Gladiators (Animal fighting)

Killing humans (and animals) in the name of sport.

  • Saloons (Clubs)

Killing brain cells in the name of finding a mate.

  • Reality TV

Killing common sense in the name of money.

  • Social Networking

Killing privacy in the name of information.

  • Government Privilege

Killing freedom in the name of power.

What do the bullet points have in common? A chronic disease found inside all living creatures that keeps us from being perfect: vanity. Heck, we even have a magazine that exclusively tailors to it!

Stop me if I'm being too obvious, but if we don't change now we are destined to have the film Idiocracy become a documentary.

I Cannot Tell a Lie

Stating the obvious is what I do best. You see, on the Internet you cannot tell a lie. If it isn't the slack-jawed yokel who is one out of a million and knows the truth or that die hard fact checker who has sixteen Google extensions for Firefox you will be found out. Please think of the children before you make a comment on a web site. From common knowledge to the tiniest detail in quantum physics, someone is on the Internet that knows exactly what you are talking about. The Internet itself may try to lie and you might come to the conclusion that the Internet is just one big lie, but you would be wrong on both counts. Fact checkers lurk around every corner and are waiting to strike. Will your comment be next?

Surrounded by Annoyances


Four year olds cannot edit photos. How do I know this? I used to be four years old. When you are that age computers are not on your mind let alone using a laptop and moving photos from a camera to the laptop, opening them in an image editor, doing complicated image touch-up, and printing out to a printer. Not going to happen folks.

How about a monthly music plan that's "awesome yo!?" Microsoft is hitting a double whammy with a series (read: one) of commercial that has been playing non-stop for over a week in-between any show on TV about the Zune monthly music "awesomeortunity" that some poor girl gave 30 seconds of her life to act like a normal person. Yeah, the economy is hitting rock bottom (don't let the 2 hour waits at restaurants tell you otherwise) and $15 music plans are just too "awesome" to pass up. Oh, what's that? Your music is DRM'd and in a proprietary Microsoft format? I'm just Joe Consumer though so I'll buy anything if it's "awesome." Awesome. What's that? You wanted to keep that music you just listened to? Be careful, you can only save 10 of them. $15/month for 10 highly compressed and degraded songs or $15 for a CD-ROM of uncompressed audio with more than 10 tracks. I'll pick the awesome buy.

Back to Windows: How about a 7 year old?


Has three years allowed us the ability to print now? No. How about a 9 year old instead? Maybe after 2 more years instead of just editing a picture they can connect a laptop to a HDTV and edit and play movies! Yea^H^H^H No.

I'd like to meet the parents of these poor children. Was the money worth it? String your child up for a cheap buck? Status of parenting on planet Earth: Non-existent. I'll save this thought for another time.

It may seem like I'm picking on Microsoft, but don't worry there are some Blackberry commercials I'm not fond of. The most annoying one's I've seen lately made my blog today. Today, my hatred for the entire marketing world is rising to even higher levels. Come on "Marketing Majors" post in my comments. I dare you.

Chug, chug, chug, chug...

How on earth does the world use Vista? Yes, Microsoft Windows Vista. Backstory: I received a new laptop two days ago. An ASUS N80Vn-X5. It came with Vista Home Premium 64-bit. This is my first copy of Vista as I run Linux on all my machines. I did have a copy of XP but I stopped using that a few years ago. Why did I stop using XP? Because I wanted something more out of my computer. XP is fine and all, but I can accomplish more with Linux - not just because it is free.

Unpacking:
I unpack it from its box and I plug in the AC adapter and boot the thing. Vista starts to load - and load - and load. 10 minutes later I get to the desktop. Why on earth did it take that long to get to my desktop? Wait a minute... the hard drive is still chugging. Why?

Configuring:
The first thing I do is kill the hideous sidebar that takes an extra 5 minutes to load on startup. Gone. The second thing I do is disable automatic updates. Now, I realize some readers will think better of themselves and call me an idiot, but I rarely use Windows and I know how to update it so I'm quite OK running updates when I should instead of having Windows do it for me.

Updating:
It came with SP1 so I figured it should be pretty harmless. Where to update this thing? Hm, I don't see anything. Ah, I'll just use IE's "Windows Update" link. Oh what's this? There's an update to Windows Update. Oh! It requires a reboot. *Reboot* Ah, that was a nice 10 minute reboot. Windows update has about 30 updates for me. Fine. Downloading/updating takes about 15 minutes thanks to the attrociously large 100 meg .NET update. I'm on 20 megabit Internet mind you. Rebooting again. Seems that I'm up to date now, or am I?

Playing:
The only thing loaded on this thing is about 5 ASUS utilities for the fingerprint reader, webcam, and some software that looks like it encrypts files. Grand total of hard disk space in use? 20 gigabytes. That alone is enough for me to be offended permenently because what does that 20 gigabytes net me? A video player, picture viewer, a web browser, and a movie maker. The features don't match the disk space requirements. It's also using 1 gig of RAM with no programs running. Yes, I uninstalled the Office 2007 trial.

Why would I be offended? Example: My default Fedora install cost me 4.5gigs. What did I get besides the stuff already in Vista? Full office suite, photo manipulation, SELinux, bittorent, GPS mapping, SIP phone, Pidgin, GCC, and a few other of my programming utilities, not to mention Wine, which will allow me to run Windows apps.

Time to reboot just to see that reboot time again. *clicks Restart* "Configuring updates stage 2 of 3..." What's this? WHAT'S THIS? I have updates turned *OFF* and Windows is installing updates. Stealth updates - w00t. The little trust I had with Microsoft is completely gone at this point.

I let it reboot and go back into Vista just to find that after I log in the hard drive is chugging - and chugging - and chugging. 10 minutes later it finally quiets down and I decide to reboot to get into Fedora. *Clicks Restart* "Configuring updates stage 2 of 3..." Yeah. I'm done with Microsoft.

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