atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4987: Saturday morning!

Friday was...not busy, but full of stupid people. People who insist that because they've been customers for XX years, they deserve to have the entire system turned upside down to satisfy their desires.

If you buy a phone on contract, and get a $700 phone for $300, then no, you cannot have your contract converted into a device payment plan, especially when there are only six months left in your contract. Further, the early termination fee is not pro-rated by dividing it into 24 equal payments, because that would be a device payment plan with a big down payment, you fucking ass goblin. At six months from the end of the contract, the ETF is $120, not $80. It does not matter that you've been a customer for fourteen years. When you bought that phone, you signed a contract. You'd be livid if #Major_Telecom decided it wanted to change the contract in a way which was financially disadvantageous to you; why do you think they should change it to suit you? Because you're a customer? You signed a contract. Deal with it.

Fuckin' Best Buy. They told this guy that he could upgrade his phone to one bought on a device payment plan and send back a phone with a cracked screen. Of course, he cannot do that; #_Major_Telecom would reject the cracked phone as not usable and assess the damaged device return fee. Having to send your old phone back in working order is the price you pay for upgrading the phone before its contract has expired.

Here's the thing: when you get that fancy new $800 phone for $300, and have to sign that two-year contract, there's an ETF on it because the company expects to make money by letting you have that phone for less than its retail price. Apple doesn't give the company a break on the price; $300 is far under the wholesale cost of that phone. The company discounts that phone by $400 or $500 because they expect they'll make more than that by keeping you on their service for two years. If they let you upgrade after eighteen months, yes, you have to send the old phone back, and it has to be functional and undamaged. And it has to be the phone they sold you.

None of this is rocket science. It's not that hard to understand. Yet people always act as if all this is shockingly unethical behavior and they pretend they can't comprehend why they can't have what they want to have.

Me, I figure, if you're going to go to another provider, just go. Because their contracts are going to be largely the same, and they're going to hold you to them pretty much the same way...and for that, you're going to be on an inferior network. Have a nice life.

* * *

Here's an example of how well gun control works in the liberal paradise, Chicago. Not at all.

Chicago doesn't need gun control. It needs gang control.

Gang members killed a 9-year-old as revenge for the killing of someone else. Wouldn't it be nice if Chicago would just crack down on the motherfucking gangs and get rid of them? Of course that would be racist....

* * *

There are too many hidden taxes. Notice that it is illegal for gas stations to disclose these taxes in Illinois?

When government emplaces taxes which are illegal to disclose you know they are bad taxes. There are payroll taxes which employers are forbidden to disclose, taxes paid on the behalf of employees, which count as part of the compensation you never actually get, because government takes it from you before it ever gets near your pocketbook...and if people saw those taxes itemized on their paycheck stubs, there'd be politicians hanging from lampposts by nightfall.

We need a constitutional amendment making it illegal to hide taxes, requiring that they shall always be listed and itemized whenever they are assessed. (We will never get it, of course.)

* * *

Raciss! I agree 100%--possibly 150%--with the sentiments enumerated by that sign.

* * *

Yesterday I saw a couple of videos about restoring an Amiga 2500 with a Video Toaster 2.0, and the guy did a video which was mostly demonstrating all the fades and wipes the Toaster 2.0 could do. It turned out to be a lot of them--six minutes' worth, back-to-back with only a few seconds' delay between them--and some of them made my jaw drop. The technical sophistication required to do that kind of thing, using hardware designed in the early 1990s--holy crap was that thing a powerful computer.

It got me to thinking, though. I have an Iomega Buz; I got it in 1998 or 1999, and I used it to edit exactly one video, a five-minute short...and what I did with that was itself pretty f-ing cool. But I was rendering the video on a Celeron 333 (which came from the vendor already overclocked to 500 MHz) which would sometimes crash for no discernable reason (the overclocking was not it, as I ran it at its rated speed with no change in its behavior). Unless I am misremembering, the machine had 96 MB of RAM in it and the hard drive was not more than about 5 GB.

It took over twelve hours to render that five-minute video.

El-Hazard blows that Celeron away. It has a dual-core processor running at 1.6 GHz (three times faster than the overclocked Celeron) and it has 2 GB of RAM on the system board. The hard drive is a hundred times bigger, logically, than the Celeron's drive, and some four times faster (assuming a 133 MB/s transfer rate for the Celeron, which is a big assumption; and El-Hazard has SATA 2.0 which has a 600 MB/s transfer rate). Even accounting for OS bloat (Windows 98 versus Windows Vista) El-Hazard should still be able to render video a lot faster, and more reliably, than the Celeron did.

Iomega's Buz is not as sophisticated as the Video Toaster is, of course, but it plugs into a PCI bus slot. The only real problem here is drivers: the thing isn't supported any longer (obviously) and there aren't even any drivers for XP, let alone later versions of Windows.

...the other option would be to run it on old Jurai, the P3-1000 with 1 GB of RAM. That system had Win ME on it, which worked fine for me, and although it wouldn't be fast by modern standards it would be fast enough, probably, to make video editing tolerable.

And all I have to do is about 400,000 other, more important, things first. It's a party! *sigh*

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