The Great Hard Drive Consolidation of 2012

The Great Hard Drive Consolidation of 2012

The Great Hard Drive Consolidation of 2012 begins: sorting through sixteen hard drives to back up their contents to a single network drive and a backup drive. It’s going to take a while. Some of the drives have dead power supplies, some have faulty enclosures, some are bound to have errors. I recently bought an All In One docking adapter do I could finally start this often-postponed job. If you’re one of the several people waiting for me to copy data from an old job for you, I’m working on it!

Kinect for Filmmakers

I was hoping that people would take the Kinect, Microsoft’s new controller-less gaming add-on for their XBox360 games console, and somehow hack it into an affordable motion capture system for low budget filmmakers.  But I didn’t expect the progress to be so rapid.  Already cropping up on YouTube are videos of people using it to control virtual puppets, and using two of them at once as a real time 3D scanner.  The future looks bright not just for controller-less gaming, but for low budget filmmakers.  To complete the circle, here’s an actual real puppet reviewing the Kinect – a device which might not only cause the demise of his own felty kind, but by the end of the video seems to cause his.

I blather about Kinect for filmmakers for five minutes on AudioBoo here.

Quantum Jumping

Quantum Jumping can go jump.

Quantum Jumping
The Quantum Jumping Box

Quantum Jumping.  The idea behind this several hundred dollar “course” is that we can learn to mentally jump into alternate universes and get advice and insight from more successful happier versions of ourselves in those alternate universes.  There’s so much wrong with this idea I barely know where to begin.

Firstly, I originally visited this website a while ago (link sent to me by an online friend) and back then it was just one of those standard, simple, mostly-white, long-scrolling, selling pages – the same template used by people selling DIY Solar Panels and One Weird Tip for Losing That Belly diets etc etc.  But today I saw a Facebook ad for it, remembered seeing it a while back, and visited it again only to see that the site has now been upgraded with fancy graphics and custom layout.  This suggests to me that the course is selling well and making money — how depressing that something so obviously full of hot air could actually make money.  Once again I find myself realising that I’m in the wrong business, or that I have too many scruples. Or both.

Secondly, what if it’s true?  What if there are multiple universes, many of which with alternate Skevs living in them?  Am I okay with the idea that there are potentially infinite numbers of universes, each with their own Skev, each more successful than me?  It’s cold comfort that there are presumably just as many or even more universes with worse-off Skevs.  Or already-dead Skevs.  Or never-existed Skevs.

Thirdly, what if I Quantum Jump to another universe to ask the fabulously successful, happy and wealthy Skevos that lives in that universe for advice, and he just tells me to “Get lost, loser!”?

Fourthly, what if I’m ALREADY living in the universe which has the Skevos that is maximally happy and successful — that is — me, what if this is as good as it can possibly get for me in all universes?  What a terrifying thought.

Fifthly, if Quantum Jumping is possible and I’m a relatively successful Skev, then I shall soon be constantly hassled by Quantum Jumping Loser-Skevs from other universes whining about their lives and asking for advice.  I reckon I’d tell them to get lost, bunch of losers.

Lastly, and depressingly, if Quantum Jumping IS possible, then the unavoidable fact is — not a single alternate Skev has ever Quantum Jumped into this universe to ask me for my advice.  This means I must be one of the least, if not the very least, successful Skevs out of all the infinite Skevs in all the infinite universes.


Nokia n97 v2 Firmware and Optus

I sometimes think Optus sales reps will say almost anything to make a sale or get the customer to commit to another two-year contract.

I sometimes think Optus sales reps will say almost anything to make a sale or get the customer to commit to another two-year mobile phone contract.  You know the people I mean, the ones that call you offering to make your mobile plan cheaper (why call –  just do it!), or sell you a plan for a wireless adapter/dongle thingie for your laptop, that sort of thing.  I’ve had unpleasant experiences with them in the past.

Promises Promises

This time around a sales rep called and offered to waive the last five months of my two-year mobile phone contract and send me out a new phone if I commit to another two years.  Nothing wrong with that, so I accepted.

But he also talked me  out of waiting for an iPhone and into getting a Nokia N97 on the promise that the new v2 Operating Software for the N97 was great.  The sales rep even claimed to own an N97 himself and to have upgraded the OS, and praised all the cool new features v2 offered.  Since I already own an iPod Touch, I went for the Nokia N97.


Well, the phone arrived, and it’s a great unit, plus the 3G coverage out where I live is vastly better than my old phone’s reception.  So I have no real complaints with the phone itself at all.

BUT there is no upgrade to software v2 available for it in Australia under Optus — not by using the PC application, and not using the phone’s built in updater.  This kind of deception (dare I call it lying?) to make a sale leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth.  And it’s so pointless — there’s nothing really wrong with the current OS on the phone, but I was sold the new OS, and was delivered the old one.  It’s basic customer service — If I pay for X, don’t deliver Y.  It’s made worse when watching a video that shows the significant differences between the two versions:

My phone runs like the one on the left of screen in that video.  My attempts to get an answer out of Optus about why the firmware isn’t upgradeable is an exercise in futility.  They connected me to “Nokia Australia” in the end (the nice lady at Nokia “Australia” had a mild Indian accent, but maybe she was in Australia), and after a ten minute circular conversation she eventually put me on to the local Nokia Customer Care Center in Brisbane.  Now those guys responded very quickly to my email, but all they could do was inform me that, yes indeed, the upgrade is available to generic N97s, but not the Optus ones.

So the score is Optus 0, Nokia 1, Me 0.  Perhaps Nokia should let Optus know they have sales reps making promises the Optus network can’t deliver (yet).

Not The First Time

Almost a year ago I had a similar annoying experience where an Optus sales rep called me and promised to send me a wireless dongle but to also lower my mobile fees by the same amount as the internet service attached to the dongle – effectively making the wireless plan free.  Of course I said yes, but shortly later someone else rang to confirm the deal and they denied that such a generous offer was possible.  So I withdrew my acceptance (which they weren’t happy about), but the dongle arrived anyway.  I wasn’t home to receive it, so it went back, and after a couple of confusing calls I later did get a call apologising for the mix up.

They also assured me that the sales rep that made the “generous” invalid offer no longer worked there.

But after today, I’m not so sure.