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In the face of it all, I just don't care any more [Jul. 22nd, 2012|08:47 pm]
[Current Mood |apatheticapathetic]

It's been a long time since I've sullied the web-o-sphere with bits from my stream of whateverness. I don't care.

Add that to the list of things I don't care about: arbitrary causes by people who think that the world has it in for them, self-absorbed people who want the world to care, driven people who want to change things. Love. Happiness. Satisfaction. Making a difference. Living.

I.
Just.
Don't.
Care.

You, who are reading this with a skeptical eye: I don't care.

You, who are thinking how glorious it is that the tables have turned on someone you despise: I don't care.

You who I gave my heart to and who has shunned me for the most part of 2 years, reaching out to me exactly twice: I don't care. Any more.

I've come to realise that I am exactly as I was before I thought I found that craptasm that is "love". Alone.

Oh, but there is *one* person I care about. One destiny that keeps me from giving up entirely. Every time I think that it would be better if I just wasn't, I have to remind myself of that one little face, that one little spark of light in the matt black around me. There's one little reason which becomes a rather not-so-little reason, that this hack called life can be worth continuing. And he'll probably hate me later. I'll deserve it too. For now, I'll cling to that excuse instead of admitting that I'm just to much of a big, fat coward.

And I hope against all hopes that he never knows this: it's far too much to bear to know that the entire existence of another hinges on you. That's not a yoke fit for anyone, even someone you loath.

And you, you with my heart under your heel: continue to fawn over imaginary people. Continue to reach for points of light that are no more than reflections of what someone else wants you to desire, those illusory mirages of beauty, unreal people performing unreal acts. Just so long as you remain the person my little flame needs to prosper. As long as he needs you, I'll persevere, the hammers beating on my soul, the blades cutting into my being. It will be worth it, if, for no other reason than I can say that I didn't give up, I didn't quit, I wasn't the failure that I should have been if I'd followed the path of those before me.

Perhaps all we need is one thing to care about. Is that enough? I hope so. And in the face of it all, I'm so selfish as to want more. Fuck me.
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On the filtering of asshats [Feb. 14th, 2010|09:11 pm]
[Current Mood |calmcalm]

Long ago and far away, I used to ride a motorbike. Perhaps I will again one day. One of the peripheral benefits of riding a bike was that I bought a black leather jacket and had the general populace avoid me because of "the look". I'm not talking that "I ride a pocket rocket and have a kevlar-filled jacket, a bright helmet and a yuppie smile" look. I'm talking that look "ordinary" where people who don't know you (or aren't bikers themselves) tend to steer clear. It worked great in busy shopping malls for getting a clear path through the people, for example...

That look was an effective filter, too, on people I didn't have to waste time and energy on. Judgmental, narrow-minded people tend to become very transparent. They didn't want to talk to me -- and that was fine. The best was the filtering out of all the vapid females that drone around a lot of the places I used to frequent.

There are so many cool people out there I could meet instead -- and I think I did.

Piercings have much the same effect. It's easy to see who you shell shock with a little metal in your face. And those people are effectively crossed off of my "I give a crap" list. Again, there are so many nice people out there that you can rather spend the time and effort on.

So when someone you sort of know hands you, on a silver platter, a knife with instructions to stab yourself in the back, thank them. They are saving you the effort of having to maintain a relationship with them. They have revealed their true colors to you. If someone shows how much more important it is to them to be "right" or have their views impressed on you (nay, impressed *into* you) than appreciating you for who you are (or just having a healthy discussion, with, at worst, "let's agree to disagree" at the end of it, and, at best, both parties learning from each other), then they have not done you a disservice. Indeed, they have done you a remarkable service.

See, the human animal is amazingly adept at deception. And most especially certain kinds of people (like me) aren't that good at noticing. Or perhaps we're too trusting? I don't know. What I do know is that when the true colors of an individual come shining through, like mud streaming out from under grass during heavy rains, I'm thankful. Not resentful. Hurt, a little -- sure, if I've known them (or thought I did) for some time. But there are plenty of wonderful people in my life. I just have one less person to waste thought, energy, politeness, tolerance and, indeed, love on.

Thanks for making my burden lighter, pal. I really did waste thought, kindness, love, patience and tolerance on you. When you were very depressed, I tried to cheer you up over the internets (more than once). When you revealed your own self-loathing to me, I tried to help you notice your good points. When you were struggling with situations like trying to get a job, I was ever supportive -- even if only over das internets.
But now, apparently, I'm the incarnation of all that is stupid and evil. I know we never met IRL. I'm kinda glad though, because I would have felt cheated at the obvious time wasted. I hope you find clarity -- I don't think you have it because your anger clouds it. The clarity you find doesn't have to even vaguely resemble mine -- it's your clarity after all.

So long, and thanks for all the squid.
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Theist Meme of the day: atheists can cause real harm [Feb. 11th, 2010|08:02 am]
[Current Mood |blahblah]

This is a kind of response to someone else's meme post. You don't have to agree with me or post this on Facebook. You don't even have to care. This meme may seem a little blanketing -- it's done on purpose: I'm not actually anti-atheist. I am, however, anti-bigot. If you think you are righteous enough to spout your sweeping claims of how all theism is destructive, I too can make equally sweeping and necessarily inaccurate claims of how atheism is the root of all things destructive. So here goes, as close to the original as I could get it:

Theists care about what other people don't believe because we see harm done when people don't believe that they are held accountable for their actions by an entity greater than they are (whether that be (a) god or the law of the land) and think they can get away with whatever they want to because the moral codes of others don't apply to them. We see they ways that jaded people who have long lost hope for something better due to the way their lives have played out bring bitterness and despair to people around them. We see the ways that having no clear code of conduct leads clearly to selfish hedonism and how many atheists are confused as to why they should or shouldn't uphold some kind of moral code -- since they don't subscribe to one (a moral code is worthless without a sense of accountability, and the atheist has already precluded the need for a sense of ultimate accountability). We see how atheists like to preach reason and respect and then do exactly the opposite, flaunting respect for things they do not know or understand because they either can't see the evidence or can't be bothered to admit that they actually don't know everything.
Don't bother passing this on: no matter how many times you re-iterate this, your average atheist will still mock you, belittle your beliefs and speak to and about you with condescension.

Apathy rules, desert sky.
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EA, I hate you so much I wish I could hate you to death by painful stabbing in the face. [Jan. 4th, 2010|10:25 pm]
[Current Mood |annoyedannoyed]

Seriously, EA, what's the deal? You guys seem to hate the player as well as the game. Not to mention what I've heard about how you run the little dev houses you snap up and dredge through your joyless mill of disheartenment.

I heard about this game, see. It's called "Dead Space". The console chaps rave about it. And there's a PC port! Huzzah! Hooray! Jubilation and all that. Except the PC port sucks, blows, whatever the kids say these days when they mean it's just a plain old let-down.

Let's break it down. In case you don't know (don't feel ashamed, I'm not sure that EA knows either), "Dead Space" is a space-themed horror/thriller game. Yes, kinda like that one we knew from when we were kids, which got that mean engine that made PCs cry and now is kind of the minimum bar for eye-candy: the Doom franchise. But with the difference that it's missing whatever fairy dust makes Id games (and their offspring handled by other studios) just generally good to great. If anyone can find that dust (I think Carmack left it lying around somewhere -- he's not using it), find a way to duplicate it a thousand times over and pound it into EA. Or don't, and give it to a company that actually cares about its clients (the gamers!). Perhaps Gearbox? Not that they need it -- Borderlands was (IS!) pure gold. But I digress (how else do you know me?)

Back to "Dead Space". The game's storyline seems intriguing -- kinda "wtf?" mixed with "aaargh!" and just generally enough of the scary stuff and missing info to keep you wanting more. The graphics are OK for the era they came from -- I wasn't expecting Far Cry 2, and I didn't get it -- but that's all OK. The sounds are marvelous and really add to the whole ambiance, really adding a little to the skidmarks in your undies. The voice acting doesn't suck, but I'm not about to put it on par with, say, BioShock. But it's Good Enough (tm). Instead of a HUD for game info, there are some novel ways to figure out your character's health (lights on the spine of his suit) and other stats and info ("holograms" projected out from the character).

But EA just couldn't resist making sure that they reminded us just who they are. These are the same people who have difficulty producing anything new -- just re-hash the same old tired sports games and terrible racers with new skins. Looking at the potential that "Dead Space" had, someone obviously piped up "Sir! We can still fuck it up, sir! Give us a chance, sir! We'll show you!".

Boy, did they.

Issues start from the very beginning. I had to coax the game to start. I think that the shortcut still doesn't work, for some reason. Browsing to the game's .exe and trying that works (mostly). I think this is an omen. Perhaps it's my PC trying to save me some hair.

Once the game is up, the player finds that the mouse lags. Not a little. No. A lot. It's like someone left an open beef sandwich with extra mustard where your mousepad used to be and you just didn't notice because you were too busy wondering why...

Why EA, in all their wisdom, decided to retard the hell out of the key and mouse binding interface. Allegedly it's to give the PC gamer the "same experience as the console gamer". So, let me understand this: I choose to use a system where I can customise how I play my games, partly BECAUSE I'm not a fan of console controllers and their stick-in-the-mud ways and partly because I'm deranged enough to strafe with my mouse buttons (yes, strafe left on left-click, strafe right on right-click -- it's a left/right hand hangover from days with a keyboard and Descent... Now there was a good game! Well, until they wrecked it in revision 3...) but EA has decided that I Shall Only Be Allowed To Bind Mouse Buttons To Holy Actions. Like shoot, or push a button or throw my faeces at an unsuspecting alien. God forbid that I could *strafe* with a mouse button. The middle button (Number Three!) is equally biased against: you can also only use it for a select few actions. And don't be thinking that you can use buttons 4 to however-many-you-have (10 for me). You can't. Deal with it. Tough shit if you were, say, missing a hand and wanted to game with one hand and a spiffy mouse. "Dead Space" isn't for you.
I've also read that there are a number of keyboard buttons which are hated just as much by EA. I read of people who can't use arrow keys (damn blasphemous arrow keys, forever pointing at everyone else!), for example.

Then there's the 3rd person view. Personally, I'm more of a fan of 1st person -- but I can deal with a 3rd person view that is done with consideration for the rest of the game. EA, let's get it straight: the reason I'm playing the game is to do things in the game, interact with the world, frag some aliens, and so on, and so forth. I didn't buy "Dead Space" to look at the back end of a robotic-looking engineer. So, how about he plays a role, say, well less that 1/3 of my screen. Not 1/2, or more! Turns out you can sorta get around that by selecting a wide-screen resolution -- so it looks like it's just that no-one bothered to check the game on one of them old 4:3 monitors (my 19" just won't die!). Of course, then you get stretched graphics, unless you play in windowed mode. Yay! I love watching my desktop icons hump whilst I'm trying to run the frak away from a freakish alien monster.

And I just realised something else: EA published "Mass Effect" too! Damnit! Burned twice in such a short timeframe! "Mass Effect" suffers from much of the same bad camera and controls malarky that "Dead Space" does. I think these pesky software pirates are on to something: I could have saved myself about 300 bucks (that's about 30 beers dude!) by just having avoided these two titles. "Mass Effect" gives me a serious case of anal cramps when I just think about it. "Dead Space" is just disappointing because it didn't have to suck. It's like a mommy super-model and a daddy football-star had a wonderful, beautiful baby and then pounded it with an old Suzuki crankshaft that was just lying about, reducing it to being the little retard kid that no-one wants to play with, even though, after plastic surgery, she's quite pretty. You just don't want the snot and spit on your side of the playground.
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chrome without the google [Sep. 15th, 2009|10:57 pm]
I'm quite sure everyone knows about Google Chrome. Some of you might even know about where that project is taken from. Yes, Google, like Netscape, didn't actually *write* their browser (OK, Netscape did, back in the very early versions, but they soon dropped that idea to follow the giant gecko) -- no, indeed, Google stands tall on the shoulders of giants. Perhaps I'm over-simplifying. I expect that someone or some people over at Google are contributing to Chromium -- it's in their interests after all... But I digress (as if you expected something else from me!)...

So, when I found that Chromium does "live" builds (it's not nightly -- seems to be on a major commit or something), I thought that it would be neat to be able to get the latest of the original Chromium browser. Think about it: the real latest (not the several-versions-behind google-latest). No tiny installer that downloads gack to somewhere arb in your profile. A way to just get a working zip file -- for your platform.

But how tedious. Have to load up the site. Browse to the latest. Download. Unzip. About 3 steps too many for a lazy person like me. Hence was born get-latest-chromium.py. A cross-platform python script to get the latest build of Chromium for your platform. At the moment, I've tested on win32 and linux (and linux 64) to get those three builds. I would appreciate a mac tester to just set my mind at ease.

The requirements are minimal -- just need a working python install. There's nothing exotic there. Windows users, that's a fairly large 30 mb download (sorry). Perhaps I'll wrap it into an exe if anyone cares to ask for it. You can just download the archive, or, optionally, download and extract somewhere. I put this into a nightly scheduled task / cron entry. And this build seems to support (without buggery) flash and other mozilla plugins that you may have installed on your Linux boxen. Huzzah.

Whilst I'm still tied to Firefox for my extensions, there's something to be said for a browser that starts in a second or two, remains madly responsive and loads sites as if they were locally hosted. Anyhoo, thought I would share my 2c worth of script with people. Enjoy. Or don't. (:
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(no subject) [Sep. 15th, 2009|10:55 pm]
(found this rant "saved" from a prior attempt to post; thought I would share. Sharing is caring)

I was listening to some Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy the other day and it struck me to see if they have any more music I could get my hands on. Turns out they do, and, according to their website, their music is served up by a plethora of digital music stores. Feeling particularly philanthropic (actually, I just want to pay for music from the little guys -- Metallica can still suck mah bawlz, especially with the garbage they just released), I thought to myself "Hey, perhaps I could just buy some LEGAL MP3s and feel good about it and all that".

Remembering that Amazon started a DRM-free store, I headed over there, downloaded the client and started to set up an account. When presented with a form for billing address, it seemed odd that I *had* to select a US state. Hmz. Google, select Alaska, add valid zip code (hey, perhaps it's just broken...?), click "next". Turns out that only US citizens can buy from the digital music store. How retarded. I can buy any number of arbitrary _physical_ items from Amazon, but not a few bytes? I don't get it. I've bought CDs before -- what's the difference? (Except, of course, the distinct lack of physical media and artwork).

Ok, round 2. Let's try the evil spawn of Satan's morning-after-a-bad-night-out-poo. Yes, iTunes.

Well, it's still evil. Monster download, installs a bunch of other shit, like a plugin for Outlook (WTF?!?!?!?!), but got it up, created an account, entered credit card details and all of that... Go to the store, and it seems that any search I make only gives me options for downloading apps (I assume for the latest fad / craze -- the iPoo.. erm... iPhone).

After much time wasted, I come to realise that the South African store ONLY SELLS APPS.

W.
T.
F.

"iTunes"? WHERE THE FRICK-FRACK-FRELL ARE THE DAMN TUNES?!

So I've deregistered. And now I'm searching for a torrent of the music I want. Hey, I tried. I really did. I tried with the two largest digital music distributors out there. I guess the world really *wants* me to be a pirate.

ARRR!
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*sigh* [May. 24th, 2009|08:19 pm]
Nope, Bouncing cow fails too...

My lappy is running the same distro (jaunty, 64-bit) and uses Molecule for the screensaver... I've been trying that instead on the desktop. No freeze so far since first used from about 14h00 til now (20h16). Perhaps too early to tell....

How can a screensaver kill a pc?!
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screensaver update [May. 23rd, 2009|11:22 pm]
Seems that the problem didn't go away with ditching gnome-screensaver for xscreensaver. It just took longer to manifest.

Trying now with Bouncing Cow instead. Here's hoping my moo's are in a row.
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gnome-screensaver FTL [May. 23rd, 2009|09:26 am]
For anyout out there who is using or considering using Ubuntu Jaunty (9.04) 64bit, there's something you may need to think about first. Perhaps this is just for me, but it's quite a showstopper.

Gnome-screensaver causes the computer to hang when a "real" (ie, not "blank screen") screensaver is put on screen. I don't know if it's immediate, but it's reproducable -- I changed from "blank screen" to "blinkbox" (a fairly undemanding screensaver, but one which requires OpenGL -- which may be part of the issue, but I doubt it: read on to see why) and found that my machine hung without fail when the screensaver was running -- and apparently quite soon after it kicking in, because after a -s, -u, -b reset, the machine locked up pretty much as soon as it went into screensaver. In the words of Weebl: "How rare".

But all is not lost people. You can always go back to the tried and trusted XScreensaver -- yes, this seems to indicate that the problem isn't with the actual screensaver or its requirements, but rather with gnome-screensaver. Long ago and far away, I remember wanting xscreensaver instead of gnome-screensaver for the simple reason that I could actually set up the screensaver properly (for instance, on "bouncing cow", gnome-screensaver won't let you set the number of cows or use the wireframe cow -- bouncing cows are so much more amusing when you have a herd of them!). When I tried then, doing:

apt-get remove gnome-screensaver

caused apt to want to remove ubuntu-desktop (if memory serves properly) and take a whole bunch of other stuff with it. Apparently gnome-screensaver was set as a dependency for an Ubuntu desktop install. Doesn't seem to be that way now -- you can replace gnome-screensaver with xscreensaver like so:

apt-get remove gnome-screensaver
apt-get install xscreensaver

Once you have xscreensaver installed, you just have to add it to your startu programs: add a new entry which has as the command:

xscreensaver -nosplash

Now when you select "Screensaver" from the preferences menu, you will get the XScreensaver preferences screen. You may, the first time, be informed that xscreensaver isn't running -- just click "OK" to start the service. The entry you made above for a startup program will cause xscreensaver to start next time you log in. Now you have a more controllable interface for your screensaver -- and hopefully a more stable screensaver backend.
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Neotel -- bumpy start, but getting there [Oct. 2nd, 2008|09:20 pm]
I've recently switched from VodaQue 3g to Neotel (Lite unlimited at first, but the speeds are quite low, and some people are quite spoiled with their intertubes expectations... so now, upgraded to Prime 10gig, for about the same price as my 3g 2gig account, and with better speed). Nicely though, the device can be made to work under Linux. For reelz...

I found a very sketchy rundown, but here's a little more detail:

1) force the usbserial driver to load for the device (I'm sure that this manual step can be converted into a udev rule):

modprobe usbserial vendor=0x1d09 product=0x4000

If you do this with the device plugged in (or plug in the device after this), you should get two tty devices, /dev/ttyUSB0 and /dev/ttyUSB1. As with many other usbserial modems, /dev/ttyUSB0 is the one you're interested in.
2) Set up a connection with the ever-so-simple pppconfig (this is where the other article was a little sketchy, and where I will endeavour to be a little less sketchy:


 i)     select "Create Create a connection"
 ii)   enter a name for the connection (how about an unoriginal "neotel" -- the rest of this walkthrough assumes that name)
 iii)  select "Dynamic Use Dynamic DNS"
 iv)   select "PAP Peer Authentication Protocol"
          This is important: the Neotel connection uses PAP and PAP only -- the chat side of things is basically not present, and dialing with dialers such as wvdial (or a frontend like gnome-ppp) will run into issues because of the lack of chat. "Stupid Mode" is supposed to fix this for wvdail, but that didn't work for me.
 v)    enter your login name (phone number @ neotel.co.za)
 vi)   enter your super-sneaky password
 vii)  I left the connection rate at 115200
 viii) Use Tone dialing
 ix)   enter the super-sneaky phone number (#777)
 x)    don't try to auto-detect the modem (it won't work anyway)
 xi)   enter /dev/ttyUSB0 for the modem port
 x)    select "Finished"
 xi)   select "Quit"


3) The following command worked for me the first time I tried it but not subsequently:

pon neotel

The problem was, however, resolved by simplifying the chat script (to be found at /etc/chatscripts/neotel). The following is my current chatscript, sans comment lines:

ABORT BUSY ABORT 'NO CARRIER' ABORT VOICE ABORT 'NO DIALTONE' ABORT 'NO DIAL TONE' ABORT 'NO ANSWER' ABORT DELAYED
'' ATZ
"" "ATDT#777"
"" "\d\c"


Note how there is no actual chat to the modem (none of the "OK", "CONNECT" or any of that, which you might expect). Like I say, I've read that wvdial's "Stupid Mode" is supposed to do this, but it didn't work for me.

4) You should have a ppp0 device, routing and dns (assuming you haven't done any other funky stuff (like set up an existing bind9 service and use that as your resolver -- as I have; I just had to add the DNS entries I could see by running "plog -f" to my forwarders to get DNS working again)

Hope this helps someone out there. Viva La Linux!
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