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Laura

Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2014

Dave!"Diane, I'm holding in my hand a small box of chocolate bunnies..."
— Agent DaleCooper

I started re-watching Twin Peaks last Tuesday on the 24th anniversary of its 1990 debut (Netflix has it available for streaming, which is easier than pulling my DVDs off the shelf). After finishing the final episode of the first season while working tonight, I was surprised to see how well the show holds up. Yeah, it has some outrageous and over-the-top moments... but they were outrageous and over-the-top when they first aired in 1990.

Back when the whole world was asking "Who killed Laura Palmer?"

Laura Palmer. Dead and Wrapped in Plastic.

It remains one of my all-time favorite series.

Shows so rarely get this... interesting... any more. Or beautiful to look at.

Yes, it completely tanked in Season Two, but that hasn't made me want a follow-up series any less. Twin Peaks ended with the mother of all cliffhangers.

I think the world is ready.

   

Bullet Sunday 376

Posted on Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Dave!Go Go Gadget Web Browser... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Penny. NEW CHRIS WARE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES!

You. Are. Welcome!

Chris Ware's Penny

Nobody does what Chris Ware does. And why would they? Everything he creates is perfect.

   
• Shift? Bwah ha! This has to be one of Apple's biggest embarrassments. I frickin' HATE that I can never tell if my shift/shift-lock is on or not in iOS...

Unibox Screenshot

So now there's a new website in case you need a reminder! Sweet!

   
• Mail. Okay. Okay. I've used a lot of email programs. A lot. And while the features are tweaked from app to app, they all pretty much work the same way once you get down to brass tacks... no matter how different they look. Enter Unibox. Now THIS isn't just a different approach to email... it's different different. The biggest change? No inbox. There's a filter for your contacts, any attachments you've received, and that's it...

Unibox Screenshot

For my personal email, where I receive a cornucopia of crap every day, I prefer the "inbox approach." But for my work email? Where everything revolves around people? This has proven nothing short of revolutionary. Once I got used to it, I was amazed at how much of a timesaver this unique approach to email has been. If you're in a similar email situation and have a Mac... Unibox gets my highest recommendation.

   
• Flight. Every minute of this video is gold...

I don't know a better way to wrap up my Sunday than that.

   
• Good. Well, okay... maybe with this commercial from a Thai life insurance company...

Pretty much sums up why I love Thailand.

   
And... hope your weekend was a good one!

   

Tinky

Posted on Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Dave!


Bad Tinky Winky

   

   

Teletubbies say "Eh oh!"

   

Heartbleed

Posted on Friday, April 11th, 2014

Dave!Over the past couple days, I've gone through every website I can think of so I can change my passwords. Not something I planned on doing, but the fucking "Heartbleed Bug" necessitated it.

This has been the single most frustrating and anger-inducing experience I've had in years. I have spent more time screaming at my computer in two days than I have in all previous days since the dawn of computing. It would be nice if I could lay the blame for my rage on a single doorstep, but the reason this has been such a horrible ordeal is that just about everybody is responsible...

   

WEBSITES

Too many websites make it too fucking difficult to change your password. Not only because they've hidden the option to make the change, but because they have absurdly stupid requirements as to what is acceptable for a password...

      SORRY! Password must not be similar to your old password!

      SORRY! Password must have at least one capital letter!

      SORRY! Password must contain at least one number!

      SORRY! Password must contain at least one non-alphanumeric character!

      SORRY! Password must not contain two of the same characters in a row!

      SORRY! Password must be a minimum of fifty-six characters in length!

The list goes on and on, and it drives me insane. It's MY password. If somebody guesses it because I don't have a number in it, that's MY fucking problem. All your efforts to force me into some absurdly random string of characters only ensures that I will never be able to remember it for those times I am forced to enter it by hand.

But here's the even worse part. Some websites force you to create some abstract password you'll never remember... THEN NOT ALLOW APPLE'S SAFARI BROWSER TO REMEMBER IT FOR YOU! Every time Safari pops up with a note that says "Safari cannot remember this password because the website has requested it not be stored" I want to put my fist through the screen and burn down the company who would make such a stupid fucking decision.

And don't get me started on websites which don't allow you to paste a password from your clipboard, but instead require that it be typed in manually. That should be punishable by death.

   

APPLE

To their credit, Apple at least attempted to make password management easy by allowing you to have Safari suggest new passwords and then remember the password you enter. Safari then syncs that password across all your Apple devices (including iPhones, iPads, other Macs, etc.), which is astoundingly useful and cool. When it works, it's great. But, as mentioned above, it doesn't always work. Some sites disallow it. Sometimes Safari just doesn't save the hideously complex password it just suggested. Sometimes the login is not associated with the right website. There's all kinds of problems that can happen, and I'm guessing Safari's "remember password" feature only manages to work 50% of the time.

But it gets better.

Apple doesn't allow the stored password in Safari to be applied to other Apple apps! It goes something like this: 1) Go to change my AppleID password. 2) Safari suggests a randomly generated password that you'll never remember. 3) Safari saves your new AppleID password, then kindly asks if you want to apply the password for other Apple Services like iMessage, iCloud, and Facetime... which is so nice! 4) You go to buy a new song in the iTunes Store and APPLE FUCKING ASKS YOU FOR YOUR APPLEID PASSWORD! AND, YOU GUESSED IT, THE ONLY WAY TO ENTER THE PASSWORD INTO ITUNES IS TO TYPE IT IN MANUALLY! And since you can't fucking remember something like "RJ%P-TK3sO-#cD9yp*o-Ibn" you have to switch to Safari, go to the password manageer, locate your AppleID, enter your login password, copy the AppleID password, go back to iTunes, paste the password... then hope that you don't have to copy something else to the clipboard before iTunes asks for the password again since it asks for your password every five minutes (especially if you use iTunes Match, it would seem).

This is MIND-BOGGLINGLY FUCKING STUPID, APPLE! You have to allow iTunes to have access to your AppleID password when a user is logged in. Otherwise, people aren't going to use complex passwords. Which means that when it comes to people choosing shitty, easily-cracked passwords... YOU ARE THE PROBLEM!

UPDATE: BWAH HA HA HAAAA! How fucking embarrassing. I get to work expecting my work computer will have synced my keychain with all the changed passwords... NOPE! I had to enter everything all over again! In order to get the NEW passwords to sync, I have to disable iCloud Keychain Syncing... THEN REACTIVATE iCLOUD KEYCHAIN SYNCING. Apple: It Just Works!

UPDATE UPDATE: And, my iPhone required me to log back into all my Apple apps... like "Find My Friends" because it is ALSO too fucking stupid to use the damn keychain with my AppleID and password THAT IT IS ALREADY SYNCING TO! What a fucking joke. I thought that with iCloud, Apple would FINALLY get syncing done right since they botched it so badly in .Mac and MobileMe... NOPE! Still a horrendous pile of shit. And don't get me started how every time I do fucking ANYTHING with my password on my iPhone, it broadcasts an announcement to all my other Apple devices that it's using FaceTime now... AS IT HAS BEEN SINCE FACETIME WAS AVAILABLE!! Heaven only knows how many years it will be until Apple finally gets this crap all figured out. At this rate, probably never.

   

1PASSWORD

Long before Apple built a password manager into Safari, I was already using a nifty password managing app called 1Password by AgileBits. I've had a few minor problems with it over the years but, for the most part, it's a terrific piece of software. It does a greatjob of creating, storing, managing, and filling-in all kinds of passwords, credit cards, bank accounts, identities, encrypted notes, and such.

When I started changing all my passwords, I discovered that the version of 1Password I'm using was outdated, and I needed to upgrade to version 4. Well, they don't offer an upgrade, so you have to purchase an all-new copy... but it was on sale for half-price ($24.99) thanks to the Heartbleed bug, so I just went ahead and paid for the shit.

Only to have one of the most frustrating upgrade experiences ever. Seriously... upgrading from 1Password v3 to v4 was worse than getting punched in the fucking face.

First of all, they warn you to sync your Safari Plugin data with your main data store. This is done by creating a new fake login, which they don't really explain how to do. Eventually I just went to a shopping site and created a real login so I could force 1Password to add it to my main data store and be sure everything was synced. But it never worked. Each time I'd create a login, I'd go to the main 1Password app, but the login never showed up. After 20 minutes of this stupid crap, I finally didn't give a fuck, and just uninstalled the 1Password Safari Plugin. Who knows what data I lost.

Then it came time to install the v4 Safari Plugin. I couldn't find a separate link on their download page, so I Googled their site to find it. But after installing the plugin found at the link, Safari reported it was v3. So I uninstalled again and Googled for instructions, only to find that I could choose "Install Browser Extensions" from the 1Password app. Well that's easy, right?

Not so much. I then spent a half hour trying to get it to install. First of all, it kept installing version 3.9.20 even though I was double-clicking on the version 4 plugin. Don't ask me why. I had to reboot my MacBook before it would finally install the new version. But then the real battle began.

The problem being that 1Password must be running for the Safari install to work, but it keeps quitting before the install happens. It was a game of Catch-22 over and over and over again...

1Password Assholery
Start 1Password, press "Try again," 1Password quits. Repeat. TIMES INFINITY!

Even a complete re-install didn't work. Eventually I had to uninstall the entire app plus its support files... then start all over again with a backup data store synced on DropBox. What a fucking joke. I just paid $25 to waste nearly and hour of my precious time... for an upgrade. Thanks, AgileBits!

P.S. Why in the hell does AgileBits feel the need to install 1Password 4 inside of a FOLDER? Especially when the app is the ONLY item in the fucking folder. I'm guessing it has to do with problems writing to the Apps folder if the old 1Password is in place... but wouldn't a better solution be to rename the app with the new version number added?

   

And now, after TWO DAYS wasted, I finally have most all my passwords changed. Whether or not I'll actually be able to retrieve them to log in anywhere remains to be seen.

   

Armed

Posted on Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Dave!Last night I decided to stop taking the pain-killers I've been on since getting run down in France. I don't like the way drugs mess with my head, and this time it was more debilitating than usual for some reason. I wasn't just having trouble concentrating at work... I was having trouble concentrating while watching television, and that just isn't done.

The pain in my ribs is breathtaking, as expected.

But it's the pain in the arm where I got my tetanus shot that really took me by surprise. My arm aches. Every movement feels like somebody just punched me. Hard. I Googled my pain only to discover that, yeah, this is totally normal. Tetanus shots are brutal. So now I am questioning this foolish decision to live life drug-free, as I am a real weenie when it comes to pain.

I'm also questioning getting a tetanus shot, but that ship has sailed.

And then there's this...

Have a good night!

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McFury

Posted on Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Dave!I'm going to just come right out and say it... I love McDonalds.

And that's no hyperbole, it's the truth. Sure I wish that they would take the McVeggie Deluxe national so I had a burger I could eat there but, even without a veggie option, I still like the chain. I love their fries. I like their egg & cheese breakfast biscuits. I like their side salads. I like their shakes. I like their McFlurries. I like their hot caramel sundaes. I like their fruit-n-yogurt parfaits. I even like their apple pies (just not as much as when they were fried). They've got food I like that's served fast at decent prices. What's not to love?*

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey contemplates a Happy Meal box

But heaven forbid I ever mention liking McDonalds. Even hinting at having eaten there brings out all the people who think it's their mission in life to tell people what they can and cannot like...

        "McDONALD'S IS TOXIC GARBAGE! I WOULDN'T FEED THEIR 'FOOD' TO MY DOG!"

        "McDONALD'S IS DESTROYING THE PLANET! WHEN YOU EAT THERE, YOU'RE HELPING THEM!"

        "ARE YOU STUPID? WHY NOT JUST EAT RAT POISON IF YOU'RE INTENT ON BEING SO UNHEALTHY?"

        "WHAT KIND OF IDIOT RUINS THEIR BODY WITH FAT, SUGAR, AND CHEMICALS BY EATING AT McDONALDS?"

        "McDONALD'S TARGETS CHILDREN FOR UNHEALTHY EATING HABITS WITH TOYS!"

        "SO GROSS! THEIR CRAP ISN'T EVEN REAL FOOD!"

Etc. Etc. Etc.

Well, whatever. I honestly don't give a fuck. You don't like it? DON'T EAT THERE! You think it's unhealthy? DON'T EAT THERE! You have a problem with the food? DON'T EAT THERE! As for me? There's nothing wrong with an occasional bag of fries and a chocolate shake at McDonalds... AND I enjoy it, so just leave me the hell alone. I mean, thanks, but I am fully aware of the nutritional content (or lack thereof) of what I'm eating.

And then today a McDonalds post pops up in my Facebook feed.

The number of hateful comments shouldn't have surprised me, but it did.

For reasons completely unknown, there are people who hate McDonald's so much that they spend their valuable time ripping McDonald's to shit IN FACEBOOK COMMENTS! Which probably ranks right up there with "screaming into a pillow" when it comes to effectiveness, but whatever. At least when people feel the need to rip into me personally for my food choices, they think they're helping me out (or something) so they can feel good about doing me a solid. What possible benefit is there to leaving nasty comments for McDonalds on Facebook? Could there be a bigger waste of time?

Probably.

Like blogging about it, I suppose.

   

* Well, okay, I DON'T love McDonald's clown figurehead, Ronald McDonald, who is terrifying...

Ronald

   

CIS-ID

Posted on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Dave!This morning I needed to dig out a software manual from storage (remember when software came with printed manuals?) and had a small blue pressboard binder fall on my head. It looked familiar, but I didn't know why.

Remember when I was lamenting that I couldn't remember my CompuServe ID Number? Well, yeah, the small blue pressboard binder had all my CompuServe stuff in it... including my ID...

My CompuServe ID No.

Now that I see it... 70717,3107... I can't imagine how I ever forgot it. Those digits flow through my mind like my own name, because it was my name for a number of years. When I typed it just then, I didn't even need to take a second look, my fingers automatically keyed it in. Just like old times.

Somehow, I feel more complete than I did yesterday.

ALSO in the small blue pressboard binder... COMPUSERVE INFORMATION SERVICE RATES: 1984!"

CompuServe Rates 1984

A few things...

  • $2.00 per hour evening rates in 1984 is $4.52 per hour in 2014.
  • $10.00 per hour daytime rates in 1984 is $22.60 per hour in 2014.
  • Can you imagine paying $4.52 per hour for internet? $22.60 an hour in the daytime?
  • If you lived in Alaska, Compu$serve was $33.90 per hour... $31.64 per hour in Hawaii.
  • In 1984 I would have been a senior in High School working 18 hours a week (evenings and weekends) at a local shop... at $3.85 an hour, or $69.30 a week before taxes. Adjusted for inflation, that's $156.60 per week before taxes.
  • And I think CompuServe charged extra to access the internet through their gateway.
  • My access speed at the time was probably 1,200 baud. Just to put that in perspective, a typical 2.2 MB photo would take me 4 hours and 15 minutes to download. Not that digital imagery at the time was anywhere near that for consumer photography.
  • You can probably guess where every cent I had in disposable income went in 1984.

Wow.

All told, I'm currently on the internet for one thing or another at least 5 hours a day. That's minimum 35 hours a week... probably much more. Putting two hours of that in the daytime and three hours of that in the evening, in 2014 dollars I'd be spending $58.76 per day... $411.32 per week... just to get online.

And "being online" then sure ain't what it is now.

How in the hell did we ever make it out of the dark ages of technology?

   

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