Polska Brain Jelly

Gripes

iHate iTunes

by on Sep.16, 2009, under Gripes

As much as I love my iPhone, I hate iTunes.  iTunes is the most counter-intuitive, sluggish eyesore I have on my computer.  I can’t say it’s the worst program I’ve ever used, that’s reserved for a Fox-Pro based program that I worked with back in the mid-90’s, but it comes close.  If it weren’t for the fact that my iPhone all but requires it, I wouldn’t come near that piece of crap software with a ten foot laser pole.

Yesterday I plug in the iPhone to charge and sync, and I get a pop-up saying that there is an update to iTunes (9.0).  It gives me a link that I click on and from there it gives me options to download iTunes.  I grab the x64 install and five minutes later I start the install.  Other than it taking forever to install, everything looks like it worked.  In fact, it even told me at the end the install was completed successfully.

Plug the iPhone back in so it can finish charging and I get an error message saying the Apple Mobile Device Support is too old for iTunes, uninstall both iTunes and the Apple Mobile Device Support and reinstall them.

What?  I just upgraded the stupid POS!  Fine, you picky piece of broken shit, I’ll do it your way.  I uninstall iTunes.  That goes fine.  I uninstall the Apple Mobile Device Support and it looks like everything uninstalls fine… until AMDS decides it doesn’t want to be uninstalled today.  Literally, for no explained reason, the progress bar which was at 100% starts emptying, and then the uninstaller closes.  AMDS is still in my program list.  Try it again, exact same thing.  Not wanting to prove myself the definition of insanity, I forego a third attempt.

Hit the Inter-Tubes to find out what the hell is going on.  Not really much help there other than Apple giving a specific order in which to uninstall their products on Vista (I’m running 7), but I give it a try and still same scenario.  I try a few other things that are suggested in various forums, none of which helps.

On a lark, I try the “change” option found in the program list and it brings up the option to repair or uninstall.  Choosing uninstall I get the exact same results, making me the very definition I was trying to avoid. Wanting to try something new and not wanting to chunk my entire computer out the window because of a bad program, I hit the change link again and choose repair.  After that shows finished successfully, I proceed to try and uninstall again.

Miracles do happen, because the damned thing actually uninstalled.  There was apparently something wrong with the program (corrupted when I updated iTunes or it installed incorrectly) and for some unknown reason it wouldn’t uninstall while it was broken.  Boggles the mind.  One of the reasons you uninstall a program is because it’s broken.  To not allow a program to uninstall because it’s broken is the height of idiocy.  Anyway, I reinstall iTunes, and not believing it when it says it installs successfully, I open it up and plug in my iPhone.

It works… with another popup saying I have to authorize this computer to use my iPhone on it.  The same computer that had iTunes on it before,the same computer that I’ve used my iPhone on since I got it.  The same computer that hasn’t changed except for an OS change, no hardware change (except an addition of a TV Tuner card, hardly a major hardware id change).  So now I have activated three of the five activations I have on the same computer.  This is ridiculous.  I understand that after five activations I can deactivate all my activations and start from scratch, but I can only do that once a year.  What happens if I get upgrade happy in a year and it requires me activate each time.  When I hit that wall am I just shit out of luck?  Sorry, you’ve reached or exceeded your activations, you can just piss right off of using iTunes with that iPhone of yours, you know the one you paid good money for.

Apple, along with every other DRM whore out there, can stick their activations straight up their uninstaller.

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CBC Annoyance

by on Jul.30, 2009, under Gripes

I started using Comic Book Creator to layout the comics for ScreenCap Comics (in fact, the “How It Should Have Happened” segment was all done using CBC), however I have since switched to Comic Life because it’s quite a bit more flexible.  Comic Life has it’s own problems, and I’m looking at some other software at this point to see if that will fit the bill, but I digress.  I wanted to do some slight editing of some of the HISHH comics, but had done an OS reinstall since I had used it last and didn’t have it installed.  After digging through archived email for a half an hour to find my product key, I slap in www.mycomicbookcreator.com (the site I originally got the software from) into my browser’s address bar and what comes up?  What comes up is a page saying that now I can use MashOn for everything I once did in Comic Book Creator, but for free!  Except edit comics that I have already created.  With software that I paid for.  Software that I cannot download from their site any longer, because they don’t offer it.  I try www.planetwidegames.com (the publisher for CBC) and it sends me to mashon.com.  Great, I now have paid for software that I can’t use because I can’t download it from the people that I gave the money to.

It’s not like this software is old.  I ordered it just a little over a year ago (April 2008 to be exact).  I have no idea what posesses a company to dump the customers that have given them money like this, but it’s crap like this that probably makes people a little gun-shy when purchasing software from smaller publishers.  When I buy software from Adobe, Microsoft or Sun, I’m fairly certain that those companies aren’t going to up and dump their product a year later for something that’s online and advertisement based.  I could also understand if the company just didn’t make it and had to close its doors.  But that’s not the case, they are still running and offering what I paid fifty bucks for now for free online a year later.

On top of that, if I actually do happen to find the software, if I remember correctly there is also activation that has to happen with their servers online.  I’m less than confident that those activation servers are still online (which is a model that game companies are going to which has bitten me in the ass as well with Hellgate:London; it’s a model that I and others are not happy with). So basically, I paid fifty bucks to rent software for a little over a year.  The least they could have done was buy me flowers and candy before they screwed me like that.

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Stop playing with your thumbs, you’ll just make it worse…

by on Jul.19, 2005, under Gripes

Why can’t things just work the way they are supposed to? Why can’t people just accept the fact that, while certainly god-like in appearance, I cannot work miracles. These questions have been going through my head for the last week and a half while I work out the kinks on a major server relocation and the training of employees on the proper use of their opposable digits. Granted, some of the things I have fixed in this time were due in no small part to the million and one things that have to be found after a move of this magnitude happens, but I should have had plenty of time to find and fix them if it weren’t for the moronic masses that ask the same question over and over and feel their issue is of utmost importance, and that if I don’t fix it RIGHT NOW the rock that we live on will explode, or the sky will fall, or that a bolt of lightning from the heavens will smite them. I have to explain to them that, although their problem is important, I have ten other people who pulled the string taught and spoke into the can before them that I have to deal with, so they need to go home and paint on the wall of their cave and probably sacrifice something to appease their gods, but I will get it fixed before the sun swallows the moon again. This is the level of intelligence that I deal with on a daily basis. I get an email this morning, and this is an actual quote: “The server is screwed up.” Yay! Thanks! Wow, now I can locate the problem with pinpoint accuracy due to your descriptive, well thought out email. This is all the email said. So I sent out an email requesting some more information, it went something like: “So to what are you referring when using the technical term ‘screwed up’?” Turns out they lost the manual showing proper thumb usage, so I had to rehash that old hat. He’s pretty much the worst of the bunch. He reminds me of that ape that shakes a bone at the big black obelisk. I just wish the damn thing had fallen on him.

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Et Tu, MS?

by on Jul.15, 2005, under Gripes

Suffice to say, I HATE EXCHANGE SERVER! The company I work for is running Exchange Server 2000 on a very busy application server located in the middle of nowhere. They decided, since the only broadband available in the middle of nowhere is wireless, and the connection is unreliable at best (especially with some of the thunderstorms we get), we will move it to the nearby metro area (by nearby, I mean about 160 miles away). This is actually a good idea. What wasn’t a good idea was not moving everyone with it to the nearby metro area, so now they have to remote in (which is another post in itself). Anyway, they wanted to setup a smaller server to basically act as a file server in its place, but also running Exchange so they could keep their shared contacts and calendar. Mind you, they aren’t using Exchange for internal mail, newsgroups or messaging, which is what is really good for, just shared contacts and calendar. I’m not any kind of Exchange guru, I know basically what it’s used for and some admin functions for it. I figured, okay, no prob, I’ll just install Exchange on the new server and export the old profiles into the new one. WRONG! The replacement server of course has a different domain name that the one being moved. Everything I read said to just make a backup of the Exchange system state from one and restore it to the other. That works great unless the domain names don’t match, which these didn’t. After two days of searching, four packs of cigarettes and handfulls of aspirin and antacids, I finally got the stupid calendar and contacts moved. Whoever designed Exchange to be such a pain in the ass as to not allow somebody to export a freakin’ public folder from one machine to another needs to be shot in the nuts. Twice.

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