Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not much to report.

I've been waiting for an update on the aimbotting situation as regards a specific website I mentioned in this post.

I'm also waiting for an update on the t-shirt design contest in BF:H. There were many good entries, including two by me. I'd share some pics, but its against the contest rules.

Stopped by BFP4F. Server seemed busy enough, but I've noticed a disappearance of green berets (denoting cb players).

Monday, August 22, 2011

HP Leaving Computers?!? You won't be missed.

With all the rumors in the news about HP leaving the computer industry, I am looking back at some of my own experiences with HP computer products. The "Like" names have been redacted in conformity with Reddit policy.

It usually takes years of poor experiences before consumers begin to reject a brand, but social media makes sharing bad experiences easier than ever.

Here's a pre-boot message from my HP (Compaq) SR5233WM -

Friday, August 12, 2011

Contacted SpiderOak

Final Update: The problem appears to have been solved. Here's my best "guess" at what happened. It appears that SpiderOak syncs the files stored on my computer and if I delete those folders, it assumes I no longer want the folders synced. My guess is that when I replaced Linux Mint 11 with Linux Mint 9, the file was obviously missing. This probably went unnoticed until I decided to reinstall SpiderOak. It appears to have moved the file to the SpiderOak trashcan. Following Laura Gowans latest suggstion, I recreated the local file folder and file. My guess is that if I turn off file syncing, I can avoid this problem in the future. I don't want to test my theory though. Just going to settle for the fact that the file appears to be back. Some of this confusion would be reduced if the companies would allow for standard FTP uploading (via coreftp or whatever ftp program the consumer chooses.) My guess is people are broadly divided into two categories of users- the backup category and the sharer. I am a sharer. The only thing I want to be able to do right now is quickly upload my files to a destination and get a link for sharing it with others.

As a personal note, I have tried many of these cloud services and each one is different. This is not a good thing. The myriad of customized solutions only hinders the adoption of the technology. If companies understood their branding could occur during the sharing stage rather than the interaction stage, it would be much easier.

In any event, I must give customer service some credit for taking the time to respond to my inquiries. With enough input from me as to what was happening on my end, they were finally able to provide me with a solution that worked.

***End of final update*** ***Begin archival post***

I emailed SpiderOak today to inquire as to why I cannot seem to see the file I shared. I am waiting for their response.

Update 1: So it has been a while and I have not yet received a response. I have searched my inbox for SpiderOak and only the general ticket submission acknowledgment comes forward.

Sadly, I received a SpiderOak "newsletter" which features a spotlight on customer service.

I cannot say at this time that I am thrilled with their customer support service. Perhaps they treat "free" accounts with a much lower priority than paying accounts? If so, this would be somewhat shortsighted as bad free account experiences will not lead to paid accounts.

In the past, I have spoken favorably about SpiderOak.

Mistakes are made.

In general, my early experiences with the cloud have not been very positive ones and I feel that problems like this will need to be worked out quickly if people are going to consider more "cloud" solutions. At the same time, I was able to distribute my game in person using good old DVD copies to workers at the Elko Peace Park without a problem.

Update 2: Laura Gowans finally responded by saying that my ticket was overlooked and was now being looked into.

Update 3: The entire link is currently missing from SpiderOak.

I think I'll post another fine excerpt from their newsletter. The last sentence is really the most outrageous. Here it is, "Leaving the decision of with whom you want to share your data truly and solely where it belongs - in your hands."

My hands? Really? Right now it looks like it is in your hands. Sadly, this flies in the face of the entire international community which has declared that, "The United Nations, in fact, recently declared that disconnecting people from the Internet is a violation of human rights."

I think my ability to distribute files by removing them from SpiderOak's cloud based storage constitutes an interference with my ability to use the internet to communicate.

Update 4: SpiderOak responds by saying the room share is empty. Well, it wasn't empty, so I'm wondering why it would be empty now? The strangest part is that the file allocation still shows up.

Here is there response:

A screenshot of my SpiderOak shows the file allocation space is still being used, but the file is nowhere to be found.

It will take 9-12 hours to attempt any reuploading.

Waiting for Dr. Pepper Codes

The local stores no longer carry the Dr. Pepper bottles with the EA under the cap codes. I have been mailing away for codes for the last 3 weeks (requesting one code per week). So far, none of the codes I have requested have arrived.

Update: The first code arrived. The new letter is a bit different. The code expiration date is not until Jan. 31, 2012. Previously the codes expired earlier when they were the mail in codes. Anyway, I outfitted my latest soldier Futurian with the Ace's outfit since that soldier had the fewest clothing options (just the creeper shirt).

Friday, August 5, 2011

Picked up The Last Airbender

Many people are probably aware that I really liked the film The Last Airbender. I first saw the Last Airbender at a midnight showing at the Mall of America. Today, I finally added the film to my collection of DVDs.

Reddit Playdates

I took time away from my busy gaming schedule to enjoy some of the new Reddit Playdates. The purpose of the playdates is to give attention to some games we may not play as often as we should. They have held two playdates. The first playdate was Alien Swarm. The second playdate was Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.

I enjoyed reconnecting with both games.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens and Families.

It's been a very good summer for movies. In fact, there are so many movies I think are worth seeing, that I have not been able to see them all. I did manage to catch the afternoon showing of Cowboys and Aliens. I thought the film was pretty good.

Anyway, I am a bit disappointed by all the negative reviews. I am also surprised by the fact that the family friendly Smurfs is giving Cowboys and Aliens such a run. I have nothing against the Smurfs, I watched them as a kid. It is just that I felt there were a lot of positive values in Cowboys and Aliens that would appeal to families. The film centers around family relationships. There are strong relationships between people that are father and son and bonds as strong as father and son. There are strong relationships between a boy and his grandfather. It is also the story of the love between a husband and a wife. There is, of course, the wanted man whose relationship with women is personal and tragic. Many of the main characters experience real losses which is a good thing for audiences.

In short, there are also a lot of people who have to develop trust and work together to overcome real differences in order to protect and help the people they love. In many cases, people develop deep and lasting bonds which overcome their earlier mistrust and differences.

Besides that, the film is actually very entertaining.