A blog dedicated to the researchers who dyed a captured chimp's fur pink, then released it. The other chimps promptly tore it to pieces.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bullshit Vaporware of the Year Award

Presented to Toshiba's Gigabeat, Vongo, and Microsoft.

I had a Toshiba Gigabeat V30 on my Amazon wishlist, and my wife was sweet enough to indulge me for my birthday. It's a cool little media player that came with free month of Vongo, the new movie download service. Both the player and Vongo use Microsoft's Portable Media Center format, which apparently still has a few bugs to be worked out.

I was initially somewhat annoyed to discover the only way to get content into the Gigabeat (other than Vongo, which I'll get to in a minute) was using the Sync function in Microsoft's Windows Media Player. I despise Media Player, and use almost anything else to avoid it. But it worked well enough once I got the hang of it.

The real problems started when I installed the Vongo software.

It was easy to install and appeared to be working properly until I tried to register my player. No player connected. Huh? Hmmm. It SAYS "Connected" on the little screen, and I know the system saw it. (I was asked if I wanted to run Vongo when I plugged it in) But no, it insists there's no player connected.

Turns out this is a known issue, and was mentioned in a review of the V30 in Laptop Magazine last year. They spent all day on the phone with Vongo's tech support and couldn't get it working - some kind of conflict with the latest version of Windows Media Player. Wonderful. Just how I didn't want to spend my birthday - helping some company trouble-shoot their buggy product for free.

The other two supposed sources of PMC-formatted videos are Movielink and CinemaNow. Both of these appear to have plenty of titles in regular Windows Media Player format you can watch on your computer, but no PMC titles. (Movielink said they had one title in PMC format - CinemaNow says they hope to have PMC titles back up sometime this spring) There's apparently more support for old Sony Beta videocassettes and 8-track tapes than there is for the PMC format.

So thanks to the three stooges - Microsoft, Toshiba/Gigabeat, and Vongo - I have this super-cool little movie player with no way to get little movies onto it. What a rip.


  • At 8:10 PM, Blogger Anntichrist S. Coulter said…

    Sorry to hear it, man.

    And you let me miss your birthday?!?!??!?!


    I was going to install some "freeware" stuff that you-know-who sent, that is supposed to remind me of birthdays every time that I log on, but now I'm a weeee tad leery of it.

    I'll see if I can at least arrange home-delivery of Mormon missionaries to any enemy that you select, as long as you've got their correct address... It's more fun if you can sic 'em on a nearby neighbor, just to watch their faces from across the street, but any address will do... heh.

    Hey, I'd like to send you the winning Powerball ticket, for all that you've done to help me, but I wouldn't hold yer breath if I were you...

    So, whaddaya want for your belated birfday gift?

  • At 3:58 AM, Blogger Realist said…

    Can't imagine why you'd be leery. ;-)

    It's okay - just because I can't BUY content for my player doesn't mean I can't GET content for it. There's plenty of shit floating around for free on BitTorrent if they don't want to take my money for the legal stuff.

    Good to see you online again. The 'net just wasn't the same without ya.

  • At 1:01 AM, Blogger Anntichrist S. Coulter said…

    Yer not exactly helping with the belated shopping here, dude.

    C'mon, just gimme one annoying neighbor.

    Yes, it's mainly to alleviate my guilt, but still.

    You *know* that you'll enjoy it.

  • At 12:18 PM, Blogger Realist said…

    Hmmm. Well, there IS a place a couple of houses down that's a constant problem. Shortly after we moved in, they evicted an "extended family" of TWENTY-NINE. I don't know how many people are living there now, but it seems like they have at least a dozen different vehicles, one (or more) of which are equipped with those gawdawful boombox stereos.

    Tempting . . . nah, better not. The Mormons might read them that verse about be fruitful and multiply, which is the last thing I need.

  • At 6:41 PM, Blogger Anntichrist S. Coulter said…

    Hmmm. Prolly true. But still...

    Ah, well, lemme know when you decide what you want.

    And why'd you delete the title of the blog? You hiding from Google or something?

  • At 4:17 PM, Blogger Realist said…

    Nope. The new Blogger fucked up the header to where their dumbass toolbar covered part of it. (along with other assorted fuckups) So I replaced the name with a line and changed my pinkchimp picture into a logo.

    What REALLY pissed me off was the blogroll. The new templates absolutely refused to let me paste a block of HTML into them, insisting that I manually re-enter each link one at a time. Fuck that - I've got better things to do.

    So I stuck with the old stuff. All this "innovation" crap is highly overrated anyway.

  • At 8:54 PM, Blogger Anntichrist S. Coulter said…

    Yup, that new blogger shit is a pain in the ass. Thankfully, I haven't done any recent HTML changes lately, so I haven't had to fuck with it like you have.

    Then again, I haven't done squat lately, but hopefully that won't be a permanent condition (me, not the 'puter). BTW, have been LOVING the Quake! Dunno how I can properly thank you for all that you've done to help, but I'll figure it out one day. Do you know how to paste in the faces of, say, Dick Cheney onto the enemy dudes or the rottweilers?

    Letterman's Newt Gingrich Top 10 is kickin' ass tonight, btw!

  • At 4:37 AM, Blogger Realist said…

    If you're using QuakeWorld to play online, you can use "skins" to change how the players look. But the only way to change the enemies in single player would be to hack the game. It's possible - there are all kinds of variations on Quake floating around the 'net - but it takes more programming skill than I possess.

    If you're interested, do a Google search for "Quake C" and you'll find all kinds of info.

  • At 7:34 PM, Blogger Anntichrist S. Coulter said…

    Now, darlin', you *know* that I don't "play well with others..." Heh.

    But thanks for the info.

    Diggin' the Firefox, btw. No pop-ups (my ISP promises to block the fuckers, but they liiiiiiiiie...), fewer crashes, all the good stuff.

    Didja ever think of any neighbors to hit?

    The Mama cat just dropped another litter, the slut, so now I can't capture her this weekend to get her neutered on this round. More mouths to feed. Wheeeeee. Can I ship the kittens to your annoying neighbors? Who doesn't love kittens?


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