rant

By aaron.axvig, 6 January, 2009

Sun's VirtualBox really irked me off, so here I am whining.

  • Unable to change mounted CD-ROM while the machine is running.
  • Huge delete button.  How often do you delete a virtual machine?
  • Crappy virtual disk manager.  Why do I want to manage my ISOs, I already have them in folders just let me mount one.
  • Unable to hard power-off a virtual machine.
  • Unable to send shut down signal to virtual machine.
  • Unable to send reset signal to virtual machine.
  • Unable to do any sort of power-off input.
  • I find it hard to believe that these features aren't there at all, but they shouldn't be hidden so well if they are there.  I should be able to right-click on the machine in the manager and knock it dead.

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By aaron.axvig, 8 December, 2008

I am probably going to start complaining a lot about Linux.  I'm trying to learn once again because that is what my senior design project will be developed in.

Anyways, I feel some rage right now because I was trying to use the package manager Aptitude and could not figure out how to use the menu staring at me from the top of the screen.

I'm sorry, but your software REALLY sucks if I have to use Google for 10 minutes to figure out how to use the menu.

P.S. You press F10 to access the menu.

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By aaron.axvig, 20 April, 2007

Well the title pretty much sums it up.  I just discovered that WMP11 can rip tracks from 2 CDs at once.  This pretty much maxes out an AMD X2 3800+, which just one CD didn't.  Curious, because iTunes will max out the processor on just one CD.  Oh well, maybe it's because iTunes was going to 128kbps MP3 and WMP is going to WMA Lossless.

In other news, I've been learning a lot about PCL-5, PCL-6, PCL-X, and lots of other printing goodies.  As with most occasions in which I learn a lot about computers, this means something is broken.  This time it's my damn HP Laserjet 1012 and a lack of reliable functionality in Vista.  I don't feel so bad though, because lots of people have the same problem with XP too, which is even "officially supported."  What a POS, and HP, what a POS for not fixing this problem (printer is easily thwarted by complicated PCL commands from what I could tell).

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By aaron.axvig, 11 April, 2007

Oh Vista, what were you thinking?  When you wanted to restart after applying updates, I carefully asked you to remind me in 4 hours to restart.

Why did you restart on your own after 4 hours?  Did it ever occur to you that if I leave you doing something overnight I **might** want you to finish doing that without a reboot in the middle that stops everything?  Thanks a lot.

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By aaron.axvig, 11 April, 2007

I'll admit it, I have some DivX files on my computer.  Anyways, I use WMP11 to view them, courtesy of the DivX codec.  This codec is external to WMP11, and comes with its own little nifty tray icon (quite annoying if you ask me).

So I was watching WMP11 generate thumbnails for the movies, and it was taking quite a while.  Further inspection revealed the DivX tray icon flashing in and out of existence every few seconds.  It seems that WMP11 starts and stops the codec for every movie that it processes.  Pretty dumb.

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By aaron.axvig, 1 April, 2007

In the course of satisfying my blog-reading addiction, I came across this nifty litle rock-paper-scissors game.  It is done in WPF/E, basically Microsoft's version of Flash[1].  So there are animations all over...

Which brings me to realize why we need more processing power.  My poor Pentium-M 1.6GHz processor pretty much died while the application was running.  That's right, my processor was maxed out by a rock-paper-scissors game.  The past few year's worth of advances in the fine art of computer programming sure are great.  I can envision a time when I'll need a core to animate the start button, another to animate the background (already implemented in Dream Scene), one to make all my desktop icons slowly revolve around in a complex spiral so that the ones I'm most likely to use at a certain time of day will be in the center at that certain time of day (you KNOW that would be super-sexy), another to index everything constantly (I think I need a separate HDD for the indexer actually, 'cause it's always keeping mine busy), and another to actually respond to what I want it to do.

Anyways, back to the game.  I imagine if I had a real graphics card instead of an integrated POS the game wouldn't have run so slow, but it is still rather pathetic.  All of those fancy scaling vector graphics don't run so well without a real GPU.  Just the background gradient which slid up and down repeatedly would max out my processor.

Such is progress I guess.  I look forward to the future of sliding vector-based menus and animated backgrounds overlayed with 3 layers of transparent objects.  As long as I can "Flip3D" through everything I'll be happy. :)

And yes, I did win the match.

  1. As an aside, one nice thing about the WPF/E plugin for IE7 on Vista (possibly this is also true on other browsers/platforms) is that it didn't require me to restart my browser.

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By aaron.axvig, 7 February, 2007

2019-10-25 - I remember that a library staff person somehow found this rant and replied with a decently helpful/explanatory comment (on the long gone site).

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If there's one thing I hate about the library, it's that the search functionality you can use to find books REALLY SUCKS.  In fact, when I think of the Bismarck Public Library, the foremost image in my mind is the island of computers, all with that dreaded search interface displayed on the screen.

Anyone remember the days where if you entered "Ernest Hemingway" you would get no results?  That's right, you would only get a list of the books he wrote if you entered "Hemingway, Ernest."  Just one of the many things that contributed to the general poorness of the system.  While this seems to be fixed now, it is representative of the silly things one must put up with.

Another frustration of mine is searching for the books in a series.  I used to read a lot of Star Trek and Star Wars books, most of which are part of a series.  Sometimes these series number well over 100 titles.  One would think a library would have an easy way to find out which book is next in the series (maybe to encourage more reading--just a thought).  Nope.  Go ahead, try it: http://www.odinlibrary.org/ Basic search has no drop down for searching for a series, but advanced search does.  Does it possibly return a list of the "Star Trek" series which the Fargo Public Library (for example) has?  Would I then be able to click on the name of one of the series (maybe "Star Trek: Voyager") and view all the titles of that series in numerical order?  Nope.  It returns a list of all the Star Trek books the library has, inconveniently ordered by title, alphabetically.

So, as I did almost weekly between the ages of 12 and 17, one has to go to the library, find a book towards the end of the series, look inside the front cover, note which book they haven't read yet, and go search by title.  Which may or may not work, because the search doesn't automatically look for "Conquerors" when a search for "Conqueror" is entered.  At least NDSU search (which is a whole other case of poor functionality) does this.  It can be quite comical actually, especially if you enter 4-letter words that start with "f".

As it is, searching for things on the Internet is WAY easier than in the library.  Probably that's because webpages are structured in a fundamentally different way.  Or that web designers customize their sites to be more searchable.  But there is definitely room for improvement.  If I were some sort of search engineer working at Google right now, I would be dedicating my 20% time to figuring out a better system for this.  Then Google could sell this to libraries across the world, much like their Search Appliance.  Or even give it to them for free, and display ads next to the results.  I'd be willing to look at ads if I was able to find what I wanted.

So, later today I'll be heading down to the library, in search of a book that has all the others listed inside the front cover.  Hopefully I can check out a book on the same day that I get a new library card...

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