Make it go away   Leave a comment

Said the dinosaur to the asteroid.

On Friday the 20th I did some work that my boss’s email the previous day had reminded me about. Nothing desperately exciting – upgrade one system to use some newer, better code, and add a little thing to automate an occasional job – but it kept me busy. Surprisingly so; I wound up working after hometime. It was also one of those little jobs that, once done, made me feel better about things. Funny how the world is a bit less horrendous after you’ve finished the washing up or cleaned the bathroom.

I did get my hands on some ebooks, though. All the books I’ve downloaded so far – from Project Gutenberg – have been in ePub format, but the new ones were Mobipocket. Happily, my Bookeen Cybook Opus can read both formats. Alas! It is strictly forbidden, by Mobipocket, for a device that can decode their DRM being able to decode any other sort of DRM, and the way Cybook get around that is by having two firmwares; one for Adobe’s DRM, one for Mobipocket. The side effect being that the Adobe firmware can’t read .mobi files at all, wheras the Mobipocket firmware can’t read .epub files at all.

So that’s another instance of DRM being tiresome and stupid. Happily, my .mobi books are DRM-free, so I can convert them to ePub with Calibre and not have to fiddle around. But if I’d bought DRM-inflicted books I’d have to change my ereader’s firmware every time I wanted to switch file-types (just to add insult to the injury of the file inevitably becoming useless after about twenty minutes), just because Mobipocket are fucking morons. This isn’t the way to promote technology to a mass market, and it’s the kind of stupid nuisance that means people won’t buy stuff. Especially when an easier version is available for free.

And pirates? They won’t care, will they. They don’t have any DRM on their ebooks; it only affects paying customers. ‘Course, anyone who accidentally bought a DRMed .mobi book could find plenty of ways to unencrypt it in, oh, about 0.17 seconds. But that would be illegal!

One might think I would have reached the point where I could laugh at all this ludicrous, obvious, painful idiocy, but no. I still find it horribly frustrating. Who thinks this shit up? Because they should be shot. I mean that literally; taken outside, stood in front of a wall, and publically executed by firing squad in order to serve as a warning to others. Maybe that way these idiots will learn? And if not, at least there’s one fewer idiot.

Anyway, rant over.

Another slightly frustrating thing was my digestive system scuppering my intention to go to the gym. The computer was turned off, I was just about to get changed and wait, gut ache? And time to run to the toilet. Once that (but not the gut ache) was over, it was too late to go out. Sometimes I swear my intestines are agoraphobic; they seem to know when I’m planning on leaving the house, and do their best to stop it. Sometimes it’s annoying. Sometimes I wish they tried harder.

Instead, I played Bastion. I’d heard good things about it, and was looking forward to it, but the two or three hours I played on Friday evening didn’t really grab me, gameplay-wise. It didn’t do any major things wrong, there were a few niggles (like the (very pretty) isometric backgrounds often winding up at angles that don’t match up to any of the eight directions possible with combinations of WSAD, and then giving you plenty of edges to fall off; you may wish to try playing with a gamepad if that annoys you too, although then you’ll lose the mouse for targeting) and the first weapons didn’t really suit my tastes. If I’d not heard so many positive things about it I might have just appreciated the things it did well but never gone back. And that would have been a shame.


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