Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Selling snake oil

If you are going to sell a snake oil style software product, don't do so in the Mac market!. Update: Apparently, the product has been delisted from versiontracker. The original product page can be found, though.

Steve had an excellent write up on this "product" some time ago.
10:28:20 AM    

Play shn (and flac) directly in Xmms

If you grab the xmms-shn.info fink package description file, drop it into the /sw/fink/dists/local/main/finkinfo/, and fink install xmms-shn, then you will be able to play shorten files-- the standard format of etree downloaded content-- directly from Xmms.

Nice. It means that you can preview content from etree without either burning it to disc or decompressing into some format that iTunes/QuickTime can deal with. Ideally, someone would write a plugin for QuickTime that can handle the shorten format-- it should not be hard to do.

The flac-xmms package already exists within Fink; flac is Free Lossless Audio Coder and is the other format used by etree.

Ovidiu mentions:

As soon as I had the BitTorrent client compiled, I started the Grateful Dead download. I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that downloading 966Mb would take about 2 days! The download rate was only around 10kb/sec, which is more than twenty times slower than that of a typical download from home! Only by Monday morning I had the show completely downloaded :(

I noticed the same thing on that same show. BitTorrent can only go as fast as the bandwidth provided by the upload channels allow. The more downloaders, the more uploaders (unless you are exceedingly rude and disable uploading while downloading)... the more uploaders the more total aggregated bandwidth is available for downloads.

So-- when we were downloading that show, it is likely that the sum total bandwidth being pumped out by the uploaders was insufficient to support what the downloaders were demanding (keeping in mind that uploaders and downloaders are an overlapping set).

I don't know if BT downloads things sequentially or not -- it would appear not based on how it writes the files.

When it works-- when there are many participants for a particular seed-- I am consistently seeing around 250kbyte/sec to 400kbyte/sec. No complaints.

In any case, I stick with a BT based download even when the bandwidth occasionally sucks. BT's resume feature is basically bulletproof....

When downloading the latest Animatrix directly from AOL/TimeWarner, it was amusing to note that I was seeing a sustained 700kbytes/second across my cable modem. For all of AOL's faults, lack of bandwidth is not one of them....
10:16:13 AM    


So, yesterday morning, I read Chquii's rant entitled "Middle age bites. It really bites". Good rant. I totally agreed when I read it.

...if I had a time machine, I'd use it for one purpose: to go back to the 25 year old version of me, and beat some sense into him so he wouldn't be as stupid as I was about letting my weight get out of hand, and giving up on any pretense of a conditioning program.

Ironically, about 30 minutes after reading that rant I twisted the living hell out of my ankle. I went to the woods to grab some cut wood to build a fire so that I could truly enjoy the snow storm yesterday and stepped in a hole.... Twist... KA-POW! Wow! Ankles are not supposed to go KA-POW!

Instead of enjoying the snow storm in front of a nice warm fire, I spent the afternoon driving to the doctor's office on really nasty roads and to have an ankle x-ray or two. Turns out that I literally did just twist the hell out of it. Nothing appears to be broken or catastrophically torn. But it sure was fun when the doctor was poking and pulling at my ankle and the pain was so freakin' bad I nearly barfed. (that was sarcasm, by the way).

In any case, it seems that a decade+ of being an overweight bump on a chair combined with an insult to my ankle hurled by my 17 year old, rather stupid, self has left me with ankle's that warrant a formal physical rehab program if I wish to avoid operations and nasty arthritis the rest of my life.

So, kids, get off your ass, get in some semblance of shape and stay that way.... yeah, right-- like any of you 20 year olds will listen to me.

I certainly wouldn't have.
10:06:24 AM