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Windows Media Center Review


Let me tell you something about Windows Media Center (WMC).

WMC is a great fucking program to turn you fucking computer into a god-damned free TiVo. Scheduling information is free so anyone who charges for it can go fuck themselves. Also, it comes with Windows 7 so you can basically sit on your shitty couch and fuck yourself from there. Moreover it has awesome plug-ins so that baby-bleeders like Netflix and the fucking chodes in Hollywood that decided to fuck you over when you buy a CockRay drive for your computer can sell you fucking half-written shitty software to watch a fucking movie you already had to sell a fucking testicle to afford.

Now let me tell you some things about the world.

1. Dick-wipes like to parallel park right up next to your fucking bumper. In some cities they even paint you these mile-long fucking spots so your cock-ass donkey-fucking pussy fart ass of a shit car can have seventy miles of space between it and the formidable red zone. Yet douche bags will put their fucking trick ass Mustangs right up in your grill, because you never know—a fucking fire truck may have to park in that red zone and everyone knows they don’t gots now rear view. Then when you try to drive out, you have to play fucking bumpercar between the two salty-labias that parked up in your shit, and bystanders stare at you like you’re some fucking joke. Needless to say they have one fucking hand up their ass and the other one texting their Burger King boyfriends on their iCocks.

2. Engadget is run by a bunch of tiny fedora wearing, cum-glazing, cheetah-raping, pussy-shoving, latte-drinking hipster nut bags who go to work at 11 AM and go home by 7 PM so they can masturbate to videos of kittens fainting. They are a bunch of self-serving shit-cocks, and are the scurge of the Internet. See, I remember a time when the Internet had information that came from two sources: commercial entities, and well-informed exploratory nerds. Now, it’s full of fucking idiots who majored in basketweaving at Brown University and think that because they don’t get cramps texting anymore that they are certainly worthy of listening to. So they write awesome blog posts and people come to lick the scrotals, which gets them to write more fucking shitty blog posts. If I had a fucking nuke I would nuke the Internet and go back to BBS’s so I could get trustworthy assembly code for ripping MP3’s off my CD drive without some dirty cock-weasel trying to sell me a fucking $3 power supply for $45 because it looks cool.

You see, Engadget reviewed WMC and told me it was awesome. I was sick of TiVo, and when Charter Cable fucked me over by cutting my channels in half (but hell, I got to keep those great montly rates) I finally had to make the switch to HD and get a Frankenstein-sized antenna to get free TV. So fuck paying any mother-fucking clown shitter for anything. So when Engadget told me WMC was the best shit since sliced pussy, I built a computer using Intel’s awesome new “let’s pack the graphics processor inside the main processor so all the heat is in one place and oh don’t forget your computer will still be as big because hard drives are huge and shit-cocking Chinese engineers don’t give a fuck about designing a computer case that isn’t a fucking ‘tard” processor. The computer has HDMI and even the fucking sound can go through there—can you imagine using a standard to its fullest? Yeah, me neither. Fucking brilliant.

$700 later I was rockin’ it with Windows 7 x64 and WMC. Even better, I bought a fucking tuner card from Haupaspaspfapsdfpaspdasge (can they spell their own fucking name?) which came with a remote so I didn’t have to knowingly buy some Chin-Chong shit. Well, that’s another great one. The remote plugs into the card. The card plugs into PCI-e. PCI-e can’t fucking wake the computer from fucking sleep. Whaaa? You cannot turn the computer on from the remote! Welcome to 1972.

So off with its penis head; I got a Kim Jong Ill wireless texting keypad for when you miss typing on your fucking dumbphone. It’s cool, because it’s about the size of a wide remote, and it comes with this great multi-touch pad which allows you to do awesome things like turn your mouse icon into a magnifying glass but not actually zoom in to the page. Well at least now I can type into the search boxes, and since this cock-shit is USB, I can wake the fucking computer.

Anyway, free TV sucks, as you all know, so Netflix was going to be my savior. Cool, I can browse so fast on my fucking 20 GHz processor. This is fucking awesome. So I go to watch some Southpark. Netflix was such a fucking genius when they combined all seasons under one icon; now I can scroll through a list of 900 items instead of one with only 15 or so. At first I didn’t even see a play button. The fuck? Then I exited and went back and the play appeared. “Oh,” I told myself with $700 worth of angst, “it’s making sure I don’t accidentally play a shitty fucking show and regret it forever.” I note this nice feature where, after each episode, it shows a little progress bar that shows how much I’ve watched of it. That’s awesome, because now I know exactly at which point in each MacGyver episode I cum and start feeling guilty.

So I figure, if this cock-fest knows how much of each episode I’ve watched, it must know which episode I watched last. So I click pay on the Southpark main screen and this shitty giggle starts on season 1 episode 1. Shit cock monkey tit?

To make a long story short, it plays whatever the fuck episode it wants—that is, when it shows you the fucking play button at all. In fact, I’ve hit play from the main screen, then gone back to the episode list and chosen another one, watched the entire fucking thing (until it took me back to the main menu, to assure it was 100%), and when I hit play on the program screen again it starts where I left off on the wrong it episode it last played. Holy shit, it’s like they made a fucking effort to make it like this.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with closed-source free software. There is no incentive to do anything right with it and the users can go fuck themselves. Those of you who, because of mental defficiency, still insist on using Opera, know exactly what I’m talking about. Netflix couldn’t care less because they are getting your monthly fee whether you’re watching the episode you want or not. And Microsoft isn’t making any money off any of this because you likely slutted your copy of Windows 7 from Captain Blackbits. So you and your WMC desires can go both fuck themselves by watching your shows from a fucking browser. Wait, I have to go to a browser to watch shows I pay for? You know what else you can do from a fucking browser? Find some mother fucking torrents. So fuck you back, you chode licking shit-banging fucktard.

What did the cock-shits at Engagingidiots say? I quote:

All that being said, the TiVo Netflix interface is down right pitiful compared to most, and at the other end of the spectrum is Media Center’s.

You’ve got to be pulling on my unlubed cock with a love glove, right?

The Media Center Netflix interface integrates well with the rest of Media Center, offers lots of extras, and looks fantastic. It really is a great example of what is possible in Media Center when effort is applied. But that brings up the question of where is the effort?

I’ll tell you what effort is. It’s scraping dry cum and blood from my grandma’s love glove, since clearly you have never fucking used the Netflix plugin for WMC, because it sucks hairy gorilla balls.

TiVo has way more official partners, and other than Netflix, Media Center doesn’t really have any worth mentioning. So while Media Center takes this one in quality, it loses in quantity. But of course there are plenty of other unofficial add-ins for Media Center too.

Fuck you, too.

Since attempting to use WMC I’ve gotten:

1. The realization that it blows.
2. A shitty pint-sized keyboard that works sometimes.
3. Computer freezes.
4. Blue screens of death (haven’t seen them since XP while fucking pirated USB-powered ass plugs).
5. Complete lack of respect for the idiots at Engadget.

What’s more hillarious is that I have to type this in Notepad because something in my giant, overcomplicated home network has decided to croak and I can’t even see my own fucking router.

I got your WMC right here

I got your WMC right here.

So what’s the alternative? Nothing:

1. TiVo has shitty ass devices and horrendous fees. Also they like to fuck you in the ass blisters. If you’re lucky enough not to have to develop an infrared power grid to get the TiVo to control the garbage your cable provider gives you, you’ll still fight with the Devil himself—cablecard and the untrained idiots who are told to deliver and “set up”.

2. Moxi can suck all your monkey balls. For $200 more you can build an actual computer which will (unimagniably) be faster than your TI-85 and also allow you to blow away people in Counterstrike as well as blow a wad all over your stomach with a 46″ LED pussy plastered on your TV (that’s porn, people).

3. Your cable provider will make you think that you’re saving money by paying slightly less for information they already give you when you get a DVR from them. However, Scientific Atlanta has no product design team—I can assure you of this. So whatever few dollars you think you are saving over TiVo you will spend getting meds to get over the insane amount of cock blasting you’ll have to do to convince yourself that this set up is not a complete and total piece of living chicken shit.

4. Don’t think you can go the Linux route like MythTV or something. If you think that an industry full of hungry butt-stabbing lawyers is ever going to make it easy for a bunch of nerds to create something useful, you’ve got your head up your greasy ass. I already tried that route and the fucking thing can barely change channels. You think doing this in Winblows was bad? Yeah. Try going “broken source”.

Actually, I’ll tell you what the only alternative is. Other than going to live in a cave, since having nothing is better than having a bunch of crap. The only alternative is to pirate everything. Want to see a sporting event? Go to a fucking bar, and cover your body in interconnected zip-lock bags full of everclear so you can get drunk for free. Want to watch a movie? Rip it off the fucking Internet 3 days before it comes out at Viagra-Mann’s Chinese Theater. Want to watch your old favorites? Do the same. Do you think going to see old Colbert Report episodes on the official site sucks because it’s not full HD? Punch yourself in the face until your own pussy hairs look blurry, and you won’t be able to tell the fucking difference.

So fuck the world. And it’s only going to get worse. The generation before us created this wonderful technology; we got to grow it and cultivate it; now these cock-fuckers are opening up McDonald’s and giving our great ingrediants a bad name. There is no turning back; the only way out is underground.

Shit, did you get this far looking for a review? WMC sucks, and so does everything else, so you may as well go with your cable provider’s DVR so you can call them every month and bitch about how shitty it is so they keep you on the promotional price for the rest of your life.

Gran Turismo 5


I was a big fan of Gran Turismo. Man, that was fucking amazing.

I was a fan of all of them. Gran Turismo was really cool. Then in Gran Turismo 2 came out. We tuners lost the ability to see the power curve in the screen where the gear ratios are set, but we got 600+ cars, and you could convert anything into a race car. Shit, I remember souping up a Daihatsu mini-truck and got it to hit 80 MPH.

Then Gran Turismo 3 came out. I bought a PS2 only for that game. Yes, the graphics were awesome. Car selection… meh. But I played Super License Test 6 for at least three years before I got gold. You heard me. All my top 10 times were within 10 milliseconds by that point. I remember the night I did it. I had a cigarette. And some cold pizza. Fuck yeah.

Honestly I can’t even remember Gran Turismo 4. Of course I bought it. Maybe I was getting too old. Or maybe the 17 year wait was too fucking much. But you know, I think I just got sick of it. I remember the game just pissing me off. There was a race full of shitty muscle cars that was really hard to beat. When I was much farther down the game, I entered some ridiculous supercar into the race. For revenge, I went the wrong way to smash head first straight into the fucker in first place. My car went all over the fucking place from the impact. When it finally settled, there was that mother fucker, casually rounding a turn as if nothing had happened. Fucking cheater!

Needless to say I had no intention of getting Gran Turismo 5, especially since I’d have to shell out for a PS3. But I had been playing games at friends’ houses, and after being sick for 3 weeks I really missed having a video game to waste my life on. So I did it. I bought the fucking thing, and also a shooting game to take out my frustration.

The shooting game blows. I’m stuck in easy mode in some dumb ass fucking mission where a bunch of VC pop up in your face and the rest of the US Marine Corps is too busy choking their chickens to actually give you some cover fire.

Anyway. Back to GT5. What sucks about it? Everything.

1. What the fuck. You can’t upgrade the brakes in the cars? Did you just fucking forget? What the mother cunt licking fuck? So I’m going to put 1200 HP in my Nismo Tokyo Edition Nissan GTR-S Spec H Hybrid Turbo Diesel Direct Injected Sphincter Burn Type R but I’m stuck with stock brakes? Fucking lame.

2. Load times. Holy fucking shit! The PS3 is supposed to be awesome. Why are you reading off a disc? Do you remember the last time you did anything from a disc on a PC? That’s because it’s fucking stupid-ass fucking slow. I think what makes it even worse is that the idiots at Polyidiot Analog didn’t make any fucking attempt to shorten the waits. You start the game. 45 seconds of loading and you’re mashing the X button desperately trying to skip the fucking intro, which is cool only the first fucking time, geniuses. Then you pause, because even decades of masturbation can’t get you physically fit for the button mashing you have to do in this fucking game. And blam. There’s the fucking intro. Oh, I get it. You were loading the intro this whole time, not the fucking game. What the fuck is wrong with you.

In some of the special events it’s fucking punishment to actually finish them. If you finish you have to stare at a fucking spinning trophy for like 15 seconds before it just spits you back out in the menu (instead of letting you restart). What the mother fucking ass fuck?

Oh, and then the car delivery. Holy shit. Cars don’t go into your garage directly. Why not? No fucking reason. Instead, you have to click on a truck, then click on the car, then say yes I want that fucking car, it belongs to me you stupid bitch, then it does a short cut scene showing your brand fucking new yellow pinto, then it asks you if you want to drive it, and at that point you can’t tell what’s going on because you’ve ripped the PS3 away from your TV and the power cord fell off.

Seriously! You spend half your fucking time waiting, or mashing buttons to start. The funny thing is that it even asks you when you first load it if it can copy 8 GB to the hard drive to speed up the loading. By all fucking means, please speed it up. Fucking christ.

Another thing it asks you at the start: pick your driving suit and helmet color (from like 9 combinations; god forbid they just let you pick whatever the fuck color you want) and it warns you you will be stuck with it forever. What the fuck? Are you serious? So fucking dumb.

I know exactly what happened. Back in 1968 when this game was already 10 years behind schedule, they designed the menu system. It was done by Tracy Yokogawa, neighbor of the cousin of the uncle of the head of Polyidiot Analog. She was an aspiring ballerina.

Back to basics

It's back to basics for me....

Then in 1989 when they started testing the game, they realized it took too fucking long, so they just went directly into the races and skipped all this bullshit. That coupled with the fact that I’m pretty sure those scrotum cleaners don’t burn a disc to test the game means they have no idea that it takes 10 years to play the game for 5 years.

Then you say, hell, I remember how useful it was to have my ghost racing around during a license test, so I could beat myself. In this game, you have to quit to the menu to have your best time update the ghost. More time wasted. Dude, trust me, by the time you get halfway through this game you’ll have three kids and a mortgage and no know how the fuck you even finished high school.

3. Thanks for ruining the game. All of us who religiously played the other ones were proud to say that after 18 months of playing it 5 hours a day we could finally afford sport tires for our Sprinter Trueno. In this game, you have a couple of daiquiris with Jeff Gordon and all of a sudden you have a million dollars. What the fuck? The special events pay way too much. Sure, there’s $20 million cars in the game, which is a crock of fucking shit, but there’s no struggle anymore. Hell, once you hit $500k you can pretty much beat the entire fucking game. So why even play? Who the fuck wants to win a trillion dollars going flat out in a turn in Talladega and then go race fucking Fiat Puntos around Hidden Valley Ranch Circuit?

It reminds me of when I found out that the save game in Privateer contained the pay for any uncompleted missions you could sign up for. Hex edit a 0xFF FF FF FF in there and you were done with the fucking game. Ruined forever.

But that’s not all. In GT5, the Super License tests were made into ass-sucking donkey rape victims. Look, the other tests where you had to pass x number of cars are a nice break from time trials, which are grueling. But making the Super License tests 1-lap races where you have to pass all the cars—and letting you bump off them like fucking bumper cars—completely ruins the challenge. All you have to do is hope the track has one tight turn and that you have enough opponents in front of you so that when you enema them with your fucking V8 there will be enough flesh to slow you down and get you facing the right way after the turn. You can get gold in no time. There’s only one test where it may take you more than 3 tries. Perhaps the best of them all is the Top Limey Test Track test, where you don’t even have to obey the cones. What the fuck is the point?

You may say, “Well, if you’re so worried that it’s easy to cheat, why don’t you just not cheat?” Good point, and fuck you in the mouth, you stupid shit fucker. Passing 12 cars in one lap is just fucking ridiculous, so I lose respect for the test. Give me a fucking time trial.

I heard that there was an update that turned the license tests into a joke. It seems when the game first came out, if any light reflected off your paint onto an opponents’, your car would blow up, the disc would eject from the PS3 and try to slice through your ball sack. Game ruined either way.

4. Japanese favoritism. Not to squeeze a moist turd between your toes, but in a race at Monza with 11 Ferraris (including the Enzo) and 1 Nissan Skycry GTR, the GTR would absolutely not be in first fucking place. All wheel drive or not, that’s just fucking ridiculous.

5. Traction control. Or rather, I should say, traction of your internal fucking organs, you insult to all driving “simulators”. In Forza Motorsport, I was such a hard core ass mother fucker I even turned off ABS. Holy shit, real F1 drivers have nothing on me. In Lame Turismo 5, they forgot to program the fucking PS3 to remember that you don’t fucking want traction control on. End result? You leave it on, because it takes 45 seconds of button mashing just to get to within 10 minutes of the start of the race, so fuck if you’re going to spend any more fucking time going into a god damned menu to turn off the abomination of the digital world. You know what traction control is for? Grandmas. That’s who. Donkey-raping, shit-eating, lama-sucking grandmas.

So yeah, it’s not that bad. Hell, I’m driving a car from a fucking office chair, thorough a mysterious rectangular window, holding some sort of electrified Japanese dildo which makes the car respond to my mind’s intentions.

But then you go have a banana split with Sebshitstian Loeb (who ruined WRC for me for ever) and traction control more gives the photographers a great opportunity to take low-light stills of your car, because guess what—racing on dirt or snow by definition is a low traction scenario.

And dude, if you’re simulating cars so fucking well, why does your traction control suck so much ass hair? It seems it kills the engine below 2000 RPM, and lets it all out at 2010 RPM. So unless you keep it at 2005, you’re fucked.

Honestly, I don’t know why I keep playing it. I think I’ll just fucking throw it out. I’ll burn the disc, maybe.

Now I’m stuck with a PS3. What a fucking shit crock. At least it’s a blue-ray player so it’s not a total loss.

Craftsman 16-gal 6.5-peak hp Wet/Dry Vac


Dude. What the fuck. Do you fucking ass cocks actually vacuum anything? Have you ever seen a shop vac in your fucking lives?

I’ve been crawling around some tight spaces with a vacuum very similar to this 6.5 whorepower, 16 shitlon unit. The difference is that the one I have doesn’t have a detachable blowjob machine, which is good since the construction on this thing is like a paper-mache (yeah, fuck the French) model of a shitty model of a piece of shit stuck on some long nut hairs.

Who's the shop vac?


This is on the third page of a google image search for "sears shop vac".

Hey. Attachments are nice. You know what’s nicer? Making them not fall out of each other when you give the hose a tug. Yeah, can you believe it?

Cord management? Barely. It’s better than the rigidanus, but still—what the fuck happened to the tug-n-suck cord reels? And who the fuck actually wants to wind the fucking cord around the vacuum, then unwind it when they want to use it? The solution is simple: put two fucking hooks on the god damn thing, and make one of them swivel so when you want to use the fucking vacuum you just flip the hook and—like magic—the cord is ready to be tossed towards the nearest outlet.

Also, what the fuck is up with shitty wheels? If you put 16 gallons of air in this thing it barely rolls. You’re telling me this thing can be full of water and not collapse into itself? Bullshit. Also it seems their solution to the magic of gravity (pressure equals rho gee aych, bitch) is to make this thing as big around as their fucking assembly line would allow. Seriously, you have to clean out your garage before you can use this thing in there. What the fuck?

But of course, I saved the best for last. Do you see where the fucking exhaust is? Go back to the pictures. See that fucking pom-pom sticking out of the side? When you fucking lose that pom pom, which you will, because you’ll want to remove as many restrictions as possible to get this turd shit to actually suck, the exhaust shoots sideways and towards the front. Yes, towards you, the guy who’s trying to not blow dust in the air by blowing it around. Guess what happens when you get that exhaust near a wall? That’s right. Instant fucking wind tunnel, featuring dirt tornadoes blowing fucking cockroach babies right into your fucking tear ducts. Nice work.

I swear I could do better with a leaf blower, some tupper ware, a furniture dolly, and some fucking duct tape. Fuck.

HP C309: Why Don’t You Suck on my Juicy Donkey Sphincter


Helwett Packard, I can’t believe what a fucking shit-soaked rag you are.

I’m trying to print from my fucking laptop. So I go to download the driver. First, your website is a shit fuck. The OS list has shit like “Windows XP’ followed by “Windows XP Professional” and they link to different driver packages. What the fuck? Mind you, if you don’t install the full fucking monty, you can’t check ink levels and will inevitably have to go cuss at the fucking printer when it doesn’t print and shows you some stupid warning on its tit-sucking shit cock display.

So I download the 200 MB. How many more years until we have to become sustainable on the Internet? Anyway, having installed this piece of ass numerous times, I decided this time to extract  the package and see if I could install only the two things I wanted: the “solution” center and the god damn drivers.

Once you extract the fucker there are about a shittillion directories and files. Totally undecipherable. OK, I’ll fucking install the whole thing. Yes I agree with your fucking agreement. When do I get you to agree to mine, you dirty cunt whore ass fucker?

So, it installs away, interrupting my work with numerous focus steals. Fuck Windows for that one. Shit. Then I immediately go to the control panel to start cleaning up the mess, since you have no option but to install every fucking piece of trash ass condom gunk that the fucking package includes.

Funnies thing is, the largest component is  the “HP Customer Participation Program” at a whopping 313 MB. Are you fucking kidding me? The drivers are 35 MB and the imaging software and “solution” center are each 2. What the mother fucking fuck, you fucker.

So I uninstall the first thing. I can’t remember what it was called, because I have rage amnesia right now. Why? Because right when I was done uninstalling that, in the middle of an email, I remember why I should have written this post last time I went through this shit.

The fucking ass reboots your mother fucking computer as if it owned your skanky ass when you hit finish at the end.

Of course, HP. I have nothing else to do. Not only that, this is definitely the last piece of shitty software I have to uninstall today.  All your other shit programs, including your ass hungry 300 MB customer fucking service, will remain on my machine so that I may be reminded about the shittiness of your fucking turd chode (choad?).

I just verified that the “web printing shit tit” or whatever doesn’t reboot your computer without asking. Gee HP, was that fucking hard?

Then I go uninstall the massive customer rape program. I get a warning that I shouldn’t do it if I plan on using the HP drivers, and how I need to unplug my device. So is this shit going to uninstall the driver and I’ll have to start over with this fucking charade? So I click on “Uninstall info”:

This software can help you receive additional benefits only available to HP printing customers. Once this software is installed, you will have an opportunity to participate in market research designed to improve HP products and experiences. An invitation will appear on your screen in a few weeks and you can choose whether or not to participate at that time. Customers who do a lot of printing may also receive an invitation to participate in programs with benefits such as special offers, awards and enhanced technical support.

So let’s see: you’re counting how many pages I print, so you can ask me questions about how you can improve? I hope you also get a copy of everything I print so you can fine tune how fast this drunk bitch lushes through the ink cartridges.

Oh, and instead of answering a questionnaire, can I just send you a link?

And what’s the message the fucking software tells you before it reboots? Not something like “Your computer will reboot after you hit Finish.” It says: “Uninstall will finish after your computer reboots.” That must be cheap labor English for “Please reboot your computer at your convenience so the installation can finish.”

And you know what else? That screen has locked me out of Opera. I can’t use Opera until I close it. What the fuck? I had to use the Windows key to get the start menu so I could run Internet Sexplorer. So I guess you know what browser I use to cuss about you, too, right? Fuck you, Hewlett Packard Premium Fax C309. Fuck You.

Microsoft Windows Calculator Review – A Lesson in Product Evolution


The Microsoft Windows Calculator is an “old” product. I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t old enough to want to use a calculator on the computer for most of its life. So this rant will concentrate on the Windows XP version and the Windows 7 version. Seeing as how Windows 7 was the first time the calculator’s UI was “revamped”, I think it’s a pretty good example of what I’m talking about.

The “evolution” of the Windows Calculator is a great example of a very simple tool with very little value to the producer (like Notepad) which inevitably millions of users become dependent on. I know many people who have hand calculators next to their computer. However when I started having to do calculations a lot I had a computer in front of me, so I got used to using the computer’s calculator. It is, of course, hilarious that a computer, which can do far more  than any hand calculator, can have such crappy calculator software—a common theme you will see in shitty products is a wealth of capability utterly blocked by poor interface design—whether interface is the look and feel or, more generally, software (an interface to the hardware).

An aside: let’s have a quick discussion about Notepad. Notepad is not just a crap-ass text editor. I myself have used it as a “lightbox” (maximized white window makes your monitor a fancy white light source) and a straight-edge (did I rotate that image so this line is vertical/horizontal?). Hell, if the size of the window was in the title bar, I’d use it as a ruler. But as a text editor, it’s pretty much utter crap. Of course, text editors, like cameras, are like sports teams and pick up trucks—people are blindly loyal to some brand and they will die for it. Inevitably every nerd has met a fucking VI nut. I will never understand those people. So the “replacements” for Notepad are extremely varied. When looking for something just beyond what Notepad can do (otherwise known as what Notepad should have been), I found Win32Pad, which is decent, but sometimes crashes when I paste a lot of text in at once. It does ask about reloading changed files whenever the window gains focus, which is very useful to me. Then I gave Notepad++ a shot. A co-worker was using it and I got curious. I don’t consider it a Notepad replacement—it does way too much. Also, the website should have been a giveaway that something extremely crappy was lurking in the shadows. Really, they should have called it “Wemacs” or something, because it follows the annoying paradigm that every time you start it, every file that was open last time should be open again. Like Win32Pad, it can detect file changes, but it seems to do it on its own clock—-I can’t switch to another application and come back and have it ask me. But perhaps most annoying is that you can’t turn off the “feature” to open all files, the universal hot-key to close child windows (CTRL+F4) doesn’t work, but the developers still found the time to apply windows transparency to, at least, the search and replace window. Window transparency to me is a stupid project given to some intern because whomever he was assigned to didn’t know what else to give him. How is a transparent window full of text helpful? Either it’s transparent enough that you can see straight through it, at which point it should be hidden, or opaque enough that you can’t see through it at all, because transparent text over text equals fucking garbage.

Anyway, back to the calculator. I’ll be honest with you (I always am)—for years I griped about not having a square root button. I always used “x^y” and used .5 as the exponent. What a pain in the ass in a world where most forces vary with the square of the distance and so many things involve Pythagorean’s theorem. Then I got to play on an old HP-65 and was amazed at how naturally I was able to use a calculator with so many functions packed into so few buttons. The genius is that all the yellow functions above the numbers have inverses accessible by pressing the “f-1” button first. So to take the arccos of a number, you hit “f-1” “5”. Genius, I thought, and vaguely familiar to the Windows XP Calculator. I told my friend at work how great the calculator was, and he said the Windows Calculator was the same. I told him I was always annoyed that there was no square root button and he showed me how the “Inv” check box also works with “x^2”, “x^3”, and a few other functions I had assumed had no connection. Holy fucking shit! That is fucking awesome. Suddenly, this slightly annoying calculator I had relied on for years seemed so much better.


What is the inverse of 2*pi?

There was still plenty of functionality missing. For instance: it would be nice to have a history. Also, I do a bit of firmware programming—dealing with binary and hex values. the conversion functions in the Windows Calculator are not too practical in this sense. Yes, it’s nice to know what a number is in another base, but for programming the ideal would be instantly interchangeable input between decimal, binary, and hex, with an immediate view of conversions, separating into bytes (or nybbles or whatever), and a few simple bit masking and shifting operations. I wanted this so badly I wrote it myself.

So I was quite pleasantly surprised (at first) when I saw the Windows 7 Calculator. First, I saw a history (which is editable, and if you’re willing to use the mouse, let’s you fake Reverse Polish Notation—at least for arithmetic operations); second, I saw a “programmer’s” mode, with at least some of the features above. But it all went to shit pretty fast after that. Small things, really (aren’t they always?).

  1. Four modes: Standard, Scientific, Programmer, Statistics. Two adjectives and two nouns.
    Standard is your basic calculator—addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and, inexplicably, square root, inverse, and percent. Inexplicable because there is a fucking square root but not a fucking square (so you couldn’t do Pythagora’s work anyway), because inverse just doesn’t seem like it should be in a “four button” calculator, and because I can’t figure out how the fuck to use percent. It turns whatever I type in to zero.
    Scientific has such scientific functions as squaring and cubing numbers.
    Programmer lets you enter number in decimal, binary, octadecimal, and hexadecimal, and always shows you the number in binary (divided into nybbles and labeled at word intervals)—and this view can be limited to quad-word, double-word, word, or byte. Other than cropping your number and fucking everything up, I don’t see the point of leaving it anywhere but on 64-bit view. Also annoying is that this is a one-way viewer. You can’t enter a binary number and tell it to show it to you as if it were the bit values of, say, a signed 32-bit integer.
    Statistics I haven’t touched. Apparently sequences of numbers are entered into the history, from which you can calculate things like the mean, variance, etc. Need to add 37*42 to the history? Good fucking luck. The basic operators aren’t there, and if you try to type that into the history, you get an “invalid number” error. So basically, get Open Office and save yourself the fucking headache (actually, those fucking headaches we should talk about some other time).
    And what the fuck happened to the finance calculator? Right—what “happened”, as if it had ever been there. I’ll tell you what—no one knows how to calculate interest, not the least of which the poor fucker who was told to redo the calculator. Honestly, whoever that guy is never did much more than add and subtract. He’s certainly never programmed anything that required bit operations, or actually declaring variables the smallest data type it could be. But he certainly had to figure out how many months and days (but not hours and minutes or seconds) until his next birthday. Apparently he also had to figure out how long his penis was in millimeters so he could tell his British cyber-sex buddy (and, I’m telling you right now, she is a dude).
  2. Why not add an “everything” mode. Hell, monitors are big enough. Why the hell would you want this? Well, for one, when you switch modes, your history gets cleared. No, wait, it remembers a different history for each mode! Awesome! Thank goodness it doesn’t remember histories once you quit. MATLAB has provent that to be completely useless. So it is possible to add two numbers, and put them in the history so you can do some “stats” on them? Awesome! You can copy and paste! Fucking genius! Okay, at first I didn’t realize you could do this, so it’s not as bad as I thought. I still vote for an “everything” mode.
  3. Four “views” (I don’t know what a monkey’s ass else to call them)—basic, unit conversion, date calculation, and worksheets.
    Basic is just the calculator. Curiously, the hot-key is “CTRL+F4”. See? Even my asides are relevant.
    Unit conversion opens up a “side bar” (as big or bigger than the calculator itself) to convert between units. Okay. Most people know that Google can do this, right? Hey, wait a second! Let’s not give them much credit yet. So can the new Calculator be less stupid than Google? Well, there’s the antiquated drop-down box interface. First, choose the “category” that the units fall under. Is it area? Angle? Force? Torque? Oh, wait a minute. There is no force or torque category. But a force is just like a “Weight/Mass”, so let’s try that. Yeah, nice. No Newtons in sight. Is it because it was an Apple product? Fuck me in the shit! In all honesty, unit conversion is one thing. What’s really needed is a unit calculator. What is 45 pounds plus 3 newtons? Shit, Google can do it. I guess that’s the end of that. You’ll just have to remember which units can be abbreviated and which can’t.
    Date calculation is one of those things that once in a while you cuss about not having. So it’s a nice addition. Too bad you can’t do time. It would be a nice thing to be able to quickly find out how many seconds there are in 4 hours and 32 minutes. If you really push the envelope of reality, it would be nice to know how much time you spend if you leave Los Angeles at 11:34 PM and arrive in New York at 7:16 AM. Can you imagine incorporating time zones? Holy fucking feature of the year. Okay, fine. Forget time. For those management types, what is the date of 10 weeks from now? Oh, you can’t enter weeks. I guess you’ll have to multiply by 7.
    Now for the worksheets.
    First is a mortgage calculator. Not bad. Too bad it can’t give you an amortization schedule, or let you add things like taxes and insurance. Yeah, too bad. Again, the Internet wins. So why waste the effort? Not to mention that, again, the “old” drop-down box interface is a real pain here. I’d rather see a “calculate” button next to each text box, so you can quickly calculate one parameter based on the others (right now this is accomplished by selecting what you want to calculate from the drop-down box).
    There is a vehicle lease worksheet. I don’t know anything about leasing vehicles. Everyone I know says it’s a bad dela.
    Then come the funny ones: miles per gallon and liters per 100 kilometers. No, you can’t convert between the two, which would have been useful (but don’t worry, Google can). Yes, the idiot(s) who worked on this calculator managed to take a set of units whose name describes the equation used to determine the value and turn it into a “worksheet”. Okay, granted, the 100 km in the “metric” measurement takes some thinking to deal with. But really. It’s not that fucking hard.
  4. The “invert” button—my biggest beef with the whole change. The invert checkbox in the XP Calculator, from a basic usability standpoint, was bad because it didn’t change the text on the buttons, so really there is no indication of which buttons are “invertible”—and that’s the reason fuck-tards like me never knew you could use it to take the square root. So the new calculator fixes that, but removes half the functionality. So “x^2” and “x^3” is no longer invertible. Instead, you see the cube root button next to the cube button, the “yth” root next to the “x^y” button, and the factorial button next to the squared button. Wait, what the fuck? Where the fuck is the square root button? In fact, I started this article to complain that there was no square root, until my wife pointed at the “checkmark” button above “%” on the right and said, “Here it is, you fucking idiot.” Evidently, the UI designer figured square root was already in the “basic” calculator, and hell if he was going to move it over near the squared button when in “scientific” mode. Note also the % button is disabled in scientific mode. Obviously there’s some fucking awesome mystery behind it that I don’t know about.
    There’s some more stupidity behind the new UI. First, there is a “log” and a “10^x” button, but only a “ln” (natural logarithm) button, which you must combine with “Inv” to get “e^x”. There is an “Int” button, which, as if by magic, returns the integer part of whatever is on the display (it doesn’t round—it truncates). The inverse of that is “frac”. You’d think that it gives you the fraction. Nope. It gives you the decimal part of what’s on the screen—so num-Int(num). Okay, I was about to say these functions are totally stupid, but I can see some use for them when dealing with huge numbers (obviously for a small number like 5.1234123, if I wanted the integer part, I would just type in “5”, and “-5” if I wanted only the fractional part). I can imagine “Int” and “Frac” are useful if you can paste in macro-like list of operations, like you supposedly could with the XP Calculator (which I’ve never tried). But honestly, if the calculator is “macro-able”, then it should have a place to store such macros. No such luck, ass-fuck.
    More stupid curiosities: there is a “dms” button, whose inverse is “deg”. I have no idea what they do, but they are inverses of each other. I thought for a second that “dms” was “degrees minutes seconds”, so that 5.1 would yield 5 degrees 6 minutes. No such luck. Search help for dms. Nothing. Tooltip? Fat chance. Fuck you asshole. You’re stupid.
    Also, the inverse of Pi is 2Pi. Yes. Definitely a lot of time has been saved in me not having to type in that 2 myself.
    The “Hyp” for “hyperbolic” checkbox from the XP Calculator is removed, and now those functions are their own buttons. Not a big gripe, but if you’re adding buttons, you may as well add e^x, which I would argue is much more “scientific” than 10^x. In fact, I will go as far as to say that the “real” logarithm is the natural one, and that base 10 is the bastard child of engineering in decibels (which, of course, have different meanings in power and intensity, so as to make everything crystal clear).

Then there’s the empty button on the top left. What the fuck? Why didn’t you put factorial there, and move square root next to x^2? Really, look at the first row of buttons. You have Inv, ln, (, ), <backspace> (who only a fucking moron who actually clicks on the numbers instead of using the keyboard would use), CE (which no one understands anyway), C, +/-, square root. What the fuck? Why is square root to the right of backspace? Backspace can go along with the clear buttons, that’s fine, but what the fuck?

Laziness. That’s what the fuck. Moving buttons around between basic mode and scientific mode would take three lines of code. Also, don’t forget that secretaries using basic mode need the square root function.

“Hey, Johnson, I need to you to let me know what the total expenses on the Richards account is”.

“Okay, let me look it up in Quickbooks. Wait. That will take me for fucking ever. Let me just use the square root function on my basic calculator.”

Fuck. Seriously. Cunt ripping ass fart. Shit donkey eating teenage dick sucker ball ass. Fucking dripping scrotum shit hair.

Conclusion? The “old” calculator, albeit a bit archaic and “ugly”, is better than the new one if only because you could right click on a button and ask what the fuck it did.  So get a virtual machine, load up XP, start->run->calc<enter>, and right click on dms.

“Converts the displayed number to degree-minute-second format (assuming that the displayed number is in degrees)…”

So why is 1.5 dms equal to 1.3? That is just fucking ridiculous. Suck cocking shit.

Try to find a calculator replacement. You’ll have an easier time finding alternatives to Notepad. Try to search for calculators, and you can get emulators that run straight-up ROM. Cool concept. How about a good calculator written from scratch? Looks like I’ll have to do it myself. I’ll start it in Java, and do it all open-source style, so that someone smarter than me can finish it.

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2010 Review – A Lesson in Product Management


Today I’m writing about a subject very close to my heart—trip planning software. They all suck a donkey’s crusty scrotum. In this day and age I find it unbelievable that planning a road trip on a computer is so difficult. As much as this is a lesson in market segment size (I’m the only fucking moron who cares about this stuff), it is also a lesson on product management (why in the raving asshole can’t the software companies get it right after so many years). It’s true, another valuable lesson of this type can be learned from Quicken, but we’ll have to save that until I become re-pissed off with that shitbiscuit.

Quicken just can’t add correctly (or multiply, for that matter), but the situation with trip planning software is much worse. Billions of dollars worth of satellites, launched by rockets designed, built, and operated by thousands of people, capture terabytes of data which get sifted through sophisticated algorithms (and plenty of manual labor, I’m sure), only to get wrapped by a cock-ass shit-fucking useless user interface.

I’ll spare you the details about my long involvement with this subject. Suffice it to say that I’ve been using such software since the late 90’s. All of it—including miracle Google’s offerings—are absolute and utter crap in one way or another. Well, to be more specific, there are strong points in favor of each option, but they are severely lacking in different ways that makes it impossible to get the job done with just one piece of software. Imagine—sometimes you still have to go back to paper maps!

Yes, I will discuss Streets & Trips here. But I will also discuss the general status of this neglected market segment. I will start with an email a good friend of mine (another idiot mapping fanatic) sent to his friend who worked at Microsoft. He forwarded it to the group in charge of Streets & Trips, who replied by saying that since they couldn’t discuss any details with people outside of Microsoft—but they claimed some of the suggestions would be available in the next release. Finally, there was hope. Or so I thought.

A Quick Review of Streets and Trips 2010 (and Every Version in the Future, Probably)

Grand Canyon Bug

Evidently Microsoft gets a little kickback from the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce every time they send someone there.

If you’re interested in a short review of Streets & Trips 2010 and don’t give a shit about my pet peeves, suffice it to say that I have been able to verify that the maps have been updated since 2009, but the trip planning interface is still the same cup of vomit it’s always been. A Bing search for businesses is now integrated—if you can trigger the fucking thing to do it—as is an option of “view in Bing maps” (or whatever the hell they call it). These are both useful. A GPX export option is included, even though it’s a fucking joke because it just exports your stops as waypoints (and this is what Microsoft calls “sharing your trip with your friends”). To this day, it is impossible to export the route in any useful format (other than text directions).

The “send to GPS” feature is a total cockshit of a joke, too. Cockshit #1: you need to install a browser plugin for it to work, even if you want to transfer via USB.  And I read even when transferring via USB you need a web connection. Then, yes, you can send your stops to the GPS, ala GPX export. In my Garmin Nuvi, it ends up as points in my favorites—I have no fucking clue what to do with them there. Generally, the UI in Streets and Trips is a mystery, and using some of the new features requires a few visits to the help file or the Intershits. If you right-click on the route, you can also send it to your GPS. Cockshit #2: fucking cockass stupid route transfer does the same thing as transferring the stops: that is, the driving directions are not saved. I read in a random GPS forum when I was furiously searching about this that if you use MSN Direct to transfer the route it will show up. Fuck if I know if that’s true. Cockshit #3: MSN Direct is being phased out by Microsoft because no one has ever heard of it and every other wireless protocol can do the same thing. Cockshit #4: Microsoft waited until you could no longer subscribe to MSN Direct to add MSN Direct features to Streets and Trips. Ultimate cockshits of all cockshit: why the fuck would I want to use a protocol meant for transmitting weather and traffic info (for some stupid ass subscription fee, I’m sure) to transmit a trip plan to a GPS unit which is inevitably sitting within 5 (okay, 10) feet of my computer? Okay, fine, there’s those “old” GPS units with no data port of any sort. But seriously, why the fuck hinder all the USB ones by making it go through a fucking browser plug in? What a fucking joke.

It turns out the best way to send a route to a Garmin is (assuming your garmin supports GPX files) to export it as a GPX and “import” the route—whereby the GPS unit must recalculate the directions between your “via” points. What this means is, instead of using a powerful computer to calculate the route, you’re handing it over to something barely above a fancy calculator. Okay, fine, it’s not that slow. But guess what? Get ready to add more fake points to stay on the roads you want. Fucking ass shit donkey kunt.

In planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, I found a bug in the route calculation which added an unnecessary several miles to the trip (heading east on the 40, it passed the 64—the route to Grand Canyon Village—taking me all the way to the 89—past Flagstaff—then told me to do a U-turn and head back to the 64). But I verified this also occurs in 2009. I’m sure the directions engine has not changed in years. The construction information is still a joke, though it’s questionable whether that’s Microsoft’s fault. The “drag your route to change it” option, which I thought would be like Google Maps’s feature (and is the reason I bought this version), is a cruel joke. All it does is add another stop wherever you “drop” your “dragged” route. I don’t even think it cares where you start the drag, other than it must be somewhere on the route line otherwise it just moves the map. It’s a fucking idiocy. With all its faults, it still can do things Google products (Maps and Earth) can’t—not the least of which is not tying you to the damn Internet.

Some other points:

  • Doing a search for something doesn’t really try to do it around the area centered on the screen. You’ll have to type in a city, state, and maybe even a ZIP even if the hotel you’re looking for is in the city you’re staring at on the screen.
  • The maps look pretty shitty. They used to look awesome, but Google pretty much redefined what good looks as far as maps go. Things like no anti-aliasing is not a big deal. But there are other issues related to viewing maps (issues that are common to the other programs as well) that I will discuss below. Fucking shit cock.
  • If you try to find a point by latitude/longitude, you have to go in the help file to figure out what formatting to type them in with.  Interestingly, there’s no help button—but if you press F1 it takes you straight to the page. Another idiocy, in my opinion, is that in the western hemisphere, longitudes are negative.
  • As you add stops, it tries to figure out where in the order they should end up (note this happens before calculating directions). Inevitably, it fucks up sometimes. You can manually reorder stops, but it can be a royal pain in the ass if you have too many (and you will have too many no matter what, since you have to add a bunch of fake ones to maintain the route you want). The problem is the list box that holds the stops only supports single selections. So if you want to move one stop up 47 places, you can’t select the 47 stops above it and hit the “down” button once, you have to select the one you want to move and hit the “up” button 47 times. Or save the trip and manually modify the file. Oh wait, you can’t because even though the cock fucking route isn’t saved in the file, Microass chose to make it a binary format. Good luck reverse engineering it, you fucking dick-licking desiring ass-fuck.
  • Whenever you search for a place, and accept one of the results in the list, it will add a pushpin icon to the map. Pushpin icons are great because: 1. they make you feel like you have a map on your wall, except maps on walls are much more detaild and easier to read; 2. pushpin icons remain the same size no matter what the zoom level—just like that map on your wall; 3. you can choose from hundreds of different shapes for your fucking dick-ass pushpin. When you look for a place to add a stop, you then end up with a pushpin and a stop icon on top of each other. The pushpin at this point is useless if you ask me, but you can’t delete it, because the stop depends on it. You can, however, hide “sets” of pushpins. I don’t give a fuck how to create sets, but by default they all end up in “My Pushpins” and you can hide them all at once. Pushpins would be a great idea if they could be saved in a central database, so that they are always available to new trip plans—but they only get saved in each trip, so unless you manually want to create a “template”, you’re fucked. Judging by the help file’s “What’s New” page, pushpin improvements are the focus of the release.
  • Zooming in and out sucks. In some version long ago you could draw a rectangle and it would zoom in to that. You can’t do that now (or in 2009). You can use the stupid slider in the tool bar, use the mouse wheel, the “=” and “-” keys, or double-click (to zoom in) and shift-double-click (to zoom out). You’d think the people who wrote fucking Windows could figure out where the mouse cursor is and make the wheel/keyboard zooming center about the cursor. But no, it centers on the center of the map, which the average user will know to at least half a pixel precision on a 2-megapixel monitor. Easy. That leaves only double-clicking as an intuitive option.
  • Adding stops to your route is as simple as right-clicking on the location and selecting the appropriate menu item. Unfortunately once your route is calculated (over which you have little control, since it does it when you open the files—yes, the route is not saved; God forbid someone reverse engineer the shit ass—or make better use of the data than these cock-hungry morons do), right-clicking on the route will bring up another menu. So to add a stop on a road that is already on the route, you have to right-click off the route (which will break the segment between the two closest stops) and then either add the actual stop where you want it or trust that dragging and dropping the one you just created will work.

Now remember: we at Bumcussing believe in brutally honest, mostly well-informed, absolute reviews. Every review of Streets & Trips says it’s great. But that’s because most reviews tend to be relative—that is, if there were a better mapping program, Streets & Trips wouldn’t be so highly regarded. This is exactly the case here—all trip-planning software is crap, and even including Google Maps/Google Earth, Streets & Trips is the best of this shit-pile. And one huge advantage, which I will repeat indefinitely, is not being tied to the fucking Internet. That means as long as you manage to bring a laptop with you, and a GPS with a serial port, you can see where you are on the map.

Trip Planning – My Friend Fucking Told You Guys How To Fix It

Now back to the history of this problem. I hope someone learns something.

My friend sent this email in July of 2006. In retrospect, he should have been more sensitive about the language, because you can’t tell the mother of an ugly baby that it looks like the intestines of a an aborted half-siamese calf. (We at Bumcussing are all about the right fucking language.) Since then, the only feature they have added is “night time driving” map colors (which is mostly a black background so your computer screen doesn’t blind you at night). I guess that’s good for cop cars and greedy dually drivers or other people who can have laptops mounted next to the driver. It doesn’t bode well in a Yaris Liftback.

Problems (complaints):

1. Have an option to simplify directions. Sometimes, the “stay right on left for for 0.3 feet” type of specifics are just annoying – on the road trip I just took, all we basically needed was “take the 405 west for 900 bizillion miles, then the 85 north for another bizillion” or whatever, instead of breaking up segments of highways because they temporarily changed numbers or merged with others and giving me the color and number of lamp posts at each exit. One easy way to do this would be to simply allow the user to delete/merge steps – right now there’s no way to edit the text anywhere.

Anyone else who would love this: I got news for you. It will never fucking happen. No one will ever touch the direction finding algorithms. This takes a bit too much AI sifting through map data and no one is interested in doing it. Google brought us an incredible amount of detail in the map data—and access to the entire world, not just the two fucking civilized continents—but even they can’t make directions a little less computerized. Not that Google knows how to do much of anything anymore—they’re pretty much giving up on computers as much as you and I wish we all could.

2. The software allows you to set start times for each day’s drive, and then for that day it tells you what time of day you reach each step, yet you cannot set a start date, so everything is “Day 1”, “Day 2”, etc. So tell me – how fast can you figure out what night to reserve a hotel in Vancouver, which you arrive at on day 22, if you start on July 13th?

This is absolutely fucking hillarious to me. For those of you who haven’t used Streets and Trips, you’ll surely be blown away by this. You can time a trip down to the minute—want to drive by the Jamba Juice right when that hot girl gets off? You can do it (well… maybe—see below). If you leave at 6:05 AM you will be at the corner of Titties and Balls at 6:17 AM. But road trips are usually more than a day long, right? Am I wrong here? Fuck no. So you can set the departure time down to the minute, but you can’t set the departure date. So, as my friend’s email said, reserving hotels is a real bitch. I always have to double and triple check to make sure I’m not screwing it up. Hell, they could even use this to their advantage, by automatically taking you to an Expedia hotel search for the correct night and length of stay based on a stop you set on the map. Jesus.

There’s nothing funnier to me about this than when I had a job interview at Microsoft. At some point I was asked some typical question about prioritizing features/fixes based on the given resources. I gave some generic answer and then brought up the fact that I couldn’t understand how many resources it takes to add a fucking date to the days on Streets & Trips. The answer—I kid you not—“Maybe you’re not using the software in the way in which it was intended.” First of all, you fucking fuck whore, I’m planning a “trip” through various “streets”. I think the title has me covered here. Second of all, I’m right, so go fuck yourself in the shit.

3. There is a feature to avoid an area (such as say you don’t want to drive into San Francisco to get caught in traffic), which you can mark as a rectangle. Why can’t this be a polygon, instead of a rectangle?

I’ll tell you what the problem is. Lazy programmers. That’s why Excel has stupid limits on the shape of the spreadsheet (number of columns and rows) instead of just the number of cells. Thankfully for us, the world of software is full of imaginative imitators who impose the same limits on the copies they make. If all the programmers that worked on free office clones (all of which are the same shit) were biologists instead, we probably would have cured cancer by now.

To tell you the truth, I couldn’t even find this functionality in Streets and Trips 2010. Rectangle or otherwise. I only found it after I looked it up in the help. The reason I couldn’t find it is that it’s greyed out in the menu. And I don’t know how to enable it. What am I doing wrong? Here’s a hint to all software designers: disabling controls should only be done when the behavior is absolutely obvious—say, disabling a text box when the check box next to it is unchecked. If it is disabled because of an option in another fucking window (or universe, as it may be), then it’s much better to leave it enabled and immediately display an error message if the conditions aren’t right. Fuck. I want to see one fucking trip one of these cocksuckers have planned on their cow-pissing software.

4. There is no way to stay on a particular road. I once used a program many years ago that could do this, and no other could. For example, on my recent trip I wanted to drive through The Avenue of The Giants [redwoods]. It took me setting about 15 fake stops so that streets and trips wouldn’t put me back on the 101. Although I’ve heard that such a feature can be complicated, I can’t imagine it is that difficult. And the easiest copout is to let the user set “passthrough” stops that can be turned off from the map display – because on this trip I had 15 stops within 5 miles or so and it was just a glob of yellow squares on the map. Another good example is trying to take the 1 down from San Francisco to LA. I believe that requires over 20 stops. Streets and trips has a “preferred roads” feature where you can pick if you prefer highways, tollways, or byways, but it never does the job, and as far as I can tell that part of it is useless.

I’m pretty sure the program he refers to was a version of National Geographic Trip Planner, which, in every way but this, was a total pile of crap. And, as he said in the description, the mostly acceptable “copout” is to allow hidden “stops” along the route. Hell, the program could add them automatically, without user intervention. That means the software internals (directions calculator) doesn’t have to change at all, you simply add a new type of stop that is not shown to the user and have an algorithm to automatically add them. Even less than that, let me add the stops and then hide them. Shit! It’s so easy! I can hide pushpins, so let me hide fucking stops! If you’ll notice, when you drag a route in Google Maps, this is more or less exactly what happens—a white circle is placed where you “dropped” the route, and if you move this white circle, you alter the modified route. You can also delete it to go back to the default route. It is unobtrusive and works with minimal change to the underlying algorithms (though the “live-as-you-drag-route-change” is pretty fucking amazing).

In fact, this was so easy, that I tried to use the API for MapPoint to write my own trip planner while using the map data and directions calculator from Microsoft (these are, of course, the two parts that I myself could not produce). I never got very far, because the API is extremely high level—you may as well be writing macros to click on certain parts of the Streets and Trips UI. I’ve tried to block it all out of my mind. I even remember reading in the forums that people were using Windows API calls to check the pixel color of specific parts of the screen as a way to extract information about the route that the API gave no access to. What, do you have fucking idiot interns working on this?

5. The program allows you to set your driving speed for each type of road, but they are not numbers! It’s a slider with “faster” and “slower”. Seriously, just show the numbers. I also noticed that it underestimated freeway speed and overestimated (grossly) by-way speeds. The small roads leading to and from national parks added a LOT of time that wasn’t accounted for.

Seriously. Fucking computers can’t do anything without fucking numbers, numbnutted whores. So just fucking tell me what the numbers are. As a bonus, show me the numbers you are using in each route segment. What if I have a Unimog and can’t go faster than 50 mph? I will have to double-check all tightly scheduled segments. And double-checking software by hand is fucking wrong by fucking definition. Cock-ass. That’s why we have computers.

6. Printing maps – there are lots of options, such as one page per day, one page every X miles, etc. However, it would be cool to have some other features, like the user being able to select a number of steps to include on a map (or even break down a long step into several pages, such as a 900 mile stretch of the 10 or whatever). Also, automated maps of the towns you stop in would be nice – even if it’s automated maps of the surrounding area of each stop, be it a town or not, so you can get around while looking for restaurants and such. Of course this last one would only be useful if fake stops could be differentiated from real ones. Also, pushpin text prints out on the map unless you close them manually, which is annoying, since by default it adds a pushpin when you search for an address.

This is all easy. Why doesn’t it exist, damn it?!?! Probably because everywhere in the US has free wifi, right? Plus we can just take out our iPhones and Google the living shit out of any town you’re in. Fuck, what was I thinking? The easiest way to implement most of this would be to have an option whereby the user can simply traverse through the directions and select which ones he’d like on each page. Boom. Done. Fuck you. Shit ass fuckers.

7. The optional trip summary you can print are kind of dumb. It has a total miles, miles per state, and then a huge (and useless) list of each segment (travel between stops) and which option you chose for “preferred road”. That’s just stupid. It’s nice to have the miles between stops, though. But it would be nice for example an estimate of the milage the car should do, or gallons of gas used, miles per day average, average projected speed, etc. – you know, interesting stats that nerds like, not the values of random structure elements in the software.

Sure, the driving speed is a useless quantity; only a necessity of the internal workings of the masterpiece. But the “preferred road” for each segment is obviously useful information. You see, route planning requires so little user intervention that the preferred road is an invaluable tool in gaining control over this intelligent beast. Also, whenever the user can specifically choose an option, you should show them exactly what they chose—you know how easily these fucking humans forget. But the speed they are driving? They don’t need to know that. They only need to know the distance and the time; they all have calculators, right? Fucking humans. Nor do they need to know what stupid-ass absurd assumptions you are making.

I should stop and explain a bit. Streets and Trips lets you define what type of road you want to take between each stop: quickest (least amount of time), shortest (least distance), and preferred (where you can rate how much you like or dislike “interstates”, “other highways”, “arterial roads”, and “toll roads”). I can see the use of quickest, though it inevitably depends on this mystery speed number. Shortest is about the stupidest thing you could have for trip planning, unless you are renting a car with mileage limits. Seeing as how on RV’s you pay the mile, I’ll let you slide. Preferred roads is just another clusterfuck of mystery numbers. Inevitably you can play around with these features but you’ll probably end up just adding stops along the road you want to take. So why in the hell would anyone care about which type of road they chose for each segment on the trip summary? It doesn’t even tell you which road type it ended up choosing for the “preferred road” segments. It just says “preferred roads”. Nice one.

The only conceivable use of this is that, in Streets and Trips 2010, it is listed alongside the distance and drive time for each segment. So you can compare the results from using different segment types. However, this information is only available when you print your trip, and only if you check “Include summary statistics” after clicking “More options…” in the print dialog box. So I’m stretching it here.

8. The construction information is terrible. It’s probably not Microsoft’s fault, but really, it’s a joke. Any given day the 1 should be littered with markers and none were shown on my trip. The one construction that was shown didn’t exist.

We talked about this. They must have gotten access to this database for free from whoever they bought the maps. It is useless.

9. There are some annoying UI features, like it zooming out to show the whole trip every time you calculate directions. You can imagine how annoying that is when you have to zoom in to the tightest scale to set yet another fake stop so that it keeps you on the right road.

Yeah, this is dumb. The funny thing is that the saved trip files does not include the directions (they are always recalculated when you open the file)—which is fine, because it happens quickly—but it also saves the view state of the trip so after the directions are calculated you get taken back to whatever view you had when you saved the file. So why can’t it do this when I tell it to calculate directions?

Now for some goodies – things I’d like to see:

1. I’m really a sucker for all this trip planning stuff. I would love to be able to print, or order a large poster-size print of a map of the trip. Imagine that you plan your trip out, and then you can upload it to and print out a huge satellite photo version of your route. This would be even cooler if you had a GPS and tracked your entire trip on the software. (I’m sure that it doesn’t have the option to record your GPS position at specified intervals, but it should. I don’t have a GPS myself but I imagine support and features are minimal.)

Wow, my friend was a real asshole in writing this one. Telling them he haven’t even tried the features, but figured they were crap. Well, he was right. Also, back in the day there was some stupid licensing problem that prevented the GPS information from being updated more than once every 15 seconds. At 60 mph, that’s 1 mile. Nice one, Microprick.

As for printing nice maps, it is theoretically possible. I remember at the time finding companies that charged money to print nice maps, and I noticed they looked a lot like Map Point/Streets and Trips maps. When I tried to print a really large one (by defining a custom paper size on a PDF printer) it crashed. I never tried again.

As for GPS recording, I’ve gone with a standalone logger. Garmin’s GPSs always had stupid software-imposed limitations on the log length. So really if you want full control, you have to buy some pretty rudimentary hardware. I bought mine from Sparkfun, but they don’t sell it anymore (they do have a nicely boxed alternative that is more expensive).

2. Along with the lines of the above, it would be cool to be able to upload your digital pictures to the places on the map where you took them, either manually or by EXIF if the camera has GPS support. Then imagine that you could make a webpage-scrapbook with satellite photo map, pictures, video, whatever the hell else you want, to show to the few friends you may have who gave a damn where you went for 13 days? That would be sweet.

Microsoft never gave a damn about this. Google did, since they acquired Panoramio a few months after my friend sent this (and 3 months after I sent them some similar notes as part of a job interview). I still think it’s cool, and in fact, Panoramio photos on Google Earth is one of the most valuable tools in road trip planning, in my opinion.

3. It would be nice to have it connect to the web to find average gas prices for the places in which you supposedly will have to get gas (which the software estimates based on the size of your gas tank), rather than just asking for a fixed value (this would be cool but definitely not necessary).

Cool indeed. What fucking decade do we live in? Did Al Gore invent the Internet already?

4. At least, some sort of export features. If I could have latitude, longitude waypoints at set distance intervals for the whole trip I could go put them in Google Earth myself and stop bothering you guys – at least to have a nice map of the trip.

Hey Microsoft—thanks for GPX export. That was about the most insulting attempt at flexibility I’ve ever seen. Okay, okay, at least I can get the waypoints out. But please stop putting any effort into this now that you’ve completed this task.

5. The National Geographic trip planner I used once had cool tourist info about national parks and other places, as well as scenic drives. The problem? First, the pictures sucked ass – and no link to the net (though this was in the 90’s I think). Second, you couldn’t search for a scenic drive around a specific place in the map. Third – I know it’s unbelievable – the maps of the scenic drives were shitty bitmaps; you had to go find them yourself and try to force the program to take you on those roads. All these features would be nice if implemented correctly.

Hell, everyone knows content isn’t worth anything.

6. Along the same lines, it would be good to have some way of users to create some content, like KML stuff in Google Earth. Imagine I took the coolest scenic road ever – maybe I could save it as a trip snippet that I could upload to my Streets and Trips community website and other people could add it to their trips. Then users could take care of making sure the scenic drive was created correctly; when inserting a snippet the software would treat it as a black box that it simply needs to give directions to the entrance and exit.

Maybe fucking could tell you to by Mobil gas on the way. Holy fuck—the possibilities are endless! Please don’t work on this; I will do it myself for Google Earth and put you one more step into the direction of obsolescence.

You know, maybe Microsoft is just waiting to sell enough copies of Strips and Idiots to pay for the map fees, and then they’ll drop the fucker like a bad habit.

7. Once and for all, offer a version with all countries (Europe, too) available.

I haven’t taken the time to pirate Streets & Trips techno cousin, Autoroute. I’m certainly not going to pay for it. It would be amusing to see if the UI is totally different.

8. I really think that a strong link to the web would be great – when searching for hotels, restaurants, etc., take advantage of online databases, AAA, Zagat’s, all that crap. *BUT* it is essential that the software hold its own without the ‘net. For example, now it has a built in database of points of interest, gas stations, etc. that, along with the maps, are available locally, which is great when you take it on the road and you won’t have wifi at 80 mph on a freeway. But it would be nice to be able to update some of that stuff….

Okay. They added a “Live” search in the program. Not bad. Kudos, Microsoft.

Paper Maps Versus Computer Maps

Paper maps are great—when you pay a pretty penny for the good ones. But let’s face it, you buy something like Streets & Trips and the amount of information is incomparable. If you get nitty-gritty into National Forests you will even find fire roads. And at least a few years ago the information was more extensive than that of Google Maps’s—but of course with Google Maps you get the whole fucking world.

Paper maps can contain more levels of information. Yes, Streets & Trips may have every tiny road in a forest or park. But it won’t tell you anything about their condition. You spend a small fortune on sets of detailed maps from the US Forest Service and other agencies, and you’ll know if your Sprinter Trueno will make the trip or if you should go trade it in for a Hummer. Is this information available in a computerized map? I don’t know. But it is useless if it cannot be integrated into some common software. You have to bet no one is drawing maps by hand, so at some point, the information is computerized. Getting it to the consumer seems to be a challenge. I can imagine it faces standardization challenges like everything else, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some communications major fuckwit is impeding progress somewhere.

Paper maps—the good ones—are huge. So get a big table. Looking at a map on a computer screen is like having to use a magnifying glass on a paper map—you are limited to some “viewport”. So why is looking at computer maps so much fucking worse? Here are some ideas:

  • A computer map is not intuitively controlled. When you move a magnifying glass around a map, you get instantaneous visual feedback of whether or not you are headed where you want to go—say, following a road or a river. Streets & Trips certainly doesn’t offer this, and probably no software does. With computer maps, the process of following along is akin to tying a string to your magnifying glass, closing your eye for one second, and pulling on the string in some direction until your eyes are open again. Try it. It’s a fucking pain in the ass. Computer maps need smooth scrolling, and “analog” scrolling direction. Google Earth comes close, but it has the annoying “drift”; some sort of directional “fly-over” shit.  The other issue is that scrolling in drastically different directions usually requires you to move the mouse all over the screen. That is too far.
    Zooming in and out has the same issues. We can scan over a paper map quickly then bend over and look closer anywhere we want with ease. A computer map could get close if it had smooth, “analog” zoom. Again, Google Earth gets close.
    I’m willing to bet the ideal HID (I’m so cool with my fucking acronyms) for map viewing on a computer is the good old analog joystick. Minimal hand motion, analog direction and speed control, and, coupled with smooth scrolling—immediate visual feedback. Shit, you could do it with an old CH two-button unit. One button zooms out, one in. I wonder if the effect could be simulated by adding a small “scroll zone” to the viewer’s window—a small rectangle within which holding the mouse button and moving the pointer would mimic a joystick. I can immediately see some issues: no physical limits (could be solved with a touchpad, laptop style—which isn’t universal), and no easy way to simultaneously scroll and zoom.
  • A paper map has all the roads, all the time—there’s no way to turn off details. Road importance is distinguished by thickness. On a good map, it’s not bad. The only time it gets cluttered is, say, in dense cities. Why? Because the size of the labels in a paper map never change. “Zoom in” to see the distinction between streets, and the labels stay the same cluttering size. Anyone who’s looked at an urban map has inevitably been confused by tightly mixed labels.
    Computers, being the infinite machine that they are, can solve this problem because they can reinterpret the map data at any time. However, all programmers are cocksucking idiot shit fucking moron whores, and they can’t get it right.
    First, there’s the “I’ll choose how much detail you want, you stupid fucking user” attitude. Zoom out, and roads disappear. Try to follow a small, winding road in Streets & Trips. You’ll find that you have to zoom in so close that, coupled with the “digital” scrolling, you could spend hours following a dead end. I have found that most map viewing software never shows enough detail. There is no reason I should ever have to see a screen that is one solid color with no roads on it. Jesus, use some fucking if statements! Here’s some pseudocode for you fuckers: If no roads drawn then draw some fucking roads. Got it?
    Second, and definitely not least: “I’m not going to check if you can see the fucking road names. If you want to know which road you’re looking at, you can just go fuck yourself in the shit.” In a paper map you can spend a lot of time following a road just to find out what it’s called. On the computer, this should never happen. Yet Streets & Trips, Google Gay, and Garmin GPS’s have this problem. The Garmin ones are hillarious. You have a “3D” view of the map, with a little car icon and the map “tilted” so you get something closer to a first-person view. The road labels pop up just before the little car, then spend a few seconds scrolling under them. Awesome. While you keep your eyes on the road, try to fucking catch that precise instant where you can see the number of freeway you’re on.

There you go. Either Microprick or Gasgle can feel free to implement these great ideas and get rich off me. I welcome it. I know you won’t do it because you fuckers have blinders on whenever your heads are out of whatever pile of shit you fucking nerd bitch fuckers are constantly fucking yourselves in.

How I Plan a Road Trip

When I’m planning a trip I use three resources: Microsoft Streets & Trips—so that I’m not tied to the fucking Internet, Google Earth—with Picasa pictures, so that I can search for interesting things to do along the way, and satellite pictures, so I can pick vista points that are worth stopping at, etc., and the Internet—to read reviews on the shit holes I will inevitably have to stay at when I end up in the middle of fucking nowhere. If the route looks tricky, I’ll double-check it on paper maps to be sure it’s doable.

The resulting trips are pretty good; the addition of Picasa pictures in recent years is an invaluable resource. But it is amazing to me that I still have to use so many distinct, independent resources. The progress in this industry is excruciatingly slow.  People who are GPS/trip planning fanatics are intelligent, creative people (for the most part, of course), and their ideas are largely ignored.

I hope that this post starts the flow of complaints and ideas, and that, someone who owns a map set or has access to one can start to work with us all to give us a decent product.

My money is on Google Earth. But they will never let go off the Internet and the world will never be covered in WiFi. So inevitably the planning and execution will face yet another barrier—the GPS unit, which companies like Garmin think would much rather benefit from playing MP3’s than drawing maps quickly or getting decent satellite reception.

Wings Over Houston Airshow

A scene from Top Gun, as inspired by Wings Over Houston.

A scene from Top Gun, as inspired by Wings Over Houston.

The Wings Over Houston Airshow is truly a thorough experience. The air is thick with Jet A, fiery explosions serve as a backdrop for swooping fighter planes, and hoardes of fans circle their favorite aircraft in the blistering sun.

But no airshow would be complete without the entire flying experience. That is why the organizers of Wings Over Houston decided not to hire anyone to direct traffic into the event. That way, it’s exactly like trying to get on a real plane: people sniffing up your ass in order to respectfully jump in front of you in the boarding “line”, all while some Taco Bell graduate airline employees watch the general disarray.

Let me present a scenario. Traffic is jammed on your street. You are trying to go straight past a light. It turns red, so you stop. To your right, another street is jammed, with people trying to turn right. I know there’s a lot of fucking directions here, just draw it on a piece of paper. What happens? The light turns red for you, so you stop. It is green for them, so they start turning right, until the street ahead of you is full and they have to stop turning right. Their light turns red, and yours turns green, but there’s nowhere to go. This continues indefinitely until you either run the red light, or block the intersection.

Then there’s driving on the shoulder. Which is what at least three or four cars full of soldiers did, as well as at least one police car. I don’t know what the soldiers were doing, or where they were going. If they were indeed active soldiers and not just overdressed rednecks, then they do enough as it is, so God bless ’em.

About halfway through the airshow (two hours or so after we got in line), we were approaching the entrance—or so we figured—since the street was split into two lanes. A small sign said “airshow left lane”. It may as well have been in fucking braille, because it was tiny. Amazingly, most people respected it—for the first few hours. Then it became a total cockfest of people cutting in at the very end of the line.

And how was at the end of the line, watching the total cockfest? Why, four illustrious members of the sheriff’s department. Luckily by clustering together, they could have jovial conversations with each other as they waved in the people who were cutting in line. Their radius of efficacy was about 6 feet; after being directed people did whatever the fuck they wanted to do anyway. Amazingly, there were two clogged intersections, and two entrances to the air show. Hot damn! 2+2 = 4, which coincidentally is the number of fucking fluorescent-vested hand wavers!

God bless the American Legion for providing donation-based parking and cheap cheeseburgers. We should have just parked the car and stayed with them instead of walking the mile and a half to see the last quarter of the air show.

Gmail is a Fucking Kunt Whore


Google, with their cute name, is as much of a disease as is Apple, who can’t make up their fucking minds about what cute name they should fucking use.

Gmail is a great example of Google spreading too thin. They are all so fucking worried about learning trick pool or fucking ass-pong that they don’t do their fucking jobs and improve products. And seeing as how everything in the computer industry is a “follow the leader” story—where “leader” is defined by the most number of hits emanating from the Mac Book Semi’s owned by Starbuck’s Baristas—I’m not even going to bother trying another service.

The first problem with KuntMail is that it is impossible to find a fucking message. I can write myself an email that says “Google is a fucking ass donkey shit fucker”, and then I search for “fuck”, and that message doesn’t show up in the results. What the fuck (literally!)? I know those cock wanking nerds know from searching for porn in between foozball tournaments that it’s important to be able to search for word fragments, like “masturbat” to cover “masturbate”, “masturbates”, “masturbating”, and “masturbation”. You think to yourself, “Maybe these donkey-shitting fucks like Linux/DOS style wildcards, like fuck*.” Yeah right. The shit that is Thunderbird can find messages that Gmail can’t.

Okay. So there are no “folders”, but there are labels, which is a good way to confuse the shit out of yourself, just like “tags”—hey, it doesn’t matter what the fuck categorization method you use, they are all confusing and don’t help you find shit unless you memorize the rules you set for yourself. So there’s no advantage here. Sure, archive everything—but good luck finding it. Spam protection? My ass. I get false positives just like with every other system. So what’s the fucking advantage? Nothing. Not a fucking thing.

GoonMail shirt

Do a Google image search for "gmail sucks".

And then there’s the “if the subject is the same, the message must be part of the same conversation”. Fat chance in hell—how many people do *you* know that reply to your last email because they are too fucking lazy to type? So then unrelated messages end up lumped together, and since you can’t search for shit anyway, you’ll never find it. You may as well stab your balls with an icepick and go ride a fucking tricycle to work.

The worst thing of all is that, if you try to use the Gmail SMTP server for another account, Gmail conveniently takes fucking possession of the god damn message. The result? You may as well have sent it from Gmail in the first place. What’s the fucking point?  Is this going to stop spammers? “Fuck, I tried to relay some spam and now my account is ruined!” Somebody please fucking tell me what the fucking point is.

Conclusion?  Gmail is free. There’s plenty of space to store every fucking forward about ugly girls’ asses that you get. You also get an unsercheable database, stupid “lab” features that are totally useless, labels that don’t help at all, an SMTP server you can’t use for any other account, and a bloated user interface with ads all over it which isn’t smart enough to track packages for tracking numbers it finds in your email address. Most of these issues you can bypass by using your own email client. I like Opera, even thought it’s tough to get used to the fact that your email and browser are in the same window.

Spell Google with an F So You Can Fuck It


Google is a ravinshing piece of kunt turd. As time passed, more people figured out how to exploit it, and shit, it hasn’t evolved worth a damn. I insist nowadays it is completely fucking useless. I’ve even started using Bing, though so far it very rarely gives substantially better results—but at least it doesn’t show some fucking profile from some stupid ass forum that I haven’t logged in to in 45 years when I search my own name.

Today, though, Foogle takes the fucking cake. After printing about 3 pages over the last few months, the cocksucking HP C309 is starting to complain about low ink—on all five fucking cartridges. First, I think that’s fucking impossible because there is one black for “normal” and one for “photos”, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t print any god damn donkey fucking shit slitting pictures. Second, as I mentioned, the ink cartridges it comes with is just enough to print a cock sucking test page—which of course is printed at full quality, just like all other shit you print that goes straight to the fucking trash. So I bought the “XL” cartridges, which cost more, and, at the rate I print, should last until Jesus comes back to life again.

So back to Google. I search for “HP C309”, which is usually a good way of avoiding having to navigate Hunky Pooter’s website. I click on the first link, and it says I can get this printer for just 449 Noogie Zoonies. What the fuck? That’s right, Lord of the Rings fans. Google [America] thinks the most relevant link is the website for the printer in the New Zealand HP website. How in a cock donkey’s anus is that possible? First of all, there’s three people who live in New Zealand, and hopefully they found my reviews before they bought this piece of shit, so there’s no amount of incentive you can offer them to buy one of these jiggling paper weights.

On a side note:

Look, world, the United States invented the fucking Internet. Therefore, we don’t need to append “us” to our domain names. But all you fuckers should. That’s why there’s fucking country codes. Maybe then Google wouldn’t be so fucking confused.

Go to hell Google. Go to hell.

Fuck You and Your Mother, HP C309


You fuckin ass shit mother fucking cunt turd ass monkey. I hate you. I fucking hate you and your stupid happy addict sounds. I hate your fucking software, and I hate your fucking useless screen. I hope you fucking burn in hell ass fucker. You are such a scrotum tearing fuck donkey that I’m going to find a new printer and, when I do, I’m going to smash you to fucking bits, you fucking piece of shit.

Read my first impression, and my first-and-a-half impression, then follow below to see what is making me bumcuss so badly. So badly, in fact, I had to add a new sub-category to fuck me in the shit.

1. Low ink warning, you fucking dipshit.

I’m surprised the cartridges that came with the printer lasted more than a test page. The black ink more or less vaporized. Of course, once I decided to keep the printer I immediately ordered the “XL” cartridges. I figured, “With this beautiful color LCD on the printer, it will tell me when I am low on ink and tell me which cartridge to replace.” Fucking wrong, ass-fuck. The screen says something along the lines of, “Ink is low [motherfucker], go check your [motherfucking] computer to see which cartridge it is [, you motherfucking turd licking ass shit].” I cannot fucking believe it. This mother fucking printer with a fucking display is telling me to turn go to my fucking computer, run their pretty little ass software, to find out which ink cartridge it is. Fuck you and your mother, you bitch.

I'm going to give you to this kid, Premium Fax.

I'm going to give you to this kid, Premium Fax.

Now remember: their dramatic ignorant secretary software doesn’t run on XP 64. So I have to turn on a “normal” computer and run their fucking software. I don’t even know which fucking one it is, because they name things like “HP Central” and “HP Connect Corner” and “Unicorn roses ponies and rainbows”. Fuck you, HP. You haven’t made a decent calculator since Back to the Future.

Finally, after ending up in their only-30-minutes-to-load reinvent-the-wheel-badly picture library manager, I find the right program. Despereatly cussing in search of the ink level display, I scan the screen quickly and hit the “status” button, only to get a giant screen that says “your printer is connected”. No shit, fuck-dick. Finally I notice in the main screen there is a display near the top, a sort of bar graph showing ink levels, indicating one of the two black cartridges is low (evidently one is for text, and another for pictures). I assumed that the order in which they are shown on the screen is the order in which they are installed in the printer (if you’re facing the carrier from the display side of the printer). Luckily I guess correctly.

2. One button to copy, or 12?

You should have learned something from your fellow legend-burier Xerox. If I load a fucking original on the fucking glass, and I hit “copy” or “start”, then fucking start copying. Stop asking me fucking questions or telling me to load the fucking original, you cunt bag.

3. Can you count the number of pages in your donkey-shit-eating photo-interrupter?

As I write this, via the Microsoft Office Document Scannning application, I successfully scanned in a 21-page paper written in 1968 (on a typewriter). Kudos again to Microsoft. This little application is great. The pages are all perfectly algined, the horizontal figure in the paper is rotated so it is readable on the screen, and the process was flawless.

But what instigated this post is what happened with the 10-page contract I tried to scan in before.

First try: printer does one of its pretty jingles after about 5 pages, sucks in the next page, but the scanning application already thinks scanning is over. “Oh,” I said to myself, “I must have not made sure all the pages were up against the feeder.” So I try again.

Second try: stops at the same page. Fine, I’ll save these, scan in the rest, then combine them.

Third try: one more page goes through, jingle, one page gets run through but not received by the computer.

Fourth try: I switch to use the TWAIN interface to the scanner. Fucking HP splash screen seems to appear every 3 seconds. Fucking shit. Anyway, it scans all the pages, and then MS Document Scanning crashes. God only knows where the temp file is with all my pages in it.

Fifth try: back to non-TWAIN (WIA?). Stops on the same fucking page.

Sixth try: because MS Document Scanning is made to be for any scanner, there’s an option to “prompt for additional pages”. So I turn that on, and then I am able to get all the remaining pages at once, by waiting for the printer to stop, discard the next page, and refeeding it (twice) until it’s done with the remaining four pages.

What the fuck dude? This is some fucking bullshit. Whatever this idiot printer does to figure out if it’s done seems to be related to the page itself, because I seriously doubt that it’s coincidence that it stopped on the same page three times. Plus, the paper I scanned in afterwards proceeded without a flaw….