Monday, February 12, 2007

Incoherent techno-rant -- or -- Curse you, Windows Media Player 11

OK, so maybe this isn't actually my picture, but it expresses how I feel at just this moment.

This has been building for some time, actually, but the final straws were piled on the camel's back this afternoon as I tried to catch up on my time sheets.

I wanted to listen to music while working.

The music is on my hard drive. My computer is just a little over three years old, ancient I realize by contemporary standards.

But no visitor to these postings can be long unaware that I am not overly enamored of contemporary standards. That which works is fine by me, even if it is not the newest or the coolest. I do not apologize for this.

And my computer was not the coolest kid on the block even when new: It was an off the shelf generic. The only things I look for in a new computer are a generous allotment of RAM according to standards extant on date of purchase and a generous hard drive according to those same standards. That way, I used to think, I'd get full service from the machine until software "improvements" made it necessary to upgrade.

Thank you, Mr. Gates.

I have since learned that I must also look for generous video memory, but I'm not playing games on this poor machine and I don't want to get off the subject here. Indeed, I want to go home.

I have listened to the music on my computer with Windows Media Player 10 for some time. Recently, I had occasion to download Windows Media Player 11.

And I've known no peace since.

The music is no better, and certainly no louder (which no doubt is a consolation to my office mates). But the program takes f....o....r....e....v....e....r to load and it s.....l.....o.....w.....s everything else on the machine down to a snail's pace.

For what?

Now, I can understand that some new programs do new things and require more memory and more storage space. But this program plays music. Just as did its predecessor.

So why in tarnation does it eat up so much of my poor old computer's memory, thus destroying any semblance of performance?

Please answer me, O technogeeks in cyberspace: Why isn't this program more compact, more condensed, more efficient? Wouldn't that constitute progress?

But this is only one of my technical complaints at present: You may have noticed I've added a couple of geegaws to this page. A "Page Rank" button, for example. I read Susan's February 4 post and followed all the links and learned about the evils of "sandboxing" and blogrolling and all sorts of things I didn't know were problematic. One linked article suggested that, if you must link to someone's blog, make sure they're at least a page rank 4 (PR 4). Sounded rather snobby to me... but insecure sort that I am, I had to find out where I stood.

And I was so relieved! I, too, was a PR 4. So I installed the button. To show off, I guess.

And this weekend, when I was checking my email I looked at my blog... and now I was a PR 0.

It was a devastating rejection. What had I done? Who had I offended? (Today, it seems to be a PR 4... but my confidence is shot....)

And then I put in a "subscribe in a reader button" because I read somewhere that this is a way to boost readership. But I have no idea what it does or what subscription means in this context. I visit blogs that visit me -- the ones that link to me first, either in a sidebar or as identified through Technorati. But that involves using a blogroll that makes me "look like a linkfarm." This, apparently is bad. I also visit the blogs of people that leave comments. I haven't been told exactly why this is wrong yet, but I'm sure I'll find an article soon that says this also is right out.

I know I claim to be a dinosaur -- and I prove it from time to time -- but I'm trying to evolve... and this technology, hardware and software alike, seems determined to keep me from keeping up.

Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrgggghhhhhh! (*Swinging club now*)


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

well curmy i suggest a $10.00 radio next time, with a dial that you can rotate, they seem to be pretty hardy. good luck....

smiles, bee

Lawfrog said...

When I was working at my firm, I was saved by this:

Simply and easy to use. Go forth and enjoy the music!

Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...

Page Rank, Blogger Roll, etc...I've come to a decision. I'm going to stop worrying about getting readers to my blog and instead just enjoy myself. I'm going to post when I feel like it, and read peoples' work when I want to. Blogging should be fun. If I want stress, I have school tomorrow morning.

Lahdeedah said...

I am scared by my I-Pod software, and I'm only in my 30s.

I don't even know how to get that 'labels' thing people who actually know how to use technorati have.

I make my husband sad. He's a technogeek.

He would look at your computer, tell you you have too many programs in the start up, which slows the computer down, and take everything off your desktop, never explaining what any of this has to do with the fact a program is too slow. The result, a faster computer but a slower user as said user spends three weeks trying to find all her freakin' stuff.... oh wait... that's my rant.

Fence said...

My blogroll lists blogs that I like, no more, no less :) Don't care about the page rank.
I've just used your "subscribe" button as I use Google Reader. it's great, highly recommended for catching up

Mother Jones RN said...

I don't know anything about audio stuff on computers, and forget I-Pod software. I'm with you caveman. I understand.


Barb said...

How often do you defrag? (That's sounded a bit personal.) Do you have a program for repairs like broken shortcuts and such? We use System Mechanic and love it.

The page rank thing comes back to 4 if you refresh your page.

I have a technorati link in two places and I don't think anyone has clicked on either.

Good luck!

The Curmudgeon said...

Bee (tapping foot) -- I have an interior office; radio reception is chancy -- and not a lot of free plugs because it's an older building. And the commercials always start when I'm concentrating on something. Ah well... but thanks for your suggestion. (What are you doing, stealing my act?)

Lawfrog -- I'll try accuradio.

Ladeedah -- I know there's too much on the Start menu. I haven't added anything mind you; the programs add themselves on installation -- and I never know what to safely delete. It is a bother. But I don't think this is the problem here.

Fence -- welcome! Does this mean that, because you used the button you might come back? Well then that's a good thing, isn't it?

And MJ -- the kids have iPods and I can't figure them out at all either. I can't even see the screens.

And Stewart -- I understand and even agree with your point. But it's so much more fun when people read and respond, isn't it?

Barb -- thank you for the suggestion. I have defragged recently and I'm relentless about clearing out temp files, etc. It's just this WMP 11 is a huge memory hog and I don't know why it should be. And I'll have to try clicking on the rank thing at home. (When I went in last night, I was again a zero....)

Anonymous said...

Don't worry everyone's pagerank has been up and down at the moment. Google have just brought a new datacenter online, and I think that's caused it.

WMP is a pile of cack - as they say 'other music players are available', didn't WinAmp used to be good (and free?) Google is your friend...

rdl said...

I know just how you feel, being similarly techno-challanged. I bought my son a verizon v cast phone for xmas with the v cast kit and have yet been able to get it to work, after an hr. on the phone to verizon, downloading drivers and deleting files and even turning off Norton's. They say it's my computer?? well I have no plans of purchasing one anytime soon and my relatively new(1 yr old) apple laptop isn't compatible.I give up. you have to be rich to keep up with this technology. if i had 500 for the new i phone i guess i would be all set. sorry for ranting here.

Anonymous said...

Just interested in the music on your hard drive? I suggest Winamp; smaller and faster than Winblows Media, plays just about everything, and you can customize the !@#$%&*! out of it. It's a freebie, too-