stAllio!'s way
Friday, January 23, 2004 
well i wouldn't say my computer is "fixed" but at least now it's relatively usable. barry managed to get windows installed while i was at work. it still won't recognize my second IDE interface. we messed with that for awhile but it wouldn't install the drivers off the cd (maybe they were too old). eventually we changed focus to getting it to recognize my internet card; it didn't really want to do that either until barry swapped the card into a different port.

but i can browse the internet, play games, listen to mp3s, & do most non-cd-related functions, so i'm satisfied for tonight. tomorrow we'll tackle the cd drives again. (i say "we" but barry does most of the work...) & when those finally work i'll begin reinstalling the rest of my important software, drivers, & stuff like that...

well they've arrested someone in the screener case. good to see how quickly the fbi can work on when the case is something important like internet downloading, as opposed to a trivial matter like... i dunno... national security, catching terrorists, or other such trifles.

what kills me is that i heard this from snuggles, where someone posted the cnn story (sorry i can't link to it, cnn is hosted by aol & aol is blocked on the network here in the office... a policy i can't say i disagree with). what struck me about the cnn story is that it repeatedly claimed that this sprague guy was selling these movies online. like i pointed out last week, that's just stupid. what kind of moron would go online to buy a bootlegged movie? if you're looking for pirate content, why on earth would you pay for it when you can get it for free? i knew that had to be wrong, so i looked around & found the hollywood reporter article i linked to above, which contains this telling quote:

Johnson, the U.S. attorney, said that there was little financial incentive for Sprague to upload the films to the Internet -- if that is what he did -- beyond the simple trading of movies with others.

"There is often a quid pro quo among the Internet piracy community," Johnson said.

"There's no evidence Sprague was duplicating these movies and selling them," he added. "But anything is possible."

so my question is: was the cnn article just shoddy journalism? or was it intentionally shoddy journalism? (ie. did they just fuck up & get a critical detail wrong, one that nobody else got wrong, or did they get it wrong on purpose to help demonize sprague, caridi, & internet "piracy" in general?)

in related news, the RIAA has filed hundreds more lawsuits even though they don't even have names for their victims anymore: they're just suing a bunch of IP addresses... jeez.

& if you thought that was fucked up, strap your brain in before it explodes: remember all those little kids the RIAA sued last time? the ones they got such horrible PR for? now those little kids will appear in a pepsi ad about an itunes promotion. & the RIAA claims they support the ad!

who says irony is dead? irony 0wnz you!!!

this is kind of a long picaresque narrative so it will take a minute to get to the important part.

there's a user on slsk called "fingerinthenoise". this user shares some pretty good underground, unreleased material (including a large chunk of my mp3 discog & other bad taste goodies). i'm not sure if i've ever chatted with this person before (they're on my userlist but maybe i just discovered them on my own, or added them because they were downloading good material from me).

[ed. note: i've since learned the correct website is]

so last night i came across a different user with a note in their shares saying to go to for free radio. so i went to the page, but it didn't seem to do anything but bring up an animation script. since i was using mozilla i thought maybe this was a browser compatibility issue, & maybe if i tried IE there would be more content (like an actual radio stream or something).

when i opened IE it went straight to windows update, at usual. it listed 15 "critical" security fixes, so i figured i might as well install the things.

near the end of the install process the computer prompted me to find some file. silly windows 98, how am i supposed to know where your stupid file is? once it was clear that it wouldn't find the file on its own, i managed to get it to skip that file & keep going. when it rebooted (because win98 can't tie its own shoes without needing a reboot), explorer crashed & the OS didn't really load. or more simply, when i rebooted, it just didn't reboot. eventually i managed to bring up the boot menu to try safe mode, but safe mode wouldn't load either. it appeared that my win98 installation was dead.

in case you missed the irony above, i'll italicize it for you: attempting to correct so-called "critical" problems in windows caused windows to break altogether. what was formerly a working install was now broken because i had tried to "fix" it.

i'd been meaning to upgrade to winxp eventually anyway, so now that 98 was rotting away i figured it was the right time. i began my new xp install, only to eventually hit a snag similar to what had happened when i was "fixing" 98: xp said it needed files off the cd (which was in the damn drive) & prompted me to find the files. again, once it was clear i couldn't get it to acknowledge the files, i got it to skip that step... it happened a second time & i skipped that too. eventually setup completed (but not really) & it booted into xp for the first time.

then i noticed that xp was not acknowledging either of my cd drives. they just didn't show up.

after concluding that the BIOS did still recognize the drives (i could even still boot from either cd drive), i tried to "repair" my installation. once again that only made things worse. now setup would prompt me to locate the cd files as soon as it got to the graphical GUI setup stage. now i couldn't even get into the OS because setup could not complete (or even pseudo-complete, like it had previously).

i spent an hour or two trying to repair & the same thing happened every time. eventually i tried a fresh install & that sorta worked (as well as it had worked the first time): i could get into xp again, but it still wouldn't acknowledge my cd drives. i also discovered that i had no internet connection (IE wasn't even installed), no games, no volume control, & who knows what other massive chunks missing from the operating system. i was actually excited when i figured out how to play mp3s (& also when i got DataDada to work; this program is a databenders wet dream, if you can get it to function... it's rather buggy).

surprisingly, i was not very upset about any of this, except for that time in the middle when i wasn't sure i could get xp reinstalled at all.

right around bedtime, barry came up with a theory why it wasn't working. one of his computers has an asus motherboard, & when installing xp he had to load a special driver to get it to acknowledge the second IDE interface (the one both cd drives are on). i also have an asus board, probably with a similar chipset. (i think it might even be the same board.) if that is indeed the problem, in order to fix it he'll have to open the box, swap the connections for my second hard drive & one of my cd drives in order to load the driver, & then try to complete the xp installation. we'll see if that works. if not, i might have a severely crippled computer until we figure out a fix that works.

i just hope i don't have to reinstall win98, because it really does suck...

Tuesday, January 20, 2004 
i am drunk.

at dinner barry & i were joking about the idea of a drinking game revolving around tonight's state of the union speech. later i saw people on the imn boards joking about the same thing.

then i saw there was already a state of the union drinking game! this is even the third year running! (maybe i heard about this last state of the union, but it's been a year since then so if so i forgot)

i mixed myself a huge (at least 20+oz) but weak drink of vodka & juice... the kind that would usually last me an hour or two. (and even that is technically cheating because you're supposed to use beer/cider or shots.) within 15 minutes i had a strong buzz. within 30 minutes my huge drink was gone & i was pouring irish creme into my cup just to keep playing (even though i was as drunk as i ever like to get). i have now quit playing (the speech is still going on). there's no point anymore.

ps. if you think i'm not drunk because you see no typos, rest assured that my proofreading skills are the only thing letting me catch all my mistakes before posting. if only you could see all the mistakes i've already fixed.

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