Archive for the ‘rant’ Category

1 day remaining

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

As long as can remember Microsoft has never gotten anywhere near a decent file copy remaining time. A day for a 5GB copy (on a SSD!)…. how on Earth do they come up with these numbers!? Fascinating :)

Oh crap…TI acquires National Semiconductor

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Another mega company and less market competition, meaning we as developers are going to get screwed anytime now… bah!

Btw, the mail they send contained some pretty ‘funny’ lines:

I want to reinforce TI’s commitment to you, our customer,  as we merge our two companies.

Sure, keep believing that. Your commitment is to your own financial benefit, or you wouldn’t have merged in the first place. You know it, we know it, so just be honest and say management is greedy. Just stop feeding us this corporate bullshit.

National’s 12,000  products plus TI’s 30,000 means more performance, power and packaging options when selecting the right ICs for your application.

Euhm how does that chance anything? By simply adding the other’s productline to your own does not magically bring new more powerful products into existence. Would be a neat trick though.

Our combined sales and applications team of 2,500 will be larger than any in the industry so we can provide more customers with greater face-to-face support than ever before.

HAHAHAHAHA, in which parallel universe!? Give me 1 example of a big company getting even bigger where customer experience an actual improvement.

TI’s fabs and National’s available capacity can enable higher production levels.

Again, how does this acquisition increase something? You could move products from one productionline to one at another facility, but that will not increase you production level. Also I must point out that I love the EvalBot stunt they pulled, but it took 3 months to be produced. Suffice it to say I have my doubts when it comes to production levels (this is not a TI/National specific issue, just head over to Mouser, Digikey, etc and look at some of the lead times)

Ok, enough for today ;)

Audio and video troubles

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Last entry of this weekend and just need to blow of some steam. Been trying to get Alsa audio to work and well, what a mess! One audio device, no problem, but with multiple devices the trouble starts. If you have this Alsa version, do that. If you have that distro, change it to this. Using udev? Your loading order can get scrambled and you need to change that config there. New version? Don’t use snd_ prefix in that case. On that distro, you config is located there, and if not, look over there. Linux/Alsa devs, I’ve got 1 thing to say to you; W….T….F….?!

Also not working is hardware video decoding. As expected ATI cards are a pain. 2D, no problem, got that working. But decoding is a different story. Need to get VA-API running/compiling, which in turn is a wrapper for XvBA which is a wrapper(?) to get to the UVD2 engine. Or something like that? Installing libva-dev has no effect when compiling MPlayer, e.g. configure still thinks the VA dev stuff is missing. No idea why, but haven’t spend much time on this yet. Want to get audio working first because listening to some music has a soothing effect in situations like this ;)

Way to go Microsoft!

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Microsoft managed to cock things up again big time. Don’t install Win7 SP1!. It’s crash and bluescreen galore :(

US government retardedness

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

I was about to post a large rant about the US government and how they’re handling the Wikileaks thing. Nothing new has been published yet and they’re already squealing like little piggies resulting in reading their excuses in newspapers in my country on the other side of the world. So instead of writing a big rant I’ll just keep it short and give you a link to a video on the EEVblog. Makes me feel less like a single person shouting in the desert ;)

Dear US government, if you want Wikileaks to stop publishing your dirty little secrets here’s what you do; Stop manipulating the rest of the world, stop lying, stop murdering, stop violating basic human rights, stop intimidating, stop blocking international treaties that benefit us all. Basically stop raping the shit out of the rest of the world!

As for the 2nd part, hop over to the EEVblog and watch Dave voice his opinion on airport security.

ST, what the hell!?

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

So STMicroelectronics has revamped their website. This could have been a welcome change, but instead they stuffed it with flash. And I’m sorry to say it sucks even harder than before…. How hard can it be to get a decent website running? How on earth is anyone supposed to select a product if it’s impossible to find? And who’s idea was it to put fancy animations in a product catalog? And each time you select something a new page is opened…. omg….

ST, what the hell… are you deliberately trying scare people away?

Excessive shipping costs

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Today I’ve been hunting for unusual shaped LEDs – square, cylindrical, tiny, those kind of LEDs. And the one thing I’ve learned is that EU shipping costs are ridiculous! Here in the Netherlands I haven’t found a single source. Ok there’s Farnell and Mouser but they require a minimum order of 50 or 70 euro respectively. Which is unrealistic unless I want hundreds of LEDs (well with Farnell’s pricing policy it’s more like a handful…).

Next I looked at neighboring countries. In Germany it seems DHL has taken over and they charge almost 10 euro (what ever happened to DPD?). Ok I’ve found German stores that ship for less, but they sell LEDs for insane prices. 10 LEDs for 6 euro including shipping. Gets expensive real fast if you’re looking for small amounts of different colours and sizes.

After Germany the UK got my attention. Found a store that sells all kinds of sizes, shapes, colours and good prices. Perfect for what I have in mind. So I tick 10 different LEDs,  one of each. Go to checkout and calculate shipping… 27 pounds… for 10 LEDs… WTF?!!? Nice one TNT. There’s nothing wrong with a nice padded envelope you know.

Depressed by this reality I did a search for my regular online stores in China, Thailand and the US. And guess what? Normal to no shipping costs all over the place and low component prices. So once again I can ship stuff from the other side of the world to my house at a fraction of the cost it would take to ship it from ‘around the corner’.

Just begs the question wtf is wrong with Europe?! This is not the first time and certainly not the last. And in case anyone is doubting whether or not it’s worth to shop around – yes it is! Granted sometimes the shipping costs/time outweigh the benefits. But other times you win big time. The most extreme example I’ve ever come across was when I ordered my Losmandy equatorial mount. It took a couple of evenings to get things in order, but I saved 1100 euro (all in and yes that’s a 4 figure number!), simply by ordering outside the EU.

Just do a little initial research ;)

Security gone too far

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

It’s a fine line between customer friendliness and security, but sometimes the line is crossed making the system impossible to use. In this case my creditcard company has made their security too tight making it impossible to pay for something. It took 3 different browsers and 7 attempts to pay for a small item… time to look for a new bank to do business with…

On a related topic, their argument was that they don’t support all browsers. But that shouldn’t matter if they just follow standards. Websites should be independent of the browser used. Same goes for browsers themselves (yes I’m looking at you Microsoft). Can’t repeat that often enough!

Farnell price differences

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

While shopping for components I noticed some (huge) price differences. Here’s an example;

Same company, just different countries. While to seems pretty much standard to rip off Europeans, these are not small differences, especially considering components are usually sold in large quantities.

Let’s say I want 50 connector; that’s £26,- (= €30,14) in the UK. In The Netherlands it totals to €79,-…. more than 2,5 times the UK price! What the hell…

Also checked a few other things, but those had more normal differences. Limited to connectors only it appears.

Oil smeared Faces of Earth

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Tonight I watched a documentary called “Faces of Earth”. I love documentaries so I started watching with high hopes. Beautiful shots, but half way through the subject became more and more focused on how wonderful fossil fuels are. Something was off and they basically said how our great society needs fossil fuels. So I started searching who sponsored the program and guess what… here are the top 3 ‘supporters’:

  • American association of petroleum geologists foundation;
  • AGI foundation;
  • Exxon Mobil.

Well that explains a lot… That’s enough propaganda for this month… juk!