The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Rant, no. 2

The following rant has been long overdue, and after an experience I had today, I could restrain myself no longer. Both have to do with mentally challenged software companies (big surprise) that have somehow managed to stay in business.

First, Microsoft's stupidity has become proverbial, so I'll waste no time going over the hackneyed proofs (I'll refer to one: the greatest oxymoron in the world? Microsoft Works).
My experience today involved Microsoft's newest version of Media Player (ver. 11). I had no problems with it until today, when I decided to play some old MP3s I had not listened to in some months. In a few cases, I received the error message to the effect that Media Player cannot play these files because it does not recognize the codes. Fair enough, but here's where Microsoft's insane, jaw-dropping level of idiocy shines: these files worked fine in Media Player 9 and 10! Thus, Microsoft's goal with the release of their new products is to make them less useful. "Download Media Player 11 and play even fewer files than before!" should be the commercial.

My arch-nemesis on this planet is not a person, institution, or idea, but a computer program: Adobe Acrobat. This program is the most useless, non-user friendly piece of garbage ever made; it makes Microsoft's programs look like works of genius. Granted, Acrobat's latest version is much faster than before, but a troglodyte with a few sticks and stones would have made it so quicker, so this is hardly impressive. I'm not quite sure how Adobe cornered the market on .pdfs. Actually, I hate .pdfs too: they take forever to load, are unsearchable, and cause more crashes than necessary on all but the most up to date computers. As if this weren't enough, Adobe had to go a step further: if you are filling a pdf form (say, for a PhD or grant application) Adobe Reader, the free version of the program, cannot save your work; you must print it immediately. This is fine in most cases, but what if you need to fill out the form partially and then email it to someone else to complete? To get around this, and to deservedly spite Adobe for this nonsense, I now have a pirated version of Adobe Professional, which allows one to actually save their work (God forbid you should do so!!!).

By the way, my new browser is Mozilla; I refuse to use Internet Explorer unless I absolutely need to. I recommend everyone change browsers because Internet Explorer, in addition to its faults, is the least safe browser. In fact, Microsoft should provide every former user of IE with free anti-spyware software because it is so susceptible to infection.

Now for something completely different (which I'm sure Dr. J will enjoy): later this evening I will be heading to Carelton University with a friend to see Gayatri Spivak give a lecture. I don't know too much about her except that she's a poco/marxist/feminist/"deconsructionist" theorist, and was made famous for her translation of and preface to Derrida's Of Grammatology. At the very least, I can say, years from now, that I saw her give a talk. Whether one likes her or not, she is one of the few living critics/theorists that has a certain cachet and semi-legendary status. I will report thereafter if anything of interest occurs.


Blogger Dr J said...

My sympathies on the Spivak. Everything of hers I've read was truly quite dreadful.

10:58 a.m.  
Blogger Pious Labours said...

hahaha, I knew you'd come through Dr. J :-)

To be fair, I don't know too too much about her (apart from the Derrida connection), so I can't really say. Last night's lecture was delivered more or less impromptu because her hard drive crashed. I understood parts of it, but not on the whole. That could just be me, though.

11:03 a.m.  

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