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…just another face in the crowd.

You Won't Win if You Do Play.

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 2014 Mar 18

Here’s a little story that serves as proof that my sense of humor did not come from my mother.

I like to play the lottery but only when the jackpots become “worthwhile” (usually above $300 million) because otherwise it’s too expensive to play twice a week every week and that cutoff point keeps the wasted money to a minimum.

You can’t buy lottery tickets in Nevada and I’d have to drive at least an hour to stand in a huge line at the California border to get them.
Instead, I just ask my mother to pick them up while she’s out and about since you can get ‘em at every convenience store in Texas.

Now, my mother doesn’t really understand how the lottery works and instead of checking the numbers for herself, she scans the ticket and emails it to me so I can check them.
Hell, I’m just impressed that she can usually figure out how to use her scanner.

Anyway, she sends me a scan of today’s ticket with the message: “I’m scanning you the winner!”

My reply: “I’m gonna need you to scan a different ticket because the one you scanned didn’t win anything.”

So she sends me two more scans of the same ticket with the message, “Hope this one is better!”

I know what you’re thinking… “Hey, that’s kinda clever. Why are you complaining?”

Because I know my mother and she didn’t send the new scans to be a smartass, she sent them because she thought I didn’t get the others.

 Published by WebStory

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Superbole

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 2014 Feb 01

Why is it that this weekend, everyone I speak to seems to try to initiate small talk by asking me a question about the Super Bowl and my viewing plans for it?

I mean, there’s really nothing about me anywhere that would indicate that I give a rat’s ass about sports.

So then why do they seem surprised at my reaction when I tell them I will not only not be watching it but am also beyond uninterested in either the gameplay or the outcome of it.

In the past I have been mildly interested in the commercials (one year going so far as to take the feed as it came down and edit the game out from between them), but now that you can watch them all online before AND after they air, who cares?

This all started with the apartment manager asking when I went to pay my rent.

He honestly seemed at a loss that someone actually didn’t care about the game.
He was not the only person I had this same exchange with today.

Apparently being in a hardware store is a manly thing to do and manly men discuss Super Bowls in hardware stores.

Nope, I just wanted to buy some bolts for my headboard because the ones on it right now are too short and can’t be properly tightened and I’m tired of waking up in the middle of the night because my bed is squeaking, not because I care about millionaires getting physical with each other while other millionaires get richer.

Now, most of the time when I order pizza, I usually get a 2-pizza deal. I like cold pizza and that gives me one to eat today and another to eat tomorrow.

So when the pizza dude brings me my stack of boxes and asks me if I’m gettin’ ready for some football, I suppress the urge to beat him to death with soggy cardboard and just tell him “yes”

 Published by WebStory

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Legacy 50

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 2013 Dec 13

Ding!

It was exactly 2 years ago today that I started playing SWTOR (post-beta) and I have finally hit Legacy 50.

In honor of this momentous occasion, I fished up a thread on my old SWG guild forums where I had posted my early likes and dislikes about the game (before I had any idea about what I was doing) and now I’d like to share my stream-of-consciousness ramblings with you.

It was fun for me to look back and compare my very first impressions of the game with those of today.

I don’t like:
– Learning curve. You get it with every new game and it’s not hard, but there’s a LOT of stuff and it kind of feels like they expect me to learn it on my own and I’m just SOL if I don’t pay close enough attention when the help bubble pops up the first time I encounter something. Fortunately, everything seems to have a tooltip.

- Chat interface. I’m sure once I’ve customized it, it’ll be better but I find the default chat difficult to keep up with because of the way it’s presented.

- Mini-map overload. So much data. This is another thing I think will get better once I get a feel for how everything interconnects.

What I do like:
– No giant walls of quest text. DCUO was great in that you didn’t have to read your quest objectives. You essentially got a briefing en-route to your destination.

- Quest dialogue that matters. I’m not sure how much it matters, but at least I’ve got some options for how to progress when talking to the quest givers.

- Cutscenes. Finally quest interaction is more than just clicking on an NPC and taking the quest. It may, however, get annoying if they prove unskippable after I’ve seen them eleventy different times with alts.

What I’m on the fence about:
– Instanced story quest progression. It’s a cool concept and solves a lot of problems in giving the single-player experience in an multi-player environment but I don’t like the big red/green doors and the way players appear/disappear through them. This is mostly an aesthetic complaint so maybe they’ll come up with something that looks better eventually.

Dislike:
– In video terminology, their mission cutscenes have some bad edits in them. If you were recording a dialogue between two characters, you would not cut it together like this. Maybe the average gamer won’t be bothered by this but it bothers me.

Like (so far):
– The combat system makes me feel pretty heroic. So far I don’t feel like I’m just slaughtering rats and even at lvl 5, I feel like I’m kicking ***.

Like:
– Death animations. It’s nice to see the MOBs do more than just fall over and stop moving.

Like:
– Saw my first quest where my dialogue responses appear to have actually made a difference in the way things played out. I talked my way out of the situation rather instead of shooting.

Dislike:
– In typical MMO fashion, there’s a lot of walking back and forth. There seems to be a WoW-like transit system that you unlock as you discover it but all this running through the wilderness seems out of place in a sci-fi setting.

Dislike:
– The lack of swimming. Even SWG’s lame ‘tread water’ bit is better than this. They’ve followed the STO model of just not having water that’s so deep you can’t stand up in it. I suppose I’ve been forever ruined by Rift’s awesome swimming.

Like:
– I’ve really just discovered it but the weapon upgrade system looks pretty cool.

Dislike:
– The ever-increasing cooldown timer for being revived where you died to avoid the respawn and long walk back from the med center, especially when you get revived in a dangerous area and can’t get to safety before your invulnerability timer runs out.

Dislike:
– How the quest “Deadly Delivery” seems less about what I’m delivering and more about how many times I die while doing it.

Dislike:
– Companions from the same quest line all have the same name. So now there’s a bunch of people running around the place with a henchman named Corso Riggs.

Dislike:
– Clothing details such as buckles and pouches on the models look like they’re just a rubberized decal rather than an actual item of clothing since they bend and stretch as the model animates.

Like:
– The loading screen text changes to summarize what’s going on with my story.

Dislike:
– I hate it when games don’t want me to have a last name. I don’t wish to be known as “Captain Geoffrey” because that just sounds lame. They didn’t call him “Captain Han” did they? No. I think STO has the best implementation of this because it lets you determine which name the game uses to address you.

Like:
– I don’t know if it randomizes them or if they’re static but shuffled, but the conversation responses in quests aren’t always stacked Good/Neutral/Evil so you usually have to put a little thought into which button you press.
Conversely, it isn’t always clear exactly which morality you’re choosing based on the choices that are given.

Dislike:
– The longest available male hair isn’t very long.
– There is no tattoo-less Zabrak face.
– Zabrak hairstyles are pretty lame.

Like:
– Separate container for mission items so they don’t take up inventory space.

Dislike:
– The slight delay before the “this corpse has loot” indicator appears because you have to break your ‘run & gun’ stride to wait for it. On the other hand, the indicator itself is very cool.

Like:
– Area loot. It’s an option you can activate that will loot all corpses in the area when you click, not just the one you clicked on. Very convenient.

Like:
– The area map is very comprehensive and includes more than just walls. You can actually walk around an area pretty well with nothing but your map visible.

Like:
– The ‘kick in the crotch’ and ‘bash on head with pistol’ combat animations (especially when used together) are outstanding.

Like:
– Enemies die when your grenades knock them off a high ledge.

Like:
– Alien voiceovers are done in the appropriate language and you have to read the subtitles.

Like:
– Even though I hate the big red/green barriers (as mentioned above), it’s nice that they keep me from wasting time exploring an area that has nothing for me in it.

Like: (sort of)
– I have discovered that the spacebar will let me jump through the quest cutscenes. Not the whole thing, but at least multiple presses will let me skip forward to the “make your choice” option quickly. Hopefully they’ll patch it at some point to skip all the way through it.

Like:
– During your open-world quest cutscenes, you don’t see other players around you. This makes the experience more personal and you don’t have to deal with LuuuuuukkkeeSkeyewalllkurrr humping your questgiver while you’re trying to enjoy the game.

Like:
– While WoW requires lots of addons to give you all sorts of quest tracking assistance, it’s built into this game.

Like:
– Cool things during combat. I threw a sticky bomb at an enemy. My companion shot his grappling hook at him and pulled him over to us. I shot him in mid air, detonating the sticky bomb. The enemy died in a large fireball and went flying across the room.

Like:
– Companion appearance items. At least it’s possible for the thousands of different Corso Riggs’ to look different. Being able to turn off other players’ companion’s names also helps hide the fact that we’re all walking around with the same NPC.

Dislike:
– The “affection” stat for companions. I know it’s just a number relating to how well my companions agree with my actions, but it creeps me out when it tells me my henchman’s affection for me has increased. Surely they could have come up with a better name.

Dislike:
– Weekend beta is over.

 Published by WebStory

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Take Your Money and Go

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 2013 Nov 29

I’m not sure what to make of my Papa John’s delivery person.
After I signed the credit card receipt and he handed over my pizza, he thanked me for my order and wished me a happy Thanksgiving and then it felt like he was lingering a little bit waiting for a tip.
It was very subtle, but all the drivers I used to deal with in Houston completed the transaction and turned and walked away.
It was like he was taking his time to disengage just in case I wanted to reach in my pocket and whip out some money.

Now, given the fact that Papa John’s lets you include a tip as part of your online transaction, I just do it there because it saves the need to do math at the front door.
Also, given the fact that this is probably the most common way they get their tips, it’s reasonable to expect that the drivers are aware of it and can actually see if/what you tipped them before they get to your door.

Furthermore, I tipped $5 on a $7.50 order (including tax and delivery fee).
Yeah, that’s right… a 67% tip. 125% if you only count the cost of the food itself.
1) I almost always tip these guys $5.
2) I was cashing in points and got a free pizza so my actual order would have been $14 (plus delivery/tax) under normal circumstances.

So even at full price, my tip was MORE than generous.

I’m not sure what to make of it.
Like I said, it was *VERY* subtle but he was either lingering just a little bit for some cash or hoping I’d invite him in to split the pizza.

The only other time I’ve experienced lingering of this nature was a few years ago at Fan Faire when the hotel valet brought my car around and I handed him the ticket thinking he needed it.
I fully intended to follow that up with some cash but apparently he decided this indicated that he wasn’t going to get any so he turned and walked away before I could reach back in my wallet for money.

Someone should write a book on proper tipping methodology because clearly I suck at it and almost always over-tip as a way of compensating for the fact that I really don’t know what I’m doing in the hope that these people will be too distracted by the extra cash to think I’m an idiot.

 Published by WebStory

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Arresting Development

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 2013 Jun 26

I finally got around to watching the new season of Arrested Development (after re-watching seasons 1-3 for a refresher) and I’ve got mixed feelings.

On one hand it was cool to see the story continue but the way they chose to tell the story was a little overwhelming.
That’s not to say that I didn’t like it… In fact I thought it was quite interesting.

However, unlike the earlier seasons (and most other shows), it’s not told sequentially… All of the episodes are telling a single, parallel story.
This means that it had to rely much more heavily on narration than in previous seasons just to keep the story on track because it’s way to easy to forget what you’re seeing.

For instance, you may see a brief scene in episode 1 that’s relatively straightforward but in episode 4 you see the same scene from a different character’s point of view with more background leading up to it and something that was kind of out in left field in episode 1 (not unusual for the show) suddenly makes perfect sense in episode 4 because you’re finally seeing it in context.

It kind of reminded me of the old show Three’s Company and their “overheard innuendo” gags where Jack and Chrissy are in the kitchen doing something harmless like baking a cake. Then Janet comes home and stops just outside the kitchen door and overhears them and suspects they’re having sex (or the 70′s TV equivalent) in clear violation of the roommate rules.
Then the rest of the episode was spent focused on her reaction to what she thought she heard even though you the viewer knew the whole story.

Now imagine that same episode except that you don’t know any more about what was going on in the kitchen than Janet does and Jack and Chrissy keep doing and saying things that seem to confirm the conclusion that both Janet and the viewer have drawn.
It won’t be until a few episodes later that you get to see the exact same period in time but from Jack and Chrissy’s point of view that shows the whole thing was just one big misunderstanding.

So like I said… I thought it was an interesting way to tell the story but because it keeps constantly looping back on itself, the narrator had to play a much more aggressive role than he did in the original series just to keep you on course.

Bottom line: Did I like it?
I’m not sure.

It was a departure from the story of the first 3 seasons (which is only fair because several years have passed) and I thought the method of telling the story was interesting BUT that also means the narrative is very convoluted and you have to follow along very closely to keep up.

I think what made the first 3 seasons of the show so enjoyable was that it was light but clever comedy.
Season 4 is still just as clever but you’ve got to work so much harder to keep up with the story and I don’t know if it would have been possible to do this in the “traditional” weekly episodic format because it practically demands that you watch every episode as fast as you can before you forget what happened.

If you haven’t seen Arrested Development, it’s certainly worth watching but you have to start from season 1 because it’s one of those shows that assumes you’ve seen every episode and doesn’t make much of an effort to slow down and let you catch up.

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Take My Money… I’m Begging You!

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 2013 Jun 24

The medical billing system for my doctor keeps sending me email reminders that my “monthly statement is now available for viewing.”
That’s all fine and dandy except that every time I go there to try to pay, it shows my last visit with an “insurance pending” amount.

That’s not unexpected since that’s the amount insurance didn’t pay and, let’s be honest, they aren’t going to pay since they’ve already paid what they’re gonna pay.

The problem is that even though the system will let me see this number, it won’t let me pay it.

Attention medical billing people: I am trying to give you money that I owe you even if you haven’t decided that I owe it to you yet.
Help me help you.

It says I have a zero balance and even if I enter an amount in the payment field, it won’t accept it because the system doesn’t acknowledge this “pending” amount as being owed yet.

My last trip to the doctor was almost 2 months ago and it still won’t let me pay.
BUT, the next time I go, I’m fairly certain that it’ll be flagged for non-payment in their system again and the receptionist will be snippy with me and ask if I want to make a payment.

I’ve had this discussion with her before… I owe the money… I’ve got the money… Why won’t you take my money when I try to give it to you?

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Worst Smugglers Ever

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 2013 Jun 08

So it’s 5am and due to a lack of anything but infomercials on TV, I’m watching some sort of “world’s wildest police videos” type program.
The clip they just showed was of a traffic stop where the cop asked for permission to search the driver’s car.

If you have drugs or other illegal things in your car, why would you say yes?
Do you think that maybe they’ll look in the front seat and possibly the glove compartment and then let you go without checking the trunk to find the 45 pounds of marijuana you have stashed back there?

C’mon!

Sure, they can take steps to search without your permission but at that point they need probable cause and a simple denial isn’t enough to give it.
So if they want the search and you know you’re guilty, at least make ‘em work for it.

The officer was very clear as he explained how there was a problem with narcotics smuggling through that area and that he was not accusing the driver of anything.
He made sure the driver knew that he was responsible for anything found in the car and then asked for permission to search the vehicle.

The dude said yes.

So his two friends get out and the three of them stand off to the side while the cop looks through the car but when he gets to the trunk, they suddenly decide that they’d like to revoke the permission to search.

Gee, that’s not the least bit suspicious.

Now, I won’t pretend to know the finer points of Fourth Amendment law, so I don’t know if he’d be required to stop his search at this point or not.
The cop may or may not have been clear on it either but he did the smart thing and called for a drug dog.

What’s that Fido?
You smell drugs inside this car that we haven’t been given permission to search?
Well I suppose we’ve got probable cause to pop the trunk and take a look now, don’t we.

See, if I were gonna be a drug smuggler (or other transporter of contraband), my vehicle would be in top condition and I’d obey all the traffic laws.
I’d hate to think that I was responsible for the collapse of a multi-million dollar drug trafficking operation just because I was driving 10 miles over the speed limit.

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A Case of Altsheimer’s

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 2013 Jan 22

I finally finished chapter 1 on my Trooper last week so I’ve really just had him in maintenance mode for a few days; sort of milling around, gearing up, and doing all the interlude stuff while I played other characters, moved inventory around, and upgraded alts.

So Tuesday morning I had some extra time to play and I’m ready to send him off on his next adventure.
Quest journal says Tatooine so that’s where I’m headed next.

The first thing I notice that’s odd is that none of the usual quest givers seem to be offering quests.
It’s been awhile since I ran my Smuggler through Tatooine so maybe I’m remembering the layout wrong.

Anyway, I’ll go to the cantina to grab the bind point and the quests that are in the basement and hope they aren’t bugged too.
On my way there as I’m puzzling over the lack of quest givers, I notice that I’m level 34.

That’s strange… all that rest XP and XP boosts appear to have paid off.
Wow! I’m gonna be seriously over-leveled for this planet.

I get to the cantina and the only NPC offering anything is a heroic and I don’t want to do that.
This really is strange.
Maybe my high level means that they won’t talk to me.

Oh well, let me go find my mission and get this planet started.
My class story will keep me pointed along the proper path so even without the side quests, I’ll still be able to function.

Oops, forgot the bind point… let me run back in and get it.
Strange that it doesn’t have the "undiscovered" symbol over it but maybe this is the one that it automatically gives you when you land.

Whatever, it’s time to be off.

So I head to the taxi and it’s the damndest thing… I’ve already got all the taxi routes unlocked.
When I land at the next site, I check my map and a very large portion of the map is unlocked as well.

Maybe I’m so over-leveled that it unlocked all of this stuff for me and that’s why I can’t get any quests except my class quest and the daily heroics.

Hooray! I’ve solved the mystery!

Now let me get back on the taxi and head toward my objective that’s over in the bonus series part of the map…

It was at this point I realized that I’m not seeing the benefit of some new feature but rather that I am, in fact, losing my mind.


You may recall this line from the top of the page:
I finally finished chapter 1 on my Trooper last week”

I’ve been flipping characters so much lately that I’ve completely lost track of who’s done what.
It might be time for a break.

Notes for the Uninitiated:
In SWTOR, your class story progresses through a series of planets.
Once you’re finished with one, you’re sent onto the next.
However, in between planets, you may be sent to other places (frequently to places you’ve already been) to flesh out the story before you’re moved onto the next planet.

For Republic classes, Tatooine usually falls in your mid-to-late 20’s and is followed by Alderaan.
Finishing Alderaan marks the end of Chapter 1 and you’ll be in the mid 30’s at this point.

There’s a lot of running around to get Chapter 2 started and that took me back to a planet I’d already completed.
Unfortunately I’ve been playing so many different characters over the past month that I’ve lost track of who’s done what and thought it was the first time this particular character had been there.
That explains why nobody would give him quests and most of the planet had been explored.

It took me a good 5 minutes to realize this.

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A Note on Situational Imperial Loyalty

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 2012 Dec 31

As we’ve seen, Imperials tend to be stupidly loyal.
When confronted with an unstoppable killing machine with bodies piled up behind me as far as the eye can see, Imperials continue to believe that they will be the one who will finally halt my forward progress despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
This makes the encounter I just had with a particular Imperial Major somewhat perplexing.

The scene: Two heavily armed and armored Republic Commandos casually walk into a secret Imperial listening post where the Major, a guard, and two techs are working.

Guard: Sir! Intruders!
Major: WTF!!?! Drop your weapons or we’ll kill you.
Me: Whoa there… I’m not here to fight, just tell me what I want to know.
Major: You can ask your questions from jail. Now, drop your weapons.
Me: Dude, seriously, just tell me where the droid I’m looking for is and I’ll be on my way.
Major: Seize them!

Guy I’m Chasing (via Holo-call): Hello, Major, we’re ready to… WTF is that guy doing here??!?
Major: Shut up, can’t you see I’m busy?
Me (to guy on the phone): Is that any way to let your new bosses treat you?
Guy: Pfft… Those guys are just a means to an end. Have fun killing them.
Major: Don’t be ridiculous. We’ll handle this.
Guy: No, you’re about to die and then he’ll be coming after me. Goodbye. (disconnects)

Major: That disrespectful SOB…
Me: Look, just tell me where the droid is and I’m outta here.
Major: Are you nuts? That guy may be a scumbag but he’s vital to the Empire’s plans and I won’t let you stop him.
Me: He can’t be trusted.
Major: You have convinced me. Here’s the information you wanted.
Me: Tell me why the thing he’s working on is so important.
Major: No problem.  Also, shoot him once for me.

Note to future Imperial allies: Always be polite to the mid-level functionaries lest they toss you to the wolves and, in the process, bring about the failure of a project that could have turned the tide of battle in their favor.

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My Tech, My Tech, Why Has Thou Forsaken Me?

Posted by Rankyn Phyle on 2012 Dec 09

I’ve experienced an unusually high rate of technology difficulties in the past couple of months.

Here’s a rundown:

October 20
Portal 2 insists that I update it before it’ll let me play.
After the update, it won’t start and all attempts at reinstall and repair fail.
As a final option, I uninstall and reinstall Steam.
While Steam did warn me that I’d have to download all my games again, I did not anticipate the fact that it would delete every bit of user data when it uninstalled itself.
For the most part, this was just a minor annoyance with config files and such BUT it erased the Portal 2 map I had built in the Steam Workshop.
After spending a couple of days attempting data recovery, I am forced to give up and rebuild the map from scratch.
Even though the revised map is much improved, I’m still irritated by it.
Portal maps are now backed up off-machine.

November 16
I wake up to find that sometime during the night, my computer locked up.
I never shut my PC off and this happens from time to time so I just hit the reset button.
Unfortunately, this time I’m met with the BSOD.
I only had an hour to deal with it before I had to get ready for work so I didn’t get much troubleshooting done.
The best guess from the stop error was bad RAM but I wasn’t convinced.
The Windows repair tool refused to run because it didn’t see my RAID.
I made it a point to download RAID drivers while I was at work.
Came home from work that night and went to bed because I didn’t feel like messing with it.

November 17
Day 1 of my vacation is spent trying to get my PC to boot properly.
Thanks to the RAID drivers, I’m able to get the Windows repair tool running and after about 6 hours, my PC will boot again.
The problem appears to have been a corrupt registry entry.

Mid November – Early December
Because of ongoing illness (apparently my tech isn’t the only thing giving out on me), I spend a lot of my time on my couch rather than in front of my PC.
At some point I decided that I would be better served to have the charger for my iPhone and iPADD near the couch as well as a fan to blow on me and counter the fever.
This meant stealing the cord that supplied power to my #1 laptop’s external drive which is where my iTunes library is stored. (This will be important later)
I needed power by the couch more than I needed iTunes so this was an easy sacrifice to make.
I’ll just move it back if I absolutely must access iTunes at some point.

November 28
I ordered a cheap laptop from Amazon during their Black/Cyber Friday/Monday sale with the intention of making it a dedicated Media Center PC since none of my other machines have HDMI.
I spent several hours fighting with that abomination called Windows 8 before downloading a program called “Classic Shell” which solved all my problems in less than 10 minutes.
I’m glad that Bill Gates didn’t live to see this travesty of an OS.

November 29
I’ve got an Asus Netbook that I used to tote around with me everywhere until I got an iPADD.
Now that I rarely use it, it appears that the CMOS battery has died because it keeps insisting that it’s January 1st, 2002 every time it boots.
If I forget to boot into BIOS and set it every time I fire it up, Windows XP freaks out with all sorts of security errors because of date discrepancies.
What I learned today was that it would have been faster just to reboot and set the clock rather than try to work around the problem while the OS did everything in its power to stop me.

December 1
It finally looks like all the stars have aligned and my luck is changing!
The Media Center PC is properly configured and ready to take its place near the TV so I can close the lid and control it remotely without ever having to touch it again.
Unfortunately I can’t do Wake on Lan over WiFi so I’ll have to hardwire it but there’s already a cable strung across the room from back in the old days when my XBox had to be hardwired and all I have to do is plug it back into the router.
Then I discover that I have no spare power outlets.
All that work and now I’m dead in the water until I can string another power cord from somewhere.
That probably won’t happen before the 15th.

December 5
Bought a full size Portal gun.
This is completely unrelated to anything but I just wanted brag about it.

December 6
I finally need to work with iTunes again, and I’m feeling considerably better now so I’m spending less time on the couch.
It was a simple task to move the power cord back to the other side of the room and plug the external iTunes drive back in.
Everything fired up and was working just fine.
Then I updated to iTunes 11.
The program insisted I reboot my computer and after the reboot, my iTunes drive is not recognized.
The laptop recognizes that there’s a drive there but it insists the drive is blank and needs to be formatted.

Now, before I continue, let me stress that this is not a catastrophic data loss.
I neither like nor trust iTunes so its collection of data is actually my tertiary music storage.
All my music is stored on drive A, backed up on drive B, and then copied to iTunes for sync with iDevices.

Anyway, my first thought is that the external drive hardware has failed.
That is, after all, why I’m currently using that drive anyway.
The old drive I kept iTunes on suffered a similar failure a few months ago but the drive itself was fine and the data was easily recovered.
So I copied everything over onto a different drive I had lying around and put it into a new enclosure which worked flawlessly until this happened.

December 8
I removed the drive from the enclosure and plugged it directly into a USB to PATA cable and the drive still wasn’t recognized.
I’m not dead in the water because all my music can be copied back and all the data is still on the iPhone and iPADD but I really don’t want to go through the hassle of getting everything on iTunes set up just right again.
That means it’s time to pull out my trusty friend GetDataBack and let it start scanning.
I let it scan all day while I was at work and it looks like it will need to copy data overnight but my odds of recovering everything are very high.
My plan this time is to set up iTunes on a network share.
I realize it’ll probably take forever to sync my iDevices but I’ll never have to worry about supporting an external drive on that laptop again.

December 8 (part 2)
When I came home from work and sat down at my PC to deal with the aforementioned data recovery, I realized that the keyboard on my main PC had crashed.
Re-plugging the USB connector didn’t help.
The Logitech software appears to have crashed and it took my keyboard with it.
I had to plug the keyboard into a different USB port altogether to get it to work again but, since the driver software had crashed, I had no control over the extended gaming functions.
To make matters worse, the config program’s window had crashed and was sitting right in the middle of my desktop.
It wouldn’t respond to kill orders from the Task Manager or from PSKill.
It was clear that if I wanted to recover my computer, I was going to have to reboot.
I hate to reboot my computer.
The last time I rebooted was November 16th, and that didn’t turn out very well.
Fortunately it looks like everything worked this time.
I’m a little afraid to return the keyboard to it’s USB port on the back of the computer out of fear that the thing might explode.

December 9
It’s almost 3am.
My PC is still working and the iTunes recovery is at 24%.
I’m afraid to fall asleep because I dread what may go wrong overnight.

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