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I drive a GMC Jimmy. It's a complicated piece of machinery and I don't understand all of its intricacies under the hood, but I can drive it well and it works for me. But most of all I like that it's free. Unfortunately, since I didn't pay anyone for it, there's nobody to fix things when they go wrong. But thankfully it's a well-built vehicle and things tend not to go wrong. Once in a while there's a little problem but I can take it to a friend of mine who is a mechanic and they're able to help. But after doing that a few times I start to feel like a nuisance.

A while ago I discovered that with an add-on package (also free) I could get my Jimmy to automatically negotiate gridlock traffic for me. That's pretty cool, right? So I went ahead and installed it. It wasn't too hard, and it's worked great, saving me a lot of grief.

The maker of that add-on package has a newer model available now that has a lot of neat improvements, and I thought it would be a good idea to install it. As I was reading the instructions, I came across a paragraph that describes how it integrates with the nuclear fusion engine now to negotiate traffic much more efficiently. Wait a minute... Nuclear fusion engine? I don't think my Jimmy has one of those. Ok, then later on I found a paragraph that said Jimmy owners need to get a fusion engine from a distributor that stocks such things and drop it in. (Apparently for owners of regular cars, the new add-on package comes with the fusion engine integration already done.) Ok, so I visited that distributor and looked around for a fusion engine... I think I found what I needed, but it had a bunch of weird connectors hanging off of it and its own 30-page installation manual. In fact, it looked like it was more complicated than what the add-on package instructions indicated.

I found a support group for people affected by this problem, and discovered that indeed that's what I need to do, but most of the people there were nuclear physicists, so they knew more about their vehicles than I did. Yet despite being nuclear physicists, many of them STILL had problems. I tried to listen in on some conversations about how they're solving the problems, but it's way over my head. They're talking about tweaking intermix chambers and aligning atom streams... stuff I would never even think of messing with in my vehicle.

So I guess my choices are to just live with an older model of the traffic-negotiating add-on that won't be supported anymore if something goes wrong, or I'll have to ditch the Jimmy and get a regular car. This pisses me off.

The above rant is true, if you replace the Jimmy with Red Hat Linux, the traffic-negotiating add-on with POPFile, and the fusion engine with BerkeleyDB.

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What, exactly, does a traffic negotiation add on do? And how?

Are you asking about my ficticious device that negotiates traffic? Or the actual POPFile spam filtering tool?

Well, I assumed you meant something ficticious, but I was hoping it was an actual device that gave traffic reports. Man, could I use one of THOSE. Could you invent one real quick like?

Sure, I call it an amplitude-modulated electromagnetic radiation signal-to-audio converter and I sell it for $1249.99. When would you like me to install it?

I'm free next Friday- I'll make supper!

Well I couldn't wait 'til then, so I installed it a few minutes ago when you weren't looking. Go try it out. Will that be cash or check?

Do you take returnable bottles? I have a sack full of old, sticky returnables that need to unload...

Not if they're sticky. They must be thoroughly rinsed and have their labels and caps removed. They must also be marked as returnable in the state of NY and you're responsible for shipping.

DAMN but you're picky!!! Expect a large truck next week.

There's a 5-ton weight limit on my street.

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