Random Access Memories

September 29, 2010

Partaking of Seattle Parking

by @ 8:08 am. Filed under Personal, Politics

So our “relatively new” Mayor in Seattle wants to raise downtown parking rates.

His budget proposes parking meter fees of $4 per hour. A sharp increase from the $2.50 per hour that is charged now. People are taking sides on the measure now with some downtown businesses saying it would be very bad for their bottom line.

My take on it as a North-Seattle resident with a car? It’s not enough. I say double the current rate to 5$ per hour.

I’ll happily explain why.

First and foremost I only own a car because I previously owned it before I moved to Seattle. Most things I need are within walking distance for me, and if I want to buy something big I could easily go rent a pay-by-the-hour car to pick it up. My car is old and I’ve been hesitant to replace it, because I really just don’t need a newer one. Moving out of Phoenix reduced my driving by over 95%. It’s much better to take the bus and let someone else do the driving. Having said all this if I want or need to drive downtown for something that requires a car I want to be able to find a parking space.

Downtown Seattle is notorious among residents for it’s lack of available street parking with a large number of the available curbside slots taken up by downtown workers that drive. They find the $20 parking fee for 8 hours curbside beats the average 25$ daily commercial garage fees and it’s hard to blame them.

This seems to indicate that a rise in parking fees would be beneficial rather than detrimental to downtown businesses allowing more customers parking spots for an hour or two since fewer workers are using them. I know I would pay more for this.

Also, one needs to look at what businesses there are downtown. The area is not filled with dolor stores, or big box stores, or huge furniture outlets, it’s primarily small retail establishments and high-end restaurants with a smattering of expensive furniture stores and art galleries where the customers are most likely happy to have things delivered and don’t care about the added expense.

The there is the amount of the increase, which would make us the second most expensive city to park in behind Chicago.

Again I say that’s a terrific idea. Seattle is tearing down the Alaskan Way Viaduct and building a multi-billion-dollar tunnel to route traffic past downtown in favor of pedestrian amenities on the surface. This was supported over cheaper projects that took a huge chunk out of the waterfrost area for an above-ground road.

In short we are simply not a “car-friendly” town and our parking rates should support the general attitude of the population to move towards public transit and pedestrian access and away from automobiles. There was no public outcry over previous parking increases, and I doubt there will be one now.

September 20, 2010

My Negative Pwnboxer review

by @ 8:34 am. Filed under Personal, Reviews, Technology

So I decided that if I was going to let my girlfriend drag me back into WoW I was going to play with at least 2 toons i a team. Hence I would need some control software for this functionality.

I stumbled around and didn’t really find much information regarding the different software packages out there and how they compare with each other. I ended up going for “Pwnboxer”, which I have ended up regretting.

It does have a rather simple setup, and does simpler operations like cloning keystrokes well and laying out window locations and setting CPU affinity. What I didn’t realize is several other software packages do that too, and do it much better.

My list of issues, gripes, etc. (Which has gotten more and more negative as I dug around looking for details on the software and it’s author)

#1 Only videos for setup and information. Not only is this impossible to use if someone is deaf, but it’s also quite hard to search for a specific piece of information. Pwnboxer has no written documentation at all, no database of bug reports, nada.

#2 No contact information on their website. This should have been a huge red flag for me. The only way to get in touch with the person that wrote the software is to post on another forum that is not owned by Pwnboxer and hope you get a reply.

#3 The affiliate system and it’s advertisement. When you start Pwnboxer you get a “Message of the day” that pops up. It tells you about the latest patch (7 months ago at this point) and asks you if you “Want to earn $$$ promoting Pwnboxer?”. Uh, no, I don’t, I already paid for the software so I would just like this blatant advertisement to go away. But you can’t shut this off, this is behavior I expect from shareware, not retail software.

#4 The issues. I could never use the “Mouse Broadcasting” to clone my mouse on all the other screens, it would cause the screens to break from their set locations and spread all the way across both of my monitors. This was not high on my list of priorities at the time, but I later found I needed that to work. Which is something their competitors software did straight out of the “box” without any issues.

#5 Screen placement. For some reason Pwnboxer does not like to accept how big I want my screens to be. I would repeatedly put in “720×450” and it would change it to “719×448” or something, leaving annoying gaps between the screens. The most maddening aspect was that this behavior was random, neither the times it did it nor the numbers were the same twice.

#6 No program control functionality when you are inside WoW. IE. I couldn’t set different things in Pwnboxer to be controllable inside WoW. Well, I suppose maybe I could but I couldn’t check for that on their documentation could I?

#7 Well, so I went digging around and found multiple Pwnboxer reviews that I had seen before, but oddly I had never noticed they were ALL positive, with nothing negative to say about the software at all. Interestingly enough they also have Clinkbank links from them to the affiliate program, so that when a user clicks through and buys the reviewer gets a cut of the purchase. Does that seem unbiased to you?

Disagree? Ok, count the number of comments on the reviews you find. Hrrm, Seems most don’t even allow comments, the others don’t have any comments. Doesn’t that seem just a tad odd to you?

#8 No trial option. If you want to see what the software is like you have to cough up money in advance.

#9 The author is apparently shunned by the multiboxing community. Something I did not know to begin with. If you look around you will find that Pwnboxer is not listed on dual-boxing.com. Nor is it listed alongside other multiboxing software like Keyclone or ISBoxer. Now I don’t know why exactly, but it raises another red flag in my mind.

I think the authors own words help sum up the basis of my complaints nicely:

“These days I can say that there are tens of thousands of people using Pwnboxer”

Which at 35$ per yearly subscription is $700,000.00 gross. And yet his support system?

“I’m trying to close resolved support threads to keep me on target with helping people out, so if you (or anybody else reading this) encounters a problem, please feel free to post what it is.”

Color me unimpressed with the support given for that level of profit. Perhaps that many users are just a few too many for one person to support directly? Perhaps he should put some of that money into making his product feel more like retail software that is worth paying for? I still have 10 months of my subscription, go ahead, impress me, I dare ya.

September 3, 2010

Myth of the Girl Gamer

by @ 12:44 pm. Filed under Personal

In a word, disappointing.

A panel of 4 hardcore female gamers mostly patted themselves on the back. Rather than have a male on the panel to provide an opposing view, or a female gamer that enjoys “girly” games they seemed to just be trying to empower the women in attendence.

Heavy on jokes, heavy on putdowns of older male-dominated gaming, light on the future of females in gaming.

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