Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Here's that story I referred to yesterday about my visit to the ancestral homelands:

Prior to my arrival, my parents had bought a Blu-Ray player, so when I got home, my brother and I went out and got them some Blu-Ray movies. Nice, right? We decided to watch Batman Begins. We put the disc in.

Fucker didn't work.

The machine kept getting about six seconds into the factory-new disc, past the copyright warning and MPAA rating, and just stopped. Gave us a little "spinny disc" icon and the message "Could not perform action" or something. It took us about ten minutes of putting the disc in and out (including a roughly eight-minute interlude where the machine simply refused to eject the disc at all, leading us to power-cycle the motherfucker by unplugging and replugging it) to conclude that it couldn't be a hardware problem. We solved it, though. How?

We had to run a firmware update on the fucking Blu-Ray player.

This happened. We actually did this. We checked the player's firmware version against the manufacturer's website, downloaded a zip file, unzipped it, put the package on a thumb drive, plugged the thumb drive into the Blu-Ray player, selected an update option from the setup menu, and sat there until the progress bar crawled to completion and we could unplug the thumb drive after the automatic restart. Unbefuckinglievable.

Answer me this: what in the good god damned fuck would my parents have done had my brother and I not been around? How did this technology make its way into the hands of civilians? In the garage I saw the box the Blu-Ray player came in, and it had the "Java-powered" symbol on it. Why the fuck does a Blu-Ray player need to run Java?!

After we did all this bullshit, btw, we got to watch Batman Begins, but that was the most ridiculous thing I have ever done with a piece of consumer technology. Someone needs to get punched, but I don't know who that would be.