Sunday, December 23, 2012

To those who think another "Assault Weapon Ban" will make us safer

Hello, I live in New York state.

Here in the state of New York, we have a copy of the national "Assault Weapon Ban" from 1994 still on the books. This means we in NY have been subject to this law since 1994 and have never had a reprieve, unlike most of the nation did in 2004.

We cannot own magazines with more than a 10 round capacity.
We cannot own any rifles deemed "Assault weapons" by the law.

And yet, we still have mass shootings and murder committed by firearms here in New York. 

Why is it that you think a nation wide ban will be any more effective this time around? CRIMINALS, the people committing these CRIMES, do not abide by laws. They break many laws in committing these crimes, so why would one more law stop them?

Let's try to be rational as a nation and look for the source of the problems, instead of just looking at the symptoms. Instead of punishing law abiding citizens. Instead of demonizing groups of people that have committed no crime.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tragedies and knee-jerk responses

In 2001, close to 3000 people lost their lives in a terrorist attack on New York City and Washington DC invloving hi-jacked airplanes.

Did we blame the airplanes and ban them? No, we blamed the people who perpetrated the despicable acts.

In 2010, automobile accidents caused 32,885 deaths in the US. 10,228 of those deaths were attributed to drunk drivers.

Did we ban automobiles or alcohol? No, we blamed those responsible (when appropriate).

In 2010, 70 people died in logging incidents in the US. (Which, statistically, was 21 times higher than the overall fatality rate in the US.)

Have we banned chainsaws? No. We are looking at ways to make the logging industry safer.

And yet, when a tragedy occurs that involve guns, people instantly start calling for gun bans. It's insane. Truly. Consider that the yearly deaths caused by drunk drivers are around the same as the yearly deaths caused by guns. Why is the same outcry not heard for banning alcohol or cars? Now consider that the yearly death toll reported for guns is BULLSHIT, because they include self-defense shootings and police officer shootings in the HOMICIDE category along with  people killed in school shootings, robbery shootings, and home invasion shootings. The actual number of deaths caused by criminals shooting innocents is much lower than that of drunks killing innocents with cars.

Now consider that guns are constitutionally protected, and cars are not. Don't give me all the crap talking points that people on TV spew. Read quotes from the founding fathers themselves, and then you tell me that they meant for us to be limited. No, they meant for us to keep the power in this country, so that the government would not turn into the same kind of government that they just fought for their freedoms.

You can ban all the guns you like, but it will not stop tragedies like this from occurring. The UK has a very strict gun ban, and yet they still have mass shootings. Let's start thinking rationally and stop responding emotionally. Yes, death is a tragedy. Yes, I feel for those parents. No, I don't think I should be punished for what someone else did.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Borderlands 2 PC texture pop-in

Loving Borderlands 2 on your PC but hating the insane texture pop-in?

Navigate to My Documents > My Games >  Borderlands 2 > Willowgame > config

Open Willowengine.ini in a text editor.

Find [engine.engine] and scroll down until you see


Change MipFadeInSpeed0=0.3 to MipFadeInSpeed0=0


change  MipFadeInSpeed1=2.0 to MipFadeInSpeed1=0

BOOM. No more crazy slow texture pop-in. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Adventures in Alienware Tech Support - Part...uh...5?

So, I demanded a tech be sent, and send a tech they did with a new Motherboard, and power supply.

He had to come to my store to do the repair, as I work all day and couldn't meet him at my home. He was in the back for a few minutes before there was a loud pop. Apparently something sparked, there was smoke, and the PC was still dead.

He called it in, and Alienware told him they would contact me in 24 to 48 hours. Ha. Ha. ha.

I called them right back. They decided, after putting me on hold for a long time, that they would send the tech another motherboard and another power supply, as well as a new video card, liquid cooling system, and some various daughterboards.

The tech showed up the next day, which I was not expecting. He managed to get the PC up and running by replacing the power supply, motherboard, and video card. (Which was only 2 weeks old anyway, but...whatever.)

So, I had the long holiday weekend off and managed to play Guild Wars 2 for a long time. It seems like the PC is running well now, but I'm a little afraid something else will die soon. I'm actually contemplating replacing the OS hard drive with a SSD to make it A) Faster and B) a little more stable. (I had to do an Alien-respawn because the drive created bad sectors over some important OS files...) But, we shall see.

Bottom line so far? If you are going to shell out money for an Alienware, make sure you spring for the extended warranty and coverage. This one would be a paperweight a little after a year since purchase, and that's not good for such an expensive desktop. I'm not knocking Alienware. I used to work in IT and I know what a crapshoot PC hardware can be. I'm just saying that you'd be better off following the safe path. You're dropping over a grand, you might as well go all in, right?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Adventures in Alienware Tech support - part 3

OK, brief recap:

Video card died. Video card replaced. System worked fine for a couple of weeks.

Now: Aurora had issues with the hard drive. Some bad sectors were created over important Windows system files, so Windows Update would no longer update anything. No problems, I back up everything nightly, so off we go to use Alien Respawn to bring the system back to the factory shipped status.

So, I spent a couple of days reinstalling important drivers, Windows updates, and Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars 2 ran great for two entire days, and then BAM! Right in the middle of playing the entire system shut off. And it won't turn back on.

No power. I tried resetting the breaker in the power supply, unplugging it and plugging it back in, I checked all the visible power connections inside. Nothing happens when you press the power button.

Alienware support? They want me to remove the graphics card and try to turn in on, and then remove all of the RAM and try it one stick at a time. To see if it's a POST issue. MORONS: POST cannot occur without POWER. It has NONE.

Oh, well, if that doesn't work we can send you a motherboard, power supply, and RAM to install.


I used to work in IT. I built all my own computers and did all my own work. I bought an Alienware because I didn't have time to do that when I was in school, and now I don't have time because I own my own business. I sure as hell didn't buy an Alienware, extended warranty, and accidental damaged coverage so I could do all the work by myself anyway.

To be continued...

Friday, August 17, 2012


TAMMS-Online POS. It's a piece of shit, all right. Oh, point of sales? No, no really so much.

First of all, it's a glorified DOS program. Yes, this program has a user interface that most people under 30 have never had to use in their lives. It's ornery, it's archaic, and it's hard to use.

Secondly, you cannot do ANYTHING in TAMMS unless it can connect to the database server. Internet down due to a storm? Too bad, NO SALES FOR YOU! Their DB down? NO SALES FOR YOU! It's ridiculous.

And lastly, they just lost all of my sales data for the past 17 days due to a database drive going down. ALL OF MY SALES DATA! My inventory is fucked now. My tax records are going to require rebuilding by hand from thousands of receipts. Half of the time when I try to sell something the system won't let me because that item has no record in the system.

My advice? Do NOT use TAMMS. It's $200 a month for software that should have been upgraded decades ago, and for a database that will get wiped on you when there is any sort of glitch. It's just not worth it. Find something better. Hell, Quickbooks register is better. Just make sure to use an offsite backup as well as an onsite backup.

I'm so mad now I can barely type, so excuse my grammar and shit for this one post, mmkay?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Adventures in Alienware Tech Support - Part 2

Alienware overnighted me my new GeForce 590 card, and it arrived today. Points scored for fast shipping.

I've installed the beast and I am now waiting to see if my black screen issues are resolved (Crossing my fingers) or not.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Adventures in Alienware tech support.

Long story, short post.

My Alienware Aurora R3 has been giving me issues. Specifically, the screen will go black and the PC locks up. Once I shut it down and try to power back on, the PC refuses to boot. It gives the POST boot beep, then beeps 5 short times in a row, over and over again until you shut it back off. Sometimes it will boot again after a few minutes, sometimes it will not boot again for hours.

Alienware support did a bunch of tests, and the first thing they wanted to do was a clean install of Windows 7. Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full. The issue cannot be Windows, because the PC never gets to the point where Windows is involved. The issues is most clearly hardware or firmware related, since it can't get past POST.

So they're going to replace my video card.

OK, let's ignore the POST error code and hope for the best. Hopefully they guessed right. I have a nagging feeling, however, that they did not.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I would KNOW if someone was a gun owner!

I was having a discussion with a couple of guys at my store about the Batman premiere shootings when another customer decided to pitch in with her craziness.

"I would KNOW if someone was a gun owner, because they are all nut jobs!" she claimed. "Like I know you three don't own guns because you seem too normal."

The two guys and I just looked at each other, and the lady said goodbye and left. Then one of the guys says "Uh, I own a couple of guns."

I laughed. "Dude, I'm wearing a Springfield Armory hat, but she can tell I don't own any guns."

I really, really wanted to lift my shirt when she said that she knew that we didn't own guns. Yeah, really? I must just be borrowing this one. Sorry lady, you don't know crap.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Glass - Is it fragile?

So, I ordered another display case for my store because the three I started with are inadequate for the amount of merchandise I am taking in. It takes a week to get here, and the Fedex guy couldn't figure out how to get his tractor trailer in the parking lot. I admit, it's a rather small lot and it's one way traffic, but every other delivery company in the US has been able to get in here and behind the stores. But, I digress.

The display case arrives, and one of the biggest packages is marked "FRAGILE - GLASS." Guess which package sounds like a fucking high pitched maraca? Awesome! (Like a hot dog?)

So now I have a glass display case which is missing the major glass parts. Super. And I was in the process of rearranging the store based on the placement of this new case. Sweet!

Catch Up

So, if you're reading this blog - is there anyone out there? - then you realize that I haven't posted jack since last December. The reason for that is that I graduated from college with a degree in business and immediately set about opening my own business. Ambitious, I know. If that doesn't tell you all you need to know about why I haven't posted in so long, then I can't help you.

Anyway, I wound up opening my own video game store. I'm sure you can find it if your Google-Fu is up to par, but I don't want to name it here simply because I make a lot charged commentary here that I don't want linked to the name of my business.

And so that's what I have been up to in a nutshell. Business, kid, life.