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Doesn’t Feel Like A Wednesday

Posted by | Posted in Random | Posted on 14-01-2009

I’m not entirely sure what a Wednesday is supposed to feel like, but whatever it is, this isn’t it.

In other random news, Microsoft released it’s first patch for Windows 7 yesterday. I’m starting to think that my failing to get Windows 7 working at the weekend was a good thing. Firstly, I hate networking troubles (which I don’t think was anything to do with Windows 7, to be honest); secondly, people have been reporting issues with a lot of sound cards; and lastly, there’s the issue that this patch addresses.

The issue in question is the fact that Windows 7 has a flaw that sometimes crops MP3 files and removes some of the song from the file. Apparently, this only happens when the MP3 file is edited or modified in some way, but because Windows can automatically get artist and title information from the net (and subsequently update the file meta-data) that effectively modifies the file, sometimes resulting in the bug cutting off some of the song.

Not a massive problem for a lot of people, I suppose, but for me, as someone who had thousands of MP3s on my machine due to my DJing antics, that could have been one almighty pain in the rear end. Not to mention the fact that iTunes and the like have seen a massive rise in the number of paid-for downloads, which people wouldn’t be best pleased about should those MP3s get ruined by Windows.

Thankfully for Microsoft, scenarios like this are covered by their EULA which (probably) states something along the lines of, “we cannot be held responsible for Windows crashing and burning, as it’s only a test copy, foo’!”, and so they can wash their hands of all blame. Still, at least they’ve fixed the issue now. All in all, though, people seem to like Windows 7 quite a lot. From the little experience I had playing about with it, I liked it a lot too. But then again, I quite like Vista, so you make your own mind up.

Tonight, I’m off to see a mortgage advisor. Now, like most people around my age, I’ve never bought a house, and so I’m not exactly well versed in the ways of house-buying. However, my family have been buying and selling houses (to rent) for a number of years now, so I do at least have some valuable information at my fingertips. Nonetheless, I still need to figure out exactly what’s on offer at the moment, what I can borrow, and more importantly, what I can afford to pay back. I think the time has come to try and work out a budget that I might be able to work with should I buy my own place, but then again, it would be helpful to know what an average mortgage repayment is.

It’s exciting times really, but as I said a couple of weeks ago, 2009 is going to be the year of change for me. I’ve even taken a peek at a the official DSA Driving Theory Test book again. I certainly won’t be renting a place, though. A lot of people I know have continued to rent a place after having left university. Although that may be easier in the short term, in the long term it’s simply wasting money. Rent payments are rarely any cheaper than mortgage repayments, but rent payments are effectively just throwing money away, whereas a mortgage repayment is effectively like putting money into a savings account – when you sell your house, you pay back everything you’ve borrowed, minus what you’ve already paid off, which you get to keep.

Something that’s been bugging me for a while now (and it’s something I’m guilty of myself) is the inability of some people to respond to communications. I’m talking about emails or text messages, or any other form of communication that doesn’t require face-to-face contact. I think that society as a whole has become increasingly more rude, because a large percentage of the communications we apply are not real-time, face-to-face communications.

Back in the day, the only forms of communication were postal letters, and talking to people, either on the phone or face-to-face. Nowadays, though, we can send text messages, emails, IM messages, Facebook messages, chat on MSN messenger, or use a whole host of “what am I doing now” sites, like Twitter for example. With these new forms of communication comes a complete absense of manners. People don’t feel the need to respond to an email right away like they would a spoken question, and either forget about it completely or choose to ignore it. Imagine of you did that whilst having a conversation with someone. Imagine if someone said something directly to you, or indeed, asked a question that they’d like an answer to, and you just walked away, saying nothing. You’d get a good shouting at, if nothing else. So why do we think it’s OK to do that with a text message or an email?

Because we don’t have to deal with the repercussions, that’s why. At the very least, we don’t have to listen to someone shouting at us for doing it. Moral issues aside, that attitude is slowly starting to spill over into actual spoken conversations as well. People start to use “selective hearing”, whereby they only consciously hear what they want to hear, and everything else gets ignored. I know I’ve caught myself doing the very same thing on a few occasions, and so now I try not to.

Now, I’m not complaining about the fact that we have forms of communication that aren’t real-time. Emails are a god-send, and it means we don’t waste half as much paper as we could. It means that people in completely different timezones can communicate rather effectively, with no major changes to anyone’s lifestyle. Sure, replies might take a good 8 hours or so, but if you can send an email before you go to bed, and have an answer in the morning, with nobody having put themselves under any undue lifestyle or work changes, then great. But I do feel as though people take advantage of the situation.

Take text messaging, for example. You can send a text message to someone, and know full well that they’re awake, close by, and got nothing better to do than answer you, but they still don’t bother. Worse still are the people who never bother replying to a text message when you send them one, but as soon as they send you a message, they expect a reply within minutes. Despite sometimes being guilty of not replying to a message right away, I draw the line at never replying to a message, yet expecting others to reply to me instantly. Anyone who does that to me can forget it. These days, I’m making an effort to reply to text messages promptly (and I nearly always reply to emails immediately) so I’m expecting the same from others.

Too harsh, you think? Perhaps, but more often than not it wont be. Although there are some occasions when people simply cant reply ASAP, when they do reply, they usually give a truthful reason why it’s taken so long. As well they should, as that’s just common courtesy and good manners (something else society is lacking these days). Some people, of course, realise this, and make up some sorry lie about why they didn’t reply. Liars are in a class of their own, but I’ll get onto those some other time. For now, be warned! If there’s no reason for you not to reply to any messages I send you, then don’t expect me to go out of my way to reply to you!

Righteo, that’s my rant over for the day. Have a good one all!

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