HP Software Sucks

HP Software sucks.

Sucks Sucks Sucks!

I spent several hours today attempting to set up my new printer. The first fifteen minutes went by with a breeze, unplugging the old printer, plugging in the new, and testing out the nifty copy feature.

Then came the dreaded HP Software install. I dropped in the CD and let the process begin.

First I was presented with a choice of an extremely bloated install (~400 mb of data) or a wildly ridiculously bloated install (1.2 gb! Seriously, wtf?!). I opted for the smaller install, which then kicked off the installation of a crapload of useless, buggy HP software, all completely unrelated to actually configuring the printer.

Finally as the install nears completion, the installer decides the computer needs to be rebooted. I go for it, figuring what else is new? The computer reboots, I log on, and the software picks up.

The Windows gives me a great message saying that it has detected some unauthorized activity. On top of installing more crappy, buggy software than even moderately necessary, the fundamental software required to make the whole shebang work actually accesses Windows in an authorized fashion? What kind of crappy programmers work at this company?

Having demonstrated that before the software was released no one at HP actually attempted to install it on a Windows XP computer, I step through a few more screens of the install wizard, give up on the harrassment for my registration info, and attempt to use the printer.

Whoops, the printer is now permanently stuck at offline. That big, fat HP software can scan (nifty), but as a printer it’s a total failure. Go freakin’ figure.

I poke about, trying to reinstall the key software or to re-add the printer. Nothing doing.

I read the HP website, and their great advice is to uninstall and then re-install the whole software package. Great, that’s how I want to spend another hour. And why the hell would it work the second time if it didn’t work the first?

I downloaded the corporate drivers, installed those, and success! I can print.

So I try launching one of those bloatware programs that are supposed to control the printer. It does some “re-configuring”, insists on rebooting, and then doesn’t find the printer nor can I print anymore. Totally useless.

Now I’ve removed all the bloatware (except HP Image Zone Express, which refuses to provide any method to uninstall). I’ve removed and reinstalled the corporate versions of the drivers. The printer works again.

Now to see if it will still work after a reboot.

Nice work, HP programmers. You get a C for Craptastic.

Update: I did get the corporate edition drivers to work, but I had to manually configure some steps after I rebooted the machine. And there’s still no way to remove Image Zone Express. Seriously, HP, you clearly haven’t laid off the right people.


At the Texas Bowl

My Texas Bowl story actually begins in Scottsdale. I was there the two days before the Texas Bowl, enjoying some warmer weather before I started the eventual trip home (with a little detour, of course). I was in the Capitol Grill the day before the bowl game for dinner, and through a series of events came to have a brief conversation with one of the guys from the next table. Turns out he was on the Fiesta Bowl committee, and he was involved with last year’s Insight bowl as well. He was geniunely impressed with our fans and found the experience refreshing compared to the sense of entitlment that some of the traditional powers exude.

I met a few Flyertalkers for drinks before the game. I had to restrain myself when the organizer called Rutgers his “favorite mid-major”, and just chalked that up to the Texas football worldview where almost any team not from Texas is probably a mid-major. It just shows how much work the Big East needs to do to rehabilitate its reputation in football.

The game itself was a blast. The stadium was phenomenal, while the on the flipside the field condition was terrible. RU fans apparently shows up in droves, with more than 17,000 in attendance according to the Houston Chronicle (no link available). That Rutgers won 37-10 in what was really a dominating performance, especially in the second half, made it even more rewarding for Rutgers fans. The post-game component was unique, with a lot of love between the players. Eric Foster had the crowd perform the chant made famous in a video from the locker room after the South Florida game. All in all a special experience. Even more so with the chants of Brian Leonard throughout the game, who more than any player helped make Rutgers a special place to play and watch football.

The team returned home Friday, as did I. As expected, the early afternoon flights from Houston to Newark were incredibly overbooked, with my originally scheduled 12:05 pm flight needing what looked like at least 10 volunteers. In the end I saw them get around six, with another four IDBs (Involuntary Denied Boarding). Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to pick up a voucher and still get home the same day. So my relatively expensive trip ended up netting me $500 back.

All in all, a great experience. I can’t wait for next season!


RU Wins

Rutgers won the inagaural Texas Bowl. Woo-hoo! My week in review coming later.


Tony Blair Flies Commercial

Who knew Tony Blair flew on commercial airlines. After all, how many commercial flights has George W., el Presidente extraordinaire, flown since 2001?



A UK study stirred up a bit of a discussion on the rights of robots last week, which leaves me with two ideas. 1) We don’t give rights to our vaccuum cleaner or computer, so why would we need to grant rights to something we create, and 2) do we really want to create “self-awareness” in a digital device in the first place? Will we really generate sufficient benefit from this that it outweighs all the long-term risks? In the end, I doubt that question will endup being relevant, since somewhere in the world someone will do it anyway, regardless of whether it should be done.


Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ?kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter?s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ?ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Merry Christmas everyone!


The Myth of the Box Office

I’ve been wondering for some time when the movie press would realize that the true measure of the success of a movie has very little to do with the box office receipts and everything to do with the actual DVD sales. I have no idea if Snakes on a Plane will or won’t be a success based on the DVD sales, but Time is certainly wrong to indict it at this point without using the overall gross of the movie (including early DVD sales) in its picture of health.

There was a time when the box office take made up a significant part of the overall return of a movie. Now it’s meaningless for the most part. Blame the new media landscape and the accessibility provided in the long tail, but personally, I happen to like it this way.


Something for the Photo Buffs

Thankfully I’ve never been hassled like this guy, but I can definitely see it happening. Aggressive security guards can bugger off.


Out of Touch

A statement like the following in an article by an oversight or management group is like a bright flashing sign saying “out of touch”.

Gamper said he was surprised at all the attention this decision has received.

“This whole subject matter amazes me that it would get so much publicity and notoriety,” he said. Gamper said the population affected by these cuts is relatively small. The total student population on the New Brunswick campus is approximately 30,000 as of fall 2005, and those affected by the six sport teams being cut amount to 115, according to a statement prepared by the University.

Had Rutgers gone through a thorough evaluation, solicited some input, or otherwise had a semi-transparent look at whether to eliminate the six sports that are currently on the way out, I doubt that there would have been an extended discussion on the matter. It was the backdoor, underhanded nature by which the Athletic Director went about having the sports cut, and the Board of Governors complicity in the matter, that has fueled the ongoing debate about whether to cut them. It has nothing to do with the number of students involved in the sports. Even people who would otherwise give the benefit of the doubt to the AD are unhappy, simply because of how the decision was made.


Amazing Payouts

I have no idea if it’s true or not, but I finally have some idea of what the payouts are for the Amazing Race.