Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man

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January 2009
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Gears of War DRM screwup makes PC version unplayable

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 12:38 pm

From Ars Technica: Gears of War DRM screwup makes PC version unplayable

Yet another example of Digital Rights Management (DRM) making legitimate users’ life miserable. I love the last line in Ars Technica’s article: “Those who pirated the game, as usual, continue to play with no issues.”

I’ve been railing against DRM for years now, yet companies continue to try and convince their customers that this is a good thing. It isn’t, and will bite legitimate purchasers in the rear end eventually. Try to avoid any purchase that comes with restrictive DRM software.

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SPERDVAC 2009 Convention Information

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 7:50 pm

For your downloading pleasure, a flier and registration form conveniently packaged as an Adobe Acrobat file for your printing pleasure - this for the 2009 SPERDVAC convention, to be held May 1-3, 2009 at the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn. This one sounds like a can’t-miss!

icon for podpress  2009 SPERDVAC Convention Flier: Download

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Delay of analog TV’s death hits House snag

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 1:15 pm

From CNN: Delay of analog TV’s death hits House snag

Contact your Representative and demand they vote to delay the end of analog signals, and support bills to provide more money for digital converters.

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Mail Pileup…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:07 pm

Had a slight email blockage the last few days; it’s “unstuck” now, and I should get through everything by the end of the day.

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One Thought on the New President…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 12:59 pm

Yesterday, another peaceful transfer-of-power occurred, something we all tend to take for granted but a thing that many other countries’ citizens would love to see happen. While I try to remain apolitical here on the blog (yeah, I spout off my strong opinions about issues, but I try to avoid the personalities), there’s something I have to mention. Whether you love President Obama, hate the guy, or are ambivalent, there is one inescapable and unquestionable fact about the guy:

He’s younger than I am.

For the first time, the President of this country is to me a relative puppy…and that makes me feel a little bit older today than I felt yesterday. I understand I cannot stop the hands of time as they slowly march to the end of my days, but this young whipper-snapper doesn’t need to rush things along. Had the other guy won, I wouldn’t be feeling the creaks of my joints quite so much - heck, I’d have a relative spring to my step. So while along with the rest of the nation I hope the current occupant of the White House can cope with the pressing needs of the nation, I’m still a little ticked off at him for being so d*mned young.

I can only comfort myself with the knowledge that the weight of the office will age him faster than me…on the other hand, he doesn’t have a red-headed daughter, so maybe not…

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More Backscatter spam…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 4:38 pm

Some moron is using the OTR Digest’s -request address as the envelope sender for some porn spam. While only people without a clue would blame the Digest for sending this stuff, it is causing a mild problem because some mis-configured systems (HINT: Hotmail) are bouncing the mail after the SMTP transaction, and so sending the bounces to us instead of dropping the original SMTP connection.

It isn’t fatal, but it is a pain in the patoots…

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British and Canadian Television Goes Round and Round…

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 4:19 pm

Like some of the characters, I seem to be stuck in something of a time loop when it comes to characters in various British and American television programs. Let me try to explain…

I have recently completed watching the original (and far superior to its American knock-off) Life on Mars, starring John Simm as Sam Tyler and Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt. Glenister is currently starring as Rupert Galvin in the series Demons, something like a male Buffy the Vampire Slayer with teen angst and monsters (Galvin is an American, and while I’m sure the Brits don’t notice anything amis, Glenister’s American accent can sometimes be a little painful on the ear to those of us for whom it isn’t an accent), which recently aired an episode with guest star Grace Vance as Ally Dunelm, a child used by an evil force to kidnap other children. The young Ms. Vance was instantly recognized from her recurring role as Alex Drake’s daughter Molly in the sequel to the afore-mentioned Life on Mars I am currently watching, Ashes to Ashes (astute readers will recognize the series’ titles as David Bowie songs), which also stars Glenister as Hunt this time set in the 1980’s (can’t wait to see the hash American TV will make of this one!). The protagonist of Ashes to Ashes, Alex Drake, is portrayed by Keeley Hawes - this wide-eyed beauty looked so familiar but I couldn’t place her, until last evening when I realized she also starred as Dr. Julia Ogden in the 2004-2005 original Canadian series The Murdoch Mysteries (revived last year with a different cast) which also featured Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Colm Meaney, who was a bit miscast as Gene Hunt in the pilot (but not the series) of America’s Life on Mars. The title character in The Murdoch Mysteries was acted by Peter Outerbridge, the lead of my all-time favorite Canadian series, Re-Genesis.

The only conclusion I can draw from all of this is…I watch way too much television.

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Television Changes, Part 1 - Whaa?

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 2:54 pm

As everyone should know (but many don’t), television is changing in a big way in February (although as of this writing the February 17th date has gone soft). The way of transmission between station and you, good enough for better than fifty years, is going away. And other than some silly little promotions by the NAB, no one is really talking about the changes that are coming, and the resultant changes you need to, or can, make to continue watching re-runs of McHale’s Navy. So in an occasional series, I’m going to wax philosophical about the changes, and even point out some things no one seems to be mentioning in the transition from analog to digital. In this installment, I’m going to give you a quick primer on all those silly terms geeks like me tend to spout at a moment’s notice that sound like the worst kind of gobbledygook.

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Ricardo Montalban, Actor, Dies at 88

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 6:50 pm

From the New York Times: Ricardo Montalban, Actor, Dies at 88


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Patrick McGoohan, TV’s ‘Secret Agent’ and ‘Prisoner,’ dies

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 5:23 pm

From The Los Angeles Times: Patrick McGoohan, TV’s ‘Secret Agent’ and ‘Prisoner,’ dies

I know everyone will remember “The Prisoner,” but I think of the Reverend Dr.Syn, and, “of days long ago, when the great Scarecrow, would ride from the jaws of hell…and laugh with a fiendish yell…”

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Bob Edwards’ Longest-Distance Interview

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 2:01 pm

In what must be his longest-distance interview to date, Bob Edwards interviews astronauts Sandy Magnus and Mike Fincke aboard the International Space Station on January 12, 2009.

Hint to producers: Would have been nice to have a video feed from the studio for a split-screen… ;)

Note: This was my first experience working with the Windows Movie Maker and…um…I think I’ll stick to Studio and other much less “kludgie” programs…>

icon for podpress  Bob Edwards interviews astronauts Sandy Magnus and Mike Fincke: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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XM Satellite Radio Discussion

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio, Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 12:49 pm

On the Internet OTR Digest, the subject of XM Satellite Radio has come up. Since it really isn’t directly on-topic, I suggested the discussion be moved here.

So feel free to discuss anything and everything about XM or satellite radio in general here…talk about radios, how well they work at home, which channel is better, anything you’d like, since here the discussion is as unfocused as the guy who runs the place…

To get you started, and maybe to rile some of you up, I point to my 2004 review of the RadioClassics channel…and no, I don’t think anything has changed since then. Also search the blog for my other comments and rants about the programming on XM (especially since the takeover of our Sirius overlords).

Just add your comments using the form below - while you need to register here on the blog, and your first post will need to be approved (it’s just to keep out the spammers who are constantly trying to sell their pharmaceuticals and smut), comments aren’t expected to “stay on-topic” as they are on the Digest…the only posts banned here are for inappropriate language, since while we’re all adults here, I’d rather not offend the kids that also read the blog.

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I’m running behind…again…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 6:29 pm

Today was supposed to be the day I spent catching up on email and other contacts, but it’s already 5:30 pm local time and thanks to a silly software issue (thank you, Microsoft), I haven’t even received my email yet.

I’ll be catching up on as much as possible as quickly as I can, but if you’re waiting for a response from me, please be patient a little longer. I’m getting there, I promise.

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