Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man

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November 2009
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Another SanDisk Fuze, and Mostly Success!

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:00 am

In my continuing quest for an MP3 player to replace the XM Satellite Radio in the car, I received delivered to me…a 2G SanDisk Sansa Fuze MP3 player.

So why buy another copy of the exact same player? Well, if you check the comments in my review of the first 2G Fuze, you’ll find from ilamfan a suggestion I look at Rockbox, a free (as in beer and as in speech) replacement firmware for many MP3 players, including the V1 Fuze. I got a really good deal on a reconditioned 2G Fuze at an Internet store (which, for whatever it’s worth, came in looking every bit as shiny and “new” as the first one I purchased, complete with SanDisk earbuds and a charging cable). I figure, if I brick it with Rockbox, I’m not out much cash, and no warranty to speak of…I admit I did get lucky and receive a V1 unit (the software for V1 is “Unstable,” where the software for V2 is “Unusuable”), but I figured my odds were pretty good since the V2 units are relatively new and wouldn’t be in the refurbished bin in the quantities the V1 units would be. I am leaving the original Fuze untouched, so even if this one blows up, I still have something to use to listen to The Bob Edwards Show on my morning walks, even if it is kinda worthless for the intended use in the car.

This one shipped with v01.01.15a of the firmware (check this website for an archive of all the different firmware versions), which while not the most recent does have the silly “exploding SanDisk.” I’m not perfectly clear if I should update the firmware in the Fuze before I install Rockbox (one of the fun, and maddening, things about open-source software is that there generally aren’t a whole lot of instructions), but since I can always replace the dual-loader by installing a fresh version of the SanDisk firmware (I think), I’m going to leave it go for now.

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BOTNET Attack on the Server

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 2:29 pm

We’re currently experiencing a BOTNET dictionary attack on the mail server…it’s been going on for a few days now, and I’m getting a little weary of it. So I’ve shut down the mail server for a bit; if you’ve sent mail to the Internet OTR Digest or to me, you may get a temporary error. Don’t worry, any well-behaved mail server should handle it and queue your mail for later delivery. With luck, the infected machines will move on to another target.

It’s frustrating, though…why don’t people keep their antivirus software up-to-date so those of us who are “innocents” don’t have to deal with their garbage?

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Verizon to Forward Warnings from RIAA, MPAA

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

From ZeroPaid: Verizon to Forward Warnings from RIAA, MPAA

From the article: “It’s an about face for Verizon who once fought the RIAA all the way to the Supreme Court to protect the privacy and free speech of its customers.”

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OTR Sighting from the Mailbag…

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Television — Charlie Summers @ 3:35 pm

This just in from our friend Jim Widner; a clip from Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show where he (as usual) picks on Sean Hannity. What could possibly be old-time radio-related about that? Well, check out the “young producer” Jon introduces at the end of the bit…folks who attend the Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention will certainly recognize him…

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Sean Hannity Apologizes to Jon
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

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Podcast: The War of the Worlds Program #2

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 8:53 pm

This is the second version of the Mercury Theater presentation of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells and adapted for radio by Howard Koch, provided to me by Martin Grams, Jr. and possibly from the collection of Terry Salomonson, proprietor of We will refer to this, for the sake of discussion only, as program #2.

I haven’t really had the chance to listen to this yet, so we’re going to explore the similarities and differences of the two versions together. I apologize for taking so long to get this posted, as I received it quite a few days ago from Martin, but life frequently gets in the way of our “best-laid plans.”

So for those of you are interested in comparing this to the other copy Martin provided to continue the discussion on the Internet OTR Digest, well, here it is.

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  Mercury Theater - The War of the Worlds Program #2 [60:46m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Cuomo Files Antitrust Suit Against Intel

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 12:40 pm

From The New York Times: Cuomo Files Antitrust Suit Against Intel

From the article: “Following the lead of foreign regulators, New York’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, filed a federal antitrust lawsuit Wednesday against Intel, the world’s largest chip maker.”

The publicity-whore is at it again. Mr. Cuomo is pulling yet another stunt; much like his recently giving ISPs cover to eliminate their USENET services and lower value for customers in the name of “saving the children,” this lawsuit isn’t his place to file, but does give him massive headlines. My guess is this is all carefully and cynically orchestrated to generate publicity for future political races. You can bet I’ll remember this nonsense if he ever runs for national office, though not the way he hopes…

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2009 FOTR Convention; You Guessed It, More Pics

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:07 pm

These were taken Friday, October 23rd, 2009. And I have to explain a little about one of those photos down there. If you look at the photo captioned, “Cereal Stars,” you will see four distinguished gentlemen posing with…cereal boxes.

Derek Tague not only has an odd sense of humor but makes connections where most of us wouldn’t. As an auction object, he gathered together mini-boxes of cereal having a direct connection to some of our guests; Chuck McCann, who is the original “Cuckoo for CocoaPuffs,” Simon Jones, best-known as “Arthur Dent” but who also performed the cranky unfrosted side of a talking MiniWheat, Arthur Anderson, known by all as the original Lucky Charms Leprechaun, and Russell Horton, the Trix Rabbit. So these folks not only autographed their respective cereal boxes, they also lined up with their boxes for a photo-op. Seriously, you gotta love the indulgence of these stars.

Newcomers to the convention are always awed by the recreations; I should note I tend to use recreation and performance specifically, where some others use recreation for all of the shows. I think a “re-creation” is a show that specifically contains cast members of the original program, where a “performance” is a show performed by others. I know it’s splitting semantic hairs, but I find it a little uncomfortable referencing a performance by modern fans a recreation.

All that said, the performances are never perfect; it really isn’t an insult to honestly say some performances are better than others, or more even, or more interesting. Some of it comes to personal tastes, some to casting choices, and yes, some to the director’s skill and decisions. Those of us who have been around-the-block tend to have more critical opinions, where new folks are so amazed at simply seeing the performance they can’t notice what we oldsters notice as serious problems.

This is a long-winded way of explaining why, unless you catch me at the bar the evening after the shows chewing the fat with others who have been at many many conventions, you won’t hear me critiquing the performances. I want the new folks to be spellbound by the performances, without having some old guy grumbling about a less-than-perfect casting choice or less-than-stellar direction.

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MPAA Propaganda Hits 60 Minutes

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 6:21 pm

From TorrentFreak: MPAA Propaganda Hits 60 Minutes

From the article: “The MPAA scored a victory last night when millions of people tuned in to CBS’s 60 Minutes. The ‘investigative’ news magazine ran a propaganda piece on movie piracy yesterday, allowing the MPAA to insinuate once again that organized crime and BitTorrent go hand in hand.”

FWIW, TorrentFreak does its own propagandizing, so take its take with the same grain of salt you should give to the 60 Minutes piece. That said, I justify posting this link as a balance to last night’s skewed report.

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