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December 31st, 2005

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02:09 am - Why do I keep buying crappy Creative Labs products?
Y'know, I always say that I'll never buy another Creative Labs sound card, but I never remember that I've sworn that until I've already get the damned thing inside my computer.

Installation is complete (probably). It took more than six hours, though I'll grant that at least two of those were spent running around the West side of town with ribsinbacon to run errands and pick up new MIDI cords and a "Y"-type power cable, since I've apparently used up all the factory-issue power cables inside my PC. Mostly though, I've been watching my system hang or reboot during installation. I tried the gloriously helpful System Restore feature only to find that Creative's install program works in such a way as to create a new restore point for each tiny facet of the software. Windows only keeps X number of restore points on the hard drive. The result? By the time the drivers were installed, all of my restore points were brand new.

Mac users will tell me that the problem is my choice of platforms, but in fact it's Creative Labs, as it has always been. Sound hardware has been the single most troublesome thing for me about owning a PC, and it's only aggravated by the fact that I actually do more than listen to MP3s with it.

Friggin' Creative Labs. Why do I buy Soundblaster products, anyway? Oh yes, that's right: Soundfonts.

Soundfonts are exactly what they sound like: They're instrument samples which you can stretch over your MIDI driver so you're not tied down to the same somewhat muffled piano sound that came with your sound card. Creative Labs more or less has a monopoly on Soundfont-supporting hardware because, well, they co-developed the Soundfont standard. Soundfonts are wonderful for people like me who can't afford or don't plan on affording better MIDI equipment. Creative Labs has us by the grace notes.

Anyway, as I said, things are more or less installed. My computer still reboots on startup if I don't press Control-Alt-Delete and close the "Thank you for buying Creative Labs products!" message just as the desktop pops up. I think I have located and eradicated the culprit, but I'll never be able to run that program. Also, I separate my Soundfonts from my hardware by about thirty levels of memory management programs (this is not a good idea, by the way), so getting the card to actually play MIDI was a bit of a challenge. The subwoofer works but isn't playing anything. After being told (twice) by Creative's website that no driver updates are available for this card, I've just been informed of several "critical" updates. They are downloading and installing now.

It sounds great, by the way (other than the subwoofer), but it would sound greater if I could hear it over the sound of me pulling out my own hair.

Anyway, here are some memes:

In the year 2006 I resolve to:

To get a carnivorous fish.

Get your resolution here

You are CUTTING.
Synopsis: Even though cutting is the most common
form of self-mutilation, that doesn't make it
any less painful. You probably try to hide it
from your friends and family, wanting the help
but not knowing how to get it. You like to be
alone and get frustrated easily by other
Positive trait: Have a lot of empathy for others.
Negative trait: Hard on yourself.
Color: Crimson
Emotion: Self-hate
Animal: Horse
Quote: "I count him braver who overcomes his
desires than him who conquers his enemies; for
the hardest victory is over self."

What form of self-mutilation are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hey, that description is pretty spot on, not that I ever (or have ever) cut myself.

xmerrie1039x had a personality quiz which I wanted to fill out, but I think I've done it before. You can only answer "Ernest Borgnine" to the question "Who else would you like to see fill out this quiz?" so many times before you realize that it's not even marginally funny.
Current Mood: crankycranky
Current Music: Jefferson Airplane -- Somebody to Love

(9 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 31st, 2005 08:35 am (UTC)
Congratulation on finally getting the new soundcard into mostly working order. I don't know why you've had so many problems as Creative has always worked fine for me. But then, perhaps it's because I don't use it in the same ways you do.

Regarding that version of Pictures with a guy in a tux wearing sunglasses standing in front of some modern art on the cover, did you notice it's an orchestration combining Bortschakov & Funtek? I saw this tonight when I dug it out & thought you might be interested if you hadn't noticed it all ready.
[User Picture]
Date:December 31st, 2005 11:11 pm (UTC)
Well, as a matter of fact I struggled some more with the sound card after I made this post. Eventually I had to delete all the drivers, reboot, reinstall them, reboot again, install updates from Creative's site, and reboot once more. The subwoofer is still not working (I'll sort it out later), but everything else is fine. I can't get into the card's soundfont settings, but by an amazing coincidence, the soundfont software I'm using managed to set itself up perfectly. This is not a problem because I have never tweaked those settings once they were set up.

Regarding that version of Pictures, yeah, I decided I was interested in it when I found it on Amazon. Apparently the one I borrowed is the only full recording of the Funtek version, but I'm very curious about this adaptation since I like the one I borrowed so much.
[User Picture]
Date:December 31st, 2005 11:33 pm (UTC)
I noticed on Amazon you can send in user pictures of their products. I'd really like to send one of me in sunglasses with a white shirt/black jacket & standing in front of my kitchen mobile while holding the CD.
Date:December 31st, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
Weird...my self-mutilation thingie was "Headbanging"...which I didn't think was any form of self-injury but, see what I know?

Hey Colin, remember not to buy stuff made by Creative Labs next time, k? Haha, I'm not funny.
[User Picture]
Date:December 31st, 2005 11:12 pm (UTC)
Headbanging is self-mutilation? Huh. Didn't know that.

Yeah... I don't want to buy Creative Labs, but I'm stuck with them if I want to do Soundfonts. The other options that do the same thing cost so much more money that they're not really options for me.
[User Picture]
Date:December 31st, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC)
*uuugh* I got re opening wounds, really gross. :P the picture is a girl sewing her eye shut...reminded me of the March of Dimes sewing kittens eyes shut to "study blindness" (you know they do the whole birth defects thing, they're real bad to animals though)

And it said I'm anti-social...I don't think I'm anti-social.
[User Picture]
Date:December 31st, 2005 05:37 pm (UTC)
Oh cripes. I had a dream just last night about a friend having his eyes sewed shut >_< It was only a dream but (shudders uncontrolably.) even there I had to make an excuse not to be near enough to watch.

Why would March of Dimes do that to cats? It seems to me they could just study actual blind people.
[User Picture]
Date:December 31st, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
I find it a little funny that I was a cutter for many years and I got multiple piercing/tattooing. It's also kind of funny because I have five piercings, planning on getting a few more, and I just got a tattoo, also planning on getting more.
[User Picture]
Date:December 31st, 2005 11:13 pm (UTC)
You're one of the least anti-social people I know. Didn't know March of Dimes was so bad about animals.
Garmonbozia for the soul.

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