Turning the facebook page

I’m experimenting these days. Well, I’m always experimenting with something, but these days it’s something with a kind of a public interest. It’s Facebook. What I recently did was to deactivate my account to see if there’s some loss in my everyday life.

For a sample purpose do I reactivate the account very early in the morning. To get absolutely sure, I also deactivated the chat and I’m not visible to anyone. I’m doing this to see, if there’s any kind of information with any true importance that I could have missed.

To be honest, the standard that Facebook’s reached baffles all descriptions. I’m aware that some friends of mine that I currently have on Facebook find this offensive, but it’s a matter of fact that this platform that was intended to stay in contact with friends turns more and more into a hilarious website like Reddit oder Imgur.

by strany

Most of the posts that I read on Facebook are about funny vids someone has found on YouTube or stupid pictures of whatever. I also started posting cute cat pictures everyday because it simply draws more attention than a post about my current mental state or something truly important.

Another thing that displeases me is that some people mistake Facebook for a group ware. And their circle of friends is a giant office that needs to be managed. I don’t have a problem with information about interesting upcoming events, but when it comes to invitations for such things I still prefer the old fashioned way like getting a call similar. But it seriously makes me disgruntled when I get receive invitations on for several events on Facebook. What is it? Am I at work and anyone else manages my schedule? For Christ’s sake, NO.

When it comes to such things, Facebook is a toy application. It’s good to make people get to know several things, but it’s a giant, epic fail when it comes to managing dates and events. Even Google fails on this and I personally believe that this deserves no attention in someone’s spare time. If there’s someone I care about I contact this person in a more personal way and not in such an anonymous way like Facebook does.

Did people truly become that pathetic that they interact with each other these days by using “Like”-buttons and “share” certain (meaningless) interests. I find it seriously frightening to see, how many waste their evenings on Facebook, even when it’s just running in the background. The amount of information that gets actually shared shrunk to such a minimum that it’s not even worth to boot up your computer for that or waste battery capacity of your smart phone.

by strany

On the other side, some people offer so much information about themselves on Facebook that you basically know more about them than you know about your own person. And this makes turns a lot of people into something that I use to call “discounted friends”. It was once part of an add that was running on TV, “We’ve got so many friends that we don’t even know how to call our real friends.”

The most disappointing thing about these whole modern social networking is, that a lot of people actually believe that these people in their friends list are truly friends. But when they would think for like five minutes and try to remember who their real friends are and how they once used to interact with each other, they hopefully find back to the path of the righteous.

I’m not sure if this is the right way that modern society has currently chosen, but I believe, that we turn more and more into these recently mentioned “discounted friends” and it’s getting harder with every day that passes by to find some real friends. Facebook did not make interacting with friends easier, it just made you care less. It turned communication into a one button solution. And it’s the perfect vindication for a society that spins faster each and every day.

Blurring lines

The dog gets a dry nose when he’s not doing well. Common people get fever or feel odd when they’re not doing well, too. Me, I stop playing video games and almost every other activity that basically used to entertain me. Something is currently terribly wrong and I can’t exactly tell what it actually is.

It starts with the alarm clock in the morning and ends with the toothbrush in the evening. I feel totally uncomfortable with everything. Everything bothers me. Everything gets on my nerves. Everything bores me. Everything gives me enough arguments to hate it. I’m always tired, which is one of the reasons for everything previously mentioned. And I feel exhausted as well.

The thing that bothers me the most is the fact that I can’t locate the origin of this disease. It’s easy to say, “I’m don’t feel right because of, …”

That is the crux. If you ask me what is wrong, I wouldn’t be able to answer. One thing I could guess, the traveling each and every day. A couple of month ago I felt happy about the fact that there’s a period in my schedule that allows me to relax and come down and turn the switch. That’s a problem I suffer from for many years. When you’re into a job that includes activities that are also a part of your spare time activities, you barely have the chance to completely get rid of such things. The lines between job and hobby blur and finally lead to a stress factor that in reverse cause this kind of burn out.

I first noticed this issue almost a decade ago, where I agreed to make a long term test with a psychologist we had in my company back in the days. I ran through different written tests that were set on specific dates over a period of something like two month. I’m not certain how long the tests actually went.

After running through these tests and several conversations with our psychologists I received the result. Conclusion of all this was, I’ve got a serious problem with making a straight cut between work and spare time. The reasonable fact that my hobby does not really differ from the things I had to do at work increased the degree of my problem. I always suffered from burn out like symptoms in almost every job that stood in any relationship with IT.

To be honest, I considered changing my occupational field for years. The wish for a change repeats in time intervals tending to be quite shorter than the one before. In other words, I feel like I’ve reached a dead end street not sure for how long I can push myself to do what I currently do. On the other hand, this is the only thing I’ve learned. And my own comic book store or video game store, for instance, would lead to the same problem. A hobby turned into a job.

I’m so jealous about those people doing something for living that has nothing in common with things they use to do in their spare time. Meanwhile, I always feel terribly annoyed when someone asks me about computer related things or wants some help. Years ago, I was starving for opportunities like these. Nowadays I just feel bored to death. It’s only a handful of people receiving help. Seriously, my “talent” disgusts me and in the meantime a lot of people noticed this and my generic aversion. Without a doubt, my entity’s changed and my sodding work has a lot of proportion on that.

The Commuter

Another theory of mine what it could be, that bothers and puts me down. My current location. It’s not a problem with the location where I live, I feel depressed by the village I work at. When you’re a person who lives in bigger cities for quite major part of your life, you’re used to several conveniences the “big city” brings with. I literally work at the edge of an abandoned field, a duck pond in sight and utility poles on the horizon. No infrastructure around. And that’s the point.

It’s not that I’m the kind of a guy permanently being off office and enjoying an extended lunch break, but I’m the kind of guy who seems to get terribly disturbed by the fact, that his infrastructure he was used to is gone. Seriously, I hate the fact that even my way home wastes like one hour and a half and that I can no longer do some private business whenever I want, because I simply don’t have the opportunities right here. Meanwhile, I doubt that I’m a commuter. It sickens me. It’s fun for several weeks, but I can barely imagine doing this for years.

That kind of luxury I once had and which is currently lost seems to be part of my desolate condition I’m currently in. In these very few moments that I have to wander around in my hometown, I walk around with eyes wide open and my chops fall down. Like one of these village people that have a great experience to get when they “visit the city”. For f#$k’s sake. I bloody miss this, and it chokes my throat every morning where I leave my city by train. I’m a Sissy in this special case, but I seriously feel like handcuffed at the moment.

To get the facts straight, I got myself into this and sooner or later I’ll get rid of this. Currently I’m saying to myself that I have to get through this and take this as an experience. Maybe, just maybe, my mind and my attitude will change on this whole suspect. Maybe I should take a long vacation somewhere far away to recharge. Maybe I should ignore all this and live kind of sad into each new day, wearing a mask with a grin. Actually, a lot of people will get confused seeing me with a grin on my face. Most of this emotional baggage is a result of years living a luxurious way of live which does not depend on money.

Now, more than ever, I’m aware of the preciousness to have time. One or two hours can make such a big difference these days.

Draft N odyssey

A while ago, four month to be exact, I had the fine idea to upgrade my network. I wanted to switch my WiFi to Draft N and my LAN should be 1000 MBps. That was the plan. My old setup was a Netgear FVS338 in combination with two Linksys WRT-54G. This was a dream setup and actually no good reason to upgrade, despite the WiFi bandwidth was at its limits. I sync music and videos via wireless LAN connection and a copy progress that lasts for like 10 hours is not acceptable.

On last year’s Black Friday I bought two Buffalo WHR-HP-G300N. I wanted to replace all my devices I had in use with these two. One should work as router, switch and access point. Tasks that were shared by the Netgear router and the Linksys access point. So far so good, this setup worked. The second Buffalo router should work as a client bridge. Bummer!

It’s almost impossible to get this router into a working or at least stable client bridge mode. Sometimes the router wasn’t able to connect to the current WiFi. Sometimes I had a WiFi connection but no access to anything else. After a long time of research, I finally found one firmware version that offered a stable client bridge mode. But after all I’ve experienced, it seem to depend on the weather and the current moon phase. In good times I was able to have stable connections for days and in bad times it crashed after almost five minutes. I replaced this stupid devices with my old Linksys access point and everything was fine.

Another problem left, I couldn’t get a stable connection for my HTC smart phone. I connected, had WAN access for like 10 minutes and then it dropped for good. I had to reboot the phone to get back on the track. I replaced the Buffalo router with a TP-Link TL-WR1043ND. It was a good device, though. But finally, it was based on WRT firmware and had the same Draft N issues like the Buffalo router. Retoure.

Last but not least, I got back to the roots and bought a D-Link router. D-Link has been a good companion in the good old days, when I had my first broadband connection and it was one of the most stable devices I can remember, beside the Netgear FVS338, which is an absolute killer device.

So, I got this D-Link DIR-655 and set up my net again and after a long period of pure despair, WiFi was running perfectly fine. For one reason did my broadband modem start to play some tricks on me by crashing and reconnecting randomly. I was near to return the D-Link router, but I gladly noticed those weird blinking LEDs on my modem. Culprit found.

I’m still trying to get the Buffalo working in client bridge mode when I find the time to set this stupid thing up and can do some research on this particular problem, but no real solution so far. The devices uses to crash whenever possible.

A taste of ice cream sandwich

According to the fact that there are no impressive game releases these days and I have a small amount of time left in my spare time, I was digging a little the Android scene. My main intention was to get some hands on on the latest Android – Codename “Ice Cream Sandwich” – and see how it works in my phones. The HTC Desire S and the Motorola Defy.

I tried the Virtuous Quattro RC3 and the CyanogenMod 9 Alpha builds for the HTC Desire. The Defy got stuffed with the experimental builds of CyanogenMod 9 as  well.

At first glance, for all devices, ICS looks amazing and the overall redesign looks very homogenic and a lot of obstacles in the menu structure has been ridden. When you’re used to Android and use it for quite a long time, you’ll find yourself in a re-orientation situation. But ICS is very user friendly and now, in my opinion, on the same level with Apple’s iOS.

Virtuous Quattro RC3 was one of the first ROMs I installed and my impression was, ‘Yeah, looking gooood.’ But in the end, the speed and smoothness of this ROM was terrible. And even though it was an RC it felt more like a fast pushed alpha version. It had several bugs like the clock crashing and syncs that did not sync. All in all, it looked cool, but it felt awful.

CyanogenMod 9 for the Defy was, because it was alpha, the same buggy experience, but it felt usable, except for the camera, but that’s a problem on lot of devices. I was expecting that this ROM would not work completely fine and that it would be another first look thing. Anyhow, despite the slow performance can I say, that the CM team is definitely on the right way and without a doubt, the old Defy is capable running ICS.

Last but not least, I installed the alpha build of CyanogenMod 9 on my Desire S. I tried the builds from January 27 and 30. The first one had almost the same low performance like the Quattro ROM, but the nightly build of January 30 runs almost smoothly and came pretty close to what you are used to with CyanogenMod 7.x

Only one camera is currently working on the Desire S. With the latest release I got some issue with syncing Facebook to my contact list. This ROM still’s got the issue that WiFi is not running fine with certain router/access points and various encryptions. The issue is well known in many bug reports, even for stock ROMs and I was hoping for a final fix. Bummer!

As a summarization can I say, the AOSP ICS developers have done a great job so far and I’m so dead certain that CyanogenMod 9 will be a giant hit. On the other hand, there’s still a long road to walk till it’s time to announce the first beta releases and it’s even further more away to announce a real release candidate. Lots of RCs that you can find these days for many devices are quick born, badly supported ROMs that you should only use when you like to do some bug fixing or if you’re just interested in Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

I personally switched back to CyanogenMod 7.2 on my Defy and will also switch back to Reaper (CM7 derivate) on my Desire S.