Being a sucker for computer program bundles, I bought two yesterday. Each had one program I wanted. Oh I had the programs already, and had never used them - but these were new versions, and I was eager not to use the most current programs.

“Are you still not using Floxita 2.5?”

“No, I upgraded. Now the need I thought Floxita 2.5 would fill is being unmet by Floxita 3.1.”

“What’s different?”

“Flatter interface.”

I should know better. I tend to avoid any program that promises to Get Things Done, since I’ve learned over the years that input on my part is actually required. I avoid any program that uses lots of orange.

One of the programs let you manage computers remotely, which is A) something I always think I want to do, and B) something I never find myself wishing I could do. But hey. Say I’m at work, and need a graphic on my home computer. It could happen! Wouldn’t it be cool to have a program that said UNABLE TO CONNECT in a really spiffy interface? The installation instructions were full of ALL CAPS WARNINGS about the process - download the program, open the installer, STOP without clicking anything, download the license, activate it, jump, hop, shout “kweepa,” continue. I did everything right. When it stopped and said “hey, now go install this program from this URL on your other computers,” I did. When I started the program on those computers, they said “hey, now install this program from this URL on your other computers.”

But I had. Right away, nothing worked. Begone! Off my hard drive. Here, let me use one of my remorseless scouring applications to remove all traces that you ever existed.

It’s like that now: if something does not work or appeal straight away, it’s nuked. There was a photo-retouching app in one of the bundles which might have been called “Cripes, As If There Aren’t Enough Useless Presets In The World Already.” After running a bunch of pictures through it and deciding that the day when I would need to simulate washed-out 70s Polaroids in a style no human could distinguish from other presets in the other apps, and wondering why the hell I would ever want to have 40 different ways to make something look like hipster drivel in the first place, I sent it to the tumbrel.

Nice interface, though. Flat! Better than the one I use to put borders around the pictures here at the Bleat, which insists on loading every - g0t - damned - preset it has when you open an image, because I might want to bleach out the color, bevel the edges and add a coffee-ring stain. One of these days that’s exactly what I’ll want and God forbid the option shouldn’t be there every time I use the program, requiring the program to take 146% of memory.

One of the programs lets me manage all my cloud drives - Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Skydrive, and so on. I use these for cold-storage backup. Great! One window to rule them all - except it gave me two windows, with “my computer” on one side and the clouds on the other, except the content is the same in both because they sync, so . . .

. . . so what am I doing and why do I care? TO THE BONEYARD WITH YE. Well, that didn’t work out. And so on, and so on. I’ll never learn. I actually spent two weeks this month agonizing over two programs that sorted and tagged and kept your All-Precious Documents in one place - one had a great feature that let you drag bookmarks to a little shelf, which stored them away for future use, and the other used a modified version of Comic Sans, I swear, for some of the alerts. But the former was $40 and the latter I’d bought in a bundle. I went back and forth until I realized that the mere existence of a program in which I kept my documents, tagged and sorted, meant I would be obliged to tag them and sort them, as opposed to just dumping them in a folder with a name like TAXES 2013 or INSURANCE.

Of course I could put them in Evernote, but that would require creating notebooks, tagging the files, arranging them just so, then forgetting I even had an Evernote account.

Bah. I have, over the years, created an exquisitely rational filing system that would be obvious and understandable to anyone who looks at the Finder window in column view. There’s no reason for any of this. Dropbox for files I need throughout the day. Dropzone, a great little Mac program, for shuttling files off to the holding tank.

The what? you ask. Simple. I have a folder called TO FILE, which has subfolders for every aspect of my digital existence. If I neglect to scrape the files from my desktop, I have a program that gathers up everything at a present time and puts it in a folder, marked with the day, located in the TO FILE folder. On Friday I spend some enjoyable anal-retentive time sending everything in TO FILE to its final destination. In the wee hours Chronosync backs up everything to the network storage.

My point: each of these programs does One Thing. It moves. It gathers. Or it backs up. It’s like having a toolbox with a hammer, a screwdriver, and a wrench. I don’t need a Screw Hamdriver.

Unless it’s included in a bundle. Sure, why not.


Thank you.


And now the cues. Some may be repeats; it seems they stopped raiding the vaults after 300 episodes and went with the old basics. This is what I heard on "The Couple Next Door" this week, and since not everyone hears everything, or you're new, or you were away, or WHATEVER, anyway, etc. You can always cut down to the bottom for the answer to the Mysterious Organ Reference.

CND Cue #291 Producer: I have four seconds to go from a scene with an argument to a scene where everyone’s calmed down. Got anything?

CND Cue #292 The instrumentation tells you that we’re shifting from wife’s side to husband’s scene.

CND Cue #293 A common theme on the show, but this one wraps it up: once you hear that punctuation you know the play is over.

CND Cue #294 This one also has the two-note THE END, but no self-respecting producer would end a show with this. Only when you’re going into the break.

More of the awful CBS show promos; as ever, I don’t know if I should feel sorry for the announcer who has to read the copy, or whether his performance makes them so wince-inducing. Possibly both.

CBS spot #1 No Hermit He! Inevitable boners!

Then . . . there's this. 1959. Let's reach those hot-rodders with some poetry.

CBS spot #2 Worst Kipling-flavored driver’s safety PSA in the history of the genre.

Last week I played a Jonathan Winters bug-spray ad and suggested this was at the start of his national fame; perhaps that's still the case, but the script seems to assume some familiarity with his characters and routines.

Joanthan Winters, again


Did you read the work blog yesterday, about the Ghost Cruise Ship full of cannibal rats, and why it relates to 1930s Soviet Cinema? See, you need to bookmark this stuff.

Updates on the right - Patriotica ads, and a NEW COLUMN at the newspaper. Here. (Scroll down to the Columnists pane; when I did this it hadn't posted yet.) Have a grand weekend!



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