Monday, May 5, 2008

Tale of Woe Part 2

Tale of Woe Part 2...

I opened up the Netflix "Watch Now" videos and tried to see if there was anything to watch. Nothing looked good to Beth or me. I felt it best to simply attempt to salvage the soon-to-be wreck of the download instead. Beth quietly turned over and closed her eyes.

I went downstairs, plugged my old router into my new router and set that up. Only that didn't work either. So after marching up and down the steps a few times I took the laptop downstairs, disabled the wireless and plugged the network cable into the back of the thing.

Finally! Speed! The download was going to complete in 20 minutes! Remember that. It's an important number.

I stood around for about 10 or 15 minutes, holding the laptop because the network cable was too short to set it down. The download kept getting faster and I was thinking about finally watching this movie. But when the download said "you can now watch this movie" it wasn't fully downloaded. No, it was just buffered.

"If I disconnect this cable and go back to the wireless it may never complete!" I thought. And sure enough, I was right (probably for the first time this night!). Going back to the flaky wireless dropped the download rate again and it was all over. I felt the cold grip of defeat.

I took the laptop back upstairs, connected it to the TV again, woke up Beth and confidently said, "Alright, we're ready." It was now 10:40. Though I was, We were, in fact, not ready anymore. Beth was tired and asleep and as I write this (now 12:40 AM) I am still amazed at how calmly she responded to me waking her up. She said, "you can watch it if you like, but I can't. I'm sleeping."

Rightly so. I had discovered that the movie was only 20% downloaded, but "ready to watch," and the remaining 80% would download in 1 hour 20 minutes and climbing. Had we turned it on, we would have come to the end of that which was downloaded probably 40 minutes into the movie and we would have had to complete the rest of the movie at another time. Oh, but you only have 24 hours to watch it after pressing "play." I couldn't bring myself to tell her that the light comedy she wanted to watch just wasn't going to happen.

I laughed a bit more. Then I left the room and went down to my ubuntu install (which is working nicely, thanks). To obtain some level of satisfaction through this evening of mis-steps and poor judgment, I shall now pass on to you the morals of the story...

Obligatory Morals to the Tale of Woe

1. iTunes rentals do not play on iPods created before September 2007 (or some say 5th Generation). I did very little reading on the matter, but there is much discussion and speculation. None of it is worth reading (okay, it is, but not at this hour!), but I shall soon write a post on it nevertheless. Until then, just heed this word of warning.

2. Invest in high-speed, stable wireless. Yes, STABLE. You'll thank yourself (and maybe me) someday. If your wireless router isn't working well... Get a new one. If that's not an option (as it is not for me, for reasons left unspoken), buy a wireless access point or extender, or build a wifi extender yourself. I could make a clearer point through clever use of time-value calculations, but just take the advice - after all, you read this far! I will be taking my self-advice in the morning.


3. Never, never, never, never, never, never, never experiment with unproven methodologies on production systems. That's sort of a universal moral with direct application to tonight. I should have driven to the movie store and obtained the movie. That's what I should have done. It's a proven system - practically guaranteed to work. What I should not have done was what I did do, which I'm sure you also fully appreciate now.

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