Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rant: Meineke Provo

* Update: They have gone out of business! Happy day! *

I usually don't complain about companies, but the Meineke is Provo wins hands down for the worst business I have been to, ever.

My first time there I went because I needed an oil change. It took a while, but there were a few stores around so I went for a walk. When I came back they told me my breaks were almost completely gone and I should change them right then. I had only had the car for less than a year, so I didn't know when they had changed so I believe him and took the multi hundred dollar hit and just got it done. My car has been fine, but it was still a really long time and expensive. I felt taken.

A few weeks later I got an email telling me to do a survey, for doing it I got a free oil change. Here is the coupon if you want it. I read terms to everything and this doesn't have very many terms except an expiration date so feel free to use it if you dare.

I used the coupon on my girlfriend's car. Seeing as how it says FREE oil change I was surprised when the still charged me $10 for labor, but that is still cheaper than most places so I said okay. It took them almost 2 hours to get it done. Most of the time I was just waiting for the car to actually be taken in. There wasn't anyone else there so I didn't think it should have been that long, but whatever I walked to the store again.

When they finished they told me that the car was leaking oil in 4 different spots and it would be $120 per location to fix it. Since it was my girlfriend's car, and that is a lot of money I said not today. They took like 15 minutes longer to get it out then gave me the car back and I thought I was done, but I was still worried about the leaking oil.

By the end of the week the check oil light came on.  I checked the oil in it and there was NONE. The car that had worked for 20 years all of a sudden after going to them now leaked more than any car I had ever seen... I went and bought oil and filled it up and since then it has been fine. It leaks a little, but not anything like a full oil change in less than a week. I think I got what I paid for, they did the labor of taking the oil out, but I don't think they put any back in. They could have ruined the car and I not happy.

Today I checked reviews for it on google maps and found that everyone thinks that they are just lying looters that will do anything to charge you more. I will NEVER go back there and probably never go to a Meineke again. Check out the reviews here if you don't believe me.

Lesson learned: Meineke Provo is a bunch of looters who will ruin your car to get you to pay them their overpriced hidden rates to fix what they break. NEVER GO THERE.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rant: Mint

Good think my checking account has overdraw protection!

Today I got an email from Pageonce, the service that has been much better than mint, except for killing my phone battery recently. I have been trying mint instead for that reason. This week I decided to pay off all of my bills. Mint told me that my accounts were out of date, and needed to be updated. I updated the information and it gave me a new balance. It didn't tell me that balance was from two months ago! Two months ago I was $600 richer I guess, because after playing my $200 credit card bills I should have still had $200 in my debit, and more in my savings account. The email from pageonce said I had $0 in my checking account. Zero is not a good number when you expect to have at least $200, and at the same time being another $200 short in my savings.

Mint really screwed up! If I didn't have overdraw protection I would have all sorts of bills to pay. Also I was just freaking out because I thought I had had my identity stolen or something. Goodbye forever mint I am deleting all the information I have on your page and deleting my account.

That was just RUDE!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rant: Acer Chomebooks

 To start you should know two things: I love chromebooks and I have never trusted Acer.

  I have never met anyone who would buy a second Acer laptop. They work fine, but they are just not an experience that anyone really recommends. For something that you have to use everyday, it is just not worth it to own one. I was almost tricked into liking them again recently when I was able to test out a touchscreen super thing beautiful thing, that even includes gorilla glass, the almost unbreakable stuff, then Acer had to go make a chromebook.

 Chomebooks, if you don't know are relatively inexpensive computers that are everything the average user needs. They only have chrome as a browser and an operating system. Meaning for the people who use the internet, meaning everyone now a days, they are all you need. It takes a while for people to figure out what to use instead of Microsoft Office, but that is the only issue. If you are a photoshopper or programmer it isn't the best, but for most users it is more than they need and beautiful.

 The main kicker on why you would want a chromebook are these things: they are inexpensive, they should have solid state drives, they start super fast, they are simple and they look good:

Inexpensive is the only thing Acer did. They made a $200 laptop, which is amazing, but the Samsung one for $50 more is 100% worth it.

Acer did not include a solid state drive, meaning that instead of eight second start up time, it is pushed back to at least 20 seconds. That isn't even a hibernate recovery, that is full boot. I know 12 seconds doesn't seem too long, but it is taking away from the experience. Also if you drop it, the Acer hard drive will scratch making it unusable. Solid state drives are so much more children friendly.

The look of the Acer chromebook is not up to par. The Samsung one just is beautiful without a doubt, reminiscent of a Macbook Air. The Acer chomebook looks like a laptop from the 1990s, with all the ports to boot. It is just ugly.

Mostly I am just sad that Google would put the Acer chromebook in their Play Store. That laptop is just not the experience that people who buy a chromebook should have, and I don't understand why Google would endorse that.


 Log me in is a company that has significantly made life easier for a lot of people including me. Their main program is to remote control all of the computers you own. All you have to do is install the program on your computer and you can then access it from any browser no matter where you are in the world. That is convenient.

 Hamachi another of their products deserves a huge shout out. It lets you connect two computers as if they were a local connection even if they aren't. It even works on linux though their labs. I used on it a raspberry pi, as well as remote controlling my home computer from work. It is amazing for ssh and not having to find an IP address every time. It is mostly used for Minecraft servers, but it is amazing for so much more.

 Now on to the main rave This site lets you let someone remote view or control your computer after installing a super, super small program. I think it installed in the appdata folder because you don't have to mess with UAC, that super annoying screen that blacks out on windows and forces an administrator to type their password, meaning any user can use it, even if they can't install anything on their computer. This means that when grandma, or a less tech friendly friend, is having technical issues, you can just say "Go to" and then you get to help them with whatever problems they have, hassle free.

Wrap-up: = amazing; thank you LogMeIn for your great products.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rant: 3D Film Reviewers

Hi. Jace's letting me ghost-write to this blog, even though it's clearly called "Jace's Rants and Raves." I am not Jace. I am a guy with my own blog that Jace is crazy enough to attach his name to. He's a nice guy. When I told him I wasn't sure if this rant was appropriate for my own blog, he just gave me access to his and said, "Rant away!" Anyway, my blog is about 3D movies. Specifically, I talk about the artistic potential of 3D in film, or how the act of being in 3D (or similar technologies, such as HFR) affects the movie going experience.

Here's why I'm ranting: I know my blog isn't up to the potential that it could be. I want to know all the many ways that 3D is important to storytelling. The problem is I don't see anybody else even attempting to do something like that. I look at film reviews (e.g. this one) and all they ever lend to interpreting the 3D in a film is one short paragraph, rarely more than 3 sentences long.

Let me do a hypothetical review of the 3D in Batman: Arkham City. In fact, I'll do a review of one scene in particular: the cut-scene before the confrontation with Mr. Freeze. In case you haven't played that game, I'll describe the scene I'm talking about quick. Also consider this sentence your official spoiler warning.

Early in the game, Batman is poisoned. The majority of the game follows batman's attempts to obtain an antidote that will allow him to survive his poisoning. Mr. Freeze is supposed to know how to build an antidote, but is trying to use that fact to leverage Batman into rescuing his wife. To do that, Mr. Freeze dramatically holds the antidote in front of Batman, with his hand and the antidote extending outside the screen in the 3D version of that cut-scene, after witch he shatters it by squeezing the vial.

Here's how I would review the 3D in that scene: The overarching theme of the game is death. You're meant to feel like the ability to avoid death is just outside Batman's capability. The 3D in this scene is utilized well to effect that emotion. The vial in the scene is held within the reach of the game's player. By all means he should be able to touch it, and is invited to try. My first time through the game I did try, only to have the vial shatter just before I could grab it. My second time through the game I was a bit quicker on the gun, and my fingers slid right through the vial before it shattered. Both instances communicated the message clearly to me. You can try again and again to avoid death, but ultimately that destiny is an inevitability. The message hits strong, and adds an emotional layer to the game not present in the 2D version. As such, I wholly suggest playing the game in 3D wherever 3D access is available.

That's the kind of thing I'm looking for. And that's only a review of one sequence that lasts less than a minute! Imagine how many metaphors, how much emotional impact, or how much visually altering imagery could be described if people were willing to read more into the 3D in an entire film! Yet, film reviewers today limit their discussion to something like, "The 3D effects in The Life of Pi are not really effects at all, in my opinion. They are part of the movie." No discussion, nothing to be able to understand why the 3D is good, and if that would be something to your tastes.

I guess that's what's upsetting me: how empty 3D film reviews are. They give me nothing to go on to understand whether the 3D version is worth spending the money on. They provide no service to anybody but the fans of 2D films. And I can't understand why any film reviewer worth their pay would be satisfied releasing such empty commentary.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Rant: QR Code Pages

I am a big nerd, so whenever I see a QR code I have to scan it. Even if I am not remotely interested in what it is related it. On that note here is my rant.

Why don't people understand that you will scan them with a cell phone. Only rarely do I ever get a page actually made for a mobile device. They always direct to a page that was made for a computer. People need to know their audience. If you want them to go to a site on their phone, make it a site that is relevant on a phone. That is all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rant: Adobe Reader Desktop Icon

There are some things that it is convient to have a desktop icon for, such as a web browser. Adobe reader is not. I have never ever seen anyone open adobe reader than search for a PDF. NEVER. They click on pdf files, and adobe reader opens them. There is no reason whatsoever to have a shortcut on the desktop. Stop putting it there ever update Adobe, it is just annoying.

Also on Adobe reader. You are a free product. Version 10 or X is out. Why are there still updates for 9, and why doesn't it just update to 10. It is a newer better version, when I check for updates just move me to 10 or X don't just update 9, that is dumb. You are a free product.