Good Bye Sony

sony-hdr-sr5-1It all started with a camcorder…

It was 2008, I believe, when I wanted to buy a Full HD camera to work on some projects/ideas, and happened to buy a Sony Camcorder HDR-SR5.

I always wondered what the framerate of the recorded videos is, since I’d also like to play a bit with the videos in slow motion, but that depends on the fps of course.

I slightly recall writing to the Sony support a few years ago, around 2011/2012 if memory serves, asking with how many frames per second the camcorder records, and they eventually refused to give any information if I wouldn’t register the device. Frankly, I do not care if you immediately believe I have something to hide. No means no. What would they do with my info anyway? The same bullshit as Google, Facebook & Co. I registered my PSP once, only because they said everyone who would register his or her PSP would get a free game or UMD movie – I didn’t get anything yet.

So today, I happened to check out my camcorder once again, which I didn’t really use yet, and was still wondering about the technical details, i.e. the framerate. I wrote to the support again, but after I did, I thought I’d rather call them and settle this right away.

A nice woman was on the phone. I explained her that I have a Sony camcorder, Model HDR-SR5, that I’d like to know with how many frames per second it records videos on best quality, and that I can’t seem to find this info in the manual (because you can’t find it in the manual – I even searched for “frame” in the online PDF manual). She looked for a while into the technical details and ended up telling me that the highest quality was AVC HD 15M (XP), and that the values like 15M or 9M was the bitrate – M stands for Mbps. I said thanks, and that I’ll see if I can do anything with that. And that’s where the usual online research started.

I did try to find out the framerate online before, but Sony doesn’t seem to give out those details, so I had to research differently, and deeper for sure..

After a while of searching I figured the easiest way to find out the framerate was to record something, import the video to my PC and check out the specs with another program. I shortly recorded some random things, plugged the camcorder on my computer and wanted to copy the files – and I had a “Ah, right” moment. I had this before: It records in different files, video and audio seperately, and the only way to actually import, play and edit the recorded video properly is with Sony’s software called “PlayMemories Home”. I’m sure I had the CD with it once, maybe I even still have it somewhere, but living in the digital age, I just thought I’d download the software online, as per usual.

So I downloaded the newest version of PlayMemories Home – they offer a Windows and a Mac version, but none for Linux… So I tried to install it on Windows XP, my second partition, because I’m fed up with Windows and Microsoft’s Spy Updates and moved to Linux, but that’s for another time and another blog post…

It wasn’t even an installer, it was a downloader. God, I hate those. Why am I on the internet downloading a file which downloads another file for installation? Can’t I just download the installation file to begin with?

However, during the installation it told me that this version would not support Windows XP, only Windows Vista and above. No deal, so I went looking for older versions which still would work on XP.

Researching again, many useful links were found. The most useful ones were a site which offered the downloader of an older version which works on XP, several forum threads (on Sony’s forum) of people talking about this very issue (older version of PlayMemories Home which would work on XP), and a guide/tutorial (also on Sony’s website) explaining how to install PlayMemories Home on XP, on Vista, and on 7.

I downloaded the downloader of the older version which supposedly would work on XP, but during installation the downloader could not download anything and complained about some “network error”. What’s probably the case is that the downloader could not find the specific version on Sony’s servers and thus failed to download anything. I kept searching an older version (installer though, no downloader), but the only useful link I was able to find then was on Dropbox, which unfortunately was removed already. So I called Sony’s support again, right…

A guy took my call. I explained him that I was searching now online since over an hour (actually it was over 2, but that wasn’t the point) for an older version of PlayMemories Home which would work on Windows XP, since the newest doesn’t support Windows XP. He boldly told me there was no software for XP, like all the info I just researched was imaginary, like the camcorder I just named by model no. wasn’t produced back when XP still was the current Windows. Maybe I’m also from a parallel universe, checked all those facts where I come from and suddenly ended up in this one, right before calling him, you know.. So I tried it differently (knowing he’d lead himself into a trap) and asked him what the software for my specific camcorder was. He then told me that there was ONLY ONE software for XP, and that it doesn’t exist anymore. Like, gone from all the world or something, you know.. I kept asking him what the software was called, and he kept telling me it doesn’t exist anymore. He became more and more mad as we were talking, rarely letting me finish talking. Admittedly, I shortly got angry too and said that as a buyer of this camcorder I have the right to have a software for XP, he got even more furious and hung up on me.

I called again, and waited a while on the waiting line – that’s to be expected, it’s what they always do. But I would withdraw, not with this kind of ignorance and arrogant attitude, as if everyone who calls there is an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. While waiting I had the idea of recording this call (just as they do for “training purposes”), only to put it later on YouTube. I expected to be waiting longer, but that was the moment when the same guy took the phone, and I said “It’s me again. That wasn’t nice”. He said he’d do it again if I wouldn’t want to listen that there wasn’t any XP version. I asked him then why there was a guide/tutorial on Sony’s website, explaining how to install PlayMemories Home on XP, on Vista and Win7. He asked me where this guide was, and I asked him if I could give him the URL so that he could go see for himself (the only point being that there WAS a XP version). He said “please”, expecting me to give some non-Sony URL, and I dictated:

After I was done, he was shortly silent. Then he asked “What kind of URL is this?” And I said “, I just said that”. Again he was shortly quiet, then he said with a slingly unsure voice “Our network can’t open this URL”.

After he said that I was shortly quiet myself, then I had to slightly laugh about the whole thing and ended up saying “You know what? Have a nice day. It’s okay” and hung up on him.

I kept searching online if I could find the software, and after a while I finally found it:

The file “pmhome20ec.exe” is the full version resp. the installer (not downloader, thus 121 MB) for XP. I downloaded it, installed it, camcorder was recognized, videos were importet successfully.

I noticed that Mister “There’s-no-software-for-XP” of the call support center was fucking with me when he claimed that he couldn’t open the URL… The Sony support center can’t open any URLs.. Yeah, right..

And to complete this whole thing, here are finally the specs:
– Frame Rate: 50
– Resolution 1440×1080 (I don’t care what you call that, but that’s not Full HD. Full HD has a width of 1920)

One thing I do know: That was the last time that I bought a Sony product. Playstation included.

Don’t ever let them tell you anything, and always check out the facts for yourself!

No More Nuka-Cola

sad-vault-boy-thumb-downFor quite a few years fans of the stolen Fallout franchise have been anticipating the next part, ever since word got out that Bethesta was measuring the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) for Fallout 4, back in 2012. In January 2015, Bethesda finally went public with Fallout 4 at the E3 2015, with exhilarating gameplay footage, revealing few but very interesting information and details, like the story of the main character. The highly anticipated next part of the Fallout franchise, Fallout 4, was quite recently finally released, and some time before that, its system requirements.

From these minimum system requirements of the previous franchise parts…

Fallout 3:
Operating system: Windows XP/Vista
Processor: 2.4 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
Memory: 1 GB (XP)/ 2 GB (Vista)
Video: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 256MB RAM (NVIDIA 6800 or better/ATI X850 or better)

Fallout: New Vegas:
Operating system: Windows XP/Vista
Processor: 2.4 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
Memory: 1GB System RAM (XP)/ 2GB System RAM (Vista)
Video: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 256MB RAM (NVIDIA 6800 or better/ATI X850 or better)

…they went straight up to the following minimum system requirements:

Operating system: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
Processor: Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Video: NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent

To not just be a dick, we’ll also take in the minimum system requirements of Skyrim for comparison, which worked perfectly fine on my 32-bit system:

Operating system: Windows XP/Vista/7 (32 or 64 bit)
Processor: Intel Dual Core 2.0GHz or equivalent processor (AMD Sempron @ 2.4 GHz)
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Video: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512 MB of RAM

Even more arrogant, though, are some egoic user’s comments on the internet, about that “it’s long overdue for PC games to require a 64 bit OS and more than 4 Gb of RAM“, as if it’s not only TOTALLY COOL to be consumtion-crazy sheeple but also an ABSOLUTE MUST to upgrade the damn PC, just so that you can play the “new game” – IF you’ve got a 64-bit system, that is. If you don’t, you’ve got to buy a completely new PC to replace your “old” one which is working totally fine in most cases and throw your “old” junk to Africa or wherever your useless waste goes to. Demanding people to buy new systems and throw away their older ones is the same logic as if I’d say “Let’s stop consumerism and use well what we have” and DEMAND people to think as I think. Do you see the problem?

Does anybody remember the old gaming days where it actually didn’t matter what kind of system you had because with a little know-how there mostly was a workaround to play a game anyway, in sacrifice of some fancy graphical shit? No? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

We – thank god – are not all consumption-crazy sheeple who pee on other people’s leg by DEMANDING people who still own a 32-bit system to either buy new (sometimes the newest!) shit or to be forgotten in the game world altogether. If you want to give people, who still own a 32-bit system, a 64-bit system with 4 processor cores, 8 GB RAM and a graphics card with at least 2GB for free, open your mouth as much as you like. But if you don’t plan on doing so, shut the fuck up and stop demanding game developers to ONLY care about you and to forget the “older” gamers who most probably are way longer a gamer than you young, spoiled brat are. Consumption is not everything. In fact, it’s absolutely nothing, it has no value, no reality, it’s artificial.

With all this being said, it is sad to leave the Fallout franchise behind, especially if you were a player of the previous parts, but quite some people won’t follow you on this ride and into this trap hole.

Let’s assume we’ll get a 64-bit system today that can run Fallout 4 – how long will it last? A year? Maybe two? How many RAM will the next game need? 16 GB RAM, this time? How many processor cores? How much GB does the graphics card need, then? Of course everything gets better, but there’s a clear difference between decent progress and excessive consumerism.

I was a fan of the Pip-Boy, Vault Boy, even Nuka-Cola, although the idea of it, applied on real life, is quite disturbing, and despite I found the part where Bethesda kind of stole the rights to Fallout from the previous and original developers Black Isle Studios (no, they didn’t just “went bankrupt”) shitty. Also, the slavery-like part with Obsidian on Fallout: New Vegas wasn’t cool either. But now I won’t follow you anymore.

Good bye, Fallout. It was fun while it lasted.

Earth Flag!

It’s more than a year ago since I have written anything on this blog, due to reasons nobody gives a shit about, but now I thought I should post yet again about something – though I’ll keep it short.

THIS is the best global flag ever! WAY better than all the previous “global flag” attempts.

Seriously, in such a fucked up world as we live in, I didn’t expect anyone to create a global  flag which isn’t made about pride, lust for war or other egoic perspectives, but rather about wisdom, beauty, balance of life and deeper meaning.

Then again, it was invented by Swedish graphic designer Oskar Pernefeldt, a graduating student at the Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, and not by some military guy who all he knows is fight and war. Makes perfectly sense.

The flag’s purpose is “to remind the people of Earth that we share this planet, no matter of national boundaries”, he writes in the project’s introduction.

Long story short: I like it. And I’ll stick to it, since I can’t imagine anyone on earth will come up with anything better.