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Tycho / on Mon, Jun 6 2005 at 4:30 am

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Arcanum

I’m certainly not suggesting you run out and buy one, for exactly the reasons Gabriel mentions - but once you get it up and going media altar is the only term that’s apropos for the Momitsu.  Robert and I decided to overdo it last Christmas and get him one, and he has complained about the device from that point all the way up until last Saturday, when he finally got it going and began lying prostrate before it in supplication.

Let’s get the basics communicated: 

  • It’s a region-selectable DVD player with a DVI port that supposedly upsamples whatever you play through it to 720p or 1080i.
  • It will stream any sort of media - mp3, Divx, Xvid, whatever - from your computer and play it on your television.

  • Apocryphal:  They are fashioned by the Chinese Madman Tung Shur in the belly of Mount Heng (Hebai province).

    Actually I think they’re made in Taiwan, where it is said many things are made.  The interface and user experience is often a glimpse of Pandemonium, and there are many things about the way it works that recall a torture implement devised by an alien mind.  Imagine that you turned on your DVD player and got a 404 error - this is what I’m talking about.  You would make a sound like Gabriel made and all the glass in your house would break outwards.  Downloading a three gig torrent of Arrested Development and then queuing it up with your remote from the couch is actually kind of humbling and (as far as I am concerned) describes an alternate distribution model for television.  There are other ways to accomplish this feat, but they involve hooking my machine up to the rest of the edifice or (optimally) going all-out with a Media Center PC - I’ve just never been able to authorize it.  Or get it authorized, perhaps I should say.  Mine was a hand-me-down from Robert, who clearly has no problem whatsoever with the lines I just mentioned or indeed any other kind of line.

    The “Web Cartoonists’ Choice Awards” have just reached the nominee phase, it looks like.  Years ago we made a point of refusing any awards that might arise from it, making Smart-Assed cartoons about self-awarding bodies, but in recent years we have just sort of let the things happen with the idea that even if you disagree with the mechanism being rude when someone is nice to you is probably unnecessary. 

    But seriously - “Penny Arcade” for best Web Design?  That’s not just nonsense, it’s actually insulting and an indictment of that body’s power to evaluate stimuli.  The “size” of Penny Arcade, such as it is, distorts those awards.  I was worried that it would bleed us into the more prestigious award categories as it has in years past, potentially damaging our stature as unsung wanderers - but this year’s picks are a pretty diverse bunch, and I’m relieved to see that the destabilizing effect doesn’t seem as great.  I’m beginning to think that “PA for Oustanding Web Design” is an organized, annual protest designed to reveal those proceedings as a tawdry sham.

    (CW)TB out.

    never did no wandrin’


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