June 27th, 2011

broken egg

Virtual Worlds Are Not A Game.

Read the title again: Virtual Worlds Are Not A Game.

If you're tempted to call a virtual world a game, you are ignoring some very pertinent facts:

  1. Every "player" is a real human being, with real feelings, wants and needs, even if they present themselves in other than human form. You like to be thought of as real, so why don't you think others are just as real?
  2. When you log out and turn off your PC, life in the virtual world continues - just like it continues in the concrete world after you've gone to bed and fallen asleep.
  3. There is an economy in virtual worlds that is every bit as real as that which exists in the concrete world, and it continues after you log out and turn off your PC.
  4. Commitments you make to others in a virtual world are just as real as those you make in the concrete world, and just as serious. Try partnering to someone and having them break your heart to feel just how real it truly is.

What inspired this post in particular was yet another DJ who abandoned their shifts are our SL club, and didn't bother to inform me they had decided to leave, till I asked them why they failed to show up. That is blatant, out and out disrespect.

What would happen to you if you just decided to stop showing up at a job in the concrete universe? Not only would you lose it, you would get bad reviews if you were dumb enough to list them on a future job application. What makes you think the same thing won't happen in a virtual world?

Sure, you're being paid "funny money" but isn't that the currency you use to buy stuff for your avatar? If you earn enough "funny money" it can be converted to concrete world currency. For every 250 Lindens, you have 1 U.S. Dollar, or 0.7 Euros, or 0.62 GBP, or 44.98 Indian Rupees (information garnered from the currency converter at http://www.xe.com). For every 500 Iz in Inworldz, you also have 1 U.S. Dollar. I don't know what the exchange rate is on other grids, but you get my point.

If you want to play a game, go buy one off the shelf at Best Buy and install it on your PC. If you're ready to treat people with as much respect and consideration as you would no matter where you are, immerse yourself in a virtual world, because frankly, it's not a game.
broken egg

Getting Disenchanted with Newegg.

As a few of you know, I ordered a DIY kit from Newegg.com to build a new system.

I am not writing this post from the new system and now I'll tell you all why.

I received the parts all apparently properly wrapped and sealed and undamaged, and spent an entire afternoon carefully assembling it. When I fired it up, nothing happened. No system beeps. Fans were running. Not a sound, not a peep. BIOS was obviously NOT posting.

I pulled the CMOS battery for a minute, then reinserted it and fired it up again. No change.

I was forced to conclude that I had a DOA motherboard, so I patiently and carefully deinstalled everything, packed up the board, filed an RMA with newegg (it was approved) and shipped it back.

Within a week I had a new motherboard, and this time, instead of reassembling the entire thing, I added only that which needed adding; namely, a system speaker and the power rails (both the main and 12V). Again, nothing. I pulled the motherboard out of the case and placed it inside the cardboard box it came from, to ensure there was no chance of a short between the case and the board. Again, no sound from the system speaker, which should've been tweeting its little circuit off at the lack of essential equipment. Again, I pulled the CMOS battery for a minute then reinstalled it. No change.

I also noticed that, upon trying to reinstall the processor, it was rocking instead of falling into the pin holes solidly as it should. Further inspection showed a very queer set if pins that were bent. Off-center and not where you'd expect them to be bent if the chip was installed incorrectly (which I had not done).

I filed RMAs on both the board and the processor, got approval, and sent them both back.

They sent out a new board and refused to replace the processor despite the queerness of the damage to the pins. I was advised to contact the manufacturer for a replacement.

I just got the damaged CPU back today. I called up the AMD website and registered, then went to put the box label under a magnifier to make sure I copied the OPN and SN correctly off the label before I filed the RMA.

First problem I had. The box clearly states that it's an AMD Phenom II Black Edition. The OPN is for a Phenom II X4 965, which is what it says on the label. Now why don't the box and the label match up? The processor was marketed as an AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX. It is not a Black Edition, though it is a Phehom II X4. This would run me into further trouble trying to file the RMA with AMD. I typed in the OPN, then the SN, and their website said the two did not match with their records.

Does newegg buy parts in big lots? Could this have been part of a bad lot that was recalled? Could this be a fake processor, and that's why the numbers nor the box/product match up?

All I know is I've been screwed and somebody better either replace this processor or refund my money so I can get a new one. Not bothering with the board till I have a clean processor to put into it. I am also suspecting that this chip was damaged somewhere along the line and the damage was hidden by someone carefully bending pins back - only once those pins are bent, they're shot, and it'll just show further down the line. This box has a label that is apparently an AMD sealed box, so was it damaged in creation and became part of a recalled lot, resulting in the OPN/SN combination not being in AMD's site records?

I am hoping AMD can shed further light on this situation, because by golly I am going to have this new system up and running in July if it kills me.

x-posted to personal blog.