Sunday, June 05, 2011

Technology is a Funny Thing

I have had two situations this weekend that led me to ponder the vagaries of modern technology.  First, as some of you may be aware, back in April the PlayStation Network got hacked, and Sony took the whole thing down while they scrambled to figure out exactly what happened and how to keep it from happening again.  The network was down for weeks.  While I hardly play any games on my PS3, and therefore wasn't missing the inability to blow up random strangers in war games online, taking the network down did mean that Netflix was unavailable through my PS3, which was a bit of a bother.  A few weeks ago Sony finally started bringing the network back up, and they promised some freebies as a "mea culpa" for their inability to keep people's account information from getting stolen.

Well, they finally got around to releasing the free games on Friday.  You could download two free PS3 games, as well as two free PSP games if you had a PlayStation Portable to play them on.  I happily grabbed four games and have putzed around with two of them so far.  I can't say they are anything that I would pay full price for (though I have heard good things about inFAMOUS, which I haven't tried yet), but, hey, they're free, so I'm not complaining.  I have put the most time into Wipeout: Fury, which is a futuristic racing game with gravitic sleds instead of cars.  While not as much fun as Demolition Racer is, you can pick up weapons with which to blow up the other grav sleds, so it does scratch the same itch to a degree.  So, in the end, a major technical problem for Sony turned into a minor annoyance for me and four free video games.  So, yeah, I win.

The other technical vagary I dealt with was my new printer.  I got a new computer back a couple weeks ago, and with it I purchased a new printer, with wireless connectivity.  When I first set everything up it worked fine, but when I came back from Florida last week I couldn't connect the computer to it because it couldn't see it on the network.  No matter what I tried (power cycling the printer and the computer, uninstalling and reinstalling the device, downloading driver updates) the stupid thing wouldn't connect.  The printer was on my wireless network with a valid IP address, but my computer refused to notice it was there.  I ended up solving the problem by dropping ~$30 at Best Buy for a USB cable, and now I'm back to printing the old-fashioned, cabled way.  At least it works now.  Ain't technology something.

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