Finally! The Return of Mamba

My replacement Razer Mamba was delivered yesterday.  I’m actually surprised that it is not exhibiting the behavior of the faulty one I sent in.  Not that I think that Razer would do anything nefarious, I just can’t fathom how an external device would have an impact on whether its clicks register in some applications and not others.  It goes against all I know about computers and operating systems.

But, yeah, May 17th to June 28th with only about 2 weeks being my fault.  If this one dies I’m probably just going to order a Logitech G700 and be done with it.

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2 Weeks With a Tablet

For my birthday this year my wife and mother went in halvsies on an ASUS Transformer tablet.  It was the cheapest Android 3.x tablet I could find.  I was somewhat dubious on what use I would put it to since I have my W7 gaming rig, a 17″ Vaio Linux Laptop & a Motorola Droid.  Fortunately it seems that my worry was unfounded.

As a device it sits between the Droid and the Vaio.  Many of the apps that I used on my Droid have been migrated to the tablet.  Though they share many of the same apps the difference in screen size and processing power means that any time I am where there is available Wifi the tablet gets preference.  On the other hand my Droid’s 3G connectivity means that outside those hotspots it fills in as needed.  This sounds like it might be a limitation for the tablet but, really, most of my time is in range of either my home or work Wifi networks.  The division between the two works nicely.

On the other end of the spectrum it is competing against my Vaio laptop.  I still use the Vaio for my main productivity machine since it runs Linux proper.  It full version of Chrome also handles Youtube videos, Reddit and other web experiences far better than the stripped down version of Chrome that is on the tablet.

The tablet also had competition from one other device; my wife’s old Kindle 2 that I had inherited a few months ago.  Quite a while ago when my wife and I had our many discussion of Kindle or Nook I realized that I could get an Android tablet for about the price of a Kindle and a Nook, download the apps for both, and have an uber eReader as well as a decent platform for other computing tasks.  That realization has come to fruition.  I’ve finished up up a few Kindle books, finally ordered my first electronic book (up until now I’ve been reading my wife’s books) on Nook and have access to Google Books.  All on the same device.

Reading books, keeping tabs on Facebook/Twitter/EMail, playing music from Music and being a lightweight browser/Youtube platform when I want to quickly share something with guests.  All of these are constrained on the Droid but don’t warrant lugging out the full laptop.  The tablet fits that niche perfectly.  I’m glad I got this device as a gift.  Now to just figure out a way to keep the screen clean.

How Not To Retain Customers – Razer

This past Christmas I purchased a Razer Mamba to replace my aging Logitech MX Revolution.  At the time I was quite pleased with the product.  I even went so far to say, “With the Mamba my loyalty to Logitech is shattered.”  Apparently I jinxed myself.

In late April, early May my Mamba started acting exceptionally odd.  After booting my W7 machine it would register clicks in some applications, but not others.  Which applications would register clicks were random every reboot.  If an application didn’t register clicks it would rarely register clicks no matter what I tried.  Reinstalling the Razer’s Drivers, reflashing the firmware on the mouse and the base, restarting applications, killing services, nothing.  It happened whether I was in wireless or wired mode.  It happened on my wife’s XP box.  The most damning part was the instant I plugged in my old MX Revolution my mouse worked perfectly.  Clearly the problem was with the Mamba.

I reported the problem to Razer on the 6th of May.  After a dozen emails, some quite heated on my part because they weren’t being explicit in what they wanted, I finally got my RMA on the 13th of May.  Except that RMA was wrong.  So I was issued another RMA on 23rd of May, over 2 weeks later.  Because of some issues at work and home the mouse wasn’t shipped out until the 8th of June.  The mouse was delivered on the 9th of June.

According to the RMA it would take 2 days for them to process the hardware and a return unit to be shipped.  The 9th was a Thursday, so Monday the 13th would be 2 business days.  I finally emailed them on the 17th asking if they had even received my Mamba.   Later that day I got confirmation it was received, processed, and my replacement would be shipped out within 1-3 business days.  Furthermore I would receive an email from the USPS with a tracking number for my replacement when it was shipped.  It is now the 21st, 4 business days later.  No tracking number.  No email explaining the delay.  Nothing.

Back on the 8th of May I wrote the following to Razer’s support, “That I should instead look at a G510 instead of waiting for an Anansi and forgo an RMA on my Mamba and just order a G700 from NewEgg?  They can be at my door on Tuesday.”  That would have been the 10th of May.  Excluding the 2 weeks it took to get the mouse shipped out that still means what should have been a 5 day turnaround has taken in excess of a month.  Needless to say any goodwill that Razer’s hardware built up in the few months prior to its erroring out has long since evaporated.  Maybe my loyalty to Logitech hasn’t been shattered after all.

10 Random Replies About “Game of Thrones”, Season 1

MMO Gamer Chick has posted her 10 Random Thoughts About “Game of Thrones” Season 1.  Instead of replying there with what would undoubtedly be something I would also want to post here, I’m replying here.  So if anyone is confused, go read her entry first.  Go, read.

Done?  Good, here goes.

I came into this series having not read the books.  In fact I have yet to crack open the first book because I am still working on catching up on other series.  So my impressions are purely on the series itself though with a hint of things that my wife passed on after she started reading the books.  I do try to have her contain her spoilers but sometimes her enthusiasm exceeds her restraint.

#1, casting.  I have to agree.  Every character felt real.  The only actor I was familiar with was Mark Addy from “A Knight’s Tale.”  I loved his performance in that movie and his time as the Robert was no less enjoyable.  Sean Bean’s portrayal as Ned cemented his name and face in my memory.  While I had watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the theaters I didn’t much care for it and didn’t recognize him as Boromir.  Odd since Boromir uttered what has proven to be the most meme worth line of those movies.  For me, the season was stolen by Tyrion Lannister.  Every scene with Tyrion was a treat.  Peter Dinklage’s performance of George R.R. Martin’s dialogue is perfection.

#2, presenting the multiple stories clearly.  Again, agreed.  As someone who hasn’t read the books I had absolutely no problem at all following what was happening.  Not only was it possible to keep the different threads of the story separate it was possible to also see how they were still connected.  There were a few minor incongruities but no series has ever been without them.

#3, presenting some things a tad clearer.  I actually can’t speak to that because I don’t know what I am missing.  What I can say, however, is that I don’t feel like I am missing anything.  Like in the example given, Jaime being called Kingslayer, what was presented is enough for me to understand why he, and others, would react so.

#4, pacing.  Hm, I think this might have more to do with the fact that they had only 10 episodes to work with.  Normal television series get 20-24 episodes per season.  I am not sure what is standard for other cable series.  Well, I think Dexter is 10 or 12 as well.

#5, elements of the show.  What I like is that the story isn’t tethered to young adult sensibilities like many other stories set in fantasy worlds are.  As my wife describes it in other fantasy series adults would blush at a simple kiss.  Here adults are adults.  I don’t mean just in terms of sexual content but all emotion, all experiences are treated honestly.

#6, sets, costumes & props.  Agreed.  They struck a great balance of having a beautiful world and one that could or would be real.  There is color but outside of King’s Landing & the Dothraki they are muted.

#7, the opening sequence.  I loved it from the first episode.  The music is excellent.  The martial drums backing up the sorrowful music hint at the story you’re about to be told.  The visuals appear simple but have a complexity all their own.  I also wonder if it hints at the world view of the people of this world.  The map itself is concave, as if the world were on the inside of a sphere.  The sun appears in to be in the middle of that sphere (Dyson Shell, anyone?).

#8, loyalty to the source.  I have no way to judge this outside of what my wife says and does.  We’ll watch some scene and she’ll comment later, “That is exactly how it happened in the book!”  Other times she will utter a key line right before the actor on screen delivers the exact same line.  This second action often gets a scowl from me since I am so rabidly anti-spoiler.  She tends to do that, spoil something seconds before the show (or book I am reading) reveals it.  However from what I understood there is a reason why it is so loyal to the source.  Everything involving the story is run past George R.R. Martin.  He’s listed as co-executive producer of the first episode and he wrote the eighth episode.  So unlike most other adaptations the changes made to adapt the story to the limitations of the screen are blessed by the creator of the story.  Can’t get much more loyal than that.

#9, events as they unfolded.  Yeah, me too.  ‘cept I didn’t know what was coming (aside from Winter).  My scowls at my wife are effective on the big things.  🙂

#10, can’t wait for Season #2.  The only saving grace between now and then is that Season #2 of  “The Walking Dead” will help pass the time.  I’m sure the importance of that will diminish since tonight is when we get to watch episode #10.  Oh, and I’m sure this will be one of the series that we purchase on DVD/Blu-Ray as soon as it comes out.

Torchlight + Melee = Pain, Oh The Pain!

Holy cripes, my Destroyer is getting raked over the coals in the late teens.  I didn’t have it nearly as bad with my Vanquisher.  Of course she was a ranged toon so was able to do damage while taking none, just fly, fly a kite!  But the Destroyer has to close to melee to do anything.  He hits like a truck but tanks like a tissue.  4-5 hits and he’s down.  I’ve got him armored up.  I’ve taken points in the defensive talents which improves armor.  I’ve pumped most of his points into defense and he still gets drop kicked into next week.  Poor Samson the ferret is having to clear rooms while Goliath the Destroyer stands back with 40 health summoning wave after wave of skeletons.

Ferretstock 2011

Rocky’s Ferret Rescue in Maryland is hosting Ferretstock 2011, a fundraising event for the rescue.

I’m on the wrong coast but if I could I would be there in a heartbeat. I learned of Rocky’s a few years back and through them learned 2 things.

Humans can be cruel, cruel bastards.

Rocky’s is the best friend a ferret has on the East Coast if they are unfortunate enough to be in the possession of any said bastards.

I cannot think of Rocky’s without tearing up. Anyone who is near, go, show support, help this place out. They more than deserve it.

Anyone who isn’t they do have raffles going and anyone is welcome to purchase tickets. I’ll have mine before the end of the day.