New rules

Although my haphazard style of cycling is fun sometimes, I can no longer continue. The weather is just impossible. It's about 10 degrees colder than I expected, and this makes camping at random places pretty much impossible. The wind chills you down to the bone in seconds, even inside my tent, which is not very windproof. I camped under a bridge today, a fairly nice place, but the wind was very strong and froze me at night. I've decided not to camp any more at least until after Kyoto. Until then I will be planning my route and my destination every day so I can stay at youth hostels or other cheap hotels instead.

Depending on the circumstances I will also no longer cycle in the rain. Because of the rain I had an unexpected surprise last night: my sleeping bag was soaking wet... It was already very cold inside my tent, but not being able to use my sleeping bag made it worse. I opened it up, reversed it, and used it as a blanket, avoiding the wet parts mostly, but it was still very very cold. I need to laundrify it when I get to Wakayama, which is my destination for today.

Today I am angry at everything, because things are simply not going the way I wanted. I'm always too positive about things, but today is certainly a reality check. I woke up at 5AM from the cold (and at 1AM and at 3AM), proceeded to pack my stuff and started to cycle at around 6AM, taking route 42 towards Wakayama. By 9AM I was completely dead and sleeping on my bicycle. It really felt as if I was blind. I was somehow able to see the road, bumps, cars, traffic lights etc., but I didn't have any energy left to look around and enjoy the scenery, or even figure out which town I was in.

The road is megatough yet again. The uphills are longer and steeper than yesterday, and the wind is incredibly strong, severely limiting my speed on the downhills because of risk of falling over on a strong gust of wind. On the straights I am pushing hard but due to the wind and tiredness I can only manage about 16-17kph today. Despite all the bad parts I've done 60km so far, about 50km left. If the road stays hilly like it was for the past few hours then I will die along the way. If it improves a bit then I might reach Wakayama before dark.

I encountered another touring cyclist yesterday: a young Japanese guy going in the opposite direction of me. He started his trip 5 days ago and planned to circle Japan. He told me he didn't have a tent, but he had a sleeping bag which he would use for example to sleep at bus stops. That's hardcore, and I have to admit that my trip is luxurious compared to his. I thought about continuing to circle the whole of  Japan after I get to the tip of Kyushu. It took about 0.1 seconds thinking time before my mind answered: NO WAY. Kyushu is the end of my cycling trip in Japan, I'm sure of that now.

Also, I smell like shit.

Posted in Spirit of Japan , Uncategorized | Tagged

iTunes again

Sorry for mentioning this over and over again, but it's just really pissing me off.

Situation: I manually manage everything on my iPod: both music and TV shows. TV shows that I encoded myself specifically for iPod, which cost me a great many hours of CPU time. Now, I want to sync ONLY MY MUSIC so I can make playlist folders again. I *triplechecked that I only selected to sync my music, and not my TV shows, but * ITUNES decides to erase my entire iPod anyway. This is not user error, this is Apple being retarded. Now I have to re-encode hours worth of series, which will take days. If Apple was more flexible they'd perhaps consider to support video codecs that normal people use, but that wouldn't be Apple. It has to be done their own way, in their own format...

I am beyond pissed off. I was considering buying an iPhone after my trip, because I felt it was better than its Android competitors. I still feel this way: the iPhone is a great device. I'm not buying it, though. From now on I am boycotting everything Apple. The inflexibility of their products simply does not agree with me. I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm quite used to that. The image of Apple in my mind is forever linked what negative emotions and bad feelings. Developing for the iPhone and trying to deal with iTunes leaves no doubt in my mind: avoid Apple products.

Oh, and since I'm ranting about shitty software anyway, here's another piece of shit that deserves some trolling: OpenOffice. I've been working with OO Impress a lot recently, cause I don't have MS Office on the Macbook at work, and I need to port presentations back and forth between Windows and MacOS. OpenOffice seems the logical choice, but damn is it shit. I'm a big fan of Java and of open-source applications, but OpenOffice is the ultimate example that open source does not always have great results. It's slow, illogical and counter-intuitive. And it's slow. I know the counter-intuitive part comes from the fact that I'm used to MS Office, but damn. Tell me why, OpenOffice, why do I have to change a global system setting to change the color of a hyperlink in my presentation? Don't you think that's slightly retarded? I know everyone will say "well, it's open-source, why don't you fix it?". Why should I? Powerpoint is better. It does everything I want, and it's much faster. I urge everyone to just get a good MS Office XP license (anything newer or older is worse). It's absolutely worth the money.

I'm a bit surprised at myself for recommending Microsoft stuff. Usually I'm a Google fanboy, but in this case I think Microsoft's products are more comfortable to use (at least the Office suite). I had similar experiences with IDEs, Apple's XCode being utterly abysmal and Eclipse my long-time favorite. By chace I installed MS Visual Studio Express C# today, expecting to get an XCode experience that would piss me off, but in fact Visual Studio impressed me a lot. It's fast, easy to understand, and makes good use of the screen space. It's certainly on par with Eclipse (based on my first impressions).

To summarize: Apple is shit, and don't forget that.

Posted in Tech | Tagged ,