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  • Michael Krakovskiy 5:06 am on August 4, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , graphics editor, , , , , NY programmer, , , , , Taratorin, text editor, translator, Trash   

    It Sucked Back Then Too. 

    I see that a lot of people add “programming” tag to my blog in del.icio.us. And as they might have noticed, there are very few posts about computers and programming in this blog. So far, my favorite note in del.icio.us is “a NY programmer, I guess, doing you know, stuff”. Anyway, here is an exclusion from the rule, a post about computer technology.

    There’s a computer book that I was looking for for a long time. I remember having it in my dad’s library, but it probably was left behind. I finally found a source of used books in Russia, alib.ru, so I finally replaced it.

    “Personal Electronic Calculating Machines in Engineering Practice” by Krenkel, Kogan and Taratorin, Moscow 1989, Radio and Communications. I mostly bough it for a certain infamous passage attributed to Dr. Taratorin, a fellow immigrant and Livejournal deserter. If you can read Russian, here is a collection of his prose(he is extremely talented) and here is his blog.

    So, let’s see, it’s 1989. Dr. Taratorin is writing these immortal words (my translation follows):

    “One example of unwieldy, and in authors’ opinion useless add-ons is integrated WINDOWS system by Microsoft. The system takes up almost 1 Megabyte of disk space and was designed primarily to be used with devices of “mouse” type . It unites in itself functions of a file catalog browser, text editor, calculator, calendar, graphics editor and allows to load different other applications . Because this system integrates different subsystems and allows data passing amongst them it’s often called operating system wrapper (see paragraph 2.9). It seems that the usefulness of such wrapper in the ability of the user to load a few different programs and organize data sharing amongst them. For instance, after editing a text, you can pass it to an electronic table editing program (translator’s note: I think the word “spreadsheet” did not enter Russian vocabulary back then), database, etc.

    Work with WINDOWS, of course, is rather impressive: during waiting (subsystem loading, file writing) a symbol of waiting, hourglass, appears on the screen, during file erasing a picture of a trashcan appears, backgrounds and font colors change, helper windows overlap, etc. In our opinion, the symbol of extreme esthetism and unwieldiness is the time-telling subsystem. When invoked, this system shows a pretty clock with familiar clock face and moving hands… But you always have to pay for prettiness. In WINDOWS system the price is long wait times for switching between applications, bloatedness of switching constructs (translator’s note: no idea) and large amount of memory needed from the Electronic Calculating Machine.”

    Ahh, nice vintage Windows bashing. Warms my heart.


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  • Michael Krakovskiy 3:22 pm on April 25, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: advisor, Beat Takeshi, Blankenship, , , , , , Hayati Tani, Inferior-Style Electronics, Japanese people, Joe Salaryman, Kenny Blankenship, MXC, Spike, , Takeshi, Takeshi Kitano, , Takeshis', Tenneal, , translator, Vic Romano   

    “We Also Build Poor-Quality Cars and Inferior-Style Electronics”. 

    Oh. My. God. My blog is actually useful. See, livejournal user n0w emailed me about this show called MXC, telling me that it’s a new version of “Takeshi’s Castle“. This is some useful information.

    Here’s what TVHome.com has to say about it : “Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (or “MXC”) is the ultimate in reality sports, where contestants comprised of two teams are physically and mentally challenged and eliminated through crazy and challenging games.”

    This was not encouraging description. I recorded one episode, expecting a new American Gladiators type show. But oh no no no no no! It’s nothing but. This is a creation of a few of mentally challenged Spike TV producers who somehow got their hands on vintage Takeshi’s Castle footage and proceeded to anally rape it.

    Here’s what these brilliant minds did to the poor thing:

    • They renamed the main characters. General Tani became Captain Tenneal, Count Count Beat Takeshi became Vic Romano. Count Takesh’s advisor whose name I don’t know became Kenny Blankenship.
    • They edited the footage to somehow give the impression that the original one hundred something contestants are broken up into two teams.
    • They completely replaced the dialogue Mystery Science Theater 3000 style, but with a lot of crude, frequently homophobic and sometimes even racist comments.
    • They removed the actual storming of Takeshi’s castle, although you sometimes can see the castle in the background. Instead they show replays of the more painful falls and scrapes that the contestants suffer.

    Of course, it is possible that the owners of Takeshi’s Castle footage sold it under the condition that it should be disfigured like this. Or Spike TV did not have enough money for a Japanese translator. Or some bigwig came up with these brilliant enhancements and the poor producers had no chance but to go along. Then I apologize for calling this mutilation one of the dumbest things on TV.

    The original Japanese show had so many things going for it, no wonder I remembered it for 12-15 years after seeing a couple of episodes. It has hundreds of regular people facing almost impossible tasks. Most of them failed at these tasks, facing painful and humiliating falls. Yet they showed fighting spirit, hanging on as long as possible, getting up drenched in dirt and mocked by Takeshi’s henchmen, yet not loosing face. Instead of concentrating so much on humiliating falls, in the original show they replayed attempts that showed the most determination, to this day I remember the guy who tilted at about 20 degrees to the ground on the stepping stones challenge, yet made one more jump. The actual storming of the castle was a great thing to look forward to at the end of the show, even though the contestants succeeded only a couple of times through the whole run of the series.

    Well, I guess this mutant of a show is still watchable if you mute the moronic braying of the idiotic remixers. “Now, our game shows are a little different from yours. Your shows reward knowledge; we punish ignorance“. Well, our shows do not rewards knowledge. They punish the viewers. I so wish I could enact that Tivo commercial, where a couple of guys throw a network boss out the window, with MXC creators.

    General Hayati Tani renamed for us, “average American Joe Salaryman waiters”.

     
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