Monthly Archive for July, 2011

SSD woes

Well, it has been over 1 month since I placed the order with OWC and there is still no sign of it. The real pain is, as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, that I was stupid and chose delivery without a tracking number. So who knows where it is, it left the States to never never land – one thing I am almost certain of is that it is never going to arrive at my doorstep.

I mean, how long do we actually live? Do I really have to set aside a minimum of 1 month every time I order something from the States? What freaking century do we live in? How can anything possibly take that long (or longer)? The package enters Germany within generally 3 days, after that it is this f@cking country that is pissing around with my time. This place just pisses me off so badly sometimes. When I order something from the States and am living in Australia (which is a hell of a lot further away from the States than bloody Germany) it usually takes a maximum of 1 week. So just what the f#$k is going on here is anyones guess. This country is slow in every possible way – there are roadblocks even where you can’t see them and it wears me out sometimes to the point where I just don’t want to be here anymore.

I am just so pissed. I don’t know who has it, but someone does – and my bet would be on some wanker from the Zollamt that just happens to be building a new computer right about now.

Luckily, since I bought the product in the States, they have wonderful customer service (even though it is partially my fault for choosing the cheapest shipping). I reported that it still wasn’t here and that I am now in a tough spot because I can’t order my new system until the disk arrives (which I am – I now have no machine to do my work on from home which means I have to stay longer at work). The person I spoke to (Adam) was very friendly (even though I might have come across a little annoyed) and offered to start a claim against USPS and have another SSD sent out immediately via FedEx without incurring any additional charges myself. Can you imagine the same service in Germany?? No, I didn’t think so.

So no matter how this place keeps on f#$%ing with my shit ordered outside of the EU, they can go f#$% themselves, I will keep on doing it regardless. Until I can order what I require within the EU – I don’t see why I should be forced into purchasing an inferior product just because it is available locally. That to me seems like some kind of dictatorship – it certainly doesn’t provide me with the freedom to which I am entitled.

Maybe nothing has really changed at all – the wall is down but still nothing gets in…..

That is most definitely it :-(

Well, you know how I said the other day that as much as I had stated I would never return to Astra for a concert, I would give it one last chance so I could check out MF Doom? Well, that’s it – I am never, ever going to that shitty assed shit-hole ever again.

Let me give you a run-down of what happened.

Firstly, as per bloody usual in Germany – no event time listings were given – therefore you have to first do the research to find out when everyone is playing. Why no times are given as to when an act is playing is beyond me – it’s just another bloody pain in the ass that you have to put up with in this country – remember – life is not made to be easy here. Anyway, I had done the research and we planned to arrive at Astra at around 11.00pm so we could catch Antipop Consortium who I also really like, but we didn’t go any earlier because none of us were interested in the other acts at all.

Got there and it was quite a full-house (which disappointed me a bit really – I was hoping there would be far fewer people due to the weather and whatnot). Checked out Antipop Consortium who rocked the place pretty much but the crowd was already getting mega pushy.

What the hell is it with Germans? If you are walking along the street a lot of them don’t wanna get out of your way. If you are at a concert they don’t want to share the floor space (what they consider to be their space). This makes for a very aggressive crowd because everyone standing around watching the artist, or waiting for the artist to appear as it were, does not want to move for anyone and seems to have a ridiculous sense that their spot is theirs and not to be shared. Very selfish, very pushy, very aggressive and quite frankly, just plain weird.

Even the most aggressive of US, UK or Australian crowds at a concert are nowhere near as bad – and I have been to a bunch of concerts in my life. Hell – I was even at a Slayer concert once upon a time in LA where the crowd collapsed in on itself because there were just sooo many people – but even then everyone treated each other as a fellow fan – but more importantly than that – a fellow human being – and that is where we have a problem in Germany. Germans don’t seem to treat each other with the same level of respect that they themselves would expect. The whole do unto others thing was seemingly never taught during childhood. Maybe this disassociation towards fellow human beings was displayed to even a greater audience during WWII, anyway – that’s just a theory. Maybe they’re just scared.

So at 12.30pm MF Doom was meant to play and I was (regardless of the pushiness of the place) right at the front waiting, and waiting, and waiting…whilst listening to a German hip-hop DJ on the wheels of steel. It wasn’t that he sucked, it was just that I didn’t want to hear some semi-ok DJ playing tunes I didn’t particularly like or want to listen to. Well, at some point after all the pushiness, over seemingly nothing, had got to me to a point where I could no longer handle it, I left the front of the crowd and resigned myself towards the back where I waited with a few friends for MF Doom to show up. By this point it was 1.00am. We had another beer and waited until around 1.45am at which point I just couldn’t be jacked anymore – my time is worth more to me than being dicked around by some asshole promoter or artist and I bailed. There were, in typical German fashion, zero announcements given that he would be late – basically no communication whatsoever (communication is not one of this EU member’s strong-points). God – it is just so freaking typical of this place it drives me mad – I’m sure it wouldn’t if I was buried deep in the same ignorance as the locals here,  but no such luxury for me. If someone is running late, then people who payed for a ticket need to be made aware of this, 30euros for this shit was a joke. Not too mention they’re one-way tickets so you have to stay at the place and wait for the artist if you want to see them, as soon as you leave you cannot get back in 🙁

So never, ever again – no matter what – will I ever pay a single cent to Astra, and I will be telling anyone that wants to listen (even those that don’t) about what a piece of shit place this really is. Talk about a crap organized school disco – because that is exactly what it is – albeit with a shitty sound system not quite capable for the size of the place. Wake up Berliners, there are better ways than this – it has been proven the world over.

So up yours Astra!!

Waiting can be a very scary thing….

Or is that a bloody frustrating thing?? I have to wait before I can order my new computer because I need to install the OWC SSD immediately into the thing. I decided against paying Apple the 600 euros they are charging for a 2TB internal hard drive + a 256GB SSD. A number of reasons are behind that decision:

  • I do not require a 256GB SSD as I am only using it for the system software
  • Paying a 500 euro premium for an SSD seems a little exorbitant to me
  • The SSD that Apple ships is inferior to current SSD models

Due to this, I went to OWC and ordered a 120GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD. I did this on the 21st, June 2011. As you may have read in my previous rants regarding bringing product into the EU from a country outside of the EU, this is a serious pain in the ass. Germany is slower than a f@#$ing wet week when it comes to crap like this. Essentially they are trying to “encourage” you to buy product strictly from within the EU by making things so impossibly difficult, expensive and slow. Well, that’s just flipping great but what happens when said product is not available in the EU? (God – this really is a déjà vu) The only similar product available that I could have purchased locally is the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS SATA III 2.5″ SSD – but I have heard nightmarish stories about them and I really wanted to avoid any difficulties with my new machine. By going with OWC I at least know that they have been tested against Macs and that support is available when in this configuration.

So, what am I doing? I am wondering where the hell my SSD is. How can it possibly take freaking customs so long? I can tell you how – because nothing is done quickly in Germany, I tell you, paint dries faster than most anything that is done in this country. A classic example to a tourist from the States or Australia would be to walk into a Burger King, McDonalds or a similar fast-food establishment and time how long it takes you to get your “fast-food”. I can guarantee you it will not be fast (nor can it really be classified as food – but hey, that’s a whole other story). In fact, the ordering process alone is soooo slow you often have so much time on your hands waiting in the snail-paced queue that you start to question the sanity behind walking into such an establishment in the quest for quick, inexpensive food in the first place. So much time in fact that you might catch yourself walking out, disgusted with yourself, before doing yourself the disservice of placing an order. Fast-Food establishments take note – you are losing out on business in Germany due to how slow your operations run in this country.

Anyway, that’s a break-down of the scenario I currently find myself in. I have been ready to order a computer for the last 4 weeks now and am waiting on a f#$%ing 280US part that is being held hostage in some grimy corner of Berlin customs. They will get to it when they get to it I’m sure, first they need to stamp all the other pieces of paper they have created (as per usual – quite possibly in triplicate) for the other incoming packages that have been lying around for even longer.

The saddest thing is that I have no tracking ID – yes, I was an idiot cheap bastard and thought it wise to forgo this feature of the 32.00US shipping and went with a much saner 8.00US shipping instead. So in all honesty I really have no idea if it is even in the country or if it will ever arrive.

SSD – wherefore art thou? 🙁

 

Ok – I know I said I wouldn’t

But seriously, what can I do? MF Doom is playing on Friday night and guess where he’s playing – oh yes, that’s right – the place I vowed never to go to again – Astra. So that kinda sucks and I had a pretty tough decision to make – to go and see him or not. But what to do – I have never seen this guy play before and he is definitely one of the more intelligent rappers out there……..so I bit the bullet and bought a couple of tickets.

Now let’s see if Ina will cave in the same as I have 😉