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    An imaginary tech support call  echo $newRAM;
    added Mon September 19 2005 at 7:06 PM
    I would never have actually called any tech support for the problem, but I did come pretty close to writing a stinging diatribe against iTunes crying out about the abuse of keyboard shortcuts.

    My computer started acting up. For some reason, Firefox was crashing pretty bad. I wasn't horribly surprised, considering all the problems I'd had getting the internet to work in the first place (I *still* don't know why I was having troubles connecting). I killed firefox and opened up Internet Explorer. Hey! I was in the middle of looking for an extremely important answer. I did not want to wait for firefox to decide to find itself. Actually, I don't even remember what I was working on, but I looked down a couple minutes later and saw iTunes open. "Hmm," I thought, "I don't remember openning iTunes." I cranked up some tunes and continued on my aimless pursuit of whatever the heck it is I do on my computer (I think I was sorting through emails at the time).

    I was about to write my first entry for a long time and in the process, I was going to select a paragraph of text. Because the mouse is sitting on the table in front of me and the keyboard is on my lap, I naturally began to use keyboard shortcuts to highlight characters. And I lost my music. So I switched to iTunes and the volume was turned down. Hmmm. Very fishy indeed.

    I fiddled some more and found that ctrl+shift+down muted iTunes. I glanced through iTunes' settings, but don't see any options for keyboard accelerators, so I hop on googleand sure enough, I find that the shortcut to toggle the mute in iTunes is ctrl+shift+down. Oh man, that really gets me. I would've probably uninstalled iTunes on the spot if I had installed the update like it wanted me to when I first openned it up. That kind of behavior is simply unacceptable, especially since further fiddling revealed that ctrl+shift+up was launching iTunes. If programs start hijacking my keyboard shortcuts that are clearly given to other programs, all bets are off.

    Imagine for a moment if I'd called iTunes tech support, or even worse, Dell or Gateway tech support at this point. All they have is my word that this strange behavior is happening, and I'm *fuming*. I'll leave the exact words of the call as an exercise for the ambitious reader.

    There's more to read. Read the extended entry.

    Good bye, foxytunes  echo $newRAM;
    added Mon September 19 2005 at 8:07 PM
    I hope that future versions of FireFox are a bit more stable when an extension crashes. I really liked the idea of foxytunes... one thing I've been unhappy with iTunes is that it doesn't have a nice, small stay-on-top screen settings that can tell you basic info at a glance. So FoxyTunes was a good solution because I currently spend a vast majority of my time in front of the computer with FireFox pulled up. By putting a single line in FireFox that keeps tabs on iTunes, I didn't have to have that feature in iTunes.

    Unfortunately, it's unreliable and causes too many FireFox crashes. It doesn't always update (although usually it's just a matter of pointing your mouse at it to tell it to wake up), but worse is when something happens in FireFox while iTunes changes songs... then I guess some sort of infinite loop must kick in because FireFox goes belly-up. That's all fine and annoying when I'm just cruising my usual websites, but when I'm writing an update, that's simply unacceptable (I like that word tonite, can you tell?).

    I had what I thought was a pretty good entry going, too. But I hate re-writing entries, because it feels like I'm repeating myself, so I lose my chain of thought. And it shows. I don't do a lot of editting on these entries (you may have noticed), so in general, I really need a single continuous string of thought to write a good one (some interruptions are okay, but losing most of an entry is too much). I'll sum it up in a couple sentences: I called comcast for help getting the internet connected, after a considerable amount of time talking with the comcast tech support guy, it magically worked. I still don't know why. It was probably some obscure settings in some program I rarely or never use that was causing a glitch in the system. Perhaps I'll write the symptoms later, but there's not any great incentive because I don't have a solution. It just made a good story.

    Ah, the joys of computers.