amw (amw) wrote,

my god, it's huge!

I bought a monitor today. I don't think i've ever bought a monitor in my life. My first couple were CRT hand-me-downs, and then for the last 10 years or so i've only owned laptops and (now) tablets. I bought the smallest, cheapest 1080p display there was, and it's fucking gigantic. Of course in the office i work with two giant flatscreens, but that's different because my windows are always snapped one side or the other and i have an IDE and terminal windows and all kinds of boring stuff all over them. At home, browsing a website or reading mail fullscreened, it's just ridiculous how huge everything is. And Steam looks like a freaking console.

The irony is, i bought it so i could plug a console into it. Briefly. Alienware recently released a little tiny quiet console/HTPC that boots directly into Steam Big Picture and comes with a free Xbox 360 controller. But i didn't buy it to play games with a controller. I bought it so i could play newer games on my tablet using Steam In-Home Streaming. And then realized i couldn't actually set it up unless i had a TV or monitor to plug it into to enable Remote Desktop Access. Am i sounding like a nerd yet? Anyway. Theory is, because Steam supports streaming games (including graphics, sound and controls) over wi-fi, i can use this "console" the same way i use my NAS or my router - as a headless networked brain to make my tablet do stuff that it can't do on its own.

But who knows, maybe with this giant-ass screen sitting in the corner of my room, and a free controller, i will finally start playing console games?

Ha! Who am i kidding? WASD for life.

In other news, Germany continues to have some utterly bizarre quirks. Fucking, i have never lived anywhere that is so goddamn fussy about privacy, but then forces you to put your name all over your building just so delivery guys can find it. Quick tip for finding someone's apartment in Germany. Look at the names on the doorbell. And they all have names, because apartments DON'T HAVE NUMBERS. Your building has a number. After that, you follow the name on the street doorbell, then you find the mailbox in the lobby with the name on it, then you walk up all the stairs and check all the doors until you find the name again on the apartment door. It is remarkably inefficient.

But then, at the same time, every web site, on the entire internet, by law, has to show a giant popup advising you that they are sending you a cookie and invading your privacy. And every time you ever need to do anything at your bank or your insurance company or whatever, you go through all the motions on the website, and then at the very last moment, they send you to a PDF of the form you just filled out that you are supposed to print out, sign, and go to the post office together with your photo ID to prove that you are actually the person you said you were. And then you have to send it to them snailmail, and a few days later your account will be updated. Which, obviously, completely defeats the point of doing any kind of bureaucratic stuff on the internet in the first place.

The fucking cherry on the top is how packages are delivered. The postman comes to your house. Assuming your name tag is not on one of the doors on the ground floor, he then knocks on one of your ground-floor-neighbors-who-you-have-never-met's doors and leaves the package with them, and then it's up to you to figure out which neighbor may or may not have your package. Or, it seems if your delivery is worth more than some unknown sum like the monitor and SSD combo i originally bought last week, it gets returned to sender. Because God forbid the postman ring your doorbell and/or call you. But that's not the best part. The best part is your alternative option. Your alternative option is to sign up for an internet account with the post office so you can register yourself as a person who would like his packages to be delivered to the post office instead of to your building. Where, of course, you would have to collect your package by showing your photo ID to the guy at the post office. So i signed up. Only to find in order for the application to be approved, you need to print out a PDF and bring it to the post office with your photo ID so you can prove you are actually the person you said you were so they can send you a different photo ID through snailmail, at which point you are allowed to use your online account to redirect packages to the post office where you can now show the different photo ID to pick up the package.

Or, you know, they could leave it with a random neighbor you have never met.


Meanwhile, Berlin is awesome anyway, my job still sucks, but i only have 3 more days, so, yay.

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