The Terrible Tinkerer

Two things have been on my radar recently… first, Mr. Jalopy’s ‘Owner’s/Maker’s Bill of Rights’, which is discussed in a Wired News article here (,70735-0.html).
Unrelatedly, I’ve been thinking about the direction that a lot of technology seems to be taking. I feel like, five or ten years ago, a decent desktop computer was chunky enough for pretty much any thing you’d want to do. Now, by contrast, a game console or a DVR has a lot more under the hood than an average computer, unless you’ve built your computer specifically for gaming or video capture. I feel like this is a trend– towards powerful, specialized technology.

To repeat something a lot of other people have been saying, this technology is only worthwhile inasmuch as you can take it apart and rejigger it, or hold on to it and use it for spare parts a few years down the road. Though this seems obvious, I don’t see any way that the Owner’s Manifesto or something like it will ever come to be widely implemented.

Somewhere along the line, PC components became standardized and interchangeable; hopefully the same thing will happen with gaming consoles and DVRs. (Not if the DMCA has anything to do with it, I bet) There’s got to be some way to help the process along…

Also, mad props to asp for making Oldblivion (, which has made me and my antiquated computer very happy this last little while. We need more things like this and Mount & Blade (

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