Epix Fail

A Sign

After spending quite a bit of time and hard effort putting together a presentation on video editing and multimedia production with free software, today I stood up in front of a room full of people and told them that my laptop was refusing to send a VGA signal to the projector, and that I would have to make my presentation (which, I say again, was about video editing and multimedia production, and heavy on them both) without my slides.

Which is, I think, just about the last straw. And I believe that by this time tomorrow I will own a Macbook and have washed my hands of this once and for all.

No-one can say I didn’t try to make this work.


  1. Ken
    Posted October 23, 2008 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Aww, that’s miserable. Projectors are notoriously fickle, but Linux certainly wouldn’t make it easier.

  2. Ken
    Posted October 23, 2008 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Also, I wonder if “for all” is true? I am somewhat hopeful that open source software will get to enough of a point of elegance and intuitiveness that I’ll be won over. I know it’s the right thing, but I just can’t stand it yet.

  3. mhoye
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    This was, sadly, very clearly not a projector problem. This was a linux-video-drivers-are-garbage problem.

  4. Oren Mazor
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    This kind of almost reminds me of the last oclug event I went to. there was definitely some config file editing for X at one point.

    This is why I got a mac. like children, they should be seen, and not heard, if you get my drift.

    I hope you enjoy your new toy :)

  5. Oren Mazor
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 6:36 am | Permalink


  6. Posted October 24, 2008 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Projectors suck. Period. Coupled with modern video cards, the suckage just gets out of control as both wait for the other device to tell the other one it exists before it will send a signal. Thank you EnergyStar, now go fuck yourself and the misguided horse you rode in on.

  7. Posted October 24, 2008 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Personally I’ve seen much much epic fails with mac than with other OS’ when it comes to giving presentations. Most of them coming along with curses that their mac was supposed to fix all these problems :p.

    If you do switch, keep your set of adapters full – I’ve started carrying just for the sake of my mac colleagues…

  8. Mike Hoye
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Jamie: the problem was that my laptop:
    – decided to autodetect the parameters of the projector
    – detected the parameters of the $20 VGA splitter instead. (320×240 or 640×480), and
    – setting both screens to that resolution, which
    – failed.
    and when that failed to work right, setting the screen resolution that low _pushed the undo buttons off the screen_ so I couldn’t roll the change back.

    The last time I saw that was when I was trying to make Windows 98 work for somebody with poor eyesight.

    This is clearly bullshit. I’m willing to fight that fight, but not with a room of two hundred people waiting for it to work right. And I am now ready to got to the Apple stores and do a straight up trade of money for time, mine and everyone else’s.

  9. Posted October 24, 2008 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Facing an audience while troubleshooting must have really sucked.

    Moving along: now is a great time to look at the refurbs at the apple store website which is chock-a-block with the last gen models. What are you thinking of getting?

    Best Wishes.

  10. Mike Hoye
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I’m looking at the new Macbook, the smaller one. I like the build quality and finish of them of them very much.

  11. Posted October 24, 2008 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I feel your pain, my brand new (24hrs) dell mini BSOD, crashed and died dead as a paper weight 30 seconds after plugging it in a vga cable to do a first presentation to a major client.

    my abortive review of a dell mini: http://tinyurl.com/5s2e4o

    trust me I am this close to following you on the path to macbook.

    biggest factor holding me back, $1000 more than a dell mini yet not even 3G/WWAN and no cardslots on a macbook. grrrr.

  12. Posted October 24, 2008 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Mike, I can’t tell you how badly this makes me feel. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, and it sucks even more given the content of your talk, and what your slides were all about. Despite your machine letting you down, you really didn’t let FSOSS down–we were so glad to have you, and all the work you put into the PKs this year.

    I will say that I switched to Mac a year ago, and it’s been the best computing decision I’ve made. You won’t regret it.


  13. mhoye
    Posted October 25, 2008 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Dave. Don’t worry, I’ll be back next year.