Roku survey email – willfully blind? Or ignorant?

Got a survey email from Roku. “Take our survey, maybe win a prize.” Sure, I like Roku. The guy that started it had done the original ReplayTV and I loved those. Autoskip commercials? I’m in.

“What reasons do you most enjoy streaming on a Roku? Pick an answer, or we won’t let you continue the survey.”

1) “No fucking commercials”

2) “None of the above”

Oh wait – neither of those are an option. I’m out.

The options they wanted to railroad me to were (pick one):

  • Choice (content)
  • Free (I do subscriptions, they are not free)
  • Choice (time-shifting)
  • Choice (content)
  • Choice (time-shifting)
  • Higher quality. This one is actually interesting, but not the reason I go with streaming. I enjoy the higher quality, but that was really more about the display resolution that came from upgrading the hardware.
  • “It’s cheaper” – well, this one probably comes closest, but in no way does it imply the real reason it’s cheaper. I value my serenity, and all commercials (promotion of consumerism) are exactly the opposite of serenity. They are active destroyers of serenity. That’s their job. So for me, no commercials is cheaper from a stop-wasting-my-time point of view. But “It’s cheaper” implies dollars, and streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime is not less dollars.
  • Choice (content)
  • Choice (content)

I don’t need to fill out your survey, Roku. And from your ReplayTV history, you should remember and embrace your past of getting rid of commercials. That’s what people really want.

Why did you send out a survey that ignores the obvious?

Willful ignorance implies you have an advertiser. They want to hear that they should spend advertising dollars with you; so you are sending out a survey to bolster that position. Sorry, my answer is that advertisers suck, and I’m happier in my life without them.

Or it could be that you’re just Ignorant. What do people really want? Are you too busy for some introspection to figure it out? Here’s a question to ask:

“If you have the choice of watching something with commercials, or without commercials: which would you pick?”

No other factors; just the simple choice: which would you pick?

And now you are a little less ignorant. You’re welcome. 🙂

Update on my last rant (Perl PAR::Packer sucks) – it got better, thanks to HÃ¥kon Hægland on Stackoverflow

I was quite frustrated, because I really needed to be able to deploy a utility to about 30 people, and I could not see any way out.

I’m not sure, but I think the reason it didn’t work is that the author of PAR::Packer thinks including shared libraries are out of scope. For all I know, they are really out of scope. But I needed the shared SSL library to be able to perform the task.

I put a request out on Stackoverflow, and HÃ¥kon took it as a challenge. He was successful, and I am hugely thankful for that.

My failure was not seeing that App::PP::Autolink was a thing. HÃ¥kon asked the maintainer of PAR::Packer (Roderich Schupp) the question I didn’t think I could ask. Roderich knew the answer, and supplied it. HÃ¥kon used that to educate the world (and me) that yes there is an answer: App::PP::Autolink.

Thank you, HÃ¥kon. You made my world a better place. I hope your work makes many people’s world a better place.

Wow Perl PAR::Packer sucks

I presented a problem to my boss, where I need to let about 30 desktop technicians run some code I’ve written. My boss said when he is in that position, he writes it in PowerShell, and uses PS2EXE. This is good idea. I found that in the Perl world, the same idea is in PAR::Packer.

A super simple script, running on my Linux box, takes less than one second to run. Open up an SQLite database, fetch all 20 records, sort them, print them. Simple. Less than one second.

The Windows .exe version takes 19 seconds.

Every. single. run.

There is no way that the on-call technicians who have to run the scripts I’m writing are going to be happy with that. And it would make me feel bad, inflicting that sort of this-is-time-of-my-life-that-I-am-not-getting-back on some poor soul who got a call at two in the morning, to deal with whomever for whatever.

Normally, on Windows, I used WinBatch. Did so for 20 years. But alas, WinBatch was always a for-pay product, and eventually hobbyists wrote AutoHotKey (or was it Auto-It?) (for free) to do everything WinBatch does. Also, the real goal was to take my Perl scripts that use REST to get and put JSON or XML at a web service. WinBatch has lots of old extenders, but rarely any new ones. I don’t know of a REST extender for WinBatch. I don’t know of anything in WinBatch that does what DBI does in the Perl world. The WinBatch answer is to install MS Access (or whatever) and use COM to drive the actual database client. Avoiding installing software is part of the goal here. I need something That Just Works.

And preferably works in a second or two; not twenty.

I’ve got REST modules written in Perl. I’ve gotten far enough in my Perl skills to put standardized code in modules, and then use those modules. But that meant putting modifying the search environment for finding modules. Guess what doesn’t work with PAR::Packer?

Okay, crap, I can move all my modules into the root directory where my scripts are. This is stupid, but I’ll do it.

And then I find that the execution speed of even a simple script is terrible.

Searching for a solution, of course the answer is “You’re doing Perl wrong, if you don’t want to install an entire development environment on every workstation”.

Well, thanks for nothing. Apparently I need to give up Perl and start learning PowerShell. PowerShell does rather look like Perl, so maybe it won’t be too terrible of a transition.