lanai city, hawaii, 96763

Monday, May 23, 2005

Clashes

Milla phoned me at 1200 last night. Surprisingly, I was already in bed. It wasn't until I woke up at 906 this morning (I remember the time because when I looked at the clock, I realized that if you were to flip all three numbers upside down, it would still read the same) that I rubbed my crusty eyes, crawled out of bed and checked my voicemail. The mechanical lady said that I had 1 new message. Message received at 1203 am, yesterday. It was Milla, and she sounded upset. "JR, I know it's late, but can you give me a call when you get this message."

I'm not so sure about anyone else, but I feel restless whenever I get a message like that. So many crazy stuff run through my mind as far as what it's all about. Whenever I hear someone clearly upset and whispering vague concerns into my voicemail, I have a mild panic session. And so I pick up the phone and dial Milla's number. There's no answer.

I decide to get my mind off of the message by browsing online. I check my emails, upload some recent pics and register a new domain. About an hour later, I pick up the phone to try again.

This time Milla answers, and her voice is crisp and cheery. Don't you love it when you've spent an hour worried sick about someone over a message they left only to hear from them again, and everything's fine. Well in this case, not everything is fine. Most things were, but not everything. I ask her where she is, she says she's out in field service.

"You wanna join us?" she asks me.

My response must sound dry and unenthusiastic: "Nah, it's alright." And impatient: "So what's up... why did you call last night?"

There's a pause on her end, I can hear voices around her, maybe Ashley and I can't tell who else. And then Milla whispers, as if she doesn't want the others to hear, "Umm okay, you know how we all have programs on our individual desktops..." And right then, I already know exactly what she's getting at.

Flashback to a few days prior: Sarah has a clip from a recent KM taped up next to the computer about downloading copyrighted materials off of the internet. It's a thoroughly legitimate issue for her, something she probably lays awake in bed over, tossing about, flitting from thought to thought on the evils and detrimental consequences resulting from participating in this dark activity.

We all have a shared program on the computer, Limewire.com, something that Camille dropped money for, and something we all make use of. A few days ago I had been downloading digital clips of those little cartoons that start off Pixar features, you know the ones with bouncing jackelopes or cute but carnivorous fish. All the while, Sarah perched quietly behind me, watching my every move, obviously bothered. And it bothered me.

A couple days later I brought it up to Sarah's attention that an mp3 audio file was no different from an avi movie file, and that if she saw pirating guilt on my forehead than she too had things to answer for, because she had her own folder of downloaded music off of Limewire. But my well thought out guilt trip was too late. She had already spent a restless night stressing over the valid points that I exposed.

"It's already been taken care of," she answered me mildly. Behind her, Steven smiled, clearly amused by her frankness. Sarah continued calmly, "I deleted the program from my desktop yesterday."

Flash forward to the present: "Umm okay, you know how we all have programs on our individual desktops, right?" In the background, I hear a car door slam shut, more indistinct voices, and after a pause, Milla continues. "Well, if you delete a program that is on your own desktop, does that affect everyone's use of that program?" I can hear the annoyance that this topic brings her. I decide not to know what she's talking about. At least not just yet.

"Well, it depends. If it's just a shortcut to a program, than it shouldn't affect anything. But if the program itself is under an individual's account and that person deletes it, than yes, it affects the other user's." I hear her sigh. I suddenly choose to realize what she's getting at."

Is this about Limewire?" I ask.

"Yah, it is," she answers. "So, can the program be recovered?"

I pause for thoughtfulness. "Well it depends. If Sarah's already emptied her recycle bin..."

She cuts me off right there. "Yah, it's emptied already."

Well than there was nothing we could do, and I tell her that. The deleted program was in Sarah's recycle bin, and now its gone into oblivion. Milla exhales in frustration and tells me what happened last night.

She had a song in her mind, something she had wanted to hear and couldn't wait to get home and download. But when she got home, she double clicked on her shortcut icon to Limewire, and it wouldn't let her load. She asked Sarah what was up, and Sarah told her what she did. Milla went onto Sarah's desktop, into her recycle bin and restored the deleted shortcut to Limewire. After which she emptied the recycle bin. The program didn't load, the restored shortcut icon was useless, words were spat out and credit cards flown back and forth.

The bottom line: Don't shell out money for a file pirating program. Just download one for free.

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