This is a two part post about how regular mail is still useful in the digital age. It’s funny too, because both of the things I used slow old “snail mail” for recently were problems I had putting off for months.
Part 1: That’s a mighty big File You’ve Got There!
After giving Guild Wars 2 a fair play through and deciding that while it is a great game, it’s just not the hobby for me, I did some soul searching and determined that I wanted to work on mods for the Tarkin SWGEmu server again. That’s a heavily modified private version of the original Star Wars Galaxies massively multiplayer online roleplaying game, for those who don’t know what I am talking about. Helping to impliment their laundry list of features they’re already working on, as well as putting together my own mods for others to enjoy, is a fun programming challenge as well as nice social time. Unlike working on my own single player game, when I work (and play) on Tarkin it’s a process of collaboration and fun!
In the past I cobbled together my own server virtual machine and emailed my changes to the Tarkin admin. However, so much has changed in the last year or so that I am having trouble getting an updated SWGEmu server to compile and ultimately it’s just way too much of a pain in the arse to try and go on using my half arsed work environment. It’s tough for both of us to manage!
With that realization in mind, the Tarkin admin and I figured it would make sense for him to set me up with the virtual machine he uses for working on the server, but there was just one small problem… the VM was close to 16GB huge! That proved to be too large for him to host anywhere and too large for my slow, data limited Internet connection to download anyway. He was able to shrink the VM down to just under 8GB, which I could download over the course of a week non-stop, but he still didn’t have anywhere to host it.
So to solve the problem… I mailed him a micro SD card! How’s that for thinking outside the digital box, eh?
Part 2: Orders of Magnitude Less Expensive
About a year ago I picked up a very small sound board, to use with a microphone and the computer with the kids and to record sound effects, etc for games. To make the most of what I have, I needed some 1/2″ to RCA adapters and a 1/4″ to RCA cable, but after seeing the price for such adapters in a local store I decided to make due with what I had until the other day. I had been farting around ebay when it occurred to me that there aren’t any import fees for items under $20 CND… so I did a search on these adapters with free shipping and wouldn’t you know it…
I found a pack of 4 adapters and the cable I needed for the whopping total of $6 CND, tax and shipping included! That’s nearly ten times less than what it would have cost to buy the same items locally.
Now, I am all for “buying locally owned” and I can justify spending a little extra to support the local economy, but not 10 TIMES MORE!
Thank you snail mail and my local Canada Post Office – You still bring value to my life!