Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I Want This and More Reasons to Avoid BestBuy

When I was around 12 years old there used to be a guy who had a remote control airplane which he'd fly in the local school yard. It was one of the cooler things I'd ever seen. I watched him fly it several times over the course of the summer until he crashed it into the backstop behind home plate. I never saw him or his plane again .

I've had a fascination with RC planes ever since but never enough of a fascination to buy a plane of my own. But, as I mentioned a couple posts ago, I now have my first RC plane thanks to a Christmas gift Tammy bought me. It's a simple trainer made of styrofoam. Nothing too expensive but certainly nice enough and perfect for me to learn on.

Tammy showed me some videos on YouTube of the type of airplane she got me in action. I looked a bit deeper into the tube and found that some guys were outfitting their planes with small video cameras to record aerial views of the earth below. That whole idea intrigues me.

I came across another aerial video today which blows away any of the others I've seen. It's not so much the video content but the way in which it works. The other videos were captured and viewed after you got back home and downloaded the data to your computer. The video you're about to see was viewed through a pair of virtual reality goggles in real time as the flight took place. It would be the next best thing to sitting in the cockpit of the plane and directing it where to go while seeing the world from a few hundred feet up. Not unlike what they're doing with surveillance drones in Iraq.

Here's the video which has me so intrigued...

I was reading some of the videographers comments and he said that the VR goggles give a much better view than you would think. Did you notice the bird he was following toward the end of the video? Anybody who has posted videos to YouTube knows that a whole lot of resolution is lost through compression so I've no doubt that the real time video you see through the goggles will be very acceptable.

I was telling Tammy today that I want to do this. She too thought it sounded fun. She's so cool about indulging me in my passions and I love that about her.

There are several guys at work who play Aces High. Tim and Rob have been trying to get me to join them online at night to play but so far I haven't been all that interested. They use joy sticks, foot pedals and some infra red gizmo which allows them to look all around while in combat. I showed them the above video and they're both very interested in looking further into it. I could see several of us doing this together and chasing each other through the sky...for real and not in some video game.

I hate to ruin a perfectly pleasant post with anything BestBuy related but I really need to keep beating the drum about this worthless place every chance I can.

A couple guys at work this morning were complaining about BestBuy and for good reason. The company is bad, bad, bad I tell you...they're bad. Bob had to take a camera back which was unopened. They wanted to charge him a 15% restocking fee even though the seals on the box the camera came in had never been broken. He told the manager that there wasn't anything outlining that policy anywhere. The manager pointed to a sign off in the distance which neither of them could read from where they were standing. The manager went on to say that each camera box comes with a sticker on it which explains the policy. There was no sticker on Bob's box. The manager walked Bob over to the boxes of cameras where he got his from and had to pull out three cameras before finding a box with the policy sticker on it. The manager wasn't budging. Bob could see he wasn't getting anywhere so he proceeded to open the box and pull out all that could be pulled out and open anything which could be opened so it couldn't be sold as new. Excellent move, Bob!

Grant recently purchased a big screen TV from the evil place and no sooner got it home when the set would suddenly turn off. He called the store and was told that the only set in the area which he could exchange it for was 30 miles north in Roseville and that they could have it delivered to the Apple Valley store in four days. Grant didn't want to wait so he boxed up his set and drove to the Roseville store.

When he got to the Roseville store a guy from in back wheeled out the box containing the set as well as a big gash in the box. Grant had them open the box in the store to make sure it wasn't damaged. He noticed a film covering the screen which wasn't on his supposedly 'new' set when he bought it...the sort of film which is there to protect the screen. Since his original set didn't have a similar film covering the screen he's certain that TV wasn't new at all and was a reject somebody had used and brought back. BestBuy boxed it back up and put it out there for somebody else to come along and take it home rather than fix it or junk it.

Like I said...they're bad.


Dave G. said...

Kevin, that video is outstanding. Looks like fun to be sure. I'll have to tell you a story about one of the guys at Silent Knight that did some RC'ing at my house one time.
Related to your BB comments. I recently bought a 32" HDTV at Target. After I used it for a week, I noticed a funny hum when the sound was turned down low. It made no difference if the sound was on or off. I took it back to my local a store. They exchanged it with no questions. No problems with Target. Sort of like Dayton's used to be.
I haven't bought anything at BB in a long time. Doesn't sound like I will any time soon either.

Kevin said...

I don't know that I've ever disliked a store more than BestBuy...no, I can tell you that I honestly have not. I mostly feel bad for the people who are put in positions to have to outright lie to their customers with great regularity. That can't be a good thing.

I like Target.

Tell me the RC story...you should see the program I bought today at the hobby store to help me learn the skill...very cool.