Dear Facebook:

I do not think you are good at this computering thing.

I have a droidphone. Your app is on it. This is a native Android app whose purpose in life is to send and receive fairly small amounts of ASCII or Unicode text, plus sometimes some tiny-to-medium sized pictures.

I also have an app called SCUMMVM. This is a homebrew project. It purpose in life is to run games. The way it does this is by pretending to be an x86 architecture CPU (it isn't; it's a Qualcomm chip) running MS-DOS (it doesn't; Android has its own operating system) taking input from a PS/2 keyboard (no external keyboard; you can bring up the on-screen buttons if you need them) and a serial mouse (no mouse; it captures motion from the touchscreen and maps it onto a phantom 'touchpad'), and sending output via a set of DOS IRQs (that don't exist) to a SoundBlaster-compatible MIDI instruments table and FM sound chip (which is translated in software and passed to the speaker) and a 640x480x256 VGA video card (which is downscaled to 480x320 for the screen and mapped to the phone's native palette).

Emulation is notorious for being very buggy, and to blow through processor cycles like a bureaucrat trying to get rid of his budget surplus at the end of the fiscal year, because -- as you can see above -- whatever is running the emulator has to pretend to be a whole lot of things it isn't, on top of constantly talking to itself. It is also notoriously crash-prone, as programs tend to assume things about the state of the physical hardware which are not necessarily true if the hardware it's expecting doesn't physically exist.

SCUMMVM just ran flawlessly for the three hours it took me to get through The Castle of Dr Brain. The Facebook app, when it doesn't crash directly to the 'force close' dialog as soon as I tap it, is only capable of animating the loading ring, and then losing the connection. It is so crap that when it is working, I spontaneously lose bars of signal from both the wifi and the cellular gauges in the status bar. I didn't even know that was possible.

In a contest between "I send text and pictures back and forth" and "I am pretending to be all the parts of a completely different computer system in order to coherently run an arbitrary game my owner has fed me from a directory on my SD card", this second thing should not be winning.

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