Oct 302006

Once again, the Apple worm is nibbling on my brain, so below are my current musings on the subject. While away this weekend I had the chance to briefly use an eMac and was very impressed by how quick and easy it was to even just rip and burn a music CD. I remember the couple times I tried to make a DVD with a bunch of my video files, using the latest Roxio Media Creator, and it was a mess: unclear instructions and conflicting terminology, DVD chapters I couldn’t delete or rename once created, etc. I never did get it to work right. From everything I’ve read and heard from those who have one, stuff like this is amazingly easy using the iLife software that comes with Mac.

Plus, I’m really getting sick of Windows, even though I’m used to it by now. After a year or so performance always seems to suffer due to spyware, code bloat, and applications that don’t remove themselves properly from the registry. No matter how much cleanup software you run, the only way to really improve it is wipe it all out and start over, and I don’t really care to spend an entire day reloading my hard drive from scratch.

A few things have kept me from really pursuing a switch to Apple:

1) Expense. Apple’s aren’t cheap, although they’re much more reasonable than they used to be. However, if you compare a PC with a Mac of equal hardware performance, they really do turn out to be about the same. What gives me sticker shock is that I’m used to building my own PCs from components, so I can piece them together over time as budget allows. Can’t do that with a Mac: it’s all or nothing.

2) Games. As some of you might have heard from time to time, I’m primarily a gamer when it comes to computer use, and almost all the games I play are PC-only. Of the ones I play now or have played recently, only World of Warcraft has an Apple version, and I quit WoW months ago.

3) Software. Obviously, all of my software is Windows, and if I switched to a Mac all of it would become useless. This used to be my number one reason. But now, because Apple switched to Intel CPUs, it’s possible to install Windows XP (and soon Vista) on a Mac and use the Boot Camp software to choose which OS to use at startup. Even better, the third-party Parallels Desktop software will let you run Windows and Windows programs directly within Mac OS, so in theory I really could do away with my current PC and lose very little.

The only issue with THAT is my video card. I recently bought a GeForce 7800, and everything but the 24″ iMac only comes with ATI’s X1600 vid card. On the 24″ iMac you can upgrade to the GeForce 7600. I haven’t checked any comparison reviews to see what the difference would really be, but right now the bottleneck on my current system is my CPU: a 2.4 Ghz Pentium 4. The Core 2 Duo chip is an order of magnitude more powerful than what I have now, so I may not even notice a difference. Hell, it might be even better!

 Posted by at 3:57 pm
Oct 262006


These were pictures taken by a Russian reporter during a trip to North Korea. The English version site went down, but the original Russian one remained and the pics and commentary were hosted on Penny Arcade. It’s a pretty fascinating view of life inside NK.

 Posted by at 1:34 pm
Oct 262006

While tinkering with Firefox 2.0 addons I discovered one called Deepest Sender, which is a blogging tool integrated into the browser. Once installed, you just press Ctrl+\ to start the setup wizard, tell it what blog site you use, and enter your login information. After that, just press Ctrl+\ again to bring up a small window to post a blog entry, like I’m doing now.

I normally run Semagic to post to LJ or, rarely, use the actual LJ update page, but this lets me post instantly, no matter what page I’m on, without having to go to the LJ update page, or fire up Semagic.

If you wanna check it out, go to Deepest Sender

 Posted by at 8:51 am
Oct 232006

Meme time! Shamelessly plagiarized from Fark.com

If you could go back in time and tell your 12 y.r old self ONE thing, what would it be? (no stock tips)

“You have ADD. Get treatment for it IMMEDIATELY, so you don’t waste your potential in a fog of constant daydreaming.”

Bonus: “If you ever meet Kathy McLarnan, run the other way FAST.”

Oct 212006

I started to clean out the office closet to get rid of all the obsolete computer parts, CDs, and papers, and ran across a box of my dad’s stuff that my aunt sent me some time after he died. I flipped through the pictures and papers: report cards, school essays, photographs from when he was a baby all the way up to his 60s. There was a handmade card to my grandma, probably done in grade school, with hearts and “I Love You Mother” done all over it in red crayon. Both of them are gone now, and this little scrap of paper remained, severed from those who once gave it meaning. It made me feel a bit sad and lonely to hold the entirety of someone’s life in a stack in my hand. Most of the people in the pictures are long gone, so the photographs have no real significance to anyone anymore. They’re just ghosts in a box: the reduction of a long, rich life to squares of paper and slowly fading ink.

Someday, someone may go through my things the same way…

I believe I’ll have another beer.

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