Archive for October, 2005

Pretty amazing shipping

Posted: October 26, 2005 in General

I rarely (if ever) pay for quicker shipping. Usually it’s not the shipper that is lagging, it’s the order fulfillment. I swear I wait longer for the order to be shipped than I ever do for the shipper to deliver it to my door. I know it’s impatience, but damnit, I’ve come to expect instant gratification.

I read today that Apple reduced the prices on some of their refurbished laptops, and since Cara and I have been talking about it, I went ahead and ordered a G4 iBook. I just received an email with a FedEx tracking number this evening. I ordered her computer at 3:39PM and according to FedEx it was picked up at 4:39PM (1:39 Pacific time). What I find interesting is that the FedEx number has an origin time of 1:42PM, almost 2 hours before I placed my order. I’m not quite sure what that means, but in the long run it doesn’t really matter. The fact is that, so often it will take days to have an order fulfilled, it’s nice when a company acts in hours instead.

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Six Flags

Posted: October 24, 2005 in General

We got a good crew together to go up to Six Flags on Sunday. Cara and I decided to get 2006 season passes, since it allowed us access to the park on Sunday as well as throughout 2006. Justin, Ben, Mike and I headed out to the Superman ride while the women waited for additional people to arrive. The lines were so short that Ben and Mike rode Superman twice in the time it took Justin and I to ride once. After Superman we rode Batman before meeting everyone else.

I think Ben was king on Sunday riding Superman 3 times, Batman 3 times, Mind Eraser twice and both the old wooden coasters once. The rest of us got a number of good runs though.

It was crappy weather on Saturday. Cold and rainy, but that didn’t stop Justin and I heading out to meet the guys at Jon Fund for some Octoberfest offroading. I finally got the Cherokee out on the trail again, and did some pretty great four wheeling (I’ll have pictures soon). Ben came with us, and drove Justin’s Jeep a bit, I think fun was had by all (considering the weather, etc.)

I got home from Octoberfest around 4, and after a quick shower Cara and I went out to buy furniture at Basset. After a quick credit check, we spent almost 5 grand on stuff for the new house. I can’t say I’m excited about spending so much money (or more to the point, going into debt for so much money), but I am psyched to get some things for the house. Maybe it’s just a little sobering, because I know that this is just the start of things.

Flock on…

Posted: October 21, 2005 in General

If you haven’t already seen it, you should check out <a href=”http://www.flock.com”>Flock</a&gt;. They recently released a developer preview. It’s a cool new browser based on the Firefox code, that does some nifty things.

Like what? Well… I’m writing this entry in the built in blog editor. How about discarding the idea of favorites/bookmarks and assigning “stars” to pages, and automatically syncing them to <a href=”http://del.icio.us”>de.lico.us</a&gt;.

It’s a preview which means “beta”, so it has a couple bugs here and there. If they work on the UI a little and clean up the code it could be pretty damn cool.

Apple's on a roll

Posted: October 19, 2005 in Computing, General

Okay, I admit that the new dual processor dual core G5s are cool. PCI-Express (finally) and DDR2 RAM make these things rock, but then again I expect a lot of rocking for $3300. Of course when I headed over to the Apple site to check out the G5s, my attention got diverted, by…

Aperture. My first thought was… what the fuck is Apple doing to their Web site? The Aperture page requires 1024, which was a little annoying. Of course about two minutes later all was forgiven. I’m not a professional photographer (or anything close,) but Aperture makes me wish I was. Aperture is like iPhoto on steroids, (or more like iPhoto on steroids, on steroids). Anyway… it’s a great tool (toy), and it looks like Apple has another home-run on their hands.

Hoping iTunes 6.0 is a stopgap

Posted: October 13, 2005 in General

After having a night to think about Apple’s announcement of the video capable iPod last night, I thought I’d weigh in with my opinions.

Overall I think a video capable iPod is a good move, there is no real reason not to have that capability. I only wish that Apple had decided to update all existing color iPods (including the nano) for the capability. Now I feel a little like I got burned (I bought a nano when they came out, and less than a month later I’m thinking that I should have waited). That, though, is not the point here.

My issue is with iTunes, which is starting to become less Apple-like (which is why it is/was so good). I’m hoping that iTunes 6.0 is a stopgap since Apple doesn’t have any kind of a library system for movies (yet). I started to get worried when it stored music videos and PDFs, and this latest (buying videos online) takes us another step in that direction (which isn’t positive).

My second issue is content. I like the idea of downloading TV shows and interesting clips that you can’t get (easily) elsewhere, but I doubt I’ll be using this too often (which is probably a sentiment shared by many others). This feels a little more like a “test run” than a real service (I’m sure they looked at the numbers, and I doubt that they will be making much money on this).

We can only hope that this is a precursor to downloading feature length movies. Of course this brings to light the only other issue, which is quality. 320×240 isn’t going to cut it. The iPod isn’t the ultimate destination for viewing this stuff, it’s the TV. Apple can have a huge win here if they start offering content in HD (1080 would be best, but 720 would be okay). Who cares about HD-DVD vs. Blueray? Allow me to download the latest movie in 1080p the day that it gets released and you’ll get a lot of $19.99 from me. Chances are, Apple’s already working on a lot of this with the movie industry, if they act quickly, they can come out of the gates swinging. What do you bet that the next major revision of the Mac Mini will be even more like a set-top box?

Crossing the terabyte boundary

Posted: October 12, 2005 in Computing, General

This weekend I will be crossing the terabyte boundary (1024 gigabytes). It was probably about a decade ago when I was crossing the Gigabyte boundary, so perhaps in another decade I’ll be crossing the petabyte boundary (although that is doubtful since 1 petabyte should be able to store just under 70 years worth of HD 1080P video).

One of the 120GB drives in my mirrored array showed as being degraded over last weekend so I ordered a new set of 250GB drives to replace them. I’ve been wanting larger drives (since my music library is taking up most of the 120GB, and I need room for other important things), so this seemed like a good excuse.

I admit that not all that my terabyte number may be a little questionable, since I won’t actually have that much space available on one machine. The pair of 250GB drives will be mirrored, so although I will have 500GB of hard drive space, only half of that will be usable. I have a single 160GB for applications and OS on that machine, and I’ll be moving one of the 120GB drives into an external firewire case (and probably back up to it, and throw it in the firesafe when not in use). That gives me storage closer to about 530GB (half a terabyte) on my desktop machine. If you’re wondering how I got to 1TB. 2x 250GB drives (my new array) + 160GB drive (my app and OS drive) + 2x 120GB drives (my old array) + 120GB (in my ReplayTV, which is cheating a little).

Either way, I don’t anticipate that I’ll need more magnetic storage for a couple more years, and maybe by then I will have an actual terabyte of storage (or more*).

*I’ve calculated that I’d need somewhere between 1 and 2 terabytes of storage to “rip” my DVD collection to hard drive, and I would probably have to grow my hard drive storage about 500GB a year to make sure I had enough room for content.