Archive for the ‘tech’ Category

You Are Dumber Than We

November 28, 2007

So I’m checking out the We Are Smarter Than Me site (google it – they get no linkage from me). Hmm, nice, an interview with Doc Searls, a current one with Mike Arrington. Neat.

But there’s no download link (that I can see) for the mp3 file. Oh, okay. There’s the little orange XML button. I’ll subscribe to the feed in GReader and the mp3 attachments will show up there likely. Umm.. no they don’t.

There’s a little note on the Podcasts page about having to subscribe to this stream via ITunes. So it’s either that or listen on-line while I’m on the page (there’s a little play button link which plays the file – apparently without any controls).

Oh forget it. ‘We’ are definitely smarter than you. At least the blog title is accurate.

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Ubuntu Upgrade – surprising!

November 18, 2007

I’ve never had complete satisfaction with a distribution upgrade although they seem to get substantially less painful for me with each iteration.

So in the midst of vacuuming the house this morning, I decided what the hell.. I’ll do the Gutsy upgrade. I logged out of Openbox and into my old standard Beryl/Metacity setup. I did a few package upgrades that were waiting and then hit the button at the top of the upgrade manager.

Two hours later I was done and rebooting with crossed fingers. It likely would have taken substantially less time but it stopped to ask me to confirm about 4 configuration file changes (I ok’d them all) and seeing as how I was vacuuming and not sitting in front of my computer watching the install, I likely added about 15 or 20 minutes of delay to the process.

The startup into Gutsy with my previous Metacity theming went fine. I turned on some high level desktop effects just to see if it picked up on my ancient Intel 810 video card. Yep. No problem, but more on that in a second. I then checked out internet connectivity and some other bits and bobs – they all worked fine.

For the final test, I logged out of that session and back into my Openbox setup. Everything seems to work A-ok. I’m duly impressed!

A note about compiz: As an engineer I am stupified as to how smoothly Compiz effects work on my bottom rung Intel 810 card. It’s got 32MB of *shared* ram and that’s it. And yet it all works beautifully. I’ve played with MS Vista and while some things look nice, the system requirements for Aero seem out of this world.

I’m by no means much of a Compiz fanboy – I love some of the effects and find some of them very useful – but the speed, simplicity and hackability of Openbox has really stolen my attention for the moment. But man, you have to give them credit for being able to do what they do when compared to other OS’s.

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The Bigger, Badder Desktop

March 12, 2007

I am a rational guy. I consider things objectively and hopefully take the time to weigh things on their relative merit.

But bring in a big honkin’ faux stainless steel PC case with glowing lights and black venting and I’m all a shudder.

You could almost hear the screams of petrified laptops and notebooks everywhere scurrying for cover when my co-worker unboxed his new Dell XPS 710 desktop.

I haven’t seen a pc-case so tall and massive since we got rid of our 486 towers from 10 years back. It’s so ominous and evil-looking that it’s a crying shame that it’ll be tucked under a desk. You want this baby out in the open – just to intimidate people.

To add insult to injury, he also got a 24″ Dell LCD monitor to go along with it. Cripes it’s nice. Now I squint at my 19″ LCD as if it were a postage stamp.

Such is the pissing match that goes on in a small office full of pseudo tech guys.

It almost feels like the equivalent of a 16 cylinder Bugatti in a room full of Honda Accords. And don’t get me wrong, I know that in another 2 years it will be strictly middle of the road. There will be faster laptops sold at Staples for 500 bucks, but damn is it nice. šŸ˜‰

And as garish as front panel lights, ominous black grillage and faux stainless steel might be, they’ve actually done something smart which I haven’t seen before (although this might not be a first..): they put white LED lights on the *back* panel shining down on to the peripheral ports. So when you’re hunting around under desk to plug something in, you can actually see what you’re doing – although the power must be running to do so.

It’s a crying shame that XP (64bit) will be put on this machine. I’d love to smuggle it home and Ubuntify it. But I’d likely need a pickup… šŸ˜‰

Okay… then why?

December 28, 2006

Robert Scoble writes:

“But, Iā€™m not going to write a lot about John Edwards.”

Sorry if this is a stupid question Robert, but why exactly did they invite you along then? Maybe I’m missing the point.

[Edit: Maybe for ScobleShow video coverage?]