Ruby on Rails
Ta-da List


February 27, 11:03 | Comments (2)

Noise makes iMac vs PowerMac an easy choice

After much comparison, research, pondering, and back-and-forths, I've decided to go with the 17" iMac over the dual 1.25 PowerMac. Among the benefits, I valued silence the most. Apple has consistently screwed the PowerMac over the last few generations with poor-quality fans and noisy power supplies.

What's even worse than poor-quality is inconsistent quality (where's ISO-certification when you need it?), which is exactly what the PowerMacs have. Some PowerMacs are obscenely loud, some have headache-inducing whines, and others, the lucky few, are relatively quite and peaceful. It's a $2,000 lottery that I'm unwilling to play.

Existing PowerMac owners can take some comfort in Apple's recent acknowledgment of the problem. But it has taken months and months to reach that state and there's no guarantee that Apple's adjustments will cure the problem.

Actually, given the recent introduction of the promised "low noise" but still-noisy-as-hell next generation of PowerMacs, it's more likely than not to be another diversion.

What continues to escape me is why Apple will let the reputation of $2,000+ machines be tarnished to save a few measly bucks on proper fans. Dell solved this problem a long time ago and their computers are virtually silent and they sell for much less than the offerings from Apple.

I'm disappointed, yet eagerly awaiting my 17" iMac, which I'll hopefully be typing from Monday or Tuesday come next week.

February 09, 20:47 | Comments (7)

The language hyaenas stand ready

An internal memo of unverified status and from a questionable source airs critique of Sun's Java implementation strategies in regards to Solaris. It's all about specific problems affecting mostly Solaris — and not at all a general critique of the language.

But it matters not. It's a hint of a possible drop of speculative blood, and a hint is all it takes. The language hyaenas stand ready: John Lim of PHP Everywhere writes:

Hats off to the guys and girls who maintain languages such as Perl, Python, PHP which run beatifully on Solaris and virtually every operating system in use today. It's news like this that makes you appreciate how well these open source languages work on every platform, everyday and everytime. (emphasize mine)

Oh puh-lease. It's "our men and women", it's flags caught in the wind, it's a national song, and it's sickening. All platforms have issues. God knows that PHP, which I'm most intimately familiar with, has plenty. It undermines your credibility to present any language as Perfect. Please stop.

February 07, 21:31 | Comments (0)

But it didn't stick

Besides being unreliable, memory is unpredictable. There appears to be no clear system. Chaos is plentiful and intentions merely wishful. It's impractical and baffling how even my sincerest of efforts to imprint as little as the four integers in my pin-code or as much as the all major conclusions in a year's worth of biology can prove almost in vain.

Meanwhile, I can recall the most minute details of several specific days of pre-school. The particular color of the grass, the smell of asphalt drying after summer rain, the games we played, and the shape of the playhouse we had.

How practical it could be to have an intentional memory manager. I really need to remember my pin-code, so let's flag that as for keeps. I don't really need to remember specific strategies, exact wordings, and '96 prices of hundreds of Magic cards, so let's drag that to the bin.

I wonder if we with intentions could do a better job, one that could make us happier and more prosperous, than with current choices of our subconscious.

February 06, 16:29 | Comments (1)

Loading Linuh, booting kerbel...

When graphics cards go bad they start to tell funny stories. Characters are removed or reversed or replaced at random. It would be even more funny if I weren't a card short. Now the Athlon machine is running on a elderly Nvidia TNT with 16mb RAM (stolen from the server), which isn't even enough to pull 1600x1200 together at more than 75 hz. So that 22" screen is squandred away in a 1280x1024 resolution.

And the newly initiated Mandrake machine is "Loading Linuh" on a "Celebon" processor (with the broken GeForce 1). Perhaps that's why it only reaches the "booting kerbel" state before shutting down. Bummer.

Do you live in Copenhagen and have a really, really cheap GeForce 1 or similar for sale please holler.

February 05, 23:02 | Comments (13)

Reductionistic pride

Arrogance isn't the only natural companion of mathematical intelligence. Reductionism tags gleefully along just as often. The reason for reductionism is part pride, part understanding. I applaud the part understanding, but loathe the part pride.

Reductionistic pride operates as a defensive advocate for the ego. He initiates his doings by undermining the source of the idea: "You are smarter than this man. How can he have anything new to offer you?" Once the subject is convinced, any idea can be broken down, by insight or force, to something he already knows.

It usually happens in abrupt manor with the cut-offs, the objections, and the finishing of sentences. It's mental branch prediction run amok. It's extreme impatience. And it's very rude.

I can only take reductionistic pride for so long. Usually around until the fifth ill-advised prediction proves a miss. Then the conversation must end. Or at least that's when I would like it to end. Finding the courage to offend an already vulnerable ego is tougher than I care to admit.

Like with the fight against arrogance, you must actively combat reductionistic pride. First step is acknowledgment. Are you ready to confess?

February 01, 22:55 | Comments (10)

Finland rejects the EUCD

Finland did yesterday what Denmark could not: Reject the horribly flawed European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD), which makes it illegal to break copyright protections on CD's and DVD's. A pass would mostly outlaw DVD's on Linux and rips of that new Lauryn Hill CD to your iPod.

Denmark is in deep disgrace. We were the only country along with Greece(?!) to pass the EUCD on December 22nd of last year. It's pathetic. From the Finnish coverage, it seems that breaking copy protection under the EUCD is a criminal offence carrying the maximum penalty of two years in jail. Two years.