Loud Thinking: Broadcasting Brain
Tuesday, September 25, 2001 @ 00:08 | | Challenge?

Would I ever want to work with this?

One month down, leaving five years minus one month to go, and I'm questioning the destination of that business/computer science education of mine. It's not that I find the courses boring, managerial economics and macro economics are especially challenging, but could I ever image myself in a position that required the use of such skills?

I'm doubtful.

Monday, September 24, 2001 @ 18:00 | | 1 challenge

Doomed to a life at the mercy of noise

Forget increasing the power of new computers before that state of the art setup of mine can do without four turbines of noise that's currently demanded to deal with the heat. This is my wish of the week for the computer industry. I've grown weary of having to crank up the music to the level of "not allowed after ten o'clock" to avoid running hot in frustration over getting my concentration sucked in by the ventilators designed to keep a machine cool.

All sorts of companies specialize in fighting noice, of course, but mostly their products require endless tinkering (or maybe just l33t skillz?) to yield results. Just installing my current CPU cooler was an exercise in blood, sweat, and tears beyond comparing. It also resulted in one broken Athlon Thunderbird, two weeks of dreadful waiting for a replacement, and a sworn oath never to fool around with it again.

Imagine my willingness to relive such an ordeal four times to deal with a graphics card, motherboard, CPU, and power supply? That's right, non-existent. I'd pay someone to do it, if it didn't require me to ship the box around the world and doubling my investment on the beast.

Even doing that probably wouldn't end my woes, as the box is already complaining in the language of crashes when the apartment takes the temperature up a notch or two. Throwing less air at the problem might give me a quite computer, but also one that doesn't work for more than 15 minutes at a time. Not the solution I had in mind.

What we need is for AMD (especially), Intel, NVIDIA, Asus, and their ilk to care about heat issues as much as they care about performance. That wraps it up then, I'm doomed to a life in noise.

Sunday, September 23, 2001 @ 03:03 | | 1 challenge

New wrapping for the loud thinking

Three months of green supremacy has ended. A new reign of earthly colors have begun. No major redefinement, but enough variation to make it enticing for me again, which will also result in updates more than once a week again.

Do you like it?

Saturday, September 22, 2001 @ 21:32 | | Challenge?

Good deals make banner advertisement work

Banner advertising fails because they're not trying to sell something I want. It's not because the format or delivery is inherently bad. It's because it wasn't meant to replace TV and magazine commercials as the brand building weapon of choice. If only ad execs around the globe could recognize that and move on to trying something else, like selling stuff, I reckon Internet content sites wouldn't be failing so hard.

Take me, for example, I just bought a set of tights from Danish e-tailer SmartGuy.dk. I had never heard of the site before, and I wasn't particularly looking for a set tights, so what then? They we're offering me a good deal, which resulted in 149 DKR going from my VISA card to this company's bank account. All this from a banner ad I spotted on a gaming site.

If only more e-tailers would get that: Offer me something I'd be likely to buy on a impulse (generally goods in the sub-$100 range), and show the product, price, and location of their site in the banner. I'd garantee that such an approach would turn this set of eyeballs, and probably many others, into conversion rate worth throwing more advertising money after.

Friday, September 14, 2001 @ 14:37 | | Challenge?

Terrorism is a symptom; fight the disease

Around five thousand people have lost their lives. Anxiousness is forcing the search for answers to be quick and the reponse swift. Who did this? Where are they hiding? How soon can we strike? All valid questions, of course, but their answers will do little to help prevent future similiar disasters.

Terrorism is a symptom of a complicated disease. Desperation, cult-like brainwashing (using religion as a tool), and misguided patronism are some of the agents acting to further this disease. Focusing all our wrath on a single element, like the religion of Islam, is short-sighted.

As long as the people of the middle-east, or anywhere else for that matter, continue to live in an under-developed society filled with poverty, war, and ruled by caliphs they'll be a breeding ground for the kind of people who comitted these hideous acts.

Terrorists are products of their environment. Where they given equal opportunities they would likely turn out just like you and me.

Look at the history of the world. Most civilizations have at a point in their development been just as cruel and inhuman. We've developed beyond that thanks to higher standards of living, peace, education, and many other such factors. We must help others do the same.

Dealing with the responsible behind this will feed our craving for revenge and ease the feeling of powerlessness, but won't cure the disease.

Sunday, September 9, 2001 @ 15:48 | | Challenge?

Flirtation with Windows Media Player over; Welcome home Winamp

Microsoft have done quite the job on the Media Player accompanying Windows XP. On the surface it's clever indexing of artists, genres, and albums seemed like enough to blow long-time favorite Winamp out of the water. And it did do just that -- up until today, when I finally grew decisively impatient with the sneaky codec trips to Microsoft's servers, the 5+ second delays when visiting a media library with 8 gigs of MP3s, and the frequent crashes.

So Windows Media Player is out and Winamp is back in -- and it feels good. Having an instant response on pressing "Next Song" on my 8 gig playlist brings a lot of satisfaction. Not having to be exposed to Microsoft's recommendations on music and movies everytime I want to hear a particular song is equally nice.

Now if only the Winamp guys would flip the switch to the afterburner on their version 3 development and deliver a music library like Microsoft's, I'd be content.

Friday, September 7, 2001 @ 21:34 | | 1 challenge

Idle subconsciousness seeking nightly adventures

How come everyone but me are exploring solar system colapses and getting acquinted with paralyzing chest monsters? I haven't had a dream I could remember for months, and I can count the number of nightmares I've ever had on a single hand.

Eight hours are spend every night sleeping and I've got nothing to show for it. Is it too much to ask for to get a few adventures of the mind just once in a while?

Tuesday, September 4, 2001 @ 19:19 | | Challenge?

Leave your question disclaimers at the door

It's okay not to know everything, it's okay to forget -- except, apparently, if you're a highly accomplished programmer. In that case your pride will demand a full-stop on all professional help from the underlings on the tech ladder in most cases.

In the remaining, you'll feel forced to think up intricate question disclaimers to explain how you just don't have the time right now to check it yourself or how you've prioritized learning more important stuff (very common disclaimer for HTML questions). And often you'll even surrounded the poor question with disclaimers both before and after. Just to make sure, of course. And usually the disclaimers are even longer than the question itself.

Whatever the form, disclaimers are always insulting on the person who's help you're seeking. Take it from someone who have been on the receiving end a lot. So, could we please disband this practice of grade-A insecurity flashing? I'm tired of letting it slide by a smile and a nod. If you need help just ask for it.

Saturday, September 1, 2001 @ 18:41 | | Challenge?

Life is too short to be pissed off

When has being pissed off ever made you feel better? Think about it. Never. It's a reaction your mind have been conditioned to trigger in response to vile feelings, such as anger, jealousy, and fear. And most of the time we accept this, writing it off as "natural".

Break the loop. Start recognizing your behaviour and ask: Am I being who I want to be? Do I want to be the person who freaks out when the supermarked runs out of milk or the bus is late or someone accidentally spills beer on my shoes? Nobody does, but most are.

Shit happens. Every second you spend being pissed off about something you can't change is a second you could have spend being happy. How many seconds going on days are you willing to waste being pissed off?

Work on your getting-over-it acceleration. Be the Ferrari. You'll like yourself better and others will too.

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