Sunday, July 06, 2008


It's way too late and I'm way too tired, but I had to post this little tidbit. As a former C64 owner, this is one of the cooler things I've heard recently and it really makes me nostalgic for that old piece of hardware. Maybe I can get one off Ebay for cheap. It'd be nice to play around with after all these years.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stop it, Apple. Just stop it.

News article

So apparently Apple is really, really hellbent against people using their property how they want to as opposed to how Apple wants them to. Latest stunt in this iPhone power-struggle fiasco is that they're requiring people to sign up for an AT&T contract before they're given the iPhone (you used to be able to buy the iPhone and sign up later).

I've been a Mac fan for a long time, and I'm still a big fan of Apple's hardware, but their business practices surrounding the iPhone (contract lock-in) and the latest run of iPods (encrypted firmware, meaning it's really hard to install something better than the standard iPod "OS" like RockBox) is pissing me the fuck off. I recently purchased my own cell phone (Samsung SGH-D900) as a standalone device, meaning that I can use it on any (GSM) network I damn well please by swapping a SIM and also have full access to its camera, multimedia functions, system options, and what-have-you without stupid carrier lockdowns getting in the way...Verizon Wireless I'm looking dead squarely at YOU.

I was never that excited about the iPhone. Mostly I was pissed because they delayed a Mac OS X release in favor of getting the phone out the door. I was more excited about the iPod Touch. But now that I'm starting sentences with "but" and making Pat Doyle cry, and now that I also found out about the firmware locks on the 6th-gen iPods (which is the same bullshit Microsoft pulled with the Zune) I'm really turned off by the thought of either of them. Sucks, too, since they encrypted the iPod Classic's firmware, which is the model that has a 160GB flavor. And 160GB of RockBox-enabled FLAC playback that's drag-n-drop loadable by ANY PC YOU WANT (i.e. not one single computer to which you have an iTunes library sync setup) is damn delicious.

But fuck it. My 60GB 4G iPod is fine, and it WILL run whatever I want, and I have yet to fill it totally to capacity. I'll stick with that, and I think I'm only going to be buying Apple's PCs and staying away from their multimedia/comms/whatever line for a good long while until they pull their collective head out of their ass. Because this lock-in business is quite crap.

Of course that's just my opinion, I could be a jaded bastard.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Posty McPostsalot

Why no, I didn't put a single instant of thought into my subject, thanks for asking.

I have to keep reminding myself I have a blog and that I should post in it. Fascinating thing, people wondering about you. Helps to toss them a bone once in a while and let them know you haven't offed yourself by bleach ingestion in a fit of nihilistic rage.

Or that you haven't changed one whit, for that matter.

So, a little over a month into the new job and things are going great. Some days get extremely hectic (did I ever mention I really don't like the word "hectic?" It sounds so awkward) but never once have I been bored. And you'd be surprised just how much I appreciate being able to eat and drink at my desk again. That was one of the worst things about working at Burrows - couldn't even have water. And fine, each company has their own way of doing things - I acknowledge that and it's okay, but the super-stiff culture at Burrows is just not one for me. Anyway, though, things are much better here and look to get better still.

Also newsworthy is my new living arrangement. I've secured an apartment not far from work. It is to be my new abode, and mine alone. It is not shared with anyone nor do I want to share it with anyone - roommates are absofuckinglutely not for me, unless they're significant others with whom I'm living WELL IN ADVANCE OF MARRIAGE (you Christians can all blow me and so can your morals). For the time being, though, I have blissful solitude at long, long last. Absolute isolation and perfect silence. The peace of mind I've always TURN YOUR FUCKING STEREO DOWN, COCKBISCUIT dreamed of. ...Well, almost.

Further details of the apartment available upon request.

I think that's about all for now. I mean, I know there's more going on but if I rack my brain too hard I'm going to wind up writing another insanely long Master's-thesis post that's going to result in 40 WoWs and about 271 tl;drs.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Attention apartment-rental websites


When I tell you I want apartments in Rosemont, it means I actually want them in Rosemont.

Not Des Plaines. Not Schaumburg. Not Skokie, or Mt. Prospect, or Arlington Heights, or Chicago.

Oh, wait, yeah, my mistake. I'm just typing "Rosemont" for my health. Because of course those towns all have L stations and are located near highways and airports. They're all the same, right? Of course I should want to live there instead of where I fucking specify.

Maybe I should just take a walking tour of the town and stun-gun rent information out of local landlords. It would be better than at any rate.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Movin' on up

Aidan's got a new job.

Aidan has scored what is, in some eyes, the ultimate promotion.

In two weeks, Aidan will become head of IT.

It's almost enough to make you refer to yourself in the third, crap.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Quick update - Firefox 3

Yes, I am alive. I'm just seriously swamped right now. Graduate-level biology classes are interesting when your background is data networking.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on and prove that I've not been eaten by a giant squid, nor have I fallen into London Below or anything.

I also wanted to note, on an unrelated...note...oh frak you, it's late. I wanted to note that anyone who might be even the slightest bit interested should seriously try out the Firefox 3 beta. It's incredible, it's fast, the memory problems are long gone, and it has some really neat new features. It installs alongside your current version of Firefox, so you don't need to worry about losing anything. You'll have separate links to your "normal" install (2.0.whatever) and the FF3 beta. Windows users will see a "Firefox 3 Beta" folder in the Start menu, Linux users probably will already have it figured out by the time they're done reading this, but in case it eludes you, you can type "firefox-3.0" in a terminal and that should do it. Mac users might want to create a folder under /Applications, as the .app file is still named "Firefox" and you do run the risk of overwriting your old install.

Anyway, FF3 beta good. No crashes so far. Some addons don't work perfectly but that's to be expected with most FF updates.

Try it out, here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

All I Want for Christmas...

Is a goddamn unified .NET Framework installer package that can actually be slipstreamed into an XP install without taking all the time it normally takes to install itself and yet still somehow manage not to register when I try to install an application that requires .NET.

Seriously, Microsoft, what the fuck. Not only do you have 3 versions that are not one steady version cycle (.NET Framework 1.1 is not included in the 2.0 have to install both, but 3.0 will install 2.0 along with its own components...I think), but it is, as far as I can tell, goddamn impossible to get them all to install and play nice when trying to include them in an unattended XP setup.

Lady J and others who take issue/wonder why/question me when I say that WinXP is a broken shitpile of an operating system...this is a prime example of what I'm talking about. include all your patches and security hotfixes in Service Packs, can't you do the same for the .CRAP Framework?

I wouldn't even give a shit except that the very software I use to build my unattended installs, nLite, is itself dependent on .NET 2.0.

I am SO glad that Ubuntu 7.10 is so awesome. Maybe finally having a Linux distro that's as automagic as MacOS will take the pressure off this ideal-XP-setup-in-a-box project. If you haven't tried it lately or at all, definitely give Ubuntu a shot. Download the LiveCD, burn it, and take it for a spin. Runs totally off CD, no "commitment" necessary.

In other news (because I just can't leave a topic the fuck alone for the life of me), I've been kinda rediscovering Nightwish's music. Their latest release left me kinda lukewarm and I've been going back and listening to classic 'Wish, and I've determined that their "Oceanborn" album is better than I may have given it credit for in the past. I had forgotten that they could produce sounds that hard in light of their more recent stuff, which either attempts to be epic (and is thus outperformed by Epica and Therion) or panders to the "U DUN KNOW HOW I HURTS INSIED!" wrist-cutter crowd (and is thus outperformed the hell should I know? I take out my inner torment and self-loathing on other people, fuck ruining my nice shirts taking razors to my own arteries). Oceanborn was still "gothy" but had gems like Devil & the Deep Dark Ocean to remind you that yes, they are metal. The "Wishmaster" album also had some good guitar work, more intricate than what's found on "Once" or "Dark Passion Play," which seem to lean more toward repetitive chords heavily accented by percussion. I think part (perhaps a large part) of the problem I had/have with them is that they tend to stand way back with their instrumentals when Tarja and/or Annette are singing. Therion, by contrast, will layer intricate guitar riffs right on top of the vocals, almost always to thrilling effect. I have the same problem with Within Temptation, who actually sound like they downmix the instrumentals during mastering and artificially emphasize Sharon's voice. Sounds very, very unnatural. Guys...if I wanted vocals-uber-alles, I'd listen to Top 40 pablum. Metal's good because the vocals either take a backseat to instrumentals or complement them without stealing the show. I don't care how great your singer's voice is - Olaf Hayer, Liv Kristine, Floor Jansen, Hansi Kursch, Roy Khan, Simone Simons, Tarja Turunen, this includes you - metal is about the instrumentals first. Namely guitar and drums. The rest is gravy. Sweet gravy, as in the case of Epica and Therion's choirs, but gravy just the same.

In Nightwish's case, though, I just have to be careful not to overdose on them again, as I think that's why I was cold to them for a long time there. They're still universes behind Therion, but...yeah, they're good.

Also, I think I pirate too much. I have a LOT of CDs to burn. On a related note, anyone know where I can get either:

A. Good deals on LightScribe discs (particularly DVD, but I'll take CD deals too), or

B. Dual-layer DVD+/-Rs at a sane price? Circuit City wanted $60 for a 25-pack. Sodomize that with a jackhammer.