I DON'T CARE about the iPhone. Seriously. I want to stop HEARING ABOUT IT.

It's overpriced and uses outdated data technology. Its Internet access is about as fast, maybe even slower than my nearly two year old Treo 650. It costs a fortune and won't even be subsidized. It doesn't have a real keyboard you can feel and type quickly on with two fingers.

I DON'T CARE. I might play with one for a few minutes at an Apple store out of curiosity, but you won't see me buying one.

Apple should concentrate on what it does best: The Macintosh. They were doing great with the Intel transition and released some awesome machines, which are now languishing somewhat due to so much of their resources going towards a fancy phone with outdated radio technology.

They could also stand to update the iPod; other manufacturers of portable media players are leaping ahead with larger screens and all while Apple lets the current iPod with video languish with its two year old design.

Seriously, Apple. Get back to doing what you do best. Leave the phone market to other companies who seem to be doing a better job anyway. Last year.

-Zorin, looking forward to getting an EV-DO capable Treo soon

Overreacting and lack of priorities...


This woman is going insane over breaking a single compact fluorescent light bulb in her daughter's room. She's afraid of the miniscule amount of mercury in the bulb, and claims to have to pay $2000 to get it cleaned up.

What the hell? Are people crazy, is that what it is?

The media has gotten people so paranoid about the environmental impact of various things that they're flipping out over harmless amounts of mercury in a light bulb. Hell, when I was a kid I had a bead of mercury I played with for a while; this was before me or my parents knew it was dangerous, and I had a lot of fun messing with it. Am I suffering ill effects? NO!!! And that was probably THOUSANDS of times as much mercury as is in a CFL lamp.

I'm all for saving the environment, but the truth is, you do a lot more for the environment by using CFL lamps (a 13 watt CFL puts out as much light as a 60 watt incandescent bulb) than you do by worrying about the microscopic amounts of mercury in the things. Even if all the CFL lamps in use right now were to break at once, the negative environmental impact would likely be less than that of all the additional energy use required to feed equivalent incandescent lamps.

Wake up, people; don't be stupid. It's called *priorities*. Unfortunately, some people would do anything to come up with a soapbox to get attention, regardless of how negatively it affects everyone else.

-Zorin the Lynx, avid CFL lamp user

To my secret admirer in Pennsylvania...

I appreciate the compliment, but I'd love to know who you are? I received a voicemail at work this morning...

The message went: "Hello I'm looking for Zorin? Very very cute."

If it was anyone here, don't be chicken and pipe up! Oddly I don't believe I've given anyone my work number...

Here's the voicemail...

More space than you could ever want.

We got a new toy at work. A SunFire X4500 fileserver. When you look at it at first, it looks like an unassuming rackmount box:

But then you remove the top...

That's fourty eight (48!!) 500GB SATA drives!

That's a total of 24 terabytes of metal. It uses ZFS and after you sacrafice space for redunancy, hot spares, and root disks, you have a solid 16TB of storage to play with.

We're going to be migrating a large amount of data from dozens of individual old Dell servers to this box. It should be interesting to see how reliable it is over the long term. You'd think cooling would be a problem, but there's eight fans in the front of the unit that blast air through gaps between the drives; when I took this photo I had just shut the unit down and the drive was barely warm!

Higher resolutions of the photos and more photos are here, just click "Next" to see them all. :)

Shuffle shuffle...

I finally got off my ass and moved Lynxie's picture archive to this machine. It no longer wastes nearly a gig of space on my employer's innocent disks.

Took two new photos yesterday with a borrowed Speedlite 430EX from work. I love this flash, and will proably be acquiring one for myself at some point. Being able to tilt the head backwards at a 45 degree angle for easy bounce-flash rocks.

Late for work...

So I'm late for work, but for an unconventional reason.

I start the car this morning, getting ready to leave and hear what sounds like thumping under the hood. Grumbling that something may be going wrong with my car, I pop the hood and check.

Sitting there mere inches from swirling belts is a gold tabby cat, staring at me terrified. I run full speed back into the car to cut ignition, then when I return the cat is no longer there.

I spend about 10 minutes peeking around every possible crevice and spot where a cat could hide in the engine compartment, and see nothing, then start the car and head to work.

A mere inch or two in a different direction and the poor kitty would have been shredded by spinning pulleys. The thumping sound was probably the cat trying to get out of there in desperation but unable to in the panic. Hopefully he learned his lesson (he's a youngster, looked a bit under 1yr old) and won't hide in engines anymore.

Sigh, at least I'm awake now.

No DRM on EMI's catalog in iTunes starting next month!

I am unbelievably happy to hear this. One record label, EMI, is actually going in a positive direction and offering DRM-free, high quality tracks on iTunes soon. If this catches on with other labels, I will become a much bigger customer of the iTunes music store, as one of my biggest gripes with them is the copy protection.

I have no problem paying for content. The problem is the DRM; if the file is encrypted and restricted, I feel like I don't truly *own* the music I purchased. What if Apple goes under one day and cannot authorize my computers anymore? I know it's unlikely, but it's just the principle of the thing. Also, the DRMed music will only play on iPods and Windows or OSX machines with iTunes. I can't play them on Linux or other music players at all.

I generally only buy a song on iTunes after my other avenues are exhausted, and then only after grumbling and slamming my fist into my desk in frustration. If this no DRM thing catches on with other labels, I'll likely be buying a LOT more music online, because it will truly be mine without the risk of losing it arbitrarily in the future.

Go EMI. Now all the RIAA has to do is stop suing kids and grandmas and maybe they'll regain some respect, hmm? It's nice to see a step in the right direction after all the gloom and doom news concerning DRM we've seen from the entertainment and computer industry as of late.

The bliss of multi-core computing

Last year in March I got a Macbook Pro, Apple's first multi-core laptop. It has an Intel Core Duo processor, which crams two CPUs onto a single die.

Later that year I got a Mac Pro desktop, which has TWO dual core processors for a total of four processors.

Once you get used to having multiple CPUs, it's hard to go back. It is so nice to be able to have a process eating processor time but not slowing down the responsiveness of the machine a single bit. For instance, I can have Second Life running and still have one (or three) processor cores available and running at full speed.

SMP computing is the future. Many new PC desktops are multi-core now and there's more on the way. Even though individual applications don't take advantage of multiple cores that well yet, there is still a massive performance boost for anyone who multi-tasks a lot on a system.

Want to have Skype, a video encode and Second Life running at once? No problem. They each get enough CPU to do their jobs.

Some process gets stuck in a tight loop and consumes all available CPU? You don't even notice it unless you run top or look at the task manager, since the machine feels just as fast.

Meanwhile, on the single CPU G4 I'm using as my work machine now, if some tab in Firefox starts consuming CPU with a flash animation, the entire machine feels slower until I find and close it.

SMP rocks.

My work machine is a Mac now!

Most of the reason why I so wanted the new Macs to come in for the student lab was that I wanted to get my paws on the G4 1GHz / 768MB that was in the lab before. And especially its 20" Cinema Display.

It's mine! I finally have a Mac on my main desk. I'm not sure I'm going to keep it yet; I have to ensure that I can do all my work well using it; since we are primarily a Linux shop (outside of Windows) I worry that there may be some things that are more of a pain to do from the Mac than from my Linux workstation. But so far, so good, and I LOVE the new monitor and the extra screen realestate I get.

One thing that continues to amaze me about Apple is how they manage to make each release of Mac OS X run faster and better than before. This machine is from 2002/2003, yet 10.4.9 (Tiger) screams on it! It came with 10.2 (Jaguar) installed on it. Imagine trying to install Vista on an Intel machine from 2002? Oh my god, the pain and suffering.

We'll see how it goes. Hopefully my boss won't think I'm a traitor for not having Linux on my main desktop anymore...


Seen on campus...

This looks expensive to fix. The damn thing has been in that spot for a week, too. Those tires look damn tough; I wonder what they did to puncture it. Click for ridiculously huge versions.

Notice how the rim is severely bent on the bottom there:

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