The boring rants of a lazy nerd

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Basic Training is ok so far. Will stay only one weekend on base (the next one). Still don't know about assignment. Conditions and the weather suck very badly. The people are halfway decent. Met a new immigrant from New York, of all places. Weird guy. Am tired from lack of sleep. The military is very demoralizing. Had a very difficult conversation just now with one of my best friends. It involved some math that led to some difficult conclusions. Having a fit. Can't imagine how it is to be him. Having very bad thoughts. Friend was of course correct - the tragedy is that suicide is not an option. Real Life basically sux. Responsibility of being a grown up is a heavy weight, especially in these uneasy times. I sound like a broken record clay piece from 2000 BC. The time of fooling around is over.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Anyway, I just typed up a few pages and then decided I really shouldn't post it as it's not very patriotic. I'm ok, see you in two weeks, I think.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Well, I think this is the last post, for a while at least. I'll try to check mail every time I can get online and we'll see when I get settling into any kind of routine, but for now - bye folks, it's been nice.

Monday, December 09, 2002

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Read the reviews. I'm cracking up!
Oh man. If I wasn't thinking about sixteen young men locked up in a tent for two weeks, I'd be ROFLMAO just about now.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Please tell me the address Leaky is registered at is not Mellie's home address.
And I thought the idea was original. Oh well, I don't even want a bloody LJ! ;)

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Dude really has to work on his language and typing. I mean, really. But, he's just about right. Except the bits where he just whines about not getting laid. Not in a position to critique him there, though. And yes, being an Intellectual Whore sucks ["...because she doesn't and it's not gonna suck itself", I would have said if I were writing in the style of that site].

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

With all due respect to my all-time favorite OFC and her author, editor(s), fans etc., this worries me more. Seems like Cassie is going to kill Ginny. And then maybe Hermione. And the last chapter will be 250K of H/D smut. Thank God I'm leaving the fandom before that happens.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Read the entire thing.

Monday, November 25, 2002

I once read some complaints that there wasn't enough femmeslash in the fandom. So today I was bored and ran a google search. Hah. Padma/Parvati twincest, anyone?

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Today I have learned something very important. I have learned it a few years too late, but as the saying goes: better late than never. Nobody cares.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Elizabeth. She somehow made the same mistake. Yes, that mistake. I don't know if I should laugh or cry. And I know it is her greatest fear. I'm marking this day as the day I officially stop talking with my family about stuff. They are so receiving their wedding invitations by mail. Poor dad, if she shares her intelligent ideas with him. Definitely laughing now. I needed that.
The fandom sometimes amazes me. You know Ali_Wildgoose, webmistress of Diagon Alley, the ultra-exclusive fanfic archive for slightly older (and weirder) folk? She's part of The Inner Circle (bitching about it is passé, but hey ;) ), and she draws these funny DV comic strips and shares a basement (aka Headquarters of The Bad Place, depicted here. I guess Lori's leaky Columbus apartment shouldn't be called "BPHQ" because it never hosted meetings) with Cassandra Claire, where these Evil Breeder Women do horrible things to innocent British boys? Well, she's a SugarQuill Professor now.
The Tech Talk scares you people off, huh? Too bad. Those things are important.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Wolf550e's rules recommendations of web publishing

  • Anything published on the web must at least be 100% HTML 4.01 Strict and encoded in the ISO-8859-1 charset. XHTML and UTF-8 is even better.
  • Validate using industrial strength tools until 100% compliant. No exceptions.
  • Do not publish files in "Macintosh" or "windows-1252" charsets.
  • Use paragraph tags, not line breaks.
  • Do not use <font> tags.
  • Always specify a generic font family and widely adopted alternative fonts. Do not use proprietary symbol fonts ([Wingdings] "J")
  • Define formatting in global CSS. Do not use <span> or <div> tags in every paragraph.
  • There is no need for Netscape 2.0 backwards compatibility. Version 4 browsers are dinosaurs whose time is come to pass. CSS1 support is expected. No need for "align" properties, <center> tags or any such means.
  • Indent sections should be included in a <div> so a single style can be applied to all indent'd paragraphs (e.g. italics or a cursive font).
  • Make sure your formatting will not look too horrible if CSS is omitted. This means no casual use of <H1> paragraphs.
  • Use tables and frames sparsely.
  • Use a consistent, sortable, file naming convention (this means leading zeros and a single file extension).
  • Links to next/previous chapters should be relative to current directory while links to review boards should be full.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Buses are a major part of my life. I took a bus to school and back everyday for six years. I still use them frequently. I will be using them a lot in the next three years (unless I'll only be home for the weekends). Taking a gun with me will be of very little use, except for providing more potentially lethal shrapnel. I hold very liberal views on many subjects, but being afraid makes me angry. In the February elections I will vote for those who will let me shoot first and ask questions later.

HP Fandom - CoS movie

Good:
Kenneth Branagh
Jason Isaacs
Christian Coulson
The R/H non-hug, though awkward.
Quidditch

Bad:
The applause for Hagrid at the end (*WTF?!*)
John Williams
Wuss!Ron
Criminal loss of detail, feels like everything is coincidental and cartoon-ish, not alive like in the books.
Richard Harris
Chris Columbus
I think I miss some of the Burrow scenes they cut out.

Notes:
Emma Watson is so ickle. And she overacts. And everyone's facial expressions were fake. Looked more theater-like than RL.
Dan is ok. Rupert is very much Ron, but in canon I see him as more of an equal to Harry. In the movie, he's very much the sidekick.
The Slytherins were good. Myrtle was weird. Dobby was excellent.

I must see it two or three more times at least, so I can discern what details they cut and what I just missed. Unfortunately, a movie ticket goes for about two hours minimal wage here, and I have no one to go with me, so I think I'll wait for the DVD rip to surface (Note MPAA: I paid for my copy of PS, so shush).

I'm being late for CoS!!!
Ok, this is "weird square" or in short form: weird2. There I was, reading bad fic (on an ever worse site), and I had a "moment". Now, I can't explain this exactly, so I'll give an example. A scene from Mallrats (If you haven't seen the movie, you should not be reading this blog): On the 42nd minute, the main heroes talk about sleeping beside people (as opposed to sleeping with people), and Brodie (the guy whose girlfriend is played by Shannon Doherty (-"Brenda!" -"Prick!")) shows on TS how when he and his girlfriend where "spooning" he had nowhere to put his right hand and it was a metaphor for their whole relationship. So TS and Gwen (the girl they're with) look at him kind of bewildered, but the girl working at the store in which they were standing starts crying, says she was very sorry but she knows exactly how he feels and runs off. Well, today I had this "I know exactly how he feels" moment. In Chapter 5 of this fic (a smiley to whomever locates the exact sentence). You artsy types should also tell me what "-ism" this fic is, because it's weird. But the author used a number of long words I liked. And the shipping was correct. And umlauts, up to a point, are fun. So it's passable. Especially because it's quite short.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Here's a shocker - I'm listening to reggae and liking it! Must compare with original.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Nothing. Still hurts. More shopping to do tomorrow. Shamelessly procrastinating.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Two and a half hours one way, two and a half hours back (already in pain) and he wouldn't even give me a status report. And, of course, my next appointment can't be scheduled because I don't know when I'll be free next month. Joy.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Incredible. Who else noticed the files are named "Burrows##"? ;)
Nice. Edit: Very Nice.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Mandrake Linux 9.0 supports pptp during setup

I just fell off my chair. There I was, installing Mandrake 9.0, switching CDs (damn that was fast), when all of a sudden it asks for registration. So I gingerly typed up me email, thinking "yeah, right". And then… it sent that info. Through the internet. Yeah. I was @#$%^&* online. All I did was checked "pptp" and provided it with my login and password. And I was online. During setup! I could actually download and update packages while installing, because it was already online. It takes winXP a minute to feed it all the data to get it online. VPN and DSL dial, DNS, all that crap.

I'm in Mozilla, I'm online, I have a fuzzy clock in my task bar and I can safely format my NTFS partition. I have died and gone to heaven.

This is one of the few things I can actually retell from ATOT without people thinking bad things about me.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Don't ask me how I got there, but I discovered A/T is not Archer/T'Pol but... Archer/Trip. Now I can't go to sleep. Note to self - browsing referrers' search results in close proximity to bedtime is never a Good Idea.
I'm going barking mad. Here I sit, reading the Cryptonomicon, giggling helplessly at every mention of sex, in a most embarrassing imitation of Hermione's dorm-mates. I think I need professional help. Not sure which profession though, yet. That's it for today I think. Must go gift shopping tomorrow. Think oral contraceptives is too blunt?

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Reading and re-writing half of my code from a month ago is a pain. More so because it isn't the first and (I'm quite sure) isn't the last time. Have reached the phase where six-month-old stories from school are childish, old and irrelevant but not yet constitute "the good old times" so talking about them is a no-no. Am afraid will have nothing in common with own friends in the next year or so. Am cuddling in winter feather blanket and howling in great t00by sorrow.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Imogen is back from maternity leave. Yay!
RJA's talk about the ill-effects of a movie on a fandom inspired this rant-on-a-rant. Admittedly, this topic is old. Practically everyone I know who has ever read a good book talks about whether introducing the story to new audiences by porting it to a more popular media is worth the grief of losing the original author's intent in all the "fixing" and "editing" that must be done in order to make it more profitable. It was said just about everything. I myself have ranted for months about the Dune TV miniseries. The HP fandom discussed whether the movies are a Good or a Bad Thing, and there are many more examples. I'm afraid it sounds snobbish and elitist, but it must be said: the reading public and the movie going public are not exactly the same, and some books were not written for the benefit of the population that fits in the highest section of the bell curve. When it's too long, too slow and requires too much imagination to follow, even some of those brave souls who were not afraid to lift the hefty thing will not get to the second volume. So, in order for the ends to meet and populations to overlap, you must either educate the bell curve or simplify and air-brush the work-of-art. We know which way is more profitable. One of the dangers of capitalism, I guess. Of course, sacrifices must be made in the process. While moving the target audience to the left of the curve to get more people, you lose the rightmost tip. Commercially speaking - it pays off, even if they sometimes trace your Orcish ancestry (I shouldn't talk though, as I myself was ready to claim that John Harrison is a predecessor of the Harkonnens). LoTR is a very costly production. They had to make the movie sell well. So they adapted it to fit the audience better. Some of that new audience are bound to be the swooning fangirls. They could've used less hunky actors, emphasized and explained Tolkien's Victorian ideas about male bonding and the role of women in society, even preserved the language. They could have made it an utterly geeky movie, one that no fangirl-ish type would ever pay to see, so TVSDs' reader-base would shrink beyond the point of self-containment and no one would print out PHF t-shirts. We have an example of what those movies look like. Have you seen any of the nine Star Trek films listed in IMDb's top 250? I personally think the solution is encouraging people to read instead of filming every book. Filming should be left for cases where the original is in danger of being forgotten by non-scholars. I'm sure Zeffirelli is the one to thank for a whole generation's acquaintance (minimal as it may be) with the long-dead playwright's work, but 20th century literature? We should read the original.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

A birthday present for poor Wolf550e, my preciousss... I can just picture young John Ronald poring over a book much like the one I now hold, referencing grammars and scribbling notes. Alas, I do believe I do not have what it takes to repeat such a feat. Older I may be, but, no matter how fascinating the subject is in my eyes, linguistics is not my forte (I happen to not share the professor's francophobia as well as his talents). Thank you darling, you've made my week.

Friday, November 08, 2002

I wonder why I never watched BtVS. From what I see of it projected through HP fanfic, I would've liked it. Oh well, I guess there's always the net. I'll download some episodes, see what it was like. Oh yeah - my quest for an entertaining H/G epic has finally yielded results. It's OOC, not edited and barbarian, but I like it. Now I'm content. :-)

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

I've seen people talk about really bad excuses for fanfic and I never understood them. True, I've read some not-so-great fics, but generally, whatever I've read was, if not good, at least decent. Today it hit me - I only read recommended fics. And now, in my random browsing through GT (looking for that elusive H/G epic I've missed the last time) I saw it. Not the general lack of proofreading or OOC main characters. I can live with those (separately, though) - oh no. This was plain bad. I mean really bad. Complete with lack of grammar, lyrics of bad songs and general stupidity of the entire cast. Not to mention there was not a single original sentence in the two chapters I've read. I had to clear my browser's cache after reading it because I felt my computer became somehow dirty. That's what you get for procrastinating, (there are no) boys and girls.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Arabella's A Very Secret Diary (as opposed to The Very Secret Diaries). Check out the Thank You note. Who elso would be able to "canon thump" the SugarQuill Headmistress, huh?

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Since the recent Friday Five is so popular, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. 1. Were you raised in a particular religious faith? Nope. I was raised an atheist. My mother believes in the one God but can't/won't abide with the laws, and my father is a silent communist (of the utopical kind). 2. Do you still practice that faith? Why or why not? I dislike organized religion because it invariably gets involved with politics and economics, thus becoming powerful and corrupt. I believe people should have something to guide them. If they choose "it" to be a belief in a higher power, afterlife, creationism or whatever - it's their choice, as long as their beliefs don't make them hurt people (including themselves). I also believe that whatever it is - it should be practiced in private. 3. What do you think happens after death? If all goes well - you get buried and rot. 4. What is your favorite religious ritual (participating in or just observing)? Zazen sounds cool. 5. Do you believe people are basically good? I do not believe in absolute good and evil. I do believe in evolution. People who survive are those who fight to survive. This means that the population becomes increasingly greedy, which is the single most powerful common human trait. Some are willing to be nice and share, thus enriching themselves and others, while the less enlightened want to keep it all to themselves. Us nice people must be able to not only relax, talk and think, but also kick butt when the other party is not yet ready for communication.
Check out the No.1 Googlism for "Harry Potter". Also, you can use that thing to discover again that FA is better than SQ. But we already know that FA (and Schnoogle) continually beats SQ at GoogleFight. We must admit defeat. No one stands against the Inner Circle. Heidi/Lori/Cassie/Alex/Monika rule. And I say, "Yes, I feel wonderful tonight."

Friday, November 01, 2002

Emma is too pretty. Bonnie is not pretty enough. That's the H/G shipper talking, of course. Ah well, they have a few more years till the GoF and OoTP movies. And there's always makeup. And for the record, I have noticed the Tom Felton/Eminem thing a long time ago.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Two projects I would really like to work on, but don't have the time (</pitiful excuse>):
  • A de-grain filter for my birthday present (nope, it's not a wallet), because the gauss blur is too blurry and the smoothers don't get all the noise. It would read a mask of the CMOS grain I would prepare for the device and apply color correction to counter (or at least minimize) the effects. I have a rough idea on how one goes about writing a program like that (VirtualDub filter API + common sense + peeking at open source smoother filters). That would actually make the gift somewhat useable.
  • An XML-RPC component for Winamp3 that would reply with current track's details and upon authorization even allow one to control the program (basic controls + playlist). Lyrics3 support is obvious, the rest is ID3. A Trillian plug-in does it, so it's possible. A second part, the client, would build a web component based on that info.
    Again, I know how to use the WA3 component API, I know a bit about http servers (lots of open source stuff there), XML-RPC libraries are available. I have no idea how to implement SSL for authorization, but I'm sure that can be arranged. The client part can be built off FFDB code-base (play-list, author-list, what's the difference?).
The second project has more future as it would interest other people and I would receive certain amount of help from seasoned coders. It could even get hosted on sourceforge and become a full blown open community thing (only when the Linux port for WA3 is done, and the Lyrics3 support is integrated into the file-info component (or a standard Lyrics3 component with a good API is ready)), especially if someone like Justin put it on his home page. We all know those will never be done. You know what's sad? I know I can do this. No foolin', I can. I'm not Avery Lee or Peter-Paul Koch, I don't hang around /. and I don't hack up Perl code for fun (yet ;) ), and my skills are amateurish at best, but I am certain I can do it. There is the capability, and from time to time the inspiration, but the determination to actually do something? I'm willing to bet I'm the laziest @ss on earth.
Forced Focus is a dream (nay, it's a poor, weak, excuse for further procrastination! *pulls a Dobby*), but what it boils down to is the old saying: "God helps those who help themselves". (*that's the spirit! See how smart you are? No need to do any more productive stuff today, you've fulfilled the quota. Go munch through half of GT and then rant about how bad it is*) I hope that when I read these lines a year (or ten) from now, I will not want to strangle myself the way I wanted when reading something from last year's archives.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Mouse Gestures is the second best thing after friction. Almost. All you people still using M$IE - this is as good a reason as any to upgrade. BTW, I'm not using Mozilla anymore. Too much bloat. I've changed to Phoenix. It's KISS for Mozilla, my kind of thing. Only version 0.4, and it's very nice. I'm looking forward to 1.0. Found a really, really, really nice tree widget for fully dynamic tree navigation in javascript. Much better than what you see to the left. But, I'm rather proud of what you see to he left, because I created it with zero knowledge of proper DHTML coding. When I'm done with the box class (that is Malfoy-level overconfidence) I'm going to redesign my Container class to be cool as this one, but don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

I've just had a Design Idea. What if the main window was a scrollable static box? That is, the browser content will not be scrollable, but the text inside a box will be. The Nav box will not be moving at all, of course. If anyone is interested in seeing this, I can make it happen for some 24 hours - just tell me (if comments aren't working please use email). In TM2, this behavior will be configurable (customizable box size, location, scrollability, color, border properties).

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Looks like JavaScript was intended to be interpreted once-only per run-time. I'm still working on it though. Why does Elizabeth assume I have some ulterior motives at asking questions? And who am I supposed to ask, dudes who have just learned the difference between boxers and briefs? A vast source of information, they are.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

While I work on "on demand" loading of the quotes script, kindly explain the differences between a corset and a bustier, if any. Inquiring teenage minds want to know. Leslie, I think this is your department. ;) Note: you can employ graphical aids (PG-13), but you may not rely entirely on graphics.

Friday, October 25, 2002

I just got it why it's called The Gryffindor Tower. They write the worst fanfic in the fandom and they have the guts to publish it online. If I wrote something like that, I'd die of embarrassment if anyone ever found out. This constitutes flaming. I wanted to try it for size. Doesn't suit me, I think. But they really have to re-edit everything they have published if they ever want to have any respect. I love the ship, I really do, but the implementation� except for some very few good fics (such as A&Z's, Emily's, Irina's and Imogen's), it's all very� plebe. Like they're all twelve (which wouldn't surprise me the least).
Ok, I need to get this straight. If we disregard law (state, federal and divine) and judge by the socially accepted (i.e. tolerated), what is the current status on underage sex in the States? I'm reading this fic, and it's totally impossible, like it's a parody or something. I will be more inclined to support reformed !Draco than the notion that Molly Weasley is going to accept the possibility of her 14 y/o only daughter having sex just because "it feels right". Yeah, and who's gonna raise that brood when you're supposed to do your O.W.L.s, girl? Not enough spankin', I'm telling ya.
Am rethinking my view on smut. Mr. Carole Estes is one lucky guy, for the bed time stories he's likely getting. Oh yeah, I have no shipping loyalty whatsoever. D/G just bumped R/H out of the running as my second favorite ship. It's IC alright, but it's so dull! (one could, of course, argue that Ron has the hair, but I'm just not into that kind of stuff)

HP Fandom - BNF

Anyone emailing me a verifiable photo of Cassandra Claire in which you can actually see her face gets anything she wants (that I can provide, of course).

For any one concerned: this is not for stalking or sniping purposes. Honest.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Am so wasted. Low alcohol tolerance SUX.
The Second Hint 3 words, 40 letters. file is data.koi8-r.base64.asc.rar.grouped Now everyone can decode it, I believe.
I can't believe I've forgot about this fic. It R0X. A bit weird, but funny. And also reminds me of Caitlyn's Letters From Home (Potter/Malfoy, Malfoy/Potter, NOT slash! ;) ).

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

How truly sad. :-( Frank is spinning in his grave, I bet. How dare they, milk such a thing for money? Christopher didn't live up to his father's legacy too, but at least he knew not to mess with it (too badly, that is).

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

To quote a redhead: give me loff.
Hermione stomped her foot in annoyance. "Ron, please! Don't be so vulgar! Even if Harry and Ginny were going at it three times a night and all day on Sundays, they won't be "shagging" - they'll be making love! Don't belittle what they have like that!"

- Ruskbyte, Order of The Phoenix, Chapter Thirty: Musings and Hints

Oh, that's good to know, especially because Ginny's only 14, but wasn't the expression "every night and twice on Sunday"? Oh, sorry, I forgot, he's Harry The Boy Who Can Go On All Night Potter. ::rollseyes::

your and you're are not the interchangeable. Keep it in mind if you don't want to get flamed. The job of an editor at a publisher is to uphold a certain level of quality amongst the creative staff (and, of course, keep the staff working on the political angle the publisher stands for). When slacking, the editor puts the publisher's reputation on the line, next to the author's. Clearly, GT.net has no self respect to uphold. Sorry Imogen.
It seems that The Challenge is too difficult. I will give you people clues. Every letter of the clue will cost the winner a week of her year's benefits. First clue, a major one. Two words, 10 letters. John Walker.
Have read a random H/G fic from GT.net. Would've been much better if it was proofread prior to being published. And if it wasn't so cliché. But you know what? I still liked it. I'm a sucker for cliché H/G. And Bigger is, if not better, at least more impressive. I think I'll read the sequels.

Monday, October 21, 2002

More about LyricsAmp. It appears that many people get to this site by searching for a plug-in/component for the Winamp player that provides automatic lyrics search and retrieve for the currently playing track. I find it odd, but that is simply the way search engines work. In order to help those people, here are two links. One is for LyricsAmp and the other for another similar component. Both are to their pages on winamp.com LyricsAmp and Lyrix. I have used both and decided they are about equal. Both have no problem finding popular songs, both do have a problem with the rare songs (that I've had no trouble finding on google), but Lyrix features an editor and saves to plaintext files and/or Lyrics3 tags inside the mp3 files themselves. LyricsAmp does not. Therefore, I use the former. Both clearly need some additional work to become really good. Their main drawback, of course, is that you must have correct entries in the ID3 tags, including correct spelling (a big problem with mp3s tagged by hand. People, use CDDB/FreeDB, it will make life so much easier!). Otherwise, the idea is solid. If only it was implemented through something like XML-RPC and not the web, we could save a lot of bandwidth. And some stricter quality control (I've spotted errors sometimes, and I'm not a very critical reader). I, of course, am NOT affiliated with Winamp, Nullsoft or the creators of the two components. I'm just a user, same as you. Comment here only if you have something to say to me. Have a good day and don?t forget to leave a review for the author at the component's page if you've used it and have something to say.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Have decided to catch up on my Sci-Fi reading while I'm being too lazy to implement TM2. I'm not entirely sure I'm enjoying classic cyberpunk that much. Alternating the refined cerebral with the carnal corporeal certainly achieves some realism in adapting to the male geek's brainwave patterns, but to me it taints the story. It cannot be denied that we are all biological creatures trying to reproduce and nature has some very effective ways of making us always keep it in mind, but, some of us, some of the time, go above that. So, when a person is actually reading something that requires thought, why should it be "spiced" every few pages with talk about "penises"? To keep the reader intrigued? What kind of audience is it aimed at? Or is the book supposed to be read in one sitting and should therefore provide jerk-off breaks, like TV sports programs have built-in bathroom breaks, required for the beer-drinking audience? Don't they think that a reader who has successfully wedged though a whole chapter about the philosophy of mathematics can be trusted to be able to use a bookmark when he needs a break? Maybe it's just my reaction that is "off". I should re-read some Asimov to verify and calibrate if necessary. After all, "abstention" wasn't even in his heroes' vocabulary. And yet, while reading Simmons not so long ago, I wasn?t bothered at all. Is it just my good taste being offended, or is it something more?

Saturday, October 19, 2002

LOL. That is a meaningful gift for my tech friend, if I can ever find it here (and afford it).
I've been playing with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Jung's theory of personality type) lately. It's interesting, but it's not very precise. For example, I can clearly see my father is a classic ISTJ, but I have a tough time categorizing myself. I'm either a not so analytical INTP or a not so confident INTJ. And heck, at times, I can see that S in there too (mostly in combination with the J). I wonder how much of this is hardwired inherited predisposition, how much is learned and how much can be changed in an adult. Also, I wonder if I would even want to change if I could. A good way to find out how well you truly know your friends though. I was unable to sort them all. We're all probably too introvert to know each other well enough. How sad, when you think of it.

Friday, October 18, 2002

Yo, it's a real problem. Two people came here looking for a piece of software I've only mentioned by name, once. I didn't say a thing about it, nor provided a link (fixed now), and google still thought my page was the 3d best resource on the subject (not even listing the software's or its creator's home page, or a possible download location).
Bwahaha! Google strikes again. Some poor Opera user's search for LyricsAMP has lead him/her to my (very informative) blog. Anyway, it appears some people using google will have real trouble finding the thing, so I'm being a good netizen and providing a link. Also, I just found out I was number 1 for Israeli personal page in Nedstats's rating, and I didn't even know it.
Stupid Y2K echo. today.getYear() is depricated in Mozilla's JavaScript in the name of Netscape 4x compatibility. Must use getFullYear() instead. Why must they be backwards compatible with bugs??? Edit: After some research, I have located an explanation. It's still stupid, but at least I now know why. See Bugzilla reports #22964 and #45764.
The scare is over. Fear the molex connector, for it can and will mess with your mind. When unsure - go to sleep. All will be made clear in the morning.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Birthday Challenge

Something horrible happened today. My trusty WD400BB is very ill and not responding. I'm afraid it's fatal. I'm showing it to the doctor tomorrow, and if it doesn't help we'll be forced to pronounce him dead. It can be replaced, but not the (unbacked-up) data on it. That's anywhere between 1-3GB of stuff collected over the years, including stuff by me not available anywhere else. Like, the source code for this blog. FFDB stuff are archived, thankfully, and so are the rest of the very important stuff, but I've lost a lot (phonebooks etc.). It's a sad, sad day.

What I haven't lost is the Official Wolf550e Birthday Challenge I've made yesterday, and I now present to you. Solving it will grant you one full year of special stuff (24/7 tech support included) and rights to bug me. I do believe the algebric method is simpler, but some people are just bad at math. This is kind of a guessing game, real knowledge or skills not required (I'm not going to have you try to break cryptographic military level codes or something). Guess the algorithms (or sites where they're from), decode, repeat. BTW, until I have Word installed, you'll have to tolerate the bad spelling.

ZZZZZ YFCGB HCCBB KAHAA MPJAH DAAAA ANAAA AAAAA AAAAA AFJGK
HECAI ACEAA ECABA AAAIK YABAA AAACP FLIFH NOGIJ EFBCN BNDFA
EAACA AAAAA AGEGB HEGBA NJFAB AMIND NBIBB YDHOC EHAHH LDCGI
AHPIB IJLLM EINBG MHHBL GIBLE MLLLH BLBOL CDGEL IEIEG OADBO
YDPMH HKMEC MEIAH CNAAJ EJKKE OAJFL KKLMK LNMIP MKJCP CFFKD
MJHNP HAPLP NKDAC YGJMH JAHNK HNACD INDMC GFAHE EECAF KBFPO
BHLPE NOJKD MPPJH FDGBE PJLOC IBHLF YIKNN JJOLC FHAML EINJC
MFNBI LPOFE MAHHI FFCCN AFKAJ AMJFA IIKMJ CNCKE EGEEJ YKONI
KKODM AKGEG GALJO COFLL BDHGN IMLPH IOFFI ACIOK NPJIG HPALB
KEAGP FFHNG YNFML OEDEN OPECN KAMOG PINCC FKOEM DKAPH EEHCK
FOHPA PFNFM HBBBD HFBOM AODKO YFGDD BOMML NEHLP PHEEC FIAHP
EIHIG KNNEG LJOGO ICLFD FDHHK BPNEP ACJIB CEDPG YOOLJ INAOB
FDLLL CLKNJ FNJGD DIIBL KJPBO FNDBM GDIGD NNLEE CBIEN JHLMD
JHCEO YDPHF KMNKK BMEHD EPKLA BNAEJ PGGPF FMKHB EOLBA DJAND
MCAKA OAKKL ANFMN KGKIH YKCGP MLAPL AMNEB MLNLJ PBGIM HHEOD
KBPNI JHMPL AJOGH PCPBP OEAME DNHLA AEAAH VABAA GPMLA PLAMN
EBMLN LJPBG IMHHE ODKBP NIJHM PLAJO GHPCP BPOEA MEDNH LAAEA
UKKAA AAAAE GAAIL AANEG CMCAE IEDIE JCCBO NLEJD ECHDI IOJAL
BDOOO OGEFA MECCN WWWWW

Have fun.

The Doom III article from December's PC Gamer very interesting. Too bad my rig won't pull it at anything higher than 640x480, but then again -- 'Old Faithful' was built to handle Carmack's previous engine (and it did, magnificently). I'll wait for the killer price/performance in H2 '03 probably. An overclocked ClawHammer with nv35 sounds good. :D For all those confused souls who are scratching their heads - I'm talking about the next big thing in consumer computer graphics, software-wise, and its hardware requirements ( = $$$).
So I'm cheating. Anyway, web publishing gives better access than email. "Welcome to the next edition of getting to know your friends. What you're supposed to do is copy (not forward) this entire e-mail and paste it onto a new e-mail that you'll send. Change all of the answers so they apply to you. Then, send this to a whole bunch of people you know *INCLUDING* the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you'll learn a lot of little known facts about your friends." So here we go... 1. WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? You're going to kill me *g*. Anywhere from 9am to noon. I really try to make it not later than noon, because it's very difficult to get back to waking up "early" after that. 2. IF YOU COULD EAT LUNCH WITH ONE FAMOUS PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? to quote RJA: JKR. 3. GOLD OR SILVER? Silver. Definitely. Slyth beats Gryff anytime! ;) 4. WHAT WAS THE LAST FILM YOU SAW AT THE CINEMA? I don't remember. Let me check my wallet (I keep movie tickets). Minority Report. My next one will be CoS, but I really don't know when I'll watch TTT. Oh, and I will definitely watch (and be disappointed by) both Matrix sequels, and Nemesis. 5. FAVORITE TV SHOWS? I don't watch TV. Actually, I don't even have a hooked up TV set right now, and I don't notice the loss. Of those that are currently running: Enterprise. Of past shows I've watched on TV: Babylon5, DS9, TNG, ER, Law & Order, and I've forgot some good ones I'm sure. Of those I've pirated: "Undergrads", by far the best thing on TV, ever. Get it on Kazaa, 13 episodes all together; it will rock your world. 6. WHAT DO YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST? What ever I find in the fridge that can be eaten without being chewed. 7. WHAT WOULD YOU HATE TO BE LEFT IN A ROOM WITH? My mom :-O. I love her, but we can only tolerate each other for short periods of time, then we start to get on each other's nerves. I hope to grow out of this stage soon, honest. 8. CAN YOU TOUCH YOUR NOSE WITH YOUR TONGUE? Damn. That's an important courting skill, that is! I must practice. ;) 9. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? people who "made it" relying solely on their own abilities. It reminds me that it can be done. 10. WHAT'S YOUR MIDDLE NAME? look it up in the thread. 11. BEACH, CITY, or COUNTRY? if it has running water, gas, electricity, broadband and a self-refilling fridge, I don't care here it is. Since usually these requirements are easier to get in the city, I choose that. 12. SUMMER OR WINTER? Spring :p. if I must choose -- summer, but somewhere farther from the equator than here. 13. FAVORITE ICE CREAM? plain vanilla. 14. BUTTERED, PLAIN, OR SALTED POPCORN? no popcorn, please. 15. FAVORITE COLOR? solid non shiny black. 16. FAVORITE CARS? canary-yellow Lamborghini Diablo, probably. No, wait, I know! A McLaren F1. But I could never drive one even if I owned it. I think I'll aim for a Volvo. 17. FAVORITE SANDWICH FILLING? hummus in a pita. With pickles. 18. TRUE LOVE? fairytale. Hope dies last, though. 19. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS DO YOU DESPISE? hypocrisy, dangerous carelessness and laziness. 20. FAVORITE FLOWER? saguaros Selenicereus grandiflorus (Queen of the Night cactus) 21. IF YOU HAD A BIG WIN IN THE LOTTERY, HOW LONG WOULD YOU WAIT TO TELL PEOPLE? lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math. 23. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR BATHROOM? when I'll design mine, I'll tell you. My parents' bathroom what light cyan (I think). Anyway, I'm male and colorblind. I can only name 7 colors. :P 24. HOW MANY KEYS ON YOUR KEY RING? 3 :-( 25. WHERE WOULD YOU RETIRE TO? a cabin in Montana ;) (RJA: you're invited, as soon as there's viable peace in the region) 26. CAN YOU JUGGLE? IF YES HOW MANY? Only two, which I don't think counts. 27. FAVORITE DAY(s) OF THE WEEK: Sunday. Because my parents go to work. I am a bad person. 28. RED OR WHITE WINE? mineral water, please. 29. WHAT DID YOU DO FOR YOUR LAST BIRTHDAY? absolutely nothing. This year I'll go visit my friends in the dorms and watch Leslie do 7th grade algebra. -Wolf550e

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Responding to this. The sorry state of English grammar seen in technical documentation and the lack of a good grasp in basic computer usage skills exhibited by literary enthusiasts leads me to believe lit. geeks and tech. geeks should get together more often (in and out of clothes and wedlock*). Thus coders can learn the difference between there, their and they're and fantasy readers can learn how to successfully utilize WinZip, Outlook Express and the Yahoo!Groups web interface. This is my plan for both bandwidth conservation and suicide prevention. And to wrap it up: everyone who doesn't know what "win3.11" is, please leave a comment. I want to know how many of you I'm dealing with. Yes, I'm being a condescending prat. It's a technophile's occupational hazard, same as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. * - that makes for "c) controversial" ;)
This "Internet" thing is more dangerous than I thought. Using alternative search engines I was able to find my other email address, my birthday and my hardware configuration.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

My computer just restarted due to lightning. I can't afford a UPS right now. :-(
I know, I know, but Cassie's LJ is the funniest thing since May 11th 2001. Her stuff inspires others. Just look here.
Will you look at that! The XML Bible comes not only with the New Testament, the Old Testament and the Quran but also with the Book of Mormon in its examples. What seems like the entire works of Shakespeare looks handy as well. I love XML.
LyricsAMP R0X! Nuff said.
I can't chew, and I'm losing weight. It's not good for me. This hurts. I'm going to shush my male ego and get me some Midol. Alex, next time I see him, better lock away his tools.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Oh, and another thing. DV is no longer the ambiguously gay fic. It's just gay now.

Personal - Future Prospects Uncertain

I've failed the "job interview". They were quick with it. I'm glad.

Curious as I am about what they want to do with me next, I have no idea who to ask. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Now that I've finally downloaded the TTT trailer (I think doubling the article is not redundant in this case, like in saying "the alcohol", furthermore, I believe the first article is for the "trailer" part), I can say I like it. But, I'm not sure I like what they've done with the Elves. Prof. Tolkien didn't write what Elrond (what "gift of foresight"?) thought about giving his only daughter to a <Quark>human</Quark>, and I'm not sure sacrificing canon-correctness to make a better story (the parents of the bride must work against the groom, it's so romantic... *bleh*) is a good thing.

Personal - Broadband

I. Have. DSL.

I also have an appointment with my orthodontist, who is now 2 hours away.

I have been led to believe the problem was complete lack of communication between the front end and the backend @ Bezeq. The nice but ignorant and incompetent front-end interface assured me it was the backend API's fault. I believe it is a filthy lie, because the backend API is not only overly prompt (2 hours since first hearing about me, I have connection), but is also multilingual.

ex-Russian techs: 1
Stupid sweet-tongued bitches: 0

ETA: Here, we can observe the initial signs of the subject's deep rooted disrespect and dislike of help desk personnel. The causes of such a condition have not been satisfactorily explained to date.

Friday, October 11, 2002

No broadband for me this weekend, it seems. Might as well go to the beach. Oh wait, I forgot - It's an hour drive! </sarcasm>

Thursday, October 10, 2002

I should have DSL by tomorrow afternoon. But of course, tomorrow is a Friday, so if it's not ready by noon it will be done on Sunday. How much would you want to bet on it not being done by noon?

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Been promised I'll have DSL within 48 hours. For the 3d time in the last week. In other news, the beta version of the new Quotes System should be online in a minute. Check it out.

Monday, October 07, 2002

We went to a park to hang out, grill some meat and drink some beer (aka male bonding). It turned out pretty well, although I think lighting a fire should not be such a difficult task for two physics majors, two com.sci. majors and a military coder/tech. And I hate beer. And we were camped some 10 feet away from some very hungry wasps' nest. And the future weapons development officer was... himself (entertaining, granted, but also, putting it mildly, tiresome). Also, they stole all my CDs, swearing they'll return them by my birthday, but I'm telling you now - I've erased those from my inventory list. BTW, they've forgot to bring me my toothbrush and left a pen and a beer bottle (those will probably still be waiting for their return, but only if they bring my CDs back. And I don't mean the pr0n). Still no DSL, been told the local chief is handling it now. If it's not available here I'm renting a spare room at my friend's house and paying for it. In other news, the current winXP partition is showing all signs of needing a wipe and reformat, urgently.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Monster is the cutest. I loff Caitlyn's work.
Unless I get a definite answer by evening about my DSL line, tomorrow I'm going to go there in person and demand to see the techs who are working on it. The "get lost" lines from their secretaries are getting pretty old.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Emily, remember on your blog you ranted about not going swimming because you can't see anything without your glasses? I sympathize. I and my friends were at a water park today and I was without my glasses most of the time. Been told I've missed quite a lot, but really, I can't stare when it's too obvious - it's embarrassing the girls who already have to go out of their way to behave as if they're not noticing anything.

Friday, October 04, 2002

Personal - Moved

Hi all!

I'm at the new place (my computer, unlike some other stuff, has been thankfully unaffected by the move), making the first uneasy steps in the new town. It's not that bad so far.

The utter incompetence of the national telecommunications company is simply staggering. It took them 4 days to connect a phone line on perfectly good though recently disconnected hardware. Not only that but they have been experiencing "mild technical difficulties" that have been preventing them from connecting the DSL for 2 more days (and still counting) while I suffer from full-blown withdraw symptoms.

In the mean time I have been out celebrating my new place, my two friends' completion of basic training and my three other friends' move to Tel-Aviv University's dorms (quite worthy of Teri's pen that procedure was, let me tell you!).

On Oct. 1st I've been to the final (I think) stage of my own "job hunt". You understand why I Siriusly cannot elaborate on that, but I suspect that I have royally screwed it and will probably be kicked down to a position slightly lower on the coolness factor scale. Since my mommy is not marrying the second heir to the throne any time soon, I think I'll do fine without the emperor's personal com. card, so I'm not complaining. ;)

I did not yet have the time to check up on my net life, but I will as soon as I can.

Take care,

Monday, September 30, 2002

It... is... too... fricking... HOT!

Sunday, September 29, 2002

"Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer who must maintain it." - Utz's Seventh Law of Computer Programming Here's progress for you: FFDB is about 5% written, and it already has.

Saturday, September 28, 2002

I keep surprising myself every time I learn a new word in English, not because I thought I knew all of them, but because I know I've read enough sentences with this word in them to know it by now, but I didn't. Or maybe I just forgot it. In any case, condescending is a word so close to me, I shouldn't have needed to look it up.
I just threw away roughly 350 floppy disks, including win3.11, word6, sb16isa drivers and many other things I have never used for years. It was painful, but it must've been done.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

My mother doesn't like Metallica. I don't mind most of the things our 34 years difference cause, but that is a real generation gap. Considering the band was founded in 1980, it shouldn't be, but it is. I wonder what my kids would think about the music I grew up with (it being recorded half a century before their time and all).
Looking at FHM pics of Jolene Blalock I realized what's wrong with T'Pol - the hair. I like long hair. Also, Hoshi is cute. She has this adorable facial expression. Jadzia or Hoshi - now that's a real challenge.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Just watched part II of Shockwave. Was that really necessary? I mean, I like Hoshi and her cute inferiority complex, but did they really have to undress Linda Park to get higher ratings? And if the answer is "yes" (and I know it is) - was it worth it? For me, sci-fi, although sometimes full of subtext, must always remain in subtext. Am I a hypocrite or are Archer/T'Pol bondage scenes really just a bit over the top? Troi, Dax, Sato, Dax, Crusher (the hair). Tough choice.
Arabic notebooks from 7th grade make no sense whatsoever, threw them away. Cyrix 486DX-40 collection still waits being transformed into key chains. Same thing with the 40+ coasters - I just don't have the heart to leave it behind. Fly-Boy, if you're reading this: I need a wallet for my birthday.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

(Packing == Fun) ? Wolf550e.Masochist() : Wail;

Monday, September 23, 2002

I've just had a very meaningful conversation with one of my friends in which we have tried to imagine ourselves living in a world without computers. We failed. It's all about the Pentiums, baby.
In other cheerful news, Israeli doctors and nurses are being vaccinated against smallpox. *ER flashback*
Average waiting time on phone with cable TV company - 20 minutes. At least they have a nice radio station playing Depeche Mode while you wait. The pressure on from satellite TV company really shows on them too. There's even a joke: *phone rings* Tevel (acronym for Cable TV) lady: do you want to disconnect your service and have us collect the receivers? Customer: Yes. Tevel lady: *reads date/time* will this be convenient? Customer: Yes. Tevel lady: Will you remember to be at home at the scheduled time? Customer: Yes. Tevel lady: Do you understand that if you will not be at home at the scheduled time, you will be charged 50NIS? Customer: Yes. Tevel lady: May I ask why have you decided to disconnect your service? Customer: Yes. Tevel lady: Thank you sir. *Hangs up* The pun is that the name of the sat. TV company is "Yes" and the dialogue reminds their ads that always over-emphasize the brand name.
Looks like I'm not losing my DSL, just my mind. Next - 30 something address updates.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

FUCK.

This has fallen on me just like on you, so don't blame me. On October 1st, I'm moving to Petah-Tiqva, (it's a town east of Tel-Aviv, almost a suburb). I will be offline for about a week I guess, and I may lose my DSL. The next few weeks are going to be difficult, and I will probably have very little time for anything even remotely related to my life online. The new place is a dump compared to my parents' apartment, but they both work there and it's too long to drive everyday, so I understand the necessity, even if I don?t like it. I hate moving.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Thank you Emily for the inteview link. I hope I'll have time to read it as soon as it's out, but I guess I'll be too busy (I'll have to read it all together because I will not be able to stop and I'm afraid I won't have a full day to dedicate to it for a long time).
Elizabeth just scared me. Jedi Boadicea should get her act together. In all fairness, H/G has very little basis in canon and resides mostly in the minds of GT.net dwellers (sometimes it seems to me like I am the only one on this ship sane enough to admit it).

Sunday, September 15, 2002

I'm blogging on Yom Kippur. What's worse - I think I'm hungry. I hear Hell is really nice this time of the year...

Friday, September 13, 2002

This SUX.

I just performed a series of mental calculations and reached the conclusion that out of all my female friends, there is not a single one who is not romantically attached.
Now you're probably thinking I'm going to pine over tragically lost opportunities for happiness and undeclared first love. Or, the more traditional, rejected first love and a year spent in black near-suicidal depression.
Well, you're wrong. I didn't have to read GoF to know about asking a girl out on time. I'm almost 18 for crying out loud and it's not like I was raised in a segregated environment.

No, the reason I took that to heart is because out of seven guys and five... young women who are my "social circle", only one guy has a girlfriend. So, you're going to say all my friends are losers and nerds who are incapable of interacting with females. Which is kind of true, but beside the point.
Everyone except me is 18 years old. We're smart (objectively speaking), educated (better than the average, that is), non-ugly guys from good homes with no bad habits. We're mostly kind and loyal and have a great sense of humor with an appreciation of good non-wild fun. Specific personal shortcomings notwithstanding, we look pretty good on paper. So we're geeks, and we're not (yet ;) ) rich. We're what can be tentatively called "future yuppies". In our age-slice of the population - not a bad catch at all. So what's the problem?

The most common answer you'll get from a female if you ask her why she dates (or aspires to date) an older guy is: "guys my age are immature children". Well, yes, we are, but the specific group I'm talking about is much more mature than what you usually see. We can keep conversation about much more than mammary glands and toy train sets (generic C19H28O2-induced topics), we show more respect to the fair sex than what's fashionable today and we do plan more than 5 minutes ahead. We have realistic plans (personal and career-wise) and the means to see them through. Even the least experienced ones know the difference between pr0n and RL. And yet, with the exception of a single very lucky dude, we're all (painfully) single. It's true we'll be more lucrative upon success than a few years prior, but then, in a few year we'll probably have even higher standards ourselves.

You know who is to blame when good products are not selling well? Faulty marketing. I think I'm going to sack the entire PR department and try again.
Or not.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

I don't want to write anything about 9/11 because I have nothing to say that hasn?t already been said more than a few times. But maybe something about my POV should be written. I live in a reality where getting blown up on your way to work or school is not that unusual. Here, almost everyone personally knows(n) a victim of terror. Here, everyone serves in the army because war on our soil is a strong possibility. Here, the question of the anti-democratic nature of racial profiling and its implications on national security is in the center of public debate for over 50 years, because 20% of the country's citizens belong to the "security liability" group although full integration is law. And you know what? We keep on living, and dealing with our aggressive neighbors, our even more aggressive closer neighbors, our own militant brothers driven by blind revenge and hatred, our orthodox brothers who believe the country has no right to exist before the coming of the messiah, Scandinavians who are so out of touch with the world below the polar circle they honestly think "just kiss and make up" is good advice, and even our misguided humanists who, in the name of humanity, human rights and starving children, raise funds used to build training camps and pay "freedom fighters'" and "mortars'" families' pensions. Yes, some leave to enjoy a safer life in beautiful Canada, but most stay and raise their children in a place where they will be taught to recognize a bomb in kindergarten. And pray they will never have to test those skills. Even the non-religious kind. Emily asked on her Blog what we, the current generation, are going to do with our turn to win our freedom, since on this day, a year ago, we have learned for ourselves that freedom is not free. Some of us are devoting the (arguably) best years of our lives to protect the country we live in. Others may just be ready to reach the conclusion that love is not always the answer and sometimes, controlled violence is a viable way to fight uncontrolled violence, so while turning the other cheek they will not interfere with me getting those bastards' eyes out. What have you done to make sure your children's letters home will not start with: "Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi"?
A year. Is it time to discuss the not-so-obvious consequences?

Monday, September 09, 2002

I got up at 05:50AM to get there on time and I'm just back at home (11:45AM). It took 20 minutes. *argh* Well, next time is October 2nd. It should be interesting.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

For the sake of all the confused souls who read mine and Melissa's Mac warz, I have done some research on the commercial (rather than the technical) aspect of the debate, hoping most readers will be able to deal with these numbers and understand what I'm getting at: Macs are good computers. They're easy, and they really work. Most of the time. More than PCs, I think. But they cost a lot more. And perform a lot less. And they restrict your choice about what you can and can't do with your own computer in a way that makes me very uncomfortable.

So here is my research, plain and simple. Read it and make your own conclusions.

 PCMac
CPUs2 x AMD Athlon MP 2200+2 x PowerMac G4 1000
MotherboardTyan S2460 Server boardDual G4 board w/ Xscale
RAMSamsung 512MB PC2700512MB PC2700
VideoLeadtek GF4Ti4600GF4Ti4600
Hard driveMaxtor 80GB QuietDrive80GB
OpticalLite-On 40x12x48 CDRW & 16x48 DVD-ROM16x10x8x32 Combo drive
SoundCreative Audigy w/ IEEE-1394 (aka FireWire) portSome sound
LANLNE100TX 5.1 10/100na
Keyboard / MouseMicrosoft Natural Keyboard + IntelliMouse Explorer v3asome keyboard, 1 button mouse
CaseEnermax FS-501B, BlackCute case
display, speakers, portable music player, wireless LAN, modem, SCSInana
Total:$1,408.00 from newegg.com$2,720.00 from store.apple.com

In case you thought I was cutting costs or the PC system doesn't quite stack up with the Mac:

  • AMD's K7 x86 CPUs have killer floating point units. See: here (notice the benchmarks are for the 1900+ while here we have the 2200+)
  • Tyan is the world leader in server-class mission critical motherboards.
  • Samsung RAM has the best reputation for longevity and low latency.
  • Leadtek constantly produces best performing and coolest (as in, the opposite of "warm") running video cards.
    BTW, if I was really buying a PC, I'd have opted for a GF4Ti4200 card, because it is not much slower, but costs only $130 compared to $240 with the 4600. Apple won't let me choose, so in this comparison I used the pricier card, although it is already not the performance leader. ATI's Radeon 9700 Pro ($358) is. See: here and here.
  • Maxtor's D740X series of IDE drives are the second highest performing drives (Western Digital's WD1200JB ($162) are the first) available. Their Fluid Bearing Motor system makes these drives the quietest of the performance-oriented drives. The 80GB model costs $118. See here for details.
  • Lite-On burners have the best overall performance with cloning data and audio CDs while being relatively quiet. The DVD drive is excellent as well. See: here and here.
  • Creative's Audigy sound card is the current market leader in home audio equipment. See: every street corner.
  • Linksys has a reputation for producing quality cards at much lower prices than Intel's or 3Com's. Techs worldwide swear by those cards.
  • Microsoft's keyboards and mice are second only to Logitech's, while some people claim the exact opposite is the truth.
  • Enermax is world leader in quality cases for "regular" use (Lian-Li specialize in "cool" cases). Their PSUs are considered to be the best of the currently available.

Note I used a single company/shop to get all the parts. Using this site, it is possible to find much lower prices for the parts I have listed, but that makes shipping and warranty a bit more complicated so I avoided it in this comparison.

Don't forget to look at the benchmarks.

I rest my case.

Saturday, September 07, 2002

Today me and three of my friends celebrated the new Jewish year of 5763. It was nice. We watched TV, we ate, we played cards (I lost terribly), we talked cinema trivia and we tried to define the line between sci-fi and fantasy in a way that puts star-wars on the fantasy side because none of us are too thrilled about this "force" thingy. We got lost in another round of laughs.

We talked about things that were and the things that are, and the things we wish to be. We spent a total of about an hour out of the five hours we spent together talking about chicks. We have stupidly decided it would be fun to play "never" instead of "spin the bottle" to emulate ten-year-old behavior. It ended badly. We have unanimously voted in favor of making sure the situation does not reoccur on next year's party. With the three guys moving to college within a month I guess it could be arranged, but the two who were unable to attend (still in boot camp) and me - the situation is a bit more difficult.

While driving home (a total distance of 200 meters, but since he's got his daddy's old car he drives everywhere) they told me they will still be my friends even when I'll become soldier boy (the five of them are future officers, the two who are in boot camp are future senior officers). That's why I love them ;). On the other hand, none of the five knew what a haiku is. I told them they are stupid. They told me I am an intellectual pain in the butt. I think we were both right.

Friday, September 06, 2002

The MacRant (You can skip the techy parts if you want to):

--- START TECH SPEAK ---

I just loaded http://www.apple.com/powermac/, and read the highlights:

  • "Dual PowerPC processors" - so get Dual Athlon MP 2200+. It will smoke the G4.
  • "Double Data Rate SDRAM" - d'oh. But what speed? DDR266, DDR333 or DDR400? On the PC, you can run all kinds. And it will smoke the Xserve.
  • "Dual optical drives" - how about 4?
  • "four hard drives" - ok. IDE or SCSI? PC can support up to 12 devices out of the box, btw, when using motherboards with this feature. On a Mac, you can't choose.
  • "four PCI cards" - minimum of 5, generally 6 on PCs.
  • "upto 2GB of SDRAM" - likewise, on better motherboards (again, on a PC you _can_ choose) it's 3GB.
  • "GF4 or Radeon" - which Radeon? But anyway, it's the same stuff by the same companies (nVidia and ATI). Just that for the PC, there are about 20 manufacturers offering different features for different prices. On a Mac - only 2 choices.

--- END TECH SPEAK ---

Computers crash for two reasons - faulty hardware and buggy software. On a Mac, you are unlikely to have poor quality hardware, because it all comes from almost exclusively a single manufacturer and nothing is "budget oriented". You can get the same quality stuff (and even better, you can get corporate grade stuff suitable for mission critical servers) for the PC, but unless you've built your own computer you can't make sure someone won't try to cut costs.
On the software side, there is a paradox: although there is much more good software for the PC, operation systems included, the most popular one is a real POS. It is slowly getting better though, so now XPSP1 is pretty much stable for all intents and purposes in a home/SOHO environment, but if you really want a rock solid system, POSIX is the only way to go. And here, the choices are limitless:

--- START TECH SPEAK ---

All flavors of BSD (OS X is based on BSD), GNU/Linux, some other things. The good part is that those systems are endlessly customizable and configurable. You can run a shell and windowing manager (the GUI) that is as nice and as feature rich as Darwin (OS X) and as powerful and pretty as KDE3.

--- END TECH SPEAK ---

You can adjust its hunger for system resources to make it work smoothly on any kind of system built in the last 4 years and still maintain all its features. That's the beauty of the non-proprietary system: you can exchange parts for something better suiting your needs. Yes, making all those adjustments requires a tech. Sometimes even a Software Engineer. But he only has to do it once, and then all grandmas can get the distribution from the net.

As far as the Mac's stability in concerned: your mileage may vary, as they say. According to RJA, Macs are as unstable as a win98-operated budget PC.

Viruses are more common on PCs than on Macs because there are much more PCs. And anyway, real viruses are almost extinct in the wild. The viruses you've heard about in the recent years are all macro viruses that can only spread on Microsoft software. That means, again, the email client and word processor/spreadsheet are at fault, not the platform or the hardware. Not even the OS. Abandon Microsoft and you can forget about viruses.

Macs are simpler to operate, yes. But they are also much more restricting. I will not be physically able to do all the stuff I do with my PC on a Mac unless I take the job of programming it myself. On the PC scene, I can find readily available software for everything imaginable. And peripherals "just work" on winXP as well, if you buy name brands. Of course, on a Mac, everything has to be certified, so it will have to work. But, there is less choice.

Another thing is that the Mac community is much smaller. That means it is less likely some person who faced the same problems you face has already found a solution (or, made the solution) and made it available to you, for free, on the web.

It's like instead of watching regular TV you can only get pre-approved taped shows from last week, making sure you only get the good stuff and it's suitable to your age, but it's only about 2 hours of "quality TV" per day. And if the company decides they don�t want you to watch some specific show - you're out of luck because there is no way to switch the tape on your end. It's good, it's easy, it doesn�t require you to think, and you pay for it in money and being forced to comply with the powers that be.
On the PC, you are your own boss. You don�t like what Dell offers? No problems - check out any of its competitors or, if you're savvy enough - build your own computer, learn some stuff, and save money while you're doing it. I can assure you that I can build a PC surpassing a Mac in price, performance, stability and features at any price point and/or specific requirements. And if the user is willing to not use Microsoft software, it will never crash and be even faster.

Macs are not refined PCs, they are restrictive, backwards, high cost, grandma-oriented systems and they suck.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

People, when you rip off someone's design, at least be able to read and change their CSS. Also: Spelling is important. Spelling in names is very important. Now you're gonna say I have woken up on the wrong side of the den this morning too. And let's not stretch that metaphor. Edited to clarify: this is not an attack. This is a frustration.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

Help! I've just watched a re-run of ST:DS9 (07x23) and the end scene... I think I'm a Bashir/O'Brien shipper now. Don't laugh. I know the show's ended. And slash is bad. And they are both clearly interested in women. And them being close doesn't mean it should be anything more than friends, but... I think I'm seeing things. I need... something to do. And... a trip to somewhere cold, like a ski resort. And... someone to teach me how to ski. Preferably... a female who thinks geeks are cute (in a good sense of the word). And a very expensive shrink. *cries*

Severely overslept. Feeling awful. Am thinking about replacing bed. Am deciding is redundant as will only be sleeping on it for a few more months and then every two weeks. But, if happen to be sleeping more on it, it has to go.

Edit: I have not replaced the bed for years, even though I have slept on it every night except for basic training. I was feeling unwell because I have not gone outside for weeks, not because of the bed.

Monday, August 26, 2002

I must've done something right, because I've been summoned to the second stage security check-thingy. In the Qiriya base, no less (central Tel-Aviv, more or less the Israeli equivalent to the Pentagon). No one can tell me what this is all about of course, and I'm nervous. But, as far as getting the good position, this is definitely a Good Thing, or so I hope. BTW, they have the URL of this page. Was that a mistake?

Friday, August 16, 2002

I have to share this with you: we had rain today! Now, understand, it's the 15th of August, Israel. Rain. This is unheard of, it's insane. The weather has truly gone mad. Oh, and that poor elephant. :(

Thursday, August 08, 2002

RJA emailed me and I was able to help her a bit with the archives template (after struggling with my highly irregular archive template for this blog, I feel I'm fairly knowledgeable in this). It feels so good knowing I've learned something for being able to do stuff and help people and not just for the bragging rights.

BTW, I feel like I should review the new SQ v3 1.0.1 engine, but there's little I have to say. It seems very nice, though I would've changed some stuff layout-wise. Forced me to reconsider some of my own work.

Am still pondering on the idea of compressed chapter transfer, but it looks like the viewer must be made in Java for such a thing to work, which makes the page (applet, rather) too "heavy" for my taste. But the idea of a JS php-generated navigation system is getting along nicely. Makes for fast refreshing and lower server load (also conserves bandwidth) so I think I'll use it.

Would've liked to host actual content myself, in parsed form and possibly even compressed (just look at what solid rar3 can do to html files!), but it appears I will never posses the storage and bandwidth capacity. I wonder who pays SQ's and FA's bills. I know RL finances are not a popular topic in the fandom, but the bottom line is: someone has to pay real money for the sandbox. A&Z don't sound like two girls who can spend a fortune on hosting fees...

Am considering totally abolishing first person pronouns, and not for bandwidth considerations. Also am beginning to seriously consider a way to have both singular and plural second person pronouns like in all normal languages. Showing respect by using plural instead of singular is one thing, but not being able to make the distinction is quite another. Though, I really don't fancy using y'all...

Am going to further restrict anti-spam filter on the hotmail account, so please use the other address if you don't want to wait while I fetch your mail out of the bulk mail folder.

Have considered using PGP, but have decided is pointless since most correspondences are not geeky enough to bother with it.

Edit:Apparently I wanted to design the perfect fanfic archive site to pitch it to various folks (for free). I have developed javascript that generated nice TOC pages and navigation links in a layer that hovers at the top of the view port. It used anchor names of URLs to store data in bookmarks and was supposed to be generated using php from a database, though the backend was never developed. The realization that I don't want to store the fic itself but only the metadata evolved into the idea of crawling fic metadata from various archives into a single database to search for fics fandom-wide.

Friday, August 02, 2002

And the Zen lesson for today is: if it's working - don't fix it.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Probably my favorite LMB quote:
"I am not schizoid," Miles bit off. "A little manic-depressive, maybe," he admitted in afterthought. Galeni�s lips twitched. "Know thyself." "We try, sir."
(Lois McMaster Bujold, Brothers in Arms) Teri: I did not get any presets. Did you "Save" (lower!save) each preset before sending it? Use the little debug!astrisk (next to the preset choosing drop down menu) to see what is currently saved in your cookie. This is what will get submitted. Please try again, and let's work this thing out. Did you see the correct info on the free-cgi site when submitting?

Monday, July 29, 2002

This thought belongs to the Real Blog, but it's something I thought I should share, even if no one can read it. Go figure.
— "haose shalom bimromav, hu ya'ase shalom aleynu ve'al kol israel, rak imru, imru amen" — "Berezhonovo, B-g berezhot"
Atheist, agnostic? Practical pessimist? Too inexperienced to decide? Rhetorical questions. This should be a haiku.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Running this:

#!/usr/bin/perl
$l="@ARGV";
$l=~s/\W//g;
$l=~tr/A-Z/a-z/;
foreach$p(p($l)){print"$p\n";}
sub p{
my $l=$_[0];
my @a=();
if(length($l)>1){
if((join"",reverse(split//,$l))eq$l){push(@a,$l)}
push(@a,p(substr($l,1,length($l)),1));
unless($_[1]){push(@a,p(substr($l,0,length($l)-1),0))}}
return@a;}

with "Laetitia Casta" as a command line parameter explains a great deal. ;)
BTW, I just love the way you can obfuscate perl code into complete and utter unreadability with such ease. Saves bandwidth too. Perfect scripting language.

[Wolf550e <3 perl]

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Did my security check (poor translation) today. Was much nicer than I have imagined. Seems like they really do care only about drugs. I guess stoned troops are not fit for combat, but really, drugs, moi? Hope the tests on the 24th are as easy. Too bad the weather sux (I'm soaking wet!) but on the bright side: I think I can get my bus money back (I want uniform! Public transport is free if you're in uniform! (Well, for 60$ a month, you're supposed to get at least something! And hitchhiking is very dangerous, as you know))

Friday, July 12, 2002

On the topic of hosting experiment failure: It's the server side compulsive banner code add-on to all .html files that made the archives JavaScript code crash. You see I use the <BlogArchiveFileName> file as a .js file, meaning no html code allowed, but if I make Blogger use the .js file extension on it the archive files will have it too. Blogger won't allow me to separate naming conventions for content and service modules. Stupid bloody Blogger. I've still separated out as much code as possible to be hosted externally to the main blog file, because of caching and redundancy issues, so it wasn't all a loss. We're learning. The color preset thing: in "Current->Theme" you can pick a ready template, adjust each of the 15 different colors it contains using the "apply", "save" and "discard" buttons and then save your temporary template into a cookie to be your default template for the site, and submit it to me through email (no typing needed) so I'll add it (like I've added Lynn's). The RGB <-> Hex calculator and demo window should help you with the color choosing tasks.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Edit: In this post I am madly in love with Lori, author of the fic PoU and its sequels. In retrospect, very sad.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

this is the first post on this blog

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