The boring rants of a lazy nerd

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


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 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.

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$2,720.00 from

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):


I just loaded, 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.


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:


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.


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.

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