g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
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Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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Thursday, June 1, 2006
15:31 - Wait a minute
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Nelson_Reilly

(top)
If you play "an uncredited role" in a movie called A Face in the Crowd, wouldn't it be okay to tell people you played the title role?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
22:14 - Move over, laser pointer
http://www.vimeo.com/clip:77426

(top)
And make way for the MacBook Pro with Apple Remote and Front Row as the kitten entertainment device for the discerning cat owner.


20:44 - iPod conversationstarto

(top)
I had a flat tire on my bike as I rode in to work today. Fortunately, it was within a block of the local bike shop, so I scooted in there and had them repair it. (No sense letting good kismet go to waste.)

As I paid up, one of the employees looked at the iPod Radio Remote clipped to my shirt, and his eyes got as wide as saucers.

"Don't tell me they've made it even smaller!"

It was to his great relief that I showed him, laughing, that the cord was going to a full-size iPod hidden in my pocket. But I suppose it's only a matter of time...


16:38 - Maybe everyone's not insane after all

(top)
I'm not even sure why now, but I've always tended to look askance at the idea of having a laptop as one's primary computer, or making a "desktop replacement" out of it. The whole idea seemed like accepting too much sacrifice in favor of a mobility that never appealed that much to me: smaller and slower hard drives, more limited expandability, lower-power screens, cramped keyboards, and unavoidably lower performance than a tower machine. Plus there was always the generally higher price. I gave away my iBook a couple of years ago; I found I was just lugging it around and not even opening it up, most of the time, and it always felt way too limiting for the tasks I require of a computer.

Well, for some reason I never really considered how easy it is to hook up an external monitor to a laptop, like my 22" Cinema Display from six years ago (still visually the equal of any brand-new monitor on the market). Or the external FireWire hard drive that I already have, which I mostly use for backups and as a second OS installation for when I need to boot into the next-generation system to write a book on it. Or, as seems stupidly natural now, an external keyboard and mouse.

Considering that my G5 tower is three years old now (which seems bizarre, as Apple is still selling the exact same machine brand-new for $2000), I've been eyeing the upcoming Intel-based towers with the intention of upgrading within a year or so. But now that the Macbook line is fully established, I'm thinking a nice modest 15-inch laptop—which I could hook right in to my existing setup with a few plugs and hubs—might be just what I need. If, as seems likely, the MacBook Pros won't even need to lag much behind the towers in CPU speed, there doesn't seem much of a performance penalty, especially if I get the higher-speed hard drive, or rely on the external one for most of my data and scratch space; and what's more important for me, as a dweller in a house that attracts a lot of dust and a workspace that collects a lot of daytime heat through its west-facing window during the summer, it would be just as well to have a laptop for its quieter operation and lack of giant intake fans. The G5 is supernaturally quiet when it's cool, but when it's hot it spins up and makes a hell of a lot of noise.

Perversely enough, one thing that always seems to make me shy away from the desktop-replacement thing is that my desk has a nice ready-made cabinet for the computer. I feel like it's almost a shame not to have a computer to put in there. Even if it has no ventilation and turns into an oven in the summer months. Yes, it's completely stupid, but that's how I've felt.

So maybe that's what I'll do when I'm next in the market for a new machine.

Unless, of course, the Intel towers are just too cool to resist.

UPDATE: Reader Michael M. adds:

I did that years ago when I replaced my 400 mhz G4 tower, with a 1 ghz TiBook. It works, the only problem being is that I now never unplug my laptop. I got so much junk connected to it, and I hate the screen resolution changes moving my windows around, that it hasn't been off my desk for months. The last time being when I visited my parents last summer.

So I am actually going the opposite direction then you. I am eagerly waiting for the new Intel towers to come out so that I can unplug my laptop, and surf the web while watching TV as God intended. =)

Great, now it'll be even harder to decide.

Ahh, these terrible hardships we face...


14:16 - I am Jack's stolen meme
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,197504,00.html

(top)
You know, there are times when I think it would be great to have more physical activity in my life, of the primal hands-on combat/self-defense/punch-and-kick-and-yell variety. I, like a lot of people, found a lot of sense in the post-post-modernism of Fight Club. Not total sense, but enough. Enough to make for smirky one-liners and references dropped wistfully into conversation over dinner. No, I haven't ever been in a fight. No, I probably don't know that much about myself as a result. Yes, it would be interesting to find out what a fist hitting a jaw really feels like, or whether I'm the kind of person who could make it happen if the right dark-alley moment presented itself.

Indeed, it doesn't surprise me at all that just like in the movie, Fight Clubs started springing up all over the country, particularly in software-geek-heavy areas like Silicon Valley, as this story (via JMH) indicates.

But what turns me right off about them is when someone tries to explain the phenomenon by simply regurgitating lines from the movie:

"You get to be a superhero for a night," Klimanis said. "We have to go to work every day. We're constantly told to buy things we don't need, and just for a couple hours we have the freedom to do what we want to do."

Good boy! Here's a biscuit!

How much did you spend on that Fight Club DVD, anyway? What was the price tag on the philosophy packaged up in it?

Tyler Durden would be laughing his ass off.

Monday, May 29, 2006
13:07 - Heavy

(top)
These guys might just have a better business plan than any dot-com. Refurbishing old DeLoreans—and building new ones, under official license.

Not to mention the inevitable conversions.

Q: What happens when this baby hits 88mph? Ally
May-29-06

A: In CA..You get a speeding ticket.

Some things never get old.

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© Brian Tiemann