Archive for September, 2006

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Starucks: the faceless mermaid

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

OK – I admit it, I’m addicted to Starbucks Frappaccino’s and their little cousin the Doubleshot. This morning I picked one up at the corner store that had a crease in it’s label. I think the ‘new’ logo is neat:

Starucks

Fun with friends

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

Tonight was unexpectedly populous at Le Cinema Sparks! I had planned on doing a movie showing with a few friends, and it ended up being quite the showing of The Chronicles of Riddick in hi-def for a large number of people. Thank you so much to Ben, Elliot, Ian, Keenan, Rob, Shawna, and Troy for the fantastic evening and great company.

Ian, Ben, and Keenan joined me for dinner at Pho 900 on Broadway, where we all made the bzzzt mistake of bzzzzzzt drinking iced bzzt Vietnamese coffee and having Pho. The Pho was fantastic, but the sugary deliciousness of the coffee was significantly more caffeinated than planned.

After dinner we all went back to my place and were joined by the rest of the crowd for some drunken movie madness. Now it’s past two in the morning, and I’m left alone, somewhat buzzed, and very awake still from the caffeine with nothing but an exhausted puppy and my beloved TNG to keep me company.

Clean, organized, and ready for my weekend

Friday, September 29th, 2006

After a fairly long week of doing little other than working and watching TNG I’m glad the weekend has arrived. I left work a little early today and went home to clean up for my weekend (and quite possibly some friends coming over later).

Aside from my relentless stream of TNG I’ve been busy getting my bedroom in shape. I got my living room to where I was happy with it (in all it’s adult glory) and have decided the bedroom is next. I got a new desk to replace the old TV hutch and it’s proved to be an excellent and ergonomic choice for my beloved 24″ iMac. Picture as follows:

The new iDesk

A few comments on the new 24″ iMac now that I’ve had it for a while:

–24″ of screen real estate (1920×1200) is fantastic for day to day use and media alike. The screen is amazingly bright, fairly color accurate, and highly responsive. The near 1080p resolution looks great when playing back hi-def content.

–The new Intel 64bit Core 2 Duo processors are fast! I can do video editing and encoding in significantly faster than real time.

–Providing 1GB of RAM and a 128MB graphics card standard is a nice touch. I had to upgrade to the 3GB maximum RAM for running Photoshop and a few other memory intensive applications but most users will find 1GB enough.

–The mighty mouse is great in concept – I love the scroll wheel – but is flawed in reality. The LED based lighting and low resolution make the mouse rather sluggish and inaccurate. I would expect Apple to be leading the laser mouse revolution, not ignoring it.

Entertainment: The Next Generation

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Star Trek: The Next Generation

The best possible thing arrived yesterday in the mail from Costco: all seven seasons of Star Trek The Next Generation! Costco had a special deal on their website where you can get all seven seasons shipped for a little over $300 and I simply couldn’t resist.

Brien and I immediately dug into Season 3, and I spent much of last night and the day so far today watching it in a window on iChoad while working on some stuff. The video quality is only average (they didn’t clean it up much – it’s still interlaced and only minimally cleaner than the NTSC source it came from), but the new 5.1 soundtrack is a lot cleaner than the original broadcasts over NTSC.

Oh Space Drama, how I love thee in all 49 discs of your glory!

Emo kind of morning

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Does it get any more emo than this?

Haircut

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

The end of a long week usually brings peace – this week a haircut showed up too! I just got back from Scream where I got my snazzy new haircut, and had a chance to pick up The Life Aquatic soundtrack.

As movie soundtracks go I have to say it’s one of my favorites – Life on Mars and Queen Bitch by David Bowie mixed with the electro that was the background to the Ping Island sequence is simply flawless! Seriously, go pick up a copy!

Delicious unix geekery

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

I’ve re-discovered two distinct technological pleasures: screen and Delicious Monster. Aside from spending a few days of quality time with those two gems I’ve been keeping busy with work and keeping up with my day to day stuff around the house.

Screen is an old session management tool for unix systems and boy is it neat. It basically lets you run terminal programs in sessions, and manage those sessions in very interesting ways. You can connect, share, and disconnect from remote sessions at will making managing multiple context-insensitive applications over SSH a breeze.

Delicious Monster makes a DVD/game/book management tool that I had looked at previously, but not investigated fully. They offer some amazing technologies to make it easier to manage a big collection. Most uniquely it offers easy data entry via the camera built into my iMac by “scanning” the barcodes and pulling all the information down automatically.

It took me a little under two hours to scan, sort, and manage all 300+ movies that I have in my collection. I used a tool called Deliweb to create this nifty view of all my movies.

Mactastic

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

After a long week of work what better way to celebrate than to go celebrate with a little consumerism. In the last 24 hours I have managed to obtain both a 2nd generation iPod Nano as well as a new Core 2 Duo 24″ iMac.

I’m extremely happy with both (with a few minor exceptions) and find both to be pure engineering marvels. The Nano is small, sleek, and more responsive than it’s predecessor.

The iMac is simply stunning. The 64 bit Core 2 Duo chip keeps things brisk and the gorgeous 24″ 16:9 screen is easily replacing the ancient 27″ SDTV that I had in the bedroom. It’s a great media solution for the room, and provides the Mac desktop I’ve been missing so I can have an always on unix machine in the house for dev/network stuff.

I’m really impressed so far with every single feature of the new iMac save one: Frontrow has a fat ass and needs some work. It’s a great idea, and by far the best ipTV solution out there, but it’s sluggish, and forces you to import items into iTunes in order to properly browse or play them.

I’ll get some photos up of the iMac soon. For now here is some Nano Vs. Nano photo action!

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Lazy weekend of Enchanted Arms

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

I sit here on the couch, drinking iced coffee, and listening to some Panoptica while catching up on the blogosphere. Yesterday I did blessedly little – aside from going to Costco and EB Games with Brien to pick up food and Enchanted Arms I did practically nothing. I sat on my couch, played Enchanted Arms, and spent some quality time with Skype.

Today has been slightly more active. I woke up early to get working on laundry and catch up on other things around the house. I am rather proud of all the work I got done before noon. I managed to get a presentation ready for tomorrow and go for a decent little walk with skype while my laundry ran. Now I get to spend the rest of the day lounging around on the couch drinking my coffee and playing more Enchanted Arms.

Enchanted Arms: gay!!Enchanted Arms by the way is the first Japanese style RPG (aside from the MMORPG Final Fantasy Online) to come to the Xbox 360 and I have to say I’ve got some mixed feelings on it. The story gets good after a few hours, but the introduction is simply the gayest thing on the face of the planet. It starts off with three high-school boys learning magic who are gay, gay, GAY. I’m not sure but I would wager that the amount of gayness would manage to turn off all but the most hard-core gaymers. I mean I’m a gay man and I was offended – I can only imagine what the straight guys would say.

The other negative thing is the endless tutorials that the game seems to want me to jump through. There are an endless number of objects that you can interact with by pressing the A button. One might find this an intuitive interface, but they didn’t think so and are constantly interrupting gameplay to have another character guide you through the process of pressing A to interact with the container, swim, ride the elevator, pick up the flowerpot, etc.

Luckily after a few hours the gay and the gay tutorials tone down a bit and the rest of the characters get together and it becomes a really good game. It’s much more linear than the western style of RPG’s that I’ve been playing of late like Oblivion, but has a fantastic story to make up for it. The combat system is also really well evolved and plays very strategically. Every PC is put on a grid and you have to move them around and use very preset moves similar to chess.

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