hilariously godawful tech rap video

26 11 2008

if you’re looking to convince your better half that you need a computer upgrade, consider making your case in verse, like these here boys:

unix, then and now

19 11 2008

since i left grad school nearly 3 years ago, i’ve had very little time to indulge in a once-favorite pastime – installing the latest and greatest version of whatever was my current linux distribution of choice on all of my machines :). recently, though, i’ve been working on a project that doesn’t really require a connection to my work intranet, and i’ve also been working from home quite a bit, so i thought i’d see if i could install linux on my work laptop, so i could get work done without bogging down routing all internet traffic through the vpn. since ubuntu’s all the rage these days, i really like the origin of its name, and they just released a new version, my distribution choice was obvious. popping the CD in while running windows gave me a wondrous new option i’d not seen on earlier versions: installing Ubuntu as a dual boot OS via a windows file!! this sounded like the perfect idea, since i’d avoid partitioning the disk, which might have made our support guys go bonkers.

installation was a breeze, and i’m amazed how far linux (and other free unix distributions such as FreeBSD) has come in the last ten years. practically everything worked right out of the box, including wireless networking, sound, the 1600×1200 display with acceleration, even my wireless optical mouse! this is a far cry from 1998, when i first tried to install FreeBSD on a desktop. at the time, getting X to work was considered a major success, and sound was just a pipe dream!! it’s incredible what a community of dedicated folks working in concert can achieve.

wifi cafes…

24 10 2008

after our recent move, we’re still awaiting an internet connection at home, which means that i can’t work from home (no friendly neighborhood routers that are open, unfortunately). last weekend, work pressure demanded some of my weekend time, so i hauled the old laptop to blue pepper, a local, independently owned cafe and art gallery. this turned out to be a nice place, with live music and a nice selection of sandwiches and wraps, apart from the usual list of espresso drinks. for the price (free), the wifi connection was pretty good, and, being an art gallery, they also had some wine! will definitely be going back, even after we get our internet connection.

classical guitar at the blue pepper cafe

classical guitar at the blue pepper cafe

rhapsody + airfoil = music nirvana

17 10 2008

i’ve been a rhapsody subscriber for over 3 years now, and i still can’t get over how cool it is. listen to all the tracks you want, as often as you want, for about the price of one CD a month! what’s even cooler is that you can take all that music with you, assuming you have a device that understands their DRM. of course, i’m waiting for the day when DRMs will be a thing of the past, but as long as we’ve got them, subscription based licenses beat any other kind hands down. rhapsody roolz!

with all of that great music at your fingertips, though, ya better have a way to play it back on your real system, not just some piddly earbuds. my brother dear gifted me an airport express a while ago, but it only works natively with iTunes, which has possibly the worst DRM ever. i can’t imagine how it became as popular as it is. blind $@!$# appladdicts! so anyway, this thing had been lying around pretty much unused, until i came across airfoil. this is a totally slick piece of software that can grab pretty much any audio stream from your machine, and pipe it to the airport. voila! the rich layers on a track like November Rain sound so much better over speakers such as, say, the Polk RM6900, than over your average $30 headphones. if you’d like to have over 5 million tracks in your collection, and listen to them on your home theater, get yourself a rhapsody subscription, and buy airfoil.