New Computer?

First of all, I apologize for once again neglecting my blogging duties. I got obsessed with a few things online and suddenly it was a week since a post again. Truth be told, I should have posted my 150,000th word by now. Soon, it should be coming up soon, along with the 15,000th visitor. Maybe I will strike until I get the visitor? Stop at 149,999 words, until right after the 15,000th visit, then just post “word”. That could be sweet.

I was talking with Mom and Dad and Jenn and with my fin aid refund coming in tomorrow, I am getting a new computer tomorrow. My grandma is borrowing me some money and my Dad is buying my iBook from me. The problem I am having, is my refund is going to Catholic Federal, which is 100 miles away, and they limit my debit card to $1000 per 24 hours. Since my computer is more than that, I am stuck. The Apple Store accepts checks, but my checks have my old address and my drivers license my address here, so I don’t know if they will take it. I do have a credit card from Fifth Third, that they decided to give me after I got my car loan, that is totally open. That only has a credit limit of $1000 though, so I would need to split it across two cards. I also thought of the option of buying $600 or so of Apple Store gift cards tomorrow, then buying the computer Saturday, so that my debit card is not charged more than $1000, but I wouldn’t be able to buy until after whatever time of day I bought the gift cards. Since we are going to Grand Rapids after my class, it will already be later in the day, so wouldn’t be able to buy computer until 7 or so Saturday night, and need to stay in GR all day Friday and Saturday. Will figure something out.

In preparation for the new lappy, I bought the MacHeist II bundle. It comes out as $490 something in software for $49. It ended yesterday, but none of you use macs anyway. There were 3 apps I really wanted, and 2 of them were worth more than $49 anyway, so the other 11 were all gravy.

I need to do dishes, and make dinner, but a Hungry Man is sounding better. I need to do before we leave tomorrow either way though. It sucks when you neglect your dishes for a day because it doesn’t look like there are many there, then suddenly there is a giant pile.

OK, that’s all for today.

nick

MacWorld ’08

First, my final class went well. As I said earlier, they all seem like will be interesting.

On to MacWorld though, as excited as I was, Apple crapped out again. They released the new MacBook Air, which is pretty cool, but is overpriced and underpowered for what I need. Looking back, last year was totally Mac-less, the year before was the introduction of the MacBook Pro and some iLife updates, 2005 was the MacMini and Pages, and 2004 was the iPod mini which turned out decent, and again iLife. What they all have in common, that I forget every year, is that they all kind of sucked. Maybe it’s just that I read the rumor sites and get higher expectations than I should.

As I said though, MacBook Air is decent, for the right person, just not for me. Sadly, the Dell XPS 1330 is closer, but is more expensive than a MacBook. Honestly, if Apple would release the MacBook in an aluminum case with an LED backlit screen, I would be happy, with no other changes form the current version. Of course, an upgrade to the new Penryn processors would be a nice additions, as well as maybe colored cases similar to the iPod nano. Probably wont see anything on the MacBook until April or so though.

Also released was a new wireless router with built in 500 GB or 1 TB hard disk for automatic backups (which I would like, but is out of my budget), and upgrades to the iPhone and Apple TV (free software updates), as well as iTunes movie rentals.

OK, enough boring you. Later.

nick

Evil Charter

Charter decided to intercept all DNS errors as a “service” to users. This means they take you to a Yahoo!/Charter sponsored results page that provides 0% relevancy to what you were trying for. If you accidentally type ayomicow.org, it gives you results for buying beef online. Any decent search engine, including Yahoo! is capable of properly searching for and finding the correct result.

This, however, is not the point. I don’t care that they are using a shitty search, I care that they are doing anything period. Even if you opt out of the “service”, you don’t return to normal DNS errors, you still are redirected to their page. This means you can’t just go up to the address bar and correct your typo, because you are suddenly at a charter.net address. I don’t want their damn search, I don’t want to opt out, I don’t want anything.

Anyway, this is what I sent them. If you have charter, please do the same from their support page on charter.com. If you have another ISP and they are trying to pull this shit, send them a similar letter.

My internet connection is not working correctly. Whenever I miss type a website address I am redirected to a charter search page. At first, it was quite annoying because the search results were far from what I was looking for, and consisted primarily of unrelated sponsored results. Having found the opt-out option, I attempted to use that but still am not satisfied. Even having opted out of this useless service that I never requested, I am still not receiving the correct result. I do not receive my browsers error page, instead receive your copy of an IE error page. Please, I implore you, return the DNS error results to what they were, end this annoying and useless “service” that nobody ever requested.

You’re Not Reading This

Nobody has read this in, well, a while. Scott is on a leave from the Navy and hasn’t had internet, Sarah is in Bay City or Traverse City with no internet, and Jenn isn’t being counted. That leaves googlers and spiders, and nobody else. I just wanted to point that out to nobody.

So, we have the new sofa, love-seat, and mattress, and they are all very nice. We ended up needing a new bed frame too, as the old one was apparently partially to blame for jenn’s old mattress dying.

Scott is supposed to arrive in Bay City today, until Friday morning. He was supposed to spend a day coming to see me, then going on to see his sister in Wyoming, but she has moved back to Bay City. So, somehow, I am supposed to go see him, but I am not sure enough about my car to be willing to drive there and back. I could take Jenn’s vehicle tomorrow, but I don’t know if Scott has tomorrow free or not, and that is the only day this week Jenn has off and I would be able to take her vehicle.

Apple released new MacBook Pros today, as well as restarting the free iPod with computer purchase promotion. Sadly, the MacBooks are just not up to what I would be willing to buy, and the ones I want will probably not be out until November. The WWDC begins next week, and there have been rumors of another MacBook coming out then (MacBook Thin) that may fit what I want, so there is a chance with that. Either way, I don’t have the money to buy a computer anyway, and if I did it would need to go toward a new car, not a laptop.

I installed Windows XP on Jenn’s MacBook yesterday, since I will need it for school in the fall. I had installed it under Parallels, in emulation, but it was rather slow. I have it installed with BootCamp now, running fully native. You just need to hold the option key while starting up, and you get your choice of OS X or XP. It runs much faster than emulated, and is actually one of the fastest Windows computers I have used.

My present to Jenn for our anniversary (which was actually last month, but was the day before we moved, so we postponed) came in today. I still need to get her a birthday present by the 19th though.

I haven’t started reading either of my books yet. Not for any particular reason, I just haven’t. I think I feel bad sitting here reading while Jenn is working, but I really haven’t cleaned and organized as much as I did earlier last week. I think I was better off without cable or internet, it gave me no other choice but to be productive.

During this post, I am passing 130,000 words. That’s kind of fun.

If you haven’t noticed, the gallery has been totally pulled from my site, and is now only on Picassa. I think I mentioned that before, but just wanted to re-highlight. I posted some pictures of our apartment, and the various views outside. Once inside is neatened up some, I will post some pics of that too.

OK, I suppose that is all.

Enjoy your week.

nick

Updates

So, over the last week I didn’t do a whole heck of a lot. I do have Kyle’s birthday party tonight at Applebees’s which supposedly will have 30 – 35 people showing up. Not sure what the hell they are going to do with us.

I made a few site updates. I got the school section up, it is under Work. I brought back the Wayback script, so you can read year-ago posts easily from the sidebar. I re-categorized all the old iBlog Poll and Pictures posts into a new Abandoned category, since those posts don’t actually have any useful information in them, but I didn’t really want to delete them all either. Sadly, the one iBlog category I have left to go through is the General category, that has 155 posts in it. Hell, I have 417 total, that nearly half. Finally, I updated the to-do list (under info) to reflect all those changes.

I checked out a book on programming for the Mac. I honestly couldn’t believe we even had one. I am definitely feeling the cobwebs, as I haven’t had C++ in 2 years and that is about as close as I have ever got to the Objective C used for Macs, but I am doing OK so far.

So, thats what’s been going on.

nick

2 Years Later

Way back, on September 26, 2003, I got my iPod, and the next day posted in my blog that I needed a decent pair of headphones because the ear buds hurt my ears. Over the summer while putting my ipod and buds in my backpack, one of the buds suffered puncture damage through its cone, rendering it to about 1/4 volume on the left side permanently. That left me with my $20 full ear Sony’s that aren’t really that great, hurt your ears after prolonged use, and are rather impractical for walking around with my iPod.
So, finally, today, I received my new decent headphones. I have been told in reviews that they require a break-in period so no comments on sound quality yet, but I have heard 99% positive about them before buying, so am excited to find out for myself.

Eight is Enough

A fun pop quiz for the first day back to school…

How many planets are there?

If you just thought “Nine”, you are wrong.

As of Thursday, there are now only eight planets, as Pluto has officially been demoted to “Dwarf Planet” status. It is decidedly too small, and in a too-populated area of space to be considered an official planet. The new description of what constitutes a planet is rather vague and confusing, I must say.

Granted, Pluto has been considered a planet for 70 some years now, but at its discovery its actually size was not accurately known, and some have argued that had it been at the time, Pluto would never have achieved planetary status.

This is not the first time a planet has been demoted either. At the time of their discoveries, the asteroids Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta were all called planets. Not until later was it discovered that these were only the largest of the thousands of objects in the asteroid belt. Pluto’s fate is very similar, as it has been discovered to be the largest of the items, as well as one of the nearest, in the Kuiper belt.

A second proposal by the International Astronomical Union would have brought the total number of planets to 12. This proposal not only kept Pluto, but added Ceres, the largest asteroid, as well as Pluto’s moon Charon (because Charon does not actually orbit Pluto, but instead the both orbit a point between them, they are technically a “Binary Planet System”, not a planet and moon), and the body “2003 UB313”, the “10th Planet” discovered in 2003 even further out than Pluto. That proposal, however, was voted down, and the new system later voted in.

How long this will stand is unknown. Only 400 some of the 10,000 astronomers who could have voted did, so it is not yet set is stone forever. That there may be a new proposal to grandfather Pluto as a planet and make all future discoveries dwarfs is possible, and even if the decision stands, future clarification is certain.

For more info, please see Wikipedia or Space.com.

Comments 2

So I have been working on trying to reformat the old comments, but it is not looking well. I am nearing the point of giving up and just entering them manually, as it may be easier.

I found the website InterFacelift the other day. Not only does it have a massive selection of pretty good desktops, themes, and custom icons, but the desktops are available in widescreen formats, all the way up to the size of Apple’s 30″ display. I am pretty impressed.

Finally, I am posting this from a new Dashboard widget I downloaded about an hour ago. I am hoping perhaps this will help me post small updates more often. My only current gripe is there is no abstract section in it. Maybe a future update.

nick

100,000 Words, Fool!

Lets start with the car. Few days ago I decided to try and accomplish something with it so started with my trunk. The lock is jammed so the key wont work, but the release in the car does work. I lubed it and what not, and even tried disassembling it, but all to no avail. Then I pulled off my door panel to see if the missing speaker left dangling wires that were shorting, in hopes of getting the stereo to stop shutting off. Turns out, no, there weren’t. I did find out how shitty of a job Graff did at attaching my door panel though. Next I tried tightening up my spoiler, and found that of the 4 stud bolts attached to the spoiler and bolted to the trunk lid, 3 were not attached to the spoiler. On top of that, when they came loose the previous owner used a hot glue gun to try securing them. Not only did this not work, but it made for a bigger mess for me to clean before even starting. So, the trunk lock is still jammed, my stereo still shuts off randomly, and my spoiler is now in the trunk and 2 pieces of masking tape cover the bolt holes to keep out water. I am going to pick up some epoxy to reattach the studs, and see if chris can figure something out with stereo.

Powertrain apparently lost 360 some of its 750 employees to the buyout offers. When Scott and I were there, they had 1000 employees. There is a certain, small, chance that they could hire, but the more likely is they will be receiving transfers from plants that are scheduled to close.

The chances of me riding to Mackinaw seem to go down more that up. I realized when we went camping how much of a problem the hills, heat, and bugs may be. I am not saying I wont do it though. I would actually like to do it in say late September, when its cooler and the bugs are gone, but with school and work going on by then I don’t think it would be a possibility. I am afraid of trying it in August or July though.

In a related note, coverage of Tour de France begins on OLN on Saturday, that’s day after tomorrow! It really doesn’t seem like a year. I swear it was mid-July to mid-August, not early to early. Whatever, it here and I can watch it.

We are also down to about a month till Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference. There are already rumors and supposed leaks of Tiger and possible specs of new PowerMacs (“MacPro” is current consensus for new name) and XServes. I almost wonder if it would be more fun to stop reading rumor sites now and wait to get the full surprise, but know it won’t happen.

I do plan to fix the template, since it appears to only display properly in Safari. IE, Firefox for Mac and Windows, and I presume most other browsers do not display it like it should be seen.

And finally, this post brings me to 100,150 words, by current count. That’s not bad.

later,

nick

It Came

The new power adaptor arrived today at 5. Nice to be able to use the iBook again.

I am working on fixing the date issue. I need to remember to change back in fall though, or will be screwed up again.

I got up for work today and realized I work at 1 on Fridays, not 12.

That’s all, I should be sleeping, work at 9.

nick