Tag Archives: technolust

Beyond money

I have learned that you cannot, in fact, walk into an apple store, slap a thousand dollars on one of their fine wooden tables, and preorder an iPad.

They will, in a professional manner and with utmost courtesy, direct you to the website, where preorders closed two days ago.

They will then recommended that you stop by the store on the 16th, launch day, with your cash in hand.

Which doesn’t seem like a recommendation so much as an, “I dare you to.”

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i, Consumer

So, getting an iPod touch has been one of the best and worst purchases I’ve made this year.

On the one hand, I’ve got a mobile computer.

On the other hand, I’m getting into a dangerous ecosystem of iDevices. They are seductive, style oozing from every smooth surface, every UI decision.

An iPad can’t be far behind.

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It builds, slowly.  It could be anything.  A stutter in framerate.  A texture tear.  Just the feeling that things could look better when I’m shooting Skaggs in the wilds of Pandora.  (Yep.  Still playing Borderlands.)  So I think about my current setup, and I have to wonder if there’s anything else I can do, other than reinstall Windows.

It’s mainly a gaming rig, so first it’s looking at  the video card hierarchy on Tom’s Hardware.  Then there is the requisite visit to the system guides on Ars Technica.  Then there’s window shopping for components on Newegg.  Maybe even a shopping list that gets created.

This process has repeated itself a couple of times over the last couple of months and it’s maddening.  Then comes the reading.  Dozens of articles to catch up with CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage advances that have come about since the last time I built a machine.

It’s approaching two years since I’ve built a new machine and I’m very much filled with the desire to build something new before I jump on the Windows 7 party bus.  There is a feeling of accomplishment after successfully putting together a working machine.  It’s something tangible.

Although ultimately, I may just scrap the whole project, pump two more gig of RAM into the rig, slap in a couple of larger, faster hard drives, configure RAID 0, install Windows 7 and then call it a day.

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Another Ode

Twas the night before Apple, and all ’round the net,
All the rumors were flying, but no real news yet.
Speculations were read, with the utmost of care,
With the hopes that the keynote, soon would be aired.

Apple faithful were restless, their iPhones held steady,
In hopes that Cupertino soon would be ready
To announce a new tablet, for which they’d been fawning,
Ever since Newton left consumers, well. . . wanting.

A capacitive screen, is a definite must.
Since fans of multi touch gestures are us
A size 10″ screen is most likely, “Yes.”
But a front facing camera, perhaps GPS?

Wifi is a given, and the app store is too,
As for syncing iLife, well now that’s nothing new.
Perhaps unlocked iPhones, for non AT&T folks
Since that network’s the butt of quite a few jokes.

Then fanboys will come from within every city
To post about how Apple’s business is shitty.
More rabid than wolves, to the forums, they’ll fly
And tear apart lie after lie after lie.

So iPad, iSlate,
or whatever you’re called.
(I’ll admit that these names
have me somewhat appalled.)
On the web I will read
and on printed news too,
“Apple tablet is out!
It’s brand spanking new!”

So tomorrow I’ll find, on my usual sites
News about Apple with included soundbites.
I’ll witness his Steveness, his demeanor quite proud
About Apple solutions, he’ll talk to the crowd.

But then he’ll announce, how much it will cost
As banks everywhere groan from cash reserves lost.
But there’s always a point, in my ears it will ring,
“Thank you all for coming. But there’s just one more thing.”

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My Other, Other Eye

My camera, well, maybe I should clarify, my serious camera, is the Nikon D70. It’s pretty old and secondhand.  By old, I mean It’s about six years old, and that in camera years is about one hundred and fifty.  Although I got a good deal on it at the time, I almost weep when I look at the capabilities of the entry level DSLR cameras today.  Ah, those young whipper snappers don’t know how good they’ve got it with their Active Dynamic Ranges and their ISOs above 1600.  But I make do.

It’s a heavy thing, a black polycarbonate brick that one hefts to eye level.  I both appreciate and curse that weight, depending on the situation.  The solid feel of the camera lends a credence to its existence in the real world, that it can somehow interact with light and make it permanent.  It can’t though.

All it does is take measurements and shift bits.  A lot of them.  In thousandths of a second.

There’s no chemical process that results in a physical object.  No negative, no paper, no developer, no fixative, no finished product.  Just more bits that get displayed on a screen, dependent on that screen’s size, and color depth and brightness to try to convey the moment through electric impulses.

It’s all an ephemeral stream of data.  Like the very moment it’s trying to capture.

In fact, the data is so ephemeral that it can’t even last a day on the compact flash card.  I am well aware of the fact that there are adult mayflies that have longer lives than some of the image data I’ve tried to acquire recently.  Looking up some open source tools, I guess that hope springs eternal in the human breast.

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