Random Thursday

Some random bloggage while contemplating the inherent unfairness of yesterday evening's storm that flooded many parts  of Midland and yet gave our neighborhood just enough rain to mess up our newly-washed truck. It is, after all, all about me.

  • Solid State Drives (SSDs) are all the rage nowadays. Their manufacturers claim the drives are nearly indestructible and use less power (no moving parts), and are supposed to be fast as all get out (that's a technical term). They're also very expensive...about ten times the cost of conventional hard drives, although I'm sure those prices will come down rapidly over the next couple of years. Anyway, I'm always a little skeptical about speed claims, but here's a visual demonstration of the advantage an SSD has over a conventional hard drive in a notebook computer. Very impressive.

  • Having derived great enjoyment from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I felt compelled to download to my Kindle iPad app another mashup, this one by Kevin David Anderson entitled Night of the Living Trekkies. Try to picture what would happen if a horde of the undead invaded a Star Trek convention. OK, you don't have to imagine; just watch the trailer:

  • By the way, I think the idea of trailers for books is AweFreakinSome. More, please, especially those as witty and competent as this one.

  • In the category of "what took them so long," we have the announcement by Apple that the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 4.2, will enable printing over wi-fi networks from iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. The technology is dubbed "AirPrint" and it's another big step in making iDevices (especially the iPad) into perfectly serviceable substitutes for notebooks/netbooks. iOS 4.2 is due for release in November, with the developer beta being rolled out yesterday.

  • I'm somewhat disappointed in the availability of reading material via Apple's iBook store. Amazon's Kindle store has a significantly large selection of e-books. However, as an e-reader, iBook outshines the competition, hands-down. The sheer elegance of the application is a something to behold. Here's an example. You can flip pages in iBook by swiping your finger across the screen; no big deal. But if you put your finger on the corner of a page and slowly swipe it diagonally up or down across the screen, the page folds over, just like a half-turned page in a paper book. What's more, the text that shows through faintly on the back side of the page is what's printed on the front side, in reverse...just as it would be in a book (assuming the page was printed on only one side). Hard to visualize? Here's a photo; click on the image to see a larger version.

    Photo of iBook with page half-turned

    So, the questions are, how much trouble was it to program something like this, and what was the justification? It serves no useful purpose whatsoever, except that it's beautiful and cool. And, obviously, that's all the justification Apple needed. Love 'em or hate 'em, you have to admit that nobody sweats the small stuff like Apple.

  • In conclusion, here's another little item for your Christmas shopping list (for me, of course; remember the "all about me" part?): a $3,500 hand-made 1920s-replica board racing cycle made by Derringer Cycles. You'd have a heart of stone not to be seduced by the beautiful simplicity of these machines. [Tip to Dude Craft]
Photo of a Derringer bike


Oh dang, I discovered after I'd clicked the "Submit" button that the video link I offered was a dud. Try this one instead:


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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on September 16, 2010 6:36 AM.

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