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So did it work?

Thursday, September 5, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

"You're just jealous because I'm enlightened and you're not!"

This is going to be one of those boring geeky entries that I tend to blip right over when I see them in someone else's weblog, but that's the price you pay.

I'm considering maybe investing some money in some new computer things, and I've always thought it'd be cool to have some variety of "Macintosh", from that there "Apple" company, and we don't really have a logical place to put an "iMac" or an "eMac". (And laptops are very cool.) So I'm thinking of maybe buying an "iBook" or a "PowerBook".

But I don't actually know diddly about hardware in general, much less Apple hardware, so I thought I'd ask y'all. (Google wasn't very helpful; all the pages it finds when given any Appleish search terms are detailed nitty gritty articles by Apple fans about the latest rumor about Jaguars or something.)


What's the difference between a "G3" and a "G4"?

A iBook with a reasonable featureset (40GB hard drive, 384 to 640 MB of memory, combo DVD/CD-RW drive, "Airport" card, 700Mhz CPU) seems to cost like 500 to 800 dollars less than a comparable PowerBook. Why is that? Is a 667Mhz G4 wildly better than a 700MHz G3? Is a titanium case really really exciting? Is a 15.2" screen twice as big as a 14.1" screen? Or is there something else crucial I'm overlooking?

Personal experiences, wild guesses, pointers to authoritative Web pages or idle rumors, insights from observing the entrails of sheep, are all most welcome. Here's even a box you can type them into:

box : lunch :: scholarly : ...

I thought Prince Albert was in the can
wisdom... nah, too obvious. career! how's that?
clams got BITCHES
I thought they were dropping this section
fossa triangularis

Not all of which, I suspect, were strictly speaking intended as answers to the semantic problem.

In that same box, other readers note:

from the synthetic polio article: "According to researcher Jeronimo Cello". Now that is a name

and also:

I very fondly remember clams. That's what the 3rd Amendment is all about. (Quartering of clams.) 1,728 magic markers flying, like carpets, on airplanes, or as airplanes, over a log house, over a dog house, over a hound dog - looking up - with no bones to chew, not what it seems, naked and in italics, trying to have a baby in italics, we think we'll name him Ramanujan.

Isn't that nice? I think that's nice.

Wednesday, September 4, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

So just where did the expression "Shut er' down Clancy, she's pumpin' mud!", come from? (I'm so out of touch.)

Flocking Road Cones.

"She is particularly taken with lesbian sex, ever since she had someone rent an all-girl video for her. She and her friends watched it together and Britney is absolutely fascinated."

Opera Users: press Ctrl-G to separate form from content!

Google Groups really has lots and lots of old stuff in there; the sort of thing you'd find on a yellowed scrap of paper in the attic. Good thing bits are cheap.

In particular, it has this old but classic post from Yours Truly, which now resides as it should in the shrine.

From Dad, "Casey at the Bat": the other side of the story.

From NTK:

If Microsoft, after so publicly denying any knowledge of ways to use Palladium to assist in the enforcement of application software licenses to an audience representing a veritable who's who of computer security and related public policy (the attendees ranged from Whit Diffie to Pam Samuelson), were to - after my filing for a patent - suddenly assert prior art, neither the attendees, nor the press, nor the public would take kindly to having been so deliberately misled by Microsoft.

And also from NTK, Europe's own Digital Terrorism Prevention Act, the EUCD. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

So you think you're an übergeek because your weblog has an RSS feed; but is it listed in UDDI?

From Steve, our "truth is funnier than satire" quote of the day:

Furthermore, the Darwin OS is released under an "Open Source" license, which is just another name for Communism. They try to hide all of this under a facade of shiny, "lickable" buttons, but the truth has finally come out: Apple Computers promote Godless Darwinism and Communism.
According to one of our readers, the new MacOS X contains another Satanic holdover from the "BSD Unix" OS mentioned above; to open up certain locked files one has to run a program much like the DOS prompt in Microsoft Windows and type in a secret code: "chmod 666". What other horrors lurk in this thing?

Aside from all those demon processes, you mean? Sheesh. (In another mood I would find this scary rather than hilarious.)

URL unaccountably found in the reflog:


Disappointingly, it doesn't seem to actually lead anywhere.

From gorjuss, the visually pleasing and superficially profound longbets.org. (I volunteer to hang around to judge the one about the expansion of the universe.)

Two random computer security links: what port 445 is for, and modems behaving badly. (Remember modems?)

From dwl, a piece of, and a link to, Kookaburra Liquorice (as well as Kookaburra Licorice). It's an odd and different sort of licorice; no anise, very odd and chewy mouth feel, not much scent. Very authentic, though; when you bite into it it's green (a very dark blackish green) inside.

More about licorice (gotta love a whole website devoted to (selling) photos of herbs).

Make a song decrying the sexual sadism and misogyny in rap lyrics that are played on the radio, and play it on the radio, and what do you think happens? Why, the FCC fines you for saying naughty things and "pandering". Idiots. (See also here and here.)

It's U. S. Open season, so the TVs in the house (at least the ones that aren't like playing Mario Sunshine) are showing tennis matches. Have you noticed that tennis players seem to be named like racehorses these days? There's this one named "Goo Ga", and another one named "And Erotic". I mentioned this to M and she said I was silly. Hey, I didn't name them; talk to their parents or their jockeys or something...

Tuesday, September 3, 2002  permanent URL for this entry

What's all this? What are all these flat rectangular pieces of compressed plant fiber? Is it significant that they are all roughly the same size? Are the different sized ones different in some important respects? Does anyone around here have any food? If they do, will they be willing to trade some of it to me for something? How will I know if I have what they want? Will they speak any language that I speak?

What if I speak to one of them in the wrong language, and they become offended, and refuse to trade me any of their food? I could get very hungry! And what's holding up this large flat thing that supports the chair that I'm sitting in? I'm in the air, quite a way above the parking lot! What if the flat thing isn't well supported?

Or am I really in the air, quite a way above the parking lot? What if this rectangular cold part of the wall isn't actually a hole covered by some transparent substance, but is actually something else? How would I know?

How do I know if any of these other people are actually speaking the same language I am? When I look around, I see "things", and I automatically assume that these "things" "are" of certain kinds. How do I know this is really a computer keyboard? How do I know this is really the Internet? How do I know this is really a Weblog? What does it mean for something to "be" a weblog? What does it mean for something to "be" a "thing"?

He got the box from his master, when the old man was on his deathbed. The box, his master said, was the secret of his modest prosperity. Anything you need, his master said, just open the box and take it from the middle compartment.

"But be frugal, just take what you need. A spoon, a knife, a little money, a loaf of bread. Don't be greedy. And always take from the middle compartment."

What would happen, he asked, lightly holding the old man's fingers, feeling the cool papery skin, if you took from one of the other compartments?

"Always," his master said, looking him directly in the eyes, "take from the middle compartment."

The old man had died that night, quite peacefully.

For a long time he did very well, taking his modest needs from the middle compartment of the box; a knife, a spoon, a bowl of soup. He took on an apprentice of his own, and they added a room to the house.

He would sometimes look at the two side compartments of the box but, as with the middle compartment, he never saw anything; the box was deep, and of dark wood, and seemed to drink up the light.

Once he reached into the box for a spoon, thinking of something else, and was startled to find himself with a knife in his hand. Looking down, he saw that he had reached into the lefthand compartment. He dropped the knife back into it, and it disappeared.

The next day he went to the box for a piece of meat, and reached, quite intentionally, into the righthand compartment. It was empty. He took his piece of meat from the middle compartment as always, and went away frowning.

In later weeks he drew from the left and right compartments of the box another knife, two broken plates, and a dead fish whose eye looked into his disquietingly. One more time the right compartment was empty. And then, going to the box for a bar of soap, he took from the lefthand compartment a slim book, a book bound in calfskin, a book of wisdom and blasphemy, a book of nonsense that would remake the world.

And that book, as you have probably guessed, is the book that you are reading now.

What about these square black things? With the knobs on the front? Is there some convention about what the knobs do? Is there some convention about what the people do? How do we know that we are wearing the proper clothing? How do we know that people who come here will not ridicule us, even ridicule us in languages that we do not understand?

How do we know that the people who come here are not already ridiculing us, in a language whose ridicule is indistinguishable from the ordinary conversation of our language? How do I know that you are not ridiculing me in your own language, whose words are indistinguishable from silence in my language? And what is all this dust for?


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