nullstream weblog - LiveJournal



February 7, 2004 01:15 AM PST

People love their TiVos. But of course there are problems. Here's an overview of the pain involved with hooking a Series 2 Tivo up to my TV.

Continue reading "TiVo PITA 2"...

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February 7, 2004 12:42 AM PST

I went with TiVo a few months ago, after beating my head against the wall that is MythTV (subject for a later post). I've liked it so far, no doubt in a way that console gamers like consoles. It's easy to use, it has the "spouse acceptance factor" and it "just works."

Continue reading "TiVo PITA"...

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My Problems With Console Gaming


February 6, 2004 10:52 PM PST

This post at Ars Technica prompted me to write a bit about console gaming. Of course, from the legacy of SimCity, Half Life and WarCraft, I'm a PC gamer. Before I get to my problems with consoles, let me preface by saying these issues are probably not going to stop the growth of console gaming, and that is sad. Also, I realize that there are benefits to the console (I'll list below). But we'll be focusing on the negatives here. :-)

Continue reading "My Problems With Console Gaming"...

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Coolest Google Logo Ever


February 4, 2004 10:18 AM PST

Someone at Google likes fractals.

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Where is the Nano-ITX?


January 6, 2004 12:32 PM PST

The Nano ITX form factor motherboard was announced by VIA in September, and supposed to be released by the end of the year. No word about the board has been mentioned since. This is a fully functional Windows and Linux compatible motherboard running VIA's 1Ghz Intel compatible processor. It is only as big as a CD case! Many options here for home and car audio devices. It's about time consumer electronics was able to run more powerful software.

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Top 5 - Software I Wish I Could Uninstall


January 6, 2004 11:48 AM PST

This is a list of software that is required for functioning in the computer age, despite long standing problems and because of a lack of better solutions.

Adobe Acrobat Ok, it's nice to have WYSIWYG again, and PDF beats the heck out of PostScript. But, why does AcroRd32 sit in memory taking 3 megs of Ram, even when no document is open? I guess Microsoft has an unfair advantage - they can hide their "fast start" DLLs for Office in the general OS usage.
Google Toolbar In WinXP, you can get google searches directly from the address bar. But popup ads are the real reason to use the Google Toobar. I don't mind this software, but it's something that should have been included in IE ages ago.

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iPod Mini Toldyaso


January 6, 2004 11:12 AM PST

So, as I predicted, a $100 iPod was way to good to hope for. Apple NEVER does something that does not have a hitch. It is never Insanely Great. Why did so many people think Apple would ever compete on price? Especially after Jobs stated that they have iTunes store to sell more iPods.

While I didn't expect a super cheap iPod, $250 is still pretty high for a player with only 4GB of storage. Where is the freaking competition for these things? How hard could it be? Could the gold miniPod be any more gaudy?

I think this may be a ploy to get people to cough up the additional $50 for a $300 15gb iPod. I would definitely go with the older models after seeing these new minis. Of course that means they've done nothing more to convince me to buy one.

Apple iPod Mini "Due in February" ;-)

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Top 6 - Software I Won't Install


January 2, 2004 02:26 PM PST

Here are the top pieces of software I won't install on my computer and why:

Real Audio The last time I installed this product, it took over my winamp file associations, ate a ton of memory and was riddled with ads. The quality isn't great either. Media player isn't perfect, but it works and is part of Windows. Winamp may be its only rival.
Apple Quicktime Last time I installed this, it really hosed up my system, and I had to edit registry entries to get it fully installed to play some movie trailer that was only in the format. Quicktime, as so many other Apple technologies lost it's chance. DivX had it beat to mpeg4 two years earlier.
ATI Drivers Apparently their better now, but primarily because they sucked so much in the past, and NVidia had kick ass drivers. Nvidia has fallen a looong way, and they're about even now, except ATI still uses lame Hydra dual monitor display, while NVidia uses the built in XP method.
Intuit TurboTax Last year this product included DRM called Cedilla. They didn't say it had protection, but it sticks around even after you remove the software. The activation ties it to a single PC, so you are SOL if you get a new computer and need to refer to an older tax return on another machine. Yes, they have apologized and will not do it again, but I'm trying another brand this year.
NetscapeI assume this speaks for itself. Microsoft may have prevented them from making a profit, but the product sucks for standard bureaucratic reasons. IE is definitely the best on windows for speed and memory usage (it's part of Windows remember? = It will work better). Mozilla is a close second with it's tabbed browsing, popup blocker, and myriad plugins.
KazaaFull of ad and spyware. Use KaZaa Lite instead. Interestingly enough, Google was forced to remove search results for "KaZaa Lite" from it's index.

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Son of iPod


January 1, 2004 09:50 PM PST

My first tech comment has to be on the mini iPod rumor:

Reliable sources inside and outside of Apple have confirmed Apple will announce the new pocket-size iPods in a number of capacities and in various colors, including stripes. Capacities will be 2 and 4GB -- meaning users could store some 400 and 800 songs, respectively. Prices will start at around $100US, Think Secret has learned. It is not known if the new product line will be available immediately after introduction.

Enough sources have confirmed this that it could likely be in development. Also, building the device that cheap isn't the problem, using upcoming storage technology:
The 1.5-inch GB drive, which has been in volume manufacturing since mid-April, sells for $65 in quantities of 10,000. The company is aiming for $50, Magenis said.

The problem is: Most people are really, really excited about Apple releasing such a device. When was the last time Apple made a product that was both highly desirable and priced well under any competition? In 15 years of following Apple, I can't remember a time. There has ALWAYS been some catch or drawback to every product, keeping it from being "insanely great". To focus, I'll save that list for another post.

Suffice to say, the miniPod may be announced at MacWorld in a few days, but it will be more expensive than rumored, and it will not be generally available for several months.

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Goals and Disclaimer


January 1, 2004 08:16 PM PST

Ok. The idea here is to set up a little online group to discuss computer technology. My friends and I already read a ton about technology, and already discuss it over email. So why do it in a public forum? Not sure.

Admittedly, my current view of techblogs are that there are a few that are worth reading, and the rest are pedantic displays of hubris. Look at me - I'm a fantastic coder. That doesn't even begin to describe the content on the larger blogspace. Reading the most recent community-wide livejournal posts is bizarre and sad at best, and just plain lame usually.

Oh, I've already gone into an area that should be covered by a disclaimer: things written here will tend to go into rant mode. I am sure to come across as more opinionated here than in person. But there are two sides to every story.

The most interesting aspect of blogging to me is the thought archive. If 16,000 people per hour are spamming out blog entries here, it's got to be at least a biased view of current events and life. I remember reading an article several years ago knocking WebTV - people with it will be only consumers, not producers on the web. In egalitarian fashion, blogging has increased the number and to some degree the social makeup of the producers. Perhaps with advanced search tools and information technology, "future generations" will find something of value. Like this guy's photography.

So as I enter into the blogging world, I am reminded of when everyone put up their own homepage. There were like 6 html tags that people knew, and that was enough. It got complex, and now content management tools like LiveJournal provide templates (and a set of six html tags that you can use in your page!) Might as well be part of the experiment.

<rant number=1>
Here are a list of words that the spell-checker just found in the above text:
online - Come on "America Online" anyone?
techblogs - Ok, maybe it should be tech blogs (except see below!)
doesn - Uh, this is the word "doesn't"
blogspace - I thought this was a word
livejournal - Really? LiveJournal didn't add this?
ve - It's "I've", people.
blogging - Whatever.
blog - Apparently they don't exist. This is a journal.
WebTV - Forgivable. Owned my Microsoft.

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Happy New Year!


January 1, 2004 05:27 PM PST

First post goes to thank Phenylene for the live account:

Okay, you guys... we all now have full LiveJournal accounts, so I expect to see frequent updates and techno-rants on a regular basis!

<LOTR>So it is. And so it shall be.</LOTR>

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