July 4, 2007

Would you eat a you-steak?

I've resentfully become vegetarian. A bitter and whingey vegetarian. But every meal I give thanks for the hypocrisy which allows me to avoid veganism...

While contemplating the ethics of meat-eating, the possibility of cultured meat and adult stem-cells, a question occurred to me:

Would I eat a steak, grown painlessly in a dish, from my freely given stem-cell? Indentical twin bacon.

Most people I've asked have said "no", although not all. One worried he might get a taste for himself.

While we're at it, meat from endangered species could go on the menu, or stay on the menu, without hunting or harming wild animals.

March 1, 2007

ls ~/pain

$ ls ~/pain                        mozfonts
acroread-plugin                mysql-doc-disappeared
anacrontab                     networkmanager.txt
beep-skin                      pain.txt
chatzilla                      pcspkr
checkds_slow.diff              perl-readline-hist.txt
cups-client                    printing_double_acroread.txt
dmix                           rex-disk-failures
e16_desktop                    rxvt
e16_menu_icons                 screen_size_fonts
edgy_update                    smbmnt
flash_sound                    subversion-crypt
gaim2-notify                   sudoers
gaim_crtl_enter.txt            synaptics
gmail+mozilla+adblock          thunderbird_header_scroll.txt
gnome-screensaver              thunderbird_posn.txt
HDA                            too_hot
header_scroll-0.3.1-mz+tb.xpi  tsclient+nvidia.txt
hotkeys                        usb-disk-names.txt
inputrc                        vim+screen_shift_tab

I have a "pain" directory where the details of geeky travails are kept.

In order to work through my issues and share the pain with others,
I'll be posting some of the ordeals here.

February 24, 2007


I asked a green energy geek what the energy source of the future was.
He said "Hot Dry Rocks". I didn't know what it was, but I liked it already.

It's some scheme to produce baseload power using geothermal energy by
digging a big hole, pumping water down and getting turbine-drving steam
back. Sounds good. Whatever. But look at the name: Hot Dry Rocks.

It contains the words "Hot" and "Rocks". "Dry" is not bad either.
If this can't be marketed, nothing can. I reminded me of a great line
in Thank You For Smoking

We don't sell Tic Tacs, we sell cigarettes.
And they're cool, available, and addictive.
The job is almost done for us


October 3, 2006

Futzing from the Future

"New laptop, great. Now you just need a time-machine to read your future blog of all the pain and frustration you're about to undergo"

While I don't yet have the time machine, I decided to start on the blog.
I had poured hours in to meticulously configuring my last laptop into
a cybernetic extension of my will, or at least my geekiness, but then
some guy picked my laptop to steal. A room full of laptops, all but
one insured, and the bastard took mine.

So goodbye oxum, my faithful Asus M6R running Ubuntu 5.10,
and hello ogum, the shiny and tacky replacement, an Asus A6QJA.

I'd hoped that since AsusTek had been manufacturing for Apple, they
may have picked up some style. While they'd not made pretty machines,
at least they didn't look like they had actively tried to be ugly.
Somehow the current generation of Asus laptops is worse.
How does that happen?

Ugliness, well I'll cope, but there's been two changes that have really
bugged me. The first is that the touchpad now only has 2 buttons
(the M6R had 3), they've been learning the wrong things from Apple.
The second is the Colorshite screens that all new Asus laptops in
Australia have. I called up Asus Australia and had a conversation,
something like:

- Do all the new Asus laptops have these Colorshine screens?
- Yes
- Why? All they do is reflect the things behind you. What good are these
  new shiny screens?
- You know, for watching DVDs, the colours are brighter.
- Right, so I should stop programming for a living and get someone to
  pay me to watch DVDS.
  Can I pay extra to get the old style matte screen?
- No
- Why don't you guys do that?
- Because then consumers would have a choice and they'd get confused

(There was a similar conversation about to fact that the Nvidia equivalent
of the A6Q is not available in Australia. It seems that bulk purchasing
and the risk of being caught with old stock on hand limit the range
of choices here)

So now I can see the office lights, myself and anything happening behind
me while I use my new lousy laptop. I quite liked Asus on the basis of
the M6R and my support experience (although their websites are deplorable),
but now the relationship is more like-hate.

This blog got kicked into existence from frustration with computers,
and I think that's going to be an ongoing theme. How could it not be?
Computers are so annoying! Hopefully though, Asus will read my screed
and offer matte screens, 3-button trackpads, alternative graphics cards
and laptops that don't look tacky. Yarright. Or maybe someone else
researching Colorshine-- will read that it sucks and to try to avoid it.

Stay tuned for more whinging at 10...