brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell


Brainwagon Radio: The One Where Hell Freezes Over

Where your host muses about Apple's announcement and tries to provide some sane reasoning about what it will mean for the stylish computer manufacturer.


Pentium M

I was trying to justify my inner hunch that the Apple announcement was all about laptops, and found the wikipedia page on the Pentium M to be a good synopsis of what Intel has in mind in that space.

Just FYI.


Book Assembly Photo-Journal

I entertained the notion of self-publishing a book on telescope making a while back, and even dabbled in the idea of self-printing a few copies. This blog shows how you can print pages into signatures and sew them into real bound books. Neat.

Filed under: General No Comments

Be Skeptable!

I found the rather curious non-word "skeptable" in a posting, and wondered just how often people used this particular bastardization of the word skeptical. The answer is ::google("skeptable", "quite a lot")::. Try for instance this link from Waukegan Schools that instructs parents on how to educate their children:

Have a ZERO tolerance for ANY grade below C!!!

Have a very skeptable attitude toward any grade below a B!

The more you adhere to this, the better your child will do in school.

No doubt they think it is a perfectly cromulent word.

Filed under: I Kid You Not 2 Comments

The Magic of Baseball

Check out the beautiful sunset forming the backdrop for the minor league team the North Shore Spirit. Damn! Makes me wish I could have a brat, a big soda and some red licorice, and go see a game.

Baseball can be magical.

Filed under: Baseball 1 Comment

WWDC Keynote

Off to go watch the Apple World Wide Developer's conference keynote, mainly to see if Apple is going to switch from IBM PowerPC chips to Intel. The net has been abuzz with this rumor, it will be good to see if it really is panning out.

Update: Steve is talking about pod casting now. He is playing on the confusion in the term, more on this later. Quicktime 7 on PC to ship today. Lots of Dashboard widgets. Leopard in 2006-2007 against Long horn. Yep, it is true Apple is going to Intel, starting next year, complete in 2 years. OS X already on Intel.

Update2: The update above was posted from my camera phone, forgive the terseness. Now, I'm back at my desktop machine.

Basically the question was: why is Apple doing this? Steve gave a brief answer: the predicted roadmaps for product development from IBM and from Intel revealed that Intel was going to provide something like 4x as much performance per unit of heat generated in the next year. IOW, it's all about the laptops. Apple did not announce a G5 laptop, and we've heard rumors that it is going to be difficult to get a laptop built around the G5 core because of power consumption and heat dissipation. It would appear that Apple believes that Intel can deliver better solutions to this problem in the next year.

Interestingly, I think that Intel is probably even happier to have this deal, because they've been chained to Microsoft, whose ponderous size has dramatically limited their own ability to innovate. Apple has been much quicker and more innovative, and should provide better market growth for Intel's processors, even if the numbers shipped are (at least for now) fairly modest.

Interesting development.

Filed under: General, News No Comments

SLAX Linux Live, with some questions

Previously I've mentioned my appreciation for both Knoppix and Damn Small Linux, both fairly cute LiveCD versions of Linux. The problem is that Damn Small Linux can be just a little bit too small, and Knoppix can be a bit slow to boot, and can seem a bit bloated. Enter SLAX, a LiveCD which is designed to fit on those little 8cm CD blanks that can hold around 185 megabytes. I tried it out this weekend, and it seemed great: slick, fast to boot, has all the stuff I needed except for one: it doesn't seem to detect any wireless card that I have for my laptop.

I currently have:

  • A Belkin F5D7010 802.11g card
  • A Belkin F5D6020 802.11b card
  • A Dell Truemobile 1150 802.11b card

Neither Belkin card autodetects. For some reason, when the Dell card is inserted, it locks up my machine (all three cards work just fine in Windows). Anyone have any clue what the deal is for setting up wireless in Slax?

Oh, and my laptop seems to run significantly hotter when running Linux. Any clues as to what I could do ACPI wise to make it run cooler?


Two Musical Bits

Two musical links from the Make Magazine blog:

  • A streaming radio station called rand()% which consists entirely of audio generated by programs in real time. I'm getting lots of starts and stops from congestion, but it seems trippy to me.
  • Some Flickr pictures from Jonnay showing the contruction of an x0xb0x synthesizer. It can make some wacky sounds too, and seems like a cool project.
Filed under: Music No Comments