April 28, 2004
Cartoons of the Moment
Howtoons are nifty "how to make cool stuff" comics. I used to love these kind of things when I was a kid but I can't remember actually building that much. (Though even then I did a lot of semi-nifty things on computers...I guess that's one of the things I've always liked about computers, it's so easy to build something, and you don't have to worry about the glue being all messy, the pieces not quite fitting together, or even a place to store it...)
Rant of the Moment
No one makes a good small PC laptop these days. The dominant paradigm seems to be "no compromise desktop replacements", with as big a screen as possible...or, for the few companies who make a petite laptop, they're priced at a really high level, usually above $2000. (And the only one in stores is a VAIO, and I avoid those like the plague...and they have this super ugly font for the keys that their website seems to try avoid showing you....) They probably have the power to match the pricepoint, but I don't want a powerhouse, I want a petite (12" or so...) livingroom laptop I can put on a wireless network for surfing and light word processing...ideally one that doesn't run at a bajillion degrees and costs under $800.
Any suggestions? Apple's pretty close to it with their 12" iBook, but the current release seems to be edging up in size, plus I'm not sure if I'm ready to deal with the world of Mac right now, no matter how cool the idea of a Unix based system is. Actually, I wish I knew a place around Boston that had a good selection of new and used laptops...there was a computer show running next to PhillyClassic that had some good canidates, but I wasn't jonesing quite as much as I am now. (I wanted to see if Mo's old laptop could be fixed for a reasonable price...of course not, it's a VAIO.)
Sociology of the Moment
An in-depth piece Passport to the Pub: The Tourist's Guide to Pub Etiquette. Contains both practical advice and sociological description. (The link is a PDF, Google provides an HTML version.) Terrific reading! I love analysis like this, because it's so hard to get right, but cool when you can see how it fits.