Friday, November 28, 2008

The Canada Combo: Tim, Matt and Jer visit

After our Blue Bottle adventure we hung out on Haight St, and met up with Tim's awesome friend Molly who lives here in the city. She is hilarious and we wandered around a bunch and went to the Warming Hut for some glorrrrrrrious Apple Cider and chillin'.

Sat night we partied a bunch at my house, then rocked out on guitars and bongos for a while and then went out to Haight St and it was fantastic.

Sunday just some chillin', working on some stuff with Cabernet and Gatarelli came over and all of us went out for some awesome Thai food. Good stuff!!

The "I can write poems about anything" guy at the Ferry Building

Good one of Timmy on Haight St

Tim and Molly

Gangstas from Stratford, Ontarrrrrrrrriooo!!!!!!

I would not want to run into this bunch in a dark alley

Me, Timmy and the bridge


Big world sculpture with some cool stuff on it, like this fortune cookie fortune

Rockin' out back in my apartment


Matt drinking cold coffee from the morning, right out of the coffee pot

Hahaha, good one of me and Jer (and my sweeeeeeeet new hat)

Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee from Blue Bottle!

Lots of visitors over the past week here. Jer arrived from Australia last Thursday, Tim arrived on Friday and then Matt Brown came up for the weekend too. That was great and we did a ton of stuff. We got a bunch of food, wandered around a bunch, went to the Ferry Building and a whole lot more.

Saturday was awesome, I was in line at Blue Bottle at the Ferry Building and noticed about 5 bags of a coffee I'd never seen before. I asked the guy there what the deal was with it and he said, "Well, let me tell you! This is Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee!!!!!!!!" He then told me that usually when you get Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee from a "boutique" store, it's been roasted months before and comes in a tin or a special container because it's really expensive and because it costs a fortune, no one ever buys it and so it is not as good as it could be. This, although was JBM but in sweet BLUE BOTTLE style!!!!! I.e. they got it from Jamaica themselves (pretty much) and it is a very small plantation and it was in very limited supply... and it was roasted on the FRIDAY, the day before I bought it. INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I asked him what it tasted like and he said, "Just a VERY good, regular coffee." The usual Blue Bottle 1/2 pound coffees are $7.50 or $8.50... and he said, after his long story about the coffee, that "the only problem is... this baby will run ya $21" Haha!!!!!!!! Insane. I thought about it for about 3 seconds, and since I've been wanting to try Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee for about 15 years, I said, "Yep, let's go for it!" He then smiled and called me a "true coffee lover"... haha. I figure it's SO good and with the amount of money I spent at Starbucks in a month... this is probably about the same for the same amount of coffee! So I thought I'd try it. AND IT IS AMAZING!

Re: the taste to expect, he was right on the money. When we got home I instantly made some of it, and it was just glorious. It was exactly as he described... no strong flavours, not with "notes" of anything in particular. It tastes like just normal, regular, coffee... it's just AMAZINGLY smooth, absolutely not acidic at all, very, very clean taste and very very smooth. It was SOOOOOOOOO good. I don't usually like coffee without milk but I tried it black as well and it was also excellent. Not a strong taste at all, and just so, sooooo good.

I've had a few more cups over the week, and man is it ever good. Still got over 1/2 the bag left, and managed to make a bunch for my friends here too. I want to finish it while the beans are still nice and fresh. It is just so good. I've decided that one of the Blue Bottle coffees or the Graffeo Dark Roast I got was not that great... one of those was really way too acidic and I've decided I'll try not to get that one again.

Anyway this is soooooooooo good.

New computer photos

Finally had a chance to take some photos of my siiiiiiiiiick new computer. This is so insanely awesome. :)

The Dell XPS box that contains the keyboard and mouse comes with tattoos on it

Jer visiting from Australia on his way back to Canada

My siiiiiiiiick new setup

Yeah. It has undercarriage lighting.

Awesomest computer ever!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I haven't blogged in a week!

All of Canada is at my house right now. :) Timmy Nash is visiting and we've had a great time so far. Matt Brown and Jer (my roommates from 1st year at Waterloo) were here over the weekend and we rocked it out so fierce. I have photos I'll post when I get a chance, great times!!

Finally got the new computer plugged in and it looks amazing, but not much time yet to play with it! ;)

Kurt comes on Thursday then we're having a great party on Friday and it should rock.

Work is AMAZING. Life is AMAZING. Stuff freakin' rocks a LOT lately (and pretty much all the time), but it's been especially amazing lately. Things are really coming together in a lot of areas, and I am excited where all the things I am doing right now will lead to. Professionally, work-wise, travel-wise, friends-wise.... things are just really, really, cool.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sneak peek: My new computer!!!!!!!!!

It's here, it's here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy moly this is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am SO EXCITED this rocks the frickin' hooooooooouse.

My new new new new new new new new new new new new new new new new new new new new computer is here aaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!

SO awesome. Yes, it is in shining bright red with slick silver sides and top. This is SO bad ass.

Dell XPS 630, on the left you see the expandability for 4 Hard Disks (?!?!??!) in the middle in my 4 DIMMS of 1 Gb RAM each = 4 GB total, middle is the NVidia GeForce 9800GT 512Mb Card. Up top is the power supply and a heck of a lot of fans!!

Ahhhhhhhhh it's SO HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My laptop is on its way out

I kinda feel like my laptop is casually notifying me that it was a good idea to buy a new computer. The "Dell Vertical Line" problem has now resulted in 5 vertical lines on the screen, 1 new one yesterday, one more today. So that's not great. Also the laptop seemed to get pretty warm yesterday, maybe that's usual but not sure. And also it won't shutdown anymore!! As of last week I seem to have to manually close a bunch of things to get it to actually shutdown after I ask it to!!

So it's being a bit of a jerk and I have a good feeling it is telling me I made a good choice in buying a new computer to replace it. :)

Anyhow, my new machine (I'm gonna call him "IronMan") will be arriving tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited and this week is gonna be a busy one, but hopefully I'll at least get a little bit of time to play with it. I can't wait, it's gonna be SOOOO awesome.

It comes with Windows Vista Premium 64-bit but I think I am gonna format the drive when I get it and install Ubuntu 64-bit as well on another partition and then re-install Windows on the main partition. This is good as I can choose all my options and also get experience installing Windows Vista which is probably a good idea.

Soooooo awesssssssssome!!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Got outside :)

Today was a pretty lazy Sunday, and by that I mean I biked for 2 hours and programmed for the rest of the day. :)

After my blog this morning about feeling like I was stuck inside on a glorious day, I decided to pump up my bike tires and go "off-roadin', Jutan style" in Golden Gate Park. I.e. a lot of jumping over tree roots on my bike and carefully going along "roads" made of thick sand and biking up grassy steep hills which had a healthy combination of tree roots AND thick sand. It was glorious.

I biked all the way down to the ocean and then back winding up and down over the hills in Golden Gate Park, on JFK Drive and down all the way to near the Haight St entrance. So that was absolutely awesome, a good 2 hrs of biking or so, and definitely made me happy that I got some good outside time on such a glorious day.

Then got some stuff booked for my trip back to Canada this year and did a bunch if Objective-C for the rest of the day. Good times.

Barack Obama was on 60 minutes and it was a great interview and also it was HILARIOUS!!!! It was really funny to see both Michelle and Barack in the same interview and how they play off one another. They were REALLY funny, it was awesome.

Then Simpsons, some more Objective-C and now just chillin'. Seems like a good evening just to chill out, though if I wasn't already in my PJs I'd probably go grocery shopping right now. :)

So it was a nice weekend, and although I stillll didn't take much time to clean my apartment, I still had a productive and great time. Actually on that note, I think I gotta vacuum the carpet before I need to put my new computer on it. Cool. So something important to do tonight so I don't Facebook for the next 12 hours. :)

Get outside!

Arrgh. It's 27 degrees Celcius, it's beautiful outside and I'm inside on my computer reading about ObjectiveC and emailing friends with questions and Facebooking.

"JUTAN!!!!!!!!!!! Get outside and get some sunshine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Haha don't mind me, just talking to myself...

Anyway it's glorious, so I'm going on a bike ride around Golden Gate Park. Goin' to pump up the tires, put some oil on my bike chain and off I go.

Good movies coming up

Just saw a few new trailers tonight and there are a ton of movies coming out that look great.

  • Cadillac Records
    Beyonce, Adrian Brody and more star in the story of 1950's Chicago Rock and Roll. Looks awesome.

  • Monsters vs. Aliens
    Some buddies at DreamWorks are working on this, and it looks hilarious.

  • Australia
    Baz Luhrmann is a genius, so this is gonna rock.

  • Slumdog Millionaire
    This sounds really interesting, cool premise, and great rating on RottenTomatoes already.

  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
    A story about a young German boy who befriends a young Jewish boy, sounds interesting.

  • Ice Age 3
    Oh man, Scrat is hilarious.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chris's couch is in "Zach and Miri"

My buddy Chris from work had his old crappy couch featured in the recent Kevin Smith movie "Zach and Miri". Pretty amazing stuff!!!!!


My sexy new computer

As I've been posting for the past few weeks, I've been researching like crazy to find the best deal on a computer and I got such an amazing deal on such a reeediculous machine. This is gonna be SO SWEET. So anyway my Logitech Z-2300 THX-certified 2.1 speaker set showed up last week, along with my Dual Dell 22" UltraSharp Widescreen LCD screens. SICK.

Got everything setup tonight in preparation for my computer which actually should arrive tomorrow or Monday. SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Speaker and monitor boxes

Huuuuge subwoofer

Oh baby. Unpacking the screens.


This is the life

Haha sooo much computery stuff in my house at the moment. My new screens, speakers, my current laptop, and Matt's MacBook Pro!!

ILM Celebration 2008

Last night was siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick!!!!!!!!

We had the ILM Celebration 2008 party, which was just as crazy as the one last year, and with evvvvvennn better food!! It was really awesome this year because now I know a lot more people from work and everyone is just so fun and great to hang out with... it makes for SUCH AN AMAZING ENVIRONMENT!!!!!!!!!!!! So all of my amazing buddies from work mixed into a crazy party atmosphere made for a heck of a memorable time. There was a chill area upstairs, a massive dance floor downstairs, a siiiiiiiiick DJ playing some "diiiirty tracks", and a hilarious room on the side with the video game Rock Band set up for people to play. It was absolutely amazing.

Me and Gats

Good fooooooood

Aaron just totally rockin' it out

Putting the "Rock" in R&D

Our turn to rock

Hahaha this is hilarious

The 2 Roses

The progression of over-excitement

Cabernet throwin' it down

Gats, Cabernet, and nlockwood showing 'em how it's done

Haha, Sarah's hair had a mind of it's own

Rollin' out

More random confused-look street photos

Matt and I eventually went to Tommy's Joynt to get some 2am Brisket!!

The best freakin' Yoda shirt ever made

Yeah, I bought it.

As the title of this blog post so eloquently states... this is by far the best freakin' Yoda shirt ever made.

This is part of the Marc Ecko hip-hop streetwear style (unhhhhhhh!) Star Wars bad-ass awesome clothing line. Yes, it rocks, and yes holy crud I'm glad I bought it. This is sortof like an unofficial uniform for work. :)

Back of shirt

Front of shirt

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

John Updike lecture, haircut, and almost being locked into the JCC overnight

Tonight was yet another one of those absolutely glorious lectures at the JCC. I should write to the lady who organizes them and give her an "email high-five."

That might look something like this:


Franklin (Delano) Chance, that was solely for your enjoyment.

Anyhoo, back to the topic at hand.
It was a busy day but I was done work at 6-ish so I went over to Simply Cuts by my work to get this "mop" on my head trimmed a bit. THEY ARE SOOOOOO GOOD THERE. Usually I don't care about my hair or whatever (I AM a dude, right) but maaaaaaaaan!! They do a GREAT job. I can definitely tell when a haircut succccks the big one (read "when I went to Supercuts in downtown San Francisco and my hair looked terrrible) and it had been like 8 months (literally) since my last haircut. Anyway they did a great job, and it's only $15. I love that place.

Ok so then off to the JCC for this GLORIOUS lecture.

I think perhaps our good family friend Harry Logan has a long-lost cousin who writes for the New Yorker... John Updike reminded me a LOT of Harry! He is very tall, very quiet and "Professory", from Pennsylvania, and also studied at Oxford?!!!

His dry/witty humour was really hilarious, and he had some very interesting and powerful things to say about creative writing. As with all geniuses, he greatly understated (and was incredibly gracious about) his talent and sheer skill in his field.

Two examples of this:
1) Modern Day: Matthew Atabet Parrott, case closed.
2) 17th century continental rationalism era: Rene Descartes, based on the quote from his book, saing that he "doesn't see himself as any smarter than any of his colleagues, he just applies himself and isn't lazy"... and then he INVENTED THE FOUNDATION OF CALCULUS.

His lecture was very interesting, mostly focused on his progression as a writer, his history of writing for the New Yorker Magazine, and his ideas about the state of media today and how this affects imagination and (specifically) reading. I thought it was cool how frank he was about American culture today, "People just don't read enough anymore" and how he talked about always wanting to write for the New Yorker and how a magazine subscription to the New Yorker magazine while he was growing up had a huge impact on his life. He said he rarely thinks a magazine holds that much "cultural weight" anymore. Pretty neat. I guess my subscription to Wired magazine may hold some "cultural weight" for me... (even in spite of all the advertising in it)... I guess what he was saying is in the age well before the internet, your areas to gain knowledge were much more focused. A sort of "quality over quantity" approach, I assume.

So all the time I spend on the internet, late into the evenings, reading CNN and watching Jon Stewart and Anderson Cooper into the wee hours of the morning... is that wasted energy??

To be honest, I don't think so... but I guess this comes back to that old argument of whether or not a "surface understanding" of things is useful, or if only deep knowledge really counts. And is opinion "knowledge"? I don't think so. Maybe I need to spend more time reading John Updike than watching Stephen Colbert. (Although, you gotta love that guy)

Anyway, great lecture as always. And with every good lecture at the JCC (i.e. all of them), I come out inspired, excited, interested in another author, with a signed and personalized copy of one of their books, and a whole lot more questions than answers. Turns out maybe I need more than 2 hours of introspection/Jutan-time staring at the waves at the Ferry Building every week... :)

After the lecture, Gabrielle (aka Gabe-rielle) was there and it was super nice to hang out. We wandered around and found the gym upstairs, played some basketball (we were both pretty bad, but I was worse - haha) and that was great times. When we came back down to the lobby the security guard wondered where the heck we came from and the gate was half-down and we almost had to sleep at the JCC overnight which would have been fun/possibly illegal.

Great, happy day... work was amazing, I love my haircut/not looking like a scallywag for a short time, and the lecture and post-lecture basketball game was a nice treat for the mind followed by some good 'ol-fashioned "horse"-ing around. (Gabe, that corny one is for you)

Matt and I are still working hard on our App and things are going well. More to follow as we get closer to releasing it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Disney/Pixar Up Teaser trailer

Holy moly, this is gonna be amazing.

Pete Docter, (who I sware is the best director of our time and any other time in history), director of Monsters, Inc (best film of all time, and any other time in history)... is directing next year's Pixar movie. Holy craaaaaaaaaaaap this is gonna be amazing.

Disney/Pixar's "Up"

Computer all ordered and ready to rock

Tonight I finally decided on the monitors and now I've ordered everything for my siiiiiick new computer. The machine and the monitors and the speakers should all arrive around the same time, and maaaaaaaan it's gonna be AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

I ended up going with the Dual 22" Dell Ultrasharp widescreens, they were on sale and were actually cheaper than getting 2 Dell 20" Ultrasharp widescreens, so I thought that would be appropriate/legendary.

Anyhow, check this ouuuuuuuuut!!!!!!!

I got 2 of these!!!!!!!!!! My desk is going to be "all monitor" once these arrive. :)

And here are the speakers I ordered... they are 2.1 THX Certified, and CNET's review is clear: "If you're looking for a set of 2.1 speakers, buy these. It's as simple as that." haha. So I am following their good advice. :)

Logitech Z-2300

Weekend, reading, Pizza and monitors

Today was super fun. Last night I was out with a bunch of friends after work and stayed out super late which rocked, but wanted to head off to the Ferry Building today at a reasonable time... haha. So anyway I got up at like 11:00 and headed down there eventually. It was pretty awesome, a bit rainy today but that meant less people there which was good. Got the usual Cappuccino and tried the Pear Gorgonzola tart today (which was glorrrrrrious!!!!!!!!!!!)

Then a lot of wandering downtown. I went to the mall, H&M, wandered around a bunch, went to Cocola in the mall and read my Barack Obama book for a while over another cappuccino and a chocolate croissant, went to the book store, etc. It was great. Then back to the water at the Ferry Building as it was getting dark and chilled out there for an hour or so, that was awesome.

Tonight I finally got to try Little Star Pizza in the mission, this is the place that Josh, Shelley and I tried to get into last time but it was just too busy. The wait was long but it was tttttooooooootaaaaaally worth it. :) The Pizza was amazing, deep dish and with a cornmeal crust?!??! Crazy. Chillin' with Becca and her friends is always glorious and there were a few Canadians too (yes!) When you get introduced as "this is Mike, he's from London, Ontario" and the response is, "Oh... cool!!" then you know it's all good and you won't have to field any super awkward "so why don't you sound British if you're from London" questions. :)

Now just been reading about the flat panel monitors and based on some really good advice from Lausch I think I am probably gonna get the 22" Dell UltraSharp 2208WFP monitors. The 24 inch version of this one is the top rated monitor on CNet, so presumably the 22" one is just as good. It is the one with 1680x1050, compared to the newer S2209W 22" which is 1920 x 1080.

As Lausch so gloriously pointed out, the 2208WFP is 16:10 resolution which is apparently better (since you get more vertical per horizontal) and the S2209W is 16:9 which (while good for widescreen) is not as good. Note that now I have 1920x1200 on my laptop which is sweet and is 16:10. I think that seals the deal, and also the fact that the 24" version of the 2208WFP is the top rated monitor on CNet makes me figure that's the best one to get.

I am probably gonna order them tomorrow so I'll get them around the same time I get the actual computer itself.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Video Card and monitors

So the video card choice finally was pretty easy, and it's gonna rock!!!!

NVidia GeForce 9800 GT 512 Mb

Sweeeet. The more complicated issue now is what to do re: monitors. A few things I know for sure:
  • I am getting 2 of them
  • 20" or more
  • Ideally new, fast response time, good contrast ratio, etc
  • I don't "have" to get Dell ones, though they are usually some of the best
  • 16:9 or 4:3 ratio?
Problem is that no one makes 4:3 ratio monitors anymore because everyone wants widescreen and no one buys 2 monitors it seems.

So, do I get 2 wide monitors? Lots of neck-turning and too much widescreen real estate with too little vertical real estate. Man, so many questions.

A few contenders at the moment. These are all about the exact same price, about $239 each.
  • 20" Dell UltraSharp 2009W - widescreen, 1680 x 1050
  • 22" Dell UltraSharp 2208WFP - widescreen, 1680 x 1050, currently on sale (but why same resolution as the 20" monitors?!)
  • New 22" Dell S2209W - widescreeen, 1920 x 1080
Haven't seen any good deals on 20" non-widescreens yet. More research after this!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I ordered my new computer!!!!!!!!

Here's a message I sent out at work today when I decided I was going to buy my new computer today! :)
Hey all,

So I am so excited I can't contain it and I need to send out a completely unnecessary email about how awesome my new computer at home is gonna be. Just found a sweet deal last night (or, early this morning, as it were) on Dell, the XPS 630 (sick) it's soooooooooooooooo awesommmme!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dual monitors, 512Mb video card, 64-bit, Quad-Core.... oh maaaaaan! Also, even cooler thing is... I AM GETTING THE RED ONE!!!!!!!! It looks like Iron Man!

I feel like this is the kind of excitement the teenagers in "American Graffiti" felt for their new convertibles, just a LOT nerdier (and more awesome)

How many "awesome"s did you count?
Mike :)
Anyhow, this literally is SUPER AMAZING. Here are the specs of what I eventually decided on...
  • Dell XPS 630
  • Intel Core2 Processor Q6600 (2.40Ghz,1066FSB) w/Quad Core Technology and 8MB cache
  • Red Bezel Chassis
  • 4GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz
  • Nvidia GeForce 9800GT
  • 750GB SATA 2 Hard Drive 7200RPM
  • Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium 64-Bit Edition
  • 16X DVD+R/RW

Sweet looking case

I got the Red one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If Iron Man was a siiiick desktop, obviously he would be this one.

This is sooooooooooooooooooooo sick. So there were a few key reasons I went with this one:
  • 64-bit Vista, therefore there are drivers for this video card
  • There was a special, very good deal on this one... amazing price
  • 64-bit means I can eventually add more RAM should I need more than 4GB in the future
  • Presumably now the video card will work well with Linux 64 too
  • I wanted a 512 Mb card
  • This is an NVidia, which is actually even better
  • The 630 series is actually a lot nicer than the 420 series
  • Yes, it comes in glorious, awesome Red, and it looks absolutely awesome
  • The price was awesome already, and after talking to the sales lady, she actually added on an extra discount too so it was even better!!
I ended up NOT getting any monitors with it, or speakers. Why?
  • I am getting Logitech Z-2300's from Amazon. CNet claims that these are the BEST THX 2.1 speakers on the PC Market, no questions asked. The are only $80, so why not?!
  • Since the monitors were actually NOT on sale anyway, there was no particular reason to get them with the system. Now I can research the monitors more carefully. There is no particular reason to get a Dell montior, since they are probably made by Samsung anyway or something. Also still not sure about 2x 20" widescreen or 2x 20" non-widescreen, mostly 'cause Dell's selection of non-widescreens is pretty minimal.
THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Many, many more details once it arrives.

New computer, continued...

Still going back and forth on the computer discussion.

I think I have safely decided that I want a machine that is 64-bit compliant. It is more future-looking and also presumably will give me less trouble should I ever want more than 4 GB RAM and when I want to dual-boot with Linux 64. Cool.

So now that this is determined, I have yet another issue. The Dell XPS 420 only comes with a sweet array of Video Card choices if you get Windows Vista 32-bit. Presumably that means that there are no drivers yet for the better video cards, or that the computer with Windows Vista 64-bit has a different motherboard which the sweet Video Cards are not compatible with. Either way, I was kinda set on getting a sick 512 Mb Video Card... mostly 'cause 256 Mb feels "soooo 2004" and I want my machine to really rock the house.

So now a predicament, I've decided I want 64-bit. Thus I need a 64-bit compatible video card. The best one Dell offers is the ATI Radeon HD 3650 256Mb card. Fortunately at least it has dual-DVI ports. But still, it's lacking the lustre of the one I was looking at last week.

What to do, what to do...

Oh, hey. Look at this. Apparently the never-affordable Dell XPS 630 has a random deal here on the Dell Site. I can't apply my own discount, but the discount on it is so good it's ridiculous. Slightly less bus speed and processor speed than what I've been looking at, but everything else is good. Plus it's an NVidia card which generally I like better. And it's cheap as heck. And since it doesn't come with any monitors, I can just buy the cheaper Dell 20" ones without the cameras on them, still match the monitors, and save another $60 for "installed camera" upgrades that I don't even need.

Here's the details for the choice of today... oy... soon I will finally pick this. Finally narrowing it down to at least a few options.

The only drawback of this one is a trade of this processor:
Intel® Core™2 Q8200 Quad-Core (4MB L2 cache,2.33GHz,1333FSB)

to this one:
Intel® Core™2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.40GHz,1066FSB)

So more cache, slight faster speed, but slower front-side bus.

Anyway, here are the specs. Also this machine looks BAD-ASS. It's painted red and all slick and sliver style, it looks like Iron Man's suit.
  • Dell XPS 630
  • Red Bezel Chassis
  • Intel® Core™2 Q6600 Quad-Core (8MB L2 cache,2.40GHz,1066FSB)
  • Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-Bit
  • 750GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache
  • 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 4 DIMMs
  • 2x 20 IN 2009W Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor with Height Adjustable Stand
  • nVidia GeForce 9800 GT 512MB
So that is pretty amazing. And it's (with all the savings) the same price as buying the XPS 420 last week with 32-bit Vista and the ATI 512MB card. So this is pretty awesome. Will I FINALLY buy something. Yes, yes, soon.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Today is a win for the entire world

At this moment I am at a loss for words. Barack Obama won the election. It was amazing, it was awe-inspiring, and it was game-changing.

Today is not just a win for America, it is a major win for the entire world.

A pledge for $150 Billion in money for Research and Development into Alternative Fuels over the next 10 years... a radical change to Health Care in America... there are so, so, so, so many good things coming.

A nation so divided over the past 8 years can finally come together and solve problems together. This is absolutely amazing.

Barack's acceptance speech was a quiet thank-you to all of the people who worked hard for him and his campaign... and a warning that we need to buckle down and all work hard, together, and continue our newfound hope and excitement for the future.

It took 44 Presidents to finally elect an African American, and now here we are. A nation where the President was chosen in a clear landslide... as Dr. King so famously said, "judged not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character." This is a proud and monumental day in American and world history. I am so excited and proud to live here in the USA at such an important and pivotal time.


Congratulations, America. You all made the right choice.

Barack Obama's acceptance speech in Chicago, Illinois

Monday, November 03, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther King... tomorrow is the day

"I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Dr. Martin Luther King
"I have a Dream" Speech
August 28, 1963

Dr. Martin Luther King... tomorrow is the day.

This is a defining moment in American (and world) history... for so, so, so many reasons. Only 24 hours to go... this is quite possibly history in the making, and a chance for America to show that it's moved far from the mistaken ways of the past. While I accept that we may still be very far from a day where people of all races and religions live together in peace... tomorrow, I hope, will be a bold and powerful step in the right direction.

As a minority myself, this has such amazing potential, and will be a shining ray of hope against discrimination... and a choice for a better future for this country. How great and monumental it will be for a man with his skill and inspirational talents to become the first African American President.

Barack Obama is a powerful force of change, an exciting, driven and incredibly smart candidate. He has shown so much knowledge, forethought and intellectual ability over the last 2 year election race... and now it's finally time for America to vote.


I am a Canadian citizen, and therefore I can't vote in the USA even though I currently live in this great country. Since my vote cannot be officially made, please speak up for me... and vote for Barack Obama.


This might be one of the best Obama videos I've ever seen...

VOTE!!! TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!

"We have a lot of work to do"

1 day away from Election Day

It's crazy that the big race here in the US is finally coming to a close. It's been a really, really long race... and it's getting really close now. I am excited, and I have big hopes that this is going to turn out in Obama's favour. As I said almost 2 years ago... I hope America is smart enough to vote in Barack Obama - he is going to make an amazing difference in this country and for the entire world.

Learning Objective-C

So it seemed like a good idea to learn Objective-C in my spare time, so (yes, I am a nerd) spent all day on a weekend... in my free time... learning a new programming language. ;)

AND IT WAS FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's not quite as insane or hard to understand as I originally expected. It's pretty much like C++ but with just a stranger syntax and a lot of stuff works differently. It looks like you really need to know your design patterns for this too. So brushing up on this stuff will be a good idea anyway. Exciting and fun times. It's a lot easier than I thought it would be and already I'm getting used to the weird syntax.

Strangest/coolest things today?
  • The "NS" in NSArray, NSSet stands for "Next-Step" - 'ol school Apple style!! Awesome.
  • Apparently a regular NSArray and NSSet cannot be added to, they must be fully initialized on startup. That's REALLY weird. So you need a special "Mutable" version of arrays to be able to modify them after initialization... random.
  • I have absolutely NO CLUE when to use a pointer, or when to just store a non-pointer member variable.
  • Right now anything I tried is leaking memory like crazy. I have little-to-no idea of how to clean up or de-reference-count the pointers. So who knows how efficient/crashy Objective-C code can be? Well presumably I'm gonna find out. :)
  • It's fun and rocks, and makes me want to buy a Mac. So I think that means that Apple is on the right track. :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Vote November 4th: One day to change the world

Jay-Z: "Obama's running so we all can fly"

Awesome video of a rally for Obama in Virginia

Jay-Z: "Obama's running so we all can fly"

More new computer stuff

Today I fixed my friend (and neighbour) Amy's computer and got her new one set up for her. Interestingly enough it had 2 Dell 19" Flat panels (NON-Widescreen) and also it was using a sort of DVI-signal splitter on a single DVI Port to run 2 monitors, which I thought was verrrrrry interesting...

So apparently you don't actually need 2 DVI ports to run 2 flat panels off one video card. But presumably splitting the signal also slows down the speed (or quality) at which the signals are transferred to the monitor? Hmm. I was surprised that you could split the signal without clear degredation in image quality... but anyhoo. I think I am set on the ATI 512Mb Video Card, and so that already has 2 DVI ports so problem solved.

The other issue is my brother "Jeev" Lausch is right, I reckon the idea of 2 20" non-widescreens is actually a lot smarter/better than 2 20" widescreens. The double-widescreen might be too much to handle, and you give up vertical real estate for more width, which actually you DON'T want since you already have ample screen width (due to the double monitors)... so that's a good point to try to get 2 20" regular screens. But... since EVERYONE wants a widescreen now, Dell's 20" non-widescreen is like $439 (to the 20" Widescreen's $289). And the response time on the non-widescreen is 16ms, compared to 2ms on the widescreen!! The contrast ratio was a bazillion times better on the widescreen too. This implies that Dell is phasing out the non-widescreen cause no one is buying it. Also they do not bundle it with the system so it's gonna be overpriced.

This again makes me question which monitor I should get. I was thinking about the Dell 24" UltraSharp too cause that would be sick and I'd be set up nicely should I ever get a Blu-Ray player on that beast. But it sure is niiiice to have dual monitors, and that's how I roll at work and it rocks. But it looks like dual widescreens is gonna have to be the way to roll... so that's not necessarily the best choice. I do, although, have a 17" widescreen on my laptop now so I am kinda used to the widescreen style.

If I end up getting a MacBook eventually or a Mac Mini, I am gonna want to hook it up directly to a single (or double) monitor, so it will be nicer and better to have 2 monitors rather than just 1 huge one. Plus I REALLY doubt that the integrated video card on a Mac Mini can successfully run a 24" UltraSharp Widescreen monitor, it might be too much for it. So a 20" is probably a better idea anyway.

Most likely I'll just wait 'till next Friday and see what the next deal of the week at Dell is, and then get it soon after that. This is gonna be a sweeeeeeeet machine, that's for sure.

The other issue is now the Dell machines come with Windows Vista 64-bit, rather than 32-bit. My assumption is with 4Gb RAM, it would be smarter to get a 64-bit OS. No matter how much I pretend I am gonna use Linux a bunch, I am a true-bred Windows guy, and I shouldn't kid myself - I expect to continue to use Windows a lot on my home machine. For Skype and Photoshop and other stuff, it seems to do a great job and I'll prob stick with it... so 64-bit is more future-looking than a 32-bit OS... though presumably in 2 years I am gonna replace it with Windows 7 anyway.

Oh, so many questions when I am about to get a new computer... :)