28 January 2010

Why the iPad is awesome

The world has been crying out for a $500 e-book reader and the chance to read books on an LCD. Nobody reads books outdoors, so a screen I can’t read outdoors is perfect. Nobody listens to music or has IM running while browsing the web, or edits documents with a web browser open. The lack of multi-tasking brings back the joys of the authentic 1984 Macintosh experience. Look, if I really want to listen to music while I’m working, I’ll use my iPod. ... Read more

21 January 2010

Reflections on a Macless month

On December 23rd, my MacBook Pro died. The screen started flickering, and the entire graphical layer died. The underlying Unix system was still responsive, and I could SSH in, but that was it. Rebooting the machine, it would run for a while, then die with the same fault. I used rsync to create a full backup–I already had a Time Machine backup, but better safe than sorry. After a couple more reboot cycles it stopped booting entirely. ... Read more

7 January 2010

Myself, and other myths

I just watched a BBC documentary, Horizon: The Secret You, about recent results in the scientific study of consciousness. There were three experiments discussed in the program which seemed to me to be particularly key. The first experiment was carried out at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. It involves having the subject wear a stereoscopic VR helmet attached to two video cameras. Using this simple apparatus, the subject can be given an out-of-body experience, without drugs or meditation. ... Read more

5 January 2010

Dear Apple: Free the iPhone!

Dear Apple, I’ve been a Mac user since 1986 or so, and a Mac owner since 1990. I stuck with you through the bad years of the late 90s, when everyone thought you were doomed. I live in a multi-Mac multi-iPod household. I even have an AppleTV. Yet I don’t have an iPhone. I like the design of the iPhone. You’ve fixed all the major functionality shortfalls, like lack of MMS and instant messaging. ... Read more

3 January 2010

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

Naughty Dog have quite a history on the PlayStation family of consoles. They started out as developers of the first three Crash Bandicoot 3D platform games on the original PlayStation, as well as a Crash-themed cart racer. With the introduction of the PS2, Naughty Dog showed that their developers could implement the best game engines in the business. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy was built using a variant of Lisp, and featured dynamic multithreaded loading of game data and textures. ... Read more

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