Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Journey to the Dark Side - Part Deux

Once I was a PC snob, I've converted to the dark side, bought myself a MacBook and now I am a confirmed Mac Nerd.

The Machine

What I like about the Mac:

The Leopard operating system is rock solid.  I've owned my Macbook for over a month and the system has yet to crash.  Boot times for my Dell would take several minutes, for the Mac it runs about 30 seconds and most of the time, I just close it up without turning off the system.  It pops right back up the moment I open the lid.  When I try that it XP, it system would go into a fatal sleep mode.

My MacBook is half the size of my Dell and the batteries seem to discharge much more slowly.  The built-in wireless card connects to my Buffalo wireless network without a hitch.  I connected my laptop to my Canon printer and the system recognized the printer and started printing without a hitch.   I was nervous about getting just 2 gigs of RAM - that's just barely enough memory to run Vista, but apparently that's more than enough memory for the Mac.  So far, it seems to handle everything I've thrown at it.

Programs are seamlessly integrated together.  No need to futz around with settings trying to make programs make nice with each other.

Backup using Time Machine is a dream.  I purchased an external Passport HD, reformatted it for the Mac and hooked it up to the USB port on my Mac.  Time Machine did the rest.  Backups are painless and run in the background.

Oh yeah, the all aluminum case is way cool.

What I don't like:

The glass track pad is a moderate pain in the kiester.  Apple did issue a software patch for it, but it still glitches from time to time.


Being cheap, I opted for iWork instead of Microsoft Office.  Although iWork Pages saves documents in its own format, it can read Word files.  To save in Word, I have to 'export' the file.  Most Mac software is thought of as being more 'intuitive' that Windows, but I'm not convinced.  There's still a learning curve which system you use.  I generally like Pages.  My biggest gripe is that it didn't come with a manual - so help is on disk or on-line.  Whoever designed it wasn't a writer.  Formatting page numbers, especially starting a novel chapter at any page other than page 1, requires plowing through menus.  It's much easier with Word.

Safari vs. Firefox  I haven't tried Firefox for the Mac, Safari satisfies most of my needs.  It doesn't have the Window's version of  Firefox's capability to block ads or install a wide variety of plug-ins, but then again, Safari doesn't have the memory leaks that plague Firefox either.

iPhoto seems lightweight in comparison to Photoshop Elements, so I opted to purchase PE.  I've installed it, but haven't used it much.  To be effective, I'll need to try to hook the laptop up to a monitor.

My biggest gripe on software is the lack of a decent financial management program.  I'd been using MS Money on my PC, but that isn't available for the Mac.  Reviews for Quicken for Mac are abysmal, so I've been searching for something to manage my money.  I tried a turkey called Cha-Ching.  It's a dog, don't bother.  I recently bought something called Checkbook which is okay, but not as sophisticated as Money.  It'll do for now, but there's a market out there for a programmer willing to work on it.

I love my MacBook.  So much so, that I'm thinking about replacing my Dell desktop with an iMac.  Sigh, how far the mighty PC snob has fallen.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Shoeing of the President

The scary thing about this video isn't some guy tossing his shoe at the President.  Hey, more power to him.  The scary thing is the sloppy response by the Secret Service.  Watch the one agent sitting to Bush's right.  He must have his thumb up his ass as he never really responds to the threat.  Replace shoes with a weapon and the President is toast.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Switching to the Dark Side

I've finally succumbed and turned to the dark side.  I've given up on Windows and bought a Mac  Book.  I'd told myself I'd never buy another Apple after they dumped the Apple II line.  My first computer was a beauty - an A motherboard Apple IIe with 64 K of ram (that's kilobytes my friend) and dual 128 5 1/4 inch floppy drives.  It came with a state of the art 10" green and black screen.  That puppy put me back $2500 (that's in 1979 dollars) and I must say it was love at first sight.  I eventually added another 64 K of ram: cost $120, a 10 megabyte hard drive that sounded like a vacuum cleaner and was the size of a small suitcase: cost $500 and a Brother clackity-clack dot matrix printer: cost $300.  The Apple IIe eventually ended up running a creative writing BBS called The Blue Parrot.  The Parrot was up and running for 5 years, an eternity for BBSs in pre-Internet days, then my power supply croaked. Sigh.

Saying no way to Apple products, I drifted from the Atari ST (great machine, no user base) into the IBM world.  Microsoft DOS sucked, Windows was even worse, but like most clones, I made do the best I could.

A few months ago, my Dell Inspiration showed ominous signs of pending failure:  boot errors, frequent blue screens of death - common enough with Windows, but the frequency was increasing.  I looked around - XP was on the way out the door and Vista sounded like hell on earth.  I looked at the new Macbook-a little light on ram , but the reviews were good and the operating system seemed solid.  I said what the hell and plunked down $1300 and took that puppy home.

I haven't been disappointed.

Next:  A review of the computer and software from a long time computer nerd perspective.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

War with Spain?

John McCain wants to fire long time Republican hack and SEC Chairman, Chris Cox, apparently because McCain believes Cox is to blame for our recent financial crisis by not regulating hedge funds and the trading of derivatives. John seems to forget that Cox had nothing to do with AIG, Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual crashing and burning. Rather, this crisis was a long time coming and grew from the Republican-driven deregulation of the real estate, insurance and banking industries, which just happened to be championed by George Bush and John McCain. Now, instead of fixing the mess, McCain throws Cox under the bus and calls for a long-term '9-11 like' commission to study the mess while our economy goes further down the crapper.

This just in: In a bizzare interview with Cadena SER, John McCain either thinks that Spain lies somewhere south of Mexico or those darned Iberians just can't be trusted. The link is here:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

He doth protest too much

John McCain seemed to take great offense at Obama's lipstick on a pig comment.

Here's righteous John using the same term in reference to Hillary Clinton.

John, I really admire how you can talk out of both sides of your mouth at the same time. Did you learn that from George?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Football Follies

A review of the week two's action by a Duck homer

Washington 27
BYU 28
I hate the Huskies, I hate Seattle, I hate purple and gold, but with that being said, the Huskies got jobbed last weekend. The referee made a strict interpretation of a bad rule. Locker's enthusiasm cost the Dawgs a shot at winning the game and it wasn't his fault.

Oregon State 14
Penn State 45
Are the Beavers that bad or is Penn State that good? I know Riley's teams start slow, but I'm not sure they'll recover from what looks like a 1-4 start.

Utah State 24
Oregon 66
Much joy in Duckdom, but I saw a couple of errors that need to be corrected. Their first real test comes up this week on the road at Purdue.

California 66
This score says more about WSU lack of talent and coaching than California's overall strength.

Stanford 17
ASU 41
I actually expected more from Stanford in this game. ASU is loaded. Look out Pac 10.

Toledo 16
Arizona 41
Arizona beats up on another lower tier team. They'll continue the trend next week when they crush New Mexico.

Tennesee 24
Make no mistake, Tennesee may have been overrated, but Neuheisel is a great game coach. Expect BYU to have their hands full this weekend.

PAC 10 Power Rankings

The Haves:

1. USC - The Trojans are the king until deposed, though I think that someone along the line will knock them off this year. Take the Trojans over Ohio State and give the 10 points. It'll end up being a laugher.

2. Oregon - The Ducks have some the best skill people in the conference and maybe the best offensive coordinator in the nation with Chip Kelly. Their problem will be keeping enough people healthy to finish as well as they start.

3. ASU - Many don't care for Dennis Erickson, but he's one hell of a coach. The problem with him is that he has happy feet and won't stay anywhere for too long. The Sun Devils won't break a sweat with UNLV.

4. Cal - Another team with a great coach. Like the Ducks they have problems finishing the season as strong as they start. They shouldn't have many problems with Maryland.

The Dark Horses:

5. UCLA - The domination in LA is over. I give the Bruins as much chance as anyone to upset USC this year. Neuheisel's problem isn't in his coaching, but in his management style. He left his last two teams in shambles after his departure.. Expect UCLA to do well for a couple of years, then start a slow slide into mediocracy. Until then though, they'll be hell on wheels.

6. Arizona - Mike Stoops doesn't have the coaching talent of some other PAC 10 coaches, but he has had some good recruiting years that are starting to pay off.

7. Stanford - The Cardinal showed some spark against the Beavs, but stumbled against ASU. They'll be up and down this year, but don't be surprised if they upset one or two of the 'Haves' along the way.

The Have-Nots:

8. Washington - As much as I despise the Huskies, I think Willingham is a decent man and a pretty fair coach. The program was in such a mess when he took over, that it'll take time to right the ship. The bad news for him is that the boosters with bucks are calling for his head. They should do something more productive like putting time and effort into upgrading their facilities.

9. OSU - Riley's teams are an enigma. They roll over and whimper for Cinncinatti and Penn State, then pop up and beat Oregon and USC. I watched their spring game this year and but for a few exceptions, Sammie Slaughter for one, the talent just isn't there. No bowl for the Beavs this year.

10. WSU - When Mike Price let his gonads overload his brain in the strip club a couple of years ago, the Cougs should have taken him back no questions asked. He's one of the few coaches that could win with any regularity up in Pullman. Their only chance for a win this year might be against Portland State, but then again, Jerry Glanville has that game circled in red.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sarah Palin's Hitlist

Books that Sarah Palin wanted while she was mayor of Wallisa, Alaska.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (most un-Christian ultra-violence not in the cause of Christian warriors)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (not sure why but I know a bannable book when I see it!)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner ("N"-word and disrespectful to Confederacy)

The Bastard by John Jakes (its naughty title an attack on the idea of childbirth only after holy wedlock -- did you hear that, Bristol???)

Blubber by Judy Blume (general naughtiness, faintly salacious title)

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (utopianism and socialism)

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (unwholesome fantasy)

The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer (classic smut, or smoote, if you will; un-Christian depiction of female sexual desire)

Carrie by Stephen King (Christian girls shouldn't know about menstruation)

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (mocks the military; disrespectful of God's calling to kill enemies, both foreign & domestic)

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (promotion of morbid individualism, lack of respect for caring, nurturing parents and teachers)

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (subversion of Christian fund-raising endeavors)

Christine by Stephen King (disrespectful of classic Detroit automobiles and sacred MADE IN USA in a Saipan Sweatshop" ethos)

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (attack on fundamental values keeping a Christian home and society together by well-known socialist)

Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Christian children shouldn't be exposed to masturbating Utopians who are ur-Communists)

Cujo by Stephen King (disrespectful of dogs, a Christian man's best friend)

Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen (black magick!)

Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite (promotion of faggotry)

Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck (disrespectful of Christian values in denigrating "the other white meat"; promotion of un-Christian vegetarianism, which is particularly distasteful in gun 'n huntin' happy Alaska where Sarah Palin rules as Diana, Mistress of the Hunt)

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (mocking the American Dream and Protestant Work ethic; NOTE: Marilyn Monroe's commie-symp non-Christian ex-husband defied the House Un-American Activities Committee which was doing God's own work by attempting to clean out the Hollywood pig sty)

Decameron by Boccaccio (classic filth, or fylthe if you will)

The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth (provides comfort to Lucifer, the Son of the Morning Star, the Enemy of the One True God)

East of Eden by John Steinbeck (teenage rebellion, unauthorized interpretation of Book of Genesis, written by commie-symp)

Fallen Angels by Walter Myers (disrespectful of God's chosen agents of change)

Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland (Dirty Book, or "D.B." if you will -- Along with Lady Chatterly's Lover and Tropic of Cancer, this is the granddaddy of all D.B.s!)

The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs ("figure" is a word that can be used for naughty ends to promote naughty minds)

Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes (debases belief in miracles)

Forever by Judy Blume (smut for teenagers)

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (witches brew of socialism and smut; promotes cruelty to animals, specifically, our terrapin friends)

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

Grendel by John Gardner (bad language, disrespectful of classic Nordic literature no one has ever read)

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (attack on author's Christian fundamentalist betters)

Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam (pagan evil)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (see above)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (ditto)

Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (ditto)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (ditto)

Have to Go by Robert Munsch

Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman (lesbian crap responsible for rising popularity of Ellen on boob tube)

The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell (promotion of unsanitary eating habits)

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens mocked Christianity as the one true religion)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (unacceptable indictment of white Christian paternalism towards our benighted dark brothers and sisters, one with us in Christ)

Impressions edited by Jack Booth (unknown, but author does share surname with authentic Confederate, er, American hero who fought tyranny!)

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (promotes un-Christian eating habits)

It's Okay if You Don't Love Me by Norma Klein (author is suspected to be non-Christian)

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (offended Georgia fruit lobby)

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence (D.B., see note Fanny Hill)

The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (unwholesome gay propaganda wholly injurious to young, developing Christian minds)

Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

The Living Bible by William C. Bower (undermines the literal Word of God!)

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (see Note for It's Okay if You Don't Love Me)

Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein (ditto)

Lysistrata by Aristophanes (it's a Greek thing and therefore unwholesome and un-Christian)

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (undermines the Christian ideal of the sanctity of a contract no matter who is party to the deal; on the other hand, it does feature a conversion to Christ)

More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (subversive)

My Brother Sam Is Dead by James L incoln Collier and Christopher Collier

My House by Nikki Giovanni

My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara (Papist pagan horse-worship by author with allegiance to anti-Christ in Rome)

The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman (kiddie porn!)

Night Chills by Dean Koontz

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (supports euthanasia for both man and beast)

On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer

One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (not quite sure about this one but obviously, if the say it should be banned, I'm for banning it!)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (although its revelation of the Wall St.-money Easterners dominated "Combine" is appreciated, Kesey subverts American values by supporting euthanasia and offending the American Medical Association by an oblique attack on the medical profession via Big Nurse)

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (commie-symp trash)

Ordinary People by Judith Guest (glamorizes suicide and teenage lust!

Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective (pornography)

The Pigman by Paul Zindel

Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy (any book "good enough" for Barbra Streisand is good enough to be banned!)

Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl (filth)

Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz

Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders (the "S" word)

Separate Peace by John Knowles (glamorization of Eastern Establishment that is in league with communist Russia)

The Shining by Stephen King (promotion of un-Christian spiritual values such as telepathy; promotion of unhealthy disrespect for paternal figures; historical revisionism -- someone told me that the book was an indictment of Christian America's treatment of the pagan red Indian)

Silas Marner by George Eliot (undermines notions of Christian thrift and industry)

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (mocks good Christian warriors and the Good War)

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs (attack on Christian values)

Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume (D.B. writer targeting teens)

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (undermines Christian values by questioning the "peculiar" order of things in the South, possibly ghost-written by notorious homosexual)

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (celebration of pagan values by cross-dressing English fairycake)

Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff (motherload of dirty words)

The Witches by Roald Dahl (Roald Dahl has a naughty mind!)

The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder

Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween Symbols by Edna Barth (primer for pagans)

Webster's 9th? My Friend Flicka? Sarah, get a life.