The Big Think

January 22, 2004

Saint Babbage

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 9:23 am

originally posted here by Steven C. Den Beste

After a long, virtuous life in which he never used a 2-digit field to represent the year, a programmer died and was met at the Pearly Gates by none other than Saint Babbage himself.

As they walked down the hall in Programmer Heaven, they came to a door, and he looked inside to see lots of programmers busily working, and the walls were covered with user manuals, every one different.

“Oh, that’s Linux heaven,” said Saint Babbage. “We gave them all the manuals they could possibly dream of, well formatted and professionally prepared, answering any possible question they might have.”

The programmer looked in the door to the next room, and it, too, was full of happy looking programmers typing and merrily computing away. The shelves on the walls were absolutely crammed full of boxes of commercial software. He looked Saint Babbage, and Saint Babbage said “That’s OS/2 heaven. They finally get decent app support.”

“But we have to be quiet going past the next door, OK?” The programmer nodded, and the two tip-toed past another door. Yet another room filled with happy programmers.

Once they were well away from the door, the programmer said, “What was that all about?”

Saint Babbage nodded knowingly, and replied, “That’s Macintosh Heaven. They think they’re the only ones up here.”

January 21, 2004

Easy Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 6:04 pm

After working 14 hours yesterday from noon until 2am I gave myself an easy day today. only put in about 3 hours and then relaxed a bit. I’m ahead of schedule for this time of the year and my Warcraft III skills were getting a bit rusty 😉
Off to Waco tomorrow for meetings.

Whoa Moment

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:50 am

Just had something happen here that made me say [best Keanu Reeves voice] “whoa”. If you’re not using OS X, move along.
I have a 2 button mouse. Usually when I click in Safari with the second button I get a small popup that says “view page source” and “save page as”. Well, if you first hilight a word or words, then right click on the word(s), your options become “copy” and “google search”. Clicking on “google search” takes you instantly to a google page with the hilighted words as the search string. I do Google searches all the time. Freaking awesome.

January 20, 2004

Spirit Video

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:25 pm

via maasdigital. If you liked the short video segments the media played around the time Spirit landed on Mars, you won’t want to miss the extended edition video. It’s about 8 minutes long and features some incredibly beautiful images of the rover launching, traveling in space, landing on Mars, and going about its mission. Top-notch animation. Not for the faint-of-connection, this wonderful CGI piece by Dan Maas puts you on the red planet. My favorite shot (among many) is the opening pullback from Mars (there’s my preference for scale again).
If you have a broadband connection, don’t miss it (and turn up the volume).

Path Finder

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:41 am

Path Finder is the Finder for grown-ups.


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 2:26 am

Studies indicate that the one quality all successful people have is persistence. They’re willing to spend more time accomplishing a task and to perservere in the face of many difficult odds. There’s a very positive relationship between people’s ability to accomplish any task and the time they’re willing to spend on it.
— Dr. Joyce (Diane Bauer) Brothers (b. 1929) , American psychologist, author

Bonus Quote in honor of MLK:
If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.
— Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-68), civil rights leader

January 19, 2004

NZ Law Firm

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:38 pm

A New Zealand law firm by the name of Brookfields just spent $165,000 upgrading and adding to their existing Mac network. Their IT department voted against the plan to switch to PC’s because:

“Our IT staff numbers would need to double if we were to run the equivalent amount of PCs. “It is very easy to maintain a Mac network, we have just four staff who manage the website, intranet, staff training and support for 145 Macs. The purchase prices of the Macs is fine and the lifespan of a Mac appears to be a little longer. Most companies seem to be replacing PCs at three years. We’ve got six-year-old Macs on the network.”

Nice to see an I.T. department recommending Macs in order to keep costs down. More evidence that the old “Macs are more expensive” FUD is losing its effectiveness.

More Street Art

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 4:59 pm

Wow. Some people have real talent.


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 2:39 pm

ONE OF THE REASONS… sorry, caps lock was stuck. Ahem. One of the reasons I started a blog was to give myself an outlet to improve my writing. I’ve seen stuff on the web that tries so hard to be readable but somehow falls short. I’ve also seen prose that is transparent and easy to read, but sticks in the mind like a good poem. Posts that have this kind pointed clarity are what I strive for. To that end, holtuncensored has a great list of common writing errors and how to correct them. Good stuff if you’re a writer, or just want to be.


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:50 pm

The kind of lock-in you don’t want to be part of. Work at Wal-Mart. Get ankle crushed. Don’t go anywhere because your manager has locked you in and threatened you job if you use the fire exit. Way to go Wal-Mart.

One night, shortly after closing time, Mr. Ellsworth had an asthma attack. “My inhaler hardly helped,” he said. “I couldn’t breathe. I felt I was going to pass out. I got fuzzy vision. I told the assistant manager I really needed to go to the hospital. He pretty much got in my face and told me not to leave or I’d get fired. I was having trouble standing. When I finally told him I was going to call a lawyer, he finally let me out.”

Stealth G3

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:46 pm

I have my old Mac G3 beige tower (yawn) sitting in the corner. The hard drives blew out about six months ago and I bit the bullet and got a new G4 (yes, Mark and Giles, I love the new box :).
The G3 is pining away looking for something useful to do, thought. All it needs is a hard drive lobotomy and I have 2 UW-SCSI drives ready to go. I just need the time to put it together.
Well, lo and behold, applefritter just published an article on how to put the G3 into “stealth mode” by painting it all black. I’m not necessarily going to go this route, but I now have a jonesing to case mod this thing. After Sing I think I’ll tackle it, then migrate it into the main home automation server. The current H.A. 8100 works great, but more power is always a good thing (grunt grunt).
Also, don’t miss the piano themed “maestro” and the other case-mods.

January 17, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 10:16 pm

A truly amazing video of electrical arcing gone mad. Don’t miss this. Quicktime.

Foxtrot iPod

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 6:46 pm



Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:14 am

I love superlatives. Biggest, fastest, farthest, etc. This site has the relative distances and sizes of the smallest to the largest objects in the universe. From the distance across one Fermi (a very, very, very,very…..very small amount), to the distance to the most distance object known, it’s all here.

NASA Gives up on Hubble

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 10:59 am

NASA reported today that it will stop all servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope. They estimate it will become unusable in 4 years. NASA says they are doing this to make room in the budget for Bush’s plans to return to Mars.
Bush recently upped NASA’s budget, but only by 200 million dollars per year… not even enough to pay for half of one extra shuttle flight.

Back to the Moon

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:29 am

James Lileks has a great “The Bleat” today. Don’t miss his section on going back to the moon. I’ve surprised several friends by not writing about President Bush’s recent speech regarding his plans to get us back to Luna. Frankly, that’s a longer essay than I have time for right now, and I want to do the subject justice. Check out Lileks in the meantime.
Fact: In the middle of a war against medieval-minded foes, we decided that we should also head back into space. We’re not going to close the borders, curl up under the covers. The right hand holds the sword, the left hand holds the sextant.

January 15, 2004

Finally Finale

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:00 pm

via applelinks: Make Music today announced that their popular music notation program, Finale 2004, would be shipping January 16, 2004 as an OS X-only program. Thousands of professional musicians like me have been waiting for this to happen since OS X.0. It’s great to see that it’s shipping. Unfortunately, OS X doesn’t recognize serial ports via my adapter so I can’t use X with my midi setup. I’d have to buy another $500 interface to get access to the $130 Finale update. And then I couldn’t use my OS 9-based sequencer. It’s a vicious Catch-22 that’s going to cost me a few grand down the road. Oy, technology.

Creative Class War

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 4:40 pm

The Washington Monthly has a fascinating article on how the “Creative Class” (i.e. filmmakers, writers, photographers, musicians, etc), can transform a city. From Peter Jackson directing the Rings trilogy to the South African music industry, this article is a must-read if you’re a Creative-type.

Good News

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 3:03 pm

A great post today on Jason Van Steenwyk’s blog. The one titled “Some Good News”

Not Fooling Anybody

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 2:12 pm

Notfooinganybody. Failed conversions. Funny stuff.

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