Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Azeroth calls

After much coaxing by my co-workers and friends, I finally took the plunge and started playing World of Warcraft.  I have ridiculed this game, and those who play it, for some time now.  It's really no different from other MMORPGs, but this game has attracted some definite freaks and some people take it far too seriously.  I was challenged to give the game a fair shot before I uttered any more caustic remarks toward it.  I proclaimed that I would not pay a single penny for it unless I could play it first.  Fully expecting that not to happen (there is a free 10 day trial, but only if you know someone who buys the game and hasn't used their card) I was sure I would never have to actually play the game to decide whether or not I would like it.  Only a matter of hours later, my friend tells me that I am free to play on his cousin's account.  Now I had no excuse.  Two weeks later and I'm happy to say I'm very much enjoying the game.  Let me caveat that by saying that I only like running with my office mates and friends.  Through the beauty that is Skype conference calling, we can communicate in real time to plan our attacks, etc.  When I play by myself, my enjoyment factor drops almost to zero.  The bottom line is this: if you have friends that play, play with them.  Get on Skype and have fun.  Otherwise, unless you're a hard core RPG fan, save your money.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


I was delighted to see Apple has finally announced Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger".  If you haven't read about it, do so.  It is going to change a lot of people's minds about the way they manage data.  This is what I've been waiting for to order a new Mac mini so that I can get Tiger and iLife '05.  Now, all I need is iWork and I'll be good to go.  Can't wait until the 29th.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Great Service Goes a Long Way

One of the workstations at the office got sick from some bad RAM and crapped out over the weekend.  Fortunately, we got 3 year warranties on all of the machines we purchased from HP.  I called their toll free support number and was, amazingly, only on hold for a minute or two.  The polite, yet obviously non-expert, young lady surmised that I should have my RAM and CPU replaced.  She told me that she would have them out as soon as she could, which usually means you'll get it in two weeks if you're lucky.  To my surprise, UPS showed up with RAM and a CPU this morning.  I have to say I'm impressed.  Not that I had heard bad things about HP support, but I just didn't expect it to be this good.  Kudos to HP for not going the way of other large PC manufacturers (whom I won't name) and letting their service drop off the face of the earth.

There is No Spoon

I found a new blog today. From what I can tell it's devoted to all things advertising. Its name is ADJAB. They're running a story right now that claims that The Matrix story may have been "stolen". Didn't everyone know this? I'd heard of this long, long ago. I thought they just picked it up where the original author left off after getting his blessing. Guess I heard wrong. This still doesn't change the fact that they are some of the greatest stories ever told via motion picture.

Ides of Spring

Baseball is upon us. Major League Baseball opened their regular season on Sunday night. I'm actually one of the few people I know that enjoy watching baseball. My Texas Rangers lost a close game to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (or whatever they're going by) last night and are currently in extra innings as I write this. The surprising thing is that these are low scoring games. At least through 2+ games, the Rangers pitching is holding up. Now if they can just keep it up for 160 more games...

Still haven't been able to mess with my quasi-functional Linux box. May not be able to until after taxes, which probably means not until after April 14th.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

KDE 3.4...sort of

I installed KDE 3.4 on my SUSE 9.2 desktop. The install process was painless, as I was able to update through YaST now that the 3.4 binaries have been added to the Suse servers. Unfortunately, when I rebooted after the install, I was greeted with several I/O errors and a nice long period of non-responsiveness (I'm sure that's not a word, or even officially recognized use of the English language). This is one thing that will keep the "lay man" from using Linux. They can live with having to find alternatives to their favorite Windows apps, but it takes a minor miracle for most things to "just work" the first time in Linux. That doesn't sit well with the "lay man". Will try to get to the bottom of this and report my progress.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Feds hard at work

Saw this over at Slashdot.  Apparently, the FBI is making a habit of cracking WEP encrypted wireless networks (WEP is probably the most common form of network encryption for average home users).  If I was them, I wouldn't exactly be announcing what I was doing.  If you use WEP to encrypt your network move to WPA (assuming your router supports it).  Check your documentation if need be.  Go buy a new router that supports WPA if your current router does not.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Cool site

I'm probably the last person to hear or see this but, I've just discovered a great site call Bloglines. Basically, it acts as an RSS/Atom/XML/Blog aggegator. If you're not familiar with those terms, the lay man explanation follows. Many, many sites syndicate their content via a format known as RSS (which I believe stands for Really Simple Syndication). There are a couple other formats such as Atom, etc., but the idea is the same: create a very small text file that contains all of the important info users may need, for example, headlines and top stories, and allow users to grab and read them. The benefit is that I can see the headlines for a given site without having to visit it. The next step is to aggregate all of your favorite feeds into one central location so you can see all the latest from each site without having to visit them individually. Until Bloglines only third party applications have served as feed aggregators (I may be wrong about this, but I've never seen a web driven aggregator until Bloglines). Of course this means that you would have to install said app on every machine you may want to check the feeds from. Enter Bloglines, which has created a web based aggregator. I won't go into detail about how it works, becuase they've got ample documentation at their site. I definitely recommend this to anyone that frequents mutliple sites, multiple times daily. The best part of Bloglines is its price-nothing. The service if free? Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

iPod rules

I am continually amazed at how I keep finding new uses for my lovely 4th gen. 20GB iPod. It truly is worth every penny (funny considering mine was given to me gratis). If you don't have one, get one as soon as you can. A great resource for all things iPod is iPod Lounge. To fill your iPod, please buy some music, either at your local retailer or online at the iTunes Music Store.

On another note, I see that KDE 3.4 has been released. I have not fired up my Linux box in about a month, so I have not been able to install and test it. Anyone tried it yet? I will soon (probably after I'm done with taxes) and will have a review up as soon as possible.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Just missing the mark

My company closed the book on our first quarter today. Unfortunately, we missed our revenue goal by $20k. I was really looking forward to the bonus to help pay for taxes. Just one more deal...oh well.

In my quest to know all things Skype, I stumbled upon a great Skype centric blog-Skype Journal ( There are some very interesting things happening in the world of Skype, and VoIP in general, that are going to enable a whole new channel of communication for every day users. I really believe 2005 will be the year of Skype. I, for one, can't wait to see what comes of it.

Random Musings

I hate taxes. I've had a chance to play around with a Sony PSP and, I must say, they are impressive. I couldn't believe how good Spiderman 2 looked on it's color screen. I can't wait until someone figures out how to run Linux on it. I hate taxes. Can't wait for the start of Major League Baseball tomorrow. My Texas Rangers should make a strong run for the playoffs. Can't wait for the Final Four this weekend. Should be 3 very good games. Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger should be here in a few weeks-a year ahead of Longhorn. Wish I had the money right now. It's really nice to see some companies still innovating.