Saturday, January 14, 2017

Re: 2016 Macbook Pro

12:27:42 PM Eclipse: Apple's response to Microsoft coming up in about 30 minutes
12:28:13 PM Eclipse: Oh you guys made a touch sensitive iMac studio? well we….took away the esc key
12:28:40 PM Krhainos: Surface Studio still has full-size USB ports, an ethernet port, and a headphone jack. Sad!
12:29:24 PM Krhainos: the new Apple Studio has two lightning connectors for all your connectivity needs
12:30:19 PM Krhainos: the new Lightning Hub adds an additional 4 ports!
12:32:07 PM Eclipse: cant wait to buy that
12:32:13 PM Krhainos: Esc is probably one of the few things that's probably still easy to find on the touch-strip without looking
12:32:19 PM Krhainos: just mash the upper-left hand corner
12:32:27 PM Krhainos: good luck finding like F6 or something though
12:32:41 PM Eclipse: i haven't found f6 in years
12:33:06 PM Eclipse: although i don't do jack shit with function keys except brightness and volume anymore
12:33:19 PM Krhainos: yeah OS X has pretty much evolved F-keys out of the OS
12:33:27 PM Krhainos: so it makes sense to get rid of them
12:33:33 PM Krhainos: only nerds use f-keys extensively
12:34:43 PM Eclipse: there's a movie in there somewhere
12:36:04 PM Krhainos: and it makes extensive use of
12:37:22 PM Krhainos: so this search engine cold-called me at work trying to get us to buy ads on their shitty search engine
12:37:29 PM Krhainos:
12:37:45 PM Krhainos: and i want them to call back so i can tell them how shitty it is
12:37:50 PM Eclipse: lol
12:38:03 PM Krhainos: its like they saw coverflow and were like "lets make this a search engine"
12:38:03 PM Eclipse: oh man that red circle is catchy
12:38:43 PM Eclipse: i like how it's slow and javascript heavy
12:38:55 PM Krhainos: they called us saying they increased the number of clicks to our website by 60%
12:39:16 PM Krhainos: and i'm like .. how do you know what 60% is if you don't know what we had initially? did you hack into our Google Analytics account?
12:39:30 PM Eclipse: exactly
12:39:48 PM Krhainos: prtty sure they're just a scam to sell us fake clicks (they're the ones clicking)
12:39:55 PM Krhainos: and "keywords" for $500 each
12:40:26 PM Eclipse: I get sooo many fake "expiration" notices for my domains
1:16:23 PM Eclipse: as usual, the first hour of an apple keynote can be safely ignored
1:16:38 PM Krhainos: right haha
1:16:48 PM Krhainos: blah blah blah can we just skip to how to the new hardware
1:16:59 PM Krhainos: unless they're tlaking about a new Apple TV
1:17:08 PM Eclipse: zomg you can play minecraft on an appletv or something
1:17:15 PM Krhainos: which is about how no one wants to buy one when Fire TV's are like $30
1:17:40 PM Krhainos: "Today we're annoucing a new app... and we simply call it TV."
1:17:41 PM Krhainos: of course
1:17:48 PM Eclipse: If they would allow Kodi I would want one
1:17:58 PM Eclipse: so, TV on AppleTV on my TV
1:18:11 PM Krhainos: just like the iPod app on the iPod
1:18:56 PM Eclipse: oh shit are they going to release an app called Computer
1:26:00 PM Eclipse: "You can now say voice commands such as "watch the Louisville game," and Siri will know which app has the football game, and start playing it." as long as you dont live in fucking louisville
1:26:12 PM Krhainos: haha
1:27:01 PM Eclipse: i actually wanted to buy the NBA app subscription for my father in law, but fucking piece of shit won't show cleveland games
1:27:27 PM Krhainos: yay market blackouts
1:27:32 PM Eclipse: and setting up a proxy and shit may or may not work and would definitely get broken
1:28:00 PM Krhainos: i read why they do blackouts but forget why exactly
1:28:04 PM Krhainos: because it was all bs anyway
1:28:49 PM Eclipse: basically because local stations would stop paying out the ass to air them
1:29:10 PM Krhainos: yea something like that
1:29:29 PM Eclipse: "lets talk about the mac now, we love it so much that you're still paying top dollars for shit that's over a year old"
1:30:28 PM Eclipse: or, if you're buying a mac pro, over 3 years old
1:30:42 PM Krhainos: is the rubbish bin mac really 3 years old?
1:31:13 PM Eclipse: ok, almost 3 years old
1:31:16 PM Eclipse: dec 19 2013
1:31:24 PM Krhainos: thats still pretty old
1:31:58 PM Krhainos: oh god no
1:31:59 PM Krhainos: quick emojis
1:32:17 PM Krhainos: Millennials have ruined the MacBook Pro
1:33:03 PM Eclipse: pro just means more expensive now
1:33:17 PM Eclipse: why is esc not in the corner
1:33:26 PM Eclipse: now i have to press a fake F1 for esc
1:35:43 PM Krhainos: i wonder if you can move them around
1:36:19 PM Eclipse: why not just make the whole bottom of the laptop a touchpad
1:36:31 PM Krhainos: don't give them any ideas
1:36:42 PM Eclipse: they'd have nothing to announce next year
1:44:25 PM Eclipse: fucking emoji
1:44:31 PM Eclipse: this must be what getting old feels like
1:44:36 PM Krhainos: hahaha
1:45:32 PM Krhainos: "but how can i use vim with it"?
1:46:22 PM Eclipse: "it shows apps from the app store right in the bar which you can buy and use instead of vim!"
1:50:14 PM Krhainos:
1:50:18 PM Krhainos: there's a man page button i'm sold
1:50:26 PM Eclipse: lol
1:50:35 PM Eclipse: honestly I am probably going to buy one
1:51:44 PM Eclipse: mine is a late 2012 and Alison's desktop just died this morning
1:52:36 PM Eclipse: so I will probably order one and give her this machine
1:54:31 PM Krhainos: #DongleLife
1:56:12 PM Eclipse: macbook pros have been donglelife for a long time now
1:56:24 PM Krhainos: thats true
1:56:33 PM Eclipse: just usb instead of usb-c
1:56:49 PM Eclipse: i just need to make sure I can use my cinema displays still
1:57:27 PM Eclipse: ugh now they are talking about the freaking touchbar again
1:57:33 PM Eclipse: we already did this
1:57:45 PM Krhainos: hahaha
1:58:04 PM Krhainos: MacBook Pro more like MacBook Bro
1:58:58 PM Eclipse: i guess they know we need a short break here to google usb-c compatibility
1:59:46 PM Krhainos: Type c connectors are all backwards compatible with the old style port (Type A)
2:02:14 PM Eclipse: this is probably time-filler since the desktops aren't ready yet
2:08:24 PM Eclipse: usb to single link dvi seems easy enough
2:08:36 PM Eclipse: but I was hoping for better
2:09:00 PM Eclipse: i dont see anything about getting the 30" to work with the usb-c amcbook
2:10:24 PM Krhainos: "Microsoft is bringing touch bar support to Office." says Schiller to exactly zero applause or audience reaction.
2:10:53 PM Eclipse: obviously they are
2:11:10 PM Eclipse: everyone is pissed they are not releasing new desktops
2:15:35 PM Eclipse: ok finally back to talking about the laptops again
2:16:46 PM Eclipse: let's hear available today
2:18:02 PM Eclipse: they never do that anymore
2:20:09 PM Eclipse: oh god
2:20:15 PM Krhainos: are you going to be pleb out and buy the touchbad-less version?
2:20:19 PM Krhainos: touchbar*
2:21:19 PM Eclipse: *looks on craigslist*
2:23:19 PM Eclipse: honestly I probably will pleb out
2:24:08 PM Eclipse: RIP 11" Air
2:24:13 PM Krhainos: haha
2:24:28 PM Krhainos: i bought my mom a 13" Air to replace her dying 2008 Mac Mini
2:24:47 PM Eclipse: i loved that machine so much, but once I started Xcode, I just didnt have the screen resolution
2:38:20 PM Eclipse: so if I were to buy new 27-30" displays, which ones are good these days?
2:38:20 PM Krhainos (Autoreply): I'm not here right now
2:56:47 PM Krhainos: LG makes a good display
2:57:04 PM Krhainos: but Dell and HP make good displays too
2:57:49 PM Krhainos: LG makes surprisingly good displays for the price
2:57:56 PM Eclipse: thinking a thunderbolt 3 dock should handle it, but they are like $300
2:57:58 PM Krhainos: i went to best buy to buy the cheapest 21" display i could
2:58:12 PM Krhainos: and that LG monitor i take to lan parties is probably the best monitor i own now
2:58:24 PM Krhainos: too bad its tiny
2:58:40 PM Krhainos: LED backlighting did wonders to LCD technology
3:31:07 PM Eclipse: ugh no minidisplayport really hurts on these new ones
3:31:30 PM Krhainos: heh
3:31:42 PM Krhainos: dongles tho
3:32:30 PM Krhainos: i think mDP and Thunderbolt devices can use simple passive adpaters for TB2 ports
3:33:16 PM Eclipse: the only other mac laptop with usb-c is the 12" macbook so I was trying to google using that with a 30 cinema display
3:33:22 PM Eclipse: but there isn't much there
3:33:51 PM Eclipse: dvi is old now…and of course I still use VGA back by the switch rack
3:33:54 PM Krhainos: intel and the usb group sort of didn't do the world any favors by using the same connector that can carry many similar yet incompatible busses across the same connector
3:34:21 PM Eclipse: they did themselves a favor by making us buy new shit
3:34:35 PM Krhainos: the USB Type C connector can carry : DisplayPort, USB 3.1, and PCI Express (aka Thunderbolt)
3:34:48 PM Krhainos: so the macbook only has USB 3.1 on its type c connector
3:34:56 PM Krhainos: while i think on the new mbp, all four are thunderbolt ports
3:35:25 PM Krhainos: you can tell which busses are available on each port with the symbols present next to the port :
3:35:48 PM Krhainos: every port will carry at least USB 2.0
3:36:13 PM Krhainos: that diagram appears to be German lol (USB 2.0 mit DisplayPort!)
3:37:30 PM Krhainos: TB3, not TB2
3:37:38 PM Eclipse: I need to get from the thunderbolt 3 port to at least 1 minidisplay
3:37:42 PM Krhainos: so in the case of the new MacBooks, you have 2 or 4 TB3 ports
3:38:03 PM Krhainos: so you would need a simple/passive TB3 to mDP adapter
3:38:21 PM Krhainos: since TB > DP with USB > DP without USB
3:38:22 PM Eclipse: but then there's the question of whether it will push dual link dvi
3:38:32 PM Krhainos: all variants of DisplayPort will
3:38:56 PM Krhainos: what display do you have? DL-DVI Cinema Display?
3:39:28 PM Eclipse: yes, i also have another single link dvi 23" cinema
3:39:30 PM Krhainos: at worst, you might be looking at stacking TB3 -> mDP -> DL-DVI adapters, but i'm sure someone like monoprice might make one that does all of that in one adapter.
3:39:34 PM Eclipse: but i don't use that much anymore
3:40:42 PM Krhainos: in the case of the macbook that only has usb on usb-c ports, since it doesn't carry TB or mDP
3:40:58 PM Krhainos: you're basically looking at a USB video card, and those naturally carry at least a $100 price tag
3:41:11 PM Krhainos: it's the lowest form of USB C basically
3:41:24 PM Krhainos: where as the mbp has the highest form of it (carries everything you could possible want)
3:42:56 PM Eclipse: macbook says "Native DisplayPort 1.2 video output", is that just via a usb-c style cable?
3:43:07 PM Krhainos: oh, i stand correctedi
3:43:07 PM Eclipse: like their own dongle
3:43:10 PM Krhainos: it does have DP out then
3:43:19 PM Krhainos: so it'd be the next-level up
3:43:22 PM Krhainos: USB w/ DP
3:43:46 PM Krhainos: in case you're wondering who would implement Type C w/ USB 2.0 instead of 3.0, it would be like smartphones and chromebooks
3:43:49 PM Krhainos: stuff that plain doesn't need 3.0
3:44:07 PM Krhainos: but you can safely assume any laptop that has a type c connector to have at least USB 3.0
3:45:31 PM Krhainos: PCI-E (Thunderbolt), and DisplayPort are high speed packetized interfaces (like ethernet) -- so thats how they can get multiple things out of one port.
3:45:37 PM Krhainos: its like one small ethernet switch
3:46:16 PM Krhainos: and at 10Gb/s, half of it goes to your display (mDP), and the other half goes to data (USB 3.x or PCIE)
3:46:48 PM Krhainos: all this shit that's part of the standard, nearly impossible to explain to consumers
3:47:01 PM Krhainos: but fairly important when it comes to purchasing stuff that plugs into these ports
3:48:18 PM Krhainos: i think at max you can attach three 4K displays before you run out of bandwidth
3:48:23 PM Krhainos: on Thunderbolt
3:48:41 PM Krhainos: and since its all bandwidth, maybe like six 1080p displays
3:48:55 PM Krhainos: er wait. four 1080p displays per 4K x 3 = so 12 actually.
3:49:16 PM Krhainos: in other words, enough.
3:52:58 PM Eclipse:
3:53:06 PM Eclipse: that looks like shit but will maybe work
3:53:21 PM Eclipse: i guess they come in not-gold
3:53:32 PM Krhainos: are you thinking of a macbook?
3:54:05 PM Krhainos: that is a neat looking solution for that though
3:54:57 PM Eclipse: no, i dont want a macbook, but the macbook's limitation of only usb-c port(s) is the same problem I'd face integrating the new 13" mbp
3:58:33 PM Krhainos: gotcha
3:58:35 PM Krhainos: it should work
3:58:40 PM Eclipse: My 30 currently uses one of these:
3:58:51 PM Krhainos: it'll expose the USB ports and the DP function
3:59:03 PM Eclipse: i need to test it and see if the usb is just for power
3:59:15 PM Krhainos: it probably is
3:59:19 PM Eclipse: cause I can plug the usb somewhere else
3:59:30 PM Krhainos: since DP to DVI would require power
3:59:42 PM Krhainos: its also equally possible you plug the USB plug into a iphone charger or something
4:00:03 PM Krhainos: because the cinema display doesn't have a usb hub does it?
4:00:10 PM Eclipse: it does
4:00:13 PM Krhainos: oh what
4:00:22 PM Krhainos: wonder what voodoo they're doing across that cable to carry USB then
4:01:03 PM Krhainos: oh wait there's a usb port from the display too
4:01:05 PM Eclipse: the adapter actually has a usb port on it, which you can plug the display's usb cable into
4:01:08 PM Krhainos: never mind. not so mysterious now lol
4:01:20 PM Eclipse: so i assume you dont have to use it
4:01:42 PM Eclipse: though I probably would…so as to get usb ports on the machine
4:03:45 PM Eclipse: that one I linked for the macbook should work though, one of the comments was about the 30" and that it worked
4:03:46 PM Krhainos: the adapter itself needs power
4:03:51 PM Krhainos: so you need to get power into the adapter somehow
4:04:12 PM Krhainos: be it's just convinient that it gets it from the host machine since thats what also feeds data into the usb ports on the display
4:04:17 PM Eclipse: the single link dvi didn't need the usb part of the adapter
4:04:50 PM Krhainos: yeah, i think that might be because it gets enough power from the DP port
4:05:10 PM Krhainos: DP doesn't output a lot of power, dual-link might be more power hungry
4:08:31 PM Krhainos: it might be like back in the day of some of those external usb hard drives that needed two usb ports
4:08:51 PM Eclipse: it is some old shit now
4:09:08 PM Eclipse: only 1680x1050 on the new screen, that is disappointing
4:09:25 PM Eclipse: retina, of course but still
4:09:26 PM Krhainos: the gtx1070 i bought a couple months back has one dvi port and the rest are DP ports
4:09:32 PM Krhainos: had to buy a bunch of adapters
4:10:38 PM Eclipse: ugh the low end only has 2 usbc and the headphone port…lets put them on the same side maybe…..of course not fuck off
4:10:47 PM Krhainos: hahaha
4:10:57 PM Krhainos: usb audio it?
4:11:04 PM Eclipse: more shit to buy
4:49:43 PM Eclipse: i dont know, this release kind of pisses me off
4:50:33 PM Eclipse: $1500 without the touchbar for only 8gb ram/256gb ssd?
4:50:46 PM Eclipse: my 2012 has 8gb of ram
4:50:54 PM Eclipse: and 256
4:51:17 PM Eclipse: less screen res, hard to adapt to my setup
4:52:08 PM Eclipse: maybe I'll just get a new battery for my laptop and get some stuff for alison instead
5:06:02 PM Krhainos: hmm
5:06:09 PM Krhainos: no desktops is a bummer too i guess
5:06:14 PM Krhainos: i was going to say "why not a mac mini"
5:06:21 PM Krhainos: but when was the last mac mini -- like 4 years ago?
5:07:36 PM Eclipse: Oct 2014 it looks like
5:09:59 PM Eclipse: I can probably get a decent iMac for less than 500 on craigslist and a new battery will be about 125 and be good with that
5:17:06 PM Krhainos: the new aluminum-glass ones
5:17:06 PM Krhainos: ?
5:17:45 PM Eclipse: looks like the core 2 duo ones are about 500 if they top of the line back in the day
5:17:49 PM Eclipse: i was hoping for i5
5:21:44 PM Krhainos: wondering why no more MagSafe though
5:21:47 PM Krhainos: people loved MagSafe
5:22:11 PM Krhainos: Apple has no problem making their own ports (Lightning)
5:22:16 PM Eclipse: the current fantheory is that now the laptops are too light for magsafe
5:22:16 PM Krhainos: maybe their patent was going to run out
5:22:33 PM Krhainos: hmm
5:22:44 PM Krhainos: weaker magnets
5:22:53 PM Eclipse: then it just falls out
5:23:37 PM Krhainos: dont the MacBook Airs have them?
5:23:41 PM Krhainos: thsoe are pretty light
5:23:51 PM Krhainos: 2.38lb sez wikipedia
5:25:16 PM Eclipse: i don't know, the airs had special magsafes. probably lawsuits over fires or something
5:25:25 PM Krhainos: fires
5:25:27 PM Krhainos: pffft
5:25:32 PM Krhainos: samsung made fires normal
5:25:41 PM Krhainos: you should expect fires from consumer electronics
5:26:08 PM Eclipse: i don't think the market went for that
Posted by eclipse on 01/14/2017 at 10:40 AM
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Sunday, December 11, 2016

It Lives?

Just about 4 more years later, an update!  Life has changed dramatically since my last post.  There are people here now who weren’t here when the last post was made.  It’s incredible how fast time can fly by. 

This update is prompted by my move to a new server.  The old server was in need of software updates and rather than risk performing a command line update, I opted to create a new machine.  This site is the testbed for the copy and reinstall process.  Why go through all this trouble to avoid some updates?  Since my last post, my app development company has taken off dramatically and I can’t afford for the other server to go down anymore.  So rather than risk a botched update erasing everything, I’ll just create a duplicate and switch the DNS over to the new machine.  The old server was giving me errors when I tried to post here so, it has a nice side effect of fixing this site; something that I never really had time to do before. 

I really do want to write here more and making the first “I’m back” post is hopefully the hardest.  The longer you go without posting, the more you have to cover when you come back.  I don’t like the missing 4 years of my life on this site so I’ll try to make a post about each year or something.

Posted by eclipse on 12/11/2016 at 02:47 PM
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Sunday, June 23, 2013


Posted by eclipse on 06/23/2013 at 07:55 PM
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Sunday, March 04, 2012

Finally, an update!

Well, it’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it?  Am I even talking to anyone anymore?  My statistics page says 182 days without an update, which means half of a year.  :(  Terribly sorry.  I’ve obviously been busy because when I’m busy, I don’t update.  But I can’t really explain most of my time away.  My Bidding website certainly takes a lot of credit for my virtual disappearance.  It brings in actual money for me each month, so that is where my priority is for now.  I’m also creating a new website, CFI-Wiki that will hopefully mature over time and pick up the slack when the bidding website becomes obsolete (new bidding system in the works at the company).  Also thinking about a similar program that checks our paysheets.  Though the other sites have been using the excuse of “making money” to keep me away from DarkMercury, I like reading through my history and large gaps like this one disappoint me a lot.

So happy new year, and what’s happening with me since Quakecon?  Well Alison and I celebrated our first anniversary in October with a trip to Washington DC.  We went to DC a few times when we started dating to see the pandas at the zoo.  Traveled in our usual style this time though.  Flew into DCA and took the subway to the Grand Hyatt downtown.  The hotel sits right on top of the Metro Center subway station, making travel across the city pretty easy.  Well our hotel experience was not the best, but we were getting by at the employee rate, so I will not complain too much.  Worth the price, I guess.  We spent a lot of time at the Smithsonian museums, and some at the monuments.  I guess there is a Martin Luther King Jr memorial that we missed.  They were also digging up the Reflection Pool, which was a bummer.  But the Smithsonian is always amazing and I could spend the entirety of any DC trip there.  Someday we will get to Puerto Vallarta, I swear!  Also, I don’t know why my camera turns into absolute garbage as soon as the sun starts to set.

Christmas was pretty quiet.  We spent it in Texas by ourselves.  I think we both ended up with the flu.  I missed a lot of work because of it and got invited to the chief pilot’s office, but what can you do.  I’m almost a year in now on the Embraer 145 aircraft.  I noticed I haven’t really made any real post about it.  Maybe I will soon, but the ERJ is a good but boring plane.  It runs more consistently, which is nice.  I get home on time more often.  But there aren’t many good stories.  It hasn’t tried to kill me a single time, which is good but helps contribute to my lack of posts. 

American has declared bankruptcy, which is stopping the upgrades to captain.  I was pretty close, actually.  Besides getting to be the big boss of the airplane and getting to fly it the way I want to, it comes with quite a pay raise that I want.  A few months of captain time looks better on the resume than years and years of FO time.  When people ask me what’s going to happen with the bankruptcy, I don’t have much to tell them.  They are negotiating with the mainline unions right now.  What comes of that will affect whether Eagle grows or shrinks.  I’ve spent too much time at Eagle to give up my seniority by leaving, so I’m just going to stay put and see what happens.  I don’t think the airline will shrink to the point where I get furloughed or anything.  Eagle could end up growing to take over some mainline flying, or we could start competing with other regionals for American flying and shrink.  Until the mainline negotiations finish, I just don’t know yet.  I’m guessing that, like other legacy carriers, the unions will be stripped of their pay and pensions.  This makes the whole pilot gig less appealing in the long run and will hurt the industry.  I tell people I’m not afraid of losing my job, I’m afraid of losing my career.


In the beginning of this year, both Alison and I have gotten new cars.  It was awesome having her car paid off, but it was starting to get up there in years, and I didn’t want to have her break down when I was away on a trip, so we looked into a new car for her.  She wanted a Hyundai Santa Fe, so we found a good used one and traded in the VW Rabbit, plus some cash and got a low payment.  I still need to get a picture of her with it.

On Friday, we went down to the VW dealership to look at a new Jetta for me.  I’ve been going through cars pretty quickly in the last few years, but I really hope this is the one that sticks for a while.  I have good feelings about it.  I had a 2010 Jetta Limited Edition, and just traded it for a similar 2010 Jetta Wolfsburg Edition (WE).  Over time, the 2.5 engine and the transmission on the old Jetta was starting to bother me.  When I accelerated, the engine sounded kind of raspy, and it seemed to run at high RPM.  Was it trying to force me to drive slower for more MPG?  The actual car itself was very nice.  While Alison was looking for her car, we saw a Salsa Red Jetta Wolfsburg in the VW lot.  My cars have always been black or silver, but I was very impressed with the color(s).  That particular one was an automatic, but I started to casually look at other Wolfsburgs. 


A 6-Speed in the right price range finally turned up, looking very cool in the same red color, tinted windows, the rear spoiler lip, and tan interior.  The WE has the better, turbocharged engine and it is quite an improvement over the old one.  The features of the new car are pretty much the same as my last Jetta.  It has the same dashboard and radio, although bluetooth audio finally works!  So it’s really an upgrade of style and engine.  I wrote in the last Jetta post that part of growing up was realizing your priorities and not necessarily needed the fastest car on the road.  So I must be growing younger again, haha.  That’s still true though.  Alison’s Rabbit had a 2.5 engine with the 5 speed, and I loved that setup, even though it was 20HP less than the Jetta.  Had the gearing been set up the same, I would have been happy.  But I was just not enjoying the Jetta’s engine the same way as the Rabbit and I couldn’t see myself owning it until it died.  Well I really like the new car, just hope that the previous owners were nice to it and it will last a long time.

On the computer front, my awesome 8800GT video card finally died after almost 4 years.  I bought an overclocked 560Ti to replace it, and Left 4 Dead 2 looks awesome at 2560x1600 res.  Both cards are made by evga and hopefully this one will last just as long.  I’d like to further replace the cpu/ram/motherboard before Quakecon time, but I’ll save that for a summer project. 

I sold my iPad1 to get some cash for the iPad3, which is coming out soon.  I think I’ll dedicate a separate post for that.  I also spent $25 and bought two G3 iMacs.  The graphite one is pretty decent and I’m going to keep that one.  The indigo one is slower, and scratched up so I’m trying to pawn that off on craigslist and make $20 back.  I remember middle school when the iMac first came out, and I didn’t like it.  I was very anti-Mac back then.  However, it did what it set out to do and changed the industry.  It was able to win me over eventually, so it is an impressive machine.  For $25 (potentially $5), it’s a cool piece of history.  It even runs OSX 10.4 Tiger pretty well.  You can browse the internet, do email, run some pretty recent software, etc.  Not bad for a 15 year old computer.


Hopefully it won’t take me 6 months to do the next one.

Posted by eclipse on 03/04/2012 at 04:51 AM
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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Quakecon 2011

Quakecon 2011 started off the same way they all do, with Tim and his friends arriving at my house on Tuesday.  I was lucky again this year to get the time off work.  Since the Quakecon dates are rarely announced in time, I had guessed the wrong weekend to apply my vacation time.  We had a smaller group this year, almost the same people as last year.  Tim, Adam, March, Steve, Matt, Joe and Jo all came down.  Normally, they arrive early to help volunteer for setup.  This year though, a vacation was needed and everyone just used the time to relax and have a good minilan (the LAN before the LAN).  They do enough volunteering throughout the event, and it was good to finally see them.  Usually, between their staying at the hotel and their volunteering, it would feel like I never saw them. 


We were feeling a little skittish about the convention this year, after network outages turned Quakecon into IRC’con last year.  This year the Quakecon website was hacked and there was very little information available.  It seemed like no one really cared about Quakecon anymore and the magic was dying. 

Overall though, I think we were mostly happy with Quakecon 2011.  If you’ve ever been to one then you know what it is like.  Depending on what breaks that year, they are all pretty much the same.  The network was much more stable this year, due mainly to a routed network instead of switches.  AT&T sponsored internet was a very welcome addition.  But there was a flaw in the network this year.  Using routers instead of switches meant that searching for LAN games wouldn’t work.  To get into a game, you had to manually type in an IP Address, which is a pain to look up.  Lacking an official solution to the problem, I personally started keeping track of LAN Games and sharing the info over a twitter account and the IRC room.  It was a detriment to the LAN overall, in my opinion, but not a huge one.  My efforts seemed mostly futile as there just weren’t enough people following the twitter accounts and joining IRC.  Over time, we just started playing games online, since the speed was good enough.  In the end, it didn’t really matter if you were playing with strangers in the room or strangers on the internet.


I played mostly QuakeLive of course, and did decent.  The most fun, however, were the Left 4 Dead 2 versus matches we played.  There were 8 of us, which is the perfect number for a L4D2 vs match, and of us only 3 really play the game.  Dead Air had just been released, so we played a lot of that.  It was pretty fun to stumble around as noobs. 

The vendors area was borderline empty.  There was a Dell/Alienware setup, and some Rage.  I think a Silverstone booth sold some headsets.  I can’t remember the other ones and frankly I didn’t spend much time there.  Ventrillo again tried to give away a car and again I didn’t care.  Joe wasted a lot of his time standing around the QuickDraw stage trying to win a chance to play a game and maybe win some money.  Some money that they probably won’t pay anyways.  I stopped fighting over the prizes a long time ago.  I never win and why waste the time.

With Jo’s prompting, I went to more panels this year.  They had one which was an interview with some of the key id software employees which was cool.  John Carmack is a smart guy and it was interesting.  What was less interesting was the PC Perspective event.  Year after year we go hoping to win big prizes but as always, nothing.  I can’t remember anything actually presented there except Nvidia was there and I can’t remember what they were on about.  Nvidia Douche [1] [2] returned this year with a speaking role.  I noticed that every picture I took of him always comes out the same.  However, March, Jo and I made it interesting by (joining the crowd in) yelling crude things at them.  They couldn’t hear us but it was funny to those around.  What was terribly depressing was an actual fight that erupted over a PC case given out as a prize.  They wrestled and twisted and fell over each other and we all watched in horror.  Sad to watch people’s morality absolutely dissolve at the hint of material gain.


Though it was better than last year, we haven’t decided if we are going back next year.  There was an idea floating around of renting a place to set up a big minilan and just have the week to ourselves.  Maybe over time it will turn into our own convention.  Either way, as long as we keep getting together once a year that’s enough for me.

Posted by eclipse on 09/04/2011 at 02:06 AM
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