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User Journal

Journal: Interface 2

Journal by Oculus Habent
OK, seriously... it took me two minutes to figure out that my last journal was too old to comment in... just couldn't seem to see that line of text in the haze of an interface.
Censorship

Journal: Dialog 9

Journal by Oculus Habent

Speech made our country great. We started out as a series of letters, articles, and speeches.

Speech made our country progress. The melting pot allowed people to challenge cultural expectations, and speech drove people to act.

The infringement of speech made our country sterile. Limitations on comfortable and acceptable and, worse still, correct took away our dialog. People became sensitive because they were told they should be. People stopped saying things... not because they didn't believe them, but because they shouldn't say them. We sealed our differences and problems away behind a facade of correctness.

The infringement of speech has broken logic and sense. Now that it is wrong to say a thing, it becomes wrong to think the thing. Our limitation of speech has turned into a limitation of thought.

I may not agree with what you think. I may not agree with what you say. I may think your opinion is bad, or wrong, or even dangerous. But it is yours to have.

If I stand by and deny you have a different opinion, I am enabling the perpetuation of your opinion by my inaction. It is only through communication that we can learn. Without dialog, we are stagnant.

User Journal

Journal: Arms Race. 1

Journal by Oculus Habent

My left and right hemispheres are in an arms race, and they are mining my sinuses for biological weapons.

No one wins this kind of war.

User Journal

Journal: Writing: Jell-O 1

Journal by Oculus Habent

Waiting for the water to heat, I tear open the packet of Sugar-Free Lime Jell-O, and suddenly I am four years old, and the air is thick with fingerpainting. This magic powder smells of pale blue liquid starch, mixed with non-toxic Tempra paint that I smear it around in swirls and shapes on construction paper. I've got paint up to my elbows, and so does every kid sitting at the table with me, and we are all smiling ear-to-ear.

As I pour the boiling water in over the powder, the familiar lime scent fills the room, and the moment is gone. But as the Jell-O cools, a lingering trace of starch hangs in the air, and makes me smile.

User Journal

Journal: MacBook Owners: Slow to Sleep? 1

Journal by Oculus Habent

Hey - any of you MacBook or MacBook Pro owners -- do you notice any delays in sleep? My PowerBook G3 was insta-sleep, insta-wake. The MBP will sit for several seconds before sleeping.

Some guesswork on this yet to do. I did copy my profile over when I got the new Mac, so I'll be creating a new user and seeing if it happens on that one.

I'll keep you posted.

User Journal

Journal: On Bans 2

Journal by Oculus Habent

Has any legislator ever heard the term "incentive"?

Instead of banning bad things, how about offering tax breaks and refunds for doing/using good things, or even taxes on "bad" things?

Isn't it better to nudge people in the right direction than to blockade off the wrong ones?

At some point, a person must make their own choice, even if it's the wrong one.

User Journal

Journal: New MacBook Pro 2

Journal by Oculus Habent

Got my MacBook Pro. So smooooth and shiiiiiny. Substantially faster than the 1.66 Core Duo Mac mini, but the faster, better processor and 4x the memory can do that. Profile copied over from my PowerBook, and I'm enjoying the mostly useless glow of the keybaord backlight. 802.11g is hella faster than b.

Ambient light sensors and TV in a dark room make for a throbbing keyboard.

MacBook Pro. Schweet.

User Journal

Journal: Changing of the Guard IV: MacBook Pro

Journal by Oculus Habent

NOTE: This is me, waxing poetic about my old laptop. Skip to the **** if you don't care. :P

I'm a laptop kind of guy. When they said you can't take it with you, they there wrong. I've owned a PowerBook since 1995, starting with the PowerBook 190. After a summer of interning, I bought myself a PowerBook 1400cs in 1997, and traded my 190 in on a PowerBook G3 (Pismo) through a deal Apple set up to appease owners of 190s and 5300s -- bad power connector design led to them snapping of motherboards... happened to me twice.

My G3 has served me well, though I've been unkind to it. Over the years, I've literally stepped on it twice, with no ill effects. I've lost the IR port cover. I fell and shattered the screen, which I later replaced. The 10-gig drive was too small, so I upped it to a 30-gig, and the DVD-ROM died, so I replaced it with a Combo drive from an iBook -- without a faceplate. The new battery's contacts have become bent and it spontaneously loses power, so it's become a tethered portable, too. I've been hard with the connectors, and one USB and one FireWire port don't work anymore. The case is cracked around the TouchPad button (happened the same time as shattering the screen).

Still, it's been with me for over six years, and seen every version of Mac OS between 9.0.2 and 10.3.9, including Mac OS X Beta. I've logged thousands of hours on this keyboard. It's alternated between my primary and secondary computer as my PCs grew and aged. It's no longer fast enough to play some things -- even Homestar Runner gets out of sync at times -- but it's got a solid browser and e-mail client, and I am not ashamed to say that I am fond of it.

I have long considered the Pismo to be some kind of peak in Apple laptop design. Not that the TiBook, AlBook, and MacBook Pro aren't great systems; it's just that the Pismo had so many things going for it. Removable media drive that offers a second battery. Modem, Ethernet, IrDA, 802.11, and FireWire for networking, and I've used them all. I've used every port, slot and connector on my PowerBook for some real task. It's substantially upgradeable -- the wireless, memory, hard drive and processor are all accessed under the keyboard and require at most a philips screwdriver. I could push it to a 550 MHz G4 with 1 gig of RAM if I chose, but the upgrades are half the cost of a new MacBook Pro.

****
I had my eye on the late-model PowerBook G4s, and the MacBook Pro, and waiting has only brought better things. $2500 has gone from 512MB to 2GB of memory, 60GB to 120GB, 128 to 256 VRAM, 802.11g to 802.11n. So, I've been fighting with myself for months, and what I might call good sense finally gave in to the shiny.

Refurbished, with a 20% discount, I should be seeing my new MacBook Pro 2.33 Core 2 Duo today or Monday, depending on the whims of FedEx.

Media (Apple)

Journal: Apple: Predictions

Journal by Oculus Habent

Yeah, I'm one of those. :P

So, my money is on media.

They pre-announced the iTV, to help push movies with the promise of viewing them on your TV. Also, everything but the Mac Pro comes with built-in draft-n chipsets these days.

I think they'll release the iTV -- whatever it ends up being called -- along with an update that enables the draft-n capabilities in existing systems, more studios in the online movie sales, and possibly the "One True Video iPod®"

Then the iPhone, Mac Phone, Apple Phone, Mac Talk, Steve's Super Duper Communicator Plus 5000... whatever. I'd like to see a hard drive model, but people keep talking about Nano equivalency. It's supposed to run a slimmed down Mac OS X, so I'm expecting 802.11 & Bluetooth as well as GSM/GPRS/EDGE, and the ability to download songs from the iTunes Music Store. I also suspect that Sherlock will be a big part of the phone's software services.

I think we might see vidcast software, much like the podcast additions to Garageband, which will go nicely with the built-in iSight cameras and iChat's "greenscreen" abilities.

We'll see.

User Journal

Journal: Writing: Vines

Journal by Oculus Habent

Dazzling droplets
Filled with stolen sunlight
Fall like atom bombs
On broad grape leaves
Outstretched and yellowing in the autumn afternoon.

Perfect projectiles
Splash miniature mushroom clouds
Frightening in their reproduction
Brilliant in their grace
On the thick, veiny leaves.

Gnarled vines
Twist and weave through the canopy above me
Wild grow the grapes, here.

These are my grandfather's grapes.

User Journal

Journal: Writing: Discovery

Journal by Oculus Habent
Chapter 1: A Last Request.

Hello, my name is Jacob, and I am about to die. Could you please hold onto this letter for me?
...
No, don't mail it. It will find its way.
...
I have only a bit of money, but I will gladly give it if you will do this for me.
...
Thank you so very kindly. Here is all that I have. Take it with my thanks.
...
No, no, it will find it's way.

It always does.

----
Chapter 2: Morning

Hello, my name is Jacob. I am the son of Nathaniel, whom you knew some years ago in Ontario.
...
Yes, that's papa. That's him exactly.
...
Oh, thank you. It has been a long journey and I could sit a spell.

My, this is pleasant. A fine home you have here.
...
Indeed, indeed.
...
Certainly. It is papa that brings me here, after a fashion. You see, papa died three months ago, and we just finished the execution of his will. That is why I am here. This may strike you as odd but...

You see, the last thing in papa's will was a small oak box with no hinge or obvious mechanism. Smooth and tight were all edges, though hollow it must have been by its weight. It was bequeathed to me with a cryptic message: "In this box is discovery."

So intrigued was I that I thought of nothing else for a week. I rose before dawn and lapsed into sleep late in the evening as I begged the box to reveal its secrets. I took to carrying the box with me should inspiration about its mysterious construction strike me. It was this happy chance that gave me the first clue.
----

"I'm not a god, I was misquoted." -- Lister, Red Dwarf

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