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Prompted by a recent entry by keihound, I thought I'd point out one of my old favorites again: Macca Strewth, a great little short about the Total Legend from Down Under. ^_^ (Direct download here)

Congratulations are in order for bosn's creative solution to a lack of interesting food in his hotel room. ^_^

The comic "Bunny" is often worth keeping up with, but this one particularly amused me. Which isn't too difficult.

Jon Stewart and Senator Ted Stevens explain the nature of the internet. Highly educational. As, indeed, was their look at one man who moved into the Castro, only to find a disturbingly prominent presence of gayness.

The good folks at the Omni Group make some very spiffy software, so, it's maybe not too surprising that they'd gain some interest in mounting a guessing game, giving clues as to their next app, obliquely including:

1. Tried to get a dog to bark on command; failed.
2. Attempted to order a gorilla mask; succeeded.
Caveat: The above is in no way a red herring or misdirection, it is all completely true.

Meanwhile, it seems to be confirmed: the Mac Pro will sport dual Xeon 5100 ("Woodcrest") CPUs, each dual-core.

Hee! There's a new anime - stop-motion clay animation, unusually - based on the Taiko no Tatsujin games. Well, newly subtitled, anyway, given it was broadcast last year.

And I've got to point out this home shopping presenter and his horse, which mycroftb discovered. =:)
Funny about the Mac Pro. Or, more specifically, the CPUs. Or, even more specifically, the frequency at which they run.

To explain... what *is* funny is that I got my own computer five years or so ago. It's got a CPU that runs at 2,66 GHz, and now, five years later, 3 GHz is still a reasonable frequency? It's kinda surprising really...

Yep, seems the industry's finally (for now) hit something of a ceiling, where it's much simpler to just add processors, rather than go to the trouble of doubling clock speed, with the terrible penalty of much higher heat production across the same die area. It's also finally meant (yay!) laptop performance can be equal to desktops. ^_^ Well, other than things like dual dual-core systems, unless someone brings out a dual dual-core laptop too.. =:)

'Course, the crucial difference is how much a processor can get done per tick - a G3 and G4 at the same frequency isn't much of a match, simply because of Altivec. Gods know, processor architecture's come a long way since the 6502, with its simple "fetch an instruction, execute it, then go on with the next", and a dizzying six registers. ^_^ (A, X, Y, SP, PC, P) Speculative execution, data stream prefetching, and the whole world of cache missing and attempts to avoid that, automatically and manually, to name but a few aspects of modern code efficiency, let alone all the multiple execution units that can be working in parallel, the results retired strictly in order, so the eventual results are identical as if each instruction really had been executed in linear order.
Oh, yes, certainly - I just think it's funny given the industry's MHz arms race just a few years ago. Processors have still gotten faster, of course, but it's still interesting that some kind of glass ceiling seems to have been hit for now, too.

I've said a few years ago that we'll see a trend in the future towards lower power consumption etc., rather than increased raw performance at all costs; GPU performance and RAM seem more important than CPU performance for games these days, and for "regular" work, you don't need a GHz processor, anyway. Reduced power consumption, on the other hand, is very desirable; for laptops, it's clear why, anyway, and for desktops, well, even if most people don't think about the amount of money they'll save in, say, a year, they *will* care about things like noise, so a temperature-controlled fan on a low-power CPU will make a nice and silent computer. *s*
Oh, very much so - Ocelot's still a perfectly viable system I keep running for things like video compression, and it's merely a 400MHz G4 on a 133MHz bus. Hyzenthlay can do more, obviously, but usually, for my purposes, it doesn't matter if a compression run takes several hours or a day or two.

Quiet computing is nice, definitely. Hyzenthlay, being a laptop (as indeed are most, if not all, of my systems), has to be power efficient - an admirable trait in any regard, given society's ever-rising energy demands - but that also makes for a wonderfully quiet system, given it normally runs with purely passive thermal dissipation, and the fan(s?) are almost silent, even when working at full speed. Still a far cry from the original iBook, though, which had no fan at all.

It's also interesting to observe how laptop design has evolved, accommodating greater power (and how!), yet the battery life has remained much the same, or even improved - Raccoon (PB5300c) in 1995 saw about 2-3 hours on a charge, as did Bunny (Wallstreet) in 1998, and Ocelot (rev.A TiBook) in 2001. Now, Hyzenthlay's getting around 4-5 hours. That, despite fairly fundamental design changes along the way, and not a huge change in battery technology, though makers do seem to've been able to coax out little increments in capacity. (Though as that recent flaming Dell in Japan reminds us, high energy density comes at a price. Hopefully the post mortem will be able to indicate just what went wrong - that'd be bad enough if someone were using it on their lap at the time, let alone if it were on an aircraft)
*noddles* I used to have a server for a while - a Pentium 166, IIRC, with 128 MB of RAM. It ran quite perfectly; the only thing that *ever* annoyed me was the small 2 GB hard disk.

But that's it. In terms of computing power and RAM, it was completely OK (although I suspect running OpenBSD on a headless machine takes less resources than using windoze on a regular PC ^_~)...

And yeah, battery life etc. has improved nicely, too, hasn't it? Not to mention other things like display technology... I still had an old, old 386SX (I think it was an SX, at least) laptop until recently that belongs to a friend of mine (I don't have it anymore now because I returned it); it's broken, but we did use to use it in the past. Compared to today's laptops, the sheer weight, the bulky case, and particularly the small, crappy display (monochrome, of course, highly sensitive to viewing angle, and with lots of afterglow ghost images) are quite unbelievable. We did come a long way...
I once held one of the original Toshiba laptops - the first device that could really be called a laptop, from around 1985. Wow. Yep, monochrome (1-bit) display, response time you could watch.. and now, I'm using a system with a 1680x1050 17" display, with a GPU that can hold its own with its desktop counterparts. And the memory! Ye gods.. FurToonia and Brazilian Dreams II ran on a red_panda, NextStation with a whole 48MB of memory. Hyzenthlay's got 128MB just for the video controller.. and 2GB for everything else. More than the size of red_panda's hard drive. ^_^

Yay OpenBSD! Still one of the most secure OSs around. I just wish Apple could enforce such strict code auditing, regardless of origin - as I recall, Darwin draws on all three BSDs, though mostly FreeBSD. (Gods, it's so nice to have up to the minute tools.. back in System 7's day, things like Perl were purely external efforts, nothing to do with the main development branch, not to mention optional, so nothing could rely on it being present. Now, there's Ruby, Python, Perl, Java, various shells, C/C++/Objective C, all free. Not bad, especially considering how much NextStep Developer used to cost =:)
Heh. Well, OK, the display on the laptop I had wasn't 1-bit, but it was gray-scale, at least. You could play DOOM on the laptop, but only if you enjoyed ghost images and 2 fps frame rates...

As for memory size... yeah, that's amazing, too, isn't it? My current computer only has 512 MB, but still, when you compare that with my first hard disk (31 MB), it's amazing.

And yeah, OpenBSD is neat, isn't it? I just wish Theo would shed his idiotic attitude towards Linux (the man's so driven by envy it's not funny anymore - how about some professionalism for a change?); but fortunately, you can use it without subscribing to the politics behind it.
The refresh rates of LCDs really did start off amazingly slow, ne? Used to be able to see a calculator's segments fade, once upon a time, back when they were assembled by those newcomer coelacanths. (Tricky job, too)

And only a few years ago, the idea of touching the ceiling of 24 bit address space in a home system seemed so far away..

I just hope someone can bring the world of 3D gaming to life - neat as games like Half Life 2 are, the appearance of facial movements, limbs, hair flow, hand motions, and suchlike still scream out "game!". Much more detailed than something from five years ago, but still very obviously artificial, compared to the demos from nVidia and ATi. Still, I suppose it comes down to flexibility - those demos exist for one specific purpose, whereas HL2 needs to be able to accomplish more, and SL even moreso. It'll just get better, with the GPUs able to do more in parallel, as well as a greater variety of tasks - the Havok2 engine's meant to be able to perform collision detection on the GPU, f'rex, towards greater interaction of the character with its surroundings, without specific input from the player.

Mm, I'm not much of one for computing politics - I'm happy to use closed and open source software. The more pressing matter, I feel, is interoperability, such that someone using file format X on OS Y can have it interpreted corrected by an entirely different app running on OS Z. The problem comes in the economics, I suppose - companies and people like being paid for their work, so groups like the MPEG-LA place prices on licenses for the various versions of MPEG. I wish they'd simply green-light free licenses for non-commercial open source projects like VLC and mplayer - as is, they operate in something of a legal grey zone. Silly, given their only goal is to spread the usability of the formats available, from Cinepak to H.264. Yet, quite legitimately, there has been a lot of work put in to produce things like H.264 (I just adore the low bitrate performance.. amazing to see decent quality 320x240 29.97fps video at 190kbps, or lower, or the high quality attainable on a greater bit budget), which nobody begrudges recompense for, even if software patents are a rather strange concept. (And far too easily gained, as physical patents show, at least in the US, where it seems almost anything can be patented)
*noddles* I'm sure games will get better - back in 1993, we marvelled at how realistic DOOM looked, but when we look at it today, especially in 320x200 (the original resolution), it looks quite crappy (or at least outdated). ^^ Who knows what games will be like 12,5 years from now? The only thing I'm sure about is that we'll look back at today's games the same way then...

And yeah, I'm not a big fan of politics, either. I do try to use free software, and I certainly agree with the ideals of free software that rms put forth, but the bickering and mud-slinging by Theo de Raadt really turns me off, so to speak. :) He's just an idiot really - a technical genius, but still an idiot.

Ah well. :)
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*giggle* It's a classic, even by their standards. I loved the guy's reaction to Ed Helm's lament about his apartment near LaGuardia..

(I love the way there's no problem with showing those dildos, but they have to bleep out particular words, despite airing at 11pm or so, on a cable channel)
I think too much. I was looking for a horse within the moth picture like one of those magic eye puzzles!
Hee! That was where my brain slipped a gear - I was fully expecting the obvious: he'd look at the picture produced, and then realise his mistake.. *giggle* I'm guessing the crew aren't going to let him forget that one in a hurry. ^_^

(Gods, that breathless enthusiasm over perfectly routine goods. How do they manage, for hours at a time? Maybe the thought "I'm earning $200/hr for this!" helps =:)
I've noticed your mention of 'Gods' before. Reminds me how little of your life background info I really know. And I want to knooooow!
*giggle* Really just a turn of speech, in my case - I appreciate spirituality, but I'm essentially a materialist in that sense: no afterlife, no gods[1], just this incredible wonder that is the planet, and the universe. That said, I have enjoyed musing over the Tao - it's not, and can't be taken to be, prescriptive: it makes no commands, but rather, offers observations and musings of its own. Its serenity rings true with me - the futility and abhorrence of violence, for one, disdaining the notion of strong rulers, as that only shows them to be out of harmony with the people; that a good ruler will be virtually unnoticed.

[1] If I were of a deistic bent, though, I quite like the Egyptian pantheon. (Ever read Sheba? Rather cool!) The Norse gods, too. And I'm fascinated by the interlinking thereof, with the Greek gods all but co-opted by the Romans, and the horned Pan seemingly being turned into Satan, or the rise to power of Jehovah above the other gods of the region - what of them? Does anything remain?

Shinto has appeal, too - indeed, that underlies quintessentially Japanese productions like Spirited Away, and Kamichu (remarkably good for a TV production, too). Whilst there's undoubtedly a love of love in Christianity, the authoritarian mindset is quite able to twist it into something unrecognisable, just as Judaism and Islam can be bent out of recognisability into tools of hatred. But so it is - expressions of religion and philosophy reflect ourselves just as much as the works themselves. (If I were Christian, I think I'd get along well with Quakers. I like the idea of a total lack of hierarchy - just you and the deity. So easy for a hierarchical apparatus to wind up serving itself much more than its adherents, too)

The challenge, of course, is to try having all these beliefs coexist, when many of them insist on their righteousness to the exclusion of all other religions and deities. The only solution is understanding and acceptance; anything else is ephemeral.
"a lot of love", I meant, though I suppose that's true too, at least in Jesus' own teachings. ^_^
I guess I would be shoehorned somewhere inbetwen Spiritualism and Shamanism. :)

Thank you for the insight, Pors. I have seen a couple of covers from Sheba before - the creator of the comic Kevin and Kell is a fan of it.

The question that most often flickers through my mind - and you may never speak to me again for asking - is that I've never been sure if you're male or female. *slinks off red-faced to hide up a tree*