30 April 2010

that's how they get you

many of the crosswalks in Chicago have timers, conveniently letting you know how much time you have until the yellow light.

only it's not so convenient, as the countdown isn't, in fact, expressed in seconds. It's insidious, somewhere around 7-8 tenths of a second.

i know this, but can't get used to it. it's so ingrained for me to think of that "14" to mean 14 seconds.

it does not.

who do they hire to make these decisions? no one walking to work, i'll assume.

24 April 2010

good god, is backup really this complicated?

today I learned about NAS: network attached storage.

now that i've moved into the 21st century with the purchase of a new mac laptop running Snow Leopard (previously was running Tiger, skipping Leopard entirely), AND designating my laptop as my new "main machine", i thought it high-time to modernize my backup procedures. And to get the gf's machine running regular backups, as well.

naturally, i first investigated Apple's solution, Time Machine and Time Capsule. it didn't take me long to find the accounts of the multitudes with failed Time Capsules, seemingly due to a bad thermal design. That, and there's no built-in RAID, so Time Capsule is off the list. Would still like to use the Time Machine s/w, though. after some googling, I found that what I was looking for was an NAS device.

anyone been to Linksys' site lately? it's now streamlined and fantastically worthless. what is Valet? haven't a clue, other than beautiful people can use it easily.

the Iomega Ix2-200 looked promising, but some devastating reviews @ amazon has put me off. the Netgear Stora stuff also looks interesting, but it seems it also has its fair share of issues. That, and I'm not *at all* convinced that I want the same device storing my backups to also be serving files and media to devices outside my home.

after more research, including finding the (netgear) readynas site and its osx section, the leading contender is a diskless Netgear ReadyNAS duo, which i'll fill with a pair of 2-terabyte Western Digital drives.

i'm still doing research, and need to verify that i can RAID those for a total of 2-terabytes of backup. even with full-bandwidth audio files to back up, and 2 users, that should be enough space for the foreseeable future. And it looks like Time Machine setup is relatively painless.

i think it'll work completely wirelessly, so i can chuck it in a closet and not have to worry about running an ethernet cable between it and my (aged) Linksys router.

hey, makers of automated voice systems

how about starting off like this:

our offices are now closed, but we offer a number of automated options you can access now. to hear our hours, press 1. for automated access, press 2.

i'd like that better than spending 5 minutes navigating your system, hearing all kinds of automated payment information, and then being told your offices are closed when i'm finally presented with an option to speak to someone.

end rant.

17 April 2010

updated MB Pro benchmarks

i visited the apple store again and re-ran XBench for the 13" 2.66 GHz mb pro, providing results that i think are closer to reality (correcting that out-of-whack UI Interface value).

MB Pro 2.53GHz C2D (Nov 2009) 13" MB Pro 2.66GHz C2D (Apr 2010) 15" MB Pro 2.53GHz i5 15" MB Pro 2.66GHz i7
RAM, gig 4 4 4 4
Overall Score 128.33 139.19 166.23 174.52
CPU 181.45 190.23 201.96 221.38
Thread 309.72 280.11 491.01 539.79
Memory 190.57 196.82 314.76 330.08
Quartz Graphics 197.14 164.88 209.01 233.53
OpenGL Graphics 90.44 168.13 198.13 204.90
User Interface 278.42 199.38 324.52 353.68
Disk, Overall 47.99 51.67 52.55 53.42
Disk, Sequential 95.06 100.12 107.92 116.04
Disk, Random 32.09 34.82 34.73 34.69

15 April 2010

XBench figures for April 2010 MacBook Pro lineup

i last did this back in November, but with this week's release of the new laptops, I thought it was time for new benchmarks.

So tonight I stopped by the AppleStore tonight and grabbed some figures, with the same version of XBench (1.3). Again, usual caveats apply wrt variances from test to test, most notably with the User Interface score for the new 13" MB Pro. Sadly, I did only one run. More sadly, they didn't have all versions of the machines, so I grabbed what I could.

For comparison, I included the MB Pro 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo from last fall. Interesting how it and the new 13" 2.66 are not much different, performance-wise, despite the doubled RAM and "improved" graphics card. The move up to the 15" i5 seems a clear step up, though I'm thoroughly unconvinced I need or want a 15" form factor.

MB Pro 2.53GHz C2D (Nov 2009) 13" MB Pro 2.66GHz C2D (Apr 2010) 15" MB Pro 2.53GHz i5 15" MB Pro 2.66GHz i7
RAM, gig 4 4 4 4
Overall Score 128.33 71.97 166.23 174.52
CPU 181.45 190.54 201.96 221.38
Thread 309.72 214.07 491.01 539.79
Memory 190.57 198.92 314.76 330.08
Quartz Graphics 197.14 157.52 209.01 233.53
OpenGL Graphics 90.44 170.67 198.13 204.90
User Interface 278.42 20.29 324.52 353.68
Disk, Overall 47.99 48.02 52.55 53.42
Disk, Sequential 95.06 89.78 107.92 116.04
Disk, Random 32.09 32.77 34.73 34.69

05 April 2010

not a Lotus!

from down the street, i had misidentified this Tesla as the chrome orange Lotus Elise i would love to have. good looking car!