Archive for January, 2008

A Font for John

January 23, 2008 2 comments

My good friend John can’t STAND the font “Comic Sans”.  You know, the one that looks like this:

John – I give you this from Indexed

Categories: humor

PC vs Mac

January 22, 2008 Comments off

I’ve been working (my butt off) to integrate a new company into our email system over the past week and weekend.  It’s an ad agency so there are a lot of Macs around … which definitely complicates things and created about an extra day of work for me.  I’m not a Mac guy, so a lot of my work has been trial and error with a healthy bit of intuition and a pinch of luck.  That being said, I just had this conversation…

Lead Mac Guy: I just want to say we’ve had more Mac tech support around here in the last 3 days than we have in 9 years.

Me: Wow – thanks, but that’s sad because I don’t have a clue.

[banter about PC’s vs Macs…]

LMG: You’re just jealous because you use a second grade system.

Me: Better second grade than kindergarten!  [walks off to a room of raucous laughter knowing he got in the winning shot]

To quote Toyota … oh what a feeling!

Categories: humor, technology

But how is the cornering?

January 14, 2008 Comments off

JCB Construction's new 60 MPH, state-of-the-art HMEE, built ...

“JCB Construction’s new 60 MPH, state-of-the-art HMEE, built for the U.S. Army and poised for deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan.(PRNewsFoto/JCB)”

Um … yeah.  So evidently we can’t protect our work sites and roads leading to them in Iraq and Afghanistan very well.  So the solution isn’t to better protect them, it’s to order a backhoe that can outrun the insurgents.  I wonder how well this handles the Top Gear test track?

Anyone else see the irony here?

Categories: humor, military, politics

Tech meets Toys

January 12, 2008 1 comment

I thought this was a great comparison of the current market forces behind competitive high definition DVD standards Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.  KC is a HUGE Thomas fan.  🙂

HD DVD vs blu-ray

Categories: Kaitlyn, technology

…and a farting window

January 11, 2008 1 comment

My better half finally updated her blog last night with a post about some things that she likes.  Did you know a window could fart?


Check it out!

Categories: Alicea

He said WHAT?

January 10, 2008 Comments off

I was listening to some call in show on the radio here in Baltimore this morning driving to the office from our hotel.  There wasn’t a lot of moderation beyond “Hello caller…” and it pretty much just seemed like a call in and rant show, with most folks dancing around various different radical ideas.  It was interesting.

There was a caller saying that the Republicans are behind the push to computer-based voting machines so they could easily rig more elections, “just as they have been for years.”

There were callers lamenting the disenfranchising of voters because of ID requirements to prove you actually are the person on the voter rolls.  Specifically one lengthy complaint was that it was too difficult to get yourself down to the DMV to get a drivers license, or even just a simple state ID card (no driving privileges, but it’s a photo ID).

The last call we heard was a rebut of this notion, and it was truly one of the best calls to a radio show I’ve heard ever.  The main point was driven home like this…

I live in a fairly poor area of town … it’s the ghetto really.  If people ’round these parts want to vote they can put the ribs down and the malt liquor and take a couple hours to get their butts to the DMV and get an ID.  They don’t seem to have any trouble finding time to go to clubs or buy lottery tickets.


Categories: politics

Ouch – that’s gotta hurt

January 9, 2008 Comments off

It can’t be a good sign for the Biden, Gravel, or Thompson campaigns when their candidates got fewer votes in New Hampshire than write-ins.  Yikes!

Graphic shows New Hampshire primary results; two sizes; 1c x ...

Categories: politics

When progress bars let you down

January 8, 2008 Comments off

Backup estimate: 686 MB
Backup job so far: 48.5 GB


I love the wait…

Categories: rants, technology

BillG’s last day

January 7, 2008 Comments off

We all have last days…  Here’s what my former boss’ boss’ boss’ last day is going to be like later this year.


Categories: humor

Dell Latitude XT: the verdict

January 2, 2008 3 comments

Also see my other Latitude XT posts: pictures, first impressions, and more thoughts.

I spent most of yesterday using the XT from the comfort of my couch at home while watching bowl games.  How could life get any better … new tech toys and HDTV football.  LOVELY!  I spent most of the afternoon catching up on reading blogs, installing Office 2007 and letting my mailbox sync up from our corporate Exchange server, and some other basic tasks.  Nothing “heavy”.

While I don’t purport to have spent days and days using Dell’s new tablet to it’s fullest extent, I’ve played enough with it to draw up some decent conclusions.

  • This is a decent computer.  It’s not going to break any speed records, but it’s not a slouch either.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this platform to a business user who wants/needs a tablet for everyday use (web, email, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).  This is not the machine for developers or gamers.  As always, if you want to run virtual machines I’d recommend an external hard drive (especially with this box’s 5400rpm ATA disk).
  • It’s a bit slow to boot with the Dell factory image (haven’t made a fresh build to compare though).  18 seconds from power button to Vista’s “green crawl”; at 33 seconds the screen goes black and the box works on loading drivers … for a long time (HD activity dies out for a while too – odd).  At 1 minute 4 seconds the Vista logon screen pops up and is ready to go.
  • The quality is okay, but it’s definitely a version 1 product.  The screen really bugs me for pen input with the (glued on?) “rubbery” coating.  Variations in “feet” height and the screen weight compared to the base both make the system a bit wobbly on a table or lap desk.
  • In laptop mode the computer runs remarkably quiet and cool, even sitting on a couch with the bottom vents restricted by fabric.  In slate mode it’s still quite, but the whole thing heats up noticeably, especially around the screen hinge where you’d naturally hold it.  It’s not horrible, but surprising.  Are they venting this thing through the keyboard?
  • The screen is VERY readable from all angles – notably so.  This is the first tablet I’ve seen where I can easily read the whole page in slate mode without tilting the device up and down for optimal viewing (and I haven’t seen many of the newest ones so don’t hold me to this).  The size of the screen is nice in laptop mode with the widescreen capabilities; in slate mode the height of the display takes some getting used to and I’d love to see it wider.
  • I don’t like the pen compared to the X61t or Toshiba offerings, and the screen coating doesn’t help with writing ease.  It’s comfortable to hold but difficult to use the buttons.  Dell, PLEASE put an eraser button on the back of the pen instead of causing finger gymnastics to erase something.

Overall I think Dell did pretty good for their first foray into the tablet world.  Sure they need to make some upgrades (SATA hard drive anyone?) but it’s not bad.  I wish Dell would make ALL latitudes compatible with the standard docking stations (Lat D430 and XT have to use a custom media bay).

Pricing is a heafty premium compared to the Latitude D430, it’s closest relative.  With our corporate discounts our fully loaded D630’s run around $1600.  This Latitude XT cost our organization about $2400 (3GB RAM, U7600 dual core processor, pre-N WiFi, Vista Ultimate, 3 year Gold support with CompleteCare).

Am I going to use it as my primary machine?  Not right now.  We forgot to put the media base and the Bluetooth card on the order (we walked through the specs on the phone with our rep before it was on Dell’s website).  I’d also want the slim battery base for travel.

Should you buy one?  Maybe.  That’s a pretty personal decision.  Worst case is you get it, hate it, and return it for a refund (check with Dell on their policies for that).  While a tablet is pretty cool to have, for me personally I’ve found that I’m not so sure how often I’d actually use it in tablet mode.  But that’s just me.

Hope these reviews have helped you!