July 2011 Archives

Computers I have owned

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Father and Son

Image by Frankenstein via Flickr

(Pictured: My G4 Cube, which I called "Rubik", and its replacement, creatively named "Rubik Jr.")

In chronological order:

  • No-name MS-DOS clone, 16 MHz 386sx (circa 1993)
  • PowerComputing PowerCenter 150 (Macintosh Clone), PowerPC 604 @ 150 MHz (circa 1996/7)
  • PowerMac G4 Cube, PowerPC G4 @ 450 MHz. Upgraded video and HD eventually sold on Craigslist for parts. This was the transitional machine from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. (2001)
  • Dell Inspiron 1150 Windows XP laptop. Celeron 2.6 GHz. Heavy, and the screen bezel kept cracking (eventually replaced the entire lid). Plus battery life sucked. And I ended up replacing the AC adaptor twice. It did get me through law school, though. (2004)
  • Mac Mini. PowerPC G4 @ 1.42 Ghz. Great computer, but just eventually was overtaken by faster and better computers. (2005)
  • MacBookPro 15". Intel i5 2.53 Ghz. Great computer, though I already know how and when I'll be upgrading it (i.e. SSD drive). (2010)

Basically, it looks like I get a new computer every four or five years. Which is pretty good, given how fast technology changes. It does seem not impossible, however, that my next computer (due for 2015) won't be a "computer" at all.

A few geeky notes: Never personally owned a 68000-series Mac, though my parents had two (a Macintosh SE and a Macintosh IIsi).  Prior to the first computer on the list, I had borrowed from my folks an old IBM XT clone, that I used in college until it died (if memory serves, it was the hard drive controller that croaked, and replacing it was basically impossible). My folks also had an Apple ][+, which is the computer that my father wrote his dissertation on (and got the kids through elementary school and high school).

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9 to 5 Mac has discovered a counterfeit Apple Store in Kunming, China. I have to admit that this kind of chutzpah is impressive. It reminds me of the time that some geniuses managed to counterfeit an entire company, complete with letterhead, order forms, and the like.

As a side note, in China, official Apple Stores only exist in Beijing and Shanghai (not even in Hong Kong). Kunming is a bit off the beaten path...

Excerise for the lawyers: how many IP violations can you spot? Are there any contractual issues? And what might Apple's remedy be?

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This is genius

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Someone came up with the so-genius-that-it's-obvious (or is that the so-obvious-that-it's-genius?) idea of embedding a GPS tracker into a luggage tag

It's called Bagtrakka, and it will have a huge market among people who fly through Heathrow frequently (I'm not saying that they usually lose bags, but let's just say that I have a poor batting average when it comes to having luggage and passenger arrive in the same place at the same time when I go through there).

If it works, this would the greatest thing since adjustable headrests in economy.
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Let's see if this works...

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Sunrise over the archipelago. 

the archipelago

Monkey See, Monkey Do

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I'm sure you've seen, at this point, the self-portraits that a macaque took when he or she "borrowed" a digital camera from a nature photographer (if you haven't, click here for the best one).

Now Techdirt has noticed that the pictures are being distributed with a copyright notice, and wonders how did the new agency acquire the copyright.

I don't think that's the right issue; the real issue here is whether or not monkeys can hold copyright at all. I'm not sure that they can.

And this doesn't even get into the international law and Berne Convention issues...
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Jeff Jarvis is Mad

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Jeff Jarvis gives American Express the heave-ho:

I was a "member" of American Express for 35 years. No more. And Amex doesn't give a shit. So fine. We're well rid of each other.

Basically, apparently no-one at American Express cares about customer retention any more. It might be time to short Amex stock...


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So, according to the New York Times, I'm now a literary trend. Charming, no?

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the inevitable return of the dot com

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http://paulfrankenstein.com is now open for your enjoyment.

Housekeeping, revised

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OK, new plan: paulfrankenstein.org will remain unchanged. The professional site, however, will go and live at paulfrankenstein.COM. That is, I think, the easiest thing to do...

Of course, I seem to have let the .com domain expire. Time to pick it up again....


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I'm doing some light housekeeping on this site. The biggest change will be that I'm moving the (long-dormant) blog off the main page (for now, at least). For now, it's going to live at http://paulfrankenstein.org/blog/. Clever, huh? The main page of this site will probably go to minimal information for the time being. 

The permalinks will stay the same, however. At some point I gotta migrate this off of Movable Type and on to a different platform. 

Man, maintaining an on-line identity is a lot of work...