longwing: (Human)
SOME of you are obligated by the societal overmind to buy me pretty things for my birthday. Me, I'm kinda chill about the whole thing, but if you're looking for something fast and easy, I'd suggest eBooks.

I can crack Kindle DRM. Heh Hehe Hahahahahaha! Hem. Sorry. I can crack Kindle DRM, so eBooks from Amazon are a fantastic idea. I can load them on any device under the sun, and I properly own what I'm given.

Here's my Amazon wishlist, which is still pretty accurate. A lot of the stuff on there is also available as ebooks, though I'll not turn my nose up at papery products or DVDs.

Some stuff from my Amazon wishlist that's available in e-format (in no order whatsoever):
The Apex Book of World SF
Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies
Makers *
Ariel
Elegy Beach
Occult America
Pandora's Star
Judas Unchained
Marooned in Realtime
The Peace War
Dragons Wild
Look to Windward
Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present *
Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe
Zoe's Tale
The Name of the Wind
The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City

* Doctorow's books are not available for the Kindle, but if you buy a paper copy, I'll download the open eBook from Cory's site: http://craphound.com/makers/download/

If you're interested in wending further afield. Drive Through RPG has PDFs of the Dragonstar RPG supplements.

Or ya'know, whatever you feel like getting. Nothing's cool too, or wellwishes.
longwing: (Default)
Ever since the advent of OS X, Apple seems to be caught in a twin spiral of Success and Change. New computer designs, iPods, iTunes, you name it. In the eyes of the market, it's like the Mac can do no wrong. Their stock skyrockets as the company we once knew seems to constantly shift. Since well before this new revolution, one thing has been true: Apple sees itself as a hardware company, not a software company. A pity, as anyone who's toyed with OS X can attest to Apple's skill at building an Operating System.

Apple's skill with an OS was born from necessity, it's not like the Mac could run anything else, so they had to build a modern OS to stay competitive. Even as recent as the G4 and the G5, their computers have utilized a fundamentally different architecture from a PC. Then along comes OS X, and suddenly the Mac has an x86 style OS running on a Motorola style processor. In recent months, the Macintosh developer community has been scrambling to keep up with one of Apple's latest innovations: The shift to Intel CPU's. This was (to total dorks anyways) a really big deal. Since their inception, Macintosh computers have used Motorola processors.

Stop and think about that for a moment. The latest Macintosh computers aren't actually Macs at all. They're Intel architecture systems running a Unix OS. Granted, they're extraordinarily well designed, but behind the curtain, they're rather similar to a PC with a mandatory shift away from windows...

Until...

The moment Apple ditched the aging Motorola CPUs, there were rumblings amongst the hacker and developer communities. Intel CPUs meant Intel program calls, making it hypothetically possible to run PC style OSes on Mac hardware. Anyone who's seen a Titanium brand laptop has wanted one, but most of us don't want to ditch Windows for it's far more incompatible competitor. Whine though we do about the evils of Microsoft, we want all our software to run out of the box. The call went out: A challenge, get XP to run on a Mac... Scary thought right? It gets worse.

The challenge took several months to address, but eventually a collaborative pair of hackers came up with the solution to the various technical problems and posted their findings. It was now possible (through massive hacking) to get XP running on your Mac...

"Fine" you say, "but hackers are always doing weird stuff to their computers, it's not like this is practical, it's not like it's official. Well... it wasn't official, until yesterday. Tuesday, April 4th, Apple started a public beta of their Bootcamp software, a bootloader which allows a user to install Windows on an Intel Mac. Intel Mac users will now be able to Dual-Boot to Windows or OS X.

Macs are now Windows machines. It's a beta. It's unstable. It's imperfect. But it points to the intentions of Apple. There's no denying it, they intend to make Windows available on the Mac. Within hours of the announcement, their stock shot up by $10 per share. As I've said before, in the eyes of business, Apple can do no wrong. I, on the other hand, have my doubts about this plan. Long before the conversion of Macs to Intel architectures, there was a great deal of success in porting OS X to Intel computers, installing it on various brands of laptop and PC. (Picture a Dell running OS X, it's still ugly, but at least it's not as ugly as it was before.) Yet Apple responded to this by threatening lawsuits to any who made the info publicly available.

As I've said, Apple sees itself as a hardware company. OS X exists to sell Macs, not the other way around. The prospect of their superior OS getting ported to non-Mac hardware scared the heck out of them, and they responded as any corporation would: With an opening salvo of lawyers. From the perspective of hardware, the dual-boot makes a Mac far more desirable, and it is thus greeted as a great idea by Apple.

But what about OS X? What about those of us who were finally looking at a competitor to the Windows monopoly? What about our dreams of dual booting PCs?

I guess we'll just have to keep on hacking.
longwing: (Grin)
...

......

Kawaii!

Thank you, that is all.

Tech Bits

Nov. 10th, 2005 02:42 pm
longwing: (Default)
The debate over the need for a new gadget is a significant thing within the mind of a geek. Or perhaps it's just me, my mind. Within my own skull, it is a psychological battle of epic proportions. Paradigms, like nations, rise and fall on the backs of innocent ideas. Mindfields lie scattered with the corpses of young thoughts, fresh and idealistic only moments before.

Enough hyperbole, let's talk iPods.

I heard about the iPod linux project quite a while back, but they never really had bullet point to sell them until now. Recently, some bored coders manufactured a port of a certain famous piece of software, successfully compiling and playing iDoom. the photographs of this border on comedy, as the tiny screen attempts to reproduce Doom's environment on the tiny iPod screens. This, to me, would be the primary motivator to buying an iPod. Music is all well and good, videos are cool too, but old school hardcore gaming? Sign me up.

In other news, the suspiciously "me too" branded iCel might be of interest to anyone who's ever needed some extra battery life. Small battery manufacturer Lithium House, is offering the iCel as a solution to the frequently demanding consumer needs for long lasting batteries. Despite the obvious target audience implied in the name, the device also comes in a non-apple style. Basically, the iCel is a lithium battery attached to a USB cord. The iCel functions as a portable charger for any device that gets its juice through USB. They promise up-to 20 hours of extra life (read, 8 to 10 hours). Their laptop-style models are particularly interesting, with modern laptops having run times under 4 hours, this could be a way to breathe a little extra life into a short-running system.

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