trinityvixen: (balls)
...but yeah, that's how my test went.

Either this professor has mastered a heretofore unrealized goal in my academic experience to date--the perfectly timed test that fills the allotted time perfectly--or that test was like assault. Made worse because before I could be good and violated by it, I had to sit and listen to him drone on about stuff not on our exam. (And that's the last I make of that metaphor because it's creeping me out.) Because we only have one class a week, we can't actually afford to spend a whole class just on a test. So we had more lecture. Then a test. Because a room full of people anxious about their first midterm are totally going to pay attention to anything he's saying that's not related to test material.

Know what else doesn't help? The strange requirement that we fill out an index card with our names and general info during our testing interval. After, before, fine, but using test time for that shit? Really? And the TA? Coming by and TAPPING ON THE EMPTY CARD SO WE FILL IT OUT RIGHT THAT SECOND? Suuuuper helpful. Passive aggressive much?

I have to let it go. I'll have time to fret about how this class will destroy my GPA later. In the mean time, I've got a new iPad to play with, a trip to The Colbert Report with my lab mates tomorrow, and I've had "Bad Romance" stuck in my head for, like, a week, at this point.

Is it Friday yet?
trinityvixen: (question)
Nevermind that test I should be taking the slow day at work to study for! I have computer purchasing questions.

The customer for whom I would be looking to buy a computer is looking for something cheap. Emphasis on cheap. We're talking netbook cheap, here. She is nervous about spending too much money in this economy, saw my netbook, and loved it. I should say she loved the idea of it--how portable and basic it is, for her needs are basic and she does not need bells, whistles, or other such gee-gaws. She wants something purposefully discreet. Not because she plans on doing surreptitious computing but...well, okay, she's planning on doing surreptitious computing. She has to because otherwise her kids might see it and want to take it over from her as they have done the family computers. The less attention the machine draws to itself, the better.

Personally, I'm not sure that a netbook is what she should have. She's older and slightly heavy, and I'm worried that a combination of tiny screen and tiny keys would make it frustrating to use. Better to spend maybe $100 more and get something even 13-14" range with a nearly-100%-sized keyboard. I know some netbooks have 92%-sized keyboards, and those would be fine, but I do still worry about the screen. I'm sure I can find something still relatively portable with a larger screen.

So, here's my question. Two of them, really. One: am I right that a netbook is probably wrong for her? And, two, if I am, where would I go about getting a decent laptop for less than $500?

One option I have found is this coupon for some Dells. They're all, like, four years behind the curve, though. Seriously, my 2006 Dell that I bought (at like four times this price, damn it), had some of these specs. But, like I said, I'm not so sure that that would be terrible for what she needs. It just grates on me because a netbook has better specs, it's just the size that's a problem. Damn it.

Help, tech-savvy friends?
trinityvixen: (no sense)
Having bought a netbook to handle most of the things the iPad wants to do for me, I'm a little annoyed at the iPad's second coming. I say "second coming" because the lackluster response to it at first seems to have been eradicated now that people are starting to get their hands on them. For every person who goes, "I like Flash, actually, and would like to be able to use 99% of the internet that seems to require it these days," or grouses about a 64 GB hard drive computer costing them $900, or who might not want to sell their entire multimedia-consuming soul to Apple, you get articles like this one saying THE iPAD IS THE JESUS CHRIST OF MEDIA. WELCOME BACK, SAVIOR. I get why a magazine would be excited--they really do have to hope the hype is true because they are otherwise fucked as a medium.

I generally expect the hype to fall short at Consumer Reports, though. So I'm reading this and not only am I pissed about the credulous, easily-swayed author basically writing hundreds of words to express an emotion easily summarized in one (that word is "shiny"), but this guy isn't even getting anything...right. It's supposed to be a cogent argument about how the iPad isn't $499, it's easily twice that or more to get out of it the RESURRECTION OF MEDIA MACHINE that Steve Jobs promised you.

Le sigh. )

::rolls eyes::

The apps are a big problem financially speaking, but Apple owning your ass is just not acceptable. Some people, as noted in the Newsweek article, will like Apple streamlining everything for them. I use iTunes myself--it is great for pod-collecting--but iTunes keeps its fucking hands off my everything else. No, you can't play my movies. Stop trying to get me to buy TV series at $2 an episode when I can DVR or Hulu it. If I want to read comics on a computer screen (not my reading method of choice, I assure you), I can do it with any number of programs or, the way I've been doing it 'cause I'm lazy, which is by setting a slide show in fucking Windows Preview. (WORKS JUST FINE.) Thing is, iTunes, you are NOT the best thing for my media browsing. You, in fact, do not please me in my media browsing. You do stupid things like interrupt movies for songs when I just want to check things. Perhaps I can learn to turn that off, BUT I DON'T WANT TO. You don't even support my non-iTunes movies. Why do you want them so badly? Fuck off, I'm using VLC...GAWD, iTUNES, I AM A GROWN WOMAN, I CAN MAKE MY OWN DECISIONS...

And that, in a nutshell, is why being against the iPad makes you look like a crazy person. Because it's crazy not to want something to decide everything for you. (I love you, Google. Let's get married.) I'll take my 250 GB, 3-lb netbook over that damn iPad. Is it weird and a little awkward to carry down the street, reading comics? Yeah, but it's weird (apparently) to read walking down the street regardless, and I have hefted heavier books. You know what my netbook will do, though, that the iPad won't unless you buy a gadget for it? It will let me put it down on table and the screen will stay perpendicular to said table. Isn't that amazing?

ETA: Forgot to mention: Apple is using its bullying power to get rid of Flash-only stuff, btw. So soon that will be taken care of and then you can't object to their shit any more. WE ARE MAKING THE INTERNET IN OUR IMAGE. IT SHALL NOT EAT FROM THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE...

Oh, family

Mar. 22nd, 2010 01:13 am
trinityvixen: (life is a joke)
I don't often speak with my siblings, but when I do? It's always interesting. Usually it vaults between horrible news and great news, so I can't say it's always fun, but it's nearly always fun.

My younger sister called, left me a message while I was at dinner, with the message being about something important, but not urgent, or words to that effect. I called her back, left her a message, she called me back, we chatted for an hour. I had left her a message going "YOU DON'T HAVE ANOTHER CAT, DO YOU?" which she thought was amusing. (I? Less amused at the prospect.) She did not. She joked that she had called to talk with my other younger sister (the youngest), and the youngest worried that it was that she was pregnant. (SHE IS NOT PREGNANT, THANK YOU JEEBUS.) Really, a young, single girl just out of college, there are only so many things she could want to chat about. In the end, nothing awful or anything so life-changing. I even got to tell her--the first family member I've told--about my potential new job. I...should really get on with telling the rest of my family. (Except now I've, sort of, told my brother. Hi, Big D! I got a new job! Probably!)

Of course, had I not been dorking around with my new computer, I might have noticed the message earlier. The new computer is home and making itself welcome. I'm already working on placing many a digital comic book and downloaded movie/TV show onto it so that I might have it for a traveling media machine as much as it is a portable computer.

New computer's name is Ashleigh, by the by. It had to be quasi-Victorian, and male, to fit in with the rest of my electronics. The name came via [ profile] feiran, and, yes, it will probably be "Ash" in my head forever, thus making a connection to Evil Dead/Army of Darkness and making it all the cooler. Here, he and Ambrose say hello:
(Um, please ignore the "TV-MA" screen cap on Ambrose. I was trying to stream Spartacus: Blood and Sand at the time, forgot, and then was too lazy to take another picture.)


Mar. 19th, 2010 11:30 am
trinityvixen: (awesome)
I've been eyeing a netbook for the past couple of weeks. Last weekend, when I wasn't able to fix the cable problem my parents were having, I did manage to get out to Best Buy to play with netbooks and confirm I wanted the one I thought I did. (In fact, I discovered that I wanted the same model but in a different color. Go me.) Regardless of the particular machine, I'll still probably install XP over it. I hear good things about Windows 7. When I get a full PC at a later date, I'll switch over then. But Windows 7 Starter is a non-starter for me.

Anyway, thanks to having some Reward Zone points to use up, I've gone ahead and ordered said netbook. I will pick it up this weekend. (Always crossing my fingers that they don't try to do the "optimization" bait-and-switch--read more about that brand of fail here.) Originally, I intended to get this machine in white and name it Ahab. Now, it's coming to me in a beautiful brownish-red, I'll need a new name.

Thanks to [ profile] moonlightalice and [ profile] darkling1 for their aide, recommendations, and the like. I look forward to joining the actually-portable-isn't-that-novel laptop crowd.

(For any who may be concerned, no, I'm not spending money I haven't earned after learning I got a new job. I've been wanting to do this for a while now. Ambrose, my 15" laptop, turns 4 this year. After his recent hard drive failure, it was just made clear to me that I needed to have a backup. Ambrose lives, thanks to my having a nice long warranty on him from back when. But he could use a little help.)
trinityvixen: (stabbing)
Day 6 of life without cable or internet.

Dutifully, I waited out The. Very. Last. 24. Hours. Of course, that meant that waiting put me conveniently at the last second of business hours for today. I had a confirmation number for whatever it was they were supposed to do, to track what was going on with my account. By the time I got through the telephone tree, I just demanded the service rep put me through to a supervisor. Enough was enough.

The supervisor's revelations--that things were sent to the wrong place, or not picked up by the right people, honestly I cannot even follow the trail of excuses this far along the process--and his promised solution--he'll call me back tomorrow!--are hardly surprising to say the least. It seems that somewhere in seven-eight phonecalls since Thursday, there have been at least two major fuck-ups in terms of relaying salient information to the right parties that might, in turn, make any sort of recommendation about what to do to fix our problem.

Which means that because of gross incompetence, our cable-less existence has been prolonged at least twice as long as it needed to be. We're also coming up upon mid-week. If the absolute nonsense of this weekend is any indication, there's no way to get anything done from 5 pm Friday until 9 am Monday. Which means the clock is ticking to get this resolved before we're looking at two weeks with no service.

Regardless, I'm asking for two weeks' compensation on our bill. (Unless this shit persists for an actual two weeks, and then I'm asking for three.) Because this was a one-two-maybe three-day issue that they have turned into a week-long clusterfuck of nothing being done and me being reduced to tears of frustration when all I hear from the people I pay to give me stuff "Don't call us, we'll call you."

Currently, I have the supervisor's number and a promise to call me when he gets in tomorrow. At 2:30 pm. But if for some reason he goes "Oopsie!" just like every other fucking person I've talked to at Time Warner (and all the people they have talked to), I have his extension and he said to call if I hadn't heard from him by 3:30 pm.

So, in a week, I will have gotten to the point where I get the same person on the phone if I call back. That's my progress. Now do you see why I'm near unto screaming and crying?

(As if that weren't enough, my laptop power supply has decided to quit on me every time I move it from one outlet to another. I managed to get Dell to send me another--after 40 minutes of telling them I will not purchase another battery just to make them feel better--but until then, I'm afraid to move it.)
trinityvixen: (awesome)
If you happened to have noticed my tweet the other day, I mentioned that I got a random e-mail over the weekend saying that I had to move from my bench to one further back along the room of which our lab is a part.

I have done so, mostly. All of my various cubicle-like decorations--photos, random calendar pages I've held onto, maps, lists, and charts of information and the like--all are moved with me. I've also had to switch over to the former post-doc's computer, which entailed wiping it and re-installing just about everything (this LJ client I'm using right now, for example). Six hours later, and I'm just about moved over in all but the minor things (like copying files from the old computer to the new, wiping the files from the old computer).

I've set up my e-mail client (never did that on a Mac before--I was using web-based mail mostly), run anti-virus scans on everything just in case (the post-doc who used the computer before me had had some trouble with viruses in her two years here, so all this is just paranoid precaution on my part), and set up everything as best as I can mimic my old settings.

Now all I have to do is some real work. Off I get, then.
trinityvixen: (no sense)
Have a look at this chart of features offered across the new versions of Windows 7 (which, surprisingly, has yet to have a stupid name appended to it, like "Vista"). Apparently, Microsoft is going to push the Home Premium and Professional versions of Windows 7, but for those who really want to pay Photoshop-level prices for Windows, there are a bunch of more expensive options.

What I'm noticing here is that most people, myself included, would probably prefer the Home Basic, some thoughts on that )

Point is, this is too much. This was the problem with all seventy-billion versions of Vista. (You know, besides the fact that it was Vista.) Too many options leaves the average consumer in a position of assured annoyance. Either they buy the cheaper version and then worry about (or actually discover) the programs they're missing (and want) or they buy the more expensive version and resent the fact that they didn't end up needing any of the features that went into the higher price tag. Confusing people when it comes to computers is always a bad idea, especially as computers increasingly become repositories of sensitive information. People want to know that they've got something that works the way they want and protects what they've worked on. The more Microsoft splinters those levels of confidence into different products, the less secure the consumers feel. The less secure they feel about Microsoft, the more likely they are to flee.
trinityvixen: (thinking Mario) 2.66GHz really that much better than 2.4? As in at leat $200 better?
trinityvixen: (cylons)
What's the point of caving and going ahead and watching BSG mid-day like the rest of the crazy fangirls if I can't do it!? STUPID MACS, DIE!
trinityvixen: (wtf)
But help?

I have these old, old games from back in the day, and, in a fit of nostalgia, I tried to throw on Amazon Trail II last night to monkey around with (to, you know, beat the low, low scores I got as a twelve-year-old). I'm just not having any luck getting the picture to show. Anyone, help?

And, yes, I've tried changing compatibility in XP. I've tried to set the thing to 256 colors and see if it was happy. Next, I suppose, I could try just copying files over from the CD to my computer (copy protection? From 1995!? I think not!). But I'm like losing already to this stupid game, and that shit won't stand, goddamnit.

trinityvixen: (Doom)
Uh, strike my last. Now it seems to be working fine. What the hell?
trinityvixen: (Default)
Although Phineas technically won the plurality of votes, there were plenty of good reasons given not to name my new USB key Phineas. So, Kendrick it shall be. Now all I have to do is remember that it's Kendrick, not Schmendrick which is what I keep hearing in my brain every time.
trinityvixen: (Doom)
Yay! New USB key has arrived. It is in need of a name. It will join Ambrose, Webley, Horatio, and Eustace. So bear those in mind and vote!

[Poll #1000942]

By the by!

Apr. 29th, 2007 03:36 pm
trinityvixen: (Default)
Everyone, I'd like you to meet Horatio.

Horatio came home with me when I went to Office Depot and he was on sale for like $80. I was there to buy laminating sheets for my mother (she's working on preserving the papers from the sodden basement bins), and I passed every aisle looking for them only to discover that the hard drives by Western Digital were on sale with a mail-in-rebate (and, 'cause I'm cheap, I always fill in rebate forms immediately; it's already in the mail). I picked up two, one for my family and one for myself (why not? they were cheap!). The one for my family I meant to get since my younger sister called me all in tears saying she turned on her laptop and couldn't find any of her files--docs, pics, or mp3s. She got them back when she took it to my dad's office to have their tech guys look it over, but I told her she needed to back up her files herself to prevent that from ruining her should, in the future, the files prove more resistant to retrieval. Since her laptop's disc writer is only for CDs and it's broken anyway, I suggested getting an external hard drive.

So, now she has one, and one that's super easy--plug in and use, no backup software for her to worry about syncing with (also good if she needs to share the drive among several computers, like, say, if she gets a new laptop).

And now I have one, too. Horatio wasn't even my idea for a name. My mother came up with it. I told her that the naming of hard ware is as sacred a thing as the naming of cats.. I told her about my lovely computer, Ambrose; my other, first external hard drive, Webley; and my USB key, Eustace (ooh, come to think of it, I haven't named my first USB key--must do so). She came up with Horatio--"Horatio Hard Drive."

She's very cute and terribly clever, my mum.
trinityvixen: (Default)
Ganja suite redux or what?

This morning, I walked out of the apartment and was assaulted with the smell of incense (poor [ profile] feiran, you must still be affected) from somewhere on my floor. And, just as I was laughing about "wouldn't it be funny if this was like a college dorm and the incense was really covering up for the smell of pot smoke," my nose picked up that unmistakable odor of marijuana.

I really hope this doesn't become a repeat feature of our last month living in our buildiing. On the other hand, it would make for some good stories, like the first ganja suite.


[ profile] saikogrrl!!! I have our Avenue Q tickets. They're not nearly so good as a month ago when I first glanced at it, but they're still front mezzanine, front row, which is--honestly--better than some of the orchestra seats (I feel being up higher often is better than being on the ground, and you're still really close).

But yay! I'm getting "class" by going to see Avenue Q!!!



Is anyone in NYC interested in going to the opening of the Apple Store at 59th and 5th? There's a lottery for MacBooks that they're giving away every half hour. I don't really think I'll win, but who doesn't love looking through Apple stuff (even if you still buy PC, you have to admit Apple is TEH PRETTY).

It starts at 6 pm, but I won't probably get down there till 6:30ish. I'll go on my own just to browse and throw in my name in the raffle. Wouldn't that be something--to win a computer after going through all the hassle of buying mine?


Computer stuff )



I stayed up late doing this AGAIN. )


I need help. Mostly, I need two days away from the GameCube. I'm going home tonight, but I will definitely be at the apartment before I do because I have to sell three floors worth of fish. THERE ARE FORTY CAGES OF FISH ALL SWIMMING IN THE SAME DIRECTION AND IT MAY DRIVE ME
trinityvixen: (Default)
You know, I was gonna be all huffy about Dell possibly not shipping my computer out until next Wednesday (I will probably still be sorta huffy), but I have to say they do their best to explain why this should be. I wish I'd known that it wasn't going through to my credit card ahead of time so I could have used it yesterday on the money I spent for my Dad's birthday gift, too.

But I forsee a new internet wasting-time-type diversion: constantly refreshing my order status to see if the computer checklist gets to "Boxing" any time soon. Dell breaks it up as "Order Processing," followed by "Pre-production," which is then subdivided into the "In Production" categories: Kitting, Build, Testing, and Boxing. I assume "Boxing" is actually packaging the machine to ship to me versus putting it in its casing, as it doesn't do much good to test a machine without all of its parts assembled and covered as they are to be used.

But then there is the "Shipping Prep" part of this, too...mmm, puzzling. Maybe I should refresh the page...
trinityvixen: (Default)
I bought a computer. The End.

Short and simple, neh?

I realize I haven't finished my vacation saga: Let me do so behind this lj-cut for the boring stuff... )

Awesome thing the first: I flew first class! )

Awesome thing the second: a drugged up stewardess )

Awesome thing the....the thing most people will care to hear: a celebrity appearance! )

This weekend, I ducked home to borrow the family's laptop 'till I got mine own, and I got my pictures on CD. I'll try posting the few good underwater ones I got. The snorkeling pictures didn't come out so great, which I expected, since the water was a bit cloudy (as was the sky). The dive pictures aren't terribly better, though there are a few that are clear and sorta in-frame (if I play with the borders, they will be!). I'm so glad I chased after that turtle that surface for air, because that's a decent shot, as are a few of my favorite reef fish, the Moorish Idol (Gill, from Finding Nemo, if you need a reference).

Problem was, we only had what was left from the snorkeling cameras for the shark dive, which was about three half-filled cameras. I could have taken thirty million pictures on the surface, let alone in the cage. I should have made more of an effort to get thirty more cameras for the shark thing because there aren't too many spectacular ones there.

Oh well, I'll just have to again :) Or or or! I should go really dive with sharks in a cage, so I can be a little steadier. And when I have $$$$ to do that, I'll also buy an apartment in Manhattan, or a bridge in Brooklyn...
trinityvixen: (Default)
There is an article in the NYT about Zombies. My day has come! It even has "ZOMBIES" in the URL. I win at life!


Also, just because I haven't commented on them doesn't mean I don't appreciate all the laptop suggestions and speculations people left on my journal last week. I am perusing them and keeping things in mind, so THANK YOU for whatever advice you had to offer. At this point, I'm still just working out what I need vs what I can afford.

The number one thing I need, I've decided, is a laptop that will last longer than 4 years. I'm thinking 5-6 year territory, and that would be worth paying extra for (I assume I'll be paying extra for warranties and the like, but as I've proven with my last two laptops, I can use a machine just fine for about a year after the warranty ends, so three-year warranties aren't very helpful if the machine only lasts as long).

Really, I hate having to move my shit to new computers. Hate it. New computer, ooooh shiny! But moving all my files? MURDERDEATHKILL. I've had to do it often enough when getting my HP notebook back from the nth fix it got. So, bearing that in mind, any other revelations about laptops for me?


trinityvixen: (Default)

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