Unique is in the eye of the administrator  

Posted by Paul Puri

Watch this video, and then go here to read the article. Kid wants to wear a little gothish make up, but the school does not allow. Is this discrimination?

EDIT: Video broke the site, so go to CNN to watch it as well. Grrrr.


It's not that I think he should be allowed to wear the make up, but if you are forced to wear a scarlet letter tinged badge that states you should value the uniqueness of others, what double standard is that presenting?

Unboxing - Dell Mini  

Posted by Paul Puri

The Dell Mini, or Inspiron 910, is Dells foray into the net book craze which was brought to life by Asus and their Eee PC. A small format computer that can run Windows and Linux. I chose the Dell because of two reasons. The form factor, and the 3G chip that lays dormant inside. I have not heard what can be done with it at this point in time, but I look forward to any announcement that will propel me into the interwebs anywhere crowd.

But enough of that. On to the photos.


In the Box


Bottom



The Box is Open



Almost There



Could That Be?



Teasing You With Its Bottom



Out of the Plastic



There it is!



Open in All its Mini Glory!!



But Wait! There's More!



Restore and Driver Discs.



Compared to my iBook

From the Mac to the PC: New Machine  

Posted by Paul Puri

So the Dell Mini came in today. It is small, under 4 pounds, and I love it. Not the fastest machine I've used, and will take some getting used to, but a wonderful experience so far.

So here are the negatives:

The keyboard is small. Yes, it is easy to type letters and numbers, but some keys are awkwardly placed in order to keep the machines size down. And I have yet to find the damned F11 key! But I'm getting used to it. I was never your standard typist anyway. I am faster with one hand then I am with two.

Although I knew the screen size was 8.9 inches, it is so strange that the it is surrounded by such a large frame. Even the 19 inch LCD screen for my desktop has a smaller framing. So that is a downer.

It came with XP. I would much rather have Vista, but I know it would absolutely kill the performance of this machine. At least I'm not stuck with OSX anymore. And since it did come stock with windows, there was some tweaking that needed to be done befor I could get started. I did the update thing, but it already had service pack 3. So not much there. I had to remove Google Desktop. Although a nice addition, I can't afford to use the resources. I also removed McAfee, as it came with it. Why they would load such a bloated AV software is beyond me. Why not license AVG Free? Would it kill you guys to think smart? Probably getting some kickbacks somewhere in that equation.

I had to disable the webcam software to improve performance, as it was running in the background, and harshing my vibe. I need to find something more lightweight to record video. Perhaps a webcam on a netbook is not such a great idea?

The Good:

The size is just right. Less than 4 pounds. I can hold it in one hand while typing with the other. Makes it a perfect solution for a portable blogging device. On the bed, the sofa, the, ahem, toilet. You name it, I can do it. Can't wait to take it around with me.

It has everything I need. A webcam, a TWO button mousepad, card slot for memory, three usb ports, and a standard VGA connection for a monitor. It even has 3G built in, but Dell has yet to announce what good this feature will do for me.

It runs everything I want it to. Now granted, I was careful to only use software that was cross platform, but I only did that so I could go back and forth between computers in a mixed platform world. Now I don't have to worry about that. I have access to a large variety of paid and free software the world has to offer. One of the benefits of using Windows, is the large community it fosters, and all the developers that create for this platform. A big plus in my book.

I can now properly communicate with all the equipment in my house. I had big issues with the network in my house when I used the Mac. Now I can link this machine with the press of a few buttons. If I decide to install Live One Care, it will do it for me.

Now let me make this clear again. I am not putting down Apple in anyway. I am stating my requirements, and how Apple, as a company, does not suit me, nor my families computing needs. To me, it is a walled garden. Too closed and constricted. I felt powerless as a user. On a PC, I have full control over what my computers does, and I can go beyond. Not so much on a laptop, but on a desktop, there is no comparison.

I wanted to do a head to head comparison against the machine I was leaving, but that would be unfair, as it is over 4 years old. The problem is, there is no Mac to compare this machine to. Which again brings me to a big reason I chose a PC. Choice. I have a wealth of choices in the PC world. On the Mac side, well, I really have zero. I have yet to find a brand new Apple laptop for a little over $500. If you find one, that would be great. But since I am not made of money, I cannot afford to dish out $1100 for a new laptop. And although I feel that the machine is probably correctly priced based on the content and quality, I cannot afford one.

Windows, not walls.


But Can It Teach You To Breakdance?  

Posted by Paul Puri

I have a new favorite gadget site to visit. Foolish Gadgets, a site to showcase pointless inventions in technology. They have things like a air freshener dog, Carmen Electra hair iron, and this:



Now, if that is not the coolest thing you have ever seen, then you have not grown up in the 80's. What is it? it's an iPod Boombox. And no, I'm not buying one, but check it out. You will not regret it. Now where did I leave my oversized cardboard square?



I'm A PC  

Posted by Paul Puri

The new Microsoft ad is out, and the verdict is in. It's great. I love it. It gets to the point.

Let me first answer a question some people, cough, Mac users, cough, will ask. Isn't Microsoft copying the Apple ads with the whole 'I'm a PC' line? No dumbshit! They are answering to all the crap that has been sludged by Apple in their very well done ad campaign. People have been saying that Microsoft has done a very bad job of promoting itself and Vista. I agree. Not that they need to tell people who they are. Everybody knows. So what they are telling you is that people who use a PC, or Windows machine as Apple has implied, are the rest of the world. They are big people, small people, people who climb on rocks, etc.

So in other words, according to Apple, people who use Macs are skinny white guys who have whiny voices. I'm neither skinny, white, or have a whiny voice. Ergo, I should not use a Mac. At the present time, I do have a Mac, and a machine running Vista. But come next week, when my Dell Mini gets here, you will see an ad for my iBook on Craigslist. And I can't wait. The more I have this thing, the more I feel like throwing it against the wall. I still think it is a great computing platform, but it is the wrong platform for me. Because as the rest of the world says, I am a PC.



I'M A PC Microsoft Commercial - Windows Not Walls

And Tiger Woods as Jesus  

Posted by Paul Puri

Long story short, someone found a 'glitch' in the Tiger Woods 09 game. They were able to make a shot from on top of a pond. The video was posted on YouTube.

Tiger and EA decide to respond via video, and this is the result. It's been around for awhile, but I thought it was hilarious.



EA Sports & Tiger Woods " WALK ON WATER" PGA Tour 2009 Commercial

The Storm has Passed  

Posted by Paul Puri

I was interested in learning more about the BlackBerry Storm, the next iPhone killer, but apparently the page on Verizon's site has come and went. What happened? Was there too much demand? Was it not ready for prime time? Verizon! Show me some Storm love. Why must you tease me so?

That Mac browser is all Chromed out!  

Posted by Paul Puri

Still waiting for a chance to use Google Chrome but can't since your just a Linux or Mac fanboy? Well, you can at least have a taste of what is to come by downloading Cross Over Chromium. It's over on the Code Weavers site, and it's a great testament as to how quickly things can get done in the open source community.

Now, since it is only a proof of concept, and not the 'real deal', don't expect to use it as a main browser. Heck, I wouldn't recommend Chrome on Windows as a main browser as of yet. But my experience with the Google version is that it runs online apps pretty quickly. A great start with great things to look forward to.

Its a leather giraffe from Cabo San Lucas!  

Posted by Paul Puri

All right haterz. The new Microsoft commercial is out. Personally, I think this one is hilarious. Bill and Jerry make a great comedy team, and their timing is pretty good.

Is it the funniest thing I have ever seen? No, but it made me laugh out loud several times.

For you Mac lovers out there, show me your Steve Jobs buddy comedy commercial clips. The only time I've seen that guy be funny was when he had a slide up saying he wasn't dead. Comedy gold?



New Family - Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates Ad (Long Version)

It's the bestest costume in the world!!!  

Posted by Paul Puri

The price is right, the message is clear. Your a soccer star. Let everyone know this Halloween just what you're made of.



Links:

Buy It Now

4 Twitters and a Funeral  

Posted by Paul Puri

When is it appropriate to Twitter? This question is asked by several interweb instapundits who shall remain nameless cause frankly, I don't care what they have to say. This was in response to a reporter Twittering a funeral of a 3 year old. Tragic? Most definitely. News worthy? Not my call. Nor is it of the instapundits who had something to say, yet nothing to offer.

When is it appropriate to express ones freedom of speech? What shall you dictate is appropriate next? Don't Twitter about the trip to the bathroom. Don't Twitter about the NASCAR event because you despise rednecks?

Not once did they mention the back story. The child was murdered by an illegal that was arrested more than 20 times, and yet still on the streets, in this country(U.S.). Pardon my French, but if someone from France had done this, they would have been sent packing after the first, what, 5 offenses maybe? And then not allowed in the country anymore.

Maybe Twittering the event was tacky, but it was something people should know about. A sad state of affairs as to our immigration issues, and not some imaginary rule bending dictated by imaginary writers. Of course, if I was the one posting the updates, I would have posted a link to a relevant article so people would know what the hell I was Twittering about.

LINKS:

Gawker the Horrible (Do these guys even qualify as news?)

Colorado Independent (Sux)

Rocky Mountain News (Original story with info regarding the crime)

Editors Web Log (Who?)

Ok, so I did put links up to the different sites. Accuse me of being thorough.

If it ain't fixed, don't broke it... Part 2  

Posted by Paul Puri

Just an update to the highly rated but DRM laden Spore.

In the manual, it clearly states you can have more than one Spore account. Page 52. Trust me, it's there.

EA says it's a misprint!!! The EULA states that accompanying documentation also applies, which should include the user manual. Of course, I ain't no law dog, but that sounds pretty cut and dry.

EA, what do you plan on doing to appease your customers and comfort potential ones?

All I have to say is do not buy this game until they fix these issues. But if you have to, then purchase it through my site, and then find a crack to disable the DRM.

LINKS:

Spore Forum

All Fours  

Posted by Paul Puri

I'm doing this because my wife did it. Otherwise, I hate lists.

4 things about me:

Four jobs i have had in my life:
Roofer
Retail Sales
Warehouse Supervisor
Content Producer

4 places I've lived:
Roseville, CA
Redwood City, CA
Sacramento, CA
Newark, CA

4 places I've traveled:
Mexico
Las Vegas
Texas
New Mexico

4 of my favorite foods:
Cheesburgers
Chocolate
Indian Food
BBQ

4 places wish to visit:
Canada
UK
New York
New Zealand

4 who will respond:
My wife
Shawno

OK. So I don't have the names of 4 people who might respond. Pathetic. Better reason for you to leave a comment.

And hopefully that will be the last list I do.....ever.

This is the thinnest Steve Jobs Apple has ever made  

Posted by Paul Puri

I stole that title from mattyohe from a comment on another blog. So sue me.

What do I think of the new iPods?

Terrific! Fantastic! Very niiiice!!

Do I think they were worthy of a press event? My opinion is no. But I still want to pick up one of those new iPod Nano's and shake em like a British nanny. But what I really want is to purchase the new iPod touch. A volume control on an mp3 player? Really?! Seems like a nice touch. Friggin puns.

What made me want to plop the money down and get into the touching sensation? The price. $229.00 seems like a much better price point. Of course, I could get an iPhone for $30.00 less, but I wouldn't have to sign a 2 year contract with the Death Star. But I'm still considering it. My wife was pretty pissed when I announced I was considering leaving our family plan on Verizon. She will still have another year on her plan. But a man has his priorities.

Who put the E in ink?  

Posted by Paul Puri

So Esquire came out with an issue that has new E-Ink technology, and some are saying they are not impressed. What. No explosions?

Just think of the implications here! Imagine picking up a magazine or paper at the newsstand for the last time. That's right buddy boy. You'll only need one copy. Why? Because that piece of literature you have in your hand will be entirely made of E-Paper. No dead trees to pick up every morning. You're already at second base with that tree, (graduating from hugging), now you can have full on nasty robot sex with it.

We already have SD cards with built in Wi Fi. So why wouldn't your E-Paper have it as well? Morning comes and you want the news? Sync up your E-Paper. You don't have to even put pants on in the morning. Breaking news comes out? Automatic updates will flash you when something changes. Same with magazines. If you have a monthly subscription, it updates.

Just imagine how quickly the news cycle could improve with this technology. Papers and magazines could compete with the internet, because concept to 'print' would be almost as quick. The need to hold the presses would be a thing of the past. Deadlines could be more fluid, because as soon as the story broke, an update could be transmitted.

The newspaper industry could become more viable because now the news would be available in a more convenient way than a laptop could ever be. Think that 8 inch netbook is easy to carry around? Just imagine something a few pages thin that gives you the content you want.

The advertising landscape would change as well. Ad revenue could greatly improve because ads could now be rotated weekly, daily, or even hourly. Instead of having a few advertisers per page, you could have several relevant ads served up based on the subscribers profile. Ads could be more pointed and location based. Are you passing by a Chevy's? A coupon code would generate that could save you $5 on lunch or dinner based on what time it was. The limits are in your head.

Amber alerts could be broadcasted. Weather warnings as they happen. You could configure an RSS feeder online which would then send updates of your favorite sites to your E-Paper. The New York Times would be right next to the Drudge Report!

The implications are broad, and the scope is infinite. Sure we have a long way to go, and the lawyers will have a field day with the issues that will crop up. It all sounds very 'Minority Report', but it's progress. History in the making stuff. Sure it sux epic lulz right now buddy boy, but think about the big picture. Pun intended.

42 years, and your still a virgin.  

Posted by Paul Puri

Happy Anniversary Star Trek. 42 years ago, Sci Fi as we know it changed, and pause acting came to the forefront of pop culture.

Now if you'll excuse me. I need to find that red shirt I was dying to wear today.


If it ain't fixed, don't broke it  

Posted by Paul Puri

Spore came out. The expectations were high, and the reviews were decent. Hell. It's number one on Amazon as far as games go. It's $50. Average price as far as blockbusters go. I was considering buying it, until I visited my favorite shop. Amazon is a mecca when it comes to my technology needs. And I value the reviews that customers leave. Most of them are people who have made purchases themselves, and I have avoided a dud or two from the information left.

So I was considering spore as a purchase, but noticed a disturbing conversation. The issue is the DRM that the cd contains. You get 3 installs, and then you have to ask permission to install it. When I am in my hardcore gamer mode, I can redo my computer 2 or 3 times in 1 year. This means there is a very good chance that I will be calling EA begging them to use my game. As some of the commenters mentioned, it's more like paying $50 to rent the game. Now, what will probably happen is after the sales cycle of the game has reached a certain maturity, the need for the security will probably be killed, but until then, what is the solution?

Well for one, maybe certain people should buy their software. Yes, I have done my fair share of flying the bit torrent airways, but I would much rather pay for my software. If something is useful, I would hope the company that makes it would be able to financially survive and continue to make software that I can find useful in the future.

But until that day, I would hope that the software companies understand that the people paying for the software, are not the ones who should be punished. The people who are cracking the security placed on your software are much smarter than you, and you cannot win this way. You just alienate your existing customer base. I could of been part of that base, but I don't rent my games.


THE VIC 20 IS HOW MUCH?!?!  

Posted by Paul Puri

Boing Boing, everyone's favorite wild child of the web, has a fantabulous collection of vintage computer and technology ads. A walk down memory lane, and a lesson in history.

32K RAM. Basic. Modem. Atari. 10 colors. 320x200 pixels.

Using a Mac for marketing in sales? Macs, in business? Mooooo!!!!

LINK:

101 Classic Computer Ads

From the Mac to the PC: Intro  

Posted by Paul Puri

So I'm moving from my Mac in the near future, as soon as I get my Dell Mini. A big issue when changing platforms, is migrating in a fashion that will minimize any risks. Ironically, I am moving from a platform that knows about simplifying processes. It is that very simplification that irks me, and one of the reasons I am making this move.

I didn't take this decision lightly, as a lot of us know that the Mac experience for most is a pleasant one, and this is by no means an assault on the good name the OS holds for itself. But I just don't see myself as a Mac user.

So, as I prepare for the move, I am diligently looking for resources that can assist me with the process. No geniuses to take migrate my stuff to a PC. So I am confined to the web for my search. Luckily, the web is a big choice. In walks Paul Thurrott. Paul does the Windows Weekly Podcast with every one's favorite, Leo Laporte. He also writes several blogs that are Windows centric, and is a writer for Windows IT Pro.

Paul has decided to take the challenge of writing articles that help people move from the Mac to the PC. One such article focuses on iTunes. Now, I am not going to regurgitate what he posts, as I think he is a much better writer than I am, and I would much rather you go to his site and read the process. The link will be down below. What I want to write about is my experience with this move, and the rationalization behind it.

I have tried to like the Mac experience, I really have. But there are just too many idiosyncrasies that just compel me to go back to Windows. Let me first get this out of the way. My name is Paul Puri, and I like Wndows Vista. There, I said it. Some of you will want to scratch your head in disbelief, wondering if my parents dropped me when I was young, or if the fumes from the local chemical plant have done severe damage to my synapses, and they are misfiring. That is not the case. There is nothing wrong with Vista, and it is the closest thing to XP that exists. That is what I am looking for. My comfort zone.

I have been a Windows user for most of my computing life. I did not start with it, as my first computer was an Apple 2E, but I ended up with Windows. I had a brief stint with a Mac G3, the beige one. You know the one. I still have it. It was a great user experience, and one that has become a big part of my professional history. I owned a commercial recording facility, and the Mac was running Pro Tools. A thing of beauty, I could record up to 64 tracks, and use 30 plug ins at the same time. Don't get too excited. This was possible only due to the hardware that Digidesign provided with their software. But they were exclusive to the Mac. Probably due to the stability of the OS at the time. It did crash several times a week, but for what I needed to get done, it was better choice at the time.

But that has changed. My quad core Vista machine rarely crashes, and my Mac does crash occasionally, but this is usually due to me trying to push the machines beyond their limits. Neither platform is bulletproof. The days of the Mac being a superior experience are over. It is merely different. The only thing keeping the Mac slightly more secure, is market share. But that is changing. As Windows can now be used on a Mac, more people will be using one, as it gives the benefit of having both platforms in one place. That is really convenient.

I think the biggest issue I have with the Mac is barrier to entry. If you want to get into the experience, and you want portability, you will have to spend over $1000. Now I am not getting into an argument as to whether the Mac is worth the money you pay. It is. I just prefer the choices I have with the Windows world. If I want a 10 inch netbook, there is one available. If I want a 17 inch gaming machine in purple, no problem. The Windows OS experience that is rich with choice. Sometimes to it's detriment, but the choice is there.

That choice just pulls me back in. I know I could get a mac mini for a decent price, but I want portability with a screen. I want choice. I don't want over simplification of my computer world. I am not that type of person. I want to be able to mod, enhance, change, and even break my experience. I want this even if I know many problems are caused by these actions. That is the beauty of the Windows experience. It has so much to offer besides an OS. It is an astronomically large world of choice. The Mac cannot offer that. But that is ok. There are people who just want to hit the power button and go. I am not one of those people.

This whole Mac V. PC effort is a joke. It is all marketing, and people should not be fooled. No offense to Justin Long and John Hodgman, but it is a big crock of steaming pigeon dung when people spout out how the Mac experience is a superior one. It is different, for a different set of people. I am not a Mac person. I am not a Mac person. I...am...not...a...Mac...person. There, I said it.

So, with that out of the way, stay tuned for the chronicles of my journey. There will be several milestones that will sprout articles regarding this. My Dell Mini arriving. Selling my iBook. Buying my wife's computer. Moving back to my quad core Vista machine. Will you join me in my journey?

Links:

Paul Thurrott mac2win iTunes

This is Madness! No! This! Is! ScribeFire!  

Posted by Paul Puri

Just a test post of a new FF plugin I am using. It is called ScribeFire. It allows you to write blog posts within your blog, and by doing so you can pull content from sites already in your tabs. I'll put up a full review when I fool around with it more.

Links:

ScribeFire




Get depressed about your balance on the small screen!  

Posted by Paul Puri

I was doing my morning routine, checking to see how my bank accounts were doing, when I stumbled upon an unknown to me feature called Wells Fargo Mobile. You can access your account via WF.com, but what I am most interested in is a feature called text banking. No, you can't complete corporate takeovers via text, and you can't ignore the fact that the screen does show a negative balance, but what you can do is pretty useful.

After the pretty painless sign up process that involves a verification text, choosing nicknames for your accounts, and opting in on the banks main site, you are on your way! I chose ppcheck and ppsave for my nicknames. Want to know what the balance is for one of the accounts? I just text bal ppcheck, and seconds later, I know that I need a higher paying job. Want to know the recent activity on one of your accounts? I text act ppcheck, and see that I did pay the DSL bill, and that I shop online entirely too much.

It's a good start, and like I said, if you need access to your account on your cell, you can always go to WF.com for more comprehensive information. The one caveat is that you do opt in to recieve texts about services. But it's not like they are going to text you at 3AM all Obama style to let you know that they have a special offer to get a toaster slash shotgun if you open a super duper saver account with the kung fu grip. And let's face it, the way things are going, text plans will be cheaper than data plans if the providers get their way.

What I'd like to see is a text warning you of an impending overdraft, or that your paycheck was deposited, or that you really should stop shopping online so much. But I'll take what I can get. for now, and being able to check my balance within 30 seconds is better than calling the automated number, or busting out the laptop and looking for a strong wifi hotspot.

Currently, it appears that they support most major carriers, except for T Mobile pre paid, and the Verizon pre paid MIGO.

I give the service a 7 out of 10.

LINKS:

Wells Fargo text banking

WF.com

Text banking FAQ

The law: You have to know it, for a price.  

Posted by Paul Puri

Interesting article about a gentleman who is publishing 'copyrighted' material from the state of California, my home, and others states as well. The information being uploaded is the very laws, rules and regulations that we, as citizens, must know. After all, there is no excuse for not knowing the law. You just don't have cost effective access to it in its entirety.

Sure, you can go to Lexis Nexis and try to search using their old and tired site, but where is an easy and unfettered way to look up the information you need? You could buy a book, but they can be pretty expensive. You can go to a state site, maybe an archive of some sort, but again, the information will be difficult to search, and probably incomplete.

Public.Resource.Org is the place to go. At least, if you are in California. But it is growing. Pages at a time. But will it last? According to the state, the information is copyrighted, and should not be given out in this manner. They say it is an important revenue stream, one that brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Tax payers money. But who really buys them? The California code costs over $1500 to buy. I doubt the average citizen is looking to spend this kind of loot. And that's just the price for a digital copy?

Now don't get me wrong. I think they should sell it in book format, or even in a search able cd/dvd format, so that those that need it can purchase it. But if I am expected to defend myself in court, should I ask for a continuance based on the fact that I have to save up so that I can learn what laws I have broken?

Again, the information is out there, and it is most likely available in municipal buildings such as libraries and city halls. But unfettered access, especially in this day and age when the internet is our greatest resource of information, is a must if we are to be good citizens. I applaud Carl Malamud for what he is doing for us, and encourage forward thinking like this in all citizens no matter what country you are from.

Links:

Original article

Public.resource.gov

Irony, thy name is Twitterfeed  

Posted by Paul Puri

My first post is on a service that hopefully actually works. Funny how I won't know until this post is finished. I can always edit it, but that would be bordering on the absurd. So basically, Twitterfeed takes a feed from your blog, and sends it to Twitter. It uses magic from the dark forests of pangamegoria, but that is besides the point. All you need to know is that it seems so easy, I set up the feed to this site in just 30 seconds.

Punch in your Twitter info, your blog feed, the frequency it checks the feed, put a prefix, and you can even use a filter. It even takes links in the post and shrinkafies them to a tinyurl status.

The one issue I have is that it uses openid standards to log in. I am new to this, and am not sure what advantage it has besides being able to log in everywhere with one piece of identification, but that could be done in other ways using password plugins or programs.

If Twitterfeed works for this post, then I give it an 8 out of 10 on the princess meter.

Links:
twitterfeed

My Twitter page

Open ID