Friday, September 30, 2005

Behind the backs of their customers, Apple has been putting components in their Mac Minis that are different from those listed, as recently admitted by the company. Instead of the 1.42 GHz processors they paid for, some people have been getting 1.5 GHz processors. Others have discovered faster DVD drives and improved video memory. How these unannounced upgrades will affect sales and customer relations remains to be seen. Personally, I'd be cool with it.

Apple's Fraudulent Mac Minis

There have been a couple of movies I needed to see this year, such as Batman Begins and Sin City. However, I did not feel either were in such need of fan support as Serenity. A continuation of Joss Whedon's revolutionary but cancelled TV Series Firefly, Serenity is a second chance to support the series and I will do my part to help it hit #1 this weekend.

I Need Serenity

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Okay, forgetting all other flaws with human design, like tailbones, nipples on men, and DNA that causes genetic diseases, our anatomy includes an organ that serves no discernable purpose other than to possibly kill you: the appendix. True, it likely does serve some purpose that has eluded doctors and scientists for centuries. But it is most commonly known for its ability to rupture and kill you. You can live without it, but it's there like a bomb with no specific detonation device; it probably won't explode but it could. A randomly detonating internal bomb is not a mark of intelligent design.

Not-So Intelligent Design - Built-in Bomb

The debate over Intelligent Design theory has hit the legal battlefield, so I thought I'd post my thoughts on this. My stance breaks down into two basic positions: One, our design is not intelligent, and two, ID Theory explains nothing. ID theory is not an alternative to evolution; it is an alternative to science, which is fine in its own setting and contexts but not for a place of academia.

Not-so Intelligent Design 1

Friday, September 23, 2005

The complexity of the current generation of virtual worlds is simply staggering. Take, for example, the World of Warcraft in which a virtual plague has left piles of bodies in its digital streets. According to the BBC report, the plague is a game element that has gone beyond its parameters, possibly as the result of intentional tampering. Looks like virtual reality is getting closer to actual reality.

Virtual Plague Strikes Warcraft

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Apparently Internet Explorer does not hide text when if is set to 0 point size. Thus, anyone viewing my blog in IE will see very tiny text across the bottom of the post. Same with Opera, which I downloaded today because it's now free. I made the text white so it can't be seen unless highlighted. Layout's a bit sloppy but it works.

Flaw in the Text-Free System

This stopped being funny after the third time I said it, but now it's stuck in my head and I can't stop saying "Hey Hey Hey, it's Thad Allen!" every time I hear his name mentioned on the news. I'm sure he's heard it before and if the new head of Hurricane Katrina recovery in New Orleans ever runs into me, he'll hear it again because I keep saying it.

Hey Hey Hey It's Thad Allen

Been pondering ways to force all of you to read my handwriting, while also keeping searchable text and clickable links. After rejecting several methods that would have required altering my routine, I settled on a very simple style sheet adjustment that hides the normal text while enhancing the hyperlinks. Puts me one step closer to an ink-only blog without sacrificing the benefits of text.

Banishing Text - Sort Of

Friday, September 16, 2005

Been having trouble pasting my entries to Grafigo for image conversion and I finally figured out why. According to the task manager, Journal was maxing out my processor while I was pasting the ink to Grafigo. Not sure why it does this nor why it is not consistent. However, thanks to Power Menu, I can fix it by increasing the priority of Grafigo. Otherwise, I'd have to open the task manager to set priorities of applications.

Process Hogging Journal

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The prize for revealing my dark scrapbooking secret arrived yesterday. the 1GB Flash Drive from Crucial Technology is very light and seems to work fine, though how can you really tell with a storage device? Data went in, it's still there, that's all I can ask for. Thanks to John Hill at Allegiance Technology Partners for supplying the prize and sponsoring the contest. Glad to see a company be involved with the community.

Got My 1GB Flash Drive!

To help liven up the blog, I've decided to try some new stationery. Maintaining the grayscale scheme to help the ink stand out. Might add more doodles and color to my entries too. Only thing is I don't want to make it too gaudy or heavy. Ink posts make the blog somewhat image-heavy by default. If I make it too fancy, it'll be broadband only, but I don't think a splash of color will kill it. Maybe I'll start signing my entries too.

New Stationery

Monday, September 12, 2005

As part of my effort to maximize the efficiency of pen interface, I am trying out a new cursor lineup. Instead of using the standard arrow cursor, I am now using the precision crosshairs as my standard cursor. Over links, it switches to an outline of the crosshairs instead of the standard pointing hand. Given that I've become accustomed to the pen point cursor when writing, I think the switch will result in an interface that feels more natural.

Changing My Cursors

An old thread on the Electrovaya forum of the Buzz was recently resurrected, regarding how to re-map the hardware buttons. Instructions are from Josh Einstein, developer of Tablet Enhancements for Outlook which I would be using if I used Outlook. Basically, he found the registry keys that kept some of the hardware keys from being switchable (some normally are switchable in the Tablet controls). Haven't switched any yet, but I've opened them up so I can.

Re-mapping the Hardware Buttons

Friday, September 09, 2005

WiMax, the supposed successor to Wifi, is being deployed to hurricane relief shelters to enable the evacuees to communicate with family and loved ones. With its superior wireless range, WiMax is certainly the best means of delivering powerful communication to these recovering areas. There is also talk of upgrading the infrastructure to high speed systems and wireless broadband once restoration commences. This is definitely a step toward rebuilding better than before.

WiMax To The Rescue

Couple of updates to my links: Monkey Kingdom News and Rants has been in my bookmarks for a while, but I just haven't gotten around to adding. The Student Tablet PC Blog is a good source of general TPC info not just student-specific tips. I don't check it everyday, but since I just noticed a link to my blog in their links list, I felt it was only fair to reciprocate.

Updating My Links

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Now that I've been blogging for a few weeks, it seems like a good time to reflect and decide if this is something I want to maintain. For the most part, it has been a time burner, which is fine since if fills the odd timeslots in my life. On the other hand, I find myself looking forward to dead time because it gives me time to blog. At worst though, it is still writing and good practice, especially for my previously underused penmanship, so I'll keep it going and try to jazz up the site a bit.

Blogging Reflections

If there's one thing I like better than donuts, it's free donuts and I got a dozen of them today. One dozen assorted Dunkin' Donuts. Doesn't really matter what types so long as they aren't frosting-filled. I'm a fan of Boston creme and jelly-filled but the creator of frosting-filled donuts should be imprisoned for releasing those overly sweet demons on the world.

I Love Donuts!

Finally had my first chance encounter with a fellow tablet PC user. Didn't have a chance to say much other than "Hey, you have a Motion." It was an older model, probably their first. Was starting to think I'd never run into a fellow Tableteer by chance. I would include him on my list of best-looking TPC users of Northern VA but I did not catch his name, so that still leaves just me and Warner.

First TPC User Encounter

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The essay contests running on the Buzz have concluded and winning second place in both contests are the best-looking Tablet PC users of Northern Virginia, Warner Crocker and me. Warner scored in the "Most Unique Use" contest, while I scored in "Best Use of Ink" for my work in digital scrapbooking. Yes, scrapbooking may be lame, but it landed me a 1 GB USB flash drive.

We're Number Two!

Friday, September 02, 2005

So claimed rapper Kanye West, very angrily, as he deviated from his script on NBC's Hurricane Katrina relief show. Mike Meyers looked rather uncomfortable standing next to the angry hiphopper. The director switched over to Chris Tucker after Kanye leveled his attack on Bush. Despite his reputation for improving his lines, Tucker stuck to his lines.

"George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People!"

I am publishing this now as a reminder to myself of what must be done. The reward I received from for using their service is going directly to the Red Cross. I will clean out my closet and donate all my unused and rarely used clothes to the survivors. This will be done this weekend and I have no excuse for not following through.

My Commitment to Help

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Gas prices shot up 50 cents on the East Coast yesterday. The official reason is because the gas pipeline through Louisiana is shut down. After seeing a photo of an oil rig washed nearly ashore, I understand that supply took a hit. But if the main problem is the pipeline, why raise prices now? Labor Day weekend is coming. Higher gas prices will not cause people to cancel their vacation plans at the last minute and preserve our supply of gas. At most, it will enable oil companies to avoid losses if there are any shortages. Happy motoring!

Why No One Needs a Car

If the rest of us learn anything from Katrina, it should be everyone needs a car. Despite a mandatory evacuation issued before the hurricane struck, thousands of poor people remained in the city. why? Because poor urbanites rely largely on public transportation and none was deployed to evacuate them until after the hurricane. When those poor survivors on the news claim that they've been abandoned, they aren't exaggerating; they were.

Why Everyone Needs a Car