Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Baby

As soon as Apple announced the availability of a 32GB iPod Touch, I knew it was not a question of if I would get one, but when. Knowing that I wanted to have one for our vacation to Boise and Denver in a month, I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger. She arrived today from Amazon, and was up and running in no time. It is every bit as awesome as you might think, however I quickly discovered a seriously annoying problem - when listening to music, you can view your album artwork in "Cover Flow". Well, guess who's album art collection is seriously out of date....it very quickly became unacceptable to have a generic icon instead of the actual album artwork. This lead to a several-hour-long process of using iTunes and Amazon to collect artwork - and I only got through 300 or so songs. In any case, album art aside, I am really looking forward to this device - not so much as an iPod, but a true mobile computing platform. Apple will release the SDK for the iPhone and iPod Touch on March 6th, and I expect the Mac developer community will come up with some truly amazing software that will make people's lives a lot easier. I personally am hoping for a really good RSS reader, and maybe some day in the future some manner of Apple Remote Desktop so I can control my computer at work from the palm of my hand....

Monday, February 25, 2008

Foppa's Back!!

Forsberg returning to Avs
By Adrian Dater - The Denver Post

CALGARY, ALBERTA — He's back. Peter Forsberg is back with the Avalanche. It's true. The Avs today stealthily announced the news that Forsberg — one of the greatest players in franchise history — will return to the NHL. Fans have clamored for his return since he announced plans to make a comeback late last year.

Forsberg signed a contract through the rest of this season only, a pro-rated deal worth $5 million. "We're proud to announce to our fans that Peter Forsberg has decided to come back and play with our franchise where he's enjoyed so much success early in his career," said Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Francois Giguere. "His addition should complement our roster and will bring our team to an even higher competitive level."

Forsberg said he has "worked extremely hard" the last several months for a return to Colorado. "I am looking forward to putting this jersey on again," Forsberg said. "I have so many great memories of my playing days in Denver. I'm excited about helping my new teammates and former teammates in the coming weeks, and hopefully I am able to do that in the very near future."

Hope of a Forsberg return seemed lost when last week his agent, Don Baizley, said Forsberg likely was done for the season. But, like the smart lawyer Baizley is, he kept the door open slightly. Then, after meeting with a doctor in Sweden and getting yet another new skate fitted for his surgically repaired but troublesome right ankle, Forsberg started to feel better again.

But one Avalanche official said today that serious talks with Forsberg didn't start until this morning. The Avs jumped in with the contract offer after being informed Forsberg felt good enough to give a comeback a try, and the deal was signed not long after. That's how fast things happened.

Forsberg's return will no doubt give the Avs a major boost at the ticket office, where phones have been ringing off the hook since the news broke, the team said. But whether Forsberg's presence is enough to even get the Avs into the playoffs remains to be seen. The Avs, 1-5-1 in their last seven games, are four points out of a playoff spot, with only 19 games left to play. Forsberg, 34, hasn't played since last spring's playoffs, with Nashville, and wasn't the prolific scorer he once was. But having Forsberg around is still better than not having a Forsberg, and the Avs will take any help they can get right now — especially from a franchise legend.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

BARACK OBAMA BUILT YOU A ROBOT

BARACK OBAMA SPENT THE AFTERNOON SETTING UP YOUR ROUTER

BARACK OBAMA SUBSCRIBED TO YOUR FEED

BARACK OBAMA TOOK OFF WHEN HE HEARD YOU WEREN'T COMING

BARACK OBAMA REMEMBERED YOUR BIRTHDAY

BARACK OBAMA ESCORTED YOUR GRAMMA ACROSS THE STREET

BARACKOBAMAISYOURNEWBICYCLE.COM

Friday, February 15, 2008

Failure

Even though I left the IT department nearly a year ago, I am still at least unofficially a member of the family. My regulars still call me for help when they need it, and often things will come up that I had dealt with in the past so I spring into action. Tonight I was finishing up for the day and talking (arguing) with Elizabeth in the Newsroom when one of the reporters approached me, asking if I could help her with her computer. I followed her back to her desk to find her Mac totally frozen. As in, the Finder was hosed. The clock wasn't moving, there was no way to switch to another program - it was cooked (In retrospect, I can't recall ever seeing the clock frozen in OS X - used to happen all the time in OS 9, but even when the Finder is toast the clock is still ticking). She started to panic somewhat, as she said she wasn't sure she had saved the document she was working on. I told her not to worry, that most likely the automatic backup would have saved most of her file. I power-cycled her computer (a Mini) and was immediately greeted with the dreaded "blinking question mark of death" - another regularity in the old days, but not so much anymore. For the uninitiated, this means that the computer cannot find a disk to start up from.

As soon as I saw the question mark, I knew I was in trouble. The disk had probably just failed completely. I (stupidly) said something to that effect to the reporter, and she just got an absolutely terrified look on her face. I went and grabbed some diagnostic tools and booted from a OS X system disc, which showed me something I'd never seen before - I was fully expecting the hard drive to be gone, but it was still there. Sadly, where it should have said "Macintosh HD" for the volume, it was instead totally blank. "Oh crap" I muttered and she said "WHAT??!" - I told her that wasn't good at all. At that point she started to tear up, and I began to fill like absolute crap. I booted next from DiskWarrior, and it said the same thing - a drive was there, but no volume could be seen to be repaired. At this point, she explained (in between holding back the tears) that the files she needed where stories for tomorrow, so I needed to get her up and running. Matt brought over a computer that was being used for presentations in the conference room and I quickly set up a new account for her on it. Afterwards, I took the Mini home and put in the freezer (the hope was that cooling the drive would somehow bring it back long enough to get the data off of it) for a while, then hooked it up. Nothing. I tried booting from an external drive and in firewire target disk mode. Nothing. I took the Mini apart (which is freakin' difficult by the way) and re-seated the drive. Nothing. Hell, I even zapped the PRAM just like in the old days. Nothing worked. I sent an e-mail to the reporter and the editors telling them that I couldn't bring it back to life and they'd have to go to plan B. Whatever that was.

So here it is 5 hours from when this sleigh ride started, and I have nothing to show for it. I can't even find a mention of this problem online - lots of hard drive failures, but nothing about the volume disappearing (If any of you loyal readers has any other ideas, send them my way!). While there have been problems in the past that I couldn't fix, I was always at the very least able to find a suitable work-around. This time however, she is completely screwed and who knows how it will affect the paper. Even though I'm pretty sure that it's just one of those freak-things that sometimes occur with electronic equipment and there was nothing that can be done, not being able to save the day like I normally do really sucks.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Dear Democratic party....

I like Hillary, I really do. I think she's been a good Senator, I agree with 95% of her positions (her initial support for the war, and her continued refusal to admit it was a mistake would be the other 5%). But as I've been arguing to my Mother for the last few weeks, in the end it comes down to this: We need to win. Fairly or unfairly, people hate her with a passion, and she would unite the Republicans like no other candidate could. Here's a good article with more on that point. So here's my plea to the Democratic voters on Super Tuesday - be smart. When every single Republican pollster and strategist says they WANT to face Hillary in November, but DO NOT want to face Obama, LISTEN TO THEM!!!! In 2004 we South Carolinians tried to tell you who the strongest candidate was. You didn't listen then - here's your chance to make up for it. We live in a red state - we know what it takes to win red states, and someone named "Clinton" just isn't it.

They will hit her over and over again, often below the belt. They'll bring up Whitewater, Travel-gate, and every other BS controversy that they manufactured in the first place. They'll accuse her of killing Vince Foster - again. They'll even bring up Monica and all the right-wing attack bitches will say she was weak for staying in her marriage (even though they'd all do the same thing). That's all we'll hear about for months - and we'll try and try and try to have a debate about the issues that actually matter to people, but no one will care because it's Billiary - and even if they get tired of using her as a punching bag, at some point they'll just try to keep gay people from getting married again and make everyone think that the scary brown people are coming to kill them and/or take their jobs to fire up their base.

Obama is the Republicans worst nightmare. Oh sure, they'll attack him and his Liberal voting record, and when that doesn't work they'll try to convince people he's closet Al-Queda a few more times, but that's it. That's all they've got, and that ain't much. If they put up McCain and we put up Obama you literally could not have a more striking contrast between the past and the future. But if we put up Hillary.....well then I guess it's the past vs. the past.

So that's it fellow Dems around the country - you know you like both candidates and what they stand for. Now it's just time to decide who can win in November. And like a great man once said, winning isn't everything - but losing isn't anything....

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

A question I've often asked myself...

Can a Lightsaber Cut Through Superman?

Can a gadget defeat a superhero? Can a lightsaber cut through Superman? We put both our nerdy gadget knowledge and our nerdy superhero knowledge to the test and came up with reasons why it could and reasons why it couldn't.

Yes

• If the lightsaber crystal was green, like green kryptonite, or if they actually used kryptonite as the crystal, then Superman would melt like a hot knife through even hotter dog droppings.
• Superman's been injured by lasers before (see most aliens he's fought), so an extremely focused laser like a lightsaber could possibly hurt him if applied directly to the skin for a long enough time.
• If he were under the effects of kryptonite, when even bullets can hurt him, then a lightsaber could definitely chop off parts of his body.

No

• What type of radiation does the lightsaber emit? It's light, and Superman gets power from the sun, so the lightsaber could be a refreshing lamp.
• It would just burn off his clothes, like in Superman 2, but it wouldn't hurt him.
• He uses lasers (his own heat vision) to shave himself, so the best the lightsaber could do would to singe his chest hair, or give him a nice shave down there.
• Jedis can't actually cut through "everything" with the sword. Example: the big huge door in Episode I. They had to jam in their lightsabers and "melt" a doorway inside the door. The sword was fast to go into the door because they applied all the force to the tip, but was slow cutting because the Jedis are only so strong. Picture you cutting through a watermelon. In the same principle, a lightsaber technically might be able to cut through Superman, but there's nobody strong enough to force it through. Unless you somehow get the Hulk to use a lightsaber. But the Hulk doesn't exist.

Verdict: Superman wins!