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Apples are too expensive?

So Keith Elder has finally switched back to the “Apple is expensive” party line.  Keith and I had numerous “debates” about this topic years ago, and he was *always* quoting the Apple fan line that “spec for spec” Apples are not just competitive with regular PCs but *cheaper*.

I know Keith knows he believed it back in the day, so I’m not pointing out any glaring inconsistencies.  It’s just somewhat bemusing to watch someone’s progression in and then out of Apple fandom.  In the non-Apple hardware world, there’s considerable choice – you can go barebones cheap or top-end best-of-breed hardware.  Sometimes Apple might be more expensive, sometimes less, when comparing against top-end stuff, but it all depends on your needs.  Trouble has been, Apple doesn’t make machines to cover *everyone’s* needs; at least, not when you factor in budget as part of the need.

I’ve got no real horse in this race.  I write this as someone who has 2 Macs (emac from 2003 – or was it 2002? -  and Imac from 2006).  We’ve also got 2 ipods – one broke after 2 years and one is still working.  But I’ve also got an Compaq laptop running Linux and XP (via vmware).  I’ve considered a Macbook Pro (used) as a new laptop for later this year, but have no firm plans.

I also write this as someone who has a wife who Keith talked in to getting the emac in the first place.  I even remember after we got it, it was dog slow (1ghz with 512 megs of RAM).  Keith (and others) countered with “duh!  512 megs is nothing – you have to have at least a gig to run anything fast”.  To which I generally replied “Why does Apple have a reputation of providing great end-user experiences but still sell systems that are ‘known’ to be painful to use?”. I would say that’s less and less the case these days, but it wasn’t easy, for me, to love an emac in 2003.

I’ve always maintained that Apple systems are generally more expensive than comparable non-Apple systems.  And if you *don’t* use all the extras that you get with OSX – if you’re not using GarageBand and iLife and Pages and all that other OSX goodness, by all means Apple systems are way overpriced.  It’s very hard to put a dollar value on ‘creature of habit’ behaviour, but if you really don’t use the Apple stuff, go buy a non-Apple system.  OR get the latest Apple stuff, put Parallels on it, install Windows, and run both systems.  You’ll pay for it – that’s a pricey proposition for the home user – but you’ll arguably have the best of both worlds for many use cases (except perhaps gaming).

Glad to have you back Keith.  Maybe you’ll go full circle and start running Linux as a primary desktop in a few more years.  :)


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Celebiomentary

Was just discussing the idea of someone playing me in my life story.  The story would also involve me trying to be like that particular celebrity.  So, the celeb would be playing someone who was trying to be like them, but failing at it (for comedic effect).  Or perhaps succeeding.  I dunno.  I call the idea the “celebiomentary”, but you already knew that because of the post title, right?

OK, so it’s just the one idea.  Need to get back to work.


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Worst class naming examples?

I’ve had the pleasure to work with some good developers over the years, but even good developers some times have examples of not so good code in their past.  My first ‘shopping cart’ system put prices in a user’s cookie and used that for final calculations.  Yes, I was an idiot.  I’m not above making mistakes.  I generally don’t make the same ones over and over though – I graduate to bigger and better ones.  :)

When I was learning object-oriented design, one of the few things that clicked early on was the concept of the class – the blueprint which was used to ‘stamp out’ multiple instances of an object.  A class name would be a noun, obviously, right?  I’ve worked with code, however, that had classes with verbs for names (“class buildMessage”), and recently overheard a coworker talk about a class with an adjective for a name (“class boxy”).

What’s the worst class naming examples you’ve seen in the wild?


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Bad URLs

Came across this site and thought I’d share it with you all…  :)


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Flame on!

This website – http://flameka.com – is one of the funniest sites I’ve seen in a long time.  It’s not quite ‘mahir I kiss you’ funny, but still, if you have a Kitchen-Aid mixer, you owe it to yourself to take a look.


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New favorite picture

rock/rule


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Borat DVD packaging

http://videoeta.com/news/2236 has the full pictures, but this has got to be some of the best DVD packaging I’ve ever seen.  We just got the disc through netflix, and my wife came upstairs and said “we got a pirated copy!”  She was afraid we’d be blamed for keeping the original and sending back a cheap copy.  A bit of net searching turned up the deal on this, but it’s harder to get the whole view of the joke when you only get the disc, as in the case of netflix.  Great work, Borat DVD design team!


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John Inman dies

I read the news today, oh boy.  “Are You Being Served?” is one of my all time favorite programs.  Yes, it’s stupid.  Yes, it’s silly.  I don’t care.  The first 5 seasons are some of the best comedy I’ve ever seen, or likely ever will.  The writing was corny, but something about the chemistry of the original cast just clicked, and the results were something which won’t likely be repeated.  Many of you are probably thinking “thank goodness!” I know, but there are a number of us who continue to think it’s one of the best shows out there.

I never got to meet John personally, but I did see him up close at our local mall in 1999.  He was in town for a PBS drive and was signing autographs at the local mall.  I went, hoping I’d be the only one to know who he was, but the line to meet him was over 3 hours long!  They wouldn’t actually let anyone else join the queue, else I’d have joined and waited 3 hours!  Lesley (my wife), who is from the UK, couldn’t understand it.  Apparently, back in the UK, AYBS is not terribly popular, and John Inman isn’t that much of a celebrity.  Since AYBS? was picked up on PBS years ago, it’s become more than a cult favorite over here.  The Detroit PBS station showed these programs for years Monday to Friday.  Not sure if they still do (I’d guess so) – our local affiliate only  shows one episode a week on Saturday night, so I’ve been weaned off  a bit the last couple years.  I may have to go get the box sets now.  :(


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SOAP discussion – “S” used to mean “Simple”

I’m not sure there’s much more to say about this, except that it sums up much of my own observations about how SOAP has evolved over the years.  The “S” really did stand for “Simple” at one point, but AFAICT, since the 1.2 spec, SOAP is not officially an acronym for anything any more.


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