Now This Log

Archives: January 2002

Thursday, 17 January 2002

Toshiba (who apparently makes the tiny 5GB hard drive in the iPod 5) has announced some larger-capacity drives in the same size:

Toshiba fits 20GB onto 1.8-inch disk [MacCentral]
Though neither company will confirm that the iPod uses Toshiba's drive, representatives of both companies acknowledge Toshiba is the only one producing a 5GB drive small enough to fit in Apple's music player.

Gigabytes of storage would also allow handheld devices to contain video files, for example. While she can't name customers, Dalphy says Toshiba is working with a number of companies -- many of them startups -- on a variety of product ideas that could use Toshiba's tiny drives.

"If they do make it to market, they will change the way we do things," she says of the unannounced projects in development. Dalphy expects products should start appearing between the middle and the end of 2002, or possibly earlier.
I was fairly underwhelmed by the iPod 5's price/capacity ratio, but knew that surely it wouldn't stay that steeply priced forever. The only questions are, when will they roll out the iPod 20 and how much will it cost? Or, how much will the iPod 5 drop to once the larger capacities come online?

We have ~40GB of our own music ripped for our own use, so it's still not enough to hold all of it, but I'd certainly take half. For the right price, that is; the 20GB version still isn't worth $400 (or more likely $500) to me, but I will gleefully watch the price/capacity curve do its thing in the meantime. permanent link

Wednesday, 16 January 2002

Wallace and Gromit will be coming back!

We're back... [Aardman, with pictures!]
Nick Park has set into production 12 exciting new Wallace and Gromit films all to be released later this year, free of charge with the help of the internet. Each film features one of Wallace's unique new inventions and runs for approximately 1 minute.

For the last year [Park] has been working on the script for a new Wallace and Gromit film, The Great Vegetable Plot, which is due to be released in a couple of years.
Excellent! The 'Movie Album' distribution model sounds nutty and/or onerous, but at least they'll be obtainable on DVD or VHS too. permanent link

Tuesday, 15 January 2002

A bit of spam received a few days ago. This would be amusing if it weren't so irritating:

Detect & eliminate spam BEFORE it gets to your mail client! Tired of the hundreds of unsolicited commercial email (UCE) infiltrating you mailbox everyday? Now you can do something about it! Seek and Destroy all unwanted junk e-mail at the click of a button, BEFORE it reaches your mailbox! 


* Connects to any pop3 server! Eliminates spam BEFORE it reaches your mailbox!
...etc., etc....
And a big dose of chutzpah at the end:
You are receiving this email because you purchased a product from us in the past, or downloaded software from one of our websites and agreed to allow us to send you offers.
No, no, I'm quite certain that I didn't, nor did all the other people at something@now*.com who were also in the 'to' field of your message, unless your sales team concentrated heavily on the 'n' domains for customers.

Irritating! permanent link

Monday, 14 January 2002

A couple of tasty bits via Slashdot:

Interview with Jonathan Ive, the guy most responsible for the iMac design: The shape of things to come []
Initially, Ive and his hand-picked team tried simply sticking the guts of the computer into the space behind the flat screen. But hard discs, CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs run slower when vertical than when horizontal. The processor-heat output demanded a fan, which would be noisy and, in a "flat PC", perhaps just inches from your face. And the screen would lose its mobility: no tilt and swivel for that one-piece.

[Jobs] told him to think again about the pieces he was trying to fit together. "Each should be true to itself," he said. That meant the disc drives being horizontal, and the flat screen retaining its mobility. "We had to liberate the display, explode it, disconnect it from the CPU," says Ive now.

The new shape emerged shortly afterwards: a dome is the only shape that lets the screen swivel without having "preferred" positions, maximises stability and offers lots of horizontal space.
Ah, but the cords out the back and the apple logo centered in the front give it back a 'preferred' position (though not as strongly as a rectangle base would, I suppose).

Display Guide: A Comparison of 13 LCD Monitors [Tom's Hardware]
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Sunday, 13 January 2002

Interesting premise for a feature: go back to your very first job and see what's changed.

Dunkin' Donuts Redux by Cait Murphy [Fortune Magazine, via faisal] communities like Cos Cob ... the idea of the first job is changing. Dennis Tournas, who bought the franchise in 1983, prefers not to hire high school students anymore. Unlike in my day, when we teenagers were all paragons of dependability, kids these days hog the phone and cancel shifts at the last minute. But then, they aren't exactly begging to bag doughnuts, anyway. When the manager of the store, Jose Illescas, shows me a sheaf of applications, none are from local teenagers.

So who's making the coffee? Immigrants. Every single worker at the Cos Cob Dunkin' Donuts, from the owners, who were born in Greece, to the manager (Guatemala), to the most senior baker (Brazil) and the longest-serving counter help (Taiwan), is an immigrant.
That tracks with our local D'Donuts, which I cheerfully frequent. Goooood coffee.
In my first Dunkin' Donuts tour ... I learned that in the workplace, not wanting to do something -- say, frosting chocolate doughnuts -- just doesn't matter. You have to do it, so there's no use whining. I learned how much smoother the day goes when people act with civility; a shift filled with pleases and thank-yous is better than one lacking in such grace notes.
I can't go back to my first job, because Randall Foods went away long long ago and there would be no shelves to face. permanent link

Just saw last week's E.R., and man is it going back down the tubes. They did a very 'writerly' thing this time: hey, it's Abby's birthday so let's make it a bizarrely, implausibily, impossibly hellish day for her. Hey presto, cheap irony!

I stopped watching E.R. for a couple of years because there was nobody to like, nobody to root for and nothing went well for anybody. Looks like the patient may be having a relapse.

Ah well, at least it was decent again for a while. permanent link

C.J.: Don't you have work to do?
Toby: I have a lot of work to do.
C.J.: And?
Toby: You can't rush these things.
-- "H.Con 172", The West Wing

permanent link

Noodling about Google: I agree with these musings by Dan Gillmor:

`Google effect' reduces need for many domains [Mercury News, via Tomalak]
With the rise of search tools that unerringly bring you to the page you want [Google], the need for a highly specific domain name -- one that a casual Web user would be able to guess -- has practically disappeared.

What's happening here is the separation of the domain-name database from the real-world lookup. This is a Good Thing.
permanent link

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Steve Bogart

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