January 16th, 2008


Lessons learned

Following the Quaker instructions, microwaving Old Fashioned Quaker Oats (not an instant packet) and water in a microwave-safe cup for 2.5-3 minutes... makes a mess. I guess I need a bigger bowl to allow for expansion; about half of the oatmeal overflowed the brim (the cup was at most half full) and landed on the platter. What's left was tasty, though, with a little extra hot water added, a squirt of honey, and a handful of Craisins.
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Mark Morford on 2008's Democratic slate

Right now, the various spurts of venom aimed at Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama from conservative pundits and politicos are, at best, scattershot and convulsive, with only MSNBC's Chris Matthews proving himself to be a consistent blowhard jackass in his relentless slamming of Hillary by claiming that she only made it this far due to adultery-survivor sympathy. Hey, Chris? 2001 called. It wants its puerile, sexist analysis back. Thank you.

> The woman vs the black guy:
    Who's more terrifying to red states, smart Hillary or savvy Barack?

The right has its own heaping bucket of problems right now, not the least of which is the weakest and craziest and least palatable field of GOP contenders in 50 years. There's the chipper creationist nutball who loves him some Chuck Norris, the stupefied Mormon mannequin who simply cannot believe the world is so icky and complicated, the doddering Iraq-loving war vet who seems to be getting more unstable by the minute, and the cross-dressing former New York mayor who has "9/11" tattooed on his ego in fake blood. And oh yes, a zany old anti-choice libertarian who somehow keeps raising piles of cash and sending fascinating postcards from the edge of political reason. Cool!
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Worried about MacBook Air being wireless-only?

Draft response to a concerned higher-up at work. Comments?

The lack of wired Ethernet is one of many factors that makes this a "road warrior" laptop and not the "desktop replacement" that nearly all Apple laptops have been for the last 15 years. The slower processor and limited storage capacity are also biggies.

Apple has tended not to offer dock accessories, since the days of the Duo, leaving that space as a third-party add-on opportunity. I'm sure the BookEndz folks are contemplating an adapter that plugs into the headphone jack, USB port, and micro-DVI port on the side of the MacBook Air, but most users will probably never bother. This thing's screen and keyboard are good enough that the average user will never need to hook into desktop-based equivalents, which is the main reason people use docks.

It's worth noting that most laptop users EVEN NOW aren't bothering to plug into wired Ethernet, even when they HAVE the requisite port on their laptops. I strongly suspect we've already seen a large chunk of the hit on Red Rover's capacity from the shift to wireless, and Apple is just giving in to reality by leaving out a port no one is using.

The folks who want wired Ethernet can buy the inexpensive USB adapter Apple is offering, and we can certainly suggest it. That'll especially come in handy in areas of campus where Red Rover isn't yet ubiquitous, but in areas where it is, I don't think anything changes... I think wireless use is going to continue to ramp up whether the manufacturer provides the wired connector or not, especially since Red Rover is already sharply faster than the switched 10 Mbit wired pipe we've still got to so many desks. We just have to keep up with capacity demand.