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Monday, November 24, 2008


Assuming you have a terrycloth robe

On Halloween, I heard, "That guy is awesome," as someone passed me in the train station on my way to the office in the morning. Arthur Dent is an effortless costume, so I'm surprised anyone was impressed. You just wear your pyjamas all day and set the background of your phone to say "Don't Panic" in large friendly letters. Maybe he thought I was dressed as the Dude.

Just two things differentiate an iPhone from a canonical copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: our species' parochial travel habits and the all too limited lifespan of our cell phone batteries. If we were to make the advances in physics and engineering necessary to produce cell phone batteries that last more than a day and interstellar travel that took less than a day, there would be huge demand for Lonely Exoplanet guides in the App Store.

But in the meantime, I recommend getting the free Z-machine interpreter iPhone application, Frotz, and trying to puzzle out Douglas Adam's brilliant Infocom game, also called Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008


A Mac running Vista is a Sad Mac

My dad asked me recently what kind of small form-factor PC he should buy. My response was highly biased by my interest in his switching to a platform I have more experience with. I'm not enthusiastic about offering desktop support, even for my family, but they could at least notice that I haven't used Windows much lately.

He's too set in his ways to switch to Linux, so I volunteered to buy him a Mac Mini and set it up to dual-boot Vista, in the hope he would eventually try out Leopard. I had a copy of Vista that I won at a Microsoft recruiting event, which I subsequently failed to sell on eBay. I had also won a redundant iPod Nano from Google in their Treasure Hunt contest. Every Mac should come with a free iPod, so I pitched that in the deal too.

Next to all these software companies wasting perfectly good schwag on me, the saddest part of the story is that, from the resigned tone of his complaints about Vista, it sounds like he's going to keep running Windows.

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Friday, November 7, 2008


Something new every day, most days

I just found out less(1) does "tail -f". And I thought it just went up more than more(1), but down too?


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Name: Jared Brothers
Location: New York, NY, United States



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