Category Archives: Random-musings

The New MacBook – Just the Beginning?

This morning, I made a comment on Twitter that the new MacBook is really meant to be a “road” or “travel” or “second” computer for people who already owned Macs. It’s probably not powerful enough or flexible enough to work as an everyday computer. 

But then, on my drive into work, I was thinking that I’d heard that before…

Isn’t that what a lot of people said about the original MacBook Air in 2008?

What’s this? A computer without a CD/DVD drive? Only a single USB port? So thin you could use it as a knife? 

What was Apple thinking?!? 

As we know now, the Macbook Air is one of Apple’s best selling line of laptops, and, in fact, now represents the “budge-conscious” side of Apple’s lineup. It’s only in the last year or so that competitors in the PC world have been able to come close to replicating the Macbook Air’s form factor and weight.

What does it mean? 

Right now, the MacBook is step towards the future. We won’t know for sure until next month, but from what I’ve read the Core M processor won’t match the performance of the Core i5’s in the baseline Macbook Air’s. It probably won’t be fast enough for power users, but it may be plenty fast enough for the average computer user. 

If I remember correctly, the first generation Macbook Air suffered from the same problem. It wasn’t nearly as fast and as the other machines in Apple’s lineup. They had less memory, less hard drive space, etc. 

But that form factor was damn sexy. 

The Air’s design elements eventually spread to the Macbook Pros: thinner, lighter machines with fewer ports and no CD/DVD drive.

Like the original MacBook Air, the new MacBook has taken some gutsy steps of its own. It’s even thinner and lighter, with a Retina display, new keyboard, new trackpad, and a single USB-C port. And, like previous MacBooks, it comes in colors!

i’ve no doubt that we’ll see Apple sell a ton of them. 

Intel is working towards moving the Core i3/i5/i7 processors to the 14nm process, so it’s possible that in a couple of generations, the MacBook may be powerful enough to meet even power user demands. It will probably replace the Air lineup in a couple of years. 

The trackpad is already in the 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro, so it’s a no-brainer that the pad will move to the other MacBook Pros.

What about USB-C? 

This is the one area i’m the most curious about. How soon will (or if) Apple will ditch Thunderbolt in favor of USB-C?  Will there be any adapters, especially since right now – the MacBook won’t be able to connect to any Apple Cinema Display. How aggressive will Apple be in moving the new components into the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro lines?

Basically, how soon will my fancy new Thunderbolt dock become obsolete?

Also, if Retina now appears in the MacBook, does that mean that the MacBook Pros will bump up to 5K displays? 

Picture that: A new, thinner 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 5k display, 4 USB-C ports and weighs less than 4 pounds? 

That would be pretty sweet.

Disneyfying-Star Wars Part Two

Ok,

After reading this post by Harry Knowles of AintItCoolNews, I’m feeling a bit less pessimistic about Disney owning Star Wars.

Harry Chimes in on Star Wars

My biggest fear is that they’ll stay the course like Lucas did with the first three films and try to specifically target an 8-to-10-year-old audience.

(Of course, strangely, Lucas says he was targeting that age group, but the plot – what plot there was – really didn’t play to that age group)

The other concern was that Disney would take some of their Disney TV shows and churn out a bunch of kid-friendly shows set in the Star Wars universe. For example, they have a “sitcom” about a bunch of kids studying karate. Take that same show, cast them as padawans, put them in the Star Wars universe, and BAM! – new show!

But…

If Disney takes a more open-minded approach and opens up the Star Wars universe to both family-friendly content and more “grown-up” content, then there could be some potential for some very cool stuff. It’s certainly something Lucas would have never done.

It will be interesting to see regardless.

Disney-fying Star Wars

So, ol’ George has finally admitted defeat…

He’s finally gotten tired of finding new ways to milk more money out of the Star Wars franchise.

So, let’s sell it off to the one corporate entity who is even better than Lucas at licensing the crap out of their creations and putting them on anything and everything…

Disney!!!

Last week’s announcement was shocking enough – that Lucas was selling Lucasfilm to Disney. Then, they also announce that they’re going to kick things off by releasing a new Star Wars movie (Episode 7) in 2015.

Ugh…

I’m dreading what Disney will do with the series. On the one hand, Lucas will only be a “creative consultant” on the new films, and NOT writing or directing the films.

So, there’s a chance they won’t completely suck.

On the other hand… It’s Disney, and I’ve seen enough of the bad television shows that my nieces and nephew watch on the Disney channel to dread what they could do with the series. It seems to me like – because it’s Disney, and they lean heavily towards family-oriented fare – that any darker tones of the story would be limited if not completely filtered out. That means no “Empire” type of movie, and there would definitely not be any execution of “younglings.”

Episode 7 implies that they’re going to pick up the story where things left off at the end of Return of the Jedi (otherwise they could have just said a “7th Star Wars movie”).

The biggest challenge there will be where to pick things up. Will they borrow from the existing canon like the Heir to the Empire books? Did Lucas remember writing rough outlines or notes about the last three films that he keeps saying never existed?

The other problem – The cast. They’ll more than likely have to re-cast the roles of the major characters (Han, Luke, Leia, etc). Hopefully they won’t pull some type of “generations” type of movie (re: Star Trek).

After seeing what Lucas did with the second set of films, I personally would rather they would just let it go.

Or, if they must make a new Star Wars movie, go back to the Old Republic days and make a film with a completely new cast of characters.

Let the story of Luke Skywalker and friends end with Return of the Jedi.

The Dark Knight (Mostly) Rises

(Note: Although I was at one of the marathon Batman screenings on Thursday evening, I didn’t learn about the tragedy in Aurora until late Friday morning.  My deepest sympathies go out to the families of those who lost their lives.)

 

I went into The Dark Knight Rises with medium hopes. I’d hoped it would be a very good movie, and it would be a brilliant ending to a great movie trilogy. I really didn’t expect the movie to complete with The Dark Knight. 

Getting a chance to see The Dark Knight just before the midnight showing did nothing to change my mind. 

Is “Rises” a good movie? Yes, it’s a very good albeit very long movie. For me, though, it could have been better. 

I’m not going into a rant here about what I didn’t like about the story because I don’t want to give away aspects of the movie. Also, this would become a novel instead of a post.

What worked in the movie? 

Christian Bale is still great as Batman/Bruce Wayne. Michael Caine has some great moments as Alfred.

I was actually surprised by Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman. I think she did a great job even though I’m not entirely sure why the character was in the movie.

Even with the voice cleanup, there were still moments where I wasn’t entirely sure what Tom Hardy’s Bane was saying. I was pretty “meh” about Bane in the movie. I understood why they picked him as the villain, but I also knew it was very unlikely anyone who played any villain in this movie would surpass Heath Ledger’s legendary Joker in the Dark Knight.

Ok. I will say this. I swear I’ve seen that mask of Bane’s from somewhere before.

Try to sit through the entire 2 hours and 45 minutes without wanting Bane to say “Luke, I am your father.” 

For me, there were more than a few holes in the story. There were a few “Wait, what?” moments as well, and I think they could have been more daring at the ending (but wasn’t surprised they didn’t go there).

There was also one name uttered near the very end that made me cringe. 

Then again, I’m a reader of the Batman comics and I’m more familiar with how things played out in the comics. There were some bad points in the comics, too, but overall, it was a very good series.

My verdict? Go see it. It’s a very good movie that wraps up the trilogy decently, just not brilliantly. 

 

Freaky: Left Brain vs Right Brain

Check this out:

Right Brain / Left Brain

Can you make it switch?

Windows Vista – The Next Generation OS For Your… Mac?

This is classic! Engadget has a story with pictures of a Microsoft rep demoing Vista on a computer. Wait, isn’t that an iMac?

Vista on an iMac 

Oops… er… excuse the mess…

Yeah, the site looks a bit different right now… In my quest to rid myself of comment spam, I decided to update to wordpress 2.0. Unfortunately, I have been too lazy to change my blog layout to use a theme instead of the old-school method of changing index.php. So, things are going to appear a bit out of whack while I build out a theme.

Harry Potter is my Homeboy?

FYI,

In case you haven’t heard, the newest Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire trailer can be found here:

Goblet of Fire trailer

I saw this today, and the trailer looks great! What really bugged me wasn’t the trailer, but it was the title of the column next to the trailer; the one entitled “Harry’s Homies.”

Harry's Homies

Oh come on now people! While time will tell whether or not Harry Potter will go down in history as classic literature, calling Harry’s friends his “homies” makes as much sense as putting a story out there about Lord of the Rings and refering to the Fellowship of the Ring as “Frodo’s Homies.”

Dictionary.com lists the following synonyms for “friend”:

acquaintance, ally, alter ego, amigo, associate, bedfellow, blocker, boon companion, bosom buddy, brother, buddy, chum, classmate, cohort, colleague, companion, compatriot, comrade, confrere, consort, countryman, cousin, crony, familiar, fellow, intimate, kissing cousin, little brother, main man, main squeeze, mate, other self, pal, partner, playmate, roommate, schoolmate, sidekick, sister, soul mate, spare, well-wisher

Ok, maybe “soul mate” doesn’t really fit in, but still, there are plenty of other words to use. I know someone was trying to be really clever and trendy by using “homie,” but if they really wanted to be clever, why not use British slang like “mate” or something? Rowling uses a lot of British slang in the UK versions of the book.

What’s next? Will Harry walk into the Gryffindor common room in the Goblet of Fire movie and say “wassup?”

Why isn’t ‘42′ the answer to the question ‘Why do people find “Napoleon Dynamite” so funny?’

Because, in my mind, “42” makes about as much sense as any other answer to that question…

I put “Napoleon Dynamite” in my Blockbuster movie queue thinking I might as well see it to see what all the fuss was about. Critics and “kids” love it. My first warning sign should have been the MTV logo at the beginning. To be fair, MTV has co-produced a couple of decent movies. “The Perfect Score” was a decent flick, even though it had a shade of “Breakfast Club” to it.

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best and worst of human nature

Today marks the four year anniversary of 9/11.

The aftermath of hurricane Katrina will no doubt overshadow this. But, in a way, the events of the past two weeks remind us about the best parts of human nature.

I saw this story online this morning on the Dallas Morning News website.

Would-be volunteers left to wait

Now, even though the story really covers people complaining about being frustrated over not being able to help the victims of hurricane Katrina, the fact that there are more volunteers than the various help organizations know what to do with speak volumes. There are other stories about how literally millons of dollars of donations are flowing to the Red Cross. There are stories of people who have gone out of their way to help these people.

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