Monthly Archives: June 2006

What if VMs were free?

So much to read on virtualization these days — here’s a nice blog — virtualization.info.

Put me to wondering — what if it were free to bring up VMs on your machine? Where “free” means very inexpensive in performance terms.

I wonder if we wouldn’t architect our OSes very differently. Why jam all the advanced support for graphics hardware, and the attendant instability, into mainstream Windows? My web browser and mail client just don’t benefit from it. Wouldn’t I rather just bring up a separate VM that has all my xbox-like features and nothing else?

I really wonder if in the face of cheap virtualization, you wouldn’t design OSes very differently. Rather than having a general purpose OS with all the features needed for every class of app, perhaps you would instead design for very special purpose VMs with a smaller set of OS features — this VM profile for games, that one for productivity apps, another for running all your firewalling and security goo, etc etc.

Car shopping

Looking at some cars to add to the household — the sweet spot is the $32K sedan.

The Volvo S60, Subaru Legacy, and vw passat all seem like great choices. Good interior styling, good safety, good handling and performance. And all seem like good values, you get a lot for your dollar.

We wanted to like the Toyota Avalon but the handling just wasn’t there — this thing wallows thru the turns. Styling and features are decent but not handling. We wanted to like the Chrysler 300 also and it handles nicely, has a great powertrain, and looks good on the outside, but the interior styling and fit-and-finish are 10 years behind.

And the Cadillac CTS — what an embarrassment. A salesperson who hasn’t heard yet that Cadillac no longer is the pacesetter; overpriced, and underfeatured. I would feel stupid buying this car.

Halloween Ideas

* mutli-channel player — sned sounds over individual channels of a 5.1 setup. pretty useful for running multiple sounds off a single pc. Also a random tip on this page — “Want a “dead ringer” for Halloween? Run a string from a grave up to a bell mounted on the tombstone!” — I might try this.
* Another random good tip I read — used rotisserie motors make great prop animators
* Electronic Goldmine for random electronic and control supplies
* What to do with an old CRT?? Make it into the world’s heaviest strobe light of course.
* Article on 4-bar linkage design
* Fittings Depot – for pneuma fittings. Awesome.
* Great article on how to use a Shiatsu massager as the basis of a prop.
* EFX-tek prop controllers.

Grabbag of links

* The blockbuster bestseller is dying. “…the evidence shows we are moving away from a winner-take-all society, not toward it”
* Solar powered flickering candles. Ordered for Halloween
* Great lens guidance from bob and rich. I now know infinitely more.
* Netgear launches powerline 200. Exactly what I need for connecting up the Tivo to the net.
* Quikmaps via iunknown — easy way to markup maps. Nice.
* podcast of ted videos. Subscribed.
* Cellfire mobile coupons via techcrunch. Tried to sign up but doesn’t support the blackberry, darn.
* Some Aspects of aging are out of our control.

Flock First Reactions

Hey this feels pretty good. Light and zippy. Blog integration is decent tho a few bugs and shortcomings.  Nice importation of all firefox settings.  I don’t think I will stick with it quite yet because of the problems listed below but it is a great attempt. 

  • I’ve come to depend on the IETab firefox plugin and flock doesn’t support yet, so that is a major bummer
  • The blogging feature doesn’t allow me to set category or keywords on an entry so that is a non-starter.  oh wait i guess it does, tho not in the entry editting window but in another window that pops up when you try to publish — kind of odd



Blogged with Flock

The Strange Death of Liberal England

I’ve had “The Strange Death of Liberal England”:amazon by George Dangerfield on my “to read” shelf for years, something about the title intrigued me. But the idea of actually reading an in-depth tome on british history from 1910-1914 was pretty offputting.

Well I finally cracked the book last week. What a marvel. A seriously engaging book. History, but written almost lyrically at times — it felt as if Faulkner was writing history, with moments of dry British snarkiness. The last chapter takes a complete right turn, introduces the life, early death, and poetry of Rupert Brooke, and somehow makes it a relevant metaphor for all of Britain.

Along the way you learn more than you thought you wanted to know about Asquith, the House of Lords, Parliament, the trade unions, the suffragette movement (those were some bad-ass women!), the early days of the modern Irish state, etc, etc. Not a light breezy read, but an excellent book.

Grabbag of links

* Via gotAPI.com | Gadgetopia, gotapi.com — online reference for a bunch of different languages. nice.
* Martin points to a great doc on how brazil achieved oil independence
* First 100+megapixel sensorrich here is your next camera.
* Watching electrons go by. Awesome. Also awesome — Flipping a surface from sticky to slippery.
* From Chris Pirillo, inflight USB charger — if you use your video ipod a lot, you need this.
* Bob intros pachydrm.orgopen source drm
* Microsoft starts letting the community rate drivers — great idea.
* Must try Flock again.
* Letting your xbox blog.

Best College Stadiums

I get a lot of visitors looking for info on the best college stadiums. Well here are some pointers to web resources:

* College Stadiums Football Photos 8×10 — nice aerial and in-stadium photos for a lot of the top stadiums. Great gift for fans.
* NCAA attendance stats for 2005 — a loud full stadium is a good stadium
* Saturday Shrines on Amazon.
* Fanblogs points to Dennis Dodd’s 2003 rankings which I think are crap. Fanblogs also points to the Rivals 05 rankings which I like better.
* Sporting News/MSNBC rankings here which I also wonder about.
* Football Digest rankings — I can get behind these!

My view is — any full loud stadium on a Saturday afternoon or evening is a great place to be. I haven’t been to that many, but my views on a few:

* Ohio Stadium — great crowd, great band, great pageantry, great architecture. A+. What did you think I’d say?
* Michigan Stadium — great crowd, but kind of characterless architecture. B+
* ASU in Tempe. What a great setting. Too bad the team isn’t consistently better. B+
* UW. Another great setting, but a team that is a snoozer. Still where else can you moor your boat for a tailgate picnic? B
* Rose Bowl. Great potential but too many empty seats — not being on campus hurts. B-
* Pitt Stadium. Great location, right in the thick of things. Great crowds, inconsistent team. B

Ignition roundup

* We’ve got a new version of our website up — Ignition Partners — HELPING ENTREPRENEURS SEIZE OPPORTUNITY – way more modern
* and we expanded our last fund
* Mpire hires a new ceo.
* I can’t keep up with all the jobster news but jason’s blog is a great place to start. Among other things, they’ve acquired jobby.
* The judysbook team has done a lot of site upgrading recently too — looks waaaay better.

I’m way behind honestly on reading ignition portfolio news, I have missed a bunch of stuff…

Books this week

* “No Second Chance”:amazon by Harlan Coben. Another great whirlwind mystery by coben. Man no one writes an airline reading book like this guy.
* “Guerilla Warfare”:amazon by Che Guevara. Interesting as a historical read, insight into the thinking of a very influential figure in the americas. Uplifting in many ways, a strong advocate for the people, and very anti-terrorism — contrast with the revolutionaries in the news these days. I faced a dilemma when I finished this book — i travel with light paperbacks and usually leave them sitting in the airport or hotel, hoping that they will find their way into the hands of another reader rather than collecting dust on my shelves. But dropping a book named “Guerilla Warfare” in an airport, a book which includes pictures on how to modify a rifle to launch Molotov cocktails — well I figured it would freak someone out and have some probability of causing some crazy law enforcement scramble. So I threw it in the trash sadly.
* “Manhunt”:amazon by James L Swanson. Great accounting of Booth’s actions and escape. If he hadn’t broken his leg jumping to the stage, he’d have escaped and wouldn’t that have been dramatic.

Materials Science fascination

If I were going to college today, I’d be studying materials science. In fact I’ve been looking at online master’s degree programs — UW and Columbia both have interesting programs. A better use of my time than Oblivion.

I’d be studying materials science because things like the following fascinate me:

* Batteries that recharge in seconds — ScienCentral Video News: Super Battery
* Massive increases in data density on disks — heat-assisted data storage
* Just because you can make them — gold buckyballs