Tuesday, February 28, 2006

An Optimistic Take on Vista

Things are not well at all in Eltonland. I got my score on my Computer Architecture test today, and it's much lower than I expected. You know that things are crazy when your easiest test is Diffy Q (for which my grade has been revised up to a B+, which is well above the average). Tomorrow is my second physics test, and I have no idea how much sleep I'll be able to get tonight so I'm going to make this post short. I wish I could talk more about all this, but I don't think this is the place for it. Today's Apple event was underwhelming that I've relegated it to the second paragraph in favor of talking a little bit about Windows Vista. Many people have been doggin' it (myself included), but Extreme Tech is actually pleased with it and brings up many reasons why. It's true that they've stolen many ideas from Mac OS X, but this article brings up stuff that most people haven't talked about (at least not in a while). Restructuring the kernel after so long is really their best kept secret (only because everyone has been so pessimistic about Vista) because while it doesn't promise a completely secure machine it does represent a major stride in closing up holes that should've never existed. This has also led to improvements in power and memory management to help developers churn out better stuff and keep down your electricity bill (and wait time thanks to a better sleep mode). DirectX 10, which is unfortunately Vista-only (tsk tsk), could spur a revival in PC gaming as we know it. Then there's the built in Media Center functionality for home users, which will advance their cause against Apple's iMac and Mac Mini offerings. I haven't decided whether it's worth upgrading as soon as it comes out, but I think it's a bigger leap than between Windows 98 and XP (though I still don't buy it as a leap between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95). We should definitely give it a fair shake though.

So what did Apple pull out of its bag of tricks? You're looking at it. An Intel-based Mac Mini: yippee. There were other things, like a stupid leather iPod case and a ridiculously expensive iPod WiFi boombox rig, but neither were very important or impressive. This means that the event at the end of this month will have some really big stuff, and all our predictions were way off (though a couple of mine were right). Strangely, I didn't see anything new from M$, but BetaNews did talk to the creator of Paint.NET, and I always like reading about humble developers like him. Sony has decided to release their Blu-Ray format on May 23 with 8 movies, which doesn't mean much for you and me right now, but it will several months from now when it has really gained steam (or bowed out to HD-DVD). Lastly, Chris Holland put up a look at an alternate P2P distribution format called Dijjer, and I don't get much about it except that it's protocol just learned some lessons from BitTorrent. What I really got out of it was a link to the Democracy Player, which allows you to watch free, online television based on torrenting, and it's actually kind of neat.

Quint over at AICN saw Dave Chappelle's Block Party and, much to my surprise, he really liked it. I thought he wouldn't like it because of all the hip hop, but I guess even he could understand how cool it all is. Yahoo Movies has a good clip of him doing some funny poetry, which fans of his show should really check out. The Superman Returns game has a cool cg trailer if you're interested, but you should note that it's not in-game footage. Lastly, IGN has some information on a chase scene from X3, but it doesn't really get me going.

Now for the Ten on Tuesday meme:

10 Things You Want, but Don't Need
10. Ice cream
9. A parking pass for UT
8. A better cell phone (that lasts more than like 10 hours)
7. A 19" flat screen monitor
6. A new Volvo (fully loaded with an in-dash CD changer)
5. A Nintendo DS
4. A big-screen, DLP television
3. A really nice apartment
2. A 60 GB iPod
1. A MacBook Pro (the high-end one, not the cheap one)

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