Friday, March 24, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mac OS X!

My contacts finally came in today and I was ecstatic. You don't know how sweet your vision is until you've spent a week running at half-capacity. It's like going from watching TV on a dinky 15" normal set to a 50" widescreen HDTV: everything is crisper, clearer, and brighter. And now, for the real news. It was 5 years ago today that arguably the best thing to ever happen to Apple happened: Mac OS X. Sure, the iPod made a lot of money, but Apple's rebound started with a better OS, and everyone is the better for it. Comparing the experience on my roommate's iBook to learning typing back in middle school on a rather unappealing Mac has been quite a difference, and it's no wonder that so many people really have been switching. I'm not saying that it is the best OS or that there even is a best OS, because there's not (it all depends on how you intend to use it). However, they squeezed some great improvements in, and while some of them may go over your head the big picture is that they figured out how to make things faster much faster than Microsoft did. In fact, I'm itching for a MacBook Pro because of how easy they try to make things on developers as opposed to Microsoft's "they can figure it out" approach (not a direct quote, that's just what I call it). Windows machines are sold because they're the standard, but the majority of Mac machines are sold based on the OS that backs it, which is quite a feat. It has proven to be a nice alternative to what we're all used to and while it's far from perfect and it no doubt frustrates neophytes from Windows it still deserves a pat on the back for how much it has evolved over the years.

Looking to the future, Mac OS X Leopard is actually rumored to have virtualization right out of the box, which basically means that you could run Windows on top of Mac OS X and it'll be much faster than what Virtual PC users are used to. VMWare is big in virtualization if you're interested in it, and it'll be quite a sneaky move if Apple pulls this off (since they don't endorse putting XP on a Mac). Meanwhile, Vista may not even be ready for human consumption despite Microsoft's claims that it's feature-ready. A Forbes writer said that it wasn't "people ready" because the demo was pretty boring and unimpressive, and some are claiming that a lot of code has to be rewritten but whatever the case is, Microsoft really needs to pull itself together again in this OS game. They've already delayed Office 12 to provide an "easy purchasing process" (kissing that money goodbye is really not easy though), which had actually looked pretty sweet so I hope that they don't screw it up. Nothing can hold a candle to Microsoft Office (you know it's true, just admit it), now they just have to not blow their lead. Some images have popped up of the alpha of Firefox 2, and they've actually added some nice improvements to it, I just hope that it doesn't cause Firefox to eat up more memory. I always liked how lite it was. Google Earth addicts should take note that Google has, indeed, updated some of the program's satellite imagery, but a lot of it seems to be improvements to islands. Lastly, if you're looking for a high-end widescreen monitor, you should take a look at CNet's well-done roundup of the popular offerings from Apple and Dell.

Click to enlargeI haven't put up an MI:3 poster in a while so I figured that we were about due for another one. That one hails from Germany, and I like it better than the new American one. Quint over at AICN got to see the first 10 minutes of M Night Shayamalan's Lady in the Water, and it sounds rather interesting. There may even be a monster involved from what the end of the clip hinted at. AICN also got a scoop that Zach Snyder is in talks with Warner Brothers to direct Watchmen, which I'm a little surprised about since V for Vendetta didn't exactly break the bank last weekend (though it did decently well). FYI, that movie would be a comic book lover's wet dream assuming that the crew and cast continues to be awesome. Sam Jackson has joined the cast of the Farce of the Penguins, which is another movie taking a jab at last year's popular penguin documentary, and I can't help but wonder how he picks his movies nowadays? They're just kind of random. Anyway, all I have for you now is multimedia. A YouTube user put up what may be Tarantino's first movie, but it actually appears to be some home videos. It's just funny to see him so much younger. Apple quietly put up a trailer for an East Asian flick called The Promise, which sounds similar to Troy and looks gorgeous (particularly in HD plus my new contacts). Apple also has a trailer for Paul Greengrass's Flight 93, and it was much better than I had expected so I strongly encourage you to give it a look. Lastly, Yahoo! Movies has yet another trailer for Poseidon, which may have great production values but I just can't get into.

Now for Friday's Feast:

How would you describe your personal comfort zone?

Not really sure how to answer that, but I guess my home. Either my Austin apartment or my parent's place are both comfort zones, but probably moreso my Austin place since it feels more like my place.

What is your favorite tree?

I'm not big in botany, but I do like maple trees because of their pretty colors (and probably quite photogenic, but I don't see him here in Austin).

List 3 foods you'd like to include in your dinner plans for tonight.

I've already had dinner, and it was rice, salad, and fish curry. I can't think of a better Lenten Friday meal!

Main Course
What is the best advice you've ever been given, but didn't heed?

Don't worry about your GPA, it's only a number.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest), how much attention do you feel comfortable receiving from others?

Probably about a 7 or 8. It really depends on the environment though. If I'm publicly speaking, I'd prefer an 8 or 9. However, too much attention can cause me to clutter when I speak.

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