Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Windows 7 - How far we've come

Windows 7 is here, and after my time with the release candidate, I decided it was time to bring us forward from (mostly) XP and one Vista machine. Why? Not because of Microsoft's ads, not because of the press, but because of my experience with it. I had set it up on Chrissy's computer (which was a little underpowered for Aero) and my Macbook Pro in Bootcamp. Both ran good (although I knew I was going to upgrade Chrissy's hardware before I moved her to 7). I had been running Vista Ultimate 64bit on my primary machine for some time and ended up still having a clunky-feeling when using that machine at times, even after a RAM and graphics card update.

Windows 7 ran smooth all throughout the time with the Release candidate and hasn't disappointed since upgrading to the released edition. The new task-bar (while a copy of the OS X Doc) is very nice, as are the previews of running applications for Aero capable hardware. Even Windows 7 Starter edition which is on this Netbook I am using right now is not bad. Sure, there is no Aero, and it is limited in RAM capacity, etc... but for a Netbook, running on a 1ghz Atom processor (that only has a 30W power supply) this thing actually runs fairly smooth. I won't be gaming on here, or multi-tasking much, but it works.

The new Home Network features are nice, and it does a much better job of finding devices on the network (such as printers). The carry-overs from Vista (such as the new System tray) are welcome and Microsoft's decision to sell a Family pack of upgrade licenses is also a plus.

Even on my Macbook Pro running Leopard (which doesn't official support Windows 7 in bootcamp, and never will) is very happy with Windows 7. Now if only my battery were happy (that is a separate issue all together though).

So final tally: Windows 7 is much better than Windows Vista and might finally pry people away from Windows XP. In the line of consumer windows versions that were really solid, I think Windows 7 stands tall with Windows 98SE and Windows XP. Kudos!

Oh, and this isn't the post I said I was working on, just thought I would throw this out there too.

Missing my "rolling therapy"

While we were in Germany, whenever I was in a funk, we took a drive. That drive usually consisted of going 120mph+ on the autobahn ~ 1 hour north or south and ending up at a race track. Once there, I would put in some track time. That was the most cathartic "therapy" I had ever found for myself. After 3-4 rounds on the Nürburgring, I would be exhausted and happy. 15 minutes on Hockenheimring could have the same effect. Unfortunately, that isn't an option anymore.

Yes, driving is still helpful for me at times, but nearly as much as in Germany. Having gone as fast as 155 behind the wheel, driving over here feels like a hell (unlike the Green Hell, which was Heaven). Now, a thrilling drive is one where I don't get stuck behind a tractor. Wooo! So now I need to come up with an alternative to my "rolling therapy." Especially since there is so much involved in going to a track day here in the states.

So, where does that leave me? I am not really sure yet. I just wish going to the track was as easy here (and cheap) as it is in Germany.

PS - I have already started another entry as well, but this one was the quickest to finish.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Random Musings

Figured I would post one big-ass-post regarding a bunch of recent thoughts and goings-on...I guess I will start with a brief commentary on Balloon-Boy:

I'm glad they plan on pressing charges. Even if it wasn't a hoax, those people are freaking idiots, but I am doubly glad that child protective services will also be taking a look into things. They reportedly have taken the kids out of school on multiple occasions to chase storms. Really, is that where you want to have 3 small kids following you. And that Rap video by the kids? Come on! Seriously. My opinion of that family....gile

Ugh...what next. Oh, well, it wouldn't be a blog post without mentioning the Nobel Peace Prize. Did you know it comes in Cracker Jack boxes now? lol....but seriously. MAYBE....and I mean MAYBE, Obama will do things during his term to warrant earning the peace prize. But, this isn't middle school, we don't give out medals for participation (Oh, that's another rant I need to start). I am not going to say Obama would never deserve it, and given the specific award, he might complete steps toward that, but that is for time to tell. (Even the Washington Post had an article pointing out that it might be unconstitutional for him to accept it while serving in office without the prior approval of Congress && the money isn't his to donate to charity, and get the tax write-off on, but rather it becomes the US Government's money). garupale

Ok, participation trophies....I mean, I know we want everyone to feel wanted, and valuable, etc... but I shouldn't get a trophy for coming in last place. You don't get a promotion when you are an adult if you are the worst person in the office, you get fired (unless you work in the government, and then you eventually do get promoted). We need to start weening kids off of these participation trophies and allow competition sports in middle schools (wasn't allowed in Howard County so you had to play in youth leagues...so why did we have a mascot and if it is so evil, then why do youth leagues exist in the same county?). Don't get me wrong, I have trophies from little league, and they actually MEANT something. I made the All-Star team twice and my team one the league one year. But the trophy I got for being a shitty bowler in a father-son league, or a ribbon for participating in the turkey trot in middle school (3mile walk/run) I KNEW were utter bull-shit and don't hold any meaning. (I enjoyed the bowling league that one year, and didn't need a participation trophy to know that)

I guess I have a bit of diarrhea of the mouth right now, because I actually feel like typing more. There are aspects of living in Germany that I really miss. The Autobahn and the race tracks are two major components of that. Nothing is more relaxing for me than a quick run up to 120mph+. Unfortunately, that would get me arrested over here if I were caught, so I try to avoid that (I plead the 5th on whether it has happened or not back here). encem Anyway, that was like my own brand of therapy. Being back here, driving around just isn't as helpful as it used to be. It is still one of the things that helps me the most when I am strung out, but just doesn't cut it. I also miss the frequent photo opportunities of amazing sights. Castles, the Rhine, old architecture, cathedrals, and LOTS of really expensive cars (We passed/were passed by Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Lotuses, and Porches EVERY time we were on the road...and I am not talking Boxters here, 911GT2, 911GT3 and Carrera 4S models).

Work hasn't exactly been helping matters back here either. Yes, I hated my job there the second half of the tour, but back here, I went from a shitty job, to a job that was SUPPOSED to be amazing (and might be at some point). Right now, it just sucks ass because I have too little to do. If it weren't for the whole mortgage payment, bills, etc... I would quit and get a job that I enjoyed working part-time. Alas, that won't be happening any time soon.

Well, I guess I have rambled enough. I suppose I should change the title graphic of my site since we sold the 1er, but with the Jetta also driving like shit, I will wait till I can resolve that before making that the banner.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Server

Well, I moved my web hosting. It is now hosted in my basement. Ahh, they joys of high-speed internet access, a linux box and dyndns sengihnampakgigi