2009
03.25

If you’re using Comcast for internet right now, you’re either renting a modem from them, or you’ve bought one. If you’re renting, chances are you’re paying around $3.20 per month for the privelege. In that case, your modem is likely a cheap Scientific Atlanta/Cisco model that you could get for $20 off of eBay.

But before you go and get the modem off of eBay, check this out.

The item in question is the Motorola SB (SurfBoard) 6120, a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem. Aside from being rather expensive (regular cable modems run around $50-$60 in stores), it’s pretty much future-proof as far as cable systems go. That’s what the DOCSIS 3.0 is for.

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2009
03.22

Ever needed to share a block of text? How about just copying code of some sort from one computer to another? If you’re a Mines student this is probably the case, since most of us have to take C++ or an equivalent.

With that in mind, check out the list below. What are these sites, which vary in form but not much in function? Pastebins. Paste your text in, and that text is made available via a link for you and/or others to see. Plus, many patebins ad line numbers and syntax highlighting to the pasted material. The bottom line: the service is useful, the providers are many, and you just might find sometime that a pastebin is just what you need to get a bit of text from point A to point B.

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2009
03.21

A few weeks ago Apple introduced a new iPod shuffle…you guessed it…now with less buttons! No buttons on the unit, in fact. Just a switch to toggle between stright, shuffle and off. The new form factor is long and slender, reminescent of a new iPod nano, just without the screen or the click wheel. If you’re looking for capacity, the little guy fares well: 4GB of storage means that, two hours later, you still haven’t found what you’re looking for…found a song that is, not necessarily that song.

So where are the controls? Conveniently placed on the earbuds. Ergonomics win, right? Maybe, if you like Morse code…one click to play/pause, two clicks to go to the next track, three clicks to jump back a track, or to the beginning of that track, three long clicks, three short and three long for SOS. Sorta like the iPod touch, but with no screen. You do get two volume buttons nearby, but of course there’s no right-click :p.

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2009
03.21

So Apple finally decided to, two years after the iPhone’s initial release, come out with a few features that smartphones elsewhere have had for years. In their new 3.0 software will be such amazing features as:

  • Search (Palm circa late ’90s was awesome)
  • Copy and paste (from the people who brought you Ctrl-X, -C and -V…anything daring to call itself a computer has had this since the dawn of time)
  • MMS (granted, the iPhone MMS app has contact and location attachment, but 99% of phone have had this feature for six years or so, albeit with the main not-have being smartphones)
  • Reading and composing e-mails in landscape, and having a landscape keyboard standard in all Apple apps (really, was it that hard?)
  • A2DP Stereo Bluetooth (wireless headphone support, something every $50-with-a-contract phone, and 99.9% of smartphones, have supported since the iPhone came out)

There are some features of the iPhone that are the wave of the future, to be sure, and Apple’s leadsership brought in an era of truly usable smartphones and truly high-end feature phones. I’m also happy to see these rather glaring omissions added to the docket of iPhone features. However I’m still left scratching my head at how Apple leaves out obvious features on their products, putting them in only after a revision or two that may just be in software.

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2009
03.04

New Macs!

As it turns out, Apple has decided it’s once again Tuesday. Or yesterday was anyway. As such, they churned out a few interesting replacements for their more aged ac models…here are the links, though my take, and more info, will have to wait…

iMac

Mac mini

Mac Pro