Tuesday, June 28, 2005

New Yokel

Four more weeks and I’ll be in the Big City. There’s much to fret over until then, but there’s also a lot to be excited about. I’ve been wanting to run off from my family’s safe bubble in Dallas ever since I graduated from high school. Lubbock, while a great experience, was not exactly the cosmopolitan mecca I was looking for. And Austin is a cool place but it seems a little too familiar. It was nice since I had friends, the atmosphere was laid-back and I had a decent job but it was too easy to get complacent and comfortable.

As I head off into this new adventure, I can’t help but wonder how I’ll adjust to New York. It’ll be a shift from the relaxed Austin atmosphere, and definitely a pendulum swing from the remote Lubbock. I know the first few weeks will be an amazing immersion into a new setting bursting with culture. Let’s just hope I’ll be kind of cool about it. Will I catch myself gawking at tall buildings? Will I have to pull out my subway map and subject myself to the annoyed stares of the passing crowds?

How will New Yorkers react to a Chinese Texan? If my cousins in California are any indication, there will be much explaining of how I never had a horse and I don’t wear a cowboy hat. And if anyone tries to imagine my life like the Jackie Chan "Shang-high Noon" movie, I may have to kill someone. But I’ll have faith that the citizens of New York are too highly cultured for those gross stereotypes. Besides, I survived the quizzical looks of everyone in Lubbock, I can survive this.

So four more weeks. No job, no place to live, no money. No worries, right?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


It’s finally happened. My once capacious 20 gB iPod has been reduced to a measly 36 mB. "20 gigabytes. How would I ever find a way to use up this much space?" I once wondered. I then set out on the task of transferring my entire CD catalog onto my new sonic vault. It faithfully absorbed everything I threw at it. My mangled mess of live Radiohead recordings, the Tricky album I listened to once, the entire Beatles collection- Anthologies and all. Gone were the days of my car passanger seat littered full of CDs. Now I have a small, svelte iPod to accompany me on road trips.

Why would anyone need 3700 songs (or 10.3 days) of music at his fingertips at any given time? Who knows what life or death situation might come up wherein I’ll need to produce my copy of Matthew Sweet’s Scooby-Doo cover? Maybe someday P.Diddy will call me up asking me to supply some kick-ass party music.

I think it’s more of a novelty thing. No one needs that amount of excess, but everyone is guilty of wanting it in some form. Some guys want every bit of horsepower they can stuff into their car, others horde tools they’ll never need. I have 20 gigs of music in my pocket. Not the most masculine form of indulgence, but hey, it takes up the least amount of space.

But a dilemma has come forth. How do I find more room in my bulging iPod? My pack-rat mentality is surfacing. I find myself having trouble letting go of songs I’ve listened to once. I need serious help. My poor little iPod. My once gaunt little guy is now obese because I can’t let go. Even now I’m trying to figure out how to stuff some new mp3s into it’s virtual beer-belly.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Apples to Oranges

The unthinkable has occured. Steve Jobs has announced that Apple will begin using Intel chips in its computers.

Many will wonder what this means. What’s the big deal? Well, first of all, the new hardware will be completely different in structure from all current Macs. That means all new software will have to be written for the new Intel-based Macs which means that the new software won’t run on any Mac that’s been put out so far. This leads to the conclusion that all current Macs will be obsolete by 2007. And since I bought a G4 powerbook only a year ago, I’m less than happy.

This migration should ultimately be good for Apple, but it sure screws consumers for the near future. IBM, Apple’s current chip provider, has been unable to come up with a chip cool enough to run in a laptop and has yet to break the 3 gHz mark (which was promised about 2 years ago). This has caused Apple to lag behind the competition, waiting for IBM to solve its issues. If not for the iPod, Apple probably wouldn’t be sitting too pretty right now. Good thing I didn’t wait around too long for a G5 powerbook to show up. But I’m wondering what people in the market for a new Mac soon, like Gina, are going to do until late 2006. What’s the incentive to buy a Mac that won’t even be able to run Apple software in a year or two?

Apple has just pushed everyone through a tough transition to a completely new OS and the final outcome has been great, but I’m not looking forward to another period like that any time soon. I was hoping to hold on to my computer for at least 5 years. It could be worse, my Mac could be a Dell... oh wait, it just might be in a few years.