amnesiack: (geek pride)
I recently linked to Charlie Stross's cool blog entry about Apple and the future of the computer industry. He's got another really great one up now about the eBook market that's also worth reading if you have any interest in the medium:

CMAP #9: Ebooks

At the beginning, he links to a couple of his past entries that contain pertinent material. Both are interesting, but I think you can get away with just reading Why The Commercial Ebook Market Is Broken (keeping in mind that it was writting in 2007, so some things have changed since it was written).

The part of that entry that particularly jumped out to me was this bit about the wait for dirt-cheap ebook readers:

First of all, if overlooks the point that publishers don't manufacture ebook readers; the consumer electronics industry does. And the consumer electronics industry will not cut off its own nose to spite its face by producing an ebook reader for $20, if it can produce one with extra bells and whistles that sells for $350. We've had the tech for a $20 (or $50, anyway) ebook reader for a decade; it would resemble a grey-scale palm pilot, albeit without even the PDA functionality.
I realize this should have been really obvious to me, but until he pointed it out, I just hadn't really thought about it. Publishers would embrace ebooks more if the platform was cheap enough to make easy market penetration. They would love that. But they're not the ones making and selling the devices. The people making and selling the devices aren't the people making profits from the ebooks, so in order to make it worth their while, they have to make the readers more expensive.

The exceptions to this are, of course, Amazon and Apple, who control both their own devices and their ebook distribution channels. I have a feeling that this will strongly play into these two companies heavily dominating the ebook reader market in the future, because they're currently the only ones who stand to benefit by making their devices cheaper. Which, of course, then ties right back into Charlie's previous article about the future of the computer industry.

amnesiack: (american astronaut)
While I am a dual-platformer, I am no Apple fanboy (nor am I a pc fanboy, for that matter). Add to that the fact that everyone in the world knows that I hate cell phones with an unbridled passion usually reserved for nazis or kitten-stompers, and I really shouldn't be this excited. Still...

The iPhone looks very shiny.

EDIT: And how can you tell it's definitely an Apple product? It costs $600.

amnesiack: (Donnie Yen)
I got up an hour earlier than usual this morning so that I could go to the downtown Group Health (my HMO) facility to get a flu shot at 8 am. I told my manager I might be late getting into work this morning (I normally arrive at about 8:45) because I had no idea how long getting the flu shot would take. As it turns out, I got to Group Health at 7:50, and they were already open. The whole shebang (paperwork, the shot itself, etc.) took less than 5 minutes. I stopped and got a breakfast sandwich at Specialties Bakery (which was awesome), and I still got to work thirty minutes earlier than I usually do. The flu shot itself hurt a little more while being administered than I remember as being normal, but there has been absolutely no soreness since, so I'm okay with the trade-off.

The Macbook is working out really well. I've gotten the hang of most of the little OS X oddities that I wasn't used to before, and it's nice to be able to hang out in the living room with David and Dawn in the evening and actually still do things on the computer at the same time. I ended up ordering the Sumo Cases Macbook sleeve. I never really decided which one I liked best of the several different sleeves I was looking at, so the deciding factor ended up being that I could get the Sumo through Amazon, where I had a gift certificate from my birthday.

Of course, this means I won't be using the gift certificate to purchase the new ultra-remastered, bit-rate-so-high-we-broke-it-up-into-two-disks edition of Seven Samurai, but such is life, I suppose.
amnesiack: (geek pride)
I have a question for the laptop owners out there.

I'm looking for a good sleeve for my Macbook. I don't want a full on bag; I already have a backpack that I like. I just want something that will pad and protect the laptop inside said backpack. I've browsed around some on the web, and I've seen a few things I like, a few things I might be convinced to settle for, and a whole lot of crap. So far, Applesac and Sumo Cases stand at the forefront of the pack. However, for this particular sort of purchase, I generally feel better if I can personally examine the product before I buy it. The next best thing is to have someone I actually know make a recommendation.

So, if anyone out there is using a sleeve-type covering for your computer or you have seen one that impressed you being used by someone else, please make your recommendation here. Thanks.
amnesiack: (american astronaut)
I bought a laptop yesterday. )
amnesiack: (irken)
I don't think I've mentioned it here, but my computer was in the shop from Saturday July 22 until this afternoon, when I finally was able to pick it up. It was rather annoying, because I was originally told it would probably take 3-4 days to diagnose and fix, but instead it took 9, with several false starts and stops in between, where I went in to pick it up (having been told it would be ready that afternoon) only to find that it was not fixed after all. However, despite these difficulties I still have to highly recommend the place that fixed it for me, A1 Best Computer, in northern Seattle. Here are the reasons why:

1) When the computer was first diagnosed, I was quoted 2.5 hours of labor charges for the fix. Despite the fact that it ended up taking multiple tries adding up to nearly 4 times as long as expected to fix my computer, the labor charges were never increased.

2) The reason it took so long was because these guys were methodical and thorough. They identified what seemed to be the problem, addressed it, and then tested the crap out of it. If it didn't do what it what supposed to, they went back to the board and kept going until they knew for sure that they had fixed everything, rather than just doing a quick job and then handing me a still-broken computer.

3) When all was said and done, they ended up giving me a 20% discount on the entire thing (parts and labor) because they felt bad that it had taken so long, and I'd had to come in so many times. How cool is that?

In the 9 years or so that I've owned my own computer, this was the first time that I'd ever had problems come up that were big enough that I couldn't figure them out and fix them myself. So, despite the fact that being without a home pc for 9 days was really annoying, and I hope it never happens again, I'm glad I know that I can go to this place for help if I ever need it again. The computer is running like a dream now, with the only downside being that they had to do a clean install of Windows; while they backed up my data, I lost a few programs for which I no longer have installation disks, and reinstalling the ones I do still have is kind of a pain in the butt. I got a lot of hard drive space back, though.

amnesiack: (rar)
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