Solipsism Gradient

Rainer Brockerhoff’s blog

Browsing Posts published in July, 2003

I wrote:

I’m leaving for São Paulo to pick up my new laptop, put up the old iBook for sale…

Well, I’m pleased to report that I’m back, and have the PowerBook up and running, after some initial hitches.

As usual with most of Apple’s products, it’s difficult to estimate size and beauty from photographs. I saw the recently introduced iSight camera, and it was much smaller than it appears on the photos. In contrast, the 17″ PowerBook is even larger than I thought. It’s thinner than my old iBook, though, and the weight increase isn’t apparent. The screen is larger and better, the loudspeakers sound much better, and of course the speed and storage increases are noticeable.

I had some difficulty in getting the built-in Airport Extreme (802.11g) card to interoperate with my SMC Barricade 7004AWBR wireless router. I tried several things – setting the MTU to 1492, changing from fixed IP to DHCP, downgrading the Airport software from 3.1 to 3.04, and trying out different WEP encryption options. I’ve had no time to regress some of these things to see which specific one was the culprit, but it’s working now. And I also now recommend xwepgen, a program that calculates the various hexadecimal WEP keys from a password – invaluable for using Airport with non-Apple base stations.

The built-in trackpad somehow doesn’t feel as good as the iBook’s; the surface is rougher and my fingertip keeps sticking. As I normally use a mouse, this isn’t an issue. The first days I kept hitting the wrong keys, since I had apparently been using the laptop’s edges for gauging key locations. Other than that I’ve no complaints… icon_wink.gif

Posted by Rafael Fischmann:

Rainer Brockerhoff wrote:

I’m leaving for São Paulo to pick up my new laptop, put up the old iBook for sale, and make some business contacts. The new machine will have space and speed to handle the new Panther (Mac OS X 10.3) and I’ve been wanting a G4 for doing some AltiVec stuff, anyway.

By a coincidence, yesterday I found a new owner for my DayStar Genesis MP528, a PowerMac 9500 clone which I bought about 8 years ago. Originally it had 4 PowerPC604 processors running at 132 MHz, with a 40 MHz bus; after two processors burned out, I bought one of the first G3 boards (300MHz) for it, and upgraded it over the years. I stopped using it after Mac OS X came out.

Congratulations! I wish I had money for that!! icon_wink.gif

End of an era?

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I’m leaving for São Paulo to pick up my new laptop, put up the old iBook for sale, and make some business contacts. The new machine will have space and speed to handle the new Panther (Mac OS X 10.3) and I’ve been wanting a G4 for doing some AltiVec stuff, anyway.

By a coincidence, yesterday I found a new owner for my DayStar Genesis MP528, a PowerMac 9500 clone which I bought about 8 years ago. Originally it had 4 PowerPC604 processors running at 132 MHz, with a 40 MHz bus; after two processors burned out, I bought one of the first G3 boards (300MHz) for it, and upgraded it over the years. I stopped using it after Mac OS X came out.

I’ve just heard that the BMW C1 motorcycle has been taken out of production due to disappointing sales. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in small cars, have a look at the Tango, an electric two-in-line seater…

This masterpiece of bathroom ergonomics was in a men’s room in a Budapest restaurant:



What could be simpler? Press left for a large flush, right for a small flush. Later I saw similar affordances in Berlin and Frankfurt.

Some months ago, Mad Dog McGlinchey found another such masterpiece – the famous pissoir fly – which I also saw a couple of times; unfortunately conditions were not favorable for photography…

Vienna again…

this was a bakery just around the corner from our hotel. The name is probably Czech, and so would be pronounced “TJRESH-nyeff-skee” (try to pronounce the J and R in the first syllable together icon_biggrin.gif).

The small poster says “My bread is 100 years old!” – no idea why there’s a sitting horse on it, though. They also had an ad on a nearby bus stop, saying “We make unpronounceably good bread!”

Also in Vienna we found this intriguing poster outside a theater:

this is written in Austrian dialect; a loose translation would be:

To all who can come

DIRTY TRICK

First you can’t get tickets/then you do/

then you arrive late/then a giant sits in front of you/

then you can’t hear anything/then you get angry/

then he gets angry/then the piece is over/then you clap

…sounds oddly familiar icon_wink.gif

On our trips, we often visit old cemeteries. There’s a wealth of information and curious facts to be found in cemeteries. For instance, did you know that in Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax, on the Canadian east coast, 121 victims of the Titanic disaster were buried – and that one of those gravestones is of one “J.Dawson”? And that only this one gets fresh flowers and movie memorabilia laid on it every day? We visited that one in 2001… alas, I didn’t have a camera at the time.

Here’s a (slightly obfuscated) photo of a gravestone found in Vienna:

It’s very common in Austria (and to a lesser extent in other European countries) to engrave all of a deceased’s titles, condecorations and employments on the gravestone; this is by no means the longest we found. Even humble tradesmen were proud to put, for instance, “Master Plumber” on their gravestones – and in such cases, often the wife’s name also said “Master Plumber’s Widow”.

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