Press "Enter" to skip to content

Russell Finn’s Blog Posts

Please, no

Disney is reportedly going ahead with *Toy Story 3*, without Pixar’s participation.

As previously mentioned, I have a five-year-old daughter, so I’ve seen quite a few of Disney’s direct-to-video sequels, and let me tell you, almost without exception they are dreadful. (OK, I found _The Lion King 1 1/2_ amusing in places, but that was due largely to the strength of the voice cast.)

And I have generally liked the original Disney features — although, come to think of it, the last one I remember enjoying was… hmm, *Hercules*? And *that* was pretty lightweight.

Pixar’s output, on the other hand, has been not only of uniformly high quality, but has actually *improved* with every release. (I can’t wait to see _The Incredibles._)

Oh, well, they can’t make me see _Toy Story 3_; they can only force me to buy it for my children. The price of fatherhood…

Leave a Comment

Sonnet G4 Duet is Teh Snappy™

I found some time this weekend to install the [Sonnet Encore/ST G4 Duet](http://www.sonnettech.com/product/encore_st_duet.html) processor upgrade into my Power Mac G4 (Digital Audio), raising the processor speed from 533 MHz (x2) to 1.267 GHz (x2).

Objectively, I did some benchmarks before and after the upgrade, per the request of [Accelerate Your Macintosh](http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/). I’m waiting a week or so to post my review there (also by their request), so I know whether everything’s working OK, but I’ll append it below.

Subjectively, there’s a noticeable improvement in performance — startup time is reduced, applications launch more quickly, Virtual PC is actually usable, etc. Only two minor glitches on installation:

* I took the opportunity to offer my five-year-old daughter the chance to “look inside Daddy’s computer”. This was well-received, and actually she was more interested than I expected, but she kept up her usual running chatter enough that I plugged the power card into the wrong side of the processor card. It was obvious that it wouldn’t fit that way, and after a moment’s thought I realized what I’d done. After that the physical installation proceeded smoothly (except that it’s hard to see the connector plug underneath the daughterboard, and you have to take it on faith that it’s making a good connection once it’s been screwed down).

* The first time I plugged it in and powered it down, I got no reassuring “bong” sound, and no error chimes either. I quickly shut down and opened it up again. Hmm, nothing obviously wrong… Oh, look, here’s the Cuda switch — I seem to recall you’re supposed to press this after doing a processor upgrade. Even thought the Sonnet instructions didn’t mention this, I gave it a good long push, and on the second startup I was rewarded with a lovely “bong”.

[I suppose this will get me filtered out for drug references, but honestly, “bong” is the sound a Mac makes.]

Summary: Recommended. I took the plunge and ordered it from a low-cost Internet vendor, instead of sticking with a Mac-oriented dealer, but I saved almost $100 that way.

[Oh, and “Teh Snappy” comes from the forums at [Ars Technica](http://www.arstechnica.com/).]

Leave a Comment

Dumb Old Dad?

Deeje points to Dad Gets the Bimbo Treatment in Verizon Ads and asks:

> I’ve noticed this [trend] as well, and it really [ticks] me off. I know there are a few dads reading this… what do you think?

Me too. It’s easy to say “So what, men have the all power anyway”; but I have an impressionable five-year-old daughter, and I want her to grow up thinking that *both* her parents are smart and deserve respect. (Probably the answer is less TV; but still…)

Leave a Comment

A matter of message

Joshua Micah Marshall exhibits some uncommon insight in this essay:

> I think I can tell you what the Republicans are for and without referencing hardly any policy specifics. They’re for lowering taxes in exchange for giving up whatever it is the government pretends to do for us, (at a minimum) riding the brakes on the on-going transformation of American culture, and kicking ass abroad.
>
> That’s a clear message and a fairly coherent one, whatever you think of the content — it’s about self-reliance and suspicion of change. And Democrats have a hard time competing at that level of message clarity.
>
> What’s the Dems’ message, boiled down to as few words, and framed in terms [of] simple imperatives and aspirations, rather than policy? And which are the do-or-die issues, and which are expendable?

I recommend the entire article to those who, like me, are disappointed both with the results of last week’s election and with the aftermath, and are wondering what happens next.

Leave a Comment

Pardon Our Dust

If anyone out there was checking the blog during the day, they may have noticed the appearance flipping around a bit. Turns out I was editing the CSS stylesheet directly on my web site, where it got overwritten the next time I published (silly me). It took me a while to find it in the “templates” list of MT; poking around my web site didn’t reveal any obvious source file. Guess I’m still getting used to this whole CMS thing; I remember when we had to make our websites by hand, with stone knives and bear skins…

Leave a Comment

The True Story of Audion

[This](http://www.panic.com/extras/audionstory) is a must-read story of the rise and fall of one Macintosh software application that struggled to persevere, in a world where… sorry, this is not that kind of blurb. Just go read it. Please click every link in the story as well.

Leave a Comment

Still shopping around

As you can see, I’ve installed [Movable Type](http://www.movabletype.com). I hoped it would be easier to get things like comments and trackbacks working. Plus I can check out the very promising [MarsEdit](http://ranchero.com/marsedit/) for writing posts. And now my blog looks less spartan and more… well, more like every other MT blog. But hopefully that can be addressed too.

After my experience with WordPress, I installed MT to use Berkeley DB rather than MySQL, but since the dynamic publishing capabilities seem to require MySQL, I may have to switch over again. Probably I should do that before I get too many entries here.

…speaking of which, I seem to have changed over just after [Nick](http://www.nickbastin.com/archives/000146.php) became the first person to link to me. And now I’ve gone and broken those links. [Edit: I made an effort to see if I could fix this with an appropriate set of RewriteRules, but that way lies madness, so I guess Nick will just have to fix his links.] Sorry, Nick.

Leave a Comment

Tony, Tony

Concerning the new incarnation of the Tony Kornheiser show:

* It’s only broadcast in Washington, DC, by contract (i.e. no syndication);

* It *is* available over the Internet, however, at [SportsTalk 980’s website](http://www.sportstalk980.com);

* [iRecordMusic](http://www.bitcartel.com/irecordmusic/index.html) works just fine;

* It’s apparently a *two* hour program from 9 to 11, immediately repeated from 11 to 1 (all times Eastern).
(I’d have been shocked if TK went back for four hours. At his age?)

Leave a Comment

This is getting out of hand

About a month ago a coworker offered me a [Gmail](http://gmail.google.com) invitation.
Although I prefer to use a regular IMAP mail client to access my mail,
I figured I’d take him up on the offer and reserve a reasonable email address.

The next time I logged into Gmail was this morning. Of course I had no new
messages in my inbox, which is not surprising since I’d never given this
address to anyone.

I did, however, have a piece of spam. Received less than three weeks after
creating the Gmail address. Which (to repeat) I never gave to *anyone.*
And which uses a different account name than the one I normally use
(at which I get about 750 pieces of spam a month).

By the way, Gmail’s filters had caught the spam. Good to know, and no less
than I’d expect, really. So if I post a feedback link to this blog, I may
well use that address instead.

But really, the whole thing was quite breathtaking. They say 75% of the traffic
that crosses the Internet these days is spam. I’m beginning to think it’s time
to chuck SMTP and invent a new, fully authenticating mail protocol.

Leave a Comment

Mr. Tony returns

[Tony Kornheiser](http://www.sportstalk980.com/lineup/tonykornkeiser.html)
returns to the Washington, DC radio airwaves starting tomorrow, mornings
from 9 to 1, on AM 980. (*Four* hours? Really?)

Good news for those of us who basically stopped listening to sports radio
when TK went off the air last March. (Well, there’s sports radio, and then
there’s Tony. I don’t listen to sports radio.)

Looks like it’s time to buy a [RadioShark](http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/radioshark/)…

(…or else capture the (http://www.sportstalk980.com/listenlive.php) with something like
[Audio Hijack](http://www.rogueamoeba.com/audiohijackpro/) or [iRecordMusic](http://www.bitcartel.com/irecordmusic/index.html)…)

Comments closed