Monthly Archives: March 2006

Apple Heroes and Villains

Wired News has been providing a lot of coverage of Apple leading up to the company’s 30th Anniversary on April 1st. I particularly liked the Apple Heroes and Villains gallery they put together. Fittingly enough, Steve Jobs actually gets three different entries because he went from hero to villain to hero for founding, leaving and then saving the company.

I should also mention the Apple OS gallery they put together covering the evolution from DOS 3.3 all the way to MacOS X because it’s pretty interesting as well. The original MacOS screenshot reminds me of the first time I got to look at a Macintosh up close in the computer section of a defunct downtown Spokane department store called the Crescent. I didn’t end up getting my first Mac for another 6 or 7 years, but I’ve had one ever sense.

MacBook Pro Fun

I’ve been using my new MacBook Pro for a couple days now and it’s definitely pretty sweet. It’s really nice to have plenty of screen real estate and it’s really not significantly heavier than my old 12″ PowerBook. It does tend to get pretty hot at times and I have heard the processor whine occasionally, but I’m pretty tolerant when it comes to that kind of thing and haven’t found it very bothersome, although apparently some people have.

On a software note I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Comic Life was included for free. I’ve always wanted to try it out, but had forgotten about it. Omni Outliner also came installed as did the entire iLIfe suite. I’m looking forward to playing with iMovie HD and Garage Band soon because they should really demonstrate the power of this laptop and the Core Duo processor.

I wasn’t the only one impressed by my new computer. When I showed the MacBook to Mary’s Windows using dad last night he said he was jealous and really liked the screen and overall thin design. It wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up getting a Mac within a couple years; the biggest obstacle is his existing PC software collection. Well, that and the fact that he’s a pretty big fps gamer ;).

Sweet 16

It was tough going for Adam Morrison, but the Zags did it and beat Indiana 90-80 thanks to great play from the supporting cast. Sean Mallon came up huge and played the kind of game that those who followed his Ferris high school career knew he was always capable of. 15 points and 10 rebounds couldn’t have come at a better time and made a lot of people in Spokane proud. And of course Erroll Knight was simply sensational around the basket with his dunks and tip-ins, especially considering how sick he had been earlier in the day.

Next up: UCLA!

EV Obsession

My mind has a funny way of working at times. I’ll be reading something innocuous on the web and I’ll follow a couple links and stumble upon an interesting idea and start reading more about it and then BOOM! Suddenly I’m obsessed with it. I’ll spend all my free time reading up on the new subject until I’ve amassed a reasonable working knowledge of the topic at hand. That’s how my kayaking interest started a year and a half ago (still have some finishing work to do on my Sea Raider btw, but it’s definitely a functional kayak). This week’s obsession started when I stumbled across a mention of electric cars at 43 things.

It turns out that converting an internal combustion engine car (ICE to the electrical vehicle community) into an electrical vehicle is a pretty doable project if you’re mechanically inclined. It’s somewhat expensive, but far less than buying say a new Toyota Prius. You’re looking at probably 200 hours of labor all told, but for a guy like me that just adds to the appeal of the project.

From a weekly driving habits perspective, there’s no question I’m a good candidate for an electric vehicle. I rarely drive more than 20 miles a day during the week. Most low end EV conversions can easily accommodate twice my average daily driving requirements. The rising cost of gas irritates me, especially since a tank of gas for my Element runs $30 these days, but at most I need two trips to the pump a month. A year’s worth of gas for my Element is probably only one tenth the cost of a basic EV conversion. I haven’t crunched the numbers, but intuitively it doesn’t make a whole lot of economic sense at this point unless I were to sell my Element and that’s not even on the table because I’m planning to keep my Element for a long time (I could actually see converting it to an EV in 10 to 15 years though) and definitely need its cargo flexibility.

If I were to build an EV right now I’ve already found what could be the perfect vehicle on the Seattle Craigslist: an 86 Honda CRX with a dead engine for $350. Assuming the body is in decent condition this would be my dream EV. Before I owned my Element I drove an 88 Honda Accord LX that I loved for several years. The CRX from that era is basically a sportier subcompact version and would make really fun two person commuter vehicle. Unfortunately money is tight, the CRX is on the other side of the state and it would be a pain to transport over here. It’s fun to think about though and fits nicely onto my list of projects to accomplish at some point in the future.