Hello dear readers! Like most of you (and as I've written about before), I've been
stuck working from home for the last year and a half, out of the little converted covered porch on my house. For the
last six months or so, I've been doing so with my butt firmly planted on an HON Basyx pleather-upholstered office chair
that I rescued from my office when we moved out. This chair is, uh, not in the best condition:
This chair actually originally belonged to Curse, a now-defunct company
that made some kind of WoW fansite. They used to be …
It's been about ten years since I've regularly used that most quintessential of post-1984 computer peripherals, the
mouse. The last mouse I had was pretty exclusively used for a gaming PC in college and was a Logitech MX518;
since then I've used a variety of input devices. It's been a while since I did any brief reviews of technology on this
ostensibly-technology blog, so what the hey, let's do it! In brief, we're going to talk about:
2020 MacBook Air Impressions
For the past few years, I've been using a one-port 2016 MacBook as my personal laptop that I carry with me
whenever I am traveling or need to work outside the house. It's been a mixed bag – the size was pretty much perfect
and very similar to a thin version of my old 12" PowerBook G4, but the CPU performance was
absolutely awful and the battery only lasted about two hours. Also, I was finally bitten by the infamous Butterfly
Keyboard Issue and was getting double-entries from my spacebar.
In March, when Apple released the new MacBook Air with …
After more than 10 years of avoiding it, I've finally rejoined the ranks of the private-car-owning bourgeois.
and I spent the past few weeks doing research and reading reviews, spent Saturday and Sunday test-driving a bunch of
vehicles, and ended up buying a brand new Cosmic Blue 2020 Honda Insight yesterday
Fall; or, Dodge in Hell
Over my recent vacation, I read Neal Stephenson's latest book Fall; or, Dodge in
Hell, which is a rough sequel to 2011's
REAMDE. I thought I'd write up some brief thoughts I had on it and
maybe some questions for a hypothetical future reader. Like all of Stephenson's work from the last couple of decades,
this book is a meandering combination of science fiction, philosophy, political commentary, and
mythical fantasy. The Kindle edition I read is 880 pages long, and went pretty quickly over four three-hour flights.
In general, I'd give it ★★★☆☆. It's got lots of interesting ideas, but it's shot through with too much ridiculous
libertarian ideology, and it tries to tell too way too many stories in parallel. If you liked Cryptonomicon, you'll
probably like this book, but I would be surprised if anyone likes it enough to plod through it twice.
WARNING: This post will contain significant spoliers for both
Fall and REAMDE; don't keep reading untless you've either read both or are highly confident you aren't going to read
2019 iMac First Impressions
For the first time since early 2010, I have a desktop computer again!
It's a 2019 5K Retina iMac with an Intel Core i5-9600K (9th Generation, 6 physical cores), 16GB of RAM, AMD Radeon
Pro 580X, and a 1TB SSD. Geekbench isn't exactly scientific, but it reports this computer as 50% faster single-core,
150% faster multi-core than the computer it's replacing.