30 Aug 2006

GM v. Microsoft

I couldn't resist re-publishing this post found on one of my favourite blogs which I usually visit: Smile of the Day, on August 28th.

At a computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates once reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry, stating, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving twenty-five dollar cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon." In response to Bill's comments, General Motors has issued the following press release:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and you would just accept this, re-start, and drive on.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to re-start, in which case you would have to re-install the engine.

5. Only one person at a time could use the car, unless you bought "Car95" or "CarNT." But then you would have to buy more seats.

6. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, reliable, five times as fast, and twice as easy to drive, but would only run on 5 percent of the roads.

7. The oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a single "general car default" warning light.

8. New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.

9. The airbag system would say "Are you sure?" before going off.

10. Occasionally for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key, and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

11. GM would require all car buyers additionally to purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps (now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need them nor want them. Attempting to delete this option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50 percent or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Department.

12. Every time GM introduced a new model car, buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

13. You would press the "start" button to shut off the engine.

28 Aug 2006

24 wins awards at the Emmy's

For all the fans of 24, the US-thriller drama, produced by Fox Television, it's time to celebrate! Yes, this year 24 has been awarded best drama and actor at the annual Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards. (But the celebration is more for the producers than the public since they're getting the money and fame, not us!)

More in-depth information available 24's Web page on Wikipedia and on 24's official Web site.

There's more to just the TV serial! Here are some cool things which you could get along with:

  • 24: The Game
  • 24: Conspiracy, a mobisode spin-off
  • 24: The Soundtrack
  • 24 DVD Collection
  • 24 Mobile Game
  • 24 wallpapers
  • 24 screen-savers
  • 24 photo gallery

24: The Game is available on PS2 only. It has been developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. More information about the game is available on Wikipedia.

24: Conspiracy is a mobisode based on 24 one-minute episodes.
24: Conspiracy on Wikipedia
24: Conspiracy IMDB (Internet Movie Database) link

The 24 DVD collection, 24 soundtrack and 24 mobile game may be bought from outlets or at online shops, and also on Fox's 24 Web site. The 24 CD does not only feature the soundtrack. It has more than that as stated here.

24 photo gallery is available on Fox's 24 homepage.

The BBC's 24 Web site also features goodies like screen-savers and wallpapers. It also features some games and e-cards. I've taken the "24: How long would you last?" quiz. I've got

You are Gaines: You aren't ever going to let anyone take advantage of you. You're not going down without a fight. The only trouble is that you have an underlying air of menace and you are bound to come unstuck in the end. There are times when perhaps you should try being a little more open to the good in the world, and maybe you could make it through.

Personal note: The 24 mobile game may appear to be below the your expectations since the graphics are in 2-D and that you may navigate only in "top-view". It's more of a strategy game! Forget the nice graphics of Jack Bauer and others!

24 Aug 2006

Downloading latest Debian packages with Jigdo

It's been a long while now since I've been using Debian flavour of Linux on my box at home. Recently, while playing with settings to install the drivers for my ZXDSL852 USB modem provided by the local ISP Telecom Plus, I did something wrong and my computer doesn't boot up.

Since I love Linux, I'll have to re-install the whole thing again. So I've decided that it were high time for me to update to the latest packages. In fact, I have an old Debian Sarge v 3.0 Testing version. Downloading the new DVD from the Internet would take me an awful amount of time. Here's some facts:

ADSL download speed: 128 kbps
DVD ISO image size: 4.6 GB
Time to download = approx. 20 days in all (approx. 6 hours per day)

Buying a DVD: I don't have a credit card yet.
So the only option is to download, or to get the DVD from a magazine or from the local Linux User Group (LUG).

I opted to download. But that would take ages! Fortunately, folks at Debian developed Jigdo. This piece of software has many advantages to download large files over the Internet. From its Web site, I quote one of them:

It is possible to "upgrade" a CD image: If a new version of an image is released, jigdo-lite can download only the data that has changed, the remaining data is read from the outdated version.

So, happily, for the next few nights, I'll turn my computer ON and see what happens. In fact, the latest Debian DVD has some 7500 packages. Jigdo will download only 5000 since 2500 repeat themselves in the distributions.

If you are wondering how I'm doing this with my Linux corrupted, then it's not that hard at all! You may guess: No, I'm not using two computers, I have a dual-boot computer which also runs Windows XP. Simple as that!