Sunday, December 21, 2008

Microsoft has to get Silverlight working on x64, pronto

This makes no sense to me. Microsoft has a lot of incentive to make 64-bit popular. I'm not sure why all of their software doesn't support it.
Furthermore, Adobe has been dragging their heels with a 64-bit version of Flash for years now. Why not beat them to the punch on this?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Steve Jobs

One thing I didn't note in yesterday's rant, but should have, is that I noticed the WSJ has changed their drawing of Steve Jobs. They've replaced the healthy Jobs with the gaunt Jobs we saw during the iPhone 3G announcement earlier this year. Here are the WSJ drawings before (circa 2007) and after:

I found the change to be oddly significant. The day of the iPhone announcement, I asked everyone if Jobs was really sick. I had kind of forgotten about it since then, but this change in the image reminded me of it.

Today it was announced that Jobs won't be at MacWorld in January. Apple's stock dropped 3% after hours on that announcement, but I think Apple fans should be much more concerned than that drop represents. Apple has played down the announcement with a bunch of lies about how trade shows aren't their thing anymore, but... correct me if I'm wrong here... hasn't MacWorld basically been Apple's super bowl for several years? The internet abuzz for days about whatever they're going to announce there? It seems absurd that they would not participate unless:

a) They have nothing novel to announce.
b) Jobs is ill.

I personally can't imagine that someone doesn't have the inside info on Jobs' health. The man is the largest shareholder and board member of Disney and CEO of Apple. Many Apple investors have done so because Jobs is in charge. It seems... for lack of a better word... dishonest for those companies to withhold information about his health.

In any case, I wish Jobs luck. He and Wozniak inspired me when I was a kid. I was an Apple user from 1981 until 1996, a NeXT guy from 1991 to 1993 and Mac user from 1998 to 2001. He's only 54, and if it's true that he's very ill, that's really too bad.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Apple will get decimated by a recession, what else is new?

I just read the article "Apple Loses Some Shine as Mac Sales Slow", wherein analysts warn that "some nicks have started to emerge" with Apple?

Yeah, ya think? Duh.

How about a history lesson for all the numnut analysts out there. In every recession since Apple's inception, Apple has been hit hard. Here are the years of massive downward swings in their stock price.

1983: -60%
1987: -40%
1991: -42%
2000: -78%
2008: -61%

See a trend? Those were all years with massive consumer spending slowdowns. Apple's sales are completely based on consumers. They have no business in business. At all. Only high flying dot com trendy guys spend money on Macs when they have Sequoia's money to play with. The rest of us are happy when Microsoft comes out with a free service pack for Windows 2000, because that's all our employer will give us on 7 year old PC hardware.

As the US consumer goes, Apple goes. And last I checked, the US consumer borrowed all of their money from their home equity to buy Apple's shit. Hyperinflation aside, I'd say Apple will be no higher than 30 in 2 years time, when people are saving their money for government cheese over an shiny new Mac laptop that costs $1000 more than a PC.

ps - My iPhone officially sucks. AT&T sucks. I could not hold a 5 second conversation with a friend while I was in the Safeway parking lot the other day. I wish Apple luck trying to sell this piece of shit phone to consumers at Walmart, if that's their plan.

Whenever the hell Verizon releases an Android phone, I'm so there.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I don't get Python 3.0

I often get a lot of crap from friends and co-workers for being an early adopter, but I can tell you that one thing I can't see myself adopting soon is Python 3.0. I just don't get what the benefit is. Most of Python's ugliest warts are still there, and the things people liked have been mucked with.

For example.


Why am I still typing this when strings have been a first class object in Python for more than 10 years? "string".length(), right? This is how every other language where strings are objects has handled it, and Python should.

Another example.

class A:
def blah(self, i):
print("The number is: %d" % i)

This example changed something that didn't need to be changed and didn't change something that did need to be changed. The former is, of course, the ever-controversial print statement in Python. This is probably the change that will break more lines of code than anything, and did it really need to change? And I loved the way the % operator worked.

The latter is the "self" in every method of an instance. Why... oh why... do people have to type this? "self" is absolutely needless, and tricks with methods that don't, I think, are confusing and should have been broken with this release.

The bottom line is, if Python 3K is supposed to be the last time for a long time there's a major breaking change to this language, then why not fix everything? Why not work out a solutionj to the GIL? Guido works for Google, and Google uses Python. He should have the resources to fix this stuff, right'?

I've used Python for 13 years now. 3.0 makes me wonder if I should migrate to IronPython. Not only can I write extensions in C# and use the .NET Framework, but it runs on the CLR.

Friday, December 05, 2008

80s music is starting to depress me

Many of you know, I'm a longtime connoisseur of 80s music. And you know what, it's starting to depress me. Sometimes I listen to a song that reminds me of something in grade school or high school and it makes me feel really old.

Some examples:

  • Journey's "Separate Ways". Reminds me of a high school field party I went to and Astra sang this song with her band. Makes me feel old now to think of that party. [BTW, her rendition of it was awesome. It's no wonder she's a bona fide Rock Star now.]
  • Foreigner "That was Yesterday". Doesn't remind me of a specific memory, but maybe it's just the fact that it's about it being yesterday that depresses me.
  • John Cougar "Jack and Diane". I remember very well driving around to this song after our sitter Susie just got her driver's license. Again, making me feel old.
  • Anything by Pink Floyd. Well first of all, it's mostly just depressing music. Second of all, it reminds me of the earlier years of high school where I used to sit around listening to it all the time. I was like, "Two Suns in the Sunset... that's sooo deep man. It means nuclear war. ". It was pathetic.
  • The Unforgettable Fire. Oh my god I listened to this album on the bus every day for at least a year. It's a spectacular album but when I hear "Wire", all I can flash back to is sitting on the bus with my yellow Sony Sports walkman, trying to drown out the tongues-speak of an evil bus driver.
  • Most hair-glam like Slaughter or Warrant. I never liked these bands, but they remind me of working at FlipSide (a defunct record store) in Wauconda.

Although, that's not to say I don't have recent stuff I can't listen to anymore because it reminds me of scarring times in my life. I won't go into the whys of these:
  • Black Grape, the entire album of "Stupid Stupid Stupid"
  • Garbage "2.0" album, esp "The Trick is to Keep Breathing"
  • Cursive "Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes"
  • The Postal Service.
That's all. So this probably explains why I'm constantly searching for new music on my Zune Pass (here's my profile) -- to avoid the depression of feeling old. Right now I'm listening to Erlend Oye, who has no depressing memories associated with him and is very enjoyable as a result.