Business Travel in 2008 vs Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

Since the turn of the year I’ve been getting around a bit. I’ve been to Austin TX, Cambridge UK, Chicago IL (twice), Indianapolis IN, and Philadelphia PA. In going to/from Chicago both trips were complicated by weather related flight delays and cancellations. It was sleeting in Indianapolis last week, but I was only delayed a few hours.

One of the last HD-DVDs that I bought was Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Watching the early part of the movie it’s funny to examine what he thought space travel would be like. The lead character is presumably traveling first class. The service sure seems good, and there aren’t many other travelers.

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Did Toshiba Drop HD-DVD Too Early?

Alec Saunders (a fellow Canuck) has an interesting observation about Toshiba and HD-DVD.

IMHO, Toshiba’s comment doesn’t take into consideration Blu-Ray. Not making that statement is political face-saving on their part. Alec argues that they need to move the entire value chain to sell HD-DVD. That means making & selling the technology but also ensuring that the desirable content was readily available. Their trouble is that they were unable to sustain the support of a significant mass of content creators…the studios.

To those of us with HD-DVD players (mine is an HD-XA1) we could see that this battle was over by mid-2007 when HD-DVD releases slowed to a trickle. No new content…no reason to buy the players. At the very same time Blue-Ray releases started to come in good numbers and from a variety of sources.

Now the really good question to ask revolves around did Sony & IBM really make a deal with Toshiba involving dropping HD-DVD in return for additional rights to the cell processor and related manufacturing in the far east?

monowall Screencast Tutorials

m0n0wall-160Rarely do I profess as much devotion to a piece of software as I have for m0n0wall. I’m told that it’s one of the single most successful open source projects and it’s easy to see why. It’s been my primary router for over four years. It’s never let me down, and the user community is very supportive.

I am happy to see that Phillip Cooper has recently created a series of “screencasts” documenting it’s basic setup and configuration. This should help new users a lot. I wish they’d been around when I got started. I further wish that I’d thought to do the screencasts myself. It’s a good idea.

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Next VOIP Project: SIP-GSM Gateway

The other day I called my cellular carrier, T-Mobile. They tell me that I can convert my plan to a “family plan” and add another phone. Further, it’d be ok if I provided the phone myself, perhaps an old GSM phone that I haven’t used in a while. I have an old Razr sitting a drawer somewhere. But I have other plans for the hardware.

I have a huge number of minutes on my plan as I often use my cell for tech support work that can go for hours. Then this week the US cellular market is rocked by new offers of “unlimited” minutes for $99/mo. That’s what I presently pay for my 2500 minute plan. Might have to change that plan soon. This just makes me think that I really should go forward with a plan to add a SIP-GSM gateway to my Astlinux setup.

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Alesis M1 Active Audio Monitors: Sounds Good To Me

This past Christmas my wife gave me a pair of Alesis M1 520 powered monitors. She knows that I really like good powered monitors to mate to my Slim Devices Squeezeboxes. Now that I’ve had a couple of months to listen to these little boxes I must admit that I’m pretty happy with them.

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