As many of you know, I have been working on my novel this month. In order to achieve that without many distractions, I have been using Mac OS 9 as my preferred booting operating system on my PowerBook G3. Unfortunately, it seems to have decided on needing a mental vacation, and now, just short of 40,000 words into my novel, I am without an OS9-booting computer on which to write my novel, and I'm sans-the-laptop. It's unfortunate but true.
Of course, I expected some sort of massive failure out of it. i wish it had waited another week, but I am not surprised by what happened.
I hope that I am one of the first to inform everybody that just now, I saw snow flurries coming down while I was walking to/from Surplus Sales at NAU, from Reilly. I think that this is a favorable thing! Snow should follow VERY shortly. I expect to have snow-related problems getting back to my dorm room tonight. Yaay!
Today I started looking around for some software that I need for my NT4 box. It turns out that I actually found some of the software that I want. Entertainingly enough, It is now running Office97, Internet Explorer 6, and most excellently, the SETI@Home client. I eventually plan on putting VisualBasic 6 Professional on there, though for the rest of this year, I think that this machine will probably be used primarily for SETI@Home, however I would not be surprised if at some point in the future, I get more into retro WindowsNT action, and maybe even try to do some things in VisualBasic 6.
So.... I just read this interesting MacWorld article about how the Mac Pro can play 4 hidef video streams, and record the screen as another hidef video screen using Snapz Pro X, without even breaking a sweat. However, my main computer, the PowerBook G3, is unable to play one uncompressed WAV file while skipping constantly, if I am copying 470 megs of JPEGs (interesting video project coming up!) from a card reader to the hard disc over USB 1.1. This does not please me, to say the least. I was happy with its ability to play the sound while doing nothing else... but it disappoints me, to say the least, that I can't type on AIM or copy files while playing a WAV.
I had a freakin' 25MHz 80386 computer, with FOUR megabytes of memory, that could play a WAV file under almost any circumstances. What gives?
I am intentionally depriving myself of sleep, therefore anybody who is insane enough to read these (I [heart] you Megan!) is now going to be subjected to some sort of rant about technology. (You have permission not to read this if you don't want to, Megan!) Of course, those folks in my English 105 class will know that my premise, (sleep deprivation) does not imply my conclusion (tech rant). Of course, I mentioned the sleep deprivation, right? That means that I don't care. [insert smile face here]
So what will I rant about today? Recently, at the vintage technology internet forum that I visit, the 68k Mac Liberation Army, a member posted an interesting PDF file. It was a 107 megabyte scan he made of an Apple Product Catalog from Fall of 1993. Thirteen years ago, the 68-page catalog of 68k Macintoshes was hot off the presses, and if we had lived back then, with unlimited funds, it was decided that every one of us would have a Mac Quadra 650 with the 16" Macintosh Color Display, a LaserWriter 630 Pro, with the 500-sheet feeder of course, along with every other little goodie we could get our grubby little liberator paws on.
I see a problem with this, however. My issue is that almost nobody provided a reasonable dream setup. My own setup was actually a Quadra 610 with one or two bits of software, the inexpensive monitor, as well as the cheap laser printer. Additionally an even more realistic setup that I cited, was a Mac Color Classic, and one of Apple's inkjet printers, paired with just one software package, an integrated piece of kit that can nearly do it all. As an added bonus, the cheaper computer and printer had carrying cases available for them, and they were within my arbitrarily defined budget of "just a few dollars more than whatever I want."
This leads into something else though. One thing I've noticed is that when it comes to older technology, it is extremely tempting to simply not look at the lower end machines. It is not every day when I hear somebody talking about how awesome it was that they were able to pick up a Mac LC and a 12" color display from the school. In fact, I have even heard some people talk with disdain about older low end machines, as opposed to the not-really-much-faster high end variant.
I do understand the argument that in 1993, there was a massive difference between a 25MHz 68LC040 and a 33MHz 68040 processor, let alone a 16MHz 68030. However, I think that that difference equates today to a distribution like this. the 16MHz 68030 would be about equivalent to a 1.5GHz Intel Core-Solo processor. The 25MHz 68LC040 would equate to a 1.83GHz Core1Duo, and the 33MHz monster powerhouse would equate to a 2.16GHz Core2Duo microprocessor.
The funny thing is that in 2019 then another thirteen years have passed, and a retro technology enthusiast's group has formed and is discussing these things... the actual difference between a 1.5GHz single-core chip and a 2.16Ghz dual-core chip will be so negligible, that the 2019-Cory5412 is unlikely to claim that there is any practical speed difference at all.
Good god, do I want to slap the 2019-Cory5412! However, 2019-Cory5412 certainly brings up a good point about the aging of technology, and the 2006-Cory5412 is saying similar things.\
Of course... I don't think my rant is necessarily tech-based, I think it's now a rant of excessiveness. Quick everybody, I'm going to run out and get a 3.0GHz Mac Pro with 16 gigs of ram, four 750 gigabyte hard discs, two 16x SuperDrives, and I'm going to fill it with four of the nVidia GeFORCE 7300GT cards, then I am going to buy four 30" monitors, and four 23" monitors for it. I just know that 2019-Cory5412 will have one of those, but 2006-Cory5412 will certainly have something closer to a 17" iMac Core2Duo, 2.16GHz, 1 or 2 gig, 250gig.
I am certain that for that, 2019-Cory5412 will laugh at 2006-Cory5412, but who cares, because 1993-Cory5412 would have ended up with a used Mac Plus and, if he was lucky enough to get a laser printer at all, one of the original LaserWriters, or a LaserWriter II of some sort. He would have enjoyed it until its death (in 2003, I bet. There's a reason I don't want to be 1993-Cory5412.)
I [heart] my Dell OptiPlex GX110 and my 500MHz Apple PowerBook G3 "Pismo." As an aside, I probably have another tech-related blog entry somewhere, but this will do for now. It proves that I am definitely going to stick to polyphasic sleeping this time. (Yay! +10 points for reference to polyphasic sleep in this blog post.)
... At polyphasic sleep. Last night I was doing well, then got to my 1am nap, and I must have either not set the alarm, or slept through it for eight hours, because I found myself waking up at about 9am. Actually, I could have waited until 9:30 to wake up, but I wanted to take a shower and today is a Wednesday which means I've got my 10:20 class.
At the very least, SETI has begun to act properly again, meaning that I am now on my way to being the champion of Work Units, and my NaNoWriMo novel has begun taking shape. I have crossed the line for 20,000 words, but today's quota is 25,005 words. Will I make it in time? Will I end up making it to 26,672 words tomorrow, whether or not I mke it to 25,005 today?
Well, I probably will do both if I stop writing silly posts to the blog. Oh-well. One thing that these failures make me wonder is whether or not I am capable of adapting to polyphasic sleep, or whether the current time is just too intense for it. I am thinking about just trying to adapt to polyphasic over the winter break, but I really need it right now, not next year.
The other thing to consider is the fact that I really like sleeping. Not so much being in bed, as I like arranging the covers, jumping in, and just being comfortable and warm between the sheets and the blankets, not necessarily doing anything productive at that moment.
I will continue trying to do polyphasic sleep, hopefully it will have more success with fewer classes and horrible things like that in the next few days to cause it to go wrong.
You may know that I've recently been using a Windows-based PC. I used to just keep the icons for my applications on the desktop in order to not be required to deal with the start menu. However, I recently did a bit of a clean-up. This is how my desktop looks now.
Before, it had a whole bunch of icons everywhere, it wasn't that messy, but apparently it is regarded as not-awesome to have the icons for twenty applications arranged neatly along one edge of the display. This is how my desktop looked 20 minutes ago.
For comparison, I am going to include a screen shot of Mac OS 9. Apparently it's wrong of me to have the apps on the desktop in this system too, because the Apple menu provides functionality as an app launcher, if I were so-clever as to include a folder of aliases in there. I did to that long before it was suggested to me, but I find it much less intuitive and quick as just clicking on the app on the desktop. This is Mac OS 9. Note the killer battery life.
I just thought that I might bring that to everybody's attention.
Apparently switching to the Beta of Blogger had messed a few things up. It appears, however, that everything is working properly now. As an added bonus, Blogger now pushes full-text of my posts on the feed, meaning that I don't have to run around like a maniac, commenting on my own notes to make sure everybody reads the full text at http://cory5412.blogspot.com. (hint hint).
This is just a note to say that I have finally defeated the 05:00 nap! :) Now I just need to survive for the next two weeks or so, as well as conquer today.
In other news, I am going to have to sign up to become an RA today, as well as possibly going to surplus sales to get a proper keyboard and mouse for this Dell OptiPlex GX110 computer.
In other news, it's really hard to get any radio other than country stations on my Walkman in my room. That's unfortunate because I like radio stations other than those which play country music. Of course, there is always the Internets, but I quite fancy listening to tapes any more. Lord of the Dance and Keys to Imagination are quite awesome tapes. I also have Avalon but that's a CD.
As another sidenote... blogging is an excellent choice over sleeping. I would rather be pointlessly pouring my random thoughts into the deep, dark depths of the internet than sleeping any day of the week. Especially Tuesday. However, being that it's only Monday right now, I'll have to day with blogging on Monday instead of Tuesday.
However, please expect Tuesday to be an insanely awesomely blogging-filled day.
I have decided that I am going to return to the SETI@Home project, to help find the aliens. Just this evening, before my 21:00 nap, I installed the BOINC client on my Pentium 3/933MHz box, and started processing a unit. I know I'm using a dated machine in one more way now: It will take me approximately 22 hours to complete one unit. :)
I am probably going to go back to the Surplus place tomorrow, so I will pick up my own kb/mouse, and I will probably pick up another power cable, and long ethernet cable, so that I can start using the P3/500 for SETI as well. :D
In other news, the CoryWiki/UeberWiki is back online.
This is mostly just a note to say that I am going to attempt to stick to the polyphasic schedule better from now on. I've moved my alarm clock to the other side of the room, so that I have to get up in order to turn it off. I think that today will be fairly hard because I haven't even pretended to do the naps, after last night's mess up with it.
I am impressed with my newly found ability to get up at exactly 9:30 every single morning, though.
Also, I got two cassette tapes and a CD from the Bookman's today. The CD is "Avalon" by John Tesh, and the two tapes are Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance, and Keys to Imagination by Yanni. All three are highly entertaining, and the two tapes give me yet another awesome thing to play in my Walkman. Honestly, I love the Walkman. :D
Honestly, this is harder to keep up than I thought it would be. Yesterday morning I failed, and then again today I failed miserably as well. I had thought it would be easy to keep up with, but because I failed yesterday, I didn't take any of my naps, and then last night I ended up playing Monopoly and watching Clerks II until about 1am.
Luckily, I did get a few hundred words into my NaNoWriMo novel, but I am certainly not pleased that I feel asleep so easily. I need to find a comfortable spot other than my bed where I can do writing, and not be tempted to fall asleep. I think that tonight, I will try the Reilly Hall lounge, or maybe the 6th floor lounge. However, I do think that the main lobby/lounge on the first floor is more likely to happen as a good writing spot than the 6th floor lobby.
As a sidenote... Monopoly is quite a fun and interesting game.
I don't even know if this counts as polyphasic sleep any more. I've certainly had my most impressive of failures today. I went to take my 01:00 nap, and I ended up waking up from that 09:30. That's a full 8.5 hours! I feel great, but that's wasn't exactly what I wanted to do. There's 7 hours in there of novel-writing that I missed!
I am now in Day 3 of polyphasic sleeping. I think I'm in Day 3, anyway. This may be the fourth day, but I have been through three nights.
Unfortunately, a few bad things have happened. First, I seem to have a habit of not waking up from my 05:00 nap. I lay down at about 05:00 and then wake up somewhere between 08:00 to 09:30. The other bad thing is that, true to what I have read on the Internets, found via The Google, delivered via the tubes, I do now feel like I am a zombie, continuously being run over by the force of a thousand school buses. It's totally fun and you should try it!
Another misfortune has struck my polyphasic sleep project. I seem to be getting sick. This is one of those "Seriously, WTF?" moments, where you just have to ask if the Universe is out to get you. I know that it's not my God, because my God is a tree at Kingman High School called Pam, and I happen to have a close relationship with my God. Additionally, my God is busy saving Earth from the Aliens, so she doesn't have time to attempt to foil my polyphasic sleep plans. Luckily, the vending machine has provided me with some Orange Juice, which seems to have helped.
At any rate... I am plodding on bravely with my efforts to gain four hours in every day. I must say that I do quite enjoy the extra time. I feel as though by 10:00 I will have either caught up with the few days' worth of NaNoWriMo writing that I have missed, or that I will have the cleanest dorm room in Reilly Hall. Maybe both will be true.
I find myself on Day 2 of Polyphasic Sleeping. I have already had some discouragement. It is hard to stay encouraged to do something so completely different from what is considered to be socially normal and acceptable. In addition, I'm having issues finding things to do during all of my "additional time." I know that what I should be doing is working on my novel, but somehow I end up just kind of... sitting at my computer.
I find that I'm doing silly online puzzles instead of writing or my schoolwork.
I have also just awaken from (oops!) oversleeping multiple times. I think that this means that I need to put careful consideration into whether or not I really want to continue my attempt at Polyphasic Sleeping.
I must say that I am fairly impressed with the new Blogger Beta. I like the fact that enough of it is different to justify it being a Google Beta, but enough of it is the same that my blog basically has the same appearance that it had before. There are a few other things that I can't wait to see implemented, but of course I'm not actually sure of them right now.
I am in Day 1 of my new Polyphasic Sleeping lifestyle. I am going to be using this month to transition to an interesting way of distributed resting, so that I can get more hours in the day for studying, being online, and writing my novel.
Right now, I am pretty tired, but I would say that I am fairly alert... I have not had caffeine today, though I may have a few sips (or a few liters) of Mountain Dew later on today.
Hopefully this gargantuan increase in my available time will let me do things like re-learn some three dimensional modeling techniques with 3dStudioMax, watch a lot of youtube videos, listen to a lot of FM radio, finish my NaNoNovel early, and keep my sanity while getting schoolwork done.
Last Friday, I picked up two Dell Optiplex desktops from the surplus sales shop at my university. I will describe them as being "#1" and "#2" for now, because I have not given either of them proper names.
Number One was received with a Pentium III processor at 933MHz with 256mb of memory and a 10gigabyte hard disc, as well as a cdrom drive. Number Two was a P3/500 in a 576/20/cdrw/zip100 config, and they were both just ten dollars.
I am now using the 933MHz dell as my main desktop computer. While I do realize that I don't have enough desk space, I enjoy having a proper desktop computer, and this thing, honestly, is quite capable! I can even view Youtube videos now!
I just need to get 3dStudioMax and Office 2003.
As another sidenote, I will have a lot of time to work on stuff in 3dsMax soon. More on that soon.
I enjoy long telephone calls about clean access agent, learning new things, spending time with my girlfriend, friends and family, along with a variety of other things. I'm often playing some sort of train simulation game, organizing information on my pet wiki, or playing with some kind of server technology. Oh, and there's that whole photography thing too.