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Day 454 - Aug 21th - At War with Wires and Greed

So during the near six week break, I finally got the chance to feel truly home for the first time in fifteen or so months. I started getting up early everyday, doing some running down to the beach for short dive and swim. Healthy food rather than the crap shoot between wonderful Wayno cuisine and the slop that is available to roadies in between. Detoxing from jet lag and drinking with friends evolves into clear thoughts and energy excitement to return back to my more nerdy roots of technology and wires and new soundie designs.

My laptop has finally re reached a state of usefulness as I install the last missing program, (Corel Draw) with which I do all my designing. But alas computers as they are and do, fail. None are immune and down drops another. This time it is a full size machine that one of my daughters uses.

Notice my workbench and the poor defunct mother board with all of her children sprawled out on the bed. Can you believe it? A complete computer melt down and $ 39 and a trip to Fry's electronics buys a new mama!

Bing, pow, boom and she is up and running better than new. 1 gig ethernet, hifi sound, firewire, USB2, high speed video and SATA drive compatible. Old by new standards yet more than enough. I have never attempted a mother board swap before and was amazed how easy it was. So many choices and everything fit, plugged right in, fired it up, a cross compatibility dream as I smile that the e-waste will be just a single card rather than yet another whole computer headed to the dump. Hmmm, I wonder if I would have had the same luck and cash outlay if it was a Mac? Perhaps the $ 39 Mac motherboard were just around the corner or more likely they cost a wee bit more, perhaps 10 times as much? Oh that's right, the dead Mac laptop I have in my closet cost more to fix than buying two new PC machines. Now don't get me wrong, I have no lost love for Microsoft either and I really can't stand the extortion of intentually building in incompatibilities to something we purchase.

Oh, and speaking of making things incompatible, check out this guy, he rules! A 17 year old in New Jersey has successfully figured out a way to bypass the Mac/ATT collusion orchestrated to sap max money from those jumping on the iPhone status symbol bandwagon.

Unfortunately the modification is beyond the scope of normal humans including myself but headway is being made toward freedom of choice, not that I would buy an iPhone anyway. Oh, have I mentioned that I am all about the concept of fair and cool competition and companies making products that people want without sneaky strings attached? What I am against is crap like "hey, if you want to buy an iPhone, you will have to sacrifice your freedom to choose your cell phone carrier company." "Hey, buy the cool stuff we make and then after you own it, we will do all in our power to milk you for as much money as possible to keep whatever you bought from us running." Printer companies selling their $ 80 ink cartridges for their $ 79 printers is a perfect example. Aargh, greedy sneaky humans annoy me.

Anyway, on a more enjoyable note, I bought a BBQ and it came with a rotisserie so I thought I would take a stab at making my first spinning chicken.

I put melted butter, some olive oil, fresh garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a food processor and blended it up to a paste and rolled the chicken in it then took unchopped versions of the same and what was left over and stuffed it inside. Who would have knew it would be so good so easy? Who would have knew dinner could take so damn long to cook. I have never cooked a meal before that took more than 30 min's. To complete the two course meal, a salad with tomatos, feta, olive oil I brought home from Italy and some crazy thick balsamic vinegar I found in France. I got the lettuce locally though.

I really don't want to leave home, right now.



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Christopher Dean on :

Dave, Regardless of your feeling about Apple, the iphone is a GMS phone and to my knowledge, there are only two GSM carriors in the US AT&T and Tmobile. AT&T has a much better coverage than Tmodile. So much for choice. Apple seems to have had success in keeping AT&T iphone plans resonably priced. Be well

Dave Rat on :

You are correct about ATT's beter coverage but the "reasonably priced" angle is debateable. I just got done last month researching the possibility of moving Rat Sound's cell plan to ATT off of it's current T-Mobile plan and ATT does not even come close to touching the T-Mobile unlimited worldwide data plan allowing me ulimited worldwide free internet both on my phone and from my computer. I found that ATT would cost us a full 50% more and raise our current plan of 10 phones, 10,000 national minutes, unlimited T-Mob to T-Mob calls and 5 of the plans are Blackberry enabled from $650 a month to over $900 while losing features, less usable time and more surcharges. Being tied in to that would be unacceptable for us. There are companies and individuals that are willing to pay a premium for a bit more coverage and accept the ATT limitations but to loose that option of choice is not for me.

dan mac on :

as far as computers are concerned - give Linux a try, you'll love the fidleability when you find your feet with it and most of the major versions of it about now are pretty painless to set up and can guess quite a lot of configuration out of the box. I use Mandriva Linux which is far from being cutting edge or uber nerdy, and detected more or less everything it needed to (even the bloody speedtouch broadband modem which was a pita to set up with older versions.) Linux used to be the domain of nerds who did everything from the command line, nowadays you don't need to leave the desktop environment (unless you want to....... and I know you will eventually!) Have a search for knoppix, which you can get hold of as a 'live' cd (meaning you can boot it from the cd then boot back into your original os when you've finished with it) or dyne:bolic, which is aimed at multimedia use (though maybe not as good for general use/non nerdability.) as far as chicken is concerned - next time you do that, instead of spreading the butter mix on the skin, work your hand under the skin of the breast and get most of the butter in there, make knife slashes across the thighs and put the rest of it in there.

Dave Rat on :

I have been pondering using Linux as it fits with the open market, free choice, multi-humans working together for a common goal philosophy I try to live by and operate Rat by as well. I like the Wikipedia concept. I like operating Rat Sound where we freely subhire gear to and from competitors and the open information sharing for the betterment of the industry as a whole. I like inter-compatibility where multiple companies work hard to make the best products for people to choose from. Oh, and I will try the cooking tip as well. Thank you!

dan mac on :

Using MS products is a bit like being a chicken - either way you're stuffed. ;)

MKB on :

Nice Dyna!!

Deni on :

Hey Dave! I've just found out about this blog and it awsome I must say. Thank you for pictures, its great to see RHCP behind the scene. Love the Chris Rock picture LOL!!! oh and with Chad also. If you have any picture with John (Fru) please update. PS Hope you will now get some rest after the tour is over (finally)

Greg Cameron on :

DR: "Who would have knew dinner could take so damn long to cook. I have never cooked a meal before that took more than 30 min's." Try BBQ'ing beef ribs. To do it right, 2-3 hours of basting and turning. But oh my! The results are amazing. Not something I like to do all the time, but the tasty meat that practically falls off the bones! A vegetarian nightmare. And though I'm a non religious person, something a friend once said has always stuck with me: "if god did want us to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of meat." Now as for the Apple monopoly, I agree that their products are more pricey then their PC counter parts. But on the other hand, they have had the best hardware and OS integration of any PC on the marking for 20 years running. Now keep in mind, I grew up building PC's in the mid 80's from scratch and never touched a Mac until the late 80's. I still build Windows based servers nowadays as well. I do know PC world inside and out. After getting on my first Mac, I'll never go back as far as personal use. Back when MS was figuring out how to put together the Widoze OS, Apple already had a slick GUI, integrated onboard sound, and build in networking that required no additional internal hardware or drivers to work. Basically the machine just worked without all the hassles of the MS world. More expensive? You bet, but in my opinion as former computer tech and sales person is that the addition expense was and is still worth it, although prices over the years are much more inline with comparable PC's. And, their products don't become outdated at nearly the rate of Wintel products. I have a Powerbook that turned 8 this year. It runs the latest Mac OS still, built-in wireless networking FireWire, all the goodies. While it's not the speed demon of it's latest kin, it works well enough that I don't plan to replace it anytime soon. Try that with Windows XP or Vista on a PC laptop ;-) At my office, I still have old iMacs and G4 towers that are cranking away faithfully after years still running the lasted OS and software. They run side by side with the new Mac G5's and Mac Pro machines. In terms of conservation and landfill abuse, I'd say the Macs have an edge up on the PC world. In terms of toxicity issue, they moved away from CRT and to LCD's early and faster then the competition for integrated plug and play machines. Now don't get me wrong, I do feel that Steve Jobs somewhat of a fascist. In fact, I think if Apple has won the platform wars many years ago, he's be more of a software dictator then Bill Gates. But in terms of the machines themselves and the people that design them, they are a beautiful machine the really does give the average user a much more pleasant experience then the average Wintel machine. The shit just works. Their much more impervious to viruses. No registry and driver crap to worry about. Cards drop right in and just work. Granted, Widows has become much better at the "plug and play" integration, but it's relatively recently. The Mac has been plug and play with 3rd party devices for almost 20 years now. And now you can run Windows on the Mac if you want to, natively. Lastly, I realize the propriety and "locked in" platform is an issue, but it does make for solid integration and a system that's going to work. Reminds me of a certain company called L'Acoustics that people complain are too proprietary and stingy with their product ;-) But hey, maybe that's what it takes to be the best... Greg

rex on :

hey dave i like my iphone! your house is looking nice... mine is finished too ive been moving in for the last week! i put some pics up hope your well dude. rex

Dave Rat on :

Oh, the iPhone is a cool piece of hardware, my issues are with the corporate stance of Mac and similar companies. Plus being locked into AT & T, yuck!

rex on :

okay i agree that at&t sucks and its totally useless if i leave the country to work at the moment, but i think it has room for growth i have yet to cancel my other mobile contract if i can get the iphone unlocked to them i would jump for joy. but as i have said to you before i have been finding alot of other uses for the device other than the internet, phone and black book it makes a great paper weight it even plays tunes if you want it! :)

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