Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do you Digg Bacon?

Bacon. That wonderfully delicious breakfast...anytime of day...food. I also like surfing Digg. It takes up the hours I spend at work when I should be working. I've noticed lately that there are a lot of stories on Digg relating to bacon. Which, given how good bacon is, isn't really surprising. I'm certainly not complaining!

The other day, I got to thinking. I was wondering how far a Digg submission would get if it was just a link to a blog post about how common bacon was on Digg. So, here it is! I know, I know. Is this guy crazy or what? I live in northern Michigan. We have like 10 feet of snow, so there isn't a whole lot to do other than think about stupid things. So anyway, this is my blog post about how awesome bacon is. I'm going to submit it to Digg. If you think bacon is awesome too, Digg it! Let's see how far it goes!

Mmm, bacon...
Image courtesy of IHEARTBACON.COM.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

SSD and Me!

I just read about some SSD goodness. I love me some SSD. What is SSD you ask? Well, the hard drive that you probably have in your computer is made up of many moving parts. All must work perfectly in tandem to read and write things to and from large metal platters. They have a reasonably long operating life, but once something gets out of whack, your hard drive is most likely kaput. SSD stands for Solid State Drive. Basically, a data storage device with no moving parts.

Yes, I know, solid state storage has been around for a while (in computer terms), but mostly in small devices like media players (Ipod, Zune, etc) and thumb drives. Until recently, the tech was not refined enough to provide storage capacity large enough to be a feasible desktop/laptop hard drive. Just in the last year or two have we started seeing SSDs with storage comparable to small hard drives, around 30 or 40 GB. And while they are not yet approaching the storage capacity of standard hard drives, they are closing the gap in leaps and bounds.

Enter Intel, who has just released a 160 GB SSD. That's bigger than the 145 GB drive I have in my desktop PC, and a doubling of capacity from just a few months ago (the article mentions Intel announcing an 80 GB drive in August). Holy crap! If anything close to that trend keeps up, we're looking at SSD catching standard hard drives within a year or two. Now I don't know what technical or engineering issues could stand in the way of ever increasing capacity, but still, that's pretty sweet.

Of course, price is a big factor. Standard hard drives are pretty inexpensive. A friend of mine at work is fond of saying "storage is cheap." With SSD, that's not the case. Intel has not mentioned a price for this 160 GB drive, but the 80 GB that I mentioned above is going for about $500 on Newegg.com. That's probably on the lower end of the price spectrum. On the same site, I can get a traditional Western Digital hard drive with a storage capacity of 1 TB for $120. That's a pretty big difference, and because of that, I don't see a mass exodus towards SSD. Yet.

As the technology matures, the capacity increases, and the price decreases (which is the natural flow of computer hardware), I think you will see the traditional hard drives being steadily replaced by SSD. They are faster and more reliable. There really isn't a downside, so I think the switch will be inevitable. Once the price comes down, maybe late 2009, I might look at getting one to at least play around with. I mean, I couldn't call myself a geek if I didn't get excited about things like new hard drive technology. Right?

Friday, December 12, 2008


Okay, so if you've been around in the past week or two, you may have seem my post about my brother taking me to a Dragonforce concert. Well, the concert was this past Saturday, the 6th. I can only describe it as E.....P.....I.....C!!!! That's right. EPIC. In caps. With four exclamation points. Yep.

Luckily, the weather stayed okay, and we left about 2 PM on Saturday. We dropped my brothers wife at a friends house, in Troy, MI, and continued on to Royal Oak. The tickets we had were printed online, and allowed us entrance without having to wait in line. We parked about a block up the street right at 7, and basically walked right in. It was sweet. Totally worth the extra $6.

The Royal Oak Music Theatre holds about 750 people. That means there isn't a bad seat in the house. Regardless, we went and stood right near the front. We were about six or eight feet from the stage! Nice. We had about an hour until the opening acts came on, but there was a waitress coming around, so that was nice. Oh, and the bathroom had an attendant! You may be thinking that that is a little highbrow, but he was just a big dude, not dressed up or anything, and he also sold candy. But still, a nice touch that made for a clean bathroom.

The first opening band was called Powerglove. I got grabbed two of their albums the week before hand, so I knew their songs. If you read this blog, you know I like the 8-bit metal, and that's exactly what these guys are. Metal interpretations of video game music. They are amazing! They wear these big foam(?) props that look straight out of a D&D game. I recommend going to see them if you have a chance, or at least pick up their albums. If you like metal, video game music, or both, you won't be disappointed.

The second band was awesome too. They were called Turisas. They hail from Finland. Everyone knows I like me some Euro-metal! Now, american bands seem to be stuck on having just guitars and drums. European bands seem to be willing to try things you might not expect. Turisas has a fiddle player. He was cool. They also have a very beautiful woman who plays the accordion. Yes, I said the accordion. You know what, it works. They would definitely fall under the Power Metal heading. They were all dressed up in viking/barbarian type garb. Animal skins, the lead singer wore a piece of shoulder armore, and they were all in war paint. It also happened to be Finland's Independance Day. So in the middle of their set, they stopped and did their national anthem. They seemed very proud of that, and that was cool. I would also go see them again in a heartbeat.

Then came the big show, the main attraction, the band known as Dragonforce. My god. They were unbelievable. They played an awesome mix of stuff from their new album, Ultimate Beatdown, and their previous albums. Yes, they did Though the Fire and Flames during their encore. I mean, c'mon, it's a staple, and an all around face melting song. I screamed until my abs hurt, and I headbanged until my neck hurt, and it was completely worth it. Before the show, I'd read so many places that they either weren't as good live, or that they couldn't be as good because their songs are so fast an technical. Well, I can tell you from experience. Those people are as wrong as you could possibly be. In fact, in my opinion, they may have been better live than their recorded albums. I'm sure they missed notes here and there, but you know what, with everyone yelling and the general noise of the concert, you couldn't possibly notice a missed note here and there. Plus, their energy, their presence, and the fun they seemed to be having on stage brought something that couldn't possibly be on a recorded album. I haven't been to many concerts in my life, but I couldn't see another concert being better than this one. It was just epic!

No cameras were allowed in the venue, but thankfully, the theatre has people come in and take pictures during the concerts, and then puts a slideshow of them up online. You can see the pics from this concert here. There is one picture of two girls, one wearing a red Weezer T-Shirt. I'm the glasses, forhead, and hair peeking over the tops of their heads. :-)

The coolest thing about the whole concert? I GOT A PICK! Yes, a guitar pick. A Dragonforce guitar pick. With Sam Totman's signature printed on it. Below are a couple of pictures. This is not my actual pick. I swiped these photos from ebay of someone selling a neclace made with this pick, hence the hole and little metal ring at the top. Otherwise, this is identical to mine.

I mean, how cool is that?

Scotty, beam us up.....to Detroit!

What am I talking about? Well, I ran across an article today that made me very excited! I was very bummed about "Star Trek: The Experience," located in Las Vegas, closing. However, I didn't know that there was an exhibit, "Star Trek: The Exhibition", making it's way around the country. In February, February 14th to be exact, it's coming to Detroit, Michigan! I live in Michigan! I'm only about four hours from Detroit! I could actually go! Woot!

From the article:

"The 9,000-square-foot exhibit features re-creations of the bridge of the famed Starship Enterprise, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard's quarters, the command chair and the transporter room.

It includes two flight simulators, a model of the USS Enterprise used for shooting starship scenes and a collection of authentic props and uniforms used throughout the five "Star Trek" TV series, a cartoon show and 10 feature films."

That is freaking awesome! It's not just a short week long thing either. It runs from Feb. 14th to Sept. 7th. Almost 8 months! I imaging that I'd have to be able to work it in somewhere. Maybe a birthday present or something (hint hint.) To be able to walk the sets, touch panels, and (hopefully) sit in the captains chair would be so exciting. And to see props and other items that were actually used in production of the shows and movies. Epic. It's like a piece of history coming to my backwater state!

I'll be sure to remember this and make plans to go down and see it next summer. If the wife doesn't want to go, I'm sure I could find someone to go. I have Trekker friends. Hell, my daughter would probably enjoy it. And if I can't find anyone who wants to go? Screw it, I'll go myself. Oh yeah!

Have you seen this person?

Yeah, I know I haven't posted in a while. It's not all my fault though. Someone neglected to pay the cable bill (not me), and the Internet got shut off for a while. It was like four or five days. I know! It was terrible! It was turned back on on Tuesday, and I still didn't get around to it until today. Whatever. In any case, I'll leave this short and get on with some of the specific things I have to talk about. Trust me, they're awesome!