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1521  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [Survey] What do you do for a living? on: February 03, 2005, 04:31:17 PM
I am the head of the graphic design department (which is me and a bunch of student employees) for the small independent company which publishes the newspaper and yearbook at Southern Methodist University. I coordinate the production of ad copy for local clients, and the proofing of ad copy for clients who send us in their ads.

I am also in charge of our various websites.

I also manage the 30-machine Macintosh portion of our company network. Which isn't that much to do. Macs basically maintain themselves, and there's no spyware, malware or viruses to worry about. The three Windows machines we have are in a constant state of duress,  but that's not my problem.

I also prepare and design promotional materials for our company, and the advertiser kits we send out to potential clients.

On the side, I occasionally do some freelance graphic and web design. Mostly for friends and Democratic political groups.
1522  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Please sign this Metallica Petition on: January 19, 2005, 09:24:24 PM
Whoever wrote that petition has, at best, a passing familiarity with a language, but I'm not sure that language is English.
1523  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 18, 2005, 03:21:14 AM
I ordered it within 90 minutes of the end of the Stevenote.
1524  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 18, 2005, 02:54:22 AM
I do believe it's a one-playlist device. When you click on the iPod Shuffle in your Sources pane, it lists  the songs on  the device, and has some controls at the bottom, including an option regarding what playlist to sync it to.

My playlist in question is actually 900+ songs long. It randomly picks from that playlist to fill up the iPod when I hit the "Autofill" button.

Now, I can leave the iPod Shuffle in my sources pane, and go in and carefully organize the playlist, with it plugged in or not, and then sync that playlist onto the Shuffle and play through it linearly, but there's no mechanism that I can see to sync more than one playlist on there.
1525  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 18, 2005, 02:19:11 AM
Yes. Sorry. smile
1526  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 17, 2005, 10:25:36 PM
Quote from: "Jancelot"
Coming from a happy iPod owner and officially-jealous-of-your-Shuffle person I still thought this was very funny (especially after dealing with people who work at the Apple stores).  Apple's marketing team is certainly top-notch and this is a fun poke at its effectiveness.

Yeah, I've seen that. It's pretty clever. Though it'd be more clever if they used the right typeface for the Apple logo. smile
1527  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 17, 2005, 10:21:07 PM
It is USB 2.0, but it still won't sustain a throughput rate at the same speeds that FireWire can. USB 2 can burst stuff at a really fast rate, but it can't sustain that speed indefinitely life FireWire can... or, at least, that's my understanding.
1528  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 17, 2005, 09:45:52 PM
Just got it when I got home from work today. Very nice packaging, typical of Apple. It came charged at least partially. It's taking a few minutes to transfer over 512 MB of music, which is much slower than a regular iPod, but something to expect, given that this is running via USB and not FireWire.

Last night I set up a Smart Playlist in iTunes that should filter out all the songs I don't want on the Shuffle, and so now I'm letting the Shuffle randomly select from the songs that are in that list (it grabbed 117 of them). I'm giving iTunes the full 512 MB to play with, but in the iTunes preferences for this iPod I can tell it to reserve a certain amount of space for saving files to it like a thumb drive.

The lanyard is a bit shorter than I expected, but it seems to click well onto the Shuffle, so I don't feel like it's going to slide off. There's a two-color LED underneath the white plastic, which gives some feedback when buttons are pushed.

On the default volume, it seems to produce decent sound. I'm amazed at how little the thing weighs.

Because of the round control wheel, this thing still feels like using an iPod, even though it's nothing like the standard iPods.

On a related note, Apple's ads lie. This is my third iPod. I still can't dance.
1529  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 1/12/05 on: January 13, 2005, 07:16:45 PM
Quote from: "RedJak"
I almost thought they had the guts to off Shannon and I was wondering what the hell they were going to do with Boone since he wasn't that interesting with Shannon and a lot less without.

I think Boone is a great character. He's another natural leader, so he is a good source of conflict with Jack.
1530  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 1/12/05 on: January 13, 2005, 04:02:25 PM
I really loved the line by Charlie to the effect of "If there's anyone I trust to keep me alive in this situation... it's John Locke." Ahh, Locke saves all as the castaways descend into a state of nature.
1531  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 12, 2005, 09:01:35 AM
I just ordered the 512 MB version ($99), so I'll let you all know what I think. smile
1532  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 11, 2005, 07:52:01 PM
Why would you expect FM? Apple has never included a radio tuner with an iPod product, and none was rumored for this device.
1533  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 11, 2005, 05:47:33 AM
My consideration of the rumored iPod Shuffle. For what it's worth. slywink
1534  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Need some TV recommendations on: January 11, 2005, 05:40:12 AM
Chiming in here for Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine. So similar, but very different, and both excellent.

I also highly recommend Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I'm looking forward to plowing through Freaks & Geeks in the next few weeks via Netflix. All hail Netflix.
1535  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 11, 2005, 04:21:47 AM
The size, lower weight and colors are apparently quite popular. I thought it would choke, too. I was very disappointed after Macworld last year (Crayola Smoker may be able to recall my "unimpressed" reaction). I was way wrong. The Mini has been a big hit.
1536  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 11, 2005, 02:40:14 AM
Then it appears you may prefer the iPod mini.

I kinda like the random idea, so long as you can turn it off and just play linearly through your list. But with random, it's like a radio station with no announcer which always plays songs you like.

And hey, Think Secret isn't letting that lawsuit slow 'em down. Go, Nick, go!
1537  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 10, 2005, 09:58:45 PM
Laner, you could also argue that they have to charge a bit more because of OS X. They have to recoup investment costs that a parasite company like Dell doesn't have to shoulder.
1538  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 09, 2005, 06:14:02 PM
Yes, I would rerip instead of import. Just offering a suggestion.

I reripped all my physical CDs from which I had produced MP3 files to AAC last year. Saved space and improved the audio quality, so it was win-win all around.
1539  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 09, 2005, 05:27:56 AM
Warning, you can import your WMA files into iTunes in as Apple Lossless, which won't degrade the quality, though it may take up way more space.
1540  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Best music download site on: January 03, 2005, 07:13:05 AM
Quote from: "Xmann"
ok i checked out napster but i see it costs $9.95 a month plus the .99 or whatever a song.  does everyone require a monthly fee or is this just napster?  if this is the case, i'll be passing.  i'm disappointed i would have to pay a monthly fee and a fee for each song.
any that don't require a monthly fee?

Napster only costs $9.95 a month for their all-you-can-download plan, which lets you download many of their songs without a per-track cost and play them on your computer. However, these songs cannot be synced to a portable player or burned to a CD. Microsoft's Janus technology will make the syncing possible in the near future, but only through Windows Media Player 10 (and for $14.95 or $19.95, I'm not sure which, to Napster).

You can use Napster just like the iTunes store, browse, pick and buy for 99ยข without a subscription fee.

The problem with Napster's hybrid approach is that some songs are subscription only, others are download only, so you end up with a hodgepodge of songs which may not have similar usage rights. If you're going to offer the two models, I think that you should be sure that all songs are availlable under both. Napster wasn't willing to stand up to the labels and push that, I guess.
1541  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Best music download site on: January 02, 2005, 08:42:27 PM
Napster is now like any other download store: it's songs are encoded professionally at a set bitrate, so the quality is consistent. I belive they use 128 kbps for their Windows Media Audio files. They also offer streams of various bitrates.

Playing the same songs off of iTunes (128 kbps AAC) and Napster (128 kbps WMA), I couldn't really tell the difference between the two. I use iTunes because it's got the best interface for the store, and it's been my media player software for years. I've not found any other program where building playlists is as easy as in iTunes. They also tend to have most of what I want, which isn't always true for the WMA stores.

The MSN Music store is pretty much the exact same as iTunes or Napster in terms of quality/DRM, and has a very good selection as well. It's built into Windows Media Player 10, so if anyone's not going to be using iTunes I think they should check out MSN as well as Napster and maybe MusicMatch (which uses 160 kbps WMA files).
1542  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Surprise! I got an extra $150 for Christmas! How to spend? on: December 31, 2004, 02:47:23 AM
What you really want is a VHS copy of my student films from New York. The Special Autographed Edition, no less. And it just so happens my list price is $149...
1543  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Looking for thoughts on an MP3 player on: December 29, 2004, 07:30:38 PM
Apple's purchase of a ton of flash memory is not a rumor. Whether or not they're going into iPods is supposition, but it is a logical one.
1544  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Issues setting up Fedora Core 3 on hp laptop on: December 29, 2004, 05:39:09 PM
I'm attempting to set up Fedora Core 3 on my hp pavilion zt3101 (a model in the zt3000 family). It's a Pentium M system with the 802.11b Intel wireless card (full Centrino system) and a 15.2" widescreen display and CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive.

I'm fairly inexperienced with Linux (installed it a few times, played with it every now and then but never used it as a primary operating system), and I'm having a few issues with getting set up. I've searched through the archives, but didn't see precisely what I was looking for, so I thought I'd turn to the kind folks on this list.

Everything installed all right. But I'm sure that my ignorance is what's causing me a few problems.

My LCD's resolution is 1280 x 800, but that's not an option listed in my Display system settings. I've set my video card to the proper card (ATI Radeon Mobility 9200), and set my display to Generic LCD Display 1280x800, but to no avail. Do I need to figure out precisely what brand of monitor HP has included with my laptop?

Also, how do I put the system to sleep so that I can safely close the lid and move it about? I've been able to get a nice little battery monitor to show up in the top corner, but that's about as much as I've been able to do. Double clicking it produces an error that '/usr/bin/apm -s' was unsuccessful. Eh?

I'm very new at Linux, but I'm pretty impressed so far. This is by far the most polished looking and usable Linux I've ever seen -- I never used to feel like I had any ownership over my computer when I tried previous releases, but I do now.

Any suggestions for a very newbie-friendly resource to walk me through all this sort of stuff?

Next I need to see if I can get my wireless card working.

Thanks in advance.

1545  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Looking for thoughts on an MP3 player on: December 29, 2004, 04:02:16 PM
If you need more than 5 gigs, you're also welcome to borrow my 15 gig iPod. The neat thing is that since it syncs to a computer, you can plug it into your PC, it'll wipe away my music and sync on yours, and when you give it back, the reverse'll happen when I connect it to my Mac.
1546  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / I'm convinced Steve Martin is no longer funny on: December 28, 2004, 06:11:57 PM
Parenthood is a classically well-written film. It was one of the key examples we used in my screenwriting courses to analyze proper cinematic storytelling. Great movie.
1547  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / trivia for fans of LOST on: December 28, 2004, 05:06:14 PM
Lost is on ABC...
1548  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / I'm convinced Steve Martin is no longer funny on: December 28, 2004, 05:04:56 PM
Steve Martin's choice in scripts of late has been terrible. He's fallen into that Nice Guy Syndrome that killed my respect for Robin Williams. Way too much sentimentallity, way too clean. I hate family films, but I really hate to see people who I know can be great cynical comics lowering themselves to do family films.

He's still funny in every single other venue, from his essays to his novels to his hosting of the Oscars. In fact, he's the only decent Oscar host we've had this century. Chris Rock will suck. God, will he suck.

I'd like to see Martin play another grouch, another character who could go off on a tirade of profanity like his character in Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Stop being the sappy nice guy, Steve.
1549  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / There oughta be a test on: December 27, 2004, 07:24:20 PM
On a global scale the large family/rampant poverty ratio is even worse. A lot of it has to do with religion, specifically Catholicism (before anyone lights a flamethrower, I'm Catholic). Many of the poorest regions of the world are predominantly Catholic (the two facts have next to nothing to do with each other, aside from which areas were colonized by majority-Catholic Empires like the Spanish, which collapsed in a very bad way). The bans on birth control which the Church promotes are often made law in many of these countries, cutting off any access to simple means of family planning, producing a tragic situation of large families growing larger as the economy continues to drift of slide, creating an almost inescapable poverty cycle.

In the United States, there appears to be a correlation of education/prosperity to family size that has no basis in religion. Condoms aren't exactly cheap (about $1 a pop or so, right?), but they're hardly so expensive to be out of reach. So I would really like to see a study on why these birthrate trends might be the way they are.

It does scare me that the people I respect the most amongst my peers are the very ones who either don't want children, only want to have one child, can't have children or are gay. But then, I'm not going to have kids, so I guess I'm not helping the situation, either.
1550  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / GMail Invite search on: December 20, 2004, 07:04:39 PM
I have five invites if anyone would like them.
1551  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / War of the Worlds - Cool! on: December 10, 2004, 05:25:39 PM
Okay, the trailer got to me. Using an updated take on the opening paragraph of the novel, and the literary sort of typeface they're employing for the logo, I'll admit that it's gave me shivers.

I'm no longer vowing to hate this movie.

But I still don't know if I'll like it.

I think I'll reread the book. It's public domain, so it's free on the Web. Yay.
1552  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / War of the Worlds - Cool! on: December 04, 2004, 05:37:19 AM
I'd be excited if this was going to be a movie actually based on the book. But it's just going to be another modern day alien invasion movie. Nothing special there.

Tripod machines with heat cannons burning down 1890s London? That would be worth seeing on the big screen. This movie, I have little hope for.

EDIT: Also, judging by the poster, this movie is more a remake of the 1940s flick. The hand with three fingers is from the movie. In the book, the aliens were octopus-like lumps with lots of tentacles.
1553  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Harvard Law to Bar Military Recruiters on: December 01, 2004, 07:50:43 PM
A local community college, not being a private organization, may be less free than Harvard to bar government officials such as recruiters from acting on campus.
1554  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [R] Again with the Intelligent Design! on: December 01, 2004, 07:44:22 PM
Evolution is a fact, there is no denying that. There is no true debate over this among the informed.

Religious nonsense has absolutely no place in science classes. Want to teach the Genesis story in a class about creation myths? Knock yourself out. But anyone who supports polluting our science classes with "intelligent design" or any other sort of bullcrap along those lines is precisely the sort of religious fanatic who is a tangible danger to this nation.
1555  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Movie Quote Game - Round 2 on: December 01, 2004, 07:48:09 AM
Better off Dead is the source, but I'm blanking on context.

Here's a new one: "How do you think we fund this little operation? We're not exactly the March of Dimes."
1556  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 07:19:04 PM
No, I work with the media as in "I regularly work with reporters of the Dallas Morning News and other publications" as part of my position within the Democratic Party.
1557  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 06:57:37 PM
Gryndyl, that's nonsense. I work closely with the media, and in an abstraction work within the media. "Government press releases" are not routinely just regurgitated. You malign millions with your petty ignorance.
1558  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 06:01:36 PM
Quote from: "AttAdude"
For me i find it much more sad, that the country decided to base thier votes on abortion and gay marriage.  I mean really lets pick the 2 lest important issues avalible to us, and route our countries future based on them.

In the final calculus, it seems unlikely that gay marriage and "moral values" actually provided the inertia behind Bush's victory. First, the "moral values" option was one of those provided to respondents, it wasn't one people offered themselves, and so you have to factor out some of that as "well, this is what I think should be important, so I should check this."

Voters who truly cited "moral values" as their number one issue were mostly non-persuadables. These are people Kerry could never have reached, who were going to vote anyway and who were going to vote for Bush almost regardless of other matters. There were equal numbers in other groups who were likewise locked in for Kerry.

The battleground group of persuadables was folks for whom terrorism was the number one issue. Kerry persuaded those who viewed the war on terror and the war against Iraq as two separate entities to vote for him -- but he didn't pass the defense bar for those who for some unfathomable reason see the two as sides of the same coin. And that's where he lost the election. In the end, terrorism was the final deciding factor.

Also, while moral issues undoubtedly helped Bush turn out his base, the fact is that the GOP was, in general, better at base politics this year. In the war between two distinctly different takes on the notion of base motivation, the GOP won big.
1559  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Why the hell would you take this stuff? on: November 30, 2004, 05:49:04 PM
I particularly enjoy the ad where the woman runs around carefree and happy that she has genital herpes. "I'm spreading a terrible disease, but thanks to Hypoglaximatacore my life is still so much fun! Watch as I water ski!"
1560  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Why the hell would you take this stuff? on: November 30, 2004, 05:11:22 PM
Pharmaceutical ads on television should be stopped. We don't need people pestering their doctors about whether or not they need drugs that they saw on television. And so many of the ads are totally unspecific as to what they treat or what the drugs do that anyone might think that they need the damn things.

Cancel the damn ads and roll the savings down to customers in the form of lower prices. Win-win all around.
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