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2006

Sunday, April 2, 2006

In the wake of a devastating Daylight Savings Time that left all our clocks one hour faster than yesterday, we can take solace in numbers.

3: Number of consecutive games in which UCLA has made the opponent cry.

12: The number of points Jordan Farmar scored last night against LSU.

12: The number of games UCLA has won in a row.

12: The number of National Championships UCLA will have earned if we win Monday.

32: The field goal percentage LSU was held to by UCLA's killer defense.

32: The number of victories the Bruins have in this dream season.

32: The number of victories UCLA had in 1995 when we won the National Championship.

0: The number of three-pointers LSU scored last night.

0: The number of fouls committed by Ryan Wright, which is a season low.

0: The number on Not-so-Big Baby Glen Davis's Jersey.

You know, there's all this hype about Big Baby and Tyrus Thomas - the darlings of the Final Four. The fans and the national media have this cute rapport with the kids from the Bayou. So caught up in the story behind these two guys, they forgot one vital point: you don't win by signing autographs. That's right. While George Mason was trying to hog the camera and LSU's big men were signing autographs, UCLA was practicing... what? Basketball. I know, sounds silly, doesn't it? Practicing doesn't make you a winner. Schmoozing with your fans makes you a winner! At least until you step out onto the court and realize that you are outmatched, outplayed, outclassed, and outscored by a UCLA team that is a group of vastly superior players and coaches (with apologies to Dick Bennett).

Maybe next time that'll teach them to do less talking and more playing. Maybe next year, kids. It makes me think of Memphis: John Calipari had his team practice cutting down the nets to prepare for the game against UCLA. Methinks they should have practiced their shooting instead. Maybe then they would have put up a respectable effort against this hardened Bruin squad.

UCLA Bruins vs Florida Gators in the National Championship game: Monday, 6:20 p.m.
Watch it or it's your loss.


Saturday, April 1, 2006

This is no April Fool's joke. LSU, the favorite in almost all the polls, the favorite of all the analysts except for the UCLA faithful, has fallen to our UCLA Bruins. All those morons on ESPN, CBS, and all those other places, were absolutely, 100% wrong!

Ugly basketball: If UCLA's basketball was ugly, LSU's was uglier. The national media played up this concept of our gritty, defensive style of play a little too much, but they failed to realize one key point: defense wins games. And our defense was able to frustrate LSU into putting up enough bricks to build Big Baby Glen Davis a woodfire oven. Yup, he looked really hungry, and tired.

Free Throws: After shooting 20-39 from the line last Saturday against Memphis, the media also jumped on this idiotic bandwagon, saying that free throws would be a huge factor in whether UCLA wins or loses against LSU. Tonight: 12-17, 70.6% for us, and 13-28, 46.4% for LSU. Free throws a problem?

The problem with the national media is that they bring up these crazy things to criticize a team about, especially UCLA. They just fail to realize that UCLA is better than that. They've got their stupid faces stuck up the asses of those East Coast teams that they seem to be taking home to bed every night. Ugly basketball? What I see is a beautiful win.

I completely expect those analysts to change their tune yet again, after realizing that there's no longer any possibility for LSU to win the championship this year. After getting disrespected left and right all year, UCLA is showing those asshats all over the U.S. that we're the best team in the country. Pac-10 is weak? How about Pac-10 in the National Championship? ACC? Big East? Where are you? Oh, yeah, you're back home, watching UCLA dominate on TV. Keep disrespecting us, we'll continue to kick your ass. Lucky Number 32 wins!

UCLA 59, LSU 45.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

This is the calm before the storm of the Final Four on Saturday. It's Spring Break, and I'm spending this time taking care of things that I haven't been able to do all year. Also, reading up on everything UCLA and college basketball-related. But there is life aside from the game, and now is as good a time as any to talk about that.

In response to a lawsuit against Apple's iPods on the grounds that they cause hearing loss, the resurgent company has released an iPod software update that features a volume cap. I have one word for you who brought this lawsuit: Ridiculous.

Let's start from the beginning. Apple did not invent the earbuds. Someone's upset because he listens to his music too loudly using those earbuds, which tend to send sound more directly into the ear than traditional headphones. Okay, so if you think your music is too loud, maybe you should turn the volume down! Yesss, what a novel idea! You listen to your music too loudly, and thus you start to lose your hearing. Then you blame Apple. All Apple did was make a product that was good enough to make you want to use it as much as you have been. And you're suing them because you blasted your crappy music in your ears one too many times.

So now, Apple released a "fix" that has a "feature" allowing users to prevent the volume from going over a certain level. And guess what? This level is determined by the user, who, if he had enough sense to lower the volume himself, he wouldn't have to use this feature in the first place! In other words, the idiot likes listening to his music at a certain volume, and then complains that it's too loud. And now, with this new feature, he's going to set the volume limit high enough so that he can listen to his music at the level he prefers - which will likely be the same deafening volume as before. Despite the volume cap, people will still listen to music too loudly for their own good. How is Apple liable for consumer idiocy? The stupidity is so infuriating.

In other tech news, Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, has publicly admitted to having brainwashed his kids. That's the kind of person you have running a multi-billion dollar company. Oh, and he also has major, major anger management problems.

You didn't think I could stay completely away from basketball, though, did you? Here's a clip of the cheering section before the Gonzaga game. And here's one of the game-winning shot taken from the perspective of the UCLA band.

Tonight is the McDonalds' All-American game (boys and girls, that is). James Keefe has committed to UCLA for next year, and he's playing. If you by any slim chance manage to read this before 7p.m. PT today, check out the game.

Oh yeah, one last thing. Apple is turning thirty on Saturday!


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Dear Ryan Hollins,

I would like to sincerely apologize for anything negative I have thought or said about you. You are a fantastic basketball player with awesome leadership and confidence, and it has been an honor rooting for a UCLA team with you on it. Thank you for a great run this season, and for lifting our team in the season and in the tournament(s). Many congratulations on winning the Oakland Region's Most Outstanding Player award. You've earned it.

Sincerely,

Happy Bruin Fan (Me)

UCLA keeps the magic going... winning itself back into the Final Four. I'm not going to write something here that you'll find in every other article. I'm not going to talk about how the game against Memphis was "ugly." I'm not going to talk about 1995 again, because I did that two days ago. I will say, however:

Both Ed O'Bannon and NCAA Tourney Selection Committee Chairman Craig Littlepage were in attendance at the UCLA/Gonzaga game.

As much as I've made fun of and debased Adam Morrison (privately), I find it stupid that because Morrison cried after losing to us on Thursday, the media is digging up this old story of him crying as an eight-year-old waterboy for not being announced at games.

Speaking of Morrison, during my Engineering Ethics final on Wednesday, my professor was whispering to the T.A. while I was writing my ass off. Nothing special, right? Except that in the midst of his mostly-indiscernable conversation, I hear the word Adam Morrison. Tyler heard it too. We both looked up. Later I realized that it would have been more fun to talk to the prof about basketball than to take that ethics final.

Jordan Farmar, after the win over Memphis, said that beside the fans and family and friends, nobody believed in the team, no one believed that UCLA could make it this far this year. I'd have to agree, with regard to the national and local media. But for us smart fans (not the kind that go to the games and don't know who #4 is, much less #2) we believed. I picked UCLA to go to the championship and to win it all. Not because I was afraid I'd be chastised by my schoolmates for not liking our team (you'd be hard-pressed to find a peer of mine who knows more about UCLA basketball than I do). I chose UCLA because I knew we were good. That if we play our very best, we could beat any team in the country. And even if we don't win it all, the team's run this year has just reinforced that my (and others') faith has not been misplaced.

Oh, this is turning into a rant. I guess it's okay because I just finished another quarter, complete with three midterms, seven papers, and four final exams. But the basketball team has all but made me forget about those. I left my last final (Medieval Music history) triumphantly, not just because I think I did well on the test, but because I knew it was all over and I could comfortably go home and watch the game the next day.

Regarding Duke? I'm not going to yell "overrated," as people so often say about highly-ranked teams that get knocked out. Duke this year was solid, and Redick is a good player. But they're just not tough enough, and it showed when they were dismantled by LSU. They effectively cut off the twin heads, Redick and Shelden Williams, and Duke was unable to find someone else to step up. Duke fans? sorry, maybe your pick will do better next year. Analysts who picked Duke because they thought they were the sh*t? Think again. UCLA, Final Four, baby. Duke? Go home.

CBS's Steve Hartman rocks. He took a major shot at the East Coast biased people today, regarding UCLA as well as George Mason. I forget what it was, but... Hartman rocks.

One more game 'til 32.


Friday, March 24, 2006

After eleven long weeks, second quarter is finally over. Coming up, spring break and then third quarter. While you silly semester system people are looking forward to the end of your semester and school year, we're looking ahead to a whole new set of classes. Nah, you guys don't have it hard.

What a freaking amazing game last night! I'm not going to try to describe the situation - it's been done to death by all the sportswriters after the game. What I'm feeling right now is indescribably fantastic. We're going to the Elite Eight for the first time in my recent memory, and we're the best we've been since 1995.

1995. That was the year I was finishing fourth grade. I remember the gut-wrenching, 4.8-second, cross-court layup by Tyus Edney like it was yesterday. I remember our victory over Big Country Bryant Reeves and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. I remember our 89-78 crushing of the defending champs the Arkansas Razorbacks. I remember the championship ceremony back in Pauley Pavilion after Jim Harrick's team's triumphant return. I remember it all like it was yesterday. UCLA's lucky number 32 wins... happens to be my lucky number as well.

And this year, UCLA is two wins away from 32 and a spot in the National Championship game.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. They don't call it the Elite Eight for nothing, and we'll have all we can handle in our rematch aganst #1 seed Memphis. Watch or die.

More later... if you're lucky.


Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Congratulations to the UCLA Men's Basketball team: 2006 Pac-10 Champions.
Here are the conference awards we've earned:
Freshman of the Year: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute: 8.4 Rebounds per game, 8.8 Points per game.
Coach of the Year: Ben Howland.
Named to the 2006 All-Pac-10 Team: Arron Afflalo and Jordan Farmar.
Pac-10 Player of the Week: Arron Afflalo.

Also, Big Congratulations to the UCLA women's basketball team as well, for overcoming overwhelming odds to upset both Arizona State and Stanford to win the Pac-10 Women's tournament. Overall, a great time to be a Bruin!

As always, check the UCLA BBall link for info on the next game.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hey, this poll might be my best yet! Please vote to the left. It's anonymous.


Thursday, February 9, 2006

That one company over in Redmond, Washington (No, not Nintendo of America, the other one) has just released a beta of their next browser, Internet Explorer 7. Now, they've stopped making new versions of their browser for the Mac a long time ago, ending with version 5.1. So why do I even care? Well, I just wanted to point something out to some people who may really like it. I would first like to say that this will sound biased and a little rushed. To be honest, both are true. But bear with me. There is some truth in it that I think you need to be aware of. I will probably follow this up with more when I'm less tired and don't have midterms to study for.

The new Internet Explorer 7 (AKA IE or IE7 or Successor-to-crappy-browser) features lots of new things. Small things, like better image rendering and better text display, to improve your overall visual experience. Good, it's about time. Next, security has been improved. I don't know by how much, though. I'll have to look into that further. But good security is good, unless what they consider "good" is just more stuff that hackers can take advantage of. This remains to be seen. And then there's tabbed browsing. Anyone who's been around for a while knows that Firefox and Mac OSX's Safari have had tabs for over 2 years now. Opera probably does too (I'll have to confirm this). Well, it's not like it's unique or it belongs to anyone, so I congratulate Microsoft for finally jumping on this handy piece of technology that I've been using for over 18 months now. It really saves screen space, especially for a screen real estate whore like me.

And then there's the next big thing in online news right now: RSS. For those who don't know, that means "Really Simple Syndication" or (less currently) "Rich Site Summary." It allows you to see headlines and summaries of articles at a glance, which you can click to view the actual article or news bite. Most major sites have them now, The Los Angeles Times, Apple Computer's website, ESPN Sports, etc. etc. Ever since Apple released Safari 2.0 with its Mac OSX 10.4 "Tiger" operating system (April '05), I've been sitting pretty with all the RSS I can take. So instead of wasting my time on The Facebook or wading through the various message boards I am signed up with, I read the news. I use Safari's built-in RSS engine, which automatically tells me everytime there are new articles up on the sites I am subscribed to. By the way, I still waste my time on The Facebook and all the message boards I go to.

IE7 now has RSS support built in. I haven't tried it so I can't pass judgment on its performance. For that, you can find reviews online. Google would be a nice place to start. Just keep in mind, though, that if and when you get around to trying this new IE with RSS support (I know you'll love the RSS. No one doesn't like it. Not even newborn babies.) please don't hail Microsoft as some sort of pioneer in this area. They've made some good things (XBox, Office) but they're not by any stretch of the imagination at the forefront of making RSS-related technology. Apple isn't either, but remember that Safari's had it for almost a year.

So, do try out this new thing from the Redmond giant. I am pretty sure you'll fall in love with the concept. But please don't come to me saying that IE and MS are good and Apple is not that cool because IE7 now has RSS support. Because if you do, I will ignore you and go surf my message boards.

Next up: totally unbiased look at Windows Vista vs. the forthcoming Mac OSX 10.5: Leopard.


Tuesday, February 7, 2006

I love our UCLA Bruins. Roll and his shooting arm. Afflalo and his all-around brilliance. Farmar and his unrivaled court awareness. Mbah a Moute's name and crazy rebounding skills. Collison's speed. Aboya's strength and court presence. Bozeman's veteran attitude and play. Hollins' improvement. Ryan Wright's smarts. And for those who are out with injuries: The Amazing Mata and Josh "lazy dog" Shipp, I wish they were here. But they're not, and we're STILL NUMBER ONE in the Pac-10 conference and #13 in the nation. I don't think I've felt so good about my team for a very very long time... or ever. That win over Arizona the other day... we let them come back, but the early lead (24 points up) and the strong end (11 point victory) made for a very convincing finish against the cats (meowing), who we haven't beaten at home in 4 years. 4 years! That's when I was still in high school. Though I do remember beating them in the post-season Pac-10 tourney that year, if memory serves.

I went to the Bball game against ASU last Thursday with Tyler, and for the first time, I sat (or rather stood) in the student section ("The Den"). It was quite an amazing experience. It's different because it was constant cheering and chanting, as opposed to the more laid-back setting in the blue seats. There are the pros and cons, of course, but it was undoubtedly a nice change of pace and a lot of fun. We even got on TV! And we saw the illustrious Billy Mac and Don MacLean up close! Awesome! Oh and many thanks to Shireen for her ticket!

For those wanting more information, check out the UCLA BBall link on the upper right corner of this page.

So as usual, it's been a while since my last posting.

Apple has just released a new iPod Nano - it stores 1GB of music or whatever the heck you want to put on it - for sale now, $149. The previously-released 1GB iPod Shuffle has gone down to $99 from $149, somewhat normalizing the product line and making it less expensive for people to get the cheapest iPod ever (referring to the Shuffle).

I've been wanting to get a laptop lately. I see people with them in class all the time (Macs and PCs) and I keep thinking that it would be neat to have one. Especially now with the new MacBook Pro coming soon (again, please excuse the name. I hate it too.). It wouldn't replace my existing Mirrored Door Power Mac G4 (I still love this aging computer), but I could take it places. Seems like everyone has one these days... But of course, I'm not planning on getting one anytime soon. I'm not even planning on getting another iPod anytime soon. But I guess it's good to have aspirations. Like, maybe I'll win the lottery next week.

Ohhh, I love the new and improved basketball rim I have in my dorm room. It's made of Tyler's old wire coat hanger. The net was made of a plastic bag, but Shireen knitted an awesome net for it. I wish I had a camera with me right now, but I don't. So I'll just tell you - it's BEAUTIFUL!

That's the word for today. Tune in again next time. Or don't, and be a punk.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Just a couple quick notes:

Two days ago, on January 24th, Disney bought Pixar from Steve Jobs. It had been rumored and hinted at for the past week or so, and then it finally happened. For the details, you can check these two sites:
Disney Buys Pixar
Pixar to Lead Disney's Animation Unit

And what's this? I heard one tiny news bit about this maybe four years ago, and nothing else. Now it's been released. What am I talking about? I'm talking about Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus. FF7: Advent Children, the Direct to DVD movie, was the first in a series of followups to the insanely popular Final Fantasy 7 game for PSX. Dirge of Cerberus is apparently a Playstation 2 game that centers around the character of Vincent, who they call "A sharpshooter." It's only out in Japan right now, but they have a summary in English right here.

Finally, there's a UCLA bball game tonight.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

So last time, I didn't have enough time to say all I wanted about the news from Macworld Expo 2006. I just watched Steve Jobs' keynote last night, and it was great, as usual. Quicktime is required.

Steve began by reviewing the year's success in the way of iPod sales as well as sales of movies and music from the iTunes Store. He then went on to announce a new FM radio tuner for the iPod (not a transmitter so you can listen to the iPod in the car, but to listen to radio on your iPod). The Mac OSX 10.4.4 update was released, along with some cool new Widgets for Dashboard.

Steve proceeded to show off the new professional photo-editing program Aperture, complete w/ sports photographer Heinz Kluetmeier. The fact that he was taking pictures of the UCLA-Oklahoma football game from this past season was just icing on the cake, as they say. Check out the video here.

Apple's iLife suite, which includes iMovie (powerful consumer-grade Hi-Def home movie editing software), iDVD (consumer-grade DVD creation software), Garageband (intuitive music creation software), iPhoto (Photo organization and editing software), and iTunes, has been updated, and we see Steve demonstrating all the new features. I don't use most of these, but if I did, I'd find the new features pretty neat and handy. A new addition came to the iLife suite, called iWeb, which I think shows some promise.

Now, I already mentioned the new Intel Core Duo iMacs and the Macbook Pro. Those are cool, and I am especially excited about the Macbook (though not the name).

The coolest thing, though, was the new Intel Mac TV commercial, not so much for the visuals, but for the narration. The audio-only version, ripped by me using Wiretap Pro (brought to you by the folks who made Escape Velocity), is here. Listen to that! Jack Bauer wants you to buy a new Mac! How badass is that? In fact, this is now the Link of the Month for this year.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Macworld Expo 2006 was today. MacRumors has all the info, and Apple's sites have been updated accordingly.

  • New, first-ever Intel-based iMac and laptop lines. The laptops are now called MacBook Pro.
  • Both new computers use the new Intel Core Duo chip - a dual-core powerhouse processor.
  • These are fastest iMacs and Mac laptops ever.
  • Please look here, here, and here for more info.

Not enough time to say more, but you can see the whole transcript at MacRumors.


Sunday, January 1, 2006

Okay, I admit I wasn't feeling particularly creative when I made that last post. To be honest, I'm not feeling very creative right now. I shall do my best, though, as Ben Stein says. Well, it's only proper to say Happy New Year to you. I don't always try to be proper, but it always comes out that way anyway. So there you go. Happy New Year!

Well, it's been a great year, I think. Quite an experience for me, who is turning 21 in a couple months. Wait, read that carefully: "me is turning 21?" Maybe "Quite an experience for I?" No, that's not right either. Oh well. You get my drift. Here's the year in review I promised.

Apple Computer:
iPod Nano
and the video-capable iPod were released. I mentioned them earlier, so there's no need to go into those. About one and a half years after the iPod Mini's release, it was discontinued in favor of the Nano. The big news is the Apple will be switching from IBM and Motorola/Freescale's PowerPC chips to Intel processors in early 2006. Stay tuned for more info.

Video Game news:
Microsoft released the XBox 360 to mixed reviews. The graphics are impressive, but it has had overheating problems. Also, it was mistaken for a bomb. Yeah, that was a great one. Anyway, PS3 and Nintendo Revolution are still on the way, so more on that later.

Sports:
The concentration here is UCLA sports here. The Bruin football team capped off the year with a 10-2 record, unfortunately losing to those damn Trojans of SC but winning a great one at the Sun Bowl against Northwestern. *Trivia: Northwestern is located in Illinois.* Karl Dorrell's third year as head coach was gooood, and we're on the way up!
In basketball news, we're currently 11-2, losing only to Memphis in the Preseason NIT (National Invitation Tournament) and to Cal yesterday. We'll get them back. You'll see. I love our Bruins: the team effort, the deep bench, Arron Afflalo, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's name and rebounding. The Bruins are BACK!

Movies, TV:
Well, 2005 marked the (hopefully temporary) final chapter to my two favorite franchises: Star Trek and Star Wars. The fifth Star Trek series, Enterprise, which debuted in 2001, ended its run after four seasons. By the way, yes, that's 2001-2005. Some people still have the misconception that Star Trek is "an old show." While the franchise as a whole is old, the original series started in the late 60's and ended soon afterwards. The spinoffs began in the late 80's with The Next Generation and later Deep Space Nine in the early 90's, and finally Enterprise was the current incarnation of the show. That's a quick summary. There will undoubtedly be another series some time in the future, and there probably will be an eleventh movie before that.

And most of you already know that Star Wars: Episode III was released this year, marking the end to the prequel trilogy, which began with Episode I in 1999. It is also the final movie to be made in the six-episode Star Wars saga. Lucas has said that he's planning a live action TV show set in the Star Wars universe. More on this as the info becomes available.

Of course, that's not the only stuff I watch. Lost began its second season, and so far... it's not as good as the first. However, season 2 is not over yet, so I'll reserve judgment for now. I started watching "24" as well. Freakin' awesome show! I just finished the first season; it's pretty slow at times, but the story is superb, the characters are cool (Jack Bauer is badass!), and it's the most consistently suspenseful show I've ever watched. Man, I'm so behind. Season 5 is starting, and I can't watch until I see seasons 2-4. I'll get there eventually. Ahh, then there's The Office. I like humor as much as the next guy, but I just don't watch very many comedies. The Office, starring Steve Carell, is classic white collar office humor, complete w/ the dumb boss, dopey tool-nerd, pretty receptionist, smooth, clever white dude, and more. You have to see it - Thursdays on NBC. Edit: To clarify, this is the American version of a show that originated in the UK; the creator is the same, however.

Politics:
Please look somewhere else.

Okay, well, that's it for now. Once again, Happy New Year! Please vote in my poll.


2005

Saturday , December 31, 2005

-------------------------Happy 2006! --------------------


Monday , December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas to all! I know, I'm one day late, but chances are that people aren't going to read this until much later anyway. You know what? I always get these great ideas about what to write about while I'm doing other things, and when I finally get around to writing something here, I forget all of it. I would very much like to write a little year in review, but I'm rather busy at the moment. I'll try to do that this Saturday, the 31st, just in time to ring in the new year.

Oh yeah! After long last, there is a new poll! Please take it! If you need an explanation, go read the damn news.



Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Well, the CSS learning is on hold, since school started ten weeks ago. I assure you, though, that it will be done, hopefully over winter break, unless I have to work. Each new year of college (that's university, for those who consider college something else - namely overseas people) brings a new experience; it's very different from high school. Each year, unless you have a clique (come on, this ain't high school anymore) or if you're a hermit, you meet a distictly new set of people, whether they're your dorm floormates, people in your apartment (I'd assume), or study partners in your classes. It's funny, because this usually happens whether you intend it to happen or not.

This year, I've been more into sports than ever. I think this is because I've had more of an opportunity to enjoy them than before, having a roommate who actually cares about them. Yeah, I'm talking watching and following UCLA football and basketball, and to a lesser extent, the other school sports. (Man, my shot is so rusty). Although the football season is all but over (it's been great because the floormates would come by and watch the games in our room - even the ones who couldn't care less about sports) basketball, my first love, is now in full swing, and our team is better than it's been in a long time (Ranked 16th, 6-1 on the season so far). Of course, the special people are the ones who do care; those you could really talk to about the games and the players and have them understand all of what you're saying.

It seems I have skipped quite a bit of news en route to this particular update. Well, Apple released the video-capable iPod as well as the iPod Nano, which is essentially a flash-based successor to the hard drive-based iPod Mini. Check out both of them at apple.com/ipod.

  • Video iPod: It's the same iPod we've gotten to know and love, and is also the last one that uses a hard drive to store its data. It can hold more stuff, as always, and features a bigger screen than all of its predecessors. The screen is in color and you navigate using the same click wheel used in the Mini and the 4th generation iPod. I've seen it, but haven't gotten to try it out yet. I can say that the videos look sharp and clear at a resolution of 320x240. Unlike previous iPod models, only USB 2.0 may be used to sync it to your computer. I must have something against USB 2, because I cringe whenever I think about this. Firewire is such a better platform for power management and file transfer. I'd like to know the reason for Apple's decision to go all-USB. Probably for their famous "simplicity" reasons - PC users don't often have Firewire on their computers.
  • iPod Nano: All that stuff about the fragile screens aside, the nano seems like a nifty, if weaker, alternative to the standard iPod. It is strictly for people who need great portability and who do not require so much storage space to put their measley amount of songs. It's lightweight and novel, but the novelty still hasn't gone away for me yet. This is a good thing.

I suppose I should also at least mention the iPod Shuffle, which was released way before these two. The Shuffle, as you shouldk know by now, is the extremely small iPod, about the size of a stick of gum, but thinner. Since it has no screen, it does not feature the iPod's award winning navigation interface, and has no click or touch wheel of any kind. Good for consumers on a budget or for music player gourmands.

Soo, the XBox 360 is out; it was released a couple weeks ago. I'm sure it was released to quite a bit of fanfare - I'm not sure, because I've been away from the console gaming scene for quite a while now, except for Battlefront 2, which I'll talk about later. Well, the XBox 360 is Microsoft's new gaming console, and it beat out the Sony PS3 and Nintendo Revolution as far as relative release date goes. Some (read: many) see this as a big mistake, as, if you remember, the Sega Dreamcast was released a year before the Playstation 2 and the Nintendo Gamecube (Xbox 1 came later), and look where the Dreamcast (and Sega, for that matter) is now. For those who don't know, Sega is no longer making consoles, and is actually making games for the Sony, Microsoft, and historic rival Nintendo's gaming systems.

Anyway, back to the 360. I can't say much about it personally, since I've not seen it in person or played any of its launch games, but the graphics are supposed to be a step above anything we've seen previously in a console. I'm not bored enough to go through the system specs, but as I've said before, it runs on a 3- or 4-core processor similar to the PPC970 in the last G5s (more about these later). What turns me off about the 360 is the prohibitive pricing. It costs $300 for the core system (console, controller, AV cable), and $400 for the standard system (Chrome finish, hard drive, wireless controller, LIVE headset, a free month of LIVE service, AV Cable, and Ethernet cable). In other words, not only is the core system missing the hard drive which made the XBox a big selling point for me, but they deny you the wireless controller and the ability to play most XBox 1 games (HD required for this and XBox Live).

Since I already have an XBox, a PS2, and a Mac (there's never been a better time for Mac gaming), I guess I'm not really excited about any of the upcoming next-gen consoles, including the XBox 360. I have so many other games to play, things to watch (see below), people to see, that I don't get too excited over new consoles anymore, the way I used to when all I had was a Nintendo NES. Now I can play all the games I used to have back then on my computer. But that's another story.

Now, you might say I am saying all these "negative" things about the 360 because I'm a Mac person and I hate Microsoft. Uh, in case you didn't notice, I have an XBox, and I use Microsoft Office for Mac regularly. What I hate about Microsoft is their OS. Again, another story. Regarding the XBox, I love it because it allows me to play the games that aren't released for Mac and I don't have to buy a PC for them. Case in point - Deus Ex: Invisible War. While it wasn't as epic and innovative as its predecessor, my favorite game ever, Deus Ex, it was still a worthy successor, and is still not out for the Mac. My newest game for the XBox is Star Wars: Battlefront II, the sequel to Star Wars: Battlefront, a team-based shooter that sports the most innovative gameplay I've seen in a while. Plus, it's a Star Wars game, so I had to check that one out. BF1 was a great rent (rented it once for PS2 and again for XBox), so my brother and I highly anticipated the release of BF2. While it has its shortcomings, Battlefront II was worth the wait, and perhaps the price, and brings hours of fun back to the living room. With luck, I will post an in-depth review soon. On a side note, Battlefront 1 is out for the Mac, and I have it.

As you probably know by now, Apple is switching to Intel chips. In other words, IBM and Motorola (Freescale) are no longer going to be making the processors which run in all Mac models to date. The magnitude of this news, announced several months ago, may be lost on most of you PC users, but the implications are rather staggering. There are benefits and drawbacks to this transition to Intel, who makes all PC CPUs except for those running on AMD processors, but I am not in the position to go into detail at this juncture. However, I will say that the new Power Mac G5s, which look to be FREAKING SWEET, will be the last IBM PowerPC-based Power Macs. So long, G5. We hardly knew you, and you were such a worthy ally.

Okay, I have to get back to work, and back to reality. Until next time!

-B


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Began testing out new site layout. Hopefully it looks better. Site version now up to version 4.0 beta 1. This is only temporary, since I am now learning CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)


Sunday, May 22, 2005

News from E3: XBox 360 Backwards compatibility explained.

This should be interesting to anyone interested in console games.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

CHOCOBO EVOLUTION!

CHOCOBO EVOLUTION!

CHOCOBO EVOLUTION!

CHOCOBO EVOLUTION!


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bill Gates, the monopolistic mastermind himself, claims that "iPod success won't last." You know what? He's just jealous that neither he nor his hordes of minions have been able to develop anything remotely as nice as the iPod, and thus has to publicly go all Nostradamus about Apple's downfall in the digital music player market. This brings me back to the Hide your iPod; Here Comes Bill! article I linked to back in February. If he was so certain that the iPod was going to fail, why worry about his employees using them? By Bill's logic, no matter how many Microsoft employees are using iPods now, the iPod is doomed to failure. In the immortal words of an unnamed MS manager, referring to Mr. Gates, "I don't really care if it pisses [him] off," he said. "I'll argue why they're doing it wrong. If you want me to stop using [the iPod], give me a product that works and is as easy to use."

So there you have it. Bill is so jealous that he can't make something as good, so he has to pick on someone who's not his own size, and wish for Apple's failure. What's his beef anyway? Why do you think Apple is #1 in technological innovation and you're only 28th? You don't create anything yourself, except maybe the XBox. The occasional bursts of inspiration the Windows design team gets every once in a while on their coffee breaks pale in comparison to most of what the Mac OSX developers come up with. Ever notice XP's "friendlier look and interface"? Ever see Mac OSX's Aqua interface (which was, by the way, released about a year before XP)? I could go on, but you get the idea.

Instead of trying to belittle Apple and hope they fail, why not just do what he did decades ago? Steal the concept and try to make his own version? Well, I suppose with his new MS Music Store, Bill is trying to do just this. But again, without a dedicated MP3 player and a stellar player like iTunes, I don't know how good it'll be. But I'll reserve final judgment until it gets a little more time online. Note: iTunes is more than a store. Most of the general public fails to realize this. iTunes began as just a music player (a damn good one at that) and it's become something even greater, kinda like Babylon 5, except it's not really our last, best hope for victory.

Well, that's my rant. That last part has made me want to write a feature that dispels myths about Apple and the Mac platform. Please stay tuned. Bill comes across as a very petty man in that article, doesn't he?

Anyway, I'm done. I'm off to go listen to my iPod.


In other news, the series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise is tomorrow night, Friday, May 13, 2005. You're not superstitious, are you? Bad luck for Enterprise? It can't get any worse for the show, because it's already been cancelled. I am eagerly anticipating the finale (8-10pm, UPN), which has gotten lots of mixed reviews from privileged press and a lot of controversy.

 

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I forgot to put this one up yesterday:

The Blind Struggle as Gadgets Proliferate


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A little update on the news:

Apple #1 on The 2005 Wired 40 list of companies leading tech innovation. Microsoft is #28. This is how it should be. Pixar is #12, by the way.

Tiger will be officially unleashed in 3 days. Some people who have preordered have already received their copies.

What the F*ck? Bill Gates says Microsoft is "already a hot, sexy company"???? If you can think of one reason that describes Microsoft as hot and sexy, you let me know immediately.

This one doesn't really need explanation. Lucas Confirms Star Wars spin-off TV series.

"Escorts shouldn't be shunned." Not quite self-explanatory. Read it. It's a little off-beat but sort of interesting. Undercover work, almost. From the Daily Bruin.


Friday, April 22, 2005

8 p.m. Thursday, April 21, 2005

Class had just let out and I was eager to get out of that damn building. There was nothing wrong with it, as far as I was concerned, except that I had been stuck in there for the past two hours, listening to the professor in her unknown but decipherable accent about stuff that would probably be important to me in the future. By probably, I mean most definitely. In spite of my desire to make a quick exit, or perhaps because of it, I left the classroom through the west door instead of the east. I was hoping to find a shortcut, although if there were ever an actual concrete jungle, it would be this building.

I passed by a floor schematic on my way out, and three exits were marked. One was to the east, the way I had entered. Another was to the north, and the third exit was to the west, second floor. I was on the second floor. Bingo. I headed east.

Passing through another doorway, I had the odd feeling that I had been here before. Maybe it was because every external hallway of that building looks the same, no matter how far up or down you are. The breeze felt good; it counteracted the effects of cabin fever within seconds of exposure. But then I realized that it was a little too cold. It was cold and dark and black except for a few strategically placed bulbs for minimal lighting. But still cold. The sooner I get out of here, the better, I thought as I walked. The only ones unlucky enough to be here are students like me and the so-called "utility workers." The sooner I get back to my room, the better. I still have a long night ahead --

The light above me flickered. I paused and looked up. Nothing. Just a random surge, or that lightbulb was on its last legs. I moved on. The door I was headed for was about forty paces away. Almost there.

A loud SLAM startled me, and I looked back. Nothing there. Phew... I turned back around--

The lights died. One at a time. Then they began to flicker, all in concert. What the..?

TO BE CONTINUED...


I was walking through the Student Union and happened upon a bulletin board that said “Share your tips of saving energy!” Below was a handful of post-its stuck all around the board. Here were some of the “tips” people gave for saving energy:
• Turn off lights in the dorm lounges
• Live in a third world country
• Help the Homeless
• Stop turning the classrooms into freezers
• Learn to fly

Nice.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Long time no post. I'm not dead yet. In fact, I'm far from dead. That's why I haven't been posting, if that makes any sense whatsoever.

Random thoughts before I get to the point:

  • Enterprise was moved from its usual spot at 8pm on Friday to 4 1/2 hours later, 12:30am Saturday. First UPN cancels the show (see news archive, 2/2/05), then they decide to show a dodger game when I'm supposed to be seeing Enterprise. I hate UPN. Maybe they can redeem themselves next week.
  • Tommy's Burgers has good chili fries. Haven't had their burgers yet though.
  • Mac OSX 10.4, codenamed Tiger, will be released in ten days. For those who can't count that high, that's April 19+10 days = April 29. It's the most exciting and feature full OS upgrade since 10.1. PC users are still waiting on Longhorn (2006), which I expect will still be lacking in innovation and features to make things easier and more fun.
  • Apple's 2nd Qtr financials have been released. 558% more iPods were sold this quarter than the last. 115% more iMacs, Mac Minis, and eMacs were sold this quarter than last. And 34% more Powerbooks were sold. Apple's still going strong, folks
  • I've been thinking lately about writing a FAQ about various things, such as iPod info, Star Trek fan info, Mac vs PC info, common misconceptions about things. Hopefully these will be more successful than the games list, which is collecting dust in my HD.

-Cave Story-
This month I have 3 Links of the Month (LotM) because they are all related. The first is to the Windows version of the game, in English, the Second is to the Mac version of the game (Japanese website), and the third is directions on how to set it up for the Mac. This game sapped 4 hours of my day yesterday, so it's gotta be good.

I would also like to thank all those who have voted in the minipoll. It seems that no one who has visited this page has won an iPod from those free offers. However, most have not tried, either. I've found that they make you sign up for all this useless crap. So if you're willing to go through the hassle, and you do everything correctly, you may get your iPod.

I was thinking one day, and realized that CS stands for many things besides Computer Science. So I and some volunteers compiled this list. I know there are many, many more, but these were the ones I thought were most interesting and appropriate. I will update this list as necessary.

Things that CS Stands for:

Computer Science
Adobe Creative Suite
Cold Station 12
Chicken Sandwich
Crystal Shards
Cerulean Skies


(Zack)
Constant Struggle
Counter-Strike


(Brittney)
Community Service


(Joe)
Clairvoyant Senses
Confounded Simpletons
Carefree Students
Corrupt Senators
Courageous Soldiers
Clear Skies
Compulsive Stealer
Complete Stupidity


(Otlab)
Chicken Stew
Clever Squib
Crap Smells
Clam Sauce - I love it.


(Tyler)
Cancer Survivor
Case Sensitive


(Anonymous)
Card Stock


(Matt)
Cold Stone
American Chemical Society
This Chair Sucks!!!
Corner Solution
California State University


(Chong)
Chinese Studies
Campbell's Soup


(Nelson)
Communication Studies


(Riyo)
Cognitive Science
Cole Slaw
Can’t Study


Monday, March 14, 2005

Happy Birthday to my brother, who turns 22 today!

Again, please VOTE in the minipoll to the left! I noticed that I have had several visitors to the site since I posted the question and none have voted. It only takes a few seconds! Help me out here!

In other news, Lord of the Rings fans should read this:

Jackson Nearly Lost the "Ring"

I've also noticed that there hasn't been a post in the forum for over a year. Please let your opinions be heard! The link is above and to the left as well.

Thanks for visiting.


Sunday, March 13, 2005

Return of the mini-poll!

Getting into finals time now, so no time for a real update, sorry. But I did add something. Please look to the left and answer my minipoll. It only takes a few seconds. Thanks!


Friday, March 11, 2005

 
English Genius
You scored 100% Beginner, 93% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 83% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender :
You scored higher than 73% on Beginner
You scored higher than 34% on Intermediate
You scored higher than 89% on Advanced
You scored higher than 88% on Expert
Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid

 

Just a quiz I found on someone else's site. Think you can do better? ;)


Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Here's another silly thing! It was totally random. They didn't even have me take a quiz to generate these adjectives. Of course, I could just change the words myself to be more fitting, but where would be the fun in that?

B Brutal
R Realistic
Y Young
A Amazing
N Noisy
Name / Username:

Name Acronym Generator
From Go-Quiz.com

Still no real update yet. Thanks for visiting, though!


Sunday, February 27, 2005

Sorry, no update in a while. Lots of stuff has happened lately, but no time to update. CACN was a success! Possibly more on that (or not) later. Just wanted to put this up: This was from a couple years ago,

IM Tools: Personality Test

Your personality score is 40

What does this score mean?

Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest... Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expects the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is ever broken.

You can add Personality Test to your own profile for free. Get the code here.

Get many other cool features for your profile at IM Tools.com.

 

And this is from today.

IM Tools: Personality Test

Your personality score is 43

What does this score mean?

Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

I tend to think the older one is more accurate, but maybe things change! Who knew?


Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day!


Friday, February 11, 2005

Lots of high school or middle school students running around campus these past two days. So damn annoying, they are. They strut around like they own the place and try to brush past you and get ahead of you in crowds. They need to be taught some decorum.

Last night, though, I went to the basketball game against Arizona State and their much-touted center Ike Diogu. We beat them before, and we beat them again. Diogu got some baskets in, but he got frustrated later in the game and his performance was definitely not up to par. Our team, on the other hand, played a spectacular game, scoring at least seven three-pointers and our senior leader Dijon Thompson getting 39 of our 95 points. YEAH BABY!

CORRECTION: We were 13/21 from the three-point line. That's 39 points off three-pointers!

In other news, playwright Arthur Miller died at age 89 of heart failure. He was known best to many for his play "Death of a Salesman" and to me for "The Crucible." Read more here.


Monday, February 7, 2005

Japanese schoolgirls or any other foreign students visiting UCLA is always a sight to behold. They come over here in such great awe of the famous "UCLA" and have a field day at the student store buying all kinds of merchandise and memorabilia to take back home.


Sunday, February 6, 2005

I only have time for a short post right now, so here's a little something for anyone into technology:

Hide your iPod; Here Comes Bill! -- An article about Microsoft employees and that wildly popular Apple music player.

This next article will make some people happy, will offend some others, and will enlighten those who need the enlightening. Please read!

Why does Windows still suck? - Mark Morford, SF Gate, February 4, 2005


Friday, February 4, 2005

Five point one seconds are left in the game. UCLA leads Washington State 58-56. Ryan Hollins is fouled! He goes to the line and can extend the lead to two! The crowd in Pullman, Washington is silent. The two teams walk up to the free throw line...

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE! THERE HAS BEEN A FIRE EMERGENCY REPORTED IN THE BUILDING. PLEASE PROCEED TO THE NEAREST EXIT IMMEDIATELY.

Fire drills SUCK @$$. However, I can take small consolation in that although Hollins missed both free throws, we still held on to win the game. And this was in OT. YEAH BABY!


On a more positive note, the water crisis has apparently been resolved, so we can drink the nasty-tasting tap water all we want without having to boil it. Hurray!

Oh yeah, forgot to mention a couple things:

J. Michael Straczynski, creator of one of my favorite TV shows, Babylon 5, has another wide-ranging project going:

"J. Michael Straczynski to write 'Fantastic Four' Starting in June"

And the following courtesy of The Zocalo Today:

SUPERMAN RETURNS:
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Sam Huntington has been cast as Daily Planet cub reporter Jimmy Olsen in Bryan Singer's upcoming SUPERMAN RETURNS movie, joining Brandon Routh as Clark Kent/Superman, Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, Hugh Laurie as Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White and James Marsden as Richard White.


Thursday, February 3, 2005

News from my culture:

Why people supposedly should not get married this year -- Chinese people anyway.

More relevant news for UCLA students and people in the West Los Angeles area:

Leak Poses Health Risk: from The Daily Bruin Online. Yesterday, the water here on campus was shut off for several hours when a leak was sprung in the Lower Stone Canyon reservoir near the school. Dining halls were closed until the water could be restored and the facilities did not work. Portable toilets were brought on campus (supposedly -- I did not see any) until the problem was fixed. I would like to commend the utilities staff on their good work in resolving the issue and getting us our water back in a timely fashion. However, it is said that the restored water is unsafe for anything besides washing hands. See the article for details.

As the Dave Matthews Band song goes, don't drink the water.

Update on the Star Trek: Enterprise news:

Rick Berman and UPN Speak about Enterprise cancellation. Rick Berman, who is the Executive Producer of the now-cancelled Enterprise series, is seen by many fans as the "man who killed Star Trek" and "The one who single-handedly destroyed the franchise." Since the death of Gene Roddenberry during the fourth season of Star Trek's first spinoff, The Next Generation, Berman has been the Man in Charge of the multinational phenomenon that is Star Trek. Since taking over, Berman has held the reins through all of Star Trek's modern successes and failures. With Voyager and Enterprise, the franchise's two latest incarnations, Rick Berman and his co-executive producer Brannon Braga, took a more creative role in developing the stories and characters. Many believe that The Next Generation's success was due to Berman's producing without delving into micromanagement. The two later aformentioned series fell short on quality compared to TNG and the other spinoff, Deep Space Nine. You are free to make your own judgments. Check out the article.

Apple Tidbits:

New, faster, more powerful Powerbooks released featuring new motion sensor technology and scrolling trackpad. Details inside.

iTunes/Pepsi promotion returns! Get free iTunes -- 1 in 3 wins! Just check specially marked bottles of Pepsi and other drinks!


Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Too Little, Too Late. - R.I.P. Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005)

It's official. After four years of struggling to find ratings and fans, the fifth Star Trek series has been cancelled by Paramount Studios. Star Trek: Enterprise is the fourth spinoff of the '60's science fiction phenomenon "Star Trek" created by the late Gene Roddenberry. Unlike its three predecessors, Enterprise was a prequel, set a hundred years before the time of world-famous crew of Captain James T. Kirk. Enterprise was nearly cancelled at the end of last season due to low ratings and bad reviews, but fan support and lowered licensing fees, among other things, barely allowed the show to continue for a fourth season. On average, the fourth season brought more compelling stories and better ratings, but unfortunately, they were not enough to dig Enterprise out of its figurative ditch.

The final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise will air in May 2005. There is no sixth series in the works yet, probably because fans and the Trek Powers That Be believe the franchise needs a rest. There are plans for another Star Trek movie, but no details have been released as to the progress of the project at this time.

See the official press release here

This is very unfortunate news. I am saddened that a show with such potential for storytelling and superb characters has to go like this, when other shows out there just plain suck. However, that's the way it is. C'est la vie. Luckily, I have plenty of other things to watch, i.e. B5 and Star Trek: TNG and DS9 reruns and whatever else is on. Plus, Family Guy is coming back for a fourth season this May on Comedy Central. Oh, and now my Friday nights will be free.


Tale from the front (Thanks to Prem for this one):

So-called US hostage appears to be toy

Another news tidbit:

Apple voted top brand, and unseats reigning champ Google!

And some interesting news from the hometown:

Torrance pledges funds to help out school district

Finally, an article that's really relevant over here..

Book costs reevaluated: "Ripoff 101" report finds 62% rise in wholesale prices since 1994

And something everyone may be interested in:

General intelligence equal between sexes

Something I did a while back but did not mention is that I upgraded to Panther. Some of the new nuances have taken some getting used to, but it's worth it. Obviously, this contradicts my previous statement that I would hold out until Tiger is released, but things change... for the better!


Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Just thought I'd stop by with a couple funny/interesting news tidbits I found online:

Actors Jorja Fox (Sarah Sidle) and George Eads (Nick Stokes) of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" protest their $100,000-per-episode salaries and miss the start of taping for the new season, "prompting CBS chief Les Moonves to fire them." After telling the press "that, really, their non-presence was an accident and a misunderstanding, both are rehired — at a salary of $100,000 an episode."

(From LATimes.com)

Now, here's another one, but I don't want to paste it in because a) it's copyrighted in some complicated way that I don't want to bother with and b) it's just too long to put here. But please, please read it if you want to hear an interesting story:

Torrance Robbery Suspect Makes it Easier for Police

Note that for those who know me (or have read the preceding entry below) know that I worked at Big 5 in Torrance over the summer. The one that was held up was not the location I worked at. However, the first assistant manager I worked for was promoted to head manager at the location of the burglary. I do not know if he was on duty at the time.


Saturday, January 29, 2005

It was the end of the earth year 2004. A year that brought so much change, so many new experiences, and a lot of searching.

First, tons of new technologies emerged from the world's greatest computer company:

iPod Mini (January): The smaller, "cuter" member of the iPod family proved to be a worthy addition to the world's most popular line of "Digital Music Players."

Powerbook G4 (April): The so-called "Year of the Notebook" was a while back, but that didn't stop Apple from releasing the awesome pro-line of laptop Macs in 3 sizes, including the tiny 12-inch model and the enormous 17-inch. This sparked creativity in a commercial starring Yao Ming with the 12-inch and Verne Troyer (Mini Me) with the 17-inch.

Power Mac G5 (June): Another year, another revision to the new reigning Mac powerhouse machine. See news archive for info.

Cinema DVI Displays (June): To accompany the new G5 revisions, Apple finally created a line of monitors that match the elegant brushed metal appearance of the G5 case. They come in 20- and 23-inch versions, but the grand daddy is the 30-inch LCD, which is bigger than my TV at home.

4th Generation iPod Click Wheel (July): Another year, another success: Apple "reinvents the wheel" and comes up with another hit. iPod sales continue to rise.

iPod U2 Special Edition (October): Yet another iPod? Have they gone iPod crazy? Perhaps, but so has the world. U2 decides to capitalize on the popularity by having one made in their image, more or less. It's a close relative to the Click Wheel Pod but is black with a red wheel and has the band members' signatures on the back.

iPod Photo (October): The beefier color LCD version of the wildly popular device can view photos and connect to a TV for a slide show. Personally, if I had the money, I'd get it just for the color screen.

iMac G5 (August): Continuing the legacy of the revolutionary comsumer computer, the new iMac sported the state-of the art G5 processor previously only available in the professional-grade Power Mac G5. With the G4-powered eMac still around, the beautifully designed LCD monitor based iMac seemed to fill the void between consumer and pro Mac lines.

Other Apple products that were released with much less fanfare in the general public were the eMac USB 2.0 version, the Airport Express Base Station, the XServe G5, the Apple Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard, and two iBook revisions.


Now, you may have looked at that and thought, "that's great. I don't really care." Well, you should. For most of you, this is probably the only place where you'll find good info about cool stuff like this. But I will move on.

My two favorite movies of the year were The Bourne Supremacy and I, Robot, which starred Matt Damon and Will Smith, respectively. Supremacy was not as good as its predecessor, The Bourne Identity, but it was a worthy sequel nonethless. I, Robot had a great mix of mystery, action, plot, characters, and special effects.

Honorable mentions are Shrek 2, The Terminal, and The Aviator, which I would've liked more if they didn't drag it out so long.


Any gamers out there? Notable games I've played were:

Deus Ex: Invisible War (XBox): Got an XBox just for this game. Wasn't as great as Deus Ex 1, but did not disappoint.

Halo 2 (XBox): Highly anticipated, very good game. I always find coop more fun than multiplayer deathmatch, capture the flag, etc. And the coop was a lot of fun.

Star Wars: Battlefront (PS2): Shallow story, superb gameplay, and excellent replay value. A worthy rent, and I would rent it again, if I had the time.

Metroid Fusion (GBA): This game renewed my faith in handheld systems. A terrific follow-up to the oldie but goodie SNES game Super Metroid (1994). Also fun and innovative with an actual storyline.

Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA): A remake of the impossibly hard classic Metroid game for the original Nintendo. This is metroid like you've not seen it before. Another hit in my book.

Halo (Mac): It was released for the XBox first by Bungie/Microsoft, then was ported to the computer a while later. Like its successor, lots of fun, some innovations, but not as good as Deus Ex 2.

Bloodrayne (Mac): Bloodsucking vampiress with big guns and long knives. What else do I need to say? Oh yeah, she can slow down time.

...And lots of others that I can't really remember right now.


Finally, an uncharacteristically bloggish recap of the year.

My first year of college at UCLA came to a close on a rather low note (more on that... never). After going home, the long job hunt began. Summer job searching is a tough mission, especially when the jobs you are likely to apply for have been taken by those who were released for summer vacation a lot earlier than you. After applying to about eight businesses locally (and not hearing back from a single one) I happened across a "Now Hiring" sign at Big 5 Sporting Goods. Those of you who know me personally know that I eventually got the job there, selling shoes to often unruly, demanding customers and ignoring annoying co-workers whining about their salary and the management.

There were good things and bad things about the place, but it was not too bad for a first job. My manager wants me back whenever I can spare the time too - not too shabby, eh?

Summer was short, and I didn't do much of anything else besides work at Big 5. But I was actually eager to get back to school, excited about having another new beginning. The first quarter came and went, presenting me with new friends, philosophies, experiences, and most of all, challenges in many areas. Life is hard and complicated, but life is also great. And now, I must take a look at the sun before it sets on another beautiful Saturday afternoon. Until next time.


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