Archive for November, 2006

15 Years Later… Back with Mac (sort of)

November 30, 2006

Back in my college days I was a Mac guy. My first computer was a floppy-swapping Mac Plus. After about a year, I saved up the dough to get a SCSI hard disk — a 20 megabyte behemoth. This hard drive unit was as big as a toaster and had more space than I’d ever need.

Those halcyon days soon ended and into the cube mines I went. I got my first PC and then second and fifteen years later, I could hardly remember the joy of computing. I’ve had mixed luck in the past few years. My last Dell desktop purchased in 2001 still purrs under my desk in the basement, it’s P4 1.7Ghz heart lumbering away day and night much longer than I ever anticipated. I’ve been through 4 laptops since then. All but the most recent ones have been failures in some respect.

When Apple made the move to the Intel chipsets, it was time to do some investigating. I fell in love with the MacBook Pro the first time I saw it. I’d coveted my colleague’s Mac Laptop for years. I’d watched it fall off of desks, go sliding across parking lots, and still keep working.

In contrast my Windows laptops couldn’t even handle the simplest tasks of knowing what to do when I closed and opened the cover. The time had come and the money was available. I got a bit of a pre-birthday surprise as I started working the other night. A glistening 2.33Ghz MacBook Pro was waiting for me. El Numero Uno. The top of the heap.


It’s been a blast. If I wasn’t a .NET developer, I’d probably never go back, but alas I must. My Dell will still get a workout in the office, but with the addition of Parallels I can now (and have been all evening) use Visual Studio inside Windows XP INSIDE OS X. It’s a beautiful compromise and will allow me to get the most out of this fantastically executed and beautifully designed machine.

Dentistry takes a high-tech step back toward the middle ages.

November 14, 2006

I went to the dentist on a couple of weeks ago. I went as I always do — a bit more than once a year, a bit less than every six months. The six months thing feels like Jiffy Lube’s “every 3000 miles” mantra when in reality there is no need for that frequency — but I digress.

The dentist is a strange place when a person goes in for a checkup. The dentist’s role is so minor, that there is really no reason for them to be there. All of the x-rays, scaling, cleaning and flossing is done by a person, who, in my experience, is able to tell the dentist all of the problem areas before the dentist even looks.

I’m not a dentist, and well, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to hang out with a dentist. So I won’t presume to know if they belong in the room during a check-up or not.

Back to what we’re here for. Pain.

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Thanks Everyone! That was fun.

November 10, 2006

WordPress Blog of the Day!


I love LifeHacker

November 10, 2006

(and now they love me!)


(even if they did think my link to made my name Philip Greenspun)

Eyeglasses — A response to “Stephanie”, an Optometrist

November 10, 2006

Thanks for swinging by. This post, the conversation, and research have shifted to Join us for in-depth recommendations and horror stories. It seems that quite a few people are looking for alternatives to over-priced eyewear.


Regarding the post: Eyeglasses Stores are for Suckers, I got a nice message from “Stephanie”, an optician with some concerns.

You stated that you are an informed shopper; however, perhaps not informed enough. You were originally interested in Silhouette frames. As an optician, I can assure you that you get what you pay for. In our store, we will only carry Silhouette rimless frames because they are FAR superior to any other rimless system that is currently produced.

That may be true. I would have loved a pair of Silhouettes, but they’re not realistic for most people.

They are made of hyperflex titanium (5X stronger than beta titanium). In addition, they have no screws, require very little adjustment and weigh less than 1 ounce.

Not sure what you’re saying here, but these weigh in at .4 oz (with the lenses) — half the weight of all of the other eyeglasses of the people in my office. So weight is certainly not a big check mark on the Silhouette ledger over these.

They are also the leader in rimless frames and are the first to come out with new technology. Our mark up on frames is no where near 1000% as you stated.

That’s all fine and good, but my face is not going to be pressed into service for NASA. I’m going to wear my glasses during the day, and take them off at night. The additional flexibility and strength of these likely “beta titanium” (a new term for me — thanks!) frames should be just fine, and I’ll be able to afford Christmas presents for the kids this year, and maybe buy the firewood for the winter.

You may be able to find a silhouette frame a little cheaper online but you are also forfeiting correct measurements and the service provided (future repairs and adjustments, complimentary ultrasonic cleanings, etc).

I wonder how many people you sell on ultrasonic cleanings. In theory it sounds like a good idea, but I think $320 is a bit much for an extended service plan.

Stores also have more overhead (salaries for qualified and experienced opticians, ulitity bills, etc) so you are paying for more than just the frame…you are paying for the overall service.

I can appreciate that. That’s the reason I’ve gone to the same opthalmologist for the past 25 years. I want a qualified person checking my eyes — after that it’s numbers on a card and money-grubbing.

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