Capn Design

January 2003

This month I posted 47 entries, watched 7 videos.

Gone for Weekend

Posted January 31, 2003

I'll be gone all weekend at Snowball all weekend. See you on Sunday.

Digital Hub

Posted January 30, 2003

PCMag asks the question, will the connected living room be PC-based? The simple answer is yes. Really, they are asking if there will be a dedicated media server or a PC in control of the house. The former option suggests that all of your movies, music and photos reside on one machine and your PC does nothing but access that information when needed. The latter combines the PC and media center into one.

In the end, it doesn't matter much, but I'd like to see the media center. Truth be told, it will handle more than just media. It will also control your lights, climate control and Juicer, but that's another story. In the end it will be another piece of your home entertainment center. It will slide in right between your DVD/CD player and VCR, eventually replacing both of them. It will do the same things, the only difference being that everything will be digital. You'll have one disc to view/hear your media at your underpriveleged friend's houses. Otherwise, you'll never see portable media again. Our portable media players will connect wirelessly to networks and stream files off your server at home. Less muss, less fuss (except when it breaks), and more freedom.

This year we will see devices from Sony, HP, Prismiq, and of course TiVo. There are certainly others that will arrive, but this is what I have been waiting to see. Exciting.

Twelve and Twenty

Posted January 30, 2003

Yesterday I had the chance to wonder into the Apple Store and check out the mini-powerbook and the mega-cinema display.

The Powerbook is really amazing. I knew what to expect but it is just great to see all of that power crammed into such a little form factor. I am very happy with my baby, but if I needed a laptop then this would be my beast.

Now, the 20" Display is what really caught my eye. I was checking out the new iLife sweet on a Powermac and when I opened up Final Cut Express I was amazed how much room there was to work. Assuming that was the 23", I asked someone where the 20s were on display. She told me I was using one. Let me tell you that they are huge. It is the first high end monitor that seemed worth the price.* So, when I get my G5 tower I will get one of these babies right alongside it. Then I will pay through the nose for the rest of my waking days. Yay Apple!

Also, all of the video professionals can now have two 20" displays for the price of the 22". Amazing.

United Prayers

Posted January 30, 2003

On the way to NYC, the pilot on my United flight had this to say before we got off the plane:

"We appreciate having you on United Airlines. Our futures depend on it."

I thought that was interesting. It definitely reminds you that behind the corporate facade there are tens of thousands of workers praying that tomorrow won't be their last day. Now I want to fly United whenever they have reasonable fares.

Chris Ballew

The brilliant songwriter of Presidents of the USA has his own site with a bunch of new songs. I am constantly in awe of him. The pop songs are the best, but they are all quite entertaining.

It's Official

Posted January 29, 2003

As of today, I am a paid intern at Spin Magazine. I am going to be living in New York for at least another 4 months, likely longer. I will need another job to pay bills, but this is all good news. I am happy.

Shape up, Music

Posted January 29, 2003

In 2002, there was interesting numbers.

According to Box Office Mojo, film ticket sales were up 5% and the total gross was up 8.6% from 2001. The ticket sales have increased in the last two years and the gross has increased every year since 1991. Things look pretty good.

According to NPD Group and via Gamespot, video game sales are up over 10%. Sales of games (not hardware) are up 15%. The industry grossed $10.3 billion, compared to the $9.1 billion grossed by the movie industry. Very impressive.

According to MSNBC and Soundscan, album sales are down 10.7%. They were down 5% last year. I couldn't even find the total gross, but I guess you could just multiply the albums sold, 681 million, by $15. Oh, country sales were up 12%.

So does this mean the music industry is right? Is our cd-burning sending the industry down in flames? I'm not sure, but you can't ignore the fact that their sales are down while the other two industries are clearly up.

State of the Union

Posted January 28, 2003

Tonight, our fear-invoking leader will come before the Congress and this country to tell us we must go to war. It is expected to be a test of his ability to convince the U.S. of, well, anything. Most of the country is not interested in going to war and he has to present a well-reasoned argument to change the minds of millions.

Right now there is a protest occurring in D.C. in an effort to remind the world that anti-war demonstrations are occurring and war is not the right option. I fear this all falls on deaf ears. Tonight we'll find out, but I'm still going to go to the anti-war protest here in New York on February 15th.


Nick Hornby's newest work contains essays on 31 of his favorite songs/artists. I haven't read it. I want to. It's published by McSweeney's. Dave Eggers is so out, he's in.

Super Bowl Stats

Posted January 26, 2003

My prediction accuracy: 100%
Ads that were really amazing: 0
Tampa Bay interceptions: 5
TB defensive touchdowns: 3
Level of surprise regarding final score: 7 out of 10
Amount of money won in "squares" game: $0
Amount spent (by dad): $50
Level of enjoyment: 8 out of 10
Number of M&Ms eaten: 356
Level of quesiness: 8 out of 10

Capn Design: bringing you the important details.

Game Studies

It is a journal dedicated to games research. "Our primary focus is aesthetic, cultural and communicative aspects of computer games." This is so needed. This is awesome.

And Back I Go...

Posted January 26, 2003

Just when I started to get settled in here in Chicago, something happens. Of course. Over the last couple weeks I'd been waiting to hear back about a position in NYC that I interviewed for before I left. On Thursday I got a call and I have been asked to come into work. So, I am flying back to New York tomorrow to work for a couple days. Then, I come back to staff Snowball next weekend. At that point I should know if I have the job.

And so, I would give you more information if everything was definite, but it's not. By the end of this week I will know exactly what is going to happen and then I will be sure to share that information with all of you. In the meantime, you can wish me luck.

Thin Mints

For those of you, like me, who can't wait for Girl Scout season, you can now make your own thin mints. I'll be in the kitchen for the next 5 weeks.

A Mighty Wind

Posted January 25, 2003

Christopher Guest is back. I figured he was working on something, but I didn't know it was going to be out so soon. On April 18th, we will experience, A Mighty Wind. From iMDB, here is the film synopsis, "Mockumentary captures the reunion of 1960s folk trio the Folksmen (Guest, McKean, Shearer) as they prepare for a show at Carnegie Hall to memorialize a recently deceased concert promoter." It has the same goofy band of characters and the minute or so preview I caught on ET looked hillarious. I still fear that it won't be able to live up to his past efforts. Oh, who am I kidding, it will kick assface!

Video Game Rentals

Posted January 25, 2003

I had planned to do this entry almost two months ago, but I never got around to doing it. Today I ran across this post by Matt Haughey and decided that now was as good a time as any. So, here goes.

Video games are expensive, and we all know it. Some games can take as little as 5 hours to finish, so paying $50 for it seems absurd. This is why a lot of people rent most of their games and buy the ones that have a lot of replay value. Even if I take two weeks to finish a game, it still only cost me $12 to rent it. Now, imagine if there was a Netflix-like service that did the same thing for games. Sounds perfect, right? It must be only a matter of time before Netflix starts doing this, but until they do I have compiled a few sites that are a step ahead.

1000 Titles PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, Gameboy Advance
1 game per month: $13.95, 2 games: $19.95, 3 games: $29.95, 4 games: $34.95
Despite the horrible name, I would say this is one of the best, behind only Red Octane.

360 Titles PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
1 game p/m: $13.95, 2 games p/m: $21.95
This one seems pretty good. I especially like the "keep it" option, which lets you buy the game at a used price if you like it. The site is also well designed.

Titles - PS1, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
2 games p/m: $19.95, 3 games: $24.95, 4 games: $29.95, 5 games: $34.95, 6 games: $39.95
I'm inclined not to trust this site, mostly because it is an eyesore. It's not too tough to navigate, but it is worth checking out for yerself.

Red Octaone
1500 Titles - PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
2 games p/m: $18.95, 3 games: $23.95, 5 games: $39.95
This is the best designed and seems to be the most reputable site.

Numb Thumb
Xbox, PS2, Gamecube
1 game p/m: $13.95, 2 games, $21.95
This one seems to be pretty stinky. A really good deal, but I just can't trust them based on the amount of information they provide.

Angel Gamer
PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
1 game p/m: $14.95, 2 games: $19.95
The design of the site is just alright, but it seems to be an interesting and affordable option.

Boomerang Games (No longer exists)
PS1, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
2 games paid yearly: $19.99 p/m, paid biannually: $22.99 p/m, paid monthly: $24.99 p/m
I don't like this one. Anyone who has "I only wanted to try BoomerangGames's free trial, so why did I get charged?" in their FAQ, is probably not a good company. [link via Shifted Librarian and LazyWeb]

Added 3/4/03:

Spunel (No longer exists)
625 Titles - PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
1 game p/m: $9.99; 2 games: $17.99; 3 games: $24.99
This seems to be the perfect middle road. Some good prices, especially the 1 game option, usable design and a solid selection. I don't know if this is the absolute best, but I think these guys will do well. I recommend it. UPDATE: Nevermind. The website is no longer up right now--a domain holder page is there instead--and someone left a comment explaining that they were ripped off. I do not recommend them.

Trigger Fingers
PS1, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, GBA, GB Color
3 games p/m: $19.95; 4 games: $24.95; 5 games: $29.95; game console rental for additional $19.95 w/ $100 refundable deposit
Well, they have a great deal, that's for sure. Unfortunately, the money you save in rentals was probably taken out of site design. If they can get a more usable site, this just might be my favorite. Good selection and cheap prices.

Added 3/13/03:

700 Titles - PS2, Gamecube, Xbox
2 games p/m: $20
These guys have an amazing, original idea. You can send them old games, which they'll rent out, and you get $2 every time it's rented. I'm not sure how well this will scale, but it could be very cool. Otherwise, the site is well designed and relatively easy to navigate (I like that they have forums). Very cool.

Game Lender
5,000 (!) Titles - PS2, PS1, Gamecube, N64, Xbox, Dreamcast, GBA, GBC, and more.
2 games p/m: $15.99/$17.99; 3 games: $19.99/$21.99; 5 games: $25.00/$29.99 (1 year contract/no contract)
That is an amazing amount of titles. This service is obviously for the hardcore gamer who refuses to give up his/her old systems. The design is fairly poor, but the number of titles make up for it. Definitely worth checking out.

Added 3/15/03

DVD Avenue
250 Titles - PS1, PS2
2 p/m: $14.99; 3 p/m: $19.99; 4 p/m: $24.99; 6 p/m: $34.99; 8 p/m: $44.95
I hadn't planned on doing the DVD/Game places, but now I am. In fact, it is probably a better overall deal to do something like this because you can split up your monthly rentals between games and movies. DVD Avenue seems to be a good service. It's no Netflix, but it's well designed and relatively easy to navigate. I'm perplexed that they don't mention games in their FAQ, but I assume you rent them like any DVD. If so, this gets my approval.

DVD Barn
130 Titles - PS2, Xbox
1 p/m: $8.95; 2 p/m: $14.95; 4 p/m: $23.95; 7 p/m $37.95; 10 p/m $49.95
First, the site broke in Safari, so I would not use the service. If you can't have a site that works in every browser, then you shouldn't have the service. Aside from that, it's just ok. They have a very small selection and clearly video games aren't their priority. The only positive thing here is the price. It costs $6 per week at Blockbuster to rent a game. For $3 more you can have it for a month. Can't beat that.

Note: This is a list of companies that only offer videogames. There are others that offer both DVDs and games.


Posted January 24, 2003

I want one of these. The Honda Element definitely looks like it came straight from Tokyo 2010, but it really packs in a lot of awesome features. There are two design elements (he he) that really won me over.

1. There is an input jack for your digital music player. This means no more FM modulation or tape-to-iPod converters. This is definitely the wave of the future.

2. The way the seats fold up and completely out of the way is amazing. Head to the link above and check out some of the videos and you'll see what I mean. The car can hold 77.1 cu ft of cargo vs 54.3 cu ft on my Ford Escape and the Element is only a bit larger.

There are also a ton of other cool features and I think I'm going to have to give this car a test drive.

Another amazing thing is the Honda Studio E Concept that uses Mac OSX to run a really powerful car/entertainment center. My two favorite companies under one hood. Who'da thunk it.

NicelyDone Host

Posted January 24, 2003

My hosting company, Affordable Host, has generally been pretty good. I have had a few issues here and there, but I am generally happy. Today, I am even happier. They have moved my server to their new datacenter and it is really snappy. It used to take forever to load, and now it comes up about 5 times as fast. And, there were missing perl modules and a MySQL problem, but it was all cleared up in about 2 hours. So, I can definitely give my full support back to my host, after a few rocky months.

On another note, I think I will be importing all of my old posts from the days before I knew of the word blog. I don't know how much they need to be here, but I think I want to save them before they get whisked away by UW. If you'd like a preview, they are here.

Destruction Derby

Posted January 23, 2003

In Morgan, MN, a young boy went on a destruction rampage. He went down a street and plowed into cars with a plumbing truck and a pickup truck.

For once, I wonder if this was inspired by videogames. I have definitely gotten caught up in Grand Theft Auto and had moments on the real road where running into other cars sounding like a reasonable idea. In the end, I was able to distinguish real life from a video game. For this young child, like every other incident like this, the bottomline is that the person is nuts. Maybe his inspiration was from something digital, but in the end he was the nutjob who ran his car into other people's.

McDonald's is in the Red

Posted January 23, 2003

Okay, so they're always in the red, but this time there is no yellow. McDonald's posted their first quarterly loss, ever. Chalk up some points for the good guys.

They blame the loss on the closing of more than 500 stores (of their 30,000) and specialty items. They've actually been having trouble in the US for a while now, and it has finally caught up with them. It will be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out, since the fast food market is completely oversaturated. There is still room for specialty shops, but the burger and fry model is at its limit. Man, I'm getting hungry now so I think I'm going to end this post and eat something greasy.

Art is Hard

Posted January 23, 2003

I just downloaded the single released by Cursive this week, and it is unbelievable. Completely amazing. Totally spellbinding. It is called "Art is Hard" and I don't know what I'm going to do until the album is released in March. I am so excited to hear what they have coming.

p.s. I like them so much, I think I might switch from block printing to cursive writing.

Videogame Journalism

Posted January 22, 2003

This here is a call for help.

I am writing this piece for Emmie about the lack/decline of intelligent videogame journalism. The central theme is the lack of respect given to the video game in comparison to other artistic mediums. So I wanted to get some thoughts from my blog audience about why video games are not considered to be art. Here are some questions you can answer.

1. Do you consider videogames to be an artistic medium?
2. How does it compare to music, film, television, fine art?
3. Why do you think the public perceives video games as they do? What needs to be done to change this?
4. Finally, if you know of any magazines/websites/anything that has/had exceptional commentary on video games then let me know.

You don't have to stick to the questions, so feel free to talk about video games in anyway you feel would be helpful (or entertaining). Thanks in advance.

Games and the Law

Posted January 22, 2003

Two interesting things came to the surface today. The first is that there is a bill in legislation to make the sale of mature games a federal offense. The details are at this CNN article. Aside from being somewhat hypocritical, this bill seems to be completely unwarranted. First, is there any federal punishment for the sale of porn or R-rated movies to minors? I'm not positive, but assuming there is not, this is just absurd. Second, what will the government accomplish by doing this? If this bill is intended to help parents protect their children, then why don't they let the parents make some of the decision? I know that I don't always agree with ratings or think certain pieces of art are worth exposing a young person to mature themes. And in regards to the hypocricy, our government is offering up violent games to our youth in order to raise enlistment rates in the army. Real smooth.

In a win for videogames, the Supreme Court has refused to hear a case blaming entertainment for the murder of three girls in Kentucky. This case had been floating around since 1997 and the parents of the girls were seeking $33 million in damages. It's nice to know that the courts have decided that art cannot be blamed for the violent actions of people.

American Idol 2

Posted January 22, 2003

I just thought I'd let you know that each week I will be blogging about American Idol episodes. They are going to be put in the mini-reviews section, where they belong, but I figured I'd give you the heads up. Right now, I am going to go to sleep because it is freakin' late.

MT, Are You Messing with Me?

Posted January 22, 2003

I just finished giving a title and category to every post, and towards the end I ran across this:

I am now about to end...My Life

Hmm. I'm not sure if this is just a very odd coincidence or a way of Movable Type to tell me that my time has come. Granted, I haven't had much of a job or much to do for the last eight months, but I think that would be a bit rash.

In addition, and this is big, you can now subscribe to an RSS feed for each category. So, if you only care about my commentary on video games, you can subscribe to the video game feed. It will give you the 10 most recent posts. All of the links are available on the main archive page and at the top of the regular category pages.

Lil' Improvements

Posted January 20, 2003

I have spent some time today tweaking things here and there. Here is the list of changes I've made.

1. I am now offering up individual archives in addition to the monthly and category archives. They have also become the primary archive. So, if you are coming to this site via a RSS Viewer, then you will notice the difference. On that note, I added the ten most recent and most recent commented on entries to the individual archive pages because whenever I visit a site that has multiple new entries I like to be able to navigate to the other entries from the page that pops up. So, they are there.

2. The monthly and category pages have changed their format to include more information on the page.

3. I moved the location of the monthly archives. The old files will still work (for now) but will not be updated.

4. I made some changes to the categories. Design and Video Games are their own categories now. I am hoping to make more posts about both of these topics.

5. You can leave comments on Quick Posts (with less effort).

There is more to come, but this is it for now. Let me know if something is broken.

Junk Filter is Junk

Posted January 20, 2003

I have been using Apple's Mail app since I installed Jaguar in the fall. I am not a power email user, and I loved the integration with the address book, so it was a good fit for me. More than anything, I was hoping that Apple's Junk Filter would help me clean up my inbox. Junk Mail has become overpowering and I wanted an integrated solution.

For the most part, it has been successful. It catches a lot of the obvious mail and some stuff that I might be fooled by. Still, there are often things that slip through the cracks that really shouldn't. For instance, today I got an email with the title, "Spam: Guaranteed YAHOO lisiting! $15.00 Ea. fcxk," and it didn't get filtered. Also, I've had general emails from friends that got flagged as spam. As a result, I have yet to take it out of training mode and this is disappointing.

I hope that Apple makes it a priority to imrpove the filtering in the next major release because I am just waiting for another easy app to take its place.

The Minibosses

This band only does metal covers of Nintendo game music. All of their songs are available as mp3s. Awesome.


Posted January 17, 2003

Before I left for London, I made my obligatory trip to the magazine section of Barnes & Nobles. I usually buy a couple "flipping" magazines and at least one with substance. This time I bought Foreign Affairs. I love it because it gives you an in depth analysis of global issues. One of the best articles in this issue was The Real Roots of Anti-Americanism. (Note: the link leads to a 500 word excerpt) In brief, the article discussed the relationships the US has had with different Arab nations and extremist groups from the region, concluding that the U.S. has generally provided positive support for the region and the main reason people dislike Americans is due mostly to scapegoating. Here are the reasons the author, Barry Rubin, provides:

1. Although we misunderstand their region, they tend to misunderstand the U.S. to an even greater extend. They often expect the U.S. to overtake the region, because many Arab leaders would do just that given the power.

2. Information is tightly controlled in the region, so it is easy for antagonistic views to surface.

3. The real record of U.S. involvement is distorted.

4. The role of the U.S. as a protector in the region is downplayed. For instance, although Saddam Hussein has terrorized his country in many ways, the U.S. is still blamed for the country's misfortunes.

5. "There is an attempt to reduce all American policy to a single issue: U.S. support for Israel."

The reason he finishes with, is that it is convenient for Arab rulers to have someone to blame for their own nation's problems. Because the U.S. is the sole super power, and because of the aforementioned reasons, the leaders tend to use the U.S. as a scapegoat.

There is certainly more to the article, but I wanted to throw this out here. Is this really the only reason? Has the U.S. generally been a good little country and played nice with it's Arab neighbors? It has hard to decide whether I am caught up in America-bashing because I disapprove of our recent military inclinations and policy decisions or if there is something missing in the article, because based on what was written, I definitely believe what Barry Rubin has to say.

It is certainly a complex issue, which is why I found this article particularly interesting. Does anyone have anything to add, either their own opinion or a useful link?

Does beheading hurt?

This one speaks for itself. [I recommend you read this instead of finding out on your own] (via NextDraft)

America is Fat

Posted January 17, 2003

I am always reading how 2/3 or America is overweight and 1/3 is obese (or something like that), but I never really notice it that much when I'm hanging out in urban areas. There are definitely chubby people running around, and I'm definitely growing a baby gut of my own, but there are still plenty of healthy people crowding the streets. It is only when I go to Disneyworld do I understand exactly how fat we all are.

I didn't spend much time in the parks but almost every person I saw had a big belly. It was very depressing. I've read Fast Food Nation and I know that we are one of the least healthy countries on the planet, but I just can't understand how we all got so fat. Is it really so difficult to eat mildly healthy food?

This is an epidemic.

Forgotten Pleasures

Posted January 17, 2003

Today, I was reminded of two bits of media that I was in love with not so long ago. Neither of these are my favorites, but they are damn good.

1. Pootie Tang
This movie is just plain hilarious and sounds great in surround sound, which was something I didn't expect. I rented it after hearing some of my dudes saying it was something you wouldn't forget, and that was right on. I am constantly saying random lines from the movie without realizing it. Sign yo' piddy on the runny kine'.

2. The Black Keys - The Big Come Up
This album, believe it or not, came out in this decade. When you listen to this record, you can't help but question the age and race of the two men playing the blues. It is just a great little record that a whole bunch of people seem to be excited about. I think when their new record comes out this year, it will be great. Finally, a garage blues band that is really playing the blues. Go them.

Nicotine Free Cigs

Vector Cigarettes have produced a new brand of cigarette, Quest, intended to helpe people stop smoking. They have been able to remove Nicotine from cigarettes so that people can smoke while losing their addiction. There is an article in the new Wired, but it's not online yet.


The newest jam from Tha 446. You will love it. No, YOU WILL LOVE IT. Exactly.


Posted January 13, 2003

Why is that so many magaines will print quotes like this: "I really loved that f__king movie. It was the s___." What is the difference between printing this and the actual word? It's not like I don't know what they're saying and although kids may be thrown off the first time, I think they will be able to figure it out fairly quickly. So I ask again, why f__k instead of fuck? Silly publications, if you find the quote to be offensive then don't print it at all. If you think it's worth printing or you want a dicier magazine, just fucking do it.


Posted January 13, 2003

I have a new idea and I am pitching it to Google (by pitching, I mean posting it here and hoping that someone important reads it). It will be a combination of their Answers and News services. Here is how it will work.

You will provide Google with a set of topics you'd like to receive news about. You can give them as many or as few as you'd like and you can specify how often and how much news you'll receive. For instance, I might ask for news about Russian Politics, Apple Computers, the Chicago Bulls and Supreme Court decisions. The cost would depend on the difficulty of retrieval, with a lot of news being free. For instance, the articles on the Bulls would be free, unless I wanted every major article printed daily, which would make it, say, $.50/day. Also, if I wanted news about Girls HS Volleyball in Orange County, CA, which is less available than Bulls news, then there would also be a charge. Essentially, if a computer can filter the news it would be free, but if you need articles above and beyond that, there would be a charge.

Another way to do this would be to set a price and a parameter, then people can sign up to retrieve the news for you. So if I was willing to pay $5 a month for news on RPGs for the PS2 then anyone willing to find the information for me could sign up.

There is already a service that does the free version of this, the kind that just does the filtering. It is called MyWay and it is pretty good, but has limited filtering options. I'm assuming that they offer whatever categories the wire services provide. I would want to have infinite filtering options. I know that some company, probably Google, could do this really well.

Any suggestions or comments from the peanut gallery?

Titans & Bucs

I think that these are the two teams who will prevail, with the Titans winning a squeaker in the Superbowl. These playoffs have been amazing.

A Lot of Running

Posted January 11, 2003

I'll be gone this weekend. I'm going to Orlando, FL to watch my mom run a marathon. Well, walk/jog a marathon, but it's still damn impressive. In addition, I will enjoy the sun, a few rides at Universal Studios and as many NFL Playoff games as possible.

A New Low

Posted January 11, 2003

A month or so ago I was surfing Apple's movie trailer site and came across a movie that I thought was a joke. Literally, I thought someone had hacked into the page and put up a trailer for the absolute worst movie ever known to man. Then I found out I was wrong, and I cried.

The movie I refer to is Kangaroo Jack. I won't even begin to tell you about all of the little things that bothered me; I'll just tell you it's about a kangaroo that steals money from two guys. Oh, and it raps. And it is not very good either. I should have known this would be bad when the Jerry Bruckheimer logo appeared at the beginning. I don't believe this movie could be any good and the only emotion I feel is pity, mostly pity for Jerry O'Connell because I really liked him in Sliders and Joe's Apartment. I feel no pity for Bruckheimer. He is the axis of evil.


Posted January 10, 2003

Gameboy Advance SP

Nintendo has brought us a brand new toy. This does the same thing that the current GBA does, except it has a light built into it. And obviously, it is shaped quite differently. Personally, I really enjoy the layout of the current GBA and this one seems to be uncomfortable, but the rumormill says that my assumptions are dead wrong. So, I'm going to check the thing out when it comes out on March 28th. It's highly unlikely I'll buy one, as it doesn't do anything mine doesn't do, and it has the same sub-par screen, but I want to take a gander.

More important that my lust, is the real reason behind the creation of this new device. Why does Nintendo need to come up with a new form factor and if the screen were really such a problem then why didn't they fix that? Well, some conjecture that the device may be used as a cell phone or another technological device. That seems to be fairly logical, even though Nintendo has been known to occasionally release dumb hardware. I guess time will tell.

On another note, I will give you more of my opinion on Safari tomorrow. I have used it exculsively over the last couple days and have definitely formed some opinions.

Netflix is Annoying

Posted January 10, 2003

I absolutely love the concept of Netflix. You never pay late fees and you can rent as many movies as you'd like with a flat fee. It's a revolutionary concept. Unfortunately, I have been having problems lately.

In the last month I have had 2 DVDs never arrive at my house and 1 arrive cracked. This is very frustrating as every time this happens I have to waste valuable time shipping/receiving to get a new disc. In addition, I have to wait a week before I can report a DVD missing with any authority. It is getting to be quite a pain. I really hope that this stops soon so that I can resume my unabashed love for this company.

Any other similar experiences?

UPDATE: I just had something good happen. They send you a "bonus rental" when one of your movies is not available from the closest rental warehouse. I just got one and that's good business. Netflix, I love you again. Please take me back baby.

Electrix Six Video

Rhino Hunter and "Sexy" Old Wife. Their private parts glow with light. They make out. It is amazing. This is a quicktime video, watchable in your browser. (via TMN).

Silent Uproar

Definitely one of the best indie music news sites around. I likey!

Speech Number One

Posted January 7, 2003

I don't know why I am blogging this because everyone and their brother is doing it, especially the rumor sites. Anyway, here is some of the stuff Steve Jobs is telling us about Apple. (updated live)

  1. Apple introduced a ski/snowboarding jacket built by Burton that is designed to hold your iPod. It has controls on the sleeve, which is sweet. It is $500, which is not sweet. I would consider this if I needed a new ski jacket, but it is steep.
  2. ProTools is shipping for OS X this month. $500. That seems to be the magic number.
  3. Final Cut Express. A toned down version of Final Cut Pro is being released for $300. This is really nice. I may actually pay for this product at some point.
  4. iLife: the name for their suite of iApps.
    • Jobsy is introducing iPhoto 2. Some features: View iTunes song list in iPhoto, One-click enhance, CD/DVD archiving, Retouch brush (stolen from photoshop, but it does rule). It sounds good, but all I care about is better stability and faster performance. We'll see if he says anything.
    • iMovie 3. New Features: Chapters, Ken Burns Effect (still photo stuff), Precise Audio Editing, better integration w/iDVD (which was really needed). Chapters (for DVDs) is a blessing, as I realized very recently.
    • iDVD 3. New Features: 24 new themes (very cool ones, except for Gen Y, which is kinda dumb), all that integration stuff.
  5. Safari. Apple is in the browser business. This is exciting. It smokes IE in just about everything. Very fast is very good. Features: Google in the searchbar, Snapback (lets you return to a main site after checking out a search result), easy bookmark management. It's open source based on the KHTML rendering engine. It's a public beta and has built-in bug reporting.
  6. Keynote. A potential Powerpoint killer. Features: Fully anti-alaised text, alpha channel graphics, guides, tons more. Based on XML, exports into Powerpoint, PDF and Quicktime. It retails for $100. I would have typed it all but there is a lot and I'm eating hot wings.
  7. 17 inch Powerbook. Holy. Shit. Now that is a big screen for a laptop. There is a backlit keyboard (using fiber-optics), 6.8 lbs, built with aluminum alloy (no paint), 1GHz G4, Superdrive, 60GB HD, GeForce 4 440 Go, FireWire 800, and a ton of ports (line-in, finally), built in Bluetooth, Airport Extreme (802.11g, antennas in the screen, much better range). $3300. Shipping next month.
  8. 12 inch Powerbook. 867MHz G4, Combo Drive, 40GB HD, GeForce 4 440 Go, Airport Extreme Ready. $1800. $2000 w/Superdrive. Shipping in 2 weeks.
  9. Airport Extreme. 802.11g, USB Printing, bridging, 50 "real" users.
  10. x11. Apple brings us a way to install the X Windows system on our Mac with a simple double-click installer. I'm installing it to check out OpenOffice on OS X.

A pretty exciting Macworld, overall. The only thing I would have liked is a new Digital Lifestyle Device, but this'll do. I'm trying out Safari right now.

Two Big Speeches

Posted January 5, 2003

This coming Tuesday there are two very important speeches. The first is really important and the second matters to a bunch of nerds.

1. In Chicago, good old Bushy will be unveiling his new plan to turn around the economy. From what his press dept. has said, it seems to be another dud centered on the rich. The first thing they are doing is cutting out the tax on trading commissions. Supposedly, this will help turn around the whole stock market and therefore help the little people. I'm no economist, but this sounds a lot like trickle-down economics. Ho hum. I guess we will have to wait, see, and hope that Congress is not as foolish as our president.

2. In San Francisco, Steve Jobs will be giving the keynote address at Macworld. There is a ton of speculation at the rumor sites, and it sounds like this one could be a doozy. I'm excited.

Come Tuesday morning, I will be up early watching the keynote and I just might see take a peek at Bush, but I doubt it.

Media Intake

Posted January 3, 2003

It seems that the new section I am planning to introduce will be a bit larger than I had first thought. First, I am definitely creating my own little cms for it because MT won't be able to handle some of the things I'd like to do. This should be fun as I haven't had a new project like this in a while and it should be a good way to build up my skills.

Second, although the information will be only mildly interesting at first, in a few years it will be awesome to see how many times I've watched Seinfeld while doing work on my computer. That reminds me that I don't plan on logging shows while I'm flipping or if it is completely background noise. If something is just on, it will not be noted. (I have been thinking about all the little features and the design. It is fun.)

In the end, this is really more for me than it is for you. Granted, my whole site is in some ways more for me than you, but the reason I am making this is so I can look back and see what I thought about Three Men and a Little Lady when I watched it for the 6th time. Really, it's so I can have a document of how I've spent my time and so that I never forget the name of "that movie with Christopher Guest and Vin Diesel" ever again.*

*that movie has yet to be created, but I would watch it in a heartbeat.

Kottke Weekly Reminders

Jason Kottke is offering up dozens of great links each week. I wish I had the ability/time to cull such a great list of links. My favorite is the Metrocard one.


Posted January 1, 2003

Welcome to the year 2003 at Capn Design. This fiscal year you can expect increased profits, revenues, sales and fluffy bunnies. In fact, fuck it, I promise triple the amount of fluffy bunnies. The bunnies of previous years have not been as fluffy as we've promised, but this is the year we turn things around. Oh, and everyone at the stockholders meeting will get a free iPod.

The only real plan I have for this website that will differ from 2002 is that I am going to add something called Media Intake. I've decided to keep track of every album, movie, tv show and live event I see over the next forever. I'm not sure how well the tv thing will work, but the rest is guaranteed. I want to have a record of all this stuff. That will be up sometime next week, when I have a chance to start a new MT blog or to work out a MySQL database. I should probably do the latter but we'll see how lazy I am. Other than that, I have no plans for this site, but I usually think of something along the way.

On another note, last night's new years festivities were fine. I am not really a "new years kind of guy" so I didn't mind just going to dinner and hearing "Celebration" seven times. Today was a movie day and tomorrow is a shopping/leaving day. Hmm, I think that's it. Happy 2004 (let's skip one for fun, eh?).


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