Category: "Geek!"

Just ordered my Mac Pro 2009

Just ordered my Mac Pro 2009
Just ordered my Mac Pro 2009

I finally ordered the Mac Pro that will kick the last “standing” PC out of this place :D

I feel lighter already :))

Switching & Software

This is going to be my main/development machine. The PC I had for this since 2006 is actually still good from a hardware standpoint… the problem is with the software.

Windows to begin with. Everything has been said about Vista already. XP feels limited by now and I don’t believe in Windows 7.  Also, it’s about software that isn’t available for Windows at all, like Things.

Of course there’s also Windows software that doesn’t work on Mac OS X. Nusphere PhpED for example. But for these cases there’s VMware Fusion! Plus, there’s so much more you can do with virtual machines once you start to get the feel of it…

My specs… and why :)

Now, even though it’s about my main work machine and a business expense (which basically cuts the price in half due to zero taxation), I tried to stay reasonable… Yet I feel like it’s Christmas already ;)

  • Quad Core 2.66 GHz – Actually, I’m a bit concerned about fan noise levels with higher speeds or with 8 cores :p
  • 8 GB of RAM in order to run several VMware virtual machines at once. Also, I know from experience that as soon as you’re out of RAM, performance goes down the tubes (RAM is much more important than processor speed).
  • 1 TB 7200 rpm drive – Staying away from RAID for now because let’s face it… I don’t crunch that much data and the occasional video editing I do is not HD (errr… yet :p)
  • 2x NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB graphic cards to run my 3 displays. Being able to connect 3 displays was my main reason for going Mac Pro instead of high-end iMac. There’s three reasons why I keep my existing 2006 Sony monitors:
    • They work just fine and there is no software update issue
    • They have incomparable color rendering compared to 95% of other displays on the market
    • Apple may have tempted me to buy bigger and nicely designed screens but I just hate the glossy glass with a passion. Sure they look better when they’re off. But when you try to work on them you always have window (real world windows) or lamp (real world lamps, not linux-apache-yada-yada) reflections somewhere.

  • and of course: Upgrade to Snow Leopard included for just 10€ S&H :p

Ideally I would have moved my ATI graphics cards from the PC to the Mac, but I was just easier to order new ones:

  • First you cannot order a Mac with zero graphics cards and bring your own. I’m not very happy about that but I understand why Apple would only ship machines that can work right out of the box.
  • Once you have one, it’s pretty cheap to buy the second matching one.
  • I’m not sure the old ATIs have drivers for the mac…
  • … and finally those ATI cards were the noisiest components of the PC. I hope Moore’s law will contribute to giving me quieter cards for the same thoughput ;)

OK now in between assembling, shipping and getting the delivery guy not to show up at 8 a.m. (like they always do) it’s probably going to take almost 2 weeks… during which I expect to wear the current PC down to it’s bones… and release b2evolution 3.x stable too!

Back to work!

All set up...

All set up...
All hotel rooms should come with the bare essentials!
All set up...
900 WATTS UPS, should be enough...

All right, almost a week into California: I got my cargo shipment from France, I unpacked it all, I bought the missing pieces at Fry's (like US power cables and a 110 Volts UPS) and transformed my dining table into a compact geek desk.

Only thing missing is a proper internet connection. However, I have my AT&T line set up and they tell me DSL will be activated tomorrow. I also hope I'll get the broadband router in the mail, otherwise it won't be of much use.

After that, no more excuses: I'll have to work again!

Until then, and since the WiFi just plain sucks (as always with shared WiFi), I guess I have no choice but to spend another day at the pool...

Slashdotted! (but not dugg...)

Unique IPs / 5 minute intervals
Unique IPs / 5 minute intervals

My post on iPod car integration got slashdotted last night. That really caught me off guard!

It is pretty incredible how fast the hordes of new visitors arrived. I only noticed about 1 hour later that the server had gotten insanely slow. It didn't crash though (Thanks Debian ;) ). So I made a static page of the post and (mod_rewrite) redirected to it. That brought the server back to normal speed.

Top referers
Top referers

Of course slashdot is now my top referrer of the week... by far (as shown by b2evolution).

Ironically, I actually submitted the post to, but it was slashdot who picked it up! Sure digg shows on the pie chart, but it's actually less than 1% referrers.

There would be two possible explanations:

  • Either the digg community was less interested in this subject than slashdot
  • or... on shlashdot, all you need is ONE editor to like your post and you're in for 10 000 visitors. On digg, you need quite a few people to like your post before it makes it to the home page...

I think I just got lucky on slashdot. Thank you Timothy! It's been a thrilling experience! ;)

Dating a geek

"The nice thing about most computer boys is that they don’t typically check out other women. The downside of this is that they don’t notice the other women because they are too busy checking out people’s cell phones and iPods."

Ever wondered how your girlfriend feels about your overall geekiness? This post on "Dating an Apple Developer" [site gone] is a gem. Nice template design too.