Strange Stuff Abound

Some life updates… I turned Comments on for all new posts starting last week, because I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting a lot of more email these days for any number of reasons – all of them good. I figured that if there was some new information – or commentary; always welcome! – on any of my topics, it would do us all some good to have it available out in the open. I also turned on the TrackBack feature of MovableType but I have no idea if it’s configured correctly – time will tell on that! Otherwise, what else is going on in Randy’s world?

Congrats to Steve for taking the red pill! Good to have another technologist in the Big House – can never have too many good people in Redmond. (This is “old news” to people that read the Goat but I wanted to wait until it was official, and then it was the weekend, and I never seem to get to posts on the weekend these days!)

Snow! Fucking snow in the second week of April – some places closer to New York City got almost six inches; we mostly got some freezing rain. Vintage New England weather: all four seasons in one week, since it’s supposed to be 64 and humid by the weekend.

The new Left Behind book is out! I know it’s probably weird hearing that a computer scientist is a reader of such religious topics, but I haven’t read the books as “religious”. They get preachy and all but they’re also well written – and well edited, which is a rarity these days – and have a flowing story line. I’ve been reading them as fiction for a while now; when I read the first book of the series, they were just publishing book #5 in hardcover – the latest book is #11 of 12 in the series. If I ever had the chance to meet the authors, I would feel obligated to ask them a question: “If you’re so concerned with ‘saving people’, why is taking so long to published the last three books?” but I don’t like to taunt authors that I like to read. Anyway, I’d rather stay behind to fight – just my nature I guess – but it wouldn’t be up to me anyway!

Speaking of books, I’m still proofing my own manuscript – got another six chapters to go… slow going proofreading, but I need to get it done and soon

As if I don’t already have enough to read, my copy of Essential .NET Volume 1 from Box and Sells came in so I have something else to do at work!

I also think I’m going to take another little trip into the C# world… I finally got an itch for another application to build – it’s been some time since I’ve taken on new coding project and it’s a good way to put the new Z1A through it’s paces.

Update on the Z1A – the 1.3GHz has been speedy enough and running at 1400×1050 has been the best unexpected feature on this thing, especially because most of my remote sessions are 1280×1024. The only annoying thing I’ve found on it is the trackpad – it’s not as consistently responsive as the PowerBook – but because it’s on par with my old 505JL I’m not surprised.

War wise, I’ve discovered that I’ve been getting updates from web sites and from an occasional newspaper’s front page. I particularly find the Iraq-O-Meter to be the most useful web site, if it’s actually accurate and it seems to be so. I seem to be avoiding the live TV coverage when possible… for some reason watching a sand trail from the back of a tank for five hours doesn’t keep me glued to the TV. I personally believe that the media coverage has been a bit overkill but who can argue with the press?

And how about those Yankees? 6-1 on the season, so far. Of course my “season” tickets kick in on Saturday, so you can count on at least twelve more losses from Saturday home games this season… sorry about that, but I like going to see the games live and won’t make the sacrifice of not going.

2 thoughts on “Strange Stuff Abound”

  1. Thanks again Randy for your very useful updates on your experience with the Vaio-Z1A.

    But if its OK, I have a few more questions:

    – You mentioned that the 1400×1050 was better than expected. How would you compare its clarity and brightness to your previous Vaio 505 and PB12″ ?

    – How good are the fonts when you switch to 1280×1024 or 1024×768? On some portables if you run in non-optimized mode, the legibility can be really bad.

    – Did you find anything in your manual regarding getting access to the memory. I heard a rumour that you have to remove the keyboard somehow

    – In your previous post, you mention that it got nowhere near as hot as the PB12″ – but how does it compare to your previous Vaio 505 ? Do you think that you could work with it on your lap comfortably for a couple of hours at a stretch ?

    Many thanks,


  2. @Andy – here’s what I know so far:

    – Brightness is on par with both the 505JL and pBook; having said that, while on battery power I keep it at 50% to save power and I find it very readible. CompUSA carries these now – for stuff like monitor quality, I would check them out in person b/c it’s so subjective…

    – Honestly, it’s pretty ass at 1280×1024… for that resolution, it’s better to go to the full 1400×1050. I was very iffy on these “non-standard” resolutions in the Apple and PC world but the truth is that it rules. 1024×768 should be fine as well, because Sony supports that; they say 1400×1050 or 1024×768 for support.

    – Not a thing on memory. Given that it came with 512MB, I would expect to get a new NB before having to go to 1GB. In prior upgrades to RAM, yes, the keyboard had to come up, but it’s not too hard.

    – I actually found a way to make the Sony pretty toasty: install Visual Studio.NET. By the time the 5th CD gets put in the tray it’s very warm – as hot as the 505VE – but still not nearly as hot as the pBook on AC power. That’s why I had a gripe with the Apple; it’s not that it got hot, but that it got TOO hot… I expect heat from all notebooks, after all. The VE is the hotest; the JL and Z1A are about the same. I haven’t seen a temp difference on the Sony on either battery or AC power – it gets warm but not at all uncomfertable. When you add in 5 discs worth of CD playback and HD installation and it got very very warm. The last few nights I’ve been spending 3-4 hours with the Z on my lap… not burn marks :)

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