Archive for November, 2007

Last Blog Entry for the Day…maybe…

Okay. So I locked myself out of my room…again (yeagh why don’t they ahve key cards here). And I spent time eating and watching presidential debates on YouTube. Which I’m still doing. At So with that link I’m done for the night…probably.

Is This Rice?

No…it’s cheese…but this is rice:

No, I haven’t seen Borat, nor do I have a particular desire to. But I like that line. And it’s relatively pertinent in this case. If you go to the link you see they’re givingaway rice…to the hungry people of the world. Nice thought…and the’re a non-profit so that’s their mission. But their other mission is making you smarter. Their custom-built system gives you a high-powered word and asks you for a synonym, tailoring the “game” to your vocabulary level nd seeking to expand that level. They’ve been in business since October 7th…for about seven weeks. In that time they have, by people getting 10…no wait it’s now 20…grains’ worth of donations for each word they get right (thanks to advertisers displayed on the web page), generated a massive 4.2-plus billion (with a “b”) grains of rice to end world hunger. Okay, so that migh actually be not that much, but it’s a coolway to raise money for ending world hunger, while at the same time endeavoring to make the population more literate. I think I’ve raised a thousand grains or two so far. Hey, it’s a cool, beneficial use of the web. Check it out.

Oh, in case you’re wondering, looks like there are about 29,000 grains of rice in a pound of rice, or 1800 in a half-cup serving. So, up until the end of last night FreeRice has raised some 144,000+ pounds, or a little over 72 tons, of rice for the hungry. That gives enough rice to dish out over 2.3 million servings of the stuff. That’s some serious anti-poverty power by a little web 2.0-ish company. Applause for them. I think I’ll generate a thousand grains really quick here to end world hunger 🙂

P.S. I think I’m up to 2000 grains now. My computer is set to remember such things now so I can keep track of my progress easier.

Apple Stock

Yeah I know I know. I haven’t updated my blog in ages (yes, I know by now that ten days on the net is ages). And I haven’t updated Go4Prepaid in even longer. 🙁 Very sad indeed. Well, I’m remedying the first problem right now. And I’m going to my Go4Prepaid forum to check up on the folks there. Anyhow, I’ll be posting several times today.

First off, I own twenty shares of Apple stock. Just an experiment really…I think I’ll be putting that money back into my business as soon as the stock rises back up above what I bought it for. I got it for $185 using Ameritrade, whic gives you a month of free trades. I’m going to sell because I think my money is better spent on my business, which is now the largest of its kind in the world. Nice to be able to say that. But it needs a smll cash transfusion. Which the sale of the Apple stock and withdrawal of funds from Ameritrade should give it.

Enough about stocks though. See everyone a little later. I think I’ll post every hour until I go to sleep tonight…whenever that might be…about something or other. This blog seriously needs updating 🙂

I Don’t Like Mines Laundry Facilities

Well, I got a lot done today. Now to do homework. But first, instead of a glowing review of the virtualization abilities of VMWare Fusion that turn my Mac into a dual-OS-at-once machine with reletive alacrity, I’ve gotta rant on the fact that over TWO HOURS in the dryer a rather large (though not overly so) load of clothes did not get dried. On the contrary, I think the “dryer” merely warmed them up. Wonderful; now I just hope the dry Colorado climate of my dorm room will do a better job of getting the clothes dry than that dryer, into which I poured three whole dollars to no avail. Looking forward in this respect to the point when I will be in a non-school-controlled apartment complex, where the laundry facilities will actually work. What a thought!


Sorry for not posting for two days straight. Have been busy. But heres something to munch on…before I go to bed the earliest I’ve gone to bed in a long while:

CellularOne (Dobson) is now bought out by AT&T. Thus adding to the huge “dath star” that is AT&T. Yes, the iPhone will now be “legit” in more places and data speeds will likely go up, but at what cost? Customer service will likely start to decline relative to what it was with CellularOne. Very, very competitive plans will soon be no more (450 per month for all of Texas or $100 a month for all of the US were two CellOne plans…a $60 150–minute unlimited night-and-weekend plan was another), replaced by what seems to be an industry standard now. Don’t get me wrong, AT&T has some good aspects, and if you’re on CellularOne your mobile to mobile community just got about 2000% bigger, but for one thing AT&T does some heavy branding on their phones, and locks them network-wise, something Dobson CellOne didn’t do. 🙁

Let’s just hope something good coms out of this. AT&T has to divest a few markets where it doubled p coverage-wise with Dobson CellOne so we’ll see what happens there. Maybe they’ll e bought by a local carrier and blossomed into something truly awesome. Maybe not. Who knows…I just hope that there’ll be cheap cell minutes flying around once this thing is all over…something AT&T just ain’t gonna do.

Apple vs. Dell, continued

Well, if you look at the Mac Mini, the price parity breaks down. The features may be slightly less on it as far as wireless and maybe a little processor speed, but a Dell Inspiron 530 esktop can be had for $450 or so that blows away the Mac Mini in terms of hard disk storage (with room for a full 250GB drive) and other such fun. Granted, the Mac Mini is smaller, but thanks to desktop components the Dell eats the mini’s lunch from a price-performance perspective. Oh, and the Dell comes with a keyboard and mouse…what an ingenious thought! And the mouse actually is not a pain to use, as the Apple Mighty Mouse is…I went out and bought a Logitech optical mouse ecause I could not stand to use the Mighty Mouse on my iMac…ech…

Also, if you don’t mind having a regular desktop as opposed to the all-in-one-ness of the iMac, Dell can offer you for $1300 basically everything the $1500 iMac gets you. Except the webcam and slightly better graphics.

When it comes to the Mac Pro vs. Dell’s hot-rod XPS system, granted the Mac Pro is aimed at a bit different audience, but the ell config versus the Mac Pro leaves me calling “skunk rule” With a faster, single-die quad core proc, faster memory…well yu get my drift…at nearly $1000 less than the Apple model…well, you decide. And if you need more speed, Dell’s overclocked 3.33GHz upgrade is precisely $52 more than an upgrade to a mere 3 GHz on the Apple platform. Sure, you can run octo-core on the Mac Pro, but that’ll run you another $700 and the performance increase ain’t gonna help ya until years down the road. Same on the eight memory slots…whacha gonna do with ’em?

And if you really need all that, looks like Dell’s Precision workstations come out to a few hundred chraper than the Mac Pro. Sorta like a “back atcha” for the macbooks…

…interstingly, the Dell 17″ workstation comes out to $200 more than the Macbook Pro similarly configured, but then again the workstation is probably better-built (!) and sports a workstation-class graphis card. If you want a gaming machine, Dell’s XPS laptops will deliver the goods, albeit thick-ly.

Just comparing things between Apple and Dell, and on some things Apple is unnervingly similar (Dell please clean up thy act) but again in may cases Dell pulls a “skunk rule” on Apple with performance to price…

Apple Cheaper Than Dell!?!

Please read the whole post before pointing out discrepancies in my comparison. I will ost them myself.

So anyway I decided to peruse the Dell website today, and found to my surprise that the XPS M1330 laptop they had started at $1099 price-wise. Same as the Apple Macbook…so I decided to do a price comparison.

Well, first I found out that I couldn’t get the lowest-end options on feature parity with each other. So I upped to the Apple 2.2GHz white model of the Macbook, which was $1299…and found to my horror that a similarly configured Dell M1330 cost $50 more than the Macbook! I’m talking same graphics, same processor, same memory, same hard disk, same DVD burner, same (non-Intel) draft-N wireless card (well, Dell is Dell branded, Macbook is Atheros), same 6-cell battery (okay, 56 WHr for Dell, 55 for Apple)…and the Dell is $1349!  What the heck?!?

Now in fairness, the Dell laptop is MUCH more configurable than the Macbook, the Dell has more ports, the Dell has an ExpressCard slot, a better webcam and Vista Home Premium, but then again the Macbook is thinner overall than the Dell and with iLife ’08 and OS X Leopard you might as well have Vista Home Premium on the Macbook, and maybe then some depending on who you’re talking to. !?!

But on further inspection, the Dell comes with some extra goodies: one year of LoJack laptop protection and 15 months of Trend Micro Internet Security. You also get 10 GB of online backup storeage for a year with the Dell unit. Discounting antivirus since you don’t need that on Mac quite yet and because you can get it for free on PC relatively easily, you have $50 worth of value from the LoJack…the price difference between the two laptops. The 10GB of storage is what Apple provides with their $100-a-year (or $70 if you buy it with a Mac last time I looked closely…may have changed)  .Mac service. Make of that what you will.

So technically EXACTLY the same configuration on a Mac would be the same or more than the Dell, but the Dell makes you take LoJack which I personally have no use for…neither of my laptops have walked off and I’ve had my Dell for over a year now…interesting, no? Also, there’s an audience difference here: the Dell is relatively a higher-end machine than the Apple, hence expansion capabilities, likely similar or even better build quality, etc…but it’s still a bit on an eye-opener to see that Apple is this close to price parity with similarly-equipped PCs. Now let me see if this happens with any other PC system…scary huh?