aka christopher, aka zane
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Location:Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Wednesday, December 31
  two news bits

[moved from my LiveJournal]

via Nybble

Nobody in the UK need ever pay for a personal computer again - from this week new IBM models will be delivered free of charge to any home that wants one.

US computing giant IBM is working with British start-up company Metronomy to supply a free IBM PC, which would otherwise retail for around #800, to every household in Britain. It is anticipated that around two million of the computers will be given away over the next three years, with an initial 200,000 being shipped in the first few months of 2004. The only catch is that users will be subjected to one minute of TV-style ads coming on to their screens every 20 minutes. If the user wishes, the ad break can be delayed by a maximum of five minutes to allow completion of another operation such as a secure online purchase of an airline ticket.

Initial advertisers include Churchill Insurance, part of Royal Bank of Scotland, which is using its TV ads to sell to the PC user market. In order to continue to access the new PCs, users will have to install a CD each month to update the advertising content. This will enable advertisers such as Churchill to trial a variety of ads with different types of customer. Future free software could also include the kind of bGsoftphoneb application that enables computer users to make free international telephone calls over the Internet.

and Yahoo Photos news

Paul Festa
December 24, 2003, 10:25 GMT

Yahoo has eliminated storage limits on its photo site, but cut the ability to store very high-resolution pictures for free

Changes to Yahoo's photo and storage sites have elicited cries of bait-and-switch from users, even as the portal giant opens its photo site to unlimited storage capacity.

In its ongoing effort to balance its free and paid services, Yahoo this month divided its Briefcase file storage service and its Photos storage and retail site, adjusted storage limits and restricted some downloads to paying subscribers. Previously, Yahoo lumped picture files and other files under the same storage system.
As part of that change, Yahoo eliminated its 30MB storage limit but restricted users of its free service from retrieving what it termed "really high-resolution" images -- or anything above 480 by 360 pixels -- unless they paid for the SBC Yahoo Internet service or Yahoo's premium Plus service.
That restriction has riled some users, who say their only
high-resolution copies of some photos are stored on Yahoo's servers.
"I would say I lost about 70 full-sizes images," said Henri Dubois-Ferriere, a Yahoo subscriber in Lausanne, Switzerland. "The original versions have now been 'kidnapped' by Yahoo... Converting previously free services into paid services is one thing, but this is worse, because a previously free service is withdrawn with no warning, in a manner that makes users lose data they had entrusted to Yahoo."
Yahoo countered that it had warned users of its Briefcase and Photos service changes by running top-of-the-page banner advertisements directing them to an informational page.
Those banners started running in August, Yahoo said. The company has been implementing the changes over the course of this month.
Subscribers like Dubois-Ferriere who may have missed those banners still do have a free workaround for getting their pictures back -- a 60-day free trial of Yahoo Plus.
Yahoo has been tinkering with charging for its Web-based services for years. The recent elimination of the 30MB limit for photographs is the result of company research that showed that the limit was stunting use of the service, as digital photography becomes more mainstream and higher-resolution cameras come down in price.

i THINK that is good news for us, considering the panic over PSO screenshots and such that we had to go through...

Saturday, December 27
  more than 310 laserdiscs now

[moved from my LiveJournal, with some link fixes....]

well, all the half-price books stores are having their 20% off sale, so, we hit a couple in fort worth and grabbed a few new LaserDiscs, including some of the first Criterions, all movies we care nothing about (39 Steps, The Magnificent Ambersons, High Noon, and The Third Man), but, they were only like $6 a piece and in pretty good shape...
at this point, we have mostly what we want on laser now, except a few rare ones, so, there is rarely any stuff that makes us say 'wow'...

our collection looks a little something like this...

and that is before the new ones, which are about 15 or so... (our favorites are on the shelf, the rest are on the floor until we get some new shelves :P)

so, this latest buy brings our LaserDisc Database total to 310, and there are 10 or more that have no listing there yet, so, we need to submit the entries...
our database we keep on our Psion palmtops tracks our DVDs and LDs and it says we now have 404... sooner or later, i will put that db on the web...
we used to keep pages where we listed all our DVDs and LDs, but, when the inheritence came, we started buying them so fast it was work to keep them updated...

in other news, i am reading Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold and it is pretty amazing so far... i was with it word-by-word up until the 12th chapter where you build a binary calculator in your head... but, i am going to back up and come at it a bit slower (no pun intended), must have not grasped all the prerequisite knowledge or something...

anyway, damn fascinating so far...

Wednesday, December 24
  leeeeeeet laserness

[moved from my LiveJournal (with some link fixes), where there is also a comment to this post that i did not move to here...]

Current Mood: satisfied
Current Music: some weird version of "god rest ye merry gentlemen"

behold the Pioneer Elite CLD-97 Reference LaserDisc Player...

it actually says "reference" on it, how cool is that... (not that you can see it in these pics...)

got it at Marvin's Electronics in Fort Worth for $270 after tax, which is a damn good price... (btw, the guy showed me the bluebook and it is $288, so, even when not comparing to ebay prices, it is a nice deal...)

we tried parts from our DTS Toy Story, CAV Toy Story, THX Wow Disc, The Stand, and our anamorphic The Fugitive, and then we watched It's A Wonderful Life, and so far we are extremely impressed... obviously, we wish it had AC-3 out but we are leaving our Yamaha CDV-W901 (Pioneer D503 clone) in the system and it does have it... this elite may now be our favorite player... the D704 goes over to miss mary's corner, and that leaves our pioneer 980, our D503, both unused and another D503 at my parent's house...

our only other complaint with the 97 is how it displays a frame during side flip and that sucks... if there is a way to disable that, i wish we would find it...
for another point on the good side, we finally get to use the 704 remote we love, we never use the 704, but, prefer the remote to any other...

so, it looks like today is movie-watching day, we picked up A Christmas Story the same day we got the It's A Wonderful Life, a couple nice LD finds for xmas...

so, anyway, merry christmas to us!

Tuesday, December 23
  xmas time is here

[moved from my LiveJournal, with some link fixes...]

Current Mood: curious
Current Music: still kvil

married 8 years and this is our first tree...

more pics are in the usual place, or you can go straight to the pics so far this month...

think of this as another test post...

  first test

[moved from my LiveJournal]

Current Mood: indescribable
Current Music: KVIL

well, when i posted a comment at sam's livejournal, it gave me an option to start an account, so, uh, i did... may use it, may not... miss mary would probably love one to play with...

hmm, no choice of "insidious" for the current mood...

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