New shiny fruit today

Apple released the Intel Core-based Mac mini systems today. Overall, I’m underwhelmed, and glad I bought the 20″ Core Duo iMac instead of waiting for the Intel mini as I’d originally planned.

Apple no longer offers a sub-$500 computer. You’re forced to pay $100 more for a system with built-in wireless (802.11b/g and Bluetooth) even if you don’t need it, and Intel GMA950 integrated graphics. While the new integrated graphics chipset is a performance improvement over the older Radeon 9200, it “steals” system memory (according to Apple, a minimum of 80M) to use as graphics memory. As a result, instead of a 512M system out-of-the-box you’ve got a 432M system. Other changes include two DDR2 SODIMM slots instead of a single DDR DIMM slot, four USB2 ports (up from two), gigabit Ethernet, and analog/optical audio in (finally) and out. Prices start at $599, but I’ll pass. If they’d released a version without the built-in wireless for the original $499, I would have thought about picking one up.

(I’m sure the reason that wireless is not an option is that its built into the Intel system chipset and isn’t a “piggyback” board as it was on previous models.)

I find it highly ironic to look at Apple’s original web page about the G4-based Mac mini graphics:

“Go ahead, just try to play Halo on a budget PC. Most say they’re good for 2D games only. That’s because an “integrated Intel graphics” chip steals power from the CPU and siphons off memory from system-level RAM. You’d have to buy an extra card to get the graphics performance of Mac mini, and some cheaper PCs don’t even have an open slot to let you add one.”

SBCL Build Times, Take Two

Built SBCL 0.9.10 this morning on the SPARC (E420R, quad 450MHZ CPUs, 4M L2 cache each, 4G RAM) and the x86 system (Dell SC420, Celeron 2.53Ghz, 1G RAM).

First, the Sun box (Solaris 9):

//build started:  Mon Feb 27 09:30:23 CST 2006
//build finished: Mon Feb 27 10:58:32 CST 2006
real    88m9.016s
user    81m11.700s
sys     6m24.700s

Then, the Intel (Linux, FC4) system:

//build started:  Mon Feb 27 10:48:04 CST 2006
//build finished: Mon Feb 27 11:04:15 CST 2006
real    16m11.196s
user    15m7.233
ssys     0m17.781s

Religious publications followup

As a followup to this post, so far I’ve received an English translation of the Qu’ran and a copy of the Book of Mormon.

I’m still tempted to go down to the Church of Scientology on Fondren and see if I can get them to give me a copy of Dianetics.

Pointers to any other systems of belief offering their “core materials” for free will be greatly appreciated, as I enjoy reading about the differences and similarities between them.

still here!

Just been very busy over the past week helping a friend relocate to Houston, find an apartment, get moved, and get Internet connectivity.

Upgraded my Athlon XP system to an Athlon64 system.

Going to the Sisters of Mercy concert tonight. Will report in later.

Texas religious zealots strike again…

As seen on CNN:

The church pastor of a woman accused of cutting off the arms of her 10-month-old daughter told jurors Wednesday that mental illness is actually demon possession and cannot be cured with medication.

Dena Schlosser, 37, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the November 2004 death of her baby, Margaret. She was not taking her anti-psychotic medication at the time of the slaying.

“I do not believe that any mental illness exists other than demons, and no medication can straighten it out, other than the power of God,” said Doyle Davidson, the 73-year-old minister of the Water of Life Church, which the Schlosser family attended several times a week.

Valentine’s Day Gifts

I gave Amy a card, Godiva chocolates, a stuffed “Hound Dog” that sings “Don’t Be Cruel” (the Elvis-singing-stuffed-animal is a long-running joke between us), and an emerald and diamond pendant on a gold chain

She surprised me with a platinum version of the gold wedding ring I’ve worn for the past five years, with “I LOVE YOU” engraved on the inside (just a plain 6mm comfort-fit band). I wanted a platinum ring in ’01, but we couldn’t afford it back then.

We didn’t go out for dinner or anything; places are too crowded and we’ve been busy helping a friend get settled here in Houston (he’s crashing on our couch until he gets the keys to his new apartment on Thursday).


The Sisters of Mercy are playing in Austin at La Zona Rosa on the 21st of February.

My one chance to see the Sisters (er, basically, Andrew E. and whoever he drags along with him this time) play live might just be worth $30/person and a trip back to Austin.

update: Amy got home, I told her about it, and she said “Order tickets RIGHT NOW!”. We should have them in our hands by Tuesday evening (I opted for FedEx Overnight delivery).