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Apple and Blu-ray May 27, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

When my ex took off, she swiped my other computer, leaving me with only the personal laptop I had with me when I was out of town. Luckily even though my laptop is a five year old iBook G4, it still works fine for my needs. Word processing, playing music, web design, Photoshop, cellphone backups, I can do everything I actually want to do with it…

Except for playing EVE. CCP’s most successful already-released computer product, EVE is a beautiful MMO with graphic requirements that mean I have to play it after hours on a work machine because my home system is pre-Intel. If you know me, you should be aware of the fact that I like to keep up with everything that my company produces. From our White Wolf division to our CCP Iceland office, we publish and create a lot of stuff, so I can’t be an expert at all of it, but I like to try, and EVE is fun, too.

Given this situation, you might imagine that I have been debating an upgrade to a newer system for a while. Yup. I keep looking at new Macs trying to decide what I would like to get next. The iMac 24″ looks nice, but so does the aluminum unibody MacBook. Maybe even a Mac Pro tower. From my current iPhone 3G to spending most of my 10 years at White Wolf working with Mac systems acting as web servers, I am an Apple fan.

Whenever possible, I like to buy systems that seem likely to fill all of my needs for while. However, looking at all of the newest Apple computers, I keep noticing that they still have not adopted Blu-ray drives. Given that Apple has been a member of the Blu-ray consortium’s Board of Directors since March 2005, this seems pretty odd. Googling the issue a bit, it became clear that people have been waiting, anticipating and being disappointed about this for more than four years now. I even found polls asking whether the issue was affecting anyone’s brand buying decisions.

Well, put me down as somebody whose buying decisions are definitely being influenced. I would like to get a new computer, soon, so I can play EVE in the comfort of my own home rather than having to play it after hours at work (where I use a Windows PC nowadays). Despite more than a decade of favor for Apple computers, I find myself at least considering the purchase of a PC that can play EVE, and maybe, someday, when Apple finally decides to support Blu-ray, coming back into the fold, whenever that PC is out of date enough that I legitimately need an upgrade.

Talking to Dad May 18, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

This year my dad is finally hitting the age where he can draw Social Security of some sort or other. When he first told me this, it was one of those weird revelations that you knew was coming eventually but still caught you off guard. Tonight, I called to talk to him about life. I wanted to check in on him, and discuss a private family issue.

I know that most people are fond of their parents, and ascribe all sorts of positive traits to them. I really am proud of my dad, though. He is one of the wisest people I know, and he has a strong work ethic. He wants to keep working even after Social Security kicks in, and it is important to him to take care of himself.

Still, I know that things could be difficult in the future. I reminded him of the time, when I was 21, that I essentially moved back home to live with him in Nelson County. He charged me a nominal rent, and waited until I got myself back on my feet. After a few months, I was ready to throw myself at the world again.

I wanted him to know that I appreciated his assistance, even now, 18 years later. It felt good to be able to tell him that, at this point in my life, I could help out if he needed it. I told him that I didn’t just want him to feel like he could come to me for help if he needed, but that I wanted him to feel like he deserved it!

A Good Friday May 9, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

Okay, I know that this is going to be marked as being posted Saturday, and technically that is true since it is like 3:45 AM. Still, this is still Friday night for me. It was a good day and a good evening.

I started off the day sleeping in, because I have a four day weekend off of work. That was nice, even if nothing else had happened.

Then I relaxed messing around on the internet for a while. Not too exciting, but still nice to be able to do.

Then I headed out to watch the new Star Trek movie. Maybe I’ll post something about that later, after I get some sleep.

Then I headed to a local neighborhood bar. However, when I found out that a bunch of my friends from work were headed off to Eastside Lounge, I left the first bar and headed to meet them.

Mostly I danced and hung out with friends. I scarcely drank. I guess that makes this trip a lot different than my old “get home at some crazy hour in the morning” adventures. I was sobered up, and the sun hasn’t risen yet. But I still had a good time. I won’t be hungover when I wake up later, and – better yet – I didn’t get arrested for DUI…

A Grim Fairy Tale May 8, 2009

Posted by Conrad Hubbard in : The Chip , add a comment

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a little girl who lived in the southern regions of her land. The little girl’s name was Rachel. She lived alone with her mother, and she could not remember ever even seeing her father. Whatever she may have been told, the truth was that her mother had taken her away from her father. For reasons unknown to the people of this southern land, her mother even lied to her about who her father was. And so it was that little Rachel grew up believing that her father was a bad man who didn’t care to see her, and that he was a drunkard and a sloth, and all the other things her mother would say about him when she was angry that her decisions had brought her a life she didn’t find to her liking.

The little girl grew up, tall and beautiful. Yet, though she was seemingly strong on the outside, inside there was a hole. She did not know her father, and she missed the idea of him. And so it was, she sought out someone to be a better father for her own children. As a young mother, she birthed her first child, and for a time she was happy. Eventually, her mother even saw fit to reveal the identity of her real father, although she continued to condemn him as a terrible man.

This is no normal fairy tale, and the married couple did not live happily ever after. Wounded inside, by her mother’s tales of the ugliness of the world, and disappointed by the reality which had come to her dreams, she could not abide the father of her first child. And so it was that she deprived her first daughter of her father, just as her mother had done.

And so it was that she married again. But this time, she found no father figure for her future. She bore him no children and left him behind. Casting herself into the wind, she never even bothered to formalize their divorce. During this wandering and wild time, she found the father of her second child. When she realized that she was pregnant, however, she fled to yet another man, with visions of him being the new father of her child.

The lords of the city were not kind. They bound her to naming her child after the abandoned husband, even though she had not seen him for years. They cared not that the father of her child was not her legal husband, and that she had not bothered to be divorced of him.

When her second child was born into the world, there was a new man there, ready to welcome her. Rachel proclaimed that she loved him, and that he was a good man for acting as a child to her daughters despite the fact that they were not of his blood.

And so it was that she repeated the sins of her mother. Bequeathed with the favor of a good man, she lied to her newest daughter and told her that this new man was her father. She even married, for the third time, in order to preserve the household which so cared for her children.

Her third husband and Rachel’s youngest daughter were inseparable. He read bedtime stories to her, and cared for her when she was sick. He came to her side when she suffered nightmares, and taught her the ways of the world as best he could.

When Rachel and her third husband were married, Rachel’s real father even came to witness the event. It seemed as though things were finally set, and that they would live happily ever after. Though she had been denied his name, and then heard it slandered, she was brought together with her father finally. He stood witness over her third marriage, and everyone saw her daughters take well to her new husband.

They were set to live happily ever after.

But this is no normal fairy tale.

Inside her heart, Rachel had been deprived of her father and all the years they could have been together. So it was that she dragged her second daughter away, and denied her of the man that she had been raised to call her father. So it was that she inflicted the same fate her mother had inflicted upon her, and carried her second daughter away from anything she had known as a father. She rested amongst her friends, and they all did speak evil of him. Her daughter could not remember her blood father and was no longer allowed to see the man who had stepped up to be her father for all these years.

It was within this time and place that little Deva did grow up. The people of land hoped, against all hope, that she might not be subjected to the same lies and hatred with which Rachel’s mother had infected her. Things were to be happily ever after, but they were not. Instead, they were a cliffhanger, a time of “to be continued…”