Friday, October 21, 2005

Helpful - Large Monitors

[See previous]

According to this article and my own personal experience:

A Large Monitor Makes You More Productive

Far, far more productive.

At the urging of a friend I started using a two-monitor setup about 9 months ago. This gives me 3,200 by 1,200 pixels on the desktop. I am the kind of person who likes to have lots of windows open at the same time, and it really helps to have the extra real estate. It cuts down on or eliminates all of the time you spend juggling windows so that you can see them.

I would seriously consider going to a 3- or 4-monitor setup. The one advantage of a two-monitor setup is that it is easy to do. It is easy to find cheap graphics cards that produce the outputs for two monitors. And most laptops now have two-monitor support built in. My wife's latop is running two monitors -- the laptop's normal screen plus an external LCD monitor set up side by side.

As the article says, "In two decades of research, Czerwinski had never seen a single tweak to a computer system so significantly improve a user's productivity."

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Helpful - backups

[See previous]

This goes along with the Windows XP security tips I mentioned a couple of weeks ago:

Backup basics: What to know before a crisis

You can't have a secure system unless you are backing it up.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

New idea

[See previous]

The title kind of says it all...

Cellphones learn to recognize their owners' faces

Sunday, October 16, 2005

New idea - Paper view technology

[See previous]

If this is true it is just remarkable:

Paper view technology

From the article: "Cheap, paper-thin TV screens that can be used in newspapers and magazines have been unveiled by German electronics giant Siemens... The company believes there will also be a market for using them for simple computer games which could be printed on the side of a package or given away free in magazines... The Siemens spokesman said that one square metre of the material costs around £30, and scientists working on the screens said they should be available by 2007."

Friday, October 14, 2005

helpful - speeding up XP

[See previous]

The title says it all:

23 Ways to Speed Up Windows XP

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

helpful - cost of inkjet photos

[See previous]

Why do-it-yourself photo printing doesn't add up

Makes me smile

[See previous]

Video about ghosts in New Orleans:

Soldiers spooked by New Orleans Spirits

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Fun fact - time spent on media

[See previous]

Media, media everywhere, and no time left to think?: "The average American is a ravenous media junkie, consuming up to nine hours a day of television, web time or cellphone minutes, according to new research which raises fresh questions about how technology is revolutionising society.

From iPods filling commuters' ears, the screens scrolling headlines in the elevator at work to proliferating on-the-move tools like cellphones and Blackberry handhelds, media is everywhere in the United States, like much of the rest of the developed world. "

Also: "The average person spends about nine hours per day using some type of media, which is arguably in excess of anything we would have envisaged 10 years ago"

Also: "On a typical day at the end of 2004, 70 million Americans went online to use email, get news, find health and medical information, book travel or countless other activities, a figure 37 percent higher than four years before, the survey found."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

fun fact - teenage sex trends

[See previous]

Teen Girls Leading Sexual Revolution: "According to the study, the percentage of young girls who participate in premarital sex jumped from 12 to 79 percent, while the percentage of young men who participate in premarital sex jumped from 42 to 71 percent. The average age teenage girls had sexual intercourse in 1999 was 15, according to the study. The average age during the 1950s and 1960s was 19. Overall, the percentage of sexually-actively teenage girls in 1999 was 50 percent, compared to 13 percent in 1943."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A great place for kids

Saturday was David's eighth birthday, and for his birthday he asked to go to a place called Great Wolf Lodge. This is a hotel chain, and for us the nearest one is in Williamsburg, VA. The thing that makes this hotel appealing to kids is the fact that it has a indoor water park grafted onto it. David had seen an ad in the paper one Sunday, and he asked to go, and it sounded like fun, so we went.

If you have kids, this turns out to be a great place to go for a weekend. Both my wife and I had a mental image of what an "indoor water park" would be like. I assumed that it would be "small". I will say that this place greatly exceeded my expectations. There are 5 different slides that anyone can ride on, and two smaller slides for the under-5 crowd:

There's a giant climbing structure with nets, ramps, tunnels, water cannon turrets and so on, topped by the now-mandatory 1,000 gallon bucket:

There is a large pool perfect for the under-5 crowd (deepest point is 1.5 feet), a big wave pool, two huge hot-tubs (one adults-only), a big 4 to 5 foot deep swimming pool with basketball, floating structures, etc. and a "lazy river" kind of thing. It is all housed in a 5 to 6 story tall building which is heated by one of the most massive HVAC systems I have ever seen. The hotel has about 300 rooms and is just absolutely immense.

Because it was a weekend, our room for 2 adults and 4 kids was $250 (it is cheaper on weekdays). That included six unlimited passes to the water park (good for both the day of arrival and the following day) (the water park was open from 8:30AM to 10PM), a free breakfast (which was fantastic), and various other amenities like a kids club (coloring, crafts), an animatronic show, etc. There is also a really nice game room/arcade, and an Aveda spa (a little pricey -- a "fusion stone massage" (whatever that is) is $160).

If you don't have kids you probably would never go to this hotel. If you do have kids it is fantastic.

I am still trying to figure out if this hotel represents:
  1. Capitalism at its best

  2. Our first baby steps toward completely enclosed cities

  3. Or the initial signs that the United States is about to collapse like the roman empire did under the sheer weight of its extravagance.
For the time being let's assume #1. It really is a cool place if you have kids, and I would recommend it.

Makes me smile

[See previous]

I don't know why this makes me smile, but... Behold, the automatic french fry vending machine:

Patata Chef Introduction

The Process link explains the whole thing.

This reminds me of the old Automat in NYC. I wonder if it is time to try that idea again...

Monday, October 03, 2005

Looking on the bright side...

[see previous]

Mighty Mice Regrow Organs: "Mice discovered accidentally at the Wistar Institute in Pennsylvania have the seemingly miraculous ability to regenerate like a salamander, and even regrow vital organs.

Researchers systematically amputated digits and damaged various organs of the mice, including the heart, liver and brain, most of which grew back. The results stunned scientists because if such regeneration is possible in this mammal, it might also be possible in humans."

Fun fact - soldiers

[See previous]

Ike Was Right About War Machine: " We have 1,155,000 enlisted men and women and 225,000 officers. One officer to tell every five enlisted soldier what to do. We have 40,000 colonels alone and 870 generals."

ARCHIVES © Copyright 2003-2005 by Marshall Brain


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