FRQ - Broadband Choice, Athlon64, New Psion, Myth about MSFT

I had a week of absence on my weblogs, and so was Friday Five. This week is about cars. I will be 27 and half years old tomorrow, and I have already lost my appetite of things fast and furious...

  • What vehicle do you drive?
    Currently I am driving a white 1.6L Nissan Pulsar N15.
  • How long have you had it?
    I bought it brand new in 1999. Now it is 4+ years with nearly 40,000k on the clock.
  • What is the coolest feature on your vehicle?
    Well. I really can't think of any. 4 doors with an engine that can take you to a place you want to be?
  • What is the most annoying thing about your vehicle?
    Quite a few annoyance, including:
    • Broken engine immobiliser so that I still have this little red light flashing while I am driving. Yes. I still haven't fixed it!
    • No mirror behind the sunshade on the front-passenger side. Well. Vivian is annoyed by that.
    • Something is stuck in the cigarette lighter slot so we can't draw power from it. I also need to find time to fix it.
    • Unpleasant smell in the car due to Vivian accidentally spilled some fish soup on the flood. We thought we've cleaned up, but it has never smelt the same.
    I am sure there are a few more...
  • If money were no object, what vehicle would you be driving right now?
    Anything James Bond drives, including the invisible Auston Martin :) I actually like small nibble cars like 206GTi or Mini Cooper. Vivian likes small convertibles like MX-5, S2000 or 206cc (yes! 206 again!). But our next car is more likely going to be a 5 door Australia-made family wagon...

Anyway. Here's my two weeks of logs.

Blog

Jeremy Zawodny from Yahoo! talked about the good and bad of a weblog's power. Somethings you ought not to put on your weblog - you might get fired because of it. But the good side is, it helps you to get to meet many others.

Broadband

New Broadband Choice website on Whirlpool has recently came on-line. It lists out many ISP's in Australia that provide ADSL/Cable broadband Internet connections, with pros and cons on each of the providers. It either assists you in choosing the right Internet solution, or makes it even more confused...

Development

XML Resume Library is an XML and XSL based system for marking up resumes! With one single XML source, it generates HTML, PDF, plain text and RTF format. Can't guarantee that you can impress your interviewer with an XML source file of your resume, but I think it is definitely a good idea.

Google

Ever thought of using Google AdSense to earn some changes from your blog site? Well. I confessed that I did. Anyway, Russel Beattie in this this blog entry talked about how Google bullied the AdSense customers in its Terms and Conditions, and it makes me thinking whether I want to sell my soul page space to this giant portal. Discussion on Google's change to AdSense's TaC can be found on Webmaster World.com.

Hardware

Tom's Hardware's detailed analysis on Athlon 64. Well, while the newly released 64 bit chip from AMD out performs the previous generation of chips, it sounds like Intel's Pentium 4 Extreme (an Xeon labeled P4 actually), which will be available in 2 months, still grabs the crown. Man. Don't you find today's desktop computers too fast for the users?

While most Athlon64 reviews are tested with 32-bit benchmarks, AnandTech has a 32-bit vs. 64-bit benchmark - 34% gain in 64-bit mode in Lame MP3 encoding.

Still remember Psion? They had surely made one of the best palm top computers in the world, even though it is no longer available on the market. Tim Hu sent me this link on Psion's coming back, but this time with customised WinCE in Netbook format! It boasts 128Mb of RAM, 400Mhz ARM/XScale, 1.3kg and 8.5" LCD screen. It's going to be an expensive USD$1,500 little machine, even though Psion claimed that its TCO is far less than Windows-based notebooks. I'll still pick the USD$999 iBook any day :)

Internet

Interesting discussion on Webmaster World.com - 98% of HTML emails are spams. Well. I still don't agree why people want to send HTML emails, especially those with strange coloured/bitmapped background and tiny fonts. My willingness to read an email dropped to 5% when I detected that it is a HTML email...

And Jarno Virtanen shared that we should discard published time-stamp in RSS feed, because it messed up his setting. I beg to differ. I think all RSS feed should include its published date! Personally I don't try to fetch the new entries every 5 minutes (I'm more close to once or twice a day), so my fetched date is skewed and unreliable. I would like to know when the post is actually published - so please include the publish date in your RSS feed.

Anglican Media Sydney is now back on-line! It has been my favourite source of Christian news since its launch, but somehow it was taken down by a random spammer (or spambot) due to venerability in probably PHP script or Apache, according to its webmaster Luke S. There was a conspiracy theory about how liberals are getting hackers to attack the site. Hopefully this has been put to rest. Read more discussions here.

Software

OpenOffice.org 1.1.0 has finally been released after 5 release candidates. Rejoice! Only 2001.9 version to go before we can beat MS Office 2003!! Well, I have two disappointments. First of all, there is no Mac OS X release so I am still stock in OpenOffice.org1.0.3. Secondly, the show stopper issue for me still has not been resolved. Waiting for 1.1.1 patiently...

Windows

Peter Deans talked about difficulties for churches to switch to Linux. Basically churches are owned by Microsoft products, and there's just too much geek-speak when they try to move to something open source. I think for St. Matthias office, they are pretty much owned by Apple because of all these File Maker database and customised apps that they can't get rid of.

Myron Semack argued that "Microsoft copied Apple" is just a myth. Microsoft did not stole GUI ideas from Apple, nor is Luna a rip off of Aqua, and Desktop Composition Engine starts at around the same time as Quartz Extreme. At the end, Microsoft needed to be recognised for some of its efforts in research.

While I do agree with Myron on the merits of Microsoft research, I don't agree with his view on the death of PalmOS, especially when the primary argument is because PalmDesktop's half-baked Outlook synchronisation. He said "Almost every serious professional uses Outlook for scheduling, contact management, and e-mail.", which is simply not true. Currently, PalmOS-based PDAs are still the best PDA to get for Mac OS X synchronisation.