stupid tvs in pubs

tvbgoneI got on a really good rant on Friday night about how distracting televisions are in pubs. I’m not talking about TVs showing a football game that everyone’s into and getting rowdy about. I mean those terrible little ones, tucked away in a corner with the sound turned down having no effect other than to distract you with moving images.

I’m not sure if this is a problem you’re faced with, but I’m really distracted by moving pictures. Maybe it’s a short attention span, or maybe it’s a natural magnetism to anything technological but having a TV in eyeshot really ruins my conversational abilities.

In a fit of pique, I tracked down this cool little toy called a TV-B-Gone and ordered it. In about a week or two, I’ll be sure to carry this keychain size toy with me to the pub to turn the goddamn televisions off. I’ll let you know how it goes. I don’t reckon anyone will even notice me turning them off, though I do plan to be discreet enough to avoid getting beaten up. You just never know how turning off music video clips that have no sound might enrage people.

“thud!” go the nails in the coffin of the landline

cisco3gmicrocell-photolgLast week, AT&T in the US began making these brilliant little devices to my right available to selected areas. Wondering what it is? It’s an AT&T 3G Microcell – your own personal 3G base station with backhaul provided by your broadband internet connection. It provides coverage of up to 500 square meters!

For a flat rental fee each month, you can register up to 10 phones of which 4 can be used on the cell simultaneously. When voice calls are placed using the Microcell, they aren’t counted toward your monthly allowance of calls. The device provides high speed data to your mobile phone too.

I really think that devices like these highlight the dying gasps of that old communication relic of the 20th century, the landline. When every house member can use their mobile to call for a flat rate when within range of their home 3G cell, the idea of calling a location will finally give way entirely to the notion of calling a person.

I reckon this thing is sheer genius. As long as issues of interference and bandwidth could be worked out, I don’t see why we couldn’t deploy something like this here in Australia. I’d love one – much of my house sees just one bar of GSM coverage despite living 10 minutes drive from the city center. Same with my friends’ place, 5 minutes down the road. Thoughts? Would you get one – if it cost the same or slightly less than fixed line rental per month?

the beefing up of my macbook pro

Last night I had the pleasure of performing a little surgery on my laptop. Thanks to the instructions at ExtremeTech, I managed to get the whole thing done inside of about half an hour. There weren’t even any leftover screws! Here’s what the inside looks like (thanks ExtremeTech):

0,1425,sz=1&i=158164,00Most interestingly, I’ve been using an external 2.5″ hard drive with Time Machine for the past few months for peace of mind. I really couldn’t be bothered doing a fresh install of MacOS and reinstalling all my software so I just restored my Time Machine backup straight onto the new drive. Bloody impressive – about 5 clicks and a couple of hours later my laptop looked exactly like it did before I gutted it – all software working, all files restored.

So the specs now? Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, 4GB DDR2 RAM, 500GB HDD and geForce 8600M CPU. Not far away from the brand new ones!