New Heavyweight champion laptop?

What with laptops getting impossibly small and light, how can a laptop vendor distinguish itself? Well, I guess this is one way...

Lenovo is introducing an eleven pound laptop that is over two inches thick. It has dual screens (17” and 10”), dual hard drive bays and is so wide the keyboard actually has a separate numeric keypad -- and a built-in digitizer tablet!

I suppose the article is right that there is some market for such a beast, like photographers, where something that is merely “luggable” is a fine tradeoff for power and lots of display area, but oof... it’s hard to get over the 11lb number, which is twice the weight of typical “large” laptop, and only around half the weight of Compaq’s luggables of old. (If this thing catches on, will we see a new arms race of bigger, heavier, fancier laptops that take us back into that 20lb territory?).

There’s no mention of battery life, but with that much of a size and weight budget, it may have a battery that can run it for a couple of days!

Note to Amazon

From the Amazon page for a DeLorme "Atlas & Gazetteer":

Excerpt - page 25: "... i 1 IM M\II`IAI I ~ A`` I , (, DeLorme - o à 0 0 1 '" = 2.3 miles Continue ..."

Nice thought, but trying to OCR a book of maps doesn't work so swell!


Talentlessness Quincunx

A Googlewhack is a two word query that produces exactly one hit in a Google search. Both words must be "dictionary" words (according to a somewhat arbitrary definition). Quotes in the search phrase are not allowed of course, as this would make it far too easy. The hit must not be just a list of words. There are a remarkable number of such lists out there!

It turns out to be rather challenging to find one. Sometimes the most absurd combinations of words turn up hundreds or thousands of hits. I thought Kabuki Quincunx was a winner, but I had typoed "quinqunx" instead. When I corrected the spelling, 748 hits! About the same number as for electroplated mayonnaise.

Other more obvious-seeming combinations will have zero hits. Sometimes you'll get just a few, and on some occasions you'll get two hits. It's especially frustrating when you have a single good hit, ruined with a second wordlist hit. Finally there are the word pairs that produce a single hit on a legitimate page, but one of the words is disqualified. Alas, no superquadratic weevil for me (there are nearly four thousand regular quadratic weevils).

But at last, I have achieved whackness!

Of course, now that I've mentioned it, it's only a matter of time before it's compromised... So enjoy the solitary hit for an arrangement of five talentlessnesses in a square (four at the corners and one in the center) while it lasts.

SCO Delisted, Again

Amazing press release here.

It takes chutzpah to describe yourself as "a leading provider" in the very same sentence where you explain you're being delisted from Nasdaq because you filed for bankruptcy. They go on to assert again that "SCO owns the core UNIX operating system" (never mind the courts' findings) and try to pitch their products and services. "We're circling the drain! Visit our website to learn about our products!"

SCO Group. A leader in hubris since 2002.

Rise to Vote, Sir

Election Day was last week. I will let others comment on the results and the politics. I'm sure you've heard enough of that by now. But, I'd like to comment on the election itself. I wrote previously about my first experience with electronic voting machines. I don't recall what kind of machine was used last time, but this year it was an iVotronic. Googling suggests it was last time as well, but this year's machine seems different than what I remember. The user interface was fast and the touch screen was pretty accurate. What's not different is that I still have no idea if my vote was counted accurately, or at all. Read More...

AFS Interview

A while back I did an interview on AFS (the Andrew File System) with Emmanuel Dreyfus for Daemon News, which has now been published.

According to the Daemon News summary, "This rare glimpse, explains what you need to do to properly deploy AFS in most environments. You will discover the advantages of deploying AFS in lieu of NFS or CIFS (Samba) and it is actually an enjoyable read."

So read and enjoy!

Clearing out my notebook

While I'm working on another post, I thought I'd post this item, some random notes about my 2004 election experience in Broward County, Florida, and the controversial e-voting in particular. Timely, I know, but I didn't have a blog for them at a time, and I've been saving this file since then waiting for a forum. Besides which, this is still an issue. Read More...

Nifty user interface devices

This guy seems to work on some really cool stuff!

The Multi-Touch Interaction Research video has been circulating a lot recently, but if you haven't seen it yet, do have a look.

Less widely circulating is the LED Touch Display movie, which demonstrates a neat mutli-touch-capable input device implemented solely using LEDs (as input devices, mind you!) Didn't know LEDs could be used as photodiodes? Well, neither did I...

Finally, Holodust is a fascinating true open-air 3D holographic display.