Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World

28-May-2007

True fantastic, indeed!

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 5:53 pm

From the same bootleggers who brought you “Backstroke of the West,” some interestingly translated subtitles from “spider Men 3”. And no, that’s not a typo. (Found, appropriately enough, through a search for blog posts about bootleg subtitles.)

And yes, there is indeed reference to a good elephant in one of the subtitles, naturally. There are also some very interesting renderings of names.

16-May-2007

Another random carfree musing

Filed under: Car-Free,General — codeman38 @ 5:14 pm

From the Washington Post, found via BoingBoing: Lawmakers Find $21 a Week Doesn’t Buy a Lot of Groceries

[Ohio Representative Tim] Ryan and three other members of Congress have pledged to live for one week on $21 worth of food, the amount the average food stamp recipient receives in federal assistance. That’s $3 a day or $1 a meal. They started yesterday. […]

According to the rules of the challenge, the four House members cannot eat anything beside their $21 worth of groceries. That means no food at the many receptions, dinners and fundraisers that fill a lawmaker’s week. […]

“No organic foods, no fresh vegetables, we were looking for the cheapest of everything,” [Massachusetts Representative Jim] McGovern said. “We got spaghetti and hamburger meat that was high in fat — the fattiest meat on the shelf. I have high cholesterol and always try to get the leanest, but it’s expensive. It’s almost impossible to make healthy choices on a food stamp diet.”

I think it would be interesting if lawmakers could participate in a similar challenge, but this one relating to transportation. They’d be deprived of the privilege of driving a car for a week; instead, they would be forced to use public transportation, on a limited budget, to take care of all the tasks they needed to accomplish. And not on Washington’s Metro, either, but instead using their respective hometowns’ transportation systems and their own two feet.

Perhaps this would help shed some light on how horrifically underfunded many public transportation systems are and how they vastly underserve the very communities that would otherwise make more extensive use of them, as well as how pedestrian-unfriendly so many modern roads are by design.

14-May-2007

Making my Mac a bit more Feisty

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 8:43 pm

On a whim, I decided to give the PPC build of Ubuntu Linux ‘Feisty Fawn’ a whirl on my G4 Powerbook tonight. Only using the live CD right now, as I’m going to need to do a bit of spring summer cleaning to clear off enough space on my internal hard drive.

But anyway, I’m liking what I’ve found so far with the live CD alone.

Compiz (or, as Ubuntu refers to it in its user-friendly GUI, “Desktop Effects”) works straight out of the box on the PowerBook’s Radeon 9700, with no additional package or driver downloading necessary. Yay for fancy 3D desktop cubes and wobbly windows. (Hey, I’m an easily entertained ADDer…)

WiFi doesn’t quite work out of the box, thanks to Broadcom’s reluctance to open-source their cards’ firmware. But with the bcm43xx-fwcutter package saved to a USB stick and a firmware file copied over from the OS X partition, it connects quite nicely, even just using the live CD. I’m running off of the built-in AirPort card in Linux as I type this right now.

I may have to clear off some disk space to officially install this alongside OS X. Runs even better here than it does on the six-year-old Gateway laptop that I’ve been playing around with the i386 build on. Not to mention that the Gateway’s video card is way too out-of-date to run any sort of fancy graphical effects (yes, this is really the first big chance I’ve gotten to actually play with Compiz; I’m so behind the times).

(It’s a shame, though, that Adobe won’t release a Linux-PPC version of Flash Player, and only choose to do so for i386. Puts a bit of a damper on web surfing, what with all the Flash-heavy sites out there these days…)

01-May-2007

The dull life of an Athens non-driver

Filed under: Car-Free — codeman38 @ 1:27 pm

Once again, I’ve been left to feel like a second-class citizen— OK, maybe not that extreme, but definitely like an outcast— simply because I’m unable to drive a car.

I saw an ad in the paper for a new Apple Mac retailer called PeachMac that’s going to be opening in Athens, Georgia later this month. The shininess of new computers (and accessories for my older one!) beckons this easily distracted geek, even if I can’t even remotely afford a new computer at the moment.

Except that, although the store (1850 Epps Bridge Parkway) is considered to be in Athens, it isn’t actually in Clarke County. And thus none of the bus lines actually run there. The nearest bus stop is a mile and a half away. At least this road, however, appears to have sidewalks and crosswalks, unlike…most others in Athens, so I could walk there if I were ‘together’ enough (though whether it’d be bearable in 80°F weather is another question entirely).

I suppose I could catch a taxi there if I really wanted to take a look…

(As an aside, am I the only one who thinks it doesn’t make sense that we have a unified city and county government, but not all of what’s considered part of Athens is actually in Clarke County? Does this make sense to anyone?)

Sigh. I need, at the very least, to learn how to stay balanced on a bike. (Oddly enough, I have no trouble with pedaling; I do absolutely fine on exercise bikes and with training wheels. The issue is purely one of Not Falling Over.) And hopefully the driving lessons this summer will prove more fruitful than my last several attempts…

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