Wednesday, April 14, 2010

GADGETS: How to Choose a MacBook Pro

A week or so ago, someone I follow re-tweeted a message from @autumnbuck, and it was hilarious so I started following her too. She quickly followed me back and there was some mutual excitement over being new nerdfriends. Then, a few days later, she tweeted something about it being time for her to buy a new computer, and I leaped into action.

She needed to record her band, which threw up a giant glowing sign: GET A MAC! But at the time, I didn't know much about choosing a Mac, mostly because I assumed if you were getting one, you had tons of disposable income, and would just go with their Cadillac model. I have since done some research into choosing a MacBook Pro, and found that there are a lot more options and choices to make than I previously thought.

 (Not actually a Mac... The sticker is surprisingly effective hipster-camouflage.)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

POP CULTURE: Paul and Storm and Jonathan Coulton are your friends.

One day last year, I had a handful of friends over to play Rock Band at my new apartment, and at some point, we were flipping through the DLC store looking for interesting songs. It was then that my friend Awesome Kevin (@kezdawg) introduced me to Jonathan Coulton (@jonathancoulton). While going through the store, we landed on a little song called Skullcrusher Mountain, and Kevin took a dollar out of his wallet and handed it to me, and was like, "Trust me." So I bought it, and a whole new era began.

For those of you unfamiliar, @jonathancoulton's music is mostly concerned with the universal melancholy of robots, mad scientists, primates, and cephalopods. The important thing is that beyond being hilarious, the music really works. This is something he shares in common with frequent cohorts Paul and Storm (@paulandstorm), and also @garfunkeloates who I previously reviewed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

POP CULTURE: Stargate: Universe is better than you think.

Since Stargate: Universe returns from their half-season hiatus this week, I'm putting off my PAX coverage for another couple of days to get you involved in this show before it's too late. Here's what you need to know: SGU is set on a super space ship tooling around another galaxy. Why and how the team got there isn't so important. What you need to know is that they're refugees on a ship that's kind of broken and that they can communicate with earth via a technological gadget introduced years ago on SG1.

People who don't like the show will tell you it's too much like Lost or Battlestar. They will tell you it doesn't have enough of the goofy charm that made SG1 and Atlantis so much fun. Those people are all correct. However, the show has one important thing that I feel Lost lacks, but which made Battlestar (and now Caprica) work. Internal consistency. Where Lost will reveal an "answer" and either shoehorn something in that sort of makes sense or re-write the whole show's mythology, Stargate's writers are somehow intimately familiar with over 15 years worth of material and they somehow make it all track.
 Since Friday night is the start of SGU season 1.5, there will likely be a fairly comprehensive "previously on SGU" thing to help you get in the game. If they're clever, they may even have an all-day marathon scheduled tomorrow that you can DVR. If you'd rather just step right in, and give the show a chance on my recommendation, that's perfectly acceptable and you may want to stop reading here. I applaud your sense of adventure and trust in my Sherping. If you're already watching and are interested in my thoughts on the show or you're not afraid of spoilers, please continue after the jump for why SGU is better than you think.