Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cars. They don't make them like they used to...

I saw the film, GRINDHOUSE, recently and I was impressed by the car chase scene in the sub-feature Tarantino's Death Proof. Two cars from over thirty years ago duke it out on the open road. When they merged into traffic with some more modern cars, they dealt massive damage to the relatively feeble cars. It was a pretty awesome scene but I was struck by how well the older cars held up. I wondered at the time whether it was more Hollywood magic or if the cars really were tougher back then.

On the consumerist today, I noticed a post about how the cost of low-speed crash damage has changed over the years, and I think I found the answer. The cars were tougher. What it boils down to is that a 1981 Ford Escort had $469 worth of damage (accounting for crashes at the front, back, and two corners) at 6 miles per hour. Sound high? A more recent Ford Fusion racked up $5,030 worth of damage! Holy insane! The tests were performed by the Insurance institute which may have an incentive to make us believe they are shelling out more in claims.

But if I'm going to get my kicks on route 66, I'm going to use a 69 Mustang for said kicks.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The boy who cried Fox

I've been burned so many times by the television studio known as Fox. The formula is always the same:
  1. Produce intelligent show (Firefly, Wonderfalls, The Lone Gunmen, etc.)
  2. Get me to watch
  3. Cancel intelligent show
  4. Get me to cry
So when I heard that they had this show (Drive) that was created by this genius (Tim Minear) starring this charismatic actor (Nathan Fillion) and they were asking me to watch, I was understandably a little bit suspicious. It's based on the idea of a bunch of strangers getting forced to participate in a mysterious race by mysterious people for mysterious reasons. I wasn't interested in the show based on the previews, but the pedigree was a little too hard to pass up, so I added it to my Tivo. Call me weak. Call me spineless. Call me what you want (as long as it's not weak and spineless) but I do get a little out of each of these shows, even when they pull the rug out from under me. Maybe it's only the sting of my head hitting the concrete, but I become a different if not better person each time!

I'll let you know how the show is, assuming they don't cancel it during the first hour! And no I wouldn't put it past them...Anyway, my head hurts, so I'm just going to have to go watch it, and stay away from those pullable rugs.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shelve Changes (New for IntelliJ in 7.0)

Update: Corrected Typo. Create Patch is a new IntelliJ feature for their upcoming 7.0 release (for which there is an early access version available for testing.) It allows you to take a set of changes and package them up into a patch file, after which it restores each packaged file to it's original version from source control. Then, at any time, you can re-apply your effectively shelved changes by applying the patch.

This allows you to work on a large change, restore everything to its original version and work on a small change, and then go back to working on your larger change.

But, a coworker recently pointed out a more interesting use for this feature. You could work on a large change, shelve the changes, then check out a fresh build the latest version of the code, and then apply the changes, effectively patching the latest version of the code! This is amazing because the thing about large changes is, they usually take a large amount of time to work meaning an active code base becomes a moving target. The way our builds work is sometimes we can't just do an update to get the latest version (because of database upgrade issues) and we have to do a full check out and build. Applying our changes to a fresh build was always a pain because we had to painstakingly copy each file and remember where it went, and then manually merge and/or overwrite each file. What a pain that IntelliJ makes literally a breeze!

The delight is almost too much to bear...

Friday, April 6, 2007

Epson's 1080p projector at $2999 too good to be true?

Update: Apparently the $4,999 projector is ISF Certified, offers ISF Calibration modes, includes an extra bulb, and a coupon or somesuch. Worth it, I guess, if you have a lot of money to spend! The big question, is how does the quality compare to the Sony Pearl or the Mitsubishi hc5000 which cost significantly more?

Epson recently released some information on their new 1080p projector, the Powerlite Home Cinema 1080p at $2,999. I thought, "wow! I have to have that" because I'm in the market for a new projector. But, I checked out their website and they have an identical projector, a Pro Cinema 1080 that sells for $4,999.

My question is, did they mess up and release the specs for the Pro version instead of the home version? Or do they truly have two identical projectors with a $2,000 price gap?

If it looks as good as it's specced out to be, I want one! I had been previously looking at the Sony Pearl with an MSRP around 5 grand...