Left brain or right brain

By way of The Life of Leo Laporte, an animated GIF on the Australian Herald Sun which will help you assertain whether you are “right brain” or “left brain”.

As for me, I seem to be able to make it change direction at will. This just confirms what I always knew, that there are more than a few loose screws in my brain.


Ripping music CDs

I read Paul Thurrott’s article on ripping music CDs with great interest since I really have no clue what encoding format and bit rate to use for ripping my own CDs.

Initially I encoded my music in MP3 using a 128 Kbps variable bit rate. That was back in 2001 and I had a large quantity of CDs, so that seemed to make sense given the hard drive capacity constraints of the time. At the time it took 3 weeks to do with 2 machines working.

Of course hard drive capacities have gotten a lot larger, as so I reripped my music in AAC using a 192 Kbps variable bit rate. That now took about 3 days with a single machine working.

I went back and forth on the MP3 vs. AAC format, and in the end I figured that ACC was just fine given that I have all the CDs, so I can rerip them if I decide to change formats. Also I recently bumped up the bit rate to 256 Kbps.

I will probably rerip my CDs in the next year switching to a lossless encoding.

A week with Hadoop

I have been digging into Hadoop over the past week. For those who don’t know, it is a java based distributed storage and compute cluster.

I originally set it up to encompass both a Centos based PC and a Mac running Mac OS 10.4.10, it took a while to set up, there were a few non-obvious things that were not adequately covered in the documentation, but things worked well once it was set up. I did run into a few problems with the the compute cluster part on the Mac, for some reason the reduce process in the WordCount example would get stuck in a loop.

Anyway, I wrote my first Hadoop program earlier this week, which turned out to be very simple. I will post more about it as I delve into in more.

A ringtone too far

I will say that I am very disappointed with Apple’s approach to ringtones. The approach being that I can only use approved ringtones, which I need to buy.

I have a set of ringtones which I like to use, they are not song based, but just little MP3 files which I have picked up over time. I was able to use them on my Motorola RAZR with no problem, so why should I be locked out from using them on my iPhone.

This is very disappointing. While it is a great little device, I am beginning to find this “walled gardern” to be overly restrictive. And I think if Apple wants the iPhone to have the same level of success that the iPod is having, they will need to start opening it up.

To brick or not to brick

I have been reading and hearing lots about Apple’s decision to brick unlocked iPhone with the most recent 1.1.1 update, but I have not seen anyone suggest that what Apple should do is provide a way for people to completely reset their iPhone. Basically Apple should have had 1.1.1 completely restore unlocked iPhone rather that just bricking them.

At least this would have been a better move for Apple PR-wise compared to the current situation.