Apple have announced that over the next couple of years they're going to be switching to using Intel Pentium 4 CPUs at the core of their Macs. I didn't believe the rumours when they started but Steve Jobs announced it so it must be true! It should be interesting seeing what they're going to be doing with the platform. Hopefully they'll be able to come up with an x86-based system that gets rid of all the legacy features that PCs put up with today—things like the BIOS and the bizarre layout of system memory with limits all over the place. It might not have much basis in reality but I expect that a Mac should beat a PC in performance when running at the same clock speed. We'll have to wait and see.
Some comments have been made that since Apple have switched to Intel and Debian Sarge has been released that these are the signs of the Apocalypse. People at Heriot-Watt have been thinking that for a couple of weeks now, with a bomb scare two weeks ago and the Civil Engineering explosion at the weekend. I think I'm going to run home and hide under my bed.
Here's a tip for anyone using lots of Linux machines with NFS-mounted home directories, the virtual terminal utility 'screen', and Vim or some similar editor. Don't run screen with a Vim session on one Linux machine, detach it, and forget about it. Opening the same file in Vim on two machines usually ends up with several hours of work being blown away amidst lots of weird error messages. I hadn't committed what I was doing to CVS yet, because it wouldn't compile and I have a thing about not committing broken things to version control. Now it's all gone, and when redoing it Java is wanting to throw exceptions it never did before. I realise it's my own incompetence but I'm still going to whine about it. I'll whine about checked exceptions later.
My iBook is dead again and has been for a week or so. It's been in two different shops, the first of which wasn't allowed to do anything with it by Apple, so it's back to the same people who had it last time it went wrong. As I was in the middle of writing my dissertation when it went, I'm not massively happy about it. Oh well. The dissertation should be out of the way on Monday, and I'm really looking forward to it.
Part of the Uni blew up yesterday morning, which was quite exciting. There was a (suspected) gas explosion in the civil engineering department which blew a hole in the wall on one side and parts of the wall on the other side clean out. Fortunately it happened early in the morning and there was nobody about so no injuries happened. I've got photos on my phone, but no Bluetooth to get them off there yet, so for the moment check out the Union's statement on it here
which has a couple of pictures.
Talking of the Union, it was my last Thursday night live music gig as part of the Ents crew there this week. It's weird to think that I've been doing those almost every Thursday in term time for three years now. I've learnt a lot, and met a lot of people on the crew and in the many bands and other crew that come through the place. It's been a lot of fun and I'm going to miss it. The bands that night were Underbelly
and Team Salt
, both of whom are spectacularly good and played a fantastic set with some collaborations in the middle. They also sounded a lot better than they had any right to, as various parts of the rig were dying on us throughout the night, including the Spirit LX7 mixing desk we hired to replace our own one which is considered almost dead. I'm looking forward to hearing the recording we did when I get the data from the laptop we used. Mr Tascam
has been well used this last couple of terms.
I just noticed this
while browsing, and I really don't like the sound of it. The mileage charge for starters doesn't sound good (though it's apparently replacing fuel tax, which might mean fuel costs go down—though I'll believe that when I see it), but the part that says "every vehicle would have a black box to allow a satellite system to track their journey" scares me. The potential for abuse is massive.