This is Zach's personal blog. If you're looking for his movies, please click here. Otherwise, have fun!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Rocks right now...

  • Redline, a racing game from Ambrosia Software (Mac only, bitches!)
  • Inform 7, a complete rewrite of the language used to write Z-code (i.e. Infocom-esque text adventure) games. Now in natural language. I can't emphasize how cool this is, even if I never do anything about it.
  • The Nutcracker Suite performed by the Brian Setzer Orchestra.

And that's it, apparently. I need more rockin' in my life.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

And yet I still don't have my own entry.

If Mike's name-drop is to be believed, I am one degree of separation from John Hodgman, and therefore only two degrees from two other Jons. Freaky.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ask New Orleans.

I've already written about our practice of wrapping Christmas lights around newspaper, and writing messages thereon to be read the next year.

This year I opened up a string which we had last used on Jan. 1, 2005, right after the Asian tsunami. I had written "Any natural disasters of note?"


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hair Care or Digital Audio?

I got them all right on the first try. I'm quite surprised.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Clearly when I said "liveblogging," I meant "two posts in one and that's it." But nonetheless, I'm writing this from the new iMac. I haven't really had a chance to do any speed comparisons, processor-wise, but I will say this: transferring videos to an iPod is a hell of a lot faster under USB 2.0. That is all.

Installation Liveblogging!

11:58 A.M.: Well, the new iMac arrived this morning. I'm not using it--I'm currently on my PowerBook, watching it transfer files from the old iMac. (Yes, we now have three Macs and a half of a Linux box. So sue us. We still only have one television.)

Favorite moment so far: watching K fruitlessly try to figure out where to put the Apple Remote. There's a magnet on the side of the Mac which holds it, but she was placing it on the front of the box and watching it drop several times.

Least favorite moment: watching the Transfer Assistant tell me that my old computer had about 4.9 million gigabytes of data in my home folder. Now there may be hard drives out there that hold that much, I don't know; but I'm pretty sure that my circa 2003 iMac only has an 80 gig drive. This would be, I'm pretty sure, a catalog problem with the old hard drive that I've been trying to fix for years.

So it's only transferring the Applications folder. I'll have to transfer the rest over manually. I'm not too excited about that, but what are you gonna do?

Updates throughout the day.

1:25 PM: I think I need to get a new Wacom tablet driver. After the apps and so on were transferred, a dialog box popped up that said "Tablet driver not operating because you aborted." So I hit OK... and it came back. So I hit OK... and it came back. This continued until I had finished the setup assistant and booted into Mac OS, when I ran the program to remove the tablet software entirely.

Now I'm manually transferring the files from my old home folder to the new one. Yawn...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Code Monkey like remixes.

So there's a Code Monkey remix contest goin' on, and being the huge Jonathan Coulton fan that I am, I just had to enter. So get your dancing shoes on and rave to this:

Code Monkey (Zach Brewster-Geisz remix) (4.3 MB, 3:54)

If you don't know the original song, you should listen to it and buy a copy here. Come on, it's only a buck.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What Kind of Dawg?

Hip-hop-happenings at the Gonnas myspace page. Just uploaded a new mix of our canine hit, "What Kind of Dog Do You Wanna Be?" There's also a new mix of Whoa up which I posted Thursday. Please listen and dance and enjoy!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hello, I'm a Mac.

Well, this weekend--and I hasten to point out, at K's insistence--we bit the bullet and ordered a new Mac. We had told ourselves that we wouldn't until our savings account hit [undisclosed] dollars. Turns out we missed that goal by about eighty bucks. Ah well. K is a federal employee, which earned us a small discount, so we decided to splurge on the 20-inch iMac with a 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo (standard: 2.16 GHz) and 256MB on the ATI graphics card (standard: 128). We stuck with 1GB of RAM since I can add a chip on my own if need be, and we also stuck with a 250 GB hard drive because... well, I don't have a good reason for that. I remember hearing the advice "Always get twice what you think you'll need" back when 20 MB was considered a HUGE hard drive. I've never managed to follow it, though.

We're moving on from a 17-inch iMac G4, 800MHz, with 1 MB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX (32 MB), so needless to say, this will be a step up. It was long past time, to be honest. The power button broke off last year, so we have to turn it on by touching the bare contact in the back of the machine (we have it scheduled to turn itself on in the mornings), and the (admittedly SuperSlow) SuperDrive no longer writes properly, and reads only spottily. And in the past few weeks, the USB bus has been acting up... clearly this cookie won't be fetching a high price on eBay. (We may, actually, be giving it to D; we haven't decided yet.)

Meanwhile, I won't be putting my PowerBook G4 out to pasture just yet. ProTools isn't yet available as a Universal Binary, and I haven't upgraded Final Cut Express or Soundtrack yet. I'm thinking next spring, when Leopard comes out, maybe. But I cannot WAIT to see how fast Animation:Master runs.

And for me, the big question becomes: do I partition the hard drive so that I can run Linux as well? You see, the GIMP doesn't support pressure-sensitive drawing tablets under Mac OS X, but it does under Windows or x86 Linux. And all I have is a Mac OS 9 version of Photoshop, so that's not an option (Classic doesn't exist under Intel). I sure as shootin' ain't gonna buy Windows, but Debian Linux is very attractive...

So now, the waiting (read: obsessive tracking) game.

A test.

Here is an excerpt from George Will's column for today:
Today there are many fewer Iraqis than there were three years ago. This is not just, or even primarily, because so many Iraqis, especially from the mobile middle class, have fled the country, taking with them the human capital -- skills, attitudes, mores -- requisite for a successful society. Rather, many -- and more every day -- of those who remain in Iraq no longer think of themselves as Iraqis. It is too dangerous to identify with the nation.
Can you think of another reason, possibly even the primary one, why there are now fewer Iraqis than there were three years ago?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Tell me there's no global warming.

This has been a bizarre week here in the greater D.C. area. It's been spring, except without leaves on the trees. For instance, I'm writing from my front porch stoop, while my kids play with the neighbors at a nearby playground. All of us without jackets. On December first!

The whole week has been like that, and in fact today is colder than most, with severe (albeit non-chilling) gusts of wind foretelling the end of the Indian summer, probably tomorrow (although it was supposed to end today, so who knows). I realize, of course, that much of the Midwest is blanketed under snow, and we'll be deluged with rain sometime after nightfall, but nevertheless, it's sure nice to enjoy this brief reprieve from the inevitable descent of winter.