Just Games

In the year 2000, the fastest computer in the world was the IBM ASCI White which pumped out 7.2 TFLOPS.  That’s really fast.  It cost $110 million.

The next Xbox was just announced for release later this year.  It runs at 6 TFLOPS and will probably cost around $600 USD – and likely not much less than that to build.

17 years later, the fastest computer in the world sits in my living room so that I can drive pretend race cars after the kids go to bed.

That’s pretty amazing.

Better Weather

We finally had a still, dry, cloudless night with no moon.  My neighbor and I took another swing at taking some photos and got some better ones.

Jupiter did not come out because it was too low on the horizon and blurry through the atmosphere.

 

Streaming Music Is Winning

Tucson is turning me into a bigger fan of streaming music.  It’s unfortunate but true.

I’m old fashioned – I love my CDs.  I like the quality and my own mixes of music.  I like that it doesn’t cost me a thing to listen to them.  Some of the burnt CDs in my car right now are fifteen years old and sound like they are new.

Tucson has some pretty great radio stations as well but radio is a business.  Radio commercials play constantly and they know when you’re a captive audience – rush hour.  The times that I do listen to the radio are during the daycare drives and normal commutes.  I do like to hear a bit about what’s around town and the traffic but I don’t buy mattresses often enough to hear an ad for them more than once every five or ten years.

CDs are still the best in my mind but Tucson has a bigger problem.  Our roads are miserably bad.  There are streets that I turn down and immediately turn off the CD and go to the radio because it’ll just skip around and be a mess of sound.

Do we raise taxes to fix the roads or do those who drive just pay for the more frequent vehicle repairs?  That’s a question to put on the ballot but not what I’m here to talk about.

Many years ago I ripped all of my CDs and continue to when I get new ones.  Yep, I still buy them.  I cloud-store them and can easily stream them from my cell phone, TV, Xbox, and any browser.  It’s wonderfully convenient.  Why is this then my least preferred method for music delivery?

It’s the cost.  It’s the security, the tracking, the dependency on the internet.  I don’t like any of that.  The good thing about listening to a CD that I burned years ago is that nobody on earth knows how many times I played it.  It didn’t cost me a “data” fee, upkeep fee, storage fee, or any of the other millions of bits of personal information I blindly click on “Agree” to get my sweet, sweet services.

Convenience eventually wins it all.

I used to store my passwords in a file – offline – that was encrypted with my own key that I had to carry everywhere on a USB stick.  You needed to steal it from me and know how to use it and crack my code if you wanted a single password.  It was extremely safe but a massive pain to use.

Now I use LastPass.

And I use Pandora and Groove.

These aren’t the popular services but Groove is free and works with my OneDrive storage very nicely.  Pandora is something I get heavily discounted because I was grandfathered into a plan.  It’s a long story but I think it’s a pretty good service and the app installs anywhere.

So why am I saying all of this?  I feel like I’m being forced to either sit in my Honda, banging around and listening to loose gravel and potholes or rig up a bluetooth receiver to a 14 year old car so that I can listen to music through a data plan while I commute the Old Pueblo.

In most cases still, I prefer the potholes and gravel.