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February 2006

Never Did Send One

Era Ends: Western Union Stops Sending Telegrams
(Robert Britt, LiveScience)

After 145 years, Western Union has quietly stopped sending telegrams.

On the company’s web site, if you click on “Telegrams” in the left-side navigation bar, you’re taken to a page that ends a technological era with about as little fanfare as possible:

“Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative.”

(via Yahoo! News)

Cronus is Coming

Aphrodite: July 1994 to February 1998 – Power Macintosh 6100/60 – Hard drives named Mercury and Venus

Ares: February 1998 to February 2001- PowerMac G3/233 – Hard drive named Mars

Zeus: February 2001 to February 2006 – PowerBook G4/500 – Hard drive named Jupiter

Cronus: February 2006 to ??? – iMac 20-inch 2GHz Intel Core Duo – Hard drive named Saturn

ATI Radeon X1600/256MB VRAM
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM – 2x1GB
500GB Serial ATA drive

I ordered it a few hours ago. It should ship in 3-4 weeks. It was the hard drive that caused it to be so long. If I’d gone with the smaller drive, it would have shipped in just a few days.

Going with a desktop instead of a laptop was a tough decision. When I got Zeus I swore I’d never have a desktop as my primary machine again. Laptops were the way to go! But at this point I have a laptop from work when I really need the portability. (Although it is locked down a bit so really is only for work, and of course it is Windows… ick!). And I really wanted the big screen. And the power/$ is a lot more for the desktop. And as Ivan pointed out, I really abuse my portable devices. I can barely go a couple months without dropping them or otherwise hurting them. So… a maxed out iMac it was.

This was the big purchase for the quarter, and probably for the half. Maybe for the year. There are a bunch of other things I would love to buy, and really want, but this is it for now. I’m done.

This will be a long 3-4 weeks (plus shipping time!). I have managed to cobble together Zeus by propping one corner up with a stack of quarters and with some strategically placed tape, so now I don’t actually have to squeeze the left hand side for the screen to work any more, but that won’t last very long. And it is still painfully slow. Even with running some software in Rosetta I should see around a 10 times increase in speed over my old machine. The clock speed is only 4 times my current clock speed, but it is a dual, so that is really more like 8 times the clock speed when that is taken into account (kinda sorta not really but close enough)… and it is also jumping two chip families ahead. Not to mention I’ll also have four times the amount of memory I have here, and 8 times the disk space. And I have been significantly bound by both physical memory and hard drive space (for virtual memory as well as files) for quite awhile now as well as by CPU. A significant amount of the time I have both CPU and physical memory maxxed out, and swap space for virtual memory would fill up the drive to almost 100% while the machine was thrashing and slowing to a crawl. And I will also have a working CD and DVD drive again for the first time in over two years. Yum!

This will be a nice upgrade.

I also ordered a bottom of the line minimal Windows laptop for Brandy today. She is without any computer ever since I took Zeus to Seattle (and Zeus was not working well enough anymore for her to use anyway, what with having to hold it just right for the screen to work) and she’s been going nuts without. We’ll replace that later this year sometime after Apple comes out with the Intel replacement for the iBook. At least that is my plan. We’ll see how that actually goes. :-) Brandy should have her computer by Monday at the latest. So she’ll have hers long before I have mine. But then again, I have my work laptop and Zeus at the moment, she has nothing. So I guess that is OK. :-)