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2008/12/19

Pondering Amazon's Suggestions...

I have many machines whose speed I'm relatively happy with but whose storage limits are much too small. In 2008, 40GB is just too small. It might be obvious, but the machines I'm talking about have EIDE. They're just not new enough for SATA.

There's nothing wrong with SATA. In fact, I'd say that the skinny connectors of SATA are far better than the fragile pins and wide ribbons of EIDE. But, I have no SATA at home. Nothing's new enough.

So, I'm stuck on the horns of a dilemma. I want as massive a jump in drive space as I can, but I don't want to be stuck in the past. They stopped making EIDE a year ago. So, what do I do?

There's a 500GB EIDE drive on Amazon at near the price point I'm hoping for. 500GB isn't a terabyte, but it certainly isn't 40GB.

But what gets me is the suggestion box. If you're buying a Stephen King book and they suggest that you might want to get The Stand, too. That makes sense. When you're buying a Punch Brothers CD and they suggest that you might want to get Nickel Creek, too, that's logical. When you're looking at a 500GB EIDE hard drive and they suggest that you might want a 500GB SATA drive, too, that makes no sense.

While I was on Amazon, I thought I might look for a few more things. I work in a dank sub-basement and have no phone on my desk, so I thought getting a Skype phone might be useful. I saw The GE 2-in-1 phone, first at Wal-Mart and then on Amazon. I've seen them before. I'm thinking that a portable phone that talks Bluetooth and Wifi is nothing but win, especially if I can afford to Skype out eventually. But there's a big massive downside. Phone talks to PC, PC talks to Skype. And that means Phone talks to Microsoft-Operating-System-bearing PC, PC talks to Skype. I've used enough Unix and Linux and enough Windows to know that I want to use more Unix, so I want to use less and less to no Windows. Later versions are pure Skype phones, with no connection to a PC. Later versions are $100+. I still think it's a good idea.

GE is also starting to make home phones which call out and pick up on your cell phone, connecting via Bluetooth. On one hand, it makes a bit of sense. When I was an undergrad the second time, about 10 years ago, I was beginning to see and hear about people who were turning off local phone service and only using their cell phone. This makes a reasonable amount of sense to me. In my household, we have cellphones and Vonage and we're considering switching to a cheaper Asterisk solution. So, doing away with the local phone makes sense. But I don't know the benefit of having the phone you use at home not be the phone you use when you're away. The vision I have is of exploding the parts of the phone, not replicating the unified phone of the past. You can get Bluetooth headsets that allow you to talk while using your hands. You can get Bluetooth watches that flash the CallerID information when you get a call. Your phone is in your pocket. What's the point of having a separate home phone that isn't really a separate home phone?

Speaking of, I'm drawn to a Bluetooth dongle I've seen at Wal-Mart for $20. I have a Bluetooth earpiece and a phone that can talk to it, and maybe more and maybe not. So, I don't know what I'd get with that. But hopefully, it'll be cool.

In other news, my friend Patrick has beaten the final boss on OpenSolaris-vs-Windows-Server-2003. Joe User has penetrated the walls of Solaris via su, console, GTK and SSH. And I'm burning the game onto a CD-RW I had floating around. The drive in my #1 Linux box is a bit flakey, so I'm burning on my Windows box, a laptop with a broken screen. I've not been able to burn ISOs in Windows, but this evening I found cdburn, which comes from Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit. It's a command-line tool, which the Unix guy in me loves. And now, or soon, I'll be able to burn ISOs from the common Windows machine at work.