Thursday, December 09, 2004

 

Existential Yawning

Early meeting today to whiteboard out a potential solution with a vendor. Unfortunately, due to weird locationing and calendaring (I think Safire is quitting merely because of the damage done to the English language by consultants and the buzzword crowd in general) I've got to meet the vendor at one of their sales offices somewhere astonishingly inconvenient for both of us. The good part is that this should only take a couple of hours and I should be home by mid-afternoon. Good to get out of the hotel, lots of door slammers and hall talkers showed up the last two nights, a real kaffeeklatsch right outside my door at 12:49am put me into an even worse mood than I'm normally in (the place was filled with a bunch of characters wearing name tags for some incomprehensible organization that surely feels it's doing something on the side of the angels; I held my tongue remembering that I'm in the heart of Lurch country).

Technical Person at Esteemed Client made some interesting observations in that one of the main issues they're experiencing has to do with branch office response time, specifically in sunnier climes in both hemispheres. Although Esteemed Client has beaucoup bandwidth between major locations, small offices are on small pipes (there's a blinding glimpse of the obvious). I quoted what it cost to run a DS3 from this very metropolitan area to said sunnier climes a couple of years back and Technical Person was horrified, yet unsurprised at the Really Expensive MRC. I blithely said, "Tell the business at the offices that want the fat pipe to put it on their P&L, and you'll see how fast they shut up". For business reasons, VPN isn't an option for branch offices, and even if it were, who wants to be dependent on an ISP in an area where mission-critical means 8/5?

The rant du jour concerns my MP3 player, a Rio Nitrus I purchased about a year ago. Nice player and form factor, with 1.5 GB capacity. It usually holds about 330 songs, give or take depending on whether I have some long tunes on there (I can think of at least ten 10 minute+ songs on there off the top of my head). At first all was wonderful and peachy, with great battery life, however, there's the rub. The battery is no longer holding a charge that well and fades out fairly rapidly, say after three hours of play at the most, or if it sits without being played for a few days. Needless to say the battery isn't replaceable, and Rio only offers a 90 day warranty, long since expired. Since it's the holiday season I thought it might be nice to pick up a new MP3 player with larger capacity, and took a look in Best Buy to assuage my curiosity. I liked the iPod (except for the refrigerator white color; despite being a U2 fan I'm not about to plunk down 50 extra hard-earned ones for the special edition just because it looks better), but there's something interesting going on with them. There's an Apple iPod, then there's the iPod by HP. Apparently some sort of licensing deal, but as I understand it iTunes for the HP player is different from the Apple player's version, and Apple doesn't support the HP version. The SOL meter is just waiting to be pegged here in a fingerpointing scenario. All I want is something with a nice big capacity (20 gigs would be perfect), reasonable battery life and the ability to replace the damn battery myself. I really doubt I'll go with Rio for another unit, but when it worked right, I was really pleased with it. The consumer electronics industry really has a great ongoing revenue stream for these players......

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