November 27, 2006

It's finally done. The last little while I've been installing a new medicine cabinet in our bathroom. I went the hard route, and put it in the wall, as opposed to surface mounting it. Looking back it would have been a lot less work to go the lazy route, but I learned a bit from it, and I'm very happy with the finished product.

Here is before, and here is after (not the same angle unfortunately, but you can see the ugly huge mirror in the first picture). Although it's not a major cosmetic upgrade, it does add a tonne more storage. No more storing crap under our sink, and no more tiny crappy medicine cabinet on the side wall.

Windows Vista
November 20, 2006

I'm now running a full release copy of Windows Vista and I have to admit it doesn't suck like I initially thought it would. I ran a number of the betas over the course of the past year, and fully anticipated the final product to be big, bulky, and extremely slow. I'm on an 'older' laptop (1.6GHz 1024MB RAM) with a crappy video card (Mobility Radeon 8000) and a Vista System Rating of 1.0 (which appears to be very low) and it runs perfectly smooth, even with Aero Glass as my default theme.

- I read this before I installed, so I've noticed the new sounds, they're not annoying which is good.
- I like that Alt-Tab now includes a "Desktop" feature, so you can now switch to a blank desktop in addition to any other running application
- Better security, you are prompted for your password (much like OSX I think) before you can install a program or make a change to your system
- Aero is pretty, I like that it's black

- It's Windows XP with a new theme, I haven't seen any reason to recommend that anyone upgrade yet
- Better security, you have to enter your password for every little thing (even to let windows update to run). I don't mind this because I can see why it is necessary, most people don't have passwords on their XP install and this may confuse and annoy them.
- The password prompt's aren't always very descriptive. The first time I visited a website required flash I was prompted for my password before the site would load, and the dialog box only mentioned it was trying to install "an add-on". There was no mention of the fact that it was Adobe Flash, or that it was digitally signed.

Other Observations:
- "Run" isn't on the Start Menu anymore, but if you press the Windows key you can simply type the name of the program (or the web address) and it will start.
- Windows Gadgets try to mimic OSX's Widgets, but so far I hate them. They take up valuable desktop space and there isn't an auto hide option. I use a Google Start page for my RSS feeds so I don't find Gadgets all that useful yet. I think in OSX they're hidden until you press F12? (Yes they'd probably be good on a widescreen display, but I hate widescreen laptops).

I would recommend Vista if you are buying a new system, or if you can get it for free. I'm on a work laptop, so it cost me nothing to upgrade, but I will continue running Windows XP at home for the foreseeable future.

Update: I initially thought they had removed 'telnet' from Windows Vista. Which would have sucked as it's a great troubleshooting tool. It turns out it's been turned into an optional feature which can be installed following these instructions.

Real Canadian
November 3, 2006

I'm ashamed to say that before last night I had never played ice hockey before. Yes I realize that every Canadian grows up playing on the pond, but that wasn't the case for this Island boy. Sure we skated on a lake in Chemainus a few times, and may have even taken hockey sticks with us, but nothing like last night. My buddy Ryan rented the West End Ice Rink, and 11 of us (8 guys, and 3 girls) had a good old fashioned pickup hockey game. There were various players in jersies (Canucks, Canadians, and Flames) and skill levels ranging from someone's second time skating, to guys who had played hockey for years. I haven't had that much fun in forever, and can't wait to do it again. The only real issue was that my skating sucks (I can't stop), but I'm sure that will get better over time. Dayna played as well, and ended up scoring a number of goals, including the game winner. Right now we're sitting at the Starbucks at YVR (there's a very weak free wireless network there called YVR_PUB for all the travellers who may read this) on our way to see my grandma in Phoenix.

Airlines Suck
November 2, 2006

Background info:

- I'm flying to Tucson on Friday via Phoenix
- I don't have to work in Tucson until Monday
- My grandma lives in Phoenix and Dayna and I are going to spend the weekend with her
- It's $65 cheaper to rent a car in Phoenix and return it in Tucson (120 miles away) than to rent a car in Tucson and return it in Tucson
- The America West employee I spoke to called Tucson "Tuk Sun"

My beefs:

- If I was to simply skip my flight from Phoenix to Tucson, they would automatically cancel my nonrefundable return flight
- Due to the airline's policies, it costs me $123 more to take one less flight (which is valued at $205).

I realize that this is nothing like the problems that Tom had, but it's still frustrating. It seems like every airline except Westjet is doing their best to irritate their customers.


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