Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dodging the Apple Luxury Tax

This week, +Katherine Derbyshire ran out of space (again) on the 256GB SSD in Penelope, her 2011 iMac. We didn't want to shove more stuff to her backup drive (we already had moved her media files), and Apple confirmed that there is no Apple approved SSD upgrade. Thus, we decided to do a two forklift hard drive upgrade. (One forklift takes the old machine out, a second forklift brings the new machine in).

Never mind we know Apple machines cost too much, and that's especially true if they claim it's a unique feature when it's really them just playing catch-up. It's their sandbox, and the colors are so pretty.

We put together an order for a new high end iMac with the usual improvements, but the only material difference to us was that the replacement has a two terabyte fusion drive (2 TB disk with a 128 GB SSD caching the most used files), and an external backup drive. We sent the (not cheap) order off Friday night.

Saturday morning, I considered future roles for Penelope, which is still a pretty nice system. I could use it myself, as it uses less power than my own underutilized Mac Pro. Alas, the 256GB drive would be a too small for me, but I realized I could combine it with the current internal backup drive and make a 1TB/256GB Fusion drive with her current hardware . . .

. . . oh wait . . .

. . . we're buying a brand new system just to get a Fusion drive. We could just reconfigure Penelope's current hardware in a Fusion drive configuration for Katherine. I excitedly point this out to her, and she sweetly noted she had come to the same conclusion.

(It's so nice to have married within my species.)

Katherine dived for her keyboard to to cancel the order, and after backing up Penelope's data three different ways, I converted it over to a Fusion drive by the end of the day. We went out for dinner (hey, we just didn't buy a computer!), and on the way there we picked up an external backup drive at the local Best Buy.

(Mea culpa time: I discovered early during the conversion that taking up space on her SSD was a misconfigured backup from another system in house. My bad. We found it early enough to not have to do the conversion, but we liked the plan enough to go ahead, and thus solve the problem for the foreseeable future.)

So we avoided the Apple upgrade tax, got more-or-less instant gratification, and actually got twice the fast SSD drive fronting the disk platter than Apple would have sold us. The overall drive is smaller, but with the machine at only 18% drive utilization, we can easily accept that. Not a bad day at all.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

It's Still here! It's Still Here!

It should duly noted that during the last week of October 2005, I posted that our new 2006 MINI Cooper S convertible had finally arrived the previous week.  In other words, we took delivery of our MINI ten years ago this week.

It was worth the wait.

(It should be noted that +Katherine Derbyshire claims that all convertibles are actually born the first day of spring.)

The MINI is still in our garage, happily motoring in both top down and top up weather.  This makes the MINI our longest tenured car ever.

It did get out on the road this summer to celebrate its longevity; my Facebook page has various updates and pictures from our 8100 mile coast-to-coast drive.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

About That Three Letter Domain Name ...

If you were directed here by yours truly, please keep in mind two things:
First, this post was written years ago -- you're not our first rodeo.
Second, this does
 apply to you and your seemingly generous offer.

The problem with owning a three letter domain name, especially one with a somewhat stale personal website, is that people think we could be willing to get rid of it for a quick buck. We're not.

Public Service Announcement:
The domain is not for sale.
Nor does require a professional redesign, SEO services, Facebook marketing, or any other commercial services.

Various facts about, in no particular order:
  • The domain was registered in 1990 when ~ only 5000 domains existed. History matters.
  • The domain was created for email: this domain has been our primary address for decades now. Continuity matters.
  • The domain was not created for the web, which the domain predates. Our choice in how we use our domain matters.
  • The etymology of stems from two sources, both explained on the UUPC/extended history page. Call us sentimental. Our name matters.
  • Most of our public web activity is not on the original web site, but rather on our blogs, including this one and The Summerhill Kitten Farm. Our cats' devoted fans matter.
  • is a Google Apps domain; in simple terms, that means we have data in the cloud associated with the name. Our data matters.
  • Vint Cerf and I chatted briefly back around 2008. He told me to never let go. The opinion of the father of the Internet matters.
  • Lastly, we refuse to put a theoretical price on the domain because:
    1. By ICANN rules, any condition under which we might sell the domain weakens our good-faith ownership of the domain.
    2. Any such price would have more zeroes (plural) than any business would pay.
    3. is not for sale in the first place.
Thus, we end where we began.