poor horatio

Let's go down to Myer's Lake for a picnic.
Dear reader, a varied post lies ahead… written at different times throughout the weekend. I make no claims about its contents being interesting, or even cohesive for that matter. I only offer what I write, and I tend to write a lot of crap. Please bear with us here as we strive for some decent content, but for today – we’ll take what we can get. And now onto the stuff.

If you know me, or have been reading this wordy webpage for a while, you know that The Andy Griffith Show is “pretty much my favorite” television show. As much as I like it for it’s bumpkin humor or Aesopesque underlying messages, I like it more because it’s a glimpse at some kind of utopia… at least, a utopian vision that closely aligns with my own. Simpler times; a close-knit community of friends; a rural existence based firmly on morals, a desire for peaceful clean-living, and a common-sense respect for others. A place where people are still close to the things that make them happy: the land they work, the friends they have, and the beliefs they share. No… the show never really goes into any of that, those are just my extrapolations. That’s my Mayberry, as stupid as it sounds.

In the tradition of last weekend’s “what I’m listening to” sidebar addition, I spent 10min Saturday adding a “random post” link at the bottom of the “archives” sidebar section. Used a nifty little WordPress plugin to get the job done, pretty cool. Even I get a kick out of clicking it sometimes, I write some stupid stuff. So check it out, and remember – if you see some whack formatted posts that got messed up in the WordPress transfer, lemme know so I can fix ’em. Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Sunday, I got what I thought was a great idea. I’ve had this 120GB external hard drive sitting around for a while, not really doing much with it but copying the occasional thing over to it as an extra backup. Double-checking the current size of my digital music library and finding it to be 106GB, I decided to copy the entire thing over to the external drive. Then, I setup a script that can compare the two drives and keep them in sync, always ensuring that the external drive is up-to-date. I plan to take the drive to work with me. Now, instead of having to sift through piles of DVDs to find something to listen to at work, I’ve got it all on-hand. I’ll bring it home every few days to sync it with the master collection on my RAID array. Now… if I could only find a way to plug it into the car stereo and be able to take it on the road…

When technology really gets smart, here’s how I see it going down: I’ll have a central repository for digital media in my house, it will be large capacity, redundant, and fault-tolerant (RAID5). I’ll have a small iPod like device, but based on flash memory, which will also be large-capacity, enough to hold a mirror image of my entire collection. Vehicles will support the standard interface to this portable device, a plug-in interface that supplies power and signal-out and will be as ubiquitous as the 2.5mm headphone jack is today. The portable device will have built-in wireless capability, and will use my sleeping hours to keep in sync with the central collection. Physical size is important, the current iPod form-factor and weight being the largest that’s acceptable. Storage size must always seem to be overkill, 500GB-1TB if it this thing were real right now. As a rule of thumb, it should always be about 30% larger than what’s thought of as “big,” because if you just aim for “big,” it’ll without a doubt be too small within a year. The advantage of flash vs. moving spinning disks is essential, and when unplugged from a power source, the battery on this device will last 24 hours.

In addition, if I’m in a music store with the device, I can “purchase” an album and zap it through the ether onto my drive; same deal at the video rental store. If I’m at a show, I can purchase a board recording of the event at the end and beam it on. The device will support a “friendly” mode, where it will wirelessly seek fellow devices with similar tastes and enable file-sharing between them, integrated GPS will even allow two “friendly” enabled device owners to meet in real life if they wish. DJs at clubs will be able to offer their entire sets to be immediately “beamed” to paying customers. It will interface with PVR devices to take the kids’ favorite TV shows on the road. If you like a song you hear while in a store, you’ll be able to purchase and beam it to the device.

I spent a good bit of my weekend freetime reading Beside Still Waters, a book Pat loaned me thinking I’d be interested, mostly based on my writing from the other day. It’s a good book, if a little wordy. In fact, it’s a great book… seemingly targeted to what I’ve been thinking about lately. I wanted to write more about it, but I’ve not finished it yet – and wanted to reserve judgment until I was done. If you’re at all curious about that kinda stuff, I’d recommend checking out the book. And, I’m sure I’ll have more uninteresting stuff to say about it when I’ve finished reading it.


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