Notebook Notes

Notebook Shopping

The 17″ MacBook Pro with our insider discount starts at $2,599 with 1GB RAM, 120GB HD and ATI 256 Video. The Apple store version is at $2,799.

Today’s opinion is that the Dell Inspiron 9400, starting at $1,495, is ‘comparable’ to the MacBook Pro. The Dell’s default Core Duo chip is slower and $99 will get me 256 MB video. Today, it is difficult to see why $1000 more is needed to reach Apple.

A viable generality may be that modern notebook computers are all hot—the CPU and the GPU gets hot. So it boils down to a choice between hot plastic or hot titanium.

Eyeing the Area-51® m5750

So news feeds leave me with the assumption that the Intel® Core™2 Duo is “eagerly awaited.” A review of the m5750 points to the T7200 2.0GHz—“for the rest of us.” With an 80GB, 7200RPM HD and 1GB RAM, the m5750 gets upwards of $1,929.

For penny pinching, the Dell Inspiron 9400 comes to mind. With an 80GB, 7200RPM HD and 1GB RAM—and a 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 7900 GS (adding $299), we push up through $1,568 (with $200 “Instant Savings”—limited time offer).

So now the question is, ‘What is the tangible difference between these two?’

The Birthday Present Experiment

Buy this book at Amazon.com!One misplaced gift idea for the mother of my second child was this book, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century. It got misplaced years ago when it ‘fell’ into the depths of some Outlook folder. So, in my smart-ass way, the idea is to post the gift that I will get for her on my Blog—so that someone with a greasy hand in Sydney using Google to look up “ass bandit” will know what she is getting for her birthday—but she will never know what she’s getting. It will be a complete surprise. My swaggering, bulky arrogance ambles to the conclusion that she will never see this entry in my Blog because she does not read my Blog. Plod. Plod.

Getting beyond petty, egocentric fantasies of infighting and drama, what can be seen here is a larger issue that surely many other brothers from the ’hood share: your Black friends over 30 really don’t use computers in an effective manner. Specifically, the concept of the news feed (let alone instant messaging) is still lost under the preference for email. This issue was bothering me in an earlier post, the reference to Black Enterprise Magazine. In my early 20s, my statement regarding this “digital divide” would have strongly suggested that Euro Americans are doing just fine with computers while, somehow, African Americans are not. My Black life in corporate America comes with a completely different story: my Black friends are really no different from Euro Americans (and, in fact, having a Black friend can be just like having a “white friend” because only ignorant-ass racists underestimate the power of assimilation). One real difference between these two political groups is that some Black people proudly announce that we don’t know (or care to know) about some technical morsel of nerdom, while your properly assimilated cat will hang on in quiet desperation and try to at least get a C+ in the imaginary class.

So what do you get the Black woman who has everything? My meager contribution to this success is Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century. It will be a complete surprise. What will not be a surprise for me is that, when Microsoft finally releases Internet Explorer 7, the use of news feeds will skyrocket—for all people of all cultures under the captivating dominance of Redmond.

.NET/PHP/Python Links

.NET Links

Here is a link for the CommandEventHandler Delegate. My guess is that this link was saved because of the last serious ASP.NET push a few months ago. My thinking was that the Button.Command event should be considered before habitually using the Button.Click event. MSDN: “This event is commonly used when a command name, such as Sort, is associated with the Button control. This allows you to create multiple Button controls on a Web page and programmatically determine which Button control is clicked.”

Global.asax? Use HttpModules Instead!” by Karl Seguin provides clear guidance about habitually and blindly using Global.asax in ASP.NET.

Script# was mistaken for the equivalent of JScript .Net. The thought is that somehow JScript .Net is not ‘ready’ for the Visual Studio mainstream so it needs help from third parties. This thought seems in error.

The VirtualPathProvider Class makes ‘pretty URLs’ for ASP.NET applications but this is just the beginning.

PHP Links

Programming:PHP:SQL Injection” at wikibooks.org is always there as a reminder. A few days ago a generic procedure to update/insert data was written including array_walk() with a callback to a function featuring mysql_real_escape_string().

The “Pattern Modifiers” article in the PHP manual shows up in my notes probably because of this little ditty called phpGetInnerXml(), written a few days ago.

getid3.org revives my interest in building/installing a simple, OS-agnostic, media server. I’m not looking for the Open Source equivalent of Windows Media Center Edition.

For some reason, there is more openness to using SQLite with PHP. My guess is that this motivation comes with its appearance in PHP 5.

Python Links

The focus here is on the XML support in Python. The doc’ to read is “The State of Python-XML in 2004” by Uche Ogbuji. A 2006 article was not found.

Apache needs mod_python.

Gerald Horne Returns to Toronto

Buy this book at Amazon.com!Gerald Horne returns to Toronto on Saturday, September 9th. Horne will present a different perspective on movies at a Different Booklist, 746 Bathurst St. as part of CKLN-FM 88.1’s Saturday Morning Live.

He will discuss his latest book, The Final Victim of the Blacklist: John Howard Lawson, Dean of the Hollywood Ten. Lawson was one of the most brilliant, successful, and intellectual screenwriters on the Hollywood scene in the 1930s and 1940s. His credits include Blockade, Sahara, and Action in the North Atlantic.

Horne will discuss how McCarthyism and anti-Semitism ruined Lawson’s career. He will also discuss Lawson’s role in writing the screenplay for the first anti-apartheid film—Cry, the Beloved Country starring Sidney Poitier (of Bahamian extraction) and Canada Lee—and the progressive tradition in cinema that Lawson had represented.

Paul Buhle, author of Radical Hollywood: The Untold Story Behind America’s Favorite Movies, gives Horne’s latest work five stars. Says Buhle, “This is the best and most carefully written of the author’s many books and that is something in itself. This extraordinary treatment of one of the most interesting and controversial figures in Hollywood scene of the 1930s–40s demonstrates superior, indeed prodigious, scholarship. Decades of intense and committed research and writing have resulted in details that no one else has attempted to provide. This is an outstanding work that richly deserves our attention.”

Horne’s other books will also be available including Red Seas: Ferdinand Smith & Radical Black Sailors in the U.S. and Jamaica.

Horne, Moores Professor of history at the University of Houston, is author of Black and Brown: African-Americans and the Mexican Revolution, 1910–1920, Class Struggle in Hollywood, 1930-1950: Moguls, Mobsters, Stars, Reds, and Trade Unionists, and Race Woman: The Lives of Shirley Graham Du Bois.

For more information contact Norman Richmond Norman@ckln.fm or call 416-979-5000 ext. 2372