Posted in Technology

Wolfram Alpha Search Engine

Wolfram Alpha’s search engine focuses rather on calculating data entered by the user and displaying back results with useful stats. The premise behind the search engine is to work on calculations done to data, rather than searching for data on a large database.
I have used the search engine quite extensively since it was released, mainly to help me with mathematical calculations to check accuracy for my homework.
I have also used it “just because”, with random data, to test the system’s capabilities.

It is quite easy to use, intuitive, and fairly fast on the calculations and data search.

To visit it and test it out, go to http://www.wolframalpha.com

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Posted in All Mac Stuff, Technology

Apple Releases New Hardware: iMacs, Macbooks, Magic Mouse…

As previously rumored and posted on the MacRumors website, Apple has released some, if not all, of the expected updates to their Mac lineup. This includes: Updated iMacs, now with two choices for screen size: a 21! and 27″, and it includes a wireless mouse and keyboard.
Apple also released a new version of the Mac Mini, which sells for $999 and it is advertised as a “Mac Mini Server.” It includes Apple’s latest operating system, Snow Leopard Server, and it’s aimed for small business at an affordable entry price. Many will disagree, and will say “this is just an expensive mini”, but in reality, it is well-priced. The license for the server version of Snow Leopard sells for $499, so for another $500 you get a mini with the features that the “server mini” has.
In addition to these, the Macbooks were updated as well. Other products include: a new mouse labeled “Magic Mouse”, an all-aluminum remote control, as well as new and improved versions of the Time Capsule and Airport Extreme devices.
To read the full article and get all the details, go to ars technica’s website by clicking here

Posted in Music

Going Lossless

After much debating and thinking about it, I’ve decided to convert all my CDs to Apple Lossless. For quite a few days, I pondered on the idea of whether to go to the lossless format or not, comparing any differences, file sizes, portability, compatibility, pro’s and con’s of going lossless (or not), and such.

After briefly comparing Flac and Apple Lossless, I have decided to go with the latter, for the simple fact that it provides the best overall benefits and compatibility for my needs. While many audiophiles out there support the Flac format, going this way simply was not an option for me simply because there is no iTunes support, and lossless is just lossless.

I will begin the long and tedious journey of ripping my CDs, once again – hopefully this time will be my last, unless some better lossless way is discovered. This also means that I plan to trim down “the extra fat” in my iTunes library, by simply having music which I have purchased digitally and ripped from a CD which I own or may borrow.

Gone are the days of adding music to the library just because I can, or just because “it’s a new release and I want to have it…” If it’s in my library, I own it, whether in digital or CD form.

Which leads to another topic that I’ve been actively thinking of over the past few days. Is lossless really worth it? What about buying the music online, digitally? There are music online stores, such as iTunes Media (or Music) Store, and Amazon MP3, but as long as CDs are sold, this will be my preferred method of buying music.

Posted in Music

The Current Status of Music

Music is evolving at an alarmingly fast pace, there is no doubt in my mind about it. Have a listen at any artist that has released an album within the past one or two years, compare it to the music they had a few years ago, and you should quickly notice the difference. It’s like, the artist tries to fit more into the mainstream crowd, plays “radio” music to please the rest of us.

What they tend to forget a lot of times, is that their true followers were those that started to listen to their music since their early beginnings, back in their non-so-popular days. A few examples of these are: DJ Tiesto & Paul Oakenfold. Listen to their later releases and compare to their music from the late 90’s, and up to 2004-2005.

It seems that anyone today can make up a few lines of the same, boring, non-creative repetitive blabber, pick a beat and some synth sounds from a computerized program, and create “music.” Where have the days of creativity, passion, feeling gone? Is there anyone out there that is musically inclined and open to expending their taste? I would love to meet young people, especially in their early 20’s to early 30’s who listen to a different type of music other than what gets overplayed and overhyped on the radio.

Who listens to Jazz, Classical, Tango and Vocals anymore? Does anyone out there listen to Frank Sinatra, Kenny G, Gato Barbieri, Yo-Yo Ma, Andre Rieu or others alike?

Please drop a line if you do. I’ll be still searching the dictionary for the definition of “boom boom pow.”