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Mon, 19 May 2008

Little laptops that can - 18:15
With apologies to Walty Piper I must say the power available in modern laptops is staggering. I am getting a new work laptop sometime this week (or maybe next). The laptop I have been using since August 2004 is a lovely Dell X300, a small, light portable laptop that I still find remarkably powerful and useful. Specs are "Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1.40GHz, 640 MB RAM, 60 GB HDD". The laptop I chose to replace this is a Dell XPS M1330 (they come with pink lids, how could I pass that up). This will have a T9300 CPU (Dual core 2.5 GHZ, 6 MB of L2 Cache), 4 GB of RAM, 320 GB HDD, built in dvd burner, a host of other things, a pink lid (I may have already mentioned this, but I am excited about that) and still only weigh around 1.8 KG (thus still be portable).

All this in such a small package is mind boggling to pretty much anyone who has been around computers since 486 or earlier model chips powered most PCs. I doubt I will be getting any Heidelberg Scars now.

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A a kde/gnome/kernel developer attraction? - 18:07
I wonder if the projects I mention above should try a new avenue to attract more developers to their projects rather than something with only a few thousand lines of code. Point out that you will have much more time for sword fighting if you work on one of these projects. I guess that is one of the problems with new hardware, modern it are so powerful you have hardly picked up your sword and the compile is finished.

Though Anton with his kernel compile speed metric of kernels compiled per second may never have time to get his sword fighting practice. Of course he probably does not need to practice, after all he is Anton Blanchard.

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Throwing off those childhood lies - 16:52
I saw a link to a new Paul Graham essay so had a read of it, this is titled Lies We Tell Kids. Like most of his essays it is an interesting read, I like that he mentioned none of his beta readers agreed with all of the content.

I used to wonder somewhat simply about the Santa Claus thing, I thought why are parents not honest about it all. This essay touches on this but fortunately focuses on bigger and more important aspects of the wool society pulls over the eyes of the youth. As for the Santa Claus thing, it may be part of the helplessness Graham discusses, friends with children tell me they love to see their kids eyes light up at all the Christmas stuff and you do not want to see that light disappear from them.

I rang one of my friends who sends his daughter to a religious school, yet both he and his partner are not that way inclined, I was wondering how he dealt with this. For his daughter he had the response that his upbringing was deeply religious and yet he got past it, thus he hopes the same will happen to his daughter.

On the whole question of lies I think one element to keep in mind that for kids at least if they manage to lie it is an impressive intellectual feat (well in the very young). Some research Schneier linked to in February is interesting in that it points out lying is a more advanced skill then telling the truth as you have to conceive of an alternate reality and convincingly sell that reality. Of course as Paul Graham points out almost every adult in a given society is in on the alternate reality being presented to some extent.

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