Saturday, June 10, 2006

Laptop Distro Upgrade

I'll have to come back and flesh this review out, but I'm just putting a quick note down here that I just upgraded from Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) to 6.06 (Dapper Drake). Overall, it was a mostly seemless upgrade. The upgrade process did bomb, for some reason, with about 4 minutes to go (out of a process that took over 2.5 hours). From what I can see, the only problem that resulted are 1) some icons did not get installed (no big deal), and 2) files were not cleaned up. Before the upgrade, I have 7 GB free on my hard drive. Now I have 5.5. I think I'm going to have to look for some stuff to kill to free up some space.

Other than those issues above, I'm impressed with what I've seen so far. The boot process is quicker and appears to be a bit more reliable. I got the much-needed upgrade to Firefox 1.5. The one thing that I am really hoping for an improvement in is the wireless handling. After the reboot, I can connect to my router quickly and smoothly. I really hope that's worked out. Everything else looks good. I'll have to play around some more and see how things are working.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Great Music

I feel like procrastinating a little bit before going to lunch, so I'm going to put up a quick post here. I saw a post a short while ago (can't remember where I saw it, sorry), that offered a ranking of the 10 best albums. I have to admit that I love lists like this. I always enjoyed those list-themed shows on VH-1. [Digression: I think one of my favorites was called, "The List." Each show had a theme (e.g., "greatest rock anthem," or "greatest make-out album") and the celebrities on the show would each give three nominations. After all the nominations, the celebs each vetoed one and the audience would then vote.]

So, this particular list included greats like OK Computer, Sgt. Pepper's, Revolver, Nevermind, and Dark Side of the Moon. All great albums, to be sure. Inspired by this, here are two very tough lists to make. My ten nominations for excellent albums (not best of all time, just great ones that people who love music should listen to if they never have):

  • Tori Amos, Boys for Pele

  • Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head

  • Miles Davis, Kind of Blue

  • Live, Throwing Copper

  • Moby, Play

  • NIN, The Fragile

  • Pearl Jam, Ten

  • Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon

  • Radiohead, Kid A

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, Californication

  • Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream

  • Stereolab, Emperor Tomato Ketchup

  • Yes, Close to the Edge

OK, so that's 13. It's my list, so I don't care. I can't pick any of those to take off the list anyways. Oh, and here are some artists for honorable mentions: Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Nirvana, 10,000 Maniacs, Billy Joel, Jimi Hendrix, the Clash. U2 and REM are disqualified because almost all of their albums consist of this odd, dichotomous blend of musical genius with unlistenable filler garbage. I cannot point to any of there albums that are great for more than half of the tracks.

Now, the other list. Ten great songs that I will never tire of hearing:

  • Billy Joel, "The Downeaster Alexa"

  • REM, "Losing My Religion"

  • 10,000 Maniacs, "Because the Night"

  • Dave Brubeck, "Take Five"

  • The Clash, "London Calling"

  • Dire Straits, "Romeo and Juliet"

  • DMB, "Crush"

  • Annie Lennox, "Don't Let It Bring You Down"

  • The Moody Blues, "Nights in White Satin"

  • Seal, "Crazy"

  • Simon and Garfunkel, "America"

  • Tool, "Sober"

  • The Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again"

Yes, once again, that's 13 because I can't count and I don't care. I'm not going to bother with an honorable mention list, because that would take about 5 pages.

OK, time for lunch. Feel free to rattle off your own nominations.