Kyleのシリコンバレー通信(英語)

2008年1月号 ちょっとした欠点もありますが,iPhoneはいいですね!

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Isn't it always the way? The moment I turn in a column, Apple makes a stunning announcement, that they will indeed release a true Software Development Kit for the iPhone, and will also support the iPod Touch with it, which is equally excellent news. Of course we do not yet know what form it will take, or what restrictions Apple may place on the licensing of that SDK. For example, Apple may forbid developers from creating or at least releasing VoIP applications. I can imagine that Apple would be less than friendly to Voice over IP applications, although it would seem to me that Apple shouldn't much care if its AT&T customers use VOIP or not -- Apple will still be getting its share of monthly revenue from AT&T iPhone accounts. Apple would be worried, I suspect, if people unlock their iPhones and then just use VOIP over wi-fi. Apple could also require payments for use of the SDK, or could require software distribution through iTunes only, or require its own legal department (and possibly engineering and software quality assurance departments) to go over the software before giving it the Seal of Approval. I would rather like those as options, but I personally do not want Apple exercising control over iPhone third-party software.

Free City-wide Wi-Fi? Say again?

San Francisco, in its infinite wisdom, placed a ballot initiative before the voters asking us to fund a city-wide "free" wi-fi network. It said this: "Shall it be City policy that the City should, through an agreement with a private provider, offer free wireless high-speed Internet access as quickly as possible on an equal basis to all part of San Francisco? Unfortunately, this silly city voted 62% to 38% in favor of this measure. Free? That's utter nonsense. It has to be paid for somehow. High-speed? What does that mean, in concrete terms? To all parts of San Francisco, even those with very low densities of computers and/or people? Since when has government ever provided efficient service, for anything? No, the people here are ignoring some fundamental lessons of history. It would be interesting to watch, if only I didn't have to be paying for it.

No Ethernet makes me unhappy

For some peculiar reason, my Windows 2000 PC lost all communication over Ethernet. I could not ping, could do nothing that required communication over the network. I reinstalled the TCP/IP driver, twice, and made sure that no application was blocking me--I turned off ZoneAlarm, for example. But nothing I did would return that functionality. A friend speculated that the stack was corrupted, but agreed that reinstalling the TCP/IP driver should have replaced it. I ended up doing a complete reinstall of Windows 2000 on another hard drive, an old 40GB I had lying around, and it was able to access ethernet with no problem. Now, however, the drive locks up from time to time. I suspect a general flakiness with it, as it is quite a few years old (five? six?), so I am looking into replacing it with a SATA drive. This would be my first 3.5-inch SATA, and I am wondering how well my motherboard will support it. Most drives I have seen are SATA II/300, and I just hope that I won't have any compatibility problems. Speed differences between 150 and 300 are, well, not even noticeable according to what I have read, so that makes no difference. I'm really just looking for reliability. And that is what leads me to some frustration. Hard drive prices are so very reasonable now that it is almost (almost) a no-brainer to buy two of the same capacity and simply back up one to the other, rather than using tape or fooling around with DVDs. But I am trying to avoid Maxtor. I have had some erious failures with Maxtor drives, while Western Digitals, on the other hand, have been fine. But Maxtor is one of the leading price/performance manufacturers, so their drives are tempting. I saw a 500GB drive for just US$109, for example. I may end up breaking my resolve to not buy Maxtor again, perhaps justifying it with the hope the the relatively new Seagate/Maxtor company will be better with their quality control.

But what to put on it? It is probably time to move off Windows 2000, so I discovered a technique to create a Windows bootable CD and put Windows XP on it from my copy of Virtual PC. I don't think I will ever run Virtual PC, but the XP Pro license it came with with is now very valuable to me. I found a thread on macosxhints.com called "Use Windows XP from Virtual PC with Boot Camp" which referenced a page which is unfortunately now blank. However, archive.org came to my rescue, and their Wayback Machine had a copy of the page here:

Following the directions on that page under the "Bootable Windows XP installation CD-Rom (with SP2)" section, I downloaded some files, copied the I386 folder off one of the CDs that came with my VirtualPC package, and created an ISO image. The problem is, you need to use a PC to do all this, but you can use Windows 2000 running on Parallels if you have it. I burned the ISO and will install XP on a new drive.

The Internet is full of terrific information, but, like all electrons, it is transitory. I am very grateful to the Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/web/web.php) for their efforts to archive the Internet. It is a daunting task--they say they have 85,000,000,000 pages archived starting from 1996--but without their work so much interesting history will be gone forever someday.

nVidia 8800GT - Heaven Sent

I recently upgraded my video to an nVidia 7800GS, one of the last of the AGP cards, and I am satisfied with it, but there's a new card that is really appealing to a budget-minded yet enthusiastic gamer like me: the 8800GT. It actually beats the 8800GTS 640MB according to early benchmarks, and is supposed to be priced between US$200 and US$250 for 256 and 512MB versions. World of Warcraft runs fine for me now, but someday, especially now that I will be moving up to XP, I'll want to try some of the latest 3D technology like Crysis, Hellgate London, BioShock, Supreme Commander, and others.

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