I like electronics and especially robotics!
MagazinesI spend a lot of time reading magazines in order to keep up with current events and trends in the world of programming, computers, science, and politics.
Star TrekI love Star Trek NG. Star Trek First Contact was awesome! Captain Picard is by far my favorite character in the series and movie because of his decisiveness and personal control. He's not just a captain; he can converse on nearly any technical topic and operate most of the technical equipment. He's a leader. He's a techie. He's decisive. He is in control of his emotions. What more is their?
Recently (summer of '98) I started watching Star Trek Voyager and Star
Trek DS9. At first I liked them a lot, but after a few weeks I started
becoming annoyed at the often inane dialog the characters have. It's
not all bad, but I think a bad bunch of writers has made their way to
the script writing rooms of these shows. Furthermore, I'm realizing
how rather unfuturistic these shows really are. And for crying out loud!
There must be some fanatical religious freaks among the script writers
of these shows. These people have immense technology at their fingertips
(a hologram doctor with AI so good that he's considered a member of
the crew, transporters, computers that respond to voice control, etc.)
and they're out there praying to "The Prophets" for deliverance!
Of course, in a TV show, it's possible for such ridiculous superstitious
nonsense to actually have the desired effect, but this is not very good
science fiction. It doesn't work that way in real life. People in advanced
civilizations should be able to figure out how to understand the universe
without resorting to the silly superstitions that people required when
they thought that lightning and thunder meant that God(s) were angry
Watching Contact (the Carl Sagan movie with Jodie Foster) was a very emotional experience for me. In my entire life, I have only cried during two movies. The first time was out of sadness at the end of Star Trek II when Spock died. The second time was out of absolute elation during Contact when Eleanor first heard those signals from Vega and was speeding back to base in her car screaming the frequency on which the signal can be heard to her colleagues. I've never felt so happy in my life!
Of course, the end of the movie sucks big time. Some people liked the ending a lot, but personally, I wouldn't have been among the people cheering her outside the White House. I would have been one of the people who thought she was insane. We, the movie viewing audience, were with her when she made the trip, so of course we believe her. If all we knew about her was what we saw during that congressional hearing, only the UFO nuts would believe her.
My ComputerIn 1993 I owned a Gateway 2000 386/33DX with 4MB RAM and 320MB disk space. I ran MSDOS 5.0 (I think) and occasionally used Windows 3.1 to run MSWord 6.0. I have not gotten a new computer since then. However, piece by piece, I have upgraded every part of the system except the AnyKey keyboard (I won't give it up until I find a split keyboard which allows me to create on-keyboard macros).
I now have a Q500-ATX 11 bay case which contains an Intel 440BXSE motherboard (the one with the 100MHz bus!) with an Intel Pentium II 300MHz CPU. It has 128MB of RAM, a 17" MAG monitor, a 16GB HDD, a 10X CDROM, and a CDR drive.
As of 2000 January 1 I was running Windows NT 4 and BeOS R4.
WinNT 4 works fine, but it's not really a very speedy environment. It's also not as stable as it should be. I occasionally have to reboot the system because Internet explorer processes get lost somehow and end up sitting in the background using a lot of CPU cycles (more than the running explorers use). This is very annoying behavior. Furthermore, the application programming interface really sucks quite badly. All these reasons have more or less destroyed any positive beliefs that I may have once had about the programming abilities of the Microsoft people in charge of API development.
In May 2003 I bought a new case for my PC. It's a double-wide Chenbro SR101 server case! Woo hoo!!!