Últimamente en extracine han habido muchas menciones sobre lo que es la ciencia-ficción, lo que me ha puesto a pensar en el tema. Por otro lado Lady Madonna ha estado comentando más de lo común (que en su caso es bastante) sobre series de TV y especialmente sobre Battlestar Galactica (la nueva versión, no la de 1978) y juntando estas dos cosas me he puesto a pensar en las series del mismo estilo que me gustaban hace años y de las que no he sabido más.

Buscando y rebuscando en mi memoria (lo peor es recordar los títulos, considerando que las vi dobladas en Venezuela, en su mayoría) he tratado de mencionar solo aquellas que me parece que hubieran tenido una oportunidad de ser grandes series de no haberse cancelado prematuramente.

Después de pensar en muchas he tenido que pensar en algún criterio para reducir la lista y, después de eliminar todas las series que tuvieron un éxito duradero aunque hayan terminado antes de tiempo y quitar las series hechas en los últimos 10 años (algún límite tenía que poner) he reducido mi lista a las siguientes. Las series de TV de ciencia ficción decir que me gustaría que hubieran tenido una vida mucho más larga de la que tuvieron:

Serie Año
Quark 1978
Manimal 1983
Automan 1984
Misfits of Science 1986
Max Headroom 1987

Quark: Demasiado para su momento. Una creación de Buck Henry que compartía elementos de la serie por la que más se le conoce: Get Smart (el SuperAgente 86). El mismo estilo de humor rápido e inesperado no tuvo el mismo éxito cuando la temática a parodiar fue la ciencia ficción (un género que con Star Wars, Star Trek, 2001 y Buck Rogers tenía suficientes arquetipos como para hacerlo reconocible).

Quark es un programa dificil de explicar. Aunque la parodia es excelente (e incluso, si perdonamos las modas y la calidad, la serie sigue sosteniéndose hoy en día) probó ser demasiado para el público de la época. Cuando la veía yo en 1980 poco sabía que sólo habían 8 episodios y que esas risas que con nueve añitos soltaba no se extenderían por mucho tiempo.

Hoy en día es difícil de encontrar de forma mas o menos visible e imposible absolutamente en alta calidad. Aún así existe un sitio web “oficial” (cómo no) que, por el momento, tiene todos los episodios en formato WMV.

Vídeo de la cuña de entrada de Quark:

Manimal: “Con Simon McCorkindale!”. Nunca un nombre se me ha quedado tan grabado habiéndolo oído tan pocas veces. Esta serie, de escasos 8 episodios, nos presentaba al Dr. Jonathan Chase que, habiendo “dominado los secretos de la naturaleza en las junglas de África” era capaz de convertirse en cualquier animal. En la práctica y por cuestiones de presupuesto siempre se convertía en pantera o en águila (muchos tuvimos pesadillas durante mucho tiempo, con esta última transformación). Otro de esos casos en los que los ojos de un niño de 12 años le pueden hacer pensar que ha visto docenas y docenas de episodios de algo que le gusta. Gente que sabe más que yo de esto dice que la perdición de este programa fue la continua y dura crítica de David Letterman, que lo usaba como material de burla en sus monólogos todos los días.

Vídeo de la cuña de entrada de Manimal:

Automan: Tras conversaciones con Itzel sobre estas series he aprendido a reconocer y comprender una mirada que podría bautizar como “¿pero tú qué televisión veías?”. Automan sin embargo es otra cosa. Mencionar automan es elicitar una sere de reacciones que dejan claro que aunque la serie no haya tenido éxito la elección del protagonista (Chuck Wagner) fue la correcta.

Claramente basada en Tron, Automan nos cuenta (en 12 episodios, Ja!) la historia del “Hombre Automático”, creación holográfica del policía Walter Nebicher que le ayuda a resolver crímenes. Para esto Automan tiene varios poderes (todos basados en su independencia de las leyes físicas tradicionales) y a Cursor, quien “dibuja” los vehículos (y, notablemente, a Automan mismo) que se utilizan (el Lamborghini Countach usado en la serie fue la primera imagen que muchos tuvimos de un vehículo que se volvería casi un fetiche).

Como un punto de trivia, una escena de Automan fue filmada simultáneamente con una de Manimal, y en ambas series puede verse la misma escena, desde un ángulo diferente. Ambas series se consideraban a si mismas como “ultra-revolucionarias” y parte de esta auto-confianza fue causa de su perdición.

Vídeo de la cuña de entrada de Automan:

Misfits of Science: Esta es bastante menos conocida que las otras. Misfits of Science fue una serie anunciada con bombo y platillo en 1985 con un tema que en el momento era bastante original: Un grupo de jóvenes incomprendidos obtienen poderes por accidente y se dedican a resolver problemas mientras lidian con sus angustias adolescentes. Aún con guiones originales y personajes muy trabajados la serie se canceló por cuestiones de presupuesto (algo común a todas las que he puesto aquí y común a cualquier serie de ciencia ficción) antes de completar una temporada completa. La serie perdió toda posibilidad de continuar cuando uno de sus protagonistas, Dean Paul Martin (hijo del cantante Dean Martin y que tuvo un grupo de música con Desi Arnaz Jr., el protagonista de Automan), murió en un tráfico accidente en 1986.

A partir de esta serie Courteney Cox (Monica, de Friends, con apellido “pre-Arquette”) empezó su carrera en televisión y otro de sus protagonistas, Kevin Peter Hall, dejaría de mostrar su cara para pasar a ser el “tipo grande disfrazado” que hizo de Predator en ambas entregas y de Harry en Harry and the Hendersons.

Vídeo de la cuña de entrada de Misfits of Science:

Max Headroom: Tal vez el más conocido y durante un tiempo un icono representativo de los años ochenta en Estados Unidos es irónico que Max Headroom fuera realmente un personaje de una serie de televisión inglesa creada para “documentar” el origen de un nuevo locutor virtual (falsamente) hecho en ordenador.

La película para TV “20 minutos en el futuro”, una de las mejores historias de ciencia ficción de televisión (y con un sentido autocrítico que lamentablemente no se ha visto desde entonces) se creó en 1985 para explicar el origen de Max Headroom, un personaje que representaba el “alter ego” informático del reportero Edison Carter en el futuro y que en el presente presentaba vídeos musicales.

La idea se tomó en EE.UU. y se reimaginó la película como una serie dramática “Cyberpunk” (para la cual incluso William Gibson iba a escribir guiones) y en sólo 14 episodios logró predecir la creación de cadenas de 500 canales, la caída del cine ante la televisión de pago por evento, los “reality shows” y en un supremo momento de ironía el seguimiento de los ratings minuto a minuto, cuya interpretación aún inexacta provocó su cancelación. Su estilo también marcó el nacimiento del estilo de edición “MTV”, en el cual se utilizan muchos cortes rápidos y no consecutivos para representar frenetismo o acción.

Max Banner

La referencia que más gente conoce (pero no reconoce) de Max Headroom hoy en día es en la escena de la cafetería en Back to the Future II, donde como forma de nostalgia los camareros virtuales tienen las caras del Ayatollah, Ronald Reagan y Michael Jackson hablando y comportándose en el estilo de Max Headroom (la asociación es intencionalmente negativa, siendo el patrocinador Pepsi, competencia de Coca-Cola, que utilizaba a Max Headroom en sus campañas).

Vídeos de Max Headroom:

Programa de Música anterior a la serie de TV:


Anuncio de Coca-Cola:


Cuña de entrada:


Publicidad (“Max Headroom… Después de Luz de Luna!”)

Me he dejado en el tintero varias series por considerar que, aunque terminadas prematuramente, lograron trascender sus pocos episodios y existen aún en la memoria colectiva como algo más de lo que fueron (Galactica con una sola temporada, El Hombre de la Atlántida que vi en televisión durante tres años aunque solo tuvo 17 episodios) o porque puedo ser el único que las recuerda con cariño (Blue Thunder que con sus 11 episodios no pudo competir con Airwolf y Street Hawk con 13 episodios exprimiendo lo último de la moda de series de vehículos de los ochenta). Asimismo he evitado incluir series recientes, por considerar que tienen suficiente presencia en la red como para no necesitar mi ayuda (Firefly, Farscape. The Tick).

La idea de este post se venía cociendo desde hace algún tiempo y el detonador lo comento arriba (principalmente una mezcla de de pjorge, Lady Madonna y Extracine) pero se me ocurrió originalmente al ver un post en alt1040 en el que Eduardo comentaba sobre sus series de robots ochenteras que extrañaba y me di cuenta de que compartía esa nostalgia. Por supuesto, al único que le podría interesar es a mí pero como he logrado encontrarlas todas y recuperarlas me han dado ganas de hablar de ello.

Parafraseando a Mick Jagger:
People have this obsession. They want you to be like you were in 1969. They want you to, because otherwise their youth goes with you. It’s very selfish, but it’s understandable.

Hay una obsesión que tiene la gente… Quieren que las cosas sigan siendo como en 1969. Quieren que sean así porque, si no, su juventud se iría junto a todo lo que ha ido. Es egoísta, pero comprensible.

2008-01-03: Puedo decir que, después de casi un año buscando y rebuscando por todos los recovecos de Internet, he logrado obtener todas estas series y, de paso, que todas las he bajado de Internet. Ea. Ahí está. Puesto por escrito. Viva el Torrent (y muera la mula, sí, so mediocres). Si no fuera por ser purista cambiaría el título a “Las series que YA puedo volver a ver”.

Bajo las melodías deLove Rollercoaster del album Respect – The Soul Generation Soundtrack por Ohio Players he decidido que regresa el blog menos visto del mundo (en parte porque mi maquina suele estar ocupada arreando jamelgos y en parte porque definitivamente ni siquiera he intentado hacerlo funcionar).

OzHan sido ya tres meses en España. Las cosas no pintan como que cambien pronto así que va siendo hora de empezar a decidir que hacer con mi futuro.

Obviamente muchas cosas están todavía pendientes. Los papeles están en cierta especie de limbo burocrático que parece no tener fin. Las opciones de trabajo iniciales con las que llegué están en “Pausa” por problemas internacionales (decirlo así me hace sentir más importante) y las opciones de nuevos negocios titulan en el termómetro de la factibilidad entre “Poco Probable” e “Imposible”.
Conociéndome después pondré aquí las opciones de lo que se existe como viable, para usarlo en vez de enviar mail a quien me lo pida.

It’s weird seeing at yourself and realizing you’re not sure if you’re who you’ve always thought yourself to be. I wrote this on a whim and thought twice before submitting it, as it’s more personal than my usual posts. Then I remembered nobody reads this anyway, so it makes no difference.

It’s been a hectic month. My last month in Mexico after 16 years. My last month at my company after 5 years1.

It’s hard to say goodbye. It’s especially hard when it’s impossible to explain why I’m leaving. People come to me and say “You have a great job, you have a good life, you have a lovely girlfriend that loves you and you love back, tons of friends that would do anything for you… What’s the reason?”.

And it’s oh, so hard to explain that all the above (save the last one, bless her) are part of my reasons for leaving. I’ve reached a point in my life where I start pondering what is going to be of me in the future. I’ve reached that weird place where suddenly you find yourself wondering about having a family, settling, and surprised see yourself OK with it. After thirty years of being satisfied with your life, your decisions and having a thousand and one reasons for why you were the way you were, thinking them to be so obvious… After all that suddenly you realize you don’t believe in them any more and maybe you never really did.

It’s weird, it’s hard and it’s humbling.

People ask me if I’m happy because I’m going to Spain, or if I’m sad I’m leaving the closest I’ve had to a “home” in my life and I usually reply “no” to both. I’m currently in that relaxed state that usually precedes things crashing down, the “calm before the storm”. I’m exactly in the middle of the emotional rope. Divided and quietly thinking of my life as if I was part of a public. A mere spectator commenting on someone else’s fate.

And I’m afraid.

You see, I have several reasons for leaving México (and I could as easily have as many reasons for staying), as they are actually really simple: I want to live close to my family, at least for a while. I want to know what it feels like speaking of a sister or a cousin or an aunt and knowing they live, at the most, at a 2-hour trip from home. I want to be close in family’s tragedies (which, the circle of life being what it is, predicts I’ll have a few of in the near future) instead of being contacted in a rushed, sniffled phone call to be told I’ve lost yet another loved one and I wasn’t again able to be there for them and the rest of the family.

I leave, officially, to be with my family. To be in the country I was born and learn firsthand what it is to actually LIVE there. To know what it means to have the concepts of “family” and “closeness” together. I want to stop being “The relative in America”. I don’t want to be a damn tourist in my own country.

And it’s so scary. I swear, I can’t even say out loud how scared I am.

I’m scared to realize, once I’m there, that I am not the person I think I am. That all I achieved, the great opportunities and wonderful moments I had in Mexico were just borne out of lucky coincidences and of being blessed with both the timing and the friends to pull things off. I’m afraid of knowing I’m a fraud and I’ve just been riding the mixed wave of having great people behind me and having a quirky enough personality that people confuse it with geniality. I’m not afraid of letting anyone else down. I’m afraid of letting MYSELF down.

To this I should add things were simpler a year ago, when I decided to leave. I was single and alone. I had friends that, all of them, happily said they’d leave to be with me in a heartbeat if I could find them a job. I had all the support of my family and all the people I loved.

Only one thing has changed now: I’m not alone any more. I have found the perfect woman (oh, Murphy, how I hate thee, let me count the ways!). A woman who’s not only beautiful and enjoyable to be with but also incredibly smart and who, unbelievably, loves me in a way I’ve never felt before. She loves me so much she’s willing to support me in this decision she doesn’t understand to the degree of leaving her own country to be with me later on. She also believes fully in me and thinks me this genius able to success anywhere2.

And the problem is I could live with letting myself down, but I couldn’t live with letting her down. So the problem increases.

She’s sad, now. She knows it’s less than a week we’ll be with each other. She’s upset and the little angel tries her best to hide it, to be happy for me and to try and turn it for the best.

Is there a point to this rant? Probably not. I just had to write this down somewhere. As I know my blog is hardly read by anyone not close to me (and those that aren’t I don’t know) it seemed like a good idea. I also chose it to be in my in-english blog instead of the one in spanish, as that would limit who would read it as well. All that is left for me is to pick up my stuff, strut to Spain and demonstrate Itzel, Myself, my family and my friends I am who we all think I am, or collapse trying.

Thanks for reading.

Wish me luck.

EDITED to adapt for new blog code, 20080103

  1. Or 10, depending how you count. []
  2. The gorgeous fool. []

This came up in a forum and it was suggested I put it in the blog (lately the forums seem to be the main source of entries in the blog, I’m afraid). And it comments on the possibilities, yet unrealized, that could be there for bluetooth. This is something I had been thinking for a while and which believe could be achieved with current technology.

Originally posted by KBurton

One feature I’ve often wanted on a PDA is an alarm that goes off whenever the PDA and I get more than about 2 meters apart. But I guess I’d have to have a transmitter surgically implanted…hmmm, might still be worth it. It’s about time I became Bluetooth-enabled anyway. In my peer group, that would be one heck of a status symbol; especially if I could get one with the blue blinking light :-)

Something I’m waiting to see are bluetooth keychains (or better yet, a combination keychain/bluetooth/USB Drive w/256MB..:) which are charged through the USB port.

I am a mac user and have been using Salling Clicker since it was named differently, and depend on its functionality 100% (I’m sure something similar exists for windows -Phonefront, I think- and Linux -No idea- but I’ll focus on the one I’ve used and know).

This resident program actually monitors, as often as you’d like, your bluetooth devices. You can program it to “sense” the device when in range and do things to either of the devices when connected. For example:

When you “enter” range:

-Your phone gets a “menu” wherein you can control your computers applications. I have it set to control PowerPoint/Keynote, the iTunes MP3 player, the DVD player and some basic mousing around and screenshot taking, as well as taking some info from the computer like uptime, info about songs or sending/receiving messages in my IM application.

-Your computer “knows” the phone is in range, so whenever the phone gets a phone call the computer looks up the number in the local addressbook and shows you the information about that contact BEFORE you pick up, letting you see the picture of the person and the basic information you require about them.

-The DVD or MP3 players go to “pause” and the computer goes to “mute” modes when an incoming call is detected.

When you “exit” range:

-Your IM (ICQ, AOL, MSN, Yahoo) is put in “away” mode
-Your screensaver is started, password protected (when you “enter” range it can be deactivated automatically, making your phone, effectively, your password)
-Your MP3 or DVD player are put in “pause” mode and the computer in “mute” mode.

As it is, the Salling clicker currently supports this for both BT Phones (SonyEricsson support the most features, I think) and Palm devices (the UX included!) and is FULLY scriptable, meaning that you can make your own action scripts to be acted if what you need is not available (which, coupled with the Mac’s impressive scripting capabilities, opens a TON of possibilities. For example, a company that makes home automation software has published scripts that let you control your house’s Air Conditioning, Lighting, Exterior Lighting and conceivably bathtub filling from your phone or palm).

Now, if someone where to make a portable, keychain-like, bluetooth device, you could set-up similar relations between your BT devices, and if you keychain ever separated more than the BT range allows for you could have your phone start beeping and vibrating to let you know.

This can be done right now, although I’m not sure if anyone ever has.

As a mac user I’m already used to the sad fact that we’re second whenever programs, features and innovations are decided and misguided companies still believe we’re a Pain in the Ass when it comes to support us (funnily, a lot of companies exist today because of innovations Apple made that spawned whole industries).

Hence, I’m used to living with certain “quirks”, which mean I have to know specific steps, procedures and compatibilities when I try to run or use equipment not expressly decided with the mac in mind (it’s amazing how well devices designed directly for the Mac or Apple work, like no other platform has seen, things like the iPod, iSight, iTrip, iMic, etc.).

As such I have a Sony Clie UX50 and two Macs, one (home) with Mail.app, Addressbook and iCal and another one with Entourage (office). One would think they should be simple enough to Sync, what with MS having an open kit for sync’ing with Entourage and iSync supposedly using Open standards for all its files. I wish it was so easy. This is a call for help. Read on if you think you can help out.
(Originally sent to a maliing list as a call for help, and reproduced here in its undedited entirety)

(Ok, this will look like a rant, but it isn’t, it’s a call for help or options, I just don’t know how to voice it without expressing the feelings I have for this)

Now. Am I the only person in the world to think that an iSync conduit for Entourage would be a good idea?

I have to use entourage in the office and use mail.app and addressbook and ical at home. I have found there is no easy way for me to synchronize all these things together and I have to, as my office appointments are in entourage but my personal apopintments are in iCal (to start with, lots of similar problems with the other apps).

I was told I could use a Palm as intermediary, which sounded reasonable enough.

I have a Palm Clie UX50 which I use with both macs, and I’m doing the palm-shuffle, sync’ing at home and then at the office. This seemed like a good option, but very basic yet important differences sprung some major problems.

First: The Palm, being its sole reason of existence to be a substitute for a written calendar and addressbook (everything else are extras, the core function of a PDA is to keep addresses, notes and appointments, this is not debatable, although can be downplayed), now in it’s sixth major iteration of its operating system and fifth major version of the addressbook still can’t, or won’t handle more than one address per contact. I won’t even try to expand on the irony and absurdity of this. Both addressbook and Entourage recognize more than one (Entourage can recognize a work and home addresses, which is the needs of 90% of the people out there who need more than one) and Addressbook can have unlimited addresses. Both use and recognize the VCF format, pioneered by Palm. Addressbook is the most standard of the three (in regards to the format for interchange). But if you use Palm as an intermediary you’re left with a single addrtess and you have to “predefine” what the addresses on the Palm are going to be (Work or Home), if you make a mistake hgere you could end up, after two or three syncs, with repeated addresses or deleted entries in Addressbook (as something that was work address in entourage is stored as home by the palm who later overwrites the home address in iaddressbook)

Second, Entourage and Addressbook handle differently the meetings, especially all-day meetings and recurring events. If you’re lucky you end up with duplicates for everything (an all-day event like an anversary gets
written both as an event from 12:00 am to 12:00 am AND as an event from 12:00am to 11:59pm), if you’re NOT lucky you end up with the whole calendar being deleted and rewritten every time you do a sync. (“iSync detected changes in your to do and calendar entries, 512 entries will be deleted, 513 entries will be added, procceed or delete all?). This has the added benefit that after every sync Entourage tries to remember of every past meeting for the last month, as entries with old dates are input again in the system.

Third. Periodically .mac gets sick of all these changes and borks out, asking you to reset it all and replace it with .macs data: “Downloading 1254K, 4324 changes, reset all devices? Yes, Delete All data?”.

With a conduit for entourage (or an updated Addressbook application for Palm, or at least the address database handler, as even third party addressbook substitutes like agendus can’t expand on it) in iSync I could sync entourage as if it was a PDA or something directly, not worrying about losing information to tintermediaries.

Any idea if this has been done or if it is possible? What are my options here?

A punto de cumplir un año de empezar el proceso de obtener el pasaporte español en México me encuentro, una vez mas, dando círculos y vueltas sin dirección. Los procedimientos y burocracia involucradas son tan increíbles y bizarros que difícilmente podrían explicarse fácilmente. Los requisitos cambian y los funcionarios del consulado descubren nuevas formas de maltratar y humillar a los ciudadanos que quieren resolver problemas que no sabían tener. Una vez más, sin provecho, intenté legalizar mi situación.

PROLOGO
Este artículo está hecho para probar una cosa solamente. De acuerdo a la Constitucion Española se lee:
EL ESTADO VELARÁ ESPECIALMENTE POR LA SALVAGUARDIA DE LOS DERECHOS ECONóMICOS Y SOCIALES DE LOS TRABAJADORES ESPAÑOLES EN EL EXTRANJERO Y ORIENTARÁ SU POLÍTICA HACIA SU RETORNO
(Art 42 de la Constitución Española de 1978)

Estas ayudas pueden ser:

– Ayudas de carácter Asistencial.
– Para facilitar la integración socio-laboral, orientación profesional y promoción de empleo
– Ayudas de promoción educativa, cultural y social
Nombres, requisitos, dinero, papeles, envíos trasatlánticos, consejos y ganas de gritar contenidas que probablemente hayan resultado en mas de una migraña.

Este escrito pretende demostrar que si bien las leyes Españolas preveen la repatriacion de emigrados y si bien no dudo que hagan algo la cruda realidad es que ni con mucho hacen lo que podrian hacer ni hacen lo minimo incluso para ayudar a los que quieren regresar al pais, no facilitando tampoco los tramites, las relaciones y no proveyendo un mecanismo adecuado de quejas y reclamos, por lo cual estas acciones no son conocidas o reconocidas jamas por quienes podrian hacer algo al respecto.

Estos son algunos de los factores a los que una persona promedio tiene que enfrentarse cuando intenta resolver la maraña de procedimientos, requisitos y direcciones que es la obtención de un pasaporte español.

Gente como Nora Ortega, en el Consulado Español en México. Los funcionarios de los registros civiles en España, la costumbre ya común de dar citas para trámites urgentes para dentro de 9 meses, el hacer que la gente se desplace físicamente hasta el Consulado Español en la Colonia Polanco, en la Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico, D.F.) sin importar que uno lo único que quiera saber sea el horario de atención a clientes.

La absoluta e irresponsable actitud general e ineptitud de todo el cuerpo gubernamental que está involucrado en el trámite y expedición de pasaportes españoles y aseveración de nacionalidad española en México y España.

Es triste y a veces casi suficiente como para desistir de obtener la nacionalidad de España.

En mi caso soy Español. Nací en España en un año en el cual la nacionalidad se obtenía por “suelo” (por haber nacido allí), hijo de Español por herencia (mi padre es mexicano, hijo de españoles). Ahora resulta que las leyes posteriores a mi nacimiento son retroactivas y perdí mi nacionalidad en algún momento en el que asumo que debo haber estado distraído. Ahora resulta que mi padre, que vive en España y ha sido español acreditado legalmente toda su vida, debe de tramitar una “nota” en su acta de nacimiento en la que específicamente se estipule que durante toda su vida y específicamente en la fecha de mi nacimiento el ERA (y ha seguido siendo) español.

El hecho de que yo tenga un pasaporte español (vencido, debo admitir) no es prueba suficiente de que yo nací en España (invalidando la misma credibilidad del gobierno español, por parte del mismo gobierno español)

El hecho de que en el año que yo nací la nacionalidad española se obtuviera automáticamente sin importar la ascendencia no es prueba suficiente de que soy español (las leyes ahora son retroactivas, rompiendo uno de los fundamentos básicos de las mismas)

El hecho de que mi padre no haya perdido su nacionalidad nunca (comprobable) no es prueba suficiente de que no ha perdido su nacionalidad nunca (esto suena extremadamente extraño y sin embargo esto son palabras exactas del consulado). Necesita ahora hacer una nota en su acta de nacimiento que especifique que no la ha perdido. Esto es solo para que su hijo, yo, pueda hacer un trámite de afirmación de nacionalidad, ya que el ha sido capaz de obtener pasaportes, carnets de conducir y visas como español durante toda su vida sin problemas (de nuevo, el gobierno español se desacredita a sí mismo al implicar que no puede confiar en sus propias acciones pasadas).

El hecho de que haya visitado, llamado por teléfono y consultado al consulado mas de catorce veces, teniendo que sobrevivir cada una con un NUEVO requerimiento, con una NUEVA razón por la cual no puedo obtener MI nacionalidad original.

El hecho de que haya tenido que soportar la actitud del personal del Consulado Español, que siempre se comporta como si tuviera que soportarnos, a nosotros que somos los que con nuestros impuestos pagamos su sueldo (o, en mi caso, estamos dispuestos a pagarlo, si nos lo permitieran) para que nos atiendan y nos ayuden con los trámites que nos obligan a hacer.

El hecho de que haya tenido que contratar los servicios de un abogado de extranjería, al que le pagué y que después de ayudarme todo lo posible literalmente me dijo: “No puedo ayudarle, ya no le falta ningún trámite por hacer ni documento por entregar. Nunca había escuchado de las cosas que le dicen en el Consulado. Le aconsejaría que demandara pero no puede al no ser ciudadano español”. (Esto es, recapitulemos, después de que solicité asesoría de como podía obtener mi nacionalidad española teniendo como puntos a mi favor el hecho de haber nacido físicamente en España, de ser hijo de padre Español y nieto de abuelos españoles, lo cual sonaría como suficientes argumentos pero por lo visto no lo es)

Mucha gente me ha intentado ayudar, pero el círculo Moëbius sin fin que el Gobierno Español ha creado permite no sólo que una cantidad grandísima de gente tenga un empleo en sus consulados en el mundo y que abogados en extranjería estén teniendo grandes ganancias ayudando a la gente en algo que debería ser un procedimiento obvio, sino que además pueden permitirse el lujo de tratar a los posibles ciudadanos como si fueran TODOS posibles criminales (al menos ese es el trato que he recibido yo en el Consulado) y de hacerles bailar divertidamente en el baile de la burocracia.

Dejemos algo muy claro. Yo tengo un empleo excelente, con un sueldo magnífico en un lugar precioso en México. Mis ganas y deseos de regresar a España eran solo de dos tipos:

1.-Regresar a la tierra que me vio nacer. Vivir allí y conocerla bien.
2.-Vivir cerca de mi familia y hacerles saber lo mucho que los quiero

Después de todas estas ridículas situaciones para obtener mi nacionalidad (que nunca debí perder) española estoy reconsiderando que ya solo la segunda razón está´siendo válida, y la primera razón se aproxima peligrosamente a estar en el otro extremo, donde vivir y convivir en el Gobierno Español se vuelva un castigo y un martirio que tendré que sufrir para poder cumplir el segundo que, afortunadamente, es lo suficientemente grande e importante como para no ser destruido por el primero.

Ojalá pudiera obtener ayudar. Ojalá Nora Ortega, el Consulado Español en Mexico o en España o alguien que pudiera hacer una diferencia leyera esto. Si este escrito puede ayudar a que quien tenga algún tipo de influencia para arreglar las cosas, para mejorarlas entonces me daré por satisfecho, me dará gusto haber podido ayudar. Personalmente me gustaría poder saber que no es peligroso que mi nombre este aquí. Me gustaría creer en los procesos, procedimiento y trámites del Gobierno. Me gustaría no estar escribiendo esto ahora. Me gustaría seguir teniendo ilusión por regresar a mi patria, en vez de este sabor amargo y esta sensación de que esto es una señal de como funcionan las cosas en España. mi país.

Si tienes algún comentario que hacer no dudes en usar la sección apropiada.

After getting the brand new UX50, and before it’s made obsolete by Sony’s weekly batch of new models, I thought I’d write a list of the things I like, dislike and would like in the new little thingy. It turned out they were quite a few but, truthfully. I do like the little bugger.

Sony Clié: Hits, Misses and Wishlist

Ok. I just got my Sony Clie PEG-UX50. First Palm and Clie in a LONG time and the first I have actually decided I HAD to have.

Clie has had a very busy story over the last two years. New Clies have come out with new features so often it’s become a common joke among reviewers. From time to time it’s even seemed like a joke. Sony releases a Clie with audio playback but no recording, then another one with audio recording but no backlight, then another one with a camera but no video recording to Memory Stick, later on one with a high-quality camera but no video.

It’s seemed to me this last two years that Sony either were being too candid (“we just managed to put this into the Clie! Let’s release a new model!”) or they’ve been too clever, pacing their new features onto as many not-so-well-paced Clie models.

The Sony Clie PEG-UX50 seemed to me like the pinnacle. Nothing else can be added to this thing without it being downright silly. I might have been wrong, but not for much.

I like the Sony Clie UX50 a lot, and feel it was a good choice. I can’t help but thinking, tho’, that Sony still has one or two models up its sleeve before it runs out of ideas.

HITS:

Let’s see what Sony did well first. I’ll try to get here what the machine gets right. I won’t include things taken for granted in all Palmtops (“It has a stylus and touch-sensitive screen! Wow!”) but will comment on what I find good or above design choices.

  • Screen Quality: The 65K Color screen is top-notch. It’s crisp and clear and the fact that it’s smaller than the recent trend in Palm and Clie is actually a benefit, as it looks better (same number of pixels more densely packed: Crisper image). It doesn’t wave or flicker, even when looked through polarized/tinted glasses (which frequently expose imperfections in LCDs). Backlight is great too.
  • Keyboard: A lot of people are complaining about the keyboard. I don’t see the point. It’s a keyboard in a Palm, so it’ll never be great. Most of the complaints have focused on the keys being too level or flushed against the wavy surface of the lower part of the clamshell. This makes it harder to locate the keys by touch alone or to know if you’ve pressed it correctly. I find this is not so much of an issue as it’s made up to be, as the keyboard lights up and the lack of relief in the keys is made up with the actual relief felt when they are pushed down. I think this is more a thing of both taste and what people are used to vs. the more aesthetic approach of the Clie.=20
  • Placement of “peripherals”. The placement of the ports and slots is very smart in the Clie, and space is not wasted at all. Connection-related ports are on the left side (IR and USB) as well as the on/off, where as media ports are on the right (Memory Stick and Headphone Jack). Camera and Capture button are on top/hinge and stylus. Microphone, shortcut keys and lanyard hoop are on the bottom/front of the unit. The bottom has the cradle contacts.
  • I may probably be the only person in the world that clearly likes the lanyard hoop. Not that I use it or even intend to. It’s just that it finishes the overall look of 80’s sci-fi tech the little unit has. I love it, people are mystified by it..:) I have even thought it might have to do with wireless reception as well, but I could be mistaken
  • Speaker volume is excellent and audiojack volume is also very well balanced. One of the best speakers I have heard in a Palm in the last years.
  • Microphone Sound capture is crisp and clear, and almost instantaneous. A wait of one or one-and-a-half seconds is clearly enough to start yammering at the unit..:)
  • The web browser, NetFront, is gorgeous to look at, supporting a lot of high-end features and rendering crisp, near-desktop-quality pages. It misses here and there with CSS and/or JS but overall an excellent web browser, if a little slow.

MISSES:
Sony did some decisions that have not been very welcome to different degrees, from obvious design blunders to minor opportunity areas:

  • The Sony Clie does not recognize the Sony Ericsson T610 phone right out of the box. It can’t communicate with it via bluetooth nor can it use it for Internet Connectivity. Ironically the support from it has to be found from PalmOne’s own phonelink app, which comes with drivers for it. This is so ironic (whomever buys a UX50 right now like to stay cutting-edge, and the T610 is hardly new, yet it’s the flagship product of SonyEricsson).
  • Screen Rotation (lack of): Enough has been said about this. The landscape layout is not bad and is actually very practical for Web browsing, e-mail handling and “Documents To Go” manipulation (BTW, Sony! What’s with not including a license of Docs To Go any more!?) but it’s pretty obvious that at some point portrait orientation was not only planned, but designed around. Other Clies have screen rotation and this is obviously something that exists currently for PalmOS, so the decision was actually conscious to not include it here, but the whole bottom/front row just screams of portrait orientation. The scrollwheel is located in a place that makes it comfortable to roll with a thumb or the middle finger on average-sized hands (depending on your hand orientation). The shortcuts buttons likewise imply finger control and are too cumbersome to use when in clamshell mode. Luckily landscape supports the graffitti area to be on either side of the screen.=20
  • Design not really intended for one hand operation: This is obvious from the clamshell mode, which implies two-handed operation, but it seems it should’ve been easy to design the case to work reasonably well when in tablet mode with one hand. This means the scroll wheel should be more useful, arrows (or a sonyericsson-type joystick) could be on the outside and, again, portrait should be supported (easier on the hand, as it’s narrower and not as tiring). As it is I’m willing to buy one of those “finger-stylus” that are put in the index finger, thimble-style, to make it easier to use the machine.=20

  • The stylus could use some redesign, the hand hurts after a while of using it.
  • The USB port is hard to open and flimsy, the port cover could be easily broken.
  • The on/off/hold switch is not easily movable and frequently moving from the “hold” position will result in the unit being turned off.
  • As with the USB cable mentioned elsewhere (used for power) the cradle should have a USB port itself and a hotsync button. I’d actually like for the connection to the cradle to be USB itself but this seems to be out of the question, for some reason I can’t readily see.
  • File management is a mess, interapplication communication for data files (graphics files, mostly) is a joke. I wish this was improved. I copied image files with the “send to handheld” application and the files are there sitting with other files, yet the album and viewer can’t see them.


WISHLIST:
There are a few things I’d like to see in future versions of either the Clie Software, Palm OS or, in extreme cases, the Clie hardware itself (although this last one would mean I wouldn’t have access to it in this unit)

  • Standard Connectors in the unit. There is ZERO backward compatibility between this clie model and past models. No peripherals work with it if they relied in the older unit connectors. I can’t believe this wasn’t raised as a concern when the units were being tested. There is a great GPS-and-car peripheral for Clies that can’t be used with the UX50 and can be argument enough for people not to upgrade (it would be for me).=20
  • Higher-resolution camera: This would be a good addition in the future. A flash would help as well. Battery usage will have the kick it needs to finally be almost useless but would be a good addition.

  • Quick toggle for bluetooth and wireless settings. As it is right now you can forget about them and the battery will drain incontrollably. I’d make the current status LEDs actually be mode buttons. Press with the stylus and you turn it on, press again and you turn it off. Easy.
  • Charge through the USB port: Come on, Sony, you don’t expect us to keep on buying cradles and bring them over with our laptops, do you? It’s enough hardware as it is. They’re not cheap either. The current in the USB port is enough to keep the battery at its current level, if not charging it (heck, I have a coffe mug warmer here that uses USB electricity for it’s operation and I know there are electric brushes, fans and lights that use it as well).
  • Support for PalmOne’s Phonelink app. It’s the only way I have seen Palmtops connect though bluetooth to Mexico’s Telcel service and I can’t figure out the settings on my own (this is kind of a wish maybe only I would be benefited from, but still)
  • Battery Life is normal as long as none of the special features are enabled, but what’s the point. Heavy use of bluetooth will bring the  battery life to less than a day. Wireless usage could shorten it to just a few hours. Bluetooth Sync’ing and wireless web browsing being too slow don’t help much here.
  • Support for multiple modes in the record/capture button. As it is it can be configured for either Photo, Movie or Sound Recording trigger. As the Clie already knows when it’s in tablet, clamshell or close modes (it’s only three modes, although Sony insists in their website it’s five) this means the button could be contextual: Record sound when in closed mode, pictures in tablet mode, movies in clamshell mode. This sounds like a no-brainer to me.
  • Support for MacOSX platforms. As it is the Missing Sync provides good-enough support for the Mac, but some features are missing and the product costs extra. Sony should include functionality in their products to enable MacOSX usage. Some of this functionality means just behaving like a standard product (there are very clear standards for USB based storage devices, which the Memory Stick surely classifies as and for USB cameras, which the UX50 also qualifies as, not to mention the MP3 player).
  • Support for “live” phone bluetooth connection. Live call warning and ability to use the Clie as a speakerphone (and even record a conversation) would make the Clie much more attractive to all those people convinced they should have a Palm as a Cellphone (an aberration to me, but to each his own). You could have your phone stashed in the backpack, in the inner pocket or in its sleeve and use the Clie as the communication center, sending and receiving messages, answering calls and connecting to the internet without sacrificing the phone, which is still smaller and has better battery life, for those times you’re not bringing the Clie with you (camping, jogging, etc.)=20
  • Screen should rotate in both directions. A lot of people when first grabbing the machine will try to rotate wrongly and the owner will hear ominous cracks and creaks while the person understands that if he’s exerting force then he’s doing it wrong.
  • There is no quick button for HotSync, Push-and-hold on one of the main buttons should at least open HotSync, let alone starting it up. No luck there.
  • The SMS application should maintain a live connection to the phone or at least check its contents periodically, so you can be warned of new messages.
  • An IM application should be included by default, with which the three most-used services of the Internet would be covered (Web browsing, e-mail and IM). Open Source clients exist aplenty supporting all protocols in a single client (ICQ, AOL, Yahoo, MSN, with MSN hanging in uncertainly these days) and the program should run on the background or from the web browser, as to not kill the current connection.
  • I’m still undecided in a proper telnet/terminal program for the Palm. Haven’t found a good alternative yet. Will keep looking.

Some of the better pieces I write are not usually initially thought as rants or rambles and more as a normal reply to a message. In my current work I have been blessed with several peers (and one in particular) that are constantly feeding my too-easy-to-trigger rant-buttons. Sometimes I realize I have started yet another kilometric message after I hit the “Send” button and appreciate the recipients being patient with them. This is one such exchange. It was spawned by an article in marshasllbrain.com that talked about how, in 50 years, the world will be ruled by robots (humanoid robots, no less).

—–Original Messages—–
From: Eduo [mailto:email suppressed]

Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 2:56 PM
To: Bob [mailto:email suppressed]
Subject: Food for thought

http://marshallbrain.com/robotic-nation.htm

(admittedly, some of the thoughts you’d be feeding would be cool, sci-fi ones, but I wouldn’t say that out loud, in fear of sounding pro-mech or anti-hum, to coin two phrases)

Eduo

———-
From: Bob [mailto:email suppressed]
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 3:25 PM
To: Eduo [mailto:email suppressed]
Subject: RE: Food for thought

I will probably be dead or at least retired by the dates he mentions, so I’m not quite as worried as I would be if I were younger. What I worry most about is that the upcoming generations will be able to provide me what I need when I’m old and feeble. :)

History has been full of people being overly pessimistic (as well as overly optimistic) about the effect of technological changes on society. I’m sure people were predicting gloom and doom as the Industrial Revolution got really going. What can happen is that as some types of jobs are eliminated other new ones are created.
(In italics above are the two messages preceding my rant below)

—–Original Message—–
From: Eduo [mailto:email suppressed]
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 4:05 PM
To: Bob [mailto:email suppressed]

Subject: Food for thought

Gloom and Doom may mean different things to different people. Back when the industrial revolution hit, those not willing to do anything else than what had done for twenty years were probably affected.

I see is as evolution, tho’. Nature’s selection of the fittest has adapted to new times, I guess, and “fittest” means other than having good birthing hips, being able to munch on stale meat instead of dying of food poisoning or having the longest hair to be pulled by horny cavemen (if we believe in cartoons).

I was thinking of sending an e-mail on my thoughts to this person, thinking of making both a “pro” and a “against” cases for his theories, the intent being that it’s easy to rationalize any future development. You don’t have anything to lose, if you’re not correct nobody will remember but if you are you’ll be recognized as a visionary.

I do believe that more and more things will be automated, because that is nothing new, it’s been an ongoing trend for years now and doesn’t look like it’s going to stop. I don’t believe humanoid robots would be used for anything else other than making people comfortable with non-humans being around. I don’t believe we would ever see robotic waiters in a fast-food joint for anything other than hipness or shock value, but I do believe you’d be able to go to the drive-in, punch what you want and have it waiting in a (n unmanned) window further down the lane. This to me makes sense. Having a robotic person doing the sale doesn’t. I don’t believe the two ends of the spectrum for food places (the mon’n pop coffee shop or the ultraexpensive french restaurants, for example) will ever disappear any more than I believe printed, non-computer-dependant books will be popular in the next twenty years (I do believe alternatives could crop up, like intelligent paper/ink or sintehtic replacements for wood pulp).

Also, there’s the fact that he fails to acknowledge 4/5ths of the world, where having someone to do the cleaning for you costs 10 bucks a day (that’s Mexico, and it’s expensive compared to India or South Africa or China), which means that a 10K robot would take 3 years to pay itself for the same work (more if, like me, you have someone come over twice a week instead of daily).

I believe that we’re going to see more proliferation of small, specific appliances, like we currently have. We like tools but we like to feel we control them. Like in Physically control them. An Aibo pet-dog is cute but most importantly is small and manageable, a roomba vacuum cleaner is a robot that vacuums the house, but I bet it wouldn’t be nearly as popular if it was the size of Robbie, the Robot. We like our washing machines, dishwashers, dryers, automatic cruise control in the car and autopilots in planes, home alarm systems and tie racks for the closets and they are exactly that, specialized robots. I feel appliances like Roomba would crop up more and more and instead of having a humanoid robot (which while being admittedly able to fit in a humanoid environment is far from being a perfect or even somewhat optimal shape). By the time we’re completely at ease among technology and robotics we won’t mind much them not being humanoid, in the same way we don’t expect a dishwasher machine to look like it’s rubbing plates and forks.

Again, all of this is speculation and while it’d be fun to see how it turns out being optimistic or pessimistic about it is as pointless as deciding which of them is worth investing in the future. Most of the technology leaps and changes in lifestyle were unexpected and unplanned, usually being a side effect of other intents (astronauts don’t like plain water, so we have Tang; two guys want to get as far from Dayton as possible, so we have supersonic planes now; somebody messes up a project for a new kind of glue and we can paste little yellow notes in a monitor; etc.) that trying to predict is like trying to hit a bullseye with a shotgun in a dark room while being blindfolded, upside down, hanging from a ceiling fan and being tickled… with boxing gloves: A fun exercise but of little actual value other than see how it turns out.

I’d keep on typing, seems kind of effortless today for some reason, but I better stop, as by now your eyes must be kind of glazed and fixed in some point between the glass and your nose, thumbing the page down button just to get to that blissful part where the window is blank..:)

Today, for the Nth time the topic in MacSlash has switched to GPS programs in OSX (or the lack thereof). For some weird reason I decided to reply to a post there and my comment ended up covering several things of the GPS status and future on the Mac. Not interesting, not groundbreak but hell, it’s not as if someone reads this anyway. You can find the actual post in MacSlash here and the original post is here and the MacSlash article sits here. The comment here is annotated and included URLs I was too lazy to include in the MacSlash post.

NOTE: This is one of the most exceptionally badly-written pieces I have made in a LONG time. It wanders between subjects, implies too much, leaves even more to the reader and has some run-on sentences in there that even Henry Miller would envy.

Text from Original post: GPSdrive works perfectly. you can fink it today.
“Perfect” is a little strong. “Acceptably” might be more accurate.

(Regarding GPSDrive)
In OSX there are conflicts with access to the GPS devices if you use Serial adapters, you have to know a little more than just the basics to set it up, runs under GTK under X11, so it doesn’t look or behave like a mac application (nor can it properly interact with other applications), has some problems with scaling of the maps downloaded, is a huge PITA to calibrate maps and they never are correct and buttons don’t work properly out-of-the-compile-box. It also doesn’t handle waypoints and routes adequately and doesn’t give any control to the user on zoom levels nor is it’s “moving map” feature worth a damn.

I use it and love it, by the way, but to each his own, and GPSDrive is no Street Atlas and while you will enjoy it if you download and use it without prejudice, you might not like it if you’re expecting a free Street Atlas.

Also, GPSDrive supports speech in Linux and Linux alone, in case that was a selling point. It’s Airport (WiFi, 802.11b, etc.) support (for wardriving) is pretty complicated and requires Kismet, which doesn’t work properly in OSX and doesn’t work with Airport Extreme at all.

Also, GPSDrive (and any other independent GPS program for that matter) only does basic GPS mapping, no street navigation of any sort. This is not a matter of, as some poster put it there, “just making it”; for as many OSX might there be that would use it you need to pay some HEFTY licenses to have a country’s navigation maps (street level with street numbers and street directions and UPDATED). So you get the possible public for such a program to the mac user in a specific country (that is, a fraction of the current 3% or so of computer users that currently run Macintosh OSes, of which 50% or less use OSX and of which less than 5% use or would pay to use GPS).

A GPS program is a great thing, but Apple needs to do something (and I say Apple because they are the ones with less to risk when releasing new functionality or programs for OSX) to revolutionize GPS usage in OSX. I have in the past considered (especially now that even the Woz is into GPS) that Apple should make an iMap or i’Mhere or iPlace or whatnot that gives OSX the support it requires for GPS programs to be easily developed. What would this be?

1.-GPSd-like daemon that supports NMEA and Garmin, that supports transfer of routes, waypoints, tracks, maps and anything else a modern GPS receiver might understand. Programs would be able to call this through the OS (something gpsd has, to some extent -although it hasn’t been updated in ages- done for Unix systems)

2.-A simple map program that connects and downloads maps (heck, use Sherlock and give it a much-needed boost with that, tie it up with the current search for movie theaters or addresses) by striking a deal with Mappoint or Mapblast or Mapquest (selecting a service that supports several countries would be a bonus, although Expedia’s support of satellite photos is COOL).

2.1.-Even better would be for Apple to purchase street-level maps of countries it has presence in (for example, those for which Web Apple Stores exist), but it’s even more unlikely than the rest of my already-too-long post.

3.-Number 2 could also include the ability for OSX to be able to pull driving information from said services and to pull maps freely without limitation (see my NOTE below). Such an agreement would allow a program in OSX to download maps freely (or up to a specific “X” amount based on the .mac account)

4.-If the connections were easy other developers would find it easier to make native programs for Map location and GPS support (instead of half-baked OSX programs, VPC solutions or Classic applications) in the same way that now lots of programs can take advantage of the addressbook or iCal or iTunes.

5.-This would bring Apple into a realm not yet touched by Windows (GPS support natively implemented into the OS) and would also make OSX inherently compatible with WOZ’s new venture (GPS tracking devices for people and things) where a Powerbook could work as a soft-client behaving in the same way their current chips are supposed to behave in the future (Airport/WiFi and GPS together) or as a sort of central-node for such a network.

As you can see I would REALLY want something like this to happen and have even thought on doing so myself, but the learning curve to Cocoa from scratch is a hard and unforgiving path, and my knees are already scrapped. The kind of application I would make and have envisioned would look like one of the iApps and would NOT be like MacGPSPro or GPSy, which with all the greatness they have and hard work put into them, are uncanningly difficult to use and understand and have a learning curve that is almost surreal. It would look like a simple program, yet provide a lot of behind-the-scenes functionality (like currently AddressBook does), and it would also meld naturally with .mac technologies and with the Digital Hub direction of Apple.

I will stop now. Thank you. Mod me down accordingly, so others don’t have to see all this drivel..:)

Eduo

NOTE: A problem with most independant GPS programs is that they rely in Map Web Pages which are always trying to limit the access to them, as direct download of the maps means a possible loss of revenue when ads are skipped. This also means batch-downloading of maps (the only reasonable function of internet downloading of maps for on-the-road GPS machines, as you can’t easily connect when hiking to download a new map) has made several servers in the past change their formats and protocols (for them is a no-win situation, as they serve maps, waste tons of bandwidth and processor-cycles yet receive no input at all by use of ads or the connections for hotels and other amenities)

NOTE2: Obviously the main problem with GPS is that it doesn’t work indoors easily, which limits it’s usefulness when considering its integration with a desktop OS like OSX, although alternatives could exist (Create a hardware wireless antenna that connects through Airport or Bluetooth, create a PDA with GPS support, officially support a third-party PDA like Palm, etc.)

SPL has posted a Soapbox entry in his website in Haxial about the benchmarks Apple is using to tout the G5 as the “fastest desktop computer in the world” and this simple article has generated a flurry of messages and flames completely out of proportion. I post here the personal reply I sent to him on the article.

NOTE: Text has not been changed from original, so it’s addressed to him directly.

Hello.

I guess all the mail about this entry in the soapbox is actually being taken from the MacNN forums but, since I have no desire to participate in them I thought I could post a reply here. Probably one of hundreds and probably one that won’t be paid much attention.

Still, I thought I had to pitch in to try and balance the barrage of message from fanatic zealots out there.

First of all I’d like to know if you’ve received any “challenge mail” and if you were thinking of putting that up as well (as bigoted hate mail is an easy target to which you aren’t obliged to answer rationally). A serious and rational exchange may ensue with the “other” mails.

Second: Although I agree with your comments and think that you are correct in all that you wrote about the benchmarks I also have to mention that anyone that purchases solely based on benchmarks deserves to find unpleasant surprises. Benchmarks should only be an important factor when all other things in a comparison are equal (which clearly is not the case when pitting PC’s with either Windows or a flavor of Unix-type OSes like Linux against Macintosh computers with MacOS X, hence referred as “Macs”). I have seen benchmarks (specially those generated by private companies, even using third-party entities) to be always biased, and this applies to AMD, Intel, Motorola, IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Linux and even Google.

Third: I agree that Apple should either prove there is a stronger foundation behind their claims of benchmarks or their claim to the “title” of “the fastest computer in the world” (paraphrased, exact wording not important as we all know what was actually stated) or at least extend their explanation to “according to a private benchmark conducted under Apple Instructions by Veritest under special controlled circumstances” or something, which is common in the industry as a disclaimer against any complaints and would make the whole thing at least a little more true.

Fourth: Apple doesn’t have misleading prices. Misleading prices would mean that there were hidden costs or that the price is not accurate. It IS accurate, to all of our knowledge. If they say it’ll cost $2999 then it’ll cost as much. This is also not apple’s fault. Most sites when selling bundled equipment (doesn’t apply in BTO places, as it’s not controllable, depending on the options chosen) or single parts do this. It’s a common practice widely thought to give the impression of the price being cheaper. This is still not misleading pricing in the same way two identical machines in which one of them has a cool design and the other is a plain beige box is not a proof that the former has a misleading design. Also: I have yet to hear somebody mention a $2999 price as either “Two thousand dollars” or “two-thousand, nine-hundred and ninety-nine dollars”. EVERYONE I know would say “three thousand dollars”, as the rounding has become commonplace everywhere in the world nowadays (and we tend to shorten prices to the closest number naturally).

Fifth: I personally find it in very poor taste (even as you mention in your soapbox index, you’re exercising your “freedom of speech”) that you attacked a Mac user for being happy or excited about a new machine. This user is not a company or testing entity that can be questioned on what he or she believes is a cool product. What makes a product excellent and what makes it crappy is, for the most part, a subjective concept and it may very well be that for him this G5 machine was “WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY” beyond expectations. That’s a subjective statement that, although can be questioned, substracts professionalism from your whole article (which, for the most part, was indeed rational and professional). The fact that this very same user would probably become afterwards a flamer and send hate mail written hastily and with poor grammar doesn’t deter that he shouldn’t be attacked for what he subjectively believes (answering to hate mail is OK, tho’, as it’s a directed attack to the “hated” and, thus, makes it deserving of an answer, hopefully with better arguments thant “you wrote ‘their’ incorrectly”, but I digress).

Sixth: I do recognize that you are indeed a Mac user (if not exclusively) and although I personally hate your interfaces for your programs (a direct result of the graphics kit you use) I do admit that your products are cool and useful, I just wish you’d use the native widgets and graphic elements of each platform, as the things currently stand out horribly against my other programs, in Windows and MacOS (I do acknowledge the standard widgets in both platforms may be lacking certain elements you do use frequently, like window-specific contextual menus). I just wanted to make it clear I don’t think you’re a PC bigot slandering Macs or antyhing. Anyone that browsed around your website (even if they had never even read the “haxial” name anywhere, which is difficult if you do move within the Mac world) could’ve found that, so the posts about you not even using a mac are kind of moot.

Seventh: The actual point of my post, which has been probably stated before either to you directly or through the posts in MacNN’s forum: Mac users have never used benchmarks as their reason for picking up macs. Macs have never been the fastest machines in the world and they probably won’t. Trying to make it, all of a sudden, a relevant factor is stupid and, to me, is actually detrimental to the true reasons any current Mac user has chosen a mac in the past. Truth is most mac users have different reasons for choosing a mac, not the least is “having something different to set myself apart from the rest” (which is probably a lame reason and the same most “out-of-the-norm” groups exist. The worst too) but a lot of them chose macs because they were either easier to use, prettier to look at or prone to be bragged about, friendlier, better integrated, more reliable hardware from a brand-name computer (opposed to a self-built computer), greater lifespan and less need to get “in the guts” of the computer, both in hardware and in the OS, as well as less prone to attacks of different kinds (virus, malicious users, etc.). All of these are valid reasons and, to me, way more important than Benchmarks. Apple may be at fault for bringin benchmarks, which have never been their forté, to the spotlight, but mac users (and all other users who should know better) wouldn’t be being smart if they also took it as the most important factor to consider (or not) macs. They have never been a reason, making them a reason now is completely pointless. Apple may be at fault here, but I do blame the users for letting themselves be carried by this (which is probably a byproduct of we mac users never having been able to brag about speed in the past and having “arguments” to do so now, forgetting we always said “speed isn’t everything”).

This is more a rant than a specific opinion on a specific point in your article. I think it could be summed up in:

1.-Don’t only show hate mail. You must SURELY be getting rational mail you can also answer with something other than a witty retort.

2.-Don’t attack personal subjective opiniones, attack objective/stated facts that could be practically challenged. (challenging Apple is OK, challenging a user who just happens to be too effussive or too sentimental is a cheap shot that indirectly is aimed at all the other users who may not share his/her opinion.

4.-Don’t manipulate concepts. “Misleading” is not the same as “Making something look more attractive”. The former is a step away from an (illegal, BTW) outright lie, while the latter is just simple (and legal) marketing.

3.-You attack Apple’s benchmarks (with facts, I also should mention) yet you’re a mac user. It would be interesting to see your perspective in this as a mac user. Why do you use Macs? Would you use something else if you could? What would you advocate in the platform you use? This is not directly related to your Benchmark article, but more related to the reason you still choose a Mac to work on (if not exclusively).

Eduo

Note: I use PC as a synonym for Intel-based or Intel-Compatible, IBM-Compatible Personal Computer based in the x86 chipset. As PC is shorter and widely used. A Mac is of course a PC, and is actually a PC from a company widely regarded as the creator of the PC concept with the Apple I (although this is debatable as well, still I’m using common concepts)

Eduo

PD: Please excuse my poor english. It’s not my native language and I sometimes make awful mistakes. Try and look past them if you do answer. I do appreciate corrections and welcome them, but not as the only possible reply to a message.