What's New? 2005-06-01

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What's New? 2005-06-01

 Monday 6 June 2005
  WWDC 2005 Jobs speaks Well then! It's official.


Steve Jobs announced that future Macs will have Intel chips inside, his on-stage demonstration done on such a machine.

Not only was [Macro error: There is no glossary entry named "Mac OS X"] running on Intel at Moscone Center, but Steve said that every revision since 1.0 - Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, and Panther - have been doing so within Apple.

(That ought not be surprising since Darwin, the UNIX core of Mac OS X, has been available for free to the public for Intel machines. Denizens of the chat rooms - nonprogrammers mostly - were seriously confused about how hard it would be to move Mac OS X to an Intel chipset, not understanding that the core already runs there.)

WWDC 2005 Jobs Pentium(In chat rooms I'd predicted that Steve would be doing a demonstration and as he'd walk off the black cloth cover over the machine would get snagged and pulled off, you'd see the Intel processor highlighed, and Steve would say "oh, yeah, and one more thing..." but he decided on nothing so dramatic. Oh well.

Sadder even is that once again he wasn't able to keep the news secret until the keynote address, as c|net broke the news last Friday.)

I want more specifics, particularly when can I get an Intel-based PowerBook, and how much faster and cheaper will it be than the units predicted under IBM-made PowerPC chips.

The irony of Apple using Intel chips, and Microsoft and Sony using PowerPC chips (for the new gaming consoles) is rich.


While we're in a Macintosh frame of mind, given the exciting news rumored to be told to us in a half-hours time, I'd like to pass on this picture:

My best guess is that it's a recycling truck, taking away the boxes (and the bulky styrofoam inserts, which is why they're not collapsed). Others, I hope tongue-in-cheek, have suggested that this might be a delivery.


Today wasn't only sitting around the PowerBook, watching the WWDC Keynote. Oh, no! Today was the day that we decided to do something about the mostrous amount of non-degrading destructive loquat leaves falling on everything in the front yard. We grabbed the saw and clipper and took about one-third of the loquat tree down. Here's Lila and I ripping the leaves from the branches; a task without which one could never stuff a reasonable number of boxes. Much easier to stuff the leaves and tie the branches into bundles. (I have no idea what face Lila is making.)

Lila & Mickey garden

Isaac was working on something at his desk. (You'll find out more details shortly.)

Isaac at his desk

Organic chocolate milk, itself a reason to celebrate!

Chocolate milk!

We choose to have dinner at Naan & Curry on Irving Street @ 6th Avenue. Dziadziu and Zofia picked it. Isaac brought a box of things on which to work, but I'm not sure what this facial expression was for.

Isaac at Naan & Curry

Here's Azam, the friendly server / busboy at Naan & Curry. He's a ray of sunshine; always a pleasure to see. He and Lila have been playing a "that's mine; no it's mine" game together over our last few visits.

Azam at Naan & Curry

Here's the cash register and kitchen of Naan & Curry.

Naan & Curry kitchen
 Sunday 5 June 2005
  This morning we're heading downtown in our annual pilgimmage to the Israel Independence Day celebration at Yerba Buena Gardens. One could drive (and park at the Fifth & Mission garage) but that's always a hassle, so we're opting for MUNI instead. Of course. Here's the family on the inbound platform. That's Dziadziu sitting - in white - on the bench.

This is the view from the starboard side of the stage. At the left of the panorama is where the Hebrew Museum is being built, in the middle is the MOMA.

Here's a view from the aft position, those tents are the booths.

My review of the goings-on: Well, it's pretty much the same opinion as every year: the music is too damn loud; kids don't want to be within 150 feet of the stage (which rules out much of the festival area), the Israeli / koster food stands aren't able to deal with the demand, leading to incredibly long lines, and the booths feature the same crap as they do every year. Completely uninteresting, especially in this Internet age. There was a time that such events were the only times disparate groups of Jews had a chance to get together, but we're connected differently now.

Additionally, this year they moved one food stand in front of the Sony Metreon building, completely snarling all foot traffic going around the perimeter path and the overpass and anyone coming out of the Metreon. Such incredibly bad planning, especially considering that this is the same venue we use annually.

Oh, I did mention the perimeter path? Well, last year they put the booths right on the path, again snarling traffic. So, this year, instead of learning and putting the booths about ten feet back from the path, they make up some virtual path and line the booths up that way. So no seniors can easily traverse the booths, given the wavy topology of the grassy area, and it's hard for the rest of us, being that the crowds, umm, crowd the booths as they face the stage.

Suggestions for next year: think about things before you toss them around. Get some people with Burning Man experience to lay out the public spaces, including laying and protecting footpaths (which were completely missing this year). Oh, and having the guy singing Ave Maria wasn't really cluefull.

Wait!, you say. Moscone Center? Haven't we heard that name before? Of course you have, that's where my favorite computer company hosts its annual customer event every January.

Well, as you can see from the side of the newly-built Moscone West, it's time for their annual developer event: the Worldwide Developer Conference, or WWDC.

WWDC 2005 Moscone West

Rumors include an announcement by Steve Jobs that Apple is moving to chips made by Intel, (possibly the x86 line or Intel building speedy PPCs). This has caused great gnashing of teeth by the Mac faithful, but given that we successfully moved from the Motorola 680x0 line to PowerPC years ago, and all I'm really looking for is the "Mac OS X" user experience on a fast laptop platform, I don't actually care on what hardware its running.

I trust that if Steve Jobs decides we'll still have the best user experience and the most integrated hardware. (I presume if we go to any Intel chip there will still be some sort of hardware verification boot ROMs, as Apple derives the majority of its income from hardware sales.) Trust the Steve :-)

While we're thinking on that, we might ponder this graph (produced by Apple years ago) to show the advantages of the competing chip types: RISC (PowerPC) over CISC (x86).

Apple PowerPC vs CISC graph

IBM (part of the Apple-IBM-Motorola consortium) promised 3 GHz PPCs two years ago, and they're still not there. Not to mention no lower-power (laptop) G5 PPC, so that line is somewhat stagnant. (And this month was the first that more laptops sold than desktops, industry-wide. Apple wants to be leading that market again.)

So I guess that's what's going on. We'll find out tomorrow.

 Saturday 4 June 2005
  It's early morning in my office. Lila has woken me up at 08:00, given me an alligator for comfort, and beams with satisfaction. Oh, and she dressed herself (three or four times) this morning. She's been saying that she'll do it when she turns four. She had the party at the pre-school a few days ago and now she's considering herself four. Good for us.

We head across the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge to visit Felicia and family in Alameda. We're meeting at the Washington Park playground. Here's Rose in my Ranger Hat, with Lila climbing the structure.

Isaac "five rings" leading the way along the monkey bars. Lila is learning to follow. Isaac is uncommonly talented at this. He's often at it. (I'm pretty happy I was there helping him along on his first big "five rings" day.)

After the playground we head back to their house. The kids watch a video whilst Fel & Adam make us a wonderful meal of cous-cous, fried tofu, and scallops, sole, gardenburgers, and asparagus (all cooked on their brand new gas grill). Mmmmm. Thanks! (The following photo is from Adam's cell phone.)

It's cousin Ziggy's bedtime, so we head around the corner to Asena restauranc for dessert. The kids split a chocolate gelatto, whereas I go for a chocolate flan a Asena (which is more a chilled dark mousse au chocolat). Two of the staff have newbons, and as we've been longtime regulars (in the outdoor aisle, covered by bougainvillas, near the propane heaters) we spend a grand half-hour talking about kids, cultures, and child-raising. We'll be back soon.

 Thursday 2 June 2005
  Uncle Daniel sends me a photo taken on Mom's last trip to Münster, Germany, taken a few days before her death.

Mom in Münster
From left: Mom, Daniel, Omi Marga, and Emil
 Wednesday 1 June 2005
  Welcome to June! Lila has been asking me to spend a bit of time with her at the preschool, so I go. Here are Lila and Rose in the main room, at the end of Lunch Bunch.


Here's Lila hanging from a curved ladder on the main play structure in the sandbox. Tied to the wood, just above this panorama, is some of the orange parachute cord I bought for Burning Man. It was used here to hold my parachutes in place as a huge sunshade for the kids.


These days Lila calls this "flying like a fairy", and it's a favorite of hers. Again, again!


Here's a view of the main structure from the steps of the main building. The sandbox is filled with a great variety of play structures and tires.


Back in the main room, the food cas been tidied and a projects table loaded up for the kids. With food. To make play animals. Here you can see Lila flitting all around the table.


And here's a few of the creatures: Connor's lobster...


... Felix's plumfishes...


... and Jojo's "dead underwater snail that doesn't like water."


I head back to the house to work. After a few hours I realize that I can still spend three-quarters of an hour with the kids at the Exploratorium; it's free day. So I head through the Park Presidio. Ten minutes later I'm there, parked by the big fountain. I head into the museum.

Isaac mugs near the lariat chain, which wildly dances when kids touch the spinning chain.

at the Exploratorium

This is Hiromi, who was Isaac's classmate in pre-school last year. We try to get the kids back together from time to time, but never often enough.

at the Exploratorium

Lila was most pleased with the arch bridge, which she had me assemble a half-dozen times. It collapsed when the kids became too exhuberant to remember to keep their weight pressing downwards and wiggled the arch sideways.

at the Exploratorium

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