Angry Robot

The $2 Clothing Sale


Juice and some other friends do this clothing sale once a month, and it’s on tomorrow. Thanks to this sale, I have a killer wardrobe – you may have to sift through some junk, but there are great finds every time, including brand new stuff from stores. If you live in Toronto you should totally check it out.

A Couple Things

Because I have to get back in the blog posting habit.

First, about 10.6.2 breaking Atom-based Hackintoshes – lots of FUD like this article. Really, everyone? “Puts an end to the hackintosh”? Was 10.6.1 that bad? In my experience, your apps aren’t going to go incompatible with a x.x.x release. Nevermind that the champs are surely on this shit right now and it will be sorted within weeks.

Second, because of this, and ‘cause ranking shit is fun:

  1. The Wire
  2. The Sopranos
  3. Deadwood
  4. Lost
  5. Breaking Bad
  6. Mad Men
  7. Arrested Development
  8. Tim & Eric
  9. Battlestar Galactica
  10. Firefly

With props to Dollhouse (sorry to hear you’re cancelled). It had massive problems, but on the strength of “Epitaph One” alone, deserves to enter the TV pantheon.

Meet Junior, My New Hackintosh Dell Mini 10v

Yes, it works. The guide is good. A couple things I ran into: if your Mini has trouble waking from sleep, reboot it, press F2 to get into the BIOS settings and make sure “USB BIOS Legacy Support” is disabled. More details here. I also ran into problems with the bluetooth – it was causing the system to hang when looking for WiFi access points after waking from sleep. I’ve disabled it until I can find a solution. And the shitty trackpad is indeed shitty. The updated driver mentioned on Gizmodo fixes its jumpiness, but your real saviour is the handy “Trackpad” system preference that NetbookInstaller threw in there, which lets you tap to click, two finger scroll, etc. Also, I had problems with bluetooth/wifi until I updated to 10.6.1 (but AVOID 10.6.2 as of this writing – see below!)

I’ve been a user of Mac notebooks for many, many years. I have fond memories of many of them (not so much the Mac Portable thatwas a hand-me-down from my grandmother). Perhaps my favourite was the 12” PowerBook – light, small, yet a powerful computer in its day; I cut a film on that thing. I love my current 15” MacBook Pro, but the 5.x pounds is a lot more to carry around than you might think (I’d make a terrible soldier).

Apple simply won’t sell you something in the Netbook category (which we might call small, cheap subnotebooks, generally $300 – $500). The closest you will get is the MacBook Air, which at $1600 is too much. We wants it, but still.

Your $300 at certainly doesn’t buy you an Air equivalent. Its power might be impressive if you travel back in time to 2004. The 1.6 gHz single core Atom proc chokes on HD video, and 1 gig of RAM isn’t a whole lot these days. The keyboard is 90% of a real keyboard, the trackpad is poor, the 10” pushes the limits of usability, you’ll be out in the cold when it comes to tech support – and you have to look at a Dell logo below your screen. Sheesh.

But for the bulk of one’s computing, for surfing, email, writing, some web design, this thing is perfectly capable. And it is SMALL. I can carry it and my SLR with no problem. (That’s the arts-nerd equivalent of armed to the teeth.) Six hours of battery is nothing to argue with, either. It’s a hell of a lot of computer for not a lot of scratch. You should get one. The pics on the innernette don’t often express the size well, so here’s a snap I took:


A parting thought. As I said, the 10” screen is a challenge. It’s not insurmountable, but you kind of have to have only one thing happening on screen at a time, you try to minimize app chrome, etc. In short, I can see that if Apple was looking into netbooks, they would have wanted to make fundamental changes to the way the OS works. A modified iPhone OS X would almost be the way to go. So I wonder if the rumoured Apple tablet had its roots in netbooks. Let’s just hope they don’t do that software keyboard shit again.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there’s a big thing going down about whether 10.6.2, the latest version of Snow Leopard, works on Atom-based netbooks like the 10v. Sounds like if you use software update to install it, you’ll be screwed, but there “are possible fixes”: I’m not personally in a huge rush – 10.6.2 doesn’t make your computer turn into a unicorn or anything.


There’s an HMV near where I work. In the 90s, this chain sold CDs. (You may remember it from the rip n’ return days, when a liberal exchange policy meant you could buy, rip and return CDs at the original price). Over the course of this decade, it gradually transformed into a DVD outlet, with CDs now relegated to a hits strip at the front and some meager racks at the back.

In the past few years, video games have made an incursion, taking a great deal of the front area. Blu-Ray has of course made an appearance, and even iPod accessories.

In short, the store is a microcosm of the modern entertainment media landscape.

I went in there last week. A whole boatload of DVDs are selling at $6, including many good ones. Racks of old games for $20. A security guard yawns by the door. The place is a ghost town.

Again, microcosm.