Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
2004-06-06
  New ways of looking at the internet
Back when I started using the internet (uunet), it was small and it was slow, and you had to be careful with it. You kept things short, you optimized traffic, and you were prepared when things didn't work. People would get flamed for including hundreds or even tens of lines of previous conversations in their posts (in a precursor to electronic junk mail tool wars, early tools would judge the fitness of a posting by how much original content it had, leading others to switch the encoding of included lines in an attempt to circumvent the tools), but I digress.

The point is, people are using the internet now for things that would have been unimaginable (which is just what you should expect). Take Bittorrent for example: its not really a good tool for sharing music like Napster was because there's too much upfront cost to find a file, sure some people share albums, but mostly its for video. There's movies taped in the theater or ripped from DVDs, but there's even more TV, taped right off the air usually (sometimes transferred digitally from a TiVo or the like). Sometimes the episodes are highres and are pretty large, but other times they've been compressed down pretty small and are under 100MB (which I can download in ~40minutes or so).


Anyway, next week Stargate SG-1 is repeating (for the Nth time), episode 308 "The Other Guys", where a couple of the scientists get caught up in the plans of the main SG-1 team and end up helping save the day. There's an especially funny fantasy sequence at the end which ties into it as well. This episode featured Patrick McKenna (the Red/Green show) and John Billingsley (enterprise), who were brilliant in their roles as the gung ho wanabee adventurer and the reluctant partner. I've seen this episode in bits and pieces numerous times (SG-1 is on after Andromeda on Sunday Nights), and its a pretty funny episode. I was thinking of taping it this coming weekend, but went out to see if I could just download it instead.

While I couldn't find that episode by itself, I was astounded at what people are putting out for download for Stargate. In addition to some episodes of season 7 (300-400MB each), and complete season archives (7705MB each), someone packed up all seven seasons of Stargate, extras, and the original movie into one big package that is over 56GB. Gads. Even if I decided to totally alienate my small ISP and download it full time, it would still take almost a month to get the complete thing. Bet those guys over in Korea with the 20Mbit home lines must be loving it though.

 
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Paul Graham's Essays
You may not want to write in Lisp, but his advise on software, life and business is always worth listening to.
How to save the world
Dave Pollard working on changing the world .. one partially baked idea at a time.
SnowDeal
Eric Snowdeal IV - born 15 weeks too soon, now living a normal baby life.
Land and Hold Short
The life of a pilot.

The best of?
Jan '04
The second best villain of all times.

Feb '04
Oops I dropped by satellite.
New Jets create excitement in the air.
The audience is not listening.

Mar '04
Neat chemicals you don't want to mess with.
The Lack of Practise Effect

Apr '04
Scramjets take to the air
Doing dangerous things in the fire.
The Real Way to get a job

May '04
Checking out cool tools (with the kids)
A master geek (Ink Tank flashback)
How to play with your kids

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