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Blizzard of 2006

February 14, 2006

I always wanted to ski in Aspen. This serene scene is actually in New Jersey. The blizzard started at 4pm Saturday February 11th, and continued until 4pm the next day. Surpassing the blizzard of 1947, this storm broke records with the heaviest snowfall in the New York area history at 26.9 inches.

There’s No Rules In Cooking

February 14, 2006

Chinese fried rice sometimes includes a fatty pork sausage. This one I made with… Nathan’s hot dogs. A mix of Chinese and Jewish influences.

PC Goes to Halo-wood

February 10, 2006

Good news for Halo fans. Xbox’s Halo 2 has such a monolithic fan base that Microsoft feels it is a worthy investment to port it from the Xbox to the PC. Halo 2 will only be playable on Vista, not on any earlier versions of Windows. Microsoft hopes to encourage PC users to migrate to the new operating system, coming later this year (supposedly). It announced that its gaming team will work closely with Bungie to make this happen.

Using a mouse and keyboard is the proper way to navigate in a FPS, not on an analog controller, in my opinion. Although the rumble feedback is a nice interactive feature on the Xbox control, the directional movement is like molasses. Turning quick enough to make a headshot on an approaching opponent is critical. It just feels more natural for twitch gameplay.

Happy Chinese New Year

February 7, 2006

There is no time to go to Chinatown and see the dragon dance or have true traditional food. So to celebrate, I make Hoisin chicken with bok choy, ginger and red pepper. This is actually a quick dish to stir-fry. Within 15 minutes.

Opening Up a Mac

February 7, 2006

In the dawn of the new Mac-Intels, how do we extend the life of our PowerPC G4’s? Upgrade, of course. I’ve played with the guts of the desktop before, by adding a secondary hard drive and PCI cards for better video. But this time, I am entering a more ominous territory – replacing a drive. Browsing at MacWorld, I was approached by a salesperson. He was representing FastMac, a company that encourages do-it-yourself computing. I wanted to continue walking, but I froze. The words 16X internal Superdrive dual-layer DVD burner mesmerized me. My eyes glazed over, sparkling, with the thought of such beauty. The brand is the well-known Pioneer. And the price was a steal at $65. I thought to myself, I can do this. I can install it and make it work. But the catch is Apple does not officially support drives not bundled with their packages. At least, they would prefer that you buy a whole new computer, say, like the G5. So essentially, its like hacking. I would have to install a patch to make the Mac software recognize the DVD burner. Back at homebase, I open the computer, pull out the old original 2X DVD burner, install the new Superdrive, and download a patch. Not quite plug and play. And here goes the test – to burn DVD’s at lightning speed and at higher capacities. I am happy to announce, that it does indeed work. FastMac offers 1.4Ghz processor upgrades for about $250, but that would have involved messing with the motherboard. I am for plug-and-play, but not solder-wires-and-play.

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