Too many Andersons

When I was younger, I used to have a mental block on the words porpoise, tortoise, and turquoise. They were just similar enough that my brain filed all three words in a single slot, and I found it inordinately hard to distinguish between them.

Then, a couple of years ago, I developed a similar block on three people: Peter Morville (information architecture guy, co-author of the polar bear book), Peter Merholtz (user experience guy, co-founder of Adaptive Path), and Peter Morwood (SF and Fantasy guy, husband of Diane Duane). I just couldn’t tell the difference between them without a quick net search to jog my brain.

Now, I’ve got the same thing going on with three movie directors: Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums), Paul W.S. Anderson (Event Horizon, Resident Evil), and Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia).

The block is annoying, but it has got me wondering what kind of film these directors would make if they really were one person. It would probably be a multi-threaded ensemble piece, darkly humorous, with tragi-comic elements, about a dysfunctional family with at least one child genius…fighting off a zombie invasion from outer space.

It might not suck, you know.

Time keeps on slipping

It’s 11 o’clock. We’re all packed and backed up. Only four and a half hours until we have to get up, get dressed, and head out the door to catch our plane. It would be foolish of me to get in a quick half hour of Halo 2, wouldn’t it?

On the other hand, I’m going to be sleep-deprived anyway. And what with Ratchet & Clank 3 arriving on Friday, me being sick over the weekend, and all of the busying around we’ve had to do this week, I haven’t actually played H2 at all since my first session last Thursday…and I’m not going to get another chance for another two weeks…

Yeah, foolish.


To Pod or not to Pod

Gaahh. I had an iRiver H340 in my Amazon shopping cart last night…and then I removed it in a fit of uncertainty. At the last minute I found out that the US version of the H340 is subtly different from the one supplied to the rest of the world: it doesn’t include the USB Host function. The Host function allows it to plug (for example) a digital camera into the device and transfer photos directly to the H340’s hard drive, rather than having to slurp them off to a PC, and then move them around afterwards.

Okay, now realistically how often am I likely to use this feature? That would be…probably never.

Its absence in the US version means that it is substantially cheaper than the European version, even taking the favourable exchange rate into account: $407 at, or approximately £225 versus £333 at Hey baby, come to Papa.

But as soon as I figured I could live without that feature, I started to wonder what other features I really wanted, and what ones were merely nice-to-haves.

  • Can I live without a colour screen, and the ability to record from a built-in FM radio? Yup.
  • Can I live without the FM radio (which brings players other then the iRiver Hxxx series into play)? Surely. For the money I’d save not buying an iRiver, I could get a tiny Sony SRF-S84 radio as well as a music player.
  • Can I live with a 20GB player rather than a 40GB one? My music collection comes out to about 18GB right now, and according to iTunes, I have less than 3GB of music I’ve rated 4 or 5 stars. That’s what I listen to most. Heck, I could get that on an iPod Mini, and still have space left to slap on a dozen full albums.

Come to think of it, do I really need a new music player right now at all? Hardly. Would it even see much use, while I’m still driving to work? Nope. Wouldn’t it make more sense to save the money right now, and buy one when I’m actually likely to use it (and when prices will have dropped, and new models will be available)? Yup.

Problem is, following the realisation of some stock options, I’ve got a nice little chunk of personal spending money burning a hole in my pocket, and we’re off on holiday to California in a couple of days’ time. The temptation to buy electronics while we’re over there is likely to prove irresistable.

The frugal Scot in me is battling it out with the excited geek going TOY TOY TOY. Any advice?