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Wednesday, September 29 12:00 AM ET

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.


The student suspended for suspected PHP use, always seems to get them...

From: Simon
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2004 6:46 AM
Subject: Strange statement in your article: Student Suspended Over Suspected Use of PHP

Hi Brian,
i've read your amusing article on bbspot ``Student Suspended Over Suspected Use of PHP''. But there's one thing strange at the end.

It is believed that many users started by using Perl and moved on to the more powerful PHP.

Provide facts, no rant.
I wouldn't complain about anything if you'd stay with correct statements... or at least neutral if you don't know. Please set your focus on facts if you write public articles.

Ironic that he picked out the one thing that was actually a fact in the article.

Unfortunate Incident

This week we linked to a power point presentation that some guy made to break up with his girlfriend. Unfortunately, he didn't like us linking to him and he switched the presentation with the goatse guy. Several readers e-mailed me about the change, and I took it down, but it was too late for this reader...

From: Carlos
Sent: Friday, September 24, 2004 10:13 PM
Subject: great! I'm screwed!

Just to bring to light a unfortunately "funny" event that happened today. This morning, as always, I checked bbspot. I found the really interesting link on the guy breaking up with his girlfriend by powerpoint. I'm a new media graduate student, So I emailed the link, without further explanations to my research professor (the content was self-explaining - a powerpoint for breaking up with a girlfriend). This would fit perfectly in our actual research, as an example.

I checked my email again. I got this REALLY, REALLY, REALLY angry email from my professor. He'll talk to the dean about me. He's really upset. He has wife and kids, and opened the link in his living room, with his loveable family That's just perfect..

You might have noticed (since you took the link down) what happened to that page from this morning.

Well, I guess that I'll have a hard time to clear this out. Anyway, if I don't graduate I can apply to the University of Nigeria and transfer my credits (they're really good in transferring things from one continent to another!)

Truth Stranger

A couple of stories we posted recently actually happened in real life...

From: MOO
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2004 12:14 PM
Subject: Top 11

It wasn't in the list, but the teaser for the recent top 11 list had the entry, "I will reduce unemployment by deporting all jobless people."

This was done by Alberta, Canada, about a decade ago. Everyone that was on welfare was offered $1000 or so, plus moving expenses to move to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In exchange for which, they were not eligible for welfare in Alberta ever again. About half of the welfare population of Alberta took the offer. Vancouver still has a huge unemployment problem.


From: Marc
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2004 4:38 PM
Subject: Blockbuster Launches Book Rental Division



Just so you know, Videotron Inc did EXACTLY that in the 80's in the Montreal area (Canada).

They had about 1/3 of their video rental store dedicated to books, cd's and magazines rental (no kidding, you could rent for a full 24 hours, for 1$, a magazine worth about 3.75$!).

For some "unknown" reason (ever heard of public library?), they stopped doing books and magazine rental after about two years and CDs just when cd-burners went on the market.

Well, your article at least had the merit of remembering these found memories...

Any surprise both of these happened in Canada?

AMD or Intel

The next step in building the new computer will be choosing which CPU to build this around. Already, I've received opposing opinions...

From: Michael
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2004 9:01 PM
Subject: Processor

As someone who builds a new PC every 2 - 4 years, like you, it seems to me that AMD is more bleeding edge, has more overclock ceiling, but Intel is more tried and true and reliable. I have built systems with both and so far prefer Intel. More stable, more universally compatible. The one time I used AMD it was because the Cutting edge Intel processors used Rambus RAM which cost an arm and a leg, so I went AMD. Otherwise, I've always been an Intel guy. I must point out, I've really had no more problem with that 1.4GHz AMD thunderbird than I've had with the p2 450 that preceded it or the p4 3.2 that I am typing on now, so the stability thing may be overrated. On the other hand, name 5, 64 bit apps you can't do without. Thought so.


From: Mark
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2004 10:15 PM
Subject: Processor Choice

As much as I love AMD (having always used AMD products), I'll have to go with Intel on this one.

And Oh, does it pain me.

I'm a member of OCAU (Overclockers Australia), a computer-dedicated forum. It's generally agreed that Athlon64's are preferable for gaming, and if multi-tasking is needed, the P4 is called for. Keep in mind though that all the new Intel chips are based on a new socket/motherboard design (Land Grid Array 775) as opposed to the previous setup (Socket 478).

I'm not sure what it's like there in the states, but many OCAUers still prefer to use 478 systems because we know exactly what to look for and how to tweak them.

In short: I'd go with the P4 in your case

Now excuse me while I go make penance for recommending anything other than an Athlon64.

Now on the AMD side...

From: Jeff
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 7:46 AM
To: Brian Briggs
Subject: CPU

AMD all the way. You will always get equal or better performance for a better price with AMD. It's as simple as that. With Intel, you're going to pay a significant premium for no reason.

And the 64-bit is not much right now, but you will be more likely to upgrade your OS and applications in the future rather than upgrade your hardware, from what I can understand.


From: Tristan
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 1:14 AM
Subject: processor

Athlon 64 all the way. It's much better quality, is faster than a P4, and you'll be well-equipped when more 64-bit stuff starts coming out. A friend of mine built a system with an Athlon 64 and it is hella fast (the high-end RAM helps though). I know another friend who has a P4 w/ hyperthreading and similar high-end parts and the Athlon 64 machine performs just as well, if not better than the P4 system. That's just my humble opinion (aka the truth).

So far the e-mails are split evenly. Does anybody else want to weigh in on the issue? You might want to check the BBlog post first.

That's all for this week!

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