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Archive for August, 2009

My First Laptop: A ThinkPad

August 24th, 2009 3 comments

Another summer has passed me by, and I still haven’t learned how to ride a bike nor how to swim properly. Alas, I suppose I’ll get to these eventually. I have kept one of my resolutions though. I finally splurged and bought myself a ThinkPad (specifically, a T500). I decided upon the following specs:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo Processor P8400 (2.26GHz 1066MHz 3MBL2) 25W
  • Genuine Windows Vista Home Basic (Will be used only to verify hardware functionality. Fedora will replace it thereafter.)
  • 15.4″ WSXGA+ TFT, w/ CCFL Backlight (137 DPI…sweet.)
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator x4500HD with vPro
  • 4 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1067MHz SODIMM Memory (2 DIMM)
  • UltraNav (TrackPoint and TouchPad)
  • 250 GB Hard Disk Drive, 5400rpm
  • DVD Recordable 8x Max Dual Layer, Ultrabay Slim (Serial ATA)
  • Integrated Bluetooth PAN
  • Intel WiFi Link 5300 (AGN) with My WiFi Technology
  • 9 cell Li-Ion Battery
  • 4 Year On Site Upgrade with 4 Year ThinkPad Protection

Thankfully, I found an excellent discount through the CPP (Contractor Purchase Program) which cut the cost from nearly $2,200 to just $1,400 (including shipping and taxes, state fees, et al.) – a savings of 40%! The 4-year protection plan was about 30% of the final cost. Well worth it, though.

As it is, this will be a life-safer, as I’ve been having a lot of intermittent hardware issues on my desktop: I get seemingly-random WiFi disconnects; DVD-burning often fails for no discernible reason, and my hard drive is on its last legs, so to speak. (In fact, just today I saw another 12 sectors go bad and need to be reallocated…its count is now at 177. The manufacturer maximum is 188!) – I’m all anxious and impatient now!

So, in the span of one month, I’ve spent almost $4,000 (tuition/registration fees, books/supplies, and ThinkPad). I think that’s quite enough for a while. 馃槷

Categories: Fedora, Life, Technology Tags: , ,

Today’s Spanish Lesson, and Inquiry

August 12th, 2009 7 comments

“Paying attention” is an English idiom which means “to focus one’s attention on” or “to be attentive to.” Like other idioms, it does not translate literally into other languages, especially Spanish. (That is to say, “pagar atenci贸n” – from pagar, “to pay,” and (la) atenci贸n, “attention,” is incorrect.)

However, there are two ways to say it depending on what it is to which is being paid attention. If paying attention to a person, the phrase is “prestar atenci贸n,” which in a literal word-for-word translation means “to lend (one’s) attention.” On the other hand, if paying attention to an idea or a thing, one would use “poner atenci贸n.” which if taken in a similar literal translation means “to put (or set) attention.”

  • Correct: Presten atenci贸n al maestro cuando les habla.
    (Pay attention to the teacher when he speaks to you.)
  • Incorrect: Pongan atenci贸n al maestro cuando les habla.

Note the different connotations in the following two similar requests made from a a speaker (in our example, a teacher):

  • 脡sto es muy importante. Pongan atenci贸n por favor.
    (“This is very important. Pay attention [to this concept/thing], please.”聽 The teacher is explaining something to his/her students and does not want distractions.)
  • 脡sto es muy importante. Presten atenci贸n por favor.
    (“This is very important. Pay attention [to me], please.”聽 The teacher is demonstrating something, and wants his/her students to watch closely.)

I suppose it’s similar, slightly, to how Japanese translate the verb “to have” (or “to be/to exist”) as 鏈夈倠锛堛亗銈, “aru”) for objects and concepts but as 灞呫倠锛堛亜銈, “iru”锛塮or living things. Peculiar…but very interesting. Is this difference in Spanish for similar separation of living and non-living things? I wonder…Thanks for the neat Spanish lesson, mom! 馃檪

Categories: Life Tags: , ,