The first step is to surprise a cephalopod. A captive cephalopod is no good as they live in a constant state of wonderment at their captors, the bipeds, and so their ink defense produces something closer in spirit to sliced pork. No, my friends; you must go below the ocean's first two layers (the "chump layers") and dive deep into the tubelcaine. This is where cephalopods feel at home. 

I am a bivalve! You are a bivalve! But although we may disagree on matters which do not concern the separation of the Two Valves, surely you agree that the rich consistency of an octupus' ink has nothing on the squeezings of noble Dodecaphles, patron saint of the overly grabby. In the tubelcaine, we will find peace. Together, we will be banned from all fountain pen forums. 



My 780 Ti was getting a little long in the tooth and I wanted a closed-loop GPU, but was basically too impatient to wait for water-cooled 1070s and 1080s to come out. Fortunately, their release made 980 Tis cheaper, so I picked this thing up for $400. It's very slightly slower than the 1070, and a 1070 Hybrid will probably be around $450, so that's alright. I bet I'll regret not waiting for the 1080, but this thing should be fine at 1440P for a good while. 

It's-a Me, Blorphlax

I made-a the pizza-pie! 

Apart from making good sauce, I found that the trick to it was laminating the bejesus out of the dough -- roll it out, cover in butter, roll it up. This is alluded to in the work "Roll it up, light it up" by noted chefs Cypress Hill. Likewise, you have to follow their topping advice carefully, and break off sausage in the right proportion.

One time a reputable lady grated mozzarella right into my mouth. 

Anyway, pizza is pretty good, so I suggest that if you want some, you should eat a pizza. Pizza was unknown to the Maratha empire, but a lot of their records still refer to "the Noid" and "Caesar of the Small Temple" and "the raging, cheese-fueled obesity of the North Korean potentate". So listen to Peshwa Madhav Rao II and eat a goddam pizza. You don't even have to make one -- people will even bring them to you. Good people, people you can trust. Laminate your dough. 

Fietsklik is Pretty Neat

I commute by bike to work, and I was looking into a suaver way to carry my garbage back and forth. Suaver, even, than bungee-cording my bag to the back. My old bike had an old soda crate on it, which worked okay, but my more recent bike has a big-ass 8 lb. chain lock and is Dutch, so I was in search of a Dutchier way to carry things. The Fietsklik is one such thing, but I couldn't really find any review of it, even in not-English, although it was a Kickstarter about 18 months ago (most of the English-language Fietsklik things are coverage of the Kickstarter). So, this is that. For reference, my commute to work is 3.3 miles each way on a very bumpy dedicated bike path. Between the bumps and the fact that I do it whether it's raining or 110 °F, toughness was the next quality I was looking for after suaveness. 

The basic system is a base-thing that attaches over your bike rack. The base is smooth plastic, making the rack a nicer place for a passenger. On either side of the base are clips that a bag can attach to using a mechanism built into each bag (Fietsklik offer two styles of bag, down from three). Each bag can lock on or quick-release. There's also a crate that slides and locks on to the top. Pretty simple. Topeak makes a bag-and-crate system, but it is less suave. I didn't buy a Fietsklik for a long time because their US shipping was something like 100 Euros, and I was too lazy to ask my mom in Wales to forward one. It's currently 25 Euros to ship everything, though, making the total for a base, box, and bag 120 Euros with their current sale. I didn't measure my bike's rack because it's a Gazelle and if a Dutch bike accessory didn't fit a Gazelle I figured I might as well just jump into a volcano, but their website has size guidelines. 

Here's the base pre-installation.

Here's the base pre-installation.

Installation is very easy. It attaches with U-bolts, then you put a plastic cover over the business. You should get an 8mm nut driver, but everything else is included. The nuts are nyloc, but I figured a little Loctite couldn't hurt. My crate needed a little assembly. The instructions were poorly-Xeroxed in the finest tradition, but they're not really necessary.

In general the system works quite well. The bags are designed decently enough, as is the box and its locking mechanism. The box is a little flimsy during folding and unfolding, and I would prefer if its handle was "shopping basket" style, not "trolley" style. The handle is also a little flimsy when it's unfolded. The box does, however, hold a lot, and feels pretty sturdy when it's unfolded. Good for sandwich runs. The plastics on everything feel slightly brittle, but not too bad (we'll see what Yolo County sun does to them over time) — on a scale where the Apple Pencil is a 10 and the box that grocery store pastries come in is 1, I would rate the Fietsklik stuff about a 7. 

The big problem for me was the bag attachment mechanism. Here's a picture of the business:

The straps to either side release the bag from the base. The locking mechanism is inside the bag.

The straps to either side release the bag from the base. The locking mechanism is inside the bag.

The issue is those truss-head rivets. They're pathetic. I put my big chain lock, a roll of pens, and a Nintendo 3DS in the bag, attached it to the bike, and two miles later the bag broke free from the attachment mechanism because the rivets fell apart. This was pretty annoying, as the bag itself is quite well-made. Fortunately, nothing was permanently damaged. My solution was to imbue the Fietsklik with some American overkill. Here's the inside of the bag half-way through the process:

A dollar or so of hardware sorted everything out. I replaced all four rivets with bolts, washers, and nyloc nuts. Now my Fietsklik bag accepts no guff from interlopers. 

That's basically it. It's a pretty well-designed system. It'd be nice if they sold the attachment mechanisms separately so you could hack together your own bags or whatever — I'd like to hang my chain lock right from the side, for example, rather than putting it in a bag. It'd also be nice to have the option for a slightly smaller, stronger (maybe non-folding) box that has a shopping basket-style handle.

The Fietsklik bits are all pretty good save for the issues above. I'd buy it again. 7 out of 10 Queen Beatrixes. 

Update, a few months later: all the Fietsklik stuff is holding up pretty well. The only thing I've been noticing is that the plastic cover to the base bit scratches up really easily when exposed directly to my big chain lock. I have also been noticing that the bag is fucking huge, but I guess that's alright. Both the bags they sell just have a lot of depth, so they look a little diaper-baggy. 

Hoxopleuratical Intermulationz

In this entry from a few years ago, I wrote about putting an SSD in an iBook from 2001. I got another iBook because I like them and they play Starcraft and if I didn't who would, and I thought that it'd be fun to revisit that and see what a new IDE SSD did against that one from 2011. 

Unfortunately, that was a short-lived plan. KingSpec (and others) do still make IDE SSDs, but almost all of them use the SM2236 controller, instead of the older SM2231, which seems to demand a couple more channels than the iBook knows what to do with. It can't start up from a preformatted SM2236 drive, and it can't install from a CD onto the drive either. Since clamshell iBooks are one of the trickier computers to do a drive swap on, I found this realization very amusing (although, truth be told, it's not a terrible job at about 40-50 minutes; it's just a fuss). 

So that was out. But then I figured, in that last article I made reference to my CompactFlash-bedrivulated iBook -- what if I revisited that? I made that thing in 2008 or so, surely CF has gotten faster. I also sold it in 2011 without having benchmarked it, lending an air of pointlessness to this whole thing, which was perfect.

So, I got a neat Syba IDE-CF bridge in 2.5" drive format. Pretty nice; it has two CF slots. I used a Lexar 16 GB 800x card, since I had a spare one; presumably a 64 GB 1066x card would be faster. I also added a 512 MB stick of RAM and a new "CWK" battery to the iBook -- which must be made using decade-old NewerTech tooling or something, but it works shockingly well. 

Installation was the usual pain in the ass.

Installation was the usual pain in the ass.



I also lost my Air's disc burner and had to resort to, err, backup measures. I didn't realize this iMac only had 10.1 on it, but it burned the Panther CDs fine, so that's alright.

I also lost my Air's disc burner and had to resort to, err, backup measures. I didn't realize this iMac only had 10.1 on it, but it burned the Panther CDs fine, so that's alright.

Anyway, long story short, it works great. On the left, here is the SM2231 KingSpec SSD in the other iBook. On the right, that iBook's original Travelstar HDD.

Now, here's the iBook with 800x 16 GB CompactFlash:

A nice improvement! Slower small random writes than the KingSpec, but everything else is a decent little bit faster. Again, I think you could address that by going with a faster CF card if you were so inclined. The CF and CF-IDE bridge is also slightly cheaper than the 16 GB KingSpec was (in 2011) and the 16 GB KingSpec (with SM2236 controller) is now. The computer is fast for a 2000 laptop, silent, and gets pretty good battery life even by modern standards. The only downside is that the first-generation AirPort cannot use WPA2. 

Obviously it's sort of pointless. When I was little, the three computers I really wanted in 2000 were the Indigo/Key Lime iBook and the Cube, as well as the "Lamp" G4 iMac when it first came out in 2001. I couldn't afford any of them at the time (although I eventually did have a 1.25 GHz 20" iMac G4, bought slightly used in 2004, which lasted me until the Intel switch), and made do with a PM7100/80 upgraded to G3. But I guess buying now-useless things you couldn't afford when you were small is part of being a grown-up or whatever. I have the iMac and a couple iBooks, and I had a Cube upgraded to a 1.33 G4 in 2007-2008, but sold it. That was real dumb since Cubes cost insane monies now. Ah, well. The point is, I don't really use any of them and it's pointless. But if you like pointless old nonsense, I guess I recommend shoving CF cards all up ins it. Sometimes you just gots to have a Starcraft 1 LAN party.