The Midnight Writer - July 1998
by Mike Lloret
It's a little early, but I'm already thinking of my wish list for Christmas. It must be all of the presentations I've heard recently by engineers who are striving mightily to get some new device or component out the door fast enough for their manufacturer clients to get them into new systems in time for the holidays.
If a rich uncle leaves me a fortune, even a small one, I'd like to have a nice color scanner to replace the b&w one I've been using, which belongs to the TPC, anyway. And I'd like to have a high-res color inkjet printer to go with it.
Thinking of graphics reminds me that I've been reading a lot about graphics cards lately, and my Virge PCI card that came with The Brute could definitely use replacing with something a little heavier duty, and a Voodoo chip 3D card thrown into the bargain. SciTech's Display Doctor 6.52 helps quite a bit, but still...
I don't have any complaints about sound, for a change, so I guess I can wait for awhile to upgrade my sound card and speakers. I wouldn't mind a new and bigger monitor, but my new house's space limitations and some presentations I've seen lately about plasma displays have about convinced me to wait until plasma gets cheaper. Maybe a couple of Christmases down the road.
My laser printer is showing some signs of age; I don't know quite what to do about the thin columns of faded-looking printing running down the right-hand side of the page. It's not obvious with text, but some half-tone fills show flaws. If Santa were to promise to give me a nice high res laser printer, I'd certainly try to be a good boy for the rest of the year.
As for software, I don't have any strong wants at the moment. I believe I saw Might and Magic VI poking out of Roland Hechtenberg's bag at a recent meeting, and some of my RPG-playing friends are raving about it, but these days I really don't have time to play games much. Nothing in the more serious software offerings has attracted me lately, either; maybe because I have several applications that are still waiting for me to learn them. High on the list are Bryce 2 and Photoshop 4.0, both of which I've been planning to learn for some months now. Bryce 3 is already out, but it seems silly to buy that before I learn how to deal with its simpler older brother.
All the talk about Win98 leaves me with a horrible feeling of deja vu, and I have no intention whatsoever of buying version 1 of that. I want to see how often people have to reinstall that so-called operating system before I reluctantly commit myself to more Redmond-induced nightmares. I still frequently play the video clip of Uncle Bill getting hit with the pie. Yes, I know it's vicarious, but that's just as well: had it been me it wouldn't have been a pie. All things considered, it would be safer if I just stay out of the entire state of Washington and avoid any possible temptation. I'm notoriously bad at resisting temptation.
A couple of the things that don't tempt me on the high-tech front are palm-tops and internet telephony. I have no need that I can see for a Pilot or whatever, and I don't even use the ordinary telephone that much, anyway. This may change someday, but it will take a lot of convincing argument to ask Santa for stocking-stuffers like those. Maybe something else really irresistible will appear in the next six months.
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