For Sale: 1979 Holden Gemini Wagon

  • 1.6lt with Rodeo 5 speed.
  • All suspension, bushes and tyres 1 year old
  • Sony MP3 head unit for iPods and iPhones etc
  • 2x 6x9’s mounted in the tailgate panel.
  • Tinted windows, new windscreen.
  • Interior is grey and original black. Front and rear seats are re-upolstered in grey. 
  • Factory air-con unit and a new compressor included, 5 blade fan and blower installed.

Also included:

  • 2lt Rodeo engine
  • Mild cam
  • Ported head, manifold
  • Webber Carbie
  • Original 4-speed gear box

Would make a great short-medium term project.

  • Rego until November 2013
  • Last RWC in March 2012

I don’t have the time (or space) to finish it. It’s a much loved 5 year project that needs a new home, so I’m hoping to give it to someone that’d do it justice.

Price: $10,000 ono

Contact Dan - 79gemi@gmail.com

Mac sales numbers aren’t that shocking…

I’m surprised that people think Apple’s quarterly Mac sales missed the mark. You could have certainly expected them to be higher on the back of the Mac product release for the quarter, the retina MacBook Pro - 30 seconds of Google-fu:

- Retina MacBook Pro released June 11th at WWDC

- Morning of June 12th, Shipping times were already at 2-3 weeks. By the end of the day, 3-4 weeks.

- Early shipment notifications started going out on June 14th 

-  July 13th, shipping times back to 2-3 weeks - which is 13 days after the end of the just reported quarter.

As of today, they are running a 1-2 week shipping lead time.

Seems like they are (still) having trouble keeping up, what would have unconstrained retina MacBook Pro supply have done for the Mac sales numbers? I guess we’ll find out next quarter.

2012 Apple Prognostication Statement

If you follow me on any of the various social spamworks I’m sure you too were inundated in the last couple of weeks with the news that Apple announced the next version of OS X Mountain Lion, amongst other things. I’m not going to summarise the news, you know the Googles.

There’s enough info floating around now to make some stab in the dark guesses about what I expect to come out of Apple this year…

-  iPad: Widely rumoured, March 6th. You’ll just have to believe that this has been sitting in my drafts for a few weeks - When the first leaked images of the iPad case surfaced I picked the day that was exactly 4 weeks from then. Allowing for the Apple ‘4-week-pre-event-hype cycle’. Turns out I got pretty close, I picked Tuesday because it’s a traditional release day for Apple…That’ll teach me.

It’s quite early days in the life of the iPad, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see it follow a similar 2-year cycle as the iPhone. That means this is a ‘minor’ year - improvements on the current generation without major redesign, almost indistinguishable: think 3G->3GS, 4->4S.

- WWDC: June 11-15. Apple set the stage last year for what people should expect from WWDC: lots of software announcments. Mountain Lion, iOS 6 preview, more on iCloud.

Edit 13/06/12 - Got the dates right and most of the content. I had no idea about MacBooks, very happy to see the retina display has arrived for the Mac.

- iPod’s of most persuasions: September-ish. I feel like we’ve seen the last of big iPod events and I’m betting there is no event this year. Expect a catchy tune coupled with an advertising blitz. New colours for nano and shuffle. I don’t see how they could make the touch any thinner, but anything’s possible in the land of Oz…err…Cupertino. The classic will survive another year, much to the dismay of people that don’t want to carry 40,000 songs around everywhere with them. 

- iPhone 5: October. I think Apple have changed the cycle for iPhone, replacing the iPod in the pre-holiday prime time slot. Moving the iPhone hardware announcement away from WWDC means it gets laser focused attention. Which is important because this is a ‘major’ year of the iPhone - redesign, visually distinguishable from the previous generation: think iPhone->3G, 3GS->4.

I’ll add anything else that dawns on me and keep score as the year rolls on.

The Router in your head.

You can scan a crowded lobby and pick out a familiar face in a fraction of a second, a task that pushes even today’s best computers to their limit. Yet multiplying 357 by 289, a task that demands a puny amount of processing, leaves most of us struggling.

One day I took my step-Dad’s car to the car wash. When I pulled back out onto the main road, with wet tyres, the rear end of the car let go and came around enough for me to be driving mostly across two lanes of oncoming traffic. 

The following 3 seconds was in super-slow-mo. I can remember in astonishing detail what I did to get the car straight and back on the right side of the road. Letting the accelerator up a little, feeling traction, steering adjustments - everything. That same afternoon I was totally baffled by a bit of multiplication.

It got me thinking how amazing it was my brain could ‘slow time’ when my life depended on it, yet I couldn’t muster that same, focused, processing power to do my math homework. 

Turns out we are really really good at doing one thing, like not getting killed or picking a face out of a crowd - but us meat bags can hit a mental processing traffic jam when we have to process certain simple computational tasks that need us to refocus repeatedly, like multiplication. 

It’s a fascinating trade off: have enough neurones to cater for every situation or take a processing hit, learn rules and be programmable.