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About HiWire

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    Member of the Trade: Oppo Digital Marketing
  • Birthday 07/30/1976

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  1. HiWire

    What are you reading now?

    I started Seveneves about 2 years ago with a library copy, but I didn't get very far into the book at the time (stopped just before the hard rain starts). Reviews have been a bit mixed but I'll get back to finishing it soon... usually, I wait until the mass-market edition is released to purchase the book. The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. was a huge disappointment. It was still fun to read, but a lot of the ideas went nowhere and the characters felt a bit generic. On the other hand, I loved REAMDE, even though it probably has a ton of flaws. The mix of action, fantasy role-playing computer games, and interesting settings was right up my alley.
  2. HiWire

    What are you reading now?

    Pattern Recognition by William Gibson Unlike the Sprawl and Bridge trilogies, this is the first time I've re-read Pattern Recognition. I like it a lot more now, I think, than when I first read it in hardcover from the library. The characters, settings, and plot make more sense to me now than when I read it the first time. He's definitely become more sophisticated in his development of the branding-sensitive protagonist, Cayce Pollard, and his exploration of culture, marketing, fashion, and art (in this case, film theory). The other interesting thing is that this is now a "historical" novel and it withstands the test of time. The protagonists in the preceding novels of the Bridge Trilogy (Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow's Parties) are young people, whereas the characters in Pattern Recognition are all adults. The change in perspective is interesting – I think it's harder to write convincing adult characters (that aren't copies of the writer) because they require more imagination and context. Some of the attitudes in the novel seem dated, but they merely remind us of how much the world has changed since 2002. You can see in the cover images below that the designers had trouble conceptualizing his ideas (my copy is the upper-left version).
  3. HiWire

    Post what you're watching

    Clone High
  4. HiWire

    Ye Macce Threade

    I was most happy that 10 Gigabit Ethernet is an option on the new Mac Mini and that they are offering Vega GPUs on the MacBook Pros in November: https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/30/18042572/apple-amd-vega-graphics-options-macbook-pro More details: https://www.anandtech.com/show/13532/amds-vega-mobile-lives-vega-pro-20-16-in-november
  5. HiWire

    The Head-Case gun thread

    Anyone following caseless ammo? William Gibson mentions a floating breech gun in Virtual Light. Probably sounded cool at the time... the only thing I could find that was related was the rotating breech in the Heckler & Koch G11 prototype rifle. That led me to caseless ammo, which led me to the ongoing US LSAT (Lightweight Small Arms Technologies) program. Caseless ammo development has been going on for decades... I remember reading a review of the Voere bolt-action caseless rifle over 20 years ago. Maybe they are getting closer to fielding a working prototype: https://www.tactical-life.com/firearms/rifles/textron-systems-lightweight-small-arms/
  6. HiWire

    What are you listening to Part the Third

    I'm listening to the Pretenders' first album (1979) on CD, apparently pressed in Germany, never remastered (since it was transferred to digital), and it sounds fantastic. You have to turn the volume up a bit more (double the Faith No More album), but it's clean, spacious, and dynamic. Remasters seem to be doing more harm than good... I'm not sure if the Mo-Fi SACDs of the Pretenders' albums are better (maybe just different) than this old disc. It's funny that people think the Pretenders are punk... they look punk, but their music sounds like pop to me, with a bit of an edge.
  7. HiWire

    What are you listening to Part the Third

    Faith No More – The Real Thing A good album, but remastered loud and probably right to the distortion limit. Enjoyable, but pull back on the volume a bit as it is fatiguing with headphones. Here's a brief discussion of the remasters: https://www.popmatters.com/194715-faith-no-more-the-real-thing-and-angel-dust-reissues-2495516233.html I also have the Mo-Fi recording of Angel Dust, which sounds excellent.
  8. HiWire

    Post what you're watching

    Father Ted https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/apr/20/father-ted-legacy-20-years-on-up-with-this-sort-of-thing
  9. HiWire

    What are you listening to Part the Third

    The Crucifucks
  10. HiWire

    What are you listening to Part the Third

    Steely Dan – Can't Buy A Thrill
  11. HiWire

    What are you reading now?

    They hold up incredibly well. The passage of time has not diminished the power of his prose. Mona Lisa Overdrive is next. I don't remember reading the books together all at once. I've owned them for years, but reading them again as an adult (living in the future) seems to be different than when I read them as a sheltered teenager. For one thing, I'm actually bothering to look up every one of the words I don't understand this time – I admire Gibson's creativity and the breadth of his interests and vocabulary. I've read Neuromancer many times over the years, but I've only read the others once or twice. William Gibson's cyberpunk novels changed my life. I've been looking back at the cyberpunk era (triggered by the upcoming launch of the Cyberpunk 2077 game, I think) and few of his contemporaries' works can compare to Gibson's trilogy. I didn't even consider the books a trilogy (and the publisher has never numbered them as such), but the linkages are more apparent when you read them back to back. I've always found the covers for Mona Lisa Overdrive to be cheesy – I found this beautiful image on Google (art by Vladimir Manyukhin):
  12. HiWire

    What are you reading now?

    Count Zero by William Gibson He mentions ray tracing on page 218 and Nvidia has just gotten around to doing it in realtime... the book was published in 1986. A wild ride.
  13. HiWire

    What are you listening to Part the Third

    Unkle – Psyence Fiction Squarepusher – Hard Normal Daddy
  14. HiWire

    What are you listening to Part the Third

    Will check them out.
  15. HiWire

    What are you listening to Part the Third

    '80s Nite! I'm looking forward to getting the Police's Synchronicity, but I have to pace myself... SACDs are getting rarer and more expensive as time goes by.