Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Apple Corp. and the PC World

I have been a long time PC user. I started using them in 1985, started building them in 1986, and built for profit in 1987. For years I would not touch a mac but when the mac mini was introduced I finally made the leap. I have to admit that I am impressed with the video editing software and ease of use. I then pulled the trigger and got a Powermac and now I am getting ready to buy an iMac. I still use a PC as my primary computer but I have to say that I am hooked on iLife.

Now that being said, note that I stated Apple Corp., not Apple Computers. Apple has become quite a machine in the computer world, but how long can they build computers for when they are really building PC's with their own OS? This has got me wondering, and it appears to me that the next logical choice for Apple is to port everything to a PC. The universal binaries have already solved most of this problem. Now they just need to be able to run on Vista and away you go.

I know many have said that without the hardware, Apple could not make it. But look at Microsoft, Adobe, etc. The iPod alone has kept the company alive, but long term they could really explode into the PC world with products like iLife. And as far as video editing, you can't beat Final Cut Studio. Final Cut Studio is what made me buy a mac in the first place. Now you can say that this is EXACTLY why Apple should not port their software to a PC. Unfortunately I think that the capitalistic marketplace will win hear though, and if they don't port to PC then someone else will have a product that can do the same thing but be available to 90% of the market share, not 10%.

Apple will always be successful with the "I don't care how much it cost" crowd, along with the zealots. They have proven time and time again that they are more art than computer with their design. I guess for some this is worth the premium but the computer market is moving into the appliance stage. I know that I paid a premium for a toaster that looked good with the granite on my counter, but their are many appliances that sit in the cabinets and I don't care how they look. I think the same is becoming true about the PC. Do I really care what it looks like when it is shoved in a desk and it works like any other system? It appears that Dell is trying to deal with this right now with the acquisition of Alienware. Even though the gamer systems get the bigger profits, as we move to an appliance mentality it will be the original Dell concept that will win.

A lot of people have said that Apple's big mistake in the 80's was not opening up their system to third party development. They have embraced some of that now (with open source and their developer network) but will they be able to beat out Microsoft and dominate the desktop market. I would venture to guess no and this is why I think they will port their software to the PC world. Just my $0.02...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Funny Video

Pretty funny, reminds me of being a kid!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Seahawk's Stadium

Here is a nice picture of the American Flag brought out on the field before a Seahawks game. I am quite impressed with Canon EOS Digital Rebel. This shot used a Canon Zoom Lens EF 75-300 f4-5.6 USM. For an entry level lens, this does quite well. The shot particulars are f/7.1, 1/400s, ISO 100 and a focal length of 155 mm. The 35mm equivalent is 247 mm which means that this camera has a FOV crop of almost 1.6! I love the camera but I really want a full size sensor, maybe a Canon 5D or Nikon D200. I have always been a Nikon fan but some of the Canon products lately have almost made me completely switch. My next camera will be the deciding factor as I need to get better glass...

Supercross @ PacBell

I was impressed with this shot from my Nikon Coolpix 5000. It was very dark out and this turned out pretty good, not nearly as noisy as I thought it would come out. The Nikon has been a great camera, it is small enough to pack but not too small to be able to hold it steady. Not bad for f/2.9, ISO 100 and 1/30s. Though I now shoot with a DSLR, I have to say, this has been a great camera! Posted by Picasa

Sunflowers and Blue Skies

I just like this picture and thought it was good to have posted since summer is on its way. I took this picture with a Nikon Coolpix 5000, f/2.8, ISO 100, focal length of 7mm. Posted by Picasa

Here is a cropped version, I think I like it better. What do you think?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Crater Lake Rim Ride

If you like to ride a bike and want to see some incredible scenery, I would strongly recommend you take the time to do the rim road of Crater Lake. The ride is approximately 33 miles in length and even though you are traveling around a lake, the elevation gain is approximately 4,000 feet. The good news about the ride, besides the scenery, is the for every foot you ascend, you also get to fly down on descent. Not only do you get to ride the rim at around 7,000 feet above sea level, you also get to hit top speeds of nearly 45 MPH (I am sure you could hit 50 MPH if you really tried, but I think my huge grin killed my aerodynamics).

As far as riding goes, I would recommend a road bike for the trip but many people do it on a mountain bike. I have managed to do this ride a couple of times and we always do it as late as possible. These pictures were taken on October 5, 2003 and as you can see the weather is pefect and the crowds are almost non-existent. We try to start pedaling by 9:00, it is usually a little cool at this time but the ride starts with nice climb.

The recommended ride starts at the Park Headquarters at the base of the mountain. I would strongly recommend starting here as you will end the day on a nice descent to your car. It also has the benefit of starting a nice climb that warms you up until the sun starts to warm the air. When starting from this point you will do a clockwise route around the lake. When you get to the top of your first hill, make sure that you continue past the turn-off a few hundred yards to the parking lot of the lodge, make sure to take a minute and enjoy the view.

Remember that on this ride there are no services once you leave the lodge. Make sure to pack sunscreen and plenty of food and water. On this particular trip we had a sag wagon (my wife, kids, and dog wanted to enjoy the scenery as well) which made life a little easier. There are bathrooms at certain points around the rim. The ride consists of climbs to scenic lookouts and then nice descents. The most important part of the ride (or even car drive if that is all you can do) is to remember to stop and enjoy the scenery. The water is so blue and reflective that you can find yourself staring at the water most of the day. In most of the picutres I have included, you will see a sharp pointy mountain beyond the rim, that is Mount Thielsen. That is a great hike, but more about that some other time...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Smith Rock Photo

I just wanted to add this picture of Smith Rock State Park becuase it was taken on December 21, 2003 at around 3:00 PM. It turns out that even though central Oregon and the east side of the Cascades can get some pretty severe weather at times, Smith Rock can be hikded and climbed on may days throughout the year. We had blue skies on this day and we were out in short sleeved shirts. On this particular day there were quite a few climbers on the rock and it was spectacular to be there. I will write more about the hiking and provide some other pictures for the next post, but for now it is bedtime. One other thing, if anyone wants to use any picutures on this site, please email me.... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hiking John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Welcome to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. If you are ever in the middle of nowhere in central Oregon, you are probably in John Day. This remote part of Oregon in the north central part of the state has some amazing geology and some very nice hikes. Most of the rock in the area is eroded volcanic and if you look closely you will see fossils almost anywhere you look.

Because we were on a quick day trip through the area, we only stopped at the Clarno Unit of the National Monument. If you are wondering, the National Monument is HUGE! Getting to John Day can be quite a trip, it is 240 miles from Portland, Oregon and 122 miles from Bend, Oregon. We drove up Highway 97 through Bend and Madras up to Road 218. Be advised the Road 218 is a narrow two-lane road. Usually there is very little traffic but we happened to get caught behind three busses full of students, obviously making there way out to John Day as well. I say obviously becuase the only thing east of this area is Fossil, Oregon, and once you drive through Fossil, you realize that the whole town would not even fill three school busses. On a side note, when you leave Bend, Oregon, you pass one of the great climbing areas in North America, Smith Rock State Park. This trip was not about rock climbing, more about geology, but it is hard to pass one of the first places in the country to have a 5.14 climb!

As far as hiking goes, the trails are pretty easy and well defined. You can find yourself getting lost wondering around and looking at the beauty of the rocks. If it is hot you can always go to the John Day River and take a soak, it looked quite appealing when we passed but time was not on our side. A very family friendly hike along the Geologic Time Trail is well worth the hour or so you can spend on it. It is only 1/4 mile long but plan on taking the Trail of the Fossils loop as well as the Clarno Arch Trail (arch pictured above). All in all you can hike 2 or 3 miles at this location from the parking lot and back.

If you have the time, to the Painted Hills Unit and do some of the hikes there as well, once again all are well marked and fairly easy to hike. The overlook view is spectacular. Enjoy the area and if you have some rock shoes handy, remember you are close to Smith Rock... Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006

Trip to Joshua Tree

This is Josha Tree National Monument. We went there during Spring Break 2006 and had a great time. It is an incredible place to boulder or sport climb. My kids, ages 9 and 11, had a great time for their first trip out rock climbing.

The rock is very stable and graining, good for smearing. I noticed good cracks as well. We did not get to venture to far into the park and I would guess that there are many conditions that could exist. The place where we were at was ideal for bouldering or sport climbing. Though I did not try any, it looked like there are many good single pitch lead climbs available. I do not know if it is my age getting to me or if I am spoiled (I grew up near Yosemit National Park and that is where I learned to climb) but the rock sure seemed rough on the hands. This could have something to do with not having my hands on a rock in years as well. If you go to the area, I would strongly recommend tape.

If you are traveling to the area for a quick day trip, or even just a couple of days, you can rent shoes at a great little outdoor store in the town of Joshua Tree. It is also a great entrance to the park. The park also has some great hiking trails with some nice views of the desert. Once again, we did not get to venture nearly far enough in the park and I am sure there are some great vistas with incredible views.

I look forward to making back down to the area with my kids someday, hopefully with a full rack so the kids can really stretch their legs. If you have the chance, make sure to get to this park, it is not only worth it for the climbs but also the natural beauty but also for the lack of crowds. Enjoy... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hiking on the Island of Kauai

Hiking Pihea Trail

Here is a picture of the Kalalau Vallay on the island of Kauai. If you can see in the distance there are all kinds of waterfalls running down the sides of these steep slopes. We took this picture on a hike with our family. If you ever go to Kauai I would strongly recommend you bring some old shoes and do this hike. The hike begins at the Kalalau Lookout at then end of road 550 on the west end of the Island. On the drive up, enjoy the Waimea Canyon, it is spectacular. The hike can take you from one end of the island to the other where there are no roads. We only went for about or 4 miles in and it did get steep and mucky. As I stated, bring a pair of junker shoes because you will get muddy. Also make sure to pack water and something to keep your camera dry. It will be perfectly sunny and the next thing you know, it will be pouring rain.
The trail we hike along was called the Pihea Trail. One of the spectacular view points along the trail is the Pihea Vista. Be prepared though as this is a steep climb to get to the top. This is where you will get your hands dirty as well as your feet. Use branches and roots to help you get to the vista, it is well worth it. About 2 miles in (all distances are from the end of the road, apparently you use to be able to drive to the end of the road but we had to hike it) the trail intersects with the Alaka'i Swamp Trail. Apparently this trail leads to the highest swamp in the world, though we did not make it.

When hiking, you might try to keep your feet from getting muddy, but do yourself a favor and don't bother. There are some walking blanks along the way when it gets too swampy, but most of the trail is along the most amazing clay type material (I assume decomposed lava). The stuff is almost impossible to get off. If you make the trip, try to also bring clothes that you don't mind being dirty forever. I say this because some of the things still have that clay like material in it, and we went in July of 2005. Another item that is a must have if you visit Kauai, the book The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook. Don't worry if you don't pick it up before you leave for the island, we found it at numerous places and all for the same price as on the mainland. I have read on some web sites that this trail is considered moderate to difficult. I took my 9 and 11 year old on it and they would have kept going if we had more time and water. The most important part of taking the hike is to plan enought time to enjoy the surrounding, it is truley amazing. Also, if you look at the pictures closely, it should remind you of the movie Jurassic Park, it is my understanding that this is where some of the file was shot. I hope you get the opportunity to take this hike, it is worth every minute of it...

Monday, May 08, 2006

PS3 ~ Is it worth it?

OK, first I lied, I will post again sooner than I thought. Even though it is past my bedtime, I am sitting here wondering if the PS3 is really going to be worth it? The hype alone should make it worth at least $300, but $600 (who really bought the 360 core system, so who will really buy the entry system on the PS3)? Me thinks that Sony has really screwed themselves lately. I have always liked certain Sony products and really disliked others. But they always do certain things VERY well. I have to say though I think the PS3 is going to be a let down, and ever since the root kit issue with the CD's, I am totally down on Sony. I just purchased a new TV recently and remember thinking to myself that it did not matter how nice the picture was, I would not buy Sony. I wonder what is next for this company, it sure wont be a PS3 for me...


Welcome to the blog of the Georgevitch family. This is post number one and it might be quite a few days before post number two. We are really busy right now since we are closing in on the end of the school year as well as the soccer season. We will have more interesting topics soon...please check back.