Tuesday, August 07, 2012

First time Mac customers at the Apple Store (revised)



I revised my previous chart to show a correlation with total units sold through Apple Retail.

SOURCES: Seeking Alpha Stock transcripts (earnings transcripts), ifoAppleStore (units), Asymco (inspiration)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Arial vs Helvetica

With all my posts about Arial and Helvetica, I finally got around to updating my website to use Helvetica. I have nothing against Arial in particular but if you can use the original, why not?

I am aware that the logo may appear blurry on devices with high DPI displays but I don't have a solution yet.

UPDATE (20120710): See this Flowchart: how to retinafy your website via daringfireball.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where is the paper cutter and color printer when you need it

My neighborhood Blockbuster is due to close in April. I can’t simply express what that means to me, but because liquidation sales have turned Blockbuster into a big used DVD store, I’ve been scavenging for good deals.


Speaking from multiple experiences, liquidation sales in general start out with relatively modest discounts when inventory is abundant. During the first week, used DVDs were $8. This sounds great at first until you realize that you can find better deals online for used DVDs at places like half.com. As the weeks passed, the price of used DVDs dropped down to $6 and is now $5 (except for certain new-releases like the Social Network which are not on sale at all). $5 tends to be a sweet spot because even Amazon or half.com will have a tough time delivering you a physical DVD at that price. 


The true gem of the store is the rack of tightly packed DVDs in clear sleeves that are now on sale for $2. While the rack only occupies about 10 square feet, its density of movies is the highest in the store. Going through this rack is like a treasure hunt. In total, I’ve probably spend a couple of hours digging but because they keep it relatively full, you never know what you will find. Here is what I bought so far:


1) Frost/Nixon - This is about a televised interview with Richard Nixon after his pardon. It was expected to be superficial but turned out to be hard hitting and revolutionary. I wanted to see this but didn’t get a chance and it doesn’t hurt that it stars Frank Langella.


2) The Station Agent - This is a movie I’ve had on one of my lists of movies. I have no idea what it’s about but it had a 97% rating on rottentomatoes.com last time I checked.


3) Moliere - This is about the French playwright who wrote the comedy “The Misanthrope”. I got this because I saw a modern adaptation of that play, “The Philanthropist”.


From the normal racks of at least previously organized DVDs, I bought:


1) Taken - "They took his daughter but he will take their lives." Sounds like the start of a typical action movie but I've heard good things about it.


2) Mostly Martha - This is the only movie I’ve actually seen before. It’s falls into the category of “it’s better than the American remake” and is about a talented chef named Martha who can’t understand who is focused a bit too much on her food but suddenly needs to deal with more than she can handle in her personal life. The movie takes place mostly in and around the kitchen so if you liked Ratatouille you’ll like this too. The soundtrack is also great and the movie was almost worth the $5 just for the “Country” track by Keith Jarrett.


3) Inception - Accidentally bought what turned out to be a duplicate copy.


If you read this far, it is probably because you are wondering what any of this has to do with paper cutters and color printers. I spent some time today making and printing black and white DVD covers for the movies from the $2 rack. Blockbuster was selling empty DVD cases to go with the caseless DVDs. As much as I wanted to buy a color printer and a paper cutter, I didn't think saving a few bucks on DVDs following the close of my neighborhood DVD rental store justified such a heavy investment. While the experience was for me, uncommon, it turns out that there is enough demand for DVD cover images online for there to be several websites dedicated for sharing and distributing them. I ended up crafting my own because those websites required registration.


I just think it's ironic that people printing their own DVD covers may be making illegal copies and here I am printing DVD covers because the DVD store is going out of business. It would be an oversimplification to say that Blockbuster was not satisfying the demands of its customers. What I'm sure about is that I will miss going to my neighborhood Blockbuster.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

One year later

If you are thinking of selling your first generation iPad, there are ways for you to do it simply but you won't be getting the best price. You simply enter your iPad model and condition and get a quote. Below, I'm comparing the prices eBay and Gazelle offer for the different models and don't see a huge difference in price. These prices change every day and in eBay's Instant Sale offers for iPad supposedly end on March 25th. Keep in mind this chart compares the original prices and clearance prices that Apple charges you with the prices that electronics resellers and recyclers will offer you for your used iPad without even seeing it. As a buyer or seller with some patience, you should consider asking around and checking direct sale opportunities via social networks or listing your electronics on eBay and classified ad sites like cragislist.
UPDATE: I updated the chart and rewrote the post because the original was a bit misleading by implying trends. [3/20/2011]

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Can the iPad 3G + Skype be cheaper than an iPhone?

Now that you can make calls from an iPhone or iPad with Skype over a cellular connection, here's a comparison between the cost of ownership for the two devices over 24 months:



Skype cannot run in the background on iPad until iPhone 4.0 is released for iPad in Fall 2010, but it's good to know that it may be possible to save $400 over two years.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

We Rule dominates my life

It seems like all I do nowadays is plant crops in the hopes of running a successful feudal community in ngmoco:)'s made-for-[iPhone] Farmville / Age of Empireseque iPhone game WeRule. To be fair, the developers also make Age of Empires which came before Farmville so it's not just a clone. But as my latest crop of peas grow (apparently We Rule takes place in California where strawberries are always in season) I've taken the liberty of posting some charts to help you decide how to spend your time and "mojo" credits while in your We Rule kingdom. The first chart shows productivity as defined by Gold versus Time in minutes. Keep in mind that if you don't harvest your crops shortly after they ripen, they will whither and die so make sure you're around to harvest them in the time they mature! The second chart is Credits versus Mojo. You can use mojo earned while leveling up to instantly grow crops, but use them wisely! Maximize the number of credits per Mojo with this chart so you don't have to spend your actual dollars buying six packs, carafes, flasks, or 100-year vintage bottles of Mojo (not kidding) which run you from five to fifty dollars!