Stall

This is an absolutely true story. I swear.

It was a long day at work, and I needed a men’s room break for a few minutes. When I walked in someone was in the first stall. I don’t normally notice these things, but it occurred to me whoever was in there was very quiet and motionless. And he was wearing some very nice shoes.

As I said, it didn’t register with me at the time. It did the next day when I went in and saw that someone was again in the first stall, and I thought it was the same guy. Nice shoes. Silent. Motionless. The whole time I was in there, not a sound or movement. Weird.

But it gets weirder. The third day, he was in there again. At least, I assumed it was the same guy because I swear it was the same pair of nice shoes and, as had become usual, he made not a sound and not a movement.

I started thinking, “Is someone dead in there? Has he been sitting there dead for three days and no one’s noticed?”

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Dell XPS 7760: A quick review

The Dell XPS 7760 All-in-One Desktop is a powerful machine, with a gorgeous 4K monitor and plenty of speed from the Intel i7 chip. As is usual with Dell, I called and ordered the computer just the way I wanted it.

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I saved some cash by not ordering a touch-screen because it’s just not conducive to the way I work. My wife has an HP all-in-one touchscreen, and she never uses it that way.

I give it five stars in just about every category, with some exceptions. It’s advertised as having the best sound quality for any all-in-one, with its multiple active and passive speakers built in. The active speakers are front facing just below the screen, and the passive speakers radiate from the bottom of the unit. These may be the best-sounding speakers in any all-in-one, but I had Klipsch speakers with a subwoofer on my last system, and the integrated speakers just can’t compare.

The biggest complaint about the unit is the difficulty of reaching all the ports in the back. The stand makes it difficult to get your hands in there, but if you take the time to plug in all the USB’s you need, you don’t have to mess with it again. Speaking of ports, there are plenty, including some USB-C. There’s an additional USB port on the side, along with a flash card reader with easy access.

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My only other complaint, albeit a small one, is the integrated camera. It’s at the bottom of the screen, which gives your video friends a stunning view of your chest and the underside of your chin. But I put my other camera on top of the unit, so we’re okay.
As for the rest, my eyes are still adjusting to a 27-inch super-sharp 4K screen. I can’t imagine going back to any monitor less than 4K. It sits up a little higher than I’m used to, but I don’t think I’ll notice in another week or so.

My usual practice when buying computers was to choose my mouse and keyboard, but this is the first time I won’t. The Dell mouse and keyboard are terrific. No change needed.
Keep in mind, however, if you use or need an optical drive, you’ll have to get an external, because this all-in-one doesn’t come with it. I only use mine to burn in my massive CD collection, though. Does any software still come on a CD or DVD-ROM anymore?

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Bottom line: I’m thrilled with this machine, and it’s well-worth the money. Dell scores again.

Oh, and the cats are certainly happy with my purchase because now they have a new fort.

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An evening with King Crimson

Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at the Greek Theater — the big eight-man big band beast lineup of King Crimson. Photography was not allowed during the show, but I managed a few pics before and after.

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King Crimson ticket

The Apple buzz is shrinking

I fell in love with Apple when I bought my first iPhone in 2010. A few years later I bought a MacBook Pro, and I’m still using it. It’s a fantastic machine.

But as the time came nearer for me to replace my desk PC, I was itching for awhile for an iMac. But lately, I’ve been feeling the Apple buzz diminishing.
Now that 4K video is available on Windows machines (because once you get used to the retina display, it’s hard to look at anything less), and the designs of the new all-in-ones (especially from Dell) are very fetching, I think I’ll be sticking with Windows for my desktop.

Windows 10 is a great OS. So is Mac’s current OS, but it seems like the pace of improvements coming from Microsoft is much quicker these days.

WATCH: Star Trek Discovery – first look trailer

We’re finally seeing the first footage from the new Star Trek series, Discovery. The first episode will premiere on CBS this fall, with the rest of the episodes appearing exclusively on CBS’ streaming service, All Access.

CBS has also announced that the original 13-episode order is being expanded to 15, and a companion show, Talking Trek, will launch at the same time.

The Simpsons troll Trump

It’s not the first time. I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last.

Your headphones are spying on you, lawsuit alleges

A customer is suing Bose. Kyle Zak claims the audio company is using its headphones to spy on us.

The proposed class-action suit claims Bose uses its wireless headphones and Bose Connect app to collect private data and sell it to third parties. Zak says Bose is violating the U.S. Wiretap Act by “secretly collecting, transmitting, and disclosing its customers’ private music and audio selections to third parties, including a data mining company.”

Two things about this lawsuit bother me.

One, Zak’s claim trips my BS detector – just a little bit. On the other hand, smart TVs have been caught recording and storing our conversations, so headphones spying on us isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

But the bigger problem is this: Social media and internet providers already gather this information and now, thanks to a new law, are free to sell it to whomever they wish without your permission. Going after Bose is a moot point.

We live in paranoid times. But one need not fear the CIA or NSA as much as marketing agencies. They already know far more about you than national intelligence. Big Brother isn’t working nearly as hard to root out dissent as big corporations are violating every last vestige of our privacy to show us targeted ads.

I am, however, keeping a close eye on my Keurig from now on.