Planet Earth Available on HD-DVD & Blu-Ray DVD

In case you are looking for eye candy to demo your new 1080P flat panel television, you are in luck.

The HD-DVD & Blu-Ray DVD versions of the BBC/Discovery 11-hour high definition nature documentary are now available.

Engadget has a review here.

It’s interesting to see that content publishers are not taking advantage of the extra storage and features possible on Blu-Ray, likely to simplify their production costs across HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.  Another way this format war is likely to end up hurting the consumer.

Hawaii: The Design of the Last State Quarter is Revealed

Quick nod to the Coin Collecting News blog for this find. The design of the last of the 50 State Quarters has been revealed.  Hawaii, the 50th state to enter the United States, will get its quarter introduced toward the end of 2008.

From the Honolulu Advertiser:

A 25-cent piece featuring the mighty profile of King Kamehameha, the eight main islands, our state motto (Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘aina e ka pono), admission year and — in case anyone doesn’t get it — the word “Hawaii” will be jingling in pockets and purses across the U.S.

Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday announced formal approval of the Hawai’i commemorative quarter, the last of 50 such quarters to be authorized and issued by the U.S. Mint. . . .

Personally, I like seeing the runner-up coin designs. It would have been cool to have a surfing quarter in production…

Life with a 320GB Raid 0 Striped Array in a MacBook Pro

I couldn’t help but provide a link to this great article by my friend Eric on his experience tricking out his MacBook Pro laptop with two 160GB hard drives, and configuring the machine as a 320GB Raid 0 Striped Array.

I’ve posted here about Eric before. He is a professional photographer, with a specialty in underwater digital photography. He also runs the website professionally.

What you may not know is that Eric has a storied history with the Mac. Eric was a PC-focused freshman when he came to Stanford, but during his years on the farm he relented and ended up working on Macs. He even did an internship with the famous Apple Technology Group, in that last summer before it was killed.

Eric went back to PCs at the end of the 1990s, being extremely rational about his technical needs and the advantages at the time of the platform. But every now and again, maybe once every year or two, I’d catch Eric seriously considering going back to the Mac. Well, he finally did it a little while ago, and he’s been working off a MacBook Pro.

Eric is a pretty tough cookie to please when it comes to computers, and he demands a lot of performance out of his machines. He also really focuses on his specific needs as a photographer who travels the globe constantly.

So, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see the pickup of Eric’s article on a lot of sites. On Lifehacker, I take some delight in seeing Eric referred to as Mac user Eric Cheng– it’s nice to see Eric publicly wed to the platform.

There has been a lot of discussion on Digg about the merits of running Raid 0 on a laptop. Personally, I wouldn’t question Eric when he gets into the zone like this on an upgrade. The stats in his article are pretty compelling, as are his experiences running Windows XP in Parallels on the upgraded machine.

My favorite comment of his, however, is directed at the Digg comments:

Some folks on the second Digg page are saying that it’s stupid to use RAID 0 in a computer, because there are “no real world benefits” and because it’s too dangerous.

I disagree. My machine is clearly running much faster, and it doesn’t seem to be running that much hotter. The fans still only spin up with high CPU usage. Battery life has always sucked on the Macbook Pro, and the estimates of losing 10-15% seems to be accurate so far. Finally, I back up frequently onto bootable, external media, even when I’m on the road, so losing my internal volume wouldn’t be catastrophic. At home, my system backs up automatically to NAS every night. The only problem is that I would have to work off of an external drive, if the RAID failed. I’d have the same problem even if I wasn’t using RAID.

I used to use a Thinkpad T-series notebook, which was a great machine because it allowed the use of two hard disks at a time in a supported, modular way. I loved that thing.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I’d love to hear about the negative Digg commenters’ personal experiences with running RAID 0 in a notebook. I’ll bet none of them have ever done it, and are speaking without any facts to back up their claims.

Cheers to Eric for his super cool MacBook Pro and for standing his ground.

In case you missed the link at the top, Eric’s article on adding RAID to a MacBook Pro can be found here.