I (heart) Skype


The morning was pretty random. I stopped by the Grad Office to get stipend info, and wound up with a 60 pages IRS document. Yay. To be examined LATER. The NYU bookstore did not have the book I was looking for. I did toy with the thought of getting something NYUish and wearable, given that my UCLA sweatshirt seems mildly inappropriate for the location, but NYUware was only available at inappropriate prices, so there went that idea.

I did make it down to the Apple store, partly because I wanted a little exercise, mostly because I wanted to see the new 24″ iMac. Which I did. Big. In fact, almost too big. Certainly wouldn’t fit well on my desk. Core 2 Duo pi_css5 benchmarks were good though. The Mac Pro results were less good.

Read most of a book on the political history of the Ottoman empire. I’m beginning to feel marginally competent on the area. Sad to say, but I still know American political history (dates, presidents, wars, major laws, etc.) better than anything else. Thanks to 11th grade AP US History with Mr. B… In any case, interminable Russo-Ottoman wars finally forced me out, this time to Staples where I got, among many things, a stapler capable of stapling more than 10 sheets at a time.

When an important phone call I received died midway through I was a bit miffed. For some reason I thought of Skype, and since I now have a headset for use with NaturallySpeaking, I could actually give it a try. I did. Not only did it work, but voice quality was better than on my cell phone (this on a cable connection, where upload is limitied to ~40KB/s). And for now in the US, calls are free. If only Cingular service was this cheap and reliable…

For dinner, I was invited to some friends of my grandparents. I had of course forgotten that it was the Jewish new year. Oops. Now I know what it is to be a gentile. A very pleasant ceremony, followed by dinner, and some rather wide-ranging conversation followed. Their apartment is not only less than 2 blocks away, but it has a great view of the financial district of downtown Manhattan. The perks of living in a 25 story building (mine is analogous, but has only 17 stories, and is blocked by another identical 17 story building, so my view is limited to a good-sized courtyard/park).

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