eMusic gone

I’ve been a satisfied eMusic customer for several years. Their interesting catalog providing unrestricted mp3 (even in the era of DRM madness) for reasonable subscription prices allowed me to find a lot of good music which I would have missed otherwise. About a month ago they notified me without further details that they no longer provide services in my area and that my subscription was cancelled. It was somewhat strange, but they were fair and refunded my whole year subscription.

Although I liked eMusic I don’t regret it much. Nowadays there are other alternatives available, offering good music for reasonable prices and with standard selling model instead of the subscription service. So it’s time to start spending money on music elsewhere. I’ll start with picking my favorites from Indies Records and I’m also going to look at Magnatune. Any other tips for nice music mp3 shops?

Are AMD processors of any worth?

I looked at a price list of PC CPUs after some time and wondered what AMD Phenom is. So I looked at the AMD website. To keep the story short I’ll limit my experience to a single FAQ entry labeled What is the AMD Phenom(TM) processor?, well representing overall information provided there.

The first part of the answer says:

AMD Phenom(TM) processors represent the next generation of AMD’s award winning multi-core Direct Connect Architecture with AMD64 technology enabling greater memory throughput, lower latency and ultra-fast connections to system resources including graphics processors and accelerators.

Well, so they say the new family of processors provides better performance than its predecessors. I wouldn’t expect the opposite, so nothing new to me.

The next paragraph:

Featuring true quad-core technology, AMD Phenom(TM) processors are designed to deliver unprecedented megatasking performance and highly tuneable performance platforms to meet the demanding needs of technologically savvy enthusiasts.

This paragraph is interesting because it contains the only single bit of information of the whole FAQ entry answer, i.e. that these processor are quad-core processors. But I could read this already in the price list. As for “unprecedented megatasking performance” and “highly tuneable performance platforms” I couldn’t find anything indicating that it describes any real features so I suspect they are just marketing idle talks.

And finally:

AMD Phenom(TM) processors are designed for phenomenal performance and optimum energy efficiency for a growing list of demanding applications, including digital content creation, high-definition video editing, multi-threaded gaming and creative design. AMD Phenom(TM) processors are targeted toward mainstream users who crave more performance and productivity.

I see, these processors are designed so that one can work with a computer. What a surprise!

So I still don’t know what the Phenom thing is about. But I know now that either AMD are idiots or they have nothing great to say about this family of processors and they try to hide this fact in meaningless blurbs. In both cases I’d hesitate to buy AMD processors.

chessbookshop.com

I decided to buy some chess books for the first time after many years. I’m going to start playing chess again, after several years long break. I think it might be a good step towards my mental recovery. I’ve been being busy with many dull activities last years and I haven’t got much opportunity to employ analytical and logical thinking. Chess is great as it requires (except for its entertainment forms such as blitz) deep and careful thinking. Only then one can be rewarded with pleasant results while superficial approach may get punished very quickly, especially when playing against a computer. This is in big contrast to our common social environment that directs us to operate quickly, unreliably, in stupid ways and without understanding anything.

It’s much easier to buy chess books now than it used to be the last time I was deeply interested in chess. Thanks to Internet shopping the choice of both new and used books is great and many interesting books became easily accessible. I bought the books from chessbookshop.com operated by a retired GM Karel MokrĂ˝. I must say I was very satisfied with it and I can recommended that shop to chess lovers.