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Whining about the MBA refresh

For a non-mac user like myself I sure talk about Apple’s hardware a lot. I guess it goes to their credit that they do make quality hardware.

But the new MBA is a major disappointment. It’s got the same specs as your typical Asian manufacturers, plus a couple bells and whistles (thunderport is going to become the new mac-only whatever port at this rate).

The problem I have is how it drops discrete graphics for the HD 3000. It’s a totally sensible move, one that I would not had mind at all 10 years ago. Or even 5 years ago.

But I’ve grown to expect more from my mobile hardware. I want enough beef to play Starcraft. Intel HD 3000 can play Starcraft fine…at low quality. That’s not to mention that even with its LED-lit IPS screen, the resolution is not exactly high–just like all the other laptops out there.

I guess it’s time to plunge for an Alienware M11x. But it’s ugly and thick. Com’on, computer industry! Give me a bone here. All the MBA did today is just join this list of slick but gamer-unfriendly laptops. But I guess it’s a fool’s errand to expect that from Apple.

Which is true; the gamers don’t do mac thing is still a solid rule of thumb. I’m just as disappointed with Asus, Sony, Acer, MSI, Lenovo, Samsung, etc…

Or maybe is 3000 HD really good enough? Benchmarks show that it’s on par with an nVidia M310, which is about what the old MBA had. I guess that’s fine. But Starcraft on low is … not desirable.

Back to the ASUS U31JG-A1!

Job posting: looking for some testers

This is suitable for someone with 0-3 years of software experience. By software I mean you’re comfortable with doing a bunch of technical computer stuff. I’m looking for someone who is a quick learner, a perpetual learner, and what they say as a “self-starter.” You also need to have the fundamentals for networking, programming, and software engineering concepts.

Major plus is if you can actually code. It’s not required, but it helps a lot. Most sought after skill would be one of a DBA’s, so if you’re comfortable with SQL that is pretty nice. But SQL is relatively easy to pick up, no biggie. I think if you’re handy with python or perl, that goes a much further way. By handy I mean it in the xkcd way, where I can throw you a problem and you can carve your way out with them. Obviously if you’re good with Java, well, that works even better because we also have opening for Java devs.

Since this is the QA posting I’m writing about, our main environment is on Unix. Our devs run Eclipse on ClearQuest, and uses windows PCs. QA now use AIX, Solaris and RHL! Because that’s what production runs on! There are also web GUI stuff, but that’s something anyone can do. Just like I don’t really care if you don’t know how to use MS Outlook.

Strong communication skills are not a must, but very important especially if you are inexperienced. My buddy Ivan is young and inexperienced and his communication skills are there, so he is doing well. Too bad he’s also not experienced at communicating technical things. Drives me insane~ Our oldest QA tester has probably the worst communication skills, but he’s actually quite sharp and very experienced, so he gets by. But he is incapable of doing a lot of the stuff I do despite being better at some other things. Well, teamwork works like that, right?

All that is truly required for this job degree-wise is a BS. We obviously strongly favor those with a technical degree like computer science, computer engineering, etc. Again, this is a tech job. And we can’t even pay you so-so pay if you don’t have the paper to show for.

How is the work? The worst part is that it’s in midtown, which means a long commute for me. But being comfortable in a city environment (a real city no less) I like the opportunities NYC brings you. Lots of great food, too. So it kind of balances out. The pay is not the greatest, but at least there’s a lot of opportunity to advance. I think it’s a great first job if you’re still looking for one, it’s a safe and comfortable, dynamic environment. You’re more likely to be left alone than to be over-nurtured, if you want some indication of how things are.

To apply, send me an email with your resume. It helps if I know you.