my personal blog

June 10, 2008

Some Waves

Filed under: artwork — Tags: , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 11:29 pm

Some Waves, originally uploaded by ASurroca.

This one has a simple story. I was working on putting up some new product for my job, and really dug the purple/green color scheme of this bike seat.

This one’s got tons of the screen door effect and pretty much requires viewing at full size to appreciate.

Chevy Nomad (By Way of Germany)

Filed under: business,design,technology — Tags: , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 9:59 am

Photo of Chevy Nomad concept car

You might (or not) remember Chevrolet’s concept car from a few years back, the Nomad. It never made it to production, but a similar car might thanks to Murat Günak, former design boss of the Volkswagen Group.

Photograph of the 2009 Mindset Six50

Günak co-founded a new auto company, Mindset and made the Six50, whose purpose is to buck the trend toward larger, heavier cars; its name comes from its weight, 650 kg (1430 lbs). For reference, my VW New Beetle weighs in at just under 3000 lbs, and even the tiny Smart Car weighs about 1600 lbs. Add to the Six50’s light weight the fact that it’s a hybrid, and we should be seeing some serious MPGs.

Rather, Europe should be seeing some serious MPGs. With the target price of €31,000 and the weak dollar, this car’s chances of making it to the States are approximately 0.000%. Check out the details at TreeHugger and scope a few more pics of this sweet-looking hybrid.

June 9, 2008

June 5, 2008

Proof That The Tech Industry Is Not Boring

Filed under: business,technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 10:48 pm

Broadcom pwnedHere’s the proof in the form of a headline from The New York Times today: “Broadcom Co-Founder Faces Conspiracy and Drug Charges”. Apparently, the guy had a nasty habit of slipping ecstasy into executives’ drinks when he was meeting up with them.

Enjoy the read.

On a semi-related note: Now, the next time I’m trying to get one of Broadcom’s shitty (but ubiquitous) wireless adapters to play nice with Ubuntu, I’ll take solace knowing that some of the douche-bags behind Broadcom are now behind bars.

There’s Apple in my PC

My first inclination upon seeing a process whose description is ##Id_String2.6844F930_1628_4223_B5CC_5BB94B879762## in my list of currently running processes is to think it’s some kind of virus, spyware, or some other malevolent piece of garbage. My first inclination would be wrong.


A quick Google search found that it’s part of Apple’s Bonjour service, which gets arbitrarily installed with iTunes, and apparently anything from Adobe these days. Bonjour is basically Apple’s version of zero configuration networking, and the service behind the ability of iTunes users to broadcast and share their playlists. That’s fine and all, but what is it doing on my PC?

After all, Windows already uses its own implementation of Zeroconf, so what’s the use of having a second? I don’t see Microsoft unloading a bunch of Windows services onto unsuspecting Mac users every time they install third-party software that has nothing to do with Microsoft. Thus, I don’t expect to find Apple’s services bundled with third-party software either.

Of course, I’m not especially surprised. These are the same people who pushed Safari on unsuspecting Windows iTunes users a few months back. At any rate, it was not an ordeal to simply right-click the offending process, stop it, and set it to “disabled”. Perhaps I’ll re-enable it the next time I actually need Bonjour (read: never).

June 3, 2008

Google CLI Makes Me Smile

Filed under: technology — Tags: , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 8:51 am

Yesterday, I came across a site that does what one might think impossible: it simplifies Google’s interface even further. Someone—well, Stefan Grothkopp, according to the site—created a web-based command line interface (CLI) for Google. If you used computers before the GUI, or use a shell interface to FTP, this has got to bring a smile to your face.

Check out

June 1, 2008

Volkswagen Karmann Ghia (What’s In A Name?)

Filed under: business,thoughts — Tags: , , , , , — Alfonso Surroca @ 11:59 am

I was thinking about the name of the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia the other day. Surely, most people don’t puzzle over corporate nomenclature, but I hardly think it’s uncommon for a consummate Volkswagen enthusiast to do. The name Karmann Ghia rolls of the tip of one’s tongue in the same way as the term fahrvergnügen, but thanks to the model’s fame, folks let that side. So, what’s in a name?

The makeup of the name Volkswagen Karmann Ghia is logical enough it’s almost boring. The vehicle was the combination of the expertise of three separate companies: Volkswagen provided the Beetle-based mechanicals, German coach-builder Wilhelm Karmann GmbH created the convertible top and built the vehicle, and Italian automobile design firm Carrozzeria Ghia SpA designed it. And there you have it: The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia comes from the names of each of the three companies that had a hand in creating it.

Type 34 Karmann Ghia

The way the model came to be made by three separate companies is a story of outsourcing. In fact, for such a classic vehicle, it’s almost embarrassing, and a little funny. In short: Volkswagen needed a sports car, so they outsourced its construction to Karmann, who in turn outsourced its design to Ghia, who used a design they had lying around.

The Karmann Ghia isn’t the only model Karmann built for Volkswagen. They also built all generations of the Golf-based convertible (Cabrio in the US); both of the Karmann Ghia’s successors, the Scirocco and the Corrado; and all Beetle convertibles, including the New Beetle Convertible (the convertible top itself, not the entire vehicle). The New Beetle Convertible is the only current Volkswagen/Karmann-made model.

On a last note, it’s fortunate that the nomenclature that begot the Karman Ghia name does not include OEM suppliers. I’m not sure the Volkswagen Hella Bosche Continental makes as good a vehicle name as the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.

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