May 25th, 2005

Atacama

Hayastan, here we come... well, maybe...

On my lunch break today, I started thinking about the Caucasus again as the pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey [via Tbilisi, Georgia] opened today. In September 2001, I took a flight to Tbilisi, and was planning on spending three weeks in Georgia and Armenia, but got cold feet and flew home two days later [note to self: when planning trips to countries that are en vias de desarrollo, do NOT go by yourself and stay in inexpensive Soviet hotels complete with dezhurnaya: it WILL freak you right the fuck out]. However, the 48 hours I did spend in Georgia were pretty amazing: the food was like nothing I've ever had before [same goes for the resulting diarrhea], the countryside is spectacular, and the architecture blew me away. As a result, I've been itching to go back ever since.

Today, I found out that there is actually one good, low cost flight a week from Seattle to Yerevan: it's via Amsterdam, and connects on a relatively not-scary Armenian airline [I've flown Moldavian Airlines, so I figure Armavia can't be any worse].

So, it looks like I might yet get to go back to the Caucasus. Easy, affordable flights from Seattle... improved political situation... better quality hotels... more time to research...

Bonus Armenia titbit: When I applied for a visa back in 2001, it arrived in the form of a traditional, elaborate visa glued into my passport, complete with raised seal. However, the consulate got the entry date wrong, so I sent it back - and they returned it with the correct dates written on top of some large blobs of Liquid Paper. These days, though, I'm delighted to see that Armenia was the second nation in the world to go over to an e-visa system [Australia was the first - their ETAs have been around for years]. Rock on!
Atacama

Just how fast are those G5s?

According to MacInTouch, c't has reported that they're pretty similar to Intel processors in terms of performance at the same speeds [the dual 2.7 GHz G5 benchmarked at about 2/3rds the speed a dual 3.6 GHz Xeon EMT64 workstation did]. As a result, I'm more likely to think that it's a valid comparison: dual G5 to dual Xeon EMT64 - although of first I'd like to know whether or not the Xeons were running XP64 or Linux.

Ideally, though, I'd still like to see some real world application benchmarks [other than Apple's - as I've said before, I've seen the internal marketing materials, and believe me, those have very little to do with reality and everything to do with a LOT of time spent figuring out what will run faster on a Mac].
Atacama

Almost on our way

Just one more hour and I can print Southwest boarding passes.

In the meantime, there's a bottle of Pelorus ready to drink [thanks to my awesome Dad!] and a car to load with suitcases. I can't believe I'm packing pyjamas, especially ones that don't fit right, but what the hell, I know those Chicagoans party a little bit differently than we do in Seattle. :)
  • Current Music
    The Futureheads - Decent Days and Nights [Max Tundra Remix]