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Last Build Date: Sat, 07 Mar 2009 16:40:31 -0800

Copyright: Copyright 2009

farewell to fredshouse

Sat, 07 Mar 2009 16:40:31 -0800

It's almost spring, most certainly a time for renewal and taking stock. So I'm cleaning house, metaphorically. This blog Fredshouse marked the opening of a new phase of my life, and now I am declaring an end. Or at least, the end of the beginning, as someone said about the web awhile back.

I started writing here in July 2003, and my first post was a panorama of Tokyo's Shinjuku station. It was the summer of love, for mobile media anyway, and I was in Japan to discover the first fuzzy threads of a new mobile, social media fabric. Now it's almost six years later, and things have changed. But still, things are things.

So now, a new chapter for me. I'm still around; you can find parts of me here, here, here and sometimes here. Don't be a stranger, OK?

FYI, the main page now redirects to; if you really want the old stuff, the fredshouse archive page should give you a way to find it.

baking christmas lizzies

Mon, 08 Dec 2008 11:24:30 -0800

I'm cranking up a few dozen Lizzies, my favorite Christmas cookie. Here's my variation on the recipe, maybe these should be called the Lizzie Borden variant because they are killer. Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 t vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
3 t baking soda
freshly ground nutmeg, cinnamon & cloves to taste (I only use a few pinches of each)
1 lb raisins (Trader Joe's has a medley of golden, red flame and black that are perfect for this. In fact the whole TJ's nut & fruit aisle is a great source for Lizzie bakers)
1 lb dried fruits (try a mix of dried cherries, apricots, figs, cranberries; chop the big pieces up)
4 cups nuts (this year I used about 2c pecans, 1c slivered almonds, and some chopped brazil nuts)
1/2 cup nice cognac or brandy (I used a mellow old Martell Cordon Bleu handed down from my grandmother)

The night before you plan to bake, soak the fruits in the cognac.

Blend the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and spices in a large bowl. Stir in the baking soda, then add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until fully combined. You should have a nice creamy, sticky cookie dough at this point. Fold in the fruit including any leftover liquid, and add the nuts. Mix until well combined, at which point you may wonder if there's enough dough to hold all the chunky goodies together. Don't worry, the cookies are supposed to look like that ;-)

Place 1"-2" balls of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet, and bake at 325F for 15-20 minutes. Cool on a rack, and plan for a good hard workout because you are going to eat a lot of these puppies.

alison krauss & robert plant

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 20:43:10 -0800


What does she mean when she sings "Oh oh child, the way you shake that thing, gonna make you burn, gonna make you sting"?

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2008, San Francisco CA

neal stephenson's anathem reading

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 20:25:47 -0800


Stewart Brand, Neal Stephenson & Danny Hillis in conversation
Regency Ballroom, San Francisco 09/09/2008

selling the sixth deadly sin

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 15:59:21 -0800


"You are bidding on Envy — the ultimate turn-on.
Some people say Envy is a sin. They are just jealous.
It’s the fusion of art and technology.
How will you use yours?"

burning down the house...

Thu, 05 Jun 2008 09:13:05 -0800

Do I smell smoke?

it cuts like a knife (but it feels so right)

Sun, 01 Jun 2008 22:29:55 -0800


That is just hilarious dude. Engadget, Giz,TechCrunch, TechMeme, Digg...not bad, not bad at all. Happy B-day Sood, you rock!

blackbird banned at gaming confab: "too bloody powerful"

Tue, 01 Apr 2008 08:43:19 -0800

WTF? This is just hard to believe, who are these wankers? I guess our crew did too good a job designing it?

IPCGA disqualifies HP Blackbird 002 from 2008 International PC Gaming Tournament...International PC gaming association determines next-gen PC gaming rig is simply too powerful for this year’s competition.

Hey, decide for yourself ;-)

like hope but different

Thu, 14 Feb 2008 23:51:34 -0800

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hope (yes we can)

Thu, 14 Feb 2008 23:49:56 -0800

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the sky remains

Thu, 14 Feb 2008 23:04:11 -0800


going to bristol for mscapefest '07?

Wed, 03 Oct 2007 00:06:39 -0800


Let me know if you're going to be in Bristol UK for the Mediascape conference on 3 December, mscapeFest '07. I'm hoping to go, and the more fellow pervasive gamers and pub crawlers, the better!

separated at birth?

Fri, 07 Sep 2007 01:06:33 -0800


Wired Gadget Lab finds a remarkable similarity between our little Blackbird 002 and...the iPhone. LOFL!!! And they wrote a very nice review saying among other things, "Gaming PC manufacturers take note: The bar just got raised into outer space."

blackbird rising

Wed, 05 Sep 2007 16:23:38 -0800


A little something from the day job...

UPDATED: Lots of good coverage coming out...
* The inside scoop from partner-in-crime Rahul Sood
* “HP's Blackbird 002 earns the highest rating this editor has ever given a desktop PC."
* "Five Stars"
* Gizmodo: "The Love Child of HP and Voodoo"
* Business Week: "Game On for HP"
* WSJ: "Gaming PCs for the Masses"
* Kotaku: "Project Blackbird Lands at my House"

in silicon valley, millionaires who don’t feel rich

Sat, 04 Aug 2007 14:42:27 -0800

Wow, this NY Times story really says it all about life here in Silly Valley.

Mr. Kremen estimated his net worth at $10 million. That puts him firmly in the top half of 1 percent among Americans, according to wealth data from the Federal Reserve, but barely in the top echelons in affluent towns like Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton. So he logs 60- to 80-hour workweeks because, he said, he does not think he has nearly enough money to ease up.

“You’re nobody here at $10 million,” Mr. Kremen said earnestly over a glass of pinot noir at an upscale wine bar here.

Well that's a bit overwrought in my book, but there is a lot of money here, and a lot of overt materialism. It is very hard sometimes, not to fall into the trap of measuring your personal success in terms of flash cars, enormous homes, VC deals, and the number of staff you have managing your lush life.

BTW, it was interesting to see former HP colleague Celeste Baranski profiled in the article...hey Celeste, we're neighbors -- drop me a line and we can talk story sometime when we both aren't chained to our desks ;-)