Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross (born Christopher Geppert on May 3, 1951) is an American singer-songwriter from San Antonio, Texas. His debut album earned him all of the "Big Four" Grammy Awards in one year, a feat that is yet to be equalled. He also received an Oscar and a Golden Globe relating to his work with music in hit films.

He is best known by most for his Top Ten hit songs, "Sailing", "Ride Like the Wind", and "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)," the latter of which he performed for the film Arthur starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli. "Sailing" earned three awards at the 1981 Grammy Awards Ceremony, while "Arthur's Theme" won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1981 (with co-composers Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen.)

Cross first played with a San Antonio based cover band named Flash before signing a solo contract with Warner Bros. Cross released his self-titled debut album, Christopher Cross in 1979, which garnered him five Grammy Awards. He is the first and only artist to personally receive all of the "Big Four" Grammy Awards (Best Record, Song, Album, and New Artist) in the same year. Although Norah Jones' debut album Come Away with Me and song "Don't Know Why" won the same four awards in 2003, she did not personally receive the Song of the Year Grammy because it is a songwriter's award. Hits from this album included "Sailing", "Ride Like the Wind" (featuring backing vocals by Michael McDonald) and "Never Be the Same".

His second album, Another Page, which came out in 1983, included the hit songs "Think of Laura", "No Time For Talk", and "All Right." "All Right" was used by CBS Sports for its highlights montage following the 1983 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, won in an upset by North Carolina State, which defeated the University of Houston in the championship game, 54-52. Although Another Page sold respectably, it did not nearly live up to the high expectations set by his debut album.

Cross released his third album Every Turn of the World in 1985. However, the album failed to produce any top 40 hits, and did not sell well. He went on to make three more albums in the 90's and although some of his releases have gained critical response, he has failed to catch the mass audience he once enjoyed. Many think this has been due to his inability to transition to the music video format. Simply said, Cross' on-screen persona did not come across very well in the mid 1980s, when many bands like Duran Duran instead maintained an air of androgynous sexuality for their music videos. After his decline in the mid-1980s, Cross has toured and opened for various acts since the 90's and releasing his second Greatest Hits package in 2002.

Cross completed a new Christmas album and on November 15, 2007, which was released exclusively on iTunes. He is working on a new studio album that is expected to be released in 2008. Today, he does about 100 live performances a year. Cross performed on November 6, 2007 at Flemington Racecourse, singing "Ride Like the Wind" as part of the pre-race entertainment for the 2007 Melbourne Cup.

In recent years, his daughter, Madison has become a singer and actress.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I Miss Blogging!

It is almost a week since my last post, I have a lot of work to be done, I need to assembles the new computers we acquired, I have to pass my lesson plan, and today is the deadline of our test questions for the coming exam. I never expected to be this kind of busy, well 11 section to handle is not an easy job.

How Much is Your Dead Body Worth?

I came across to this site while I'm searching for the site that can help me as a reference for my Internet class, it is a kind of game site which calculates our body's value based on the questions given, the questions are very realistic, it talks about our daily health. Try this site and you can also calculates your body's worth. D:
The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Most Expensive Computer in the World

The Japanese government estimates the Earth Simulator cost $400,000,000, making it the most expensive computer ever built. The budget for the Earth Simulator project was authorized for the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) and the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC) in 1997, and NEC Corporation made the winning bid for the Japanese project.

By May 2002, the 640 processor node supercomputer was benchmarked with Linpack as having 35.86 TFlop/s performance. This gave it the top spot on the TOP500 Supercomputer Sites list until 2004 when IBM’s BlueGene/L supercomputer took its place using an architecture that cost less than half as much to implement.

Each processor node in the Earth Simulator contains 8 vector processors running at 500MHz with 16GB of shared memory, and the total main memory in the machine is 10 terabytes. The operating system running on the supercomputer is NEC’s UNIX-based OS called “SUPER-UX” which is used on NEC’s SX Series of supercomputers.

This expensive computer is used for a wide variety of international projects, most of which are related to atmospheric, climate, and oceanographic simulation.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Windows XP Already Phase-out?

A newsletter arrived from my e-mail yesterday, stated the following information:


After months of rumors that Microsoft might rethink its decision to pull the plug on Windows XP, the official word is out: XP is on its way out.

Microsoft is sticking to its plan to cease providing PC makers with XP to preload on new PCs after June 30, as Microsoft is now letting customers know via a letter it has posted to its Windows XP and Windows Vista Web sites.

The June 23 letter, entitled “An Update on the Windows Roadmap,” from Bill Veghte, Senior Vice President, Online Services & Windows Business Group, reiterated that PC makers won’t be getting more copies of Windows XP to load on new machines after June 30, 2008. (There are two exceptions to this rule: “white box” system builders and makers of ultra-low-cost PCs are allowed to continue to preload XP through 2009 and 2010, repectively.)

Microsoft support for XP doesn’t end on June 30; free Microsoft-provided support for XP continues through April 2009. Microsoft “Extended” support — for which users must pay (other than for security-specific hot fixes and various self-help tools, which are free) — lasts through 2014.

There is no new information about the Windows roadmap in Veghte’s letter. Veghte acknowledged that Vista — especially in its initial release — was not an easy Windows release for many customers to swallow. From his letter:

“The architectural changes that improved security and resilience in Windows Vista led to compatibility issues with existing hardware and applications. Many hardware drivers and applications needed to be updated, and while the majority worked well when we launched Windows Vista, some key applications and drivers were not yet available. Since then, Microsoft and its industry partners have been hard at work to address compatibility issues and now the situation is fundamentally different.”

Windows 7 is coming three years after Windows XP’s Vista’s release, Veghte reminded users. (Microsoft officials have been saying lately on the record that the company is shooting for a late 2009 release for Windows 7.)

What’s your take? Should Microsoft have extended XP’s end-of-life date one more time? Or is the company right in not wanting to send mixed messages to the public about whether Vista is really (finally) ready for prime time?