Monday, February 27, 2012

Auto Show!

I went to The Auto Show this reading week with a friend. We decided to make some categories and choose the best cars for them. Here were my choices:

Best Reasonably Priced Car
Our definition of reasonably priced car is < $30 000

The Kia Optima. Starts at $23 000, and you get tons of car for that money. You can get it pretty much fully loaded for around $35 000, and for that you get a navigation screen and a turbo with ~270hp. The interior look great as well. I think it's fantastic value considering all the car you get. It also helps that it's fantastic looking on the outside. Close runner up was the Hyundai Sonata, but you get more stuff with the Kia, and the Sonata feels somewhat "cheaper".

Best Reasonably Priced Roadster
Our definition of reasonably priced roadster was < $50 000

The Nissan 370Z. Now I had a really hard time with this. I can never seem to find a roadster that I think looks good. The 370 isn't the ugliest car in the world, but it's not  exactly pretty. However, it looks good on the inside, and it's pretty sporty, so it was my choice out of the other roadsters at the show. There really aren't a lot of good choices under $50 000. The most notable competition was the MX-5, but that didn't feel as fun. The Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible looks much better, but they didn't have any at the show. It's also much better value, so in real life I would probably prefer that.

Best Car
This is basically "If you could drive any car out of the Auto Show, which would it be". Not surprisingly, my choice coincides with this.

Aston Martin Rapide. Even better looking in person. It was the second best looking car in the show (after the better proportioned Virage) 

Other notable cars: The entire new Ford lineup. They redesigned most of their line up, and they all look fantastic. In particular, the new Ford Fusion:

I would say that the new Ford Fusion is the best looking reasonably price car you can buy today. Unfortunately, they didn't have pricing information on it yet, but if it's anything like the old one, it'll start at $19 000 (well equipped for ~30K)

All in all, the auto show was great fun as usual. Now back to real life (and school. boo). Remember the time I blogged about programming. Yup...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2 Free Car Challenge

So here's the game. Someone will give you any two cars of your choice, under the condition that you can't sell them for money. What two cars would you get?

The first car is a no brainer for me: Aston Martin Rapide.

This is easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing cars I've ever seen, and it has 4 doors so it's practical. About as practical as a V12, 470bhp car can be. You can drive the kids to school in it! When you're not comfortably driving back and forth to work, you can do 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds. Not the fastest thing in the world, but good enough. Astons were never really fast (especially for their price), but they look fantastic and are probably fast enough if you are racing your friends home from a restaurant to reclaim the good parking space.

So that's one down, what about the second car? Well I have something somewhat reasonable for day-to-day driving, so I thought about something really fun and a little outrageous. A sporty roadster comes to mind. Unfortunately I had a problem choosing a roadster that I actually liked. Originally I thought about an SLK, but that seemed too boring. Then there's the Aston Martin Vantage Roadster and the Jaguar XKR Convertable. Both seem too similar to the Rapide, and a little too tame. I wanted something more ridiculous, but not Aventator ridiculous.

Enter R8 Spyder:

While it's not as beautiful as the normal R8, it still looks fantastic in my books. It certainly seems fun, and it's definitely a little outrageous. It has a V10 that produces 525bhp, and it can do 0-100km/h in 4.1 seconds. Seems like almost the perfect track car, and it's ideal for that European road trip I'm planning (It's less suited for the Colombian one).

I think this is better (though probably less practical) than a friend, who picked some of the ugliest cars I've seen. D= and D=. What would you choose?

I spent too much time one this, and not enough time studying for Databases. Oh well.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Semester

I just finished my first day of classes with Security and DB. Both sound pretty good, but security should be particularly interesting, educational, and useful. I'm really looking forward to it. Security has course readings, which is somewhat unusual for CS classes, but at least the material is interesting (and very relevant). Here's an example of the first one we need to read: Smashing The Stack.

DB is apparently pretty much a course on making an optimizing compiler, which also sounds pretty promising. :)

Also, I really need to watch the new Sherlock episode soon. If you haven't watched the BBC Sherlock mini-series yet, I very highly recommend it!

All in all, this is shaping up to be a great term. :)