Wednesday, April 30, 2003
While the jury is still out as to whether the iTunes Music Store will ultimately prove successful, a deal possibly in the works that would potentially bring the Music Store to the 26 million AOL subscribers. Apparently, AOL hasn’t been successful with developing a system to bill for individual tracks, as Apple has.
Admittedly, I couldn’t care less about AOL, but if this deal goes down, I believe it would almost assuredly seal Apple’s dominance in the digital music selling business.
I genuinely have to hope this new Music Store doesn’t flop. I already love it. Whatever trouble Apple was having with letting me register my existing Apple ID with my credit card info was resolved today. I’m all set up and have purchased a few individual tracks and one complete album. Way cool!
On a side note, I am admittedly curious to find out what these purchases will look like on my credit card statement. At the moment, I’ve made two separate transactions and will undoubtedly do more within this billing cycle. Am I going to see a line item for every batch? I’m wondering if Apple queues transactions and produces a line item for everyone just once a month. This site has some theories, but no firm answers.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
This entry merited the addition of a new category on my blog. It’ll be reserved for things just just defy categorization.
Like tonight, as I watched Jay Leno who had Abby Julo as one of his guests. This cute little four-year-old was spitting out the answers to Jay’s questions about political individuals and such. The site I linked to states she can answer more than “200 questions about the government and political figures of the United States and numerous other countries. She can also recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the Preamble to the US Constitution.”
UPDATE: Well, Abby apparently appeared on Leno again and, as of November 5, 2003, this entry is Google’s #3 hit on a search for her name. Go figure! Anyway, I don’t know if these facts are the reason, but this entry is beginning to draw a lot of comments. I’ve chosen to prevent new comments because they’re either all saying the same thing (you can still click the link to read the past comments) or this entry is getting targeted with comment spam. Sorry, but it’s my blog, and you can cry if you want to.Comments: 14 (Comments are now closed.)
Monday, April 28, 2003
I’m getting tempted further and further to buy an iPod. Regardless, Apple’s new iTunes Music Store alone is going to be great. I, for one, fully intend to make use of it. I’m even downloading iTunes 4 as I speak…er…type. Who knows, I may even whip out the credit card and buy some music, too.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Because I’ve discovered I like to trade into a new vehicle every couple of years and lease them so it doesn’t cost nearly as much to cater to this preference, I’ve recently decided to start renting a car when I have to take business trips so as not to soak several hundred miles against the amount the lease allows.
Having said that, here’s a couple things to check on when renting a car. I’ve learned my lesson.
First, even if you have to bump to the next higher class of vehicle, get cruise control. Driving to Miami and back in the same day without it will give your right leg vicious cramps.
Make sure the cigarette lighter works. No, I don’t smoke, but I did want to plug in my cell phone charger.
Make sure the rear view mirror doesn’t fall off the window attachment when you adjust it. Thankfully, I was able to put it back on.
Again, even if you have to bump to the next higher class of vehicle, get remote keyless entry. I’m hopelessly spoiled on this feature.
Lastly, give serious consideration to renting something very comparable to the car you typically drive so you don’t spend half the trip trying to get comfortable in a seat you’re not accustomed to. There’s a huge difference between a Dodge Stratus and a Pontiac Sunfire.Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Is there such a thing as a blogger’s version of postpartum depression? I “birthed” this blog a few months ago and entries have been just a little bit far between the past week or two. It’s probably just because April and May are the busiest times of the year for me at work.
Not to worry, though, I’m not abandoning it. All I have to say is, don’t take the “Daily” part of this blog’s title too seriously! ;-)Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Let me make it perfectly clear that Final Cut Pro ROCKS!
After a few years of using Adobe Premiere, I finally started really getting into FCP recently—initially with some things my friend, Andy, got me started with during the NAB convention, and this week, really delving into using it for several short vignettes that will be shown at a convocation (and broadcast over satellite) this summer.
Why, oh why, did I not start sooner!
I am so pre-ordering version 4!Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Are places of business so stinkin’ sure about the loyalty of their customers (or maybe we customers so stinkin’ tolerant of being mistreated by these places) that they feel it is absolutely no consequence to them how the customers are treated?
I decided to order a pizza this evening. There are two Pizza Hut stores in my immediate area—pretty much equidistant. (Normally, I’d hyperlink something like “Pizza Hut” in my entries, but I’m pissed at them, so no link.) The east store decided that I’d enjoy spending well over five minutes on hold. The west store seems to think it’s intelligent to have a gal answer the phones who could use a life lesson in conversational skills and takes longer to calculate the order’s cost than it does to explain what I want. In addition, this act must take 100% of her mental capabilities because I finally blurted out that I knew what the price was—just tell me how long, and I got absolutely no response until about a minute later when she finally repeated the price I already knew and then said something to the effect of, “I suppose I should find out how long for it to be ready.”
I don’t fault the employees. Everyone’s human.
Hey managers: do a little quality control in your own stores, will ya?Comments: 2 (Comments are now closed.)
I’m basically ready to throw in the towel. I don’t really like the padded anchor links for archived entries, and I know full well how to remove them from HTML and RSS templates. The Movable Type support forum gang even helped me have the e-mail notifications use unpadded links…but the fix broke when I upgraded MT and no one seems to know how to fix it now. In addition, I recently discovered that the built-in search hits want padded anchors, too.
So, I’m wondering how many of you who might have permalinks over to my blog would totally hate my guts if I go back to the default padded anchors instead? Naturally, I’d be thrilled if you were inclined to search for links you made to specific entries and changed them to a 6-digit padded number (i.e. www.dtpbylee.com/blog/archives/2003_02.html#000100 instead of #100), but I definitely wouldn’t be inclined to complain if you left them alone.
What say ya’ll?Comments: 5 (Comments are now closed.)
I saw a great bumper sticker on the way in to work this morning.
“If 10% is enough for God, it’s enough for the IRS.”Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Sunday, April 20, 2003
I’ve still been a little sparse with my entries because my days have been crammed with catch-up work since I was away from the office for a week at NAB, my evenings have been spent either helping a new acquaintance shape up his home computers or watching recordings of TV shows I taped while I was away, and weekends have been spent at my parents’ house visiting with family in from California. Paying attention to a two- and a four-year-old takes precedence over blogging!
But they’re both asleep now, so I’ll sneak in a quick entry just to gloat about my Wi-Fi router that travels with my laptop. I’ve been using wireless for quite a while now, but I think this weekend makes the first time I’ve truly used it in an environment that made buying the router worth while. I’m sitting out on my parents’ back porch with the rest of the family—not a cord in sight—typing this entry and working on some items that should appear in the upcoming May issue of ATPM. It’s a gorgeous Easter day here in Tampa—not too humid and a slight breeze. This is why I am a firm believer in Wi-Fi!
Whups, the 4-year-old just woke up. I guess I’m done here!Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Friday, April 18, 2003
I’m posting this mostly for my own reference. Perhaps you can benefit, too. MacRumors posted an article that nicely compares MP3 against AAC.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
And just to appease the cognitive dissonance you may be having about the crap that resides in my menu bar and dock, here’s the scoop. And no, I’m not going to spend an hour to link every utility to its developer site. Point your lazy butt and your web browser to VersionTracker and find it yourself.
Menu bar, left to right: FruitMenu has modified my Apple Menu and turned the Application Menu to an icon instead of words. After the menu items is the OS X Character Palette I keep enabled. On the right side is PTHPasteboard (multiple clipboards), Proteus’ menu utility (IM client), WeatherPop (meteorology is a hobby), Searchling (handy search tool), IP (displays WAN and LAN IP addresses), OS X’s default volume, monitor, Script Menu, Internet Connect, AirPort, and Power menu icons, and, instead of OS X’s built-in clock, I use PTHClock (more customizable and has a popup monthly calendar).
In the dock, top to bottom: Finder, three DockExtender menus for Apps, Utilities, and Internet, Entourage, Safari, Internet Explorer, Proteus, NetNewsWire, LaunchBar, MemoryStick (also seen in the bottom left corner), EarthDesk (which manages my perpetually updated wallpaper image), and SpamSieve. Hovering above the Trash is another DockExtender icon to let me navigate all my volumes from one place. TinkerTool was originally used to pin the Dock to the end position on the right, though DockExtender can set this, too. This effectively keeps the Trash in a constant location, which I prefer. Finally, I used some utility to adjust the color shading of the dock background but, embarassingly, I forgot the name of it.Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
I know I’m late, but I have to at least let you know that I did notice the 10.2.5 update for Mac OS X.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Photoshop (and ImageReady) 8, Illustrator 11, and InDesign 3 are expected to see the light of day by the end of this year.
Full eWeek article.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
“Scott Bruce, a stand-up veteran who has performed at venues all over the country, is an unabashed Apple advocate who gently berates Mac-hostile audiences with his partisan brand of humor.”
Full Wired News article.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
I have posted my Las Vegas/NAB photos.
For what it’s worth, my intention is to have all my future photo albums at http://dtpbylee.daemon.sh:8080 so you can bookmark it, but be aware that as soon as I’m able, I will set it up to not require the :8080 part. Someday, I’ll also transplant some of my older albums to this server.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
I just made this up tonight.
“All your Iraq are belong to Bush!”
:-pComments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Public Beta 2 of Apple’s web browser, Safari, has been released. For those following more closely, this build is v73.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Saturday, April 12, 2003
I’ve been a little light on things to post about since I returned home. I’ve just sort gone into low power mode. I got home after midnight and was kind of jet-lagged. I slept until after noon, caught up on some e-mails, then drove to Tampa to visit family who is over from California.
We had a picnic and a walk at Bok Tower this afternoon and tomorrow we’re going to Tarpon Springs.
Back to the work grind on Monday.
I’ll be writing a little NAB report for the May issue of ATPM. Watch for it, if you’re interested.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Thursday, April 10, 2003
Well first, I’d better follow up on what I cut short last night. Yesterday’s quality tchotchke was a pair of retractable cords—one for ethernet plus another phone cord for a modem. These came from G2 Satellite Solutions and PanAmSat, respectively. (G2 is owned by PanAmSat.) No quality tchotchke for today, as I only spent an hour or two making a couple follow-up and pick-up visits in the exhibit halls. The rest of today’s events will come in a moment.
I’d sort of hoped Bose would have some sort of showing here, but such was not the case. I’ve been seriously considering a pair of the noise reducing headphones. My brother recently acquired a pair and, on Monday, I got to experience them for about a half hour. Apple’s section had a little classroom like area set up where I sat in on a Final Cut Pro 4 introduction, and every station had these headphones. That clinched it. I went to the Las Vegas Apple Store and picked up a pair. Having acquired them while here for NAB, they kind of feel like a tchotchke, even though I totally paid for them.
Regarding the walking, I’ve figured out why hopping around one of the Rat-Land parks never gets me as sore as I’ve become here. At the parks, you walk for a little while, then generally sit for a show or a ride or, at the very least, stand in line without actually moving your legs and hips and often having something to lean against. But yes, three days of hard walking has gotten me pretty stiff!
I didn’t buy the $125 product…yet. I’m talking about a made by Nada Chair. Granted, there’s a $25 version that isn’t a , but then you have to figure out where to put it when you’re walking. The automatically provides a place to put this awesome back-supporting product plus gives pockets which I’m a big fan of. I seem to always run out of pockets. Fortunately, the deal I was told about here is good online, too. If I later buy this , the $25 SlouchBuster is added for free. Nice thing to share with someone who may be along with me…if they carry it!!! ;-)
And then, of course, is the Star Trek: Experience. Oh my goodness! If seeing a large collection of costumes and props used on the show wasn’t enough, the “experience” portion of the visit took the cake. It was extremely fun. Hope to go back some day.
Yesterday ended with some product demonstrations and lots of food at the Stardust Hotel. Major props to ProMax for not only hosting a great event, but doing it for free! The only thing that could’ve topped it was if I had won the 20gb iPod, the external FireWire drive, or one of the other raffle prizes. Oh well. On the other hand, I, and everyone else, derived an enormous amount of amusement at the couple of computer glitches that cropped up during various presentations, all of which were from Windows machines!
Then, there was the Fremont Street Experience. Very spectacular. It’s two (or so) city blocks covered by an enormous curved structure fitted with a gazillion colored bulbs which, every hour, transforms into an electronic canvas of animated images set to music. Wow.
And that brings me to today. As I mentioned, I only spent a little while in the expo halls. Afterward, I went back over to the Star Trek: Experience because I wanted to photograph a few more of the models out front. I didn’t do those yesterday because after we did the attraction, we realized we were pretty tight for time to get to the ProMax shindig.
After the follow-up photos (and purchasing a tribble), I made the mistake of walking from there to the Apple Store in the Fashion Show Mall to get the Bose headphones. It was further than I thought, plus I have a slightly red forehead and nose to show for it.
Tonight, Andy and I attended a Final Cut Pro gathering hosted by the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group. I learned more new things about Final Cut, though luck was still not on my side for the prize giveaway. ;-) Afterward, we made a final round of visits to hotels on the strip. I just need to say that the Luxor Hotel is amazing. The architecture is unbelievable.
So there you go. I better get some sleep. I fly back home mid-day tomorrow. Yes, I’ll be making real good use of the headphones while on the plane!
Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Wednesday, April 09, 2003
I’m going to keep this one relatively short. I’ll follow up on things tomorrow. It’s after 1 in the morning (Las Vegas time) and I don’t have the stamina to do a better description of today’s goings-on.
Instead, I’ll type a few items to 1) serve as teasers for you on what I’ll type about tomorrow, and 2) to remind me what to type!
Those highlights are: today’s quality tchotchke, running across more people I know, why isn’t Bose represented here, the result of the enormous amount of walking we’ve done, a $125 product that I’m VERY tempted to either get here at NAB or order when I get home, the Star Trek: Experience (wow), tonight’s Promax meeting at the Stardust, and last, but not least, a visit to Fremont Street (more wow).
Good night, and stay tuned.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Monday, April 07, 2003
The headline for this entry is something we can all take to heart. Granted, it’s for a product that I’ll probably never directly use any time soon, but Crywolf Computers’ slogan left a considerable impression—especially when you remember the numerous complains at how loud the Mirrored Drive Door G4s are. This company makes some great-looking equipment silencing and cooling cases. Some marketing brain for them was on the ball with this slogan.
But beyond this product, think about the slogan. How much psychological clutter is present in your life that prevents you from being able to, well, think different?
A little something for ya.
Anyhow, while I’m referencing this as day 2 of my trip, it’s actually my first day of scampering around the convention expo halls. So far, we’ve only been through the Multimedia/Internet section and sort of whisked through the Television Broadcasting section (not really my field). There’s lots more to go…but this is only Monday!
Oh yeah, you may recall my prior entry about tchotchkes. Lots and lots of them to be had here. Andy is sitting here beside me reorganizing his as I type. (No, unfortunately, I’m not online in the convention hall. I’m typing into TextEdit and will paste into an entry tonight when I get back to the hotel.) As far as today is concerned, the best tchotchke, by far, is this carabiner flashlight. Not a traditional flashlight, but one with a super bright blue LED.
Naturally, if I’m describing this particular tchotchke as my favorite, it’s only fair that I say to everyone that discreet gave it to me. So, from my point of view, I’ve proven to myself that receiving a quality tchotchke actually does increase my respect for the company. :-) Seriously, though, the company offers a wide variety of digital production products.
I got to sit in on a Final Cut Pro introduction at the Apple pavilion. Hopefully, some of the information I heard will stick. I really want to migrate from Adobe Premiere to Final Cut. The new version 4 looks like a must-have upgrade.
Something else to think about for a moment: more than 90,000 people are probably milling around the 1,200 exhibitors in the two million-square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center right now, and I actually bumped into some of my coworkers with no advance planning. How unreal is that?
Well, this is where I stopped typing at the convention center. I’m now back in the hotel finishing up this entry and taking a quick break. Thanks to my old, but very comfortable, pair of L.L. Beans, my feet don’t feel to bad. Can’t say quite the same about my hips, though. We’re giving thought to heading over to see the Star Trek: Experience this evening, but I’m pretty comfortable and Andy has crashed face down on the bed. :-) Who knows what’ll actually happen.
Oh yeah, props to Adobe for the expo-in-mind tote bags they were giving away. Yeah, there was a line for them and you had to swipe your card since it was one per person (of course), but these bags are exactly what the doctor ordered for planting all the literature and goodies you pick up as you make you way through all the exhibits.
Yes, I got some photos, but I think I’m going to choose to not post them to the blog. I’ll set up an album soon and point you to it.
More to come. Stay tuned.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
And before I go to bed, let me chime in one other little news note: a huge congratulations to Andy and Lianne McConnell who are expecting a baby, due in November.
Lianne, I was thoroughly impressed with Andy’s description of how you broke the news to him. Actually getting an Asian restaurant to slip a custom message into a fortune cookie predicting that Andy would be a father. Very clever!
Again, congratulations to you both.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Welcome to the first entry of the D.T.P. by Lee NAB edition. Admittedly, I have not actually been to the convention center yet. My flight got in Sunday afternoon, I met up with my friend, Andy, and we took a bus from the Westward Ho hotel to the Rio. We had dinner and then made our way to the Samba Theatre where we saw Penn & Teller. The show was fantastic. Much fun!
But even though I’ve not yet experienced NAB itself, I’ve already got some information from it. First of all, Apple Computer has announced Final Cut Pro 4, DVD Studio Pro 2, and Shake 3. Another item of interest to me is that Adobe announced the Acrobat 6 product line.
More to come. Stay tuned.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Saturday, April 05, 2003
I’m getting pretty excited. I leave tomorrow morning for the NAB convention in Las Vegas. I have tickets to see Penn & Teller tomorrow evening, and I plan to visit the Star Trek: Experience on some other night.
So, from tomorrow through Thursday, D.T.P. by Lee entries will be a special National Association of Broadcasters edition. Stay tuned!Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
All I want to know is, what pile of junk is this guy driving?Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Thursday, April 03, 2003
Wouldn’t you know it? One of the reasons I bought my digital camera was to be able to snap a photo of something at any time as I navigated my way through life and, ever since I obtained it not too long ago, I’ve kept it reasonably close to me—except today. So, naturally, I saw something I wanted to snap a photo of and couldn’t.
Well, I’ll describe it, anyway. There’s a business not far from my office called Clock World. I shouldn’t have to tell you what they sell, but what caught my attention was their changeable letter marquee on their sign.
“We don’t sell French clocks.”Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Well that was fun. I upgraded the memory in two CRT iMacs this evening in preparation of upgrading them both to Mac OS X. I would be making note here of how much a pain in the ass it is to do the upgrade if I hadn’t once upgraded the memory of a Mac SE back during college. I find it somewhat bemoaning that it’s easier to upgrade the RAM in a G4 PowerBook than a G3 iMac. Thankfully, it’s a significantly easier task for the G4 iMacs. The only potential quirk with those is figuring out how to rest the LCD display when you turn the thing over to open it up.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Caution, if you’re the type who doesn’t like to know how “neat-o” things are done, don’t read this entry.
I’d love to hang out for a while on some sets of music videos as they’re being filmed. There’s a certain activity that apparently goes on that I think would be a laugh riot to watch.
Have you noticed how so many pop music videos are either partially or entirely done in slow motion, yet the singer is keeping sync with the music you hear? If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, try Avril Lavigne’s I’m With You or the final sequence of No Doubt’s Underneath It All. (By the way, it’s pretty ironic that I think Gwen Stefani looks better than I’ve ever seen her in this sequence.)
You realize what this means, don’t you? Naturally, everyone knows that artists are lip synching to the studio recording when they do the videos, and most people know that the best quality slow motion is obtained when the scene is recorded with the camera running in fast motion. When the tape is played normally, everything is slowed down. Thus, the artists are mock-performing the song to the camera with the track sped up to match the camera speed.
Okay, forget hanging out on the set. Just show me a blooper reel of artists who can’t stop laughing at themselves as they try to accomplish this stunt!
Hmmm, if you put this procedure in reverse, do you suppose it’s how the voices were recorded for Alvin and the Chipmunks?Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
The April 2003 issue of About This Particular Macintosh has been published.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
If I didn’t like their onion rings and vanilla shakes so much, I might would have to join Chris’s Burger King abandonment.
Think about this for a moment. If you were selling a food product that was processed and artificially shaped into something that is supposed to make you believe it’s a natural shape, you would endeavor to not draw attention to the fact, right?
So what does Burger King, in its infinite marketing wisdom, decide to do? Are you sitting down? You can now order Chicken Tenders™ in “fun new shapes,” specifically, lightning bolts and stars!
By the way, if you really want chicken strips from a fast food restaurant, at least go get them from Arby’s which sells strips that are actually edible. But hurry, before Oven Mitt™ gets his, well, mitt on them.Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
With all the bad karma that’s been floating around Time Warner lately, it was only time before a marketing stunt like this happened. Time Warner Cable is now known as Bright House Networks. (Here’s a press release if you have the guts to read it.) Too soon to tell if service will improve or stagnate. My prediction is they’ll later jack up prices and justify it with hyper-inflated new features that the reorganization is bringing.
My friend, Jeff, said it best. “This sucks. I liked TWC.”Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
It’s time to check your Software Update panel. QuickTime has been updated to version 6.1.1, citing “important bug fixes to MPEG-4 streaming.”Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
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A. Lee Bennett, Jr.