Monday, June 30, 2003
This was told to me during lunch today:
Two hunters were out in the woods when one of them suddenly clinched his chest in agony and fell to the ground. The other hunter started getting hysterical over the situation yet had the presence of mind to get his cell phone and call 911. When the operator answered, the hunter squealed, “Please help! My buddy just fell to the ground. I don’t know what to do. I think he’s dead. Please hurry!” The operator asked the hunter to calm down so he could provide some more information. Once he’d settled down a little bit, the 911 operator said, “we need to make sure if he’s dead.” The hunter replied, “okay,” and set the phone down. The operator hears a BLAM and the hunter comes back on the line and says, “all right, now what?”Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Sunday, June 29, 2003
Yikes! Now I’ve got to get up to Chicago sometime soon. The new Apple Store there looks amazing! It even features Apple’s first internet café.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Thursday, June 26, 2003
Props to Sunglass Hut, or at least the worker who was in the store I just went to—the store nearest me.
The release button on my car visor clip I’d bought from them broke. I guess I pressed it too many times or perhaps a little too hard. I bought it into the store, not to complain, but to ask if there was a design that was less susceptible to the problem. The employee looked at the clip, looked at me, looked at the clip again, and said, “That’s not supposed to do that!” He reached for the cup of identical clips that were for sale, took my broken one, handed me a replacement, and admitted that the “updated” design was made to hold slightly bigger glasses and that he didn’t like the release button on it. I agree. It doesn’t clip back shut as easily. Fortunately, the store still had a quantity of the prior design.
Pay attention, business owners. This company, for a piddly four dollars and 99 cents, successfully earned my continued repeat business. This doesn’t even take into account that any Sunglass Hut will properly clean and tighten my shades for free any time I stop by—which is exactly what I do whenever I’m in a mall and happen to pass one.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Never underestimate the intelligence of a 5-year-old.
My friend, Andy, heard this story on a Christian radio station and later found it at Cyberspace Community Church’s web site.“Preparing for a family vacation, a father explained to his young children that they would be sitting in the car for a very long time. They were told they would not arrive at their destination until after dark and were warned not to keep asking, ‘Are we there yet?’ After a few minutes of peaceful driving, the 5-year-old daughter inquired, ‘Is it dark yet?’”Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Okay, consider this my proclamation. But first, you need a little history.
My mom will tell you, I’ve always been a horrifically picky eater. I need to do much better at eating things that are good for me. Admittedly, my mom will also tell you that I’ve never been one to eat massive amounts of stuff that’s super bad for me, either. Sort of middle of the road.
At one point when I was young, my dad talked me into starting to eat salads. We all know how this goes. I lay on just a couple pieces of lettuce, then pile on cheese, beets (which, for some reason, I’ve always liked), carrots, croutons, and LOTS of dressing. Over time, I used more and more lettuce and other veggies while using less and less cheese and dressing—to the point that I can now eat a respectable salad.
Later, because I found myself being served peas and green beans so frequently, I sort of set my mind to liking them. I never really hated them, but wouldn’t eat them if I didn’t have to. These days, no problem.
It was about then that I realized that I can basically put all my effort into learning to like a particular food. So far, for takes 1 and 2, it didn’t take very long.
For take 3, I set my sights on broccoli. After probably 6-7 years of keeping after it, I was finally able to have a serving because I wanted to and not because I had to. Yeah, it took a long time, but I made it.
Since then (that was probably 3-4 years ago) I’ve procrastinated in choosing a new item. Even before I was truly at a point of enjoying broccoli, I sort of figured tomatoes ought to be the next thing I tackle since they come on (and with) so many things. Well, once and for all, I’m officially making tomatoes my next thing to tackle.
To be clear, I love tomato sauces and most forms of salsa. It’s raw tomatoes that turn me off. I don’t like slices of tomato on sandwiches, I don’t like chucks of tomato in a taco or burrito, and I get pretty turned off when I see those half tomatoes baked with some sort of cheese and breading on the cut side.
So, for lunch yesterday, a salad came with the meal and it had four average-sized slices of tomato on the edge of the dish, surrounding the salad. Without hardly batting an eyelash, I just up and decided to cut up two of them into quarters and mix them in with the salad. Left the other two slices alone.
No, I’m not about to sit here and tell you that it was good. When I bit into a piece of tomato, you can be sure that I knew it and my mouth was none too happy. But I ate them anyway.
Thus begins the fourth round of learning to like a yucky-but-good-for-me food. It could be a couple years—just like the broccoli—before I announce victory, so keep me encouraged!
UPDATE: For dinner this evening, a friend made a run for the Border and brought me back a Southwest Steak Bowl. Out of complete habit, I asked him to order it with no tomatoes. He got back to the house and realized then that the workers put tomatoes in it anyway. He felt bad, but I didn’t beat him up. I rejected his offer to take it back and ate it anyway—and survived!Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Something just occurred to me, having just looked at what is probably now the 100th front-on shot of the new Power Mac G5. The front needs some sort of Apple identification on it. Don’t ask me why the G4s didn’t seem to need it, but something about the front of this new case just seems a little naked.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Sony really dropped the ball. [Gizmodo]Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
John Gruber has some very terse yet very insightful things to say about Apple’s latest offerings. I’m largely in agreement with his thoughts, but I’m going to risk a lynch mob by saying that, honestly, the metallic motif doesn’t really bother me much. I am in no way saying I love it, but I’m not saying I hate it, either. I mean, I did use a tiled metal look for the surrounding background of this blog, right?
I’ve always enjoyed chromes, silvers, greys, metallics, etc. I’ve even managed to get my office set up with these colors, with the exception a couple pieces of leftover brown furniture from my old office that I can’t get rid of. At least it’s all on the opposite side of my room. [Daring Fireball]Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Monday, June 23, 2003
Sweet! iChat AV looks to be a fantastic enhancement to an already great IM client. I’ve yet to find someone with a camera to try out the picture, but I did try an audio chat and it was a beautiful thing. Too bad Jon’s camera (which included his mic) kept cutting out, limiting chats to a few minutes, but that’s not iChat’s fault.
I don’t think the interface could be much simpler. You get icons that plainly indicate whether a person has videoconferencing or audio-only capability. The audio is also full duplex. Best conferencing implementation I’ve ever seen!
Anyone wanna chat?
Whups, not good. I just tried hooking up my camera and it’s not working. I’ll monkey with it later.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
A Spymac reader Photoshopped a slightly altered version of what the front of the G5 should’ve looked like, adding a second optical drive and centering the little piece that holds the power button and ports.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
I feel like a total geek. Here I am at work with two displays powered by my dual 800MHz G4 tower that belongs to my office and two more displays with my personal 1GHz TiBook. I was following five or six auto-refreshing sites, including MacMerc, two MacMerc chat rooms, and three or four one-on-one chats with a few friends including MacMerc’s Jon Gales, himself.
My initial reactions to WWDC03: the specs on the G5s are impressive. I don’t really care for the case design. Maybe it’ll grow on me. I suppose it’s not all that bad.
Too bad there was nothing about new PowerBooks. I guess His Steveness had to save something for MWNY, huh?
Can’t wait for Panther. The Finder looks really cool. As I’m typing this paragraph, I’m watching the Quicktime rebroadcast of the keynote and I’m taking a look at Exposé for the first time. OH MY GOD! I just saw it in action! IT IS INCREDIBLE! I am SO buying OS X 10.3!Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
I hope this site doesn’t get slammed! Jon with MacMerc decided to link to me as thanks for sharing the links to pictures of the new G5 I found so he could post them on the MacMerc site.
Welcome to those of you who are visiting via MacMerc!Comments: 2 (Comments are now closed.)
Sunday, June 22, 2003
Saw Ang Lee’s rendition of The Hulk today. Weird. Very weird. I was initially surprised when I started hearing from people that the movie was gonna suck. Well, I wouldn’t say it totally sucked, and I admittedly have never been into comic books, but I did watch some of the TV shows and there seemed to be hardly any comparison. I’m not talking about the fact that the visual effects are vastly improved. I just mean the core of what the concept is about. It wasn’t what I expected, but on other levels, it sort of was.
If you’re still deciding whether to go watch it, my advice is, wait ’til it’s on video.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
I hope some store managers (specifically, but not limited to, restaurants) are reading.
Start paying attention to where your selfish employees (or perhaps even your selfish selves) are parking. Way back when I worked at fast food restaurants, not parking in the back was grounds for termination. These days, it seems the spaces right next to the door are fair game for employees who, of course, arrive before the store opens, which means that those of us who are paying for those measly salaries, which are squandered on spiffy cars filling those spaces, have to trek all the way across parking lots, often in pouring rain (yes, it’s that time of year in Florida), to get inside.
Whoever drives that little red sports car (Mitsubishi, I think) with cocky Asian lettering on the windows and works at the Altamonte Springs Boston Market, I’m looking at you!!Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Poor Jon. His blog bit the dust. It’s gotta suck.
While all his prior posts won’t be restored, n3rd.net will return, therefore the link (right column) under the Friends header will remain.
Says Jon, “I have some bad news. All posts/comments/members have been lost. Gone forever. Don’t ask why, I feel dumb already. Needless to say, the next incarnation of n3rd’s weblog will be bigger, better, and of course a lot more sexy. It’s going to be done in Movable Type, and will be hosted at Dreamhost.”Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Saturday, June 21, 2003
No, the title of this entry is not talking about Griffin’s FM transmitter. What I’m talking about is today’s excursion down to Port Charlotte—a drive of 3+ hours each way. Having a couple gigabytes worth of music in my iPod to keep me occupied was most definitely worth its price!Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Friday, June 20, 2003
Spymac reports, “Apple will provide a QuickTime version of Monday’s announcements. ‘Tune-in on Monday afternoon June 23, 2003 to see a replay webcast of Steve Jobs’ Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.’” [WWDC 2003 Keynote Page]
In other news, like you haven’t already heard, Apple managed to leak its own specs for the new G5 machines.
1.6GHz, 1.8GHz, or Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 ProcessorsComments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Up to 1 GHz processor bus
Up to 8GB of DDR SDRAM
Fast Serial ATA hard drives
AGP 8x Pro3 PCI or PCI-X expansion slots
One FW800, two FW400 ports
Bluetooth & Airport Extreme ready
Optical and analog audio in and out
Spymac reports, “Apple will provide a QuickTime version of Monday’s announcements. ‘Tune-in on Monday afternoon June 23, 2003 to see a replay webcast of Steve Jobs’ Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.’” [WWDC 2003 Keynote Page]Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Woohoo! Much better.
I generally try to shy away from being an early adopter of software updates. The times I’ve done it before, I’ve been burned—either moderately or severely.
However, the between-track pops that the 3rd generation iPods are infamous for have been annoying me to the point that I decided to try this update right away. Besides, I still have the 2.0 installer which I could’ve used to wipe the iPod, install v2.0, and transfer my songs and contacts back in.
Apple could have really done well to advertise that v2.01 fixes the audio pops. Instead, they only mention improved playback performance.
I’m a little curious on some of the other enhancements, too. I wonder if anyone can elaborate on them. I read on a MacFixIt entry that they thought the On-The-Go playlist improvement was more of a bug fix—not an enhancement. The improved handling of MP3 VBR songs is pretty self-explanatory. But what is different in regard to having fixed the artist sorting and improved the backlight?Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
“In his latest column for BusinessWeek, Alex Salkever says that Apple’s real worry isn’t the loss of Internet Explorer—it’s the growing chance that Microsoft will abandon Office for the Mac.” [MacMinute.com]Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Sunday, June 15, 2003
Good grief. This could be the closest any company has come to being Microsoft-like.
“[VeriSign] claimed that if it lost the case, it would actually mean the end not only of the company, but the entire Internet.” [The Register]Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
This ought to be required reading before anyone even considers picking up a video camera.
“Apply one or more of these tips to your movie making, and I guarantee you’ll be rewarded with terrific results.” [MacDevCenter]Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Saturday, June 14, 2003
Raena took a moment to nicely summarize the future of Internet Explorer and what it likely means for Mac users.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Friday, June 13, 2003
This defies weirdness.
“Origami, is Japanese art of folding paper. Boulder is round rock. Origami Boulder is wadded up paper! You understand now, dumbo? Then hurry up and buy wadded paper! You see picture at top of site don’t you?
“This site about origami boulder very fine wadded paper artwork. I make artwork for you and you buy it now. I am famous Internet artist. You find my site didn’t you?
“Site is real. You order and you really get origami boulder artwork with special card to display at your home or workplace. Make good unforgettable gift for friends!”Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Thursday, June 12, 2003
I had attended the Final Cut Pro User Group Network’s gathering during this year’s NAB convention. Those who attended received an e-mail offer last week for a $50 discount on upgrades and a $100 discount on new purchases. An Apple reseller (one of the gathering’s sponsors) called The Tech Superpowers made the offer. I received an e-mail from them stating the offer on June 4 and I ordered it on June 7. It shipped on the 10th via UPS Ground and arrived today.
If I manage to stop by the Apple store this weekend for the event, it might be interesting, if the opportunity presents itself, to comment that I received my copy two days early.
UPDATE: My friend, Andy, pointed out that I made several major factual errors above. That doesn’t surprise me, considering the haste in which I wrote it. It’s been slightly rewritten.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
You’re in a meeting, and someone hands you a business card. You place it face down on your PDA screen and press a button, and an image of the card is instantly captured and stored. [eWEEK]Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Besides being a good tip for restoring what iTunes users lost, the submitter made an excellent point which was very well elaborated on by the forum moderator. It’s exactly what I thought about the topic from the start, but was not pundit enough to be able to word it well.
“I feel that iTunes, because of its five-connection limit and the need to authorize computers to play purchased music, is a very weak platform for pirating music. … People who are truly interested in pirating music are going to use one of the P2P applications, not a measly little iTunes five-connection-limited application that requires an additional third-party application with which to actually steal the music.” [MacOSXHints]Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
The OS X-native version of Quark XPress has finally been let loose.
We’ll see whether Quark, Inc. gets high or low marks from the user base.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
If I have any readers who are familiar with U.S. law, I’d appreciate some input.
I don’t claim to be at all fluent with the specifics, but I know that there is a certain stretch in the day that is the only legal time for solicitation calls. I’m pretty sure it starts at 8 a.m. but I’m fuzzy on when it ends. One source said 5 p.m. which I know is wrong. Another colleague said 9 p.m., which seems about right.
Technically, it was not a solicitation call that came in at 7:03 this morning.
First, a bit of back story.) Feel free to skip to the next paragraph if you’re crunched for time.) A tech from my cable provider, Bright House Networks (formerly Time Warner), had informed me on Friday that a signal leak had been detected and that the source appeared to my apartment. I wasn’t prepared to let him in to work on it at that time because I was going to be leaving soon. I set up a time with Bright House for someone to come check it out on Sunday. Both the guy who came on Friday and the person I talked to on the phone to schedule the Sunday time had blabbered something unclear to me about FCC regulations and that this needed to be dealt with now so my service wouldn’t be interrupted. So Sunday comes and a tech arrives. (Why is it when I need them to come out, they show up about 5-10 minutes before the end of the time range I schedule, but this guy showed up 10-15 minutes before the beginning of the time range?) The tech pulls out a hi-tech device that reminded me of a Star Trek tricorder, but with two radio antennas sticking out either side of it about 3 feet either way. He waves the thing around my cable jack on one side of the living room and follows the cable around the wall to the other side where my TV is. He gets a puzzled look on his face and checks again. “Crazy surveyors,” he mutters. “I’m not picking up any problem.” Somewhat amused, I send him on his way, noting a bit more waving around of his instrument outside my building. I never saw him again.
Back to my rant. I’m fully aware that Bright House (as well as some other companies) will make follow-up calls after a service call to encourage customer satisfaction. First of all, I did not make a service call. They’re the ones who had the problem and needed access to my apartment to check it out. I was understandably perplexed as to why I was being asked if my cable service was now working properly. But what really pissed me was that the call came in at 7:03 a.m. You have to realize that I generally wake up between 7:30 and 8 a.m. on weekdays to be to work by 9 a.m. The only reason I even answered the phone and wasn’t in a comatose sleep was because I thought maybe it was a paranoid coworker confirming I’d be in the office by 8:15 today to show a video, like I’d promised. But the fact that my alarm had gone off at 7 and I was a third of the way through the snooze cycle didn’t make me feel any better about Bright House’s choice to call me at that time.
I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it. As I said, it was not a solicitation call. I am a customer of theirs. Am I right, or is there any form of legal chastisement I can lay on them?Comments: 1 (Comments are now closed.)
Sunday, June 08, 2003
Thanks to one of the zillions of dorks who choose to ignore the No U-Turn sign on the road approaching my apartment entrance, I now have a marred front grille on my car.
I believe I had enough distance in front of me, that is, until some doofus in a big dually pickup made the illegal turn—even worse, starting from the right line and crossing the left lane so as to not have to make it a 3-point turn. The van in front of me only barely got stopped when the truck cut in front of him. If there hadn’t been a teensy bit of rain starting, I probably would have gotten stopped, too.
The damage is superficial on both vehicles. I was content to just swap information with the guy, but considering a 3rd party “technically” caused it (who, of course, was long gone by this time), the other driver insisted a cop come out.
Uhg. Well, it went exactly as I predicted—especially since an on-break CompUSA worker saw it happen. The cop agreed neither of us were directly at fault and neither of us got tickets. He filled out a driver exchange form, gave us both copies, and sent us on our way.
Anyway, assuming I hear from the other driver again, I’ll have the choice of either turning it into my insurance, or just paying him myself. In spite of the fact that a 3rd party was to blame, I did technically hit him.
So, does anyone have any advice as to an amount I should set to decide whether to turn it in, or pay it? I really don’t think it’ll be more than a hundred or two, and I doubt I’m even going to do anything about the little mar on my front end. I guess what I should do depends on my deductible. I thought mine was on the higher end, but I need to check. There’s a code on my insurance card that says D100. The other guy’s says D250. Could I have actually paid a bit higher premium for the $100 deductible?Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Thursday, June 05, 2003
For the purpose of being able to easily sync my contacts with my new T68i and iPod, I had decided to migrate my desktop management of contacts to OS X’s Address Book application. I fully accepted the degree of inconvenience this introduced to not have my contacts directly in Entourage—my e-mail client. Sure, it’s not too difficult to switch to Address Book, find the contact I want, click on the address and click “Send E-mail” in the popup window, but that’s several extra steps from simply opening a new mail message window in Entourage and typing in the first few characters of the person’s name.
Well, that has sort of been restored. LaunchBar now includes Address Book as one of its supported applications. So now, all I have to do is hit my Control-Space keystroke to pop up the LaunchBar window, type in the first couple characters of a contact, hit enter, and voila—new Entourage mail message to that person!Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
How often it is that goody-two-shoes legislators have to go and ruin a great thing. It seems that park officials are either starting or considering to start banning GeoCaching on their grounds. They’re pooh-poohing the well-meaning activity claiming that it attracts undesirables to their park and encourages people to tromp through and possibly damage natural areas.
Never mind that a very large percentage of GeoCachers are extremely mindful of the environment and are careful where they trod. Never mind that many GeoCachers even clean up trash in the areas they search. Never mind that many people relocate caches they’ve left every so often so as to prevent them from being found just by following the trails that would become visible by people bushwhacking the same path over and over again. [Twincities.com]Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
When are these whining criminal business __bleeps__ going to figure out what their target audience is thinking? I couldn’t give a monkey’s butt what the “official” definition of spam is. If you sent it, and you didn’t address me specifically and solely, and I didn’t ask for it, it’s spam. Period. This may not be the legal definition, but that doesn’t stop me from adding you to my spam filter list. [Wired News]
It’s really quite simple, people. Spam costs the recipients more money than it does the sender. I’m in favor of advertising, but only advertising that the advertiser pays for. I don’t care if you are a company that I already patronize, offering me half off my next purchase—if you (indirectly) caused me to pay for your ad, I’m not interested.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
So, let’s review: Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky, who founded Palm in 1992, left that company and founded rival company Handspring in 1998, only now to be bought back by Palm in “an effort to strengthen its grip on the [slowing] market for handheld devices.” [CNET News.com]
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
At first glance, this looks like it could be bad, but one would have to believe that Steve Jobs isn’t that stupid. Surely the Apple Computer board wasn’t clueless on this issue and has plans to resolve it.
In a nutshell, the Beatles’ holding company, Apple Corps, Ltd., controls Apple Records which released the Beatles’ records way back when, and was also used to release the Beatles anthologies. Back in 1981, because of trademark malarky, Apple Computer had to sign an agreement to never go into the music business and even had to pay a $26 million settlement several years later when Apples started being capable of producing music files and software.
Now, with iTunes, the iPod, and talks that Apple may have sights set on buying Universal Music Group, the Beatles’ record label is likely preparing to make things rather ugly.
Full MacDailyNews story.Comments: 2 (Comments are now closed.)
Monday, June 02, 2003
The huge annual “event” I’ve previously mentioned is finally history. As usual, I’m sitting here at home with flu-like symptoms. I’m exhausted. I’m cranky. I don’t feel like typing this entry. But I’m doing so since last Tuesday was the last time I posted anything at all.
I’ve not counted yet, but I have the feeling I worked more overtime hours during the event than normal hours. But that’s moot since I’m salaried. I guess it’s good that I’m off work this entire week, but it certainly doesn’t feel like a vacation.
Cross your fingers that I’ll feel better in a couple days and am able to get some “home stuff” done that I’ve put off for far too long.Comments: 0 (Comments are now closed.)
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A. Lee Bennett, Jr.