July 2003 Archives

July 1, 2003

Recent Articles MT JavaScript

I love Movable Type! Could you guess? I have had a few people email me about my Recent Articles drop down menus. They are not using PHP, just a JavaScript (JS) that MT generates. I developed this with the help of Brian Woodward. Most the credit to the thing goes to him, I just supplyed the needed MT coding and the idea (well I also bitched about all the errors that IE was generating, Jake bitched about as much as me too). The script would be in version 3 if we were versioning it. Brian just last night fixed the PC/IE issue where you would get an error icon in the lower left of the browser. This is, to my knowledge, the last error in the script. So it is Netscape (Mozilla, yada, yada) and IE friendly. We have decided to open source the script, so I will be putting together a tutorial about using it here. Brian just prettied it up a bit for the mass market. And let me tell you that boy can comment a script! Continue reading for step by step instructions.

Continue reading "Recent Articles MT JavaScript" »

New G4's for Student Publications

Today I spent $13,000 and some change for student publications. We ordered: * 12 800 Mhz G4 eMacs * 1 Dual 1.25 Ghz PowerMac G4 We even got that tilt and swivel stand for them cuz its just so cool! These computers are for the BG News, Obsidian, Gavel, and Miscellany. Let me put things into a little perspective. The BG News currently uses 7100/200's for writing and first generation (beige) g3 desktops for page layout. Production uses first generation iMacs (bondi) as does the Obsidian, Gavel and Miscillany. Yea. Old. We are moving all these publications to OS X as well. The only thing holding us back at the moment is Quark (go figure!) since they have not yet released the Lab Pak for Quark 6. I was however happy to find out that it will only be $145 a seat to upgrade the lab pack. We own 15 licenses, so there is another $2000 (well ok mr. picky that would be $2175). But seeing as how much Quark 6 costs retail I am very happy with that price. If we can get Quark 6 by Christmas Break (I sure hope so) that is when we will be switching to Mac OS X. I am dreading this. Supporting OS 9 is cake, supporting OS X takes work. Especially since the users are journalists who have no patients at all with computers. A year ago we got a Mac OS X Server (Quicksilver G4) so that helps a lot. I can just see permission issues with the files for the newspaper and such. OS 10.3 should be out by then so we can take advantage of the Font Book app so we do not need to buy Suitcase or Font Reserve. Adobe volume licensing sure is nice. As long as you buy 20 “points” worth of software you qualify. This allows us to buy Photoshop 7 for $150 a seat. We will need to buy Illustrator, Acrobat and a few other apps but they are similarly priced. More on this when they arrive. I know the PowerMac will take 3 to 4 weeks but the eMacs should be here shortly.

July 2, 2003

QuickTime State of the Union

I meant to post this last week, but it slipped my mind (imagine that). Link from MacCentral.

July 3, 2003

iPod or Firewire/USB Hard Drive

Hmmm. This for me really is not much of a choice. I thought about this a year and a half ago when I bought a 40 GB firewire HD. I don't listen to tunes when I am not in front of my computer so an iPod would not really do much for me. It costs $469 (educational price) for a 30 GIG iPod. It costs $399 for an 80 GIG bus powered Firewire & USB 2 hard drive from OWC. I would buy again from The MacSmith but they do not carry the 80 GIG, only the 60 GIG. I cannot see buying a new drive and only getting 20 GIG out of it. Doubling my available "On-The-Go" space is a better deal. So lets recap: $469 for 30 GIG iPod that tried hard to be an uber PDA (Address Book, iCal integration, and music player) or the $399 80 GIG drive which tries to be a hard drive. Oh and the added bonus is the OWC HD has firewire and USB on the drive. You don't have to have some proprietary iPod > Firewire cord to use it as a hard drive (IMO the worst "feature" of the new iPod design). And as much as I have drooled over owning an iPod I am going to take a pass this time and just get the hard drive. Added bonus #2: I don't have to buy a $15 cord from apple to hook the hard drive up to my PC, I just plug in the USB. Now I am sure you are asking "why the heck does Ken need 80 GIG of portable storage? And no my mp3 collection is not that big! Between my Carbon Copy Cloner archive of my Powerbook, my Retrospect backups of my important files from my PowerBook and my Alienware, and my mp3 collection, that 40 GIG drive has very little room on it. Not to mention the fact I keep a OS X and XP software installers to all the freeware/shareware etc, that I use.

The Log Won

My buddy Photo Mikey (who made this photo illustration with me in it) has an old 1992 toyota pickup truck. Can you guess what is missing from this picture? The hitch and the bumper are gone! He was trying to drag a log out of a pond at Boy Scout camp, and well, the log won. If you could not guess this truck has a tad bit of rust to it.

Introducing JDPooley.com!

My most recent client, JD Pooley, Sentinel-Tribune Photographer, has chosen me to design and host his site. There is not much to look at right now, the DNS just resolved. More on this as I design the site. I will take this opportunity for a bit of blatant (yet effective I think) advertising. I am (finally) at a stable host and am now reselling space. I have plenty of server space and bandwidth to spare. So if you are looking for a good deal on web space send me an email, ken[at]meancode[dot]com. The more I resell the more bandwidth I can afford each month. So let me know if you are in need of web space. I won't charge a setup fee and you will be up and running as soon as your DNS resolves (one to two days for that).

Quote of the Day

Rumours that Americans have brain cells are greatly exagerrated.

Bush Administration Political Cartoons

I am in tears looking at these cartoons. Funny funny ha ha. And you cant help but laugh at Bush from time to time :-D.

The $129 "Upgrade" Cost of Mac OS X

When Apple released Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" they sold this for a retail* price of $129. I was pretty ticked at this price. And most all of the Macintosh community was ticked as well. Mac OS X *costs* $129, and now all of a suddent the "upgrade" is gonna cost another $129! Well they are doing the same thing with 10.3 "Panther". And with the announcement at WWDC now it is happening all over again. People are swamping the mac boards with complaints about the price of the upgrade.

I have something to say to that. Stop bitching and pay for it. I was at first ticked at the price, but I have since come to the conclusion that we as Apple users have been quite priveledged folks when it comes to upgrades. But yes people have the right to bitch about the $129. Only since Mac OS 8 was cost involved with a Mac OS upgrade. Durring OS 8 and 9 it did not cost $129, but it did cost money. Before that Apple did not charge for OS upgrades. So Mac users have come to expect a free meal when the updated OS shipped.

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WMD Cannot be Found

Cannot find Weapons of Mass Destruction, of course neither can the United States. If you go to Google and type in "weapons of mass destruction" minus the quotes and click "I'm Feeling Lucky" this page also comes up. How funny!

July 4, 2003

Barry White dies at 58

He will be missed but his music will live on.

July 5, 2003

OS X 10.3 Panther Visual Tour

Did I ever tell you I hate frames (this site uses frames, and instead of giving you naviation directions to this file I just linked to the page)? Anyway, check out this page. Lots of good stuff to drool over. A couple things I noticed that I believe are good improvements to the UI: Up until now there has been no sperater line ala OS 9 in menus, OS X just had a "blank" menu item. These blank spots made the menus even longer then they needed to be. The addition of the lines back into the menus is nice. Tabs are gone! I can't believe that. They no longer float above the window. It looks like Apple finally put a MOM (Microsoft Office Manager from Office 2001) like application switcher into 10.3. Windows has had this since forever. One thing I cannot stand is command tabbing through the open apps in the Dock, its just not the place to cycle through your open apps. And I guess Apple got enough complaints about that (they got mine). In addition to the Charector Palette there is now a Key Caps and Japanese Palette in the Input Menu. These charector palettes are very handy if you even know they are there (hint hint nudge nudge to you designers). The new Keyboard Shortcuts section of the new combined Keyboard & Mouse preference pane is nice. You can now change all those shortcuts easily. Expose is really gonna rock! Wow the System Profile app has been totally revamped. And if it is faster that is even better! All in all I like the GUI changes in Panther. I for one cannot wait.

Worlds Longest French Fry?

How much would you pay for a 6 and 3/4 inch french fry? Well someone payed just over $200. We have some strange people in this world. Here is a news story on it.
The fry's claim as the world's largest has not gone undisputed. Two restaurant employees at Chips of Wisconsin Rapids found one fry last week that was about 8 inches. On June 29, a second french fry from Wisconsin Rapids that's allegedly longer than 7 inches also went on sale on eBay.
What a rip off! I would definitely want the 8 inch fry!

July 8, 2003

Its a SAAB Story

Photo Mikey got a SAAB. Here he is showing his affection for it. You see deep down Mike has always wanted a SAAB. And now he has one (because his truck is on its death bed). He has one with only a 14 day plate though :sad:. He has to drive back to Michigan to where he bought the car to get the title signed. Oops. Minor Details.

Getting a G5 for work!

I posted earlier about getting new computers at work. As it turns out it would take more work to order a G4 since they are going out of style like well, something going out of style. The university's purchasing agent told me this today (not the style part, the ordering part) and so what is there to do now? We are gonna get a G5 for the same price give or take $100. It won't boot into OS 9 so production will have to wait to use it. But good lord its gonna be fun playing with that thing *ahem* I mean testing it out. Specs: dual 2 Ghz G5 with 2 GB of RAM. SuperDrive, 160 GB HD, ATI 9600 (If this was for me I would have said get the 9800 but that is an extra $300, and the 9600 will do just fine for desktop publishing :-O Also ordered for this beast is a 22" CRT that cost less the Apple's 17" flat panel. Apple sais they will ship in August but I have heard September. Either way it will be a little while. I can't wait to "test it out."

Actual vs. Billable hours

Well it is the 11th hr. as usual and I am asked to put in another feature to this invoicing system (a needed feature though). They could not start working with this database on the 1st as planned because there were a couple last minute feature requests. So tomorrow (Tuesday) come hell or high water they are going to start using this system! I have now added an Actual Hours field to the production line items. This will be good to run reports on to see the deviation between actual and billable hrs. This is a find out Friday need done by Monday type thing. Yay. So that was my weekend, that and a couple other features that I needed to add anyway but was gonna wait till my next "release." I also this weekend have done away with the need for a plugin I was using. It is nice to do away with the need for plugins. I was using SCRIPTit for a bunch of menus. One for the Change Module menu and one for a scripts menu. With the help of Ray Cologon and his generosity in making his ScriptMenu technique file work with changing files I no longer need SCRIPTit (Thanks Ray!). It takes twice the amount of scripts to pull it off, but it is worth it. Oh if FileMaker only had field modification triggers...oops sorry I was dreaming. It must be time for bed.

July 9, 2003

Joke: I can count to 10

A girl came skipping home from school one day. "Mommy, Mommy," she yelled, "we were counting today, and all the other kids could only count to four, but I counted to 10. See? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10!" "Very good," said her mother. "Is it because I'm blonde, Mommy?" "Yes, it's because you're blonde." The next day the girl came skipping home from school. "Mommy, Mommy," She yelled, "we were saying the alphabettoday, and all the ther kids could only say it to D, but I said it to G. See? A, B, C, D, E, F, G!" "Very good," said her mother. "Is it because I'm blonde, Mommy?" "Yes, it's because you're blonde. The next day the girl came skipping home from school. "Mommy, Mommy," she yelled, "we were in gym class today, and when we showered, all the other girls had flat chests, but I have these!" And she lifted her tank top to reveal a pair of 36Cs. Very good," said her embarrassed mother. "Is it because I'm blonde, mommy?" "No, it's because you're 25."

Lot of damage in BG yesterday

Yesterday about 3 PM the sky was black as can be with rain and wind at around 50 to 60 mhp. In normal Ohio fasion the storm did not last an hour, but it sure did a lot of damage in that time. Most the city was without power. The University was on the side of the city, and the side of Wooster Street, that did have pwer though. So work went on with only brown outs. the UPC's on the servers were going bonkers for a while so I shut them down for maybe 20 min. Not only was there flooding, downed trees and car accidents but there were buildings on campus that were damaged. The roof of the BGSU Airport hanger was ripped off. A number of airplains were damaged. The wind ran one of the plains into the display fighter jet. The helicopter was picked up by the wind, the blades of the propellers were smashed to pieces. They also have a lot of water damage, the place is flooded. A number of buildings have roof tiles torn off and have leaks, these include: Harshman Quad, McDonald Hall, Olscamp, Moore Musical Arts Building, Student Health Service Building, and the Business Administration Building. The BG News reports that the roof of the BA was beginning to sag so they moved people to the first floor. A fallen tree was partly on top of the roof of the Student Health Service building. The Perry Field house has damage to a roof and part of a wall. A large tree was down over Wooser Street in front of McFall so that pretty much stopped all traffic. Many trees were uprooted on campus and around town. Oak Grove Cemetery is a mess, as is much of campus with down trees and branches.

July 10, 2003

Article and Screens from Panther (10.3)

A look at the Finder and System, Part One (Part Two, Part Three). This is an article and bunch of screen shots from Think Secret. I especially like how they are handling labels in Column view. This was the one thing I was worried about about the new implementation of Labels in OS X.

July 11, 2003

10.3 Preview Hands On

I had the opportunity to use the 10.3 WWDC Preview and "Panther" looks like it is going to be a very nice update. I will add my first impressions to this post later today. I have been told the text rendering engine was overhauled and that accounts for things in the UI being faster. The following is what I have seen in the short time I had. I am not going to go into detail. If you are not familiar with Mac OS X then you might not get the full breadth of what I am saying or why I am saying it. One thing that needs to be said is this is a preview of Panther. There are parts of it that are not finished yet, and, well, that is most of it. As with any beta seed of the OS there are things that do not work as they should, or as you think they should. So just take this with a grain of salt and don't dwell on anything negative becuase 9 times out of 10 things are going to change a lot between now and the release. This is all free fromed rambling about features that catch my eye. If you don't like such a frantic format, well, tuff!

Continue reading "10.3 Preview Hands On" »

July 12, 2003

Family Feud Mac Style

Are you a Mac User? If so you should help this guy out. The MUG he is part of is "having a fun meeting where we play games based on old TV game shows. One on them is a play on Family Feud (the Richard Dawson era--NOT Louie Anderson)." Go to the Macworld board and give him some answers!

July 13, 2003

Completed Splinter Cell

I have not had much time to play video games as of late. I have been way too busy. But being busy is good because it means I am making money. I finished Splinter Cell last weekend on normal difficulty. But I am still playing it this weekend (on hard difficulty) because the game is just so darn good. I would have to rate Splinter Cell above Meta Gear Solid 2. It definatly has the production values of MGS2. It has a very good story line. It is, IMO, harder then MGS2. My lord this game is hard! The CIA level, and the Chinese Embesy level, they are tough because you cannot kill anyone. You cannot even knock someone out with a Stickey Shocker in the Chinese Embesy level. Splinter Cell was a much longer and more ejoyable game then MGS2. I had the chance last weekend to play through the game on the XBOX. I am really amazed at the differences in the two games. There is a mission, Nuclear Power Plant, that is not in the XBOX version. A number of the FMV's were also different between platfroms. They went the extra mile in the production of this game on the PS2 which is something that is not common. I am right now on the Oil Rig mission in Hard mode and it sure is a differene. If you spook a civilian they now go and get a guard! Hard mode makes the game even more of a stealth game like MGS2 is. In normal mode there is more action in Splinter Cell then MGS2 and I think that is why I like it more. Splinter Cell is a better mix of stealth and action, where as MGS2 is heavy on the stealth. But thats not a bad thing! I for one cannot wait to get my hands on MGS3. Splinter Cell 2 should be pretty darn cool too. From a technical standpoint this game used lights and shadows, and noise for that matter, much more then ANY game I have played before, even MGS2. Splinter Cell has created a new plateau for game developers. OK back to work for me I have 3 site designs I have to work on.

July 14, 2003

New design for 210west.com

The editor (Dan Nied) wanted a 3 column layout, and I wanted a less dull color palette. Also with a third column I can put things in such as "more articles by this author" etc. We were also shooting for something that was less "bloggy" and I think I have succeeded. It looks less like a blog and it is not all dull gray. The blue really pops nicely, at least IMHO. That is, BTW, my most favorite blue, #336699. And if you are asking, yes I can name, by hex, all the colors used in that layout :-P I am also happy to see (as this image shows) that it looks good at 800x600. It is viewable at 640x480 although I do not advise it. This is not live yet but you can still check it out. The poll on the left is a piece of work. I cannot tell you how much I like sympoll. It is exactly what it says. It is easy to configure and easy to use. All you need is a MySQL database and you are set. It is very customizable too.

The drooling is over

No new PowerBooks this morning at MacWorld. Oh well. But the drooling is over, I am going to purchase a 12" PowerBook. I have been oogling over it for some time now and want a replacement to my now long in the tooth TiBook 500. But since it is not just announced I will get it sooner :=D.

July 16, 2003

Sometimes Work is like this

other_headbangsign.gifThis is an avatar I found at the IGN board I go to from time to time. This has got to be one of the best avatar images I have ever seen. This is so classic, yet I have never ever seen this animated gif. Too funny for words, but RFLMAO!

PHP 4.3.2 changes the include statement

GRRRR...... ......... This rant it brought to you in part by the letter "P" As you might have guessed, breakingwindows.com is my first attempt at a Movable Type site (and it shows). Well 210west.com is my second pass at Movable Type the site is a lot more efficient. I am using PHP include statements all over the place. I guess I could just as easily use SSI or MT includes, but I am using PHP includes, quite frankly cuz its less code to type. My host yesterday updated the server to the 4.3.2 build of PHP. It was out the end of May, but thats a different story. Anyway, now includes use the syntax of <?php @include("http://.... or you can use the server root like <?php include("/home/public_html/... and not have to use the @ sign. That @ sign is new. And I just happen to like using the absolute URL. So all of a sudden I get a lot of fun errors all over my page b/c I use includes a lot in my templates. But i am also using includes in all the posts of the 210west site. The byline is put in with an include. Yea, fun. At least they don't have a ton of posts yet. GRRRRR..... So why change something like the syntax of the include statement. Something so simple. I have seen other, larger changes to the PHP language made in the past. And at that point i said "why?" as well. It is just this time when It actually effects me and my meager level of understanding of the PHP language. Oh well. More work for the web monkey to do.

Real time bullet time ping pong

This is done really well, from a technical standpoint. Check it out (ASF file). Thanks for Maury for the link.

Hot women and power tools

Power tools are the coolest things ever! And when you have hot women added to the mix, well.... just clicky clicky. Thanks to Maury for this link too. This is too funny! I am glad they are wearing protective goggles :=D.

July 18, 2003

iPod Love

Funny Stuff. ;-D

How to prolong lithium-based batteries

There is some pretty good info here. A lot of people ask me why they are not getting what Apple sais they should on their PowerBook battery. Well they prolly won't see 5 hrs. but I have been able to get more and more life out of my battery.

July 19, 2003

PowerBook dilemma

Should I get a 12" 867 Mhz or a 15" 1 Ghz? Is 1024x768 on a 12" screen too small? Do I want to buy another Titanium after all the problems I have had with this one, even though it has gone through 4 revisions? Do I want to buy another PowerBook on its initial release? Do I want to give up the ability to boot into Mac OS 9? Do I want a Mac with no L3 cache? Do I really need Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme? What about the heat problem under the left palm rest of the 12" AlBook? Will I have the same optical drive issues in the new revision 15" What about an updated enclosure for the 15" PB? Is the fan in the new 15" PB really that bad? On sunday I am venturing to the Columbus Apple Store. I am psyched about that in general, I have never been to an Apple Store. I will take my digi camera to record this wonderful event. I have had this 500 Mhz TiBook since April 2001 and it has had its problems. It has been into Apple Repair 4 times, it would have been 5 but once it was because of a User Installable Part (the keyboard). The logic board, top case, bottom case (so that is the entire case), CD-ROM drive, keyboard, and video/backlight unit have been replaced on this thing. But I must say that Apple Support have been very good considering everthing involved.

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Why Safari is better then Mozilla

Both Safari and Mozilla have tabbed browsing, form auto-fill and password management. Mozilla is based on gecko, Safari on KHTML. I honestly cannot say which layout engine I prefer. I would say without a doubt both engines are better at standards compliance then the engine that Internet Exploder uses. I say this more as a web developer then a web user though. As a web user I don't care what the layout engine is, just as long as it makes the site look correct. The general user interface of both browsers are equal. It is nice to have a Search field to the right of the URL field in Safari. Although it is just a little different in Mozilla. You type the search term in the URL field, hit the down arrow, then hit enter. It is still really nice to have a dedicated field. The forms auto-fill feature of both Safari and Mozilla I find to be similar, and I see no differences in the two of them. Tabs In the tabs bar in Mozilla there is a button to the left to create a new tab. This is nice and but could be done with Command+T in either Safari or Mozilla. Sometimes I don't want to have to use the keyboard shortcut. The New Tab button is a nice touch Mozilla has. The innovations that Apple has put into Safari's tabs are really wonderful though. You can close a tab without going to it with the little 'x' on the left of the tab. On the right of the tab you see the status if the page is still loading, I really like this feature. Password Management Mozilla has a very nice Password Manager that shows all the stored passwords. Safari on the other hand uses Keychain Access. Either one is fine by me. There are however passwords that cannot be stored using Mozilla. These passwords can be stored using Safari. I do not understand why they can but they can. And that is what matters to me. The only innovation that Safari has to its own is the Snap Back feature. It is by far the best thing to happen to web browsing since tabbed browsing and, well, password management. Blocking images from a specific server is a nice touch that Mozilla has. Now if Mozilla could block SWF files from a server, that would be a killer feature. But still even without the ability to block ad banners I still use Safari as my main browser Mac OS X. I only open Mozilla or (gasp) Internet Exploder if I am forced to. On Windows I use Mozilla full time. I only open Internet Exploder if I am forced to, or I want to visit a site that has some Flash I want to look at.

News Flash: Boy Scounts shoot guns

This is by far one of the best come back lines to a lame reporter I have ever heard. It is a portion of National Public Radio (NPR) interview between a female broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military installation.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base? GENERAL REINWALD: We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery, and shooting. FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it? GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see why,they'll be properly supervised on the rifle range. FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children? GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm. FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you're equipping them to become violent killers. GENERAL REINWALD: Well, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one, are you?
Do you think this reporter has ever heard of summer camp? Do you think she knows what Boy Scouts do at summer camp?

German 'cannibal' charged with murder

A German man who confessed to killing and eating a man he met through a website for cannibals has been charged with murder, prosecutors have said.
I did not know such a web site existed. The guy gave his consent! It's on videotape, he sold his car, wrote a will and taken the day off work to sort out what he called a "personal" matter. Full Story from BBC News.

Upload a File, Go to Prison

It's some pretty fuzzy math, the idea that a single song would cost $250 at retail, but that's what we elect these guys to do: ignore common decency for the greater benefit of the cartels that own them.
If that isn't stated well... I am not too sure about this proposed bill. It seams to me it infringes on the Bill of Rights. We can't catch all those murders, robbers, and rapists, so lets target someone else. The FBI should surely be more concerned with copywrite then with international terrorism. Full Story from The Register and Wired. Here is another intersting read from The Reg.

Iraq War Costs $48B So Far, Pentagon Says

a number expected to rise by $10 billion by the end of September What a waste of time and resources, not to mention lives. WMD? Saddam?

July 20, 2003

Enable Disk Copy Expert Mode

To enable Disk Copy Expert Mode, type the following in the Terminal: defaults write com.apple.diskcopy expert-mode 1 Quit the Terminal and launch (or quit and re-launch) Disk Copy (in /Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Copy). Under the Utilites menu, you will now see a new Debug menu which allows Verbose and Debug Mode settings. However, the best part of this hack are the options that are now available in Preferences on the Imaging tab. We now have a broad range of options under "Image Type" that were hidden to us before! To disable this hack, simply open up Terminal again and type the following: defaults write com.apple.diskcopy expert-mode 0

Panther's TextEdit opens Word .docs

Yea. This RULES. From Slashdot and Macslash. Anytime I can avoid using/installing Office, I will. OpenOffice and ThinkFree Office are excellent M$ Office alternatives (so is AppleWorks BTW, though no one uses that anymore for some reason).

July 22, 2003

Joke: I have Windows

A blonde enters a store that sells curtains. She says to the salesman "I would like to buy a pink curtain in the size of my computer screen". The surprised salesman replies "But Madam, computers do not have curtains". To which the blonde said "Helloooo... I've got Windows!"

Thanks to my bro, Max for this wonderful joke ;-D

I hate Quark

I am going to be blunt here. I ******* HATE QUARK! OK i feel a little better now. I am going to do my best here not to go on a cussing spree, and will prolly have to edit this when i am done, heh. I am really pissed, and I am writing this after work today, and I am still irritated about this.

I have always not liked Quark, the company, or QuarkXPress the product, but at the moment I have a very good reason to hate them. Their Sales and Tech Support staff are most the time not helpfull. And their pricing policy is just down right horrid. (To "upgrade" from Quark 3.3 to Quark 4 you had to pay full price, EVEN FOR EDUCATION.)

Here is the situation.

We have a 15 seat lab pack of Quark 4. Quark 4 was hardware dongled for some reason. We have an assortment of OLD and REALLY OLD computers that have Quark 4 installed. Said REALLY OLD computers are ADB based, and said OLD computers actually have a USB port (whoa!). So of our 15 seats of Quark, 7 are USB and 8 have ADB dongles. In the past when we got an OLD computer and got rid of a REALLY OLD computer we have called Quark and traded a ADB dongle for a USB dongle.

We got 12 new eMac's last week (still need to post about that, I took pictures ;-D). So we no longer have the need for the ADB dongles. I called Quark today and guess what, Quark has no more USB dongles either. And its not like any of there resellers have any either (I called). What is their solution? Spend Money! Upgrade right now. 15 seats times $145/seat equals $2175. We do plan to upgrade when we move to OS X but not untill then (Quark 6 required OS 10.2 and we cannot move to OS X just yet).

I am not about to upgrade to Quark 5 so I can still use OS 9 for the time being and then upgrade to Quark 6 when we move to OS X (which was the suggestion I was given). I can understand my boss's point of view. He just spent over 10k on hardware, he really doesn't want to spend the 2k for Quark right now. Oh and there is a hidden cost in there, NewsEdit Pro and the Quark Xtentions we use (Both from Baseview) that run in Quark 6 and in OS X. The Baseview upgrade is going to run 3k. Does this person from Quark even remotely give the impression of caring? No. She checked with her supervisor about the USB dongles issue, but that was about it.

I understand that Quark 4 is old news, but how many customers do you think still use Quark 4? And we have been a long time customer.

Aside from the cost aspect, The BG News, Gavel, Miscellany, Obsidian, and BG News Production are NOT ready to jump to OS X just yet. It is going to happen in say January, that much has been discussed and agreed upon. But not right now.

What is going to happen is that a number of the eMac's that were bought to be layout machine's are going to sit in boxes for a few months, or be used as text entry stations (something a beige G3 is quite good at). I am going to have to use 2nd generation iMac's for the pagination stations with the exeption of 2 that will be new eMac's. Yay, what a geat use of the new hardware!

The eMac's are in

All 12 of them! The specs for these things are: * 512MB SDRAM - 1 DIMM * eMac Tilt & Swivel Stand * 800MHz PowerPC G4 * 40GB Ultra ATA drive * CD-ROM drive * Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 I have to say I am really impressed with these things! The performance in Photoshop is much better then I expected. I have been busy working on creating a master image. I have done one trial clone and it worked very well. All thanks to Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) and the OS X version of Apple System Restore (ASR). I have got to say that the OS X version of ASR is really slick. It just takes a command in the Terminal and about 15 min. later the HD has been formatted and imaged. CCC makes the creation of ASR images a breeze compaired to when I used to make ASR images in OS 9. Manually creating them in OS 9 was not fun. With CCC and ASR my job of cloning 12 workstation is cake (don't tell my boss that). The hard and really time consuming part is creating the master image with all the apps and preferencecs exactly as needed. Here is the shot off all the eMac's stacked in the newsroom right after they were delivered by the University. Now take note of those 2 red circles. Those are the computers the News is currently using for layout. Now all these boxes are stacked up in the Advertising Office, ha ha. Oh and we also got a 22" CRT (20" viewable, its just cool to say its a 22" CRT). That CRT is for the G5 tower. I cannot wait to test that baby out!




Trip to Columbus Apple Store

Well lets start out by saying I came back empty handed. I did however aquire a massivly burnt arm durring the trip. I am talking lobster red burnt arm. Yea, anway... I have never been to an Apple Store. Even though the one in Columbus does not ook as cool as the one in Chicago, it was an awsome experience. The 23" Cinima Display, the 3 different PowerBooks, drool. The way the Dock for the new iPod works is nice. I went down all set to come home with a new computer, an iSight, an iPod, and some software. And like I said I came home with NOTHING. ARRRR. I was paying by check (I personally don't belive putting things of this nature on a credit card, they are evil). They had to verify my check with a 3rd party check verification business, named TeleCheck, hereby refered to "bastards." The bastards say I do not exist. My name and drivers license number aparently is not in The Bastards database. Because of this I came home with nothing. I tell you I was so mad It did not even occur to me I could have gotten the iPod or iSight while I was there. I just wanted to leave. That totally ruined my Sunday. It did not matter that I could pull up my online bank statement. And being a Sunday no one is at the bank of course. Heh, the cashier even asked the person from TeleCheck if there was a way for people to add there info to their system. I get the impression that answer was no. I don't even have a check card for my checking account. On Monday I went to Sky Bank and filled out a form to get one. The only redeaming quality to this trip was Mike's step mom made marzetti for dinner. Yummy. Oh well that's life. I loved the Apple Store. They let you play with anything there. Plug and unplug everything. The people were very nice. The "Genious" seemed like one who knew what he was talking about. I spent a lot of time playing around with SoundTrack, enough that I am going to get it. That is a nice app. I am just glad they didn't call it iSounTrack (I am getting tired of all the "i" Apps but that is another post all together). Sountrack is not the Pro app the Final Cut and DVD Studio is at all. It is a little more complex then say iDVD or iMovie but not much.

July 24, 2003

New PowerBook on the way

As I posted about earlier that I could not get a new PowerBook in Columbus, when I got home at midnight I called up the Online Apple Store and placed my order. I wired the money Monday, and now on Wednesday I am already getting some of my order. My iSight and HP DeskJet 6127 came today. My AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) and Final Cut Pro 4 upgrade will arrive tomorrow. My PowerBook will ship tomorrow as well. My iPod will not ship until the 28th because I got it engraved.

I just read the *new* rumors about the aluminumium 15" PowerBooks (I think they should be built out of animatium personally). So I bought be a 15" TiBook. 1 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, 60 GB HD, SuperDrive, Airport is built in. Education discounts are down 5% to 15% right now so I was also able to buy some other toys I otherwise would not have. I payed LESS for this 1 Ghz TiBook then I did for my original 500 MHz TiBook in 2001.

So why buy when the new one is undoubtedly around the corner soon-ishly. I got hundreds of dollars off the price, the extra 512 stick and the APP for "free." But the main reason: it will boot into OS 9. The aluminum 15" won't.

But wait... there's more... and if you order right now...oops sorry.

I got a iSight, 30 GB iPod and a HP 6127 DeskJet printer. Like I said I would not have thought of getting some of this stuff, mainly that expensive iPod, but the reduced price on the already reduced educational price really rox! They have a rebate going, laptop + ipod + printer = 300$ rebate. So I either only payed 200$ for the iPod or i'm $50 in the black for that printer purchase (printer was $250). I call that a good deal, either way you slice it.

This HP is ethernet as well, so I can put in on my home LAN and print from my TiBook and my Alienware rig. That and the rebate were enough reasons to get the printer. It is 4800 dpi so I am sure printouts will look purrrty.

SoundTrack was $300 and the upgrade to Final Cut Pro 4 was $400. So I got the upgrade as it comes with SoundTrack as well. I played with SoundTrack at the Apple Store, oooh that's such a nice loops app. It reminds me of ACID sorta. And hey, guess what, the lead programmer for ACID = the lead programmer for SoundTrack, go figure.

So yea, I cant wait till my new loot gets here. Like Christmas in July, er late bday gift, er I wanted new toys, er whatever.

Now before you say i'm a spoiled little bitch (dot com) (Jake) I work hard for my toys.

The Russians used a pencil

From bash.org:
The Americans spent 5 years and 10 million dollars to develope a pen that would write in space, freezing cold, extreme heat, and in zero gravity. The Russians used a pencil.
I do not doubt this one bit.

Selling old PowerBook

This is what I am selling. 15.2" 500 Mhz PowerBook G4 (rev. a) - 512 MB RAM - 40 GB HD - AirPort Card - CD-RW (after market, this model did not come with a CD-RW) - 1 Battery - 2 Power Adapters - 1 yr. AppleCare Protection Plan (this is transferable to the new owner) - never used keyboard in plastic (ie sans wear and tear of two years) 10 GB Bus Powered FireWire Drive HP 970cxi DeskJet Printer (w/duplexing unit and USB cable) AirPort Base Station If you are interested email me at ken[at]meancode[dot]com.

BuyMusic.com Music Service

UPDATE Jennfier over at Scriptygoddess had a "great" experience with BuyMusic.com that you should read. A small tidbit of info:
Update: This is in the trackback but important enough to be brought into this post. Privacy policies are something I don't usually pay attention to but really should, but what buymusic.com has in theirs is just wrong. Jenett linked to Stereoboy's post where he pointed out this little tidbit from their policy: "we may disclose, sell, trade, or rent your Personally Identifiable Information to others without your consent" . Not cool.
Yea, that is really not cool. Their TV commerical is a blatent rip off of the iTunes Music Store (iMS) commercials. Its such a rip it almost comes across as another Apple commercial. It is a shame Apple has not introduced the iMS for Windows yet. They are working on it but now they have to compete with BuyMusic.com. Even if BuyMusic.com has what seems to me like an inferior service they do have a leg up, they are out of the gate first. At first this looks like a good service for Windows, but after further inspection and research it looks pretty bad. It appears each artist has different limits for downloading, tranfers, and burns. Some allow one burn, some three, and some are unlimited. It's a confusing mess. It's a blatant and inferior copy to Apple's effort. There is a reason the site has How To videos - It is not intuitive enough a process to use. I found this on a board, its funny: Hmm, If I were a parent, would I want my kids to have "a thousand songs in their pocket" or do I prefer buymusic.com's tag line of "get loaded"?! BuyMusic.com makes heavy use of ActiveX and the DRM in Windows Media Player 9. I cannot even view the site in Mozilla in Windows, I get this:
Thank you for visiting BuyMusic.com. In order to take full advantage of BuyMusic.com's offerings you must be on a Windows Operating System using Internet Explorer version 5.0 or higher.
I can get to it on IE 5 for the Mac, but the search is horrid. I read this is becuase the search actually requires ActiveX, thus Windows. Please go to BuyMusic.com and read their agreement. You are not buying anything at all! I don't know if anyone has noticed this or not but the Tommy Lee commercial is a rip on the iMS, that is the same gatar used to promote iMS. The following is a list of things I have found out today about BuyMusic.com through first hand experience and reading multiple boards:

Continue reading "BuyMusic.com Music Service" »

July 27, 2003

BuyMusic.com Get Screwed

buy_screwed.gif This is great. Somebody, Adam Lasnik made a parody of their logo. "BuyMusic.com Get Screwed." So as others have done I am also going to warn people as well. If you are a PC only person just wait till Apple comes out with iTunes 4 and the Music Store for Windows. For one iTunes for Windows will be like no other jukebox software on Windows, and the experience buying digital will not be the pure shit experience that BuyMusic.com is.

July 28, 2003

Bob Hope Dead at 100

From CNN.com. Wow. I will always remember him from his golf tournaments and his entertainment for the troups. It is a shame I was not alive to witness his prime. But Bob Hope did have an impact on my life, like he did on so many others.

Scooby-Doo (2002)

This is going to be a very short review. I have many things going on at the moment. I just finished watching Scooby Doo the movie. I must admit that at first I almost turn it off. It was silly and corny. But this movie was not as bad as National Security (I had to leave the theater). But after getting into the movie it brought back good memories of watching the Scooby Doo cartoons. Everything from the wardrobe to the voice of shaggy were done right. "Lets get jinky with it" was by far the best line in the entire film. The computer animation was done pretty well I though. I can't wait to see the sequel. Scooby Doo exceeded my expectations.

July 29, 2003

I am a member of Blog Critics

The editor of Blog Critics, Eric Olsen, liked my review on BuyMusic. And so I am now a member of the site. If you have not checked it out go to BlogCritics.org right now. It has a lot of great articles. There are a little over 300 authors that contribute to the site. I will be posting some of my stuff, as well as some of the articles from 210 West to Blog Critics now. Pretty cool. Hopefully this will mean more eyeballs, that is the thought at least.

Mutated Monkeys

I was using Daypop to check my citations today and found Mutated Monkeys has a link to Breaking Windows under Geekiness. I am so honored. So go check out Mutated Monkeys!

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