August 2003 Archives

August 1, 2003

The TiBook is sold

It seems the classified I put on the site proved usefull. A political consultant driving through Ohio bought my old TiBook yesterday. What is the great part is I did not have to pay to get the CD-ROM fixed! But the best part is that this guy who bought my TiBook is a "Switcher." This is his first Mac and he seemed rather pumped about OS X. I wish this young guy lots of luck with his "new" computer and new Operating System. I also today sold my old HP printer to a college friend of mine. It is great to get these two boxes out of my attic and it is also great that someone else finds use out of these "old" things. Of course we all know "old" in the computer world is not that old at all.

HP Technical Support

I bought an HP Deskjet 6127 with my current computer purchase. I am guessing that this printer rocks. I do not know yet. That is unfortunate. I cannot get the software installed on my Windows XP box (and I have not had time to try on my Mac yet). I called HP technical support and after being forwarded to a 4th person, named Philip, I recieved some very good support. I am very impressed. I have never had a problem with an HP product, thus have never had to call them. Even though we did not resolve the problem over the phone, Philip was very helpful. Once more, he called me back the next day to tell me he had found a tech doc that explains how to fix the problem I was having. He emailed it to me right away. (I will link it up later). Needless to say I have not had time to look into the problem further. I have had a lot on my plate lately. I just ordered a Linksys router which will put the printer's IP on the same network address range (the problem I was having). The other reason for getting a router is I am getting cable internet. UPDATE: I can print from OS X. It is no problem that my Mac has an IP of 207. and my printer's IP is 169. This is the issue with Windows. This printer is AWSOME! It prints wonderfully. It is so nice having an ethernet printer! It just will not work on Windows just yet. The HP tech doc tells how to rout the IP of the printer to the same network address range of the my PC. I don't think this will be an issue once I start using DHCP in my home LAN so it is not worth trying this fix, at least not right now. This is not only a PC only problem. I cannot configure, use the HP tools, in OS X. I can print from OS X, but I cannot configure the printer. I do not understand why I cannot print from my PC even if my printer IP is on a different address range. And I don't understand how I can print from OS X but cannot configure the printer. Oh well. This will probably resolve itself, or one would hope, once I install this Linksys router.

QuickTime integrated into AOL 9.0 for Windows

Very Interesting and cool.
Ninety-five percent of the users downloading QuickTime installation software from Apple's Web site are PC users, said Casanova, so the company's media architecture is already very well represented on the Windows platform.
Oh bull shit. I doubt that percentage. Even more I doubt the fact that QuickTime is well represented on the Windows platform. Now I could be wrong but the PC users I know, and the PC users I converse with on various forums on the web don't really like QuickTime. It isn't because they like Windows Media Player or RealOne Media Player, its because QuickTime = Apple and some people still cannot seem to get over that fact. It is like Apple is still the enemy, even though the QuickTime architecture is much more robust then WMP or RM. Folks know that too, but QuickTime still equals Apple. Of Course I could be wrong here. But from my experience Windows users are apprehensive of the QuickTime platform. It is a shame, but this is what I have seen. Of course that 95% Windows downloads could be because Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X has QuickTime built in :-P. Link via MacCentral.

August 4, 2003

New 15" TiBook 1 Ghz

I have had my new TiBook for almost two weeks and I love it. I am really glad I did not wait for a new aluminum model, who knows when that will ship. I have already had some reasons to boot into OS 9, so I am glad I did not get the 12" model. This is the 4th revision of the Titanium. That was another reason I did not wait for the 15" aluminum model. The 15" AlBook will be a rev. 1 model again :mad: . The differences between my original TiBook 500 and this 1 Ghz model are staggering, and I am not talking about the speed gains or the better screen resolution - although those make a big difference. I wish i could photograph the differences in the quality of the new screen. I put the two TiBooks side by side and the photo didn't come out so well, so I will just have to describe it. This new TiBook has a much improved viewing angle. I did not really notice the problems until I started using my new TiBook to see the differences. The new screen is so much brighter and also a lot crisper. The old TiBook seems dull and gray compaired to the new one. And the added screen resolution is really nice. I have heard that the fan in the 1 Ghz TiBook was loud, I have read many posts on boards about this very subject. Either people whine a lot or I have a very quiet TiBook. This new 'Book is nowhere near as loud as my first TiBook. Not even close. And when the fan comes on you actually feel air flowing out of the side air vents, something that didn't happen on the original TiBook. I have also heard the 1 Ghz TiBook gets hot. People stop your bitching please! Do you need some cheese with your whine? This new model does not get anywhere near as hot! On the original TiBook the entire bottom case got HOT. Not anymore. There is a rectangular plate on the bottom of the new TiBook that gets warm. But it does not get close to the tempature that the old TiBook got. I am very impressed. Other then the plate on the bottom of the case, it doesn't look like much has changed in case design. One small keyboard change, which happened in the rev. 2 TiBook, but worth mentioning nontheless is the replacement of the Enter key on the right of the spacebar with a second Command key (as with the Pro Keyboard). I no longer have to remap the keyboard now! The mechanism that loads CD's has changed and I am glad of that considering the amount of issues owners of the original TiBook models had with the optical drive. Talking about the optical drive, it sure is nice to burn CD-R's w/o plugging in an external burner! I cannot tell you how nice this is! I do not understand why in this day and age the PowerBook (all models) can only burn at 8x for CD-R. I am sure this has something to do with the fact that it is also a DVD-R as well. 8x is slow when I have been used to my 12x Sony Spressa and my 48x LITE ON that is in my PC. But it is not a complaint at all, being able to burn a CD in my TiBook is so convienent. The speed difference between my old 500 Mhz and my new 1 Ghz TiBook is amazing. This was expected of course. But the real difference is the ATI 9000! I now have Quartz Extreme (QE) where as my old TiBook did not support QE at all. In its 4th incarnation the Titanium PowerBook G4 is a mature beast. I am very glad I bought it and did not wait. Something else I am sure that will be addressed with the new 15" PB, but would have been nice to see after 4 revisions: a second FireWire port. It looks like there is room. That is the only thing I wish this TiBook had. I do not really care about AirPort Extreme, FireWire 800. or built in Blue Tooth.

August 6, 2003

Nice to have Internet Access Again

I must say I have gone through a very sad part in my life. I have been without internet access for almost a week :sad: :-P I have been working a lot lately as well. But I am back, and you are just going to have to live with that.

August 7, 2003

Cable TV + Internet Installed

A week ago I had Time Warner Cable installed and for the first time in 5 years I have TV to watch. Yes it is true I have been able to live without TV. So if I have been so anti TV why am I now getting over 100 channels of pure digital enjoyment? Well in this crazy world we live in it would cost me MORE to just get cable internet then to get both cable internet + cable tv. This is because of the Time Warner introductory package deal, whatever. At any rate now I can watch the news at night, that and 50 free movie channels for 3 months. I got rid of ASDL (the reason I was without internet access) because I am getting rid of my phone line. They installed the cable tv last week but could not install the cable internet because the cable was not strong enough to pump the broadband connection. I had to get a letter from my landlord for Time Warner to put in new cable. They did today and I am back online. Since I now have a cell phone I do not need the land line (or the telemarketing phone calls). Paying for a phone line that I do not use is such a waste of money. I was paying $100/month for the phone line and ASDL connection. I am now paying $60/month for a technically faster line and enough TV channels that I have become a total couch potato. So much so I feel like singing the song Couch Potato from Weird Al.

Are you a Web addict?

From CNN: MOUSE spells it out for you:
More than intended time spent online Other responsibilities neglected Unsuccessful attempts to cut down Significant relationship discord because of use Excessive thoughts or anxiety when not online.
Excessive thoughts or anxiety when not online? Wow that is bad! I would say i fit into M and O but that is about it.

New Ars Column: Mac.Ars

Arstechnica has a new column and it starts out strong. Check it out. Ars has had some very good articles on OS X in the past. Its nice to see a Macintosh column. Ars in general is a great site. If for some odd reason you have never gone there, please do so.

August 8, 2003

New Loot for Student Pub

One of the best parts of my job is being in charge of purchases for Student Publications. This surely has its benefits. The only thing that is irritating about this is occasionally something is bought without a consultation with me. And unfortunately that usually ends up as a very bad decision. But hey, nothing is perfect. Some purchases are needed and some are just wanted. The latest hardware purchases and these new software purchases were very needed. The computers in the news room were 5 years old. And we all know how much you can "upgrade" a Mac. Quark 6 has been ordered, although is not in yet. We are not planning on moving to Quark 6 until January but both the Production Manager and I need to time to learn it enough to support it. Since We are getting rid of all the SCSI based Macs in the Production we needed a new USB based scanner. The $79 Canon CanoScan LiDE 30 just came in yesterday and it does a great job, its a lot nicer then the ScanMaker that production was using. The last of my recent purchases falls into the "want" category. But before you judge, listen to my story. We are not getting new film scanners that are FireWire based (USB film scanners blow). So we need a SCSI based Mac in the news room for the photo desk. My goal in all this was to get rid of anything beige in the news room and production room. I also wanted to use on of those snazzy new eMacs at my desk. So I bought a $89 adaptec SCSI card for my 400 Mhz G4 tower that is currently sitting on my desk. This makes the photo desk a G4 and not a G3. So every one wins, and for under $100 for a SCSI card. I get an eMac to use that is twice the speed as my current work computer, and the photo guys didn't have to live with the ugliest, slowest computer in the news room. :-D Our push to OS X is almost complete. Unfortunatly the final step has a $3,000 price tag on it. It is called Baseview: NewsEdit Pro, ClassFlow, DragX and QTools. I am glad we are not taking AdManager Pro and WireManager to OS X!!

New Theory of Time Rattles Halls of Science

A radical new theory of time and motion has some of the world's physicists doubting the claim while others laud the 27-year-old college dropout who came up with it, an unknown big thinker named Peter Lynds.
He is no Einstein so he sais, but still this is some pretty deep stuff. What do you think?

August 11, 2003

More about

BuyMusic's ads are served by the infamous DoubleClick network. In the past,'s profit philosophy was to underprice products and make up for the loss in profits by advertising, and it's very likely is doing the same thing. The site's privacy policy says that itself will not collect IP addresses and other personal information. But that doesn't keep them from doing so in a roundabout way: "We use a third party to provide digital music download samples for our customers. That service collects your IP address, browser type, ISP, platform, and a date/time stamp." The excerpt means that "third party" will sell your info (like the songs you've listed to) to many other third parties. In essence, you buy one James Taylor CD, you'll see James Taylor merchandise everywhere you go on the internet. In addition to this story submitted by Martin Miller, you can find other surprising facts about BuyMusic at Ripping Off Artists

Jody Whitesides writes "My name is Jody Whitesides, I'm an artist that is about to be brought to the Apple iTunes Music Store. Of course I recently heard about BuyMusic so I decided to point my Mac browser at it (with Javascript turned off you can see the site)." Jody ran into some trouble with BuyMusic that is very troubling: they're ripping him off.
Fast Forward again to last week. It came to my attention that BuyMusic was up. So I tried to get in to see the hubbub. Mostly cause I'm so excited to be finally getting onto iTunes. Immediately I wasn't happy with BuyMusic, being a Mac lover. I then got word that anyone who was with the Orchard may very well be on BuyMusic. I went to double check and sure enough my old CD (Amalgam - Delicate Stretch of the Seems) that I still control and own was up there, for sale without my permission. This made my blood boil.
From MacSlash

Fake 'Do Not Call' Lists crop up

I have already seen this myself. It is just another way for SPAMers to cull more email addresses and more money from stupid people. From CNN. I cannot understand how people would pay for this when the real Do Not Call list held by the FTC does not cost a penny. But then SPAM is alive because people buy it. If you pay to be on a 'Do Not Call" list you deserve to get flooded with more SPAM.
"It's probably not worth signing up. You can get plenty of spam for free," said Howard Beales, head of the Federal Trade Commission's consumer-protection division.

August 12, 2003

Look at Mars, It is a Full Moon

Be sure to take a step outside tonight (I know that is asking a lot, but please, just this once) and take a look at Mars. It beautiful and you will not get such a nice look at it with such a cheap telescope ever again. What a great sight! It will be the closest on the 26th so you have some more time :-D

First space wedding done deal

She married a life sized cardboard replica of her now husband. It is always great to see another first, no matter what kind of first it is. I am betting that he is counting the hours and or days till the honeymoon. Link from CNN.

Preseason Saints vs. Eagles

Why are the Saints helping pad the stats of not only the offensive but the defensive players of the Eagles? I mean the Saints could not tackle any better if their opponents wore Velcro(tm) jerseys! The Eagles even lost a lot of top players during the off season. Did that matter? Nope.

Attack of the (eMac) Clones

I cannot express how much Apple System Restore (ASR) and most recently Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) makes life as a Mac Admin a more enjoyable time. After a couple weeks the job of cloning 12 eMac's is done. Why does it take so long? Step into my shoes (size 16) and see how many hours a day I can devote to setting up new computers :-P All I do is set CCC to prepare the image it makes for ASR. This takes over an hour for about 5.5 GB worth of data (OS 9 and OS X systems and applications). I have this on a FireWire HD that I can take from computer to computer to boot from and image the internal HD. That takes 18 minutes. That rocks! 18 minutes! Now the fun part is when you figure out you forgot something on the image. We have a bunch of first generation iMac's, these do not have FireWire. My job is always interesting in this way. I cannot image these iMac's using my handy bus powered FireWire/USB drive. And unfortunate as it is, I cannot boot an iMac from a USB HD. I guess I am going to have to do ASR the hard way (old way) of making an ASR CD for the iMac's. Oh well. Next up is to put two more third generation (yay FireWire!) iMac's down in the Yearbook office. Their secretary's desk is going to loose an aging 7100/66. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to get rid of that old beast. This will mean that Yearbook will have 4 iMac's and a 4400/200. I wish I could get rid of the 4400/200 but they use that for the SCSI film scanner. Oh Well. This is how work works sometimes. Oh well.

August 18, 2003

Mini Vacation

We are going to call this a mini vacation. I took a few days off and did not touch a keyboard. It was wonderful. I just vegged out in front of the TV and watch movies. Some were good, some were lame. Mr. Deeds was quite possibly the worst Adam Sandler movie I have ever seen. I have, however, taken some time to work on my web site (oh my gosh!). Jake informed me that Neil had blogrolled me. This prompted me to finally setup my blogroll. I have been meaning to do this for six months! Well thanks Neil! You got me off my ass! Good job! Now that I have the code for recent comments (special thanks to Mary Beth Eastman of 210 West Mag for putting that code together for me for 210 West) I will have that up and running within the day as well. Gotta love reusable code. I have a lot of code I have done for the 210 West Mag site that I have been meaning to use on my blog but I haven't had the time. Maybe soon.

August 19, 2003

MB Blaster Worm and the "Fix" Worm

I think it is so great that we now have "good" worms to patch "bad" worms. That just cracks me up. Well thankfully I did not contract either of these viruses. This is the entire reason I bought a screaming fast PC, so I could worry if my anti virus software could handle the job. Wonderful. If Apple had announced the G5 tower 6 months prior I probably would not have bought a PC in the first place. But then this site wouldn't be half as much fun, and I would not have been able to come to the conclusion myself of what a pain the upkeep of a Windows based computer is. I am getting so tired of updating virus definitions. Unfortunately a number of my friends got the MS Blaster worm and I was able to tell them how to get rid of it. I knew how to do this because I had at the time already disinfected one persons laptop. Its fun fixing a friend's PC of a virus when said friend bashes you for being a Mac User :-P. Another friend was able to disinfect his own computer once I showed him the instructions off of Sophos's Web Site. Of course wouldn't it just be easier to keep your computer up to date, run a firewall, and a good anti virus package? Ohh, but that's too much work. Macs don't get viruses. But server logs sure fill up with requests FROM viruses. It is not hard to tell when a big virus has it out for Windows like January's SQL Slammer virus or this month's MS Blaster. It is a pain in the butt when you are dealing with apache log files on a regular basis. If anything it has made be brush up on my Perl and Reg Ex a lot. I do not care how much faster my PC is compared to my laptop or the computers I use at work. The fact that Windows is held hostage to viruses all the friggin time makes any kind of speed advantage seem like a moot point. Why on earth should I have to proactively defend my computer? Why should I have to worry about being infected by the latest Windows worm? Not having to deal with this ONE thing makes the Mac a much smoother user experience. People hate Windows and Bill Gates. That is apparent enough in this latest MS Blaster worm (I just want to say LOVE YOU SAN!! billy gates why do you make this possible ? Stop making money and fix your software!! ) I do not have to convince any one of that. So why does the Mac OS have a virtually clean slate when it comes to virus attacks? I know some people who hate the Mac OS as much as others hate Windows. So I am not convinced myself that people don't write viruses for the Mac OS because the don't hate it. I am willing to bet there are more people that hate the Mac OS then hate Windows and/or Bill Gates. So why is it? Is it because the holes and exploits in Windows are that much easier to get to? Is it because the notion of infecting less then 5% of the user base is not rewarding enough? I think it is a combination of the two. The Mac OS market share is not very large so the percent of infected people hardly seems worth the effort. It has also been a known fact that Windows holes run deeper and are left unfixed for far longer time periods then those found in the Mac OS. I just updated my virus definitions for the day and ran a sweep on my hard drive on my PC, and Sophos tells me there are no viruses. What a wonderful feeling. Sometimes I am so glad I bought a PC.

Accomplishments as President: Dubya

My cousin sent this to me - very funny! Resume of George W. Bush The White House, USA ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT: I spent the U.S. surplus and bankrupted the Treasury. I shattered the record for biggest annual deficit in history. I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period. I set all-time record for biggest drop in the history of the stock market. I am the first president in decades to execute a federal prisoner. I am the first president in US history to enter office with a criminal record. In my first year in office I set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in US history. After taking the entire month of August off for vacation, I presided over the worst security failure in US history. I set the record for most campaign fundraising trips by any president in US history. In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their job. I cut unemployment benefits for more out-of-work Americans than any other president in US history. I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.

Continue reading "Accomplishments as President: Dubya" »

No Way! Another email Worm?

This morning I opened my BGNet email to around 40 emails from other BGNet users and it was not hard to tell that a new virus has spread on campus. This happens all to often. I remember when the Arts & Sciences list was infected with a similar virus. Yet another reason I enjoy using a Mac. How fun. Below is the email I received this morning from the University IT department (I added the link).
Currently the e-mail virus Sobig.f is infecting the BGSU campus. Please do not open any unexpected attachments and especially any with the Subject of: * Re: Thank you! * Re: Details * Re: Re: My details * Re: Approved * Re: Your application * Re: Wicked screensaver * Re: That movie or an Attachment of: * your_document.pif * document_all.pif * thank_you.pif * your_details.pif * details.pif * document_9446.pif * application.pif * wicked_scr.scr * movie0045.pif A solution is being created - please contact the Technology Support Center (TSC), 2-0999 if you have been infected or for further details. Cindy E. Fuller
I am so glad the University informs us of these things. Before this email was sent i had already gone to and read about the virus. No one said the university was fast at these types of things but at least they sent out a warning email. I have so far gotten no less ten 80 emails from other infected university email addresses. I am sure that number will double in a couple of hours.

August 21, 2003

Sobig.f Worm Part 2

I am happy to say that my PC did not and has not gotten the sobig.f worm! I thought it would, as I had gotten a number of the emails on my PC. But Sophos did its job. I ran the sophos.f disinfectant utility just to make sure and my HD is clean. This worrying about viruses is for the birds. Why do morons sit at home and concoct such nasty applications? It takes the fun out of using a PC. Maybe thats why I am just so down about my PC lately. Anyone want to buy my Alienware rig?

PowerBook G4 SuperDrive Speed Bump Hack

Its always a good thing to read Sladhdot, and it had been a while since i looked at the site actually. Look what I found. Even better news is the message board thread has tons of satisfied customers. For those who do not yet know what I am blabbering about: This guy has hacked the firmware of the DVD-R(W) drive (SuperDrive) of the PowerBook. The PB SuperDrive burns a CD-R at 8x which is pretty slow to me. I have a Sony Spressa that burns at 12x and I am pretty used to that. My PC can burn at 48x and I can get reliable burns at anything under 40x. So 8x is really slow for me. The SuperDrive burns a DVD-R at 1x. The SuperDrive cannot burn a DVD-RW. This hack firmware allows 16x CD-R burns, 2x DVD-R burns and enables DVD-RW burns. Wow. There is even a "downgrade" available. I don't know if I am going to try this. The 16x CD-R burn speed is what I am really interested as I do not burn to DVD quite as much as I burn to CD-R. Why would Apple cripple these drives? The general consensus is the added heat and power consumption. Well don't burn while the laptop is on a blanket. I am really tempted, I might flash my burner for that 16x CD-R speed. With so many people reporting success I can only guess why Apple would cripple the hardware. It is not the first time Apple has crippled hardware, that is for sure. The 17" PowerBook has the same model drive but it reports a 16x CD-R speed and has a different firmware version as the 12" and 15" PowerBook. Hmmmm.... Read on for an insane amount of specs on a flashed SuperDrive.

Continue reading "PowerBook G4 SuperDrive Speed Bump Hack" »

A thumbtack in your car door

How would you like to wake up and go out to your car to find a thumbtack holding an envelope in the drivers side door of you car? Well Photo Mikey did, his SAAB had a just that. How do you put a thumbtack through the side of a car door?? The letter was cute. The first page had a little heart and a smiley face. The letter itself was very, very poorly typed (as in with a typewriter, or so it looked) Now for me to say something has grammatical errors means its bad. When I start finding grammatical problems, it is bad. I am talking not high school worthy writing folks. The letter even threatened to tow the car, which they cannot do (well I am sure they could and Mikey is waiting for them to do just that). The reason for this thumbtack through the door was because someone was pissed that Mikey was parking his car on the street. Of course everyone parks on that side of the street. Mike took the complaint to the police, and they said they had been called about this same person before. WACKY, CRAZY. MORONS!

August 22, 2003

First Paper Done

The BG News first newspaper of the semester went out without a (major) hitch. The Welcome Freshman issue, all 34 pages of it, was done at 7:30. The deadline was 8 PM, so they even made deadline.

We have been testing a PDF workflow for about a year now. The summer paper was done all in PDF. Friday's 34 page paper was the first major paper we did without pasting up one page. Production started converting the Quark layouts to PDF, they finished at midnight. Why did it take this long? Font problems with the display ads could major headaches.

But the new editors work well together. And what is so wonderful is the fact that a number of them are interested in the web site. I am so thrilled about this. We are going to have so many things on our site that have not been available before. I have been telling editors for years of these available features, they just have chosen not to listen or care. We now have an editorial board who cares about it. I for one am glad.

A 36 page paper goes out Sunday for Monday. Then the next paper is all of *gasp* 8 pages! Hmm maybe no ads were left for paper #3 for the semester, I wonder?

August 24, 2003

COMSTOR: A New Client

comstor.gifAfter months of talking and designing the site I have a new client (I am not designing the site, just coding it, which I have no complaints about one bit). COMSTOR is my 4th client with Meancode Media, LLC. The list is growing which is great! (My past and/or current clients are Chapman Learning Community, The BG News, and Unigraphics). If you would like to employ my services, please contact me :-P. I couldn't resist, after all this is my site. COMSTOR (Community Storage & Properties LTD) provides a number of services including Real Estate Development, Outdoor Advertising, Self-Storage, Property Management, Residential Rentals and Investment Consulting. Since I have had such good luck with Cybrisk, the first thing to do for COMSTOR is setup a reseller account for all of Jason Duff's web sites. Hopefully this is the beginning of a great business relationship as there are other web sites to develop for Jason.

iTunes & ID3 Tags

I Love iTunes. And am feverishly awaiting the release of iTunes for Windows. I am really getting tired of using WimAmp to play my MP3's. iTunes is great for Internet Radio, It is great for playlists and dynamic playlists. The one thing I cannot stand stand about iTunes is editing ID3 tags. Sometimes it take iTunes a while to move through the MP3 files using the Next or Previous buttons (see image) in the Get Info window. For example if I need to add an album title or a genre to an entire album you can paste, click next, paste, click next, paste... you get the idea. This setup is very good and easy to use - something I have not found in any other ID3 tag editor for OS X. It seems to take a while to save the ID3 tag info to file then go on to the next MP3. This does not happen ALL the time, but it happens enough to be very annoying. It takes anywhere from just a second to go to the next MP3 to 10, 30, or 60 seconds to save the ID3 data and move to the next file. This happened on my 500 Mhz TiBook and now happens on my 1 Ghz TiBook as well. It happened in iTunes 3 and now happens in iTunes 4. It does not seem to matter how big the MP3 (or AAC for that matter) file is. It does not matter if the files are on my internal HD or on a portable FireWire HD. This spotty behavior has me perplexed. There is no rhyme or reason to when this slow down happens but it is annoying. Most the time it works like it should, you can cycle through any number of files adding or changing ID3 info. Its just plain frustrating to go through 6 or 7 files and then have to wait half a minute to get to the 8th file. iTunes is such a great app, it is a shame it has such a flaw. And as I said I have found no alternatives that do the job of editing ID3 info as well as iTunes. Oh well. Every great application has its faults, and ID3 editing in iTunes is a spotty mess. Maybe the PC version if iTunes will have smooth ID3 editing. I am hoping anyway.

Bobby Bonds died of cancer

The Giants honored one of their own, as former major-leaguer Bobby Bonds , father of slugger Barry Bonds, died of cancer late Saturday morning . The Giants defeated Florida without Barry, who will be away indefinitely. Source: ESPN 57 is way too young to die, regardless of cancer. To me he was Barry Bonds father and coach, for those older then me he made the game of baseball as fun to watch as Barry Bonds does today.

Unigraphics Web Site

Wow. Unigraphics has a web site after all these years! And I am hosting it. Kurt Cruse has done a great job at putting together a Flash web site. I still have to install a FormMail CGI and there are other things that Kurt has to finish with the site but it is well on its way to get finished. Personally I would not create a Flash only site. We all know how I feel about Flash, and having ONLY a Flash based web site is something that scores a thumbs down with me. Nonetheless it has turned out to be a very nice Flash site. It would have been nice to get but EDS owns the site and uses it to redirect to this. :sad: On the bright side its nice having "BGSU" in the URL. So they finally decided on

No More Land Line

No more SPAM phone calls, or as other people call it, telemarketing. I got a cell phone a few months ago and I have since disconnected my land line. At first I was not happy about loosing my ASDL, but I can say I am very happy with Cable. My node must not be saturated because I get insane speeds I only dreamed about with ASDL. On top of that it costs me half what ASDL did. So lets do some math. My Verizon bill used to about $100 for local calls, long distance and ASDL. I then had to pay Dacor for the internet access $24.95 a month. So about $125 a month for phone and internet. What I thought was ridiculous is that just the line and local calling was $40 out of the bill! My Verizon Wireless bill is on average (over the past 3 months) $45 and my Cable Internet + Cable TV is $68. I shaved about $10 a month off my budget but I added Digital Cable. Not bad. Getting rid of the SPAM phone calls is worth more then the savings or having cable TV though. Having a cell phone is so wonderful. For years I swore up and down that I would not get one, but now my cell phone is like my microwave, I cannot carry on day to day tasks without it.

Mac users watch from sidelines

Virus attacks are all but non existent on the Mac. Why is this? Why do stupid people feel inclined to write viruses for Windows? Sam Diaz from the Mercury News write "Mac users watch from sidelines."
Rob Enderle, president of the Enderle Group, a Silicon Valley technology research firm, said the new Mac OS -- based on Unix -- is tougher for malicious hackers to get into because the code is not as generic as the Windows code. And it's probably not worth the hacker's time and energy, given the smaller number of computer users who use a Mac.
Thats why. It takes longer to code a virus for the Mac and the user base is small. This is one of my many reasons I like being in the minority when it comes to my computer platform of choice. Thats not to say viruses don't happen on the Mac. I remember a number of Mac viruses. The Mac viruses I can remember did not cause the mischief that the most recent Windows based viruses have. Code Red, I Love You, SQL Slammer, MS Blaster, Sobig.F. Those are the most recent ones I can remember. The last Mac virus I had was one called the Autostart worm, and to make yourself immune meant turning off the Autostart feature of QuickTime. Microsoft (go figure) Word viruses and Macro viruses on the Mac are the largest threats. This is because of Visual Basic Macros in Word. It does not get to the annoyance level of any of the above mentioned Windows viruses though. Not even close. For this *great* feature of Microsoft Office (VB Macros) I have been deleting or not installing VB and the Macros features/extensions of Office since Word 6 and Office 4.2.1. Believe me when I say Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is not worth it. And those annoying Word Macro worms that work under Windows work the same way on the Mac. So here is some advice: do not install the VBA stuff in Office for Mac (any version). I can't remember the amount of times I have salvaged someone's paper because YOU CAN turn off the VBA and Macro features of Mac Office. Yet another reason to use the Mac. Imagine that. So is it a smarter business decision to use a Mac? You save time (therefor money) not having to be offensive and/or defensive about viruses.

What, me worry?

David Zeiler for The Baltimore Sun penned a column "What, me worry?" about this same subject: Macs and viruses.
As the latest Microsoft Windows infection spread across the Internet last week, knocking out thousands of PCs in homes and businesses, Macintosh users did what they usually do during a computer virus outbreak -- they continued working.
But more than two years after its introduction, not a single Mac OS X-specific virus has yet appeared.
Not bad odds if you ask me.
While Windows also has a built-in firewall, by default it has been turned off. In the wake of the Blaster worm, Microsoft said last week that new versions of Windows XP will ship with the firewall active by default.
Well that is a great idea Microsoft! Who thought of that? I just love looking through my PC's firewall log files to see how many things have been blocked. So it seems the questions is wether Mac OS X is any less vulnerable then Windows XP. Yes it is much less vulnerable. One reason has already been established. Mac users are in the minority of the market. There are also so many holes left open with the default install of Windows that if not blocked up will eat you alive. This has nothing to do with the features of the different Operating Systems, it has to do with how they come "out of the box." That alone makes Windows much more vulnerable.
Take the Blaster worm, for example. Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., learned of the hole on June 27 and issued a patch to fix it on July 17. Millions of Windows systems were vulnerable on Aug. 12 only because their owners failed to download and install the patch. Though Microsoft frequently is berated for releasing vulnerable software, the reality is that 95 percent of malware attacks take place after a corrective patch becomes available.
Sad but true. This happens all to often with Windows viruses.

August 25, 2003

Microsoft Windows: Insecure by Design

Between the Blaster worm and the Sobig virus, it's been a long two weeks for Windows users. But nobody with a Mac or a Linux PC has had to lose a moment of sleep over these outbreaks -- just like in earlier "malware" epidemics. This is not a coincidence.... Even if that changed, Windows would still be an easier target. In its default setup, Windows XP on the Internet amounts to a car parked in a bad part of town, with the doors unlocked, the key in the ignition and a Post-It note on the dashboard saying, "Please don't steal this."
Source: Washington Post Now why isn't Apple or the *nix community capitalizing on this? But seriously, this author has a good sense of humor.

Computer Program That Analyzed Shuttle Was Misused, Engineer Says

The computer program that helped NASA mistakenly decide that the shuttle Columbia had not been deeply harmed by a piece of falling foam would have predicted serious damage if used properly, said the retired Boeing engineer who developed the program. Source: The New York Times All I can say is WOW.

Wide Screen NetNewsWire

Eric showed me this web page today, detailing how to make NetNewsWire into a 3 column window. This is wonderful for a wide screen monitor, such as my TiBook. I find this layout is much better even on a good ole 4:3 monitor as well. It does require the Developer Tools as it is a small change using Interface Builder. But then the Dev Tools are free Check it out. And Thanks Eric. I will never look at NetNewsWire the same way again :-D. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

August 28, 2003

Classes Back in Session

Classes are back in session. The paper is back to a daily publishing schedule. My responsibilities are back to there "normal" state. No more "laid back" atmosphere for me. But I don't mind it, I work good under the pressure. Right now I am training our new graduate student. He is a CS student, per usual, and will be doing graphic design type work. I sometimes question why we get CS graduate students. But it is nothing new. His name is Tianjun Xu, and he knows HTML so I do not have to teach him that. He has so far learned the web PDF workflow so we now have a PDF Archives section to the BG News site. Tianjun learns really quickly which helps. The other thing I have been doing a lot lately is Documentation. UGGGGG. I don't like it. I have gotten used to it over the years tho. I am writing docs for both The BG News as well as the grad student and web staff. Another thing I must say I am impressed with is how much the News staff is so into the web site. It is nice. This is the first News staff that has been so into working on the web site. I am very pleased with that. It makes my job a lot easier, thats for sure. Classes might be back in session but I am not. I decided not to take classes this semester. I will most probably take classes next semester.

Fed up with Windows

I have had it! I am fed up with Windows. I am fed up with my PC. I am getting tired of the maintenance. So why did I get a PC in the first place? I thought I would be much more productive with a much faster computer. Well I was wrong. If Apple would have announced the G5 in January when I ordered my PC, I would have gladly waited until it shipped. In my opinion Apple dropped the ball on announcing the new G5 architecture. I suppose getting my new 1 Ghz TiBook has helped in changing my mind about my PC. I now get more work done on my TiBook then on my PC. I just get work done, I don't have to fiddle with anything to then finally get work done (such is the life of using Windows). I don't hate using Windows. My PC is screaming fast and I can do everything I need. Its just a pain. It is the proactive nature of working with Windows. The most annoying is the proactive maintenance needed to thwart the viruses in Windows land. So I have decided I am going to sell my PC. I just get more work done on my Mac. So if you are interested in my PC then give me an email, ken[at]meancode[dot]com.

I Bought Silent Hill 3

I just bought Silent Hill 3 for PS2. I have not bought a video game in what seems ages, but has only been a few months. When I go to check out the woman behind the counter said "That is the greatest game." Yea, a woman says this! Why can't I ever meet a woman that likes video games? Geez. Needless to say I have not had time to play it much. I played it for maybe 5 minutes and it looks as good if not better then the last one. I will keep you posted.

Go Home and Recharge

I am not refering to dinner this time. When I get home from work I plug in my TiBook if I took it that day, my iPod, my Palm m505 and my cell phone. And I wonder why my electricity bill is high, lol. I wish the battery in the cell phone lasted as long as the battery in my Palm m505. I looked into the extended life battery but it adds too much to the thickness, that and its $50. I just need to remember to plug it in every nite. Something I must admit is harder to remember then you would think. My iPod can go a couple days without a recharge. Using FireWire to recharge that is such an ingeneous idea too. I only need to recharge my Palm m505 once a week at most. I usually sync it every day tho. You know what else I just realized - I have 4 ways to tell time, my watch, iPod, cell phone, and Palm m505 - all usually on my at all times. If that is not pathetic I don't know what is :-D.

3G iPod Accessories

The 3rd generation (3G) iPod was released in April of 2003. It is the end of August and people (myself included) are still waiting for accessories designed for our new iPods. The SendStation PocketDock will not ship until September 12, although it has been announced for some time now. I emailed them and was told "All manufacturers of dock related iPod accessories are dependant on Apple and its connector supplier - unfortunately there's only one, as the dock connector is patent protected. We've been waiting a long time to get this component, and have been told to finally receive it within this week. " The PocketDock has got to be one of the most wanted gadgets for the 3G iPod. It is a small iPod Dock to Firewire converter. You can pre-order and save two dollars, which I did, but it will have been 5 months by the time the PocketDock ships - if it indeed ships in early September. I am just as impatient as the next guy, but come on! Five months for 3rd party accessories? That is a little ridiculous. Another accessory I wanted to get, and even more so then the PocketDock, is a good case with a screen protector for my new iPod. I have seen how easy the iPod gets scratched and scuffed up so screen and case protection is important. The best looking case, and one of the only ones that comes with screen protection is the iSkin. Unfortunately supply and demand has caught up with this iPod accessory maker as well. I pre-ordered a glow-in-the dark orange case. In order to get the case soon, I had to get a plain white one. The screen protector did not ship with it either. It has been a couple weeks since I got the iSkin case, and I am now told I should get the screen protector within a week. My friend's iPod has big scratches on the screen and numerous scuff marks on the metal body and white plastic face. I care far too much about my $500 iPod. At least the body of the case is protected at the moment. I notice I have a small scuff on the lower right side of the screen now. I do not know how it got there, I am going to try rubbing some tooth paste over it (as I hear this works to get rid of scuffs in the plastic). I just want the screen protector piece so I do not have to worry about it. I hear other 3G iPod accessories are in the same type of limbo at present as well. And that is not fun at all.

Social Security numbers sold on Web

he California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said for $26 each it was able to purchase the Social Security numbers and home addresses for Tenet, Ashcroft and other top Bush administration officials, including Karl Rove, the president's chief political adviser. That illustrates the need for stronger protections of personal information, the group said. Source: CNN

Some Small Changes

Wow. Can you believe it? I have actually taken time to work on my own web site :-P. I cut down the length of the Main Archive page as well as the Category Archive pages. They are formatted using the offset and lastn attributes in the <MTEntries> tag. Very cool. Since it has been ages since Bloglet worked I am also going take that off of the site. I will probably put the Search box back up there. Sure. Maybe.

Silent Hill 3 Review

I would not usually post a video game review not penned by myself - but I found this on CNN of all places.

August 30, 2003

Broken Palm m505

Well hells bells. This is a really sucks. I like my m505. It is so sad to see it go. It has done me very well. I bought it when it first came out in early 2001. I mumbled about getting a new PDA in February. But after that I decided my m505 was all I needed. Well now I need a new Palm. Because that is my digital brain. Now my digital brain is on drugs, or rather in limbo. The power button on my m505 does not work and I cannot sync the m505 to my Mac or my PC. If I cannot sync to my computer the handheld is worthless. And I can only turn it on with the hardware keys, and only turn it off with the software. I really wanted to wait until Palm OS 6 was out. But... I use my Palm on a daily basis for a calendar, scheduler, address book and a password storage database. That password storage database is a key to my survival. I have other apps on my Palm but the one I use the most is FileMaker Mobile to keep track of my passwords. I am going out later today to buy a new Palm, possibly a Tungsten T2. Beth: I used to use an excellent app called Password Store, I used it for a long time. I finally decided to write my own password storage database in FileMaker Pro because Password Store did not (and I do not they do yet) offer a Mac compatible desktop conduit program to manage passwords on the desktop. Last I checked they had a beta out that did not work one bit. But you hit it right on the head "Without that information, there's no hope of my doing anything online." I would have to add to that all the server passwords I keep. heh. Not a fun thought if I lost that stuff. That was another reason I switched to a FileMaker Pro based database. FileMaker Mobile is $50 and well worth it.

Cleaning out my Closet

I cleared out my closet this weekend. More then half (that I no longer wear) are out of my apartment. The Salvation Army now has more shirts to sell :-D

Friday the 13th (1980)

Haa Haa Haa Haa, Chhh Chhh Chhh Chhh. I saw this movie is a kid and have not seen it since. Last night it was on Cinimax so I had to watch it - Friday the 13th is such a horror classic. They don't make horror movies as gory as Friday the 13th. Geez it is bloody. No wonder kids had nightmares from watching Jason and Freddy reap terror. Maybe i'll go see Freddy vs. Jason, I hear it's not that bad.

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