Bold text are my comments.
In an effort to convert users of Apple's iPod music player to its own Digital Jukebox, or DJ, Dell Inc. on Wednesday announced a US$100 mail-in rebate for DJ buyers who send in their old iPods for "recycling." The rebate nets users a new 15GB Dell DJ for $99.
That sounds like a deal! Not.
Sony Corp. has unveiled its first hard-disk drive-based digital music player to bear the Walkman name. The device was launched on Thursday as the Walkman brand marked its 25th anniversary.
The NW-HD1 features a 20GB hard-disk drive and is, according to the company, the smallest music player at this capacity. It measures 89 millimeters by 62.1 millimeters by 13.8 millimeters and weighs 110 grams.
Sony is gonna sell a ton of those things! I mean ATRAC3 is all the rage. Just like MiniDisc, and MemoryStick.
Okay, so it's been tough, but you've finally managed to stop yourself from taking Dell up on its kind offer to crush your iPod into a thin paste in exchange for $100 off one of its own stellar music players. Good for you. Only now you're finding yourself tempted by those new players that Sony introduced yesterday-- in particular the NW-HD1 Network Walkman. As faithful viewer Mike Scherer pointed out, MacMinute reports that the NW-HD1 (catchy name) has a 20 GB hard drive, but weighs only 4 ounces-- almost thirty percent less than a 20 GB iPod, and only about half an ounce more than a miniPod with a mere 4 GB storage capacity. Trust us, size does matter, as through-the-roof miniPod sales will attest; Dell's player is a clunky slab by comparison, and when we had the misfortune to encounter a 40 GB Nomad Zen last weekend, we mistook the thing for a brick wrapped in tin foil.
Source: As the Apple Turns
You would do yourself good to read this scene, "The Temptation Never Ends." The best part is the notion of "songs recorded at 48 kilobits per second" as the measurement of how many songs can fit on that Network Walkman. Thats better then the ATRAC3 format listening test, or the fact that the device doesn't even read MP3 files.
Thanks to Brandon for pointing out yet another wonderful AtAT article.
As I wrote about earlier, OS X does not work well with the MS-DOS (FAT 32) format. OS X will read it, it will even format a disk as MS-DOS, but the real kicker comes in searching and just navigating said volume.
Steve Gehrman (Path Finder developer) told me about OS X and searching non HFS volumes.
If you have a MS-DOS formatted hard drive, and a HFS formatted hard drive, you will see a HUGE difference when you perform a search, and an even bigger difference when you navigate through the drive.
Just take my advice, if you want your hard drive to be readable on both Mac and Windows, just install HFS reading software on your Windows box. You could also just share in it OS X, since you have Samba available to you.
At least OS X is compatible with FAT 32 and NTFS. You cannot say the opposite for Windows. Being compatible and working well are two very different things though.
I cannot tell you how amazed I was at how much faster searching a HFS firewire drive. You live and learn.
Speed is the price you get for compatibility, at least in this case.
Just to let you know. That sale does not start until July 11, this Sunday. However Circuit City had accidentally downloaded the ad early. They do not have to honor the price until that ads date. They have stopped selling them at that price until Sunday.I am guessing they are receiving some bad press for this. You can see Matt's previous post with the game list here: Circuit City $4.99 game sale.
For DrunkenBlogs' 300th post I have a special treat for my 12 loyal readers: a chat with Rich Wareham, the creator of Desktop Manager for OSX. I also couldn't resist the gentle irony of putting this up on the 4th of July. Remember kids, cultural differences are meant to be bridged, and the sharing of alcohol and pejorative phrases are generally a good start.Source: DrunkenBlog Desktop Manager is indeed nice, and faster then CodeTek's VirtualDesktop. Don't be scared off that Desktop Manager is a home grown Source Forge project, it is very easy on the eyes, and it just works(tm).
Just in time for Tiger Server, I have installed Panther Server at Student Publications. We bought a "Quicksilver" 733 Mhz G4 with 10.0 Server and I quickly updated it to 10.1 Server when it came out. Things have been busy, and since it has been working, I have not updated the server to Panther until now. I just got flipping tired of using 10.1 on our file server. I also saw the new admin tools in Panther Server (they are a major improvement).
Finding the time to upgrade the server is an entirely different matter entirely. Making the purchase was the easy step. You cannot (easily) take users and groups from 10.1 to 10.3 Server. I do not know why this is, but thats the way it is. No lost sleep here, I am simplifying user log ins anyways.
It is SO NICE to have Panther Server up and running for our file/print server.
Did you ever thing that a 1 TB (yes, terabyte) firewire drive would cost only $1200? That is a pretty good cost per MB price, isn't it. Well when we needed the drives Lacie was not selling their 1 TB drive yet, but they were selling their 500 GB drives. Same price, imagine that.
We were getting severely low on HD space. Throwing files out Friday to be able to work Monday. Not fun at all. We have 120 GB in the Quicksilver (10K RPM), and 2x120 GB external. You might think that would be enough space but when you have a dozen publications being produced at some point during the year plus Unigraphics, there are always space problems. But now Unigraphics has the room to really have their photo archive and graphics archive they really need to have online.
The next time we need another TB, I bet the price will come down by at least 1/3. Since I have so much file space to work with now, I am no longer backing up to AIT tape, I will probably be putting that up on eBay. It is alot nicer backing up to firewire, it is a lot faster for one. I recycled our two external 120 GB drives and they are now our backup drives. One of which can always be taken out of West Hall.
These 500 GB Lacie drives have Firewire 800 on them, and because of some voodoo magic that Lacie does with their firmware, these FW 800 drives are screaming fast compared to the competition. I didn't just go by the bar graph on the side of the box, I did some tests myself (I mean we have a 500 GB drive thats not really being used for much right now). Since we have a G5 for Production, I could test the drive with FW 800. I found a couple other FW 800 drives on campus to test against. Lacie FW 800 wins, hands down. They stripe the drives (its not really a 500 GB or 1 TB drive, they are smaller drives that once one gets filled up, it goes to the next HD and fills that one up. Whatever Lacie is doing it is nice.)
Needless to say I ordered a FW 800 PCI card ($50) for our Quicksilver and the speed over the network is well worth the $50 of that FW 800 card.
Panther Server is so much faster then 10.1 Server was, and now we have breathing room on the file space front. *phew*
I sold my Alienware PC today. The new owner, one of my digital art professors, will make good use of it in her multimedia studio.
I would have got a lot less for my PC if I would have sold it on eBay. I got $1500 for the PC and I threw in the monitor as well. I won't need it anymore anyways (more on that later).
So even thought the original purpose of this site has been hazy at best lately, I still had a PC. Now not only do I not have a PC but this site no longer has to do with my life with my PC. Luckily for this site, it has branched out in other directions, and the site has not had much to do with my PC in the past few months.
The slogan is going to have to be modified. Maybe it should be something like "A Mac User back in the Mac world" or "A Mac user who tried to function in a Windows world but came back to the Mac because of frustration." That last one might be a little long.
I got my PC in January 2003, see Every story has a beginning, I started using Windows for web and media work for the first time. Not the first time I have used Windows by far, but it was the first time I had used one for an extended period of time for critical work. Well this journey has ended.
I had problems out of the box, the audio card would not work correctly and the two ethernet ports were conflicting (the one was not turned off in the BIOS like it should have been). Alienware tech support had me switch out every PCI card and put it into a different slot. This miraculously fixed the audio problem. Let me tell you, that was a pain in the ass. They don't make PC cases as nice as Apple cases, that was not fun. And it was not the last time that tech support had me do that.
The transition to doing work in Windows was not very difficult, and I just dealt with the annoyances because I wanted to give Windows a try for at least a year. You can check out the early Windows Commentary archives to see the worst annoyances I encountered.
In October 2003 my PC's HD died. For this I had to send my PC to Alienware. I got my PC back in December, and it still did not boot up. They scratched the case, how nice of them. After tearing the PC apart again and not only reseating the PCI cards, but reseating the HD and other drives, it finally was in working order again. The Promise RAID card never was the problem (I took the time to check box RAID cards and they both worked just fine).
I had a lot of hardware issues with my PC that I have never had to deal with in my long history of using many Macs. I didn't expect all the manual work I had to do on my PC. But I have been told that is the norm. Forget that.
I defended my PC and decided not to sell it in the past, I made excuses for the idiosyncrasies of Windows because I wanted to give it an entire year. Well I made it 5 months longer then that one year period I had set for myself. I stopped using my PC for critical work over 6 months ago though. I went back to doing critical work on my slower PowerBook, and getting the work done - minus the frustrations.
For those of you say you can work faster in Windows or faster on the Mac are full of dookie. I can work just as fast in WIndows as I can in Mac OS X. The only problem is the use of the Control key as the main modifier key on Windows, and the placement of that key on Windows. TradeKeys fixes this problem though. Once I had Control on my PC where Command on my Mac is everything was good again. Now that I have experienced Windows for over a year, I will not put up with people whining to me about how hard or how much easier it is to use then the Mac OS. I had no problems. The final straw was however Windows just being Windows. I just had it up to my eyeballs. I give up.
I gave Windows a try. I really wanted to see how it would go. This was an experiment. And experiment to see if I could work faster on a much faster machine that cost less then a Mac. The answer to that is a NO!
I just bought a Dual 2.5 Ghz G5 and payed less for it then I payed for my Alienware PC. If I would have bought a G4 in January 2003 I would have actually payed more then what I spent on my G5 or my Alienware. So Apple's pricing is getting much better IMO.
In response to Dave M's comments:
I have absolutely no idea why people have such a negative bias about Alienware. Their system is no different, or more expensive then a Dell, Gatway, whatever.
I priced a DIY, then I priced a Dell, Alienware, and a couple other vendors. I simply refuse to buy anything Dell. I have heard bad things. I am very happy with the Alienware tech support, which I have said in the past on this site. They back their hardware. Despite Indian tech support, I have no problem with them at all.
In the end Dell and Alienware were costing the exact same thing give or take $100. To prove my point I just priced out a Dell and an Alienware with the exact same specs. The Dell cost $2,346 and the Alienware cost $2,488.00. Aesthetically speaking the Alienware case is a lot nicer. And given that I refuse to buy anything Dell, I will take difference and give Alienware $142 (if I were in the market for my second PC).
And PLEASE! It is not the hardware I am judging. I am judging Windows, Microsoft Windows. I don't really care what name is on the hardware.
If you want to say I am "dissing" anything, I am dissing the fact that you cannot use an Operating System to get reliable critical work done when that Operating System has so many holes, and their are so many morons out their that think it fun to take advantage of those holes. It is not my fault that that portrait happens to be a painting of Microsoft Windows.
As for pricing, Apple's hardware will always be more expensive. It has improved. It will always be more expensive because it is not made by everyone and their mother. In some cases this means Apple hardware is of higher quality.
Sorry to hear about your G4 problems. Shareware programs on Mac OS seem to really mess things up. This is sometimes because the shareware community has to hack or reverse engineer things. OS X has made it a little nicer, but its still bad if you go hog wild with shareware on the Mac.
I will say this with an asterisk. Mac people should stick with Macs and Windows people should stick with Windows. The asterisk is for those people who are not afraid of trying things out on the other side of the fence. I am not sad that I bought a PC. I am very glad I did. I have gained so much knowledge from my Windows experience that will help me out in my current and future work.
I am not about to add Apple's online store into the mix. No sense in comparing apples to oranges. I will say this however:
Apple hardware costs more. It is made by Apple, or it is made in collaboration with Apple. I am glad it is only made by Apple. The quality is higher, the price is higher, and not as many people buy it. I like being a user of the minority Operating System. Ask any *nix user how they feel about being a minority user. I am sure at some point they will have something positive to say about not having to deal with viruses and spyware. Mac OS and *nix might not be more secure by design, but it is more secure based on usage.
Back to the Apple's online store: Apple knows simplicity. Their online store is just nice to use. It is not cluttered with a gazillian options that you do not care about. I would vote Dell's online store to be the most overwhelming of all. It is a nightmare.
Based solely on my opinion, I like the Alienware store a lot more then the Dell store. It is easier to choose your options on the Alienware site, and Alienware does not try to shove software and other hardware down your yapper like Dell does.
* At the time of this writing, Dell has 10% off their Desktop systems.
Dell Dimension XPS vs. Alienware Area 51: These are Intel Pentium 4 based systems. They could both be called gaming systems, they could both be called graphics systems. I call them workstations. They are used for web design, multimedia, 3D modeling, gaming, etc, etc. In other words I do not see the Alienware as more of a gaming rig.
Some might say these systems are configured with too much horsepower, and it is not worth the price. It is true you could cut down on anything and save money. I however do not like to compromise. And I have seen the bad things that comes from compromising on computers and I do not like it. In general I want to be able to throw more then I usually would at my computer and see if it will crush under pressure. I like to see it perform above my expectations because I know that if I stay with a system for a while those performance benchmarks will be decreasing exponentially every year. My computer before my 500 Mhz PowerBook G4 in 2001 was a PowerMac 6400/200 circa 1996. If I am happy with a computer (unlike my Alienware rig) I will use it for a while.
Here are the specs of the Area 51 and Dimension XPS in no true order. It is interesting to see how one or the other store has the same options plus or minus $10 here and $5 there. I am not comparing the specific prices. I left out all the extra crap that both online stores tries to push on you.
3 year Tech Support P4 3.2GHz 800 Mhz FSB
Windows XP Pro
1 GB DDR RAM
128MB DDR ATI RADEON™ 9800 Pro
250 GB Hard Drive
CD-RW & DVD-RW
Sound Blaster Audigy 2
Dell: $2,346 (theoretical price w/o 10% discount is $2580)
These differences in price are negligible in my book. It always depends on what month or day or hour or minute when you buy from any of these online stores because you never know what type of special deal you might get.
This issue came up as an OT thread on the BlueWord InDesign Talk list. Since I decided to add my branch to the fire, I figured I should post this here as well. Enjoy. I hope to hear from any of you who have opposing, or similar opinions.Ahh, this is a wonderful debate. Always has been, always will be. General assumptions of market leaders aside (Windows & viruses, Internet Explorer & bad standards compliance), Dreamweaver (DW) is far superior to GoLive (GL) in many ways. DW is a market leader because it gets the job done, period. It also happens to have a great UI. The UI of DW allows me to work faster then the UI of GL. I have used both since it was called GoLive Cyber Studio (I looked at version 1 but did not use it until version 2) and Dreamweaver 1.2, and I like both, I just find DW much easier and faster to use. GL used to have database connectivity, why oh why did they take it out? Was it because it never worked? I never tried database stuff in GL, so I cannot say. I have used the database tools in UltrDev and DW for a while now, and am pretty comfortable with the features and limitations that MX and MX 2004 bring to the table. It has been said, and I agree, that GL is a page designers web tool, and DW is a code junkies web tool. I spend half my web dev time in BBEdit anywho, so I think I fall into the code junkie stereotype. I never liked how things are done in GL. I have always preferred the DW way of getting it done. It just feels more natural to me, GL makes me do things all bass-akwards at times. Live Objects in GL rock, but I will get to those in a minute. Multimedia PDF in GL rocks. And the best feature of all in GL is the extensive support for QuickTime content. One summer I worked with streaming QT Servers and LiveStage Pro and GL could handle ANY type of media I threw at it. Even QuickTime VR. It will handle (and has a QuickTime Editor UI to create/tweak) any type of QuickTime media track. Embedding Poster Frames and all the needed QuickTime code is so much easier in GL. There is a nice behavior for DW for Poster Frames, but its pretty lame compared to GL. I like Live Objects but I do not love them. If I want/need to edit a graphic I will go into Photoshop etc. and make the change and re-export the file(s) for the web. I like doing it that way. Being able to place Photoshop and Illustrator files in InDesign and then update the links is different. Live Objects tries to do that for the web, and I do not think the the parallels for web and print are there. Live Objects is not a selling point (for me.) The insane amount of QuickTime integration in GL, that is a selling point. GL 6 was not that impressive. It felt like GL 5 that worked in OS X. Was it GL 5 that had the database functionality, or was that GL 6? I cannot remember. GL CS has some nice improvements. It is faster then 6 was, I think that is its best new feature. InDesign Package for GoLive is an interesting concept, but so far I do not like the results when the InDesign layouts get spat out for the web. The new CSS editor in GL CS is nice. I however think the new CSS features in DW MX 2004 are rock solid (Relevant CSS panel), and a lot nicer then what is available in GL CS. I also prefer the CSS editing window in DW over that of GL. On the hand coding side, of which I like to do a lot of in both DW and GL, I prefer DW again. The HomeSite like features added in MX and improved upon in MX 2004 are wonderful. I always wanted HomeSite on the Mac, and while the Windows version of DW has a few more HomeSite like features then the Mac version of DW, it is still really handy to have those drop down menus in code view. To GL's credit, it too has this feature now. GL CS has a much improved UI over GL 6. I really like it. I prefer the DW UI, but the GL UI is now much easier to work with. I just wish GL, Like all the Adobe apps in the CS Suite, worked the same. Namely, I wish they all worked like InDesign CS. I wish I could make my palette a one row horizontal bar, I wish I could collapse my palettes to the sides of the screen, I wish the Keyboard shortcut editor was identical in all apps, I wish, I wish, I wish. The CS thing would have meant so much more if all the apps involved had the same palette structure. That being said, GL's redesigned Object palette is very useable now. Both GL and DW can produce some pretty horrid spaghetti code when they are all done and ready to publish to the web. I find DW the lesser of the two evils, but it is still not as nice and clean as if I just did it all myself in BBEdit. But we use DW or GL so that our fingers do not turn into bloody nubs. So I can put up with some spaghetti code if it lets me develop a site quicker. I have given GL a try on a few occasions, developing a site from start to finish, and I keep coming back to DW.
Highlights: The practice mode is nice, nothing special but it gets the job done. Having the manual in game is a nice touch. The reference guide is great. X-Box Live was very simple to setup and get going. I got shellacked in my first Live game, but man it was fun. The presentation is complete to a T. I will take Chris Berman, Peter O’Keefe and Dan Stevens any day over John Madden. NFL 2k5 has pushed the bar on what the game should look like. It looks like a NFL telecast, it feels like a NFL telecast, exactly like a football telecast. Visual Concepts and ESPN have done very well this year. I will probably be picking up other 2k5 games because of this, namely NBA 2k5. Passing is a lot better this time around. Complaints: Play by play is a little bit repetitive. I noticed this even after the 1st game I played. This is going to happen in any sports game though. There is a finite amount of space for the amount of play by play voices. The color commentary has gotten better though. The smack talk from your celebrity opponents is really annoying. Let me say that again, your celebrity opponents is really annoying. Those faces they had to make for this game, that is just sad. Not only that but it is overlaid above any on screen graphics, such as the audible window, for example. I noticed the voice sometimes does not match the face. This has happened twice so far. But you know what, without the face pop-ups how would you know you were playing a celebrity opponent? Do we care? There is almost no lip sync on Chris Berman, Suzie Kolber or the player she interviews. The mouth tries to match the vowels. I assume lip sync was low on the "To Do" list. It does not detract from the game too badly. I am getting encroachment penalties from my CPU players too much. I turned down the neutral zone infractions a tad and now I don't get those calls.I can't wait to see NBA 2k5. If it has the same production values as NFL 2k5, and the same price tag, that purchase will be a no brainer as well.
Jonathan Demme's remake of "The Manchurian Candidate" is scary. I don't mean scary like "Showgirls" was scary. Demme's a brilliant director, as evidenced by Academy Award winners like "Silence of the Lambs" and "Philadelphia."
This movie is far better than Demme's last effort, which was also a remake, "The Trouble With Charlie," cf. "Charade." But that's damning it with faint praise.
The original, directed in 1962 by John Frankenheimer, was a taut suspense film that came chillingly true the next year when a Communist sympathizer (and ex-Marine) killed President John F. Kennedy, depending on who you believe. In fact, rumor had it Lee Harvey Oswald watched the movie shortly before the assassination.
But the remake is scary in ways the original could never be. If the original was scary because it was ahead of its time (would "Three Days of the Condor" or "The Parallax View" ever been made without it?) and came true, the current one is scary because it's already true.
Huge multinational corporation with influence in the halls of power throughout the globe? Check.
Brain implants? Check.
People talking seriously about a presidential election that could decide the fate of the world? Check.
Liev Schreiber plays the title role, Raymond Shaw, a Medal of Honor recipient from Desert Storm and U.S. Congressman from New York. He's being considered as a vice presidential nominee, due largely to the machinations of his U.S. Senator mother (Meryl Streep).
Manchurian in this version refers not to the region as in the original (which used Korea in place of Desert Storm) but to a multinational corporation with a no-bid contract to rebuild war-torn countries and plans for a private army to relieve U.S. troops in combat.
As Shaw is nominated for vice president, the other men in his outfit are starting to have dreams that challenge what the record said happened leading to Shaw's Medal of Honor.
Denzel Washington's the commanding officer of the unit who's trying to get to the bottom of it.
Jeffrey Wright is wasted as one of the soldiers whose mind has gotten the better of him. Jon Voight is Schreiber's rival for the vice-presidential nomination. Keep an eye peeled in the beginning and ending scenes for B-movie king Roger Corman, Demme's mentor (he also cast him in "Silence of the Lambs" as the director of the FBI). Al Franken makes an amusing cameo as a TV news talking head.
First, the comparisons:
Schreiber makes the role his own. He's got the same vacant stare as Laurence Harvey had in the original, but instead of being "unlovable," as Harvey was, Schreiber's just not there, remniscient of the line about Michael Huffington: when you look into his eyes, you see the back of his skull.
Meryl Streep's the Stage Mother from Hell. She's a U.S. Senator from New York who works behind the scenes to get the men in her life in power. But she's not based on Hillary Clinton.
Angela Lansbury was nominated for an Oscar for this role in the original. Meryl Streep probably will as well, but then again, her home movies would get her nominated. Streep, as always, is brilliant, and doesn't even have to resort to an accent. Her character, like Lansbury's in the original, makes you feel all right to be in touch with your inner misogynist.
Washington (in the role originated by Frank Sinatra) is a little more unhinged than in the original, diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In general, the movie's kinder to the mentally ill than a movie in 1962 would be.
The movie hangs together well, with no seams showing. The changes made to update the film fit well into the plot for anyone familiar with the original.
But those same changes might make the movie TOO topical. It's very easy to forget now how scary Communism was in the early 1960s and how ruinous McCarthyism could be (the original "candidate," played by James Gregory, was a McCarthyesque red-baiting senator). How well will this version age?
On the other hand, a remake of a 35-year-old song was used over the opening credits. Wyclef Jean gives his rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son," and the words are just as true today as they were then.