Tuesday, December 9, 2008

So what's the point, anyway?

Okay. 

I'm starting to get a bit annoyed at Apple. 

You see, they have this great thing called the iTunes store. If you go there, you can buy music, you can buy movies and (in Canada, some really lame) TV shows, and you can rent movies.

It is the latter that is frustrating me. 

As you might have noticed, not every movie on there is available for rent. In fact, the way I think it works is "Movies you don't want to see: Available for rent. Movies you want to see...so sorry. But you can buy that.'

I am not big on owning stuff. It wasn't until I had to buy textbooks for college that I started keeping books, prefering instead to go to the library. 

I wanted to rent Wall-E. Can't online. Had to go to the local video store. I wanted to rent Hancock. Can't online. Still haven't made it to the local video store. Want to see the Dark Knight? Rinse, lather, repeat. 

In the meantime, I could rent Uptown Girls. Or Fred Clause. Or Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Okay. So it's not as bad as all that. Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk are both available for rent. And I'm thinking that after they've squeezed every dollar they can from selling the Dark Knight, I bet it'll show up in the rental section. 

But for now, I guess I'll just have to walk downtown, in the -22 C blizzard, and see if they've got the movie in. (Oh. Did I mention it was uphill both ways? Or maybe I could call ahead and reserve a copy....)


Monday, December 8, 2008

Crossing fingers, hoping, hoping...

Apple Insider has a report that's going to light the net on fire for the next ten hours. 

iTunes. Completely DRM Free. I know. I don't like rumours, but if this one is true, it's a goodie.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What a wicked web we weave...

...when first we practice to deceive. 

Apple has amended its suit against Psystar, claiming that Psystar may be a front for some other person or persons as yet unknown, who are using the company as a front. 

I don't understand it, but the folks over at Groklaw do. Check out their analysis of the recent amendment. You can read their summary at the top, or, if you're really smart, you can read all the way to the bottom. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We're sorry, we can't find the article you were looking for

The infamous KB article has been axed, because it was old, a spokesman told Cnet

Aww. They took their ball and went home. Just when it was getting interesting. 

MikeT Goes a step further

Earlier I ranted about the echo chamber that was the interweb and this latest report about Apple recommending Antivirus software "for the first time."

Of course, I ranted, but MikeT over at TUAW not only rants, but does a well researched rant at that. Go read that for more info. 

Fear! Fire! Foes! Awake!

Oooh. The Interweb is all abuzz with word that Apple is recommending Antivirus software.

First time ever, they say.

Panic, you Mac users, they say.

What they don't say is that it's complete and utter bunk. 

You heard me, bunk. 

Here's the same Knowledge Base article from last year. 

Another late breaking story! Apple is thinking about getting into the music business! Quick, someone call CNN!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tagged

I don't plan on making a tradition out of this, because this isn't really a personal blog, it's a chance for me to discuss things Apple with the assembled crowd. That would be all two of you. 

Hi. 

However, Geo tagged me with a simple one: Write six random things about myself. 

Since this is, as mentioned, a blog about the Canadian Perspective on all things Apple, I figured those random things would be about me and my computer. Which aren't really random but whatever. 

1) I was leaping up and down when the iTunes Movie Store came to Canada, but I have yet to rent anything from it. Or buy anything longer than a cartoon short. Lack of time, lack of disposable income, and the fact that the movies I want to rent (say, Hancock, which according all reports isn't worth buying, but I need to see it because I need to see all superhero movies) are only available for sale, and I don't really feel a need to own.

2) I have a 13X19 photo printer, because in my other life, I am a photographer. Every time I create a new document in word, or try and print a pdf, it defaults to a paper size of 13X19. Rather than troubleshoot, I have just lived with the annoyance for the last year. I really should figure that one out, though.

3) I use a laptop, but I can't stand trackpads. Absolutely hate em. If I have to use it, I will, but even when I take the computer on short trips, I usually bring a mouse along. 

4) I am a keyboard shortcut maven. I don't know them all by any stretch of the imagination, but when I see someone using the mouse to do something that would take one quick keyboard combo, it drives me crazy. I've started not even telling my wife to save something. I just tell her to hit apple s. Or apple p instead of saying "print that".

5) There's another one. The Apple key is the Apple key. I don't care if there is no longer an Apple on the Apple key, and has the word "command" written on it, it is the Apple key. It has ever been thus. 

6) As a Canadian, and as a rural Canadian, I love keeping up with the tech news, but hate the implications. The iPhone was released, but doesn't work in remote northern towns. Like mine. The US is going to broadband over white space, which would solve so many problems up here regarding bandwidth and access (as the entire TV spectrum is whitespace, except for one, possibly two channels). But you think the CRTC will adopt that? Noooo. Everyone talks about how great the Amazon Music store is for digital downloads. Better quality. Less expensive. Available in Canada? Nope. 

7) It annoys me to no end that the iTunes store doesn't have tabbed browsing. I want to be able to view five things at the same time. Or, I want to be able to check something out without having to close the main window. This is particularly annoying in the apps store. I want to be able to open up the info about an app in another window to find out about it without losing my main window. Grr.

That's seven. Merry Christmas. 


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'll follow you on Twitter...oh, wait. No I won't.

Hard times on everyone, it seems, especially those Canadians who are addicted to twitter. A post on the Twitter blog says us poor Canucks will no longer be able to receive Twitter updates via SMS. So much for the unwired utopia we thought we lived in. Wait a second, we live in Canada, land of Rogers and Bell. We're used to be screwed by cell phone carriers....

I expect Joshua over at Macgasm is crying right now, although he's never more than two feet from his computer at all times, so I'm not sure why it matters to him.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

What has happened to Google?

...and why do I have these "promote" and "remove" icons after each search result?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Daily Reading: Canadians want smart phones but don't want Data

"of the 24 per cent of wireless users in Canada that say they have a data package, a majority of them indicate that they won’t subscribe to one in the near future."

From Marketnews

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ooh. Shiny

Check out CNN.com. Now. New web ad. I like it. John Hodgeman is brilliant, once again.  

Friday, November 14, 2008

Take that iPhone and toss it in the trash...

Okay, don't toss it in the trash.  The other Trent over at The Simple Dollar has some better ideas with what to do with it. 
But you don't need no stinking iPhone. Not when you have a Newton. Yes, the site for the Worldwide Newton Conference has been announced, and it's going to be in Vancouver, baby. 
I'm tempted to go. Not that I have a Newton. Or had a Newton. Or, come to think of it, ever seen a Newton in person. But I love the idea of a Newton. They were elegant. They were efficient. They were green screened! Okay, so you couldn't make phone calls on them, but you could cut and paste!

Macworld Comes to Canada

Home of the bouffant of knowledge and some of the best Mac coverage around, Macworld Magazine now has a Canadian version of the website. 
What does that mean for me? I figure if I say nice things about them, they might say nice things about me and my readership would skyrocket, maybe even hit the double figures....
Anyway. Check out their site (still in beta) at www.macworldcanada.ca

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It snowed last week.

First time this season. 

While I love the promise of cross country skiing and snowboarding and alpine skiing, the fact is, my cross country skis are broken, my alpine skis need new bindings and if I am lucky, I'll get out once this year, and I suck at snowboarding. 

However, over the last few winters, I've noticed something a bit...disconcerting. My iPod? Doesn't work in winter. Oh, sure, it still plays, but while walking home from work in the -25 degree weather, with a chill wind, I can't operate my iPod. When that song comes on that I put on the iPod by mistake, I can't turn it off, unless I take off my glove, reach into my pocket, pull out the iPod, and change the song. 

The trouble, you see, is that the iPod and the iPod touch and the iPhone all have a capacative sensor. This sensor reacts to electrical impulses in your body. That's why an iPod and and an iPod touch won't work if you are wearing gloves, or even if you try and use a stylus that isn't specially designed

But a stylus won't help you out in the cold. So what to do?

There are jackets out there that have controls on the sleeve, there are gloves with special dots that conduct electricity, and gloves with fingers that peel back to allow access to the phone. 

You can also use a pair of Minnesota Mittens, which are the cheapest option, but not the warmest. 

What about you? How do you use your iPod in winter?

Snow Leopard vs. Windows 7

Apologies to anyone who, like I, saw this from Gruber.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Heaven help me...


Internet Explorer is up and running on my computer. 



May Steve Jobs have mercy on me. 

Actually getting it up and running was painfully easy. From the configure menu, I chose "Install Software". 

It asked me what program I'd like to install. 

Reluctantly, I chose IE 6. 

And then, it downloaded and installed it in a bottle for me. Which means I can trash it at any time. 

And I started it up. 

And it works. 

I'm just heading over to the site that won't work in Firefox or Safari to see if it was worth it. 

Nope. Not working. Bah. Can't a guy catch a break?

Oh well, that means I can trash IE. Yay!

Okay. Next option. Re-install Firefox 2. 

For Mac, not windows. 

Then I can get my work done....


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Okay, now what?

So I've been avoiding the whole Dual-booting thing because it necessitates the installation of windows on my Mac, something I'm not all that interested in doing. 

But while I'm not all that impressed with Microsoft, I won't hold that against the poor, foolish programmers who write programs for 85% of the computers out there, rather than the good ones....

Anyway. As you probably know, in a fit of patriotic furor, Codeweavers gave away copies of Crossover for free for one day, and I, having no attachment whatsoever to the American political system, decided to download a copy anyway. 

So. 

Um. 

I now have the ability to run Windows programs on my computer. Great. But which ones?

The first thing to do, check the list of supported Applications over at Codeweavers. 

There are 146 apps listed as supported. A lot of applications I don't need, a lot of applications that are dual platform anyway, and a lot of games. Games are the most interesting, but time is not something I have a lot of right now (once a month posting? Hello? If I had time I'd post more often), and would be a distraction. However, Portal has always fascinated me. Wonder if they have a demo....They do. But I need Steam. And Steam is supported. Great. 

I also, and it hurts me to say this, but I also need a copy of Internet Explorer. You see, for my real job, I need to do research on a lot of Government websites. And a lot of Government websites don't acknowledge that there is a browser other than IE. 

I have fought it as much as I could, but for my next book, I need to be able to do the research more than I need to make a political statement. 

Trouble is, Crossover supports up to IE 6. But Microsoft has moved on and is now offering IE 7 and 8. I can download IE 6, Service Pack 1. What does that mean? I don't know. I don't speak Windows. I know what Service Pack 1 is, but how it'll affect the installation, I have no idea. The page to download it is here

So, Downloading IE6, SP1 and Steam. Got real work to do. Will let you know how things are going next post....

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hurt By Blu Ray

Steve Jobs says that Blu Ray is a "Big bag of hurt." And you know what, he's right...if you're planning on watching movies on your Mac. And while I'd love to see an Apple TV or Mac Mini with that set-up, I've watched one DVD in the last month. My main concern with Blu Ray is not as a player. "the licensing of the tech is so complex, we're waiting until things settle down and Blu-Ray takes off in the marketplace," says Jobs. 
If it does. And that's the problem. I don't need an HD player. I don't have an HD TV. I barely have a TV at all. 
What I want is a Blu Ray burner, so I can backup my hard drive on less than 20 DVDs. So I don't have to take and split the photos from one session across two disks because I have more than 4.3 GB. What I need is a better archiving format than DVD.
I could put stuff onto hard disks. Up until about a year ago, that was my attitude. Then I started hearing reports that hard disks tend to go bad if they sit idle for a year or two. 
I know that DVDs start to corrupt after a decade or so, but ten years is better than one. 
And I know I could go and get an external BluRay burner.
But...
But what if BluRay dies on the vine? Where does that leave my backups?
True, what I am looking for is something as an emergency backup. Something that I can keep off-site. I have a Drobo, and I trust that for my two copies on-site. But I've already got over a terrabyte of information on there. Do you know how many DVDs I'd have to burn to back that up?
Perhaps a Sugar Sync or service like that is the way to go, but I live in a town where it takes a week just to upload 6 GB of photos to Pictage. That initial back-up would take the better part of a year. 
I keep going around and around on this issue. If BluRay were more stable, and looked like it would last until the next big thing came along, I'd be much less reluctant. 
Maybe the best option would be to buy a second Drobo, sync it here, then take it to a friends place in a different town and set it up to automatically sync every night. Sure, I'd still have to face those three day syncs after shooting a wedding, but at least I'd have a redundant back-up....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Because "Let's Rock" wasn't obvious enough....

People were disappointed at the "Let's Rock" event that the only topic of discussion was music. Even though it was called "Let's Rock." And there was an iPod-like graphic. People were expecting more. 

So, for Apple's next event, for October 14, the invitation reads "The spotlight turns to notebooks."

Because the announcement is going to be about Notebooks. 

That's it. 

Notebooks. 

Got it? No Mac Pros, no new cameras or iPods or iMacs. 

Notebooks. 

"Subcompact? Carved out of a brick of alumin..."

Notebooks.

"MAybe it'll be a touchscre..."

Notebooks. 

That's it. Notebooks. 

Yes, there might be something a little different, as they don't usually do announcements for processor bumps, but I'm not expecting much beyond a re-design of the the Macbook. 

And that way, if something else shows up, I won't be disappointed, but pleasantly surprised. And if nothing else shows up?

I told ya so. 

Monday, October 6, 2008

CAn you see a difference?

The Victoria School of Business and Technology is not on par with, say, a UBC. Not in quality of education, just in sheer name recognition. 

But the little school of tech is currently embroiled in a legal battle with everyone's favourite Steve's fruity little company because of logos. 

Yes, logos. 

You see, the school (a Microsoft Certified Partner, I feel compelled to note) has a logo in the shape of, well, it looks an awful lot like an apple. 

It's got a stock market/mountain/heart attack jagged peak thing in the middle instead of a bite, and VSBT written in it, too, but Apple's trademark lawyers think that it's close enough to pursue. 

Well, here. See for yourself.




Now, everyone keeps telling me that trademark law is fairly specific in legally requiring a company to go after things like this, because if they don't, the trademark becomes worthless and indefensible. So I'm calling a rote legal challenge here. I don't think Apple cares one way or another which way the courts decide, but legalities must be followed. Boundaries are established. 

The school, I must note, is milking this one for all it is worth. Which is fine. More press. Maybe a few more students. If I was, say, Jonathan Ives, I'd probably laugh at the thought that something as ... busy ... as the VSBT logo was being compared to the Apple Logo. But hey, it's trademark law, and you gotta do what you gotta do. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Not wanting to speculate, but...

Okay, so there's been all sorts of speculation about bricks and new Apple TV/Mini Hybrids and Touchscreen Macs...

One of the more legitimate rumblings is around an update to the Macbook Pro. The great and glorious leader of the Cult of Mac has posted pictures of a possible design for the Macbook pro, as well as a rumoured ad that will promote them. 

Far be it for me to get into these speculations, but I do find his last couple lines funny: "The ad, however, looks patently fake. As does the tagline: “A blend of beauty meets beastly power.” No Apple copywriter would pen such rubbish."

I have heard this said dozens of times over the last couple years around rumours: "That's ugly, Apple would never."  "That's stupid, Apple would never." "I refuse to believe that this is true, because Apple would never." And I have discovered that there is no depth to what Apple would actually do. 

I mean really. These are the creatives that penned the line "The Funnest iPod Ever." And you're knocking "Beauty meets beastly power"? That's almost Shakespeare in comparison. 

(Note: Leander's comment appears to have already been edited. But it doesn't change my point. We have not yet discovered the depths to which Apple is willing to stoop, creatively.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another perfect browser?

For many, OmniWeb is the browser of choice.

Okay, not for many. But for a few passionate users, OmniWeb can't be beat. Most people, though, wonder why they should drop cash on a web bowser when you can get Firefox and Safari for free.

I'm not going to get into that debate. I just wanted to tell you that, according to their blog, OmniWeb 5.8 is out. It's running the same version of WebKit as Safari 3.1.

This isn't the same build that scored 100% on the Acid Test, but it's pretty close, and expect an update soon to bring both Safari and OmniWeb to "best browser in the world" status. 

And then, let the battle begin.

(Did I mention that Explorer is still at 14%? Does anyone care?)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Desperately wanting to try Chrome?

...You know Chrome? That Google-built open source browser that is supposed to take the old fashioned web browser and bring it to a new level?

Of course you don't, because it isn't available for Mac. Or Linux. At least, not officially. But a bunch of code monkeys have taken Chromium, the open source part of Chrome, wrapped it in Wine, and released it for the rest of us. It's not as nice as a purpose built version, but if you really want to see what the fuss is about, and you don't have, say, Parallels installed (as I don't), here's your chance

Saturday, September 27, 2008

How's you're Mac Running?

Just fine, thanks. 

WebKit is the perfect browser

Yes, Webkit is now at 100% against Acid Test, says the Webkit blog. But if you don't trust me, you can download a nightly build and test it yourself.

How do you use webkit? Easy peasy. Download and install like you would a regular application. The application looks like Safari, and feels like Safari, it's just faster. To keep you from confusing it with Safari, though, it has a gold rim around the compass, and always opens to a page that tells you if you are up to date with webkit or if there is a new nightly build.

Of course, the reason for downloading and using nightly builds is to provide feedback. So do report stability issues to the webkit team. 

Thank you. 

PS: In other news, IE is at 14% against Acid Test. You go, big guy. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Reckoner Remixin'

Remember that idea for a series of commercials I was telling you about? And I invoked Thom Yorke's name? Well Radiohead has release Reckoner as six tracks on iTunes, which you can take and remix, and play with. 

While the tracks can be remixed in any old program, the assumption is that you'll do it in Garageband. In fact, those who purchase the tracks in the first two weeks get a code that allows them to download a full Garageband version of the song.

So, what are you waiting for? Go, go go! Remix to your heart's content. 

New Apple Store

For all of youse in Calgary and Toronto still looking to get some free Apple swag, you have another chance. This Saturday, new stores will open in Market Mall, in Calgary, and at Fairview, in Toronto. 

When they open an Apple Store in Dawson Creek, I'll be happy, but I'll know that they have officially jumped the shark, too. Sad, isn't it?

Alliance Films in Canada? Say it ain't so

So. Alliance Films is the largest film distributor in Canada. 

And apparently, they've now inked a deal to sell and rent movies on the Canadian iTunes store. 

Which is, don't get me wrong, a good thing. Recent movies like Sex and The City, Journey to the Centre of the Earth 3D, Burn after Reading and The Women will now be available on iTunes in Canada, at least when they get released on DVD (from that list, only Sex and the City is out so far). 

But I'm *still* waiting for the TV shows to start coming to iTunes. The most recent addition? The Nature of Things. That's cool. But where's Battlestar Galactica? Babylon 5? Greatest American Hero? There's a lot of back catalogue on the American store that isn't available in Canada, and you think it would be. Sigh. A boy can dream, can't he?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Daily Reading: Winning an Emmy

I've long had this idea percolating in the back of my mind for a series of Mac commercials where someone sitting on a plane with a Windows machine would talk about how he likes listening to music on his computer. In the seat next to him would be Thom Yorke, making music on his. Or having someone watching a movie on the windows machine, and next door is someone editing a movie on his Macbook Pro...

Here's a perfect example of that in real life, except without the plane. A band director bought a mac, got one on one training from an Apple Genius, and used that knowledge to win himself an Emmy. Epic, that. 

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gruber has some thoughts on the new PC ads...

...I really like his point about the fact that the latest ad reinforces the Mac Marketing. By adopting Mac's language, they are engaging in the discussion on Apple's terms, falling into that "Don't think of purple elephant" thinking (because by referring to the Purple Elephant, you are forcing your audience to think about Purple Elephants).

Anyway, you can read more of his thoughts here

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

NBC is coming back to iTunes

...but will they be coming to Canada? I'm thinking not. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Word Spell Check

So. I typed the word "northeastern" into a document in word, and it underlines it in red. Misspelled. What are the options? Well, there's a few, but the best option is "north eastern". So, just for a lark, I select it. And it underlines it in green, meaning a grammatical or other error. So I click to see what it suggests: northeastern. 

Great. Thanks for the advice. I note Safari has no problems with northeastern or north eastern. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yes, this is the moment I've been waiting for all my life

This is it. You can't get much more Mac and Canadian than this: the Tim Hortons Locator for the iPhone. 

Okay, so I don't have an iPhone (no Rogers here) and I can't stand coffee, so this one's a complete fail for me personally, but you can't fault it for Canadian content.... It does work with the iPod Touch, but won't take advantage of the GPS....

It's free. Try it out. If you like coffee. And Like Timmy Ho's. 

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Daily Reading: Stupid Smart Drives

Macworld has a look at USB Smart drives, and the way they, you know, don't actually work with macs. And a solution. Using Windows. 

Off for a week. This might be the last post for a while....

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Okay, I laughed out loud...

...especially at the first one....

Weird Dream

So....

Remember how  a couple day I made a crack about maybe I should have been blogging about Steve's health (sorry, Jobs, not Balmer), cuz maybe he'd call me and yell at me, too? Well that one line played into a rather long and detailed dream where I was actually invited to Cupertino for a one on one interview with Jobs. Except there was always someone else there....

In the dream, I talked with Steve and he explained in great detail what was up (which was basically just a rehash of all the speculation that I've read over the last week, sorry, no profound insights there). Then, somehow, the editor at the company newsletter (photocopied on lime green copy paper, natch) got hold of the story, and ran with it, and Steve called me to yell at me for leaking the story, and I had to convince him that why would I leak confidential information to a company zine when I could sell it for a couple million to any major newspaper in the country? I don't think he believed me, but he began to point out the kid's program, at which point he was mobbed by a bunch of five-year-olds as "Uncle Steve", and I realized I was in grade school and didn't have enough money to buy lunch that day, so I hid out in the alcove above the stairs, and it wasn't Cupertino at all, but my old school in Saskatchewan....

Something you probably didn't know about the Apple Campus that I learned in my dream is that there is there is a giant room full of laundry equipment where people go to wash their clothes. That they're wearing. So they sit around for a couple hours every day at work, naked, as they wait for their laundry to dry.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Apple Finally Fixes Fatal Flaw For Free. Finally.

The DNS flaw that you've been hearing so much about lately? (What do you mean you haven't heard of it. It's the DNS flaw...thingy. You know, the wicked, nasty thing that allows hackers to enter your system and zombies to eat your brains. 

Anyway. Apple has finally patched it. So you can go back to downloading strange and malicious files from online again. Have fun. 

So Long, Scott

Scott McNulty is leaving TUAW, one of my favouritist sources for Mac news, opinions, and wildly speculative rumour mongering.

In other news, TUAW *still* hasn't got back to me regarding that application I sent them a couple months ago.... Gruber (who is one of the few Mac pundits who you can refer to by one name and people know who you mean) calls McNulty "Far and Away" their best writer, which I wouldn't say exactly (especially if they ever get back to me about that job....), but he has been one of their most reliable, interesting writers. It was he (I've discovered) who talked about that neat Safari Tab Trick that I completely ignored until discovering it quite by accident a couple days ago (like, two. On tip tuesday.)

So so long Scott, and we'll...probably not miss you. As you say, it is pretty easy to keep tabs of you if we want to....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Having said that...

The solution, silly as it may seem, is to open Pages, and have the index file in that. I would like to use Pages for everything, but there are a couple things Word does better in organizing long documents, so I'm stuck with it...for now.

When standard isn't standard

I haven't gone through the UI Guidelines for the Mac, but one thing that has been pretty common across most programs is that you can scroll when your cursor is overtop a window, even if that window isn't in the front. This has caused a few issues in my life, but none that have been terrible. 

However, Microsoft Word does not scroll unless the window is in Focus. Which is really starting to irritate me.  My day job involves doing a lot of research and writing, and I have an index file that I need to scroll through fairly regularly. Instead of being able to hover over the open window and scroll, though, I have to click on the window to bring it to focus, scroll, then go back to my main document, click on that (losing where I was in the process), and start typing. 

This is irritating. And I don't know why they did it that way. Excel allows you to hover scroll. 

Sigh. Just a pet peeve. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tip Tuesday: Tear away tabs

Okay, so there hasn't been one of these for a while. Sorry. Busy. Might not be more for a while, too (I am now officially past deadline on a pair of projects....)

But I did something quite by accident, and I thought it was really cool. I was going to close a window, and wasn't really looking, and instead of clicking on the X, I missed, and clicked next to it. And because I was sorta rushing, My mouse was still moving while I clicked, and so I wound up clicking and dragging down on the tab. 

And it was the coolest thing. The tab tore away and became its own window. 

It's cool. Try it. You have to drag down (up does nothing, left and right reorganize the order of the tabs. But drag down and the tab becomes a new window with this cool wooshy effect. Heh. I just did it to this window. It's cool. 

I'm sure I've seen this tip show up recently in the official Apple feed or something like that, and ignored it completely. But now I think it is the coolest thing. 

Back to work now. 

Monday, July 28, 2008

Well, that answers that...

From Photoshop Cafe:

Oh yeah, I know what your about to ask, and yet, it updates all your Lightroom 1 Catalogs so you can get up and running without having to recreate your library. Now that's out of the way...

Whe-hew!

Lightroom 2.0 is officially out. I kinda saw it coming, since Scott Kelby Announced his Lightroom 2.0 book yesterday, but I'm stoked.

There's a bunch of questions from the beta that I don't have the answer to, like will 2.0 open 1.4 libraries? (I know, if I had been following along more closely, I'd know that answer, but...)  I really liked playing with 2.0, and just a couple days ago dumped my entire library into 2.0 Beta, just for fun. 

I don't buy much software, but this one is on the list....


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Daily Reading: Steve Job's health

Man, I've been avoiding the whole Steve is sick/no he's not debate, because I don't really think it is relevant, and it is all speculative. 

Everything except this article, which proves that maybe I shouldn't have been silent. That maybe if I would have been saying that he looked like he was on death's door, he would have called and insulted me, too....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm back. I think

I've tried posting a couple times over the last week, but I haven't been able to make the connection to blogger. I suspect it's been that I've been uploading a few GBs worth of images, and that has eaten all my bandwidth. In this pause, I'll take a second to post. 

Over at ehMac, Eric pointed out that if you search for California Mac stores, you get Laval and Toronto results, too. Probably a mix up with the CA ending, but still amusing, no? As someone tries to Google Earth the Laval, California store. It is right most of the places, but he stumbled across a page showing macbook air availability at stores.

I just downloaded the Wordpress app for my iPod Touch, and was super excited to try it, but the wife left yesterday and took the Airport with her, so I'm without wireless for the next month unless I go wardriving...

Lots of stuff happening, but deadlines in the real world mean that I don't have a lot of time to write about it. Sorry. I should be done by now, but things never go the way you want them to....


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Grr.

If you were to look really closely at the Mac News Cycle, you'd notice that it was dominated by the iPhone. Okay, if you were blind, deaf and dumb, you probably would still notice. 

As we near the end of the first week of iPhone, the emphasis has turned to the apps store, and one app that is getting a lot of buzz is Pandora for the iPhone. "The Killer app" some people are calling it. 

Which is all fine and dandy, but hey, look! It's not available in the Canadian iTunes store. Because the service is not available in Canada. This has been the case for a while, but it is always annoying when everyone is talking about something that you can have. Like having everyone tell you how good those cookies are when you're allergic to gluten...

Here's the info from Pandora's FAQ.

Delivery of Pandora is based on proper licensing from the content rights holders - we have always believed strongly in honoring the guidelines as determined by the artists, labels and publishers. In the U.S. there is a federal statute called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that provides this license for all the music you hear on Pandora. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent license outside the U.S.

We will be posting updates on our blog (http://blog.pandora.com) regarding our ongoing effort to launch in other countries, so please stay in touch. In all honesty, we don't have the resources to pursue licensing arrangements in many countries in the immediate term, but we do have the ultimate goal of being able to offer our service globally. As always, we welcome your feedback and would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. We greatly appreciate your understanding and support.


Note: Due to international licensing constraints, we are deeply sorry to say that it is necessary to restrict streaming audio from Pandora for most countries outside of the U.S.

Our vision remains to eventually make Pandora a truly global service, but as a small company, the best chance we have of realizing our dream of Pandora all around the world is to grow as the licensing landscape allows.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dr. Horrible's sing along blog

The latest show from Joss Whedon, he who made Firefly, the greatest TV show ever. After Babylon 5. And Greatest American Hero. And West Wing. 

It's a web short, featuring...oh, and when Next Generation was at the top of it's game, it was hard to beat. 

Anyway. It's a web short featuring Doogy Howser and Mal from Firefox and Vi.

You can watch it here, or download from iTunes. The latter is the best Mac connection I can make. And Nathan Fillion is Canadian....

UPDATE: Forget what I said about iTunes. Well, you can still download it (for $1.99), but I've finally managed to watch most of it (the stre...m...g qua ty is not gre...t).

Apparently there's an app for the iPhone that doesn't just control iTunes, you can remotely control vans, too....

It's about time...

Well, Apple has finally filed suit against Psystar, putting an end to the conspiracy rumours. Now the question is, what took them so long?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Daily Reading: Well that's dumb...

Johua has a nice post about the difference between dumb and simple over at Macgasm

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I got a new iPod Touch!

I didn't download the mail and maps update a few months ago, but when the iPod 2.0 software became available (and was needed to download apps), I downloaded it, and wow. 

I know you've known this for nearly a year, but...wow. 

2.0 rocks. 

The apps are cool, too. 

The only thing that I've noticed is that because a lot of the apps tie into web services, the scrolling is not as smooth as with native apps. I'd have to go somewhere with faster internet to see if it is endemic, or just my internet connection. 

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fear and Misinformation

The ehmac boards are alight with stories of Rogers employees telling them that "They can expect a $5000 phone bill" without getting a data plan, and that Rogers is charging data on Wifi. These seems a classic case of FUDing with the clients to try and force them into a data plan. If the latter turns out to be the case, though, you can expect a full scale iPhone revolt. 

In other news, the Spectrum auction is at round 251, and should be over soon. I haven't been following every twist and turn, but there should be at least one competitor to Rogers spawned by this in the GSM space, though that might take a couple years....

Daily Reading: iPhone 2.0 rocks...even without 3G

Gizmodo has a look at the 2.0 software, and pronounces it good. 

Evernote for the iPhone

TUAW has a first look at Evernote for the iPhone, and by extension, the iPod Touch...

Tales from the front

CTV says the iPhone is sold out across the country. 

Mr Mayor over at ehMac gets Rogered.

iTunes is down because everyone is trying to activate their iPhones. Even the activation servers are borked...

And a couple other iPhone related threads, over at ehmac.

There are also rumours that iPod Touch 2.0 software is available, but Apple is so crushed and they aren't even being dugg....

iPhone Daze are here at last

Okay, raise your hands. How many of you knuckled under and picked up an iPhone today, despite this report from CBC that the Canadian iPhone was the second most expensive in the world?

Me? Nope. For one thing the closest Rogers store is too far away to bother, and I don't have the cash, and I don't have 3G, or even GSM, so what'd be the point?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Atten-shun

Yes, while we can't get, oh, Bab 5, Greatest American Hero, or any of a thousand other TV shows up here in Canada, we can now get the Military Channel, featuring such shows as Weaponology, FutureWeapons and TOP Army Boxer.

Yay.

App is up

The app store is now officially up...

Just, you know, so you know. 

Books as apps?

Bowsing the App Store for iPod Touch application, I'm noticing "Air Hockey" and "Alarm Free" right next to "Anna Karenina" and "A Tale of Two Cities."

Now, stop me if I'm wrong, but books aren't actually apps, right? They're just...books. Looks like they built a bit of a reader into each book to qualify. Perhaps to get around the need for people to go elsewhere to download books. However, it seems to me that a better use of time and effort would be to build a book reader, then sell the books separately....Oh, wait, here we have eReader. Which will work with books from the eReader website I assume....

Anyway. Some apps that I'm interested in: Drummer (as that's what I do....) Evernote for iPod touch (how is that going to work with no cut and copy and paste?), and...hmm, well, that may be it, actually, until I start seeing some feedback about these other apps. I'm noticing that a lot of the iPod Touch apps are pay (according to a recent announcement, 25% of iPhone apps were free, but looking at the page it doesn't seem like that translates to the Touch). 


Viewing the apps store

To clarify how to see apps in the app store. 

There is no button for apps, but searching for a known app (Like Super Monkey Ball or Twitter) in the search field brings up a result for applications. Click on one the resulting all. Now, in the breadcrumb trail at the top of the window, you'll see the path "Home: App Store...."

Click on App Store, and voila All the goodness of 500 iPhone and iPod touch apps. 

I love how they have "what's hot" and "top apps", even though the store isn't really available. Perhaps it's all those kiwis downloading apps. That could be it. 


You wake up and the world has changed...

If only just a little bit. me.com is up and running and iTunes 7.7 is awaiting you. The apps store is up to, sort of, according to TUAW. IF you click on applications, there's nothing there, but if you search for an application, you can find it. 

And there's a new system software update. And Apple TV 2.1 is up. And iPhone config tools are out. And iPhone 2.0 can be downloaded, though it hasn't been released to the wild. And the iPhone 3G is on sale now!

Okay, the last one is only appropriate if you live in New Zealand, and probably Australia by now. To find the iPhone 2.0 software, just follow the link at this TUAW article

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

.mac is down...

...never to rise again....

RIP DOT MAC.

Mobile Me goes live tonight....

Sometime in the next six hours, .mac will cease to be, replaced by mobile me. .mac is supposed to be offline by now, but appears to still be up.

 I don't have .mac, and I'm a little iffy on Mobile Me. Great concept, but not sure it's what I need. Because I'm not really mobile. I spend most of my time trapped in my basement office. I like the idea of being able to store documents in the cloud, but I'm looking at a terrabyte or two, not the paltry 20 GB that they offer....

Daily Reading: Real Dan to Replace Fake Steve

Fake Steve is sailing off into the sunset, to be replaced by his alter ego, real Dan. Or so says the post on the website. 

So long fake Steve. We'll miss you. 

This one goes to 6...

Not quite unlimited, but Rogers is offering a limited time 6 GB package for the iPhone. The offer is over by August 31, and costs another $30/month, but it appears that deafening roar of protest has dulled to a disgruntled rumble....


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Just when you were pissed at Rogers for screwing you...

Bell and Telus decide to join in the fun. Yes, they'll charge $0.15 for incoming text messages. 

Nick24 over at ehmac provides this cost analysis. I was listening to the same MBW, but since he had done the math already, I'll give him props:

I was listening to a Mac Break Weekly and this type of topic (albeit with US carriers) was discussed. Here's some maths - feel free to correct any mistakes....
So, a message costs 15c to send or receive. Each message is 160 bytes.
There are 1048576 bytes in a megabyte. 
You get 1048576/160 messages per megabyte = 6554
Therefore, a megabyte of text messaging data costs 6554*0.15 = $983.


$983/MB. You're looking for something to protest? Baby, here's something for the rest of you to protest.

This is probably just a strong-arm tactic to get you to to subscribe to a text plan, but I mean, really. Bandwidth for text messaging is nearly as expensive as inkjet printer ink....

Gah

A month ago or so, I picked up a Drobo. The only...the ONLY issue that this device has is that it is USB 2.0 only.

Or at least it was, up until today. Now it comes with Firewire 800. 

However, they are not allowing you to upgrade, it seems, so if you want a Firewire 800 Drobo (and believe me, you do), you're going to have to drop another $500. 

Worth it? Yes? For me, what with my no money? Give it a few months.

Apple not selling iPhone in Canada

Today's news: Apple won't be selling the iPhone in Canada. More after the paragraph break.

Yes, Apple announced that they won't be selling the iPhone in their Canadian stores. 

Of course, Rogers still will be selling the iPhone, but Apple won't. There's no official word, but the scuttlebutt is that Apple isn't impressed with Rogers plans, nor with the protest around it, and are stepping back just a little so as not to get hit by flying poo. Of course, it could also be that by withdrawing support just a little, they too are applying pressure to Rogers to change their plans....

Monday, July 7, 2008

Google rings the Bell

I've been studiously ignoring the rumour that Apple and Roger's are on the outs, because much as I'm not a fan of the Roger's iPhone plans, I'd rather have an iPhone in Canada than not, even if it is only something I can dream about.

But, here's a story that is a story and not just a rumour. Google is asking the CRTC to go after Bell for throttling

Go get em, Googley woogly. 

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Roger's has competition

No, not another carrier in Canada. Competition for worst iPhone carrier in the world....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tip Tuesday: Forth and Back

I use Command Tab to navigate my open applications. And I've known for a while that if I tossed in the shift key, I could navigate backwards as well as forwards. But here's one I just noticed by accident. Once you've command tabbed to open up the list of applications, you can then hit command tilde (~) to go backwards. 

You can't let go of the command key. Generally, command tilde allows you to flick through open applications but when the list of open apps is open, it goes backwards, too. Which is cool, cuz sometimes adding in that shift key can be a pain.

And a merry Canada day to all you Canucks. And for the rest of the world, only ten more days....

Monday, June 30, 2008

Daily reading (slightly strained): Mac Gaming

As mentioned, I'm super busy, and haven't been keeping up with Daily Reading, but I came across this piece over at Macgasm. What you think? Fair? Unfair? 

iPhone: The rest of the world starts to weigh in

So, the Swedes are saying that us Canucks don't have it all that bad, actually. So are the Danes. I suspect the rollout of people whinging about their iPhone plans will just get louder as the days go on. And still they'll buy em. Not me. Nope. Can't. Sorry. No Rogers. 

Apple Store Edmonton to open July 5

On July 5, Apple will be opening their West Edmonton Store, meaning that as of July, the closest Apple Store will only be about eight hours away. Whehew. Can the Apple Store Chetwynd be that far behind?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Joy of Tech weighs in...

http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/1123.html

Saturday, June 28, 2008

So, what the heck's a hub for, anyway

A little bit of a rant. 

Here's the deal. My Drobo? Doesn't really work properly unless it is plugged directly into my Macbook. My Epson Printer will print if it is hooked up to a Hub, but, because it is not like the 2200 at work, it doesn't tell you on the printer which cartridge to replace. Guess what? The printer utility doesn't recognize the printer unless it is hooked directly into the Macbook. So. That leaves me with my iPod charger, my card reader, and my mouse that are plugged into my hub...except my hub isn't plugged in. 

So, what good is a hub, if half the devices won't work if they are plugged into it?

Sigh. I knew I'd be feeling the limitations of a laptop, I just didn't think I'd be feeling them so soon....

Ruined by Rogers?

Well, the backlash continues...Gruber has an alternate link to that site, too....


Friday, June 27, 2008

Thin k the iPhone plans in Canada suck?

Then you can join the facebook group. Currently sitting at three members. 

(Which is about two more than the daily readership of this blog, so who am I to mock?)

Holy iPhone Plans, Batman

Here it is, straight from the Roger's site. The iPhone plans. 

So, your thoughts? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Anyone notice that there isn't any "unlimited" plan? Now, truth be told, the AT&T unlimited plans were known to hit random caps in some places, but still...

$60 for voice and data, 150 minutes of voice, 400 MB of data. From my own personal usage, that's not unreasonable, but how would usage patterns change with an iPhone?

Rogers Launches Flexible Price Packages for Apple iPhone 3G

    Starting at $60 for voice and data combined      TORONTO, June 27 /CNW/ - Rogers Wireless, Canada's largest wireless carrier with Canada's fastest wireless network, today announced a variety of voice and data pricing plans for the much-anticipated Apple(R) iPhone 3G set to hit stores on Friday, July 11. With monthly plans starting at $60 for voice and data combined, Rogers offers a wide selection of high value price packages to meet the needs of Canadian iPhone aficionados. All price plans require a three-year contract.     iPhone 3G combines all the revolutionary features of iPhone with 3G networking that is twice as fast(*) as the first generation iPhone, built-in GPS for expanded location based mobile services, and iPhone 2.0 software which includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and runs the hundreds of third party applications already built with the recently released iPhone SDK.     "As Canada's leading wireless carrier, Rogers is thrilled to not only bring the iPhone 3G to Canada but to make it affordable and accessible to as many customers as possible," says John Boynton, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Rogers Wireless. "We've designed a pricing structure that offers affordable, flexible voice and data packages so Canadians can truly unleash their iPhone 3G experience on Canada's fastest wireless network."      <<>>      About Rogers Wireless     ---------------------     Rogers Wireless provides wireless voice and data communications services across Canada to more than 7.4 million customers under both the Rogers Wireless and Fido brands. Operating Canada's fastest data and most reliable voice network with the clearest reception and fewest dropped calls, Rogers Wireless is Canada's only carrier operating on the global standard GSM and highly advanced HSPA technology platforms. In addition to providing seamless roaming in more than 200 countries/areas with its GSM based services, Rogers Wireless also provides wireless broadband services across Canada utilizing its 2.5GHz fixed wireless spectrum. Rogers Wireless is a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI; NYSE: RCI), a diversified Canadian communications and media company. For further information, please visit www.rogers.com.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Protest the injustice of the, you know, whatever

So. The iPhone isn't due to drop for another couple of weeks, and there's already a petition around Roger's unannounced pricing, based on what may or may not have been a leaked memo. 

Hey, if they're locking you into three year contracts, I'll sign, too, but I'd like to know what I'm protesting before I protest. 

Tip Tuseday: Stupid Word Tricks

In my other life, I write a series of books called the Backroad Mapbooks. In these books, I write short descriptions of most every place to go hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing...you name it. The trails section alone can be 400+ write-ups, sorted alphabetically. 
But sometimes, these things aren't alphabetical. And it is a real pain to try and cut and paste 400 items into alphabetical order. 
Here's how to sort alphabetically.  If you are simply trying to arrange a list, it's pretty easy:
A
B
D
C
All you need to do is go to Table: sort: sort by paragraphs: Type Text: Ascending. It's filed under Table, but it will sort any list. But what happens when you have more than one paragraph, like this:
A
This is all about A
B
This is all about B
D
This is all about D
C
This is all about C
If you tried to sort them alphabetically, you would wind up with
A
B
C
D
This is all about A
This is all about B
This is all about C
This is all about D
And that is not what we're looking for.  First, you need to make sure that all the things you need to sort are the same Heading Level. For me, I have the style Heading 3: applied to A B C and D, while the write-ups (This is all about A) is either Body or Normal. 
Go under view:outline, you'll see that there is a plus (+) sign beside each of your headings (ABC and D), while the write-ups (body or normal) have a little hollow square.
Now if you select all and sort, it will sort alphabetically by header level.
In older versions of Word, you may have to use the following little hack.
In outline mode, if you double click on the plus sign next to A, it "sucks up" the write-up. Now the heading and the write-up are treated as one object. 
In the menu bar, there is also a plus (+) icon and a minus (-) icon. Selecting the heading and clicking on + expands the write-up, and - contracts it. 
Select all the text you want to sort, and click the - icon. Now you should see something that looks like this:
+ A
+ B
+ D
+ C
Now the whole write-ups is treated as one unit, and you can sort these the same way as you sorted a list.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Daily Reading: I do not think that means what you think that means...

Not Princess Bride Related. No. This time, it's Andy I in his gushing review of Firefox 3.0.

He says, and I quote: "Also damned ginchy".

Hmm. Must not be Canadian, because where I come from that's a word for underwear, not a cool new feature. 


ZFS Comes to Snow Leopard Server

One of the features in Snow Leopard Server is ZFS. ZFS is a file system that has lots and lots of benefits over the current HFS system. The rumours were flying hot and heavy that it'd be in the current version of Leopard, but it never made the final cut. 

It's not currently listed as a feature for Snow Leopard, either, but it is on Snow Leopard Server, which means that it is one hop away from being on the next version of Leopard. 

ZFS is basically what my Drobo does, but without having to worry about that bloody slow USB 2.0 connection. It's redundant, expandable, cloud computing on your computer. Here's a nice article about what the announcement means. 

Gambling is bad for you...

...not the least because the latest in a rash of trojans is masquerading as a poker game.

Cheap iPhones? Not hardly.

A couple weeks ago, Joshua over at Macgasm lamented that the new iPhone was going to be the death of the iPod Touch. 
"Would you buy a Touch knowing that for a couple more dollars you could get a phone, with 3G technology?" said he.
The trouble is, that's probably not going to be the case. If you go to www.apple.ca/store, you will see the iPhone listed, but with no price. That's issue one.
Issue two is, if you click on the iPhone, you are offered a link to find out "where to get an iPhone", which refers you to Rogers and Fido.
Meaning that in all likelyhood, you're not going to be able to buy an iPhone without signing up for the cell service. 
Now, if the leaked memo quoted elsewhere is accurate, you'll only be able to sign up for a three year plan. And, if the rate plans are accurate (and again, this is speculation), then the cost of owning an iPhone is actually over $3000 over three years. 
My iPod touch? Cost $299 (I got it on sale.) Cost of ownership over three years, minus any media I might choose to put on it? $299. 
Right. Well, since a few dollars more is $3000, I think I'll stick with the Touch, especially since I am still outside of Rogers' coverage area.
Of course, these numbers are still speculative. I'll do a final cost analysis once the real numbers are out. If I remember. 


Thursday, June 19, 2008

At least it's starting to sink in elsewhere...

Most Mac pundits live in big cities. Like San Francisco, for instance. Because they live at ground zero for technology, they don't realize that other people who live elsewhere (like, oh, say Tumbler Ridge BC) aren't going to be all that thrilled with 3G, when the closest 3G capable tower is 800 km and a couple mountain ranges away. 

But Gruber is one of the first to notice that not everyone lives in San Fran. He also raises a couple other questions that are quite valid. If I live in a place where I get no 3G love, do I still have to pay 3G data plan rates, or will there be a lower data plan for me? He references a "leaked" memo, but as mentioned before, I distrust leaked memos....

Only a couple more weeks to find out. 


Daily Reading: Look Sharp out there....

There are reports of a new Trojan Horse for Mac. Yay.

Roger's iPhone plans

There is a copy of a leaked memo purportedly showing the prices for Rogers iPhone plans currently making the rounds. 

I haven't posted it here because I tend to view these things with great suspicion. 

(However, the folks over at Macgasm have no such compunction; if you really want to see what the rumoured rates are, head over there.)

Me, I'll just wait for the official announcement before I find out how painful this is really going to be. But I'm not holding my breath. Rogers has always been a company bent on extracting every last cent from it's vict--consumers.

For those of you waiting for some news on the Wireless Auction...nothing yet. We're in round 90, and the bidding is slowing, but is not yet done. 


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firefox 2

So, I went to download Firefox 3 yesterday, and wound up with a copy of 2.x.x instead. Whoops. Went back later in the day, and after some issues, finally got 3 down and installed. Thoughts so far? It's a browser. Sorry. I use it to browse. I haven't noticed any of the new special features being new and special. Give me a while and I'll let you know what I think. 

Inconceivable!

People lament the movie industry for ruining the books of our youth, so let me be the first to lament the fact that the video game industry has just taken the cycle one step further by ruining the movies of my youth.

Okay, so ruining is perhaps a little strong, but I for one maintain little hope for a game based on Princess Bride. which is one of my all-time favourite movies (hush, Magnus). I love stories and movies and games and comics that take the stereotypes and tweak them or turn them on their ear, and Princess Bride was one of the first to play fast and loose with the stereotypes, though not as fast or as loose as later movies and books. 

When I was a teen, the movie impacted me profoundly. The game? I'm not holding my breath. It's coming out for Mac (June 30th), but if you have the newly released Cross-Over, (or Parallels, or VM Fusion you can play the Windows version now. 

Monday, June 16, 2008

Copywrong bill finally lands

The Conservatives have finally got their revised copyright bill up, and boy, it's a stinker. There's already a grassroots movement afoot. Go, express your opinion

Daily Reading: Father's Day at the Movies

This has nothing to do with Apple, but friend Peter posted a rather moving look at movies and the nature of fatherhood (as depicted, and as it affects what is depicted) over at his blog

Saturday, June 14, 2008

.And so it goes

I mentioned Psystar a while back, and haven't mentioned them again, because the thundering fist of Apple's legal department has *not* descended upon them. 

Viewing this as an opening, EFix has created a USB dongle that'll allow you to install Mac OSX on any PC. (On their website they say they had a lot of issues in the development, including sabotage. Methinks there hangs a tale... though speaking of website, there's a main page and a contact page, and nothing else so far, so this could be vapourware, too for all we know....)

And still nothing from Cupertino. 

And I'm wondering if this is, you know, a viral sort of thing. You know. Let people install copies of OSX on PCs, and then, next time, they might just decide to buy a mac because, while OSX was great, there were some issues caused by hardware, and easier just to buy an iMac....

As always, I'll be watching this with great interest....

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The good news is...

The iPhone will *not* be Roger's exclusive. According to the Apple.ca website, Fido stores will be stocking it, too. 

Yay! At least we don't have to hear about the stranglehold Roger's has, blah, blah, blah. 

The bad news? Fido is a Roger's subsidiary, so they share the same network. Don't be expecting Fido up North any time soon. 

We're *still* waiting for the results of the wireless auction (round 51, $3.5 B and still going on). Will there be someone to challenge Roger in the GSM market? In Tumbler Ridge? Not bloody likely. But one can always hope. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Breaking news! Roger's HSPA Network covers, like 1% of country!

Well, if you are one of the literally dozens of people who doesn't live in Greater Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and 20 other centers across this country, you, yes you, will get no 3G love with this new iPhone update. 

And, if you live where I live...well, you get no iPhone love at all.....

Snow Leopards are smaller than regular leopards, you know....

Wikipedia says: Weighing usually 35 kilograms (77 lb) to 55 kilograms (121 lb), the Snow Leopard is slightly smaller on average than a leopard.

That's the promise for the new version of the Mac OS, too. While we're still a long ways out from the release, the Apple page promises that the new version of the operating system will have a smaller footprint. 

You know what? I'm pretty happy with this decision. For two reasons. One, making a smaller, faster, more stable more secure operating system is a great idea (yes, I see your hand up over there, Linux, and I know you've been doing that for years. Nobody likes pompous open source software. And you wonder why Vista is always cold cocking you in the line-up for the water fountain.) And two, when 10.7 comes out three years from now, they're going to have a really cool list of features that they've been working on for three years. 

So, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Just not here today, please. It's really miserable out.....looks like it'll be sunny tomorrow! Yay!

Tip Tuesday: Closing a Tab in Safari

I have a tendency to open up, like, 40 tabs in Safari. After a certain points, the tabs are no longer displayed in the tab bar, but are accessed from a drop down arrow at the far right end of the bar. 

You can close the tabs that you can see in the bar by clicking on the X, but how do you close a tab that isn't visible except from the drop down menu? Command-W. If you're a keyboard shortcut junkie, you can use that to close a visible tab, too. 

Daily Reading; now that the rumours are fading....

Chas has a post over at ehmac taking issue with the whole "rumour mongering" thing. 

Personally, I view rumours the way I view those emails I get stating how I will attract dozens of women if I click this link. Sounds nice in theory, but I'm not actually going to click the link. 

That said, I'm still looking for that new 30 inch display with built in iSight.....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Daily Reading: WWDC Breakdown

From TUAW, a summary of about, oh, 40 stories dealing with today's events. 

iPhone coming to CAnada July 11

It's official.

...and we're off

Just after 10. Things are happening at WWDC. Don't know what, though. Oooh, this is exciting.

I'm watching Twitter, Macworld, and Mac Rumours. And a clip from Wall-E. (C'mon. Updates don't happen that quickly....)

I'm so excited. Wall-E is *the* movie of the summer. I love Pixar. Boy, that Jobs knows what he's doing. Whoops. Better check the updates. 

10:11 Snow Leopard is official. Last rumour out of the block, first one confirmed.

Here's the official Twitter Feed from Appleinc: "Steve is spewing out numbers about the iPhone SDK and the betas. 

I like that. Steve is "Spewing out numbers." Someone is gonna get fired, I think.

10:20: Yawn. Enterprise iPhone stuff. I am not Disney or a Fortune 500 company. Good to hear that it's doing well, but....

10:22: Someone has a cell phone in the keynote, and is streaming the audio...And they're talking about XCode and simulating the iPhone in your Mac. Whew. I know, it's the WW DEVELOPERS Conference. It's to be expected, but still. New Macs. New Monitors. New iPhone. C'mon Steve (okay, it's not even Steve talking). More STUFF!.

10:36: They're talking apps for the iPhone, dragging up developers to show off stuff. Without the video, it's not very exciting. So far we've had Monkeyball, E-Bay and now Typepad. 

10:44: AP, Pangea...Steve has been strangely absent from this Keynote so far....Twitter has been crushed under the weight of people. The audio stream is working great, though. 

10:47: Some Brit has written a music program or something; it's tough to hear over all the cheering...whatever it is, people seem to like it. 

11:00: An hour in, and they *say* this is the last developer that's going to be paraded. Everyone is going on about how easy it is to develop for. The last one has done some fantasy game in less than two weeks. 

One more round of applause for our developers. Hopefully, we're moving on to stuff...

Feature request from developers that isn't available. Talking about background processes. "This is the wrong solution that some platforms jump to."

What's the iPhone solution? "A Push Notification Service". Third party notification service can push three types of notifications to iPhone.


SDK Update is over. Steve's back on stage. Finally. "A few new features in iPhone 2.0 software."

iWork support, Microsoft Office support. 

Alt, Delete, and Move have been added. 

11:13: Something totally new. Mobile Me. It's like having exchange for the rest of us.

Someone else is up on stage. "Not all of us have exchange servers, but boy, would it be nice to have those services. Now you can."

Mobile Me replaces .mac.

Cost is $99.

me.com still isn't live yet, though....

Steve's back. Talking iPhone....

And there you go, 3G network. More countries. "We've sold iPhones in six countries so far, but believe me, they're in use in other countries."

People can't afford iPhone. So, as we arrive at iPhone's first birthday, today we're introducing iPhone....WILD APPLAUSE. Didn't hear what he said.

Showing off iPhone 2.0.

Coming to Canada July 11.

And...we're done. No Mac news. No iPod news. Just iPhone, as he said off the top. 

But boy, is it big news. 

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Daily Reading: The Rumour Rumble

With less than 24 hours to go, rumours are swirling to a fevered pitch. Even Gruber is getting in on the act with a pre-analysis of Snow Leopard

Meanwhile, Joshua over at Macgasm has a different opinion....

Friday, June 6, 2008

Daily Reading: WWDC goes Mainstream

The all-important Andy I on the changing face of WWDC. And on fat men in Batman tights. 

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Daily Reading: Adobe on being like Apple

John Nack talks about Photoshop CS4 interface, and how the percieved move towards an un-Mac like interface is actually very Apple-like. 

WWDC: First photos

 A fellow named Gernot Poetsch has some shots up from outside the Moscone Centre as Apple sets up for WWDC08. Some interesting signs up there, including one that says OSX iPhone. We've always known that the iPhone ran OSX, but this is the first time I've seen Mac advertize it as such. Is it because this is a developer's conference? Are they trying to grease the path for developers who signed up for the iPhone SDK: "Why not program for the Mac? You're already soaking in it..."

Whatever it is, it will be revealed in four days. I can't wait. Can you? I can't. 

A Change in Policy

While folks like Gruber are reporting that the iTunes store in the States is still renting for 24 hours, a recovering American (who still has his American iTunes account) over on ehmac is saying that he just rented an American iTunes movie and had 48 hours to watch it. 

Can anyone verify this?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Huh. Well, you learn something new every day

In the CBC story about the iTunes movie store coming to Canada, they mentioned that Bell had started an online video service a couple weeks ago. 

Which was a complete surprise to me, as I didn't realize they had done that. 

So I went and looked, and sure enough. There it was

And the first thing I see? 

"Download to any PC or laptop (Mac/iPod compatibility not currently available)"

Right. *That's* why I didn't hear about it, and don't care about it. 

But, hang on. They've got Television listed. What do they have?

A Lot of kids stuff (Franklin, Babar), and a bunch of other stuff that is about as interesting as what iTunes currently has....

Also, a quick perusal of their movies shows that they have 680 titles available. Two weeks head start, half the movies available. Can't use on my Mac or on my iPod. Man, they really know how to sell themselves to folks like me....

Movies come to Canada!

Rejoice! Rejoice! The movie store is here!

Yes, after months of waiting and at least a dozen posts kvetching that they were taking their time, movies have come to the Canadian iTunes store!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

A few specifics.

Buying a catalog title? $9.99
Buying a recent release? $14.99
Buying a new movie? $19.99
Renting a library title? $3.99
Renting a library title in HD? $4.99
Renting a new release? $4.99
Renting a new release in HD? $5.99

1200 titles to buy, 200 to rent. Or at least, those are the numbers. Sorting by "All Rentals" gets to a page with over 700 titles listed, but not all of them can be rented...yet. Sorting by all movies goes to a page with just over 1100 movies listed. Some of which may be HD, but I haven't seen any yet.

The Canadian Store is not a mirror of the US store. The first thing that I notice that's different is that the movie 300 is available in Canada, and is *NOT* available in the states.

And who said Apple didn't like Canadians....

Heck, Canadians have 48 hours to watch a movie, as opposed to 24 hours those Damn Yankees have. See, I knew Steve would make it up to us. Here's the official press release

In other news, the selection at the Canadian iTunes TV store still sucks.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tip Tuesday: Sticky Stickies

Another quick one: Cutting and pasting stuff into Stickies and getting tired of popping back and forth between programs. There are programs out there that can help you, but if it isn't something you do all the time, you might just want to keep the Sticky note on top of all open windows. How do you do that? How about by selecting it and hitting apple-option-F. 


Daily Rumours: OS 10.6?

Coming out of left field for a week's worth of rumour mongering, yes, it's Mac OS 10.6, code named Ocelot. Or was it Puma? Never mind. TUAWs is saying that it heard from sources that talked to Steve Job's secretaries long lost brother that 10.6 will be getting its first seed at WWDC. New features are rumoured to be minimal, with the focus being on security and stability.

Well, right there we know that this rumour can't be true, as new OSes are always feature driven.

Anyway. I don't make em up, I simply tell you that other's are....

On the rumour meter, this one is plausible, but unexpected. Apple was having a tough time a year ago building an iPhone and releasing an OS; what with iPhone 2.0 around the corner, one wonders if they've managed to hire on a few extra developers. If so, then there is a good chance that this one is true. 

Two BILLION dollars

Haven't been watching the spectrum auction? It's still going strong, and has climbed to $2.5-billion in bids. There's a couple companies who are about ready to sit it out, but it could be a while yet before we know who is going to be Roger's new competition in GSM.... Multiple companies carrying the iPhone in Canada? Oh, to dream!

Daily Reading: Maintenance Myths for you Mac

Macworld, on five myths of Maintenance for your Mac