Thursday, November 27, 2008


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. 


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 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

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. 



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....