Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Safari 4 and Wordpress

I know this is a blogger blog, but most of my sites are powered by Wordpress.

I've been using the Safari 4 beta for a while, but mostly what I've been doing is making straight photo posts.

So I thought I broke something when I went to add a link and everything broke.

The way Wordpress 2.7 does links is it pops up a lightbox and you type your link info there.

Well, the grey overlay pops up, and the link box tries to pop up, but it gets buried under the gray overlay, and there's no way to get out of it.

There's been lots of complaining, but there is a solution, posted here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mocking Macs

You know that Macs have hit the mainstream when the Ottawa Citizen is making fun of them. Of course, the argument has been disproven many, many, many times over in the past, but you know, whatever.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spaces is broken

I love the idea of Spaces. When I first got Leopard, I was quite excited by it But the execution in those early days left a lot to be desired and disappointed, I turned it off.

A few weeks ago a friend reminded me of Spaces, and I remembered how much I liked it. So I decided to give it another go to see if it worked for me.


Two of my most used programs are Lightroom (for when I have my photographer's hat on) and Word (for when I am playing writer). Both are broken by Spaces, or possibly vice versa.

I had my spaces set up so that Space 1 was me writing, space two was me online and space three was me as a photographer.

Let's say I'm over surfing the Digital Wedding Forum in Safari, and decide to go do some work in Lightroom. I use Apple-Tab to switch to Lightroom and...

Nothing happens. The menu bar changes, but I do not switch from Space 2 to Space 3. I have to do that manually. Not a big deal, but annoying.

Word, though. Same scenario. I'm working in Word and I switch over to Space 2 to do some online research. And the document I'm working on comes with me. How convenient. Except when I try to switch back to that document. In this case, the document doesn't come back with me to Space 1. So I switch to space 2 again and try and just click on the document, but as soom as Word comes into focus, I switch back to Space 1, leaving the document back in Space 2. So again, I have to manually change to space 2, and this time, the Word document is accessible.

Not sure what it is. Maybe it's multiple spaces and dual monitors confuses the system. Maybe it's just poor coding. All I know is it is annoying. And so I have given up Spaces again. My last best hope shall be Snow Leopard, whenever that is released.

How bout you? Using Spaces? Does it work for you?

Friday, March 20, 2009

HD Movies come to iTunes

iTunes US, that is. And, of course, no sign of when it will come to Canada.

The new movies are priced at $19.99, five dollars more than a regular movie. Oh. That's USD. If the pricing holds true, then the price, when they finally come to Canada, will be about $24.99.

But we'll see.

No word yet on what Apple's version of HD means. They've had HD rentals for AppleTV. Is it going to be the same quality as on that, or higher? Is it going to be HDCP-enabled (or disabled, as the case may be)?

End of a very short era

Spiral Frog, the ad-supported music network that was taking the world by storm has shut down.

Who, you say? Exactly. Most of you wouldn't have heard of them because their songs wouldn't work in iTunes or on the iPod.

While that left a 25% market share that could still theoretically listen to music from Spiral Frog, the fact is, few did.

Now the question becomes: was it because they eschewed the single largest market segment or because ad supported music is a broken model? It could be argued that people can make a nice living in the niche (the Macintosh, for example, and all the companies that surround it), but even Apple has reached out to the PC market with their iPods and iTunes. Could they have been as successful without a Windows version of iTunes? No. Would the iPod still be a going concern without it?

Actually, there are a number of other factors that could be at play. Ad supported music could be a fine model, but Spiral Frog's implementation might have sucked. For now, though, I'll stick with iTunes, where you'll soon be able to purchase the debut album from my band, Heavy Things. You will not find it, however, at Spiral Frog. Sorry.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Aw, man....

Apple's product announcement announcements have been lately losing that air of mystery to the point of this latest gathering, where the announcement was titled "iPhone OS 3.0 Software".

And it had a picture of a blueprint. So even if I'm not quick enough to pick up on the fact that that means the software isn't going to be released, I should be smrat enough to figure out that we're going to be talking about iPhone OS software.

So why are "observers" looking for more info on a Tablet "going home disappointed", according to The Street's Jim Cramer? That's like showing up for a U2 show and getting annoyed that the Rolling Stones didn't get up and play.

Well, duh.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Analysts, redux

Over at Twice.com, there is a report from NPD's Steven Baker.

He says that Apple may be in for some tough times ahead. And he calls for the fruit to drop its prices.

Colour me cynical, but I don't see Apple doing that. Sure, I'd love a Macbook at $799, I can't see that happening. Heck, the Mini is creeping up to that price point.

Here's the thing. Macs have a lot going for them. Design, OSX, usability, a loyal fanbase.... but as soon as they start playing the pricing game, people are going to start judging them based on that, and it's a game they can't win. Someone will always offer more for less. Apple's strength has always been that it makes things better. And while there is a premium for better, I for one value quality over quantity.

As long as it isn't too pricey....

Safari 4

Tabs at the top lasted about fifteen minutes. I thought I would be too lazy to turn them off. I was wrong. What a horrid implementation.

New Shuffle: Voices inside my head

Hang on. It's Wednesday. Whatever happened to Tuesday as the product release cycle?

Anyhew, Apple announce a new iPod Shuffle that is not only half the size of the previous model (about the size of a double A battery).

Because the device is so small the controls have moved onto the headphone cord.

More importantly, the device can be programed to tell you what you're listening to, allowing you to select music by song, artist and (rejoice runners everywhere) playlist.

I have stated before that I'm not really big into reporting the rumours, and I don't follow any rumour sites closely, but usually there is some mention of these sort of things on the mainstream sites. I saw nothing. Which is not to say that there was nothing out there, just that it never made the mainstream. Well played, Apple. Who says that they're becoming more porous without Steve?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Music disappearing from Canadian iTunes store?

Here's a recent question over at ehmac from fellfromtree:
"This has happened a few times. Purchase a tune from iTunes, go back a few days later to get more from that artist or album, the artist no longer shows up in the iTunes store. Clicking the song link from my iTunes music library gets the message box "The item you requested is not currently available in the Canadian store". 
Most recent example, I picked up a few 'The Airborne Toxic Event' tracks, now they don't exist on the Canadian store.
Am I missing something here? Is this a regular thing?
So what say you, Macintites? Has this happened to you? Any specific examples? 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Christmas in March

Wowsa. What a day.

After months (and in the case of the Mini, years) of speculation, the entire Mac desktop line has been refreshed. iMacs now come with processors up to 3.06 GHz, double the memory and up to one terabyte of hard disk, as well as the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics card. 

The Mini starts at $729 Canadian, which isn't quite the $399 price point some pundits have been calling for, but it looks like the pictures were real: it comes with five (count 'em) USB ports, a Firewire 800 port, and dual display with Mini Display Ports or DVI. 

The Mac Pro has been refreshed, too. It can be maxed out with two 2.93 GHz Quad Core Xeon processors, up to 32 GB of Ram (as before) and up to four terabytes of on-board storage. 

I've been hearing from a lot of people who are using the Mini to drive their entertainment centres, and that's an option I may start looking at, since the Mini is much more functional than an Apple TV. Then again, an Apple TV is about half the price. 

Then again, right now I can afford neither, so why bother speculating.