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Archive for December, 2007

Some Like it Hot

December 30, 2007 Leave a comment

Dig this interactive flash piece about temperatures on the PBS.com web site.  Notice the temperature of the sun’s core, then compare with the hottest temperature that has ever been acheived in a lab.  I have two words for you:  WOW.

However, my wife has broken this record many times in our apartment by cranking the heat to unbearable levels during the winter.  I should call PBS.

Apple Getting Ready to Rent Movies via iTunes

December 27, 2007 1 comment

iTunes

This story in Business Week reports that Apple and Fox have entered an agreement which will allow Apple to rent movies to iTunes users. Steve Jobs may unveil these plans during the MacWorld Expo keynote address on January 15.

It will be interesting to see how they limit the viewing time on a movie rental. Most people won’t care anything about going through the hassle of ripping a rented DVD, so hopefully they won’t feel the need to apply restrictions that limit the ease-of-use that iTunes provides with music purchases.

For my part, if they gave me at least two weeks to watch it, I would probably go for it if the price point is around the $3.00 mark. Especially if I was able to enjoy it on an iPod or iPhone, which any reader is welcome to give me as a late Christmas gift.

List of Open Source Mac Software

December 22, 2007 Leave a comment

http://www.opensourcemac.org

There is a nice list of some of the best open source software available on the mac at http://www.opensourcemac.org/. There are some on here that I have yet to discover, so this will satisfy my incessant craving to try out new software for a while. Check it out!

Y2K38 is Coming: Let’s Panic Just for Fun!

December 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Thankfully, we have another reason to panic. When Y2K didn’t turn out to be all we had hoped and feared, a lot of us who were hoping for the end of the world we very disappointed. But the new kid in town is Y2K38. In 2038, the Unix system is going to run out of numbers at 3:14 p.m. on January 19. All the systems in place using the same time counting format as UNIX will experience the opposite of full self awareness on that day.

Don’t throw away those freeze-dried foods and canned meats just yet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y2K38

(Expert geeks tell me that most systems will likely be using a 64-bit operating system by that time. That will delay the problem for at least 290 billion years… but it’s fun to pretend, eh?)

Apple’s Future is Bright (Thanks to Windows?)

December 8, 2007 Leave a comment

If speculation at The Register is right, and Apple is preparing Leopard to be capable of running Windows applications without having to boot the Windows OS, the Microsoft bunch should take notice.

I don’t understand all the techie talk about PE files and DLLs, but if I’m reading this right, then we could be on the verge of another major shift personal computing. There is no question that Apple makes the finest hardware available, and the only thing holding some people back is the need to run certain Windows programs. If these could run natively inside OS X, the doors are blown open for Apple to take huge chunk of the market share over the next 5-10 years.

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any Windows apps that I’m desperate to run right now, but if the option was there, I’m sure some would cross my path that I would love to use. Despite the fact that the Windows OS is a royal pain, I am aware there are some great apps on the platform.

Even if this speculation turns out to be just that, the ability to run Windows apps in OS X has gone from clunky (with Virtual PC) to smooth (with Parallels). And hidden in Apple’s incredible 3Q financial report are a lot of people who have bought a Mac, knowing that their Windows experience has not been thrown completely out the window (excuse the pun). These are people who, within six months, will probably be wondering why they held so tightly to their Windows programs. This is a glowing good sign for Apple’s future, and it explains why Apple’s stock is up 40% since September 1.

Vista Wins “Award” on CNET

December 1, 2007 Leave a comment

Vista Home Premium

CNET has picked Windows Vista as one of the 10 worst tech products ever made.* I haven’t had much of a chance to work with Vista, and from a distance it looks a ton better than XP. However, the eye candy doesn’t deliver better functionality. We are still in using XP at work, and the more I read about Vista, the more I understand why.

I don’t recommend relying on user posts for factual data when researching a product, but this comment from a user about Vista on CNET’s site was a good summary of the experience a lot of upgraders have had with Vista:

Aaaah… Vista! I loved the smooth transition from XP on my 12 month old hardware. I got my Gig of RAM, check, my overly expensive graphics card, check. Everything looking good, here we go… no problems whatsoever, everything running like clockwork. THEN, I suddenly woke up and realized I’d fallen asleep midway through the 6 hour install process (including downloading all the required driver and software updates with the requisite restarts every single time. I got so bored waiting for the PC that during one of the annoying restarts I decided to upgrade the 8 year old Mac I have lying around to Leopard (Nice 800MHz G4 with 256Mb RAM) – all went well and the Mac was up and running again in less time than it took the PC to boot back up. In fact, I then used the Mac to download all the other driver updates I needed for the Vista ‘upgrade’ because it was just quicker that way.

Regarding the Leopard install comment, his 800MHz G4 doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements (867MHz G4), so either he is making that up, or the newest OS from Apple is more backwards-compatible then we realize.

*In fairness to Windows users who feel that the list should have included a Mac product of some kind, you should note that the “hockey puck” mouse from the iMac G3 in the late nineties. 🙂 Oh, the memories…

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