Thursday, June 27, 2002

July 17, 2002 Apple will introduce a new line of Desktop PowerPC Macintoshs. If 3rd party reports are correct they will include up to a Dual Processor 1.3 GHz PowerPC G4, dual speed Firewire, DDR RAM (PC2100), and perhaps a 133 MHz 120 Gig HD, 8x AGP with a Radeon 8600 card and USB 2.0

I may just buy one, as OS X 10.1.5 is awesome, and 10.2 is due out Real Soon Now.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

There oughta be a law - So I'm trying to decide which Insurance of the ones my employer is offering to take. As I have to take a few drugs for minor ailments, I figured I'd check the formularies to see which prescription drugs they agree to cover. Humana is justifiably reviled in may quarters. They post a special web page where they say "drugs on the list may be added or deleted at any time". Well, golly, to me that makes a list totally meaningless and worthless, if by whim of a bean counter it can be unilaterily changed.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Television and Computers - By 1987 as the 8 bit computers were becoming history, using your TV as a monitor became history also, it just didn't have the resolution needed. Using a computer monitor as a TV is another story. I was using an external TV Tuner with my first AV Macintosh. Even better in recent years is the ability to put a TV program in a resizable Window anywhere on your Computer Screen. ATI All-In-Wonder cards have provided that capability for years for PCs, by putting a TV tuner on a Video Card, thereby taking up none of the precious PCI slots a separate TV tuner requires. The last 2 generations of that card (with various flavors of Radeon chips) have been especially nice, with stable drivers that do an excellent job of also allowing playing of DVDs. The newest models even include Firewire ports. On my Macintosh I had to use up a slot since Apple abandoned its AV models, and the IX-Micro ixTV card worked very well; although IX-Micro is now out of business, although drivers are still available. So as I move to OS-X there's no one to write OS-X drivers(?) for that card. I bought an Eskape Labs My TV 2 Go USB box, which is a TV Tuner that plugs into a powered USB port. It works OK in OS 9.2.2, but interestingly enough its "beta" drivers for OS-X provide better functionality and better stability on the OS-X platform. ATI makes a similar product, but does not have, and has no plans for OS-X drivers. I often like to keep up with news or sporting events by watching TV whilst I'm computing/surfing. The Eskape Labs product is the last piece that will allow me to move to OS-X when I buy a new Macintosh next month.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Dell Computer and printers? HP is casting aspersions about Dell starting to sell printers. Truth be told, as much as I love Dell, I think HP is correct in this case. Dell has never had an expensive research effort in any area, so it has no basis to make breakthroughs in printing technology or manufacture. If it partners with someone else, and just slaps a Dell tag on say a Ricoh printer, the profit margin is paper thin and may not be worth the effort.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

How to sabotage your sales Many businesses have done that. Announce that new, improved or cheaper models will be available at some future date. BINGO, sales plummet until the new models come out. Latest folks to do just that? Palm Should I be buying puts on Palm stock?

Monday, June 10, 2002

You have to teach Blogging ? I thought if you were a high school graduate, and knew how to put a sentence together, you could be a credible blogger. But to make sure and because some professor is likely coming up for tenure and wants to show the Dean that lots of students will come to his/her class, the University of California at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism will have a class on blogging.
Ready for a different paradigm? then click here and read on.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

The potential of Macintosh PowerPC is finally realized. I got to work on my home Mac last night (June 5). A dual 800 MHz G-4 with 80 Gig HD for 9.2.2 and a 40 Gig HD for OS X and 1.25 Gig Ram. I updated to Mac OS-X 10.1.5 via software update and all went well, although the download (via Earthlink dsl) was slower than other recent updates.

Then I applied the SR-1 patch to my MS Office-X. I was somewhat apprehensive about doing that. I own a University licensed copy of Office-X legally bought at discount at my school bookstore where I work. It has an imbedded CD-Code. With warnings about Microsoft's secret Sledge Hammer approach to anti-piracy requring re-entry of codes in some cases described on Macintouch, I wasn't sure what to expect. But it all went smoothly and I wasn't asked for the code, which I didn't know and Office still worked.

Actually worked is not the correct term. It flew! MS Word-X loaded in 2 seconds, about as fast as any 2 Ghz PC loading MS Word XP. The curse of MS Word 6 bloatware, taking 28 seconds to load is now lifted. The potential of the PowerPC, OS-X and dual processors seems finally realized. To say I am thrilled is an understatement.

I'm almost ready to make the switch to OS-X and leave System 9 behind. One of the main things I'd like to see is a full featured OS-X version of NewsWatcher so I can track Usenet, although Google ain't all bad, and better than Netscape. UPDATE: A former colleague has pointed me here for what I may want.

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

I LOVE APPLE - I just already (in less than 48 hours) received my advance replacement for my Wireless Access Point basestation - Airport. Then one just places the old device in the same box, peels off the top shipping label, and voila, a prepaid return label is shown.

FOLLOWUP - Just a refurbished Airport was sent, shrinkwrapped in a foamlined box, no documentation or software. It worked perfectly, although Airport Administrator software wanted to (and I allowed it to) download new firmware (part of Airport 2.0 software). All I had to do was plug it in, run Airport Administrator, pick a broadcast channel, name the device, give it a password, and pick an IP number for it that worked with my Router that fed it.

This free advance replacement, with Apple paying shipping both ways was so much better than Western Digital's treatment of me with a DOA Hard Drive.
X-Box hacked/cracked Its reported in the news today that there are no more secrets to the copy protection of the Xbox, and with minimal additonal effort, one could have a $200 Linux box. Until its pulled here is a link (found on to the paper.
IBM Hard Drives die - I won't buy any. Why? They're being sued because of high failure rates. And in my opinion, IBM knows they have more skeltons in their closet and are just dumping the business. So today (June 4) it's announced they found a sucker (uh.. ) buyer for the business. Hitachi. I sure hope Hitachi did all their due dilligence.
IBM Press Release.

Monday, June 03, 2002

No TIVO for me. I had been considering getting a Tivo, when TIVO 2 with DirecTv in one unit hits the streets later this year. Now I have firmly decided against TIVO. Seems in Great Britain, the BBC paid Tivo to arrange for Tivo boxes to download and record a 30 minute sitcom, totally unannounced to the Tivo box owners. This new invasion of privacy or TV spam is totally unacceptable.

Sunday, June 02, 2002

Such irony. Earlier today I was reading (and blogging) about the new generation of Wireless Access Points, and this afternoon just hours later, my 31 month old Apple Wireless Access Point (Airport) malfunctioned. Its a known problem apparently caused by failed inferior grade capacitors. Actually most fail just after the normal 1 year warranty period. Luckily, being knowledgeable, I know of Apple's secret extended warranty on these puppies. So I call 1-800-SOS-APPL and within minutes arranged for an advance replacement to be on its way to me: no charge for item, no charge for shipping either direction. Certainly better treatment than that offered me by Western Digital last month.
Dishonest Merchants (IMHO) - Linksys has announced an 802.11a Wireless Access Point (WAP54A), and a PC Card also. What this does is to allow wireless networking at 5x the speed of current 802.11b wireless standard. 802.11a operates in the 5 GHz band, while 802.11b operates in the 2.4 GHz band which it shares with many cordless telephones phones. Only one gotcha. The product seems unavailable from them. It is what is referred to as VAPORWARE, because one can't buy it. Linksys' web site refers one to, and CDW. Neither merchant has any in stock. CDW dishonestly says it usually ships in 1-2 weeks. Hah - Has it ever shipped any? says it is back ordered (they're honest there), but then they invent a fake $499.99 price so they can brag about a fake $210 discount. CDW offers it for a mere $299.99. CNET correctly gives the list price as $299.99 Egghead/Amazon lists it as in stock for $271.97, but can Amazon be believed when Linksys is not delivering product to its favored vendors? Just go to CNET and search on "WAP54A".