Part 41 of elf's Apple PowerBook G4 Journal
"Happy Birthday to Gnu"
gnu fsf apple drm "stephen fry"
Some weeks ago, after the iPhone AppStore had opened with the
DRM'd applications, there was a discussion on #emacs about the
Defective by Design
the AppleStore Geniuses. I suggested that the campaign would
inconvenience Mac users more than Apple corporate. I was asked
whether I had a better approach. I suggested
using Stephen Fry, a popular
commentator and avid fan of Apple products, as a spokesperson for
the campaign— fight fire with fire, so to speak. I didn't
think anything would become of it...
Imagine my surprise when, a few minutes ago, I was
shown a page with a video of
Stephen Fry talking about free software!
Unfortunately, I cannot take sole responsibility for the idea of
the above video because it seems two other people, Matt Lee (who
wrote most of it) and Peter Brown also had the idea. Naturally, it
was kept secret at the time I mentioned it, because it was supposed
to be a surprise.
Gates/Seinfeld Ad No. 1: Three Takes
microsoft gates seinfeld
- Macenstein: "I donít know whether I am supposed to want to buy Clown shoes or Vista, but after watching this, I want to buy both about the same amount."
- ZDNet: "I donít get it. And seeing how the punchline was, ummm, Bill Gates adjusting his shorts, I donít think I want to get it."
- Gizmodo: "Here's what we took away from it: Bill Gates's jiggling ass is moist and tasty. Don't ask us now, watch the clip and you'll see."
LHC: All We Are
"All we are is dust in the wind", will likely be re-written as, "all
we are is bosons in space", the day after tomorrow.
New iPod Nano in more colours with accelerometer; new iPod Touch
with external speaker and volume adjustment controls; new in-ear
headphones with mike; new 2.1 firmware (both iPod Touch and iPhone).
No GPS (likely a 3G Touch feature) or camera (4G Touch feature)
for the Touch; still no (encrypted) file storage (likely
third-party supplied). My Sony SJ33 Clié is still
unbeatable— I carry all my passwords in an encrypted memo,
something the iPod cannot yet do. Skype/VOIP might now be possible
on a jailbroken iPod Touch.
Keynote video is now available on apple.com. Engadget had the best
coverage with nice pics to compliment the live text. MacWorld and
Ars Technica coverage was average. I used an auto-refresh plugin to
refresh the tabs every minute.
Gates/Seinfeld Ad No. 2
microsoft gates seinfeld
ad has its moments. The reference to "the mothership" is
definitely a jab at Apple. I wonder where they're eventually going
with the, "give me a sign" gag at the end. I would love to see the
out-takes of the tooth-brushing scene— how many times did
Seinfeld spit toothpaste on the mother? The most baffling part of
the ad is the pool-filling scene. Corporate Microsoft is mirrored
in the essence of the 'dirty tricks campaign' mounted by the
daughter to get her room back. Great samba music track.
Update: Fri Sep 12 14:48:12 2008: whilst looking for a good
frame to capture, I noticed that the youngest child in the family,
seen sitting on the bottom left, is missing from the shot (see
image) just after the woman says, "You're in my seat,
I had considered not watching the second ad, after wasting my time
watching the first one, but when I realized it was 4 minutes long,
I took a look.
Big Bang Theory: Season 1
Just finished watching the first season DVD set of "Big Bang
Theory", my other favourite TV show; the science jokes, and the
socially awkward nerd stereotypes appeal to me. Searching for
Oppenheimer Approximation (mentioned, in passing as a joke, on
the show), I found an article
("Science" website requires subscription so I made a copy) about
the science advisor, UCLA physicist David Saltzberg, that the show
producers and writers employ, to ensure all the technical dialog is
Mating and coitus (a big bang, so to speak) are frequent subjects
on the show, and after watching all the episodes, I came to the
realization (I was also influenced by Hitchcock's Rebecca)
that intelligence, beauty and wit, which at first, seem like noble
characteristics to seek in a mate, have more meaningful
counterparts in kindness, sensitivity and modesty. The greater
realization was that kindness is the greatest of all, as no one was
ever hated for showing kindness, while intelligence, beauty and,
perhaps to a lesser extent, wit, have enemies in many circles.
robot collection which was accumulated over a period of thirty
years, "includes 135 robots, ranging from a mechanical Godzilla, to
printed 1950s tin toys and ingenious plastic transformers, to
Japanese pop TV robot heroes and wooden Folk Art characters", is on
display at the Seattle Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.
I currently have two robots in my collection.
A photograph of my Mac Mini, at work, with a "rainbow apple" logo
taken from discarded a LaserWriter printer left in a corridor. I
nicked a bit of the paint and the edge while prying the logo from
the recess on the printer's face. I would guess the printer is
about 8 years old and the adhesive is still sticky.
Canon EOS 5D
Canon has finally countered Nikon's D90 DSLR camera which also
shoot 720p HD video with
the EOS 5D
MarkII, a 21.1MP full-frame 35mm CMOS sensor, which also shoots
1080p HD video. I am considering it.
"I'm a PC And I Sell Fish"?
Update Fri Sep 19 21:30:42
It just occured to me that there is the possibility that the ad
company is secretly sabotaging Microsoft's campaign. It's the
only reasonable explanation I have for the incoherent campaign so
Good Luck With That
apple microsoft buxton design
Buxton is a well-known designer who joined Microsoft
nearly two years ago. His theme is that design is critical to every
aspect of computing... Buxton joined Microsoft specifically because
of its design failings.
Keynote, The Register
Hello, I'm a Mac. And I'm also a Mac
The PC Guy is actually a Mac.
iDVD5 on Leopard
I was a bit surprised to find that iDVD5 doesn't work on Leopard
on my Powerbook. When I double-click on the iDVD icon, a dialog
appears: "You cannot use this version of the application iDVD with
this version of Mac OS X." There
discussion on the Apple forums about this— upgrading to
iLife08 seems to solve this problem but it also seems iMovie8
doesn't work after the upgrade (minimum requirement 1.9GHz G5)— but
iMovie6 works— good grief! What happened to: "It just works"?
The problem is that iLife is not included with retail disks of
Leopard (which is what I used to install Leopard on my Powerbook);
iLife only ships with discs bundled with Macs.
Another Leopard quirk I found a few weeks ago, was that after
inserting a CF card using a PCMCIA adapter, the eject (unmount)
button is missing from the Finder. So I have to
manually sudo umount -f /Volumes/CFoo the device before ejecting it. I filed a
bug report which is still open, so 10.5.5 didn't fix it.
The Newton, the N800 and the iPhone
nokia newton iphone pda tablets
A few hours ago, I started reading about the next generation Nokia
tablet whose specs were previewed in Berlin. I then followed-up by
reading about Maemo on the Wikipedia, whereupon I stumbled
upon a detailed
comparison between the current Nokia tablet and the original
tablet, the Newton Messagepad. (The Apple representative for one of
the independant computer stores we deal with, has a Newton.)
In addition to the descriptions of the Newton interface, I learned
that the Newton, like the iPhone, had no filesystem— all the
application data was stored in an object oriented database—
and there was no cut and paste (but it had drag and drop).
We have a dream of improving the lives of many millions of people by
means of small, intimate life support systems that people carry with
them everywhere. These systems will help people to organize their
lives, to communicate with other people, and to access information of
all kinds. They will be simple to use, and come in a wide range of
models to fit every budget, need, and taste. They will change the way
people live and communicate.
—General Magic Ethos,
"Bill and Andy's Excellent Adventure II"
Reading further, I found a
article, by Steven Levy, about General Magic and their PDA, and
the animosity between Bill Atkinson and Steve Capp, both of whom
had worked on the Macintosh, but Atkinson had co-founded General
Magic and Steve Capp, still at Apple (who had pulled-out of the
General Magic Alliance), working on the competing Newton.
On the topic of consumer goods, I found this quote particularily
interesting in light of the iPhone 3G $199 price-point:
"That's what first brought me into the picture, when he started
saying Sony and Motorola," says Bill. "The idea of Apple making a
$200 anything was ridiculous to me. Apple couldn't make a $200
blank disk, and for this to become a widespread consumer product it
has to eventually get down into that range."
Technically, Atkinson is still correct, the $199 iPhone is
subsidised by the cellular carrier.
google android phone
the G1, an Android based phone, today. There is a video comparing
it to the iPhone; it's clear the iPhone has a much more polished
interface in terms of responsiveness while the G1 seems to need
Update Tue Sep 23 18:21:08 2008: There is no stereo
audio jack on the G1.
Dear Mr. Lorre
"big bang theory"
Dear Mr. Lorre,
Having just watched the first
episode of the second season of your most excellent show, "The Big
Bang Theory", I would like to note that I was quite shocked when I
saw Sheldon folding his freshly laundered T-shirts using a
gadget. Instead, I expected him to use
T-shirt Folding method.
Perhaps, in a future episode someone could mention the technique
in Vanity Card
#10, Mr. Lorre lurks on the net.
This is what happens to a CD (which is still in
the drive), when you turn a desktop computer on to its side in
preparation for opening it, before the CDROM drive has stopped
I took the photograph of the ladybug, seen on the desktop
background, one morning on my way to work. I happened to be walking
by a small bush and for no apparent reason I walked up to it and
looked closely and saw the ladybug. I took a single picture (I
usually take 3) and walked away. And I didn't realize the
photograph came out absolutely perfect until I looked at it on the
computer screen a few days later.
Unrecoverable Data II
"he's dead jim"
A rare sight seen from the GO train this
Perhaps it was fortunate that the heavy rain
the windows with rivulets of water. This fatality
about an hour earlier on the Lakeshore line south of
Ontario Foodland Terminal, just east of Mimico
Moments earlier, just as I was about to photograph
half-dozen police cars parked next to the track, the
west-bound train passed.