Archive for the ‘Mac’ Category

Haiku please stop

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

When I say Haiku I’m not referring to the poems nor is it a misspelling of the social networking site Jaiku.  I’m talking about the open source operating system being built.  It’s still in Alpha release and you can’t download an installable copy yet but you can get a vmware virtual machine of it.  My only conclusion… please… Let Be OS die peacefully.

Here’s the history.  Once upon a time someone made an operating system call Be OS.  I remember checking this out in the mid 90’s and it looked great!  It was made to take full advantage of your PC and originally ran on it’s own hardware (BeBox).  Sad as it may be it was just one of those things that never took off.  Palm Software eventually bought the company and that was it for Be OS.  Out of it’s ashes came Haiku.  People are still working on making it like Be OS but it’s just too late.  All the cool stuff is in Linux, and BSD (which in turn benefits Mac OSX) now.

Why stop?   One reason above all others… Help the team to win.  The resources that people are putting toward this could be used enhance Linux and BSD.  If they enhance BSD then Mac OSX will get these benefits added to it’s Darwin core.  I’m a big believer in breaking off and treading new ground but from what I can see.  You’re not.  I favor you helping Linux but let’s just all be friends and make cool software that enhances everyone’s life.

Is iPhone “Fools gold”?

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

I am not one to quickly jump on the bandwagon for many trends.  However, I do love new techy hardware.  That’s why I love the concept of the iPhone.  When I say concept, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not against the iPhone it’s just that not that many people have actually used it.  I’ve got too recent a memory of a product I really loved.  I bought a Canon MP830 printer that could scan multiple pages, fax, print in beautiful color, had a color display on the printer… It’s pure beauty and just so I wouldn’t jump into something I’d hate later I did my research.  However, its flaws didn’t become apparent for weeks to months later.  It started answering every call that rang. People that had distinctive ring on their phones had me looking at their printer because the feature just all of a sudden wasn’t there any more.  I looked on my printer as well and the display had it disabled and had to go back to Canon for repairs to the motherboard of the printer.

Why the history?  Well, all that glitters (even in reviews) isn’t gold.  The iPhone has many beautiful looking features but the first problem is that all that was on TV.  In reality, iPhone works on the AT&T network with is notoriously slow and in my personal experience, here in Los Angeles and in the San Francisco Bay area, had horrible coverage.  I really think they should have gone to Verizon Wireless which I do love.  Secondly, they decided to go with a glass face and a metal body.
These two things together equal pure eye candy however, so does dripping honey until you notice the bee hive.  Glass, ummm… CRACKS.  It does that very well as you may know.  Also, metal (unlike plastic) doesn’t absorb shock at all.  The combination will have more than a few people buying the plastic coverings for their iPhone.  Problem is, you paid a premium for pretty which you’re now covering.  So, in essense, you’ve bought the most beautiful outfit in the world but have on a full length burlap trench coat.

Also, I have been fighting it but I really don’t think the touch screen idea will work but I don’t take myself too seriously there because I would have told the guy who created Starbuck’s, “Really? A coffee shop? Maybe you should go back to the drawing board.”  This could actually work.  Actually, I do want it to.  I’m just not a believer in the hype.

Show me how well it supports video codecs and really plays back video.  Show me that sticky finger marks won’t make it ugly every day.  Show me that email clients can sync with it easy as a Blackberry.  Show me that and I’m sold.

Sonos is slick but VLC is free

Friday, June 29th, 2007

VLC picture

I must say, I do a LOT of web browsing and a decent amount of blog reading and I came across a great idea for my house as it may be for yours as well. The original blog post was on a site call the Infected project (link to article). The article was on an easy way to set up the Video LAN Client (VLC) media player to be controlled remotely by a web interface.

Let’s start by saying, VLC is my media player of choice on every OS. I use it on Windows, Linux, and Mac and I LOVE IT. I turned my kids onto it about two years ago and they stopped using all other MP3 and video programs. It does it all and it’s a great open source program. As fickle as teens are if my oldest son says it even looks better you should believe him.

After I read the blog post I got a million ideas. First, most people have more than one computer in their house. Second, these computers are usually connected to the internet thus they are connected to each other. This made me think of a lot of great ideas for whole house audio. My older boys play music in their room all night. Thing is, when they go to sleep I end up roaming the house at 2 AM turning off their music. Now I don’t have to. I can control their VLC player from my handheld PC in my room. My 5 and 9 year old go to sleep listening to soft music from their computer. Knowing their IP address allows me to turn on/off their music or change it. Even better, I can lower the volume while I’m sitting in my room on my laptop doing some late night surfing. (more…)