Jun 30 2005
When you take the miniaturization of mp3 players to the next level, you
can end up with something really small: the iPod flea.

You
simply have to view this iPod commercial spoof Scott Kelby created. It’s really
clever.
You can copy/paste this direct URL in Windows Media Player; instead of
the regular NY times page.
[from TUAW ]

Click here to read more …

Jun 29 2005
We must have been “up north” too long and lost our heat tolerance, or
something, as we’ve just been melting away recently. The fact that we jumped
from a long winter, over a short wet spring into mid-summer doesn’t help either.
Air conditioners sell like Belgian chocolates / pralines (the real ones at
least) for the past weeks.

war of the worlds
We saw War of
the Worlds
in theatre today and both recommend it. Nice drama,
suspense and plenty of special effects. C has her review up on her blog.

Yes, C now has her own weblog at http://www.acrisis.net – which I actually hadn’t
mentioned here yet. Mea culpa! Not that I posted anything else recently. Call me
busy & distracted. I don’t know why I’ve been so absent in the
blog-o-sphere. Having too many things to do and not enough time certainly rings
a bell. Ever since installing Tiger & our trip to Albany I haven’t caught up
yet with myself. I still need to fix my blog template (horrible not loading the
default css issue). I have some nice images to host, but I lost my JAlbum
templates in the Tiger install (resided under the JAlbum app, forgotten to
backup). I still have some apps to re-install like for instance newsnetwire to
keep track of news sites and fellow bloggers (I don’t like Safari RSS). My iPod
is still empty though I got a few podcasts yesterday using iTunes 4.9.
I’m happy Apple introduced basic support for podcasts so I don’t need to use an
external app. I have overdue emails I still have to catch up with. Thinking of
it, it’s like my digital life sat on the back burner. Working in the garden and
relaxing together on the bench at night certainly contributes to that, but it
seems I need to “reschedule” a few things. Put a little bit of time aside every
couple days.

Some people have asked about the progress with the
garden & house projects. While I wish everything outdoors was finished by
now, with all the rain and now all the heat, I just move slower (wink wink).
Here’s the short update:

two trees
The two big trees on the property line with wire fencing in them are gone. We
hired a local company – Hickey Tree Service – to cut the trees for us.

Ron
at
work.

One
tree down.

To remove the stumps, Allen (nice neighbor) and I had
to dig three feet down all the way around and cut all the roots. Oh, if you ever
have to dig a stump out, forget your chain-saw, a reciprocating saw is your best
friend to cut roots.

The
“stump king” at work :)

The second stump (img above) had very few
roots compared to the first one. The holes you see were to use a product called
stump-out, but I didn’t haven enough patience. You’re supposed to wait 6-12
months, use the product, let it work for a number of months, soak with kerosine
and then set it on fire. I’m more the instant kinda guy.

The new
retaining wall is in place giving us extra driveway space and room to park. The
front garden is looking nice now that all the old shrubs & trees are
removed. I installed some terraces and Carolyn planted plenty of new shrubs
& flowers making it super nice.

A before image from last year
with the leaning retaining & trees in the background.

During:

After:

The
back garden still needs a lot of work, but at least it’s a pleasure to drive up
to the house now :)

Click here to read more …

Jun 6 2005
Brace for impact -[- Bombshell drops -]- Next year, Macs will be “Intel
inside”!

Old rumors that OS X since the very beginning was secretly
running on PC’s at Cupertino are true, Steve Jobs confirmed. For the past 5
years OS X has lead a secret double life, “just in case …” Changing
manufacturers is one thing, switching architecture is another. While I see
several benefits for using Intel cpus (updates, availability & price), I’m
really curious what todays announcements will bring in the short term for the
Apple developers & community + Apple computer.

For developers
it’s just been one thing after another. Can we truly believe that this
transition will be a matter of hours for developers? The engine under the hood
doesn’t make or break a car – and maybe we all are just switching from a
turbodiesel to gasoline engine? – but what about the OS speed & overall
footprint with those “universal binaries” (which are compatible with both PPC
& Intel) that every application will have? Sounds like a risk for bloating
to me. Will Macs become cheaper (more commonly available parts)? Faster update
frequency? What will happen to a Mac’s life cycle & value retention? … Up
to now Macs have held their value pretty well compared to their PC counterparts.
Many questions, few answers. I fear sales may go a little flat and wonder what
will happen when you see some comparably specced Macs & PCs with a
noticeably different price-point.

The good thing – though
everything Intel will only start shipping Q2 next year – will be overdue
notebook updates (since the G5 doesn’t fit the bill). But, who will buy a
notebook now (which many consider lacking power & battery life) before the
Intel-li series will come out?? And is the grass greener on the other side?
Having personally used some quite recent WinTelAMD notebooks … they’re not
necessarily all that fast or faster than a PowerBook. Certainly not when they’re
off the grid. I do understand Steve’s point though that IBM hasn’t been able to
deliver and that the roadmap for x86 cpus is more favorable & predictable.
So I guess switching to Intel is a good thing. We’ll probably still pay premium
and nothing else will really matter :)

Sadly enough, todays keynote
didn’t bring any hardware updates or totally new items. I thought we would see
the DP 3GHz PM today, some other IBM announcement and a hint on PowerBooks.
Instead we’re now embarking with Intel’s boat … which actually is lagging
behind AMD recently ! But, let’s not go there :)

Click here to read more …