Prepping for Tiger (OS X 10.4)

April 29, 2005

Are you getting ready to install the latest bouncing baby OS on your Mac?  If so, then you’ll want to take a little time to get ready.

First, make a quick inventory of all of your critical applications and utilities, and take a few moments visiting their websites to see if they’re ready-to-run on Tiger.  My big issue at the moment is CarbonCopyCloner, and I’m real reluctant to upgrade until they fix it or I find a Tiger-friendly replacement.  You can find a comprehensive reference to other users early Tiger experiences here, and a handy list of compatibility notes here.

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Why Digital TV Sucks

April 27, 2005

Well, the oft-promised “end of Analog TV as we know it” is once again upon us, as Congress decides whether to keep or extend the current due date of New Year’s Eve 2006. MSNBC (hardly a disinterested party) hashes out some of the issues here.

“Congress, however, left itself a loophole in the 1996 legislation, and could actually let the cut-off date slide by. But powerful lobbyists now are pressing legislators to set a “date certain” for the analog lights-out. The debate over when to throw the switch is a strange brew of big money, high technology, homeland security and a single, unanswerable question: just how angry are the couch potatoes going to be? It’s also a textbook example of why the future almost never happens as fast as technologists promise.”

Of course, what they don’t mention is that all of this would be much more palatable if they weren’t trying to control the way we watch television by shoving various DRM schemes down our throat.
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Serenity (Firefly Movie) Trailer Up

April 26, 2005


…and then there’s the Firefly I do like.

The Serenity Movie site has been updated, with new goodies like a link to the awesome new trailer (actually living on Apple’s site, of course).

The trailer looks great—all of the Firefly cast, on the big screen.  It looks like we’re finally going to get the details of River’s backstory, something I’ve waited a long time for.

“This is going to get pretty interesting…”

“Define interesting.”

“Oh God, Oh God, we’re all going to die?”

I can’t wait…

In case you’ve been living under a rock, and haven’t seen the best series Fox ever killed, you should really consider watching the DVD set of the series thus far.  It’s 13 hours of absolutely amazing television, and far better than anything you’re liable to see between now and September 30th…

Halt and Catch Fire – Trying Windows Media Center

April 26, 2005

So, after all of my talk about SageTV vs. MCE, I just ordered a copy of Windows Media Center Edition 2005…


Well, it’s one of those stories… My SageTV setup had been built in a small form factor case that had heat problems already, and I had it in a cabinet with glass doors.  I knew this was problematic, but in typical geek fashion, I solved the problem by leaving the doors gapped slightly open, and everything went smoothly.

Unfortunately, someone (who had no reason to know not to) was by the other day and closed the doors.  I didn’t happen to catch it, and yesterday evening watching a bit of TV on the box, the damn thing actually caught fire…
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Windows MCE vs. SageTV

April 24, 2005

I’ve been a fan of SageTV for quite some time now.  I still get a few pangs when looking at some of the new stuff coming out for Windows Media Center, however.

Just in case you’ve been wondering what the difference was, Terry Stockdale has posted a nice comparison of SageTV vs. MCE.

“If you’re an advanced user, add SageTV into your current Windows computer and throw away your VCR(s). If you bought a MCE system, download the trial version of SageTV and give it a try. Think about being able to add multiple hard drives for storage—and storing in standard mpeg formats, not proprietary Microsoft formats, too!”

Most of his points are pretty good.  The long and the short of it with me are the file formats—Sage records in easy-to-manipulate MPEG2, while MCE does its own proprietary thing, with its own DRM formats. 

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Transportation “Oops” List

April 23, 2005

For your weekend pleasure, it’s The Oops List—a collection of amazing images of transportation problems, disasters, and just plain f***-ups.

It’s mostly planes (crashes, over-taxiing, so overloaded that it tips over backwards) but there are also quite a few other transportation-related pics—tanks off embankments, subs aground, cars hanging from power lines, as well as the occasional disaster-in-the-making.

Some of this had to be fairly hair-raising when it happened, but many of these are absolutely laugh-out-loud funny…


Free MP3s from Amazon

April 22, 2005

I’m not sure how long they’re running this promotion, but it looks like Amazon has a bunch of free MP3s for download.

This doesn’t appear to be just junk, although that probably depends on your taste.  At the moment, they have up titles from Aimee Mann, Moby, Yo La Tenglo, Dropkick Murphys, and a ton of others.

Here’s a link to the current 200 titles; it looks like they’re changing them every six hours.


Attention ZombieMart Shoppers…

April 19, 2005

Meanwhile, at Kuro5hin, “dr zeus” is tired of ill-prepared people in zombie movies, and has decided to post a mini-manual on how to survive a zombie attack

His hot tip?  Capture and defend a WalMart—Plenty of prepared foods and containers to store water, and you can use garden center supplies to plant the store for the long haul…

“First things first, you have to know your enemy. Zombies come in two flavors: fast and slow. Fast are definitely cool, but you’ll need more than a baseball bat and a pair of running sneakers to survive that zombie attack. Slow zombies – well why the heck would anyone die from a slow zombie? If you can’t get away from a slow zombie, you earned dismemberment.”

Sounds like a plan…

Alabama 3 – Outlaw Early Review

April 19, 2005

“There’s a train a-coming…”

It looks like things are ramping up for the imminent release of the new Alabama 3 (“A3″ in the US) album, “Outlaw”.  An early review is available here

“The latest offering is simply called “Outlaw”. Once again it features wit as sharp as a needle. Once again it’s built around a melange of country, bluegrass, the blues and home-grown techno. However, where previous outings occasionally found the disparate elements engaged in a stylistic tug of war, this set sounds completely natural. No longer a case of welding together opposites in a perverse game of Push The Parameters, but simply an exercise in common ground. These are sounds that emerged from the (under)ground up. Decades apart perhaps, but from the same unifying tortured soul. The songs of life’s outsiders. The sounds of history’s outlaws.

And it’s a great record. Far more extravert than either “La Peste” and “Power in the Blood”, more pure than “Exile on Coldharbour Lane”, “Outlaw” finds the band jumping the trains of sepia tinted American mythology and drawing a direct line to the all too often unsung outlaws of British history…

…an album that draws on the unifying experience of the outsider fuses cultures and revels in the resulting confusion. It’s an album about survival in a crazy world, a record that is rich in its own humanity (like all great story tellers Rob [“Larry Love”] brings to life the real emotions at the core of the moody, dangerous ghetto – a fact that goes way beyond bling bling culture). Above all however “Outlaw” is the album that Alabama 3 have threatened to make since day one. “

Via FreeA3

Want a taste of Alabama 3?  You can find several excellent free MP3s (including an early version of “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash”, apparently to be the first single from the album) here.

(Courtesy of Captain Paranoid, who also has some tasty MP3s on that same page)

Verizon – Clueless from the top down

April 18, 2005

It’s not that I want to pick on Verizon as much as I do, it’s that they make it so easy…

Okay, I do want to pick on them.  They made my life miserable for too many years.  But they still make it easy.

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