Logitech MX Revolution & OS X (Review)

March 1, 2007

Logitech MX Revolution Cordless Laser MouseIf you’re a Mac user, most Logitech peripherals are like having the world’s greatest dog follow you home — he’s smart, friendly, and knows how to bring you beer from the fridge — except you just can’t housebreak him.

The MX Revolution mouse is typical of that. It’s comfortable, ergonomic, has some very well thought-out features and a reasonably good recharging system — but their OS X driver is almost biblically bad.

Fortunately, there’s a way to fix it.
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Upgrade Core Duo Macbook Pro to 802.11n WiFi

February 24, 2007

Airport Extreme Base StationUpdate — kids don’t try this at home; see the update at bottom of this post

There’s been a lot of great press about the new Airport Extreme, which is dandy unless you’re like me, and bought a Core Duo MacBook Pro, before the newer Core 2 Duo models that already have the 802.11n hardware on board came out.

Early reports were that there would be no way to upgrade the Core Duo laptops, since 802.11n requires three antennas, and the Core Duos only have the 802.11g complement of two antennas built in.

Which leaves those of us early-Intel Mac adopters with a choice of external USB adapters, or an Expresscard adapter. Blech. Plus, so far I haven’t seen one of either that mentioned OS X drivers.

Which doesn’t mean we couldn’t use one of the new Airport Extremes, but if you’re going to drop nearly 2 Benjamins on a pre-N router, you don’t want to be stuck with (the much slower) 802.11g.

Well, good news.
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Tony Bourdain calls out Food TV

February 9, 2007

Not the kind of guy to pass up a guest opportunity on Michael Ruhlman’s blog, Anthony Bourdain takes a swipe at Food TV, and as usual with Tony, if anything is being minced, it ain’t the words.

I knew that he was a Mario Batali fan, but it’s nice to see that he likes Alton Brown, too. He even found a few nice things to say about Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, and Emeril.

Of course, it’s tough to disguise his utter disdain for the network, its policies, or some of the other so-called chefs…

PAULA DEEN: I’m reluctant to bash what seems to be a nice old lady. Even if her supporting cast is beginning to look like the Hills Have Eyes–and her food a True Buffet of Horrors. A recent Hawaii show was indistinguishable from an early John Waters film. And the food on a par with the last scene of Pink Flamingos. But I’d like to see her mad. Like her look-alike, Divine in the classic, “Female Trouble.“ Paula Deen on a Baltimore Killing Spree would be something to see. Let her get Rachael in a headlock–and it’s all over.

Pink Flamingos? That’s hysterical, albeit a little indirect for Bourdain.
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First Look at (5G) Video iPod

October 13, 2005

Video iPodiLounge has up a pretty detailed first look at the new “Fifth Generation” Video iPod.

Here’s my take…

As per usual for newly announced Apple products, my drool factor for this thing is awfully high, but also as per usual, it’s a real mixed bag of an announcement.

On the upside, it’s an iPod, so of course it’s sleek and sexy. It’s thinner, it has a bigger screen, it’s available in black (without U2 even), it (predictably) came in at the previous generation’s price point. And hey, it has video!
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Geek House – Home TV Server

May 7, 2005

Geek HouseHave you been thinking about building an integrated system to pipe all of your video around the house, but weren’t sure how it all goes together?

Well, head over to ExtremeTech, where they’ve just posted the entire “Build Your Own Home Television Server” chapter from their “Geek House” book.

In typical ExtremeTech fashion, they’ve gone into all of the details — everything from planning the necessary amount of network bandwidth for various video compression formats, to “how to burn a DVD”.

The system they outline is based around running SageTV on the server as the TV Capture / Encoding point, and SageTV Client on the remote end, but most of the details would also be applicable to running PVRs with similar architectures, such as MCE 2005 with Media Center Extenders (or X-Boxes running the MCE software).

Even if you’re going in a different direction, this is a great overview with lots of attention paid to common “gotcha” issues.

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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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…

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.


Acer AL1715 SMD 17″ DVI LCD Monitor Review

April 14, 2005

I recently decided to leave the DVI KVM switches alone for awhile, and add a second LCD monitor for the Windows system I use for testing.

What I was looking for was a 17” LCD (large enough to be useful for other purposes too), DVI input, decent display characteristics, and a price in the same neighborhood as the switch I would have bought otherwise.

What I ended up with was the Acer AL1715 SMD, and I’m quite pleased with it.

The AL1715D offers decent brightness (300 cd/m²), nice contrast (500:1), and a respectable response time (12ms), for around $220 (Amazon—$218, free shipping).
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OS X Tiger gets shipdate and $30 Deal

April 12, 2005

Apparently the official ship date for Apple’s Mac OS X version 10.4 (aka “Tiger”) has been set for April 29th.  I’m torn between being anxious, and cautious…

On the other hand, you can now order the Family 5 Pack for $199, and get a $50 rebate—bringing home a new OS for everyone in the house for $30 a head…

Okay, so I only need three of them, but that’s still a great deal, compared to about $150 a shot for copies of XP Pro…

Here’s a list of the new features in Tiger.

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