Monday, January 23, 2006

A quick little hello!

Hey all! I'm just sitting here to update my photo's on my iPod. I organized about half of them in very easy to understand and find folders. So far, 2,490 pictures organized only about 2,200 left. Well, I also have been doing searching through the Apple website and I really want a G5 and Final Cut Studio Pro. I mean I'm dying without it!

I have just used a little bit of Motion 2 and I have fallen in love with it! It's like a Mac version of Adobe After Effects on steroids while on fire driving a motorcycle through a busy one way street in the wrong way backwards! It's that cool!

Here is a link for the beautiful G5's. Check them out.

Here is a link for the Final Cut Studio software, you gotta check that out!

Also, here is a link for a story about iPod vending machines, that's pretty cool.

I'll post more later, but I may be pretty busy.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Comment etiquette...

Ok everyone (excluding S. Hale), it looks as if you don't know what proper comment etiquette is. Is pretty much just this... When you leave a comment, LEAVE YOUR NAME! It helps me to find out the demographics of my readers so I can post something more relevant to your interests! That's all. Thank you.

This is also another short blog because I have a busy evening. Tonight we have a field trip to an HDV hands on presentation somewhere. We get to play with the new Sony, JVC, Panasonic, and I think something else... HD camcorders. It should be good, well, that's really all I can write. I'll tell you how it goes.

I have nothing tomorrow except directing TeleNews, our student News show so I don't have anything else the rest of the day after 10:30, but I will be super busy with upcoming projects and quizzes next week.

So I will leave you with this:

If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Mini update.

Hey again. I working on my project for my interactive cd/disc authoring class. We had to pick a client and do an interactive cd for them... I chose to do a personal portfolio for myself and my non existent company, New Light Productions. I have included a screen shot of what the first screen will look like or very similar to. I took the picture and got ideas from other sites for the layout, but it's all me baby! Tell me what you think! I'll be putting more pieces of it on here when I work on them, so I'll keep you updated. Also, as you can see, it's on a Mac, sorry PC people.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A mediocre post, something worth posting I guess.

This is a medium size post. Not too much, but I have just enough info to make it post worthy.

I have a new class, Interactive CD/DVD and disc authoring, where we are using Macromedia Director MX 2004 and DVD Studio Pro 4.0. We are using a different lab than our ordinary. We're using an all Mac lab. I'll post some pictures later. The computer I use in there is dual processor G5, I'll give you specs below:

- PowerMac G5
- 2 1.8 Ghz Processors
- 512 RAM
- Mac OSX 10.4.3
- Soundtrack Pro
- LiveType
- DVD Studio Pro 4.0
- Final Cut Pro
- Adobe Photoshop CS
- Adobe Image Ready CS
- Adobe After Effects 6.5
- Motion
- Lightwave
- Macromedia Director MX 2004
Macromedia Flash MX 2004
Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004
Macromedia Fireworks MX 2004
- Macromedia Freehand MX 2004
- iLife Suite
- iPhoto
- iTunes
- iMovie
- iDVD
- Garageband

I guess that's all the post I can muster for now. Well, maybe a little more. I ran camera last night at Church on The Move. It was good. It felt good to have control of a camera again. It's been so long. Well, ok, I'm going to end this post here. See ya everyone, have a good week.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Off and running.

Well, the first week is over, well, the first first full week is yet to come, but at least I got a taste as to what it's going to be like. I'll tell you what though, I thought it was going to be a lot easier, it looks like it's still going to be hard.

Although, my teacher said that the first two weeks are going to be a lot more stressful than usual because the first week is only Wed. to Fri. so we play "catch up" but by the third week, everything should be fine and slowed down.

I have a good amount of small stuff due Tuesday but being under the weather doesn't really help things. I am also running camera tonight at Church on the Move. In February, I will be doing the handheld camera there, so that will be good. I am currently running the centerline camera and I enjoy that.

I will give a better post later because I have to get ready to go in a little bit. I will also tell you about my new lab an all Mac lab where I use a dual processor G5. See ya!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Friday, January 06, 2006

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I'm running out of excuses to post more posts...

You can probably tell that I am ready to go back to school because my posts are suffering in quality. Well, maybe their not, but I feel like they are.

Here is something I'd like in my house one day, or even my dorm room. It's called an eNook. Enough said. Check it out.

It's like Christmas all over again!

Yesterday, my iPod case came and my Timbuk2 bag came and my mom and dad got me a leather jacket! Awesome!

I'll have to post some pictures of everything when I get a chance. The case is Agent 18, for those of you who didn't know and it's so cool! My first impression of the case is that is is super protective for most of the body of the iPod, but lacks for the bottom of the case.

The bottom of the iPod is completely exposed, although I don't car a whole lot about the silver bottom because it's just the bottom. I keep my iPod in my pocket and this morning I noticed a small amount of lint just inside of the case at the bottom, so when I got to work, I took the case off cleaned the front and back with my sunglasses cloth and put the case back on. It's as good as new for now. So, just make sure you don't have cookies in your pocket when you slide your iPod in. It's a very nice slim case that protects like none other. And I got it for $14.99 other than $24.99. If anyone is looking to buy and Agent 18 case, email me or leave a comment and I will post the coupon code again.

My Timbuk2 bag is even better than I imagined! The colors look awesome! I can't wait to get back to school and show it off. One of the coolest things for me an the major selling point is that I picked the colors and the options myself. The options I chose are a handle strap and a padded shoulder strap with a color I even picked myself.

It is also a lot sturdier than I thought it would be. I mean I know it's supposed to be hard core, but it's built really well. It's like double stitched, extra thick, virtually water proof and did I tell you I picked the colors myself?!

I'll have to wear it some more and ride with it to see it's full potential. So far so good though! No! So far so GREAT!

The jacket...
This jacket makes me look like Steve McQueen. Really. I look that good. It's got on of those short collars, kind of like a mock turtle neck type thing. It's cool. It's so soft too!

I'll post some pictures when available.

So, needless to say, I was super excited yesterday. I almost blew up, really! I got all that stuff and it was super fun!

New look coming soon!

Stay tuned for a new look! I'm about to do an overhaul of this blog with new graphics and stuff. So if you come back and it's only half done... pardon our construction! Thanks!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

iPod through the ages...

I was searching through and found a neat history of the iPod's development over the years...

First Generation

- October 23, 2001

- 5 GB
- $399

- March 2002

- 10 GB
- $499

Second Generation

- July 17, 2002
- 10 GB
- 20 GB
- Compatible with Windows

Third Generation

- April 28, 2003

- 10 GB
- $299

- 15 GB
- $399

- 20 GB
- 30 GB
- $499

- 40 GB

Fourth Generation
- July 2004
- 20 GB
- $299

- 40 GB

- $399

- 12 hour battery life

- October 28, 2004
- iPod Photo
- 15 hour battery life
- 40 GB
- $499

- 60 GB
- $599

- February 23, 200
- Dropped 40 GB
- Added 30 GB
- $349

- June 28, 2005
- Dropped 30 GB
- Added 20 GB iPod Photo
- $299

- 60 GB
- $399

- October 28, 2004

- Added U2 iPod
- 20 GB
- $349
- Black and white screen

- June 28, 2005
- 20 GB U2 iPod
- Added Photo and color screen
- $329

- October 12, 2005
- Dropped U2 iPod

Fifth Generation

- October 12, 2005
- 30 GB
- 14 hour battery life
- $299

- 60 GB
- 20 hour battery life
- $399

Here's the full iPod link.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cool site!

This is a cool site that had a Photoshop competition. There are some really cool pictures! Check it out!

Read and listen at the same time (on your iPod)

Many of you iPod users already know that you can read notes in the Notes section of your iPod. You can make these pretty easily, but there is neat way to type up some notes, use a little HTML and then when you scroll over certain keywords (you pick the words), the word becomes underlined and it plays a song when you select it, from your library.

It's especially cool if you buy an iPod for your significant other and type a message with certain songs to play. I just grabbed Jenni's when she wasn't looking and put it on there, but if your planning on buying one for that special someone, get it first and do it.

There is also a way to have it go directly to the notes section from the beginning, but I don't remember how to do that. Maybe it's in the tutorial...

Check out this link for a tutorial, it's really not that hard either! I've done it before.

Here is a tutorial to get RSS feeds on your iPod as well. It explains everything, even for those of you who don't know what an RSS feed is. Follow this link to read more!

Here is a really neat site I stumbled across, they have a lot of info for geeks and semi geeks alike. If you think you are a geek, any kind will do, then check this out!

Here is a link for the 50 Coolest Websites of 2005.

Want some free fonts? How about 6500 free fonts!? Click Here!

50 Things you can do with your iPod.

I'm posting to say I may not have any more posts today.

It's pretty busy here at work, everyone is getting back on the roads, so they are all crashing into each other and getting flat tires and what not... We'll, please review the previous days posts, I only put like a hundred of them! I may do a few more posts, during breaks and lunch, but they would be cut and paste, and maybe some pictures.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Firefox vs. Internet Explorer

Microsoft Employees Rage As Internet Explorer Ship Sinks

No way to build a market: No more Mac users. No more Dell users in the UK. HP's shipping Netscape. Internet Explorer 7 is the ultimate "me too" knock off. And nobody's madder than Microsoft employees and fans.

Microsoft employee Rory Blyth:

I think IE is horribly behind the times. When every other browser on the planet that's worth a damn supports tabbed browsing, it's just crappy that I still have to have different copies of IE open to have multiple sites open at once.

As of right now, my favorite browser on the planet is Apple's Safari.
Windows Live developer and creator of RSS Bandit, Dare Obsasanjo laments:
We haven't innovated in the browser for almost a decade. Given that Microsoft views IE as a defensive option to make Windows an enticing product, there is less incentive to make it the ultimate browsing experience as products whose bread and butter is the Web browser. Why do you think there are so many Google employees working on Mozilla?

Microsoft should either cede innovation in the Web browser to Mozilla/Google or make IE more than just "icing on the Windows user experience cake"by transfering the product to a team whose bottom line depends on browser innovation.
A bewildered ex-Mac IE developer Jorg Brown recalls a conversation with a Microsoft superior:
Over the whole sad journey, the single most surprising thing I ever discovered was from a small conversation that went:

Me: "Look, if it makes sense to devote dozens of people to WinIE, then surely it makes sense to devote half a dozen to MacIE!"

Higher-up: (confused look) "There aren't dozens of people on WinIE. WinIE had some great people on it! We need those great people on products that make money!"

Me: "Then why on earth did we pursue IE in the first place? Just so that the DOJ would sue us?"

Higher-up: (confused look)

Some day I hope to get a proper answer on our motivation to do WinIE and MacIE in the first place. It seems to be that we were scared of not having control of the HTML standard. And indeed, now that Firefox is gaining traction, Microsoft has added more people to WinIE again.

Epilogue: All of this made it a lot more easy for me to quit and go work at Google.
Microsoft Exchange partisan and leader of Orlando SBS IT Pro Association, Vlad Mazek, rages:
There is a 0 day exploit of another Microsoft file format that makes your Windows XP system wide-open for hackers if you made some bad decisions. On top of those is still using Microsoft Internet Explorer to surf the Internet - what in the world are you thinking? How many times do you have to stab yourself to bleed to death? If you know the answer to that please download Firefox today and say goodbye to IE-borne online threats.

The IE team dropped all development of Macintosh version of IE, then outright said it would not develop anything for XP anymore and everyone would have to upgrade to Vista, then they slacked away on security work and instead focused on visual issues while they got spanked on features by Firefox (which is why I switched). The Internet Explorer team needs to be punished, severely, for slacking away and compromising your computer and data security. This is not the case with almost any other Microsoft product. Will Bill fix it? Not as long as you continue to take it and not vote with your feet or at the very least tell them you are not happy with the risk they are placing on your computer.

Link to source.

Just got back from lunch break.

I had a decent lunch break. I totally forgot that it's a holiday, so the cooks weren't there. I had to get something from the vertical spinning/rotating glass sandwich picker thing. I got some chicken alfredo panini or something, I don't remember. I was watching Seinfeld on my iPod. I watched one and a half episodes. I started to laugh aloud but luckily there was no one around. I bring my dock so that I don't have hold the iPod and scratch it accidentally or get food on it.

My bag and my iPod case should arrive on Wednesday! I can't wait!

I designed this bag on Go ahead and make one!

Million Dollar Idea

This kid needed some money for college, check out his site:

- Million Dollar Idea

- CNN Story

He is selling the last 1,000 pixels on eBay. Check out his eBay page: Click here! Right now, the bidding is up to $21,000.

Trade CD's for a new iPod!

This is awesome! Although I don't have any CD's. I think I have 3.

Millennium Music, an independent music store in Charleston, South Carolina, allows customers to trade in their old CDs for an iPod. You can drop off your CDs at one of two locations or ship your collection to the store. The CDs credits will be judged on physical quality and quality of title. In addition, if a customer doesn’t have enough CDs, the difference can be made up with cash.

Millennium’s CD to iPod converstion table:
45 CDs = 512MB iPod shuffle
65 CDs = 1GB iPod shuffle
85 CDs = 2GB iPod nano
110 CDs = 4GB iPod nano
130 CDs = 30GB video iPod
175 CDs = 60GB video iPod

*info taken from
Link to Millenium Website: Click here.

Random Stuff...

Here's a few random stuff I found online. I'm just going to cut and paste everything.

How Microsoft Will Die

Longhorn, by the features

WFS: Cut
.NET Framework: Cut
Integrated Search: Cut
Avalon: Who knows?
Indigo: Who knows?
IE7: You can repaint a Kia, lower it down, put rims on it and think you are cool, but at the end of the day it is still a Kia.

And so it goes, on and on. Feature after feature is cut, promise after promise is broken, and what do we have at the end of the day? XP SP3. If Microsoft fails to deliver something approaching decent with Longhorn then they will be in trouble. Big trouble. And most people haven’t even realized this yet. But they will soon enough.

Why are they in trouble?

Momentum. It all boils down to momentum. Google has it. Sony has it. Apple has it pouring out of its orifices, Microsoft though. . .not so much.

You see momentum is what pushes that reluctant manager to go ahead and upgrade his system instead of waiting for something better or (very scary music plays in the background) switching to Linux. Momentum is what gets a word of mouth campaign going that convinces your everyday user to go out and buy the latest OS. Momentum is what keeps the media friendly, sort of.

But lately MS has been getting all of the wrong types of momentum. They aren’t getting that “battering ram” momentum no, it’s more like at sinking ship momentum. You see the ram is going through, but the ship is going down. Big difference.

Right now Microsoft can’t even hold a press release about Longhorn without either saying its going to be delayed again or that they are cutting even more features. This really makes them look incompetent. I mean, I know they are incompetent but this really lets the rest of the world in on the joke as well.

And no matter how they spin it they have now reached the point where it’s impossible to make the situation sound any better than it is. Three years ago they could have made these announcements from a position of strength. Two years ago they could have made these announcements and then lied heavily in hopes of saving face. One year ago they made these announcements and it started looking really scary for anyone whose business depended on Longhorn. And now this year these announcements make them look like a company that is adrift, with no real vision, desperately trying not to drown. Congratulations Bill you have officially lost any momentum you thought you might have had.

The 3 nails in the MS coffin

In order of importance:

1. Microsoft
They have always been their worst enemy. Shoddy software practices are forced on programmers due to incompetent managers which in turn produces the mess that is Longhorn. Even if the computing world was relatively quiet (which it isn’t, not by a long shot) then MS would still be in deep horse pucky over the gross stupidity that their leadership has shown. And to make matters even worse management has now realized that this time there isn’t going to be a “quick fix”. There are no more features left to cut. This time the deadline is real because their competitors are getting their act together in a way that hasn’t ever happened before.

2. Apple
Making matters worse is Steve Jobs. He has Apple humming like fine tuned violin. Tiger is everything Apple promised and its only been released for three months or so. And I imagine things are only going to improve. And if that wasn’t enough Apple is going to squeeze out yet another OS before Microsoft can get Longhorn out the door. Ouch, yet another kick in the balls. Then you have this whole Macintel thing going on plus rumors about the iPod/ITMS/movie business all of which draw the attention of the media towards Apple’s successes.

3. Linux
Never forget Linux. They may be a disorganized, fragmented group who may not present a challenge on the desktop but they are chipping away slowly at MS’s dominance. Then on the server side Microsoft has finally realized that they are fighting a losing war. And this is evidenced by the growing number of MS backed “independent” research groups claiming Windows server is (pick one, cheaper, better, faster, more secure etc.). Those tactics speak of desperation. They are a smear campaign plain and simple.

This is a good indication of how bad the situation currently is and how much worse its going to get. Think about how much of a market share Apple has. Something like 3% of yearly sales with an install base of about 10-15%. Now, think about its mindshare. What is mindshare you ask? Well, its the extent to which people know about a phenomenon. The iPod has enormous mind share. You might not own one yourself but chances are you know someone who has does. The iPod alone has made Apple’s mindshare sky rocket. Now factor in the ITMS and how profitable it has been. Now think about the recent announcement of their switch to Intel. And then there is the ever present rumors about them starting a movie store much like the iTMS. People can’t stop talking about Apple and Jobs is just fanning the flames, trying his best to fuel the fires and feed the rumor mills.

And all the while the media focuses on Apple do you know who they aren’t talking about? Microsoft. Think about all of the buzz that MS has gotten in the past when they released a new operating system. And here they are about to release an item they claim is their most revolutionary product ever and . . . no one is listening. No one cares. Redmond is no longer where all of the news is coming from. If you are about to release a killer product, something that is going to save your company and allow you to ride its success for years to come, the last thing you want to hear are yawns.

News flash! Longhorn is going to be drastically overshadowed by Leopard and Macs running Intel. Make no mistake about it, Jobs is a master showman. As such, he will wait untill the best moment possible and then try and wow the world with all of Apple’s new toys. Who wants to cover a stripped down, bare bones, bug infested OS like Longhorn (which is already being called XP SP3 if that gives you any indication of how bad things are) when you can go look at Leopard running on a pumped up PowerMac with Intel’s latest and greatest chip inside?

Linux learns to game

More bad news for MS is called Cedega. And do you know why it is bad? Because it allows Windows only games to be played on a version of Linux called Linspire. Uh oh. Thats not good.

Gaming is the one area in which Microsoft can truly call their own. No one really even competes with them on the desktop as far as gaming goes. Anything else and Apple and Linux can put up a good fight but not when it comes to games. Until now. With the release of this product Half Life, GTA, Doom 3 and the rest can now be played in Linux. And if they can do it for Linux then they can do it for Mac. And that simple fact should scare the heck out of Microsoft. Because if that program is ported to OS X then the top games in the industry can be played on a Mac, using Intel’s fastest chip, using NVidia’s best graphics card on a 30” aluminum display. Over night PowerMacs could become the best gaming rig in history.

And remember, its gamers who drive companies to produce the best product possible. Normal people don’t go out and buy the latest and greatest stuff just because it’s out, gamers do. When you are playing Doom 3 you want it to be as realistic as possible and if that means buying a $300 video card then they will do it. If that means buying the fastest processor they will do it. And if that means upgrading to the newest OS then they will do it. Say, we don’t know anyone coming out with a new OS any time do we?

Realistically how long do you think gamers will stick with Windows if it turns out that the best gaming experience can be had on a Mac? And if the rumors are true and Apple does bring AltiVec to the Intel side of things then it is quite possible that Apple may be the ones who very soon are producing the fastest computers anywhere. And remember, gamers always want more power.

Women and children first

Here is my best shot at what Microsoft could do to try and turn things around:

1. Admit defeat
If only to themselves MS has to admit that Longhorn is a complete and utter failure. To have come this far, spent this much money and wasted this much time to ultimately produce an OS which barely has any of the features that was to make it great, is a beyond pathetic. Time to own up to the fact that everybody screwed up.

2. Thin the herd
First one out the door needs to be Ballmer. He is an idiot on a good day and he has just reinforced that image with his bungling of the Longhorn situation. After he goes then its time to go down the line trimming the fat and doing some serious house cleaning. Once that is done then look outside the company for a few decent managers.

3. Do your best
Since Longhorn is the only thing you got at the moment that is what they are going to have to sell. Try to make the best out of a bad situation. This is the point at which you should be treading water while you work on something else.

4. Dump it
Throw all of the current Windows code away. All of it. Everything from 9x to XP to Longhorn, everything has to go. It’s all crap and its time to jettison those reeking piles of poorly written, buggy code.

5. Start over
This may be the hardest pill of all to swallow but the way I see it they have two choices. Plan A, try and make a new OS from the ground up. Just like the people who designed Unix, security and stability have to be your main goals. But that approach is going to take time, a lot of time in fact. And time is something that MS doesn’t have much of right now. So, they might want to look at plan B. Plan B involves doing pretty much what Apple did. Use BSD as the core of your OS then build around it. Now, I realize that doing this would be a major embarrassment and would require the biggest software company on earth to swallow its pride, but ultimately they would see that it’s the best choice.

6. Decouple
There is no need to make IE so deeply attached to your kernel. Bad things happen when you do stuff like that. Same thing with Media Player, uncouple it. Strive to make the system as small as possible. You build the basic system and then offer pieces that can be attached as needed.

7. Move on
It’s time to tell the public that if they want to use the newest applications for then they need to upgrade. Everyone who still uses 98 has to get real. All of you still using 95 need your head examined. And any of you using ME, God help you. Microsoft needs to stand up and inform people that they will no longer bend over backwards to accommodate their old, clunky, piece of crap software. Its time to update all of your applications. 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP and Longhorn are dead, move on. That step alone would make the OS much smaller, faster and more secure.

8. Accept the losses
Microsoft is going to lose market share no matter what they do. If they followed this strategy then they would lose market share faster than if they stuck it out with Longhorn but in a few years they would be in a much better position to come back and reclaim what they had lost.

Wrapping it up

So, there you have it. The current state of the Longhorn, a prediction of things to come and a few hints for the folks in Redmond. It will be fun to watch what happens in the industry in the next few years. We will see if I am right. What do you think? What did I miss?

Since I have received so many comments that seem to dwell on the same point let me clarify my position. I don’t think Microsoft is going to go anywhere soon. However, I do think that they are on the downturn. They have reached their peak and now they are in decline. It will take a long time for their influence to fade (a decade at least) and for a good part of that time they will still be a force to be reconded with. But that still doesn’t change the fact that, as a company, they are falling instead of rising.

What is a PocketMod?

The PocketMod is a new way to keep yourself organized. Lets face it, PDAs are too expensive and cumbersome, and organizers are bulky and hard to carry around. Nothing beats a folded up piece of paper. That is until now. With the PocketMod, you can carry around the days notes, keep them organized in any way you wish, then easily transfer the notes to your PDA, spreadsheet, or planner.

The PocketMod is a small book with guides on each page. These guides or templates, combined with a unique folding style, enable a normal piece of paper to become the ultimate note card. It is hard to describe just how incredibly useful the PocketMod is. It's best that you just dive in and create one.

To find out more, check out the site!

RetroPod Shut Down

The RetroPod was a handmade iPod case created from a vintage Sony Sports Walkman shell. It was big, heavy, and yellow, and only mostly waterproof. You had to open the case to get at the iPod's controls. I had a great time prototyping it, learning how to cast Nerf in the process!

After about a year of noodling around, I felt like I had a product I could sell. I convinced my friends Consuelo and Oriah to play the part of PBR-soaked Billyburg hipsters (instead of the decent, self-respecting punks they are in real life), and marketed it as a retro-kitsch "love it/hate it" thing. The completed case was sold for a hundred bucks, but there was also a do-it-yourself kit with some neoprene, measure drawings, and instructions offered for twenty. Here are pictures of the final product.

I opened the storefront in July of 2004. I quickly got some press in Engadget, Gizmodo, Newsweek, ReadyMade, and a Dutch hipster zine called "Pulp." I started getting orders from NYC, California, Scandinavia, and Japan.

Six weeks later, on September 2nd, I got a letter from Cooper & Dunham, LLP, Sony's law firm [emphasis mine]:
"Sony recently learned that you are selling a case for carrying an iPod personal stereo that is made from a WALKMAN tape player. The product is being offered at your website at

Your use of casings for such a purpose is a clear infringement of the SONY and WALKMAN marks because it is deceptive. Consumers likely will be misled and deceived into believing that Sony is somehow connected with the iPod personal stereo when in fact it is not. Moreover, they will be misled into thinking that Sony is backward in its design of products and is going away from miniaturization, as the size of the tape player housing is quite large by today's standards.

Accordingly, we demand on behalf of Sony that you immediately cease and desist from selling, or offering to sell or distributing your Retropod product..."

[the letter continued in the same vein.]
I thought about this for about ten seconds: you have to pick your battles in life, and spending time and money to get a major entertainment conglomerate with a hardball reputation to allow you to continue selling your joke product didn't seem that high on the list. So I immediately issued refunds and took the site down.

If you have questions, or haven't gotten your refund for some reason, please feel free to contact me!

Folding like a rag doll,
John Young
Ex-RetroPod maker
The RetroPod is dead!  Long live the RetroPod!

Purple-painted orientation coordinator at the Skule unleashes

PS. if you like the Retropod, you might like my other hugely-much-too-big and unwieldy project, the Ultimate Water Gun. It's a water gun made from a fire extinguisher, a seventies motorcycle helmet, and a silver firefighter close-approach jacket that was the hippest thing ever in 1994. Now, I send it out around the country to those whose cause is worthy, like the purple-painted freshman orientation leader at the University of Toronto School of Engineering at left. And so far, I haven't gotten a Cease and Desist from anybody. Well, except Anthony Robbins, who threatened to sue when I lent him the gun and then blogged about it. No joke.

The site: RetroPod.

Now don't think I hate Windows and love Mac, I enjoy a little bit of both worlds. Check this article...

What OS X Could Learn From Windows

Hard hat? Check.
Flak jacket? Check.
Flame proof vest? Check.
White flag? Check.

Deep breath? Check.

Windows has some features OS X could do with.

There, I said it. Nice and quick and up front. No beating around the bush. So what now? Duck!!!

Is it safe to come out yet? I’ve been burnt before daring to suggest this. But here I am again, sucker for punishment.

1) Compatible control keys. Switching between Mac and Windows this drives me nuts. I have to consciously think “command-C or control-C?” It shouldn’t have to be that way. And if you’re running RDC or VPC and copying and pasting between OS X and Windows!! Sheesh!

The problem isn’t the labeling, it’s the location of the keys used. I had to use a Windows PC today and I kept pressing Alt-C to copy. This is why it’s a problem. If it was simply a matter of labeling, no worries, mate. Apple - and the zealotry - need to concede that this battle is lost.

Implementing this would rock many people’s boats, so if Apple did make this change it’d have some serious domino affect on other keystrokes and applications that use them, but maybe it could be done with the switch to Intel, just to ease the pain slightly.

2) Save button on toolbars. I don’t think any of the Apple software ever gives you the option to include a Save button. Print button yes, Save button no. A little test - raise your hand if you save your work more often than you print it? Ah, so I’m not alone. Good. You can put your hands down. Thank you.

3) A multi button mouse. And you thought I’d say two. Why stop at two? Especially with things like Exposé, Dashboard and Spotlight. They’re just crying out for single click activation from a mouse. Ok. So this isn’t a Windows feature per sé, but still is needed.

4) Only show relevant file types in open and save dialogs. For those who like seeing every file that’s every existed in their Documents folder, give them a checkbox to show all files. But personally, if I am opening a Pages file, I don’t want to see all my iMovie, Excel, iDVD etc files. And OS X already knows which are which because non-related ones are greyed out.

5) Sort folders to top of directory listings I know that we don’t go folder mining as much since we got Spotlight, so I won’t labor on about this one.

6) More context sensitive help. I notice since I first raised this two years ago, more of it has crept into OS X. So I guess at least I can’t be flamed for this one!

Now why is it that I can list all the features I want Leopard to have and as long as none of them are from Windows, its cool? But dare suggest OS X needs a feature already in Windows and the world comes down on you. We can admit that OS X is not perfect, but not that Windows is better in some ways.

But Apple have admitted it in the past. Here’s just a couple of things I’ve seen Windows do that Apple has added:
- Command-tab switching
- Existing files selectable in Save dialog

Last week I suggested changes to the iPod and more people than not, disagreed. And I reckon this week it’ll be a lot worse. But if I added to this list “Change to Intel CPU’s”... two months ago I would have been burned at the stake. Now it seems we all think that change is logical. So before you get the flame thrower out remember, we know Apple make changes, they borrow from Windows and borrow from their 3rd party developers.

Also, I know I’m going to get flamed for this being a “tired old argument that has been done to death”. Sorry if you feel that way. just pretend I didn’t say these features already existed in Windows and that they are new and revolutionary. If we stop asking, Apple may think we don’t want them anymore. Microsoft copied so much from Mac OS, why can’t Apple do a little copying back?

And if you can take the heat, what would you like to see Apple borrow from Windows?

That wasn't so bad! Here's the original site: Click Here!

When was the last time you went to the movies?

2 movie tickets - $17.00
1 large popcorn - $5.50
2 large sodas - $9.00

Total Price = $31.50

    Comparision of just how much entertainment you can buy for the price of a night at the movies:
  • 6 movies from the discount bin at Wal-Mart
  • 3 movies from the discount bin at Target
  • 1 copy of the new Garth Brooks box set (includes 6 CDS with booklet and video)
  • 4 games of bowling
  • 2 months of unlimited membership at NetFlix
  • 1/3rd of a Gameboy
  • 5 video games from Blockbuster for 5 nights each

Do you see what I am getting at? Going to the movies no longer makes sense for most people, that is why attendance has fallen the last 3 years. Going to the movies is no longer worth the time, money or effort. Here are some familiar things that I have noticed at my local theater:
    It hurts because . . .
  • Movies that suck
  • The ticket prices
  • Movies that suck
  • The food prices
  • Movies that suck
  • Film is out of focus
  • Movies that suck
  • Upper middle class white boys dressing like “ganstas” pretending to be tough. They might be able to pull it off if it weren’t for the fact that their mom’s pick them up after the movie in a minivan.
  • Movies that suck

I just went to the movies a little more than I wanted to this break (twice), but when it's free, it's not so bad! I saw Narnia with the family and Fun w/Dick and Jane with Jenni, she had free tickets. Thanks Len!

I think it's mainly the fact that I hate Regal, or at least our location. They are too dirty and un kept. They need some competition to even everything out. I think people would pay the crazy high price if the theaters aren't so crowded, the bathrooms are clean and the floors are mopped at least once a year. I think I may open my own theatre. A dollar theatre, with 50cent Tuesdays and before 5. Check that out!

I'm going to post this and get back to work. Yeah, right!

I got some good stuff for you today!

Hey everyone, I think I got some good stuff for you today!

Some of today's topics will include, but are not limited too: TiVo, grocery shopping online, beards, and a new feature: How Stuff Works Monday.

Let's dive right in!

TiVo. What comes to mind when you hear that? For me, all that I thought of was the ability to pause live tv and record tv shows. I thought it was pretty cool but I never thought that I would get it. If you're thinking of getting TiVo, then just get it, because you'll never know how cool it is until you try it yourself. It is really, really cool! It's great to just tell it to record any show you want, then watch it later and even burn it to a DVD with one model.

Instead of just having it record one show, you can record the whole season of that particular show and even excluded the reruns if you want. It's just great! When there's nothing good on tv, just see what you recorded earlier and bam! You're watching great shows that you had it record earlier! We got the 40hr TiVo and I think that's a good amount of space, but I guess we'll have to see. We are all still pretty fresh to the whole thing, but it's fun learning it.

I would love to have TiVo in my dorm room, except for the fact that almost all of our channels are really staticky/fuzzy and it wouldn't be worth it to record because you can barely watch it to begin with. But this way Cassidy and I could record "Lost" and watch it whenever and rewind it and slow mo it to see all the hidden stuff and what not. If we had TiVo, then our room would officially be the coolest room in all the dorm if not the campus! We already have the home entertainment center...

So if anyone would like to contribute to the "Get Mike TiVo for His Dorm Room" Fund, please follow the link above and donate, thanks! (For those of you that don't get it, it's not a link, there is no fund.)

Well, let's move on to our next topic: Online grocery shopping!

I was reading the newspaper this morning and noticed that a new thing that's getting bigger is online grocery shopping. They said the store with the biggest corner on the market is Acme (I think that's what it said). Here is a link to their online store. It's only currently available in some of NJ and PA I think, but check it out!

I'm sure it saves a good amount of time, but I have never tried it. Maybe I'm just overly hopeful, but if I have any readers that have tried this, please leave a comment. I'd like to know if it's worth it, is it easy, is it a waste of time...?

Ok! Time for a time waster! Here is just a site I found that amuses me. They sell hairnets and beardnets! Yep, check it out!

That is one of the coolest things I have ever seen! I may need one of those someday if my beard grows long enough!

For our first installment of "How Stuff Works" Monday (and any other day I feel like posting it), we will take a good look at laughter. All of my information is taken from They have vast amounts of research that enable you to see how tons of things work. It's a great site! I just pick some stuff that interests me and hopefully you too.

Let's start off with a joke:

Bill Gates and the president of General Motors have met for lunch, and Bill is going on and on about computer technology. "If automotive technology had kept pace with computer technology over the past few decades, you would now be driving a V-32 instead of a V-8, and it would have a top speed of 10,000 miles per hour," says Gates. "Or, you could have an economy car that weighs 30 pounds and gets a thousand miles to a gallon of gas. In either case, the sticker price of a new car would be less than $50. Why haven't you guys kept up?"

The president of GM smiles and says, "Because the federal government won't let us build cars that crash four times a day."

I love that joke!

Why is that funny (or not funny, as the case may be)? Human beings love to laugh, and the average adult laughs 17 times a day. Humans love to laugh so much that there are actually industries built around laughter. Jokes, sitcoms and comedians are all designed to get us laughing, because laughing feels good. For us it seems so natural, but the funny thing is that humans are one of the only species that laughs. Laughter is actually a complex response that involves many of the same skills used in solving problems.

First of all, laughter is not the same as humor. Laughter is the physiological response to humor. Laughter consists of two parts -- a set of gestures and the production of a sound. When we laugh, the brain pressures us to conduct both those activities simultaneously. When we laugh heartily, changes occur in many parts of the body, even the arm, leg and trunk muscles.

Under certain conditions, our bodies perform what the Encyclopedia Britannica describes as "rhythmic, vocalized, expiratory and involuntary actions" -- better known as laughter. Fifteen facial muscles contract and stimulation of the zygomatic major muscle (the main lifting mechanism of your upper lip) occurs. Meanwhile, the respiratory system is upset by the epiglottis half-closing the larynx, so that air intake occurs irregularly, making you gasp. In extreme circumstances, the tear ducts are activated, so that while the mouth is opening and closing and the struggle for oxygen intake continues, the face becomes moist and often red (or purple). The noises that usually accompany this bizarre behavior range from sedate giggles to boisterous guffaws.
Many researchers believe that the purpose of laughter is related to making and strengthening human connections. "Laughter occurs when people are comfortable with one another, when they feel open and free. And the more laughter [there is], the more bonding [occurs] within the group," says cultural anthropologist Mahadev Apte. This feedback "loop" of bonding-laughter-more bonding, combined with the common desire not to be singled out from the group, may be another reason why laughter is often contagious.

What's Funny?
Laughter is triggered when we find something humorous. There are three traditional theories about what we find humorous:

- The incongruity theory suggests that humor arises when logic and familiarity are replaced by things that don't normally go together. Researcher Thomas Veatch says a joke becomes funny when we expect one outcome and another happens. When a joke begins, our minds and bodies are already anticipating what's going to happen and how it's going to end. That anticipation takes the form of logical thought intertwined with emotion and is influenced by our past experiences and our thought processes. When the joke goes in an unexpected direction, our thoughts and emotions suddenly have to switch gears. We now have new emotions, backing up a different line of thought. In other words, we experience two sets of incompatible thoughts and emotions simultaneously. We experience this incongruity between the different parts of the joke as humorous.

- The superiority theory comes into play when we laugh at jokes that focus on someone else's mistakes, stupidity or misfortune. We feel superior to this person, experience a certain detachment from the situation and so are able to laugh at it.

- The relief theory is the basis for a device movie-makers have used effectively for a long time. In action films or thrillers where tension is high, the director uses comic relief at just the right times. He builds up the tension or suspense as much as possible and then breaks it down slightly with a side comment, enabling the viewer to relieve himself of pent-up emotion, just so the movie can build it up again! Similarly, an actual story or situation creates tension within us. As we try to cope with two sets of emotions and thoughts, we need a release and laughter is the way of cleansing our system of the built-up tension and incongruity. (According to Dr. Lisa Rosenberg, humor, especially dark humor, can help workers cope with stressful situations. "The act of producing humor, of making a joke, gives us a mental break and increases our objectivity in the face of overwhelming stress," she says.)

To summarize things, we laugh because it's a response to a situation which may be between close friends to show intimacy or not and involves moving the throat and the brain thinking something and electrical something or other, so... Well, I never said it would be easy to understand! Maybe I'll pick something next time that I can summarize easier!

So I think I'm just going to wrap things up with a little Podcast explanation. It has come to my understanding that there are many people out there who still don't know what podcasting is. Although, most of of those people don't own iPods and therefore probably wouldn't know anyway. I'll give a brief explanation.

A podcast is a lot like this blog I have here. You read it. The podcast is a blog that is read to you! You just subscribe to the podcasts that you like and like TiVo, you only listen to the shows you want to.

To record a podcast:

1. Plug a USB headset with a microphone into your computer.
2. Install an MP3 recorder for Windows, Mac or Linux.
3. Create an audio file by making a recording (you can talk, sing or record music) and saving it as an MP3 file.
4. Finally, upload the MP3 audio file to one of the podcasting sites. (FeedForAll has a tutorial on how to upload a file.)

To listen to a podcast:

1. Go to a podcasting site and download the free software.
2. Click on the hyperlink for each podcast you want. You can listen right away on your computer (both Windows and Mac support podcasting) or download the podcast to your MP3 player.
3. You can also subscribe to one or more RSS feeds. Your podcasting software will check the RSS feeds regularly and automatically pull content that matches your playlist. When you dock your MP3 player to your computer, it automatically updates with the latest content.

So in the end, think of it like this. It's a radio show that can be played on your MP3 player and anyone can do it with just basic materials. There are even video podcasts that you can watch the show instead of just listening. iTunes has a large amount of podcasts available and a growing list of video podcasts. Be sure to check them out and it's really easy to subscribe to podcasts if you have an iPod.

My shout out to iTunes:

The iTunes Podcast Directory features thousands of free podcasts — radio-style shows you subscribe to — including favorites from such big names as ABC News, Adam Curry, ESPN, KCRW, WGBH and many more. Browse and subscribe to podcasts, then sync them to your iPod and listen anywhere. Thanks to new video support, even video podcasts sync to go. And all your podcasts appear in their own menus under Music and Videos, so you can navigate them easily.

Podcast links:
- How Stuff Podcasting
- Podcasting @ Wikipedia
- Tree House Concepts

*Tree House Concepts - I haven't searched entire site, not sure of content, good podcast info, but if there's anything offensive, sorry!

***News Flash*** This just in!
Topics to be seein in a upcoming post:
- Dorm room dream re-modeling
- My own video podcast (?)
- Real life planning (where will I live, cell phone service, car)...

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

TiVo and my new look...

I just have time for a quick update, actually, it's more of a "Note to self" kind of thing. I'm putting this small, tiny, itsy bitsy post just to remind me to add more tomorrow if I have time.

TiVo - I love it, I want it for my dorm room, and more to come, tomorrow!

My new look - As you can tell, I revamped the template, new color scheme, a nice little picture... Leave me your comments, tell me if you like it or not, and if you don't, oh well, it's not changing!