Monthly Archives: January 2008

links for 2008-01-17

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More Macworld!

I’m beginning to burn out, but I think I’ve seen just about everything.

I think there are more ways to dress one’s iPod, iPhone, or MacBook here than there are ways to dress oneself at Bloomingdale’s (which I walked through on my way to lunch — I am not crazy enough to eat at Moscone itself). But I’m not terribly interested in any of them.

There are also a ton of iPod car accessories, some of which are on sale at attractive prices — but not attractive enough for me to buy without the prospect of returning if they don’t work.

Google’s got a huge booth and is giving away swag. Odd swag, like Google socks and flip-flops. I may resist.

And, as expected, there’s a ton of software (some specially priced). Lots of disk enclosures, too. And keyboards — including the Goldtouch keyboard, which I really liked once upon a time. They’ve even finally updated it to have real F11/F12 keys!

I did get to play with the MacBook Air briefly. It is incredibly light and sexy, but I still don’t think I need one. And, unlike the iPhone, I think I really mean it this time.

And I even found the IBM booth. It’s at the very back of the tiny-booth area in Moscone West, and is there to show the flag for the Mac port of Informix. Lotusphere is next week, and so if we have anything to announce (and, according to the press, we do), I’d expect it to be there. But next year, Macworld is at the very beginning of January, before Lotusphere (and, I suspect, before CES), so maybe things will be different then.

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Macworld Expo interim report

I’m taking a couple of minutes from wandering the show floor – thanks to Microsoft for the blogger lounge!

The biggest thing I’ve seen so far is iPod/iPhone accessories – in fact, I invested $8 in a earbud Jack from WhatIf Widgets in hopes of being able to carry my Frankenbuds again. Cases are also a Big Deal here.

But I’ve just barely begun to prowl the main show floor; more to come.

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links for 2008-01-16

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I think my wallet is mostly safe

Maybe I’m too far from Moscone to be affected by the Reality Distortion Field, but there wasn’t much in today’s Macworld keynote which really interested me. Yes, the 1.1.3 level of iPhone software has some welcome improvements (and I’ve downloaded and installed it already), but I’m not sure I would have paid even $20 for it.

TimeCapsule is of some interest, especially if I can use it to back up the Windows box at home as well as the Macs — it’d be of even more interest if it could seamlessly and automatically do offsite backups as well.

The AppleTV and iTunes rentals leave me cold; we have more media in hand and unwatched than I can put in one shelf — I don’t need any more.

And the MacBook Air, while interesting, doesn’t meet any immediate need (though I look forward to playing with one sometime). I already have a very lightweight laptop, anyway.

I still plan to go up to Moscone tomorrow to look around on the show floor, though.

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Apologies and Thanks

One of the key points that Marshall Goldsmith makes in What Got You Here Won’t Get You There is the importance of apologizing to people when you’ve made a mistake and thanking them when they’ve made a contribution (or even an observation).

So, in that spirit, I have to apologize to people who’ve made (or tried to make) comments on this site for the past few months; I discovered last night that I’d done something to my WordPress configuration which was sending comment notifications into the ether (actually they were probably spamming some unknown user sharing the same hosting provider), and therefore, any comments from “new” people were stuck waiting for approval, and I wasn’t seeing comments from “old” people, either.

I think I fixed everything up, but for those of you who may wonder what’s been of interest to my readership recently, I’ll call out the “lost” commentors and comments here:

Summarizing all those comments was a lot of work, but fun — maybe I’ll do it again some day.

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XO, XO, it’s blogging now I go

I got my XO from the One Laptop Per Child project yesterday. It is incredibly cute, but the keyboard is going to drive me crazy fairly soon. It’s too small to touch-type on for me, so I am using two fingers, a technique I thought I’d abandoned years ago.

I’m really impressed with its WiFi – it sees (and connects to) networks that my other computers don’t show at all. I need to upgrade the OS so it will automatically connect to my home network – I’ve been using an open network with a cryptic name, probably not the smartest idea for the long run.

The only real problem I’ve had with it is using Twitter; when i type into the posting box, the display lags many seconds behind. I guess it’s due to the keystroke-deriven Javascript, but that’s just a guess. I’m certainly not seeing any delay typing this posting into WordPress’s browser interface.

I can see how a box like this can make a difference in a child’s life. I’m glad I signed up; I’m not quite sure what I’m gonna do with this one in the long run, though.

Posted in Computer Stuff | 6 Comments

links for 2008-01-12

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links for 2008-01-11

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While “Distraction” describes large parts of my life, this time around, I’m writing about Bruce Sterling’s book of the same name.

I’d picked up several of Bruce’s books at Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2002. Too many, in fact, and so after reading Heavy Weather, I put the others away for “later”.

Last week, I wanted to grab a book for the trip to Tucson, and Distraction was near at hand. And the back cover blurb was intriguing: “It’s November 2044, an election year, and the state of the Union is a farce….” — especially since I knew the Iowa caucuses were going to be a significant event during the trip. And 544 pages promised enough reading matter to get me through the trip, which was another point in the book’s favor. So I took it along with me — and spent the outbound flights doing crossword puzzles.

But eventually, I actually opened the book and was hooked almost immediately, as the not-quite-human protagonist, Oscar Valparaiso, reviews video of the Worchester May Day Riot of ’42 (which isn’t a riot) on the campaign bus (which is actually taking Oscar and his krewe on a post-election “vacation”), which is stopped by a roadblock where the US Air Force is shaking down motorists for money to keep an air base open.

And then things got strange.

It’s definitely a political story, with a new Huey, Governor of Louisiana, in rebellion against the Federal Government (or what remains of it); it’s also a love story, with Oscar and Greta a most mismatched pair; and it’s a science story, with plausible pseudo-science rather than pure bafflegab. It doesn’t all hang together completely, but it’s doable. And worth the read.

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