Clicking away Friday, April 27, 2007

My friend Jonas Salling has started blogging again, and that's always a good thing.

He's got some recent posts up there as he tests the WiFi support for Clicker, and the results may surprise you!

Jonas is one of the hardest working developers out there, and he never settles for less than absolute excellence when releasing new stuff.

The long-in-development Clicker 3.5 is no exception, and it looks like it's getting really close to release. That's good news for all the fans of Clicker, since a great product is getting a lot better. And I'm sure he has many cool things in store moving forward as well.

Welcome back, Jonas -- looking forward to more posts!

Tip for Seagate SATA drive owners Thursday, April 26, 2007

A little tip for those of you who might have installed Seagate SATA drives into your 3GB/s capable G5, MacPro, NAS device, or whatever.

Looks like recent Seagate drives ship with a jumper installed that limits the drive to 1.5GB/s speeds. While the jumper is documented in the User's Guide that ships with retail packs, it's specifically mentioned as something you might need to install if you have trouble with the drive. And OEM drives don't have any documentation at all.

To get 3GB/s, the jumper should not be present on the outer pins of the jumper block. So -- if you've got one of these drives, check it out: you might get that drive humming along twice as fast!

One long dog Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Taiko and Zabeth were out walking the other day and ran into a neighbor out for a stroll with his own dog. He asked a bit about Ketzl, and Zabeth asked about his previous pups, and during that discussion he said "you know, it's like we've owned one long poodle over the last 30 years".

I know exactly what he means.

It's not that Taiko and Ketzl are the same dog: Taiko's personality is much different than Ketzl's -- he's goofier, jumpier, much more athletic, more dominant, more trainable.

But, at the same time, he loves the same places in the house, the yard, where we walk. The spot under the bush, the cool slate floor, climbing rocks, play style -- these things are "dog" the way laughter is "human", common while different, linking our friends together over the years.

One long dog, with us through thick and thin.

A different Eddy entirely Monday, April 16, 2007

While I'm posting about music, I just love the album A Girl Called Eddy. Erin Moran (aka Eddy) has a beautiful voice and great songwriting chops. A melancholy pop album that's pretty amazing from beginning to end, with some great production and guitar work by Richard Hawley of Pulp fame.

It took four years for her to go from her first EP to the album; I'd been hoping her next wouldn't take quite that long, but it's already been three...

Never hear the end of it Sunday, April 15, 2007

How, exactly, did I miss Sloan over the last 10 years?

WM/UIQ/WTF Friday, April 13, 2007

I freely admit, right at the start of this post, that I switch cell phones too often. A lot of this is because I try to do a lot with my mobile phone, mostly mail and web based. And I want the thing to work well with my Mac, and to be a phone: I don't really want a two-inch-thick "communication controller" on a belthook.

At the same time, I don't want a tiny screen or a crappy browser, and I need a decent way to input text.

I've had generally good luck with the recent generation Windows Mobile "smartphone" devices (like the T-Mobile Dash, aka the HTC Excalibur), but the version of Internet Explorer in them is pretty limited, and replying to support questions can be frustrating because of those limitations.

Some time ago, I'd purchased a Sony Ericsson M600i, which looked like it was going to be a good'un: good size, design, keyboard and capabilities. Unfortunately, at least 3/4 of a year ago, it seriously sucked. The design is good, but the version of UIQ3 it originally shipped with was buggy beyond words: the email program crashed constantly, disconnected from email, etc. The browser was capable, but it crashed all the time, too. And, to top it off, the thing wouldn't sync with the Mac.

It didn't last long... until I took it back out of the box last week.

After applying Sony Ericsson's recent software update (R9F011 for the curious), UIQ3 has taken a huge step into reliabilityland. All of a sudden, the applications are no longer crashing. Mail, while limited by some boneheaded design choices, works. The web browser has been updated, and it's fast and capable: it even renders some relatively complex stuff on the Shirt Pocket site.

On top of that, Kerio Mailserver has finally implemented support for the M600i's OTA ActiveSync (Exchange) support, so events, mail, contacts, etc are pushed to the device automatically. Combined with a new iSync plugin, the thing works with my Mac pretty well: transparent two-way sync is awfully compelling.

Not phone nirvana, but a nice set of updates combining to deliver a greatly improved experience. It'll be interesting to see how the iPhone measures up. If the "Push" support is only for Yahoo mail (I'm hoping that it properly supports IMAP IDLE), it doesn't do OTA sync, and it doesn't support a vibrant 3rd party community (that gives us Apple Design Award-winning products like Salling Clicker), its cool touchscreen and attractive UI won't really make up for its lack of capability.

Demo vs. reality -- always fun. We'll have to see in June.

Congratulations, Iron Man! Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It looks like Ben Gottlieb, the world's most productive developer (and recently married man, has taken his first Mac application and won Iron Coder V with it!

Big congratulations to Ben on his well deserved win -- Mac users will no doubt be benefiting from his skills as time goes on. Rather appropriate that the man responsible for Workout Tracker would win "Iron Coder"...

Regaining a customer Monday, April 02, 2007

I love the convenience of the iTunes Music Store: it's well organized, easy to find stuff, and generally nicely done. But, after experiencing the restrictions (which aren't bad within iTunes or iPods, but quite awful with other devices, like a Slim Devices' Squeezebox or the Sonos), I decided that DRM-encumbered tracks were too restrictive given the multitude of ways that I listen to my music.

Not to mention the fact the the 128K AAC encoded songs are audibly inferior to a CD, which costs about the same.

Not an easy decision. I hate buying a CD, ripping it, then storing it: so much pointless plastic taking up space in the basement. But, choices are choices, and I made mine.

That said, I was delighted to see the EMI/Apple announcement this morning. 256K AAC tracks, no DRM. No plastic. Same price for albums, slightly more for tracks.

Great news, and by taking this step, Apple and EMI have brought me back to buying through iTMS, at least for EMI artists.

My basement thanks you.

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