Archive for June, 2004

I Heart Mac OS X

June 28, 2004

Steve, you had me at 10.4.

[UPDATE: There are going to be a lot of widget makers throwing hissy fits today.]

[UPDATE 2: Core Image looks awesome. It figures that the iBook G4‘s video card isn’t supported. That’s me, always one step behind on the cutting edge.]

[UPDATE 3: Ooo, I also heart the snarkiness.]

[UPDATE 4: Oh, and lost in the shuffle is 10.4 Server. Includes mobile home directories, iChat server, and weblog server. Umm, details on that last one, please?]

[UPDATE 5: Someone over at Slashdot pointed out that the Dashboard stock quote widget has every company up except Microsoft. Apple’s legendary attention to detail even applies to sniping competitors.]

[UPDATE 6 (7/4/04): Great googly moogly!]

Sir iMix-A-Lot

June 23, 2004

I don’t normally surf through the tons of iMixes, just like I don’t look through Amazon Lists. There’s just not enough time in my life. Tonight, however, I found an iMix list that caught my eye and practically forced me to listen to a whole bunch of previews: the WORST Music on iTunes.

It’s not kidding either. There’s Arnold Schwarzenegger covering “It’s Raining Men.” The Brady Bunch singing “American Pie”, the inevitable William Hung, and so much more dreck.

The previews are plenty, to be perfectly honest.

What’s My PageRank, Bitch?

June 23, 2004

Want to know your PageRank, the vital ingredient of your site’s Google search ranking? Of course you do, why wouldn’t you?

Here’s the steps:

  1. Get your site’s checksum (don’t worry what that is, it’s what the Google Toolbar computes)
  2. Paste that checksum and your domain in the following text: http://www.google.com/search?client=navclient-auto&ch=checksum&features=Rank&q=info:domain
  3. The last number seems to be your PageRank

Seem like a bit of a hassle to you? Wait a week or two and this’ll all be automated. I’ll post an update if I find it first. {via}

[UPDATE (7/10/04): PageRank extension for Mozilla FireFox. {via again}]

Father’s Day

June 20, 2004

So today was my first Father’s Day and it was a blast. Unfortunately, Kimberly woke me up at 5 a.m. and so it started a bit earlier than I would have liked. The family bought me The Simpsons Season 4 DVD and I watched four or five episodes immediately. It’s a great season: it features “Marge vs. the Monorail—one of the best episodes ever, “A Streetcar Named Marge”—which had the Ayn Rand School for Tots in it, “Whacking Day” (favorite line: “I’ve got a hankering for some spankering.”), and “Mr. Plow”.

We spent the rest of the day in our traditional holiday fashion of shuttling between my family and Sandi’s family. That meant we left the house at about 10:30 a.m. and returned by 6:20 p.m. That disrupted The Girls’ schedule, to put it mildly.

Not too eventful, but spending it with the people who mean the most to you makes it memorable.

Gmail Invites

June 18, 2004

Loyal readers, I have five Gmail invitations available looking for a good home. First five get ’em.

[UPDATE: Still four left. I thought these things were hot tickets.]

[UPDATE 2: Two left. If no one uses them, I’ll start sending out Gmail invite spam. Heheh.]

Crappy Feeds

June 18, 2004

I apologize for the state of this site’s feeds. I hadn’t looked at them in Shrook lately and so I didn’t see that they were being presented in escaped XML with excerpts only. Bleh. So I put in the HTML and made them full entries again. I also noticed that a lot of people never switched away from the old index_rss.xml feeds from my Blogger Pro days, so I replaced the “Moved” feed with a live RSS one since a lot of people were obviously not switching.

Also, I recommend ditching my Atom feed if you’re subscribed. I can’t get it to display anything but an excerpt of the entry and I can’t get it to unescape the XML or show any HTML, despite reviewing the specification. It seems like it should work, but the aggregator keeps saying that it’s bad XML. I’ll delete the feed entirely in a few days, after everyone’s had an opportunity to switch.

Scanners

June 17, 2004

I just bought the Canon CanoScan LiDE 80—is there a better example of a braindead product name than that?—from Amazon for $124.39, which is a smoking hot deal considering the free shipping and all. I decided that I also needed to upgrade the scanning software included (ScanSoft’s OmniPage SE) from the lite version to something more sophisticated.

Upon further investigation, I came to the conclusion that OmniPage Pro for X wasn’t for me. I want software that is very much ready for OS X and sports a genuine OS X look and feel. From what I can tell, OmniPage had neither quallity. Luckily, I stumbled onto ReadIRIS Pro 9, which has gotten some rave reviews.

OCR software is very expensive: the OmniPage upgrade alone was $99. ReadIRIS—what is it with these stupid names—retails for $129 but Amazon is selling it for $99 and they’re offering a $75 mail-in rebate! Let me tell you, folks, it doesn’t get any better (or cheaper) than that!

I’ll devote a future entry to reviewing these two products. I want to scan in reams of historical documents for a major project I’m undertaking but I also need to scan in pictures of my two little angels from time to time. This combination seems like a perfect fit, but I’ll let you know.

Funny Headlines

June 16, 2004

Funny headlines from this week‘s The Onion:

  • Heinz Factory Explosion Looks Worse Than It Is
  • Michael Moore Kicking Self For Not Filming Last 600 Trips To McDonald’s

I wish I could write titles/headlines for this blog like that.

Review: Uptown Girls

June 16, 2004

We recently rented the movie Uptown Girls starring Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning. I’ll admit that I wasn’t the one who chose this title since, from the previews, I expected it to be a Maid to Order refresh with new actors.

The premise is both simple and timeless: a spoiled rich girl (Murphy) loses her means of support and is faced with obtaining actual employment. The twist is that the job she gets is being the nanny to another spoiled rich girl (Fanning), which unleashes a torrent of self-discovery. Murphy plays the daughter of a dead rock star who lives off the royalties of his songs—until her accountant embezzles her savings as well as future advances against those royalties. She bounces around from friend to friend, annoying each in turn with her whining and general uselessness. She tries unsuccessfully to get a job befitting her needs, but is finally forced to accept a nanny position with a girl that drove her nuts on their first meeting back when she was still wealthy.

I’ll grant that the plot could easily serve as the basis for a network sitcom, but the actors and the script’s character development really save it from banality. I wasn’t expecting much from Brittany Murphy after her disastrous role in Just Married with the actor-who-wasn’t and Demi-Moore-plaything Ashton Kutcher. She delivered and did it in such a way that I found myself rooting for her character. Dakota Fanning stole every scene she was in and is easily this generation’s Mara Wilson, speaking her lines in a serious, adult deadpan while looking as cute and adorable as a doll.

There’s also some traditional subplots involving a love interest and a neglectful mother who comes to realize what she’s missing. Overall, a good movie that is consistently funny, cute, and engaging. I could see myself purchasing it for repeated viewings.

Request For Comments: Titles

June 15, 2004

I’ve been using the same basic template for a few years now and I’m thinking that I might want to freshen it up a bit since I’m now a MovableType guy. My wife suggested that I use entry titles, but I’ve never really liked the implementations I’ve seen. You may not know it, but I’ve been using titles for years—they’re available in my syndication feeds.

So, in the comments, please leave your vote whether or not I should include titles and, optionally, suggestions for implementation or links to sites that don’t have gaudy, obtrusive titles.