Wednesday, January 31, 2007

On the Environment

First of all let me say that I am extremely pro-the environment. I believe everything should be recycled – not just cans, bottles, plastic, and paper – everything. No matter how useless it is, it should be recycled: cigarette butts, boogers, failed foreign policies, K-Fed – everything.

Stop driving. Cars are bad. Fossil fuel emissions are going to destroy life as we know it on this planet and it's time you people stopped. I'm tired of this moral relativism, too. I don't think driving a hybrid car makes you in any way superior to someone driving a tricked-out Hummer. You're still dumping crap into the environment. If you think your flimsy little econobox gives you some kind of greeny-wussy bragging rights, you can kiss my back bumper (on the Lexus, thank you).

Everybody should stop driving cars except for me and my friends. We need to after all. It's cold here, and we have to get from one place to another. It isn't like we're going to walk or anything.

This brings me to the main point of this post: Global Warming. I'm against it. Everyone with the good sense God gave a stack of pancakes hates global warming. The ice caps are melting. Some frigging animals and possibly some plants are going to be extinct because of the change in the average temperature. I don't really know the names of any, but there must be some – and probably a couple of fish, some protected species of bacteria and fungus, and possibly a human offshoot tribe of dwarves with two penises on an undiscovered island in the South Pacific .

But here's the deal. Since we're stuck with global warming for now – I mean barring some treaty where China and Cambodia are actually, verifiably required to stop spewing megatons of toxic shit into the ecosystem – let's be a little more fair about it.

Somebody is getting a lot of extra "warming," and some of it was supposed to come to where we are freezing our "globals" off.

Frankly, I'm a little pissed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Stuff

Vista is out. It's on the street.

The world's richest last guy to get picked when choosing up sides for dodgeball is having a big ol' bash in Manhattan to celebrate that the monkey is finally off his back.

Windows has been renewed, upgraded, and foisted on an unsuspecting public. The latest iteration is here, and it's every bit as good an operating system as Linux, and somewhat easier to use. It looks just exactly like OS X Tiger, except that it's still Windows (Translation: still sucks). Vista sucks a lot less than XP though. It retains that backwards compatibility Windows users insist on. They will still be able to run all the programs they've been running for 10 friggin' years because they're too cheap to upgrade.

All that GREAT Windows-only software will still run. And trust me, if you need a spreadsheet custom made for Point of Sale cash register operation at an All Night Shooting Range and Laptop Service Center, you'll find it for Windows.

The system requirements are a 6-Cabinet Cray XT4 with 8 GB of RAM. A USB 2.0 Backup drive is almost essential.

Note: iLife (and that includes Garage Band) does not come bundled with the Cray. That just sucks. I mean you have to pony up some serious moolah for one of those bad boys. You'd think they could throw you a bone. Y'know?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Excuse to Switch

Hey Windows guys. We love ya'. Really. I just hate to see you in pain.

Everybody knows that Windows is the second best Home PC operating system in the world (third if you count Linux and you're geeky enough to run it). You guys have suffered long enough. Join us over here on the Mac side of life.

Heck, if you had a Mac running Leopard you'd already be kind of bored by most of the features in Vista. We've been using them for a year or two. Also, we've had time to get sort of spoiled by the lack of malware. So when we have six or seven applications open at once, they're checking our mail, downloading RSS feeds, editing and sorting our pictures, playing our song, but none of them are doing virus scans. All we can do is just sit here stupidly doing whatever it was we bought the computer to do.

It turns out that if you have an older PC, you're probably going to have to buy a new one to really get going with Vista. Since you have to buy a new box anyway, why not get a Mac?

Leopard will be on the street soon. If you buy a Mac and upgrade, you'll get some good insights into the next Windows feature set. It's going to be pretty cool.

You can still run Vista. Linux too, if you want. We won't pick on you for it (much).

Yes, blogging is more fun than doughnut stacking on a windy day.


Sunday, January 28, 2007


Fellow members of the Macintosh community, the time has come. Apple is no longer a niche company with a few ragged hungry bands of believers huddled together in far-flung outposts. Apple is mainstream. Apple is a corporate monolith. Apple's market capitalization is about four times that of General Motors.

Apple owns the portable digital media market. Apple owns legal entertainment downloads. Macs are bitchin'. We already know. We don't need the PC Magazine Seal of Approval.

The Apple bashers of the world – John C. Dvorak, Rob Enderle, Paul Thurott to name a few – know they can get a ton of hits on their sites by bashing "fanboys." They write their crap largely to accomplish that goal.

I propose that from this moment forward, we make them hit our blogs to see us jeer and snicker at their stupidity. Their sites don't deserve the hits or the comment activity. We do. Not that I ever have, but I will not in the future link an Apple bash. No sirree.

If I go to their sites and read their drivel, I'll come back to here and Macalope, and Daring Fireball, and CARS, and Roughly Drafted to take potshots at the dopes. I ask my fellow Mac bloggers and blog readers to do the same.

We know we have the best machines. We don't have to defend our choice. We don't have to be anything but smug. If they want to fight about it, they can come write comments on our sites and increase our traffic. Then we can moderate their comments.

Let's get the Windows fanboys to flame our sites.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Fanboy History Post

Okay. Inspired by MacFan's comments to the last post, I'll tell my history as an Apple fanboy. This obligates every visitor to this post to enter comments telling how they ended up in this weird fraternity. Otherwise I'll hold my breath for a few seconds, and stomp my feet a couple of times. Maybe I won't, but that doesn't mean you just get to be a snot about it.

My first computer was a Timex/Sinclair 1000 - 4k of onboard RAM and a dongle on the back that boosted it all the way up to 16k. By coupling it with a Radio Shack cassette deck, I was able to play Frogger and run a word processor I bought on tape. Heaven help me, I can't remember the name of the program. I never did figure out how to put a printer on it. It was a fun toy.

After that was my Commodore 64. Then a Commodore 128. When I bought the C-128, my wife and I were working on the road. We traveled from one nuclear power plant to another for outages. I needed something portable. I was kind of interested in a Compaq Portable II. It had everything in one nice neat package.

We went to Computerland in search of my new computer. As we walked up to the store, I looked through the window and saw some salesman fiddling with graphics in a way I hadn't even imagined. He was drawing boxes and circles with MacDraw. I stood and watched, agape, for at least a minute. I told my wife, "I want that."

I left the store an hour later with a Mac SE, an ImageWriter II, a 300 baud modem, and a stack of software. Altogether that system cost about $3500 and it was the coolest thing on the planet. I didn't remember the SuperBowl '84 ad. I didn't know who the hell Steve Jobs was. I just knew that computer was way nifty. It had a whole megabyte of RAM and a 20 meg hard drive. If you logged in to GEnie, Compuserve, or America Online you could download all kinds of shareware and freeware. In those days AOL was still a cool place to spend an afternoon.

Back then, the Mac community was a huddled mass. We had some of the coolest hacks on the planet, though. We had Talking Moose. We had SoundMaster – which would let you assign a sound to just about every thing the computer did, including typewriter sounds for keystrokes and explosions for disk ejects. We had Red Ryder (later White Knight) for controlling our modems. We had Andrew Welch writing shareware widgets (we used to call them Desk Accessories). We had the original Stuffit from Ray Lau. We didn't need tech support either. We had each other, and that was better support than anything you can get now at any price.

Apple gave away the system software. System and Finder were always different versions. If you bought new software of just about any kind, including games, it came with a system disk. If you had the wrong version of the system software, you just took some blank disks to an Apple dealer and they'd give you the most recent versions.

There was no worse sin than copy protection for Mac software. We shared info online and in our magazines about who was copy protecting their stuff. We simply didn't tolerate it. We didn't even let Microsoft get away with it. Word was still not copy protected at version 3. Later they did, but by then we had started to break ranks a bit.

In '89 I snipped the resistor. The resistor was on the board with the SIMM sockets in the original Mac SE. It had to be snipped and moved aside to allow the upgrade to 4 Mb. I used the SE until I bought my Mac LC in '91.

Through the 90s we waited for the return of the Mac to it's former glory. There were many defectors and deserters. Some of us held firm to the belief that our superior computers would one day return to glory. We waited in rapt anticipation for the return of our savior. When Steve returned good stuff started happening and once again our ranks swelled.

We didn't get the title "fanboy" until this century. Then we were the Macintosh community – a bunch of defiant rebels.

Through all that time and still today, I've used a Mac at home and a PC at work. Ever shall it be so.


I've been online from the get-go, and I've had one (1) virus on a Mac. It was a worm that was inadvertently included on a MacAddict CD in '96 or maybe '97. I didn't install the program it was attached to, but the disk was in the drive. So the worm was technically in the computer. 20 years. When I laugh at the Month of Apple Bugs, and jeer and heckle the Apple-bashers it's because I've earned the right. Well, that and because they're morons.

Fanboy? Okay. Watch and see how secure Vista is. I'll bet you a soda pop it's a malware magnet right off the blocks. I'm still waiting for my Macintosh spyware.

Another iPhone Rant

How long is this going to go on? All of these goofy bastards just keep babbling on and on about the woefully inadequate iPhone. The general consensus among people who don't get it is that the iPhone will fail to capture market share for a number of unbelievably stupid reasons. Yeah, I'm going to be kind of serious again (that's twice already this month).

I'm just an average consumer/user. I'm not a geek or a marketing guru or a technology analyst. I have no pedigree except that I like to have great technology available so I can do the things I want to do. I don't have a pile of extra money laying around, so I can't afford to piss away the money I do have on junk. It doesn't take a nuclear scientist (yes, I am) to figure out that the best way to accomplish good technology with minimal expense is to buy carefully and get good stuff. I'm going to buy an iPhone as soon as I am able to. I've thought about the reasons why the "experts" think it won't succeed. I think they're all a load of unmitigated drivel.

1. Price. They say it's too expensive for its feature set. If any company other than Apple was selling it, I'd agree. The difference is, it's an Apple product. Odds are good that all the features will actually work. Additionally, the features won't require a geek to make them work. Ordinary dipshits like me will be able to use all the features without a manual.

I had a smart phone for a while. I needed instructions to make a phone call. What's smart about that? If the phone requires me to be smart, I don't want it. I'm not the only one.

No support for 3rd party software. That smart phone I had supported all kinds of inferior software, sort of. It allowed me to load up all kinds of stuff that would have been cool if it worked, did what it said it would do, and didn't screw up my phone calls. Since I needed the manual to make a call, any added complexity just about baffled me. I'm not a geek. Lots of people aren't geeks. Geeks are the niche market, not me.

If the phone needs a geek, even temporarily, I don't want it. How can you call tech support if you can't call home?

Near as I recall, Apple didn't say there wouldn't be any chance for third-party software. Just that it wouldn't be an open system. I'm guessing Apple wants to control the quality of software on their phones so that non-geek end-users like me don't screw their phones up with cheap-ass widgets. I like that.

The same idiots that are complaining about the lack of software now will blame Apple later when inferior code screws their phones up.

No support for 3G. Until I read that Apple wouldn't support 3G, I had no idea what 3G was. If you ask 10 randomly selected people on the street what 3G is, on average ten of them won't have a clue. I read at least one technology or technology business article every day, and I still had to Google 3G when I read the iPhone wouldn't support it.

If my cell phone will easily send and receive voice communication, by definition it is connected to the right band or frequency or whatever networky whaddyacallit thingy.

Another meaningless crap reason The Apple Faithful. Fanboys. Steve Jobs plays the drum; they march. *If Apple builds it, they will come.

Anybody who uses that as a real part of a serious analysis is an idiot. Any serious analysis would eventually make the leap to the fact that Apple's stuff works better and more easily. That is the purpose of consumer technology. Apple gets it. More specifically, Steve Jobs gets it. More and more paying customers are starting to get it.

Anyone stupid enough to credit "fanboys" with Apple's success in the last few years deserves to wear a dusty boot print on his silly ass. Take a look at the last ten years of Apple's market capitalization. It's up. A lot. Apple Store's earnings-per-square-foot are the envy of the retail world. Apple is making money hand over fist.

Analysts who earnestly and honestly believe Apple's growth is all (or even mostly) due to "The Apple Faithful" and "Fanboys," are either stupid or crazy or both. In order to make more money, more people have to buy stuff. Even starting with a core of "fanboys," you have to add customers (non-fanboys) buying stuff to sell more stuff. To grow as fast as Apple has in the last 10 years it takes a lot of new customers. Maybe they're all new fanboys, but they weren't in the club ten years ago.

When that logic is applied to negative reviews of the iPhone, it's even crazier. Oh yeah, there are those of us who will buy it because we believe. I've been using Apple products for 20 years. I'm not hitting the "I Believe" button because His Steveness has spoken. I have a lot of history to assure me that I'll be getting a good product.

The "iPod halo" isn't about just "cool." The broader market is discovering Apple. A lot of people have an Apple product that works reliably, easily, and well. The iPod works the way it is advertised to work, with few glitches. As for the "cool" factor: It looks cool; it feels cool. All the parts fit together tightly and correctly. Every other mp3 player looks cheap and cheesy and uncool by comparison. Every other mp3 player has a given name, but first and foremost every other mp3 player is "not an iPod." That will bleed over to the iPhone.

Just one more thing. You never hear about Nokia Faithful, Dell Fanboys, HP True Believers, Windows Fanatics. I'm thinking that instead of making fun of those of us who are happy and noisy about our purchases of Apple products, maybe the Apple-bashing buttheads could figure out why. They might be able to make some real money if they figure it out and sell it.

*The double entendre was intentional. Thank you. Have a nice day.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Troll Piece

I read somewhere that the iPhone is not a smart phone. This was stated by some "analysts." The intent of the article was that not being a smart phone was a bad thing. A smart phone, they say, would be able to load up all kinds of third-party software. I had a "smart phone" for a while. It ran some weird mutant version of Windows. I'm guessing that 20% of the price of the nasty thing went to the technical support company picnic.

I traded it in on a Razr. The Razr isn't anywhere near as cool as the iPhone, but at least it works.

Goofball analysts discuss how the iPhone is just an mp3 player with an okay phone attached. Nobody wants that. Poor old Apple screwed up again.

Steve Jobs just keeps on failing to kneel down at the altar of people who are a lot less successful than he is at introducing technology.

Remember the iPod? Remember what an utter failure that was?

Discontinuing the iPod mini in favor of that dinky-ass nano? Idiocy.

The switch to Intel? Horrible mistake.

Remember that the Macintosh is just as vulnerable to malware as a Windows machine. Hahahaha.


Until the mainstream press admits that Apple makes technologically superior products in important market categories, every product Apple competes against will complacently stumble forward losing market share all along the way. Why shouldn't they? All these "experts" say, "Apple's stuff can't compete against us." There's no reason to innovate.

Cell phone makers don't think the iPhone is much of a threat.

Fact: Apple makes the best personal computers on the market.

Fact: The iPod is the definition of a portable music player.

Fact: The cell phone makers who don't get off their dumb asses and innovate up a pretty slick piece of hardware in short order are going to get their asses kicked by the iPhone.

Hey! What's going on with that Cisco lawsuit?

Up a little. A bit to the right. AAaaaaah.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Death of Apple

Well, the lack of any new news has prompted speculation that big things must be happening behind the scenes.

Steve Jobs was interviewed by Federal Government Employees. Better him than me. I'd rather be eaten alive by rabid weasels. Okay, the difference is semantic. Nobody who knows anything will say what was discussed or what was said. People who have no frigging idea what happened can't seem to shut up about it.

Are we there yet?


In further non-news, no one has yet reported any appreciable market share for that Zune thingy. Also, Vista runs really swell on a brand new pimped out super-duper unobtainium-powered Dell. No one anywhere is saying, "Wow. It installed really easy and runs great on my three-year-old Pentium D." (I'll betcha a whole nickel Leopard will install and run great on my 4-year old G5.)

Minor news Brian Krebs of the Washington Post has stated that the Macintosh is a good option for people who just can't stand all the malware that's out there for Windows. Of course he doesn't recommend it except in extreme cases of functional intelligence (cry-babies). I guess that means that people who prefer to spend their disposable incomes on virus scanners and anti-spyware programs as opposed to new sneakers for little Timmy or pizza (idiots), should continue using Windows.

Here's the deal, though. Those who can't afford to buy a new computer to run a fully functional version of Vista will be left in the "Microsoft Technology" (oxymoron?) dust when the next version of Windows comes out in 2012.

I'm saving up my milk money so I can buy a MacPro with 8 Gigs of RAM and a 500 Gig HD.

No, I don't need all that just to run a cheesy full-of-used-soluble-fiber blog. I just want it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Apple Makes Time

The January 22 issue of Time Magazine talks about the Apple, Steve Jobs, and the iPhone.

I'd go find out what is says but that would constitute research. I've already done some of that this month so I'll just guess that the article says something like:

"The iPhone is really cool, but it won't be available until June and doesn't [insert some goofy function that other phones either can't do or break trying to do like removing grass stains from rayon shirts or curing rabies]. And it probably won't keep Steve Jobs out of trouble for the options scandal.

The Apple TV thingy is really nifty too, but it doesn't [insert some idiotic feature like unclogging toilets, reversing male-pattern baldness, leavening bread], and it probably won't be enough to save Steve Jobs from jail for his part in the options scandal.

There should be some blather in there about worldwide computer market share, disappointing predictions from idiot analysts about future earnings, the iPod, and Leopard. Also, the options scandal.

Also, Apple commentator Rob Enderle [no, there isn't a link] wrote some drivel about the iPhone. There's a link on the page for Macalope. The Macalope might have linked the original post. Don't bother, really. It's just silliness.

In the absence of any real news, people are making shit up just to have something to jabber about.

This post is a case in point.

Try the cole slaw with a little béarnaise sauce. It's excellent.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Absolutely Nothing

No News.

There are a few things worthy of rehashing because, after all, today's first NFL Playoff game isn't until 1:00 PST.

At MacWorld last week Apple introduced some stuff:

Apple TV – Way cooler than anybody has figured out yet.

iPhone – This is going to do just what everybody wants a cell phone to do, and it's going to do it right. And it's going to look cooler than a pair of RayBan Wayfarers doing it.

Airport Extreme 802.11n – Home file server for chump change. Faster transfer rates.

I will have at least one of each.

This week Apple published their first quarter earnings. As usual, earnings kicked some major earnings-projection ass. Since Apple's first quarter includes the holidays, all the analysts think they won't do as well this quarter. The stock price went down. It'll be back.

The Month of Apple Bugs is well underway. One major success has been the release of the Storm Worm – a Windows Trojan Horse worm virus thingy. It isn't an Apple bug per se, in that it doesn't affect Macs, but somewhere in the code there has to be an Apple logo.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Neener Neener Neener

Watch out for the Storm Worm.

Yep. There's a new piece of malware out there, and it's a badd'un. It's an email about a big ol' storm in Europe that's killing just scads of people. If you open it you'll find an .exe file attached. If you open that the trojan horse installs on your machine and sends your Visa Card info, shirt size, and the WebMD queries about that rash to some dickweed in Asia.

If you were paying close attention to the above paragraph, you'll notice that the file is ".exe," which savvy Mac users know means "not me."

This means that a lot of Windows folks can upgrade to Vista right away. They're going to be reformatting their hard drives anyway. Might as well boot up the new OS.

You can melt cheddar cheese on Alpo but it's better if you just eat it. The cheese that is.

Another Day in Paradise

Friday, January 19, 2007

Vista vs. OS X

There are a lot of calories being burned in the debate between Vista and OS X. Here at Rip Ragged Laboratories, we have researched extensively to determine which of these two operating systems is better. After slaving over a hot lab assistant for hours, we are ready to announce the results of our work. Let's look at our completely scientific study of the pros and cons of Vista and OS X.

Vista: Pros

It has a lot of the same stuff as the current version of OS X.

The interface looks different than XP (a huge selling point, I'm told)

You can still get software specifically designed for a laundromat, an aquarium repair shop, and an online Indian Motorcycle parts shop.

OS X: Pros

It is OS X.

The interface looks different from XP (Thank you, Apple).

It doesn't suck.

Vista: Cons

It costs more than OS X.

It has more versions than Bill Clinton at a grand jury deposition.

It does suck.

OS X: Cons

On Intel Macs, you can run Windows.

My work computer is a Dell.

I'm far more likely to pull out my fingernails with a pair of serving tongs than to purchase Windows.

That is my – completely objective – scientific assessment of the differences between two of the major players in the OS universe. If you disagree feel free to leave comments for me to make fun of.

Hey. Did that thing move?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Steve, You Idiot

Mike Elgan over at Computerworld has made it very clear that Steve Jobs has once again screwed Apple. Introducing the iPhone was a huge mistake. The stock-option backdating scandal is obviously the only reason he introduced it in January instead of waiting 'til June.

And it's just what I've been saying all along. It doesn't do what all the other products do.

It doesn't have a make-up mirror.

Even the 8 Gb model won't hold as much video as a device with more memory.

It would take literally thousands of them to properly insulate a two-bedroom house.

Since it won't differentiate alpha energies, it's useless for discriminating between plutonium and radon.

It does not provide any of the B vitamins, and has no significant antioxidant properties.

It's a rectangle. How last century is that?

It doesn't have a floppy drive, a subwoofer, or Dolby 7.1 capability.

Boy, Steve Jobs sure is stupid

It won't print Encapsulated PostScript files.

Also – just like they did when Apple announced the switch to Intel – people will hold off buying lawn statuary and Kitaro CDs while they wait for it to come out. That was pretty rough on ol' Apple.

He announced it too soon. He should have let the FCC announce it for him while he was waiting for approval, then wait six months to sell it. Stock-option backdating scandal

Preheat the oven to 350 ºF.

Cisco filed a lawsuit against Apple. Apple just can't handle a lawsuit.

Apple's phone looks just like some other phone somewhere that no one has seen a picture of yet. Apple might get sued. (See Cisco).

Keep your head up. Don't stand flat-footed

Then there's the stock-option backdating scandal that must somehow be related although nobody knows how.

Damn, Steve. I'm really disappointed.

Hey Mike. How's your multi-billion-dollar corporation doing?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Zoom Thingy

Scary Microsoft Guy said today that the Zoom thingy has captured 20-25% of the high-dollar mp3 player market. Then he laughed at the iPhone. Claimed it was WAAAAAAAY too expensive. One of his criteria for laughing at the iPhone was that Microsoft has sold "millions and millions" of phones, and Apple hasn't sold a single one. He obviously has no sense of irony.

Let's see, he's selling an expensive, useless-feature laden brick with a suck-ass user interface and abusive DRM scheme and getting his ass kicked in the music player market.

The crippled, clunky, cheese-ball phones he's selling millions and millions of were instantly superannuated last Tuesday in San Francisco. They sucked before there was an iPhone. Now there's an alternative on the horizon. Microsoft can break even on the deal if the stockholders will accept obsolete crap in lieu of dividends.

Vista is selling more Macs that Justin Long.

He's bragging. If I was Bill Gates I'd be telling him, "Dude. STFU. Really."

Oh yeah, Macs and iPods are selling faster than Eskimo Pies in Hell.

These are good days to be a fanboy.


In today's (1/17/07) New York Times Crossword, the clue was:
1 Down: Popular mp3 player.
Sorry if I misled anyone.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Apple Earnings Report Due Tomorrow

Tomorrow afternoon Apple will report their earnings for the most recent quarter. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you place your bets:

1. People who want or need smart phones can afford $500.

2. Nobody says "mp3 player" unless they're fighting over the leftovers of the iPod market.

3. People who spend $500 for a smart phone want one that kicks ass.

4. The four letters that go in 1 Across: Digital Jukebox are I P O D.

5. All the currently available smart phones are obsolete, new, in the original shrink-wrap.

6. Because the iPhone kicks ass.

7. Apple introduced two products at MacWorld.

8. Hundreds of new products were introduced at CES.

9. Without using a search engine, name two.

Totally unrelated observation

There is a word for people who think all they need to navigate through snow and ice and mud is a 4x4. That word is: stupid. In case you missed the news, advertising is just about pure bullshit. The TV ads showing SUVs driving vertically up the sides of snow-covered ice cubes are not real.

Driving in snow and ice requires skill. A 4x4 is a tool to make the job easier if you already know what to do – like a screwdriver. If you don't know which way to turn the screw, it doesn't matter if it's standard or phillips.

A 4x4 in the hands of a novice is like a pistol in the hands of a monkey. Except the monkey is less dangerous.

Try the beans. Don't forget ketchup.

Monday, January 15, 2007

On Football

I got a great comment, that made me think I should go off on football for a minute. Maybe two.
MacFan said...
"Sorry about the Seahawks. It sucks, I know, but at least you're not in Houston like me...At least your team made it to the playoffs and there's hope for next year. There's NO hope for the Texans unless the whole ownership and upper management changes."

The difference between the Houston Texans and the Chicago Bears is not a big one. NFL teams are made up of the elite football players in the country. From the standpoint of skill, brains, strength and talent, the differences between teams are minor. Even though the teams at the far ends of the spectrum, it is a very narrow spectrum.

The difference is a nanosecond.

The things that make championship teams happen are teamwork, team-think, and team attitude. That happens with players who put the team above themselves, and believe in their teammates to do the same. Part of that is coaching. Part of that is the attitudes of the individual players. When you believe in your own skills and you believe that your teammates are all together, you don't have to think about what you'll do next. Your muscles know what to do.

With skills, strength, speed, and smarts being the same, the difference that lets one guy beat another on the football field is a nanosecond of hesitation. The TV camera won't see it. It will look like a good play to all the world, but a nanosecond of uncertainty about whether a teammate will make a block, catch a pass, or beat a receiver will make the difference in one matchup. A nanosecond of doubt about your own ability to make the play lets the other guy win. The team with the fewest nanoseconds of hesitation will win the play, and ultimately the game.

The reason the Seahawks matched up as well as they did against the Bears; the reason they even got to that game is because the entire team is built on those basic principles. If you can sell me another reason for their success, I'll fly to Houston and buy you a beer. Their defense was The Replacements. The O-line was a game of musical chairs. They didn't have the same receiving corps on the field for any kind of consistent look for the quarterback. Matt Hasselbeck missed several games with a bad knee, and then played half the season with a broken hand. Shaun Alexander missed six games. Those problems cost them a nanosecond here and a nanosecond there. Through it all, they played as a team; no whining. No finger pointing.

They still went to the Divisional Championship game and almost beat the best team in the NFC.

Houston has the same level of talent. They just need to get those nanoseconds back.

I promise I won't be serious in the next post.

Next post: Something about....

Hey! I was eating that.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Well, That's Over.

Back to reality kids. My football season officially ended today. The Seahawks lost to Chicago. That sucks. There are no more reasons to turn on the TV on the weekend.

Oh, I'll still watch the rest of the playoffs. We'll still have the Superbowl party. We'll wash down carbs and lard with beer. We'll still spit chips and salsa while we scream obscenities at the television screen. But my heart won't be in it.

Football is the only sport that distracts me from my ordinary pursuits of making fun of everyone and everything. There are other sports out there, but who cares?

Baseball: The American Pastime. I'd rather watch my battery terminals corrode.

NASCAR: Rednecks turning left. This is a sport?

Extreme Sports: Contestants are judged on the degree of near-fatal stupidity of individual stunts, and their survival rate.

Boxing: I'd rather watch wrestling, it's less fake.

Basketball: No. This may change now that my daughter is dating a guy that's going to Gonzaga. I'll have to be at least conversant in what's going on in College hoops.

Hockey: No. Grown men who intend to beat the shit out of each other should not be given sticks, and then be penalized for using them.

Golf: If I have absolutely nothing else (including taunting the cats) I could be doing, and Tiger Woods is in the game, okay.

Bowling: Huh?

Poker: I will not drink beer in a bar that has Poker on TV, unless they have IPA on tap. Then they can pretty much have anything on TV, including Lifetime, Oxygen, Hallmark Classics, and Oprah.

Certain Olympic sports are okay. Not figure skating.

Next Article: Something else.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Macworld Apple Synopsis

Apple introduced the iPhone. The iPhone will revolutionize everything. Everything. That includes hairstyles, dog food, soil chemistry, and laundry detergent. Nothing will be the same. Possibly the Oakland Raiders and the Arizona Cardinals will still suck, but hey, it's just a phone, after all.

Apple also introduced the 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station that can connect to USB printers and hard drives and be a file server, a printer hub, and a trivet. It will also open garage doors and reset radio clocks up to five blocks away.

Apple announced Apple TV. Now you'll have 360 satellite channels and the entire internet at your fingertips. There still won't be anything on worth watching.

I want one of each, and a burrito with extra cheese.

Thank you.

Friday, January 12, 2007

January 12. Let's Celebrate.

It's January 12th.

For those of you who, like me, spent your childhood and adolescence entirely too close to the television, this is a crucial date in history. This is 41st anniversary of the debut of Batman on TV. The first episode, Hi Diddle Riddle, aired 41 years ago today.

Batman and Robin had some serious technology in those days. They had the Batmobile, the Batostat AntiFire Activator, the Batsignal, and the Batphone. Who needs an iPhone? If you need to talk to somebody you just give the BatSling a flip and walk up the side of the building.

Biff. Bam. Zowie.

Speaking of the Batmobile – it's still the coolest, most boss car ever.

I still want it. I'd trade a truckload of iPhones for that ride.


Month of Apple Bugs Update.

I momentarily posted that there was only one bug introduced for the MOAB. On further review, there are eleven. An anonymous reader sent a comment that there were eleven bugs. I don't know where that comment went. I thought I published a comment from "anonymous", but since I trashed the original post the comment seems to have vanished.

I actually spent five of my precious minutes looking for this site. Okay, four of those minutes were spent making a fresh cup of coffee but still, they go in the book as research minutes. Just so you know. This exhausts my research time for the entire month. Consequently, there will be no more facts presented that cannot be accidentally verified or just made up on the fly. I just don't have time.

Other "facts" that I may (or may not) have reported that are unsubstantiated include:

The iPhone cures cataracts.

Steve Jobs is the odds on favorite to take the Miami Dolphins head coaching position.

Seattle Seahawks 34 | Chicago Bears 10

If you concentrate really hard and stare at your fingernails long enough, they will grow.

Someone ate the last bag of popcorn in the cupboard and didn't put it on the grocery list.

A watched pot will boil just fine if you apply sufficient heat.

To the anonymous commenter: Thank you. I wouldn't want to be accused of irresponsible journalism. Actually, I don't want to be accused of any kind of journalism. I'm just a delinquent with passable writing skills and an internet connection, not a journalist. Sorry I lost your comment. I really didn't mean to.

I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a "learning experience." Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I’ve done as a "learning experience." It makes me feel less stupid. -P.J. O’Rourke

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Y'know I was kind of having fun with stuff that the iPhone doesn't have. It can't sync up to my Vic 20 (or my Timex-Sinclair 1000, for that matter). I can't use it as a tachometer in my MiniCooper. It won't substitute for a butter churn, doesn't have scissors or fingernail clippers. You can't connect a 3.5" floppy drive to it. Where's the mouse? It doesn't come in brown.

I thought I was just being my normal, derelict self.

The reality is that this gadget – with sufficiently advanced technology to be indistinguishable from magic – is being criticized all over the web for things it doesn't do.

One gripe: It doesn't have GPS.
Assessment: So? Which phone are you using now? Does it have GPS? LORAN? Stay on the main road, you'll find a frigging sign. It's worked for me for 50 years.

Another snivel: It won't sync with your computer via WiFi.
My take: So? Plug it in. Is that so damned hard? Come on. Besides, the Mac has the best hackers on the planet. We'll be sync'ing by August.

Oh, please: It only works with Cingular.
Get a clue: If they didn't sign something with some carrier it would have had nothing to connect to. It would have been as useless as WiFi on a Zune. So let's see, do you go with the dweeb with an entourage of hard hats, the network with the yellow ads, some dink-wad upstart buy-your-minutes-up-front carrier, or the biggest carrier in the country. Decisions, decisions.

A complaint for the sake of complaining: It only has a 2 Megapixel camera.
Don't blow your nose. You'll expel those two remaining brain cells: Hey Steve! Stop production. Oh my friggin' toenails. The iPhone won't be the camera of choice for National Geographic location shoots.

Cell phone cameras are great for throwaway snapshots. Aunt Debbie with the cat. The cat playing with a dying bird. The new sofa with cat hair, birdshit and feathers all over it. If you hire yourself out to photograph weddings that do not take place at trailer parks and truck stops, chances are you will not use a cell phone. If you're on location for Life Magazine, it's a good bet you'll make your phone calls and snap your pictures with separate devices.

The iPhone is frigging awesome. The user interface is what the 21st Century is supposed to look like. The technology crammed into that little bugger is phenomenal. And it's beautiful.

R. Buckminster Fuller once said, "When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."

The iPhone is beautiful.

Quit whining. Dorks.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The New iPhone

Well, Apple finally did it. They announced that they're almost ready to ship another product. Apple TV – announced before Al Gore announced his intention to run for President again – is now shipping. Leopard? Soon. The iPhone will be ready in June.

The iPhone has all of the promised features we've been reading about for months:
• It runs OS X
• It's a widescreen video iPod
• It has Safari
• It's a Phone
• It's a 2 Megapixel digital camera
• It's a PDA
• It pops popcorn without oil
• It has a touch-screen
• It can guess your height and weight
• It loves children
• It's hypo-allergenic
• It tastes like chicken
• It only has one button
• It's color coordinated
• It has no trans-fats

An iPod finally looks kinda clunky compared to something. The Zune looks positively primitive, even though His Steveness didn't even mention an ability to squirt songs. Strangely, there was no catch-phrase associated with the new device.

Earlier, Bill Gates said to C|Net news that Apple is at a huge disadvantage because they make their own software for their hardware. The disadvantage of what Mr. Gates called a "tightly coupled monolithic design" was displayed today. Apple is hobbled by yet another technologically superior product that doesn't deliberately cripple or completely disable features.

This is in stark contrast to the advantages of the Zune, which has captured an impressive two percent of the music player market share with its convoluted user interface, prohibitively restrictive DRM, and practically useless WiFi.

Apple treats its customers as though they are intelligent and honest while Microsoft treats its customers as though they are not particularly bright thieves.

They're right.

Moving On

Okay. It's over. You can put the clean sheets on the bed now.

Apple finally introduced The iPhone. Apple TV is real. The wide-screen video iPod is real. It's done. Now it's time to put away the ornaments, take the tree to the recycling bin, take down all the friggin' lights and get on with life. Somebody make a pot of coffee.

The iPhone is just exactly what I've been waiting for. And I'll still be waiting for it in June. That's okay. I'm still waiting for Leopard. It's good to have something to look forward to.

For the record. I want one. One of each. I also want the new AirPort Extreme and the Beatles. Where the hell are The Beatles?

I'm thinking of an iPhone for Father's Day. Chili for dinner.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Month of Apple Bugs Update

Nothing. Nil. None. Naught. Goose egg. The empty set. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Diddly-squat. Scratch. Void. Blank.

According to Cult of Mac, the Month of Apple Bugs has already jumped the shark. That sounds right.

Tomorrow is the big event. It's what we've all been waiting for with bated breath for way too long. That's right. It's National Apricot Day. It's also National Static Electricity Day and Richard Nixon's Birthday.

There's always a reason to celebrate.

Also there are rumors about goings on in San Francisco tomorrow. Something about a telephone. The details are sketchy.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Forbes Gets the Scoop

Forbes has scooped the tech world with their report that Apple is expected to launch new products at MacWorld.

The article said: something something something Macintosh something something iPod something something phone something iTv something something something something revolution.

It went on to state that something something something Steve Jobs something something something digital music something something San Francisco.

The key point seemed to be that something something consumer electronics something something market something.

I still stand by my expectation that Apple's new iPod/Vibrator/Garage Door Opener/Magnifying Glass/Calculator will include a personal shaver and a pair of tweezers.

It's day seven of the Month of Apple Bugs. We're still at 1.x or so for total new bugs. With all the stress of worrying about the new bugs, I can barely think straight. Not that a lot of my time was consumed by thinking straight before, but still...

Wait here. Either someone is at the door or the oatmeal is boiling over.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Good News/Bad News

First the bad news. Somehow I ended up clicking a link to Paul Thurott's Internet Nexus. I'm not going to link it. You can go find it yourself if you want. It seems he's having a bit of a row with John Gruber over at Daring Fireball. Generally it goes like this:

• Somebody said iPod sales are falling based on one set of data.

• Somebody else, looking at a different set of data, said that growth was merely slowing.

I've been reading it all, but I haven't really sorted it all out because, frankly, it doesn't really matter. My Apple stock would be about a ten-bagger if I sold it all right now. I'm okay with whatever Apple's doing. Really. Who is right or wrong in the argument between Paul Thurott and John Gruber is immaterial to me. However, I am an Apple fanboy and stockholder. If there are things I need to know about the company, good or bad, I want to know. Mr. Thurott's posts don't tell me anything worth the price of admission ($0).

The thing that struck me is that Paul Thurott says that the following paragraph, from one of his posts, proves that Rob Enderle (who reported data that said iTunes sales were falling) knows what he's talking about:

For those of us who really follow Apple, it is common knowledge that the company you see from the CEO on down is a construct. The public “Steve Jobs” is a character created by Apple’s agency played by a guy named “Steve Jobs” — that’s why Apple doesn’t like the Jobs biographies — they break the image. Had they gone the Ronald McDonald route, they could probably keep the name and change the guy.

1. I don't see any fact in that paragraph that says anything about Rob Enderle.

2. There are no facts in that paragraph. Just opinions. Calling something "common knowledge" does not make it a fact.

3. Based on the fact that there are no facts, that statement doesn't prove anything.

Then he goes on to say:

This, clearly, is true. Apple Computer is really just Steve Jobs Corp, and if it wasn't, the Apple Computer you know and love wouldn't even exist. So I can only imagine that Gruber exists to simply tear other people down. Presumably, he thinks he can get more hits by mentioning Enderle's name (and, sadly, my name) and by being a stinker about the whole thing. Certainly, careers have been made out of being sad and petty.

This, clearly, is equivalent to "it is common knowledge." Such embellishments add nothing but an air of fatuous pomposity to a sentence. If it is clearly true, it will be factually verifiable. If it is common knowledge, there is no reason to say it at all. This is just stuff I remember from English Composition 101.

Apple Computer is really just Steve Jobs Corp.No. Apple Computer is Apple Computer. Steve Jobs co-founded it. He is very good at making the right decisions to make the company profitable. Yes, he has a very strong persona, and he has become a celebrity CEO. For someone who claims to "really follow Apple" to say that Apple is just Steve Jobs is what I would call not only "sad and petty," but also woefully shallow. Apple has a lot of employees that also have jobs that must be done well in order for the company to succeed. That statement isn't just "not a fact," it's asinine.

The public face of Steve Jobs is a construct. Duh. Name someone for whom that is not true. Even a homeless beggar has a different face for begging than for eating.

The public face of the company is a construct Find a company that puts their office politics, strategy meetings, and labor squabbles in the front window.

In other words, to say that the public faces of Apple Computer and Steve Jobs are "constructs" is disingenuous. That suggests that they are unique in that way. They are not.

Steve Jobs doesn't like his biographies or Apple doesn't, probably because Mr. Jobs doesn't want other perspectives of what he has done in life (maybe not all friendly) to define him. If he has lived a normal life, he has probably been seen doing things he isn't particularly proud of. Also, the people who write biographies may not have entirely pure motives. They may be willing to "sex up" things a bit for the sake of selling additional copies. I haven't the problem, but if I was prominent enough to warrant an unauthorized biography, I would certainly hope I could afford to suppress it.

Whether Apple is selling stuff at the iTunes Store like hotcakes really doesn't interest me. Defending bad writing with more bad writing is annoying, though. Calling oneself an Apple expert, then using disputed data to support spurious and disparaging comments about a company that is clearly successful in the marketplace is, um, sad and petty. Doing some real homework to really understand and explain the meanings of the differing data might have lent an air of plausibility to the work. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

Summary: I have no real beef with Mr. Thurott. My blog is all bullshit, too. There's plenty of room on the web.

The good news is: Seattle beat Dallas 21-20. The Seahawks are advancing to one more week of playoffs.

Additional good news: I promise to be my normal delinquent self again from now on.

Don't order the Tuna Surprise in here. Trust me.

Friday, January 05, 2007

More News About MacWorld

Everywhere you look on the web, except a few of the seedier porn sites, there is news about MacWorld.

Financial analysts, Tech journalists, bloggers, PC World, Forbes, Fortune, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Woman's Day, Popular Mechanics, RC Modeler, Penthouse, you name it. Everybody knows what Steve Jobs is going to say in the Keynote address. So far, all the analysts agree that pizza is okay cold if you absolutely have to eat something. Here's the stuff they think must be on the way.

• A phone. Probably an iPod phone. More likely an iPod/PDA/Phone. No. Wait. A VOiP phone. No, that's not right. Maybe an iPod/PDA/VOiP/Cell phone with a built-in popcorn popper.

• A tablet computer. Everybody wants a tablet computer. Maybe the tablet computer will also be an iPod/PDA/VOip/Cell phone with an attached swimming pool skimmer.

• A set top box that will allow the streaming of Silly String (R) from the computer to the TV.

• A MacPro with Dual Quad Core chips, 3 Tb of HD, bucket seats, chrome tail pipes, and four-on-the-floor.

• Enterprise stuff. Big ol' servers and software that will make an IT guy's sticker peck out.

• Canned sliced cling peaches in "lite" syrup.

Days 5 | Bugs 2

It's day five of the Month of Apple Bugs. So far, I've only read about one that's Apple specific and one that might attack a Mac, maybe. I've read about these bugs on Slashdot, but I'm not geeky enough to understand what it all means.

I am pretty good at math, though. When somebody says they're going to do something once a day for a whole month, and on day five they've done it twice, that means they're three short. I would never suggest that Kevin Finisterre and LMH (Little Mutt Humper?) are completely full of shit, but that is the kind of thing someone who is completely full of shit would do.

In other news, the Apple/Macintosh press is approaching MacWorld with all the calm objectivity of a fistfight in a whorehouse. Near as I can tell Apple is going to introduce one of everything at MacWorld this year. I'm not certain but I think the list includes a chainsaw, a chafing dish, men's hats, a collection of decorative wicker baskets, and an Apple-branded Kleenex dispenser.

I'm going to put my foil hat on and go to bed.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Earth Shattering News

Apple is involved in lawsuits. It's all over the news. They're being sued for monopolistic practices, patent and copyright infringement, people who turn their music up too loud, and probably for injuries caused when someone tried to microwave an iPod.

Can you imagine?

In other news ---

The Keynote at MacWorld Expo is in SIX DAYS. Steve Jobs is expected to announce a universal remote control/VOIP-cellular phone/PDA/iPod/personal massager/GPS unit. The expected wunder-product will do everything except mince garlic. Belkin and Creative Labs will announce competing garlic-mincer attachments before the end of the month.

Also, he'll reveal the real name for iTV.

It's day three of Bug-a-day month. So far we have two. Yo! LMH (whatever the hell that stands for: Look Mom, Hype!) Where is today's bug? The suspense is killing me. Okay. No it isn't.

Pizza's here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Month of Apple Bugs

It's day two of the Month of Apple Bugs.

I had a cup of Millstone "Bite of Seattle" blend while I surfed around looking for the new bugs. They're way too geeky for me to understand. Another guy named Landon Fuller– and I'm just too damned lazy to go read the whole story – is doing a month of Apple Bug fixes.

Weirdly, the whole thing looks like a pretty positive development all the way around. I still want to know what LMH stands for.

Not much else going on. Mom made pork chops and mixed vegetables for dinner. We're also having a green salad. I think after dinner we'll play a little three-handed pinochle.

My new job starts in two weeks.

I'm really nervous.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Silver Lining

Ten things to be happy about as we enter the new year.

1. There is still no law requiring the consumption of was beans, okra, tofu, or sushi.

2. Pizza delivery.

3. Every episode of M*A*S*H is available on DVD.

4. Another year has passed without malware infecting Macs in the wild.

5. India Pale Ale.

6. To slow roast a rare Prime Rib, preheat the oven to 450 ºF. Put the roast in. After 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 225 and cook it for 15 minutes per pound. About an hour before you think it should be done stick a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the roast. Take the roast out when the internal temperature is 130 ºF. Let it sit undisturbed for 15 minutes before serving.

7. It works.

8. New York Cheesecake (No cherries, no chocolate, no tree fruit. Thank you.)

9. Did I mention India Pale Ale?

10. Steve Hutchinson's big fat contract means he'll get to watch the playoffs in High-Definition. His former teammates will miss him.