Saturday, March 31, 2007

News and Information

Yeah, right. I don't do news or information. I just babble. I read one article of substance. Really. It's on a website for Security Executives. Wow, did I feel out of place. I farted while I was there, just to let them know I meant business. What the article basically says is:

Microsoft dropped the soap.

Yeah. Come on. They introduced a new operating system after five years of development. Five frigging years to develop an operating system. Geeks should be sprouting some major wood over this thing. An operating system that takes five years to develop should be Star Trek, Dungeons and Dragons, and a 15-page nude photo gallery of Carrie Fisher (c. 1977) all rolled up into one blissful moment. Have you heard anybody say, "Hey! I just installed Vista and it is just the coolest thing in the world!" I'll bet. Everything I've read about Vista has been, at best, ho-hum. At worst, it loses when compared to other modern operating systems.

What is Vista compared to wherever it's discussed? OS X. Vista usually gets the shit kicked out of it in comparisons. Reviewers on the Microsoft payroll give it ho-hum or don't even mention it. Vista didn't kick ass. When you develop an operating system for FIVE FRIGGING YEARS and it doesn't kick ass, it sucks.

Have you seen any Zunes in the wild? Me either.

Have you seen that calm smile on Steve Jobs' face lately? Microsoft has to try to pick up the soap eventually.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Slow Week

I'm back. All seven of my regular readers can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Apple TV Released

Big news. Woo. Hoo.

Hard to believe it's being reported about as though it was some big frigging surprise. Dang. It does everything Apple said it would, which surprises a bunch of people who don't get Apple.

It doesn't do stuff Apple never said it would do, which surprises a bunch of people who don't get Apple.

John C. Dvorak says negative things about Apple in a recent column

John C. Dvorak has been singing Apple's death song for about twenty years. He has to know he's full of shit. He's been saying the same thing over and over and being 180º out from reality every single time, since way back when he had hair and a normal-sized prostate.

Give him credit for originality, though. He always thinks up new and interesting ways to piss off the faithful. This time, he says Apple should ditch the iPhone. That's stupid even by Dvorak's standards. If you're really interested, you've already read it. If not, don't bother. It's shit. And that, boys and girls, is all the inches JCD gets this month.

Vista is selling like crazy

Sounds like a load of cattle excreta to me. I think I'll suspend belief until there are some real numbers to examine.

Michael Dell is retaking the helm at Dell Computer

It's good. The captain should go down with the ship. The great ship of Dell/HP/Microsoft is in dangerous waters. Apple has already crossed their "T." The next few years will be a fun time to be a shareholding Apple fan.

Have a lovely weekend.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Olive Branch

It has come to my attention that we who speak of Apple products in a positive way are derided by those who consider Microsoft Windows to be the operating system of choice.

The "1984" ad is these days framed as Apple users marching lockstep and taking our instructions from the giant talking head. In 2007, the face on the screen is Steve Jobs. We are but mindless drones. If Steve introduces it we will buy it. No matter what it is. It can be so completely unrelated to computers as a.....a.....set-top box.

We are accused of being smug. We evangelize about our computers and our portable music devices. We sing the praises of our operating system, and we say things like, "Vista sucks."

We don't mean to be belittling of you PC users. Honest. We know that deep down inside you're all good people. We know you're using the "industry standard" and the "most popular" operating system in the world. We don't begrudge you that at all.

So send us an email. Let's be friends.

It's okay. You can run your virus-checker and reboot first. We'll wait.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Apple TV

It's shipping. It's real. The Apple TV is coming to a living room near you.

Reviews are starting to filter in already.

The Wall Street Journal says it's good. There are a few drawbacks though:

It won't run Windows.
It won't wirelessly sync with an iPhone.
You can't hook it up to a 1973, 25" Curtis-Mathis. Even if it has a new picture tube.
It doesn't make decent popcorn.
Wirelessly transferring big files like movies across your house might take a while.
It can't be used as a litter box.
It only has a 40G hard drive so you can't put every movie ever made on it. (I should note however that it will hold the complete works of The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, and Abbott and Costello.)
It doesn't have a Zune port.
Frying bacon naked is still a poor idea.
It's square.
It's made for current and future video technology instead of the old stuff you own, you cheapskate.
It won't play DVDs, CDs, VHS, Beta, 45s, LPs, 8-Tracks, cassettes, mini-discs, or Pong cartridges.
Even in HD, Bill Murray is consistently funnier than Harold Ramis.
There isn't a "Horizontal Hold" knob anywhere.
You can't hook up an extra hard drive.
Four out of five dentists surveyed prefer sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.
It won't sync lip movements with bad overdubs in Godzilla movies or spaghetti westerns.
It doesn't keep pancakes warm, and the butter and syrup run right onto the table.
It looks kind of brushed aluminum-ish, but it's plastic.
It's too short to be an effective step-stool.

That's just a partial list of the most glaring omissions. Naturally, the Apple hobbyist community will have most of this stuff hacked in fairly short order.


Stop defending yourself. Admit you were taken in by bozos, that you screwed up; move on.

We Mac zealots don't believe it's impossible to hack a Mac. We just haven't had any malware to deal with yet, so for now we don't worry too much about it. If you guys who hate us Mac fans want to strike fear into our hearts, you'll have to do a lot better than the MOAB (Mostly Overblown Antics and Bullshit).

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Conspiracy Theories

It's time to tell the truth about the conspiracy to destroy Maynor and Ellch.

First of all, the lone gunman theory is scientifically unfeasible. There were credible witnesses who heard multiple shots fired. It was Elvis, under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover and Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon was actually a space alien whose captured ship and dead crew members were quarantined in Area 51. J. Edgar Hoover, and later Louis Freeh were part of a huge coverup of CIA agents using members of the Black Panthers, and several members of the Ray Conniff Singers and the New Christie Minstrels, as stooges for LSD tests on inner city typewriter repairmen.

As will sometimes happen when innocent situations get out of control, Alderaan was blasted to smithereens, and The Berenstain Bears kicked the shit out of an entire legion of Imperial Storm Troopers.

Lynn Fox was last seen on the grassy knoll.

Elvis is still alive, but he doesn't really remember what he had for breakfast. And he soils himself at least daily.

No Tribbles were harmed in the publication of this blog post.

Monday, March 19, 2007

This Just In

I just checked the teletype machine. It says Apple is kicking some serious butt.

Things you can go read if you want to, say:

Apple is setting a new standard for retailing.

Tiger is better than Vista.

Apple TV is going to do what Microsoft Media Center didn't: invade the living room.

The iPhone is going to be wicked cool.

Everybody who ever even thought about making a phone wants to build something like the iPhone.

K-Fed still loves Britney.

Flock of Bat-boys invades Peoria, Illinois.

Verne Troyer is the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby.

UAC stands for Useless Annoying Crap.

In other developments

Some peanuthead named Ou (Pronounced: Eeeeew) has stated that Steve Jobs is behaving like George Gobels. No, wait, he said "Gerbils." I thought he was talking about the old comic on Hollywood Squares. Possibly he's confusing rats and mice and men. You can look him up and read his stuff if you want. I don't. Thank the heavens we have Macalope. Macalope is willing to go read that dross. The rest of us don't have to give page views to putzes. Eeeeew doesn't seem to be able to keep his vertebrate mammals straight, but it's okay. He doesn't know diddly-squat about computers either.

iPods are still selling pretty well.

MacBooks and MacBook Pros are still doing okay.

Several analysts are picking Apple stock to break $120 this year. Me too.

In case you missed it: California Steve is about to give Washington Steve a wedgie and a dutch rub.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Same Old, Same Old

It seems there are these two companies in California.

I read about one of them on Forbes, Fortune, The Motley Fool, BusinessWeek, and the like. It seems this company is a gobbling up markets and creating huge amount of value for its shareholders. The company's CEO is a wizard at industrial design and guerilla business tactics.

This other company I read about from California makes this niche market computer that "real" computer people would never let their friends see them using. Never mind that the company's retail stores are doing better business than a Good Humor truck in Hell. I read about this nasty old corporation on PC World Online, and on those "Free the Software" sites written by idiots. The company's CEO is a megalomaniac intent on enslaving the world by restricting the number of copies they can make of "Bye Bye Bye."

The two companies are called Apple, inc.

I don't want to insult you personally, but if you are one of those people who think stuff like software and music should be free, you're retarded. I don't mean kinda dumb. I mean drooling on your shirt, need help tying your shoes, chew with your mouth open, voted for Ralph Nader stupid. If you don't know why that's stupid, you're too stupid to understand the explanation, so never mind.

Have a nice day.

Or not.

Your choice.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The News is on the Street

BusinessWeek is reporting that "Vista is slow and dangerous." That isn't the same as saying "Vista sucks." For one thing, "Vista is slow and dangerous." is a compound sentence. "Vista sucks" is a simple sentence. Also, there are a lot more syllables in the former than the latter.

Additionally, BusinessWeek is a respectable financial magazine. They can't say, "Vista sucks." They have to be somewhat more circumspect. Especially if they ever want to get another advertising dollar from Redmond.

As an Apple stockholder, let me be among the first to say, "Thank you, Microsoft for releasing Vista."

WOW stands for "What? Oh. Windows."

Other News

The new Airport Extreme ad showed up in the email. I haven't looked to see if there's an 802.11n card for my G5 available. I'll get around to it. I'd like to replace my old AirPort base station with something I can set my Hot Wheels collection on.

A lot of smart people are saying it might be a good time to buy stock in Apple. If I had any cash laying around I'd jump. I don't. But buying a few shares right now would be a really smart thing to do, I think. When Apple announces "How's business" in a few weeks their stock will go higher than the average global temperature in Al Gore's wet dreams.

Other smart people are saying that the iPhone isn't overpriced. Duh. The problem is, Apple is only making ten million of them. They might run out of them before I can get one. I'm not rich, but I know what I want a phone to do. It's just exactly the iPhone's feature set. I don't think I'm that far out of the mainstream. I can prove I'm mainstream. Watch.

1. I don't give a shit about Britney Spears.

2. I like extra cheese on my pizza.

3. I think country and western music is just fine if it's the only station the radio brings in and you can't reach the knob to turn the fucker off.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

TellMe Something Good

Microsoft bought that company. TellMe Networks. They make voice recognition software. The news is posted on Forbes. Microsoft Business Suit Jeff Raikes wants to assure everyone that the iPhone was not even on their radar when they decided to buy a company that makes voice recognition software for telephones.

"Apple who? Oh them. Naaah. We totally forgot about them."

The telecommunications industry's (and Microsoft's) denial of any worries about the iPhone makes me think of The Scarecrow in the haunted forest repeating louder and louder, "There's no such thing as ghosts." As I recall, The Scarecrow didn't succeed in scaring the woolyboogers away either.

Here's why they're scared:

Apple sells products that do what they say they will do.

Apple makes – and controls the entire process of developing – the whole widget.

If an Apple product isn't right, Apple doesn't need Steve Ballmer's permission to fix it.

Apple is shoving industry standards up Microsoft's wahoo.

When Microsoft says "jump," Apple says, "bite me."

Apple is the only significant personal computer hardware company not beholden to Redmond.

Apple's retail stores generate more sales per square foot than Saks, Best Buy, and Tiffany & Co. Combined.

Apple is making a phone.

Apple dictated the deal they wanted to Cingular. Take it or leave it.

Jeff Raikes didn't even remember about the iPhone. This can only mean one of two things:

1. Jeff Raikes was hired for his taste in Italian silk neckties and has an I.Q. in the mid-double-digits.

2. Jeff Raikes thinks that the entire rest of the world is comprised of people who are very easy to lie to.

I always demur from making the call whether someone is lying or stupid. Others can decide

Make no mistake, when Apple finally has all they can take of Microsoft, Redmond will suffer the loss more than Cupertino will. I'll bet a Krispy Kreme and a cup of coffee that if Microsoft stopped developing Office Mac, Apple could replace it in less than a week. It would probably be a huge improvement. Just because Office is the industry standard, doesn't mean it doesn't suck.

In twenty years of Macs, I have learned a couple of things:

1. Always know where there is a paperclip.

2. When the machine is acting strange, look first to the Microsoft stuff that's running. Get rid of some offending Microsoft code and 90+% of the time the problem goes away.

It's not 100%, but it's a statistically valid approach to troubleshooting.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Oh Yeah.

Just doing a little reading at FSJ. I usually don't go there for serious stuff, but it turns out that there are some reputable scientists saying that all this global warming hysteria is hype and hooey. Also, according to the NOAA, temperatures are down in North America this year so far. I was gonna guess that from watching the six o'clock news, but thank goodness we don't have to rely on my inexpert scientific opinion.

This isn't coming from Harvey's All Night Strip Club, Toaster Repair, and Climatology Lab, either. This stuff is coming from US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, MIT, NASA and a bunch of Colleges that don't sell degrees on matchbooks.

These scientists make the case that maybe human beings aren't as powerful as we think with regards to changing the planet's climate. Maybe, just maybe, the climate of our little ball of cosmic dirt will regulate itself quite nicely in spite of our stupidity. Google up "global warming swindle." There are a number of hits for it. It's fun to read about it. I'll own the movie as soon as I can get a copy.

A lot of people will suggest that those of us who don't believe in the whole "global warming" religion espouse profligate polluting and generally that it's okay to foul our own nest. That is analogous to the stupid arrogance of Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Scientists, Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, Calvinists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Lutherans who send each other to hell for tithing to the wrong plate. Nobody thinks it's a good idea to deliberately and carelessly trash the planet. There are a few, though, who think that maybe we should rely on some hard science to guide us before we greenify ourselves all the way back to the frigging stone age. I'll hang out with them.

Other Stuff

Daylight Savings Time went off without a hitch on the old G5. Whatever happened for everyone else is not a problem, either. I didn't even notice. Note: This does not mean that changing the clocks failed to suck. It feels later than it is, and looks earlier than it is in the evening, now.

As for Apple news, go check the Crazy Apple Rumors Site for that. I just make fun of stuff.

Raw Data

"I love my Zune" -- 876 Google hits.

"Zune sucks" -- 29,800

"I love Vista" -- 13,400

"Vista blows" -- 14,400

"Vista sucks" -- 62,600

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Those Fans Really Blow

Okay. I've been away. It's not my fault.

Here's the official story. For the last few months, every time I've restarted the old G5 it's been a guessing game whether it's going to fire up or just sit there with its big grey Apple staring at me. Sunday night we had a brief loss of power (like 10 seconds). Afterwards there was nothing I could do to fire the thing up. It just sat there with the wheel going around under the Apple logo for about ten minutes. Then all 27 fans started going full throttle. It sounded like a Hoover on steroids.

I started it in single-user mode and ran "fsck." That didn't work. It wouldn't even go through all the diagnostics. I figured my Hard Drive had reduced itself to being worth its weight in aluminum foil. I unplugged it and took it to the shop. I took in the Cinema Display, too. It's had a minor backlight problem for months, so I figured, "As long as I'm taking the thing in anyway, might as well get it all back to new."

The computer starts fine in the shop. It runs fine. In the shop.

It turns out my 8-year old UPS is toast. But they found out the optical drive is intermittent, so they're replacing it. Plus they have to replace a bad board in the Cinema Display.

I'll get it back tomorrow if all goes well.

Tonight I'm using my daughter's MacBook because:

a. She let me.

b. She isn't home from her boyfriend's house yet.

c. I bought the frippin' thing, after all.


The Vista Crack was a joke. It only stands to reason.

After extensive research (come on, you know me better than that) Rip Ragged has determined which joke it was:

Two cannibals are eating a clown.
One says to the other, "Does this taste funny to you?"

Not News

Bill Gates thinks America is falling behind the rest of the world in technology. He's right. Too many people are running Windows in this country.

Vista isn't doing so well in the marketplace. Probably because it sucks.

That iPod-killer Zoomy-thingy isn't exactly kicking the world's ass, either. Probably because it sucks.

The reports of OS X malware in the wild are still a little slow coming in.

Statistically, St. Charles Place is the absolute best property to have hotels on.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A Note to Global Warming Faithful

Alternative Title: F U CN RD THS, U PRBLY HV BTR THNGS T D

For those of you who are fans of Al Gore and worship at the shrine of reduced greenhouse gases: I hope you succeed in deciding whether you personally choose to starve or freeze to death in a darkened forest. I plan to be personally responsible for as much greenhouse effect as I can manage. If you're tired of being duped by the GW people, feel free to join up.

I've found that the more CO2 I'm responsible for generating, the more personally comfortable I am. Also, consuming vast quantities of energy has produced a nice life for my family. My youngest daughter will attend college in good health and happy because she grew up in a house where there was always heat and lots to eat. Mostly meat. I'm all about me and my family being comfortable.

If saving the planet is a higher priority for you than the comfort and well-being of yourself and your family, move out of your house into a tent. Stop wearing manufactured fabric from a big, nasty, smoke belching factory. Stop wearing leather and hides. Oh the poor animals. Stop eating food processed in factories. Don't can your food in jars made in factories either. Factories are bad. Kerr jars contribute to the destruction of the planet.

Freezers consume electricity. Coal. Smoke. Carbon Dioxide. Trees and squirrels dying.

Don't eat vegetables that have been transported by truck, either.

You'll have to grow your own food. Organically of course. And eat it all before it spoils.

Never mind about health care. Modern medicine is very energy intensive. Greenhouse gases galore are created trucking all those building materials around to build hospitals and clinics and laboratories. They burn tons of fossil fuel moving pharmaceuticals from the factories to the pharmacies.

Just move your family, hungry and naked, into the woods. Live off the land. Wipe your ass with leaves.

Unless of course your first priority is the comfort and well-being of your family. Is that the case? Maybe you think that all these sacrifices won't have to be made to accomplish your utopian vision. If that's what you think, you haven't done much thinking. That is my definition of stupid. Or maybe you think it will be okay, just as long as it's other people who have to make these sacrifices. If that's okay with you, then you just hate humanity. That would meet the generally accepted criteria for "asshole."

Just in case anyone is wondering, it's March 2nd, and it's 35 frigging degrees fahrenheit outside my house. Take a look at a weather map of North America. It's cold out there. There are environmentalist whack jobs out there saying this cold is being caused by global warming. If you believe that, you are too far gone to help. You're the person they love to see in the Palmist tent at the carnival. Slack-jawed, doe-eyed, mindless drone: "Well, what if it really is global warming? We'll be screwed if we don't buy a frickin' Prius and eat some organic tofu."

Reality: Global warming is pure bullshit because they'll use it to explain a nasty winter. If there was any real science behind it at all, its proponents would at least know enough to shut the hell up when the country is buried in snow.

Here's a brief synopsis of why the theory of blaming global warming for our current weather patterns doesn't hold water. Skip this part if you can tie your shoes without help.

Cold is not caused by warming. It's cold because the temperature went down. When the temperature goes up, that's warming. See how that works?

In the summer we have semi-global warming. During this period, the southern hemisphere has winter (semi-global cooling).

In the winter (that would be now) we have semi-global cooling. The southern hemisphere is having summer (temperatures are higher; that's also known as "warming").

"But Rip," you might be thinking, "Al Gore made a movie about it. He used to be the Vice President. He must know something about it."

As a measure of scientific knowledge on a resumé, "Former Vice President of the United States of America" means exactly dick. The job of Vice President of the United States of America has no legal minimum educational requirement. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Squat. Zip. Goose egg. Nil. The empty set. The educational requirements to become a dental hygienist are far more stringent. Being a former vice president means that one is due a certain measure of respect and honor. It does not mean that individual has anything intelligent or useful to say. That is measured on a case by case basis.

I would rather get my science from someone whose job at least requires some formal education. Also, the fact that Al Gore honestly believes, or says he does, that global warming is the cause for our current weather leads me to think that he is either stupid, crazy, or lying.

If you're buying that crap, suit yourself. Just make sure you don't drive a gas-burning automobile to my house to snivel about my consumption. I'll let the air out of your tires and pee on your shoes.