Friday, November 30, 2007

This is just silly

I don't like to do it, but I had to. The link is to Mac Daily News. The issue is the article in PCSomethingorother Magazine by this guy Oliver Rist. The MDN article gives the article in question more than its due, and to be fair O.R. does say some things that are true. None of it is new, though. Stacks is kind of ugly and annoying. If you're on a Windows network, you may have some difficulties. So Mr. Rist does mention a few things about Leopard that are indeed bugs.

I called the article a turdburger because it tries to draw comparisons between Vista and Leopard that simply aren't there. Vista isn't even a quantifiable entity. There are too many versions, for one thing. Then factor in the different hardware combinations it could be trying to run, and all the different vendors selling them.

I seem to recall that a substantial number of the problems related to Leopard is being blamed on third-party software. Isn't there more third-party software for Windows than Mac? How much of that is causing problems with Vista?

Are there any differences between the way AMD and Intel processors handle commands and information? I honestly don't know the answer to that question. But it wouldn't take much of a delta to bring down the whole structure.

It's impossible to even build a narrow range of how Vista is going to work without a detailed look at the version and the specific system on which it will be installed. A big, bad, multi-processor system with an assload of RAM might make Vista Super-Deluxe with Bacon and Extra Cheese look really good.

Leopard is written for a minimum set of hardware specifications. Apple decides precisely what hardware to support with a given update. That means if the system meets the specs, Leopard should run fine most of the time. There is only one version of Leopard. You can guess pretty well how Leopard will work.

Those are just the superficial differences. Microsoft and Apple have fundamentally different philosophies on what the user experience should be. Factor that in and the remaining similarities vanish.

It's like comparing apples and potatoes.

Okay. Now I'll take my pills.

First, to clean up a bit...

Google "Oliver Rist Pissing" if you're interested in a turdburger. I read it. You don't have to. It's crap.

Anybody here having any trouble with Leopard? I'm not. It's been running just about constantly since the day after it was released. There is one minor boo-boo. For some reason, I can't play my remote speakers via the AirPort Express at the same time as the computer speakers. It doesn't come up that often, but I used to be able to do that.

I wouldn't call that riddled with bugs. I've been running my computer constantly except for installing 10.5.1. I mean 24/7. All day long. From the Friday night it shipped until this precise moment. It just works.

I haven't had any problems with Vista either. Not one single glitch. Largely that's due to the fact that as close as I've been to Vista is walking past it on my way through the software aisle at Best Buy.

There will be those who say that Rip Ragged is a jackass for dissing a piece of software he has never tried. I have never even seen Vista operating on a computer, but yet I have the unmitigated gall to say, "Vista sucks." I've never tried malaria either. Malaria sucks. Malaria is an infectious disease that overloads your system and renders it inoperable. So what's the difference between that and Vista? Oh. Yeah. With Vista the infection is voluntary. So, okay. I'm a jackass.

Remember when I told you about using the scroll button when you roll over iTunes? In QuickTime, it moves the time slider.

That's it. One jackass (maybe two), one bug, one big "Vista Sucks," and one undocumented feature. If you're not 100% satisfied with the content of tonight's Rip Ragged, your money will be cheerfully refunded.

Don't forget to tip the Hat Check Girl on the way out.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Late Breaking Developments

Okay, not really. Just general B.S. from surfing the web all day.

Amazon's new Kindle tries to mimic the experience of reading a book by having a keyboard for notes in the margin, just like books. It looks a lot like a book, in that it has a cover that folds over its screen and keyboard like all of Robert Ludlum's novels. Apparently its power switch is in about the same place as you'd find it on, say, Moby Dick.

I was trying to figure out who might want it.

I love new gadgets that make things I like to do easier or more fun. I read about three books a year, maybe four. They're always on; they never need new batteries. Infrequently I loan them to friends. Less frequently I get them back. That doesn't seem possible with a $400 DRM box. So, as gadgets go, I can't see much use for it.

My wife reads a ton of books. She hates gadgets, though. She's had an iPhone for two weeks and still hasn't figured out how to put in a voice mail greeting. That frigging Kindle monstrosity would piss her off in a big way.

It might make a nice collector's item in a few years. Maybe in a museum of ridiculous ideas.

What would be really cool is an internet device with a web browser, email, a stock tracker, a weather app, and maybe YouTube, iTunes, a calendar, clock, calculator, Google Maps, that also downloads books in a standardized format. Maybe it could have a multi-touch screen. You could turn pages by sliding your finger across the screen, kinda like the way you'd expect it to work on, say, an iPhone.

It could have the same basic form factor as an iPhone, but maybe bigger. Like, twice the width and height, and the same thickness. Then you could sync it with your computer on the web, using something similar to .mac.

That would be sweet. Just don't make it brown.

Does Leopard Really Suck?

I keep reading that Leopard has bugs. My copy just keeps humming right along. People say Apple shouldn't have released such a buggy program. Tiger is on version eleven for crying out loud. It still isn't perfect. Leopard will never be perfect. It's freaking software, man. Get with the program (no pun intended). It's getting better faster than Vista is, though; it also started better than Vista.

Microsoft has the FUD machine running full tilt. It has become okay with me, though.

Once I have dispatched my duty as a Christian and a man by spreading the good news that you can indeed have a computer that just works, my conscience is clear.

Turkey breast, mayo, salt, sourdough: Utopia.

I do not hate cats. I just don't think I can eat a whole one by myself.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I've been doing research

In my lexicon, research means reading crap I'd rather not read.

David Maynor has been ripping on Apple again, for security stuff. It seems that Leopard is less secure than Vista. Macalope even agreed that Apple misrepresented the security of Leopard. I tried to read it all, but it had lower case acronyms in it, so it might as well have been written in sanskrit. Beats me.

I read somewhere that there is malware in the wild that exploits all kinds of weird shit on the Mac. I haven't heard of any attacks, though. What gives?

I'm still malware free as far as I know. Am I the only one? Maybe it's because I'm way up in the Pacific Northwest and the bugs don't like it here. I mean, it's snowing.

The new Zunes are selling like sunblock at a Phoenix nudist camp according to some reports. I still haven't seen a second person carrying one. The fact that it still looks like butt doesn't seem to be a problem for some people.

Somewhere else on the web somebody posted that XP is way faster than Vista in every single tested benchmark they tried. I wonder if they evaluated the graphic qualities of both Blue Screens of Death. Vista's is probably prettier.

Apple is just in huge trouble everywhere you look. Never mind that they're building iPhones as fast as they can, and selling them in almost every country that has a viable currency. Forget that the Apple stores are reported to have a tractor beam that sucks people out of the mall commons if they walk within twenty-five feet of the door. Ignore that e-tailers are back ordering iPods. Except for the fact that Apple is selling hardware and software at a ferocious pace, well, they're in bad shape.

Look at the facts, dammit. There are maybe a hundred people in England bitching that sometimes they don't get a good signal on their iPhones. Leopard is not perfect. Seagate hard drives in older 'books are turning to shit. Here's the scary thing: There are people out there who think that (close your eyes if you're squeamish) Apple is not perfect. Dog Dammitall. As a fanboy of the first order, that just makes me want to weep.

Apple isn't perfect? Man. It gets worse. People are saying that Leopard has actual bugs. Feckin' Hell! No! Unlike Tiger, which was absolutely flawless in every regard the day it was released.

Wait. No. Let's rethink this. I think Apple is kicking ass.

A few random observations:

1. Apple upgraded Leopard within a few weeks of issuing it to fix identified bugs. Apple will continue to issue security upgrades and second dot versions until, and probably after, 10.6 is released.

2. I've never heard anyone ever say that Apple is perfect. Have you? Ever? Apple's products are excellent. They just work. That doesn't mean they never stop working, or never have bugs, but long odds are in favor of having a good experience with products and service. I've learned that over 20 years of using them. Excellent is different from perfect. We fanboys are smart enough to know the difference.

3. I haven't heard anyone recently claim in an unpaid testimonial that any Microsoft product is excellent. Not that it couldn't have happened, but I missed it. I sure don't know of any sites that exclaim from the rooftops how wonderful life is now that they can run Access on Vista.

4. As soon as Apple gets it perfect, they'll be out of business. Their business is making technology better. If there is no "better" there is no Apple. At the point where perfection is achieved, Microsoft will be in charge again.

5. As long as some people believe that mediocre software-by-committee running on generic hardware is good enough, Microsoft will be making money.

6. The Seattle Seahawks really need to beat Philly this weekend.

Does anybody buy the plain old original Triscuits anymore? All that flavored crap is just annoying.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Oh, the pain of it all

Apple has warned investors that Boot Camp may discourage developers from developing Mac applications. That's a shame. With the exception of games, Apple seems more than eager to fill any voids left by developers.

Just look at iLife and iWork. There is no peer for those application suites, particularly iLife. With a Macintosh ecosphere to work in, you don't need much else. Oh yeah, Office is a more powerful and bloated system, but it costs hundreds instead of $80 for iWork. For the average guy who already has all that at the office, iWork is just fine for around the house stuff.

And there just isn't anything available at any price to compare to iLife. If Apple decides to merge Bento into the iWork suite, or just make it interoperable, good night Irene. Ooh. Wait. They did.

That warning didn't dissuade me from holding on to my shares.

Somebody just "Digged" a BusinessWeek story from 2001 about why Apple Stores were doomed to fail. Apple has been doomed since 1976, when they introduced that personal computer thingy. Face it, nobody is interested in an expensive gadget like that. In the view of forward-thinking pundits, Apple has been headed for the shitter for 31 years.

You have to wonder how they're going to screw it up this time. The consensus is that Apple TV is a non-starter. Microsoft already failed trying to merge the computer and the TV. Obviously, if Microsoft can't manage it, Apple should just give up. I haven't bought one yet, but I will. I'm waiting for the hacks that let me have a 2Tb drive attached, and rip my HD and Blueray DVDs to it. It's just a matter of time. Somebody will write a program for it or for my Mac that lets me control it. When they do, I'll buy one the next day.

The other thing that might happen is that there might be enough intelligent programming on TV that I'll actually want to turn it on when there isn't an NFL game in HD. You know, stuff I might be interested in downloading. I'm betting on developers and Apple.

Time for a turkey sandwich – sourdough, mayo, salt, turkey breast pulled off the ribs, anything else is red communism.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Now I'm Scared

Apple is in real iPhone trouble in Europe.

Have you heard? The European carriers are going to have to sell unlocked iPhones. This is going to upset Apple's iPhone strategy. Now, Apple will have to sell the iPhone in Europe to anyone willing to pay full price, without regard to the carrier or services offered.

Why is this happening? It's because, just like in the USA, everybody in Europe wants to be able to use their iPhone on any carrier. Unlike the USA, the European courts support unlocking. Why does everybody want an unlocked iPhone? Because all the other phones on the market are either blatantly 20th Century or crappy imitations of the iPhone. (Summary: iPhone looks cool. Everything else looks like hairy, pimply ass.) Consequently, nobody wants to be left in the technological dust by what is obviously the coolest device on the market. Apple is really going to take it in the shorts on this one. Talk about screwing up a strategy.

If you're into games of strategy, you have to hate this from Apple's perspective. It's like playing a game of chess. The other guy changes your strategy by taking all of his pieces off the board except his king. So there is Apple, stuck with all its pieces on the table, ordered by the European courts to establish a Monopoly on decent communication devices.

Later, they'll be sued for the Monopoly they had no choice in creating.

Man, that's going to suck.

In other news, places like Infoworld and PC World are just falling all over themselves talking about how great Leopard is, what a great company Apple is, how cool the iPhone is and just generally acting like a bunch of shameless fanboys. I'm starting to wonder if I should just move on to blogging about football.

Robert Cringely has written that the ten million dollar settlement between Apple and Burst involved the CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, an Air Force Facility in New Mexico, and almost certainly a third shooter on the grassy knoll. Jobs lied, lawsuit died. No, there isn't a link.

The family has gone shopping. Coffee time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Why This Blog Continues

When I first got online in 1982, there weren't very many of us. We paid $6 an hour to play at 300 baud on a text-based system. We had to learn modem codes to dial and to turn off call waiting so an incoming call wouldn't boot us off. We invented LOL and ROFL and emoticons.

When we were really lucky we could get a dozen people in a chat room. We'd have people swapping puns and old movie references into the wee hours of the morning. By '85 the predators had found us, and it was impossible to have an intelligent chat without the cybersex freaks and TVs interrupting it with their sick bullshit. Very quickly the chat rooms went from a fun and intellectually stimulating experience to an almost impossible one.

With the advent of the internet in '95 or so, I expected that somehow I could recapture the fun of early chat rooms. It never happened. It probably never will. I've found this blog to be a good fill-in for that, though. For whatever reason, I haven't attracted any idiots. Even the people who have come here and argued with me have been articulate and could compose a sentence.

In case you haven't noticed, I value that. Having no editor, I make misteaks, but I try to be careful. Everybody who comes here seems mostly to take the time to capitalize and punctuate and spell. That means to me that you're thinking about what you're writing. That means I think you're smarter than the average jackass commentard I read on the other sites. Which means further, that my time is well spent doing this because I enjoy the interchange.

You all are awesome. You make this fun. I'll keep making fun of everything as long as you keep coming back to tell me I'm full of shit. That's cool. You can laugh with me or at me. It really doesn't matter.

Blame Baxtrice. She started it.

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, dang. This here little blog is almost a year old and still just as useless as an unmated sock. That hasn't stopped me from rambling on about nothing though. We Apple fanboys can look back on a good 2007, and be thankful that we don't have to downgrade to XP.


The Month of Apple Bugs. Has anyone heard the letters LMH used recently? Whoever that person was just disappeared. Damn. And Vista. Nothing sells Macs like Vista.


Steve Jobs says DRM sucks. Some guy named Amoroso wrote that Apple should give Fair Play to MacroVision. Kevin Finisterre (of the barely remembered partnering with LMH for the MOAB) did an interview with the BBC in which he said that Apple and its customers aren't very nice. Nanny nanny boo boo. Vista sucked in February.


Vista continued to suck. Michael Dell took over again as CEO of Dell. George Ou wrote something inflammatory about Steve Jobs being a nazi or something like that.


Somebody threatened a female blogger. Somebody else suggested that we should start a "Blogger Code of Conduct" to prevent that kind of thing. I have a blogger code of conduct that prevents that kind of thing. I call it "gunpowder." Threaten me or my family and, in simple self-defense, I empty a clip in your ass. It's a simple rule.

Also somebody identified a virus on the iPod. The exploit required that the iPod be running Linux, but morons got page hits out of it anyway. Vista continued to draw a vacuum that could collapse a chain link fence. The Zune continued to have market share numbers to the right of the decimal point. EMI and Apple announced some DRM-free tracks on iTunes. I'm not sure which ones, but I'd be willing to bet you can get The Carpenter's Greatest Hits without copy protection.


This was the month of D: All Things Digital. Steve Jobs took the stage with Bill Gates in an imitation of the "Buy a Mac" ads. Except they were even nicer to each other than the guys in the commercials. You almost got the feeling that they were going to pick out curtains afterwards. Gack. Vista sucked. Zune, too.


Apple released the iPhone. Lots of people bought them. As I'm writing this, lots of people continue to buy them. As near as I can tell, Vista and the Zune sucked in June.


John C. Dvorak reported that he used a Mac and liked it – at least one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The reasons he was using a Mac probably involved Vista sucking. Zunes continued to be rare in the wild. Somebody hacked an iPhone.


Universal taught Apple a lesson by failing to sell very many DRM-free tracks in other places while continuing to sell DRM tracks on iTunes. So Universal spent a bunch of money to sell music unsuccessfully other places, while continuing to sell the same amount of music on iTunes. Hmmm. Universal must have lost money on that deal. Cutting off your nose to spite somebody else's face? Kinda made me wonder how much money they're willing to flush down the toilet to teach ol' Steve a lesson.


The bottle under the sink says it's poison. It says you shouldn't drink it. The person who sold it to you told you that drinking it might kill you. When you bought it you promised not to drink it. You read the warning. You told all your friends about the warning. Everybody on the planet knew you shouldn't drink that stuff. You drank it and got sick. Then you decided to sue the guy who sold it to you. The iPhone 1.1.1 update proved that there is no way to plumb the depth of human stupidity.

It also proved that some people who write hacks think they are above the law or any reasonable sense of morals. Jerks.

Apple built a bonfire with live kittens on the street in front of 1 Infinite Loop and changed their logo to a red swastika. Not really. Actually it was worse than that. They dropped the price of the iPhone by $200 and discontinued the 4 Gb model. Cities burned. Civilization nearly collapsed. I think we had beef for dinner that night.


Leopard is shipped to the great unwashed (including me). It rocks, totally. Time Machine is cooler than my old red velvet bell bottoms, my big-collar-rayon American Flag shirt, and my red, white, and blue platform shoes. Hey, it was 1974. I was stylin'.

Okay. The folder icons are lame.

NBC is teaching Apple a lesson now. It's all part of the whole Universal thing. No great loss. I, for one, won't miss lame-ass sitcoms and reality TV on iTunes.


Malware has been introduced for the Mac. In order to get infected, you have to voluntarily give a porn site root access. You go first.

Edgar Bronfman, CEO of Warner Music, said intelligent things regarding the digital age as it relates to entertainment this month. Maybe the other entertainment bosses will get a clue.


Actual, real news:

Just today, Heiss Security identified a Mail vulnerability that allows a file masquerading as something else to go to your terminal and execute commands. Don't open any jpegs from strangers until Apple issues a patch. As near as I know there are no identified exploits yet.

And so, tomorrow officially begins the Holiday Season. After about thirty days of non-stop Holiday nonsense, you can even get tired of Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer and I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas.

Happy Thanksgiving.

How to Run a Blog that Doesn't Attract Huge Mobs of Dumbasses

Over at Macworld they have a tip sheet for how to build a successful blog. A successful blog is one on which huddled, teeming masses of semi-literate retards gather to insult you and call you names for your opinions and observations. Here at the Rip Ragged blog, the definition of success is somewhat different: People who largely agree with me and can compose an English sentence show up from time to time and occasionally explain why I'm full of shit. Then we shoot the breeze in the comments for a while. In one year of writing this blog, I have fewer hits than Fake Steve Jobs gets before lunch on a slow day. With any luck at all, this post will get me over the 5,000 mark. Woo. Hoo.

Macworld talked to Anil Dash, who gets lots of hits, to find out how he does it. Their list of subheads and my major tenets are vaguely similar. They say, "Find Inspiration around You." I say, "Make Shit Up." Anil suggests that it's okay to link to other sites and videos as a reason to update your site. Nah. If you don't have anything to say, just ramble, jabber, and make fun of something. If you can't think of anything that actually exists to make fun of, make something up and make fun of that.

Anil says, "Promote, Promote," I say, "Make a pest of yourself on other blogs." The intelligent ones who share your twisted view of reality will eventually follow you and join you in ridiculing the others.

"Don't Force Updates," according to Mr. Dash. Well what the hell else are you going to do? Rearrange your iTunes playlists again? I mean, damn. As long as you're sitting there with that stupid look on your face, you might as well type something.

The next thing he says is, "Deal with Problem Commenters." Anil seems to think it's okay to edit or delete problem comments. Not me. "Squelch Dissent," is more my speed. I just rudely make fun of people who I disagree with. Especially if they have the atrocious manners to be right when I'm wrong. I hate that. The ones with good, thick hides will hang around and give as good as they get. Then we'll hold hands and sing Kumbaya around the campfire.

Anyway, I need two people to read this before 11/30/07 to get to 5,000 hits for my first year. Next year, I'm shooting for 5,100. Managed growth is the key. Of course, that lofty goal can only be reached if I don't alienate Texas.

Are you guys still with me?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Blogging Ad Nauseam

I just went and read Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writing about Robert Scoble writing about getting together with Mac-owning friends for dinner and continuing to carp because his Mac crashed. He apparently is the first person to ever have a Mac crash. He's pretty sure that it's a conspiracy designed to inflict pain on him as an individual.

If you missed the whole thing with Scoble, it's like this: His Mac kernel-panicked. He has no idea why. Based on that he said, "Screw you, Apple." Several times. He doesn't know what the problem is, but he's absolutely sure where to place the blame. Jackass. Then he goes public on his blog belligerently slamming Apple.

He claims that as a result of that he was called, "every name in the book." I read most of the comments on the day of the post. He must have a very thin book – and a very thin skin. He was called lazy, immature, and unprofessional. Based on his writing, he clearly qualified for all of those. I have a book with a lot more names in it than that. Based on his childish rant, he qualified for a number of them too.

So then Adrian Kingsley-Hughes picked up on this and decided it was a good time to complain that Apple's ads aren't really accurate. No shit. Inaccurate advertising. Imagine that. All that other advertising you see on TV is just spot on. Just spray some of this brand of aftershave on your ass and you'll be up to your stinky armpits in horny 20-year women with enormous breasts and practically no clothes. Really. That ugly little car that drives on building ledges with only two wheels is for real. The people at McDonalds are always thin, trim, and cool. All the waitresses at TGI Friday's look like supermodels. Driving a butt-ugly Cadillac really is sexually arousing for people who have the money and looks to actually get laid. But Apple's ads are an inaccurate portrayal of real technological realities. Dammit. I base all my computer buying decisions on TV ads, too. Just thinking about it makes me doubt everything.

If you don't read Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, now isn't the time to start. Initially I was going to pick his piece apart ala the Macalope, but it isn't really worth all that.

Hey, smart developers out there – how about designing an anti-bookmark? The way it should work is, you mark a site with an anti-bookmark (dorkmark?). Later, if you try to go to that URL a window pops up and says, "This site pisses you off. Do you really want to go here?" You can still click through, but the browser reminds you that you'd probably rather not.

Maybe a more advanced version could look ahead at the byline and warn you if you're about to stumble upon a previously identified flame-baiting troll with a new URL. Maybe it could be called "The Scobleizer." Wait. I think that's taken.

Anyway, Scoble and Kingsley-Hughes add nothing new to any discussion. Just a lot of kicking the Mcstraw out of Artie. Although it's interesting that they disagree on exactly where to kick.

Peter Pan is over. I should be back on a normal schedule any second now.

One more hot dog over here. Just mustard.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Oh, the humanity

The more Apple does, the worse trouble they're in. The FUD machine is up and running hot and fast. Robert Scoble's computer crashed. Fortune thinks the iPhone is in for a bumpy ride. The stock price has had a near-term dip. Apple is issuing all kinds of bug fixes and security patches.

What's a fanboy to do? I guess I'll just curl up in a corner with my blankie and suck my thumb.

While I'm sitting there sniveling and wiping my face with a tissue, I'll content myself with the knowledge that everybody who sees my iPhone immediately wants one; my Mac Pro hasn't crashed yet; my Apple shares are worth twice as much as they were this time last year; Apple's security patches are for problems that have not yet occurred, but theoretically could have. Lastly, the bug fixes in Leopard came three weeks after the release of the OS upgrade, and they fixed most of the stuff everybody was most upset about.

Andy Ihnatko did a positive review of the new Zune. Really. He said it doesn't suck. Andy is one of my heroes, so I'll have to believe him, but I still don't want one.

Gee. The world doesn't seem so scary anymore.

That, and there are only two more performances of Peter Pan. Yeah. Life is good.

No. I will not put the seat down.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Third Post of the Day

My ambition is frightening me. Maybe I should take a nap.

I haven't heard anyone else mention this, so here goes:

On a lot of pages now, buried inside the text, are those little double-underlined-roll-over ad links. You open them by accident and then you have to click the "x" to close them. Whoever invented those things should be sentenced to 90 days in front of the all-infomercial channel, with nothing to eat except stale Cheezits and flat, lukewarm 7-Up.

Damn it all. Those things have got to be the most annoying interruptions to web surfing ever devised. I'm actually looking at the ads, though. I will not so much as mention a company that has an ad in that format. I will specifically look for ways to avoid buying products of services from those companies.

I can't really boycott the sites that have them, because they're ubiquitous. But you can bet that not a single company that uses those nasty things will ever have access to my disposable income.

I do the same thing with companies that have advertisements attached to the Sunday Comics. You can fold your ads up in the funnies, no problem. That's the American Way. But if you make me tear your ad off the sheet before I can read Pearls Before Swine, I will remember your company's name. And I will hate it.

On a happier note, I really like the ads that sit in the upper corner of a page with a little teaser text and graphics. When you deliberately roll over them, they give you the whole ad. When you roll off of them, the ad goes back in the corner very nicely. I've actually clicked through a few of those, just because they're well done and cool. If they were invented by the same guy as the others, maybe he can get only 85 days.

Seems like a good time for another cup of coffee.

I Think I'll Have to Sue Warner

For those who don't keep up with the news, Edgar Bronfman, the CEO of Warner Music, has plagiarized my blog. On Wednesday he made a speech in which he point-by-point ripped off my post from late September.

Boy, oh boy am I pissed. He didn't even leave a comment. Just popped in, did a cut-and-paste, and ran off.

Okay, Edgar, I'm on to your little game. I'm watching. If you start acting like you need customers more than we need you, I'll know you've been stealing my ideas. I'll hire a lawyer. I swear I will. Watch your ass, pal.

Peter Pan for 3 More Days

Tonight, tomorrow night, and a Sunday matinee. Then I get my life back. Maybe I'll find another picture. The term "Arrgh" is definitely leaving my vocabulary for a while. Anyway, to business, such as it is...

What gives with all the punditbots? Everybody wants to cook up some huge rivalry between Apple and somebody. Whether it be Google or Microsoft or Dell or Kitsho Inc, Apple has to be at war with somebody.

It seems to me that a lot of blogtards have played too many first-person shooters. Everything has to be an either-or proposition. You own it all or you're a loser. Sorry kids. That isn't how it works. None of the tech players has to be dominant to succeed.

For an analogy, there must be a thousand variations on the theme "vacuum cleaner." You can buy a basic (read: cheap-ass) model for around $100. At the high end, you can pay as much as you're willing to spend. Most of the companies that make vacuum cleaners are making a living. Like operating systems, they all suck. There are different standards for sucking, so the different models can all sell to people based on their different definitions of how much sucking is enough, and what constitutes the right kind of sucking.

We of the Apple Fanboy persuasion don't think our OS sucks. There are those who disagree with us. Quietly, among ourselves, after looking around to make sure we're alone, we call those people ass-clowns. Okay, sometimes we say it out loud, but we shouldn't.

We also think that those other operating systems suck hard. That's okay. We don't have to use them.

Linux must be pretty good. Lots of geeks love it. I'm not geeky enough for it, so I don't even try. I tried to install it on an older machine a few years ago. I found that I am far too stupid to make it work. That's why I think it sucks. It requires me to be smart.

I run Windows XP all day at work. Windows XP only crashes once in a while. It's pretty mature as Windows goes. I don't like it because of all the crappy, meaningless little details that aren't addressed. No single major point about Windows bothers me. There are a billion little things. It isn't as pretty (read: it's fugly). The windows look primitive. When an application crashes I have to go to task manager, which has a non-standard interface, to shut the application down. I have to click the "Start" button to shut the computer down. After I navigate three levels of menus to find the item I want to click, the computer asks me, "Are you sure?" Then it might not even give me a highlighted button so I can just hit "Return." If I have more than one application open and running, the dogdamn thing does everything slower. It simply cannot handle multiple processes. If there's a full page .bmp open I can type three or four words ahead of the display, and I'm a slow typist. The computer makes me understand the computer and compensate for its shortcomings. That sucks. I want the computer to understand me and take care of its own problems.

So like a good Mac fanatic, I prefer OS X. That doesn't mean that everybody should run it. In fact, I hope Apple maintains just enough growth to stay hugely profitable. I hope Google gets a good enough user experience from the Open Handicap thing to force Apple to keep innovating ahead of the curve. Linux needs to get it's act together, too. Somebody needs to do a user-friendly Linux distro that installs itself without a lot of confusing keystrokes on shitty little four-year old Acers. I wouldn't buy it, but I'd be damned glad to know it was there.

Apple doesn't need to be THE DOMINANT PLATFORM to win like crazy. Microsoft really isn't Apple's enemy. In fact, someday, maybe His Steveness will bail out MS with a friendly $150M investment. You never can tell about these things.

Time for a sandwich.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dang it all. Is anyone listening? I hope not.

Apple has no competition. None. Zero. Zip. Zune. Nada. Scratch. The Big Goose Egg.

Pay no attention. I'm busy making money on the fact that nobody gets that. By the time the fundtards and financial punditbots figure it out, I'll be on my island in the South Pacific. Brown-skinned shirtless girls will be bringing me rum in coconut shells while I idly watch seaweed wash ashore.

There are people who are trying to sell hardware or software or services to the same people Apple does. Not "and." "Or." Only Apple makes and sells the whole widget. His Steveness has been saying that for ten years. Nobody gets that Apple's competitive edge is that they don't rely on anyone else to get it right before they can.

Microsoft is dependent on hardware makers who, in turn, can't innovate beyond Redmond. They can't innovate beyond each other in any real way, either. They all have to stay compatible with the same operating system. Their innovations are all cosmetic and meaningless.

Apple's backward OS compatibility is with its hardware, while Microsoft is backward compatible with software. A four-year old Mac will run Leopard, but you'll have to update some software. A two-year old Dell will puke Vista. But, if you can get Vista to run, it will run 10-year old software. Of course it will still be just as sucky-looking and clunky as ten-year old software should be, but it will run – sort of.

The Blackberry will sync with your Outlook calendar. The iPhone is cool. A Zune squirts DRM. An iPod is gear.

iTunes works with the cool hardware Apple builds. Lots of people use iTunes because it works great with iPods and iPhones. It also works great if you don't have an iPod or an iPhone. It works great on a Mac or a PC. It works better on a Mac, because that's its native land. You don't need iTunes to run an iPod, but it's easier if you do.

You can run Windows on a Mac, but if you do you'll start to wonder why. One day you'll wake up and forget to bother about it.

Well, I guess if I want to ramble on about this it will have to wait. I have to go to work in the morning.

Damn. I hope we're not out of Alka-Seltzer.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Well, Not Much To Report

The Seahawks looked okay, tonight. Good enough to humiliate the Chardonnay bibbers from the Bay. Football fans turned the TV off at halftime. San Francisco fans probably didn't make it to halftime. Only the most humanitarian of Seahawk fans left the stadium before midway through the fourth quarter. Die-hard Seahawk fans who don't have tickets, watched the last seconds tick off the clock in High-Definition.


I even put up with those goobers they have calling the games. There are two more people than are needed in the ESPN MNF booth. Their names are Jaworski and Kornheiser. One guy who knows the game, and one guy who knows how to call games, ala John and Al, would be fine. I don't know who should be in the booth beside Mike Tirico, but those two noodles should definitely be elsewhere. How about Mack Strong? A former head coach? A former assistant coach? An unemployed soccer coach? Anybody else.

Man, the announcing sucked.

Okay. That's enough. Beddy-bye time. I gave wifey-poo her iPhone a day early.

OS X Undocumented Feature Alert

Alright, the system requirements for this are pretty intense: You have to be running OS X, and you have to have a mouse with a scroll wheel. Actually, I only know it works with a Mighty Mouse.

Roll the cursor arrow over the iTunes window. The scroll wheel adjusts the volume. You don't have to press any keys or anything.

I just discovered this. You probably already knew.

Other really unimportant news ---

Apple's stock is down again, in spite of cool stuff like that. Oh well. It'll be back. I might buy some.

Did you see the new "I'm a Mac" ads? Something finally struck me about them. The discussion really is Mac vs. Microsoft. OS X vs. Windows. The other machine makers don't even matter in the debate. Dell, Sony, Gateway, HP and all the others sell blank slates. They are pawns. Cornered like rats. Ballmer says, they do. They have no choice. They have to build hardware that is compatible with Redmond Bloatware. Dirty shame.

Only one rehearsal this week. Three shows this weekend. I get to watch Monday Night Football tonight. Woo. Hoo.

Oops. Gotta run. I have to buy wifey-poo an iPhone today. Tomorrow is her birthday.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Okay, Where Was I

Have you heard about the new Tablet Mac? Me either. I mean, not officially.

Somebody who has not been named from a company I never heard of is being quoted as a reliable source saying there's going to be a tablet from Apple. I don't know about you, but that doesn't quite reach my threshold for beginning the festivities. Don't misunderstand me; I'd love to see a tablet computer. Specifically a Mac tablet. Since I'm pretty sure Steve Jobs himself reads this blog religiously, I should publish a list of things that it should include:

  • RCA plugs and optical audio out ports.
  • Six USB 2.0 plugs.
  • Four Firewire plugs.
  • DVI, HDMI and VGA plugs; one each.
  • A recipe database with at least 1000 variations of tuna noodle casserole.
  • Mr. Boston's Bartender's Guide.
  • A coffee warmer.
  • Pistol grips (Kevlar®).
  • Stain resistant cutting surface and a cheese knife.
  • Corkscrew.
  • Phillips and standard screwdrivers.
  • Serrated blade (bread knife).
  • Saw blade.
  • Pliers with wire-cutters.
  • Nail clippers, and a small nail file.
  • The complete works of Shakespeare (with English translation).
  • Voice recording and recognition for automatic transcription of lectures.
  • 802.11 (b,g,n,o,p,q,r,s,t,u,v,w,x,y,z).
  • Yottabit Ethernet.
  • Bluetooth ][ (This time it's personal).
  • A box of cigars.
  • A white dress shirt that looks good for casual entertaining.
  • Software.
That's just the stuff I can think of off the top of my head. You know. The obvious things. It should be eco-friendly so as not to contribute directly to Greenpeace stupidity. The imaginary greenhouse effect is causing numerous frivolous lawsuits, and scads of meaningless legislation.

The OLED screen should also be a Photovoltaic power source. The batteries should be lead-acid, and create hydrogen as a byproduct of charging.

It should boot up in Leopard in a way that openly and loudly mocks Windows users in the vicinity. A startup sound should be on the order of, "My tablet is more powerful than your fucking Windows desktop piece of shit, dickweed." Perhaps a simple, "Mine works," would be sufficient, but not nearly enough fun. Actually, the mere presence of Apple hardware is enough to rile the Windows faithful.

Note to Shilton: I have been posting this blog for a frigging year. Those ass-ugly little ads have been on here the whole time. So far Google hasn't sent me a copper portrait of Lincoln. I don't have to pretend shit. Google's shitty little text ads are annoying. That is a complete definition.

Who ate the last of the pork rinds?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Life, The Universe, and Everything Else. Got to Catch Up a Little Bit.

Let's see. Where to start. Peter Pan opened last night. Apparently it went okay. There was very little spoiled produce on the stage as we left.

I've been reading various opinions and blogs about whether iTunes/iPod constitutes a monopoly. Really interesting. People looking at the exact same thing and arguing about what it is. The iPod/iTunes structure is no more a monopoly than it is a dish of ice cream or a truck tire. It doesn't even get close to matching the definition of "Monopoly." I looked for a definition that comes close, and I came up with:

  • A market structure characterized by a single seller of a well-defined commodity for which there are no good substitutes and by high barriers to the entry of other firms into the market for that commodity.

  • Now, Apple may meet the "no good substitutes" standard in the world of music players and online stores, but only because – unlike competing brands – Apple's stuff doesn't suck.

    All the other definitions of "monopoly" I found were centered on being the only seller of a product or service. There are lots of other choices available for music and players. They just happen to look like ass compared to Apple's offerings. Being the the only company who sells hardware and software that doesn't suck does not constitute a monopoly.

    The iPhone in Europe

    People have built this huge unscalable mountain of expectations for the iPhone across the pond. It's going to be sold in more places, and therefore will sell incrementally more units. It's a great phone. People will buy it. In Europe, the kind of people who will stand in line overnight to get one probably already have one. They've been on sale in the U.S. long enough for Europeans to get them by now if they really, really had to have one.

    A lot of people were expecting long lines and people camped out overnight for the chance to be first. Okay. There were a few fanatic pillocks out there in the rain. Children jumping up and down on the bed on Christmas morning. Sheesh. There'll be plenty to go around. Just wait.

    Of course, the failure of Europeans to storm the castle with pitchforks and torches will be seen as a disappointing showing by people with significantly reduced brain function.

    Apple's Stock Price

    It went down, like 12%, last week. That's bad news taken out of context. In context, the share price is up over 100% in the last 12 months. Also, there has been no bad news out of Cupertino. None. So the stock price went down. That's one of two possible things a stock price can do.

    The GPhone

    The iPhone's new competition. It's going to eat Apple's lunch. Apple should be very afraid of the new open source collaboration led by none other than the king of annoying little text ads, Google. The world of punditbots is agog. They're hypnotized by the shiny thing, and unable to see their surroundings. Otherwise they'd notice the complete absence of anything tangible upon which to hang their verbiage.

    There is absolutely nothing there. Nothing. Thirty or forty companies have announced that they're forming an alliance. Big whoop. There is no hardware, no software, no infrastructure, no business model. There is absolutely NOTHING. If Eric Schmidt jumped up from behind a rock and said "Boo!" as El Jobso walked by, it would be more meaningful.

    From here, I hope it becomes something. Competition is good. Apple needs competition. Currently, Apple is in danger of throwing their full weight against the telecomm door and finding it ajar. They need a little resistance or they will become a monopoly by default. That wouldn't be good for anybody.

    Oddly, I find myself agreeing with John Dvorak on the GPhone. Do I have a fever?


    Leopard rocks. Leopard sucks. Leopard is okay. It depends where you read. I haven't read anywhere that anyone is experiencing any major problems with Leopard. Some people don't like the software firewall changes. There's a data loss problem that, near as I can tell, has been around for a while but is being blamed on Leopard. Some people are reporting minor glitches with Time Machine. A few folks don't like the translucent menu bar; that's a preference that should be addressed soon. It seems to be working fine, though, for the most part.

    Nobody that I've heard of is asking Apple to sell them a computer with Tiger installed. Nobody that I've heard of is downgrading to Tiger after installing Leopard. The way I handle my upgrades from Apple is to just install them and use them. I explore some of the new features to see it they'll make my life any easier or better. If so, I use them. If not I don't. For a few examples: Exposé is one that I never use. Dashboard would be better for me if I could install the widgets on the main desktop; I use it, but not much. Spotlight is cool. I already had a "Downloads" folder in the dock, so that didn't change my life.

    What I notice with Leopard, mostly, is that I haven't had to make any changes in how I interact with my computer to use it. With Windows upgrades, there is almost always some change that I have to learn or adjust to in order to make the computer do what it did before. I hate that. Especially since it never seems to be an intuitive change. OS X upgrades have been incremental and easy to adjust to. Each iteration brings a few more goodies. Not enough to be overwhelming, but just enough to make it fun.

    Okay. I have to do Peter Pan again tonight. I think a nap is in order.

    Right after lunch.

    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    Quick Note

    Somebody is suing Apple because, as everyone knows, you can't use iTunes without an iPod, and you can't listen to anything on your iPod that you haven't bought on iTunes.

    That's kind of like suing Jerome Bettis for being a girl, isn't it?

    They're out there, people. They vote. They drive. They procreate.

    The stock market did weird shit today. I didn't do anything but watch.

    What the hell is all the commotion about the Google phone? Google says, "We're gonna do a phone thing," and the frigging planet starts to unravel. They have absolutely no hardware experience. None. They have to rely on people who have experience making lame hardware, and a whole bunch of other companies and people that want their names mentioned first. Good luck, Googlephone. The tech media, like most demographics, is peopled with utter dipshits.

    Dress rehearsal tonight. Opening night tomorrow.

    The good news is - five shows. Then I get my life back.

    As soon as I have some good pics of the show, I'll post a few.

    Now, where the hell are my brown socks?

    Monday, November 05, 2007

    Going Underground

    Okay, kids, this is it. This is the last week of rehearsal. Friday night we open Peter Pan. Get your tickets (no, I don't know how to get tickets. I'm just a pirate).

    It's going to be a slow week anyway. Everybody will be trying out Eve Online to see what all the fuss is about.

    See ya next week.

    Update: If you'll be in the Pacific Northwest in the next couple of weeks, and you want to see me making an ass of myself in public (as opposed to just a journal of same): Go to for ticket info.

    It's gonna be a great show.

    Clarification: Rehearsals are from 5 PM to 11 PM PST for the next four days.

    Note: Several news services are reporting the imminent demise of Apple because of a few people having trouble with version 1.0 of Leopard. I'm not selling any shares.

    Saturday, November 03, 2007

    Here's your big chance, Microtards...

    There is malware in the wild that specifically targets Macintosh users. The party has begun in Redmond. Notice I said, it targets users. It runs on the computer, but the target is the user.

    Here's how it works. The Macintosh user surfs porn sites. The Macintosh user tries to run a video from a porn site. The porn site sends an alert box that says Quicktime won't work with porn videos from the site unless you download and install a program the porn site will be happy to provide you.

    Then, the Macintosh user downloads the malicious little piece of code and gives it root access. The malware takes over the computer and uses it for evil purposes. The user never notices that anything is wrong. Something about changing the DNS (geek stuff – beyond my Ken. Beyond my Barbie and my GI Joe, too, for that matter).

    What exactly is the malware and what does it do? Who gives a shit? The problem in this scenario is the user. Certainly, the creator of the code should be shot without trial, but the moron at the keyboard is the real problem.

    First of all, surfing porn sites is a great American tradition dating back to the earliest days of the internet. Any experienced surfer knows that porn sites want to get as much in your face as possible, and that they'll use the technology to its best advantage to accomplish that. Pornographers, by definition, are not particularly bothered by moral dilemmas. If their activities get more stuff in your face, they're happier. They don't care if that pisses you off, offends you, sickens you, as long as you see a lot more of what they're selling. They're in a percentage game. A certain percentage of their displays will earn money. The more they display, the more money they make.

    For surfing porn, Macs are a good choice. The porn guys just can't plant their malware goodies in Macs as easily as Windows. If you just want to look a little and get out, Macs are great. The pornos hate that, though. They want a way to make you look more than you really want to. They are actively looking for a way to overcome that little problem with Macs. Also, Firefox and Safari are increasingly immune to attacks like being unable to back out without getting even more porn. The pornos are working that problem too.

    Now they've found that the weak link isn't a memory assignment or a buffer overflow; it's the drooling idiot typing with one hand. They say, "if you want to continue, we need you to give us your computer, your credit card numbers, and all those steamy emails you sent to "Cindy in Columbus." The great philosopher Robin Williams once observed that men were given a brain and a penis and only enough blood to operate one of them at a time.

    So there you are, in Forrest Gump mode, making a decision that can affect the rest of your life. Is there a problem with that?

    "But you ain't got no legs, Lieutenant Dan."

    The lesson here is: Surf the porn sites if you want to. Just make sure you're the only one with access to your root.

    Oh yeah, and get a Mac. Every time somebody discovers a piece of malware for the Mac it makes headlines coast to coast. Discovering malware on a Mac is like discovering a Republican Senator is gay - big news. Headlines. Larry King puts in an extra microphone. Hillary announces that all Republicans are hypocrites. All the news channels get a ratings boost.

    A new piece of malware on a PC is like discovering a Democrat Senator is gay. "...and? Your point is?" Reporters get an extra day off. Oprah yawns. The front section of the paper gets extra ads. Hillary announces that all Republicans are hypocrites (okay, some things never change).