Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fix Your Thinking Review: The Griffin FireWave Firewire Surround Audio Device

Ok Ok ... so this review has been almost a month delayed in posting. At least it wasn't as long as this "almost mythical" product has been in the pipeline.

If memory serves me right ... this was announced sometime soon after the Griffin RadioShark - another long delayed product that Griffin finally made good on almost a year and a half after it's announcement. Griffin started taking pre-orders for the FireWave in January of 2005!

And if memory serves me correct ... Griffin actually prototyped this in 2002 at MacWorld New York.

The thing that most bums me about the long product delay is that Firewire has turned less Consumer and more Pro since FireWire support was dropped from the iPod line.

So ... why my delay? At first ... I planned to use it for a week, then post my review. Then, I decided I would just write the review when I had a small amount of free time two weeks ago. Then, I started having a few problems with the device and so I extended my review to a 30 day test.

The product is this:

A 5.1 Surround Sound solution for Mac. The FireWave channels audio through the firewire port to a compact breakout box/amp. The FireWave is "bus-powered" from the FireWire port. There are 3 (3.5mm) minijack (standard headphone connection) outputs which provide 6 channels for Left & Right, Center & Subwoofer, and Surround Left & Surround Right or rear speakers. The FireWave supports Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, and additional audio configurations through Mac OS X's Audio MIDI Setup utility.


Well, I thought I knew what the FireWave was suppose to be when I first saw it pre-announced on the web. For what I thought it was ... I thought I wanted one.

I thought this would be able to replace my amp/processor. And it has ... but not without a lot to figure out.

Coming with no "laymen" usage guide or a diagram of an example setup ... it's hard to know what to actually do with the device. Also, not coming with any cables make additional purchases not only necessary but mandatory to use the device properly.

I would have thought that the FireWave would come with standard speaker connections ... like this:

I know of no quality speakers that have a 3.5mm jack connection. In fact, Radio Shack doesn't even sell such a conversion cable. You have to buy the cables as pictured above and splice them to get the right connection. All I wanted is a small portable solution to hook up multiple speakers quickly and easily. With the FireWave, you might as well just go from the sound out port to an AMP and be done with it ... skipping the FireWave entirely.

Now, if in a more permanent setup the FireWave is terrific! Sound is crisp and clear. Software setup and recognition, which unlike hardware setup, is very nicely explained in the manual that is part of the "software jacket".

I was able to acheive a very nice spatial sound with both a MacBook and a PowerBook G4.

A few times I experienced a small hissing sound ... but I found that it was interference coming from other cables. Replacing the thin FireWire cable Griffin provides seem to stop this from happening too often.

The FireWave is driverless but does require Mac OS X 10.4.6 (Tiger) or higher. There is an application called Audio MIDI setup provided within your standard system install (located in the Utilities folder) that IS REQUIRED to recognize the device. There is also a program provided on CD, by Griffin, called FireWave, but it's not required. It is useful for configuring Dolby related settings.

* Note that there is no passthrough digital output (optical) to use to connect to a receiver and the FireWave does not encode anything.

The only annoyance is (and it's not really Griffin's fault) is that EACH APPLICATION must be changed to ouput anything higher than 2 speaker output (Stereo). Meaning ... you must change the Preferences in applications such as DVD Player, iTunes, Games, etc etc to hear the FireWave output anything other than stereo. The default setup for Mac OS X is stereo.

I'm not much into star ratings or pros and cons lists because I think they are subjective. I really think Griffin needs to go back to the drawing board on this. It's a disappointment, but only from the aspect of its delay. I would recommend it for sure, but only if you are a gadget hound.

* A small conspiracy - while mentioned in just about every press release on every major Mac News site that this unit has 3 (3.5mm) jacks - no product picture on the Griffin website shows this. It's almost as if they are trying to hide the fact that it's not standard! I think it only adds to the confusion of what the device's true purpose is.

Extra reading:

Firewave Support Page

XLR8yourMac reader submission: FireWave

Greenpeace: We're thieves, but Apple are the bad guys!

In a quite familiar parody, Greenpeace decided to make a "mock APPLE.COM"

And just like the iTunesISbogus website created by DOWNHILLBATTLE.ORG there seems to be some thievery involved.

DOWNHILLBATTLE.ORG used Apple's copyrighted images (where in my opinion they crossed the lines of Fair Use) ... it appears as if Greenpeace has actually gone a step further that may not fall under Fair Use: copying code.

From Daring Fireball:

Greenpeace ‘Recycles’ JavaScript From

Compare and contrast [the] JavaScript from Greenpeace’s new Apple sub-site to [the] JavaScript from I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that they didn’t get permission from Apple for this.

* Thanks to John Gruber for pointing this out

Follow Ups:

Should Steve Jobs Have His Mouth Washed Out With Soap (Steve Jobs calls enviromentalists protests BS)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Well You Get What You Pay For

I saw this in an "Everything's A Dollar" Store. See if you can figure out what's wrong with the item.

* Here's some help

And yes ... I'm aware that SOME select clones had PS2.

Forget Bluetooth What About IRDA Wireless?

As I was clearing out some older inventory yesterday I came across an old WebTV unit. These were [are] 56k modem TV as your display internet connections. They use wireless keyboards based on the same standard that the Apple Remote uses.

My question: Would it be possible to write a driver for such keyboards for Macs?

IRDA keyboards are cheap or sometimes even free. This would also be a great way to recycle WebTV keyboards as they are easy to find in thrift stores, eBay, and flea markets.

Monday, September 25, 2006

It Would Be Like If I Said, Fix Your Thinking Is "Apple Approved"

Apple Serves Podcast Ready A Cease & Desist

From Wired’s Listening Post weblog:

Apple sent Podcast Ready with a “cease and desist” letter, claiming that the terms “Podcast Ready” and “myPodder” infringe on Apple’s trademarks, and that they cause confusion among consumers.

A snippet from the "cease & desist" Apple sent out:

"While Apple, of course, has no general objection to proper use of the descriptive term "podcast" as part of a trademark for goods and services offered in the podcasting field, it cannot allow marks to go beyond this legitmate use and infringe on Apple's rights in POD and iPOD."

I completely agree with Apple on part of this "cease & desist" ... this "Podcast Ready" mark or picture is symbolic of a certification. People MAY think this "certification" is somehow Apple reviewed and certified.

While Apple has certainly enjoyed the association with the podcasting phenomenon ... it certainly wouldn't want to "certify" or appear to endorse the majority of the questionable [read as stupid and childish] comments made in said majority of podcasts.

People associate certifications for the iPod with Apple, therefore a "Podcast Ready" certification would seem to originate FROM Apple.

Apple has the right to defend this particular use of PodCast.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Drama Starting To Ensue At MyDreamApp ...

Read this response I made in the MYDREAMAPP forums concerning "unexpected voting results" thus far

If I'm Chicken ... then I'm THIS chicken

I've been meaning to post this for a while ... but never took it off of my camera.

Back in August ... I was in my car, next to a chicken transport truck. As soon as I came to the red light I saw this "prison break" occur.

I identify. Not that I've been in prison ... but if I was a chicken being transported to KFC for processing ... I'd hop at the red light too taking my chances with the highway.

The notable thing about this is that you could tell this wasn't just a bent cage ... the chicken was actually trying to get out so hard that IT BENT the bars itself. The chicken got out and went running into a local parking lot.

Here's why I hate rumor sites ...

Here's a reason I hate Apple Rumor Websites ...

They make statements like this:

Think Secret

While we must stress the odds are currently stacked against a 2006 release for the touch-screen iPod, if it were our $349 on the line for one of those new 80GB 5G iPods, we'd hold off on that final purchasing decision for a couple months...

Let your readers say that in their own heads. The report was actually good speculation until the last sentence was thrown in.

Think Secret will never have the defense that they don't intentionally try to direct purchasing decisions with their reporting.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Any Flawless Movies?

From time to time I like to discuss movies here. I'm a huge movie buff. I'm also very interested to see what role Macs play in movies, both in production and in product placement/set design. Over the weekend I had a thought about movies. Are there any flawless movies out there. Are there any perfect movies? Are there any movies you could show to anyone and they pretty much have to say, "I like it" ... no matter who they are?

This would be a movie that all age groups, ethnical groups, Christians, Environmentalists, Republicans, Democrats, Movie Critics, you name it ... no one would have a problem with the movie.

I thought Shawshank Redemption ... but then I considered that the subject matter and the graphic / adult content put it over the top.

Then, late this weekend, I caught the perfect movie ... in fact it's a trilogy. Back To The Future. It's not too scifi, it's not too serious, it's not too funny ... it's just an all around good series of movies.

Even though MOVIEMISTAKES.COM lists over 300 errors found in the series ... I still think it's some of the best made films ever.

Each movie can stand on it's own, but the first one is still the best.

Some of you may say, Gone With The Wind. Personally I like it, but I do know people that don't and frankly it doesn't meet the criteria because children always get bored watching it (due to it's 4 hour length). Besides, while very historical, Gone With The Wind is very graphic in depictions of war death and injury and a little controversial with the depictions of slavery.

So readers, I ask of you ... not accounting for anything animated ... are there ANY flawless movies that could be universally liked by a 5 year old, 15 year old, 25 year old, 50 year old, and 75 year old would like? I say Back To The Future is the only one!


Fix Your Thinking: The Top 100 Movies Of All Time

[UPDATE] I just received an email from a customer of mine who read this article first thing this morning. He suggested Wizard Of Oz - close ... but I do know people that don't like it. Also, most people have seen the movie so many times they know it by heart and won't always watch it. The case with the Star Wars or Back To The Future trilogies is that there is so much subtle information and scenery, you could literally watch them over and over, back to back.

* A good example. In Back To The Future II Marty McFly (played by Micheal J. Fox) is in a car in the 50's. The radio is announcing sports scores. One of the scores is a Maryland vs Clemson game. That's a very obscure reference. Since I live very near Clemson ... it's something that just hits me as a very neat small detail of the movie.

* Back To The Future Part II shows a Mac Plus in an antiques store window. (In the year 2035)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Will Open Source & Legal Issues Ruin The Fun For MYDREAMAPP.COM?

In the comments at TechCrunch (also covering the MYDREAMAPP.COM contest) a few interesting points are made:

TechCrunch comments:

~ "Maybe I should patent an idea, then submit it, and then sue them for patent infringement."

~ "What’s interesting about this concept (MyDreamApp) is that most people don’t realize the marketing is one of the toughtest parts of the equation for most projects. In a sea of apps that don’t have the finished look, feel, and feature set, it might do very well to get 15% of a professionally developed app rather than 50 or 100% of an app you try to bring to market on your own.From that point, the winner would have some seed money to partner with others on great ideas if the winner is fortunate enough to have more than one marketable idea."

~ "Is the site going to announce which idea they will pick to develop before the development starts? If so, it will be a race to the finish because I am sure that the open source crowd will jump to beat the developers to get the product in to the wild … and for free."

Although I'm a big supporter of the "Open Source Community" ... this IS a problem. And vice versa as well. If an "Open Source" team creates a driver or application and another company tries to release something similar for profit ... you often find that the Open Source Community rips the "for profit" to shreds on blogs and techie sites like Slashdot.

I also think there will be at least ONE legal issue that will arise from this contest.

I just hope neither of these issues ruin the fun.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Get Gruber To Sign It!

A website called FOLLOWTHEWHITELAPTOP.COM started a few days back.

From the website:

We started with a little white 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo processor MacBook at Cambrian House's Calgary Office. On September 10th, 2006 we bid our laptop farewell and sent it on its way from Calgary, Canada to San Francisco, California. Guy Kawasaki was presented with TheWhiteLaptop before being induction into Cambrian House's National Viking Association. Now it is up to Guy to sign it, check it out, and pass it on to another technology rock star like him.

We've also asked them to leave comments and answer a few personal questions for our blog. We will keep you posted on the whereabouts of TheWhiteLaptop as it travels the world collecting signatures.

Will the laptop be passed on to other technology rockstars and make it back in time for auction? Fate will decide.

We have set a deadline to have the laptop sent back to us by December 31st, 2006, at which time we will post it on eBay for auction. All proceeds from the auction will go to the Youth For Technology Foundation, an international non-profit organization that seeks to bridge the digital canyon among disadvantaged communities in developing countries.

It’s been a few days since we presented the WhiteLaptop to Guy Kawasaki and we’re on the edge of our seats anticipating who’ll get it next. He’s been gracious enough to let us know that if he has time he’ll try to get a few extra signatures on the laptop before sending it off. We’ll keep you posted on the whereabouts of the little WhiteLaptop as soon as we hear word of its travels. Fortunately, we have some inside footage of the first transaction; Cambrian House presenting Guy with the WhiteLaptop (at Guy’s house in the valley!) ...

Who would YOU like to sign the WhiteLaptop next? We have our fingers crossed for technology celebrities like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but if you’d rather some Angelina Jolie or Johnny Dep action then you’d better say so in your comment. Come on, don’t be shy.

Support Follow TheWhiteLaptop

Get John Gruber to sign it and say Maynor & Ellch coulda had one like this ~ John Gruber”

Apple Gum Is Yum!

About 4 weeks ago I discovered a new gum from Trident (actually Cadbury Shwepps). I love it. It comes in a pack of 12 "chicklets" = 6 sweet & 6 sour. It's sugarless and is "toothbrush gum" - meaning, you can actually use it as a between meal toothbrush. My dentist said that chewing gum was actually very good for you at my last teeth cleaning. So, try it out, I think you'll like it. You can buy a whole 12 pack (144 pieces) for less than $10 bucks from this Amazon link and help support this site or you can grab a pack the next time you go to Wal-Mart or the next time you get gas at the Quickie Mart.

eBay Not Allowing You To Sell Recalled Apple Laptops With Recalled Batteries

When trying to list an Apple laptop on eBay earlier today ... here's the message that popped up before listing confirmation:

Attention Sellers:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced that Apple is voluntarily recalling certain battery packs used with PowerBook computers. If the item you are listing for sale is covered by this recall, it is not permitted on eBay. Please refer to the announcement below for details of this recall:

If you list an item that is covered by this recall announcement, your item may be removed and further action may be taken against your account. Please refer to our policy regarding recalled items:

My Dream App Didn't Become A Reality

Well the MYDREAMAPP.COM contest is over. It was very exciting to see all the submissions and to see which applications the judges chose for the contest. I didn't think many of the applications were revolutionary and the majority didn't really take advantages of Leopard as the contest asked for. A lot of the submissions seem to be on the scale of shareware apps and not really productivity apps that people will just wow over.

The most interesting commonality between the contestants that I could find is that most are members of the Macrumors forums. It's also interesting to see that there is only one female amongst the 24 finalists.

Here is the full list of winning concepts to be entered into the competition / [ ] indicates fixyourthinking comments:

Anders Melin
A modernized sticky solution that lets people use virtual stickies just as they do in real life. [uninventive shareware style app]

Desktop Wars
Andrew Wilson
A real-time strategy game that brings the battlefield to your desktop with network play, voice commands and more. [interesting concept - a scenario, army men hide behind an icon of your hard drive and lob grenades at the other folders while at the same time deleting them or organizing them]

Pile o' Cards
Bob Conlon
Takes the Hypercard concept into the 21st century through direct manipulation. Could this be the next big breakthrough in hyperlinked media? [I think this has already been done by Sun]

Bogumil Giertler
A modern update to the newspaper, combining the power of RSS, simple newspaper creation and sharing, and an eye-catching user interface. [RSS is overrated in my opinion, but this concept isn't well fleshed out]

Cameron Westland
A virtual window to the outdoors for your desktop. View a virtual representation of your area's weather when too busy to go outside. [Another cool idea but on the level of eye candy that is a cool idea but not worthy of buying, better as freeware]

Dan Lundmark
A virtual plant that responds to productivity, not sunlight and water. Had a good session in Excel? Your plant will thrive. Play too much Warcraft? Expect some withering. [interesting, but only as freeware]

Dillon Krug
Get back into reading, with Bookroom. Presents e-books in a beautiful interface, and supports annotations and Leopard's VoiceOver support. [uninventive - just aded the words beautiful interface to "eBook reader"]

Farzad Sadjadi
File syncing from the future. Sync folders and documents between Macs effortlessly and watch transfer progress through a cool, highly visual wormhole user interface. [Just DotMac fused with Time Machine]

James Badcock
Plan vacations and trips with ease and tie related photos and notes to locations on the map as an interactive travel album. [I like this one - kind of a where, when, what we did app ... not a winner, but a cool app none the less.]

Jeff Greenberg
A Mac implementation on the popular "Getting Things Done" productivity system with iCal and Address Book integration, iPod sync, and more. [Uninventive]

Puppet Constructor
Joe Batutis
Create simple 2D animations with the ease of manipulating puppets. With Puppet Constructor, keyframes are replaced by users manipulating their "puppets" with their mouse. [I like this one a lot and have always wanted Apple to add something like this to iLife]

John Bell
A virtual secretary for your Mac. Minerva can automatically process new contacts, aggregate news, remind you of appointments and more, speaking with Leopard's voiceover. [Uninventive]

Josh McGuire
Keep track of your pet's well-being with iGotPets, and share your pet's profile through the web. [Not sure if I would want it known that I have a rare breed bird or dog all over the web, but this could be nice ... would be better as a freebie available at PetsMart]

Kevin Capizzi
A full Cocoa interface for browsing and participating in your favorite discussion forums. [Throw in an anonymizer and this has promise]

Marshall Kucharczyk
The solution for messy desktops and download folders. Set folders for automatic cleaning based on user set rules. [Uninventive and already done]

Michael Wuerthele
The virtual, network-enabled whiteboard that adds real-time shared visuals to group collaborations. [Already done, I think]

Michael Yuan
The ultimate cookbook application, with online grocery shopping, thousands of recipes, Leopard voiceover technology integration, shopping list sharing, and more. [I like it, but the numerous entries for organization and "beautiful interface" were a bit much]

Mickey Wember
Photo Booth for videos, with easy to use video logging (or "vlogging") support. [Apple will most likely add "recording support"]

Mike Gaboury
An alternative control method powered by your Mac's iSight. Control your Mac with hand gestures and movements. [Although this will be hard to implement, this is my favorite app submitted ... I suggested a red dot on the finger for better tracking in the forums at MYDREAMAPP]

Bubble Fish
Peter Pebler
Bubble Fish is the friend who knows everything, but without the annoyance factor. Ever curious to learn about a word or phrase beyond a dictionary definition? Wikipedia, Google, Flickr and more would be just a control click away. [Uninventive]

Raven Zachary
Turns your phone into a Blackberry lite. Push important emails, news items, and more to your phone from your Mac via SMS. [Salling Clicker does this somewhat already]

Richard Whitelock
Ever had the urge to create a song until you realized it was harder than it was worth? With Whistler, just whistle, hum, or tap out your creation into music app importable form. [This is another favorite of mine, and would make a great companion to Garageband]

Ground Control
Russell Heistuman
Dashboard done right, with a unified design and modules for your most used apps and important information at your fingertips. [Uninventive]

Windy Chen
Bring your wardrobe into your iLife with iStyleIt, a virtual closet on your Mac. Pick your clothes with ease, store and rate your favorite outfits, and share them with your friends. [Interesting, very Einstein]

I submitted 3 ideas ... one of which I had patented a few years back and have tried to get several developers interested in:

Point2: An App that will allow two cursors on the screen with independent movement.

One cursor could be placed on a photoshop palette or a protools slider while the other cursor would be for other movement and navigation on the screen.

Essentially this would be like having a mouse for your left hand and right hand.

It could also be integrated into 1st person gaming - giving the onscreen character a right and left hand independent of each other.

Good luck to all of the contestants!

Still don't think it was a conspiracy?

340,000 Toshiba laptops added to the 12.8 million Sony manufactured batteries recalled this year

Virgin Airways bans Apple laptops

Between HP, Toshiba, and other PC laptop manufacturers this now accounts for 4 million MORE batteries that have been recalled yet are not banned on Virgin Airways flights.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Zune: A Naughty Term In Canadian French?

* Photo courtesy of SCIFI.COM blogs

Microsoft's potential iPod competitor The Zune apparently means "Penis" Or "Vagina" in Canadian French.

Comments on the focus group findings:

CANADA.COM article about Zune Meaning In Canadian French Slang

A Microsoft spokeswoman in Montreal told CanWest News Service that `it was pointed out to us'' during focus groups in the province that the proposed brand name sounded much like a French-Canadian term used as a euphemism for penis or vagina.

The French word `zoune'' and the variant `bizoune'' typically serve as a less jolting way of referring to male or female genitalia when addressing children.

`It's very much slang,'' said Nathalie Bergeron, noting that the words are not common parts of French-Canadian vocabulary.

`Microsoft did do extensive customer research in Quebec,'' Bergeron added, and concluded that the name Zune was `very effective'' and posed no risk of becoming known as an embarrassing double entendre.

`It's quite a stretch,'' she said.

Since we're being picky about names and their implications to bathroom humor or genitalia: iPod does start " I - P".

I need to go to the bathroom ... more later.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Branson Ransoming Virgin for Apple Laptops?

* photo courtesy of ENgadget

As reported by ENgadget:

Virgin Atlantic is now the third airline to take issue with Sony's exploding batteries, and is playing it safe by requiring the removal of batteries from all Inspiron, Latitude, iBook, PowerBook, MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. Of course, that includes a wide swath of laptops that aren't affected at all by the recall, but them's the breaks. Virgin was gracious enough to allow laptop use without a battery -- if you're lucky enough to sit close enough to an in-seat power supply -- but otherwise users of two of the most popular brands in laptops had better bring a book or prepare to acquaint themselves well with a few in-flight magazines.

This is just Branson's way of getting back at Apple for pushing Virgin MP3 players out of the market. I'm not sure if there's any animosity between Jobs and Branson - there doesn't seem to be any friendship though.

[NOTE] Never thought I would be able to title a story with Ransoming Virgin

An Interesting Way Of "Testing Gullibility" Of Your User base Privacy

I had a thought this evening:

What if eBay, Paypal, or [insert your financial institution] were to hire an outside email marketing company to construct an email to the entire user base of said transaction company, break all the rules that these companies set for "phishing email scams" to test how many of their account holders users actually fall for scams; thereby learning from each one to prevent scams.

I know, I know ...

Paypal and eBay say they will never send you such an email ... well ... technically they aren't - the email marketing compny they hired is.

I say, that only by getting into the mind of those that are gullible is the way to truly understand security. This is how email marketers have done it for years. They have taken the "best" [read as most fallen for] results and honed phishing to a science. I say that financial institutions or transaction based websites [read as any website that allows the transfer of money] would be able to better understand security.

Think about it. There are several real world examples. First, the police often conducts "mock raids" on small time crooks just to get practice in sting operations. Police also do prostitution stings by posing as prostitutes.

Who better to conduct an investigation than by the company that wants to prosecute the crime? This is what the police do - why shouldn't Paypal or eBay?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dreamers are often seen this way by realists ...

From Daring Fireball:

Jobs’s extraordinary marketing savvy and famed reality distortion field leave some people with the impression that he’s a talented fabulist. That’s wrong, though — Jobs, in my opinion, is a terrible liar and a poor actor. When he’s able to convince people of things that aren’t true, or that are exaggerations of the truth, it’s because he believes what’s he saying. The reality distortion field isn’t something he projects willfully; it’s an extension of his own certainty. Remember his on-stage demo last year [of the Motorola Rokr] iTunes-compatible phone? His contempt for the device was palpable; when he failed to successfully switch from song playback to accept a call, he seemed poised to just toss the thing off-stage and cry out that it was a piece of garbage.

But Jobs has actually tossed things off stage before when they didn't work. Not out of dislike for the device, but because of frustration that it worked in rehearsal and not at presentation. In fact, I think he's literally thrown TWO digital cameras off stage that didn't sync right or froze during iPhoto demonstrations.

Gruber is a realist, and an imperical thinker. Like myself, Jobs is a dreamer. And while he may believe something wholeheartedly that isn't yet a reality ... he is one of the few dreamers in this world with the power to make anything he says or dreams a reality.

Jobs is also intelligent beyond measure. Often, intelligent dreamers are doubted by those of us who are par intelligence. Often, a dreamer is called out as liar ... when on the plane of the dreamer it may be more real than the air we all breathe.

I do not believe Jobs is a God and I get slightly perturbed by Mac fans who blindly follow [mainly because it hurts Apple as a company - sudden or accidental death would in turn kill Apple forever with the level of faith everyone puts in Jobs single leadership]. I do hate it when people, such as Gruber, while sensationalist to drive a point in his article, say things like was said in the quote above.

How To Dissuade Yourself From Becoming A Blogger?

A very funny, but true and informative new WIKI was posted on WIKIHOW.COM:

How To Dissuade Yourself From Becoming A Blogger

One thing that it failed to mention is that if you are easily offended (which I can be at times) - is that on occasion the people that you write about may spam your blog with meaningless retort.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Single Sentence Recall From Apple

Apple posted a "single sentence silent recall" on Friday for MacBooks experiencing intermittent shutdowns. This is the first time I've seen this "vagueness" from Apple.

From the Apple page:

MacBook: Shuts down intermittently

If your MacBook is shutting down intermittently, please contact AppleCare for service.

Also, a final piece of the transition of this site from Jackwhispers to FixYourThinking was completed over the weekend by the site now reading in the title as Fix Your Thinking.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Interesting look at buying a Dell from DELL.COM vs a Mac from APPLE.COM

Titled "What The Dell?" - here's an interesting blog entry on how hard it is to buy a Dell from DELL.COM.

Even though there is a little lack of creativity in the title [how many times has that been used?] this blog has a great perspective on buying an All In One from the two rivals.

Buying A Dell ... or not

I do question the author's process a bit though.

He apparently was already signed up for "one click" - something that you must register for if you have never purchased from Amazon or Apple before. This adds a lengthy step to any purchase from the Apple Store.

Personally, I have an extra step to all of my purchases from Apple because I use MYPOINTS ... which can also be used for DELL as well. [Saves me about 2%]

Intel goes on an employee diet

Intel appears to have realized the same thing as AT&T and the US Automakers - a good portion of your employees do nothing for your company and a good portion have their job to have a job.

I realize that sometimes great people who are hard workers get the axe in these layoffs, but I feel as if a lot of companies hired too many people in the 80's and 90's that it didn't need and that this was a factor in the dotcom/technology bubble burst.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Product News: A PCI Express to ExpressCard Adapter Works on the Mac

A customer of mine (In my Daily Planet job of being an Apple Tech) confirmed that the Kuroutoshikou PCI-e to Expresscard adapter works in Mac-Pros and in PowerMac G5 towers. (Not requiring any further drivers)

This is good news for those of you that want to use your EVDO mobile broadband cards from your MacBook Pros in your home or business.

One side benefit of the card is that it gives you an extra USB 2.0 port.

For now, you must import the card from Japan. It runs $40 + shipping from Japan. I'm sure someone like OtherWorld Computing will offer it soon though.

Steve Irwin: A Loss The Apple Community Can Learn From

Steve Irwin; A Loss The Apple Community Can Learn From: How can the death of the Crocodile Hunter teach bloggers and journalists in the Apple Community?

Steve Irwin: The Crocodile Hunter Dies In Underwater Accident

Often mocked and imitated; Steve Irwin famous for poking snakes, alligators, crocodiles, and other fanged and venomous animals then saying his almost patented "Crikey" (Australian expletive) when said fanged or venomous animal would strike and sometimes bite, was killed on Monday.

In my opinion, Steve Irwin crossed the line of respect and sanity often. When he paraded his 1 month old baby in front of a crocodile ... that crossed the line. When he teased a crocodile with a lawnmower ... that crossed a line.

And so ... the Apple community can learn a lesson from this.

Yesterday from The Macalope:

Does the author of JackWhispers really think the Macalope is George Ou? As an addendum to his list of the Goons of the Mac World, Philip writes:

George Ou started a new Mac blog on August 30th called, The Macalope: Covering the mythical Mac User - very goonish!

Now, the Macalope tried to find the irony in there, but after about three hours of sitting and staring blankly at it and shaking his be-horned head, he was unable.

So, let’s get a few things straight.

First of all, Philip, you got the subhead wrong. See above. Second, did you actually read the entry you linked to and decide George Ou is filled with self-loathing? Third, you don’t need that comma after “called.”

And finally…

Does George Ou have antlers?

No. I believe he does not.

You know, you don’t grow a rack like this overnight. So, this whole thing is kind of insulting.

UPDATE 9/5: The author responds in comments, claiming to have fixed the post, and deletes the Macalope’s comment from his blog.

For the record, what the Macalope’s comment said was:

The Macalope is decidedly not George Ou.

Did you even read the post you linked to?

[Actually, the Macalope found a cached copy and “even” wasn’t even in there.]

Not exactly Alec Baldwin’s monologue from Glengarry Glenn Ross. The “correction” now reads:

A blog post about George Ou has been started called, The Macalope: Covering the Mythical Mac User - very goonish!

But that’s still not right. And now it doesn’t even make any sense.

Well, the Macalope doesn’t want to make a whole “thing” about this. On the whole, he agreed with the list, he was just flabbergasted at being mistaken for the man he just spent the better part of a week skewering.

[Edited for grammar.]

The post in question was ambiguous and I thought poorly worded. The Macalope is not clearly named nor does it clearly show who the author is or why it was started. The news is yet another redundancy on the Mac web as far as I can see.

I'm also a bit upset that that some of my fellow Mac bloggers didn't bash the author for this ill tactic as well.

As you can see below ... even the best of us bloggers make mistakes. [Gruber had trouble spelling the word "statements"] I made a two fold mistake by not understanding how Gruber worded this and then by not wording my "report of the finding" very well. Now that it's been pointed out to me, I don't see how I misread it, but I did. I didn't appreciate it being pointed out as some spectacle on a website drawing negativity towards my website. Usually my mistakes are pointed out in the comments.

A Gruber Grammar Error:

The post I misread as George Ou's New Blog:

It appears as if the whole post on The Macalope was a calculation by the author to discredit me for some reason. Reread what I had to say in The 7 Goons Of The Mac World:

A goon's purpose in life is to always appear to be right so they can continue to make money from their "controversial flamebait opinions". When someone as well respected as John Gruber points out their flaws, false statements, or purposeful lies, they have to cover by calling said respected person (Gruber by example) an irrational, emotional, cultist thinker or writer. In my own little world here on this site, I deal with "goons" too. Those that I do critical articles about usually lash out in some emotional "hissy fit" on their own blogs or websites or try to discredit me in some way.

I learned that I can't even take respected bloggers and journalists for their word ... or at least how I read them. This is one flaw in the way that Gruber delivers his "newsbytes". There is so little information in the "quip commentary" that headlines or the purpose of the link can become ambiguous.

I could point out that my website is called Fix Your Thinking ... not Jackwhispers. That name hasn't really been associated with this blog since January and even then I had been transitioning away from the name Jackwhispers for a few months.

For The Macalope blog to point my site out as some "freak show" spectacle without sending me a message to correct it and instead getting press on his website over my mistake is not only irresponsible, it's just downright stupid. Why pick a rift and burn a bridge with such a small site as mine? I made a mistake and I would have corrected it had anyone pointed it out.

Please don't misconstrue what I'm about to say as a deathwish. I hope the Macalope blog continues to enjoy increased popularity ... as this site has. But when you poke at Lions and Tigers and Bears - eventually you are bitten. Sometimes you die ... all because of disrespect.

In my opinion ... the only way to correct this is for the Macalope to retract the blog entry and/or give me an apology for acting irresponsibly. The "updated" post with the info made into spectacle had only been up for 26 hours. The original post had been up for 6 days.

From the Macalope About section:

Long-eclipsed by his more prodigious cousin the jackalope (they breed like rabbits, you know), the Macalope’s time has come. Apple news and rumor-monger extraordinaire, the Horny One provides a uniquely polymorphic approach.

Obviously, I am the progenitor here Jackwhispers: Fix Your Thinking = Jackelope. Don't embarass the bloodline Macalope.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Business Proposal: The Apple Part Number Wiki

Apple Part Number Wiki


Wiki(s) are currently all the rage. Part reference, part social networking app - I have seen lots of Wiki references popping up lately. Well, now there's one I need that doesn't exist; an Apple part number Wiki.

I have 100's of Mac Service parts still in the box. For most, I can just type the Apple part number or a simple description into Google and get an easy reply. But some that don't have a simple description or a easy to find part number - you can have difficulty knowing what a part is or what part you may need if your Mac or Apple peripheral needs something to make it right.

I thought of this last night as I was tring to lookup what 922-0631 (a paper transfer unit) goes to. Which LaserWriter did this go to?

I scoured Google and Apple part sites like PreOwned Electronics. Usually you can find part numbers by scouring eBay too.

Do any of you know of any Apple part # websites or resources? Do any of you think an Apple Part Number Wiki that anyone in the Mac community can contribute to would be a great resource? I think users adding install tips or cross references for Apple products like LaserWriters to HP and Canon parts would be awesome!

I realize that Wiki(s) are open and freely contributed to, but I feel a resource like this could be sponsored by Google ADwords ... linking to the eBay sellers and parts resources that have the parts being described.

[UPDATE] A reader email suggested starting a Wiki myself at - I don't have the time and I would only be able to contribute a few ... I still think it could actually pay for itself plus some.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Apple Choosing An Interesting Direction Concerning Litigation

As reported by MacMinute:

Report: Apple settles iTunes patent case

A story on Macworld UK today notes that Apple has settled an iTunes-related lawsuit which claimed the company stole the application's design from another party. "David Contois, owner of Contois Music and Technology, claimed that he demonstrated digital jukebox software at a tradeshow a decade ago, notes the report. "He filed a lawsuit in June 2005 stating: 'Apple has copied the invention. Apple's infringement has been and continues to be willful.'" The story goes on to note: "He wanted damages and fees, and also wanted Apple to be barred from distributing iTunes software. Apple filed a counterclaim in response to Conois' actions, but the case was amicably concluded in an undisclosed settlement in a US court yesterday, according to a local report.

Interesting choices Apple is making lately to just settle instead of pursue litigation. Personally I'm all for it. I think it's better for parties to mediate and settle. It also allows the defendant to see motivation behind a suit. An entity that will not settle is usually indicative of malicious or vindictive motif. I'm not sure how stockholders are going to like the "profits to less protraction" money exchange though.