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Apple Computer History Weblog and my own contribution

Looking at this site made me realize that I’ve been a Mac user for about 17 years. Wow. It’s cool that their trying to get employees to document what it was like to work at Apple in those early years. They should have an area for users to talk about what it was like in those days. This would be my contribution…

My first Mac was a Mac Plus, which I paid about $1,800 bucks for, and eventually got it to 4Meg of RAM for something like $400. My daughter was about 18 months old when I had this machine. She was an early walker and climber, and was completely fascinated by the Mac. Whenever I’d get out of my chair, she’d come running over, climb up on it, start banging away at the keyboard and playing with the mouse.

After losing some work to her explorations one night, but not wanting to curb her enthusiasm for the computer, I decided to unplug the keyboard from the Mac one night as I needed to make a bathroom run. (The Mac Plus had an RJ45-like connector on the front of the case for the keyboard, below the monitor, and a telephone-like curly cable). I carefully tucked the cable behind the keyboard so it wouldn’t be visible to her, and headed toward the bathroom. She wouldn’t notice the difference, right? Wrong.

Sure enough, Malia jumped up on my chair before I got 10 feet away from it, and starting pressing the keys and moving the mouse. She got a really confused look on her face, looked at the keyboard, then the mouse, moved them around a bit more, and knew something was wrong. She moved her head closer to the Mac, and an enlightened look came over her face. She reached behind the keyboard, pulled out the cable, and plugged the cable into the plug in front of the Mac in one swift move. A few quick clicks on the keyboard and a bit of mouse movement, the smile came back to her face and off she went.

Try getting an 18 month old to troubleshoot a hardware problem on a WinTel machine!

Posted in Technology.

Like Dave and probably the rest of the connected world, I’ve been getting murdered by the latest worms and viruses.

Like Dave and probably the rest of the connected world, I’ve been getting murdered by the latest worms and viruses. I’m a Mac user, but still getting my inbox bombarded, not only with spam but tons of reject messages which have me as the sender. Shit. You know who I’d vote for in a minute? A political candidate who supported the death penalty for virus writers. I’d accept castration at a bare minimum.

I do have one fix for the Unix account on my ISPs server. They already installed SpamAssassin. While this was OK, it didn’t delete spam, just modified the subject field so that it is easily identifiable. Once the latest onslaughts started, I added a .procmailrc entry so that all of the marked spam is automatically deleted from my account.

I know this is the “bigger sledghammer” method, and that I may miss some legit emails. At this point I could give a damn. I’m only getting 2-3 spams per hour that actually show up in my inbox. For those people whose emails I can’t miss, I’ve just whitelisted them.

Posted in Technology.

Heads up Burger King patrons! The Chicken Caesar Club is quite possibly the worst sandwich I’ve ever eaten.

Heads up Burger King patrons! The Chicken Caesar Club is quite possibly the worst sandwich I’ve ever eaten. The real sandwich I got in no way resembled the sumptuous looking sandwich on their poster – little green on the lettuce, limp sour dough and a chicken patty so small that I had to lift up the bread to find it – it was invisible from all outside angles. Oh yeah, the chicken patty may as well have been a tofu patty for all the taste it had. I was trying to find something healthier than my normal Whopper, but this was an extreme disappointment.

Posted in Core Dumps.

Lawrence Lessig: Is It Impossible To Imagine Lawyers On The Side Of Innovation?

Not impossible to imagine, Lawrence, just very difficult. To most recording artists I know, the lawyer is the person who hides the truth in the legalese contained in the contract. The truth that you can sell a million records, and still owe the label money.

I had some friends asked to sign a recording contract, they went and hired their own lawyer to look it over, who told them “it looks good to me.” A relative of the band, not a lawyer but with some experience in contractual law, looked at it and tore it up on sight. It signed over the rights for all of the bands original songs to the label, along with screwing them on several other fronts. When they went back to the lawyer, he told them, “hey, this is a standard recording deal.” Of course, he was used to representing the labels in such dealings, so of course it looked good to him.

The recording industry needs two things: an enema and a “good faith estimate,” like banks do. A good faith estimate tells you how much a bank is going to lend you, and how much you will have paid them in interest upon completion of the loan period, among other things. (note: Keola is not a lawyer, but I’ve seen a bunch of these and this is how it has been explained to me.)

Labels should be required to include good faith estimates in their contract. “If you sell X albums and tour X cities over X months, you will receive approximately X dollars.” The problem right now is if you do the math as Courtney love did, you’d likely see a negative sign in front of the $, and know, in plain English, that you were about to BOGU for the labels. If you signed at that point, you probably deserve getting screwed.

Posted in Music.

OK, so it didn’t work exactly like I thought

I’m going to have to look into this. The Hawaiian, which previously worked ok does not now. The Irish works either way, but the characters are not Unicode. Doesn’t really matter as the fada (diacritic over some of the vowels) is found in standard font sets. I’ll get back to this tonight.

Posted in Technology.

Irish/Gaelic in Radio?

To answer a question on HomoLudens, I’m not sure if Radio will handle Irish/Gaelic languages, let’s try

This line is Irish using 8 bit charaters:

Ní foclóir iomlán é seo, ach tá súil againn go mbeidh sé úsáideach d’oifigigh atá ag iarraidh teacht go tapaidh ar fhocail agus ar abairtí a úsáidtear go rialta ina réimsí féin.

This is the same line using (I think) Unicode. I’ll have to check out the source after this upstreams:

Ní foclóir iomlán é seo, ach tá súil againn go mbeidh sé úsáideach d’oifigigh atá ag iarraidh teacht go tapaidh ar fhocail agus ar abairtí úsáidtear go rialta ina réimsí féin.

Here is Hawaiian as Unicode (I already know this works):

‘O Keola Donaghy ko?u inoa. He haum?na ??lelo Hawai?i au ma ka papahana laeo?o ma ka mo?okalaleo a me ka ??lelo Hawai?i ma ke kulanui o Hawai?i ma Hilo.

Doing the diacritics in both language in Unicode is dependant on your browser’s support for the Unicode. Radio is not Unicode compliant under OS X, so I can’t type or edit any of the diacriticts required for Irish or Hawaiian directly in Radio. Safari is Unicode compliant, and by what means I don’t know, but the rendering of said text to my website on works fine for me. So far.

Posted in Technology.

It’s no secret, Dave!

The ability to edit my Manila site was one of my primary motivations for buying Radio in the first place. The second, back in the pre-iTunes days, was to drive my MP3s and record my listening habits. The only thing it is missing, and I went around with Brent on this way back, is the inability to post news items to a Manila site from Radio. I understood his point – some things may be more conducive to a web interface – but why bother if you could avoid it? You can post new stories and new discussion group messages, why not news items? If I ever get a free weekend I may try to figure out how to do it myself.

Posted in Technology.

The Unfunniest Joke

I kept waiting for the punchline, but none came. I guess I should give him credit for surviving in a sea of clearly superior comics, but when your secret to success is to wrap your mother’s Vietnamese accent around some pretty weak material it’s hard to give Dat Phan much credit. Well, I’ll give him this much – his jokes and timing did get stronger as the show went on (the kung fu urinal routine wasn’t bad but hardly original), but he clearly was wasn’t in the same league as some of his competitors.

Ralphie May, that was one funny dude. Rich Voss – probably the sharpest and best comedy-schooled of the bunch, and I liked him a lot, but I think people probably found it hard to like him. Even obnoxious comedians like Sam Kinnison gave you something to like about them, something you can sympathize or empathize with. Tess- probably the most naturally funny of the bunch. Cory Kahaney – she started the series strong but stumbled down the stretch. But Dat? Argh. They’ll probably give him is own sitcom to punish America for voting for him.

Posted in Core Dumps.

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