March 9, 2002
Just picked up my badge. I doubt that there will be many updates here for the duration of the show. Seems like a real fun bunch here this year.
March 7, 2002
Hello from Austin!
NY Times: You Listen, You Pay: Post-Napster Music Services The Times reviews three of the label backed online music services. After reading the article, I'm not enthusiastic. I almost think that the labels want these offerings to be a worse choice than purchasing physical cd's.
March 6, 2002
I was watching an episode of Real Sports on HBO last night. Among their reports was a story about gymclass dodgeball. Apparently, there is an increasing movement among schools in this country to ban the game of dodgeball. The rationale is that it is "an excessively violent lesson to be teaching children." I don't even know where to begin reacting to this. I loved dodgeball in gym class as a kid, and I was far from the star athlete of my class. As far as it being an excessively violent lesson, there are plenty of other, more violent, things that kids are exposed to these days. It's a sport, and, win or lose, I think that competitive sports teach kids valuable lessons. It's amazing to me with all the crap kids have to negotiate through in life these days that some fool is using his precious spare time to fight the scourge of dodgeball.
I'm getting my act, and my house together today for my trip to SXSW. The house really has come along nicely in the last couple of months, but it still sometimes feels way too big for just me. I seem to switch back and forth between hanging out in the living room, and hanging out in the office. Having a wireless network that actually works anywhere in the house, including my screened in porch and by my pool in the backyard, is going to get much cooler when the weather gets nicer.
Anyway, I'm going to Austin a bit early, bringing my skates, and I'm hoping to get to see a little more of Austin than I did the last time I went to SXSW two years ago. The other thing that is happening today is that I am finally going to deal with the mess of hair on my head. Had a bad haircut a year ago, and I have spent the entire time since trying to grow it out. As a result, my hair is halfway down my back, and it's getting really tiring.
March 5, 2002
DJ MarWax - The Turntablistic Site It's mostly technical stuff for DJing, but I didn't want to forget it.
Webmonkey: Flash MX Overview This article actually has some hands on details, which I haven't really seen anywhere else. (via mac.scripting.com)
If you own and travel with a notebook computer, the Logitech MouseMan Traveler is the way to go. It's small, but not too small. It works with all of my machines and all of the operating systems I use. It's optical, so it works well on any non-reflective surface. Finally, it comes with it's own little carry case to prevent it from getting crushed in my bag full of junk, and to keep the cord nice and neat. No one paid me to say that.
The Register: Macromedia Unveils Neo
Macromedia: ColdFusion MX FAQ
Macromedia Flash and ColdFusion Resource Center
Walter Mossberg "The iPod only works with Macs, though Apple should have a Windows version by the summer." As far as I know, this is the first time we've heard this. Apple is going to release a Windows version of the iPod? I would imagine they are just going to release Windows software for it.
Dan Gillmor laments the slow performance of Virtual PC on Mac OS X. I agree, but I don't really use it anymore anyway. PC's are cheap, and there are really only five or six apps that I run that I can't find any equivalent for on the X platform. You are better off buying a discontinued or second hand machine IMHO. (via Mr. Barrett)
Flash 99% Good. First Aid Manual For Usable Flash Sites I was unaware of this site until Web Graphics pointed it out to me. I'm happy to see Macromedia putting effort into making Flash more usable and into making it faster on the Mac. The next question is what happens with all of their editor software. I use Cold Fusion Studio and Homesite to do all of my PC based Web coding.(except Java) Others, especially those who are more designy than codish, are using Dreamweaver and Ultradev. I don't see Macromedia keeping all four of these applications alive, but it's quite a tightrope act for them to please all of the target audiences with one line of products. We'll just have to wait and see, I guess.
March 4, 2002
Looking Grim at the Grammys "The generally dismal quality of America's mass-marketed pop music is an esthetic national emergency." This person is looking in the wrong place. There's plenty of great music coming out, but it's not from a boy band or a teenage diva. Mass-marketed pop music has been bad for decades, maybe even forever. I'm finding solace primarily in the Turntablism movement and the Electronic music community currently. Bands like Gorrilaz are products of these movements without actually being a part of them. I'd trade fifty Britney's for Dan the Automator any day. Some of the other music that has meant a lot to me are artists that have left or been forced out of major label America, like Aimee Mann. The bottom line is that music is art, it's self expression, not just another product, not just another dishwashing liquid or pair of khakis. Without that self expression being genuine, there's no emotion. Whether that emotion is torment or bliss, it's the experience of it, and the story that it tells through words and emotions that make it so important to me. Most of the time when the majors luck into an artist like this, it's because they threw a whole truckload of shit, and, while most of it sucked, one or two artists shone through. For every Jeff Buckley or Radiohead, there are a few hundred artists that were either mediocre or just plain sucked. Perhaps I am being an optimist, but that's how things look from where I stand, and no amount of file swapping is going to change it.
Jason's post today about the picture from SXSW two years ago really hits home over here. I don't even know who that guy with the dorky expression on his face is. So young, so naive, so....FAT.
It's funny how much a difference a couple of months can make. I have used the Mac OS in some form or another since 1987. I was there for the transition to color monitors, the addition of the CD-ROM drive, eWorld, the transition to PowerPC (painful at times, remember 7.5.2?), the clones, their death and so on. As I've noted here before, when 10.1 and Microsoft Office V.X were released this fall, I went to Mac OS X full time.
I rarely boot the Classic environment, only when I need Photoshop and Fireworks, and aside from that, never. I've had to eat some nails along the way, but I've adapted and embraced Mac OS X. It's not perfect, but I do like it. There are things there that I've wanted for a long time, like a command line interface(can you believe that I was missing DOS when I wasn't on a Windows machine?), and it just doesn't crash. Others have had different experiences there, but for me it's been rock solid as both a desktop and server OS so far.(I have just jinxed myself.)
Today, I went over a friends house to configure her brand new iMac. Not the cool new Luxor iMac, but one of the older Snow ones. She needs to use Quark and a couple of other apps that aren't available for Mac OS X yet, so she'll be running Mac OS 9 for the time being. I booted the machine, and began installing updates. All I could think of the entire time was how old fashioned the operating system seemed to me now. I've learned how to use Mac OS X, and the operating system that was like an old friend a couple of months ago now seems like a distant relative I only see once a year. It was almost shocking. I still know how to do everything, but it all seemed foreign. It's for this reason that I know that Apple is on the right road with their operating system. Oh, there's resistance from some people, but people are always scared of change. We're quite close to having Flash and Photoshop over here, and that's the tipping point. Unaddressed issues with things like fonts will get dealt with then, of that I'm quite certain. So goodbye old friend, we had a great fourteen years together.
OsOpinion: Macromedia Unveils Flash MX, Backs Mac "Enhanced platform support in Flash MX goes beyond the desktop, with a new version of ColdFusion MX that can be used in conjunction with Microsoft .NET, Java application servers and Web services."
iTunes and Home Theater (via Mac Net Journal) This is really just one way to go. I'm using my Airport network to do a similar thing, but it requires a second computer, which I happened to have lying around anyway. Makes it easier to have all of my MP3's on a machine I can get to over the Internet and have a second computer, in the same room as the home entertainment system, that I can control without leaving the room. I went the extra step of adding a wireless keyboard, so at least I don't have to get up.
Untold History : The History of Flash (via Dane)
infoSync : Palm unwraps m130, m515 models
Macromedia finally annouced Flash MX. What is up with all these software companies switching over to letters for software versions? Confusing, if you ask me. One thing that the site doesn't tell you, but should be public knowledge, is that the new version of Cold Fusion that will come on the heels of this version of Flash will have an entire API that is dedicated to Flash integration. You will be able to use Cold Fusion as your application logic and to manage state, and use Flash as your UI layer. This should be scary stuff for the providers of other Web Application servers because it's also written in Java.
The new DanSays is up. I'm interested to hear about his development experience with .NET.