Looks like August 6th is the day that the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring will be released on DVD. Wish I didn't have to wait that long. Especially when some people I know already have obtained a reasonably high quality DVD version.

Show Ends for the Yanks' Sojo It's got to be so tough for an old school manager like Joe Torre to have to part ways with so many of his staple players over this off season. Sojo is the most recent to go. You may remember him as the guy who always seemed to come up with that big hit in the clutch situation. I'm certain that the Met's fans among you will remember him:-)

As a Yankees fan, I can't say I'm not a little concerned about the tean chemistry going into this season. They replaced so many of their core players, and these guys were the ones who set the tone in the clubhouse. Players aren't just interchangable parts that you can easily swap in and out. It could be worse, of course, look at the situation in Texas. I'd hate to be a fly on the wall in the Ranger's clubhouse these days. Regardless of all this stuff, I find myself really looking forward to baseball season. I hope labor disputes don't end up ruining the game for me again.

I started a new nine week exercise and diet plan today. I've remained in pretty good shape over the last year and a half, but I'm ready to take a jump up to the next level of fitness. Anyway, the diet seems pretty sensible and I read the book which documented the plan's choices with studies and whatnot. The workout plan is somewhat similar to one that a trainer I worked with a year ago had me on, but seems a bit more intense. I'll let you all know how I make out.

Sony taking pre-orders for CLIE NR series in US This looks like the most compelling Palm based device to date. Still, I remain unconvinced at this point that there is any reason not to buy a Pocket PC device instead.

Ars Technica reviews gobe Productive 3.03 This office suite, formerly the standard for the BeOS, is now available for Windows and will soon be available for Linux. I think there is a market out there for a suite like this one. It's competitively priced, and I don't think everyone really needs the full power(or price) of Office XP. I, for one, haven't upgraded from Office 2000 on my Windows machines yet. What is the compelling reason to do so?

NY Times: Online Surpasses Catalog at J. Crew Here we are in the depths of an industry depression, and there seems to be continued evidence that the Internet is going to be a key to commerce in the next few years. Of course, J. Crew was an easy transition seeing as how they were primarily catalog based. I've bought things online and returned them at their Atlanta retail locations a couple of times, and somehow that seems easier than sending things back.

Doing my spring cleaning and putting the winter clothes in the attic today. While I work in the house, I have my tower playing music through my stereo that I can hear throughout the house. One thing I love about iTunes is the ability to filter your library usng keywords. This means making a quick mix of songs whose titles all contain the same word quick and very easy. Right now I'm listening to my "me" mix. Some highlights: Bittersweet Me by R.E.M, Try Me by James Brown, Knocks Me Off my Feet by Stevie Wonder, and All That Scratching is Making Me Itch by Rob Swift.

Apple Introduces 10GB iPod They've also updated the iPod software to support contacts. I don't think I'll be using that feature.

Alison has posted a hip new design tonight. One of the best things about this year's SXSW was getting to know her.

I apologize for neglecting my weblog duties since I've been back. It's primarily a symptom of some strange blog malaise I've been experiencing. I've been putting the time away from the keyboard to good use though. My pool is just about ready to be opened, my gardens are much better tended than they were a week ago, and I've either hit the gym or gone inline skating every day. That last item is directly related to the first, I don't want to be flabby computer boy at my own pool. I'm quite sore today as a result of yesterday's bench press extravaganza. Updates should resume as normal tomorrow morning.

Okay, so I was distracted by the NCAA basketball tournament yesterday. Considering that the Final Four is right here in good old Atlanta this year, I figured I'd pay attention. As a result, very little computer work that was scheduled for yesterday actually got done. There are more games today, but perhaps if I get the TV Tuner installed in the one machine back here in my office, I won't have that problem today. I'm finally beginning to feel normal again post-SXSW. This is accompanied by the realization that I left my house a mess, and so I have returned to a mess, and that needs to be dealt with. Oh, and Happy Fourth Birthday to Kottke.org.

So, I'm back from the show, and it was well worth going. I'm quite mentally and socially tired, but I'll sit down tomorrow and write something up about the people, places, panels, and parties. I'm thinking that it should be with a minimum of name dropping. That would probably be good, but difficult to avoid. A couple of quick observations though. 1) There are a real lot of bloggers. 2) When confronted with groups of people larger than fifteen, I am seemingly unable to remember anyone's name. Nighty night.

Ranchero: Web File Types CM Plugin If you do any kind of Web development or design work on a Mac OS X box, this is a must check out tool. I relied heavily on the Mac OS 9 version back when that was what I used. Best of all, it don't cost nothing.

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.

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.

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.

DJ MarWax - The Turntablistic Site It's mostly technical stuff for DJing, but I didn't want to forget it.

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.

Webmonkey: Flash MX Overview This article actually has some hands on details, which I haven't really seen anywhere else. (via mac.scripting.com)

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.

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.

Escape Velocity: Nova, the latest in perhaps the best Macintosh based video game series ever, has reached final candidate status.

It's a rainy, Sunday feeling Saturday here in Atlanta. Just munching on some veggie burgers and watching some Kung Fu.

The Register: Back in the Bloghouse : "If I was in a position of power, I'd be delighted to see news reporters supplanted by blogs, because blogs - for all their empowerment rhetoric - are far easier to divert and confuse than a few persistent and skillful reporters. Watergate took fifteen months to break, but a blog meme has a TTL (time to live) measured in hours, as it roars round the world, before the bloggers find a new novelty. " I completely disagree with this statement. Most of the commentary I find on the blogs I read is far more critical and insightful than this statement implies. Most of the blog authors I read are brilliant people, and are quite skeptical.

Overview of Windows Outliners

Rob Fahrni's project to get Visio rendering OPML files into diagrams reminds me why I don't use Visio when I'm doing sitemap work for Web sites. Instead, I use a product called Inspiration. The main reason for this is that Inspiration has a built in outliner that lets you define hierarchical relationships and do all your typing outside of the actual diagram mode. This makes the labor intensive process of defining sitemaps for large sites that have more than 200 pages quite a bit easier. I'm curious what tools other people use for this sitemapping/information design part of the Web site building process. I believe that I discovered Inspiration via one of Kelly Goto's talks at a Web Design conference I attended in Atlanta. What do you use?

Bruce Sterling: Information Wants to Be Worthless

Brent's leaving Userland. Best wishes from here, I'll be following what you are doing. I've thought Brent is the man for years, since the Ranchero software days. I'd still be using his contextual menu plug in if I hadn't moved over to X.

The below means, I will finally get that asterisk I've been coveting.

Despite getting a late start, I'm confirmed now for attending SXSW.