December 30, 2006
Instead, we get him circle-jerking the "blogosphere" party line, aka, "bloggers good, not-bloggers bad", and doing exactly what his handlers wanted, namely, giving Edwards pseudo-legitimacy amongst the technophile idiots who think that if you have humpty-million bloggers all typing away, that magically, you'll have better information than ever before in history. He brags about his access to Edwards, then pisses it away like shitty beer. Dude, next time you get that call, give it to someone who will do something useful with it besides tech-penis wankery.
The only thing that many monkeys on keyboards creates are shitstains on the ceiling. Only the "blogosphere" isn't even good for fertilizer. At least you can eat a monkey. Can you imagine trying to properly dress a blogger?
Best quote of Scoble's posts:
Dude, one thing you've never seen is normal people period.
I have to give Edwards a hand though. It takes real balls, big, brass, thundering balls of fucking DOOM to so blatantly manipulate a group of people that large, and have utter confidence that it will work!
He did, and it did. Edwards, you rock. Scoble, you got used like a dockside whore at a counterfeiter's convention.
December 25, 2006
Merry Xmas y'all
(Note for all...there is no war on christmas outside of the one created by fundamentalist christians. The rest of us say what we like, and everyone knows we aren't being offensive because there's no intent.)
So 2006 was an interesting year, but in a shocking show of not business as usual, interesting in a good way. Every time it tried to veer off into the suck, something brought it back. I just think the universe was so busy with other things, that it was too stressed to mess with my head. For that I say "thanks".
It was also a year with a rare thing, an obvious High Point. Specifically, Melissa said "yes". The sequel to that will be 7 Oct. 2007. I'm rather looking forward to it.
But there were other high points too. Shawn and Lesa getting married. Then they move to Connecticut to start a new life there. That will make their lives interesting across the board for some time to come, but I think it will end up being one of those "very scary things you just have to take a chance on" things. My good friend, Paul Kent finally got the recognition he's busted his ass to earn, and is now grand poobah of Macworld Conference and Expo. (Yeah, I know TECHNICALLY, it happened in way late 2005, but this is Macworld time.) That's another scary thing. I've been in charge, and while it's really cool to realize "I can finally do it MY way", it's scary as hell, because it's all your fault if it screws up. Having known Paul for...lord, this will be something like 8 years in Jan., I'm not worried. I watched a friend who long ago transitioned into family go away to play with B-52s in the Indian Ocean. Okay, Diego's not a combat zone, but you never quite feel right until people come back home. He came back home just fine. Jenny's year started out kinda crappy with her mom's death, but at the same time, due to her mom making smart decisions over the years, Jen's now in a place a lot of us would love to be, and that is being able to decide what she wants to do with her life, and having pretty much any option open. Folks, if you got kids, think about the insurance and the annuities. No, it doesn't make up for you, but it does help things be a lot easier after you're gone. In one of those displays of generosity that you can't say thanks enough for, Jen gave me her old Saturn, and is letting me use her Camry as "my" car. Yeah, so what if they're both old, that's not the point. The point is, she did something really amazingly nice for me, and I wish i had better words than just "thanks" for her.
I talked Melissa into going to her first Macworld Conference and Expo, for three reasons. 1) I currently don't get to see her enough, and this is an extra week. I'm greedy that way. 2) For a lot of reasons, Macworld is a rather important part of my life, and I want her to have at least some idea of why. 3) Pretty much everyone on my side of the wedding is going to be there, so it's her best chance to meet them in a more sane situation. (for a bride, a wedding is FAR more insane than Macworld will ever be.)
I got to meet some fun new people too, like Sheridan and Nadyne from the MS Mac BU. After the Apple "Campus" Bash, I can tell you, Nadyne rocks. She'll do just fine in the Mac BU, which is not the easiest place in the Mac market to work. I got to "meet", i.e. virtually, Scoble's better half, and Maryam is one of the most charming people you'll ever talk to. Given enough time, she may even work miracles with Robert. Say, forty years or so :-P
My son grew in a lot of ways this year, but mostly up. Something like three inches. Maybe four. He's not even halfway to fourteen yet. Yeesh.
For some reason, people started reading this site a lot. I had my first bandwidth overages ever. I'm not silly enough to think it means much of anything, but I do appreciate it. Speaking of online, some online pubs from Jupiter Media and CMP took a chance on me, and that's worked out rather well I think. I am fully aware that due to my...acerbic nature, I tend to come with some baggage, so I appreciate the folks who look past that. I'm not planning on changing, the acerbic's part of my "charm". (Yeah, that's it...CHARM). But it's nice to see people not getting bogged down by such things.
So, I'm sitting here on xmas day, the only one in the house. Nikki's finally gotten enough petting to not be wrapped around one arm, I slept for 11 or so hours, and the year hasn't sucked. It's not even come close to sucking. The people I care about are all doing well, or working real hard at getting there and making progress. I've got some over-strong coffee and a freshly-destroyed bowl of Rice Krispies. Alex is having a great xmas at Adrian's, and in two days, I'll be in Orlando, and then S.F. for Macworld. 2006 has been pretty damned good to me, and 2007 looks to be at least as good, maybe even better.
But that's all in the future. Right now, I'm going to have more coffee.
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December 24, 2006
I have seen the future of gaming consoles, and it is Wii-markable
Yes, I know the title sucks, too bad for you.
ANYway, last night, thanks to Jenny being so adept at eBay, I had a chance to get my hands on a Wii. Now, she has Zelda, and some other games, but we just did the Wii Sports thing. Even set up a Mii.
I have never had that much fun playing video games. The tennis, the bowling, baseball, all of it were fun. Not because of the graphics quality or HD or any techno-bullshit, but because for the tennis, I was jumping around like Bjorn Borg's retarded cousin, Bowling like I had a bad twitch, and the baseball was just laughable. But I was PLAYING.
Not sitting on a couch hoping I could get to a save point before my thumbs cramped, or trying to remember what comes after R1-R1-L2. But playing. Jumping around. Giggling even. It was really quite fun, and there's no "standard" video game that comes close. There's nothing on a PS3 or a XBox 360 that comes close to the fun of Wii Tennis or bowling. Dude, you can throw the ball BACKWARDS in Wii Bowling, and everyone jumps. How cool is that? They now have a game where you can be a surgeon.
Surgery...with a Wiimote. So wrong, yet, so much fun.
Yeah, Nintendo rules, because after the endless race for the top of the technophile heap, they weren't afraid to...
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December 23, 2006
Stories you just don't hear these days
I'm watching the documentary in the Robert Plant Box Set, "Nine Lives", and the story of how Plant agreed to do the Honeydrippers is told...
So we were in a sex club in Tokyo, in adjoining booths, watching the show. I stood up on my chair, and hitched up so I could look over the partition into his booth, and yelled down, "OKAY, I'LL DO IT IF YOU PAY TONIGHT".
Robert Plant and Ahmut Ertegun in a sex club in Tokyo.
I'd give much to hear the rest of THAT story.
(Did I mention that I'm a Zeppelin Whore? Because if I didn't, well, I am)
December 21, 2006
Notes on stuff
Macworld Expo Info:
I'm participating in two sessions, make with the clicky-clicky to read about them:
Note to people who want to set up specific times to talk to me at Expo:
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE email me, my address is in the link in the "Posted by" line at the bottom of every article. I'm not pulling a scoble and putting my cell number on the site, because all I'll say is "Just email me". I'm not going to remember most conversations long enough to get them into Entourage, that's just how my brain is wired.
If you REALLY want to make me happy, attaching a vCard with your contact info, AND, once we've agreed on a time, sending me a .ics file so I can just dump it into my calendar without typing make me very happy before we even meet.
Some things I'm working on:
Nearly Done: A script that allows you to create structured PDFs from emails in Entourage.
Why do I care?: Well, if you want say, HTML messages converted to PDF, and maintain live links, etc., as opposed to a dumb print to file, then this is pretty neat.
Why did you bother?: Because the Acrobat team won't, and I'm tired of waiting for them to realize that they're never going to be able to do useful work in VBA on a Mac, and that they need to get over it.
What will it require?: Entourage 2004 and a copy of Acrobat 8 Professional or Acrobat 7 Professional or Standard. If someone wanted to connect this to PDFKit once it's done, booyah. I'm lazy here, so I'm just using Acrobat for the PDF conversion.
Will it be perfect?: Hell no. The programmer isn't, so the script surely won't be. However, it will work pretty well. The only thing i've found that gets consistently weird are messages composed in Word that look like HTML to E'rage, but really aren't when you look at the content. Other than that, it seems to handle everything quite nicely.
What's left?: Initial beta testing, and some changes so that it can work better from the Entourage script menu OR the Mac OS X script menu.
Will it be free?: I've debated this, and it's going to be free, but if you like it, and it works well, and you want to throw me a ten spot for it, cool. So I guess, "Donationware" will be the term.
What's the license?: My usual. The source is there, do as you will with it, with one requirement, and one request. The requirement is, keep my name in a comment at the beginning of the source. This was a fair bit of work, (and I have to thank Andy from the E'rage team for answering my really dumb questions about how E'rage deals with QP. He's busy as a fiend at a soul-selling convention, but his answers really helped. Much thanks to Paul, Allen, Barry, and Chris too for helping me avoid some stupid pitfalls in this process.), but I don't feel like dealing with the hassle of Kagi or the rest. So, if you think it's worth ten bucks, PayPal link is on the page.
When will it be available?: I'd like to have it in beta before Macworld, but Melissa will have...higher priority demands on my time between now and then, so it may not be until late Jan-early Feb.
Not Nearly Done: A script that allows you to rebuild Entourage databases from Spotlight data
Why do I care?: If you can reliably do this, then you only have to back up Spotlight data, not the full Entourage DB.
Why did you bother?: Because it solves a problem for me, and potentially a lot of other people.
What will it require?: Entourage 2004, the most recent version so you get Spotlight access, said Spotlight access enabled and (DUH), at least Mac OS X 10.4.
Will it be perfect?: Again, Hell no. Spotlight data doesn't capture everything, so it's going to be an imperfect tool, but better than nothing.
What's left?: I've only started to do the translations from Spotlight data to Entourage data. Spotlight data being structure XML really helps, but it's still tedious.
Will it be free?: Maybe.
What's the license?: Undecided as of yet.
When will it be available?: No idea.
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December 20, 2006
I have no spine
See, this is what people like Maryam can do...get me to do their bidding without even trying to.
Okay, so five things that people who know me don't already know, (or know well). Hmm, that's kind of hard to do, I don't tend to hide much. So I imagine I'll throw in things some of you know that others don't.
- I'm not that addicted to tech. I like it, it has value, and a function, but tech for tech's sake is useless. I'm really far more impressed with computer implementations that don't force me to use it like a computer. i.e. my iPod. So unlike a lot of people in the tech world, I'm really quite happy to be places without laptops et al.
- I'm not into "sharing" everything I do with the Intarweb. So if I post pictures of anything, it's probably for a reason. The idea of documenting my life for general observation by the rest of the world bothers me. I suppose that in a lot of ways, I'm really quite a private person
- I am a Gibson whore. WHORE I TELL YOU. I already have a Les Paul, I want a SG, a Flying V, and a Doublecut. Badly.
- I give presents because I want to, and I refuse to use other people's lists to decide. Seriously, I think the whole xmas list has gotten out of hand. If you're over the age of 16 and telling people "Here's my Xmas List", just ask them for money and buy it yourself. To me, the coolest part of a gift or present is not knowing. I want to see what someone thinks I like or would like. Sometimes it's stuff I'd never think to get on my own. If it's picked off a list, it's about as surprising as exhaling. Secondly, I don't give to get. I give because I get a lot out of it, and I think that gifts should be freely given with no encumbrance, not even implied.
- I'm a rabid fan of: Led Zeppelin, The Donnas, Prince, Early Heart, and One-Hit Wonders
There. List accomplished. Other tagging to happen at my own pace :-P
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December 13, 2006
Because someone once said...
If you were a woman, you'd be nicer and less of an asshole!
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December 8, 2006
The existence of a vulnerability is not the only factor
Excellent article on why anyone thinking about security needs to do far more than just react to advisories:
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December 7, 2006
Not that it will make a difference but it's worth a try
One of my biggest bugaboos is communications, or more specifically, a lack thereof from the people and companies I do business with. Well, personally too. One of the biggest signs that I had to marry Melissa and (relatively) fast, was that when I told her
I suck at hints. If you want something, you need to say so, directly. This applies to all holidays and any other occaision., and her reaction was
Okay, and she followed through.
I know there's degrees in marketing and PR, and all, but I've never understood why. Those are the two simplest things in the world. Here, I shall now give you what you need to know to be a top - notch marketer:
Talk to your customers clearly and concisely, and listen to them with an open mind. The customer is not always right, in fact, they're frequently stupid. But they are always the customer and as such, deserve a place in your thoughts near the front.
So now of course, the OMGMSLOCKINGOUTOFFICEMAC crap has started, and this is a case of being precisely one day too late. Had Microsoft posted their information about the Microsoft XML converters on Mac Mojo the day before the crapfest started, it would have been a really smart, albeit hard thing to do. Now, I do not know why they didn't do that, and I'm not going to ascribe maliciousness to it. From the Windows side, sure, but not the Mac BU. They've earned the benefit of a doubt, at least from me. However, the fact is, by being just a day too late on this, they look worse than they could have.
However, the fact remains, they did post the information. Not only on Mac Mojo, but on Erik Schwiebert's blog and Rick Schaut's blog as of this writing. Between those three posts, they've explained what's happening, and a pretty good explanation of why it's happening the way it is. The only thing I'd like to have seen on the Mac Mojo post is the phrase, "We're sorry". That's a powerful phrase, and it's not used enough IMO.
But here's a counterpoint: Had they posted before the hysteria started, had they said "We're sorry", it would have changed nothing. The attitude and the screaming would have been just as bad. Face it, in the Mac market, the Mac BU is always the bad guy. I really do think that the interview process for that unit has to involve R. Lee Ermey treating the interview like one of the recruits in Full Metal Jackets, so they know what's in store for them. At least the Win Office team gets some love from its customers.
So I can understand the impulse of
we're fucked either way, why do any more work to get yelled at than we have to?
I am not thrilled with the translator issues, but I have to give them credit for doing more than the standard PR release on it. That's far better than some other Mac developers do when they screw up.
December 6, 2006
An important confession
Adobe Reader 8 released and the installer sucks.
Adobe Reader 8 has just been released, and so of course, I have to look at it to see how I'll be installing it on my network.
Do the initial download hoping Adobe had gotten over that stupid "MUST USE OUR DOWNLOAD MANGER" idiocy.
Nope. Okay, but hey, the initial download is an Apple Installer Package.
Dare I hope?
Oh HELL no
Now it's some wierd - assed thing from Netopsystems. Specifically, it's their NOS-Installer, aka "The Real Web Installer". It's also a PPC application, even though I specified Intel. Sigh. So, of course, while the Acrobat team has tons of info for distributing the Windows versions of Reader, (Seven. No information on eight yet.), it's...of course...Windows only. Thanks. Yes, I know, there could be information about mass deploying Reader 8 on Macs. From the Acrobat team, who still thinks that Macs are only graphics toys, and evidently have no IT use anywhere? Pardon me if I'm pessimistic about the odds on that.
Realizing that expecting the Acrobat team to have Mac IT information is about as likely as Uma Thurman landing in my lap in the next second...(pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease)...damn, I go the Netopsystems site. No tech info, they don't support the end users installing it, only the middlemen.
I look at the package contents for an installer log. Hell no. Anything in the readme? Hell no.
Even nicer, I have Acrobat 8 Pro. Don't want reader. But of course to get Reader, I have to do the whole "OMGTHISISSOMUCHBETTERTHANDMGANDAPPLEINSTALLER!!!!111" dance. I do what I always do, decline the license to kill the install. Since I didn't finish, it never installed, right?
There it is, in /Applications. Reader 8. The product I aborted the installation for. What, now I'm not able to make a decision on this? Guys, if I decline the license, I don't want the product. I, not you, make that decision. As it turns out, that first part, where it looks like the installer is getting ready to install? Yeah, it's copying files at that point. So by the time you get to the license agreement, it's installed. Way to go. But even then, no install log that I could find. Microsoft may use lamer VISE installers, but at least I get a nice, detailed install log so I can repackage things myself if I need to.
But here's the thing that fries me. They're not saving anyone any time. This overblown non-deployable installer? I still have to download it, I still have to install it, only now, instead of being a drag and drop install via Apple Remote Desktop, or a package install via ARD, it's a 100% manual install via New Balance. Short of snapshotting, I have no way to create a remote installer package here, and based on Adobe's past history, they're not going to come up with how to mass deploy the Mac version, because in the world of the Acrobat team, there's no such thing as mass-deploying on a Mac.
You know, I harp on Acrobat Pro, but at least that's mostly a drag and drop install, other than the licensing. For a free product to be this much of a pain in the ass is just stupid, and inexcusable.
(Yes, I know, the Acrobat team will have lots of reasons why using this opaque installer is a very good thing. For them. But you know what? I don't care. Installers are important, and they shouldn't suck, and when they do suck, I'm going to call bullshit on it. Anytime the Acrobat team wants to prove to me that they don't regard Macs as toys, I'm more than willing to see that proof, but right now, i can count on the fingers of one hand all the Acrobat people I know with a clue about the Mac market. When I see deeds, not words, I'll stop smacking them about it. Until then, well, don't make me hit you, and I won't.)
Update not twenty minutes later.
Oh, it gets EVEN BETTER. The installer may be PPC, but is Reader a Universal application?
Oh HELL no
It's an Intel only application, at least according to the Get Info window.
Let the dancing and celebration begin, for not only do I now have to deal with this lame installer, but I get to keep TWO versions for the Macs, along with the Windows version.
If it gets any better, I may have to change my shorts.
Some time later...
It did indeed get better, but in a good way.
Thanks to a reader, Jeff, we have links, links, links to the direct downloads:
Along with the links, Jeff had some kind words, so thank you Jeff, it's much appreciated.
December 2, 2006
Let's get to hell FIRST!
Thanks Dori and Tom, I needed the first class seats on Hell Airways :-P
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Thank you Ambrosia Software
Let me start this by saying this is not going to be a review. Reviews imply balance, and this has none.
Let me also say that creating an original game is hard. First, on a certain level, you're always going to be copying someone. There's not a lot of new territory out there. FPS's, orthogonal, you name it, someone's done it. So true originality is hard. So hard that it's "seeing a gang of Andean Condors" rare.
But every once in a while, someone does something that, while incorporating other ideas, is still original. It's rare, but it happens. Even rarer is when you find a game that's just...perfect. That hasn't sacrificed fun to the false gods of graphics quality. That hasn't forgotten that you should enjoy playing the game. That doesn't make you have to use liquid cooling just to play it at a decent speed. This is rarer still.
However, with SketchFighter 4000 Alpha, Ambrosia has gone beyond all that. They've gone and created a game that is a delight on every possible level. Even more than that, SketchFighter actually managed to give me back a part of my childhood that I thought was gone forever in this day and age of tech.
See, you have to understand, when the Apple I came out, I was ten. Computers in schools didn't happen until really, almost my senior year. We had to go to video game arcades to play computer games. However, we did manage to have space battles. Great big ones. Well, as big as a legal pad, because that's where they happened. Armed with different colors of Pilot ball pens, and legal pads, we'd sketch out hideously complicated battlefields, then spend hours trying to navigate them. We had a rules system so arcane that it would drive modern gamers insane, and it was rigidly turn-based. But it was fun, dear god, it was fun. We'd play for hours, end up with more ink on our hands than a clumsy pressman, and get excoriated by teachers because we were having space battles instead of studying.
No moving graphics. No computers at all. Just kids, pens, paper, and imagination. It took so long to set up our worlds, and almost no time to destroy them. We loved it. Every ink-stained second of it.
I know it's hard to imagine this being something fun with the kinds of games on computers today. How can I even compare things like hand - drawn space games to Oblivion or Neverwinter Nights? I can only say that our hand-drawn battles were fun. We didn't do them to show off our artistic ability. We played because they were fun. That's something that most game houses don't care about. It's not about graphics and frame rates and polygons and shading. It's about fun. Ambrosia may be the only game house that can come out, year after year with games that may not be the ultimate in tech, are just fun as hell to play. (Which is why I say the Mac isn't a gaming machine. But damn, it is a fun machine, more so than any other platform.)
Harry the Handsome Executive.
EV Nova. (Talk about digital crack)
and now SketchFighter 4000 Alpha.
It's got local multiplayer, internet play and a level designer. But most of all, it's one of the first games in a long time that I can honestly, and with all sincerity say is a delight to play.
So thank you Andrew Welch and everyone at Ambrosia...
Thanks for giving me back one of the parts of my childhood worth keeping.Comments ()