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Apple 30th Anniversary + More

Friday 31 March 2006 at 2:17 pm No news at all from Apple on their impending April Fools day 30th Anniversary - people are starting to worry. The 20th Anniversary Mac was very cool for its day. Will they try and top it ?

Wired - Thirty years of Apple GUI's.

Grown ups that still think they're children - GRUPS. I must be a GRUP . . . you can kill me before putting me in sensible clothes.

I remain slightly sceptical about these cookers -WoodGas Cooker. How can a few twigs and leaves generate enough heat to boil a pot ? I guess it does work though.

Interesting - Speculation on the future of science. "Triple-blind experiments will emerge through massive non-invasive statistical data collection--- no one, not the subjects or the experimenters, will realize an experiment was going on until later."

Daniel Dennett - Darwin's defender. The american Dawkins - whose book 'The Selfish Gene' also celebrates a 30 year anniversary.

Extracts from a recent book on a womans experiance of dressing and acting like a man for several months - Double Agent.

Ten year anniversary - Happy Birthday WebObjects. Sounds like a great tool - Apple should make this free or open source to encourage acceptance.

More Apple stuff from Wired - Thirty years of Apple hardware.

These guys are coming up with all sorts of good stuff - Altiris 'Juice'. Lets you install and run your applications in a self contained 'cage' - similar to a VMWare-lite.

If you can't virtualise your servers then having a good recovery/migration option is essential - Acronis Server Imaging. Lets you do a bare-metal restore to different hardware. Given how shite Windows (and the application software that sits on top) is at making it easy to migrate services from one system to another this type of tool is starting to become more popular.

More useful management and disaster recovery software from - SMA. My old boss is now selling this stuff. Love the ability to switch services to another datacenter in 30min as per one of the customer comments. The website is big on features but a little light on documentation/examples which is a bit of a shame - apparently its a super scheduler so you can script automate all sorts of events which I guess means although it won't build a new server it can kick off a script to do it for you. An interesting example of its use in an NZ datacenter.

Then again if you have OpenVMS it sounds like you'll be safer still. A distributed cluster would almost make you bullet proof.

Handy - Nice vi/vim cheat-sheets.

Neat - Charlie Fox Publishing. Couldn't find it on google so I thought I'd link to it and maybe people could find it by proxy. Always have to support the underdog. I'll have to ask Andrew if I can have a read - 'The Waiting Pig' sounds like a classic.

This week I have mostly been listening to . . .

Thursday 30 March 2006 at 09:23 am On my iPod shuffle for the last few weeks (from 24th March onwards):

Violent Femmes, Velvet Underground, Billy Bragg,
Godflesh, Bailter Space, Swervedriver, Sigur Ros, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Clash, Radiohead, Faith No More, Helmet, Bob Dylan

Many thanks to a kind soul who had the patience to rip some vinyl to mp3 so I didn't have to :-)

Post inspired by Jesse.

Music List (Updated 25/03/06)

Monday 27 March 2006 at 09:04 am Red Sparowes - At the Soundless Dawn - 5/5

Instrumental rock - take a listen if you're a fan of 'Godspeedyoublackemperor' or 'Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Shall Live Forever'.

Sigur Ros - Takk - 5/5

Ethereal largely instrumental (with occassional unintelligeble vocals) post-rock from Iceland. Their latest album is almost 'pop'.

Arcade Fire - Funeral - 3/5

Bought on the basis of seeing them perform on 'Later with Jools Holland' - pretty good but not as good as some of the reviews would make out.

Pelican - Australasia - 4/5

Metal for 'Mogwai' fans.

Sleater Kinney - The Woods - 3/5

Bought on the strength of several reviews - turns out their sound has morphed into a cross between the 'White Stripes' and 'Jon Spencer Blues Explosion' - I preferred their earlier quirky-pop sound from 'Dig Me Out'.

Arcwelder - Pull - 4/5

Like a cross between 'Stereolab' and 'Husker Du' - driving repetitive alt-rock.

Don Cabellero - Don Cabellero 2 - 4/5

Instrumental math-rock. Probably their best album.

Jesu - Jesu - 5/5

The new more sombre 'Godflesh' - less rock more drone, less anger more resignation.

Dinosaur Jr - Ear Bleeding Country - 5/5

Excellent compilation of Dino Jnr material from their 'You're Living All Over Me' start right up to the last album before J Mascis went solo. As usual the earlier stuff is best - I think they started to turn just after 'Where You Been' IMHO.

Godspeedyoublackemperor - Yanqui UXO 4/5

Not as good as their earlier albums but certainly a worthy release with super-tight Steve Albini enhanced production.

AjaxWrite + More

Monday 27 March 2006 at 08:38 am A new breed of application - AjaxWrite Launched. From the founder of Linspire. They will endevour to release a new (and free) web/ajax application every few weels to replace bloated Microsoft Office applications. Only works in Firefox 1.5 or above.

Apple should make this easier - OSX Network Domain for sharing files on a network.

Two articles on transitioning from one architecture to another - Adobe Engineer comments on the difficulty of porting to Intel OSX and a Microsoft Engineer follows up with his comments on the difficulty of porting to Intel OSX. The first article also has a comment buried in there from an Apple engineer too.

Named after a type of biscuit - Drost Effect.

Some of these are brilliant - Optical Illusions Blog.

Handy Howto - High availability NFS.

The market wants to know what happens to Apple after Steve Jobs ?

Hopefully this will bring some performance improvements as well as new bells & whistles - Firefox 2 Features.

Rumour - Leopard to include virtualisation ?

People write about the strangest things - UK Conservative MP laments the demise of the Marmite Bottle. Related links - Wikipedia - Marmite, Vegemite.

ArsTechnica looks back at Five Years of OS X.

The excellent GUI Guidebook gets its own domain and thousands of new images and a few new articles. They've also added an rss feed.

Windows DNS Annoyance 101

Thursday 23 March 2006 at 10:53 am Why in this day and age can't you do something as simple as pointing to a share via a DNS alias on a Windows box ?

Apparently it requires a registry hack (even on Windows 2003). Sigh.

Vote for Pedro + More

Tuesday 21 March 2006 at 06:48 am Finally got around to seeing Napoleon Dynamite. Pretty good. Possibly over-rated but enjoyable all the same. School in the American mid-west must be pretty dire . . .

A little bit 'fanboy-ish' but this Times article - How Apple Ate the World discusses the companies place in modern culture.

Instructions on dual booting your intel Mac with XP. I think most people will wait for VMWare or VirtualPC . . .

Not many updates but the Nonadmin wiki tracks information regarding LUA (Limited User Account). With the rise in viruses, trojans and spyware locking down user access is becoming more of a necessity.

They do in NZ - Does Novell still have mindshare. ZenWorks and eDirectory sound horribly useful and better than their MS counterparts. GroupWise on the other hand is dire from what little I've seen of it.

Still going - New gear from Cray.

More interesting writing from Guy Kawasaki - The Art of Recruiting. Some interesting insights. I like the 'interview as a project' description.

Two useful guides - Creating a Subversion Repository (Windows centric) and a guide to the /proc filesystem.

I remember this book from my primary school days - I have to concur that the running with scissors thing scarred me for life too. Good to see Struwwelpeter is getting an update for the younger generation.

A great series over at MAKE magazine - The Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge - Top 25 Inventions of 2006. Be sure to read all parts - Part I, Part II, Part III, IV, V.

The future of gaming - Wired Article - Dream Machine. Spore looks like a great game.

On a related note - there seems to be some good stuff at this years 2006 Independent Games Festival. Rumble Box and Darwinia look pretty neat.

If you're stuck for something to watch try out some of the items on The Top 100 Overlooked Films of the 1990s. Not entirely convinced by the order but there are definitely some greats worth checking out.

Fascinating - Demonstration for Cutaway Technical Illustrations using Adobe Illustrator. I love these diagrams (even more so when I was a kid) - this one took 720 hours - a solid month of work!

Stylus Album Art Challenge + More

Thursday 16 March 2006 at 5:43 pm Stlyus Weekly Album Art Challenge. I can only get a couple of these each week. Give it a try.

Rich Siegal author of BBEdit (product catch phrase - "a text editor which doesn't suck") gives his impressions of the new MacBook Pro. Builds his product twice as fast as his previous G4 PowerBook.

Looks like someone has given the NZ State Services Commission a beating with the clue-stick and they're taking the feedback onboard regarding recommendations for open source software use within Government.

Assuming they don't get toppled this is probably pretty close to the reality of Google in 20 years. Taking personal search to all new levels. Combined with RFID tagging soon the mighty G will know the whereabouts of everything and everyone :-)

Cool - Phil Zimmermans Zfone - OSX/Linux encrypted VOIP app.

Cool value add - iWoodNano. As mass produced items become more and more prevalent this type of personalisation is going to become more and more popular and hand-made quality items are going to get more and more expensive. I wonder when some old crusty is going to put his wood work skills to use and churn out high end luxury usb optical mice made from oak, walnut or rose-wood ? Doh - looks like someone has already done it in stone and leather too.

I could never get it to work - DFS Replication. Looks horribly useful though.

How commmitted is Microsoft to .Net - Detailed look at how Microsoft has avoided using .Net in any of its major products. Minimal use in XP, Server 2003 or Longhorn/Vista.

Cool - Foredge Book Art. Looks like the site is getting hammered so its limited to a homepage for now. Amazing to see the workmanship though.

Manage all your shell variables with Sheepdog. My days of switching between bash, csh and ksh are long gone but I can see the attraction of such a tool for those working in a multi-shell environment.

Nifty - LED Monitoring via parallel port and perl.

Awesome - Psychotic cat.

Finding free Palm stuff can be a hassle - at least at PalmOpenSource its free and with the source you can mess around with the code. Interesting that theres a Spectrum and Amiga emulator available now for those machines with the grunt to run them (eg ARM based).

This week I have mostly been listening to . . .

Wednesday 15 March 2006 at 4:14 pm On my iPod shuffle for the last few weeks (from 1st March onwards):

Thelonius Monk, Minor Threat, Unwound, Black Grape (I've been having Quorum MP3 Jukebox Flashbacks), Refused, Queens of the Stone Age, Godflesh, Mercury Rev, Husker Du, Aretha Franklin, Scorn, Earth, Straitjacket Fits, Cosmic Rough Riders, Spirtualized, Bailter Space, Dinosaur Jnr, Swervedriver, Robert Johnson, Pelican, Temptations, Godheadsilo, Sigur Ros - going to see them live in April - Woohoo!

Post inspired by Jesse.

102 gigabytes per second of sustained read/write performance + More

Monday 13 March 2006 at 1:36 pm Wow - IBM breaks speed records with new version of file system. Pretty stellar performance.

Also via ArsTechnica - Vista doesn't support EFI. Which is what the Intel based Macs use. I thought the Itaniums used EFI too ?

More screenshots of the Office2007 interface. I'm not entirely convinced by the look but I guess it will blend in nicely with the Vista gui. Microsoft tried something similar with its personalised menus and they just seem to drive people insane - OK so if you hide something you never use then it gets rid of clutter which is fine but if you don't know in advance that something is hidden and why then you're going to be annoyed looking for features you know are in there but you can't find.

I have a personal liking for silly pieces of overpriced hardware (ref my Apple fixation). So its interesting and a little sad to see what SGI has planned for the future.

An inside look at how Google does what it does.

Amusing - the CIA was involved in producing the 1955 animated version of George Orwells 'Animal Farm'. Crazy.

I'm back doing disk-imaging - I was looking for a magic boot cd which included drivers for almost everything under the sun but alas I couldn't find it. After trawling the interweb I came up with the Universal TCP/IP Boot Disk which even detected the latest Broadcom gigabit NIC. So two thumbs up :-)

As per Chris' comment Gnome is getting better and better. Take a look at some of the new bells & whistles in version 2.14.

Uninstalling stuff from Windows

Monday 13 March 2006 at 12:21 pm Because Windows is really annoying when it comes to keeping track of rubbish that gets installed it can be a pain to uninstall stuff.

Luckily Microsoft realise the aggravation of using its own software inventory mechanism and provide a way to remove an application automatically via command line.

msiexec.exe /x {00000409-78E1-11D2-B60F-006097C998E7} /qn

Where {00000409-78E1-11D2-B60F-006097C998E7} is the unique product 'GUID'. Its stored in the registry at HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{product GUID}

Definitely one to remember.

John Cleese isn't a fan of my home town + More

Wednesday 08 March 2006 at 3:27 pm Amusing - John Cleese bags Palmerston North. Its not all bad but I can see how it would be a little depressing for some people - at least its not Canberra ;-)

Gadgets - The Top Ten Geek Watches. The Fossil Frank Gehry Watch is definitely my favourite.

A new version of the apache/mysql/php based KnowledgeTree DMS has been released. Its starting to look pretty slick.

The first IronCoder competition has finished - each contest features a new theme. The first featured Mardi Gras as a theme and resulted in a bunch of 'interesting' OS X hacks knocked up in 24 hours.

Great idea - Fourth Ammendment Luggage Tags. That way when customs search your stuff they have to 'break' the ammendment.

Wireless - Seagate to release first wireless hard-drive.

This Flexible USB Hub looks like a great idea.

Monitoring - Munin is a mrtg like server monitor.

Databases - Ten of the biggest mistakes developers make with databases.

Interesting - What makes Harvards network tick. 125000 workstations moving 150 to 200TB a day!

Oddly intesting - using Lisp to solve Einsteins Riddle. 24 Billion permutations resolved in 4 seconds is pretty good going.

Joel Spolsky - Top Five (Wrong) Reasons You Don't Have Testers.

An inside look at MetroWerks in the 90's. MetroWerks wrote the definitive development environment for the Mac in the late 80's & 90's that helped ease the transition to PPC from 680x0.

Cool - How Apache use Solaris Zones for code builds. They use twenty Zones (equivalent to virtual machines) for various projects on the same Sun V40Z server.

Origami - some shots of the UMP/Origami product.

Humour - a bit of an old clip but still a work of satirical genius from Australian comedians CNNN - Which country should the US invade next? Hate + More

Monday 06 March 2006 at 5:53 pm Brett Simmons of NetNewsWire opines upon the crappiness of Apples The interviewer has a useful plugin which strips off some of the Tiger-interface-hokiness. The interview also points to the free Mail-act-on which addresses a few shortcomings by adding keyboard shortcuts for common actions. Its interesting that email applications seem to be getting more annoying with time rather than less annoying . . .

Long overdue - KDE Light / SimpleKDE. If you're tired of all the graphical gee-gaws that seem to be make up a modern GUI return to a simpler time via SimpleKDE which attempts to provide all the GUI goodness without the complexity. Or just use Ion ;-)

I found this interesting - Wordpress on a stick. Run a Wordpress blog using PHP, Apache & MySQL running from a USB memory stick. Handy for testing. The T2 site also hosts a number of other related Wordpress 'Howto' guides.

We got pounded by heavy 100kmh winds Friday and Saturday night. I'd hate to have been in the ferry making the Cook Strait crossing. Eight hours in a storm (normally a three our trip) would be murder. I've crossed in similar circumstances back in 1995 - not pleasant but I did manage manage to avoid throwing up.

More local news - The NZ State Services Commission releases guidelines for Open Source licensing. And the amusing thing is it appears as if Microsofts Law Firm Penned the Report - so the neutrality is a little suspect.

Cool - Compendium of Self Annihilating Sentences.

For the mechanically minded - Gif animated engines. If you're interested in how mechanical engines actually work.

Interesting - Why PHP Sucks. I'm no coder so I couldn't possibly comment. . .

This doesn't sound good - OSX Hacked in less than 30min. Not much detail unfortunately. Certainly come a long way since the old Crack a Mac challenge in the late 90's.

Build your own Debian system via a web page - it will step through a wizard and then present you with a downloadable iso image.

I've read about half of these - To Kill a Mockingbird tops Librarians must read list.

Martin �MC� Brown writes some excellent Unix Admin Tips. Articles appear on IBM's developerworks site.

ArsTechnica reviews the Mac Mini Core Solo. Looks good. Shame about the integrated intel graphics - still doesn't seem to detract from its performance in its target audience though.

Windows Password Reset + More

Friday 03 March 2006 at 3:24 pm I've occassionally had to use password reset tools on Windows boxes before - usually Linux based. Just had to use it again and the tool I used is a boot CD from Petter Nordahl-Hagen. The CD version worked a treat and includes SCSI drivers for a number of RAID controllers - especially handy for server systems.

Handy - Clack Router is a free java based network simulator.

Useful tip - Migrating Outlook Express Email to Notes. Could have used this a few years ago :-)

Who says they never do anything fun - Microsoft brings DDR to email.

Interesting ArsTechnica reviews the new MacBook. Funny that they compared it with a Dell running OS X 10.4.4 - the Dell must be at least half the price. Not sure how Apple is going to stop people doing this though.

Gizmodos Low End Theory article discusses the ins and outs of the typewriter industry. Which links to and their $600USD IBM Wheelwriters - these things must be the Bentleys of the typewriter world at that price. Still I bet they have a nice keyboard action...

Humour - If Microsoft designed the iPod packaging.

Useful - freeSSHd. Win32 SSH server allows you to setup your own encrypted connections.

Humour - two video games created by people who don't like video games - Penn & Tellers Smoke & Mirrors and Takeshi no Chousenjou - the first makes you drive across a desert for 8hrs in real time and the second makes you sing karaoke for an hour while trying to kill the level boss.

Creepy - Worlds most deadly bacteria.

Wikipedia on your iPod + more

Wednesday 01 March 2006 at 12:04 pm Put wikipedia on your iPod.

All sorts of good stuff at the Kircher Society Blog. I plugged this a few weeks back but they just keep adding all sorts of interesting curios. The living house stuff currently headlining is great. Very Hundertwasser-esque.

Looks good - Lik Sang reviews the new Nintendo DS Lite. I'm finally getting the hang of Final Fantasy Tactics on my old GBA in an effort to make more use out of my gadget stash.

Handy - these Solar Rolls look like they'd come in handy for travel away from convenient power sources.

New Mac Mini (Yay!) iPod Dock (Eh)

Wednesday 01 March 2006 at 08:35 am Looks like Apple have just updated their Mac Mini line with the new Intel processors in Solo and Duo configurations.

The new iPod dock looks pretty dull. Without stereo speaker seperation how can you get any decent definition in sound ? Oh well I guess Apple wants a slice of the accessory pie.


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