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February 2006

Apple MacBook Pro Dead Before Arrival

All things considered ... I think the Apple MacBook is a pretty good laptop.  Kinda over priced but that is what you should expect from Apple. 

But the built-in camera makes the laptop DBA (Dead Before Arrival) ... because it will never get a chance to "arrive" in many Federal and Dept. of Defense organziations with the built-in camera and integrated wireless communicaitons without a phyiscal on/off switch.

Another issue is the lack of really being able to figure out at this point the dual-boot or integrated virtual machine options for running Windows and for me a couple of key applications: Microsoft Project and Visio.


Sidetrack - Actor to DVD Ratio Kinda Interesting

We got the latest Movies Unlimited catalog in the mail yesterday.  It was interesting to me (and probably no one else?!?) how they organize DVDs available by actors, directors, and actressess.  And the shear number that some people have associated with them is definitely a tribute to their career. 

Here is a run down of some of the "leaders" from the prespective of how many DVDs were highlighted for them by the catalog (definitely not scientific, and not all exclusive to everything they have done)*:

  • 57 = John Wayne
  • 41 = Clint Eastwood
  • 29 = Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock & Elvis Presley
  • 20 = Burt Lancaster
  • 19 = James "Jimmy" Stewart
  • 18 = Bob Hope & Humphrey Bogart
  • 17 = Mel Gibson, Gregory Peck, & Paul Newman
  • 16 = Steven Spielberg
  • 15 = Steve McQueen, William Holden, Henry Fonda, & Harrison Ford
  • 14 = Marilyn Monroe & Katharine Hepburn
  • 12 = Goldie Hawn & Bette Davis
  • 11 = Audrey Hepburn
  • 10 = Elizabeth Taylor & Judy Garland

* Note: I stopped listing "men" who didn't have 15 DVDs associated with them. Some were very close and included names like: Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charles Bronson,Sean Connery, Tom Hanks, Woody Allen, Burt Reynolds, Jerry Lewis, Frank Carpa, Michael Douglas, Tom Cruise, Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Depp, Dennis Quaid, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Michael Caine, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Mitchum, Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Stephen King, Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, and Fred Astaire.


Pandora - Excellent Music Distribution System

Thanks to Amber & Leo at the Inside The Net podcast I have been checking out  a relatively new site called Pandora that through their Music Genome Project offers up a pretty good stream of related music to match your listening taste and mood.

I created a few stations so far, they are:

Pretty neat ... Leo mentioned at the end of the podcast that there needs to be something like this for podcasting.  While not exactly the same, I've been having some fun with AmigoFish.



Creative Commons Part of Future Curry Lawsuit

Adam Curry noted on Daily Source Code 320 that he is going to sue a tabloid for a variety of reasons, but one of them was that the publication used some pictures from his Flickr site {search "adamcurry" on Flickr} that are released Creative Commons with Noncommercial limitations attached.  Sounds kinda interesting ...

UPDATE: If you think this legal topic is interesting, then some additional links related to topics like this can be found on this post on Denise Howell's site.


Getting Credit - Why Does It Matter?!?

I am struggling with a non-tech issue really.  I did some detailed analysis work yesterday and I thought I made a difference and provided a colleague with some key help.  After the problem was solved, and an email went out with kudos to all those who helped, I was not included in the list of key people who helped.

It is frustrating me to no end, and I'm not happy with myself that I can't seem to let it go.  So, I figured maybe blogging about it might help.

What have others done in the same situation?  Does blogging help?


Linkfest 060115 (Stardust, Design Science, GarageBand, San Diego Blog, OpenOffice)

Douglas Welch has pictures, blog info, and audio reporting from NASA Startdust Mission.

1st International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology will be held in Southern California from Feb 24-25, 2006. Keynotes by: Dr. Vinton G. Cerf and Dr. Peter Freeman.

Victor has the Typical Mac User Podcast has done a test of GarageBand's new podcast capabilities found in iLife '06.  There is a caveat though.

San Diego Blog community is having a get together tomorrow.  I'm not sure I can make it. :-(

OpenOffice.v2.0.1 is out!

The folks at Tom Bihn really enjoyed one of the pictures I posted with the kids opening up the recent shipment.


Linkfest 060112 (Tips, Tools, Conference, CES, Threats, Updates)

New version of VNC has some pretty good feature sets for remote desktop control across a host of operating systems.

Chuck @ ChuckChat.com recommend the following tool for anyone wanting to quickly access a SQL or other database system - dbVisualizer.

BoingBoing - Does the new version of iTunes include Apple spyware capabilities?

Consolidated distribution of Microsoft Word Tips! 2005 via CDROM or direct download.

Chirs Pirillo's Gnomedex 6.0 has been announced.

Engadget's Best of CES 2006.  Finally a possible iPod killer?

Some good tips on keeping MindMaps simple.

I like Brain Bailey's post on "Geek Love".

Find a security flaw in a Symantec product you can contact them via their Security site or this email address: secure@symantec.com.

An update  from Microsoft: IntelliType Pro 5.5 Keyboard Software for Windows.

A feature list of the OQO true handheld computer, now with support for Tablet PC OS.

Joedelta finds the latest in voice recognition for your computer to be "pretty cool."


DIY Recording Room For Podcasting (Quicktime)

Here is the Quicktime version of the DIY recording room video I created with extra stuff I had available around the house.  Still in a work in progress but moving along better than I expected.

On the topic of QuickTime ... I captured this in iMovie then did an output for iPod Video ... this is different then the one I did with the kids painting on the kitchen table.  The details: MPEG-4 (m4v), 16.8-MBs, 128-kbps bit rate, H.264 format, 29.97 fps, and normal size of 320 x 213 pixels.

 

There is also a Windows Media format version linked to in a post with more information here.


DIY Recording Room For Podcasting (Windows Media)

I made a DV video using our families new Panasonic PV-GS19 camcorder of my side job over the last couple of weekends to build out an audio recording room for podcasting in our "unused" upstairs bedroom.

The main reason for doing this is that I got some new gear for Christmas, but probably more importantly I have three kids that make a ton of noise every time I try to do any recording over the weekend.

So, the new gear is: Samson C01 Condenser Microphone and the Behringer Tube Ultragain MIC100 Pre-Amp.  I have been recording directly into the very useful iRiver IFP-799 MP3 player/recorder.

I pretty much only used stuff I had around the house.  We had some extra foam squares from when the kids were very small to pad the walls, and the "egg carton" foam padding for bedding was from California "tent" camping.  So the cost was really low.  It might not look that great but it works like a charm IMHO.  There are still some items to solve in the near-term (suggestions?): better lighting, air flow, stool for sitting, equipment mounting, power, and door sound dampening.

Here is the Windows Media format version. There is also a QuickTime version (minus an intro and credits).

Some details on the Windows Media file: 9.34 MBs; 308-kbps Bit Rate; 0:03:51 duration; 16 bit audio with 2 stereo channels sampled at 32-kHz; and video sample size of 24bits


Coloring At The Table (Windows Media)

A Windows Media version of some video I caputred from our new Panasonic PV-GS19 DV camcorder. I used MovieMaker to add the title and the credits.   There is also a QuickTime version. It was pretty seamless to capture this DV on both Mac and Windows.

Some tech details on the Windows Media file: 320 x 240 pixels, 358-kbps bit rate, 16-bit 2 chanel stereo audio, 0:02:33 minutes long, and 6.05-MBs.