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Blogger thanks Apple for making him switch back to Vista (Eh?) September 24, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Alternatives, Hardware, Microsoft, Oddities, Operating System, The Other Side of the Fence.

A blogger posted a big thank you to Apple for making him switch from Vista to Mac, then back to Vista. While on the surface this sounds like a back-handed compliment, it actually makes sense – I think.

Aviv Eyal, co-founder and VP of Grouper Networks (which was eventually acquired by Sony), and co-founder of Friskit, wrote in his blog that Macs made him appreciate Windows Vista, which had previously confounded him no end:

I was getting very frustrated with Vista on several of my PCs and laptops on a daily basis to a point that I stopped enjoying working on computers. On a clean Vista Pro install with just IE, Outlook and Office on strong Dell workstations and on a Vaio laptop, I kept getting hangs and crashes left and right. I now run Vista using the excellent Parallels Desktop for Mac software. It is worth every penny.

Eyal calls Windows the “light” side of the force, and Macs and OS X the “dark” side. He expounds further on this odd compliment:

With 4GB of RAM on a 2.4ghz Intel core 2 duo MacBook Pro laptop, I get very decent performance from Vista running virtually in Parallels, in full-screen mode it is easy to forget that you are not running Vista natively, so if I need to use word or powerpoint I just switch back to the dark side virtually on Parallels and if Vista hangs crashes I just quickly restore the virtual machine to a previous state while I keep working on my Mac apps.

Uh …ok. I think. At least this underscores that fact that there is no reason not to buy a Mac these days. Even if it’s for the wrong reasons.

Check out Eyal’s post on his blog here.

MacPic of The Day September 17, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in iPods, MacPics, Oddities, Rants.
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iPod with an iPhone error message.

Amazing how Apple can tweak the software so that Linux and other operating systems that don’t natively run iTunes are SOL where the new iPods are concerned, or tweak an app or hardware for the iPod so that it doesn’t compete with an iPhone and artificially and self-servingly segment the market (such as pulling out the ability to enter new events in iCal, or pull the Bluetooth out) — but are so lazy they can’t even seem to clean up the iPhone software code they’re recycling to use in the iPod.


World’s most expensive shuffle September 4, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in iPods, News, Oddities.
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I thought the whole point of the shuffle was to make the most affordable, minimalist digital music player around, but apparently some folk think otherwise.

See the Heyerdahl special edition diamond-encrusted, pink and white gold iPod shuffle called the iDiamond. Currently on display in Oslo until October 1, the not-for-sale, one-of-a-kind digital music player’s casing and  earbuds are made of white and pink gold and are studded with 430 diamonds (they’d have fitted it with more, I think, but it was too small.) It’s currently valued at US$41,000, or almost PHP1.9M.

Would be a mighty shame to load this up with pirated MP3.

More details here.

The Cross of St. John August 31, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Apple Inc., Oddities, Trivia.
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I’ve always wondered where Apple got that symbol for the Command key. Now I know. It’s called, variously, the Cross of St. John, or St. Hans’ Cross. It’s an ancient sign used for a lot of things, from Cabbalistic mysticism to traffic signs. And of course, computer keys.

Check out symbols.com for more.

Retro blogging August 27, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Oddities, Reminiscing, Share/Freeware, Wala lang.
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In our endless wandering on the Internets, the Doodler stumbled across something WordPress bloggers might find a bit interesting: a retro MacOS theme (which incidentally enough, is also its formal name) that uses 1-bit System 1.0 graphics. You can’t get more retro than this clunky monochromatic look. Who’da thought that in the future, pixellation would be cool?

Try the Retro MacOS Theme if you’ve a mind to, although for this Doodler, it’s a bit too hardcore. System 7, maybe. Even if I cut my teeth on Macs staring at screens like this for hours on end back in the day, it’s something I wouldn’t exactly want to revisit. Too retro for me, man.

See it here.

WTH? August 4, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Funnies, iPhone, Oddities.
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An iPhone display kiosk at an AT&T branch goes belly-up. One guess why.

(Pic from Gizmodo.)

OS X on an IBM ThinkPad July 29, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Downloads, Hardware, Oddities, Operating System.
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Yes, it’s possible.

It’s also as buggy as hell, majorly complicated to do, needs a whole bunch of stuff and uses up a lot of geek brain coupons. Also, the wifi doesn’t work, plus it’s slow as molasses flowing down the side of your wall on a cold morning in December.

And it violates your EULA.

But it can be done. And has been. On a Thinkpad.

Tom Merritt of CNET and host of Buzz Out Loud shows us how he did it in detail on a post on his blog SuBBrilliant.

Some folk from the pearls-before-swine OSX86 Project have been at this for some time at osx86-project.org and they have a wiki on how to do it, plus a list of device compatibility. The legality and logic of actually doing something like this is pretty murky, and the only seeming motivation for doing it is similar to the one why canines will lick their privates – because they can.


Stick ‘er where? July 24, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Oddities, People, Wala lang.
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Is there some unspoken rule, some commandment tacitly understood and obeyed by all Mac users that the best place to put your white Apple sticker is in the lower right corner of your car’s rear window? Is this rule in fine print in the documentation that comes with the Mac that I didn’t read but obey instinctively, like the lemming that I am? Has there been some whispered conspiracy passed down from user to user that I never got wind of but am following anyway by sheer unconscious impulse?

I just find it odd that I come across the white sticker on cars all the time, either on the left or the right lower corner of the back window (sometimes on the upper corners, but not too often), but when I ask the car owners why they put it there (theorizing that it’s some secret code or practice of their particular MUG), they just say, nothing really, it just “felt” right.

I’ve put one on the same location on three or more cars that have passed through my hands – without being told. It looked particularly appropriate on my wife’s all-white Honda Civic hatchback, although at the time she couldn’t understand my partiality for Macs (she’s since come around). I saw a friend at the car wash this weekend and it was in his Mazda‘s rear lower left corner, and when I asked him about it, he just shrugged. Looks nice there, he said. The Kool Aid has some subtle side effects, don’t it?

Just curious, where do you guys put yours?

iPhone: Will it blend? July 11, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in Hardware, iPhone, Oddities.
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It was just a matter of time.

There’s this site I go to now and then just to see the understated lunacy of their (award-winning) marketing program. Blendtec, makers of home and commercial blenders, asks and answers for us one of the most important questions in life: Will it blend?

These kooks have done what the kid in us has always wanted to do – put anything and everything in their blender, citing as their reason that old adage about why dogs lick their privates: because they can. Also to prove that their Total Blender can take just about anything. Over the years they’ve blended literally everything; most recently they blended a Transformer robot. The video is actually retro and a bit creepy, from the old sixties TV promo music to the cheerful yet disconnected demeanor of the host, Tom Dickson. He tortures tech with a smile, sort of like the Nazis at work in Dachau.

Now, they’ve blended an iPhone.

You can watch the carnage here, if you have the stomach for it.

Oh, the humanity…

iVendo May 1, 2007

Posted by reverseengineer in iPods, Oddities, Wala lang.
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I’ve always wondered if those iPod vending machines at airports and malls abroad really would work. I can plunk down P20 for a Coke Lite, but P18000 for an 80gb iPod? In a machine that might jam and not give me the iPod I bought? I’d rather entrust that sort of purchase to a brick-and-mortal establishment and deal with a flesh-and-blood sales person, thank you.

Well, here’s more reason to distrust the iPod Vendo. TUAW reports a reader by the name of Kris Haughton tried one out at a mall in the States and met with, horror of horrors, a BSOD. Huh? I’m not even going to comment on the inherent injustice of the situation.

All I can say is, caveat emptor!