Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Some Tweaks to the Blog

Finally got around to making a few changes to the blog that I have wanted to make for a while now.
  1. Replaced my headshot with iTimeZone and Tangerine Element
    I wanted to have a permanent place for links to iTimeZone and Tangerine Element using the branding that has been created. I have just been putting it off because the way the HTML, CSS, and header image were structured previously was going to be a few hours worth of work to pull apart and put together again so that the images where clickable. My old headshot was just embedded in the background, the replacement design allows me to replace the header images whenever I want to. Also, this was a little bit of prep work for finishing up work on the next version of iTimeZone since I wanted to have the branding on the blog before the next version launch. Also, I have tweaked the iTimeZone icon slightly to make it more prominent on the iPhone OS since the "plastic" affect is composited over top of the icon.
  2. Removed the Wakoopa application list
    This was cleanup from my decision to stop using Wakoopa to track application usage
  3. Removed the RSS button on the page
    This may not be news to anyone, but it dawned on me a few weeks ago that with Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 2+, and Safari 2+, having an RSS button in the actual content was redundant with browser chrome. Ironically, Google Chrome has no chrome for RSS, or I can't find it, but seems like that was one exclusion that shouldn't have been made.
  4. Removed the Tip jar button
    I am not offended, but no one used it :-), so it was an easy deletion. Also, the only money maker on the blog, ads, were pulled up about 15 pixels.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Quit Using Wakoopa

Back in May I started using Wakoopa. Well 4 months later, and I find the information about what applications I am using mildly entertaining at best, and actually totally unnecessary. I am not a software reviewer, my application set is relatively fixed. The Wakoopa Tracker was running in the background the entire time. Though I didn't notice a performance hit, and I didn't expect one, I must admit that regaining 2:30 in CPU (since my reboot 3 days ago) does please me somewhat.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Could this be where Apple got their inspiration for the name MobileMe?

On page 195 of Thomas L. Friedman's "The World Is Flat" Release 3.0, the following paragraph appears:

The "mobile me" [emphasis mine] revolution will be complete when you can move seamlessly around the town, the country, or the world with whatever device you want. The technology is getting there. When this is fully diffused the "mobile me" will have its flattening effect, by freeing people to truly be able to work and communicate from anywhere to anywhere with anything.

I am not saying that Apple's MobileMe satisfies Friedman's definition, but could this be where Apple, uh, got its inspiration for renaming .Mac?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

John Gruber Nails the Apple "Get A Mac" Ads and Microsoft's Response

John Gruber @ Daring Fireball posted ★ Digging Deeper, saying exactly what I have been thinking about Apple's Get A Mac ads and Microsoft's response ad.

There are a ton of people, and I usually see this from people who's career depend entirely on Windows, that believe Apple's ads are in fact making fun of PC users. That's not just wrong, it's a stupid conclusion. I am not saying people that think this are dumb, but they have lost the plot. In addition to Apple's ads telling the viewer that Macs are special PCs, all other PCs are generic, as Gruber says, they are also showing the viewer there is a choice in computers. That is job #1, since for years, most people didn't even know Macs still existed. If you are trying to sell Macs to people, you won't do that by telling them they are dumb. Apple shows how Macs are special in three ways:

  1. What Macs have that generic PCs don't (Leopard, Time Machine, iSight camera, etc.)
  2. What Macs and PCs have in common (Office, file format compatibility, both run Windows)
  3. What PCs have that Macs don't and is bad (viruses, upgrade hassles, hardware and software compatibility problems)
The headline on the Get A Mac site right now is Why your next PC should be a Mac. I don't think the point could be much clearer, the Mac IS a PC, the only one that is different than all the others. Microsoft's ad has attempted to co-opt Apple's "I'm a PC" part of the message by, as Gruber puts it, only emphasizing Apple's ads, because it incorrectly puts the emphasis on PC, and doesn't emphasize what's special about PCs that aren't Macs. It couldn't be more obvious that Microsoft believes PC in the Apple ads is about users than the part of the montage where people are talking about their glasses. Microsoft has only shown the first ad, so it will be interesting to see if they course correct out of this, or continue down this path.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tip: Signing into AIM/.Mac/MobileMe through a firewall

By default, iChat tries to connect to the AIM network for AIM/.Mac/MobileMe accounts using port 5190:
iChat AIM Default

If a firewall you don't control blocks port 5190, then click the SSL checkbox:

Chances are, you can now logon to the AIM network using your AIM/.Mac/MobileMe account through port 443, the SSL port. Your network overlords would have to be blocking access to specific AIM hostnames for this not to work. While entirely possible, far less likely than port blocking. No guarantee that video iChat will work though...