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Portables (Apple)

Journal: If Apple releases a laptop with an upside down optical drive 1

Journal by Elwood P Dowd

I will roll my eyes SO HARD at all the Apple rumor sites. With the iPhone, Apple proved that they can defeat rumor people by showing off demo units and prototypes to many different people. The conflicting rumors will increase buzz and increase surprise at the same time, even if some of the rumors were legit.

A while ago, an Apple patent surfaced for an ultra low-profile optical drive underneath the keyboard that requires sleeping the laptop, turning it over, and changing optical discs while it is upside down.

Since then, rumors have been about laptops with no optical drive, and now recently there's a rumor about an external optical drive. This ignores the fact that leakers could look right at a device with the upside down optical, and think that it has no internal optical drive.

Just saying.

Media (Apple)

Journal: Photo Browser api in OS X?

Journal by Elwood P Dowd

In Leopard Mail & a bunch of the iLife apps, you can open up a Photo Browser that lists Apple apps & the photos they contain. I know that Aperture, iPhoto, and Photo Booth show up there, and I'm not aware of any other potential sources.

Is there a documented or known-but-undocumented API for becoming a source in that photo browser? I know that any app can open a photo browser. I want to know if my Lightroom photos will ever, ever appear there. An extremely preliminary googling turns up nothing, so I assume the answer is no.

Utilities (Apple)

Journal: Run As for OS X (not just sudo) 5

Journal by Elwood P Dowd

I want multiple versions of Safari running at the same time with different cookie sets.

Is there a way to run two applications in the same workspace as different users under OS X? I know I can sudo whatever I like, but

sudo -u myroommate open /Applications/

just starts Safari as the current logged in user.

I can use fast user switching, but I don't want to. rooSwitch is closer to what I want. Exactly what I want is "Run As..." shortcuts, like in Winders. Any hints?


Journal: Video Jukebox Software? 2

Journal by Elwood P Dowd

What's the best video jukebox software? Something like iTunes, except that can actually play videos without crippling my otherwise extremely capable PC. Also, iTunes ignores the DVD ISOs that I've ripped, which makes it kindof useless for most of my media consumption needs. Alcohol 52% keeps a list of ISOs you've used, but doesn't grok other media.

Is there an all singing, all dancing video jukebox for any OS?


Journal: W.R.T. Zune & FM Radio 1

Journal by Elwood P Dowd

They say the Zune will have an FM radio tuner. And they say it will allow you to send a copy of your songs to your friends, which they can listen to three times. And they say that this wifi activity may be hard on your battery compared to normal use.

I would way prefer a device that did FM transmitting like the iTrip except that it permitted autodiscovery. You point your device at someone else wearing the distinctive included headphones, and unless they have changed their configuration for secrecy, then you listen to what they are listening to. This would require way less battery use & be just as good for record execs (right?). You might throw some signaling into 2.4gHz, but wifi would be huge overkill. Track info can already be sent over FM.

Isn't that a much more desireable device? Why is my idea broken?


Journal: Google neuters blog feed in desperate plea for traffic.

Journal by Elwood P Dowd

I'm exaggerating. But if I'm not mistaken, Google changed their main blog feed to no longer contain full content. It's only the first few lines of articles, and no links or html.

Hopefully this is just some technical snafu, and someone changed their blogger settings accidentally. They went to type="text/plain" rather than type="text/html". If it's some marketer's brilliant ploy to drive up traffic, I hope someone decides that it's more worthwhile for them to get their message out instead.

Here's their latest post, and their prettyprinted feed.

I apologize for being a nitpicky little dweeb, but it's who I am.

Edit: They fixed it. Rad.


Journal: Video card advice, anyone? 2

Journal by Elwood P Dowd

I have this computer. I want to be able to play Oblivion.

I figure I'll have to upgrade my 300 watt power supply so that I can handle a better card. I spent a few hours reading up last night, and it sounded like everyone was suggesting either a Geforce 7600 GT for value or a Geforce 7900 GT if I intend to splurge.

I don't know what ATI cards to look at because everyone seems to be talking about NVidia lately. Don't know why.

If anyone knows the current state of the union, or would like to suggest a different line of cards to look at, I'd really appreciate it. And I know the basics of picking between different cards w/ the same GPU, but if anyone has any advice there that would also be very helpful.

Word up.


Journal: My dream firefox extension 4

Journal by Elwood P Dowd

I would like to not need my status bar.

I would like the URL to preview in the URL bar. Like in OmniWeb.

I would like the download status for the current page to fill the URL bar, like in Safari.

Then I would get rid of my status bar, and I would finally be happy.

If anyone knows of any such extensions for Firefox, please tell me.

Edit: A mockup, for your enjoyment:


Journal: Am I the only person on the planet that loves Windows? 2

Journal by Elwood P Dowd

I mean, I hate computers as much as anyone, but I really like how effective I am at working in Windows. I really like taskbar+maximizing as a general workflow.

I like the candy colors in Windows XP. I like the way quicklaunch works. I don't so much like the All Programs menu, and would prefer a dashboard with bigger prettier icons like the dock + Application directory, but not a big deal.

And there are big glaring problems with using a Windows computer, too. But there are different big, glaring problems with Mac OS.

If I bought a Mac, I'd be one of the maybe-macos-is-ok toe-dipping switchers, just like people who'd never used it before. But I used it for YEARS. Mac OS X was brutal to me. I'm sure with a core duo it won't feel like the gui is dipped in molasses, but I'm still skittish.

And while it'd be a huge improvement in hardware compared to my current setup, it'd either cost $2000 or it would be a crucial step down in specs. And I'd be trading Google Desktop for Spotlight.

Whinge whinge whinge. I'll wait.

"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.