Archive for April, 2005

Quicktime 7

Posted: April 30, 2005 in General

Okay I admit it, the H.264 codec in QT7 is pretty damn cool. What is even better is the fact that the Batman Begins and Serenity trailers are available for viewing the 1024p version is a whopping 1600×680 pixels requiring a bandwidth of about 1Mb per second (so about 8000kbit).

This is the future of movies here folks. This is a level of magnitude greater than standard DVD (more than 6x the resolution of standard video).

To bad my G4 is too slow to play it back at a proper frame rate, and I won’t be upgrading the desktop machine until Apple releases their multi-core processor G5 later this year (assuming that the budget allows for it).

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Better late than never

Posted: April 29, 2005 in General, Movies/TV/Music

At lunch today I ventured out to try and get a copy of Mario Party Advance for the Gameboy Advance and perhaps a DVD box set of FireFly. I stopped by BestBuy first and didn’t find either (well they had Mario Party, but I didn’t want to pay $30 for it), I did pick up a copy of Blade III, but I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to buy just one thing so I didn’t end up buying it. Instead I went next door to Circuit City and found Blade III for $2 less and Mario Party for $5 less.

Galaxy Rangers DVDI kind of browsed the TV section of the DVDs (I didn’t find a copy of FireFly there either), and I came across a DVD of Galaxy Rangers. Goldmine! I had all the VHS copies (which I think I shelled out almost $300 at the time to get), and really wished it was available on DVD. A little over a year ago I did pick up a PAL DVD from the UK with a couple episodes on it (which happened to be most of the same episodes on the disc I now held in my hand). I figure at this point it’s been relegated to the “cheap bargain bin” kind of thing (although the disc did cost $11). I do get a little excited when I see that the copyright is 2005 (so this isn’t some weird relic that I happened upon, but something new). Keep in mind that this series is almost two decades old (1986), and is one of the few cartoon series that I really thought was a unique idea (the same guy who produced these produced a couple movies and the X-files series pilot).

Imagine my surprise when I do a search for Koch Vision (the distributer) and find out that they released two discs late last year and two discs last week (granted that’s only a total of 16 episodes of probably more than 50). I’ve written an email to the corporation to see if they’ve obtained the rights to the whole catalog. I also found that all four discs are available on Overstock (and a couple other places), so I’ve promptly ordered the other three discs.

Post Secret

Posted: April 29, 2005 in General

This is great Post Secret

Life begins to pick up steam

Posted: April 28, 2005 in General

Cara accepted the job in Bristol today, of course she doesn’t start until August 8th (that’s 3 1/2 months from now). This means that our next task after the wedding will be to start shopping for houses. I’m sure our vacation next week will include discussions about where we’d like to live. Right now I’m voting for Newington because it’s still close enough to Hartford and Manchester so that it’s not a pain to see my friends, close enough to Bristol that Cara shouldn’t have too much trouble getting to work in a reasonable amount of time and I won’t have to battle rush hour traffic too much to get into and out of work.

Mixing the money

Posted: April 28, 2005 in General

How much to you commit to the union of marriage? Do you change your name and join your bank accounts? If your future wife doesn’t want to change her name, do you? If you create a buffer by keeping separate names and separate bank accounts are you going into your marriage “covering your ass” and making it as easy as possible to get out at a later time?

A friend of a friend actually shops for food separately (using their own money) and keep it separately in the fridge. One pays the other a portion of rent as well. This sounds more like a roommate than a spouse. I wonder how the personal relationship works if they’ve created such a wide social boundary. Do they have two beds that they sleep in? Two televisions? Two phone lines?

Maybe none of this bothers me because Cara will be taking my name, and she’ll probably always make more money than I will. However, if the shoe was on the other foot, I don’t think I’d feel any different. I think I’m a pretty independent person, which might indicate that I too would like to create a buffer that would allow me to hold on to as much of that independence as possible, but I don’t. I look forward to the merger.

Maybe none of this bothers me because the relationship I have with Cara gives me a lot of independence, or maybe things like your name and your bank account are really more of an illusion of independence and not true independence.

Bugs.

Posted: April 28, 2005 in Computing, General

The only thing worse than a bug that plagues a piece of software is a bug that is present in release after release of software. My biggest irritation is Apple’s Finder. I turn both “Show item info” and “Show icon preview” on, which seems to be problematic (for some reason).

The problem is that if I have a window open that gets modified in some fashion the Finder crashes. This happens sometimes when I copy a large number of graphic files from one location to another, “Export for Web” from Photoshop or rename a bunch of files using R-name. What is possibly more annoying is that when the Finder crashes (and promptly reloads itself), the window locations are reset (i.e. they’re all closed).

I wonder if this is fixed in Tiger…

Happy Tiger Day

Posted: April 28, 2005 in Computing, General

Today Tiger gets loose. Upgrading the OS is very similar to hardware upgrades, they tend to be time consuming (although “time consuming” on a Mac is about an hour), and can cause a variety of inconsistencies. There are valuable features in Tiger, but is it worth the $129 price tag (although you can find it for under $100)?

So what’s so great?

Automator: Probably what I’m most interested in. This takes Apple’s scripting language (Applescript) to the next level allowing Joe User to create droplets with a GUI. I think this has a lot of potential, although it probably won’t really be useful until version 2.0.

Spotlight: Is apple’s desktop search engine. This is the battlefront, or at least what the media wants you to believe is the battlefront. I don’t know, most of my stuff is pretty well organized so I rarely need to search my computer for a file. I honestly think that this tool won’t be very valuable to most power users.

Dashboard: I paid for Konfabulator back when it was version 1.0. At that time I was excited about the possibilities (and immediately paid the shareware fee). In the long run, it’s useful but not the end-all-be-all that I thought it would be. Dashboard is pretty much a retread of Konfabulator (with some changes). So again, not super excited.

Safari RSS: I haven’t hopped on the RSS bandwagon, because it’s a relatively “techie” technology. Most users don’t care.

iChat AV: You really need friends with cameras to take advantage of this (not to mention a high end G4 or a G5 to host a video conference).

QuickTime 7: A new version of QuickTime is great, but it doesn’t really impact my user experience much.

.mac Sync: This does look cool, especially for users that have multiple machines and a .mac account (like me).

Mail: I use mail as my primary email application (for personal use), so an upgrade will be nice.

So the bottom line is that for most users Tiger won’t be adding a lot to the experience. That said, I’ll be purchasing my copy tonight! 🙂