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January 2004 Archive

More on the Current Topic

posted by DL Byron on January 31, 2004

Following up the Current Topic post, another friend is considering a G5 for his studio, and the Seattle PI published an article on the Mac Business Unit at Microsoft. One of the reason the Mac works so well is MS software. In their zealotry, some forget that Apple and MS have a long history together and that MS software works very well on the Mac.

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Current Topic

posted by DL Byron on January 28, 2004

A recent email, one of several on the same topic …

You’re the third guy this month that’s talking to me about buying a Mac for the same reason: exhausted by PC viruses and crashes. I use both, PCs and Macs, side-by-side, all day long and to me XP is a very good operating system but it’s broken and why would I want to use a broken OS if I didn’t have to (see Tales from the Dark Side)? A Mac will do everything you need to do at home very well. Work is a different matter, so you just use the work machine they provide you. Mac just updated their lifestyle software they bundle and it’s even better. Sometimes, I even pause at how easy it is to use. Even the OS X mail application is competent.

For bargains, you could always buy last year’s model from a Mac catalog, but I’d recommend you go to your local Apple Store and check the eMac or entry-level iMac (PC mag review). The eMac is their last CRT model. I think they’re $799.00. I’ve found that my Macs retain their worth longer than PCs. For example, I’m running OX 10.1.3 (latest version) on an old iMac and it works great. That machine is 5 years old. It’s because the OS is efficient, as well as the PowerPC chipset.

I think Longhorn will be a huge advance for Windows and these current problems will be a thing of the past, but until 2008, why wait and suffer patches, crashes, and viruses for your personal use? I chose not to.

While I joke about the Mac Zealot Freak Boys, it’s important to repeat that both platforms have their advantages and I use both. At this point, OS X is a winner. It’s never been more stable, compatible with Windows environments, easy to use, or just plain good looking. As a friend and I discussed earlier this week, looking at a Mac then a PC is like comparing HDTV to regular TV. It’s really striking. Finally, the Megahertz Myth is a myth. You don’t need that 2.4GHZ. You do need an efficient and stable OS. My old iMac proves that.

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posted by DL Byron on January 27, 2004

Beavis meets a briar patch and Hillbilly covers of AC/DC (iTunes link).

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Corporate Blogging

posted by DL Byron on January 26, 2004

I’m consulting for a large corporation and it’s fascinating to watch my peers embrace blogs and blogging. They’re still working out how to use them internally, but have had success externally and I expect the same. Besides the communication within teams, I’m trying to help them understand the simple content management aspect of blogging.

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The thrill is gone

posted by DL Byron on January 25, 2004

Keith and I chatted about his struggles with a new layout and Internet Explorer last week. I complained that the thrill of standards-based design was gone. Maybe some new, young turks need to come along and school us all in layout code, but I don't want to spend a weekend tweaking a layout anymore. Where it was a challenge before, now it's a chore. My position and evangelism for standards hasn't changed, but standards are not going to progress as long as IE stagnates. And, stagnate it is.

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Raining sideways - redux

posted by DL Byron on January 24, 2004

It’s raining sideways. Big wet gusts blow down the street and by my window. Living in Seattle, I welcome the rain and miss it when it’s gone. It softly cleans the air, turns me inward, and I ride my bike straight into it. The tires split the rainwater rivulets, as I climb up steep hills and rush down the other side. Head down, dreeping in the rain, I continue, and pedal.

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Change, Change, Change

posted by DL Byron on January 23, 2004

The site navigation has been updated and some pages archived. The site is now more focused on this lil’ business we run here in Seattle. Up next is a discussion and case study of our business blog.

Speaking of Seattle, see this Guide to Seattle’s Free Wireless Coffee Shops and this previous discussion about free v. paid wifi access. While we’re finally getting unwired here, we still don’t have an wifi business district like they do in NYC and other cities.

Interested in wardriving to discover hotspots? Here’s the famous Pringles can report and do it yourself cantenna instructions. On that, we’ve got to give some props to cantenna.com for making a business out of the wifi subculture.

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Pace Vito - Yaaaaaaaah!

posted by DL Byron on January 21, 2004

This weeks banner photo comes courtesy of Pace Vito who always has something interesting going on. We can only hope Vito et al does something with the Dean Scream. I heard that live and thought, “whoa.” Then heard it played to AC/DC on Howard Stern the next morning. A Vito-inspired euromix, sort of kraftwerky thing would work or maybe deconstruct each note and mix it to a Tears for Fears ringtone? Yaaaaaaaaah!

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posted by DL Byron on January 19, 2004

This article about Tim “Ripper” Owen is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while. It reads much like that Rocket magazine review scene in Singles. I found it by way of Google when I was explaining to a friend that the Rock Star movie with Marky Mark was based on a true story.

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Two things

posted by DL Byron on January 12, 2004

I’d been trying to add a WinXP pc to my Airport network for two days. Trying various things, rebooting this, installing that, tech support calls, and finally after nearly giving up, I found these two threads

Make sure that Wireless Zero Config is installed and running

Make sure that Shared Authentication is on.

and this site

Wireless Starter Kit

Once I did those two things, I was on at 54mbps with a linksys WPC54G. Later in a conversation with my daughter, I said, "Check this out. I can work on the computer in bed." And she said, "can you get pollypocket.com on that?" "Yes." "Cool."

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5 minutes for one and death for another

posted by DL Byron on January 10, 2004

It’s tough not to be a Mac zealot freakboy when you spend 5 minutes setting up an Airport Network and all the macs work great. Then your PC dies a black death while rebooting after hundreds of driver updates that were supposed to get the wi-fi card to work. I use Macs and PCs side-by-side all day long and WinXP has certainly matured into a good OS, but why should I even have to deal with a driver update? I really hope Longhorn is what MS promises (more mac like) so the rest of the computer-using world can be more peaceful and productive.

Speaking of Mac zealot freak boys, Manisfam has offered to blog his switch to a Mac in the enterprise. That’s coming in two weeks. My switch went down months ago and is archived here.

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To Covet

posted by DL Byron on January 09, 2004

Listening to NPR this morning I heard that Sotherby’s will be auctioning off 5 Faberge Eggs this spring. They expect to sell the 5 for around 90 million dollars.

When I decided to redesign sikwenshel and to use covet as the focal point of my site narrative I was unsure why I felt it was important. All I knew was that I felt as though people did covet. To covet is to go beyond simple want, even beyond intense desire, to want something so desperately that you sacrifice other things for it. And then I thought about how we are made to want, to desire and to covet. These things happen through advertising; ads in a subway car, on a bus, a billboard along the side of a highway. I wanted to make images that called upon this type of imagery but were emphazing my art.

I know that most of you come to this site for -b- and his web commentary and don’t really know me. I am not a web designer. I dabble. I am an artist. The web-site is just one more extension of the art that I make; that I covet.

Do you think the person who is willing to spend 90 million dollars on Faberge Eggs has a simple desire?

SXSW Bits and Bytes

posted by DL Byron on January 07, 2004

The SXSW Interactive Festival blog runs a weekly tech question and I’m quoted, with other speakers, for this week. It’s an interesting and pertinent topic related to an outsourcing article by Micheal Bean.

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Apocalyptic Snow in Seattle

posted by DL Byron on January 07, 2004

If you’re going to be snowed in, what a better way to do then to watch Steve Job’s 20th Anniversary of the Mac (the hammer thrower now wears an iPod) keynote at Macworld! Great news on the iLife suite, the popularity of iTunes, and updated products from Microsoft.

Every year the media predicts the storm of the century and this year they were actually closer to the truth than most. For the Seattle area, it’s a big storm. The media might as well run "Apocalyptic Snow " promos.

I posted a message to a Volvo forum about nearly totalling my car on Black Ice earlier this week. I’ve driven in all sorts of conditions, even spun 360s in the middle of a highway with a semi bearing down on me, but I was "situationally aware" in those conditions; in this incident, the roads were bare and dry. To heighten the fear response, when the car stopped, I could hear other cars hitting the wall. The next day I drove over the same spot at 9 mph. I’m sure the drivers behind me were cursing the jackass in front of them. And I thought, “try shaking hands with the devil on that corner Mr. SUV! I have.”

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From a big bore to media whores

posted by DL Byron on January 02, 2004

Thinking about what I’m going to say on the Blogging for Business panel, I recalled a Register article published in August 2003 that covered the blog phenomenon and how it’s gone from blog-bores “blogging-about-blogging” to voices in mainstream media.

Last month, the NYTimes covered gawker and referred to it as a mainstream blog. Last week, USA Today front-paged blogs as free-wheeling journalism. Until now, blogs have been noticed by various media outlets and are usually criticized for being so self-referential - talking about other blogs, the technology, etc. The contrast between the two articles is interesting. Gawker’s self-referential posts and meta-conversions are related to a person and her world, not just blogging. And, of course, there’s the Dean blogosphere that’s motivating a whole generation and changing the way candidates campaign.

I’m consulting at a large corporation and they’re hosting several internal blogs, as well as encouraging their employees to evangelize on their own blogs. I’m suggesting we use blog software for simple content management. For my small business clients, I encourage them to use a blog like a company newsletter. Just update that newsletter you’ve published for years to a web page, add commenting, several voices, some pictures, and publish it.

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Blogging for Business

posted by DL Byron on January 02, 2004

I’ll be on the Blogging for Business Panel at SXSW March 14th to talk about the Clip-n-Seal blog. The panel invite was good news at year-end; and what a year it was: setbacks, success, stress, an engagement, and more. DKR and Nick will be there as well.

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