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December 2005 Archive

Bicycling in Maui

posted by DL Byron on December 30, 2005

Maui Miles One curious thing about riding in Maui is the Trade Winds and how they swirl around you. There’s no draft, the wind is constant, and we’d be spinning in a 39 x 15 on flat roads. I’ve ridden in much wind, growing up in Eastern Washington where the wind blows in all directions, but never in a wind that surrounds you — it’s like a Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound for wind.

Maui is cycling friendly with bike paths everywhere, no chip seal, and wide shoulders, but some of the roads near the resorts are poorly designed, crazy intersections and no interchanges. I think that’s a result of the overdevelopment in Kihei, as the State recognizes cycling as good for Maui and has a plan.

While bike lanes are appreciated, putting them in a turning lane is not only scary, but dangerous. A car accelerated past and then cut us off to make a turn off the Pilani Highway and a car turned into Pam on the main drive in Kihei. She wasn’t hurt, but you’ve got to ride aggressively so the tourist know you’re there. The Maui Bike Alliance is working hard to improve cycling on the island and next time we’ll look them up for group rides and a copy of the Maui County Bicycling Map.

At the top of Haleakala, we met a cyclist from California, who rode around most of the island in 10 hours, including the one-lane, winding coastal, mostly dirt highway near Hana. Another challenge is the Cycle to the Sun race. For us, being on a rest week, in the training cycle, Maui was ideal. We just rode il tranquilo everywhere: 5 days, 15 hours.

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Mac Predictions for 06

posted by Scott Benish on December 29, 2005

Every year has its ups and downs, and pundits say that Mac’s 2006 will be no exception. AppleMatters.com predicts a mixed 2006 for Macintosh - in which Mac gets rid of FireWire and opens an online movie store that puts NetFlix out of business, but still fails to gain a 10% market share.

There’s one problem that AppleMatters failed to address that could assail Mr. Jobs in 2006. Engaget has 162 comments and growing, demonstrating that people are none too pleased with the unexpected havoc upgrading to Tiger has wreaked on their Powerbooks.

But on the other side of the coin Geek.com raves about how Mac OS is stabler and prettier than those blue screens of death otherwise known as PCs. And Business Week predicts that Mac will get “the respect - and the stock price - it deserves.”

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Haleakala A 10K ft Volcano Ride

posted by DL Byron on December 29, 2005

10K Ft Volcano It was 4 hours up and 1:17 down Haleakala. We rode at a moderate pace, easy, steady, but it was still a hard day in the saddle. The work, sweat, and back pain was rewarded with an exhilarating, banked, switchbacking descent at 25 - 45 mph. The road was as fun as the roller-coaster ride earlier in the week. The tourist that are driven to the top and ride mountain bikes down couldn’t hear me mocking them underneath their full-face helmets (I’d yell, “climb it next time!”), as we rode by and so much the better. By the time we flew down the Volcano, they were long gone and so was everybody else. We didn’t see anyone until we got back to the resort. Going into the turns, I wedged my knees into the top tube, anchored the outside leg on the pedal, scrubbed speed with the front, let go through the apex, and yelled out a “woohoo!”

Notes on the ride:

  • Clear, bright weather at elevation, but it was still cold on the windward side of the switchbacks — we’d alternate every mile between a freezing blast and nice breeze
  • No refreshments at the ranger stations — we should’ve brought more food
  • Our Polars were off by 480 ft, not sure why, maybe the barometric pressure in the tropics
  • We started at Kula, Rice Park — the Cycle to the Sun starts at sea level
  • Once of out the resort area, Maui is an great place to ride, we had no issues with cars. There are Share the Road signs everywhere, generous shoulders, and bike lanes.

Haleakala is enormous, way bigger than it looks and we realized that about 1/2 way through. I lost count of the switchbacks, but I’d count a mile marker on each one. The ranger station is at 9K, 700 and something feet. It’s another few hundred feet to the observatory. I was feeling good and tried to punch it up the final grade, at 19%, and had to back that right down. I crawled up to the 10K ft marker, took a photo, turned around, and headed down. As I learned in Colorado, at elevation, I feel like I’m riding with a hangover: headache, dry mouth, achy legs.

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Technorati Search from Safari

posted by Scott Benish on December 28, 2005

The Technorati Developer Blog reports that for €5.00 EUR, you can download a plugin called Inquisitor that will allow you search Technorati from your Safari window just like you search Google.

It’s yet another reason why Macs are better, but don’t you think Technorati should be underwriting the cost?

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Macintosh taking over home entertainment

posted by Scott Benish on December 26, 2005

CNN reports that Macintosh is poised to take over home entertainment. Poised? I don’t know what they’re talking about. Mac took over my home entertainment years ago.

I have two appliances with screens in my living room. One is my iMac G5. The other is my father’s old JVC television set. The difference? The iMac is plugged in, while the TV is just taking up space.

What about music? Well, I don’t own a stereo system. I can listen to music anywhere in my house with my iPod. And when I have guests over. I plug some speakers into the G5 and let the good times roll.

And TV? Well, I must admit that I’ve been watching television on my computer for years. But now that iTunes offers my favorite shows - Desperate Housewives and Commander in Chief - I may never get around to ordering cable.

Perhaps I’ll use that JVC set for an art project, or give it to my little brother. I certainly don’t need it.

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Crazy for the Cupcakes Cousin!

posted by DL Byron on December 26, 2005

It’s good to laugh out loud again at SNL, maybe it’s just once a season, but the new SNL Digital short featuring Andy Samberg and Chris Parnel rapping about their Lazy Sunday, the Chronicles of Narnia, and buying cupcakes is damn funny. You can get it for free from iTunes.

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Eat, Sleep, Ride Maui

posted by DL Byron on December 23, 2005

Today we rode the funnest miles I’ve ever ridden from Kula to Tedeschi Winery on Maui. It was a roller-coaster ride, dropping and banking into corners, rollers, big rises, and a final fast descent to the winery. Tomorrow, we’ll climb Haleakala Volcano, 30 miles up to 10K ft.

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Randy Baseler Looks Back Over "The Year of the Blog"

posted by on December 22, 2005

It’s a reflective time of year - when we look back over our lives the past year and think about what’s gone wrong, and what’s gone right.

For Boeing this year, a lot has gone right, as Randy Baseler recently wrote on his blog, Randy’s Journal. In particular - he was happy to report about his first year in the blogosphere:

Finally, for me, on top of all the highs of the year, and all of my travels, this has been the year of the blog. This little experiment - launched on the eve of the first flight of a superjumbo in France - has taken off in ways I don’t think any of us really expected. Over the past 11 months, we’ve had nearly 200,000 visits to this site, from blog readers around the globe.

You’ve certainly told me when you think we’re off-base. And your suggestions have made this a better blog. Many of you have cheered along as we made history with the 777-200LR, and the launch of the 747-8. Your thoughtful and intelligent comments and your continued interest in the world of commercial aviation are what sustain this Journal. And I can’t wait to see what the next year brings for blogging, aviation and Boeing.

Until then, I hope it’s a great holiday time for you, and we’ll have more fun discussions in 2006!

We would also like to wish you all a very happy holiday season.

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No More Internet Explorer for Macintosh

posted by on December 21, 2005

According to NewTech, they’ll be ending support for Internet Explorer for Macintosh. The move has been coming for two years - and is entirely warranted, since IE for Macintosh is nowhere near the quality of Safari, Firefox, or Opera.

God bless standards compliance and good riddance to Internet Explorer!

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The Mac/PC debate rages on

posted by Scott Benish on December 20, 2005

My middle school class was split pretty evenly down the middle between Mac addicts and PC users. We would periodically have battles of words in which the teachers would cajole, nag and finally shout at us to quiet down and do something productive with our time. Little did I know that the Internet was just one giant middle school - the comment board below this article is something else. I encourage you to read it when you’ve got a lot of time on your hands.

The article, which was published in the summer of 2003, pointed out that despite their obvious superiority - Macintoshes were not pulling in their fair share of the market for five reasons:

    1) Most people are already comfortable with PCs.

    2) PCs already saturate the market, people aren’t just going to go out and buy a new Mac when they’ve got a perfectly good PC at home.

    3) Few people have the disposable income to justify a Macintosh over a PC.

    4) Despite the obvious superiority of Macintoshes when it comes to graphics, the PC offers viable options for the average Joe who wants to edit images.

    5) Windows is the preferred platform for developers - so there are more programs written for PCs.

All these things are true - and yet I hold out hope for a Mac-powered universe one day. Yes it may take some time for Macintoshes to reach the kind of market saturation that encourages developers to spend their time making their programs work on Macintosh. But over time enough people will make the switch to tip the balance.

Why? It’s like my fiancé said to me today, “Every time my Dell crashes, I get one step closer to buying a Macintosh.” People reach a saturation point with Windows-based machines and they suddenly realize that cheaper doesn’t always mean better. What good is a $1000 Dell laptop if the speakers stop working - as happened on my fiancé’s Dell - a week after the computer was purchased? Especially when that same $1000 would buy you a 12 inch iBook G4 that runs circles around the Dell once the latter has been slowed down by spyware and viruses.

Yes, our day will come. I have faith, and a very pretty computer to tide me over while I’m waiting.

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Born Magazine at Flash Forward in Seattle

posted by Scott Benish on December 20, 2005

Byron just restored my username (lost in the big server switch) and I'm back for my bi-yearly post. This time with a bit of Born Magazine news:

Born's art director, Gabe Kean, witll be speaking at Flash Forward in Seattle on March 1st, 2006. Full details after the link...

Read more »

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Managing Workflow with a Mac

posted by Scott Benish on December 15, 2005

When Steve and Byron work together on a book chapter - they use an iDisk folder to manage their workflow. iDisk works just the way an ordinary Mac hard disk does - except on the Web - so you can color code files. This is a handy tool for Byron and Steve because they use color coding to indicate the editorial status of the segments of the chapter

iDisks are one of the unsung heroes of the Mac universe. They allow you to synch your files, calendar items, bookmarks, address book, and to do lists between computers. This happens instantly after you set things up. So if your computer is ever lost, damaged or stolen - you still have everything automatically backed up for you in cyberspace. An iDisk costs $95/year - so it’s definitely within the reach of most users to afford. Be forewarned though - once you start using it, you’ll never be able to live without it.

That seems to apply to a lot of things with Macintoshes. You can try .Mac, which includes iDisk free for 60 days.

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Boeing Gets a New Look

posted by on December 13, 2005

Boeing has changed the look of its site, getting rid of the old FLASH site and moving to an XML format that is much more standards compliant.

Said Boeing Web Designer Chris Brownrigg, “although not perfect, this redesign represents Boeing’s effort to highlight our products and services in a scalable, accessible and sophisticated format.”

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Lance Armstrong Interview

posted by DL Byron on December 10, 2005

In a candid, post-retirement interview with VeloNews, Lance Armstrong offers his opinions, stories, criticism, and insight about his career and 7 tour wins. Lance is a blunt as ever, including tough words for VeloNews, the true fans that support him, and his poker face. The Interviews

Recent books on Lance

And audio from iTunes

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Answering my Dad's Switch2Mac Questions

posted by Scott Benish on December 09, 2005

My dad has inexplicably loved PC’s for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, he used to play a now-outdated game on our home computer called “Secrets of the Luftwaffe” - which allowed you to simulate flying and fighting in a host of German and American WWII-era warplanes. He used to toggle the joystick with great enthusiasm while tilting his body and head as if he were actually flying an old style bomber. My stepmother and I make fun of him for it to this day.

The game wasn’t available for Macintosh, so my pleas for him to make the switch fell on deaf ears. But with his “Luftwaffe” days behind him, my father may, at long last, actually be considering a Macintosh. After reading my first post on making the switch, he had this question to ask:

Will I have problems sending documents back and forth between my workplace PC and a Mac laptop and then opening, using and saving files from the other system?

The truth is you’ll probably encounter some unexpected bugs along the way. There may be some formatting issues that crop up as you move documents from a Macintosh format to a PC and back again. But by and large you’ll see smooth sailing. The two systems are very compatible at this point in the game.

You are going to have to do some setup work with your network administrator at the office though, when you do get your Macintosh. So be sure to set aside some time for him to configure all the interfaces properly so that you don’t run into glitches later on.

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Why Macintoshes Are Better

posted by Scott Benish on December 07, 2005

I’ve been a Mac addict since I was a kid. Amidst all the schools with PC-powered computer labs, my elementary/middle school was equipped completely with Macintoshes. We had a Commodore 64 at home that I used to play Reader Rabbit, but I’d never even seen a Windows machine until my dad got one when I was in 5th grade. I was not a fan of anything about it, from the clunky monitor and tower to the strange, unpredictable operating system. I’ve been working on my father to make the switch ever since.

I think the truest thing you can say about an Apple is that about 90% of the things you wished would be possible in Windows are possible on a Macintosh. Ever wanted your address book and your instant messaging software to integrate seamlessly with your e-mail? That’s the very basis of OSX. Ever wanted your calendar and to do lists in one simple, color coded display? Ever wanted every document on your computer - from PDFs to calendar items to saved chats - to be instantly and easily searchable? Ever wanted a web browser that can manage your RSS feeds? Macs have it all, and a hell of a lot more.

To top it off, Macs are attractive. I’ve actually decorated my apartment in primarily white and silver, because my computers blend in seamlessly with the decor. But their stylish muted colors and rounded corners will work well in any living or working space, even if you aren’t quite as much of a Mac-head as I am.

But for you PC users, the ones who are worried about compatibility and picking up the ins and outs of a new operating system, let me assure you that this little program will not only let you go back to a Windows environment any time you want, you’ll actually have a leg up on people who are using Windows on non-Mac machines.

Make the switch. You’ll be glad you did.

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Allow Me to Introduce Myself

posted by on December 05, 2005

Hello Textura Design Readers. My name is Teresa Valdez Klein. Byron has buried himself in a book writing bunker and has asked me to take over posting on TDI for the next few weeks.

Like Byron, I am a hard core Mac addict. After all, once you go Mac, you never go back. So over the next month, I will be posting mostly about my mission to get my loved ones to make the switch.

I’m very happy to be here in my home away from home. Thanks to Byron for his warm welcome. Stay tuned!

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A Book Writing Bunker

posted by DL Byron on December 04, 2005

With deadlines looming and much writing to do, I’m retreating into a book-writing bunker and Teresa Valdez Klein will guest blog while I’m gone. Teresa works with me on the Blog Business Summit, is an Apple fanatic, and a fellow Seattleite.

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Snow Panic 2005

posted by DL Byron on December 01, 2005

The media hype and panic about the mere possiblity of snow is back again this year and it’s been racheted up a notch. Each year the snow panic gets more panicky and I sympathize with the intrepid news reporters that have to drive North or to the Highlands until they find a flake of snow to report or a car in a ditch. They’ve got to find something to support the anchor lead ins, alerting graphics, promises of nonstop flake coverage, and school closure reports.

Apparently big ratings are associated with snow, so the coverage is going to continue … at least in HD, it looks really good.

The PI has a snow watch to watch and the kids can’t wait for a snow day, each day they check outside for snow. I told them my knee hurts before it snows and that’s how I know. (I’ll admit that the knee is a bit sore today.)

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