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Archive for April, 2006

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Switch….back?!?

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

It’s hard not to laugh at this:

Apple Computer’s new software for installing Windows XP on an Intel Mac could leave the computer unable to boot back into OS X, users reported.

In installing Boot Camp, the hard drive is partitioned for OS X and XP. Installing the latter went without a hitch, but the machine would no longer boot back to the Mac operating system, according to users.

To be fair: they can get back by reformatting their hard drives and starting over. Also, this is a beta product, so we must expect such things. And, it should be said, the software is getting good reviews in lots cases – this is just a bug that some voluntary beta testers came across, and one that Apple is addressing right away.

Continuing on my thread from earlier posts, though, I’m more concerned about whether or not this dual boot machine is a “pure” XP machine and a “pure” OS X machine when it’s all working properly. If it’s native Windows within the hard drive partition, but not down to the hardware, it might start sputtering when it gets to things like corporate ESD (electronic software delivery) systems that push (Windows) software to desktops over the network.

If Apple’s goal is to enter the PC hardware market (a big assumption, but one I’ve been making all along), then a couple of problems at the outset could leave network administrators wary, and kill the whole deal. They need to put out some technical white papers on what they’ve done to make the geeks comfortable…

Categories: Tech Talk | 4 Comments »

Blogging about Britney

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

I dont’ spend a lot of time reading about, let alone blogging about Britney Spears, but this story bothered me when it first came out, and this seems to be its resolution. Basically, a paparazzi approached her car while she was sitting in it waiting for her bodyguard to get her some coffee with her son on her lap. She got scared, and drove away, without first taking the time to strap the baby in (and without giving the paparazzi a chance to do something sinister, like ram the car in order to make her get out, so he could take her picture). At the time, I thought they should just leave her alone, as there is a huge difference between driving around all day with your baby in your lap (BAD), and driving away from a potential threat & then putting your baby in the car seat (GOOD).

At any rate, it got into the press, so I assume the authorities had to investigate it or answer questions about why they didn’t. Their conclusion?

The spokesman, Sgt. Ken Cheurn, declined to discuss what prompted the DCFS house call, saying, “It was their investigation.” But he said the matter was settled at the time of the visit and called the incident “a big nothing.”

Damn straight…

Categories: News and/or Media | No Comments »

We Really, Really Appreciate This…

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

Red Envelope informs me that April 24-28 is Employee Appreciation Week.

First of all, I remember when this used to be called “Secretary’s Day.” My first year out of college, someone bought the office manager in our office a huge bouquet of flowers on Secretary’s Day, and she got royally pissed off that he thought of her as a secretary. Now, not only do we appreciate all of our employees (not just the secretaries!), but it takes a week, not a day.

Here’s the irony, though: The Thursday in Employee Appreciation Week Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, which itself used to have a different name (“Take Our Daughters to Work Day”). For the employees with kids, this day can be a lot of fun. For everyone else, especially the secretaries quite frankly, we’re basically telling them we appreciate them by making them take care of our kids all day.

Interesting thing, this Political Correctness, huh?

Categories: Random Acts of Blogging | 3 Comments »

Fran Dunphy is Leaving Penn…

Monday, April 10th, 2006

I’m hanging out in a hotel room in San Francisco, and I’ve got ESPN News on the TV in the background. I look up for a second, and the crawl on the bottom is about Penn Basketball! Go figure…

It seems Fran Dunphy has accepted an offer to coach at Temple University next year. The end of an era, I suppose.

Thanks for the memories, Fran. It’s been fun…

Categories: Sports Talk, University of Pennsylvania | No Comments »

What the Hell?

Monday, April 10th, 2006

A man was arrested today for jumping the White House fence. Check out this quote:

Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren said agents took any breach seriously but that the suspect, who had climbed the White House fence three times before, made ‘no spoken threats’ against the president.

Zahren identified the man as Brian Lee Patterson, 40, and said he would be charged with unlawful entry and contempt of court, for violating a court order to stay away from the White House after he last intruded in February.

Who had climbed the WHite House fence three times before?!?!? Your third offense for that is a court order to stay away from the White House? What will they give him this time, a jay-walking ticket?

Obviously, the guy isn’t exactly learning his lesson…

Categories: The World Wide Weird | 3 Comments »

DabbleDB – What a Cool Company…

Monday, April 10th, 2006

Check this out: Jeff Porten blogged about a product called DabbleDB on his blog, linking to a video demo of the product.

I watched the video and commented on it, and less than 48 hours later, someone from the company responded to my commment with more information. This means the company has folks trolling the blogosphere looking for comments about their products, and then actively engaging potential customers with direct responses. That makes them not only a cool technology company, but one that absolutely gets how to do business in the hi-tech world.

Bravo, guys. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for you. And for others who are hearing about them here, definitely check out the video above…

Categories: Tech Talk | No Comments »

I Hope They Don’t Change Their Commercials…

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

GoDaddy, of risque superbowl commercial fame, has moved its Web Server farm to Microsoft technology, seriously messing with the market share data. The only sign as to why they made the change comes from the standard, double-speak from their COO:

“Microsoft provides an efficient and scalable operating platform, while also providing the performance needed to handle our extraordinary growth.”

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Sounds like code for “it works and its cheaper.” In any case, here’s an example where Microsoft is NOT the monopoly (or even the industry leader), competing in a well distributed market…

Categories: Tech Talk | 4 Comments »

More News Cataloging

Friday, April 7th, 2006

OK, so let me see if I get this straight:

Former Ambassador, Joe Wilson, criticizes the Bush administration over the Iraq war. In response, the administartion declassifies portions of a secret National Intelligence Estimate, which provides (or so they say, anyway) historical context for why we went into Iraq. The President, via the Vice President, authorizes Lewis “Scooter” Libby to release this newly declassified information to Judith Miller of the New York Times. This being the same Scooter Libby who is accused of leaking the name of a CIA agent, Valerie Plame, to the same Judith Miller of the (same) New York Times.

What a fantastic opportunity to news catalog: we can write about this story and attribute signifigance to it by mentioning it along side a story that’s already been established as important (the Valerie Plame leak), and it will wind up on the front page of most major newspapers.

Here’s how we do it: First, we describe the facts of the story. Then, we summarize the facts of the Valerie Plame story, pointing out that many of the same people are involved. Then, in paragraph SEVEN, we say this:

The court documents did not say that Bush or Cheney authorized Libby to disclose Plame’s identity.

After that, we can quote a top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Jane Harman, who calls the president the “leaker in chief.” Leaving press secretary Scott McClellan to point out that there’s a huge difference between the President declassifying information and someone leaking classified information to the press (as was the case with Valerie Plame, and also, as McClellan points out, with the information about the NSA wiretapping program). McClellan says:

“Democrats who refuse to acknowledge that distinction are simply engaging in crass politics.”

Which is absolutely right. Of course, he says it in the last paragrpah of the story.

Final result: a large percentage of the people who read this will walk away convinced that George W. Bush authorized Scooter Libby to leak Valerie Plame’s name to the New York Times.

Categories: News and/or Media, Political Rantings | 1 Comment »

More on WinMac

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

I’ve got to hand it to those folks over at Apple – they’ve always got a trick up their sleeves. The common zeitgeist was that Apple was going to let the hacker community solve the “run Windows on a Mac” problem, then judge its popularity, then respond with support for the idea only if it seemed viable. Well, the hackers did their part, but less than three weeks later, Apple released a beta version of the supported solution: Boot Camp. Obviously, they had this cooking while the hackers were doing their thing. In any case, Boot Camp, which is in beta now, but will be built into the next version of OS X (Leopard), allows users to select between the Mac OS and Windows XP at boot time – no emulation required. So, users who want/need a Windows environment, but prefer the Apple hardware will now be satisfied with just one machine.

As I mentioned earlier (WARNING: Link contains long, screed-like comments war between me and Jeff Porten), this is has the potential to be a huge financial win for Apple. Not only have studies predicted the potential sale of an additional one million machines (22% increase in sales, 80% increase in market share), but these studies don’t even address the corporate market. If the architecture on these machines is pure (i.e,. the Windows environment is an exact duplicate of what you’d find on a Dell or Compaq machine), I believe Apple can expect to quickly capture some portion of the much larger, and more sustainable, corporate PC market. Wall Street seems to agree with me, sending Apple’s stock up roughly 16% in just two days, increasing the company’s market cap by more than $8 billion. Some analyst quotes:

“In short, we believe this news, more than any news in recent memory, provides a critical boost to Apple’s ability to gain share in the PC market” – JPMorgan Chase

“By doing this, Apple has made a tacit acknowledgement of what many have already said, which basically is: If you’re serious about home computing or small-enterprise computing, you need Windows. There’s no way around it. . . . Apple machines are excellently manufactured, and the performance is far superior. Now you can go in, look at those gorgeous Mac Minis and MacBook (Pros) and view them as a normal PC. You can run XP and never touch OS X, if you don’t want to.” – Forrester Research

Ironically, the only sourpuss in all of this is Apple itself, who has taken a tack that lies somewhere between what I was saying and what Jeff was saying (big surprise there, huh?). They’re positioning this as a way to “make the Mac even more appealing to Windows users considering making the switch,” as opposed to a way for Windows users to buy & use higher quality hardware. They’re also clearly backing away from any association with Windows or its very public security concerns (perhaps to protect their brand identity, as Jeff suggested). Their website warns:

Windows running on a Mac is like Windows running on a PC. That means it’ll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows world. So be sure to keep it updated with the latest Microsoft Windows security fixes.

Ultimately, I think the marketing will follow the market. If the majority of Boot Camp users are Mac users that use Windows sparingly (i.e., only when necessary), then we’ll see the “Switch” ads again. If, however, the majority are Windows users that like the improved graphics, bigger & nicer monitors, etc., and pop over to MacOS occasionally to try something new, then I think we’ll see “Apple is better than Dell or Compaq” ads.

In any case, we won’t see any of this for a while now (mass market appeal won’t happen until the Leopard release, and then it will take some time for corporate America to vette the platform and agree that it’s fully compatible with what they have today). Maybe when all the ’07 budgets come in???

Categories: Money Talk, Tech Talk | No Comments »

Mactel begets WinMac

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006

No time to blog on this in depth, but for now: here we go…

More later…

Categories: Tech Talk | 1 Comment »

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