Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

My Apple laptop is rotten to the core, again

Thursday, December 4th, 2003

It seems my Apple TiBook is completely hosed again. This time, it’s (surprise)… more hardware issues. This will be the third time I’m sending it back (although I should’ve sent it back a few other times too — I’ve just been living with a few issues, as I use the thing a good bit).

They’re going to be replacing it part by part, yet again. Did that work last time? Nope. Will it work this time? We’ll see. It’ll take a short while to ship off, get fixed, and be returned.

For some odd reason, my extended AppleCare support wasn’t in their computers, so I had to wait on the phone for a bit. Thankfully, it was actually very responsive service — I was actually amazed at how fast and friendly the tech support was on the phone. I did have to wait a couple of extra days as a result, however, as I have been busy with work all this week (but what’s new? *smile*).

The TiBook is getting shipped off (again) sometime tomorrow, as soon as I drop it off at the local Apple Store.

In the mean time, a new FireWire PCMCIA card (which I have to buy), my FireWire hard drive (with the backups of stuff), my IBM ThinkPad (running Linux), and the the nice, new HFS+ driver for Linux should all come in handy.

Virtual fireworks

Tuesday, November 4th, 2003

Feeling as though you need to celebrate something with fireworks? Would you like to do so safe and comfortably from home? Arguably one of the better uses of Java on the Internet, a website has set up a little applet to simulate fireworks.

I linked to the fireworks at the fair motif, which is complete with a ferris wheel. Trust me, it’s not nearly as nice as actually being at the fair with your special someone, watching the real fireworks and riding a actual ferris wheel. (:

Graphical color calibration for X

Wednesday, October 1st, 2003

There’s a new version of a monitor color calibration tool available. It features "black point calibration, per-display gamma calibration for arbitrary target gamma values, a graphical editor for calibrating the gamma and a GNOME applet to select gamma corrections quickly."

I think I’m going to check this out later today.

“Please call Stella”, the accent database

Monday, August 18th, 2003

I just found out about a really neat accent database which has samples of speech from around the world. All have the same phrase, in English, in common. It starts out with "please call Stella" and continues with some sort of nonsense phrases.

It seems as though the paragraph was constructed to get a maximum amount of different sounds within a relatively small speech, much like the sentence about the lazy dog getting jumped over by a quick fox works out all the letters in the alphabet. Instead of using a variety of letters, however, the silly, nonsensical paragraph is a string of phrases to play through most of the major phonemes.

It is quite interesting to hear how different people across the world pronounce things.

Oh, just as a note: The site requires Quicktime to listen to the clips. I’m not sure which version of Quicktime it needs, but it may play fine under Xine or MPlayer on Linux. (Of course, then there’s always the Crossover plugin stuff or using a Mac or Windows box, if you have one.)

Links: cutting the tether, rendevous for Linux, and open source RSS readers

Tuesday, August 5th, 2003

"Millions going solo with cells" is a recent Wired article. I’ve been untethered from a traditional corded phone for a while now. Not only has my Internet access been available elsewhere for a number of years now (university ‘Net connection, ISDN, xDSL, wireless, cable modem systems, etc.), I have also found that I can do everything that I need (phone-wise) through my own wireless cell phone. It even comes with voice mail. I don’t see any reason in paying extra money a month to get the couple of calls I use my phone for at a limited access point (my home).

"Howl" is a Rendezvous implementation for Linux and Windows. (Rendezvous is Apple’s brand of Zeroconf.)

There’s another graphical RSS news reader available for Linux. It’s called Syndigator. Oddly enough, it’s using Perl-GTK+ and — GTK+ 1.2.x?!? Why not 2.x? Sigh.

Straw looks great; very similar in concept to NetNewsWire for the Mac (which rocks, btw). It’s written using Python and GTK+ 2.x, but it seems to have all sorts of wacky dependancies which makes it not so easy to install. There are some RPMs out there, but I really wish they’d use a normal naming scheme and such. This looks like a job for Fedora! *smile*

Very impressive scientific photography

Sunday, June 8th, 2003

Okay, so this probably could have been done in Flash too — but this is the most amazing Java applet I have ever seen. Yes, it’s basically a slideshow viewer, but the content is what makes this very interesting. It is called "Powers of 10". It zooms from the extremely macro (10 million light years away from Earth) to the tiniest micro (Quarks), and everything in betweeen. It’s an example of scientific photography put to an extraordinary use.

There are other very cool things on that website as well. The micro gallery is quite majestic visually. Some of the things shown are very close pictures of beer and cocktails too. You can look at ice cream, soft drinks, a burger and fries, and check out the silicon zoo.

My grandpa sent me the original link (the "Powers of 10"). I explored the site and saw that there were many more interesting things contained at the place.

iTunes music store

Tuesday, April 29th, 2003

The iTunes music store made its debut yesterday alongside the new iTunes 4 release. Having a Mac laptop (in addition to my Linux boxes), I decided to try the thing out. I’m impressed. Apple did a good job with the store, and I ended up buying some music (which I then burned to CDs for my car).

The tracks are in AAC instead of MP3, so it results in higher quality music. Also, many of the songs featured are from high-quality studio recordings and skip going to CD as an intermediate step.