Thursday 9 June 2005

The rumours are true (repost from other blog)

Steve Jobs was very impressive in his keynote at WWDC, even if he did seem a bit flustered in the last few seconds.

So, OS X has been running on Intel for the past five years? And this doesn't mean that OS X will be available as an alternative operating system for Windows XP machines? Isn't OS X based on Unix?

Linux runs native on PCs so why shouldn't OS X? Even if it's not Apple's policy to make available an alternative PC operating system it seems to me that it's inevitable. Mac and PC hardware has been converging for years, and many software companies have a wealth of experience developing applications for both platforms. Apple itself has iTunes and QuickTime running on both. Will we soon see bootleg PC versions of OS X available for download from dubious websites? My guess is that these versions already exist, and the only way Apple will stem the spread of unofficial 'PCOSX' is to release an official version.

What Windows user hasn't envied the sleek designer efficiency of the Mac? (Okay, some Windows users say they never have, but they're lying.) The cool usability of the Mac is largely derived from its operating system, and the chance to sample it directly on cheap PC hardware could be too tempting to resist.

Just think: the release of a PC OS X could be the one thing that takes PC design by the throat and hammers some rationality into it. Currently the main authority on what makes up a PC is Microsoft. If Apple started publishing strict system requirements and hardware standards for PCs to run OS X, we might start getting better designed PCs that weren't so prone to crashing.

And amongst all this speculation let's not lose sight of the irony that the originator of the PC -- and therefore of all the clones that followed -- is the company that Apple are now ditching in favour of the 'heart of the PC'.

Saturday 14 May 2005

Unbelievably, incredibly, utterly...stupid (repost from other blog)

(This is a post originally from my other blog — my intention is to put everything here on EB so that it's all in one place.)

I still can't believe it. How could anyone, even someone with even the briefest acquaintance with the mechanics of computing, be so thick-headed and...just plain dumb?

But there we are. I suppose some people just have moments of temporary insanity.

After a discussion earlier today about the options for getting my dad fixed up with broadband, I wondered how close I was to my 2Gb-per-month cap with Wanadoo. So I did a search in Windows XP of all my downloaded podcasts during the last 30 days -- just to get an idea of how much stuff it was. Only thing is, the search doesn't show the total size. So I copied the results into a folder on the desktop and used 'Properties' to see the total. It was 3.62 Gb, which means I'll probably have to go up to the next band when Wanadoo start metering usage.

Fine, I thought, it's what I expected. But I didn't want a 3.62 Gb folder cluttering up my desktop, so I dumped it in the Recycle Bin. And I didn't want all that still on my hard disk so I emptied the Recycle Bin.

It was only when I next tried to sync my iPod that I realised that I hadn't 'copied' all those files, I'd 'moved' them. And deleted them. And emptied the Recycle Bin. 3.62 Gb! How could I be so STUPID?

Well, to cut a long story short, I did manage to retrieve the majority using a utility (let's hear it for restoration.exe, available at, but I still had quite a few gaps to fill in.

So much for worrying about my bandwidth usage -- it's certainly gone up this evening...

Sunday 17 April 2005

Here I am again... (repost from other blog)

Yes I'm back, though a lot later than I'd thought. How am I supposed to find time for all this stuff?

I'm getting the next Rev Up Review podcast ready, and I've received emails from a couple of authors who have given me permission to use their promos. I had hoped to be posting the new podcast this evening, but I had a major black-fingered-episode on Saturday morning, as my trusty HP printer is finally on its last stutterings. It's served me well for nearly ten years, so I can't complain.

So it was a quick trip to the local PC box-shifter to pick up a new printer -- I went for the Epson R300, as it was cheap, and bog-standard, and I'd been thinking about buying a proper photo printer for some time.

I set it up today, connected -- dare I say it -- to the Mac mini.

Okay I admit it. I'm one of those, you know, victims of what they're calling the 'halo effect'. One of those -- speak it in low tones, covering the mouth -- 'switchers'.

Well, maybe. I'm not entirely new to the Mac. I have a Mac Plus right here in my studio, though I've not used it for a number of years. And, let's face it, I'm not about to stop using my year-old Winderz PeeCee, as it's a blistering box of power that currently runs my life for me.

But hey, being a Mac user is kinda like, totally awesome and cool.

Thursday 7 April 2005

The New Stuff Starts Here (repost from other blog)

It's about time, I thought. After all, everyone's doing it, aren't they?

Blogging, I mean.

I haven't tried it, so far. Until now. As a writer, I've always had the feeling that my writing should be channelled into something more productive, something that someone, somewhere, might pay actual money for.

Which is all very well, except that recently I haven't been writing. So as an excuse for not maintaining an online journal, or web-log ('blog'), it doesn't really stand up.

Nevertheless, I've lots of things I want to be doing, and only so much -- or so little -- time to do them. I have several interests: writing fiction; writing non-fiction; reading; listening to radio drama and book-readings; photography; fiddling with computers; going to the theatre, listening to music (on CD, and -- in the case of classical music -- going to concerts). And architecture. Mustn't forget that one, even if it is my work, and as such I have mixed feelings about it.

Some years ago I even cultivated an amateur interest in philosophy, though I never properly followed it through.

In the last few weeks I have swayed with the breeze and become interested in the bizarre world of 'podcasting' -- to the extent that I've even produced an experimental podcast of my own.

But when do I find time for all of this, as well as the day-to-day living, cooking, laundry, etc?

The answer is that I don't. Something gets reluctantly squeezed out, left on the side of the highway that is my congested calendar. But neither am I particularly willing to give stuff up. I do all this -- or try to -- because I like it.