iBook, iMac, iBlog

Mark Newhouse, <iblog@mac.com>

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[February 28, 2001]

Apple News:

TiBook raves and reviews

A few, un-annotated links to TiBook reviews:

Jim Heid, in the LA Times
Stephen Wildstrom, in Business Week
Jon Fortt, in the San Jose Mercury News

iTunes News:

iTunes commercials

Apple has posted 5(!) iTunes commercials, featuring the new iMac colors, a variety of music styles, and no voice-overs or on-screen appearances by Jeff "there is no step three!" Golblum...

[February 27, 2001]

iTunes News:

iTunes on 8.5?

It can be done! Loizos Pavlides at The Worm in the Apple has released a patch that allows you to install iTunes onto your Mac running OS 8.5 and higher. You won't be able to burn CDs with it or connect to your mp3 player, but the software should install and run. I haven't tested this, but it looks like it works for those who have. [via AppleLinks]

[February 26, 2001]

iMac News:

Muffin Monster® 30000

Del Miller's latest Abacus column at AppleLinks has several interesting "features." First I thought the story, in which he makes a point about Apple computers being about fun, and not about speed and technical details. I thought the story he told was metaphorical, but there really is a Muffin Monster. I also thought Del was defending the Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian iMacs, but he wrote the story before these were announced, placing him in a bit of an ethical dilemma... (follow the link to the story and scroll to the bottom for his comments)

iMac News:


The Japanese are well known for their case modifications, PowerBooks in particular. So, I guess it makes sense for Apple to debut the new iMacs in Japan. If this image is any indication, I think they'll be a hit there. [images from Go2Mac]

[February 24, 2001]

Apple News:

Poor Bill

I found this via Macsurfer. It's a 2.2 MB download [requires QuickTime], so you'll probably want a fast connection, but it's funny. Mac is Fun. Fun is Mac. From TokyoDV.

[February 23, 2001]

iTunes News:


Having just upgraded to Mac OS 9.1, I installed iTunes and just ripped my first CD to mp3. I am really enjoying this new piece of software. And I think I am going to run out of disk space a lot faster than I thought I would...

[February 22, 2001]

Apple News:

Opera 5 for Mac

Sure, it's a technology preview release, but wow!

My favorite feature (so far) is the timer that tells just how fast (or slow!) it takes the page to load and render. I also like how all the information is at the top, and the web page renders below it with little chrome.

Putting the title text at the top will end up causing problems with extra long amounts of text in the titles - but I guess that is what longdesc is for...

Oh - the download took just 16 minutes over a 33.6 modem! And I didn't have to restart my machine once I installed it. Hard to believe that this browser gets so much right in such a small memory/storage footprint.

Executive summary: This Technology Preview release has impressed me much more than the final Netscape 6 release.

Apple News:

Tokyo, part II

In addition to the sixties influenced colors of the new iMacs, Apple also brought CD-RW capabilities to their entire line of desktops (G4 Towers in January, iMacs and Cubes last night), speed bumped the iMacs, lowered prices on the Cube, updated iTunes to 1.1 adding support for third party CD Burners, and strengthened their partnership with Nvidia. Maybe these things will help their slow sales...

Apple News:

Browsing tip for IE5/Mac

I just discovered this tip that might come in handy for those of you who like to keep multiple browser windows open at the same time. You probably know that in IE5/Mac you can cycle through open windows with the Command-~ keyboard shortcut. If you hold down the shift key at the same time, you'll cycle backwards.

Ok, maybe that's not earth shattering news, but it sure comes in handy when you've got a download happening and want to avoid cycling through the download window while checking web sites...

[February 21, 2001]

iMac News:

Oh boy...

I don't know what drugs Steve and Jonathon Ive were taking when they came up with these, but I don't think the new iMac colors are going to help with the slow sales...

Apple News:

More shiny new toys

A 45 Gig FireWire Hard Drive and a Sony Digital Video Camera - Wheee! This is all in support of a new initiative to do some live webcasts of press events at my real job...

Apple News:

Of Mice and OS 9.1

My Graphire tablet died a couple weeks ago when we had a power outage. So I ordered a new Apple Pro Mouse and Pro Keyboard, which means I needed to upgrade my OS from 8.6 to 9.1, which I am doing as I type this ('cause I am typing this on the iBook, and installing Mac OS 9.1 on my G4 desktop). Any minute now the transition will be complete, and I'll be adding the new keyboard. And then I'll be right where I want to be, sitting comfortably on the cusp of the trailing edge of the adoption curve, ready to install OS X when it hits version X.I, or something.

Thought you might like to know...



As I was finishing up my box of Raisin Bran this morning I thought, "I wonder if people would think I am different or strange because I actually like bran?"

'Cause, really, I'm just a regular guy...

[February 20, 2001]


"The only limit is yourself..."

Like a cross between Skip Intro [requires Flash] and Stewart Smalley's Daily Affirmations tag line [wav file], comes zombocom [flash required]. I haven't laughed so hard at something so inane on the web in a while. Thanks Taylor! [via webdesign-l]

[February 19, 2001]


I used to be a science teacher...

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day presents some very cool science, all in a simple snapshot...

You might have a few questions about the picture and the shadow, so I'll attempt to answer them below...

Q: How can we see the shadow? Don't you need a surface for the shadow to show up?

A: This shadow is similar to the Sun rays you see through clouds, usually near sunrise or sunset. These rays appear to diverge, or spread out, as they get farther from the source. Actually, they are parallel rays, but they appear to diverge in the same way that train tracks appear to converge in the distance.

On some days these rays make it all the way across the sky, and begin to converge again on the other side - kind of an eerie thing when you see it. But since the rays are actually parallel, it makes sense (the train tracks again).

So, the shadow from the plume is similar to the rays you see from the sun (which are actually defined by the shadows of the clouds they are poking through).

Q: I don't understand why the shadow appears to be of one isolated object, rather than of the whole twisty smoke trail... What am I missing?

A: Again this has to do with perspective. The plume passes out of the shadow of the earth right where it gets a yellow cast to it. The shadow can be seen faintly just under this part of the plume. If you look carefully, it is spread out. But then it converges rapidly toward the full moon (which is directly opposite the sun at this point).

Spectacular concurrence of events! [link via MeFi...]

[February 16, 2001]


Jeffrey's Secret Project

Browser Upgrades. Standards now.

It wasn't exactly what I had hoped for.

But I like it...

[February 15, 2001]


Better late than never...

Ok, in this case it may be better never than at all. Happy Valentine's Day. If you don't like the colors, you can always choose another skin over there on the right. Otherwise, things will get back to normal RSN. Heart images above provided by Acme Laboratories.

[February 13, 2001]


Code name: "Mary Ann"

There has been some speculation about what Jeffrey Zeldman's secret project (my code name for it: Mary Ann) might be. Though it might not rank in hype surrounding Dean Kamen's IT/Ginger, I am hoping it will be something revolutionary for the web design world. Something along the lines of a new way to use CSS so that NS4.x doesn't crash, but standards compliant browsers like IE5.x and NS6 and Opera can use the cool stuff.

You know, the way things are supposed to work...

[February 12, 2001]



I love it when someone takes an idea like Amazon's new honor system and turns it in on itself, using the technology to make a statement about the technology. Brilliant...

[February 9, 2001]


CompuServe Time CNN Warner AOL Brothers

Perusing NUblog today (it's been awhile since I've stopped by), and found a couple of goodies: It's the Bash AOL Show, from whence the title of this post came, and Provisional but Forever, which links to this article by the same name. The former post demonstrates Joe's tart writing style and ability to turn a phrase in on itself to good effect. The latter is good reading for everyone involved in the content creation business. IMO...


White Stuff

I'm on the bus going home last night and it's cold and raining. Then the bus driver notices that the rain has turned to snow. An excited murmur makes its way through the bus, with some passengers even getting out their cell phones(!) to call home and see if it is snowing there. Many of you are probably wondering why we would get so excited about this - especially since it is too wet to even stick on the ground.

Being from Tucson, AZ doesn't mean we never see snow. In the winter it's only about a forty minute drive to the top of Mt. Lemmon where you can actually ski! So seeing snow isn't really a big deal. Seeing snow falling from the sky, now that's a big deal.

I remember two snow related days from when I was teaching school. The most recent was about 5 or 6 years ago when it snowed during the day. This meant that every class (I taught in a middle school) went outside. Immediately. It could stop at any time. The second happened about 5 years before that. As rare as it is to see snow falling in Tucson, it is even rarer that enough falls to stick and play in. Again, this means that during first period you toss your lesson plans and play in the snow before it all melts.

Of course today it's supposed to be back up near 60° F...

Apple News:


Thanks for the mention yesterday, Michelle...

[February 8, 2001]

Apple News:

New toy...

I probably won't be able to swing the TiBook, at least not in the near future, but I did make a personal purchase of a digital camcorder that should be arriving sometime today. So I may be posting an iMovie or two sometime in the future.

Consider yourself warned...

[February 7, 2001]

iMac News:

Add Mac Observer

Eolake Stobblehouse (of MacCreator) interviews Bill Amend, creator of the popular FoxTrot comic strip, about his strip, his love for Macs, and the future of online comics, among other things. It's a good read...

Apple News:

Mac Observer's Apple Ad Series

Mac Observer has been running a series on old Apple Advertisements that contributors have scanned and sent in. Today they show an ad for the first Apple computer (sold for $666.66). Today we get transparent cases on our iMacs, back then they didn't even sell the cases...

[February 2, 2001]


Thanks to all who expressed concern

We received word late yesterday afternoon the CAT scan results for our 4 year old daughter were negative!


How to Live and Not Die

That was the title of the last book our friend bought and was reading before he died. 49 years old. Sudden, massive heart attack. No warning. Fortunately he already knew how to live, and not die.

There was a relatively recent MeFi discussion about what separates us from the animals (prompted by Bill Maher's unfortunate comments comparing the mentally disabled to dogs). As is typical for me, I saw the post after it had essentially played out, so I didn't join the discussion. But it got me thinking about what it is that separates us. I think it is the fact that we are aware of our own mortality - and we all have a strong desire to be immortal, at least that our legacy, whatever it is, would last beyond our lives, in the memories of others, or in print, or as art.

But it really goes beyond that. I believe we were created as eternal beings, to live forever. In fact I believe we will all live forever, that death is simply a door into eternal life. What that life will be like for you is determined by one choice that you make while you live here on earth.

How do you answer the question "Who is Jesus?" Was he simply a gifted teacher, a good rabbi who lived 2000 years ago? Or was he the Messiah, the savior of the world. If you believe only that he was a good man, you have missed it. Take a look at what he said, the claims he made about himself:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him"
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me."

These are the words of Jesus, not some preacher, or me. If they make you think twice about who Jesus is, good. He wasn't just a good man. He was, and is, the Messiah, the savior of the world. He came to earth to die, taking the punishment for our sin. But he rose again three days later, proving he was God enfleshed. If you accept his gift, as my friend did, when you die, you'll walk into his arms. If not, you'll enter eternal life separated from Him. Jesus described that as eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The choice is yours - Who do you say that Jesus is?

Mark Newhouse is the Web Designer for the public outreach arm of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories in Tucson, AZ. He has been using Macs for over a decade, and sometimes gets Distracted.

iBlog Copyright © 2000-2001, Mark Newhouse, all rights reserved

Keeper of the iBook, new every Monday

Some images courtesy iStockPhoto. Icons courtesy the Iconfactory.