Archive for April 2007

Woot! iRobot Roomba 4296 Remote Scheduler

April 23, 2007

Just ordered a Roomba iRobot Roomba 4296 Remote Scheduler via Woot!


Mac mini HTPC Followup: Core Skills

April 19, 2007

This should be a useful future reference … Mac mini HTPC Followup: Core Skills

technically proficient ≠ anti-AppleTV

April 12, 2007

In AppleTV, day 2, Dave Winer said, “If you’re technically proficient enough to read this blog, AppleTV is not for you.”


I’m quite proficient, I’ve made my living for 30+ years helping others get what they need and want from computing machines of all shapes & prices … and I’ve been reading Scripting News since it’s first few months … maybe from day one (I’m not sure).

I think Apple TV is spot-on brilliant, out of the park strait over center field. I fully understand why geeks think of it as an OSX computer and enjoy hacking it with SSH, VLC and BitTorrent (all tools I use most days). But Apple TV is a brilliant appliance that adds a TV to your LAN and does it with the elegance that apparently only Apple normally delivers.

Does v1.0 do all we geeks want and can imagine? Of course not.
Will it evolve to do more? I dare you to bet against that.

Apple TV is an appliance for all of us. Just because I can explain how it works or know how to enable SSH doesn’t exclude me from wanting one or two or three (I plan to have 1 per TV eventually).

I can explain and repair (mostly) my fridge, washing machine, cars, lawn mowers, computers, telephones, WiFi network, this Blog, a blender, my electric razor and lots of other modern products. Normally I choose products that just work and do what I bought them to do. Also the longer they do that without me having to ‘open them up’ the more likely I am to recommend that product to others.

ie. My Honda lawn mower has been running without a skip for 20 years! I purchased an edger and a trimmer to assist with finishing the lawn … should I want Honda to deliver a mower that edges and trims?

Please don’t equate technical proficiency with thinking that all products should be the swiss army knife of their category.

Love ya Dave … but I think you’re missing the point of Apple TV.

Long time fan,


Disclosure: I have worked for Apple, Inc for about 5 years. I also am fond of the Mini and I own both a PowerBook and an iMac … none of which are swiss army knives of their category. Last, I don’t own a swiss army knife because their too bulky and universal for me.

Some Facts About AAC

April 11, 2007

Some Facts About AAC

Well Said John!

Comparing Antennas

April 10, 2007

Comparing some commercially available antennas”, at An HDTV Primer, appears to be an excellent reference.

Looks like I got lucky with my new Channel Master 4221

My new HDTV Antenna

April 9, 2007

Saturday I bought an HDTV antenna at Frys that I am very happy with.

My signal strengths went from 40-60% to 60-85%. I think the greatest value is that the signal strengths for each of the channels are now stable. With the included antenna I got fluctuation of the strength but now it is rock steady at 60-85% depending on the channel. This antenna is directional but I think I’ve found a position that works great for all of my channels.

Channel Master 4-Bay, $29 (Saturday’s sale price)

They have a larger Channel Master 8-Bay antenna from the same company that is supposed to work even better, but I’m going to stick with the one I bought.

Right now I’m just using the thing in the corner of my office down stairs and it works very well. I live about 10-15 miles (I think) from most of the broacast towers in Austin.

I used to estimate which direction to point the antenna and then tuned it using the signal strength indicator for my TV Mini HD.

John Dvorak: How Wrong Can One Guy Be?

April 3, 2007

John Dvorak: How Wrong Can One Guy Be?

In case you missed that article, here’s a couple of brilliant quotes:

No wonder the Digg population is so stupid: Dvorak has brainwashed these PC kids with his non-stop jackassery for decades, publishing endless propaganda that blames Mac users for the incompetence of Microsoft.

What Dvorak didn’t get in 2004 was that podcasting would be key to the future of television. Ironically, Dvorak’s sensationalist antics were exposed in a video segment recorded by Dave Winer, a pioneer and early proponent of RSS and podcasting.

Bazing! That’s like Charlton Heston getting shot in a hunting accident.