Archive for December, 2006

…and the triple

December 31st, 2006 — Wordman

Superstition holds that celebrity deaths come in threes, but the latest triple seems much stranger than most. Watching the coverage of the funerals of James Brown, Gerald Ford and Saddam Hussein showcases how completely different these three men were. Watching these pageants, I couldn’t help but think there was some Jungian connection between it all, but can’t quite flush it out. Instead, stray observations, in no particular order:

  • While I understand the desire to represent the different branches of the armed forces at a state funeral, the mismatched uniforms of the pallbearers made the whole thing look sloppy. Maybe if there was a unified pallbearer uniform, with different insignia or something, it wouldn’t look like a bunch of guys were just picked up in a van by someone hanging out the window saying “yo! wanna carry the president?”
  • Michael Jackson may have been the only white guy invited to the James Brown funeral.
  • I’m pleased that it took very little time for the video of Saddam’s execution to hit the net. This suggests that the internet is infiltrating the Middle East more than I’d guessed. This will do more to advance freedom in the region than anything else.
  • Henry Kissinger may have finally crossed over into being a full lich.
  • It’s only a matter of time before someone suggests that Ford and Hussein coverage stealing the thunder from James Brown was a conspiracy of The Man.
  • Given that Betty Ford is rightfully praised for her public acknowledgment of her past addiction, the degree to which most of the talking heads in the press avoided mentioning “her problems” seemed somewhat insulting.
  • Americans are falling behind in the number of bullets shot into the air in celebration. (Where do these bullets go, anyway?)
  • My German father-in-law looked at the military aspect of the Ford funeral and suggested that if Germans saw a similar ceremony for a German politician, there would be an outcry that the Nazis had returned. Not sure if that’s true, but I was surprised by the comment.
  • Coloradoans give better-looking tributes than those inside the beltway.
  • The lack of former presidents at the Ford funeral surprised me. Bush, in particular, didn’t seem to care much about any of these deaths, other than as an opportunity to hint at his delusion that history will judge him well.
  • A tip to the choir: when someone in the audience passes out, just keep smiling and singing.

Hyper MacJesus Pro Gold returns from the dead to save all mankind

December 21st, 2006 — Wordman

Back in the days of Macintosh System 6.0, Lamprey Systems (“software that sucks”) brought us “Your Own Personal Savior on a Floppy Disk”, but then He languished as technology outpaced Him. Now, He’s back, redubbed MacJesusX, promising Mac OS X goodness, “the Insinerator Sin-Removal Tool® and state-of-the-art 80’s programming techniques”.

The latest version, unfortunately, isn’t as fun as the System 7 version. I think one reason might be that it doesn’t use the hypnotic theme song from the earlier one. To restore it to its former glory, I’ve managed (not easily) to extract said theme and translated it into a short MP3. You pretty much have to listen to it on a loop to get the full effect. If you have QuickTime installed, hit play on the control below to see what I mean.

Sometimes banner ads are worth clicking

December 13th, 2006 — Wordman

I don’t usually click banner ads, but I followed one a few minutes ago that seems like a killer deal to certain Mac users. It’s called MacHeist and is a bundle of eight, possibly ten, shareware applications. Since two of these appear on my list of recommended Mac OS X software seems to be worth a look. Part of the proceeds go to charity as well.

The final two applications only get unlocked if a certain amount is raised for charity. Since the deal ends on 16 Dec 2006, it looks like this might not happen, which is a pity considering that one of them, TextMate, is the best application of the lot.

Since I already own Delicious Library and TextMate, I’m not sure I’ll buy this bundle, but I’m tempted. Some of the other apps seem intriguing.

Update: Evidently, Daring Fireball thinks you should care less about what you are paying, and more about what the developers are getting. The lesson I take away from his analysis: developers charge too much.

!Mac

December 13th, 2006 — Wordman

Almost a year ago, I suggested that anyone attempting to replace Apple’s overpriced .Mac system should call it !Mac. Since then, a number of concepts and hints on how to do this have been posted to the internet. The most thorough one that I’ve seen is Matt Simerson’s How I created my own .mac replacement. It is fairly involved and does a lot, but still doesn’t support the one feature I’d actually use: machine synchronization.

Now, however, someone named Kent has issued a bounty on an “easy install” version of such a system called, oddly enough, the notMac Challenge. He’s also matching contributions. This site was evidently just mentioned on MacWorld, so in the ten minutes I’ve been watching the site, the prize jumped from $879 to $2,874.

I still think !Mac is a better name, but it’s harder to Google.