Friday, June 24, 2005

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

You've probably read about Steve Jobs address at the Stanford graduation ceromony. Heres the text and the audio stream. Very moving. Makes you question a lot of things.


Went and saw a most excellent film last night called Crash. It about racial conflict in the US (its based in LA) and how people stereotypes groups. Its real gut-wrenching in places.
Fascinating.. Here's the trailer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Skype Hardware

I've been searching high and low for a decent headphone/mic combo for my skype setup.

The favourites seem to be Plantronics, but I was disappointed with the one I purchased, as I couldn't get the microphone to work. There also seems to be a lot of complaints on build quality and that they don't seem to last for long.

While looking, I came across the Logitech Mobile Freedom which is around $42. Its a bluetooth headset with mic and sits on your ear with a mobile range of around 10 metres. Its a slightly older design but a great deal of people (on Amazon feedback) say its a LOT better than the majority of similar products on the market. Does what it says on the tin? How novel!

I hooked it up to my 12inch powerbook and it worked straight of the bat (immediately). The volume could be a little louder (which a lot of people comment on) but apart from that, I couldn't be happier! :)

My plan is to hook it up to my G5, but since I don't have bluetooth on that puppy, I'm waiting for a dongle to arrive. I don't expect any problem.. thats why I have a mac ! :-)


I'm a big fan of Apple's iChat. I have an iSight and it does a very excellent job of video conferencing to the UK, no problems whatsoever.

However..I'm getting more impressed with the whole Skype space.

Skype is a p2p voice (soon to be video) system and allows free skype-to-skype calls. It also has the capabilities (for a small charge-around 2c per min, called SkypeOut), to call regular phone numbers. They also have a means for people to call you (again for a small fixed charge) called SkypeIn. You can choose a regular phone number and calls get routed to the Skype application. You also get free voicemail when you purchase SypeIn. (called Skype Voicemail)

As you travel, even though you have say a NYC number, calls get routed to your hotel in say San Francisco. Very cool!

This is a LOT cheaper than services like Vonage, which AFAIK seem to follow regular phone companies and charge around $25 per month.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Revenge of the S

Starwars themed Fathers Day card from Joy of Tech. :)

Saw this truck outside my apartment. Never crossed my mind that I live in the 'Empire State'.

Monday, June 13, 2005

End of an Era

Just went and saw Star Wars Episode III as all the crazies have seen it 20 times and no longer at the cinema.

It was a fairly good movie and brings to the close an epic story that started with the initial Star Wars in 1977.
I was a little young to see it first time (only on TV), but I did go and see the Special Editions (of the first three) at the theater.

Not sure what George Lucas has planned next, but hopefully it will get the opportunity to try out some real out there stuff.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Translating Emulation

I'm intrigued by the Rosetta technology. It is a means to run PowerPC applications almost full speed on MacTel. It's from a company called Transitive, a Silicon Valley startup formed from researchers from Manchester University, England.

The way it accomplises this is by partially translating a bit of code, running it and using memory caching to minimize the amount of times it does this. It also tries to optimizie anything it can to increase performance.

This sounds very similar to the way that SUN speeds up Java using Hotspot ! :)

What I don't understand, is if this technology is so good, I would expect in turn, the other way (x86 to PowerPC) to work reasonably well. Then why have windows emulators for the mac sucked for the last decade???

Monday, June 06, 2005

Joining the Empire

Phew! Just read the writeup on the WWDC2005 keynote address by Steve Jobs. Looks like all those rumours that Apple were moving to Intel are true!

I'm a little gob-smacked to be honest. Apple has always preached that Microsoft-Intel are the bad guys and Apple-Motorolla-IBM are the good guys.

Motorola failed Apple by not innovating the PowerPC (and instead moving pretty much to mobile phones). IBM promised a lot and failed to deliver. (remember 3GHZ last year?).

I don't think the MacOSX will run on your cheapo Dell though. Apple's tight integration of hardware and software has made MacOSX and Apple what it is today. Easier to operate and maintain than Windows.

I fully expect Apple to maintain this tight grip. Being its main revenue stream, it will have to.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


I went to see the hugely popular Avenue-Q on Broadway this afternoon. Its fairly reasonable. Kinda Sesame St with adult themes.

I have to say that I'm not really a fan of broadway.. its just too much music and dancing for me. During the performance the audience would burst out laughing and I couldn't quite understand why. People would look at each other with a glazed expression of 'Isn't this fantastic? I can't believe how funny this is!'

It was relatively amusing.. (I smiled on the inside, and maybe an occasionaly smirk came out) but was it THAT funny? That funny that people are howling??

As I looked around, nearly everyone looked the same. ie about 20+ years older than me and since this was an afternoon show I would speculate tourists.

Were people laughing so much that they found this sooo funny? Were they laughing because maybe the've not been exposed to puppets having sex on stage from their home town Smallville? Maybe their laughing because the've just dropped $100 per ticket and since everyone else is lauging they might as well too.

I dunno. This is all deja vu for me, as I remember experiencing the same during Wicked.

But... its probably me. I've from the other side of the pond and we tend to have more of a drier sense of humour. Me probably more than most.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Funny StarWars spoof of the Apple switch campaign. :)

Help Steve Jobs dress for another keynote. :)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Simplistic Sophistication

Found a greate quote that somes up my increasing beliefs in the whole XP methodology. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo da Vinci