3 April 2005

Sennheiser RS 120: wireless headset, charges on its base, turns itself off while it charges, uses standard batteries that should be easily replaceable, the sound seems perfectly satisfying, the headset is a bit too tight on the ears, my computers and the microwave oven don’t cause interference, it’s all very well designed, which makes it all the more inexplicable that they’d put the radio frequency know right under the volume one.

P.S. Huh, dynamic compression is way overboard. I turn the computer’s volume up, and up and up, and nothing happens. It beeps, and the headset’s volume goes so far down I can’t hear the music for thirty seconds. Okay, it’s nice of them not to want to blow out my ears, but should the compression really be so strong, with no possibility of customization, or should I return it and buy something else?

P.S. Okay, I’m not dreaming, and it’s unbearable even for just listening to music.

7 April

Le patch SP2 obligatoire !

Dans quelques jours (le 12 avril), la mise à jour automatique de Windows XP SP2 ne pourra plus être bloquée et elle se ferra d’elle même, que vous le vouliez ou non…

9 April

D*I*Y Planner 2.0 [via]: a print-it-yourself day planner, the wet dream of all stationery fetishists like me. I’ve got to get Illustrator and make my own, custom-tailored templates.

12 April

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger to ship April 29. Argh, ça pouvait difficilement être plus tard tout en restant comme prévu en avril.

The standard Mac OS Up-To-Date upgrade package is available to all customers who purchase a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after April 12 for a shipping and handling fee of $9.95 (US).

Même pas gratuit, ils sont mesquins. Mais ça ne change rien, je dois de toute façon attendre de voir s’ils annoncent une révision iBook ou iMac.

Embedding Images: “Did you know you could embed any mime data in an HTML page? […] It means you can place an image inline in a page.

For a while now I had thought it should exist, you should be able to embed images the same way you do in Flash, and it’d be ideal for pages with lots of small images (such as the thumbnails on my blog or the gayattitude directory), rather than have dozens of HTTP calls. Well, it does exist.

But then, of course: “It does only work in Firefox, Safari, Opera. Not IE.

P.S. Oh, right, now I remember why I thought it’d be fantastic to be able to embed the image right into the HTML code: so I could put the thumbnails (for the blog or gayattitude) in the MySQL database! One simple SQL query and you got everything, text and images, no need for any additional system access.

I have half a mind to implement it for the blog’s thumbnails. After all, I don’t care too much that it wouldn’t work with Explorer: they’re only decorative.

13 April

Mail - Outsmart your inbox:

Smart Mailboxes stay up-to-date automatically as you send and receive mail. Use the default Smart Mailboxes provided by Mail (Unread, Flagged, Today, Last 7 Days) or create your own using single or multiple rules. With Smart Mailboxes, your email can be in many places at once, even if you can’t.

A smart unread box? Mmmh, that sounds deliciously Opera M2-ish. Yay!

14 April

Revealed: New Power Mac G5, iMac G5, eMac Specs:

Highly reliable sources have confirmed the specifications of Apple’s forthcoming revisions to its Power Mac G5, iMac G5 and eMac systems, expected to start shipping within a few days of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger’s April 29th release.

Not very spectacular, as far as the iMac goes.

15 April

Is there a trick I haven’t figured yet in order to make out the left headphone from the right, once you’ve put them in their black covers? Or don’t iPod users care which side the sound comes from? Or aren’t we supposed to use the covers, and they just put two pairs in the packaging for kicks, and we are to let the metal grids get messy?

When was your Mac born?:

I thought I’d share it with those of you who may be curious about what secrets are hidden in your Mac’s serial number.

You might think those numbers and letters are random, but each one actually contains vital info about your computer.

16 April

L’actu par Mac4Ever :

Je viens d’installer la MaJ 10.3.9 et une bonne surprise m’attendait : le défilement avec deux doigts sur le trackpad, qui, jusqu’à maintenant était réservé aux derniers modèles de PowerBook, fonctionne désormais sur mon « vénérable » PowerBook 15 pouces 1,5 GHz !!

17 April

RDV ce soir, à 19H :

C’est ce soir, à 19H [heure française], qu’Apple tiendra une conférence au NAB. De nombreux rumoristes pensent que de quelques Mac vont être mis à jour.

Les sites Mac vont encore chauffer, ce soir.

P.S. Ouinnnnnnnn.

18 April

Adobe and Macromedia [via]:

Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Macromedia in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.4 billion.

Oh well. What a weird idea. Well, from Adobe’s point of view it’s not weird at all, but as far as users are concerned it’s mightily annoying. Adobe, the big mammoths that gives birth to big hairy mammothies of the powerful but expensive and bloated kind, absorbs the makers of Fireworks (I don’t care personally, but still), Dreamweaver (I don’t care personally any more, but still) and Flash (and now that’s serious). That’ll give them plenty of opportunities to make a big waste of the market and technologies. And to take a good, long Microsoft-like holiday until a brand-new competitor appears with another revolutionary technology, which isn’t going to happen soon.

19 April


Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen said in the announcement conference call that 9/11 was a bit of a catalyst for the deal: “after 9/11, we both realized that being enemies didn’t make sense”.

Oh, how sweet and moronic. And what, did they hasten the announcement because the Pope’s death reminded them how short life is?

I hope one day the Gimp will finally be somewhat usable.

20 April

Opera 8.0 : nothing spectacular, nothing justifying going up a whole version number.

But there is an interesting point:

Opera is offering a free license for Opera 8 automatically once 250 unique referrals from your site have been logged.

All you have to do is create a My Opera community account [and link] to Opera using the affiliate link.

So all it would take is a fifth of my daily readers clicking, just once, this shiny pretty link tomorrow, and I’d be rid of ads on Opera. Not that I care much about them (or almost at all, actually), but, hey: it’s possible, it costs absolutely nothing to anyone, and it flatters my ego (if it works out — otherwise I’ll be dead vexed), so why wouldn’t I do it?

I wonder about the profitability of the idea, though. If every blogger gets a free Opera registration, who’ll still be there to give them money?

Oh, and don’t just bump up my counter, download and install it, for real: even though the Swiss army knife aspect of it can be a deterrent, it’s only a 4MB download, and a good browser, but most importantly it’s a revolutionary and still unique email client (at least until Tiger ships), Spotlight before Spotlight: click a button or press ‘K’ to say you’ve read a message, and it disappears from your inbox (it’s so obvious when you explain it, you wonder how people can tolerate the way other clients work); click its sender in your contact list, or type a word it contained in the search box, and it reappears instantly. You’ll never have to manually file each read message according to its sender: a simple search will bring it back any time you want to read it again. It takes most people a few days to adjust, but once you’ve gotten used to it you can’t go back.

Tiger : en vrac :

pour l’installation, attention : il faut vraiment de la place (5GO environ)

Looks like my little clamshell will have to do without Tiger.

21 April

Download Manager Tweak:

A modification of the Firefox download manager that changes its appearance and allows it to be opened in a separate window, a new tab, or the sidebar.

Not quite fresh, but I didn’t know about it yet.

22 April

23 April

Tiger’s tips, suite:

Tiger now takes screenshots in the PNG format. It’s far lighter than the PDF of Mac OS X 10.3.

And it’s none too soon.

Various effects won’t be available for everyone. For instance, when you add Widgets on Dashboard, there is a superb “droplet” effect if you card supports CoreImage (64MB VRAM minimum).

Copying this here so I can try to remember it when I choose which Mac I buy. Not just for Dashboard’s droplets, but for every effect you’ll lose in the future if you haven’t got the best video card in the world.

24 April


S’il y a parfois un problème avec le blogue, c’est le miroir qu’il vous tend. C’est vous, sans être vous. C’est une agrégation de facettes de votre personne, sans toutefois la résumer. Nul ne peut se targuer de me connaître en lisant mon blogue. C’est moi, sans être moi. Il n’y a cependant pas de fausseté, ce n’est pas un autre moi. Et c’est pourtant une représentation du moi dans laquelle j’ai du mal à m’identifier. Tout cela est bien étrange.

I couldn’t say it better. And I did say it poorly, in the new layout’s “welcome” block (did you quite figure out that I won’t make any efforts on your account anymore, or should I pee to your face so you do get the message?).

Fortunately, however, I don’t agree with what he writes next:

Je crois parfois qu’il y a même une certaine réflexivité, et que votre blogue et son lectorat vous façonnent. Votre blogue joue un rôle pro-actif dans votre construction intime.

Let’s say, at most, that what a blogger writes — and also the way he responds to the comments and other reactions — may reveal his own personality to him.

Blogging as a psychoanalysis, with dozens (or hundreds, if you should be so lucky) of hostile shrinks dead set on demolishing you.

It’s true that blogs are dangerous after all.

26 April

Revue du net :

Un conseil à l’attention de mes amis les Geek : ne décrochez pas votre téléphone pendant les prochaines 48 h, parce que toute la famille, les voisins, les amis et la famille de vos voisins vont vous téléphoner pour vous demander “c’est comment qu’on fait une capture écran”.

Accessoirement, j’ai eu un mal fou à trouver le site de télédéclaration, pour faire la vignette du post, à partir des sites administratifs. (Je me suis même fait agresser par des PDF… dans des frames !)

27 April

It’s A Whole New (No It’s Not) Internet [via], about the It’s a Whole New Internet essay that’s been seen on every blog for a week:

The most retarded sentence in it is: “Curious, inventive people are making cool stuff again.” Um, hello? WTF? “Again”? I really don’t know how to respond to that other than to feel really insulted and feel like anything people made three or four years ago was somehow “boring” because there wasn’t any money attached to it. […]

I hate the equation that $1 million in funding == EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES. It’s how you fools lathered yourselves into the last bubble.

This is exactly what I thought the minute I read the essay: the fools are gonna play the whole bubble burst routine all over again. I hadn’t posted about it because I thought it was so obvious… and then I couldn’t believe how many blogs were ecstatic about this whole new vision of the web. Maybe because each of these bloggers is secretly hoping to be the one cashing in on the million of dollars that’ll fall from the sky this time around?

But I won’t only be criticizing tonight: sure, it’s frightening to see this article praised everywhere, but it made me discover Consumating, a very interesting personals site, very… very 2005, actually, that inspired me to get back to work on gayattitude. That’s the site I secretly hope we’ll manage to trade for big bucks when the second dot-com craze is at its peak — but, unlike others, that doesn’t cloud my judgment.

Nokia N91 [via]: a 2-megapixel camera and… 4GB to store mp3s, photos and videos. Oh, and wifi, while we’re at it. I don’t know how good an idea it is to put a hard drive into a phone — I already have a hard time trusting an iPod, and a phone has a tougher life — and the design is in line with the latest Nokias (though more bearable here), including the interface’s, but… still… drool².

By the way, the N90 isn’t bad either. Far from it. Not original — Japanese phones have had this form factor for two years — but quite sexy. Would Nokia finally be coming back to the top?

Apple ’officially’ updates Power Mac G5 product line.

What fucking game are they playing?

If it goes on like this, I’m going to order a Mac mini on the very day Tiger is released, so I’m done with the waiting and can be sure I’m not buying an obsolete iMac. And I’ll say thanks to Steve for helping me solve my existential dilemma.

28 April

The Fish Rots From the Head:

When [Adobe] was run by graphics/technology enthusiasts, it was a great graphics/technology company. Now that it’s run by a sales guy, it has turned into a company that seems more interested in the sales and marketing of its products than in the products themselves.

Adobe certainly isn’t the only company to play marketing games with their application version numbers. […] But Adobe’s strikes me as the most egregious, especially since the core audience for the CS suite is comprised of the sort of creative professionals who are predisposed not just to ignore marketing bullshit, but to be downright insulted by it. […]

The entire “CS” campaign has the feel of a company that is marketing down to its customers, rather than treating them respectfully as peers.

If that spirit continues to wither, Adobe will continue its slide into mediocrity, and will become just another software company. But if it becomes a bigger company while doing so, I suspect that will suit [Adobe CEO] Bruce Chizen just fine.

Miranda 0.4: not a spectacular update, but a few additional configuration options are always welcome.

And while you’re downloading stuff: a Miranda plug-in that indexes its logs in Google Desktop (not tested yet), and a Google Desktop plug-in that replaces the standard Windows search interface (and hence dispenses me from the file explorer slowing down every time I press F3 instead of F2).

And if anyone had a clue why I can’t write “Google Desktop” without typing “DEsktop” every time, I’m all ears.

29 April

Apple announces new .Mac features:

.Mac, Apple’s suite of innovative software and Internet services, has just been enhanced. .Mac membership unlocks exclusive Tiger features including Mac-to-Mac syncing of keychains and Mail settings like accounts, rules, signatures and Spotlight-driven Smart Mailboxes.

So, if I get this right, to obtain the privilege of syncing two Macs, with a program that’s included in OS X, you have to pay the .Mac subscription, that’s roughly the price of the OS itself, even though said synching doesn’t (presumably) use the mac.com resources in any way?

This is exactly the kind of announcement that makes me have second thoughts about switching.

(Yeah, I know, rsync and all. Irrelevant. Or, actually, not: you have to pay extra in order to use a program that’s included with OS X, and does the same thing, only graphically, as another program that’s also included in the OS. That’s even better.)

30 April

I intended to go to sleep early, and in the middle of the night stumbled onto the Ars Technica review of OS X Tiger: twenty long pages of thoughts and criticisms written by the geekiest Mac user you can find — an absolute must-read.

I had begun taking quotes out, but there were too many, so you’ll just have to read it for yourselves*. In short: makes me want it. And it also makes me want to buy a Mac with a top of the line video card: if I buy a Mac mini, I guess I’ll end up being more frustrated at the graphics performance than the CPU’s.

* a digest: the Aqua updates are as inconsistent as with every other update; the filesystem gets BeOS-style custom metadata, but doesn’t do much with it yet; Apple’s software, including Spotlight, doesn’t know about parentheses when it comes to boolean logic (even though the Spotlight command-line tool can process them perfectly); the Address Book and iCal store each entry, each event, in a separate file so Spotlight can index it, which is an odd way to manage the issue; Apple finally found an innovative solution to the file extensions / MIME types / creator codes conundrum; Quartz is even more optimized for modern video cards, but the optimization is turned off in version 10.4.0; Core Image and Core Video and Quicktime 7 are the bomb, except for the full screen display that’s only available with Quicktime Pro, cue rant (a copy and paste of what I wrote yesterday about .Mac); and lots of other things — like I said, you’ve got to read it. (If you’re a geek.)

PDF Download for Firefox. “The file you have selected is a PDF file. What do you want to do? Download it / Open it in a new tab / View as HTML in a new tab / Cancel.

’Nuff said, you already clicked the link. (The “View as HTML” option doens’t seem to work too well, though. But who cares.) Hallelujah!


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