It’s fun, it’s simple, it’s useful. And I’m probably only scratching the surface. Where to begin? Mac OS X 10.4, aka Tiger, arrived via FedEx yesterday, and after a short period of contemplation, I installed it on the G5 and then the iBook. Had a nice iChat with Mike during this process with 1-way video, which he reported looked excellent; the improvement was probably due more to my faster DSL connection & the G5 rather than any iChat changes. Once he got to the Cambridge Apple Store, we had a full-fledged video chat. It was good to see Mike & Joanie! Read on for some screenshots, a video and my first-look review.

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The Impulsive Buy

Anyone looking around for a new RSS feed to follow could take a look at The Impulsive Buy. It’s written by a guy living on “a rock in the middle of the Pacific” (Hawaii) who writes product reviews — not the techno-gadgety stuff we usually read, but more consumer-ish things that we’re ALL interested in. Like Jalapeno Pringles, Post Marshmallow Mania Pebbles, and the McDonald’s Dollar Menu. Does anybody around here still eat at McDonald’s? Just kidding.
Though it can be crude at times, it’s pretty well done. I spent about 45 minutes a couple days ago going back through past reviews — I challenge you not to laugh in reading through the review for Poop Water, and the euphemisms therein.

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Another Doctor in the House!

She’d be quick to tell you that she’s not quite finished yet, but yesterday, Joanie successfully defended her thesis! I say this honestly — it was probably the best thesis defense I’ve seen, very smooth and professional, with universal praise from students, faculty, and even family!
We went out for a quick dinner last night, but the real celebration will be next Friday, after the thesis itself is turned in — coincidentally, that’s also Joanie’s birthday! You’re all invited, of course, if you happen to be in the area.


Maybe AIM should sue for patent infringement?

This headline on my homepage at work (Biospace.com) caught my eye:
“Human Cells Filmed Instantly Messaging For First Time”
I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a Nature paper out of UCSD. Congrats to Shu Chien. Quite an achievement, even for a 4-5 time department chairman :).


Lost in translation

I’m posting this from our hotel (the Westin) in Kyoto, Japan. We’re about halfway through our brief trip through Japan and having a good time. We arrived yesterday in Kyoto via Shinkansen bullet train from Toyko. In Tokyo, we had a chance to visit the Sony building, where the ‘debut’ of the new Walkman was taking center stage. Also had a chance to visit the Park Hyatt, Tokyo of Lost in Translation fame. Kyoto is all about temples, shrines, castles and Japanese culture. Will post some pictures up next time I get a chance.

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Everyone’s Out to Get Apple

We’re probably all aware of Motorola’s forthcoming iTunes phone (not this one) by now. Seems like a good idea– let you transfer your songs from your computer to your phone. And, since iTMS songs only cost $0.99 (despite the crappy DRM), people might actually buy songs to put on their phones. So everyone will support this, since it means giving people phones they want plus a great way to sell more music. Read on to find out when it will be available!

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Upcoming shows

With Kelvin’s recent trip to see U2, I figured I’d post my upcoming concert trips.
— May 17: Stereophonics is playing at Paradise. I don’t have tickets to this yet, but I’m hoping to figure out how to get them without the absurd Ticketmaster charge (see below). Stereophonics is one of my favorite bands over the last couple of years — they alternate between distortion-laden guitars with vocals reminiscent of the Pogues, to acoustic songs, to radio-accessible pop stuff that’s popular overseas. No idea why they haven’t caught on here, but thankfully, they haven’t, so it’s possible to see them on the cheap. Oh, and apparently they’re playing a special iTunes event at the London Apple Store tonight.
— May 20: Doves is playing at Avalon. Their new album, Some Cities, is quite good, though I think I still prefer their previous one (The Last Broadcast, though clearly it wasn’t). According to their blog, the band has recently been traveling around the US, to the SXSW festival in Austin (where I have to go someday), then to LA, where they apparently recorded a session on KCRW, whose excellent shows Morning Becomes Eclectic and Sounds Eclectic are well worth listening to over the internet (if you’re not in LA). The only downside to the show is that I ended up paying about $50 for two $16 tickets, thanks to Ticketmaster’s ridiculous service charges.


Happy Patriot’s Day

It’s great to live in a state with traditions rooted in the Revolutionary War — it gives us a state holiday called Patriot’s Day, celebrated every year the third Monday in April. In theory, we’re celebrating the Minutemen, and the Battles of Lexington and Concord (about 10-15 miles from Boston), and Paul Revere’s ride the night before from the North End. By the way, that’s Paul Revere in the picture, not Samuel Adams, though they seemed to wear the same clothes).
What does that mean to modern-day Bostoners? No mail, no work, an 11 AM Red Sox home game (often against the hated Yankees, but this year, the Blue Jays), and the Boston Marathon!
The best thing about Patriot’s Day is it usually coincides with the arrival of spring in Boston — the weather is usually just getting nice (today: sunny, high in the lower 70s) and everybody is lining the streets, cooking out, and celebrating (hopefully) the end of winter. Oh yeah, and that revolution thing.


My $0.17 Remote

This one has been a long time coming! Readers of the board may wish to refer back to this January post about the deal Mike & I pulled off at Amazon. Briefly, Mike & I got a 17″ DVI LCD monitor, iPod shuffle and GPS watch and $70 Amazon gift certificate for $315 shipped. Mike got the monitor about 3 days later, while it took almost 2 months before Amazon shipped the shuffle & GPS watch. And I’ve put both of those to good use. In fact, both saw 4.5 hours of action yesterday. Anyways, the $70 gift certifcate expires shortly and I need to buy something. I’ve been eyeing these Harmony remotes for a while, and i decided, why not! Amazon has them for about $90. They get good reviews, and work fine with 2 TiVos, and are supported on the Mac. I also have a couple of $25 gift certificates I got by using the Amazon credit card. Anyways, after the gift certificate, the $70 coupon and the A9 pi/2 discount, the total charge is $0.17! I should get it this week.


Blogs Gone Wild

While The Board is well into its 3rd year in it’s current incarnation, many other blogs are just getting started. Aaron wanted to set up a blog for a website he runs, and after investigating many options, Blogger seemed to have the best combination of ease-of-use, ease-of-setup & flexibility. One nice thing is that he was able to have the Friends of Nepal Blog publish right onto his web server. I briefly started to set up a blog for my Mom, but later that same week, a friend of hers started hosting ths site, so the Blog hasn’t got very far. Finally, as part of a renewed push to diversify his revenue stream for Silvergemshop.com (advertising on Google, more emphasis on Wholesale customers, selling stuff on consignment on eBay), he’s set up a Blog to inform his customers of new deals and products.
While none of these blogs have the depth or breadth of content of Pyslent, cool features like the comments feed, 2 years of archives and useful RSS feeds integrated right onto the main page, they serve a good purpose. Has anyone else helped someone set up a blog lately?

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