Davao Mac User


Lecture Podcasts

I just recently found out that there are already quite a few American universities that offer their lectures and speeches as podcast or at the very least, in downloadable digital music formats. Though I’ve been listening to Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcast, it was only last night that I saw a whole lot more podcasts from other schools.

I found out about these when I looked at The Unofficial Apple Website’s entry about Harvard’s podcasts. I’ve already subscribed to one lecture series about Understanding Computers and the Internet.

Stanford on iTunes, aside from the podcast series I mentioned before, also has podcasts on Music, Books, Sports, Faculty Lectures, and several others.

I am also subscribed to University of Hawaii’s ICS101. Course description is that it “covers the fundamental concepts and terms of computer technology, application software for problem solving, computer technology trends and impact on individuals and society.”

A Ludwig von Mises Institute blog post also discusses the increase in the number of schools offering podcasts for free. Aside from their own podcasts, Mises mentions those from MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, Rice, and Utah State.

Last but definitely not the least, Productive Strategies lists some more academic lecture podcasts. This is where I found University of Hawaii’s series on Tools for the Information Age.


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WordService, XML Nanny

Mac OSX Services: There’s a whole hidden side of text modification that is stashed away, yet right at your fingertips. If you go to the Application menu (if you’re in Safari, click the menu ‘Safari’) -> Services, a whole list pops down. You’ve probably disregarded this in the past (if you’ve ever seen it) because most of the options are grayed out, or unclickable. All you need to do is highlight some text. Go back to the menu and there are so many to choose from! (Needs WordService.)

XML Nanny: The perfect tool for the web author who cares! Checking your XHTML document’s validity either locally or remotely is a snap, and XML Nanny’s detailed error messages let you know about those embarrassing validation errors so you can debug them immediately.

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Two iMac reviews, a Mac mini review, and someone’s favorite things

A Computerworld journalist reviews the latest iMac G5, marvelling at the fact that she unpacked, set up, and made it go, all by herself. She also loves the minimalist design and the silence, both putting to shame her old computer. She likes the mouse and dismisses the attempts of some to pooh-pooh over the iMac because of the dreaded one button mouse. This review is better than some out there since this is a point of view from a non-tech, non-geek user. This is just your everyday, average Jane who likely won’t complain about the amount of frontside bus or the non-upgradable GPU or some other stuff that only OC Windows fantics would complain about. Speaking of which….

James Coates of the Chicago Tribune reviews the 20″ iMac G5 and says that it’s “the latest evolution in personal computing, and there is no doubt that (lower case) intelligent design was at work.” Even though Coates crows about Front Row and says that you won’t go wrong in picking the iMac over Windows PCs, he still gets some things wrong. Quite obvious that this guy is misinformed with statements such as “Apple owning only about 6 percent of the world market,” and claims that there are no good softwares for the Mac. He also says that Mac owners are “short-changed by software companies.” Another fallacious statement is that Safari works the same as Internet Explorer. Anybdy can see that IE can’t do tabs. To Coates, having Google Earth not work on Macs is a tragedy. He may made a glowing review but he should have done more research.

Another review, this time for the Mac mini. A long time Linux user bought a Mac mini and list down his likes and gripes. He likes the Mac’s GUI and general user experience but puts Linux first when it comes to networking and operating system.

Finally, not entirely Mac related but it the article has Mac OS 10.4 in it so I decided to include it. Andy Ihnatko lists down his favorite things. From the STM Sports Backpack to Flickr. From Mac OS 10.4 to the Palm LifeDrive (huh?).

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iPod news: nano review; no nano for NZ; accessorize for the holidays; going 60; iPod Bar; iTunes on X86s

PC World gives the 2GB iPod nano 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. The iPod nano is tiny with a tiny scroll wheel to match. But the size is no impediment to functionality. The screen’s resolution is high enough that it was readable but photos viewed in the near postage stamp sized screen were dark and difficult to look at. One more gripe is the placement of the headphone jack, perventing users to make it stand on a table while listening to it. I think this is an unnecessary critique considering how thin the nano is, it would be very difficult to make it keep standing. That and the fact that the earphone wire would weigh down the nano if you do manage to make it stand.

New Zealanders are having a blue Christmas. Well, for those who wants an iPod nano in their Christmas stockings, that is. Reseller News reports that even though the 30GB and 60GB fifth generation iPods are in ample supply, it’s the nano that people want, and supplies are short. It is also reported that Apple sold three times as much iPods last quarter than on Christmas 2004. This shortage has benefited Apple’s rival, Creative, since people are after digital music players this hoiday season that they’ll grab anything that’s available. The holiday season has made some analyst perky about Apple’s chances for success. Apple’s estimates have been raised several times for the past few weeks. But some caution about jumping the gun considering resellers are facing iPod nano supply shortages for the holiday season. If rumors are true that Apple is holding back iPod supplies from resellers then it’s a very bad move since people will look to theit competitors to fill their need for a digital music player.

For those who already have their 5G iPods and iPod nanos, the holidays brings the chance of getting a gift for their iPod. Aside from the very hot iPod nano and 5G iPod for the holidays, accessories for these players are also on top of the list as gifts. This is one of the things other digital music players don’t have: a blooming industry of accessories that rakes in as much as, if not more than, the iPods.

IPod Garage releases The Big Sixty: hands-on reviews of sixty iPod nano accessories you should know abou.

An iPod Bar opens in Japan. No alchohol. Just service.

With Tiger running unoffically on Intel machines, hackers has now made iTunes run on X86s.

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Weekend insanity

Just came from night duty and there was no news aboard. I stumbled on Google Video of the Day or GVOD. This is a blog of funny or disturbing or funny and disturbing videos. Al Lowe’s website has a whole lot more videos compiled. With categories like Beer Ads, Cola Ads, Car Ads, and Not Ads. If you’re a bored, visit and download some of the videos for a laugh.

Last week has been slow, so was this weekend. Hopefully, this week, the news will start picking up again. Perhaps this is just a lull before January’s storm.

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InvisibleSHIELD et al

I’m quite impressed with InvisibleSHIELD especially after watching their video and this Flash movie. I decide to look for more stuff about the InvisibleSHIELD.

I’ve read that this skin is a chore to apply and from Rainy Day Magazine, are instructions on how to apply the film on an iPod nano. It took three attempts to get the desired results. There’s also a 1 week update regarding the rainbow effect on the screen, surface texture, and screen clarity. Feld.com has also tried out the InvisibleSHIELD. Macsimum News has also posted an instruction for application of the shield.

The InvisibleSHIELD for the 5G iPod is expensive at $29.95 but there’s a cheaper alternative. Some say Best Skins Ever is almost the same as InvisibleSHIELD and Rainy Day Magazine tested it to find out how resistant it is to puncture and tearing from stretching.

Best Skin Ever is very tempting with free worldwide shipping for 3 or more skins bought. If the Best Skin Ever is the same as InvisibleSHIELD, then the instructions for application is the same for both products.

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Slow news week: cases and skins for my 5G

Nothing much is happening this week. Just stories about iTMS being the seventh largest retailer, and BenQ withdrew from the digital music player market in Taiwan, due to ‘stiff competition.’ They said they will focus on MP3 playing mobile phones. Then the news stopped coming because it’s Thanksgiving in the U.S. and all they have to say is: it’s Black Friday Sale! Jeez. Oh, yeah. There are a lot of new about software this and software that. I wish there’s a site that just has news.

Since nothing much is happening this week, I just googled for stuff like the Crystal Jacket from Power Support (or Pawasapo). I’m hoping that they’ll have one for the 5G soon. I’m looking for a case for my 5G and what I’m looking for is something that will offer the maximum amount of protection without adding bulk and weight, and something that could disply my iPod’s good looks. I stayed away from fabrics, silicones, leather, and metal. So it’s just about the plastics.

I used iPod Garage’s The Big Fifty: hands-on reviews of fifty iPod nano accessories you should know about. Though next week, it might be called “The Big Sixty: hands-on reviews of sixty iPod nano accessories you should know about.” The list keeps growing. This is all about iPod nano accessories but iPod Garage said they will do a 5G accessories review as soon as they start appearing.

The iPod nano accessories are a preview of what might available for the fifth-generation iPod. Like the See-Thru from Speck Products, iSee from Contour Design, and Shield 4 Nano from Agent 18. The iPod Garage’s “The Big Fifty” is a good source for reviews on these plastic cases and more.

I’m also considering getting one of those film protectors doesn’t really add much weight or bulk, but they don’t have the same protection as the plastic cases offer. One is from Power Support again, the 5G Film Set and the Crystal Shield (or Skin) from iStyles.

But the one that I’m really interested in is InvisibleShield. They have videos of the InvisibleSHIELD resisting being punctured with a ballpoint pen, from being torn by stretching, and from being scratched by a key. Very impressive. I found this mentioned in Macworld.

As I was looking for these stuff, I stumbled upon iPoditude, another website that reviews accessories for the iPod. (I wonder when they will receive a notice from Apple about the name of their website?).

Not iPod related but I thought would be kind of fun is InterfaceLIFT. The site has free icons you can use to change the default icons you have on your Mac.

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My 5G iPod and my cellphone

I heard from a podcast (I forget if it was Mac Cast, InsideMac, or TWIT) that some people were having problems with their iPods when placed near a cellphone. The podcast wasn’t so specific but someone remarked, “I wouldn’t put my iPod near a cellphone in the first place.” I agreed to that remark but I got careless.

Today, as I was getting ready for my noon nap, I plugged myself into my iPod and got MacCast going. I set the timer to 15 minutes and laid down. I was expecting an SMS message and I unthinkingly placed my Sony Ericsson K700i about 8 centimeters from my iPod. I closed my eyes and as I was drfting off to sleep the volume of the podcast I was listening to went up and down. I thought, “Something must be wrong with the podcast.” Then I heard the familiar sound a speaker makes when a cellphone is near it. I quickly looked at my iPod and the volume bar was going up and down like crazy. I yanked the cellphone away from the iPod and things went back to normal.

I googled for “iPod-cellphone-problem-interference” and found several hits that had the same problem that I just had. But there was one blog that said that his 5G iPod goes crazy everytime someone calls him on his cellphone. Everytime? I think that’s too much. What did he do, glued his cellphone at the back of his iPod?

I guess I’m rather late in this news since many websites and blogs already have featured this problem.

Anyway, it’s strange for people to be complaining about this “problem.” The solution is really simple. Don’t put your cellphone near your iPod or vice versa. I mean, there’s no absolutely need for your iPod and cellphone to be so close together, is there?

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How much do I love thee, iBook? Let me count the ways.

Berislav of NonStopMac counts the ways he loves his iBook. He loves the way it looks, the things it can do, and how much more productive he is with his iBook. He claims that he is at least 50% more productive on his iBook than on his Gericom Notebook or his Compaq Tablet PC. As a matter of fact, he has sold both of these machines in lieu of his 12″ iBook.

He also loves the software that came with the iBook. Tiger is a breeze to use and Spotlight and Dashboard makes the computing experience less of a computing experience and more of just an experience. Hardware is no problem. He says that anything he plugs into his iBook gets recognize immediately. There are some things that Mac won’t recognize but it’s a rather short list as compared to how Windows will put your through hell just to make something work. If it does works.

At the end of the day, that 12 hours Berislav spends with his iBook isn’t enough. He can’t bear to watch the iBook sleep. He needs to use it. “I was never so happy with any hardware,” he says. “The best thing about my iBook is that it is the perfect combination of good looks, powerful hardware, fantastic operating system – and the best of it, all that is stuffed in a beatiful 4.9 pounds white box.”

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10.4.3 hacked; Linux user: destroy Microsoft, OS X; Security’s a non-issue; idiocy of the church, revealed!

Maxxuss has hacked 10.4.3 and made it run on an Intel. Apple keeps trying to come up with a scheme to disallow their current OS to run on unauthorized Intel machines, but hackers seem to break those limitations quite easily. What will Apple’s next move? Ever heard of the “Harrell-Dvorak prophecy?”

While the Mac OS keeps getting hacked, a Linux user cries out to Apple to make OS X run in all Intel PCs and destory Microsoft in the process. Even though he is an advocate for Linux, Tom Adelstein says he sees the potential in the Mac OS, calling it a “stable and secure platform.”

Security IT Hub says that the Mac OS X makes security a non-issue for its users. The switch to Intel will probably as boring (security-wise) as it is now.

The catholic church once again shows how manipulative (or stupid) it is. It has called on to parents (Catholic, of course) to shun the iPod since it will bring porn to their children. What??? How will the iPod bring porn to children? More importantly, why single out the iPod and you don’t even need an iPod to get porn. This is just one way a group is using the popularity of something to get attention for itself. This issue was raised by Blogma at CNet.com.

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