Prodigal Mac: Excuse Me While I Pull My Hair out By Kevin Schmitt For those Prodigal Mac readers that go WAAAYY back with me to the column's humble beginnings, which was all of about four weeks ago, you've probably noticed my fondness for analogy. I wouldn't dare disappoint both of you by skimping on this installment, so let me take you back to an experience you've probably had (or may currently be having) in some form or another. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Flash Is Back By Dave Nagel Not too long ago, I went on a bit of a tirade against Microsoft for failing to deliver the Flash plugin with the basic installation of Internet Explorer for Windows. After all, if it could happen on the Windows platform, the same fate couldn't be far off for the Mac platform either. But now (as of last week) Microsoft and Macromedia say Flash Player 5 will be distributed with the Microsoft Windows XP operating system, which is scheduled for worldwide availability Oct. 25. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Who Educates the Educators? By Dave Nagel There are few things that affect your life as powerfully as your first child heading off to her first day of kindergarten. It's a time for reflecting upon one's own mortality, of envisioning one's child for the first time as a self-sufficient entity and of pondering the future in a completely new light. In short, it's a life-changing event. ...Read More »
Prodigal Mac: Find Balance, Grasshopper By Kevin Schmitt When I was little (and, admittedly, even today), I always looked forward to New Shoe Day!, a day so great, it must be capitalized and end with an exclamation point, even in the middle of a sentence. Picking out just the right shoe; the feel of the Brannock device against your sock-clad foot (yes, that metal thing they use to measure your shoe size does have a name); the agony of those rare times when they didn't have the right size; the ecstasy as you wore your spankin' new shoes out of the store, old ones already forgotten in the box under your mom's arm. There was nothing in the world like New Shoe Day! ...Read More »
Prodigal Mac: The One Where He Admits His Mac Envy By Kevin Schmitt One night recently, as I sat motionless and glassy-eyed on my couch, I came across one of the older episodes of Friends. It was the one where Ross was trying to decide which girl would be better suited for him: his current girlfriend, Julie, or his dream woman, Rachel. So he made a list of what was wrong with each woman in an effort to help him choose. Long story short, he picked Rachel, she found the list, read it, got mad at what he thought was wrong with her, hijinks ensued, roll credits. As I watched this episode for what seemed like the ten gazillionth time, it dawned on me that I, too, was approaching a crisis not unlike that of my television friend Ross. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: At It Again By Dave Nagel In some ways, it's reassuring to know that some things don't change. Even if it's a lame thing. Take Microsoft, for example. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: More Fun in the 3D World By Dave Nagel Before we get to the topic of this week's column?to wit, the SIGGRAPH convention?I'd like to revisit the topic of last week's?to wit, my birthday. You might recall that I had demanded of you, my beloved readers, some presents this year. Of course, not a single one of you sent me anything of any monetary value. I chalk this failure up to two factors?the lousy economy and the fact that I forgot to supply you with a shipping address. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: 20 Years of Innovation By Dave Nagel As most of you are aware, this week is my birthday. Last year at this time I published a wish list of my favorite technologies in the hopes that you would send some of these things along in gratitude for the fine service that all of you agree I provide to the industry. I don't mean to toot my own, you know, horn or anything; I just like getting free stuff. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: The Broadband Fiasco By Dave Nagel Some time ago I started a rant about ISPs and, in particular, my cable modem service. The argument went something like this: With all the commerce and information at stake on the Internet and with such limited choices as to how we access the Internet at high speeds, it seems almost a crime that those few companies that control access should take such a cavalier approach to service and support. I used my former cable modem service provider as an example of the sorry state of high-speed access. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: The Big Conspiracy By Dave Nagel The topic of last week's Talkin' Smack seemed to arouse the full range of emotions in our readers, from "Dave, you're an idiot" to "Dave, your mom is an idiot for not committing infanticide when you were born." A few of you were a bit more level-headed about the whole thing, offering some practical suggestions for seeking help for my mental problems, while others offered some not so practical suggestions for where I could stuff my obviously impaired brain. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: The Macworld Letdown By Dave Nagel Following last Wednesday's announcements, I'm not sure what I can say that hasn't already been said a million times in forums all over the Internet?usually punctuated by a couple of asterisks between an f and a k. The blame can't be placed entirely on Apple though. After all, they're at the mercy of Motorola, which, at present, is far more concerned about its ever-declining cell phone market share than chip development for the Mac. Or maybe they're still too busy firing employees caught smoking in the parking lot to worry about such trivial matters as megaHertz. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: The Macworld Smack Down By Dave Nagel Most of you know that Macworld kicks off this week. While the East Coast show is typically more consumer-oriented than the West Coast one, it does nevertheless offer the hope of some goodies for professional users as well. Of course, as the single most powerful journalist in the world, I am privy to some of the secrets that will be revealed this year?some pretty tantalizing ones at that?but you're going to have to wait for those. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: The Security Scam By Dave Nagel So, is it just me, or does everyone hate rights management companies? You know, those guys who make the technology that other people use to keep consumers from copying their stuff. Take Macrovision, for example, since it's their technology that has annoyed me most recently. Macrovision is the company that makes that encoding technology to "prevent piracy." At least that's the claim. In practice, it's the technology that causes me to go out and buy more expensive equipment because I can't use my VCR as a media hub because Macrovision's technology doesn't understand the difference between passthrough and recording. In other words, I can't run my DVD player through my VCR and actually watch a DVD because Macrovision thinks I'm trying to pirate my DVD just by virtue of the fact that both my VCR and DVD player are turned on at the same time. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Back in Black By Dave Nagel Less than a year ago, Corel Corp. seemed on the verge of ruin. Its profits were non-existent; it had just splurged on the acquisition of a number of creative products from the company formerly known as Metacreations; and its directors had released a statement saying that the company would be out of money unless it could merge with Inprise/Borland, another software company. The merger never happened. ...Read More »
Analysis: Is It Enough? By Dave Nagel At the Macworld Expo in New York this morning, Steve Jobs announced several significant developments in the Apple product lineup, many of them targeted toward creative professionals. Are the product announcements enough to satisfy users who have become frustrated over the apparent stall in chip development over at Motorola? Users have had mixed reactions to the announcements in forums all over the Internet. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Would Somebody Please Service Me? By Dave Nagel We all have our gripes about customer service in the computer business. As Mac users, we probably have it a bit easier than those poor, unfortunate, pathetic creatures on the Windows side, since, on the whole, our problems are rather minor and can be fixed with a bit of educated troubleshooting, whereas their problems are rooted in their childhoods and are usually only fixed through hug therapy. ...Read More »
He Was Just This Guy, You Know? By Dave Nagel There are probably five or six people in the world who, in my mind, should be exempt from mortality (not counting family and friends and, of course, you, dear reader). They're all brilliant writers, creative geniuses and, not incidentally, Mac fanatics. I'm sure you all have a similar list (at least unconsciously) and, I'm sure as well, our lists have one name in common?Douglas Adams. Unfortunately, the universe doesn't yet accept our input when it comes to who lives and who dies, as evidenced by the boorish manner in which it put an end this weekend to the life of one of the most brilliant writers of our time. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Mac Theater By Dave Nagel Response to my last column shows that Mac users certainly have not stopped believing that we live in an amazing period in the history of technology. And, although we sometimes have differences of opinion with the mother ship and qualms with the mother ship's chip maker, rarely does a day pass when we fail to recognize what an amazing thing Apple has done for us in making the desktop computer a reality and in doing it so right. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Fanatical and Proud of It By Dave Nagel It's great to be a Mac psychofanatic. I'm an enthusiast and professional user and, as an added bonus, I get to spend every day of my life writing about the Mac, playing with review hardware and software and joke around about the inferiority of the currently popular, albeit utterly inferior, competition, viz. Windows. And I do so with all the self righteousness of any other kind of fanatic, with the big difference being that my point of view happens to be correct. ...Read More »
Talkin' Smack: Your NAB Agenda By Dave Nagel So, of course, it's NAB time again. With or without the major broadcast networks' support, the event continues, its significance undiminished by the pullout of CBS over differences of opinion on the O&O issue. Still the industry gets together and confers with itself as always; new technologies emerge to replace the old (or at least the promise to replace the old some time within the next year, give or take a few years) as always; and the show goes on as always. ...Read More »
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