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Archive for August, 2006|Monthly archive page

Vista listens to you

In Windows on a Mac on August 31, 2006 at 9:42 pm

Windows Vista includes universal speak-to-text.  With it, you can dictate what you want to write.  But it’s speech recognition system doesn’t stop there: you can navigate through many programs with your voice.  There are three methods to do this: saying what you want to select, using a number association system or using the ” mousegrid ” interface.  The first option, obviously the best, lets you simply say what you see on your screen.  It was pretty amazing being able to say ” I accept the terms of the license agreement ” and having the work.  Secondly, there’s the number system.  By saying ” Show numbers “, all the places you can click get highlighted in blue and numbers show up over them.  All you need to do is say the number and OK to click that button.  It’s also used in case of the conflict.  Let’s say you have ” two ” and ” too ” or even one of those twice and you say ” delete two “.  The numbers will come up and you can choose which ” two ” you want to delete.  The third method is a bit odd and too complicated to be useful.  After saying ” mousegrid “, your screen is covered by a series of grids with numbers in them, resembling a game of Sudoku. You keep on saying numbers to find a specific area to click.  It’s an interesting technology but it’s still kind of aggravating, yet still oddly fun.  Fun enough to make me write in this post almost exclusively with my voice.

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Vista might look good but OS X is simply better

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2006 at 9:00 am

Like I already said, I have a friend who loves Windows. He finds ThinkPads are nice (Beyond the fingerprint reader, I have know idea why), and enjoys dissing the Mac anytime he can. And I like returning the favor. On the other hand, I have a friend who swears to the Mac. He hissed at my MacBook Pro when I showed him Parallels running Windows! I, on the other hand, would be a “Mac Guy” but, obviously, I do still use Windows and I’m interested in it. I have a preference but that just because I like what works well. I find that OS X is a safer and overall more stable platform (They still might want to work on laptop sleep support. My Mac crashed twice after exiting the sleep state). Not to mention software like GarageBand, that very literally changed what I do with my computer. Sure Windows Vista is nifty but you can smell from a mile away what awaits it: viruses, spyware, and security flaws. If Mac goes South, and it would have to go South in a major, major way, I’ll probably go back to Windows if it’s better that Mac.

Now, a bit about Vista. Yes, it looks real nice. Aero is amasing (Not to crazy on the maximised window look, though. Why go from bright transparency to black opaque …-ness?). But here we see how Microsoft’s and Apple’s look for the future differs (I’m talking of the “iTunes 6” look, in Apple’s case): Both look nice but Apple add simplicity. I love the border-less windows. I wasn’t too crazy about it before because it would mean I could just ajust windows from the bottom-right corner but now I find it is the best.  Sure, Aero has transparent edges but it still looks more bulky than the “iTunes 6” look.  Not only can Apple offer style and simplicity, they manage to offer functionality, too.  Flip3D is a lot like Exposé but the windows are somewhat stacked one in front of the other, hiding a bit the window behind it.  If you have many windows, this might make selecting the right window a bit complicated.  But, with Exposé, you can see all your windows.  Seeing all the windows and identifying the one you’re looking for might seem complicated, but in my case I can easily identify the window I’m looking for.  The iPod is the perfect example of looks, simplicity and functionality.  It’s very good looking and it has a very simple navigation system, the clip wheel, that takes care of nearly all your needs: play, pause and other controls, volume and navigating through the menus.  But, Apple seems to have a near obsession with simplicity over functionality.  Apple laptops could probably have many more ports but that might mean making them thicker.  But Apple still seems to pursue a balance of both simplicity and functionality while always looking good.  The MacBook Pro’s trackpad is a good example.  Refusing to ever dare split the button to offer left and right click, Apple decided to offer the ability to put two fingers on the trackpad and then clicking to make a right click.  The button keeps its unified look yet people can still initiate a right click and I actually find it pretty easy this way.

I couldn’t resist

In Windows on a Mac on August 30, 2006 at 10:55 pm

Recently, a piece of news on MacDailyNews noted that Windows Vista’s Pre-RC1 build works on Intel Macs (except for two Boot Camp drivers), Aero effects and every thing (MBP anyway, although it noted that reports showed Aero even works with MB’s mediocre graphics card). Before, you had to destroy your Mac partition to install Vista, something that, obviously, wasn’t much of an option. Then, I discovered thanks to Neowin.net that MS was offering Vista Pre-RC1 free for a max of 100,000 downloads. I had a friend who’s a Windows nut who couldn’t get Beta 2 to work (while I could on an old PC box) so I decided to download it for him. But I couldn’t take it… I always found Vista’s Aero to look rather nice (the Basic style not so much) but the old box wasn’t powerful enough. I was thinking of trying Vista on my Mac… but then fear came in: what if it DOES erase my OS X stuff… or my ability to have OS X !?! I ended up needing two of my friends to motivate me but… I did it. And yes, it works. I’m typing this in OS X so I still have that. Oh and BTW, it doesn’t work with Parallels yet, just so you know. The it’s-not-funny-but-funny part is that my Windows worshipping friend still couldn’t get it to work. Weird, eh?

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Windows on a Mac: The Site

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2006 at 9:43 am

While I’m working on the new site, I decided to make a site with what I know about Windows on a Mac. I would like to have the basics done for the next podcast. By the way, I’m planning on finishing off the Summer season next weekend (not this one), meaning that there should be two episodes left of the iSwitched podcast and PDFcast before I stop… ok not exactly stop. I still want to do some podcasting but it’s always very hectic for me during the rest of the year so I’m planning some changes so that I can still do a podcast from September to June. You’ll know what they are next week.

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Macintosh Idol

In Mac on August 25, 2006 at 10:21 pm

My Dream App is a grand experiment to see what happens when you combine the expertise of some of the best talents in the software and tech world with great ideas and feedback from everyone else.

It works like this. For the first two weeks of the event, we’ll be collecting ideas for killer apps from hundreds, hopefully thousands of contestants. Then, the My Dream App team will be narrowing these down to 24 great (and developmentally feasible) entries.

From this point on, we’ll be bringing in the best talents in the industry, including people like Kevin Rose (Digg), original Mac evangelist Guy Kawasaki, New York Times columnist and best-selling author David Pogue, and even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to give their opinions and feedback on these ideas as they move on round by round. But ultimately, it’ll be up to the site’s users to determine which ideas make it to the end, with weekly elimination votes.

My Dream App » About

Suuuuwwwweeet. Send in your insane ideas (before Sep. 1st). Vote. Choose a winner. We just might have the most killer killer app on our hands. I would love to see this as a yearly competition. Finally a reality series worth following!

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It’s not stealing, it’s adoting

In Apple on August 24, 2006 at 1:06 pm

It’s getting kinda ridiculous this “Microsoft copies Apple”, or vice versa, debate. Apple even brung on stage during the WWDC keynote a VP (if I remember correctly) just to bash Windows Vista. Something that some people might need to realize is that it’s hard for everyone to have a good, original idea all the time, every time. Virtual desktops (think “Spaces”) already exist, for example, not to mention Widgets before Tiger. Sure, Apple might be coming up with truly original ideas but let’s just face it: Most of the time people ether label ideas with their brand or take an idea and (hopefully) enhance it. Calling it “stealing” seems a bit harsh. Sure, if it’s patented, you can call it that but I doubt most people would want to knowingly steal a patented idea. Too much legal problems in the future. Now what about un-patented ideas. Call it “adopting”. You’re using a concept already in existence; that sure sounds like “adopting”, doesn’t it? So, cool down everyone with this talk of stealing ideas. They aren’t stealing, they’re adopting and hey! Everyone’s doing it.

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Let the Games Begin!

In Windows on a Mac on August 19, 2006 at 9:31 pm

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(Yes, I intended the image to look like the “Snakes on a Plane” logo)

Success! With some help from Paul Thurrott and the people at the MacRumors forums, I was successful in installing a Non-SP2 Update version of Windows XP with Boot Camp on my Mac! I’ve been doing the necessary updates (When shutting down my MBP from Windows, I ended up having to install 52 updates!) and installing the necessary protection. I also tried activating my copy. I was told that I passed my limit of activations (The only other time this happened was after the night that caused me to switched. If I remember correctly, I had to do a quadruple reinstall). So, like the last time, I called the number given. They changed since the last time, offering a computer voice-controlled activation process. After saying every number of the special extra-long ID in a computer-like voice to make sure each number is recognized (toward the end, after a screw-up, the system finally told me I could use the num pad), It said it couldn’t activate and sent me to a real person… who told me to call back in 45 minutes because the system was down… How come I find that funny?

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Games… Neeeed Games…

In Mac on August 18, 2006 at 2:22 pm

One thing Mac isn’t known for is it’s game selection. And lately, I’ve been craving games. I have loades for Windows just laying around (like SimCity 4 and the Rush Hour expansion pack) not to mention some free ones I’m fond of (Albatross18, that I featured on the podcast, and FlyFF, a free cure for thoes who like World of Warcraft). Now, I can already hear you say “Boot Camp”. But the problem with that is that my XP CD is double un-qualified: it doesn’t have Service Pack 2 and it is an Upgrade disk. Even with other PCs around, what I realy want is to play games on my Mac: an all-in-wonder (Please don’t sue, ATI… or AMD now) Sure, I’ll have to reboot but hey, small price to pay for quality entertainment. But back to the problem, with the help of “Slipstreaming” or “XP CD without SP2 to XP SP2 CD” (legal as far as i can tell) and an external disk drive with Win 98 CD in it (thank you Macrumor forums), I just might get to play with my games! I’ll keep you posted.

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Sorry!

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2006 at 11:36 am

Sorry for the delay! Unexpected things associated with the podcast happened so hold on tight. I hope to have it ready before the weekend. But, there won’t be a new podcast this weekend as I won’t be at home.

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Best Buy Rocks Again

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2006 at 9:39 pm

Went there today and guess who was in the Mac section of the store: An Apple employee… that or a crazed fan who has an Apple shirt, hat and bag and who passed well as an Apple employee. Come to think of it, I didn’t any ID of any kind… Anyway, he knew his stuff. Even about Parallels! What really makes me say “Best Buy Rocks” is that Future Shop has the Singbox (which let’s you view your TV on your PC over your network and even over the Internet – Windows, PocketPC and Smartphone only, Mac coming soon) for $199.99 (Canadian – $50 off). Someone I know wanted it. We told that to a guy at Best Buy and shown him the flayer. No questions asked: he strait out said $189.99… and they had it normaly at the full price of $249.99. Wow! To top it off, freaking Future Shop is owned by Best Buy and the Best Buy guys don’t get paid by commission like at FS! The guy I was with also got an AirPort Express (with AirTunes to stream music wirelessly from a Mac or PC to a stereo system). Both installed easily and both work great. But needless to say, I’m a bit more excited about the Slingbox!

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