Reds vs. Red Sox

Great game last night to attend and I was lucky to have tickets. Sat on the right-side of home plate in the grandstands under the roof.

It was a blast, even though it was so cold out there. I found it really funny and great how into it us Red Sox fans get even when the conditions aren’t exactly the best. We had a wave going in the 7th inning of what was essentially a “blowout game” when it is cold and raining, not to mention everyone singing Sweet Caroline even when the music stopped playing….that tells you something about how great Fenway is.

The game itself was fun to watch, with the Red Sox putting constant pressure on the Reds all night long and it paid off with a very nice win.

Maybe I’ll get some photos up of the game…

Flowers

The past few days, I have been a little nervous because I had ordered flowers from 1-800-Flowers for Katie and was waiting for them to be delivered. Since I never used that service before, I wondered how they would come out. Well, they look good to me. Spectacular actually.

Katie loved them…said I was a jerk because I said that I would never send flowers to her at work. Oops ๐Ÿ™‚

Apple switching to Intel

I’m probably the last one on the planet to blog about Apple switching to Intel. To me the switch makes total sense for Apple.

Keep in mind that Apple isn’t doing this as their #1 option…this is a last resort because IBM failed to keep their promises by improving the PowerPC chips quickly enough.

Keep in mind Apple has indicated that OS X has been running on Intel chips ever since it came out. That means it has already encountered and fixed many problems that would come with the switchover. That also means that they are prepared for handling the transition. A 2-year timetable seems perfect.

Keep in mind Apple has seemed to work out a way for the transition to be as seemless as possible. PowerPC applications will be able to run on Intel machines without major difficulty. Many applications can be simply recompiled into “fat binaries.”

Keep in mind that PowerPC computers will still be around for many years. Apple won’t ditch their loyal customers anytime soon who are stuck on PowerPC machines until technology advances too far for the PowerPC machines to keep up with their Intel counterparts.

Keep in mind this could very well lead to lower prices.

Keep in mind I imagine some really cool designs will come out of this for the first Intel-based computers…Apple will want to add their trademark touch but make them even newer and more exciting. After all, they will have to convince a huge install base to switch over to a completely new architecture. I can’t wait to see the inovations to come about by this.

This switch has been long rumored and is finally here. I say enjoy it and let me say this. I will be in line for the first Intel Mac’s assuming they are as good as they could possibily be.

Software update progress

Ben has posted a preliminary screenshot of the Software Update Notification UI for Firefox.

Some early thoughts:

  1. When does this notification appear? Does it appear at startup before Firefox is opened? Because if it requires a user to click on the big red blob in the upper right-hand corner of Firefox, it has failed the grandma test. This notification should appear at startup just like Trillian does when it needs an update…make the user focus on it and not dismiss it.
  2. The big exclamation mark about the update possibily breaking themes and extensions should not be there. It makes the update scary and not inviting, which is the exact opposite reaction Firefox should be getting. In fact, users will expect Firefox to be smart enough to install updated versions of themes and extensions that do work with the update automatically without user intervention. Keep in mind, the average user will not take the time to update their theme and extensions, all they will notice is their theme or extension not working. Firefox must get this right.
  3. Rename the “Download & Install” button to “Update Firefox.” Makes it more clearer what the button does.
  4. Delete “It is strongly recommended that you upgrade Firefox as soon as possible by clicking Download & Install ยป.” Just say “Click on the ‘Update Firefox’ to begin. This should take only a few moments.”

Other then that, great work! Keep it up!

Project Music Organization

Now that I own an iPod, I am going to work on completely ripping all of my music and then organizing them into the proper playlists. Here is how I am going to go about it:

1) Rip with Exact Audio Copy
2) Encode with LAME 3.96.1 (–alt-preset standard)
3) Import into iTunes 4.8
4) Add album art using Amazon.com and the amazing method of drag & dropping it into iTunes
5) Make sure each band has the proper genre attached to their songs.
6) Create playlists for certain music periods (for example: Grunge), different types of moods I’m in (for example: cruising music), and so on.
7) Profit!

iPod Mini

I am now the proud owner of an iPod Mini.

I had a little extra cash laying around and it had been a long time since I bought a new toy to play with. At first I thought about getting a Mac, but I decided to wait on that. The iPods just tempted me too much.

So I went to BestBuy to see their iPods in stock. Well, there was that kid at the counter who seemed like a total idiot when it came to this stuff and the fact that half of the iPods that were supposedly on display weren’t there (leaving the counter a little bare).

Katie and I decided while looking there that we would take a trip to Salem, NH and try to find the Apple Store there. Turns out it is at the Rockingham Park mall.

What a beautiful store. I had never been to an Apple Store before, but it lived up to its hype.

After looking around for about 20 minutes, I went to business. I narrowed down my choices to an 20 GB iPod and a Silver 4 GB iPod Mini.

In the end, the price tag ($199) and the slightly smaller form factor won me over. I bought an iPod Mini, along with one of those FM transmitters/chargers for the car, the extended warranty, and a case for the iPod (which I may return, haven’t decided yet).

So far, I am very satisified with my purchased. Put the CD in, followed the instructions, and loaded up iTunes. What a great piece of hardware.

This will be great for listening to music while I’m driving to clients. When I get to a client, put the small iPod mini in my pocket so I won’t lose it. Plug it back in when I get back to the car and go to the next client.

After a few years of not discovering much to listen to, I think I will be working on that ๐Ÿ™‚ I should try out podcasting as well.

Office 12 to have new file format

Scoble has announced that Microsoft is creating new XML-based file formats for Office 12.

On the surface, this looks really bad (anyone in the IT industry remembers the havoc the file format change in Office 97 caused). However…it may very well be one of the best decisions Microsoft has ever made.

Look at some of the details about these new formats from Brian Jones, one of the Office developers at Microsoft.

  • Open Format: Sounds like ANY program can create 100% fully compatible documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. and have Office read them. That also means any program in theory can open and view these files. A long time coming.
  • Compressed: The file format is compressed with ZIP, saving a ton of space. Quicker to e-mail, transfer, etc.
  • Robust: Less likely to have file corruption. I’m going to faint.
  • Backwards compatible: Versions 2000 and higher will be able to read this format with just a minor update. This will spread adoption real quick.

I never thought I’d say it, but Microsoft has made my day.