Friday, April 29, 2005

Don't Panic!
Posted by Sam at 1:43 PM

Nerds everywhere are sent into a whirlwind of panic. My response: Don't panic.

Ah... Don't Panic. The now legendary advice from that super-duper, more-useful-than-the-internet book (computer?), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Today however, I find myself repeating that mantra over and over. Don't Panic, don't panic, don't panic... Yet on this day, it provides no comfort.

Today is Tiger day. Today is also opening day for the new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie. Clearly, the nerd in me is torn. I am now forced to choose between two huge passions in my life; Macintosh nerdism versus Sci-fi fanaticism. What to do... what to do?

In actuality however, there is no decision that needs to be made. Tiger trumps all... or should I say, tromps all? Chomps all? Anyway... the unleashing of this vicious feline is something that I have been looking forward to for so long. Nothing will stand in the way of me spending company money to purchase a copy. Nothing. (Not even the overpowering cuteness of Marvin, the clinically depressed robot. I guess in the meantime, I'll have to be satisfied with the adorableness of the little Automator robot. I'll be ok. Really.)

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Just Call Me "Muffin Lung"
Posted by Sam at 8:32 AM

I just inhaled a coffee cake muffin like it was a can of Perri-Air. Not really. I'm sure that I ate it. I remember swallowing, but I definitely don't remember chewing. I'm too excited to chew.

Unless you live in dimly lit cave, you'll know that today brings Tiger. And with it comes enlightenment. I'm gonna install so many widgets and automate so much stuff and find everything with spotlight and read feeds with safari and probably break some stuff... which is a nice segue into my next point. Back up before you install!

Ok... more later. Right now I have to finish coughing up the bits of muffin that found their way into my lungs.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Sith Doesn't Suck!
Posted by Sam at 4:08 PM

I was so happy to read this article. And yes, anonymous commentor, I can read. (see first comment down)

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Roll Call
Posted by Sam at 1:23 PM

Well peeps, tomorrow is the big day. This is it. The festivities begin at 6pm (not 9pm as I had once reported).

So now it's time to ask thee this: Who among you is with me? Who is strong enough to stand for hours amidst the huddled masses of Macintosh enthusiasts? Who will brave the drive through Hartford during rush hour? Who will go and fetch me coffee when the need for caffeinated nourishment grows too great? Who will stand proudly by my side as we wait, for eons, as passersby taunt and poke us (verbally) with pointy sticks of beleaguerment?

Will it be you, comrade? Do you have what it takes? Make me proud, soldier. Make me proud.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

See You in Hell, Internet Explorer
Posted by Sam at 11:26 PM

I just read that Internet Explorer for Mac will not ship with Tiger.

It's like a dream come true.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

We'll Put Prostitution in the "Maybe" Pile
Posted by Sam at 1:37 PM

Like a sack of kittens tossed into a pond, it's starting to sink in... that I'm going to be very poor, very soon. In a mere 38 days, 3 hours, and 23 minutes I am going to be jobless. Hallelujah! Free at last!

The prospect of career emancipation is not only liberating to my work-torn body (spine curved from years spent shackled to a faux wood laminate wrap-around desk (meant to enhance productivity by allowing for an expanded work area, but really serving as a quasi-prison; the occupant can leave, but that process is so difficult, uncomfortable, and graceless that it seems easier just to stay and work), fingers crooked and gangly from maneuvering that little plastic rodent and smashing those tiny buttons on that anti-ergonomic plank of confusion, wrists bent permanently, and eyes (oh the horror!), blank, bloodshot, and forced to cower behind thick walls of corrective glass. Now where was I? Ah yes: The prospect of emancipation is not only liberating to my work-torn body...) but to my heart and soul as well. I can only imagine what that freedom will feel like: soaring as carefree as a bird, with nothing holding me back... aside from the all too real fact that I cannot fly.

Despite how amazingly wonderful it will be to be unemployed, the alarming reality of a future absence of income is slowly chiseling away at my delight. The horror of a paycheck-less lifestyle is only amplified by the inevitable onset of dept. Mounds and mounds of it. This grad school thang sure ain't free.

So, what are my options? Well, there's always the whoring myself out option. Though certain skills, or lack there of, might dissuade the return customer. Yeah... let's see if I can find a more lucrative/legal alternative. We'll put prostitution in the "maybe" pile.

Here's what I've got so far:
1) Freelance. This is a sure thing. And for the most part, I enjoy it. The only problem here is that I can't rely on it. The income can be very good, but is never consistent.
2) Tutoring. Wanna learn some web design? Wanna learn to play the drums? Want to learn how to program your VCR? At this point, I really don't care what I teach.
3) eBay. I've got tons of stuff that I don't need... but how long will it last?
4) Part-time Job. Ummm... no thanks. Let's treat this as a last resort.

What am I missing? Any ideas? Get rich quick schemes? Help!

APOLOGY: Sorry about that really disturbing kitten photo.
APOLOGY (part II): Sorry about that really disturbing "sack of kittens" simile.

UPDATE: As I was writing this post, I received a call from the administration at the college at which I teach. A professor/friend there just got into a really bad car accident. Details are minimal. I've been asked to take over her class tonight... maybe longer if it's not canceled. I really hate the idea of profiting from someone else's tragedy but... there may be some classes next semester in need of an instructor. Arghhh! This feels weird.

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Friday, April 22, 2005

Booty! No, Not That Kind
Posted by Sam at 5:23 PM

Amber and I just raided the "Promotional Materials" closet here at work. It was like xmas... or at least what I imagine xmas to be like. You see, Jesus doesn't really like us Jews... I think we got into a bar fight once and crucified him or something. I was too drunk to remember. Anyway, as a disciplinary measure, he makes Santa skip over our Jew chimneys on xmas. Honestly, it's a real low blow. Come on now... I just want to celebrate your birthday and play with the shiny, star topped, toy filled tree. Pleeeaaase! I'll let you try my dreidel... you can gamble with it...

Right. As I was saying...

Amber and I raided the Promo closet and walked away with some mighty fine booty. Mighty fine indeed. On the top of the list is a retractable, click-top Sharpie! (Nothing says lovin' like a Sharpie mustache on an unsuspecting sleeping comrade) Also included in the plundering, were a few t-shirts, bottle openers, a magnetic clip thingy, and key chains.

Arrr... I loves me the booty!

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This Flyer Says It All
Posted by Sam at 3:36 PM

It's events like these that are going to make me miss my eccentric little city.

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

On a Jungle Safari
Posted by Sam at 12:39 PM

The burning question on everyone's mind: When the Tiger is finally released into the wild, will I embark on a Safari 2.0? Will you?

The real question here is whether I will be able to utilize Safari in place of Firefox. In recent months Firefox has become more than my default browser. With the aid of some rock solid extensions, Firefox is now my FTP client, mail app, RSS reader, CSS editor... and (thanks again to certain extensions) I can make Firefox bend to my will. In other words, I can browse how I want to browse. It's all about control really.

Firefox is undeniably a slug though. Compared to Safari, Firefox is about as fast as my mom's '85 Chevy Celebrity Wagon that I learned to drive on (0 to 60 in about... well, a minute and a half... downhill... with the wind at its back), while Safari flies like my dad's '89 Toyota Supra Turbo that he once asked me to stop looking at (in fear that I might drool on myself or, more tragically, it). Clearly, this is hyperbole (new vocab!). If Firefox was really that slow, I would not use it.

In addition to it's speed advantages, Safari 2.0 is going to feature a RSS news aggregator built right into the browser. That'll be hot! And, I'm sure that it will be done in that magical Apple way. You know what I'm talking about... the so simple and elegant, why didn't I think of that? way.

More than likely, here is what is going to happen: I will embark on a Safari 2.0 adventure (more out of curiosity than anything else). As I hunt and tame the elusive Tiger, I'm bound to stumble upon the tracks of the legendary Firefox, her tail ablaze in a glowing promise of liberating extensions and properly rendering HTML. Perhaps I'll abandon the jungle Safari and follow the tracks back home. Or maybe, the current expedition will prove too advantageous to abandon. We'll see. Only 8 days left to go...

So what's it gonna be? Safari 2.0 or Firefox? Your thoughts?

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Breaker One-Nine, This Here's the Rubber Duck
Posted by Sam at 9:43 AM

Apple will indeed have "special events" planned at Apple Stores for the April 29 Tiger release. The events (most probably include the privilege of being whipped by Tiger trainers (a.k.a. Apple Store employees) while waiting patiently to be let into the store) will begin at 6pm Cupertino time. For us here on the eastern coast, the special events will commence at 9pm. I think. I'll have to double-check that.

There is a convoy being organized. Yep, a great big convoy. It'll be rockin' through the night. Or, at least to the Apple Store in Connecticut. So far, the convoy consists of four people carpooling to the Westfarms Mall. You want in? Send me an email... oh, and if it's not too much trouble, call me the Rubber Duck.

Hmmm... in retrospect, this won't be much of a convoy. It'll be more closely related to a field trip. In a cramped compact sedan. Full of special people. Who don't get out much. It'll be a hoot!

'cause we got a great big convoy
Rockin' through the night.
Yeah, we got a great big convoy,
Ain't she a beautiful sight?
Come on and join our convoy
Ain't nothin' gonna get in our way.
We gonna roll this truckin' convoy
'cross the u-s-a.

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1 + 1 = Awake
Posted by Sam at 8:08 AM

A cup of coffee is no substitute for a good night's sleep.

However, two cups can perform miracles.

(I should really consider buying stock in Dunkin' Donuts)


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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Posted by Sam at 1:10 PM

What kind of designer would I be if I didn't post about Adobe's acquisition of Macromedia? This is huge, and very weird, and will directly effect us as designers.

My concerns are these:

1) The possible death of some of my favorite apps.
I'm a Dreamweaver (Macromedia) user and I'm really not a huge fan of Golive (Adobe). If Adobe now owns Macromedia, what's going to happen to the likes of Dreamweaver? Will it simply be killed off? Will it be absorbed into GoLive?

2) Adobe will have a stranglehold on the design industry.
QuarkXpress is still going strong... but it's increasingly losing its momentum. InDesign (Adobe), Quark's direct competition, is arguably a much better page layout app. It seems more in tune with a designers needs while offering so many more features and options (all of which have been discussed to death elsewhere). With the disappearance of Macromedia, Quark will be the only real competitor to Adobe's dominance over the design industry. And, if Quark keeps up its current practices, it's not going to be around for too much longer.

3) Competition makes the products better.
As stated, I am an avid Dreamweaver user, and not much of a fan of GoLive. Still, I like to have GoLive around. It's good to know that if Dreamweaver started to suck I could always make the switch to another application. With only one app (DreamLive? GoWeaver? DreamGoWeaverLive?) and no competition, the product could suck and Adobe would not suffer any losses because there is nowhere else for designers to turn. (As an aside... I feel that this is the exact reason why Quark began it's suckage. PageMaker, once considered Quark's rival, is a page layout app for beginners... not professionals... and was never really much threat to Quark (during my life as a designer, anyway). Without anything driving Quark to innovate and pull ahead, Quark just became stagnant. QuarkXpress 3.3 to 5.01 was essentially the same product. Quark just tacked on a few new options here and there. With the increasing popularity of InDesign however, Quark began to get their act together. Quark 6.5 is a better Quark than previous Quarks... but it's still no InDesign. Yet QuarkXPress still holds the lead in page layout apps. Why? Because we fear change. Really though, I would speculate that it is because Quark has been the leader for so long. These changes take time. Not to mention that much of the output hardware is tied directly into Quark. This is falling at an ever increasing pace though...)

The one thing that I am looking forward to, is the product-wide integration. It's a snap to go from Photoshop to ImageReady (part of Photoshop)... or Illustrator to InDesign. And obviously, Adobe has crafted their products in such a way that this transition is seamless and streamlined. Typically however, my web design workflow is Photoshop>Imageready>Dreamweaver. It will be nice to go directly to AdobeWeaver (or whatever it's going to be called) from ImageReady, with the same ease that exists from one Adobe product to another.

I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't frightened by this acquisition. Ok, frightened is a bit strong... more like apprehensive. It will be interesting to see what happens, but as with anything that has the potential to alter my professional workflow, I will maintain vigilance until the smoke clears.

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Scar Light, Scar Bright, First Scar I See Tonight
Posted by Sam at 10:41 AM

If "chicks" truly "dig scars..."
Why won't they dig my emotional scars?

These are the things that keep me up at night.

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Saturday, April 16, 2005

If Only...
Posted by Sam at 8:13 PM

From engadget: Mac OS 10.8 Liger





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Friday, April 15, 2005

Awesome and I Think Cuddy
Posted by Sam at 9:11 AM

Today, talks of an utterly useless, yet completely amusing little web gizmo. It's called HTTP in tha House. Essentially, the operator feeds it a URL, it analyses the HTML, extracts bits and pieces, and then recompiles them and spits out 16 lines of rhyming verse.

The following is an excerpt from the output I received when I entered in (Sometimes it helps to reload the page a few times to ensure that the randomly generated verse is at its lyrical finest)

HTTP in tha House
lyrics by:

my bloody
awesome and i think cuddy
capital r html last post
of their next album the most
application only does one thing
asylum yep you read ping
really sweet a href
for me however the highlight f


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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Tiger Mauls Konfabulator
Posted by Sam at 3:32 PM

While this isn't necessarily new news, it is still Tiger related news and definitely worth mentioning.

There exists an application called Konfabulator (Mac/Win). It's a really cool app. It's lightweight, very powerful, customizable, expandable, and extremely handy... and you can read all about it on Apple's Tiger page, under the feature listed as Dashboard. Konfabulator and Dashboard - two separate applications, made by two separate companies - are so strikingly similar in look and function that one has to wonder if this is legal.

What both applications do is allow small "mini-applications" (known in both programs as "Widgets") to run and be accessible via certain keyboard commands. The mini-apps live on a sort of hidden layer that can be easily toggled on or off. These mini-apps can be pretty much whatever the user wants them to be. Since both are javascript based (and other web technologies too... like CSS and HTML), almost anyone can create their own Widget. If you don't want to create your own, don't worry about it. Dashboard will come pre-installed with a bunch (Dashboard Widget download sites are cropping up too), and Konfabulator has a ton available for download. Some Widget examples might include stocks, weather, dictionary, phone book, clock, games, calendar, calculator, addresses...

Despite the fact that Dashboard is way too similar to Konfabulator for it to be coincidental, I am still excited to see what Apple's version is like. I'm sure Dashboard will be heavily integrated into the OS X experience... probably part of Exposé. Like most apple software, it will be slick and usable without any complications.

I don't know what to feel for the makers of Konfabulator. Having not yet used Dashboard, I can only speculate as to their impending rivalry. Who knows, maybe Konfabulator is more sophisticated than Dashboard. Maybe the true Widget users/developers will scoff at the idea of using/developing for Dashboard. I guess we'll find out in a short 15 days.

Next up: Tiger Mauls Quickeys

Further reading:
Macworld: Konfabulator, Dashboard controversy flows out of WWDC
Daring Fireball: Dashboard vs. Konfabulator

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Droning On
Posted by Sam at 4:26 PM

The first Tiger thing that I'd like to gripe about... and yes, this is a bit nitpicky... is the raw ugliness of Apple's Tiger page. Take a look for yourself:

For a company so dedicated to quality design, I'm surprised that they let this atrocity pass. Ok... I have seen worse. But, this is Apple that we're talking about. The Tiger page is wholly uncharacteristic of Apple's typical standard of aesthetic integrity. Their design team rocks! But this... well, it looks like it was slapped together by an intern. Ouch...

I'll spare you the entire rant. Click here to read me drone on and on about design structures and consistency and blah blah blah. (Gee, I really sold that well. You know it's good writing when the author advises his audience not to read his own work.)

In an effort to counterbalance my gripe, I offer this: Isn't the little Automator robot guy (included in the upcoming Tiger release) just the cutest thing? Look at him holding that shiny piece of tubing... I just want to hug him until his adorable little blue cyclop eye dims to a cold, dead, empty blackness. So cute!


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Groan of Vexation
Posted by Sam at 9:12 AM

Tiger will be here in a short 16 days. From now until then (and probably during the weeks following) I am going to attempt to post at least one Tiger related thought, criticism, comment, question, gripe, etc... per day. A synchronized groan of vexation rumbles through the blogosphere. Did you feel it? I nearly fell off of my chair.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Eye of the Tiger
Posted by Sam at 10:34 AM

Write this down. It's important. Or, better yet, download this iCal event (should work in Sunbird too).

Mac OS 10.4 Tiger to be unleashed on Friday, April 29

I will be at the Apple Store, Westfarms Mall (Farmington, CT) picking up a copy. In the past, the Apple Stores have all had some kind of event for new OS releases. The Jaguar release was insane. I was in line for a couple of hours... I did meet some really interesting people and got a ton of free stuff (t-shirt, mouse pad, etc... Hello eBay). The Panther release was less impressive, but still fun (free stuff included Panther dog tags for some reason). Maybe I'll see you there?

I embrace my inner dork.

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Friday, April 08, 2005

Like Hell
Posted by Sam at 9:25 AM

I feel like hell, and I've been told that I look like hell too.


I hate being sick.

Please reference December first's blog entry for further details.

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Monday, April 04, 2005

Tonight, I Got Some Action
Posted by Sam at 10:13 PM

I coerced her into shedding some external layers. Cautiously, she let me remove her most protective garments. One by one I placed them aside... each piece revealed more of her exquisite form. Her most private and delicate parts were available to me... to my eyes... to my hands. As she grew more comfortable in my firm, yet gentle grasp, it became apparent that she wanted more. She wanted my fingers probing her warm depths. She wanted me inside...

And that's what it was like for me as I dismantled my Powerbook this evening. Well, actually it wasn't like that at all. It was really frightening. I love my Powerbook so much. To perform surgery like this was truly nerve-racking.

Obviously, I was able to fix the problem that I was having earlier. I had to remove the keyboard and figure out what was preventing the spacebar from pressing down. I would never have been able to get the keyboard off however, without the help of PB Fix It. Powerbook users, bookmark this site! It's an amazing resource for do-it-yourself Powerbook upgrades and repairs.

And now, we're off to bed. I know it's early, but my Powerbook and I have had a rough day. She needs her rest, and I want to be there to ease her sleep... caressing her aluminum chassis and what not...

You just wouldn't understand.

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Posted by Sam at 8:29 AM


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Sam, You're a Bastard and I Hate You
Posted by Sam at 7:37 AM

If you don't know by now... or, if you're not one to click links... the last post was an April Fools joke. I don't have a secret girlfriend (much to my dismay), nor will I be having a child with her.

Over the weekend, I received many emails and many fone calls. Both consisted of similarly structured conversations. Sample fone call:

"Sam, you're a bastard and I hate you."
"...but, I..."
"Shut up, Jerk!" *click*

It's all good though. Who needs friends when one has a blog? Just kidding. I love you guys...

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Friday, April 01, 2005

Confession Time...
Posted by Sam at 9:59 AM

Ok. This is going to be tough.

Anyone who knows me (in the physical world (not this electronic quasi-reality)), knows that I am one busy mofo... these days anyway. The thing is... well... yes, I'm doing the teaching thing. And, it is really time consuming... and I've got the full-time jobby job... but there's something else that's been occupying my time. I'm not really sure why I've been keeping it a secret. I guess I just didn't really know how to bring it up. Ok ok... here it is: I have a girlfriend.

She's awesome. And I think that I'm in love (which explains the topic of the last few posts). She's more than I could have asked for... amazing in every way. We met accidentally... and things just clicked.

Anyway, I received a call from her earlier this morning. She's pregnant.

Life is about to change. I'm taking the rest of the day off to be with her and talk things through. I'm going to be a dad. I'm going to be a dad?

Oh... you can click here to see a picture of us. I'll post more later.

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Posted by Sam at 8:04 AM

Check out today's Get Fuzzy (click here for a readable version):

Now read today's Foxtrot (click here for a readable version):

Coincidence? Conspiracy?

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Sam Who!?
Sam is an amazing and humble guy. Once, he rushed into a burning building, up six flights of stairs to save a kitten from certain death. He speaks eight languages, has mastered three varieties of martial arts, is a wine expert, and is a pulitzer prize winning author. Sam is an international heart-throb who prefers a quiet evening at home knitting afghans for the homeless, to the go-go, glitz and glamor of the party scene. I think the day he won the silver medal for ballroom dancing at the 98 olympics was the happiest of his life. Pretty impressive for a guy who never finished the 8th grade. - Carrie, 04
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