Haunted Mansion Holiday Event 2002!

Matt, my mother and I went to the Haunted Mansion Holiday event on 10/3/2002. We bought event items (I got a watch, a great boxed pin set, and the event pins) They gave us 2 pins (Sandy Clause and Zero), a signed limited edition painting of Sally (only 500!) and another painting. We had dinner in the Blue Bayou (5 courses), rode the Haunted Mansion twice (which was remade for the Nightmare Before Christmas theme) and listened to a panel of voice actors for the movie.

Here is a photo album from the event!

Update: I added some photos of myself from Matt

Classic Aladdin aimless decisions…

From MacFixit:

Stuffit Deluxe 7 RAR support Aladdin Systems provided the following statement to a user regarding support for expanding files using the RAR format: “StuffIt 7.0 does not support the current RAR 3.x.x standard in use on versions of the Microsoft Windows OS and/or other OSes; StuffIt 7.0 only provides support for up to the discontinued RAR 2.5 standard. Aladdin Systems software developers do not have permission at this time to licence RAR 3.x.x from RAR creator Eugene Roshel for use in Aladdin Systems softwares, so the only current option is to try to reverse engineer the support. It is not known if and when this will be sucessful. At this time, archives using the current RAR 3.0.0 standard can not be expanded.” Euegene Roshel, the creator of the RAR format, replied: “Portable Unrar 3.0 C++ source code is available in “RAR extras” part of www.rarlab.com since early beta versions of 3.0. It may be used free of charge in any applications, the only license limitation is that source must not be used to re-create RAR compression algorithm.”

Steve’s Take: Ask any of my friends, Stuffit needs to go. This company continues to produce slower than the competition compression and expansion. The above is an example of management not even talking to the RAR compresion holder to get the same information a Macintosh news site could get.

Someone needs to just make a competing product and be done with it. If I knew anything about compression…. hehe

iSync 101

If you are not a power user, if you don’t want to spend a lot of time scratching your head, don’t play with the iSync beta.

Today alone I have reset my devices 4 times, deleted 3 calendars to find out which one had bad data, reinstalled the Palm Desktop once and been confused numerous times when, after a sync, I do an immediate second sync and one item has been modified. Of course, there is no idea to know which item, nor why.

iSync looks like it will be a nice product whe it ships. But currently, with the known bugs (such as changing your event dates), I suggest it only for those of us willing to deal with headaches.

The user interface integration with Palm Desktop is spotty. There is no way a novice would figure this out. I applaud Apple for using Hot Sync, as it means I only need to sync my palm once, but the conduit should get its preferences from within the iSync user interface. A user should not have to go to two places to set things up.

If you do use iSync, send me your comments!

Benchmarking the new 1.25ghz G4s (Updated)

I toted my iPod down to The Computer Store in Tigard to run some Codewarrior benchmarks on the new Apple 1.25 ghz PowerMac G4s.

Needless to say, the G4 1.25ghz performed incredibly well, given half the RAM,and half the processor speed!

Update:

“Steven W. Riggins wrote:” >I just ran a speed test on a Dual 1.25ghz G4, and it came in same time >as CW Pro 8 on Windows XP 2.4ghz P4. > >But it only showed one file at a time in the build window, so does CW >take advantage of the second processor? No, the IDE does not use the advanatage of multiple processors. This is a high requested feature and I expect to see it in a future release. Ron

I used Metrowerks Codewarrior 8.2 on all systems to perform a cleaned target compile.

Backing up with Backup

I am now doing my first major cross-CD backup using the Backup application that came with my .mac subscription.

8 gigabytes, 14 CDs it claims. “But Steve, you own Retrospect, why not use that?” Well, restrospect stores data in it’s own proprietary format, which means you need Retrospect to read the data later.

After Backup churned for over an hour (yes, it is slow, and it pummelled my poor tibook in terms of performance) it burned, verified and ejected disc 1. I then put that CD into the G4 and sure enough, all data is in the clear (just normal files) just like with iDisk backup.

I am not sure what it will do with a folder that is larger than a CD, but we will find out!

this is no speed demon, but it is the first cross-cd application I have found that actually just puts files on CDs. Now I can send my ex-boss that 8 gigs of data I have been holding onto without him needing a special app to read them.

Too bad I will have to sit through the hour long scan to make myself a set, but that will be later, I will be out of CDs by then.

My first email to congress

This was in response to a letter from Congressman Wu, which was in response to a form letter I sent via the EFF on Bill HR 5211:

Dear Congressman Wu,

Thank you for your letter re: HR 5211. I am happy to read that you are concerned about both the copyright holder and the consumer’s rights, but I must say I am concerned that the real issue has been missed.

You see, Hollywood is using the MP3 trading as a way to weild a large stick over consumers. They want to pass other laws telling companies that they have to have approved DRM (Digital Rights Management) systems in place before being allowed on the market. Private industry must not be allowed to control Congress and innovation.

Congressman Berman’s bill allows for search and seizure (however intangible it may be) on a mere unauthorized use of a copyright. Under this law, do you understand that if you forward this email I am sending you to another congressman, then I would have rights to search your computers? That is right, you would be using my material in an unauthorized manner, granting me rights.

Congressman Wu, we have a Constitution with checks and balances already in place that allows law enforcement to seek a search warrant from a court should there be enough evidence to prove I am suspect of some illegal activity. HR 5211 is unneeded and will be a dangerous step towards the erosion of our rights as citizens of the United States.

Please don’t do what you can to ensure both sides have rights – Do what you can to kill this bill and remind Congressman Berman and your other colleagues that American’s deserve their fair use rights, that there are already laws in place for private industry to seek prosecution of people committing illegal acts and that Hollywood nor the Music industy should be given police state powers.

I am an honest citizen – I own every CD I have in MP3 form on my computer. With these new laws, I will be losing my rights to do what I want with music I have purchased.

Also note that these same industries tried to shut down the photograph, the VCR, etc, etc, and look how much money they have made from Blockbuster alone.

Hollywood and the RIAA need to stay out of politics, they need to stop blaming others for their lack of sales (maybe they should put out quality products like the rest of us) and they surely need to be rejected in this bill.

I develop software for a living. I know what piracy is. I can also tell you that I pay for products I use daily because I want to support the developers to the stay in business and continue to make my tools better. Smart people do this. Thieves will find ways to steal and justify no matter the technology in place.

Also note that this won’t stop overseas piracy. Why should we, the most free nation on the planet, live under the tyranny of big business?

I have never written to an elected official before this bill. Please, please see how this is encroaching on our rights and freedoms. Let industry put out product worth paying for and stop them from taking away our rights.

Sincerely,

Steve Riggins

iChat gets National TV Exposure

On CBS’ reality show “Big Brother,” iChat was used for Lisa to communicate with the internet (it was an America’s Choice poll). It was clear it was iChat, with the bubbles and OS X menu bar.

More exposure for Apple is a good thing!

Using Virex to automatically scan archives

If you signed up for .Mac, then you got Virex as part of the package. Great! But it sucks. Virex does no auto scanning of new files for you as you download them.

A partial fix, pointed out to me by Doug Shivers of PMUG, is to configure Stuffit Expander to use Virex to scan archives.

  1. Launch Stuffit Expander
  2. Choose ‘Preferences’ from the ‘Stuffit Expander” menu
  3. On the ‘Expanding’ panel, check ‘Scan for viruses using’
  4. Choose ‘Virex” from the popup menu

Now this is no 100% guarantee – You can sill download viruses, but since Mac applications typically need to be sent compressed, and you have stuffit expander set to handle all of your archives, you are good to go.