April 2007 Archives

Astronomy Pic of the Day: Carina


This is amazing: Carina Nebula Panorama from Hubble:

Click on the pic on the NASA page to see the whole image full size (if your screen can handle 4000x1937 images!)

Leopard Delayed


Well, this is a bummer: Leopard Delayed

...we will not be able to release Leopard at our Worldwide Developers Conference in early June as planned. While Leopard's features will be complete by then, we cannot deliver the quality release that we and our customers expect from us. We now plan to show our developers a near final version of Leopard at the conference, give them a beta copy to take home so they can do their final testing, and ship Leopard in October.

City Living, Brisbane


The relatively new Festival Towers residential development in Brisbane city centre a few weeks ago. This is not your father's sleepy country town any more!

Dave's Rules of the Kitchen, #31415926


If the best before date on a food product you find in the kitchen (or indeed anywhere) has faded to the point of illegibility, it's not a good idea to use that product, no matter how fresh or fragrant that product appears.

MacBook vs MacBookPro


I was dithering between a Macbook and a MacBookPro until I saw the two side by side at an Apple store today. The MacBook display was almost unreadable with the reflections in that glossy display, while the MBP was perfectly fine.

Now, I just have to wait until Leopard is released and the MBP's have those nice LED illuminated displays.

Reviews: iWoz & iCon


Recently I've read iWoz, Steve Wozniak's autobiography, and iCon, a Biography of Steve Jobs (written by Jeffrey Young, and probably unauthorised).

They're quite different books, although they both have a lot of common ground with the founding and development of Apple. Steve Wozniak's shows a basically nice guy with a talent for hardware and technology.

Jobs, meanwhile, comes across as a gifted visionary, a focussed leader and a complete prick. I gather that this is a view held by many people, even those who would consider themselves his friends.

I must declare a bias here. The first computer I ever used was (in 1979) an Apple ][ (designed and built by Woz and Jobs), I used a Mac in 1984 and just about every personal computer in that heady period when they were all different. I rediscovered Macs in 2005 and have recently bought a MacBook. I use OS X, Linux (since 1999) and Windows every single day, I would regard myself as a competent system administrator for all of these and I have complete contempt for those single system types with no experience of the others who nevertheless diss those others at any opportunity. Otherwise known as Fanboys, or salesdroids.

We wouldn't have computers with interfaces as humanly accessable as we do now without Steve Jobs. Woz was a gifted techie, but someone else would have invented the floppy drive, affordable colour display, small chip count motherboard, and breakout game.

Without Steve Jobs vision of a computer that you can use to create content without worrying about the technical details, the world would be a poorer place. Microsoft's "it's crap but it'll do" approach would dominate computing. Would we still have Windows? Yes, because Xerox invented that stuff in the 1970's.

In Flight Movie Reviews: Flushed Away


In Flight Movie Reviews: Flushed Away — Aardman

This was an enjoyably silly movie.

I would've loved to be a fly (hah!) on the wall when the Casting Director told Jean Reno that he was going to play a frog...

"A Frog? But I am already French, and I always play a Frenchman, Rosbif."

"No Jean, a real frog, une, uh, Gren-yoo-eeee."

"Une Grenouille? Vraiment?"

"er, Oui."


"And, uh, there's a scene where your crack troop of French Frog Commandos --"


"your, uh, crack troop of French Frog Commandos are told to execute their best manoeuvre and they, uh, *mumble*."

"Pardon-aaaaaaaaay Mwaaaaaaaa?"

"They, uh, surrender."

"While eating cheese?"

"no, but we could put that in if --"

"Non. I think not."

"OK, sure, whatever you want. Are you on board?"

"Four times my normal rate?"

"Sure thing!"

"OK, I'm in."

"OK, thanks Jean. See you in the studio for voice recording."


"Well, that went well."


"Oh, yeah. Much better than I expected really. Now I've got the hard call. You know Sir Ian?"

"Ian McKellen? The greatest Shakespearean of our time? Can turn his hand from being an immortal to a mutant at the drop of a hat and can out act everyone else in the movie just by crinkling his eyes?"

"The very one. He's an overacting Toad in this project. Goes Muahahaha! a lot, and rubs his flippers together like a Bond villain."

"Hang on before you call him, I'll get the popcorn."


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