Joho the BlogNovember 2005 - Page 3 of 9 - Joho the Blog

November 19, 2005

[mac] Status…

The basics are working, or at least are on the way to working. I’m going through the many suggestions you’ve had for software. Heck, I’ve even installed a kickass screensaver, LotsaWater that makes it look like your desktop is under an inch of clear water during a rainstorm. Very cool. (Why aren’t there screensavers like this on the PC? Maybe there are and I just haven’t noticed.)

I still feel like I’m driving on the wrong side of the road. But Britt Blaser has been incredibly helpful, answering the questions too dumb to be worth surfacing in public, such as: When I find something in Spotlight, how do I tell where it is on the disk? (A: Click on the info button next to the listing.) How do I eject a disk? (A: Click the function button, among other ways.) How do I delete a character forward, which is what the Delete key on Windows machines does? (A: Fn+Del … pretty clumsy, actually). Britt’s been great, answering my questions and insisting that they’re not dumb when in fact we both know they are. Thanks, Britt. [Tags: ]


Appropriate reaction

Uproar in House as Parties Clash on Iraq Pullout

Headline in the NY Times

Well, it’s about bloody time. Except it sounds like it was just name-calling.

[Tags: ]


November 18, 2005

Ranganathan Redux

You can read here a brief article of mine, in Forrester Magazine, on how the 1930s ideas of Ranganathan, the Indian library genius, inspired faceted classification that’s saving IBM $500M a year. [Tags: ]


[mac] Networking success

I plugged the Mac into an ethernet cable instead of using wifi, and now it’s able to find and copy the documents on my PC desktop. Huzzah!

I’m not sure what the problem is, but since I’m at the moment blundering around in the dark, I don’t expect to know what it was.

BTW, Windows doesn’t see the Mac, although the Mac sees Windows. I found a web site that gave some basic instructions. No joy yet, but still trying.

Later: It works. I have no idea why it didn’t work an hour ago and now it does. But Windows, meet Mac. Mac, meet Windows. Woohoo!

I’ve started downloading and playing. I tried Camino but it doesn’t support XUL, so there aren’t many extensions for it. So I’m installing Firefox. (I’m a big fan of mouse gestures.)

(Nit: I have to say that having on one corner from which one can manually resize a window is a bad idea. Windows does this better.) [Tags:]


[mac] Continuing to unpack and install…

Scott solved my registration problem. Thank you, Scott. Gotta appreciate a machine with a community built into it.

It’s doing some heavy updating now. I can see the desktop underneath it. Oooh!

The battery icon tells me that the machine arrived 100% charged. Nice. I’m going to take advice from MR (proferred through email, hence the slight cloaking) of letting it discharge entirely overnight, and then charge it up again.

Playing around with the local network: It finds my Windows desktop machine (“Honker”). Nice. But it tells me that the alias “Honker” could not be opened because the original item cannot be found. I can delete or fix the alias. Going for the fix…Hmm, now it wants to know the item that I want “Honker” to open, I was expecting (hoping) to see items on my PC desktop, but instead I seem to be seeing default Mac folders (desktop, documents, library, etc.).

Try again. More luck. It finds the public folders on Honker. Yay! Not letting me connect to them yet. I may actually have to read the manual. The scandal!

By the way, Joi Ito has, accurately, told me that I shouldn’t write about using Macs because it makes me stupid. He’s totally right. My expectations are high about Macs being dead simple, and thus I am easily disappointed.

Random questions: I’m going to the UK in a week. I assume people make power adapter cords for UK plugs. What’s a good place to get one cheap and fast?

Also, I have a DC adapter for airplanes for my Thinkpad. What’s the cheapest/fastest equivalent for the Mac?

(I can Google and find this stuff out, but you may know good places to buy. Besides, if you post it here, maybe others will find it, too.) [Tags:]


[mac] My Mac arrived – and I hit a problem in the first 90 seconds

First, thanks for all the incredibly helpful advice. That’s generous of you.

So, first impressions:

It arrived in one day, via Harvard’s purchase plan. Cool.

Beautifully designed box. Nicely packed. The white accessories are very Empire Strikes Back-ish.

Turn it on. It begins its cheery set-up program. The keyboard has a pleasant soft-click feel. It finds my wifi without any fuss.

Problem: I go through the default setup process and am faced with a screen that wants to know what I will primarily use this computer for and how I describe myself. I don’t want to give Apple that info so I leave the blanks blank. But the Continue button won’t let me continue.

I am not willing to give Apple that info and there is no obvious way to skip the registration process. If you know how I can power up the machine for the first time without having to give Apple personal information, beyond the contact info, please let me know.

Otherwise, I’m afraid I may already be an ex-Mac user. [Tags:]


Unfortunate urls

Brian Millar, knowing my continuing interest in unfortunate urls, points to:

The canonical example remains, which, unfortunately, is no longer up.

Then there was the local movie theater in Great Barrington, Mass., named The TriPlex which for a while had the url and got lots of visitors who were not interested in when Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is playing.



November 17, 2005

Hacking kayak

At, you can see the most popular locations other people from your area are searching for on Kayak, the travel deal aggregator. Now there’s a hack that will let you see the most popular searches to locations with a particular activity. For example,

shows where Boston Kayak users (well, actually people looking for flights from Boston) are looking for skiing.

shows the nude beaches Bostoners are looking for because we’re so damn proud of our maple-syrupy bodies. [Tags:]


Expression under Repression: Berkman at WSIS

Rebecca MacKinnon and Ethan Zuckerman are leading a workshop on “Expression under Repression” at WSIS in Tunisia. The government’s displeasure with the session seems to have boosted attendance. Swelling the ranks are the secret police (easily identifiable). [Tags: ]

Comments Off on Expression under Repression: Berkman at WSIS

ODF and accessibility; Journalism and blogging

David Berlind is using his blog in a way few professional journalists do. He has been reporting on Massachusetts’ decision to use only Open Document Format-compliant software (= not Microsoft Office), with a mixture of comprehensive detail, dogged reporting, and, yes, advocacy. There’s no question where David stands on this. We hear a lot about whether bloggers can become journalists, but here we have a journalist who is as involved, passionate and transparent as any blogger.

In the latest round of his reporting — mixing his personal involvement in the issue — the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science, which favors Word because of its accessibility features, is now willing to consider ODF. The ball is, as David says, in the ODF’s court.

And notice at the end of the article, David asks that this game be played out in public, in blogs. [Tags: ]

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