Tag: Mac

Venice Project beta doesn't include Macs

Along with the rest of the world, it seems, I received my invite to try out the beta of the Venice Project. This is an IPTV project set up by Kazaa and Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis (so straight away you have to start taking it seriously).

Mike Arrington has written it up on TechCrunch, Om Malik has posted some screenshots and a glowing report on its functionality and James Corbett has gloated that he had an invite long before the A-Listers!

It all looks interesting but unfortunately I can’t use it. Why? The system requirements call for a machine running Windows XP with Service Pack 2. No Mac software!

Venice Project system requirements

Keychain saves my life (and my passwords)!

Keychain is a fabulous application which comes as standard on every Mac. It is the program which stores all your passwords for you.

For me, it has proven to be a lifesaver time and time again. I have more passwords for more sites than I have hairs on my head (not that that’d be very difficult!). I have systems in place to try to help me remember passwords but I frequently find myself staring at the login screen of a website with no idea what password (or username) I chose for the site.

This is where Keychain comes into its own. Launch it from Applications -> Utilities, search for the website, click the Show Password tick box. You are prompted to enter your login ID for your Mac, on doing so successfully, your password appears – brilliant!

Keychain

Last night's blogger's dinner

Cork Bloggers Dinner

Last night’s blogger’s dinner was a great success – thanks to Pat for organising (and paying for) it.

Shel Israel and Rick Segal were the guests of honour and both had lots of interesting info to impart. Rick talked up MusicIP – I missed the start of the conversation but I assume MusicIP is a company he has invested in. MusicIP scans your music (Windows, Linux, Mac) and creates playlists for you based on your mood!!! amongst other things.

Little did I realise when I first started conversing with Shel last year that I’d convince him to come to Cork twice this year (first for the it@cork Web 2.0 conference and now for his global tour) – it just goes to show the power of blogs as a networking tool!

Microsoft hobbles Windows Vista

Ed Bott has aa article on ZDNet comparing the licencing terms of Windows XP and the forthcoming retail version of Windows Vista (Microsoft’s upcoming successor for XP).

It turns out that whereas with Windows XP you could re-install the OS on as many different machines as you wished (as long as it was deleted off previous machines – i.e. transferring the OS from one computer to another), with Windows Vista that functionality will only be allowed one time and will likely be enforced using the ironically named Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA). Further, if you fail to validate your OS with WGA, Microsoft cripples your system, no longer allowing you to access most of the computer’s functionality.

Because you never know when you might need to transfer your licence to another machine my advice would be don’t buy Windows Vista. There are plenty of credible alternatives, not the least of which is the Mac!

The irony of it

James has a post extolling the virtues of the new Nokia N95 – me, I’m sick and tired of Nokia’s lack of support for non-Windows platforms.

Any Nokia you buy only has Windows apps for synchronisation and any firmware updates need to be done over a serial cable (ruling out Macs).

The hilarious thing about Nokia’s slavish devotion to the Windows platform is that Microsoft themselves has banned their employees from buying Nokia phones. Microsoft encourage their employees to buy smart phones using Windows mobile edition and Nokia uses the Symbian OS.

Running Windows on OS X

Actually Sprinting Windows on OS X might be a more accurate post title or Screaming Windows, or…

Parallels is virtualisation software which allows you to run other OS’s on your Mac. I splashed out recently and bought myself a new 15″ MacBook Pro (2.16ghz intel core duo, 2gb ram, 120gb hd).

Now that I have an Intel based Mac, I decided to purchase a copy of Parallels and try out Windows XP on OS X.

Parallels installs easily enough but getting it to install Windows is not trivial (yup, I had to read the Help file to figure it out!).

Having said that, that is the only quibble I had with parallels – once Windows (XP Pro) installed, it ran very smoothly.

Windows XP on Mac

It also works perfectly in full-screen mode (but then the screenshot wouldn’t be as interesting!!!).

I downloaded IE 7 beta and Office 2007 beta to try them on XP on the Mac and they work flawlessly. In the image above you can see IE 7 in the foreground and Word 2007 in the background.

What is most impressive though is the speed of XP on the MacBook.I only assigned it 512mb ram but everything is completely instant. Click on the Word icon and it is open, same with any of the Office apps, or Firefox, or Flock. IE 7 is a little slower but only because I have a multiple tabbed window as my home page. It runs faster than I have seen XP run on any PC.

Between that and the fact that the latest desktop Macs are coming out $500 cheaper than equivalently specced Dells, you now have no reason not to consider a Mac as your next PC!

Apple claims trademark infringement on 'Podcast'

Apple has yet again sent in the lawyers – this seems to be a favourite tactic of theirs which is increasingly giving them a bad name (and I am a Mac fan!).

This time, Apple have gone after a company called Podcast Ready for their use of the word Podcast and myPodder (their product name).

Robert Scoble has suggested using the terms Audiocast and Videocast from now on and dumping the term podcast – however this doesn’t solve the problem for Podcast Ready (nor any potential problems Robert’s company PodTech nor my podcast/audiocast site PodLeaders might yet have). Apple have already gone after several companies for their use of Pod in product names.

Russel Shaw has a very in-depth analysis of this spat where he speculates that:

we have Apple, maker of the iPod, trying to get right with the Trademark office about achieving formal Trademark and related mark protections for iPod AND its sought-after IPODCAST applications.

Russel is probably close to the mark here – however, Apple’s over-vigilence is doing nothing but tarnishing their image.

Blip.tv enable in-browser video recording

I have mentioned Blip.tv previously but I didn’t mention their in-browser video recorder.

Today I decided to try it out and I have to say, apart from a few minor quibbles, I am well impressed. Especially since this function is still in Alpha.

Blip.tv's browser based video recorder

What quibbles did I have? Well

  • The counter counting off the time on-screen isn’t very accurate. On my first try, I finished after what the counter told me was 30 secs only to find that the recorded video was 99 seconds!
  • There is no pause button – a pause button is very handy in any recording medium and this is no different. It needs one.
  • The file sizes generated seem inordinately large (one minute 29 seconds – 324mb)
  • I failed to get the video to upload to the site! I had to upload it using UpperBlip (Blip.tv’s free upload tool) and most disturbingly
  • You can now see how far my hairline has receeded!

As I said, this functionality is still in alpha but it is indicative of the great spirit of innovation at Blip.tv. I recently published an interview with Mike Hudack, the CEO of Blip.tv, and you can tell from that interview that Blip.tv are going places.

[Non-disclosure] – I have absolutely no affiliation whatsoever with Blip.tv, I just happen to think they are cool!