Category: Thoughts

After downloading iTunes 8, I wrote some of my initial opinions based on my first few hours with the program. While the overall message was that iTunes 8 is an excellent update, I found something today that Apple can do to improve the application (besides changing the visualizer, which is now stunning).

While sitting in class today, a friend said that their iPod touch was dead, and I helpfully suggested that they could use some of the power from my MacBook while it was sleeping in my bag. They loved the idea, and I connected media player and laptop with little difficulty. Once I opened iTunes, however, I was inundated with messages that said This iPod is not set to sync with this computer. Rather than replace my friend’s data with my music collection, I pressed No on every dialog that came up.

Later on, I realized how simple it would be for Apple to make this a much better experience. Surely there are times when users just want to charge their iPods without overwriting everything. Why not make a dialog box come up when you plug the player in that allows you to sync should you choose, but also to turn off all other messages and simply use the connection to power the battery? This would eliminate those accidental data overwrites and make powering up a breeze.

How about it, Apple?

The dialog box shown above is not really in OS X. I created it using Applescript with the help of this tutorial.

[tags]iPod, iTunes, Apple, Applescript[/tags]

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Recently I was reading an article on Gizmodo that reminisced about old software and the game he mentioned was one that I had played many times. That got me thinking about all the computer stuff I played with as a child that is now way out of date. We had an LC around the house, and I think maybe a 128K with two floppy drives: one to startup the system, the other to store regular data.

As a simple time capsule, here is a short list of old software that I remember using back in the day.
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If you had told me 5 years ago that I’d ever start a blog — much less one about Macs — I’d probably look at you funny. I never really thought that I would have knowledge about something that other people would find interesting, or valuable. But here we are.

It’s now almost been 6 months since I’ve started, and I’m quite happy with the results. Slowly, more people are visiting, and it’s very nice to see people writing comments about posts that I’ve made.

This brings me to the reason for the title of the post — the coolest part about blogging. To me, blogging exemplifies everything the Web was originally meant for. People sharing their opinion and knowledge with others, who go and share that info with even more people. I thought of all this because a recent post contained some information about the footer of my website. I shared that the part that says “My MacBook has been on for xx days” was a result of a number of Applescripts and Automator actions. Commenter phalkunz stated that they liked the idea, and had developed an even more elegant solution. I was excited that someone else had taken the time to read my post, and also come up with another method. Thanks, phalkunz!

So for me, the coolest part about blogging is having other people take interest in what you’ve done, comment, and write about your post in turn. If you comment on my website with a link to your blog, it is very likely that I will follow the link and browse your site for interesting information. I hope that more comments are made, and that even more people value the information I have to share.

[tags]blogging, blogs, network, Internet[/tags]

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It’s been an interesting few days since I released my first WordPress plugin, Comment Connection. I had no idea how many people mind find value in the plugin, but I was very happy when 18 people downloaded it in the first 24 hours. No GTAIV release to be sure, but there is something deeply satisfying about seeing other people take interest in something you’ve created.

So now it’s been 5 days, and I’ve released 3 new versions since 1.0. Each version has addressed some comments made after the initial release. I’ve been able to add support for colon detection, only replacing the first occurrence of a commenter, and processing comments with multiple references. Each represented a unique challenge for adding functionality that I had no idea people wanted, or would come up with.

That’s the thing with software: you can only include scenarios you can think of immediately, and have to be open to revisions when more ideas arrive. I hadn’t really thought about having comments with multiple references, but when I decided to add the functionality, it turned out to be a big challenge, and required me to rewrite all the code. After an afternoon of research, I was able to add all the features requested in the comments originally, and then I was pleasantly surprised when the plugin was downloaded another 18 times.

Comment Connection download stats from
It’s nice when people take an interest in something you’ve made, whether that is a tiny WordPress Plugin or an entire software suite. Based on this positive feedback, I will continue to work and improve Comment Connection.
[tags]software, programming, WordPress, plugins[/tags]

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Recently I’ve started to use eBay more often, mostly for getting rid of older electronics while they are still in their shelf life, and have never had a problem. That includes 3 sales and about 9 other purchases to and from the UK, US and Canada. My most recent sale was/is a 20 GB iPod Photo. Originally it sold to a buyer in North Carolina. Soon after the auction ended, things started getting a little interesting.
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