g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

InstaPundit
Steven Den Beste
James Lileks
Little Green Footballs
As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
Cold Fury
Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
Tal G in Jerusalem
Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





Book Plugs:




Buy 'em and I get
money. I think.
BSD Mall




 4/21/2014 -  4/23/2014
 4/14/2014 -  4/20/2014
  4/7/2014 -  4/13/2014
 3/31/2014 -   4/6/2014
 3/24/2014 -  3/30/2014
 3/17/2014 -  3/23/2014
 3/10/2014 -  3/16/2014
  3/3/2014 -   3/9/2014
 2/24/2014 -   3/2/2014
 2/17/2014 -  2/23/2014
 2/10/2014 -  2/16/2014
  2/3/2014 -   2/9/2014
 1/27/2014 -   2/2/2014
 1/20/2014 -  1/26/2014
 1/13/2014 -  1/19/2014
  1/6/2014 -  1/12/2014
12/30/2013 -   1/5/2014
12/23/2013 - 12/29/2013
12/16/2013 - 12/22/2013
 12/9/2013 - 12/15/2013
 12/2/2013 -  12/8/2013
11/25/2013 -  12/1/2013
11/18/2013 - 11/24/2013
11/11/2013 - 11/17/2013
 11/4/2013 - 11/10/2013
10/28/2013 -  11/3/2013
10/21/2013 - 10/27/2013
10/14/2013 - 10/20/2013
 10/7/2013 - 10/13/2013
 9/30/2013 -  10/6/2013
 9/23/2013 -  9/29/2013
 9/16/2013 -  9/22/2013
  9/9/2013 -  9/15/2013
  9/2/2013 -   9/8/2013
 8/26/2013 -   9/1/2013
 8/19/2013 -  8/25/2013
 8/12/2013 -  8/18/2013
  8/5/2013 -  8/11/2013
 7/29/2013 -   8/4/2013
 7/22/2013 -  7/28/2013
 7/15/2013 -  7/21/2013
  7/8/2013 -  7/14/2013
  7/1/2013 -   7/7/2013
 6/24/2013 -  6/30/2013
 6/17/2013 -  6/23/2013
 6/10/2013 -  6/16/2013
  6/3/2013 -   6/9/2013
 5/27/2013 -   6/2/2013
 5/20/2013 -  5/26/2013
 5/13/2013 -  5/19/2013
  5/6/2013 -  5/12/2013
 4/29/2013 -   5/5/2013
 4/22/2013 -  4/28/2013
 4/15/2013 -  4/21/2013
  4/8/2013 -  4/14/2013
  4/1/2013 -   4/7/2013
 3/25/2013 -  3/31/2013
 3/18/2013 -  3/24/2013
 3/11/2013 -  3/17/2013
  3/4/2013 -  3/10/2013
 2/25/2013 -   3/3/2013
 2/18/2013 -  2/24/2013
 2/11/2013 -  2/17/2013
  2/4/2013 -  2/10/2013
 1/28/2013 -   2/3/2013
 1/21/2013 -  1/27/2013
 1/14/2013 -  1/20/2013
  1/7/2013 -  1/13/2013
12/31/2012 -   1/6/2013
12/24/2012 - 12/30/2012
12/17/2012 - 12/23/2012
12/10/2012 - 12/16/2012
 12/3/2012 -  12/9/2012
11/26/2012 -  12/2/2012
11/19/2012 - 11/25/2012
11/12/2012 - 11/18/2012
 11/5/2012 - 11/11/2012
10/29/2012 -  11/4/2012
10/22/2012 - 10/28/2012
10/15/2012 - 10/21/2012
 10/8/2012 - 10/14/2012
 10/1/2012 -  10/7/2012
 9/24/2012 -  9/30/2012
 9/17/2012 -  9/23/2012
 9/10/2012 -  9/16/2012
  9/3/2012 -   9/9/2012
 8/27/2012 -   9/2/2012
 8/20/2012 -  8/26/2012
 8/13/2012 -  8/19/2012
  8/6/2012 -  8/12/2012
 7/30/2012 -   8/5/2012
 7/23/2012 -  7/29/2012
 7/16/2012 -  7/22/2012
  7/9/2012 -  7/15/2012
  7/2/2012 -   7/8/2012
 6/25/2012 -   7/1/2012
 6/18/2012 -  6/24/2012
 6/11/2012 -  6/17/2012
  6/4/2012 -  6/10/2012
 5/28/2012 -   6/3/2012
 5/21/2012 -  5/27/2012
 5/14/2012 -  5/20/2012
  5/7/2012 -  5/13/2012
 4/30/2012 -   5/6/2012
 4/23/2012 -  4/29/2012
 4/16/2012 -  4/22/2012
  4/9/2012 -  4/15/2012
  4/2/2012 -   4/8/2012
 3/26/2012 -   4/1/2012
 3/19/2012 -  3/25/2012
 3/12/2012 -  3/18/2012
  3/5/2012 -  3/11/2012
 2/27/2012 -   3/4/2012
 2/20/2012 -  2/26/2012
 2/13/2012 -  2/19/2012
  2/6/2012 -  2/12/2012
 1/30/2012 -   2/5/2012
 1/23/2012 -  1/29/2012
 1/16/2012 -  1/22/2012
  1/9/2012 -  1/15/2012
  1/2/2012 -   1/8/2012
12/26/2011 -   1/1/2011
12/19/2011 - 12/25/2011
12/12/2011 - 12/18/2011
 12/5/2011 - 12/11/2011
11/28/2011 -  12/4/2011
11/21/2011 - 11/27/2011
11/14/2011 - 11/20/2011
 11/7/2011 - 11/13/2011
10/31/2011 -  11/6/2011
10/24/2011 - 10/30/2011
10/17/2011 - 10/23/2011
10/10/2011 - 10/16/2011
 10/3/2011 -  10/9/2011
 9/26/2011 -  10/2/2011
 9/19/2011 -  9/25/2011
 9/12/2011 -  9/18/2011
  9/5/2011 -  9/11/2011
 8/29/2011 -   9/4/2011
 8/22/2011 -  8/28/2011
 8/15/2011 -  8/21/2011
  8/8/2011 -  8/14/2011
  8/1/2011 -   8/7/2011
 7/25/2011 -  7/31/2011
 7/18/2011 -  7/24/2011
 7/11/2011 -  7/17/2011
  7/4/2011 -  7/10/2011
 6/27/2011 -   7/3/2011
 6/20/2011 -  6/26/2011
 6/13/2011 -  6/19/2011
  6/6/2011 -  6/12/2011
 5/30/2011 -   6/5/2011
 5/23/2011 -  5/29/2011
 5/16/2011 -  5/22/2011
  5/9/2011 -  5/15/2011
  5/2/2011 -   5/8/2011
 4/25/2011 -   5/1/2011
 4/18/2011 -  4/24/2011
 4/11/2011 -  4/17/2011
  4/4/2011 -  4/10/2011
 3/28/2011 -   4/3/2011
 3/21/2011 -  3/27/2011
 3/14/2011 -  3/20/2011
  3/7/2011 -  3/13/2011
 2/28/2011 -   3/6/2011
 2/21/2011 -  2/27/2011
 2/14/2011 -  2/20/2011
  2/7/2011 -  2/13/2011
 1/31/2011 -   2/6/2011
 1/24/2011 -  1/30/2011
 1/17/2011 -  1/23/2011
 1/10/2011 -  1/16/2011
  1/3/2011 -   1/9/2011
12/27/2010 -   1/2/2010
12/20/2010 - 12/26/2010
12/13/2010 - 12/19/2010
 12/6/2010 - 12/12/2010
11/29/2010 -  12/5/2010
11/22/2010 - 11/28/2010
11/15/2010 - 11/21/2010
 11/8/2010 - 11/14/2010
 11/1/2010 -  11/7/2010
10/25/2010 - 10/31/2010
10/18/2010 - 10/24/2010
10/11/2010 - 10/17/2010
 10/4/2010 - 10/10/2010
 9/27/2010 -  10/3/2010
 9/20/2010 -  9/26/2010
 9/13/2010 -  9/19/2010
  9/6/2010 -  9/12/2010
 8/30/2010 -   9/5/2010
 8/23/2010 -  8/29/2010
 8/16/2010 -  8/22/2010
  8/9/2010 -  8/15/2010
  8/2/2010 -   8/8/2010
 7/26/2010 -   8/1/2010
 7/19/2010 -  7/25/2010
 7/12/2010 -  7/18/2010
  7/5/2010 -  7/11/2010
 6/28/2010 -   7/4/2010
 6/21/2010 -  6/27/2010
 6/14/2010 -  6/20/2010
  6/7/2010 -  6/13/2010
 5/31/2010 -   6/6/2010
 5/24/2010 -  5/30/2010
 5/17/2010 -  5/23/2010
 5/10/2010 -  5/16/2010
  5/3/2010 -   5/9/2010
 4/26/2010 -   5/2/2010
 4/19/2010 -  4/25/2010
 4/12/2010 -  4/18/2010
  4/5/2010 -  4/11/2010
 3/29/2010 -   4/4/2010
 3/22/2010 -  3/28/2010
 3/15/2010 -  3/21/2010
  3/8/2010 -  3/14/2010
  3/1/2010 -   3/7/2010
 2/22/2010 -  2/28/2010
 2/15/2010 -  2/21/2010
  2/8/2010 -  2/14/2010
  2/1/2010 -   2/7/2010
 1/25/2010 -  1/31/2010
 1/18/2010 -  1/24/2010
 1/11/2010 -  1/17/2010
  1/4/2010 -  1/10/2010
12/28/2009 -   1/3/2009
12/21/2009 - 12/27/2009
12/14/2009 - 12/20/2009
 12/7/2009 - 12/13/2009
11/30/2009 -  12/6/2009
11/23/2009 - 11/29/2009
11/16/2009 - 11/22/2009
 11/9/2009 - 11/15/2009
 11/2/2009 -  11/8/2009
10/26/2009 -  11/1/2009
10/19/2009 - 10/25/2009
10/12/2009 - 10/18/2009
 10/5/2009 - 10/11/2009
 9/28/2009 -  10/4/2009
 9/21/2009 -  9/27/2009
 9/14/2009 -  9/20/2009
  9/7/2009 -  9/13/2009
 8/31/2009 -   9/6/2009
 8/24/2009 -  8/30/2009
 8/17/2009 -  8/23/2009
 8/10/2009 -  8/16/2009
  8/3/2009 -   8/9/2009
 7/27/2009 -   8/2/2009
 7/20/2009 -  7/26/2009
 7/13/2009 -  7/19/2009
  7/6/2009 -  7/12/2009
 6/29/2009 -   7/5/2009
 6/22/2009 -  6/28/2009
 6/15/2009 -  6/21/2009
  6/8/2009 -  6/14/2009
  6/1/2009 -   6/7/2009
 5/25/2009 -  5/31/2009
 5/18/2009 -  5/24/2009
 5/11/2009 -  5/17/2009
  5/4/2009 -  5/10/2009
 4/27/2009 -   5/3/2009
 4/20/2009 -  4/26/2009
 4/13/2009 -  4/19/2009
  4/6/2009 -  4/12/2009
 3/30/2009 -   4/5/2009
 3/23/2009 -  3/29/2009
 3/16/2009 -  3/22/2009
  3/9/2009 -  3/15/2009
  3/2/2009 -   3/8/2009
 2/23/2009 -   3/1/2009
 2/16/2009 -  2/22/2009
  2/9/2009 -  2/15/2009
  2/2/2009 -   2/8/2009
 1/26/2009 -   2/1/2009
 1/19/2009 -  1/25/2009
 1/12/2009 -  1/18/2009
  1/5/2009 -  1/11/2009
12/29/2008 -   1/4/2009
12/22/2008 - 12/28/2008
12/15/2008 - 12/21/2008
 12/8/2008 - 12/14/2008
 12/1/2008 -  12/7/2008
11/24/2008 - 11/30/2008
11/17/2008 - 11/23/2008
11/10/2008 - 11/16/2008
 11/3/2008 -  11/9/2008
10/27/2008 -  11/2/2008
10/20/2008 - 10/26/2008
10/13/2008 - 10/19/2008
 10/6/2008 - 10/12/2008
 9/29/2008 -  10/5/2008
 9/22/2008 -  9/28/2008
 9/15/2008 -  9/21/2008
  9/8/2008 -  9/14/2008
  9/1/2008 -   9/7/2008
 8/25/2008 -  8/31/2008
 8/18/2008 -  8/24/2008
 8/11/2008 -  8/17/2008
  8/4/2008 -  8/10/2008
 7/28/2008 -   8/3/2008
 7/21/2008 -  7/27/2008
 7/14/2008 -  7/20/2008
  7/7/2008 -  7/13/2008
 6/30/2008 -   7/6/2008
 6/23/2008 -  6/29/2008
 6/16/2008 -  6/22/2008
  6/9/2008 -  6/15/2008
  6/2/2008 -   6/8/2008
 5/26/2008 -   6/1/2008
 5/19/2008 -  5/25/2008
 5/12/2008 -  5/18/2008
  5/5/2008 -  5/11/2008
 4/28/2008 -   5/4/2008
 4/21/2008 -  4/27/2008
 4/14/2008 -  4/20/2008
  4/7/2008 -  4/13/2008
 3/31/2008 -   4/6/2008
 3/24/2008 -  3/30/2008
 3/17/2008 -  3/23/2008
 3/10/2008 -  3/16/2008
  3/3/2008 -   3/9/2008
 2/25/2008 -   3/2/2008
 2/18/2008 -  2/24/2008
 2/11/2008 -  2/17/2008
  2/4/2008 -  2/10/2008
 1/28/2008 -   2/3/2008
 1/21/2008 -  1/27/2008
 1/14/2008 -  1/20/2008
  1/7/2008 -  1/13/2008
12/31/2007 -   1/6/2008
12/24/2007 - 12/30/2007
12/17/2007 - 12/23/2007
12/10/2007 - 12/16/2007
 12/3/2007 -  12/9/2007
11/26/2007 -  12/2/2007
11/19/2007 - 11/25/2007
11/12/2007 - 11/18/2007
 11/5/2007 - 11/11/2007
10/29/2007 -  11/4/2007
10/22/2007 - 10/28/2007
10/15/2007 - 10/21/2007
 10/8/2007 - 10/14/2007
 10/1/2007 -  10/7/2007
 9/24/2007 -  9/30/2007
 9/17/2007 -  9/23/2007
 9/10/2007 -  9/16/2007
  9/3/2007 -   9/9/2007
 8/27/2007 -   9/2/2007
 8/20/2007 -  8/26/2007
 8/13/2007 -  8/19/2007
  8/6/2007 -  8/12/2007
 7/30/2007 -   8/5/2007
 7/23/2007 -  7/29/2007
 7/16/2007 -  7/22/2007
  7/9/2007 -  7/15/2007
  7/2/2007 -   7/8/2007
 6/25/2007 -   7/1/2007
 6/18/2007 -  6/24/2007
 6/11/2007 -  6/17/2007
  6/4/2007 -  6/10/2007
 5/28/2007 -   6/3/2007
 5/21/2007 -  5/27/2007
 5/14/2007 -  5/20/2007
  5/7/2007 -  5/13/2007
 4/30/2007 -   5/6/2007
 4/23/2007 -  4/29/2007
 4/16/2007 -  4/22/2007
  4/9/2007 -  4/15/2007
  4/2/2007 -   4/8/2007
 3/26/2007 -   4/1/2007
 3/19/2007 -  3/25/2007
 3/12/2007 -  3/18/2007
  3/5/2007 -  3/11/2007
 2/26/2007 -   3/4/2007
 2/19/2007 -  2/25/2007
 2/12/2007 -  2/18/2007
  2/5/2007 -  2/11/2007
 1/29/2007 -   2/4/2007
 1/22/2007 -  1/28/2007
 1/15/2007 -  1/21/2007
  1/8/2007 -  1/14/2007
  1/1/2007 -   1/7/2007
12/25/2006 - 12/31/2006
12/18/2006 - 12/24/2006
12/11/2006 - 12/17/2006
 12/4/2006 - 12/10/2006
11/27/2006 -  12/3/2006
11/20/2006 - 11/26/2006
11/13/2006 - 11/19/2006
 11/6/2006 - 11/12/2006
10/30/2006 -  11/5/2006
10/23/2006 - 10/29/2006
10/16/2006 - 10/22/2006
 10/9/2006 - 10/15/2006
 10/2/2006 -  10/8/2006
 9/25/2006 -  10/1/2006
 9/18/2006 -  9/24/2006
 9/11/2006 -  9/17/2006
  9/4/2006 -  9/10/2006
 8/28/2006 -   9/3/2006
 8/21/2006 -  8/27/2006
 8/14/2006 -  8/20/2006
  8/7/2006 -  8/13/2006
 7/31/2006 -   8/6/2006
 7/24/2006 -  7/30/2006
 7/17/2006 -  7/23/2006
 7/10/2006 -  7/16/2006
  7/3/2006 -   7/9/2006
 6/26/2006 -   7/2/2006
 6/19/2006 -  6/25/2006
 6/12/2006 -  6/18/2006
  6/5/2006 -  6/11/2006
 5/29/2006 -   6/4/2006
 5/22/2006 -  5/28/2006
 5/15/2006 -  5/21/2006
  5/8/2006 -  5/14/2006
  5/1/2006 -   5/7/2006
 4/24/2006 -  4/30/2006
 4/17/2006 -  4/23/2006
 4/10/2006 -  4/16/2006
  4/3/2006 -   4/9/2006
 3/27/2006 -   4/2/2006
 3/20/2006 -  3/26/2006
 3/13/2006 -  3/19/2006
  3/6/2006 -  3/12/2006
 2/27/2006 -   3/5/2006
 2/20/2006 -  2/26/2006
 2/13/2006 -  2/19/2006
  2/6/2006 -  2/12/2006
 1/30/2006 -   2/5/2006
 1/23/2006 -  1/29/2006
 1/16/2006 -  1/22/2006
  1/9/2006 -  1/15/2006
  1/2/2006 -   1/8/2006
12/26/2005 -   1/1/2005
12/19/2005 - 12/25/2005
12/12/2005 - 12/18/2005
 12/5/2005 - 12/11/2005
11/28/2005 -  12/4/2005
11/21/2005 - 11/27/2005
11/14/2005 - 11/20/2005
 11/7/2005 - 11/13/2005
10/31/2005 -  11/6/2005
10/24/2005 - 10/30/2005
10/17/2005 - 10/23/2005
10/10/2005 - 10/16/2005
 10/3/2005 -  10/9/2005
 9/26/2005 -  10/2/2005
 9/19/2005 -  9/25/2005
 9/12/2005 -  9/18/2005
  9/5/2005 -  9/11/2005
 8/29/2005 -   9/4/2005
 8/22/2005 -  8/28/2005
 8/15/2005 -  8/21/2005
  8/8/2005 -  8/14/2005
  8/1/2005 -   8/7/2005
 7/25/2005 -  7/31/2005
 7/18/2005 -  7/24/2005
 7/11/2005 -  7/17/2005
  7/4/2005 -  7/10/2005
 6/27/2005 -   7/3/2005
 6/20/2005 -  6/26/2005
 6/13/2005 -  6/19/2005
  6/6/2005 -  6/12/2005
 5/30/2005 -   6/5/2005
 5/23/2005 -  5/29/2005
 5/16/2005 -  5/22/2005
  5/9/2005 -  5/15/2005
  5/2/2005 -   5/8/2005
 4/25/2005 -   5/1/2005
 4/18/2005 -  4/24/2005
 4/11/2005 -  4/17/2005
  4/4/2005 -  4/10/2005
 3/28/2005 -   4/3/2005
 3/21/2005 -  3/27/2005
 3/14/2005 -  3/20/2005
  3/7/2005 -  3/13/2005
 2/28/2005 -   3/6/2005
 2/21/2005 -  2/27/2005
 2/14/2005 -  2/20/2005
  2/7/2005 -  2/13/2005
 1/31/2005 -   2/6/2005
 1/24/2005 -  1/30/2005
 1/17/2005 -  1/23/2005
 1/10/2005 -  1/16/2005
  1/3/2005 -   1/9/2005
12/27/2004 -   1/2/2004
12/20/2004 - 12/26/2004
12/13/2004 - 12/19/2004
 12/6/2004 - 12/12/2004
11/29/2004 -  12/5/2004
11/22/2004 - 11/28/2004
11/15/2004 - 11/21/2004
 11/8/2004 - 11/14/2004
 11/1/2004 -  11/7/2004
10/25/2004 - 10/31/2004
10/18/2004 - 10/24/2004
10/11/2004 - 10/17/2004
 10/4/2004 - 10/10/2004
 9/27/2004 -  10/3/2004
 9/20/2004 -  9/26/2004
 9/13/2004 -  9/19/2004
  9/6/2004 -  9/12/2004
 8/30/2004 -   9/5/2004
 8/23/2004 -  8/29/2004
 8/16/2004 -  8/22/2004
  8/9/2004 -  8/15/2004
  8/2/2004 -   8/8/2004
 7/26/2004 -   8/1/2004
 7/19/2004 -  7/25/2004
 7/12/2004 -  7/18/2004
  7/5/2004 -  7/11/2004
 6/28/2004 -   7/4/2004
 6/21/2004 -  6/27/2004
 6/14/2004 -  6/20/2004
  6/7/2004 -  6/13/2004
 5/31/2004 -   6/6/2004
 5/24/2004 -  5/30/2004
 5/17/2004 -  5/23/2004
 5/10/2004 -  5/16/2004
  5/3/2004 -   5/9/2004
 4/26/2004 -   5/2/2004
 4/19/2004 -  4/25/2004
 4/12/2004 -  4/18/2004
  4/5/2004 -  4/11/2004
 3/29/2004 -   4/4/2004
 3/22/2004 -  3/28/2004
 3/15/2004 -  3/21/2004
  3/8/2004 -  3/14/2004
  3/1/2004 -   3/7/2004
 2/23/2004 -  2/29/2004
 2/16/2004 -  2/22/2004
  2/9/2004 -  2/15/2004
  2/2/2004 -   2/8/2004
 1/26/2004 -   2/1/2004
 1/19/2004 -  1/25/2004
 1/12/2004 -  1/18/2004
  1/5/2004 -  1/11/2004
12/29/2003 -   1/4/2004
12/22/2003 - 12/28/2003
12/15/2003 - 12/21/2003
 12/8/2003 - 12/14/2003
 12/1/2003 -  12/7/2003
11/24/2003 - 11/30/2003
11/17/2003 - 11/23/2003
11/10/2003 - 11/16/2003
 11/3/2003 -  11/9/2003
10/27/2003 -  11/2/2003
10/20/2003 - 10/26/2003
10/13/2003 - 10/19/2003
 10/6/2003 - 10/12/2003
 9/29/2003 -  10/5/2003
 9/22/2003 -  9/28/2003
 9/15/2003 -  9/21/2003
  9/8/2003 -  9/14/2003
  9/1/2003 -   9/7/2003
 8/25/2003 -  8/31/2003
 8/18/2003 -  8/24/2003
 8/11/2003 -  8/17/2003
  8/4/2003 -  8/10/2003
 7/28/2003 -   8/3/2003
 7/21/2003 -  7/27/2003
 7/14/2003 -  7/20/2003
  7/7/2003 -  7/13/2003
 6/30/2003 -   7/6/2003
 6/23/2003 -  6/29/2003
 6/16/2003 -  6/22/2003
  6/9/2003 -  6/15/2003
  6/2/2003 -   6/8/2003
 5/26/2003 -   6/1/2003
 5/19/2003 -  5/25/2003
 5/12/2003 -  5/18/2003
  5/5/2003 -  5/11/2003
 4/28/2003 -   5/4/2003
 4/21/2003 -  4/27/2003
 4/14/2003 -  4/20/2003
  4/7/2003 -  4/13/2003
 3/31/2003 -   4/6/2003
 3/24/2003 -  3/30/2003
 3/17/2003 -  3/23/2003
 3/10/2003 -  3/16/2003
  3/3/2003 -   3/9/2003
 2/24/2003 -   3/2/2003
 2/17/2003 -  2/23/2003
 2/10/2003 -  2/16/2003
  2/3/2003 -   2/9/2003
 1/27/2003 -   2/2/2003
 1/20/2003 -  1/26/2003
 1/13/2003 -  1/19/2003
  1/6/2003 -  1/12/2003
12/30/2002 -   1/5/2003
12/23/2002 - 12/29/2002
12/16/2002 - 12/22/2002
 12/9/2002 - 12/15/2002
 12/2/2002 -  12/8/2002
11/25/2002 -  12/1/2002
11/18/2002 - 11/24/2002
11/11/2002 - 11/17/2002
 11/4/2002 - 11/10/2002
10/28/2002 -  11/3/2002
10/21/2002 - 10/27/2002
10/14/2002 - 10/20/2002
 10/7/2002 - 10/13/2002
 9/30/2002 -  10/6/2002
 9/23/2002 -  9/29/2002
 9/16/2002 -  9/22/2002
  9/9/2002 -  9/15/2002
  9/2/2002 -   9/8/2002
 8/26/2002 -   9/1/2002
 8/19/2002 -  8/25/2002
 8/12/2002 -  8/18/2002
  8/5/2002 -  8/11/2002
 7/29/2002 -   8/4/2002
 7/22/2002 -  7/28/2002
 7/15/2002 -  7/21/2002
  7/8/2002 -  7/14/2002
  7/1/2002 -   7/7/2002
 6/24/2002 -  6/30/2002
 6/17/2002 -  6/23/2002
 6/10/2002 -  6/16/2002
  6/3/2002 -   6/9/2002
 5/27/2002 -   6/2/2002
 5/20/2002 -  5/26/2002
 5/13/2002 -  5/19/2002
  5/6/2002 -  5/12/2002
 4/29/2002 -   5/5/2002
 4/22/2002 -  4/28/2002
 4/15/2002 -  4/21/2002
  4/8/2002 -  4/14/2002
  4/1/2002 -   4/7/2002
 3/25/2002 -  3/31/2002
 3/18/2002 -  3/24/2002
 3/11/2002 -  3/17/2002
  3/4/2002 -  3/10/2002
 2/25/2002 -   3/3/2002
 2/18/2002 -  2/24/2002
 2/11/2002 -  2/17/2002
  2/4/2002 -  2/10/2002
 1/28/2002 -   2/3/2002
 1/21/2002 -  1/27/2002
 1/14/2002 -  1/20/2002
  1/7/2002 -  1/13/2002
12/31/2001 -   1/6/2002
12/24/2001 - 12/30/2001
12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Saturday, January 15, 2005
02:23 - When "because we can" isn't good enough
http://www.ipodlinux.org/index.php/Main_Page

(top)
You know... I'm all for techno-geekery for its own sake, vanity projects, proofs-of-concept, all that sort of stuff. But when I look at this page, the only thing I can think of is a Deep Thought by Jack Handey:

I remember how my Great Uncle Jerry would sit on the porch and whittle all day long. Once he whittled me a toy boat out of a larger toy boat I had. It was almost as good as the first one, except now it had bumpy whittle marks all over it. And no paint, because he had whittled off the paint.

Via Brian S.

Thursday, January 13, 2005
00:04 - Year of the roadPod

(top)
Visiting Macworld today, the first thing I noticed (aside from the fact that the show was smaller this year than ever before, following the trend of the ever-shrinking floor presence to the point where now the north hall is completely unoccupied, even while the Mac market continues to grow) was all the cars parked here and there and everywhere across the show floor.

Each of these cars was on display to show off an iPod dash adapter setup that some company was hawking. MacMice (whose mice are, unfortunately, plagued by The Problem™, well-shaped though they be) had a red Mazda Miata. Two companies had Cooper Minis. Clarion had an Acura RSX in which most of the human-occupiable space had been replaced with speakers, and a dash adorned with their horrible garish full-screen solution in which the song and artist names are shown in a spaced-out font so wide that even shortish text strings are too long to fit on the generous screen width and have to be adorned with ellipses. And Mercedes-Benz had two factory-fresh show cars, the new SLK and the upcoming CLS "four-door coupe", both of which feature the next-generation iPod glovebox connector that'll be going into like six new carmakers' cars, showing the track info right in the instrument binnacle. That's definitely the best solution, especially considering the steering-wheel-mounted controls.

Unfortunately, VW is not among the carmakers who will be taking part in the new iPod revolution, for some reason. That means I'm stuck with the current industry selection of iPod adapters... which is really no hardship. There are lots of good choices. But I've got one now, thanks to Lance and the just-ended gift-giving season: the Podfreq by Sonnet.

I had thought that the best solution for me was the DLO TransPod or the Griffin RoadTrip; these devices both have a rigid arm that sticks into your cigarette lighter outlet. I'd thought that this arm was the best solution around—it would keep the iPod firmly presented against your dash so it wouldn't rattle around or have coily wires dangling around on your center console. When I got the Podfreq, which has a coiled cord leading from the power adapter plug to the cradle, I was skeptical; I didn't think it would be the right solution. But I think I've come around. (I believe Lance outsmarted me on this one.)

See, when you've got your iPod in your car and playing music transmitted to your radio over FM, you don't want to have the iPod sitting in a rigid cradle at arm's length; the iPod screen is designed to be readable at about a foot's distance, and anything more would mean lots of dangerous eyes-off-road time. But if the cradle (which on the Podfreq consists of a nice enclosure that requires some fiddly assembly when you get into the car, but that smartly encapsulates the iPod and still gives you complete access to its controls) is connected via an extendable cable, you can reach out and grab the device like a CB radio mike, pull it close to you, work the controls, read the screen, and put it back, the way it was intended to work.

The more I've used the Podfreq, the more I like it. There's some annoying radio hiss, but I don't think any other FM-transmitter-based adapter would be any better; apparently the Podfreq has the best transmitter on the market. It's either this or a tape adapter, which has its own irritating problems. For most of the time the sound quality is great, and I can usually clear up hiss by waving the cradle around in the car like an idiot for a few moments until it re-acquires the signal more strongly.

This, plus my newly created and several-hundred-song-long "Driving Tunes" playlist, has already made my driving and listening experience a great deal more comfortable. At last I can hear real bass. I don't need a trunk full of speakers and a rear seat full of amps, thank you. Compared to some dinky earbuds, my VW's sound system is keen. And so is the Podfreq.

Macworld is a bit subdued this year, but I think the new gear will present a long, slow burn, rather than a flash in the pan like usual; things are a little different this time around. Apple's about to enter a new chapter, now that it's actively courting a new class of customer; I think of Apple and the computing public, Apple might be the one to undergo more change because of it. Let's hope what emerges is a compelling synthesis, not a watery compromise. I think the chances are good for the former.


23:36 - The eyes of the world are watching now
http://instapundit.com/archives/020440.php

(top)
Well, I guess I saw this coming.

All I'm going to say about this mini-controversy—namely, that now that suddenly everyone's interested in Apple because of the Mac mini and the iPod, now they're ogling Apple's legal policies with as critical an eye as they'd cast on overzealous car companies pursuing people leaking their trade secrets—is that, well, once you've used one, you'll want those trade secrets bottled up too.

It's a "geese and golden eggs" thing. Keep 'em coming, but don't speak of the snares.

It makes one feel intellectually inconsistent, yes... and it wreaks havoc on one's metaphors. But it's worth it anyway.

UPDATE: Actually, no, I will say something.

What this sounds like to me, more than any real principle asserting itself, is a convenient pretext that people are jumping on for hating Apple all over again. I don't think people think of it that way, themselves—but I think that's the psychological effect underlying it. People who have been robbed of the good practical reasons against switching to the Mac (or at least just trying one out) are now grabbing for whatever looks like a good excuse to get them off the hook. Glenn's halfway tongue-in-cheek comments seem to bear that out.

I mean, what if we held all companies (like, say, Microsoft) to the same standard that's now being applied to Apple? Why is everyone so willing to put up with all Microsoft's excesses, when one newsworthy (if legally and ethically marginal at best) entanglement involving Apple is enough to make a person who had been considering a Mac drop it like a hot potato?

We get all indignant when people excuse the Taliban or Hamas their charming indigenous murdering ways but are enraged by Abu Ghraib, right?

True, this is something Apple could have handled far better, or certainly timed far better. But I think it's illustrative of the dynamic in the marketplace to see how much of a motes-vs-beams imbalance there is in the discourse, and how much ground Apple has to cover in people's hearts and minds.


23:06 - Neither fish nor fowl

(top)
In the keynote speech, Steve's tagline for the new iWork suite was "Building a successor to AppleWorks". To me, that pretty clearly says that they don't plan on leaving it at two components (Keynote and Pages). What kind of software suite is satisfied with only two component apps, anyway? It's pretty obvious that iWork is supposed to become a full-fledged productivity suite, with five or six major applications. Most people assume that it's supposed to either be a Microsoft Office killer or, failing that, an AppleWorks replacement; the tagline would seem to suggest the latter, but it may not be that simple.



I've said before that I don't like doing predictions; so what I'm going to say here isn't a prediction, but rather what I think would be really cool to see iWork evolve into over the next few years. These aren't even my ideas, either—most have been suggested by friends or correspondents. All I'm doing it saying what seems to make the most sense to me.

First of all, we all know about Keynote; the new version is pretty incremental, bringing some new themes, animated text, Flash output, and a few other tweaks and improvements. It's always filled a niche that's mostly defined in the market by PowerPoint. But the second component, Pages, is a word processing app that doesn't much resemble Word or the AppleWorks word processor. What it looks like, to be honest, is a page layout app like a stripped-down QuarkXPress or InDesign, or (as Lance observed) the modern incarnation of Microsoft Publisher. You can write essays and letters just as you would in Word, but the lavish templates and text flow features and image handling and column options make it into something considerably more interesting. With output in well-instrumented HTML (I had the guy demonstrate at the Apple display at Macworld) as well as Word interoperability, and with the same powerful editing and layout tools that Keynote codified, Pages might find itself an indispensable tool for many people in a variety of situations. It seems to be taking a new angle toward content creation that may in fact serve customers in a way we haven't seen before: whereas the high-end page layout applications require huge amounts of training to get users to the level where they're capable of making it do exactly what they want, Pages cuts out most of the really tweaky features and implements the rest in such a beautiful, accessible, intuitive, and fun way that people can create great-looking stuff that's almost in the class of the high-end tools' output. For many users, that may be enough. It's the same philosophy behind GarageBand, where the tradeoff of absolute realism and infinite creativity is made up for by the immediate availability of all those loops which give you almost what you need. If you're good, you can tweak it to go the extra mile and finish the job... but it's so easy and so fun to get 90% there that you hardly need to worry about the other 90%.

So that's where iWork stands today: an ostentatious, PowerPoint-trouncing presentation app and a stylish, reaching-above-its-station word processing and page layout app. But we're building a successor to AppleWorks. So what's next? The current face of iWork doesn't look much like Office or AppleWorks. What, then, is it?

Well, let's look at what it's not. If AppleWorks is being phased out, Apple is left with two big gaping holes: no spreadsheet app, and no painting or vector-based drawing app. People can use Excel, the unsexy but trusty workhorse of the industry, for spreadsheet duties; it's expensive, but it's hard to argue with. But what about a drawing program? In coming months, Apple will be selling Macs without even an equivalent of Microsoft Paint. For a company staking its name on a range of apps designed to foster creativity, this seems a curious, even baffling omission. I think the next component in iWork is necessarily going to be a drawing/painting program, both vector-based (AppleWorks' claim to fame) and raster/pixel-based, supporting tablet input and antialiasing and layers and all kinds of consumer-level artistic tools, but stopping short of being an image processing tool like Photoshop. (Core Image can take care of most of the Photoshop stuff anyway.) Wouldn't Apple be able to create an awesome drawing app? With a Keynote/Pages-like interface and iLife media integration? Would that rock or what?

Next would have to be a spreadsheet app, but I can't imagine that being the centerpiece of a big Macworld presentation. Spreadsheets are drudge work, full of math and formulas and not presenting many opportunities for flashy demos. But unless Apple wants to keep Excel in the loop as a peace offering to Microsoft in the face of a new app (Pages) that will obviate much of the need for Word (though certainly not all), there will need to be a successor to let people do basic spreadsheet stuff.

The problem with AppleWorks is that it has a bunch of components dating back to the early days of the personal computer, some of which we have no idea whether anyone finds useful anymore. What about the "Database" component, for example? Does anyone use that anymore? More to the point, aren't most of the functions that consumers used to use databases for (address books, recipes, video collections) today covered by much more specialized and elegant solutions? What use is a Microsoft Access clone in the age of Address Book, Sherlock, Delicious Library, and the Web? And these days, people who need high-end databases can always install stuff like FileMaker, 4D, WebObjects, or MySQL. Something tells me Apple won't be rushing to make a database app for iWork. (Especially once Tiger is out, in which Spotlight turns pretty much everything into a database anyway.)

But since the time when AppleWorks was forged by the Progenitors in the age of the dawn of man, some other consumer needs have arisen. Something people are going to need is a full-featured HTML editing application (this one is Chris' idea), one that lets you create gorgeous CSS-laden pages with all the layout elegance of Keynote and all the source-code elegance of the best WYSIWYG editors. Apple can do it. And because Pages has HTML output, and because TextEdit in Tiger has HTML output, I strongly suspect that Apple has written a "Core HTML" engine that any app can leverage to generate excellent and complex Web pages. There ought to be an iWork component, not just a mode in Pages, but a dedicated application for laying out HTML pages with all their unique elements just as Keynote does for projector presentations and Pages does for the printed page. Considering that Keynote 2 has Flash output, this HTML app could even incorporate minor Flash composition tools. .Mac integration could provide simple form-based CGI functionality. With the inevitable abundance of Apple-designed templates and "drop zone" tools for making your own effortless variants on them, this could be a real slam-dunk.

So that would make iWork into a five-app suite: Keynote, Pages, Draw/Paint, Spreadsheet, and HTML. Surely the price would climb... or would it? iLife is still stuck no higher than $79, and it's got five mature and quite feature-rich apps in it. But even if it were to sell for $120 like AppleWorks has in the past, I think people would rightly consider it a fine value.

With iLife for media creation and iWork for daily productivity, Apple would have a compelling, comprehensive in-house software story to tell—making the Mac not just a platform for the creative, but a tool for getting business done too... just like in the old days.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005
22:48 - Hee hee hee, haw haw haw
http://stream.apple.akadns.net/

(top)
Don't forget to watch the Stevenote—particularly those of you who are toying, like naughty children, with the idea of jumping into the Cult of Mac by picking up a Mac mini in the near future.



You'll see why we love Steve: even when he's being glib or transparently sycophantic to all things French, as he does throughout the demos for Dashboard and iChat, the stuff he's showing off is just so damn cool (and he believes in it so honestly) that you can't help but grin ear to ear and give him a pass.

"Okay—nobody's outbidding me on Ebay, it's still raining in San Francisco, the dollar still sucks... okay, let's go back! Boom!" as he dismisses the Dashboard layer. You just can't help but laugh along. Especially when you see something so warpingly insane as the Dashboard widget-appearing effect or the slideshow with its "suck into iPhoto" and Exposé-like layout effects. Even when the system freezes and Steve swaps over to a backup machine, the audience dissolves into enthusiastic applause, not jeers, just because the presentation is so slick anyway—even the recovery seems scripted and rehearsed.

And not that we can benefit from it here at home, but the projection was all in HD this time. Damn, that must have been worth the price of admission.

I've still got 75% of it left to watch (it's about two hours long). Lots more fun to come, I'm sure...

UPDATE: Especially be sure to watch the section on the iPod shuffle, at the end: it's Jobs' famed Reality Distortion Field at its most distilled strength. The very concept of the device is a hard sell—he's having to explain why an iPod without a screen is inherently superior to all the existing competition that has screens, why the solution to the prevailing "tortured user interface" is to have no visual interface at all, and why playing up the "shuffle" angle is a revolutionary new thing that will take the world by storm. You can sense the doubt in the air when he's just getting going... but by the end, as he starts introducing the line of accessories and mentions that he's heard there just might be some at the Apple Store a few blocks away, he's got everybody hovering about an inch above their seats. You'll never see a more quintessentially Jobsian performance than this one, I do believe. Love it or hate it, this is the genuine article.


17:11 - Engadge, Number One
http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000177027029/

(top)
Engadget.com has a detailed photo-review of the iPod shuffle and its operation, including an uproarious tale of how after the editors decided that they had to have the thing the moment it was announced, they fought their way through the crowds in Moscone Center and out the door on their way up to the Apple Store on Market Street... only to discover that dozens, if not hundreds, of others had made the same exodus in search of the same grail. But the smirking Apple Store employees knew they were coming, and had parked a semi-trailer full of shuffles behind the store just to make sure that all the geeks lining up, grabbing them two or three or six at a time, could get their fill.

Get a load of what Creative's CEO said about the thing, though. I guess you gotta admire his pluck, if not his marketing savvy.

Aziz pointed out to me in e-mail that the iPod shuffle's lack of an LCD is, in fact, not a bug but a feature--something he's been looking for everywhere, even in the Tokyo gadgetry nexus, for years... to no avail. While it's clearly a necessity in the high-end players, he considers an LCD an unnecessary and near-useless gimmick that serves only to inflate the price, in the flash-player segment. In that market, as I see it, everything's about checkboxism, about one-upping your competitors. You've got to come in at the same price point but with one more feature than the other guy, be it an FM tuner, a voice recorder, a better LCD, hard drive duty, a designer lanyard, whatever. The one thing you can't do, though, is de-content. How could you? It'd be suicide. Even if it's decided internally that a flash player is just as practical without an LCD, what manufacturer would have the stones to go to market without one? Customers would breeze right by it, especially if they think like the Creative guy.

A company that breaks the spiral pattern of feature-creep and dares to cut out what many manufacturers see as an essential feature for the packaging, if not for the users, has to be in the position Apple's in: a Colossus bestriding the industry, decreeing from on high which features are really useful and which ones aren't. Now that Apple has made the first move, and gambled on the idea of a screenless player whose only vestigial control not shifted back into the iTunes end of things is a Shuffle switch (with all the bizarre and silly marketing slogans that go with trying to pump it up), other manufacturers are bound to follow suit. I'll bet a lot of them are going to welcome the excuse to shift direction.

But not Creative, apparently. Very well, then: see you four years ago, Sim Wong Hoo!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
16:17 - Shuffling off
http://www.buzzmachine.com/archives/2005_01_11.html#008861

(top)
Jeff Jarvis is skeptical of the iPod shuffle's proposition to the user:

Has the iPod jumped the shark? The entire point of the iPod is that it gives you control. Hell, the entire point of media that succeeds these days is that it gives you control. But the new, cheap, cute iPod takes that control away by shuffling the cuts you put on it. Gimmick. Off target. Doesn't mean it won't sell -- it's cheap; it's iPod -- but it corrupts the Apple/iPod message.

People seem to be forgetting that if you want, you can choose to have the iPod shuffle not shuffle your songs—and play through a hand-picked playlist of your choice.

You can see the design process on the whiteboards at Apple, though, right? "Okay, so we're going to have a flash-based iPod, maximum of a gigabyte... that's not enough space to put on any meaningful chunk of your music, or even multiple playlists. What do we do?"

Well, the most obvious solution (to me, anyway) is to fill it up with as many songs as you can, and then play up whatever benefits of that small form factor that you can.

Shuffling is far and away my most preferred method of listening, and that's because on my 20GB iPod, I can put every track I own on it, select my auto-generated "Music 3+" playlist, and let it skip through it to its heart's content. I don't often want to listen to a whole album straight through; and a couple weeks ago I put together a manual playlist for the first time in years, of "Driving Tunes", and I shuffle even through that. The idea here is that you use iTunes' "Autofill" feature to pack as many randomly chosen songs as possible (from your whole Library or a given playlist) into the iPod shuffle, optionally having it weight your songs by their star rating, as possible. And then off you skip into your daily grind, letting the iPod do the DJ'ing, as there's no display for you to do anything with in any useful manner. (It's either make it small, or give it a screen. One of the two.) The device's display has been reduced and transmogrified into the slider switch on the back, which now combines the power switch and the formerly main-menu "Shuffle" control, the only control Apple feels is crucial to the playback experience, once you've accepted and made your peace with the necessary limitations on real-time control of the device.

You can have it play your playlist in the order you chose, if you want. Or you can use the shuffle switch on the back to re-randomize it at any time. You do still have control over your playlist order; it's just handled back in iTunes, not on the fly. It's "space-shifted control", if you will. Is the reduced convenience justified by that price drop? That choking and dying Apple Store would seem to indicate in the affirmative.

I would have loved, incidentally, to have an "Autofill" feature for use with my old 5GB iPod. This is just an acknowledgment of the use cases in the field, probably culled direcly from focus groups and usability tests.

If the device is going to be this small, you have to give up the iPod's famed control. Once the decision has been made to do that—once the feature set has been pared down to exclude control in favor of the #1 use case, randomized linear playback—there's pretty much the one possibility left. And that's what we've got now. Apple's putting a lot of chips on this audacious "Let the randomness carry you away" ad campaign, hoping to tap into customers who like the idea of blind playback (which isn't so very much different from how must people use their iPods, I'll warrant); I think people will go for it. Either that or they'll spring for a $250 iPod mini. Control is what the extra money gets you. And the lack of control, for some, is a feature in itself (as Glenn Reynolds says). Apple hopes to capitalize on that. It's either that or call this an "iPod Micro", which would be just the same as the bigger ones but more limited.

In other words: shrinking the iPod yet another degree and making it Flash-based meant accepting some necessary limitations on its feature set. For Apple, the choice was either shuffling their feet and defensively owning up to those limitations... or saucily trying to turn them into an asset. Damned if it doesn't look like they've found a way.

All this does is play to the needs of the customer base, firmly delineate the product line in its various strata, and create a new class of device to pander to a different kind of consumer.

UPDATE: Tim Windsor is similarly sanguine about the Mac mini, which I think was the more meaningful (in the long term) announcement today. It's a good day to be a Mac user, but it must be an even better day for someone who's just about to be a Mac user.


14:54 - Stocking stuffers

(top)
More so than any other Stevenote that I can remember, this one has launched a line of products that are all aimed squarely at those people who would normally pass up Apple products because of their price. Usually a keynote is followed by a spate of people placing preorders for the new $3000 Power Macs or the new $500 iPods—high-end products with prices full of zeroes. I would usually watch the forums going nuts as the speech unfolded, with people every few posts mentioning just having emitted another couple of large into Steve's coffers for the privilege of having a preorder slot on a product that wouldn't ship for another three months, and I would wonder (even as I joined the throngs, myself, on occasion) just how many people could possibly be prepared to jump at such announcements on a high-rolling lark.

This time, though, is different. All the products are a) cheap, b) small, c) available now (or within a fortnight), and d) cheap. We've got:

  • Mac mini, at $500-600 (plus extra for AirPort, SuperDrive, Bluetooth, etc), small enough not just to tuck under your arm for an easy trundle to the mall, but almost small enough to fit in your pocket, for Pete's sake

  • iPod shuffle, at $99 for 512MB or $149 for 1GB—so small it'd be dwarfed by any standard headphones, and sticks right into your USB port like a keychain drive

  • iLife '05, at $79, which is either the same price as before or a hike from $50 (I can't remember)—not as exciting an update as I'd hoped, but definitely worth the price

  • Ub iWork, also $79—a price so low as to seem subsidized (Keynote until now, on its own, was $99).

    And that's to say nothing of all the iPod accessories, Mac mini accessories, and other random little pieces of flair that can be had for $50 and less.

    Of all these announcements, the Mac mini is the most expensive, starting at less than five Benjamins, less than an iPod photo. And if the bare specs don't thrill, the photos are hard to even believe, let alone argue with; this thing makes the Cube look like one of those 40's women standing on a chair, hiking up her skirts, while a mouse scurries underneath. You can stack like seven of these in the space occupied by a generic AT case, and at a cost comparable to a high-end PC or G5, at that. Clustering, anyone? Development box? Insta-server?

    (The graphics are a bit disappointing; I wasn't expecting a great deal, considering what kind of machine this is, but a Radeon 9200 isn't even on the list of supported cards for CoreImage. It's the same chipset that's shipping with the current iBooks. I'm not sure what kind of gaming machine the Mac mini would make; I think one would have to test-drive it first-hand to know for sure. How does the 9200 compare to the GeForce 5200? Anyone know?)

    Perhaps uniquely among Stevenotes in recent memory, a guy could sweep the entire lineup of new goodies into a shopping cart for less than a grand. If this set of announcements had happened right before Christmas, I can tell you that my shopping (and others' for me) would have been eeeeeasyyyy... I mean, what could be a more perfect stocking-stuffer for the not-so-blingified family, those not prepared to be buying each other $400 music players, than the iPod shuffle? This thing will eat the whole rest of the market.

    If there's any doubt to be had, too—well, the online Apple Store has been ground to a halt for longer and more severely than I can remember after any past Stevenote. I think they're hitting one hell of a sweet spot in the market; assuming today's product lineup carries any margins at all, Apple just called the table and is now about to sweep in the whole pile.

    We'll see how things go, but I've got good vibes from today.

    UPDATE: Chris M. says:

    The first thought I had: "I have a hard drive to backup my Powerbook.
    This Mac mini is a *backup computer*."

    I think a lot of people who already have Macs will get one for that
    reason. It's fine to have backup, but what good is it really if you're
    under a deadline and your CPU board just died? The Mac mini doesn't
    cost all that much more than a hard drive.

    I think people will be finding all kinds of uses for this thing.

    UPDATE: It can add up, though. If you want to hook the Mac mini up to an HDTV, you're going to want to get a DVI cable, and those can be pretty insanely pricey...


  • 10:39 - Keynote live coverage
    http://www.macworld.com/news/2005/01/11/keynote/index.php

    (top)
    Here's the live-updating page at Macworld.com. Damien informs me that Moscone Center is under total lockdown, with no wi-fi or cell phone coverage, no webcast... and even my site was down until about twenty minutes ago.

    But that part is explainable. See, it's been nothing but planned and unplanned outages for me for the last three days.

    First, a switch fabric replacement at the colo was postponed until last night because someone ran into a power pole and took out power to the whole facility. Then, when the machine came back up, it wouldn't respond to pings until one of the guys ping-flooded it for a few seconds. Guess it had a chaw in its throat.

    Then the site died because /var filled up.

    Then last night we had the actual outage for the switch replacement.

    Then this morning the machine was down again for several hours, mysteriously (I'm still waiting to hear why). I sure hope it's not (again) because this moronic Dell machine's BIOS has a "feature" whereby if the front cover was ever removed, even like back in 1997, every single time you boot subsequently it pauses and tells you Cover was previously removed! Press F1 to continue! And you can never, ever, boot cleanly again without having to hook up a keyboard and hit F1. Dell support said they knew about the problem, but had no workaround. Nothing they could do.

    Anyway: the keynote is underway, and Macworld.com is covering it. There's been a Tiger demo so far (including many features not included in the working build I've been using to write the book, consarn it), iLife '05, and iWork.

    Um, how's that Drudge thing go again? Defenestrating... no: Defilliping... someone help me out here...

    UPDATE:

    Encased in brushed metal, the new Mac mini features a square shape with rounded edges and is somewhat similar in appearance to an Apple AC power adapter. It features a slot-loading CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo drive, USB 2.0, FireWire 400, DVI and VGA connectivity.

    The Mac mini comes in two models -- a 1.25GHz, 40GB G4 system for $499 and an 80GB 1.42GHz G4 system for $599.

    That's all Macworld has. No pictures on Apple's site yet...

    UPDATE: They added this bit:

    Jobs describes the Mac mini and BYODKM: Bring Your Own Display, Keyboard and Mouse. The Mac mini works just fine with Apple's peripherals, of course, or you can use other industry-standard peripherals.

    So I guess you can buy Apple keyboards/mice, or you can get a USB Windows keyboard—not sure how Windows keys will work on the Mac, or what will map to the Command key, or what those dumb vestigial keys like Scroll Lock and SysRq will do—and a regular old minimum-two-button mouse, which is probably no big sacrifice (except for beginners, who as studies have shown mostly don't know what the second button does... but I suppose they can buy an Apple mouse or deal).

    Also there's iPod stuff, like this:

    Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Volvo and Scion will be introducing iPod adapters for their factory-installed auto stereos in 2005. Alfa Romeo and Ferrari will be doing so as well. Mercedes is an exhibitor at this year's show, and is showing its SLK and CLS models with iPod controls.

    Now that'll be something to see. iPods in all the lifestyle magazines! There's no way they planned this.

    Flash-based iPod coming up...

    UPDATE: Do the iPod shuffle!

    Apple's latest digital music device, the iPod shuffle, is shaped like a long, thin rectangle with beveled edges. It has a headphone jack on the top. Clad in white with a grey button interface laid out similarly to the iPod and iPod mini's clickwheel. It measures smaller than a pack of gum and weighs less than four quarters. Available in 512MB for US$99, or 1GB for $149.

    "We are shipping them out of the factory starting today," said Jobs.

    A cap on the bottom hides a USB 2.0 connector. You pop it off and plug it in to a PC or Mac's available port. An optional lanyard lets you wear it around your neck. Apple says the iPod shuffle's battery lasts about 12 hours per charge.

    "Autofill" is a new feature in iTunes that will automatically build a playlist that will fit on your iPod shuffle.

    Damn, that's small. Pictures! I want pictures!

    UPDATE: There we go. Wow... I see. It's unpredictable... because it has no display! Heh—I get it! That's really pretty funny. "Enjoy Uncertainty!" Well, honestly that makes sense, because randomized is the only way I ever listen to my music; if I don't like something, I just hit Next. This is cheeky as hell, priced well, and could be lots of fun.

    And then there's this... damn! The thing's no bigger than a CD! This is really going overboard with the whole "miniaturization" thing, wouldn't you say?

    UPDATE: Apple's marketing is getting nasty!

    Most low-cost PC manufacturers slap together Frankenstein machines by hacking away features from the high end (of three years ago, anyway) and putting the warmed-over parts in ill-fitting cheap plastic boxes. They don’t really have a choice, since they don’t design any of the parts, from operating system to motherboard. That’s why most budget PC cases seem to be littered with a mish-mash of uncoordinated stickers from every component vendor on the planet. But Apple engineers can handcraft a new machine from scratch. For Mac mini, that means taking the time to decide just which elements make a Mac a Mac and then figuring out how to shrink them. And that process just happened to reinvent the whole concept of a desktop computer.

    Ouch! But the picture at right is hard to argue with...

    UPDATE: Funky box design for iLife and iWork. Has Apple gone all 70s on us?

    $79 each, though. That's a price hike for iLife (I think), and a big price reduction for iWork (Keynote alone used to cost $99). I guess they figure everybody's gonna want Pages. Hell, I do... and not just because I have to get copies, like, right away, to write chapters on them...

    UPDATE: Get a load of footnote 2 on the iPod shuffle page.

    These guys so rule.

    UPDATE: The video stream is available now for your viewing pleasure.

    UPDATE: It was because of the frickin' front cover. Argh.

    Monday, January 10, 2005
    21:10 - The damnedest things make us stupid these days

    (top)
    So apparently, judging by Presidential write-in nominee Jon Stewart's searing sarcasm on the Daily Show bumps on Comedy Central, the latest thing we get to make fun of Bush for is that he's trying to fund programs that promote, of all things, abstinence as a way to curb sexual disease and pregnancy among high school kids. "President Bush has got a real hard-on for abstinence..." The idiot.

    Now, I don't normally think of myself as one of those guys who grew up too fast, or has become prematurely aged in mind and body. But when, precisely, did it become a bad thing, worthy of jeers, to suggest that maybe we should encourage kids not to have sex? When did that become such an unreasonable, paleontological suggestion?

    From the tone of the discourse, it's starting to sound as though the moral high ground is claimed by those who promote promiscuity with protection, followed by those who promote plain old promiscuity... then, and only then, does the dreaded "A" word start to become grudgingly acceptable as an admissible alternative. Why, these statistics right here say that 64% of all high school seniors have had sex... if your kid hasn't, by golly, encourage him! Is that the message I'm supposed to get? Because that's what I'm hearing.

    Why do I get the feeling that the only reason people are acting like this, in any case, is that it's another way to gleefully oppose that old crusty authoritarian Bush? It's like, all he'd have to do if he wanted to lower crime would be to go on TV and ask people to commit more crimes. People would do the opposite just out of spite.


    18:05 - It need not be so
    http://home.clara.net/andywrobertson/wolfemountains.html

    (top)
    Here's a 2001 essay by author Gene Wolfe, on the subject of J.R.R. Tolkien and the world he created—and the lessons it has for us, regardless of Tolkien's repeated insistence that his stories had no allegorical significance. Maybe none that he intended, sure. But that doesn't mean he didn't have passion for a vision that is all but lost today, now that everything must be viewed through the frosted lens of liability and assurance, comfort and convenience, political correctness and irony and the satiric deconstruction of everything that has come before.

    It is said with some truth that there is no progress without loss; and it is always said, by those who wish to destroy good things, that progress requires it. No great insight or experience of the world is necessary to see that such people really care nothing for progress. They wish to destroy for their profit, and they, being clever, try to persuade us that progress and change are synonymous.

    They are not; and it is not just my own belief but a well-established scientific fact that most change is for the worse: any change increases entropy (unavailable energy). Therefore, any change that produces no net positive good is invariably harmful. Progress, then, does not consist of destroying good things in the mere hope that the things that will replace them will be better (they will not be) but in retaining good things while adding more. Here is a practical illustration. This paper is good and the forest is good as well. If the manufacture of this paper results in the destruction of the forest, the result will be a net loss. That is mere change; we have changed the forest into paper, a change that may benefit some clever men who own a paper mill but hurts the mass of Earth's people. If, on the other hand, we manufacture the paper without destroying the forest (harvesting mature trees and planting new ones) we all benefit. We engineers will tell you that there has been an increase in entropy just the same; but it is an increase that would take place anyway, and so does us no added harm. It is also a much smaller increase than would result from the destruction of the forest.

    And, as Wolfe fails to point out (surprisingly), the value of that paper is increased well beyond what Nature or industry could have produced if we write an essay on it like Wolfe did. We create value through our own human genius; we add to the collective wealth of humanity with each creative act, even if it sacrifices something that we couldn't ourselves create in the process. Nature fills a niche we cannot; it's a counterpoint to us, a complementary force, and while it's crucial to our survival, it's not our salvation. Our Golden Age is not in the past, nor can we reclaim it by cheering the tsunamis.

    It's possible, though, to envision a world in which "progress" isn't merely a word associated with androgynous social policy, Soviet space vehicles, restrictions on words we're permitted to use, an empowered babysitter state, or a genre of music defined by banshee-wailing, cacophonic Canadian rock bands—where, instead, it means an embrace of commonly understood folk values, where mutual respect derives from a shared community interest rather than centrally-mandated codes of conduct.

    There may be a way to make that our goal, to evolve toward fewer high-level rules governing our actions and more individual rewards and consequences for them. If there is, one can start looking for it in many worse places than Tolkien.

    (Via Chris M.)


    15:37 - There's doin's a-happenin'
    http://www.thinksecret.com/news/0501expo6.html

    (top)
    Think Secret has a rundown of all the pre-keynote rumors, which ought to tide us over now that it's been revealed that the webcast of the keynote speech won't occur until 6:00pm, nine hours after the speech is delivered at 9:00am. (Evidently the cost of a live broadcast to the Web and the Apple Stores was deemed prohibitive.)

    "Life is Random", proclaims a giant banner that fell down and was accidentally revealed to passersby with cameras.

    And there's more. Plenty more. Something tells me I should just stop writing the book for a few days...

    UPDATE: I provide the shallow gut-reactions, and Daring Fireball provides the real analysis. He's got the historical perspective to back up his theories (though his claim that every iMac revision has always put the model line on the same CPU platform across the board is wrong—when the flat-panel iMac G4 was released, Apple kept selling the candy-colored iMac G3 for months afterward).

    He makes a strong case for Apple pursuing every avenue in chasing down leaks and rumor-spreaders like Think Secret; when Apple's business is on the line, regardless of whether the law is on their side, they've got to try whatever arrows are in their quiver.


    09:45 - Fake but accurate?

    (top)
    Following Damien Del Russo's line of reasoning, and these photos, which (if for real—big if) suggest that the new mini-Mac may be presented more as a set-top box—à la Windows Media Center—than as a standalone home computer, it seems to me that there's a pretty good case to be made for that type of product even if the photos are faked.

    I mean, this is what iTunes Music Sharing and iPhoto Sharing are all leading up toward, isn't it? A central computer in the house where you can pop open iPhoto, look over in the sidebar, and see every shared iPhoto album from every other Mac in the house—Dad's, Junior's, Kaytlyn's—and can browse through them and display them at full resolution on the HDTV in the living room so the whole family can sit on the couch and look? Isn't that worlds more useful than making people crowd around a computer monitor in someone's room? With a living-room computer sharing photos from all over the house, the historical usage suggestions of iPhoto (slideshows on your 17" monitor with music and funky crossfades and transitions; sharing photos from computer to computer) seem almost silly. And iTunes? Same thing: pop it open, and everyone's music collection shows up in the sidebar; the box is hooked up to the TV's stereo system, so you can use it as the central jukebox for playing any of the family members' music, after it's added as one of the five machines able to play purchased music from each of the family's iTunes accounts.

    Of course, to do this the box would have to come with AirPort built-in, which means it supersedes AirPort Express (though AE would still be useful for people who are already set up for music broadcasting from elsewhere in the house to the stereo, and who don't want the whole Media Center thing). That's a $100 part right there, and one that comparable Windows PCs don't come with; so there's your price competitiveness.

    There's the question of keyboard/mouse control, which you'd need in order to use this machine as a regular computer; the photos don't seem to show a keyboard or mouse in the box. Maybe they do expect people to be able to go out and buy Mac-compatible keyboards and mice at Fry's; I dunno. Either way, a set-top box would have to have a good universal remote that controlled both iTunes and iPhoto, as well as DVD functions. Not implausible, but it'll be interesting to see them pull it off.

    I don't know what kind of zero-config networking mechanisms Windows Media Center uses for sharing media from other computers, but it seems that any successful set-top box would have to have an infrastructure like the one Apple seems poised to deploy into any household right now, whether it's what will be unveiled tomorrow or not: a wireless-networked machine on the TV, gathering all the music and photos (and movies too, if iMovie 5 involves creation and sharing of a Movie Library for all your home videos, as now seems quite plausible now that I think about it) from all the computers in the house over the airwaves—without configuration—and outputting them to the living-room HDTV screen and stereo system. It seems blindingly obvious, squinted at the right way. Maybe even without the qualifier.

    And of course it works as a regular computer too, and I'm wondering how such a machine can be positioned as a "Home Media Center" and yet sell as a desktop computer for novices and a secondary "fashion" machine for PC geeks. I guess it wouldn't be too hard; even if the thing is packaged as a "Media Centre" (hey, we could be seeing the stock in the back of the Regent Street store in London), they could just slap a different name on the same box with the same specs and sell it as a beginner's PC. It's perfectly capable, if the numbers we've heard are accurate.

    So now I'm even more officially not making any predictions: I would be completely not surprised by the release tomorrow of a set-top Mac designed to be a combination music player, photo browser, DVD player, DVR (?), and wireless hub hooked to an HDTV and surround-sound stereo, and I would be equally unsurprised by the release tomorrow of a small desktop Mac designed to compete with the $500 Dells and gather the entry-level demographic. Either way seems like a solid business case, especially if they're not going to be selling it at a loss as Cringely predicts. This might well be a no-brainer with no downside for Apple.

    Which is one of those statements that I'll be looking back on in 2008 and laughing at ruefully, typing morosely on a Windows PC after Apple has disastrously gone out of business...

    Previous Week...


    © Brian Tiemann