Our listening audience continues to expand across the globe, excitement about the Podcast Expo, an iBook monitor resolution hack, a great spam fighting tool, review of how easy it is to upgrade to a new Mac, speed comparison of the 1GHz G4 vs. dual core 2GHz G5, review of the movie Bewitched, silly little name site.Listen to the Podcast – Time: 17 min 42 seconds
You guys must have friends EVERYWHERE! As soon as I said last week that we had no South or Central American listeners, we got visitors to podfeet.com from Columbia, Peru and Panama! Welcome to our new listeners. Did you guys call your friends in those areas ands say, “let’s see if we can get a shout out on NosillaCast?” I hope so! We also picked up some folks from Singapore and just today Slovenia! I’m so bad at geography I had to look up Slovenia. Welcome to all our new listeners from all countries. Let’s do an experiment. I’ll pick a country, and you guys find someone from that country to listen! This week I pick…Russia. I was going to say Zimbabwe, but I thought I’d start with a relatively high volume, and yet strangely missing, coountry. So I expect to see some Russian participation on podfeet.com in the coming week!
This is the last podcast before the Podcast Expo – I hope I haven’t built it up too much in my mind, but I’m SO looking forward to it! The chance to exchange ideas on this powerful new technology and where it can take us, not just in entertainment but also in business is fascinating to me. I’ve never been on the leading edge of something before, and it’s a great ride! I’ll podcast from the Expo – not sure if I’ll get out a couple of shows without notes, staying up half the night doing it, or if I’ll wait till my usual Sunday post and do a professional job. My enthusiasm level will probably dictate!
iBook monitor resolution hack
Remember last week when I ranted about my awful experience with Samsung (I still don’t have my money back, almost five months now) and how I ended up with the 19″ HP LCD? The purpose was for my daughter to use it with her iBook, and imagine my chagrin when I hooked it up only to find that the max resolution on the iBook was 1024×768! It never even occurred to me that it would be that low! Natively the iBook also can’t do spanning between two displays (that’s where you have two different things on the two displays and they act like one huge monitor. The iBook can ONLY mirror the display. I told her to just hang on and see if I could do anything about it. My daughter had this crestfallen look on her face when she saw how lame it looked (she’d been looking forward to putting up 26 separate AIM windows on screen I guess).
I was instantly successful searching on the web – I found a tool called Screen Spanning Doctor, available at rutemoeller.com:
This kind of hack isn’t for the faint of heart, but I’ll try anything, so I installed the application, and it worked like a charm – she can now do 1280×1024 and span her two screens to her heart’s content!
Greatest Spam Fighting Tool
You’re not going to believe this, but I don’t get ANY spam on my personal email account. I don’t mean I have good filters that make me not have to see it, I mean I don’t get any at all. The magic behind this is a service called Spamex from spamex.com. Spamex gives you 500 disposable email addresses, all of which get routed back to your real address. Here’s an example. Let’s say I want to buy something from Amazon. I jump over to spamex.com and put in my password, then click on create a new address. I usally choose a name that tells me where I used it, like [email protected]. Once I’ve chosen a name, I just cut/paste it into the website where I’m shopping. The whole process takes about one minute, and now Amazon doesn’t have my real address.
If you ever get any spam on the [email protected] address, you’d know that they’re the ones that sold it to the spammers. Interestingly enough, I never do get any spam, so I’m guessing spammers won’t buy addresses that end in spamex.com.
The real beauty comes in when they start sending junk to you – Spamex lets you selectively blacklist certain addresses. You probably want the email that comes from [email protected] but you could do without [email protected]. In the Spamex website you can blacklist those lame addresses so you stop getting those emails.
Here’s the really crazy part – when I first signed up it only cost $9 per year (not per month, per year) and when I signed Steve up the other day – it was free! I don’t get it – I’ve been using them for a few years so I know they’re not doing anything nefarious with the information, but there’s no advertising, so I don’t get why they would do it for free!
Transferring to a new Mac
I think I mentioned last week that I bought my husband a new G5 for Christmas and gave it to him early so he can speed up his DVD Encoding. More on how well that’s working out in a bit, but I want to tell you about a cool thing Apple did in the last few versions of the OS to make it easy to move from one Mac to another. When I booted up the new G5, it asked me if I was moving from an old Mac. I said yes, and it told me to hook the old Mac to the new with a firewire cable, and to boot up the old Mac while holding down the T key. This puts the old Mac into what’s called Target Disk Mode. This means that the old Mac is not booting up into it’s own operating system, but is simply now a firewire disk to the new Mac. After the old Mac is in Target Disk Mode, the new Mac transfers over all of the data, all of the applications and all of the system settings! I know this sounds like magic, and it FEELS like magic, but it really works! It was amazing when we were finished, the desktop background was there, email was set up the way he likes it, his address book was there, his network settings, and all his applications with any tweaks he had made to those in place. It is really a wonderful experience. Leave it to Apple to make it easy.
So Steve burns two hour DVDs complete with elaborate scene selections and music. On his 1GHz G4, it would take a full 8 hours to encode the DVD, and then since it was a 4X DVD burner it would take another half hour to actually burn the DVD. Total time, 8.5 hours. With his new Dual-Core 2GHz G5, the total elapsed time to encode and burn the DVD was noly 2 hours and 31 minutes! I’m really happy about that – I knew it would be way faster, just having the processor at twice the clock speed had to help, the fact that it’s a G5 instead of a G4 is some unidentifiable speed increase, and then having it be dual core should be an advantage but I wasn’t sure how much. The 16X burner cut another 22 minutes off the time, but the real killer was the raw processing time for the encoding process. Steve is really happy with his new machine!
Movie Review – Bewitched
Friday night’s movie was Bewitched with Will Farrel and Nicole Kidman. i was a big fan of Bewitched as a child, and this was a nice remake. It’s not an epic film that will leave you thinking about it for days, but it’s a nice bit of comedy if you like Will Farrel. Several times we caught him slipping into his imitations of people like James Lipton of Inside the Actor’s Studio, which at first we thought was a mistake but then the next scene was Will Farrel being interviewed by James Lipton! Nicole Kidman was okay, not great, but Shirley MacLaine played Endora (Samantha’s mother), Michael Caine was Nigel (Samantha’s father) and they were both well cast. The best casting of all was Steve Carrell (the Office, Bruce Almighty) as Uncle Arthur – he was just perfect. Overall an enjoyable way to spend $3 as a rental if you were a fan of the series, but I wouldn’t recommend buying it.
Baby Name wizard
Here’s a little site that is a lot of fun. It’s called the Baby Name Wizard at babynamewizard.com. This cool tool shows you all the names that have been used since the 1880s, in a serape chart as a function of time to show the popularity of each name as the years go by. You can hover your cursor over the chart and names will pop out to show you what name you’re over. The chart is also color coded by pink and blue to show girls and boys names too. That’s pretty interesting, but the fun comes in when you type a particular name into the site. The graph mutates into a chart of just that name’s popularity over time. If you pick a name that could be a boy or a girl (like Jean for example) it will show both of them on there in pink and blue.
I put in Allison, and it shows that it didn’t come into usage as a girls name until the 1930s, peaking out with 1900 girls per million named Allison in the 1990s when it became the 41st most popular name. Here’s a fun fact – it was a boys name from the 1880’s through the 1920’s with 50 boys per million being named Allison. Check out the Baby Name Wizard, you’ll have lots of fun playing with it!
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