NosillaCast 01/08/2006 Show #25

Discussion of sound problems, car update, update on streaming protected AAC files, testing iPod Video conversion software, Open Source substitutes for Microsoft Office, Graphing Calculator Story.

Listen to the Podcast – Time: 25 minutes 10 seconds

Tomorrow is MacWorld Expo – fingers and toes crossed for Intel-based powerbooks! I’m so ready for a faster laptop. it runs beautifully, but I sure do wait around a bit on the 1GHz G4. I suppose I shouldn’t whine, and my friends say I’m ALWAYS buying myself a new computer, and they don’t believe my powerbook is already 2 and a half years old! the problem is that i AM always buying a computer, but it’s for other people in the house…only bought the G5 2 months ago…oh well, probably will wait a bit after the intel-based macs are introduced anyway, this might be a time I don’t want to that far out on the bleeding edge!

Apologies for last weeks’ sound quality – buzz, audacity bug sound too low, Wire Tap Pro sounded muffled – discovery!

Got my car back – looks great!

my favorite xmas present is still the iPod Nano lanyard headphones.

update on streaming protected files from the iTunes Music Store to the Roku Soundbridge. Checked out SlimDevices from and they say on their website:

“Please note that music purchased from the iTunes Music Store (“Protected AAC” (.m4p) files) is encrypted and cannot be played back with Squeezebox until Apple provides the necessary hooks to enable this. In the meantime, it is possible to burn your iTunes Music Store songs to CD and re-rip them as unprotected .m4a files.”

so then I checked out Sonos, even though it’s way to expensive ($1199 for 2 ZonePlayers and 1 Controller), and sure enough, they said:
“Sonos supports MP3, WMA, uncompressed WAV, and AAC files (not purchased iTunes, though).”

another update – Listener Lynn on Picasa asks whether it can burn CDs of pictures so Macs can read them? 2 ways – “Make a Gift CD” which makes it a slide show that you have to do an “Open Package” on, or Tools/Backup then select folder(s) and burn a CD.

vote on podcast alley – last month I got up into the 500s out of 11,000 because of your votes!

I’m proud of you – Internet Explorer usage is down to 11%!

Testing iPod Video conversion software

iSquint from
help menu – Beatles

iSquint main screen:

Handbrake Lite
Not sure how this all works, but the guy from iSquint “horribly mangled” the Handbrake code, as shown in the screen snapshot in the shownotes.

it’s available at, but the link is broken on the main page – it takes you to iSquint not Handbrake lite. use the link in the shownotes.
one click conversion of DVD to iPod Video
Handbrake lite main and only window

pulled in an entire 2 hour movie, kept good stats till I had to go to bed, but it looks like it was on target to take an 1:40 to burn the whole thing on the 1GHz G4. I plan to do another test using the dual core 2GHz G5, might be a bit quicker! Pulled it into the library and synced the Video iPod just fine. audio and video quality were good.

Podflicks from
only lets you do a 2 minute clip to test it before you buy so not good for a test.

converted home DV recording to iPod video with a simple click of the Share menu and then choose iPod Video. the quality was excellent. doesn’t do DVDs but for your home movies very simple.

Stay tuned for more tests of different apps over the next few weeks.

Star Offic/Open Office/NeoOffice

Star Office from Sun – put in open source community – now Open Office. Doesn’t work mac, but there’s NeoOffice which is Java based. Available at takes forever to open in Java, works fast once opened.
Opens files I can’t open otherwise – like these weird .slk files I get from HR, should be excel but it can’t open them. supposed to be symbolic link format. 2nd example – worked on Excel file for a half hour, saving along the way, had to quit Excel, then wouldn’t open. NeoOffice opened just fine. Belligerence – couldn’t use our performance management system on the mac, so I copied the data out of the files on the PC and pasted into NeoOffice and worked in there. Not more efficient, but enjoyable.

opening the app opens all 4 products – word proc, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing. even has pivot table support in the spreadsheet. presentation makes each slide a tab like in Excel which is odd. haven’t gotten good at the menus yet, but basically the same as office. why buy? Encourage you to give it a whirl.

Apple’s Graphing Calculator
There’s a terrific story i want you to read about Apple’s Graphing Calculator. Ok, so you’re thinking I’m nuts saying a graphic calculator story is terrific, but trust me on this one. the history behind this lovely little application that has been on our Macs for decades is intriguing and amazing. It’s the story of a guy who got fired by Apple but he was so committed to the Graphic Calculator project that he continued to sneak into the company to work on it. with the help of some engineers who were still being paid by Apple, and because Apple didn’t keep very good tabs on their folks, no one noticed that he had no boss, so he was able to keep working on the project. At one point there were layoffs, but he didn’t get hit because he didn’t actually work there! the story goes on to explain how he got the software into the golden CD that delivers the OS to all machines – you’ve really got to read this to believe it. The software is no longer included with OSX, but you can download it after you read the story! it’s really an amazing tool. Check out the story at

That’s going to wrap it up for the NosillaCast today, as always please post a comment on or send me an email at [email protected]. Thanks for listening and stay subscribed!

4 thoughts on “NosillaCast 01/08/2006 Show #25

  1. Neil - January 10, 2006

    Great “show” as always.

    BTW, I “thought of you” today while I was listening to “Inside the Net”.
    Leo and Amber were interviewing the Pandora guy. I knew all about it thanks to the Nosillacast!

    I ALSO thought of you when I heard about the MacBook Pro…!

  2. Nosilla - January 10, 2006

    Neil – you’re great groupie – I can’t believe I reviewed something BEFORE Leo! i get a lot of my material from him. to quote Steve Jobs – that MacBook Pro is DROOLworthy, isn’t it? Now I’ve got to either convince my husband or my cool boss that I NEED it!

  3. Neil - January 11, 2006

    Both new Macs are droolworthy.

    My 2 (working) Macs are a 1st gen iMac flatscreen and a 1st gen Bondi iMac.

    My working laptop is this Compaq Presario. (

  4. […] went back through the archives and found the first time I ever talked about pivot tables on the NosillaCast was on show #25 in January of 2006. In that episode, I was talking about trying to get pivot tables to work in Star Office from […]

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