#168 Chrome, Cooliris, G9, Snapshots conquered, LaTeX

A REALLY long show: Al’s going to Demo, funnest TCP/IP argument ever including Chuck Mott of NAT fame (man pages at developer.apple.com.). Google Chrome first look vs. IE 8 (link to a Chrome features site). Cooliris Previews vs. Piclens confusion & praise (cooliris.com). Another reason Bart is wrong about iChat, and Al is on Ladies night on TMUP at typicalmacuser.com. In Dumb Question Corner we help Peter make a smart folder in iPhoto to see just his video files, and we don’t answer Jude’s question about how to get num-lock to work on the extended Apple keyboard with a MacBook Pro. Donald Burr reviews the Canon PowerShot G9, check out the dpreview at dpreview.com 9 and his podcasts at otakunopodcast.com and voicesoferinn.com. Jane from galacticstrings.com explains how to get rid of snapshots on your website. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart tells us about LaTex, link to a wiki all about LaTeX: en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX and Bart’s new web address is bartb.ie/blog.


Listen to the Podcast Once (1hr 12 min a world record!)

Today is SATURDAY September 6th, 2008, and this is show number 168. I actually recording a whole day early because tomorrow I’m headed off to the Demo conference in San Diego. Chris Shipley who runs it actually invited me to be her guest at the conference when I met her at the All Things Digital conference in May, so it will be fun to attend the VIP dinner with her and all that. Looking forward to it, even though I’m not 100% clear on exactly what it will be like! I think it’s where companies demonstrate tools and hardware products to venture capitalists, and they pay an enormous sum for the privilege. I’ll have access to the CEOs of these companies so the shmooze opportunities are enormous. I read on CNET’s site that Natali Del Conte will be there interviewing folks, so I hope to meet her, that would be fun, and Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal are supposed to have some battle on stage this year. It’s all good!

I had the MOST fun discussion about TCP/IP yesterday, more fun than you can imagine! Remember last week when Rod told us about how he spoofed the MAC address of his PC onto his Mac when he was at a hotel so both could get online without paying the hotel twice? Well I told the story to two of my unix buddies at work and they were both intrigued by how this could work. not that you couldn’t spoof the MAC address, but what would the network do with two machines with the same MAC address. I know that the way Rod actually did it was one at a time on a wired connection, but we extrapolated to what would have happened if he were using a wireless connection and got them both on the network at the same time? There ensued a long discussion of packets and hardware layer vs. IP layer and some UDP thrown in there and we just had a good old time! I contended that since the router, using NAT or network address translation, would know which computer to send the returning information from the web to because it looks at IP address first, not MAC address. The other guys seemed to think maybe the MAC address would actually confuse things, because maybe both computers would get it, and the one with the wrong IP would either a) drop it gracefully, or b) barf. We couldn’t prove either way.

chuck's credits in natd man pagesAnd that’s when I realized that I actually KNOW one of the authors of Network Address Translation! His name is Chuck Mott, and he’s the nicest guy in the world, I knew he’d have fun with us in any case. So we rang up Chuck and had a great time walking through all the scenarios. What was even MORE fun was that he said we had gone beyond the edge of his knowledge level. I thought that was really cool! now I’m waiting for Monday morning to find out if he went home and experimented. I have half a mind to try it myself, and most certainly booger my network for DAYS. One of my favorite parts of the discussion was when he thought through what would happen to the two computers and he said, “I wonder if the wrong one would just drop it or puke?” I cracked up because of course I had said barf, and he said puke. that means I’m almost as smart as Chuck Mott! Just in case you want to check my story, I put a link in the shownotes to the man pages on natd or the Network Address Translation Daemon where Chuck is credited as one of the authors. the one I found was in the man pages at developer.apple.com.

Google Chrome
this week the interwebs are all atwitter about Google Chrome. (by the way, do you think twitter’s origins came from that phrase, “all atwitter”? or maybe it was from “twitterpated”? I’ve always wondered that.) Anyway, everyone’s excited that Google came out with a new browser called Chrome. Let me say first that I don’t entirely get why we need another browser, but Google frequently surprises me with their genius so I won’t question that. Secondly I think it’s criminal that they did not come out with Linux and Mac versions on the same day but instead said “later”. I trust them for later, but still, that was kinda mean! Those two issues aside, I loaded Chrome up on my windows laptop along with IE 8 beta 2 this week and I had some fun.

One of the cool things about Chrome is that if a tab crashes, the other tabs stay live, they’re actually separate processes. now Paul Thurrott of the surprisingly good podcast Windows Weekly (yes I like to keep up even though i have an ever so slight mac bias) said that IE 8 also runs each tab as a process, but three times in 3 days I had full crashes of IE8, including turning my entire screen white so I couldn’t do ANYTHING until I launched the task manager and killed it. There was only one instance of IE in the task manager to kill, so not sure what he was talking about. In contrast, Chrome ran error free for those same three days.

I really really like Chrome for a bunch of things. you can run an Incognito window where every tab you open in there and everything you do in there does not leave any trace on the computer you’re working on. not that I have anything to hide, but nice to have the option. I love the way Chrome animates real time while you shrink or grow a window – the text changing it’s wrapping and moving around real time is very cool. The height from the top of the real content to the top of the window is VERY short, especially compared to IE 8. I’m sensitive to this dimension for a couple of reasons – working on a wide screen laptop, spare height in screenspace is one thing you do not have. We also do online meetings where someone is screensharing, and the other day I was looking at one where the other person was running powerpoint. including the height of the top part of IE, plus the Lotus Sametime tabs, plus the Powerpoint menu slop – it added up to FOUR INCHES till I got to the stinking content! I took some screenshots of Chrome vs. Firefox vs. IE 8 that I’ll put in the shownotes, both FF and Chrome are very small in comparison.

ie8 vs. ff3 vs chrome in height

Another cool feature of Chrome is that you can create web applications, much like the Fluid apps Bart is always talking about. You navigate to Gmail for example, and in the menu click on make new application window, and it puts an icon on your desktop that takes you straight to gmail, with no web browser interface at all. Very slick. I’ll be talking more about Chrome in the future as I play with it – so far its’ fun and distracting from doing real constructive work! In the mean time I put a link to a Chrome features site that has nice quick little videos to show you how it works.

Correction Piclens vs. Cooliris Previews
piclens vs. cooliris previews
I said piclens used to be cooliris previews, but then said what’s the diff? launched Firefox and they did an update on me to 3.0b4 and suddenly piclens didn’t work? I went to addons, typed in piclens, and it found cooliris previews and installed, and now I’m in business again – and I think there’s more capability. clicked on David Roth’s picture in Twitter.com and it brought up his twitter page in a little window! Piclens was v 1.8.andsomething and cooliris previews is 2.6.4! But then I went back to the website and got confused again. I officially have no clue if there’s two products or one, and if there’s just one, what the name of it is! What I DO know is that when i loaded up CoolIris Previews 2.6.4 I not only got the awesome image viewing capability, I got another treat. Now if I get near a link, a little magnifying glass shows up, click it and I get a quick preview of the web page it links to. It’s an awesome way to find out if you really want to follow that link or not. Whether I can figure out the name of the product or not, go over to cooliris.com and download whatever you find, it will be fun.

Another reason why Bart is wrong about iChat
Remember last week on Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart was coming up with all these lame reasons why iChat isn’t as good as Adium? One of his lame reasons was that iChat used Bubbles for the chats. not sure what he has against bubbles, maybe he had a child burning episode with some bubbles, but whatever. Ben sent in an email where he said, ” I just felt compelled to make a correction. Bart was saying how he hates bubbles in iChat. Just right click/control click on a chat window and change it from the bubbles to something else! Hope this helps, Ben

I tested out Ben’s excellent tip – and you can choose boxes, compact, or text instead of those nasty, scary bubbles! I put screen shots of the three options in the shownotes so you can choose for yourself which one you like best! Thanks Ben for helping my side of the latest debate!

ichat boxes
ichat compact
ichat text

Ladies Night on TMUP
Victor Cajiao of the Typical Mac User does a great show, and this week he had Ladies night, and somehow he missed the fact that I’m no lady, and I snuck in on a technicality and got to contribute to his show! Head on over to typicalmacuser.com or follow the link in the show notes to the Ladies Night episode on the Typical Mac User to check it out. I think I’m about 2/3rd’s of the way into the show.

Dumb Question Corner
===========cue the music===================
Peter Boodts is back with another great installment in our Dumb Question Corner series. Here’s his entry this week:
Hi Allison – My dumb question for this week πŸ™‚ Can I make a smart folder in iPhoto that shows me just all the moviefiles that I’ve imported ?
I Can’t seem to set it that way. Greetz, Peter

You know I’m not a big iPhoto fanatic, but this seemed like a fun thing to hunt for so I set aside my convictions and popped open iPhoto and selected File –> New Smart Album. Up came the options to set conditions for the smart album. My first idea was to set the left pulldown to filename, the second to contains, and then I typed in .avi in the third field. Suddenly all the avi’s from my digital camera were all there in the one smart album.
smart album setting file name to avi
I happily sent that off to Peter and he said thanks, that sorta works, but what if I have different movie file types? Ok, fine, challenge 2. I went back in and poked around and found the solution in the dumbest option. I thought maybe I could set the left pulldown to file type, but it wasn’t an option. They DID have an option that said Photo, so on a lark I tried that. I left the next pulldown at is and then the third pulldown gave me the choices of flagged, hidden, edited, raw, or MOVIE! Huzzah! All you have to do is tell iPhoto to set the filter as Photo is Movie. sorta sounds like something the nice folks over at Lotus would have set the menus to, isn’t it? Anyway, there you have it, a way to see all your movies in one smart album. Great question Peter, I enjoyed that!
smart album setting photo to movies

Jude on arrow keys
Jude sent in his first recording, and he’s got a style that is, well, different. I think you’ll enjoy both his style and hopefully you’ll help me answer his question!

=============INSERT jude_extended_keyboarD=============

Great recording AND question Jude. The intro was fantastic, your comments on Vista and Office 2007 sublime, and your question fascinating! the BAD news is that I hunted everywhere for an answer and didn’t find one. I found a ton of people explaining that the clear key is num-lock, but only if you’re in Boot Camp on the Mac!

I dug out my husband’s old aluminum extended keyboard (the one I poured beer into when I cheered with excitement when the Mars Phoenix landed safely and I had to buy him a new one because the space bar stayed sticky) and plugged it into my MBP.

I tried every key combo I could think of to get that clear key to do anything but beep at me, even holding down keys on the MacBook Pro keyboard while hitting clear on the extended keyboard. I also tried the numlock key on the MBP keyboard (function-f6) and while that annoyingly turns your j into a 1, your k into a 2 and so on, it had no effect on the extended keyboard.

I wrote all of this in an email to Jude, and asked him another question. Here’s what i wrote:

Can I ask you one thing? If you’ve banished Windows from your life, would it be a possibility to learn to use the page up/page down buttons that are in between the numeric keypad and the keyboard? I know, it’s new and scary, but maybe it’s time to move on? I’ll give you a couple of fun keyboard shortcuts – put your cursor at the front of a line and hit command-right arrow (which says end on the MBP keyboard). that will take you to the end of a line. command-down takes you to the bottom of the page. is that fun?

Jude's fingers, which are actually kielbasaAnd this is when Jude raised his rank from the merely interesting podcast listener to his new title of Nutball jude. (don’t confuse that with Crazy Listener James, Jude isn’t certifiable, he’s just nutty!) Here’s what he wrote back:

“For hands, I have two hams; for fingers, 10 kielbasa (see actual Polaroid of my fingers below). It’s difficult to place them precisely (or even imprecisely) on that tiny area between the alpha-numeric keyboard and the numeric keypad.”

I put the picture of his “fingers” in the shownotes so you can see for yourself just how off his rocker Jude actually is. Now that I think about it, maybe he IS crazy. Doesn’t matter, he makes great recordings! now back to the REAL problem – how do we get numlock on an extended keyboard attached to a MacBook Pro? I found many references to using the Clear key, but it only functions as numlock if you’re in Boot Camp. the only idea I have left is to do a key remapping to map the clear key to numlock, but I don’t actually know how to do that. Can someone please help kielbasa fingered nutball Jude out here?

Donald Burr
Good friend of the show Donald Burr is back with his review of the Canon G9 camera. Sit back and enjoy!

============INSERT CANON POWERSHOT G9 REVIEW==========

I always enjoy Donald’s reviews because he does a great job of explaining the problem he’s trying to solve, and he really takes care in identifying both the good and the bad of products he reviews. thanks Donald!

Links from Donald’s review:
dpreview.com on the G9
Also links to both of Donald’s podcasts (and mention that Otaku has a fancy shmancy new website πŸ™‚ )
otakunopodcast.com and voicesoferinn.com

Jane on Snapshots
Jane from Perth has a great tip for a problem I didn’t know you could actually fix!

==========INSERT Jane SnapShots====================

I do HATE those jump out ads coming at me when I hover over things. I didn’t even know they were called snapshots. Your instructions are great, and the video is even better over at galacticstrings.com . I checked out my own blog that I host myself with WordPress, and the Extras tab was not available to me. The WordPress folks must enable that by default for you, and is probably a revenue stream for them. You can’t blame them for finding ways to monetize since the service is free to you, right? but very nice that they give you a way to turn it off. One thing that strikes me as funny is that while snapshots really bug the daylights out of me, I just said at the beginning of the show that I like Cooliris Previews because it lets me pop out a website without actually visiting it, which is sort of the same thing! The difference though is that I get a magnifying glass I actively click on to get the popout, but with snapshots it just flies out at you if you accidentally drag your mouse across a word or a link! thanks so much for this great tip, I’m sure others will get the benefit from you sharing it!

Honda Bob
This week a small catastrophe struck – Lindsay’s Honda got smacked in a parking lot, but it wasn’t too bad, the woman just sort of broke off her side view mirror. You know how this kind of thing goes though, right? As small as that is, it’s a HUUUUUUGE hassle! the woman was very nice, said she’d pay for it and all that, but it meant a bunch of trips to the Honda dealer to take care of it. Partway through though the lady balked at the price and claimed she could get it much cheaper online (like $40 vs. $250). Lindsay wasn’t sure what to do about it, so you know what she did? she called Honda Bob! of course! Unfortunately she lives too far away for Honda Bob to deal with her car directly now, but she knew that if she called him he would tell her the truth, he would advise her and make sure she was taken care of. I loved that she had such faith in him. Imagine if you too had that kind of mechanic – someone who you could trust and would always stand by his work, someone who would come to YOUR house and take care of you the way Bob takes care of our happy little Honda family? Well you too can have that kind of service if you meet two strict criteria – you have to live in the LA or Orange County areas, AND you have to drive a Honda or an Acura car. That’s it! So if you live farther away, move here, and if you drive another kind of car, sell it. That’s all there is to it! Give him a call for your repair AND maintenance needs – at (562)531-2321 or shoot him an email at [email protected]. HDA Bob’s Mobile Service is not affiliated with Honda, Acura or Honda Worldwide.

Chit Chat Across the Pond
In this week’s exciting episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond, Bart tells us about a really geeky thing called LaTex. here’ s link to a wiki all about LaTeX: en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX.

Bart’s new web address is: bartb.ie/blog

guidelines on reviews
We’re getting a lot of fantastic reviews now, and I think it’s time to give out some guidelines. The audience loves the varied reviews, but one thing they almost universally DON’T like is when a review goes on more than about 5 minutes. Even the really really good ones get flack back to me. So try to keep your reviews in the 3-5 minute range and more people will enjoy it.

now that a lot of people have been able to make their first recordings sound great, I’d like to ask that you spend some time making sure that you have good sound. don’t use a built in mic, they sound dreadful, and they pick up a lot of room noise. Do what you can to make sure there’s no hum, no buzz on the line, and that it’s loud enough. A cheapie USB microphone AND wearing headphones make your chances of success so much better. another way you can improve your audio is by sending me uncompressed audio files – if you join Dropbox you can share a folder with me and upload those large files that way (emailing usually won’t work). It’s not essential to get good sound, but it keeps me from recompressing your audio when I pull your file into Garageband and mix it down again.

The final request is that you send me some text and links to your own website, your own podcast – pimp your stuff guys! Jane did about 6 reviews before i found out she even HAD a website! It’s up to you to send these in with the recordings, don’t make me go hunting around for them!

That’s it for this edition of the NosillaCast, keep that great feedback and all those reviews coming by emailing me at [email protected]. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

P.S. Watch the sausage get made in the recording on Ustream at ustream.tv/nosillacast

11 thoughts on “#168 Chrome, Cooliris, G9, Snapshots conquered, LaTeX

  1. Jeff Miller - September 7, 2008

    By the way on your IE8 discussion, I think what is meant is that the tabs are run on separate threads so this would not mean that each tab is its own application and would be treated as one app despite how many threads are run. If the main app crashes than the whole thing would still crash and of course it is still beta (though it often seems with MS that even their final products are still betas).

  2. podfeet - September 7, 2008

    Actually Paul was very specific that in IE8 and in Chrome that they’re not just separate threads, they are actually separate processes, chewing up extra memory along the way. The whole point was to make one tab not crash another but IE8 failed at it.

  3. Donald Burr - September 8, 2008

    I know who that “no reviews longer than 5 minutes” comment is aimed at… πŸ˜‰ I know, I can go on and on and on and on… I just love to talk πŸ™‚ I promise next time I’ll try and keep it down to 5 minutes.

  4. debbie T - September 8, 2008

    I still have a smidge left to listen to, but I wanted to post now before I forgot. (I am also going to send you an email w/ a very dumb question, but I want to do some research first)

    Allison, YOU LEFT US HANGING! What happened with the side view mirror? You didn’t tell us what Honda Bob said. Did she go for the cheap alternative? So many questions you left unanswered! hehee

  5. Doug Klein - September 8, 2008

    Regarding the thread vs process issue in Chrome: there’s a little bit of hocus pocus going on here. A couple of years ago the gplex bought a friend of mine’s company, GreenBorder. They were doing a security system in which they would dig into the kernel and build a sandbox such that one process couldn’t pollute the runtime environment of another. It’s really a bit of a hack to deal with poorly written OS’s, but that’s another topic. We thought it was odd when the deal went down (it was a firesale of a dying company, frankly) but now that Chrome is out we understand what was going on. Google used it to build protection for the tabs inside Chrome. From an OS point of view I believe that Chrome is still a single primary process but it has virtualized things to the extent that they can run each tab within the primary process like its a standalone process.

    Don’t ask me why uSoft can’t get this right in IE; they certainly have plenty of VM core competency. It would be pretty straight forward for them to emulate this by just creating VMs to run the separate ‘tabs’, which in this instance would merely be a completely artificial graphical representation of multiple windows.

    In reality, I personally find the tab metaphor to be pretty lame once you start thinking about the browser as a multitasking environment. You mean that you’re going to go from a fully configurable windowing system (overlapping windows, different size windows, click to focus versus pointer focus, etc) to something that looks strangely like a 1970’s style DOS system in which you hot-keyed from window to window!?

    Sorry, the right answer is to fix the stupid shared memory space for applications. What you need to understand is that when you run a browser “multiple times” in a current generation system (they are all the same in this respect) you don’t really get a new process. You merely get a new “child window” of the parent process. If we fixed this we could have a true multi-process browsing system without adding even more gunk in terms of OS like virtual systems within an applications.

  6. Doug Klein - September 9, 2008

    re Tab interfaces: I realize now that my comment on a tabbed interface was pretty stupid, really, especially with respect to Chrome. One thing I think will be quite cool and useful (once they get a Mac version πŸ™‚ is the ability to rip off a tab into a separate window. Then I have the best of both worlds (without having to make a distinction between ‘new window’ and ‘new tab’ when I go to a new site or service. That could be worth the switch to me alone πŸ™‚

  7. Anonymous - September 9, 2008

    The ability to make essentially what are like Fluid applications in their own window. I’m intrigued Doug that it’s not really separate processes, just a misunderstanding of a technical detail?

  8. Hai Vu - September 11, 2008

    Dear Little Mrs. Podcastenstein,
    Here is an example of what Jane talks about: popup! This one is not only annoying, but also irrelevant:

  9. Tim - September 12, 2008

    Allison: I like Chrome also, it’s not as fast as FF 3.x but some nice features.
    Did you know that it is key logging? Yes, I’ve been told it is capturing all
    the stuff you type, at least in the Beta version. Probably should not do
    anything too clever at work.

  10. Jose Lobato - September 29, 2008

    I was blown away listen to Bart talking about LaTeX…. great! I’ve been using it forever, but I’m the hardcore one and use textmate to edit my docs. Thanks!!


  11. Carlee Birdsall - April 19, 2011

    Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is wonderful, let alone the content!

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