#200 200th Celebration, iPhone Ustream App, OpenSourceMac

In this marathon episode 200 of an hour and 41 minutes, we get to hear from over 30 NosillaCast listeners as they tell tales of how they found the show, their favorite episode and said wonderfully sentimental things about the show. Ron Proto asks “how do you do it?”, the NosillaCast gains approval in the Ustream app on the iPhone. Open Source Mac gives a nice directory of open source software specific to the Mac. In Chit Chat Across the Pond Bart explains how it felt to be cut off from the net for a week in Belgium, how happy his 2nd GB of RAM makes him. But then things turn dark when he tells us about the first Mac botnet and how Microsoft patched Office but didn’t yet fix the flaw in Powerpoint, only Excel that affects both Macs and PCs. Then we talk about the listeners reactions to our discussion about Mac vs. PC pricing. Finally I announce the 4 year giveaway – tons of free software! Send an email to [email protected] titled “anniversary” with your name in the body by Sunday May 9th for the drawing on the May 17th show.


Listen to the Podcast Once (1 hr 41 min) < -- SERIOUSLY!
Today is Sunday April 19th, 2009, and this is show number 200!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m SO excited about this show, mostly because I have no idea what I’M going to hear on this show! As you know Steve has been cloistered off in his den working with many of you on audio recordings to mark this historic even in NosillaCast history. I’m amazed to think we’ve spent so much time together, it’s been so much fun to get to know all of you who have written in, sent in recordings, and especially the diehard fans in the chat room on ustream.tv/nosillacast (5PM GMT-8 on Sunday nights!) Well let’s kick in and hear some more from you!

For those reading – the segments are the 28 audio recordings the fans sent in

How do you do it?
Ron Proto wrote in with a question that really made me think, and it’s really appropriate for this particular episode. He titled his email “How do you do it?” Here’s what he wrote:

    I’ve been listening to your podcasts for quite sometime. I listen to you on several other podcasts also. You do a great job. Thank you for sharing you MacSmarts with the MacCommunity. This is what I know about you. You wax cars. You’re an avid exerciser, at least that’s what I think I gleaned from some of you comments. You hold a full time job. You have a family. You take vacations and side trips. You attend conferences. You help your friends with all sort of things, including taking them to the Apple Store to buy a new Mac, that’s tough duty. You are busy, busy, busy. (isn’t that exactly what DebbieT said last week? busy busy busy?)

    Okay, how do you find the time to do all that. What tools, tips, and tricks do you use to stay organized and on top of things. That could be a topic for one of your shows, not necessarily the Mac Roundtable. Although, some of those guys seem to juggle as many things as you, like Tim Verpoorten, David Sparks, Don McAlister and Chuck Joiner. On second thought, they don’t juggle as much as you do. I doubt they wax their friends cars.

    I, and I bet your audience, would like to know how you do all you do and stay calm, cool, and collected, and best of all have fun doing it. I know you’re having fun, because if you weren’t you would have stopped a long time ago. Keep up the great work. I look forward to your Podcast each week.

superwoman!First of all, thank you for the kind words Ron, I’m humbled by what you say. Doing this show is one of the great joys of my life. I have been thinking a lot about this question and I think I can explain it. I’m afraid it’s not because I embrace GTD, or I have some great organizational method, or some cool gadgets you could go by that help me juggle all these things. It’s all about choices.

First of all, I choose to live only 7 miles from work. a lot of people around where I live drive an hour or more to get to work – not me, my commute is only about 20 minutes. I know, 20 minutes for 7 miles? This IS LA after all! Speaking of work, I choose to work 40 hour weeks. I don’t work overtime at all. I know this has limited my career and I made that choice with my eyes open. I know so many people who complain about how they never get to see their kids, they never go on vacation without working while they’re gone, I have no patience for these people. You chose it, live with the consequences. If you don’t want to work extra hours, DON’T. Slavery was outlawed many years ago, no one makes you do this but yourself. As I said, there ARE consequences to choosing this life but you DO have a choice.

I also choose to work out every day. Many people say to me, “oh Allison, I wish I had your energy, I just don’t have the energy to work out.” The thing they don’t understand is that the energy COMES FROM EXERCISE! Picture this. I go to the gym at lunch, watch a dopey soap opera (All My Children), run or lift weights, eat a half a sandwich an apple and some water, take a shower, and I come back to work on FIRE! Other people go out and have burritos for lunch and fall asleep and here’s a little secret, I take advantage of them! So working out, while it does take time, it adds energy.

Timing was part of the trick here. Four years ago my daughter Lindsay went away to college, leaving me with her teenage brother Kyle for entertainment. Teenage boys just don’t want to spend that much time with their moms as it turns out, so Podcasting came along right before she left and I really believe it helped keep me sane after she was gone. Instead of little kids who want constant attention (and loving every minute of giving it to them) I now had a lot more free time. By the way, I used to cross stitch and knit and crochet like a mad woman, always busy with a project, but I gave all that up when I got my first Mac laptop!

It’s also important to note what I don’t do that most normal people do. I don’t plan elaborate meals – since we eat the same thing every week there’s no planning, and we have carefully planned meals that take about 10-15 minutes to prepare. You won’t hear the word “sauté” around the Sheridan household! I do most of the cooking but Steve does the grocery shopping and the laundry and the ironing. I do the cleanup at least!

But the real secret behind all of this is Steve. during the live show Steve moderates the chat room, cooks dinner, and brings me a refreshing beverage. He listens to every show, offers advice and guidance about what works and doesn’t work. As you know he feeds my gadget habit – as I look at my monitor, my microphone, my boom arm for the mic, even my vibration mount for the boom – all were gifts from Steve. He supports me, helps me take the time necessary to do a quality job, encourages me to go to the Podcast Expo and MacWorld to learn and schmooze with other Podcasters, never once complaining about the time I take away from chores or anything else. As long as i wax his car and powerwash the driveway, he’s happy to carry the rest of the load. I know not everyone has this kind of support and I never take it for granted.


iPhone Ustream App
ustream iphone app logoA ton of people have asked me why they couldn’t find my show in the Ustream app on the iPhone. I tried it myself and sure enough you couldn’t search and find NosillaCast in the app. I wrote to the Ustream folks and I got a very interesting email back. They told me my show would have to be approved and gave me the criteria for approval. Here’s what they wrote

Only streams approved for the iphone can be watched through the app. We are
working hard to meet all of Apple’s requirements, and provide users the best experience we can. We are periodically reviewing and approving channels for the app. We are looking for family friendly channels. The characteristics of an approved channel include but are not limited to:

  • not broadcasting nudity of any kind
  • not broadcasting vulgar content
  • not broadcasting content that you do not own the copyright to
  • not broadcasting any illegal activities
  • following Ustream’s Terms of Service
  • following Apple’s iPhone Terms and Conditions
  • having a show logo
  • having at least 1 recorded video
  • Well luckily my show meets all of those criteria easily! I wrote back, amongst other things I explained that I sometimes send my mother CDs of my shows so I KNOW they’re all clean! In about 2 weeks they wrote back and told me I’d been approved! Now what does that mean to you? Let’s say you’re out and about (near wifi, so not that out and about) and you have your trusty iPhone or iPod Touch with you and you realize that 5pm GMT-8 on a Sunday just crept up on you, you can whip out your device, open the Ustream application, log in, and you can not only watch the video live, you can even chat in the chat room!

    On Tuesday night I ran a little test, tweeted out asking for testers. April, Ian and Mark all jumped in for me, and all three of them told me the application kept crashing. BUMMER! They also said that when it was working it would pause and buffer for a long time. i tested it out myself too, and guess what? Buffering and a crash. so…thanks to the three troopers who gave it a shot, but it looks like this is one of those things you play with to find out what it WILL be some day.

    It reminds me of about a hundred years ago when my buddy Ron and I both got webcams, and we downloaded CUSEEME from Carnegie Melon University. Armed with a phone to our ears, we spent HOURS configuring and testing until finally we got a 1inch diagonal greyscale picture of each other moving at maybe 4 frames per second. And we were THRILLED and AMAZED. It was as though we’d made fire. i remember saying at the time that clearly it wasn’t amazing that I could see someone who was only a mile and a half from my house, but I could see the future – a future that has become a reality now. Talking to Lindsay for hours for free in full motion video while she was in Italy. Talking weekly with Bart in Ireland taking it completely for granted. Having Knightwise give me advice on linux in full video from Belgium.

    So I’m not bummed the Ustream app is a bit buggy, I appreciate what they’re doing and I can see the future. It’s just not here quite yet.

    screenstepsLast week I had a business trip out to Virginia and while I was out there I had the great pleasure of meeting Greg Devore from ScreenSteps. I was bummed Trevor was out of town but Greg and I had a great time. We spent a little bit of time talking about family and getting to know each other, but before long we were geeking out talking about the development environment and I got to learn about how they got started in this business. Greg was creating documentation for some customers and Trevor started writing software to make it easier for him. I think a lot of times people write software that helps them solve their own problems and then they realize other people might have the same problems.

    Greg also told me how often he works with software where he wishes the developer had used ScreenSteps to create their documentation. Now that he mentions it, I’ve thought the same thing. I find myself thinking about how easy it is to make beautiful documentation with ScreenSteps and wonder why the heck they didn’t use it! If you’re a developer, please buy ScreenSteps for us. If you’re a natural teacher, buy ScreenSteps for yourself to make it even more fun to share your knowledge.

    A few weeks back Greg & Trevor did a webinar for advanced users, on Tuesday April 29th they’re doing two webinars for beginners! it’s funny how easy ScreenSteps is to use you wouldn’t think you would need this, but every time I watch their videos or watch a webinar I learn some MUCH easier way to do things. they have two times – 9am Eastern and 2pm Eastern, so go check those out, you can even ask questions and they’ll stay on the line answering them! when you’re done watching, if you haven’t made your life easier by buying ScreenSteps head on over to screensteps.com and use the coupon code NOSILLA to get 25% off!


    opensource mac
    We haven’t talked about open source tools in general in a long time, and I heard recently on CNET Live about a cool site dedicated to Open Source software for the Mac. If you’re unfamiliar with the term Open Source, that means software that the developer has decided to share with the world, not only to use, but to get the original source code and modify and redistribute it in many cases. From a user perspective, it means free to use! The site is called opensourcemac.org. now this isn’t by any means an all inclusive list of open source software for the Mac – for that you should run not walk to sourceforge.net but it can be a bit intimidating and difficult to find your way around. At Open Source Mac, they’ve made it pretty with big application icons and they’ve sorted things into categories so you can find the type of tool you’re looking for. They have web browsing, video playback, Instant Messaging, email, utilities, the list goes on and on. I either use or know about 3/4ths of the applications already, but that meant there were a LOT of applications I’d never heard of!

    I found out there’s a Windows emulator for the Mac called Q! Gotta go try that out if I can dig up a copy of Windows. And how about Bean? that’s a word processor. You know how much I hate Microsoft Word – not as much as I hate Powerpoint (my new slogan is DEATH TO POWERPOINT) but still it’s so annoying. I’m going to start using Bean for a while and see what it’s like. I bet you’ll find a bunch of new apps you haven’t gotten to play with before, and they’re all free, so check out opensourcemac.org.

    Microsoft’s incompatibility with itself
    Have I ever mentioned that I hate Microsoft word? Oh, I just did, didn’t I? Well here’s a great example of why. As you probably know, California is bankrupt so the schools are looking for every way they can to save money. One way is that they don’t print out class notes any more, they send a link to the kids email and expect us to print them out. No worries, except for one thing. Kyle’s physics teacher sent the file in Microsoft Word and included equations. I’m assuming she must have used some equation editor that’s windows only because when Kyle opened the notes in Word on the Mac, all of the equations were missing! Sheesh. Here’s the part that shows it’s Microsoft’s fault though. I suggested Kyle download Neo Office, an open source equivalent of Office. He installed it, and guess what? it opened the physics notes perfectly including all of the equations. Now to be fair, we have Office X on Kyle’s machine, which is two revs back from the latest version, but it was so easy to use NeoOffice.

    So here’s another story. I gave Steve his birthday present 2 days early – a 24″ iMac. I broke down so he could work on what he’s doing for the four year episode. He can’t bring audio files into GarageBand on the G5 (evidently leopard causes an incompatibility on the G5s) so the iMac was essential. So anyway, the reason I bring it up is that Steve was going through installing apps on his new machine, and he needed Excel for the work he’s doing. We have the home edition which gives us three license keys, one for me, Kyle and Steve. Perfect, right? But what happens when he wants to put Office on the new machine? There isn’t an obvious way to uninstall it from the old machine so that he’ll be able to use it on the new one. He tried just installing it and putting in one of the three license codes, but it kept crashing. not sure that’s why it’s crashing but for cryin’ out loud, it was a fresh from scratch OSX install on the new machine and all he did was install the app and it fails. I ran through some Terminal glop to remove the license from the old machine, but he was getting worried about time, so guess what he did? You got it, he downloaded and installed NeoOffice and easily opened up his Excel file and was able to edit, change formats without missing a beat! So, the answer is – Open Source for the win!


    At this point in the show, Steve came in carrying a GIGANTIC poster made by George from Tulsa – showing wonderful photos of friends and family in my podcast life. Rather than describe it, here’s the small version! Click the image to see a high res version:

    george from tulsa's picture

    Honda Bob
    So Saturday night Lindsay dragged out the home movies to torture her boyfriend. She loves them home movies. Anyway we found this one of her around 2 years old “helping” Steve wash his car. They were working on the back end of his car, when Lindsay made an intake of breath and pointed at something. Steve says, “yes, can you tell what that says?” She points letter by letter and recites H-O-N-D-A. She looks at Steve and says, “that spells Honda honey. Remember that name because you’ll want to buy a Honda some day!” Isn’t that hilarious? Even back 19 years ago, we were brainwashing our child that she should make sure she only ever drives a Honda. And why do you think we wanted her to have a Honda? So that Honda Bob could take care of it of course! If you’re lucky enough to live in the LA or OC areas, and you would like outstanding and convenient in-home care for your Honda or Acura, give Honda Bob a call at (562)531-2321 or send 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

    iPhone Traveling

    • Looked into data roaming rates for Belgium before travelling. Decided to turn off data roaming on my iPhone before leaving
    • No 3G available on Belgium
    • Would have to pay by the KB (not the MB, the KB) – 1 cent per kb. So 1MB, which is sod all, would cost me 10 Euro. One average podcast episode would be about 40 Euro. Total insanity and nothing short of a disgrace.
    • The EU want to see roaming charges fall, and are putting pressure on providers, looks like they have a LONGway to go.

    Bart MBP RAM Update

    • My new RAM arrived just before I went on Holidays (2 1GBsticks)
    • very easy to install
    • It makes such a HUGEdifference!
    • Particularly in Aperture
    • Best 33.33 Euro I ever spent!
    • The RAM combined with the monitor calibration tool have totally transformed my MBP, given it a whole new lease of life!

    Security Light

    =====================INSERT DEAN==================

    Mac vs. PC pricing Redux

    Pierre Bourgeois wrote in:

    "Enjoyed your recent discussion regarding Apple with Bart. One aspect that neither of you mentioned is that you can amortize the purchase of a Mac over a much longer period than an Windows-based PC. I purchased a Mac Pro about three years ago, I am adding RAM and hard drives to it and fully expect to keep it 5-7 years (my first Mac purchased in the mid-80’s lasted 9 years and was still working when I went to the Dark Side and Windoze in 1995 – after that, I was using Windoze machines and after 30-35 months any PC I had was suitable as a doorstop ….). How often do we hear about people "repurposing" their old Macs as media servers, etc.- this does not really happen in the Windoze world unless you can repurpose your PC into an aquarium."

    Al’s thoughts:

    • Great point! In my case I don’t use them for that long, but what I do is sell them for a lot of money! Steve is getting an iMac for his birthday this weekend, but I checked and his 5 year old G5 PowerMac is still worth around $600! Now that I think about it – NEW PCs cost $600, right? so after five years I can sell the Mac for what new PC costs! You can’t call that the Apple Tax, that’s true value!


    4 Year Giveaway
    This week I am humbled by the wonderful recordings so many of you made. You gave me a gift I’ll never forget. thank you to Steve for pulling this off without me ever getting to hear any of it before right now. But now it’s your turn. It’s time to give back. On May 17th we’ll be celebrating another milestone – the four year anniversary of the show. We’re going to have a software giveaway! I started by going through my Applications folder and thinking about what apps I use constantly. I wrote to the handful of developers whose software really stands out – the software I continue to use long after the review. In many cases I don’t talk about the tool because I’ve taken it for granted as part of my daily work, but this gives me a chance to identify the top tier developers AND reward the listeners.

    let me give you an idea of some of the apps that are in the giveaway: the MacSwitcher bundle from smileonmymac.com, a six month subscription to Don McAllister’s ScreenCasts On Line, AppDelete from Reggie Ashworth, Drive-In, VideoCue and Flip4Mac from flip4mac.com, DVDpedia and Bookpedia from bruji.com, Feeder and Keep it Together from reinventedsoftware.com, Quickscale from codingmammoth.com, Screenium and MacFamily Tree from synium.de, SuperDuper! from shirt-pocket.com, Wiretap Studio, and Soundboard from Ambrosia Software, and even copies of Screensteps from screensteps.com! and that’s just the vendors I’ve heard from so far!

    To take part in the giveaway, send me an email with the title “anniversary”. I’ll create a smart mailbox for that title so don’t rename it, don’t get tricky in your spelling, make SURE it’s titled “anniversary”. The email title will get you in the giveaway, just put your name and any message yo like in the body. I’ll put each email and name into Excel, numbering them in the order I receive them. then I’ll run a random number generator next to all the prizes and let Excel pick the winners. the deadline is Sunday May 9th, so get your entry in quickly!

    Well that winds up this marathon session, I’m so glad you were all able to join us. Let’s get together for the next 200 shall we? In the mean time keep up the great emails including dumb questions by sending them to [email protected], and follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/podfeet. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

    2 thoughts on “#200 200th Celebration, iPhone Ustream App, OpenSourceMac

    1. Debbie T - April 20, 2009

      It was so nice to join the “party” last night. I am downloading now!

    2. Bob DeGrande - April 26, 2009

      This was a comment I had made in an email to Allison responding to her and Bart’s Windows vs. Mac segment. Actually, Bart nade some of the same points this week.
      On the whole Mac vs. Windows thing (and I’m not a Windows basher, I have Windows and Linux machines as well as Macs). I did just make the same choice you described and bought a Macbook.

      A Windows computer with the same specs as a Mac will not perform anywhere near as well.

      Vista is the slowest OS on earth, as netbooks proved. It is going to be nowhere as fast as OS X (or Linux, or Windows XP, or even Windows 7) on the same hardware. This is BEFORE you start bogging it down with antivirus/antispyware software, and, as the registry gets clogged and corrupted., the speed difference only increases over time.

      It is a similar issue with memory. Vista with 2GB of memory will not run nearly as well as Leopard. I don’t think Vista with 4GB of memory will run as well as Leopard with 2GB, and 32 bit versions of Vista won’t even address the full 4GB.

      There are also little hardware touches in the Mac that tend to get ignored in these comparisons, from the MagSafe power plug and magnetic latch (one less thing to break) to the fact that the audio I/O is digital as well as analog. I’m not sure how much value to place on these, but it certainly isn’t zero (as a musician, the digital audio is a godsend for me).

      The there is of course the obvious software difference, which you have gone over a million times – iLife and OS X. The third party software is better as well, a much more professional and consistent look and feel . And of course, Apple has volume licensing for its software with the Family Pack, a big savings if you have more than one Mac,

      Then there’s the reliability, which you mentioned. There is also nothing like the Apple Store, with free classes, the $99 one on one training for 52 weeks, nothing like MacHeist, etc.

      In short, I would take a Macbook over the Toshiba you mentioned despite the price difference – and it isn’t really so big. If we are talking a BestBuy sale price, then let’s use, say, a normal MacMall discounted price of $925 or so for the MacBook.

      The hard drive and memory differences are no big deal. I upgraded my MacBook to 4GB of RAM for $34 (last Black Friday, it would probably be less now), and I just installed a 500GB WD hard drive in it for $91 (before 13% back from Microsoft Live Cashback).. My total for a Macbook (latest white model with the nVidia graphics), with 4GB RAM, 500GB hard drive, and the iWork family pack was around $1100 – and that, IMO is a VERY useful laptop.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Scroll to top