Vista allows you to control your kids computer use!? No way!

According to another Mojave Experiment ad, Vista lets you control your kids computer use. It allows you to set the amount of time per day, and the hours of the day that your kids can be on the computer. It also tells you what the kids have been doing. Mac OS X has included those features since Tiger (10.4.) Leopard even allows you to manage the account from another computer on the network. See the screenshots after the break. Continue reading

Vista lets you record TV!? No way!!

I just saw a commercial for Vista. They were showing off how Vista can, get this, record live TV so you can watch it later. I really wish my computer could do that…wait, it can.
TV Tuner cards for computers have been around for a long time. Any tower PC, and now even laptops and all-in-ones, can record directly from the cable coming into your house. There is no benefit to having Vista. You simply don’t need Vista to use a TV tuner. Not only that, the commercial seemed to suggest that by simply (or not-so-simply) installing Vista would suddenly allow your computer to record TV. The problem is that you still need a tuner card. And how much do you want to bet that you tuner card will work with Vista? Oh, and you also need Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate. I’d rather spend the money on an HD tuner.
Now if only the video on Mojave Experiment.com worked…

Please, stop using Picnik

Please, stop using Picnik. It’s really obnoxious.
If you aren’t familiar with Picnik, it is an online photo editor. It also lets you “get creative” with their “oodles of effects.” No doubt if you are on the Facebook, then you have seen a picture that looks like this:

Look familiar?

Look familiar?

Too bad templates are not creative at all. They are actually just the illusion of creativity. I have seen at least 4 pictures from different people using that Polaroid-film frame template. Honestly folks, it adds nothing to your photos. Please, stop doing it.

Razer Diamondback and the Mac

I got an awesome early Birthday present. A Razer Diamondback 3G. I decided to download the Razer Pro|Click drivers, because the Pro|Click and Diamondback really are the same mouse, just with different colors. Unfortunately, the drivers did absolutely nothing. So I decided to use a product I reviewed earlier, USB Overdrive. Again, the driver didn’t work. This time, though, it made the right side-buttons act exactly the same as the scroll wheel. In my quest for full Diamondback functionality, I looked at SteerMouse. This $20 application is actually better than USB Overdrive, in that it recognized all the buttons properly, and it overrides the system control of sensitivity and speed. It also includes a feature that jumps the cursor to any of the window control buttons, or the default (OK, Cancel) button.

The new Facebook

At first glance, it’s a new design which means it’s better, right? Not really. Just about everything in the new Facebook design has changed places, making it more difficult to do simple things. Evidently this new design helps it load faster. I have seen no speed improvements, and I have heard tell of it not working on Windows 98 (not that anyone uses 98 anymore.) So I present to you, a list of things that are wrong with the new Facebook: Continue reading

New Website

As you may have noticed, the homepage has changed drastically. I decided to make it much simpler, as well as move the media to automatically generated galleries (more on that soon.) I just started college, so I wanted my site to be more professional looking and easier to navigate, as well as get rid of old irrelevant pages. I have moved pictures to Picasa Web because I don’t have time to hand-code galleries anymore. Picasa Web is owned by Google, a very cool company. I can also upload pictures directly from iPhoto. The video gallery is still being worked on as I slowly learn CSS and PHP. The video gallery will be hosted on my server, so I will have more control over it than the picture gallery (and I like controlling my own stuff, one reason for installing WordPress here.) I need to work out some problems, figure out how to do some things, and just get it functioning. Only then will I be able to add CSS to change colors and the like. Be patient. The old video site is still up here, but it will not be maintained. ALT5Productions.com is still up, along with all the videos there. Stay tuned.

iTunes file management

You’d think that database management wouldn’t be that hard. Not in the digital age, right? Wrong. When it comes down to it, iTunes is a database application. And not a very complete one. I recently had to organize over 13,000 music files in iTunes. All I have to say is, iTunes needs better management tools for large databases. Luckily there is a developer out there who makes some of the tools I needed. Actually it’s a whole group of developers. Doug’s AppleScripts is a collection of scripts for iTunes that automate lots of tasks. One of my favorites is Proper English Title Capitalization. Somehow lots of the music was titled without any capitals. A simple script would just make the first letter capital. This takes it a step further and doesn’t capitalize the, a, an, at, and, etc. The user can also edit the script with words that have special rules, like USA, or McCartney. There are a bunch of others on the site, most are an invaluable tool for anyone trying to organize their iTunes database.

1/2 off Logitech Speakers!

Circuit City and Logitech both have rebates for Logitech’s x-540 5.1 surround sound speakers. The rebates total $50, and the speakers sell for $99.99, which means you get 1/2 off! These rebates only lat till 8/9/08, so buy them before the 10th! I highly recommend these speakers even if you don’t have a 5.1 sound card in your computer. I’m not going to quote a bunch of specs here, all you need to know is that the sound quality is amazing, and I couldn’t get the sub to max out. The speakers connect with standard RCA cables, so extension cables are not hard to find. The sub has all the connectors except the headphone jack, which is on the wired remote control. The only thing I don’t like about these speakers is that the remote is hard-wired to the sub, so you can’t unplug it to route the cable. A minor complaint for $50 speakers.