Saturday, December 06, 2008


Just a quick thought... we've been "basic" cable users. Don't actually watch that much, record a little for the 7 year old in the house. How about a government bailout for those of us being forced to switch from perfectly usable analog cable to digital for at least 3x the cost due to the new Federal law coming up in February 2009. Bleh!

Edit: Well, there you go. Just opened the cable bill and there is a possibility of a "subsidized" converter box for non-cable users. I'm seeing converter boxes for as low as $39.99 with a quick online search.

The lowest priced Digital Cable plan is still 3x what we're currently paying — or $39.95 a MONTH. But I can't tell if that's a promotional rate for what they are calling the base package of channels (can't get any stripped down local package?). d-;

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Looking forward to getting on the road momentarily to partake of a delicious dinner cooked by my Mom! It always tastes better when it comes from someone else's kitchen and especially from my Mom's kitchen.

I so want to get the fireplaces workable in our house. When we return tonight and spend the weekend here (yay, no work on Friday) it's perfect weather for a roaring fire. Ah well, perhaps by next Thanksgiving. I'll have to be content with trying to complete some commission work I'm behind on and catching up on answering and clearing out some email. (-:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 20, 2008

These are just hilarious

Actual LOL producing... not just grinning or loti (laughing on the inside)... well, at least if you are from the generation that has the 6 random "offer you can't pass up" cards or actual stacks of these types of cards around the house (recipes, crafts, etc.).

Weight Watchers recipe cards from 1974. Gotta agree with PittGirl: "Funnier than the cards are the author’s remarks."

Found by way of a reference on The Burgh Blog on Oct 7, 2008.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dear Mr. Driver of the White Cadillac...

You are probably having a bad morning, like mine. So, that's what I'll chalk it up to, okay?

Really, your shiny white Cadillac doesn't look anything like an 18-wheel vehicle that requires a very wide turning radius. Perhaps you just don't quite know how to make a turn without swinging into the oncoming lane? I'm sorry that my moving up to the intersection, after I stopped fully at the "Stop Here on Red" line, to make a legal "right turn on red" disturbed you so much. Your repeated vehement pointing at a non existent sign made such a difference in my day.

It's comforting to think that you, in your shiny Cadillac, must always stop right at the sign at red lights. I'll bet you wait for the green light, never a turn on red. You also probably never speed, double park...

Oh, and while I'm at it — Lady on the phone in the SUV, end your call before you pull up to a parking gate you have no idea how to get through.

(Can this really be Friday? Sure feels like a Monday)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's Saturn all over again... cell phone woes

In 1991 Saturn vehicles hit the scene. We bought a 92 model sedan in late 1991. Shortly after we bought it the headlines, front page, pointed out the new car brand doing something like it's 3rd recall since hitting the market. Don't bother to read further back in the paper! There were recalls from at least 4 other car makers, some with far worse defects than the wire Saturn was voluntarily replacing.

2007, enter another new product — the iPhone. My husband and I bought the second "model year" again, in 2008. We're back to that blasted popularity contest I lamented in a letter to the editor, lo those many years ago, about the Saturn recall. Pick on the new kid, the unknown, the different. In the interest of disclosure, we're on our 6th Saturn. We've not had a lemon, they've all been great cars. The dealership near us is superb.

Back to the iPhone. I had an interesting lunch at my office yesterday. I just listened to the conversation among my co-workers. Some of them know I have an iPhone, some don't. One of them put their phone on the table as we all sat down to eat. It went something like this:

co-worker 1, "Oh, is that your new phone?"
co-worker 2, "yeah" (sounding slightly disgruntled). "It's the 3rd one, they've replaced it 2x now and it still isn't quite right"

She described the various failures of her phone, sticking keys, other non-working features. The conversation continued with input like: "Yep, my husband has gone through 8 phones in 3 months. They are just junk. And these were $300 phones, mind you!!" And: "yeah, I know what you mean. Love those commercials but I definitely have dropped service on [carrier shall remain nameless but it wasn't AT&T]" (-;

Pick on the iPhone all you want. Apple's reputation for "just working" and causing a ruckus with not sticking with the status quo may cause them some media and marketing heartache from time to time but, with the number of phones they are going to need to churn out to meet demand they are bound to end up with a few hardware lemons.

And we've all experienced software that doesn't exactly play nice in certain mixes. Apple is being careful about what gets into the App Store for good reason but it's a double edged sword. Some devs complain about how long it takes to get an app in or people complaining they can't do any damned thing they want on the phone.

For many of us, the mostly non-vocal majority shall we say, the iPhone is a vast improvement over the other phones we've been using. It's not perfect. What the heck can you show me in hardware or software that is perfect? No matter who makes it? I'll stick with the iPhone and the myriad improvements it offers over the way I used to use a cell phone. Thanks Apple!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Count me among those who are quite happy with iPhone 3G, thank you.

Well, it's been over a month now that I've had the iPhone in my hands to work with. I managed to get this right before I needed to run a 5 day conference for 21 people. What a great tool this is. I'm getting better with the keyboard. That is definitely one thing that takes some work to get used to.

I haven't had the crashes, bricking, or other issues that some have complained about. I've also not really loaded it up with a ton of stuff either. I'm quite happy with the use of my older video iPod for music use (and still use it for videos for my 6 year old).

Of course, I wasn't looking for the iPhone to replace iPods, laptops or anything other than my aging Motorola flip phone that was getting quite long in the tooth. The bonus was, I set up email to forward to a gmail account and that served me quite well for the week of the conference. In addition, I absolutely believe they've got it right with the visual voicemail. THANK YOU!

I've never been so up to date with my contacts, ever. Adding a phone number to an existing contact is a snap. Making a new contact after listening to their voicemail is also a snap. I used to have 10 numbers in my phone that I *meant* to add a name to, but it was such a hassle to add that information I never did manage to get around to that. The phone only held the latest 10 incoming, unidentified numbers so I inevitably lost some I meant to identify too. Not anymore! (-:

Sadly, Apple may be a victim of it's own growing appeal among non-macheads (I'm an admitted and longtime machead -- not a fanboy! I do not believe Steve walks on water and that he and/or Apple can do no wrong). I know this hunk of hardware has some issues — as does some of the software. I tend to keep my 3G off even though we have fairly strong coverage. It's my phone. I need some battery life out of it if I'm going to make and receive calls.

So far my husband and I have indeed found Google maps to be quite useful, in the field, as it were. I've never been a turn-by-turn user and don't really bemoan that lack. If there's stuff you need that the iPhone doesn't do, obviously it's not for you. Forget the marketing hype, the fanboyism and all that muck. Ultimately you need to pick what's going to work for you and fit into your budget. Just so happens that, already being in the Mac camp for computing, the current iPhone suits me just fine.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Let the wait begin... iPhone orders are in

Well, my husband and I took the plunge and ordered iPhones. I was amused following all the hubbub and annoyance / amazement / cynicism regarding the lines, the phones, the hype (or lack thereof). We had pretty much decided this was going to be our anniversary gift to each other.

Now the waiting...

No Apple Store for us — we already have an AT&T Family Plan. We placed our orders on July 11 - release day. But, we didn't get to do that at our AT&T store until 15 minutes before they closed Friday (7:45 PM Eastern). We work, have a kid to get too and from school, all those usual fun daily activities. And it really wasn't critical that we have them in our hot little hands the instant we walked into the store. We'd waited this long, we could wait a little longer. Wait we will... many folks were lamenting that their AT&T store had only been allotted 40 phones. That's double what our little store got. Our store was sold out by 9:30 AM because it only had 20 iPhones!

So, sometime in the next 7-10 days we hope to see our newest Apple gadget. I really will try not to click on that "check the status of your order here" link too frequently in the next couple of days. (-;

Monday, July 07, 2008

Time Machine "just works" (-;

So, big presentation pending. Didn't like a change I made to a slide and I'd already saved the updated version of my file.

I decided to give Time Machine a whirl. Let me point out that I've gotten much better at keeping back-ups and taking advantage of back-up services available at work. I have clones of drives, I have back-ups of just data (docs, jpgs, etc.).

I just needed the file from approximately 2 hours earlier. Time Machine was utterly easy to open, scroll back 2 hours within my hourly backups, find the document and "pull" it forward. It was a little confusing at first because it wants to know if you want to keep the original file, the one you retreived or both. 

Since I didn't actually know which was which at the time I just selected both. That allowed me to look at the files and determine which one I wanted and which one to trash. Pretty darned easy, quick and painless. 

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Did I mention...? I'm seriously lovin' Journler!

Wow, I've been mucking about with a massive amount of Mac software of late. I haven't managed to get my act together enough to continue comparisons tables for categories of stuff I'm looking at/using, but WOW!! I am seriously making use of Journler these days. What a phenomenal app it is.

If ever there were an app worth it's asking price — at least for my workflow of note taking, writing (for blogs or otherwise) and even some basic file organizing — this is it!

Check it out! It has a fully functional 60 day trial. That's one of the most generous around for testing an app before sinking your hard earned cash into it. It may not be for everyone but, I'd bet a fair number of folks would find this app to be finely crafted and highly useful. At $34.95 for a single license, $19.95 education (with proof), or $99 for a 5 license family pack, it's reasonably priced for all of the functionality it offers.

Monday, April 14, 2008

It's planning time for PodCamp

Keep an eye out... it's planning time for PodCamp Pittsburgh!

PCPGH3, the salient details:

WHEN: Saturday, October 18 through Sunday, October 19, from 9 AM to 4 PM each day

WHERE: The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, 420 Boulevard of the Allies, 15219

WHO: New media experts, new media creators, aspiring new media creators, communications and PR personnel, and you!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

The MacHeist bundle is back for a limited time

The MacHeist bundle returns, with Awaken, Wallet, Xslimmer, WriteRoom, Overflow. It's over 80% off!

read more | digg story

A great bundle without the drama...

Okay, a little drama... referrals. (-:

DevonThink Personal
Bugdom 2
Nanosaur 2

MacHeist is at it again. They've released a retail bundle for all those folks who didn't manage to get in on the previous time-limited sales of Mac software. It's 12 great applications at over an 80% discount.

At this point, I have no idea what the referrals will earn anyone, nor do I have a hope in Hades of earning one. That said, I'm making use of a number of these apps myself from previous bundle deals and it's a great bundle at a super price. It's an especially nice deal if you haven't got much software for your Mac yet. If you click one of my referral links in this post I'll at least get a little credit for sending you there.

It's a great group of devs and an affordable way to support their continued development of great software for Mac users.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ah, the controversy. To update or not to update?

To update or not to update? That is the question.

Just how quickly do we as end users, really need to see updates to our software? Especially shareware or donation-ware? There's a lot of hype and hullabaloo about the "Delicious Generation" apps, MacHeist & Yazsoft, etc. But seriously, are we aiming for functional software or have we fallen victim to application bloat across the board? (thanks MS!)

I started with a noble goal last year — or at least a self-serving goal that I thought others might find useful — of doing application comparisons for Mac apps, since there seem to be quite a few similar apps in a variety of categories. It was a good thought but, with the myriad updates and upgrades that come out at breakneck speed for many of them, I'd need a staff to keep up with pinning down the comparisons. I see why there isn't much of anyone out there trying to compare features for people to attempt to make an informed decision about which one is the best for their use.

I'd love to actually keep doing side-by-side comparisons but seriously, with a full-time job, a family and — gasp — interests beyond my computer, it's becoming less practical. Maybe I'll try to continue with a huge disclaimer that there is no way one lone person can possibly keep up with all the updates let alone some of the major upgrades so I can't guarantee them to be fully up-to-date. (-:

I have the dashboard widget App Update. It's a great tool. One that I find more immediate and useful than MacUpdate or Versiontracker for my needs. But man, it growls me nearly daily that I've got 45... or 51... or 62 updates. I'm constantly installing updates. Then a major upgrade rolls around and I haven't even had time to look over 1/2 the "features" of the current version but... they've added more! Do I spend the $10 - $15 - $19.95? Do I really need the upgrade because of OS compatibility or just for something new and shiny or a feature I may never use?

The controversy comes in when you have a situation like the Yazsoft auto-update, which pushed the .v5 paid upgrade if you had the auto-update toggle selected. I've found that another app used the update path to upgrade my app as well — GarageSale. )-:

To be fair, iwascoding did state in the update screen that 4.x was a paid upgrade. Eventually Yazsoft put the warning in their update engine too, but the damage was done. If you selected auto-update you were suddenly a "trial user" of .v5.

Silly me, I thought I had GarageSale 4.0 and I was just updating not upgrading my app. Turns out I didn't. Part of my confusion on this was my receipt for a bundle from MacUpdate via their mupromo. Apparently the receipt page constantely updates the version to the current version of each app rather than staying static with the version you bought in the bundle. [sigh]

If the app is working it's magic for you, do you really need to see updates every few weeks? Bug fixes, perhaps, if enough people are really having issues. I can understand the possibility of developer burnout given the speed of update expectations that seem to be out there in a certain segment of the marketplace. Is there a happy medium that could be reached to keep devs in business (and working on something) while not quite the constant bombardment of updates? I just don't know. )-:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Nearing $300K for charity, a little over $20K to go...

If you are seriously considering a purchase and haven't yet participated in MacHeist check out the Forums before you buy. There are loads of folks looking for buyers to use their referral links so they can earn an additional free app or two. Acts of kindness are appreciated and will help you gather positive karma. (-:

The bundle stands at 14 applications with a retail value of $498.60 if you were to buy direct from the developers. At $49 - that's a tad over 90% off. You won't often find a deal that sweet!

You currently have 2 days and a few hours to make up your mind. Download some of the apps and give 'em a test run. No-one is asking you to buy sight unseen. You might find that there is something that was just the app you needed, with the rest as a nice bonus to make use of or gift to folks (yup, that's an option too).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

MacHeist Adds The Best Of Show App, VectorDesigner!

VectorDesigner, usually $69, won Best of Show at Macworld expo and has been garnering huge praise from the Mac community. This will push the MacHeist bundle value to just under $500. Crazy!

read more | digg story

VectorDesigner added to MacHeist bundle

VectorDesigner was just added to the MacHeist bundle, to be unlocked for all customers when $300,000 is raised for charity.

[Since a friend kindly bought a bundle by directly asking for my referral code and a couple others convinced me I should really put the link back into my blog... if you click on over to MacHeist via this LINK I'll get credit for the referral. When just ONE person does that I'll revert this link to go to the main page.]

A big thank you to the anonymous person who clicked and bought! As promised, the link goes straight to the main page now. Keep those purchases coming though... (-:

Not only are you getting a bevy of really great Mac apps (Switchers, this is a dream bundle at $49 to get you up and running on your shiny new Mac system) but what a fantastic amount to be distributing to charity! Let's hit $300,000!!

read more | digg story

Thursday, January 17, 2008

MacHeist II bundle passes $200,000 for charity!!

The folks behind MacHeist must be mighty pleased with this year's event. The bundle sales are over 19K and they've handily broken the $200K barrier for charity. How about pushing to 23K+ and $250K for charity?

If you were still on the fence about buying a bundle and haven't looked at it while you were blinded by all the other cool stuff coming out of MacWorld this week, you might want to give it another look.

There are a couple of Freeverse games in there now — WingNuts 2 and Tiki Magic Mini Golf — and if you manage to get a couple referrals under your belt you can make it 15 apps by grabbing Launchbar and NoteBook.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Live Coverage Of Macworld 2008 Keynote

The Mac Observer offering live coverage of today's keynote address.

read more | digg story

Monday, January 14, 2008

MacHeist - Pixelmator is unlocked

The whole bundle is now unlocked! Enjoy 10 + 1 apps and wait for the second surprise announcement.

read more | digg story

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It just keeps getting better - MacHeist II - Take a look

Head over to MacHeist and check out the deal!

There's lot to offer and potentially more to come.

[edit] so I did have my referral link up here for the "refer a friend" promo to get the additional apps. Too much controversy for me at the moment so I've removed it. If you click on MacHeist, that's what you get, the main page for MacHeist.

I like getting inexpensive or even free apps as much as the next Mac addict but, I've now been shamelessly spammed with invite links from a few sources they shouldn't have come from and I'm not going to push my personal referral anymore.

I still totally enjoy the community and can highly recommend buying a bundle if you find the apps, any one of them, useful. It's a great deal!

Friday, January 11, 2008

CSSEdit unlocked and added to the Macheist II Bundle

5000 bundles sold, CSSEdit is unlocked and is now in the MacHeist bundle. The next target is to reach $100,000 for charity to unlock Snapz Pro X!

read more | digg story

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Speed Download added to the MacHeist bundle! CSSEdit soon...

The hugely popular download accelerator for OS X, Speed Download ($29.95) has been added as a surprise bonus app to the MacHeist bundle! And with CSSEdit about to unlock, this is on track to be the best bundle yet. BOOM!

read more | digg story

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Macheist II Bundle Details Released!!

What a buy!

If there are just 1-2 apps that appeal to you in this bundle it might be worth looking into - especially the pricier ones you might have been looking at but didn't have the cash to buy. The tie in to charity is a nice bonus that is being repeated from MacHeist I as well. (-:

You have 14 days to try out the software, decide if it's for you and then take advantage of the great offer. Give it a look - MacHeist.

read more | digg story

Macheist Bundle 2 Out Now!

Cool mac apps at a great price.

read more | digg story