Musings on Mac

I’ve had my Mac for a few weeks now, giving me a chance to think about what I like and dislike since converting over from my longtime staple, Windows. And although I am overall really happy and excited about the switch, there are still a few things I miss about Windows XP.

  • A built-in dual button touchpad – seriously, Mac, why DON’T you do this? It makes life so much easier.

  • The Windows Clipboard (Copy / Paste Functionality) – every day at work I take advantage of the ability to simply click the little button and paste as text, paste with formatting, match destination formatting, etc. This truly is fantastic and I haven’t seen it built in to the Mac OS natively, at least not yet.

  • Windows Media Player – Quicktime, for actually playing video, is one of the worst out there in my experience. I personally miss VLC player, which is what I used on the PC for most of my video watching, but Quicktime is terrible. No free full screen mode? And why does clicking on the screen cause the video to pause? And the Flip4Mac plugin to stream Windows Media streams is a joke. I’ve tried using it a few times and have given up entirely – I now switch to Parallels and use Windows Media Player through there to watch live streaming video.

I recognize there are those out there who will disagree with my characterizations, but these are the areas where my Mac experience falls down. They seem minor, but they definitely affect my overall experience in a direct, tangible way. And while I am very happy to have my Macbook, even Steve Jobs has some room to improve.


Save Duke Gardens

I received this e-mail on Tuesday.


I’m sending you this email because you are one of over 200 New Jersey residents who contacted Governor Corzine via in the last 2 weeks.(An additional 160 out-of-state residents also mailed!). Governor Corzine’s staff has access to that email account and a Community Relations staffer is working on the matter.

You may not know that the Display Gardens are still intact – their new owner the Duke Farms Foundation is holding a company picnic there this weekend (!), then the gutting will begin.

So many of you bitterly oppose this closure, and we are constantly trying ways to get your voices heard. Nonetheless, the media has provided little awareness of the destruction of these Historic Public Gardens. Here’s the latest way to try and bring pressure:

A Public Meeting at Duke Farms on Saturday June 14th, 1-3 pm. A flyer with full details is attached for you to share.

The ‘Jersey Jug handle’ at Duke Farms gate is large (>1/4 acre), prominent for waving at friendly cars, pleasant (lawn and flowerbeds) and the police have told us we are free to gather there. Parking is available just 400 yards away, and the weather is supposed to be lovely. Bring a lawn chair, bring a protest sign, bring your friends and kids who won’t run into traffic – have to leave mine at Scout camp or she’d be there!

This Meeting will be announced to all media, and we hope will generate both press and TV coverage. Please wear or accessorize something YELLOW to provide good TV.

You know this is New Jersey’s last chance to save something unique. Some have worked day and night on this cause, voluntarily reading tax documents and filing IRS forms!! Imagine!!

Even if you can only come for an hour, please only reply to say you are coming!

Petra Ross-Macdonald (runs
Ruth Schrey (gathered >1900 signature petition

CB and I visited the Indoor Display Gardens at Duke Gardens on May 21st for the first time, just a few days before they were to be closed forever. We had an amazing time for about an hour and a half wandering through seeing various gardens reflecting periods through time and locale. I wish the group the best of luck and urge those who have and those who would like to have an opportunity to see the Indoor Display Gardens one day send an e-mail via Unfortunately there remain only a few days before the demolish begins, destroying the gardens forever.

I will post my photos at a later time.


Your Privacy Matters to Us… Really, We Swear!

A few articles highlight just how important their customers' privacy really is. First, in an article that represents a certain level of vindication, Ameritrade is settling a class action lawsuit over their multi-year customer data leak.

In other news, there was another article on the pros and cons of LifeLock, the service with annoying, boastful commercials about protecting your identify from theft. While the author speaks to the LifeLock service, the broader point made is again how little the institutions actually care about protecting privacy relative to profits.


This is the End

Not that the rapture is any laughing matter (should such an event come to pass, your beliefs are your own), but reading about this service made me laugh out loud last night.

"You've Been Left Behind gives you one last opportunity to reach your lost family and friends for Christ," reads the website, which is purportedly run "by Christians, for Christians." The domain name is registered through an anonymous proxy service, presumably to protect the proprietors from the Forces of Darkness, and not because they're up to anything shady.

I'm sure it's all legit. Just check out the verification mechanism.

The e-mails will be triggered when three of the site's five Christian staffers "scattered around the U.S." fail to log in for six days in a row — a system that incorporates a nice margin of safety, should two of the proprietors turn out to be unrepentant sinners or atheists.

See? Look at the redundancy they've built in.



This PC to Mac change is big. It’s not necessarily good or bad yet, just big. I will say, though, the dual monitor setup is nice. But the jury’s really out until I get MS Office and a few other programs up and running. Only then will I really be able to judge.


The Macbook is in the Building

Ok, I’m officially excited. The new Macbook is downstairs at the mailroom. I’ve made up a list of initial software to get installed to get it up and running.

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Reader
  • BitTorrent
  • Bloglines Notifier
  • FileZilla
  • FireFox
  • Gmail Notifier
  • Intego VirusBarrier X5
  • JBuilder
  • Mac MP3 Gain
  • MS Office 2008
  • OpenOffice
  • Perian
  • SlingPlayer
  • Stuffit Expander
  • TiVo Desktop

Anything else I should add?


Brains…. Brains…

You can never be too prepared for the oncoming zombie onslaught.