Firefox is therefore my default browser on my Macs and the PC. Each of them with the same setup, thanks to the Web 2.0. My favorites extensions : Feedly for reading my RSS feeds, Yoono for sharing stuff for myself between my computers, and to share things with the World too, and Piclens for pics & vids browsing and viewing.
Yesterday, the Mozilla Labs introduced a new add-on : Ubiquity. Read the description, watch the video, and install the first release. You'll discover a brand new way to deal with the Web. Absolutely stunning. Ubiquity might be the Web 3.0 (no typo ;-) for the rest of us.
We Mac users recently became used to hit the Space bar quite often - not to create a space between two words, but to read a document w/o opening the corresponding app. With Ubiquity, we're going to hit this Space bar even more often.
Ah, I forgot : for those of you who are still on IE, Mozilla Firefox is there.
I'm posting this short note from the kids' s 1999' iMac DV SE. A 400MHz PowerPC G3 chip, 512MB RAM and 20GB internal hard disk, this Mac has been my own machine from November 1999 until the early days of 2003. It's been running MacOS 8, MacOS 9, and MacOS X, from the Beta up to the current MacOS X 10.4.11.
For the basic tasks such as word processing and web surfing this 9-years old computer do the job just fine. Amazingly smooth interactions. No interface glitches. No significant degradation of the overall performances degradation compared to the actual settings - OS + apps - of its birth almost a decade ago. Which reminds me of the good old Agilent Mini-OTDR E6000 : a 8-yrs old test instrument that beats state-of-the-art way more recent machines on every single key feature, but that's another story ;-)
Back to the Mac. Whilst I'm typing this post, I'm listening to music. The local iTunes playing my own library, located on my MacBook (one floor above), through the home network. The iMac is connected on the net thanks to PLC power line communication, 85Mbps plugs.
In the meantime, my good old PowerBook G4 (which survived a 850°F fire in March 2005) is synching wirelessly on TimeMachine; its backup drive ? a 500GB external hard disk hooked up the MacBook.
Last, I control the iMac' s iTunes with my iPhone, thanks to Remote.
No hassles, no hurdles. Everything Apple is intuitive, smooth, and dead simple ***. That's why I love Apple.
post-scriptum : besides the internal disk and the memory which I upgraded back in 2002, the only thing I've changed on the iMac is the keyboard and the mouse. Simply because the new Apple keyboard is more convenient than the old one (tiny keys, sometimes clunky touch), and the Mighty Mouse is an amazing piece of Industrial Design per the (Apple) book.
*** of course, you can do all that stuff with Wintel PCs. But can you do it so easily ? Just try this one : remote control your non-iTunes music library with your non-iPhone smartphone. Count how many clicks you need to set up the whole thing, and call me back.
As I've both an iPhone and a PocketPC, I can do head-to-head comparison. I swear, it's not because I'm an Apple Fanboy, but the AppStore rocks and the WinMobApps sucks. A matter of product design, of course : the user experience per se, with the integration of the store into a global solution, the ease-of-use, etc.
For instance, the Microsoft store requires you to install Silverlight, to enable the caroussel type of product selection. Guess what : this feature is embedded into Mac OS X (ever heard of CoverFlow ?)...
That is a pretty stupid strategy from the guys in Redmond (another one ? ;-), proving that Microsoft is struggling like hell to stay... alive.
Funny MacDailyNews take on that one : "Any day now, we expect a post-liposuction Ballmer to show up at some trade show dressed in jeans and a black mock turtleneck saying "Boom!" a lot."
Now, once again Apple is showing the way to the Future : how we'll be able to control any *connected* device from our smartphone - er, iPhone.
Possibilities are endless, including for professional applications. ***
More details on Remote here.
*** Call for developers : you 're young, you're open-minded, you're french (yes, some of us combine those three criteria ;-) you're an iPhone/Mac developer : please drop me a line (Twitterers welcome).
[UPDATED 1:15PM CET, this time with links and tags]
Microsoft does it again. What ? Copying Apple ! See this demo of the forthcoming new OS from Redmond, so-called "Windows 7". Everything single thing you see there is already available on the iPhone and the Mac platforms, thanks to Mac OSX 10.5 aka "Leopard", should Apple release touch-screen based Macs in the next couple of weeks.
To get a multi-touch UI on a PC, you'll get to wait until, hum, 2010. Until then, you be sure I'll be playing with my MacTouch since a while ;-)
Immediate translation of instant messages. You do nothing differently — IM-Translate™ integrates seamlessly into your existing IM application — just type as usual. Forget copy, pasting or jumping back and forth to a web-based translator. Your buddy receives your message plus a translation — instantly. You see the translation of the text you typed. You also receive your buddy’s messages in both languages. Free! — Downloads in seconds with broadband.
First IM app targeted : Windows Live Messenger, aka MSN.
As I told my friend Georges, CTO of IM-T, they should release a Mac version as quickly as possible, since Mac users are more suited for beta testing campaigns : we love giving feedback, for the developers to enhance their products.
Also in the pipe : the app for Google.
Interesting : IM-T is formed by... US citizens and registered in... France, for some legal and market issues.
IM-T is a typical Web 2.0 start-up : of the six co-founders and team members, nobody knows more than two others face-to-face. They never met altogether so far ! Their collaborative tools : Google, Skype, and email.
One of the founders is my old buddy Georges Pantanelli. A french High-Tech industry veteran, who relocated to the US in the 90's. Georges got his american passport two years ago, in San Francisco. The lesson : in California, everything is possible for those who have the entrepreneurial spirit.
IM-Translate site and download here.
"Plusmo's mobile widgets application is a cool way to read RSS feeds on your cell phone or PDA, but that's not the only reason it was named a finalist on the Webware 100 list.
In true Webware fashion, Plusmo's site offers hands-on excitement--the chance to publish and share widget mash-ups and create an iPhone widget from templates. Users can also make personal blogs available as a Plusmo widget, and can install a browser bookmarklet or Yahoo plug-in to snag feeds while they surf."
Just a side note : I've bought a MacBook this afternoon, as my good 5-years-old-400°C-fire-resistant PowerBook G4 just went off (seems the graphic card needs some repair). Not the Air (as the latest Apple marvel is a bit too expensive for me at the moment), but a nice white 2.2GHz CoreDuo.
My new companion was up and running in less than 3 minutes, including online registration at Apple.com. I created a partition for Windows, of course; it took a couple of clicks, and boom, the thing was okay - live, of course. I set up my printer : less than 30 seconds for MacOS to a) find it, b) find its driver, c) select it as default. Then I got all my files back, thanks to TimeMachine.
Now, you would like me to work with a PC again ?...
post-scriptum : today is a great Mac day, as I also got my iMac DV SE back - from a friend of mine who don't need it any longer. Guess what : this jewel is 10 years old, and it runs like just out of the box.
That's why I don't like PCs and Windows...
Earlier this week, I've tried to install Ubuntu on my laptop PC - just because I was getting tired of Windows (ever seen a slowing 2GHz CoreDuo ?). The IT guy gave me his so-called official off-the-shelf blahblahblah PartitionMagic CD, for me to partition the hard disk accordingly - I still need Windows for some software demos and apps.
Guess what : got the BSOD right after the reboot. Since then, impossible to repair the damages (don't ask, please), as I couldn't even access to the DOS.
So, yesterday evening I decided to do it the hard way, formatting the hard drive and installing Ubuntu 7.0. Pretty comfortable OS, by the way : I got WiFi up and running in less than 1 minute, and I don't have to re-enter the WEP key each time I wake the machine up.
Now, the really good thing of all this mess : I can get back all my mission-critical files, PDF docs, URLs, etc. Thanks to the lovely Zoho suite, Zoho Projects in particular.
I use Zoho everyday, as my mission planner and database. I put almost everything on it : draft presentations, spreadsheets, web links, PDF documents...
I can now restore my offline base, without fearing files losses.
Outcome : I'll use Zoho Show to create my next presentation.
post-scriptum : I'll install Opera for Ubuntu as soon as I can get rid of those typical Linux messages (missing this, missing that...). So I'll be able to sync my bookmarks and prefs, in the blink of an eye.
Look at this snapshot, which I captured this morning on "my" laptop PC (you know, this brand new Dell Latitude sporting a CoreDuo but no built-in WiFi ;-).
Translation, for those of you who don't read french in the XP texts : " the folder 'Emploi' contains items with names too long to be contained by the trash."
Reminder : this is Windows XP, licensed in 2007. The folks in Redmond will never stop surprising me.
* ed. note : I replaced the word "hate" by "don't like". Because a computing stuff is not worth the hate, even if it's MS-branded. Actually, there are much more critical fights than this one those days, don't you think ?...
French entrepreneur and Internet pioneer Jean-Michel Planche aka JMP recently asked his blog's readers for their "Computing DNA" (note : link in french).
Writing down my own, I realized the true meaning of the Moore's Law.
For those of you who know '24', this video shows how Jack Bauer's journey would have look like back in 1994. Who knows how it will look like in thirteen years from now ?
On Wednesday night this week, I've ordered a 500Gb external hard drive plus a 512Mb memory extension for my lovely PowerBook on the AppleStore. Yesterday Thursday All Saints Day was a day off in France. The items have been delivered this Friday afternoon, and TimeMachine is currently backing up the whole internal hard disk. That is what I call *the whole product solution* : product + service + customer satisfaction. That's why Apple is a model.
For those of you who still consider Apple as a small player in the Computing arena, go to Amazon.com and check the most popular items in Software section.
A new type of virus, aka 'Storm', is infecting Windows machines all over the Planet since beginning of this year. Unfortunately, Storm is much more than a good old virus : it's a worm, a Trojan Horse, and a bot, all in one single piece of malicious software. In between 1 million and 50 million PCs are infected, as per the actual estimations. The bad news : Storm has been written by hackers looking for profit. Read the whole story here on Wired, by Bruce Schneier, CTO of BT Counterpane. I'm so happy to run a Mac.
[thanks MDN for the heads up]
Ed. note : unfortunately, I must use a PC at work.
Look, I've got a brand new Dell laptop for my new job. No WiFi built-in : we have to use an external PCMCIA card for that. Each time I commute from the hotel to my office, I've to enter the WEP key...
Another frustrating experience : Skype. Last night, I couldn't send pictures of my new car to the kids because my wife's account was set as "inactive" onto my Skype, whilst she was "online" on her Mac... Or, the Skype button on this blog : it says I'm "not saying", whilst I swear I'm either "online" or "not available" or "away".
The best one : in the train on the way back home last Friday, I wanted to watch a movie on a DVD. Windows Media Player gave me the sound, but no image...
I know why I'm a MacManiac ;-)
seen on MyMac here.
Post-Scriptum : back in 2000, I was running a beautiful iMac DV Special Edition. The Mac OS 9 operating system was absolutely perfect, stable and reliable. The first time my Mac hanged, after more than 12 months of service, was when I installed VirtualPC and booted Windows95. Seeing the Blue-Screen-Of-Death on a Mac was both astonishing and amusing to me...
Imagine your favorite car maker goes wild, trumpeting all around the planet with its brand new world-class top-range model, which is supposed to make your life even better, bringing you so many new features that it's going to be the ultimate driver experience.
Now, imagine that a few months after release, this guy offers you to downgrade to the previous generation, because the new one shows some unrecoverable weaknesses in real world conditions.
That's exactly what Lenovo is offering to its customers : downgrading from Windows Vista to Windows XP. See here.
Redmond, you have a problem.
So, Skype' users have been unable to use their favorite peer-to-peer communication network for two days because of the... Microsoft Windows Update routine. Read the real story behind last week' massive disruption here.
Okay, Windows is not directly involved : it was *just* a trigger in this case, which actually helped Skype to detect a bug into its network' self-healing process.
Nevertheless, I can't keep thinking that without Windows the World would be a kind of better place. Hey, would you accept to get your car patched every single week ?
I hear the Anti-Macs : " Windows has 95% of the market, blah blah blah... " Fair enough. However, take this : Even if Mac OS had those 95% yet, it wouldn't cause such damage. Simply because... there is no such regular updates. Because there is no need for such security patches. Keep in mind : life is way easier with a Mac. You know, the Customer-Focused thing...
Today, Skype is holding its breath, for the first time ever according to my early adopter's s memory.
For those of us who use Skype for overseas business communications, the issue might cause only some minor troubles - hey, we still have landlines and cellphones, right ?
However, it's interesting to see how the Internet is prominent in our daily life
today those days. Hence the very basic question : what would happen if Google goes down someday ? Here's a funny exercise : count all the Google services you actually use every day, if not every hour, and be prepared for a scarring moment ;-)
UPDATE August 17, 2007 @ 10:51AM CET : Skype login still down.
I can't discuss via IM with my friends of Belarus, for our usual early-morning coaching session (I do help those folks to jump on the 21st Century' bandwagon). We don't want to use MS or Yahoo! Messenger(s), as those are not efficient tools for business purpose; we could set-up a Wiki rapidly, but this would become useless when Skype goes live again; we don't want to do a confcall via telephone : both landline and cellular communications are damned far too expensive from/to France to/from Belarus. Twitter would be good, if there was no text size limits. Therefore we do communicate the old-fashion way : email. Just hope we won't be forced to go back to Morse and telegraph someday ;-)
After a few weeks with Safari 3.0 beta, then with Camino 1.5, I'm using Opera again as my primary browser.
Safari 3 is a neat piece of software but still in beta, which causes far too many hassles in daily use (e.g. incompatibility with some websites). Camino is far better than Firefox, lighter/faster/slimmer but it gets screwed by all those Java/Ajax/Flash stuff that are embedded into each and every modern (read : Web 2.0) website.
So, as long as Leopard is not released (my guess is that Safari 3 is optimized for Intel' Macs running Leopard, not for PowerPC under Tiger), I'll continue to switch from one browser to another. Waiting for Opera 9.5 beta, scheduled within the next couple of weeks.
Note to all modern browsers developpers : a nice feature to add to the Import-Export menu would be the 'Session Recovery' import/export.
Example : when I get stuck with, say, Camino, I kill it and start a new session with another app, for instance Safari. In this case, I'd like to be able to automatically recover all the windows and tabs which were opened last time on Camino, so I don't have to look into the history file.
Of course, I do have a kind of default set of windows/tabs on every browser I use, such as my Netvibes and GoogleReader feeds pages, my TypePad, etc. But, as I do surf the Web, I do open pages which are not in this default set. When there's a crash, only the session recovery will save me time to open those pages again.
I know I can record my sessions using some online tracking tools, but I want to keep some privacy (ever heard of business intelligence ?...), hence the need for a local yet universal piece of software on my PC - er, on my Mac ;-)