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  • Baseless Apple-Windows speculation
    going for a few more years in exchange for a five year patent cross licensing agreement The idea in everyone s mind of course was that Microsoft would grab lots of Apple technology which they probably did and it quite specifically ended an Apple patent infringement suit against Microsoft But I m told that the exchange wasn t totally one way that Apple in turn got some legal right to the Windows API That agreement ran for five years from August 1997 to August 2002 Even though it has since expired the rights it conferred at the time still lie with the respective companies Whatever Microsoft grabbed from Apple they can still use they just aren t able to grab anything developed since August 2002 Same for Apple using Microsoft technology like that in Office X But Windows XP shipped October 25 2001 10 months before the agreement expired I m told Apple has long had this running in the Cupertino lab Intel Macs running OS X while mixing Apple and XP applications This is not a guess or a rumor this something that has been demonstrated and observed by people who have since reported to me Cringely is usually hilariously wrong so take this with a truckload of salt I don t believe that a patent licensing agreement would cover trade secrets and API implementations except those particular algorithms that were patented which probably doesn t cover much The Wine project doesn t violate patents it reimplements Windows API functionality with original code using presumably non patented algorithms Apple could easily use Wine if they needed to The PE loader in Leopard is a pretty clear sign that Apple has at least experimented with this idea in the labs That doesn t mean much if every experiment made it into production we d all be using Tablet Macs with resolution independent multi touch displays and ZFS But it s a start Why do it The biggest reason to do this hands down is Microsoft Office There s a native Mac version but it s terrible Launching the Windows versions of Excel and Word on a Mac are so incredibly desirable to so many people that Parallels and VMWare have developed huge features just to make it more seamless under full OS virtualization Many businesses also need applications that are only available on Windows such as QuickBooks or AutoCAD Even unfortunate employees of Exchange running companies would much rather use Outlook than Entourage its bad equivalent in Office for Mac There s also potential cost savings If I paid 300 for the Windows version of Office last year and I want to buy a Mac now it s a lot easier to swallow the cost if I don t have to repurchase the Mac version of that expensive license Ultimately far more people will switch from Windows to OS X if they can run Windows applications easily within it and while Parallels is nice it s no replacement for true

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/269 (2016-04-30)
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  • Is this really a problem?
    pain and foot tingling No particular injury caused this it was caused by a combination of bad factors in descending order of importance I was driving on a lot of long car trips I was sitting all day I would go from bed to train to office to train to computer to couch to bed sitting nearly the entire time every day When sitting I would slouch most of the time I was completely out of shape and got no regular exercise Unsurprisingly that s not very good for me As a result I ve had to make some significant changes in my life I now use a standing desk I can sit occasionally throughout the day but I need to minimize it and avoid sitting for long periods of time When I sit I have to practice good posture I joined a gym and need to exercise and stretch in specific ways on a regular basis as I learned in physical therapy indefinitely I got a very nice new mattress I have to avoid traveling on long car or plane trips I got used to the standing desk after a few weeks I don t even notice it anymore It s easier to take coffee breaks because I m already up I just need to start walking I burn more calories and strengthen my legs all day instead of sitting and getting fatter No complaints on this one Sitting with good posture Being forced to exercise regularly Sure being lazy is easier but there s no question that this is better for me and I certainly would never have fixed either of these without this motivation New mattress Sure I had to spend money for it but I should have done that long ago anyway I had been using

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/268 (2016-04-30)
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  • The Macintosh Fringe
    defending Mark Foley purely out of party loyalty Sure he s into 16 year old boys but who among us doesn t long for innocence Take a look at the coments on Marco s recent article on the new iPod Classic Marco has all the credentials of a serious Apple supporter so he was surprised to find the new iPod Classic sluggish particularly when in Cover Flow view Digg got a hold of it and he got a hundred or so comments The first wave were overwhelmingly angry at the very idea that somebody might dare to criticize Apple The Macintosh Fringe had arrived They smelled a betrayal Was it Apple who had let its customers down by releasing an unimpressive product or was it Marco a frequent supporter who had dared to be unimpressed by the iPod classic My favorite comment Heiaheia Do any of you speak Norwegian iPod is best no mater what The comment sounds like it came from a 12 year old so I assume it was made by a technologically incompetent Norwegian policeman who thought he was hunting down pedophiles in a teen chat room Maybe he had multiple windows open at once Improbable Sure but it s the only way I can explain it My only disappointment would be the album art on cover flow does take a while to load sometimes but looks great when it works Recommend it thoroughly It looks great when it works And that s all it takes to get a thorough recommendation Are you serious Granted I held onto a coffeemaker that regularly spewed coffee all over the counter for a few months The coffee that actually made it into the pot tasted great But I wouldn t recommend it thoroughly I am experiencing the sluggishness people are reporting but that s understandable considering how graphically intense it is Sure it would be understandable if you were trying to run Half life on an iPod and it were sluggish but only because an iPod isn t designed to run anything other than its own software But if it can t run its own software smoothly That really is a problem You don t need to make excuses for Apple Let it out man You can t keep burying your anger like that I droped a ipod in water once and it froze entire computer after actually heating it up and drying it 2 weeks later it worked after a suddle wack on a coffee table I can t actually blame this one on the Macintosh Fringe I just wanted to draw this comment to everybody s attention As far as I can tell somebody dropped an ipod in water warmed it dried it for a few weeks and then whacked it on a coffee table I understand the warming and drying steps but the whacking on the coffee table I would never have come up with The Macintosh Fringe are the sort of supporters a company must love

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/267 (2016-04-30)
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  • Amazon.com's Super Customer Service
    I just needed to be able to convince them not to make me pay to ship the book back The problem wasn t really their fault but it was more their fault than mine Of course my other goal was to get a new copy of the book as quickly as possible and that would be delayed if I had to mess around with shipping labels and the like I decided to call Amazon thinking I d take out my unhappiness on whomever answered the phone It is both irrational and unkind to take your frustration out on somebody who has no relation to the problem and is probably bound by any number of company policies But I wasn t feeling rational or kind Finals were approaching and I needed to procrastinate Also I needed to get back some of my own after my humiliating imagined conversation with the DAW lady But what was Amazon s phone number It would have been on the shipping receipt but the shipping receipt was either buried in a drawer or lost forever I was already 178 pages into the book I wasn t planning on returning it even if it turned out to be a singularly awful book This left Amazon s website Amazon is not very good at keeping their website uncluttered and easy to navigate It s sort of like walking into a department store They know you came to buy something but they re going to make you walk past as many other things as possible hoping you will buy something else on impulse I could not find a phone number but I eventually found a box I could put information into and Amazon would call me At first I was annoyed I wanted to talk to a real person immediately Then I realized that perhaps Amazon would wait until there was actually somebody to talk to me before calling me Perhaps I could do something else rather than spending an hour on hold Perhaps Amazon was brilliant after all The phone rang a few minutes later After navigating a brief menu tree I got the standard message about my call being important please hold So Amazon had called me back to put me on hold Great In fairness I wasn t actually on hold for more than a minute Maybe they had waited until their hold times were short Maybe they just had enough customer service people to deal with the demands Either way I was satisfied Hello said the representative on the other side of the line Is this Daniel Yes I am Lawrence he said confidently How may I be of assistance to you today The accent was strong but not unintelligible I was clearly talking to somebody in India And he seemed excited to be talking to me Well I bought this book from Amazon but it was defective Yes you bought a book he said but there was a problem Yeah There are a bunch

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/266 (2016-04-30)
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  • I won’t rip off Seagate
    RAM sizes and file sizes it traditionally has a binary definition of 1024 bytes For every other use it means exactly 1000 bytes In order to address this confusion currently all relevant standards bodies promote the use of the term gibibyte for the binary definition Hard drives are advertised as if 1 gigabyte meant 1 000 000 000 bytes But when your computer tells you how big files are or how much free space you have they think a gigabyte is 1 073 741 824 bytes Therefore hard drives always have far less usable space than they claim on the box I knew what I was getting I knew that each 250 GB drive would only have 232 GB of space and I bought them anyway That s life as a computer guy you account for it and move on Seagate was using a perfectly valid definition of gigabyte just not the same one that most computer software uses It s misleading at best Hard drives have always been advertised this way So have DVD R discs and some flash memory cards RAM cache memory and CD R discs are advertised with their true capacities Floppy disks had less usable

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/265 (2016-04-30)
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  • Breaking up with Verizon
    Verizon said some nasty things Nobody s perfect But this is more serious I ve been cheating on Verizon with AT T for almost a month It didn t mean anything at first I was just attracted to AT T s iPhone And AT T gives me voice data and more text messages than I ll ever use for 60 per month Verizon wants more than 100 for that I can even email pictures off of my phone for free Text messages don t take me an hour to type And the web browser while often slow is actually functional I thought I d keep going back to Verizon for EVDO tethering But I don t want to commit to that contract right now I need to be without tethering for a while It gives me time to think on the train When I broke the bad news Verizon tried to reason with me We have music playing phones too And I ll let you pre order any of our upcoming phones that have great data capabilities Please We can even offer you a month of free service It was futile I had made my decision I knew in my

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/264 (2016-04-30)
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  • iPhone SDK rage
    unhappy with a purchase return it if you can sell it if you can t and get a different one But you re not And neither are over a million other people I got mine at the end of September so I can personally guarantee that at least 1 000 001 have sold I decided that the iPhone was worth buying despite my own initial criticisms I d love for it to be on Verizon with EVDO laptop tethering but I d rather spend 60 per month for a dedicated unlimited Verizon EVDO modem and have an iPhone than continue to use crappy buggy Verizon phones Note So far I m doing absolutely fine without EVDO tethering and I don t think I really need it anymore Try going without things you think you need once in a while I want a Mac Pro but I don t want to pay 3000 for a well equipped one I d like to be able to build my own system from Newegg parts for 1000 and install OS X on it in a legal and supported way but Apple has chosen not to offer that for plenty of good reasons I have

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/263 (2016-04-30)
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  • Top Twenty-Three Reasons Why All Your Blog Posts Should be in List Form
    list items will make your post look a lot longer This will make you feel more accomplished and ward off the demons of self loathing ever so slightly longer 15 Not having to write complete sentences This saves time and bandwidth 14 The list form is uncreative boring and formulaic You two have so much in common 13 You originally wrote the post in Word Damn you Autoformat 12 Your readers have very short attention spans If any idea lasts longer than a bullet point you ll lose your audience 11 You have a very short attention span If anything last longer than eh screw it 10 The list form is easy Everybody s done a blog post in list form See 14 9 Cutting and pasting is fun but cutting pasting and renumbering is even more fun 8 The numbers are necessary How else would somebody know what order to read the post in 7 Paragraph structure is hard Building a cogent argument is even harder Lists are easy See 10 6 Let s face it Your article sucks If you can count backwards people will know its getting close to the end If you number it backwards you might even trick them in to believing it will get better at the end 5 List form obviates the need to write tricky transitions between your thoughts or to string them together in an organized fashion 4 Top Twenty Reasons form will give your readers the impression that you have surveyed the entire panopoly of possible reasons and concluded that these of the thousands you have surveyed are the most worthy of their attention They won t realize that you could only come up with nineteen reasons so you had to reword 3 to get a round number 3 There

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/262 (2016-04-30)
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