Little Random Things: iPod, Software, Lazy Journalism

Sunday, 2004-07-18; 18:20:00

This should probably be a "tidbits" entry, but I haven't established categories for this blog yet.

So today I managed to sell my dead iPod for $35. That included the outer shell and all of the components inside, including the old battery but not including the hard drive (since there was still data on it). Since all that was pretty much useless to me, I think I got a pretty good deal out of it. :) I still have the brand new battery (for which I paid $56), and I also have the 5 GB hard drive (which isn't quite a PCMCIA connection, so I have no idea how to access it without another first or second generation iPod). If anyone wants the new battery or knows how to connect the hard drive to a computer, please let me know.

As for finding a used iPod on eBay, I've become convinced that it's really not worth it. Even original, first generation, 5 GB iPods go for about $130 on eBay, which is quite a staggering price for something that's over two and a half years old. Since it's all but confirmed by Newsweek/MSNBC that the new fourth generation iPods are coming out tomorrow (click wheel, 12-hour battery life, 20 GB for low-end), I think I'm just going to get one of those. The battery life was really what was holding me back from just getting a third generation iPod, and since the new ones seem to be better than the first generation in terms of battery life, that's a big plus. And, of course, with the $30 educational discount, I'll be able to get it for about $300 including tax. I just hope that this one will last longer than my original one (or, more accurately, my original three) did.


Software front: development on MUG is stalled, although I hope that after field camp I'll pick back up on it again. Process CPU and memory history is all but finished, and I hope to also include logging (both from the main windows and from process history) into the upcoming release. Then I have to make it all localization friendly, update the help files, and prod my localizers to update their versions of the help files and the other needed translations. So it'll still probably be at least a month before the release of MUG 2.5. Here's a screenshot of the upcoming process history feature:

No, those icons are not final, and no, my icon designer hasn't done anything about them yet. ;)

SBE: I finished and released a version that is more compatible with OmniWeb 5 (and it's annoying bookmark format) and Firefox 0.9. Supposedly there is also an update needed for Opera 7.5, but that'll have to wait until after field camp. I'm also hoping to add support for a certain server-side bookmark manager in the next version, but we'll see how that goes.

iChat Emotimaker: No plans to do any upgrades yet. I think I'll end up morphing it into a general-purpose emoticon-pack maker, though, not just for instant messenging programs. Things like IRC clients (Colloquy) could benefit from iChat Emotimaker's easy creation of emoticon representations. I'll probably end up changing the name to simply "Emotimaker" as well. That will also make it my first product that doesn't lend itself well to a three-letter acronym (MUG, SBE, iCE). :)

Other projects: I'm working in conjunction with another developer on one of his creations, but I'm not going to post any details regarding this just yet, as we haven't finalized our partnership (and we've had a few hiccups along the path to release). I also have a few other general ideas, and a few prototype applications that I might end up releasing (one of them is a more feature-rich version of SBE, and another is a small app to help with the launching of different total conversions of EV Nova).


Oh, yeah, The Mac Observer pisses me off sometimes. Take a look at this article. This is NOT the press release that I sent to them. Although it is my words, they stitched together various parts of my previous press releases, changing only the first and last paragraphs. The result is that the press release is confusing in what browsers SBE supports: in the second paragraph, it has no mention of Firefox (or even Firebird or Phoenix) or OmniWeb 5, while in the last paragraph it says that that the new version adds support for Firefox 0.9 and fixes OmniWeb 5 exporting. I sent two e-mails to the e-mail address they specified in the article and got no response. Today I sent an e-mail to the Editor-In-Chief, to the "Fact Checker" (much good HE did), and also to the generic e-mail address. Hopefully that will get their attention.

It may seem like a trivial mistake, but it's happened each and every time I release a new version of SBE, and just shows that the reporters over at The Mac Observer are a bit lazy. Not only that, but I've come to be a bit annoyed at their opinion articles, especially the Devil's Advocate articles -- it seems like they're just getting a contrarian opinion in order to seem more "balanced" than other Mac websites. My advice? Get your Mac news from somewhere else from now on! (One good recommendation would be MacMinute.)

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