The report on the MusicBrainz tagger is that it works, but the amount of information re-written to the meta tags is minor. I was hoping for more individual information like year, genre, and track numbers, and I got just the track numbers. Maybe as more and better information is written to the site, the quality of the tags will improve.

Another very good link I found this afternoon is Constantin Von Wentzel’s Base Station page, for all things AirPort, including some crafty solutions to heating problems (avoid frying that pair of capacitors) and uploading your firmware without hosing the unit. Also included are some handy links to repair outfits who will fix your ailing ABS.

Date posted: February 28, 2003 | Filed under apple, geek, music | Leave a Comment »

28th street bridge, 2.26

28th street bridge, 2.26

I got the eyes checked this afternoon, and it turns out that my prescription is just a wee bit stronger than last time, but no marked difference. Here’s to that. While at the mall, I also stopped in to the Apple Store and bought an Airport card for Jen’s Powerbook, so we’ll both be wireless from here on out.

As it stands now, we may get a foot of snow tonight through tomorrow, or we may get an inch. It’s hard to say, because the local forecasters admit that they just don’t know. Meanwhile, I spent $20 putting a little more than 9 gallons of gas in the Scout this afternoon, just in case.

Via Kottke, here’s a great link to an idea I wish I had: Using a peephole for a fisheye lens on a camera. I may have to unscrew the peephole on the back door to try this out for myself. Also from the same source: The Lomoizer, for all of us who can’t afford the camera right now.

Ok, I’m stupid. What I didn’t do was set the Base Station up as a bridge;, I left it in its original configuration as a DHCP/NAT router, so in effect I had two machines (the SMC broadband router in the basement and the Base Station) battling over the right to serve the machines on the network. No wonder I couldn’t see the other machines on the network, or the printer. And I think this will allow the autosensing features in OSX to work as advertised. Jen’s computer is up and running flawlessly, after a brief detour to the network to download Airport 2.04 for OS9 (it was not included on the enclosed disk).

One final bit of good news: We ordered tickets to see David Sedaris at the Lisner Auditorium in April. It promises to be a funny and interesting evening. Jen hopes he’ll talk about the Rooster. (I think the last time I was at the Lisner was to see 10,000 Maniacs back in about 1990 or so.)

Date posted: February 26, 2003 | Filed under apple, photo, photography | Leave a Comment »

The Smartdisk USB hard drive I bought at Cidera three years back is not supported under OSX 10.2, but every iteration of the OS before that. I don’t know if it’s a vendor-specific driver issue or an OSX issue, but it’s damned annoying. I think I’ll have to definitely boycott Smartdisk from here on out, because that’s just ridiculous.

Now that I re-hung the bathroom door to be level, close correctly and open the right way into the room, I found that there’s whole lot more space in there for people and storage. I found a real nice cabinet down at the antique store down the street, so I picked that up today to replace the small Target-bought cabinet currently jammed full of towels and bath sundries. I think it will make the room work even better. Meanwhile, work on the hallway and living room molding continues. I’m shooting for getting the interior of the house cleaned up in time for spring, when I can focus all energies on rebuilding the backyard.

PS. My neighbor Dick was sent home from the hospital two days after the operation. Bless his heart, they can’t kill him—he’s too stubborn.

Date posted: February 25, 2003 | Filed under friends, geek, house | Leave a Comment »

Doing research on codecs and video playback, I found this morning, which is a very comprehensive and informative guide to all things video, be it DVD or PC-playback. (And no, I’m not telling you what awesome movie I just got an *ahem* copy of.)

I read, as most other folks have, about Salon being on shaky financial footings, to the point where they are pleading for more subscriptions to pay their rent. I was a longtime reader of the magazine, and as with other folks who have weighed in on the subject, I enjoyed their early lead in the online journalism market. Two years ago their reporting was on time, interesting, deeply researched, and often very balanced. With the dissolution of venture capital, their features became smaller and their focus became fuzzy. Last fall I stopped visiting every day, preferring to scan the ‘recently’ headlines once a week, and rarely found a reason to dive into the site. (This was roughly about the time Garrison Keillor quit writing Mr. Blue.) Did I buy a subscription? No. I considered it, but at that time, the range and quality of articles had decreased to the point where I didn’t care to buy into it. Do I regret the decision? Partly, because without my subscription, and those of the other internet heads who were weaned on the free teat of the early Web, it may have had a chance. Raise a candle, tip your flag, and dip your hat to another vessel of the New Economy as it sinks off into the western horizon.

Behind the Curve Dept., Report No. 317: Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is an interesting, challenging, intriguing album that deserves more than one listen. I like it more as I hear it more.

Date posted: February 24, 2003 | Filed under entertainment, geek, music | Leave a Comment »

One drawback to switching between Airport and Ethernet on a laptop: apparently OSX (and most likely OS9) don’t each like having a port open simultaneously for AppleTalk, with is a drag, because I need it for fileserving. I haven’t figured out how to set up the system to autosense and compensate, so it looks like I might have to go back to the old Location settings. Which would be a drag, because I haven’t had to worry about that for a few years, and I was getting spoiled with Airport auto-sensing the connection.

Update: read the entry for February 26.

I found a very interesting article about a guy who woke up one day with a great idea, and who just happened to have a lot of spare time on his hands. I wish I had the resources and programming background to do something like that.

Date posted: February 23, 2003 | Filed under apple, humor | Leave a Comment »

Yesterday I dug the Scout out and bundled Jen up on the warm sheepskin seat and we ventured out into the snow in 4-Hi. Canton, my neighborhood, was an absolute disaster of yuppies frantically scraping off their BMW’s and Navigators and blindly zooming around each other to Get There As Soon As Possible. We gamely avoided all these jerks and motored up to her office, and I returned home quietly. Returning to pick her up was a different matter, as aforementioned yuppies were out en masse Getting Home As Soon As Possible, which involves lots of traffic, ignoring red lights, cutting in front of people, blind lane changes, and charging down a one-lane road after seeing you’ve started and are halfway towards them already. Two and a half hours later we returned to eat steaks and drink beers and lay around on the couch, and we went to bed like good Scouts at 11.

This morning, we rose at 6:15 to be out the door by 7 to drive our neighbor Dick and his wife Thelma to the hospital, where Dick was scheduled for anyeurism surgery at 9:30. I felt like total crap, and by the time we stopped at the BK Lounge for some coffee and food after successful delivery, I felt like dying. Upon delivery of Jen to her office, I crawled under the conference room table, curled up like a dog and passed out until 10 (scaring the life out of Carl, her boss, who thought I was a dead body.)

At first I thought it might be carbon monoxide poisoning from the truck exhaust, but I can’t be sure, as I’m feeling fine now. Props go to Jen for putting up with my grunting and generally rotten mood. And everybody cross your fingers for Dick, who needs to quit going to the hospital (the guy fought his way across the Pacific in 1945 and still works part-time as a driver for the local funeral parlor.) He and his wife are the best neighbors ever.

I got my Airport Base Station in the mail today, plugged it in and within minutes was working wirelessly. I can’t wait to get it home and test out the signal. Thanks for the heads-up, Mike! In somewhat related news, Looks like I’d better go get a copy of VirtualPC 6.0 before it’s gone.

Renie sent me a link that’s worth a chuckle or three: Kiwi caught speeding semi-naked on motorised barstool.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: February 22, 2003 | Filed under apple, friends, Scout | Leave a Comment »

4-lo, 2.21

4-lo, 2.21

Airport is working flawlessly at the house, no problems at all. All is right with the world, and (maybe) I can pick up another Airport card tomorrow for Jen’s machine.

Date posted: February 21, 2003 | Filed under photo | Leave a Comment »

OK, just for the record, people: When somebody invites you into an organization and asks you to bring money/buy merchandise/pay a hefty membership fee, and then turns around and asks you to get all your friends to join as well, and ave them bring money/buy, this is called a Ponzi Scheme. The entire economy of frickin’ Albania collapsed because of this crap. (Yes, I’m stuck at home yet again today, listening to Oprah.)

As much as I think this is a bubble, this is an interesting take on the state of the economy.

Date posted: February 19, 2003 | Filed under money | Leave a Comment »

I posted some pictures of the fun this morning. I heard from Todd that the office is closed again today, and we’re both thinking that we won’t be able to make it up there until Thursday. I don’t doubt it.

Apparently some folks have had problems upgrading to OSX 10.2.4, but I’ve been running smoothly so far (knock on wood.) Overall it’s stable and smooth, and because I’ve never used the modem on this machine I’m immune to what seems to be the majority of the connection problems. And anything to fix the printing problems from Carbon applications is a good thing.

Date posted: February 18, 2003 | Filed under apple, photography | Leave a Comment »

We got word a few hours ago that the roof of the B&O Railroad Museum collapsed, possibly damaging or destroying several historical and priceless trains and passenger cars. I only hope they are able to repair the roof and save some of the cars below it.

I’m going to post a gallery of pictures from the snowstorm a bit later on in the day; I still have to strap the mukluks on and shovel the walk outside (I’ve been avoiding it by painting the front bedroom.) Jen and I walked four doors down the street to Matt & Emily’s house to have dinner and watch some movies last night, which was really fun. Apparently the final tally has been a little under two feet, and the Governor has been on the news asking folks to stay off the roads today. Fine by me!

I was not aware of the problems some folks have had with original AirPort base stations, but a link from the estimable Nacintosh News Network details a fix for blown capacitors, which replacements are better than others, and how to solder it yourself. not for the faint of heart, but definitely cheaper than buying a new one.

Date posted: February 17, 2003 | Filed under Baltimore, house | Leave a Comment »