Saturday, June 05, 2010

Stevie interviewed.

Steve Jobs at D8 on June 1, 2010, several videos.
(This list has more variety.)

Mister Jobs says that a healthy press and editorial oversight is very important, and he does "not want to see us descent into a nation of bloggers". (But it's OK for non-US countries to do so, I wonder?*)
On the one hand I can see his point. On the other hand, it seems to me most of the press has always been dishonest, unethical, and biased, so why is it so important that they survive as a business? Thoughts?

He says a smart thing though, he wants papers/mags to be more aggressive (cheaper) in their pricing for digital content than they have been for print, due to them no longer having the huge expenses of printing and distribution. I've been saying the same thing for a long time, but it seems very hard to convince the old guys. You know, NYT trying to charge two dollars for a *single article* and so on, it just won't cut it.
I will certainly pay $5 per month for a digital NYT, but I won't pay $20.

I think these guys need to realize that the traditional profitability of print papers/mags was based scarcity of news and entertainment, a scarcity which, putting it mildly, is gone now!  If you're the only guy selling water in a town, you're golden. If five other guys move in, the  party is over.

*Just a mild joke there. It's funny how we still often think in nations, for no reason whatsoever.

Three months without solid food

[Thanks to TTL]


Angela Stokes of RawReform Breaks her 92-Day Juice Feast, YouTube.

Angela is amazingly pretty for somebody who just lost 160 pounds!

"Juice feast" is different from "juice fast".

By the way, clearly this is not a fast, but a diet. What I would have done, is to simply stick to veggies and fruit. I think it would be as effective as just juice, less shocking to the body, and I think you'd get more nutrients compared to carbs (there's a lot of sugar in fruit juice). It would still be a very dramatic diet though, don't mistake it. 

Update: TTL says:
Just to clarify: She did not lose all 160 lbs during her juice feast. During the 92-day juice feast she shed about 18 lbs (8 kg).

Ah yes, I did think it sounded rather unlikely.

TTL said:
[Eolake: "What I would have done, is to simply stick to veggies and fruit."]

Actually, this is different. If you eat vegetables and fruit as is, your body will need to expend energy to digest them and to get rid of the fiber.

On the other hand, when you eat just the juices your body gets to use the energy for other things, such as for “cleansing” your system.

(The average person holds 2-5 kg of toxic old matter in their intestines, and juice feasting is a way to release that.)

Also, the lighter load on your body will contribute to a very different overall feeling, more vivid dreams, better intuitive abilities etc.

In general, the human body is designed to digest solids and consume fiber etc, but it makes sense to give it a break from this for a short period of time to allow it to do some “house keeping” etc.

Going Postal review

I'm watching the new Terry Pratchett movie Going Postal, on British TV this week. It's not bad at all. The golems, like all attempts I've seen so far at catching clay/stone characters (The Thing from Fantastic Four included) is a little failed in my taste. They still look more like rubber than burnt clay. But the story is enganging, and the casting is good, and overall the visuals are very nice. I like it better than the last one, the wizard film.

They have added a lot moralism about the main character, which I think is OK, he really did not have much of a character arch in that book otherwise, or much of a reason for being in the difficult position he's in as postmaster of the totally failed and collapsed Anck-Morpork post office.

If you like stern women in black, and strong women, you will like Adora Belle Dearheart, played by Claire Foy. Beautiful. Some may find her too, uh, dominating, others may like that.     :-)

Adora Belle Dearheart, played by Claire Foy

A little Mac upgrade adventure (Migration Assistant)

When I moved my OS (X Snow Leopard) and my files to a bigger disk this week, I used Apple's wonderful Migration Assistant (which offers itself automatically when you upgrade to a new Mac or disk). This is a brilliant app which has taken upgrading from being a long and complex business to being pretty much a one-click affair. When you start up on the new system/disk/computer, everything is like before, except for more space/speed/features. Outstanding.

There's just one thing: if you have a lot of files (like around 800 GB in my case), it takes many hours to do this, during which you can't use the computer at all. This I don't care for, so I got tricky: I took the two heaviest folders, both containing graphics, and moved them outside my user folder on the original disk. And then I deselected the "other files" option when using Migrating Assistant.

Well, so far so good. I was up and running after a couple hours instead of sixteen or whatever it would have been. Now I could copy those big/many files at leisure while I continued working and playing.

There was just one but: the macro programs and utilities (like QuickKeys and FinderPop), if they referred to an object on disk, they smartly now refer to the same object on the new disk, as is right. (I think it's the OS arranging it, not the apps.) But in those cases where I had not yet moved those objects, it couldn't find them, and referred to the object on the old disk instead! 

I'm not sure if this is really clever, or... hmmm.  I think I would have preferred to know about it. I remember last year, Photoshop has used a preference file on an old disk, which I did not find out until I removed the disk and lost my preferences.

Anyway, when I found out about this (I moved a file via FinderPop and then couldn't find it), what I did was that I ejected the old disk (in software). This way I get an error message when some utility wants to refer to an object on it, and I can fix it.

Running Windoze

A reader asked: 
I'm trying to decide between Parallels and VM Fusion, having finally found "Jack", a bridge-playing program, that is worth polluting my Macbook with a Windows environment.
Knowing how cutting-edge you are, I looked in your blog Profile for your machine configurations, and came up blank.
Consider adding "Computer" to your profile -- many of us would be interested.

Good idea, I did.

Maybe two years ago, I tried a Windows emulator on my Mac Pro. I forget what it's called, there were two major ones at the times, and it was the one which is not called Parallels*. I also bought Windows Vista, and Dragonsoft Naturally Speaking dictation software, which was my reason for the whole thing.
It seemed I would have been better off with Win XP, because David Pogue told me that this was running really well in simulation for him, and running Naturally Speaking well. And the latter I just could not get to run in this setup.

Anyway, later I've decided that for the occasional use I'd need Windows for, I might as well just buy a used notebook on eBay, which I did. Got a used HP for less than £200, and it runs well. (I bought it from one of those professional guys who buy them used from universities and big companies, and set them up nicely with software etc. Recommended.)

*... I took a look. It was Virtual PC 5.
I would say though, that if one needs a PC emulator on a Mac, now is better than ever, because the new Macs have Intel chips, so there's barely any emulation necessary, it runs almost directly on the chip, which means it's very good and fast,  just as fast as a native Windows machine, which could not be said before the big processor change in 2006. Before that the emulation was very slow.

PS: Before my honorable critics chime in, let me say that I wouldn't consider myself "cutting edge".
"Slightly leaned forward" is a good thing in business and in life, but "cutting edge", while perhaps exciting, is often a liability. It's usually expensive and under-developed. For example, a photographer who started shooting digital already back in the nineties is unlikely to have gotten much advantage from it. The digital cameras back then, if they were usable professionally, cost as much as a good car, and even then they were not yet as good as film.

Eva Solo carafe

A friend gave me this beautiful carafe, the Eva Solo. It keeps juice or water cold in the fridge, and it has an optional cloth cover to keep it from warming too fast when out of the fridge.

The design is also practical. The mouth is wide enough that it's easy to clean, and the rubber/metal contraption on top means you can pour, and it closes itself automatically by gravity when you turn it upright again. It also holds any ice cubes back. Very ingenious.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Working on the iPad, an interview with Joe Kissell

Working on the iPad, an interview with Joe Kissell.

Joe Kissell and Take Control Books have just put out the ebook Take Control of Working with Your iPad. I asked Joe for an interview about this device, which the regular reader will be aware I'm very fond of. Joe's answers clarified several key issuses for myself, I hope they may for you too.
- Eolake

Joe Kissell, what do you think is the position of the iPad in the market? This has been much discussed, some see it as superflous, some see it as an important new platform, and everything in between.

I think of the iPad as a new category of device, not as a tablet computer. It doesn't do a lot of the things a laptop with a conventional OS can do, which of course Apple thinks of as a strength and critics think of as a weakness. There's this real tension between people trying to get it to do everything a laptop can do on the one hand, and developers looking for novel uses that are uniquely suited to this form factor on the other. I think, and hope, that the latter ultimately win out. It's not a substitute for a laptop or a smartphone. It's simply an object that does a variety of useful things, and does them in situations in which a laptop would be too big or heavy or cumbersome and a smartphone (or, say, iPod touch) would be too small and constraining.

Asking whether it's superfluous is like asking whether minivans are superfluous, given that there were already cars and full-size vans. Zillions of people decided that even though there were other ways of moving people and things from point A to point B, this in-between form factor made sense, and that the advantages outweighed the tradeoffs. Obviously, size isn't the only distinguishing characteristic of the iPad, but I imagine it coming into its own as a device that's great for doing various tasks that are just not ideal on a laptop or a smaller device.

What do you think are it's most important weaknesses and strengths?

Off the top of my head, some of the current weaknesses are the weight (too heavy to hold in one hand for any period of time, as when reading a book); extremely limited video out; and the fact that the display is relatively low-density and is useless in direct sunlight. There are software issues, too, most of which will be addressed in iPhone OS 4.0 in a few months, or by updates to third-party apps. However, I have to say the lack of Wi-Fi syncing for Apple apps and Apple's failure to leverage the iDisk for pervasive cloud-based storage are real sore spots, with no remedy in sight.

Support for external keyboards is, for me, a gigantic strength. [See videos] Long battery life is another big plus, as is Document Support, which finally lets one app send a document to another.

... I am a bit unclear on this. Could you give a couple of example of how this are done or what it could do potentially?

Sure. So the way this works is that an app says, "Hey, I can handle files of types x, y, and z." And then another app has a button or icon or whatever that lets you send a document to any other app on your iPad that has registered itself as able to handle that file type. Some apps can send and receive, some can only send, some can only receive, and some don't (yet) offer Document Support at all. But it's becoming much more pervasive.

As a practical example, let's say I have a PDF of one of my books in GoodReader, and then later I download ReaddleDocs. I can send the PDF from GoodReader directly to ReaddleDocs with a couple of taps, rather than having to copy the file from my Mac or PC to my iPad a second time. At the moment, I have at least a dozen apps on my iPad that offer Document Support to some extent, so I don't have to particularly worry which app I've transferred a given file to; in most cases I can move stuff around on the iPad itself pretty easily.

Continuing, I also think the accelerometer and compass are even better, and potentially more useful, on the iPad than on the iPhone. But it's the third-party apps that are, I think, the very best thing about the iPad. Some of them are just amazing, and unlike anything I've seen for other platforms.

... A couple of examples?

Well, as the father of a newborn, I'm pretty jazzed about the various Dr. Seuss apps (The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss's ABC, and The Lorax so far). The Alice for iPad app is also amazing - a wonderfully interactive way of experiencing this familiar text that just wouldn't make sense on a laptop or an iPhone (admittedly, it's a bit past my son's comprehension level, but lots of fun for me). And I'm really digging Zinio (for reading magazines, such as Macworld), the Wired app, and the Marvel Comics app. (I think you can see a theme emerging there...) I'm really happy to have Pro Keys for quick musical doodling - not quite as nice as a real piano keyboard, but a lot more portable! There are some extremely cool and unique games too, but I don't really have time for much more than a quick hand or two of solitaire!

Which of the weaknesses are you most optimistic will be improved soon?

In terms of hardware, I can imagine a bit of weight being shaved off the next-generation model, but I don't expect the screen resolution to increase any time soon. I can only hope Apple opens up video output, and I truly don't understand why they haven't done so already. I'll be very happy to see the promised updates to Mail, the multitasking features, and numerous other iPhone OS 4.0 changes, too.

What do you think is its potential for doing actual work? Now? And potentially in the future?

Well, given that I wrote a book on this topic, I have kind of mixed feelings. The bottom line is that it depends on what one's work is. If you're a writer, and you traffic mainly in plain text - blogging, for example - then the iPad can be a fantastic work tool. It's absolutely fantastic for taking notes (typed or handwritten, or even recorded audio). If you work with spreadsheets a lot but don't need a massive amount of screen real estate, it's also a pretty good fit. And there are great apps for doing charts, mind maps, task management, drawing, painting, music, Web research, and so on.

However, if your work involves (as mine does) a highly structured, layout-oriented sort of writing, then right now the iPad just won't cut it at all. Tools that would enable me to write and edit, for example, a Take Control book on the iPad don't currently exist. The current version of Pages doesn't come close, and neither do any of the third-party word-processing apps. And I'm sad to say that the best presentation tool on the iPad, Keynote, is just not great, especially when it comes time to actually give the presentation on an external display.

All these things can certainly change in the future, and I hope they do. But for me, if the iPad never evolves to the point where it can substitute for my laptop, that's OK. It doesn't need to do all the things a computer can do. It's still a wonderful, useful device in many other ways.

 Thanks, Joe!
Joe Kissell is an author, dad, computer geek, traveler, and dreamer living in Paris.

Eolake's PS:
By the way, I feel that what the iPad is brilliant for, is sort of  interstitial work. Work or other activities you do in between other things. Like when you are standing in line, or on a bus/train/plane, waiting for a meeting, etc etc. A laptop is often too slow and clumsy to pull out, or you didn't bring it because of the weight, and so on. The iPad fits in the smallest bag, it starts up and shuts down instantly, and it's not imposing.

Ganesha Games said:
For a wargamer, writer and ilustrator like me (I write and sell rulebooks for tabletop wargaming, mostly in ebook form) the ipad is a killer device. It holds all of my publication, all available at the flick of a finger, rolls dice for me (the Dicenomicon app is superb), lets me sell ebooks by email (I can email a customer the book he just bought straight from Goodreader)plus carries all my media, my artwork, my books and my comics. I used a netbook before but I was always wondering whether to leave it home because of the short battery duration, and it was more cumbersome to use on the wargaming table when demoing my rules. The iPad has solved all these problems, putting my smartphone, my kindle and my asus eeepc to rest. I'm even reselling paper comics to finance my own switch over to digital (example, I sold my Atomic Robo trade paperbacks to buy the digital version on iVerse).

Caligula IRL?

My friend Norm Nason made this virtual Caligula.

"Roman statues are for the most part thought to be quite accurate depictions. Here I used a photo of a bust of a young Caligula, and brought it up to date (a quick-and-dirty affair, but it gets the idea across). I think it gives us a pretty good idea of what this crazy emperor actually looked like."

"Quick and dirty?" What can he do when he takes time?

Update Jan 2013:
A pointed out the eery similarity with Joffrey Baratheon from Game of Thrones! You're right, that is just spooky.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

And so to bed

I'm off to a good night's sleep, I'm exhausted, I've spent days with big upgrades of both software and hardware on my computer, it's so stressing, because it's so darn complex, and you can make such a mess with just one mistake.
(Just one example, many have tried to replace a newer file with an older one, and so erase lots of work.) (Fortunately Time Machine have saved my butt a couple of times when software had corrupted a file.)

My new external hard disk is named Lady Dada.

Apropos... these:

... are the cables from one external hard disk. The cables I didn't need.
After ten years of gadget addiction, do you think I have a few cables around the house?

By the way, does anybody know what the heck this plug is?

Update: thanks to Pop et all: it's a SATA, the interface used for disks inside computers these days. (Called eSATA when used externally.)
A SATA cable, eh? How about that. I didn't know they could go outside the box.

So far as I know, though, my Intel Mac Pro doesn't have such a plug (specs here). I wonder what kind of machines do, then.

Paper or pad

[Thanks to Ganesha]

iPad Basics ebook

Free ebook about iPad basics from the Take Control folks.

"Take Control of iPad Basics," by Tonya Engst: The iPad is easy to use, but it's also completely unfamiliar for many people, and we made this ebook free in order to help new users become comfortable more quickly. Also, by covering the basics in this ebook, our other Take Control books about the iPad can focus more deeply on their topics. The ebook covers how to decide which iPad and accessories to buy, and it helps you understand the iPad's buttons and ports, learn multi-touch gestures, download apps, sync data and media, find your stuff, and avoid newbie mistakes. The ebook wraps up with a discussion of how to impress your friends with a great iPad demo! 109 pages, free.

Iko Iko revisited

Some songs never die.

My fave is still Cindy Laupers:

But you can't deny the charm of Captain Jack and company:

Belle Stars' version for Rain Man was not bad;

And one of the early ones, the Dixie Cups:

I get the impression that like with The Lion Sleeps Tonight, the origin of the song is sort of lost in the mists of time.

Gil Elvgren art

[Thanks to Jim]

Gil Elvgren Art and Photography of Janet Rae, photos/pinups.

Amazing, he did not have to improve her body, she must have been stone cold fox. 

I've been a fan of Elvgren's ever since as a young 'un I found a deck of cards with his girls on 'em.
And to be honests, I don't think I've seen a single pinup artist who could do what he did, Vargas included.

It's only a pity there was not really a market for nudes. He did a few of them, and they were stunning.

Duct tape

Wild story, but I guess it could be true.
And I am a fan of duct tape, ever since I used it a lot in my work sandblasting in the early eighties. It would protect the parts which should not get blasted, like lamps and electronics on a truck.  That stuff is just insanely strong (both the glue and the backing).

[Thanks to Cap Kirk]

During a private "fly-in" fishing excursion in the Alaskan wilderness, the chartered pilot and fishermen left a cooler and bait in the plane.  And a bear smelled it.  This is what he did to the plane.

  The pilot used his radio and had another pilot bring him 2 new tires, 3 cases of duct tape, and a supply of sheet plastic. He patched the plane together, and flew it home...

CalgaryMark said:
When I lived Up North duct tape (Duck Tape) was known as 100 mile an hour tape because that's how fast you could fly a plane repaired with before it started to peel off .

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

How 'It Began With the Tablet'

Bits of a new Steve Jobs interview.

So the iPhone [...]  was actually an afterthought that came into being while Apple was drawing up plans for the iPad. 
"My God, I said, this would make a great phone," Jobs recalled. "So we shelved the tablet and built the iPhone."

This  makes a lot of sense. I never could see how anybody could make the mental jump from a normal cell phone to whatever-the-heck the iPhone is. But it makes sense when you know they started with the tablet, because all that technology is clearly meant to be on a much bigger screen than an iPhone.

Mr. Wong

One of the earliest (and therefore unprofitable) professional animated series was on the web around 2000. I quite liked Mr. Wong. (It's even in HD.)

It's not at all PC. In fact, it's weally, weally wong. 

Turn it on

I e-mailed it to my  Chinese doctor friend.
He e-mailed back: "If light stay on for more than 4 hours, call your erectrician."

[Thanks to Carter]

Miley Cyrus - Can't Be Tamed

"Little" Miley, anno 2010 (youtube).
Gutsy change. Good for her.
I like it.
I'm sure that, like is usual, some of her fans will hate it, and some will love it, and life goes on.
Her old stuff was more "tween" directed. But Miley don't stay 14, and her fans don't stay 12.

Ihnatko's test

Here's Ihnatko's test if you can use a camera.

Andy Ihnatko (he pronounces it ee-naht-ko) is a neato tech writer. Like with Pogue, I usually enjoy his writings, whatever they are about.

Who you callin a moron?!

An artist/writer I'd commission to work for me, gave up today in stark frustration over inabilities to come up with good and workable ideas for the project.

But then two mails later, he wrote and said that he'd gone for a walk, and now he has a great idea.
He apologized for getting so emotional and said that being an "eccentric artist" did not go well with being a Professional.

I said: "It is familiar. I think it is like this for all artists. The term "professional artist" is almost an oxymoron."

Except for hacks and the occasional (very rare) super-artist who never has any emotional struggles with his/her creativity, it is really, really tough to combine a business with real "art". An artist who works from the heart feels like a fraud if he is forced by a deadline to come up with something which he feels is inferior or unimportant work because he did not sense it came from the heart.

Other people may sometimes see work produced in this way as being excellent, and eventually the artist may even see it himself, but that does not make the struggle any easier.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


I've just discovered that I, without realizing it, am and all my life have been, a philogynist (phi·log·y·ny, noun: love of or liking for women).

Confession time: I have to admit it makes my heart swell with pride to know that I have helped to support the production of, and distribution of, such wonderfully beautiful pictures as this. I'm sorry, that's just how it is. While you might find such things by luck very occasionally on the odd girly site, Domai is the only one I know of which specializes in it, and much more of it has been made and distributed because of Domai.

Update: and just now, another set of this quality was submitted for my review by one of my most keen photographers (like several of them, a young woman herself). Gawd, I love my work!

Philogynists of the world, untie!

Blurb publishing

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Is it a wobsite or a blag?

[Thanks to Carter.]

hangar said...
Given that these are licensed as CC-BY-NC don't you think you ought to provide some indication of who the original author was (even though it's probably obvious to pretty much everybody in either circle of the Venn diagram)?

Good point. I just got them in the email, I didn't know where they came from, thanks for informing me. I'm not familiar with the author, who is he?
MB informs it's Randall Munroe at

The café writer

Twenty years ago I read an article about writing in cafés. This was well before I could afford a portable computer, but I liked the idea immediately, a lot. And I've liked it since, you'll notice how many posts I've devoted finding the perfect equipment for this sort of thing.

During 2001 I also had a very good place for it. It was a very friendly and cozy little cafe, where you quickly got to be friendly with the staff and even the owners who also worked there, and who I really liked. And there was also a small bunch of locals for who it was a hang-out, and I liked those guys too. I guess it was to me like bars are to many people, except with air and light, and no smell of beer.

Their food was even not bad at all. I would go there with my iBook (the first compact one, in white plastic, remember that? Lovely machine), get lunch and coffee, and hang out and read on the laptop, write, and chat.

That's the good life for me. Sadly hangouts like that don't happen often, it's a delicate balance between a place which has business enough to survive, but not so much that it's hectic and you don't get to know anybody. Even though I've lived many places in my adult life, and had many, many lunch hangouts, I've only found a couple of places which were of this nature. Maybe it's worse, maybe a place has to be too busy to have this atmosphere, to survive more than a couple of years.

MD offer

I've made a holiday offer just for two days on Domai (note: nudity).

ePub files

If you drag en ePub file into the iTunes library window, and "books" is synced to the iPad, the book will automatically turn up in Apple's iBooks app, an app I like.

This can be used with those ebooks you can buy in epub format, for example from O'Reilly. And it can be used with those files that calibre collects from news sites, magazine sites, etc. They work perfectly in iBooks and look great.
(I'm told by the founder of calibre that they are working on a way to automatize this process.)

Note: "ePub" is a book/text file format, like MP3 is a music file format, or JPG is a picture file format. It is considered by many to be the Standard format for ebooks, and Apple chose it for iBooks, but irritatingly Sony and Amazon chose other formats for their ebook readers (the Sony Reader and the Kindle). This was spoken about today in a large book publishers' conference as one of the main things holding back the ebook publishing industry.

50 Popular Classic ebooks (updated)

An iPad app for $2: 50 Popular Classics (iTunes link.) That's a good price. Good titles too.

Sure, since the books are out of copyright, you can surely find them on the web for free. But I think it's more than worth two bucks to get them nicely formatted in a professional reading app for the iPad.

It's a decent app. You can't change text/background colors yet, it seems, or font, but you can change text size easily and in tidy steps, and it has auto-scroll, which can be varied steplessly in speed, although it's a bit jerky unless it's very slow. It also has bookmarks features and Search.
And they make it clear they are eager to add new books and to improve the app, so this is one I believe in.

(Hey! in the new advanced compositor, Blogger actually does place a graphic where the cursor is! I've been asking for that, and for a simpler upload process, which is there now also.)

I'm sure that the iPad is different thing to different people. For some it's a bigger gameboy. For some it's a movie viewer. And it's great at those things. But for me, both before I bought it, and after, it's 98% an ebook reader. That's what I wanted it for, and it's what I end up doing with it all the time, no matter how many other things I try. 

I actually article reading include in that; because when you use Instapaper or similar, it no longer feels like reading on a "web article", thank god (no ads or loud and confusing layout to distract you), it feels like reading a short ebook. An excellent reading experience.

Bruce said...
Project Gutenberg: The ultimate source of free on-line books, various formats, including several different e-book reader formats, or just plain ascii. Highly Recommended.

Ganesha games said...
And if you like epubs, is highly recommended.

Note: "ePub" is a book/text file format, like MP3 is a music file format, or JPG is a picture file format. It is considered by many to be the Standard format for ebooks, and Apple chose it for iBooks, but irritatingly Sony and Amazon chose other formats for their ebook readers (the Sony Reader and the Kindle). This was spoken about today in a large book publishers' conference as one of the main things holding back the ebook publishing industry. 

HTML mail

One thing can't be debated, if one likes HTML mail, Apple Mail is outstanding, whereas Eudora totally sucked.

I needed to test something, so I just grabbed some text from a web page, just dragged my cursor over it loosely. It seems I selected two panels in a table in a web forum. And when I pasted it into Mail, it looked exactly like the that part of the web page. The table panels, the formatting, the buttens, everything. And it was the same on the receiving end, at least if Mail is receiving it (I don't know about other apps). I'm not sure what I'll use it for, but I still think that's quite a performance.

Screenshot: my email message and the web page:

Mem day

Man, things sure are quiet when the US celebrates Memorial Day, aren't they.

Fonts in emails

My change of email app is going well. Of course there has been quite a few head-scratcher moments, but far from the disastrous mess I had feared, it seems I'll be better off in many ways.

I'm suddenly tired of the same old fonts in email. I've always used Georgia or Verdana because they're designed for screen reading and are great for it.
But now I'm tired of it looking like a book. Does anybody know a font with more personality, but still quite readable?

Oooh, good tip from my Take Control book: Mail will change the size of the text in a message, just like a browser, simply with command-plus or -minus. That's weally weally useful, since some messages, particularly some posted from web discussion lists, often have durn tiny text for some reason.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


"The wise man is astonished by everything."
 -- André Gide

Eudora Mailbox Cleaner (updated)

I've been using Eudora email app since Steve Jobs wore short pants. Many high-volume mail users have, due to Eudora's flexibility and good search abilities. But unfortunately the app is not longer supported or updated. And my copy started corrupting mailboxes more and more often, so I was forced to find a new mail home.

I was dreading it, because I have over ten years of mail stored, and dozens of filter, many mail boxes, hundreds of addresses and nicknames, a half-dozen email addresses at various places, keyboard shortcuts, macros, blah-blah-blah... You see what I mean?

Fortunately when googling for it, the first page I found was about Eudora Mailbox Cleaner. It made the bulk of the work a matter of just dragging the Eudora folder on top of the EMC icon.
It did take a long time (hours) due to my hundreds of thousands of archived messages, but I just lay back and watched 30Rock.

Afterwards I had to get used to a new app (I had chosen Apple Mail over Mozilla Thunderbird because I didn't like the interface of the latter, and because for once it would be nice to actually be using the app that Apple assumes you're using, so you get the benefits they build into the system for it.), and I had to reestablish my accounts, which for some reason are not transferred (and were not meant to), but both things where not so bad as I may have feared.

And delightfully, it now seems I have virtually everything I needed, filters, nicks, addresses, boxes, etc etc. And I can work almost like I am used to, perhaps even with a few improvements (which I surely will find more of).

Apple "Mail" (what's with the over-generic product names, folks?) does have a weakness though. If I want to search for a specific person, that's easy. Or a specific subject. But in Mail I can't search for both at once, so it's much harder to nail down on a specific mail you need to find. I hope they improve that.

Hi Eolake,
I had a bunch of Eudora files left over from about 10 years ago, and I have had it in the back of my mind for a long time to find some way to recover them. Last year, a friend who had emailed me a copy of a novel he wrote in 1998 asked me if I still had it. He had lost or misplaced his last copies when he was forced to move quickly and put a whole bunch of stuff in storage where he hasn't been able to sort it. Well, I couldn't read the Eudora files to find out. Until this afternoon, when I downloaded EMC and ran it and watched it just work. I found the novel and emailed it back to him. He was quite pleased.

So, thanks from two of us for solving my problem for me. I doubt I would have even worked on this for the next couple of years without your recommendation. (I did send the guy a donation with my thanks.)

Thanks also to those helping with the Search issue. (Further, I have bought and I'm studying Take Control of Apple Mail in Snow Leopard.)

BTW, does anybody know how to get Mail to open the next message automatically when you delete one which is open? Update: silly me, I just made a macro for it, took me thirty seconds.

Iron Baby

[Thanks to Pascal]

This is a hoot. Video.

Running on water

[Thanks to Joe]
Running on water, video.
Must be fake. Unless you can bend the laws of physics with your mind, it can't be done.
I think they have a long constructed path just under the water. It's quite clever of them to have everybody eventually sink down, it surely will make it more believable for many.