Mac OS X Leopard – Friday, October 26 »

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Screenshot of Apple home page showing OS X Leopard

Apple announced today that Mac OS X Leopard will go on sale Friday, October 26 at 6:00 p.m. at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers, and that Apple’s online store is now accepting pre-orders.

Leopard is packed with more than 300 new features and introduces a brand new desktop with Stacks, a new way to easily access files from the Dock; a redesigned Finder that lets users quickly browse and share files between multiple Macs; Quick Look, a new way to instantly see files without opening an application; Spaces, an intuitive new feature used to create groups of applications and instantly switch between them; and Time Machine, an effortless way to automatically back up everything on a Mac.

A special good luck to my friend Greg Heilmann who has patiently been waiting for the release of Leopard to make the switch to Mac. Greg currently uses the same model Dell D600 I used to use before jumping ship. Like mine, he is also fighting a myriad of software and hardware issues including hard drive clicking noises, frequent Windows system freezes, and the occasional BSoD. After having my Dell laptop’s motherboard replaced twice while under warranty, my Dad’s replaced once, and hearing Greg’s plight, I can say that I am so happy not to live in that world anymore. Hopefully Greg’s machine will make it to the 26th. Reminds me of the final chase scene in the Blues Brothers when Jake and Elwood exit the old car and every piece falls to the ground. 😉

Screenshot of the Blues Brothers on YouTube

Apple.com – Steve and Al’s Personal Platform? »

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Al Gore featured on the Apple home page

At what point did Apple Computer, Inc.’s corporate website become Steve Job’s personal home page? Where exactly is Apple going with this? I can already picture the next ad. Swirly, dreamy transition to white…

“Hi. I’m a Democrat.”

“And I’m a Republican.”

Hey, Republican. Do you want to see the Nobel Peace Prize I won for my work on global warming and the important environmental issues I continue to champion?

I have a better idea, Democrat. Why don’t you tell us again how you invented the Internet? Hehe.

That’s not nice, Republican. You know that comment was taken out of context. So you don’t want to hear how I’m saving the planet?

Another time, Democrat. Another time…

Hey, if Apple comes out with a low voltage, 80% recycled and recyclable GoreBook Pro, I’ll be the first in line to buy one.

glTail.rb – Realtime Logfile Visualization »

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Screenshot of glTail demo movie

For the techies in the crowd, I have been playing with glTail.rb for the past few days, a new ruby-based log file visualization script. Installed locally on a PC or laptop, glTail.rb SSH connects to and tails multiple Apache, Rails, or IIS web server log files and provides realtime site traffic visualization. (Instead of trying to explain the interface, see the movie above or demo on the glTail site.) Installation and setup is easy. I use Locomotive as my local ruby environment so I opened an existing Rails project, launched the Locomotive terminal and completed the required gem installs which added the gems the Locomotive library.

Watching glTail is incredibly addictive. Most interesting is seeing the single requests for email forms and single site images, such as the Linux and Apache icons on the lower right of my blog, from places in the Netherlands and South America, and from various web forum sites. Needless to say I’ve been having fun with these would be spammers and bandwidth thieves. More on that in another post. In the meantime, give glTail a try.

Swimming from Alcatraz – Comics and Tales »

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Two cells from Tammy Stellanova's Alcatraz swim web comic

San Francisco artist and triathlete, Tammy Stellanova, created a web comic strip documenting her experience swimming from Alcatraz on August 5th. The comic strip does an accurate job of describing what it’s like, the exception being the frame where she illustrates hitting something under water she can’t see (depicted as a small fish). This has happened to me a number of times while swimming in Aquatic Park but I always picture something closer to Jules Verne’s monster from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. (From the point of contact through the next thirty seconds I’m transformed into an olympic class swimmer.) View Tammy’s the complete web comic.

Some friends and I did the Alcatraz 100 Swim of the Centurions this year on September 2nd. Unlike Tammy’s experience, we were lucky to have clear skies and relatively calm water this time. A few pictures below.

Pre-race photo of the Balclutha at Aquatic Park. No fog and not a cloud in the sky.
Balclutha at dawn.


Post Alcatraz 100 scene.

Picture of Balclutha and post-race scene

Fred suffers an excruciating Charlie horse; Nicole plays nurse. (Apparently, someone behind Fred on the boat landed on his leg, the result of a poorly executed jump. I didn’t say anything at the time but secretly suspected the sea monster.)
Fred with leg bandaged wincing from Charlie horse

TrendMedia, Guide Dogs Fetch Web Award »

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Screenshot of GuideDogs.com home page“Good boy!” TrendMedia and GuideDogs.com win the Web Marketing Association’s 2007 Non-Profit Standard of Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Website Development. Wow, that’s a mouthful. Bottom line, it was a fun project to work on and at the end of the day one of those projects that really makes you feel good about what you do. Three cheers for accessibility and a big tail wagging congratulations to everyone at Guide Dogs for the Blind for their efforts in creating such a great resource for the blind and visually impaired community. Award well deserved.

Learn more about the Guide Dog’s web project on Brian McNitt’s Blog — Guide Dogs, TrendMedia, Accessibility in News.

Fleet Week in San Francisco »

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It’s Fleet Week in San Francisco once again and my windows are rattling from the Blue Angels flying overhead. Scott Beale from Laughing Squid says that an Airbus A380, the largest passenger airliner in the world, will be flying over SF today as well.

Blue Angels flying over San Francisco

[tags]fleet week,san francisco,blue angels,mcnitt[/tags]