Intrigued by Alexa & Apple Integrations

I have an Amazon Fire TV stick, but haven’t used the Alexa on the remote much at all, but news that the Echo & Alexa now integrates with Apple Calendar & Reminders has me intrigued. I know there are rumors Apple may be entering the market with their own competing device, and I’ll certainly hold off on pulling the trigger, but definitely shifts me into may buy column if Apple doesn’t actually enter the fray. WIll be an interesting June.

One Simple WWDC Wish: The Font

My feed reader and Twitter timeline are full of posts with wish lists for next week’s Apple World Wide Developer conference. Siri this, iOS 10 that. And I’m sure some of the ideas are great and I’ll be happy when they are at my disposal.

But all I want is for Apple to include the font from the WWDC web site. When the site launched, it took me some time to realize the page is a giant image. A simple monospaced font on a background you’d find in a terminal or code editor app. It’s beautiful and I want it for my own.

WWDC screenshot

Apple Pay, CurrentC and Profits

Earlier today over on Pencil Note there was a post about Apple Pay and the author spoke to their opinion on how the CurrentC plan from retailers like CVS and Walmart would actually benefit consumers. Upon reading the post in my RSS reader, I quickly tweeted a question asking if he really though the retailers would pass the savings onto customers. Their response was

Yes. Less credit cards means lower prices.

Pencil Note

And then, in an old fashioned blogging style, they posted a more-than-140-character reply – Why fewer credit cards mean lower prices. While my formal education on economics is limited to 101 level micro & macro economics courses, I’ve been an informed consumer for long enough to follow the train of thought in that post. While it makes sense that the retailers are fueled by growth, and there is already a race to the bottom for pricing, the end result is still more profit for the owners/shareholders. If the price drops a few cents here or there, it is my opinion that is purely a by-product of profit growth and not the intention.

iLife09 Up-to-Date Program

So my mac mini took a dirt nap on Friday, (I’ve yet to fully diagnose the problem, suffice to say it won’t boot, and I wasn’t able to find the hard drive in target disk mode) so I purchased a new iMac to replace it. Unfortunately, iLife09 wasn’t installed on it, but I’d already read that I’d be eligible for a free upgrade. Well, it seems iLife09 will be available tomorrow. What sucks is that I’m going to have to pay the $10 for shipping and handling for the disc. I can’t just go into the Apple Store with my receipt and get a copy that they will be dropping into boxes, even though I made the purchase 4 days prior to the release. Certainly not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but as much as Apple prides itself on it’s retail experience, this seems to slip through the cracks. Couple that with the less than obvious link to the page you actually need to claim your copy, and I start to get the feeling that they aren’t really making a priority to get the copy in the hands of owners of new machines. From the press release, it took me 3 more pages to actually find the link to qualify my purchase and upgrade, which included going through the Apple Store. Maybe rather than try to push MobileMe or a printer bundle, the salesperson could have provided me with this information?

Thunderbird and Gmail IMAP

With the recent buzz around the ‘net about gmail adding IMAP, I was anxious to finally give it a go. I’ve read a bit about IMAP, but had never had the opportunity to try it out. My work requires almost constant monitoring of email, and since I employ Google Apps for your domain to manage my email account, and prefer to use Apple’s Mail, I’d all but stopped using my old, but reliable clamshell ibook. Thus the excitement of being able to monitor my email from my laptop, the Nokia e62, and the desktop computer.
Continue reading “Thunderbird and Gmail IMAP”

A New Desktop Computer For Miklb

So, I’ve been toiling away for years now with outdated G3 macs, and kept hemming and hawing, waiting for the “next wave” of new Macs. Well, I couldn’t take it any longer, and broke down and grabbed one of the new dual-core Mac Minis as I had a 17” VGA monitor for the window’s box, as well as existing USB keyboard and mouse from the old imac. So it’s up and running, albeit I need to find someone locally who can install 3rd party ram, as I’m not paying Apple $300 for a gig stick of ram so than can install it for free. Maybe Comp-USA? Anyway, one thing that I noticed right off the bat was FireFox was not liking running on Rosetta, the built in conversion for older apps to the new intel processor. So I was all but switching back to Safari, as FF was just choking. That is, until today, when I found an “unofficial” build of the soon to be released universal binary of FF. Sweet. All of my extensions work with “DeerPark”, and things load as fast as they should be, no hang ups. (so far). I’m really loving the move to Tiger as well, not to mention the shear fact of having a processor and HD meant for this century :). I haven’t really had to time to play with any of the iLife apps, or use Front Row, but all in due time.
No to start saving for when the new 17” macbook pros come out.

Just a test, move along…

So I can post with this contraption, but I don’t see all the options. I see a thing for categories, but I can’t see how to add them. This wouldn’t be very handy if I’m stuck with the generic default category. I do like the idea however, of having a single interface that I post from. So my WP Station blog, cookingwith, etc. all come from here.

EDIT OK, so I quit, and reloaded MarsEdit, and was able to “refresh” my site, and categories loaded. Good. I’ll add my cooking site later, to see how that handles a multitude of categories. I’m also curious about tags, but that’s for another post. I’m starting to like this “blogging client” situation.

Blogging with MarsEdit

So I’ve been looking at some Mac OS X apps, for various tasks. I’ve started using RSS more and more, and I’m not too keen on the Sage extension for FireFox. Mainly because of screen real estate on the ol’ ibook. NetNewsWire seems to be the choice, and through that, I’m playing with Mars Edit, a blogging app. So this is my fist attempt at blogging outside the web interface. If it works out, it may be an easier way to post, if nothing more than the built in spell check. We’ll see about the other features. Downside is it’s not a free app, so it better well prove to invaluable, or when its trial runs out, to the curb with it.

Konfabulator Now Freeware

Konfabulator – Gallery
So, after Apple sees the popularity of the widget, they incorporate the idea into Tiger, without as much as a kiss before they screwed the developers of Konfabulator (or that’s how I read it, when the widgets were first previewed), and thus taking the feet right out beneath the developer. Thus, Konfabulator is released as freeware. With Versiontracker filled with widget after widget, and me still plugging away with Panther, I just might stick a few up on the desktop to “pretend” to be hangin’ with Jones.
Edit*Ah, Yahoo bought Konfabulator, and had every intention to make it free. So alls well, that ends well. And I did grab a couple of widgets for fun…

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