Updated: 9/4/04; 12:26:07 PM
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    Steve Kirks--Weblogs in business, Radio Userland, technology and people

daily link  Saturday, September 4, 2004

I received as a gift Apple's new Airport Express. Yahoo! Wait, not so much with the yahoos and more with gasps of "oh no!" It appeared to only work if your Mac had a wireless card. My main Mac, an October 2003 eMac had no card since my house is wired for Ethernet. (I'm a geek, what do you expect?)

Two sad weeks later, I decided to spend the morning searching the Internet for a solution. The phenomenal Accelerate Your Mac site had a link that I picked up in my aggregator for user tips on the Airport Express. After only 45 minutes of reading and configuring, I struck gold: all is up and working.

My wife designs jewelry and works in her basement studio, usually listening to music. She's burned about $10 worth of CDs to listen to on an aging Sony "boom box" using the eMac and some of the music we've ripped using iTunes. Now she can set iTunes to PartyShuffle, hit play and head downstairs, listening to hours of music. I bought a set of Yamaha speakers with separate subwoofer and they sound great. When we have a party at the house, the Airport Express comes upstairs and plugs in to the home stereo so we won't even need the CD player any longer.

Special thanks to my "gift giver"--you know who you are. 

daily link  Wednesday, September 1, 2004

How to determine if you have a Hewlett-Packard iPod: "Apple: "Learn how to determine if you have an iPod sold by Hewlett-Packard (HP). HP began selling a version of iPod in September, 2004. Note: HP, not Apple, provides support and service for Hewlett-Packard iPods. Your iPod was sold by Hewlett-Packard if: It has an HP logo on the back."

Ah. I thought you could tell by the big "L" tatooed on your forehead. :)"

(Via Paul Thurrott's Internet Nexus.)


Radio 8.1 is in the can.

Radio 8.1 is in the can. We've completed the final code changes for the September Radio update by the deadline, but we hit a snag--a good one:  Atom support in the aggregator.

We want to include that, even though it wasn't on the original list. This means that the update won't be released until the third week in September. We need a beta test period before the release, something we'll ask the folks on the Radio developers list to do. Also, Atom support came to the party a bit late in the development cycle and I think its worth waiting to add. Reading Atom feeds is currently in beta now, so it shouldn't be a problem to include it in the final release.

I'm sure you noticed the title of this post and that means that Radio has a new version number. Radio is moving to version 8.1 with this release, indicative of the volume of changes made since the last official release. It's also a clear signal that Radio development at UserLand is moving forward. Here's the list of what made it to beta testing:

Radio UserLand v8.1

Integrates all of the existing root updates, changes made for this release, plus the MacOS X application is replaced with the version in extended beta testing (8.0.9b2).

New themes

  • New default theme
  • 4 ports of Manila themes recently released
  • 5 new themes all based on the same structure--strip out the CSS and make your own.

News Aggregator

Preference for sort order: No tables, just paragraph making it easier for theme developers to design for the desktop website.  The previous version used nested tables which sometimes created unfortunate compromises.

Atom support

Subscribe to Atom feeds in the Radio Aggregator.

Bug fixes

Editor form not named on the story page, shortcuts page: The prevents Mozilla's WYSIWYG editor from working correctly. Thanks to Rod Kratochwill for finding this bug, Patrick Ritchie for submitting the fixed code.

In all, 14 individual scripts or outlines have been changed to support the release. Part of those 14 are four scripts on the desktop website that display status information, cloud links, support info and messages from the community server. Their HTML was changed to be simple text enclosed in paragraph tags. Here's what didn't make it:
Redesigned Desktop Website: "Similar to the changes with the News Aggregator, we've removed the HTML tables here but kept the spirit of the layout design."
Well, this was a great idea that didn't work in final testing. The layout was fine, but the fundamental changes would be larger than expected. Besides changing the core macros (radio.macros.weblogEditBox and radio.macros.weblogRecentPosts), there were several macros which generate things like checkboxes and text fields that would have to change. Even worse? Change those common HTML-generating macros would through a lot of the rest of the desktop website into chaos. Besides, it just didn't make sense for the user. It added no features that were requested and offered no UI improvments. This idea was retired for now.
CSS Zen Garden themes: "New themes based on popular CSS templates from Blue Robot, CSS Zen Garden and more."

Blue Robot allows someone to crib their CSS, but not the Zen Garden. In addition, many of the layouts were not easily adapted to weblog styles and Radio's method for generating HTML. I think the idea is valid, but it will take something more than my meager talents and a book on CSS to make it work.  Blue Robot as a theme is done, but I'm not 100% happy with it.  The new themes will be at themes.userland.com and included with the new release.  They also won't force a replacement of your existing themes.

Over the next two weeks, I'll discuss some of the features in depth. We'll talk about the some of the reasons behind the changes and talk about things to come in future releases. Special thanks to Scott Shuda for his constant support and to Patrick Ritchie for some "behind the scenes" work on themes and other goodies.


daily link  Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Via Veerle:
Live coverage from Apple Expo Paris: "Phill talks about the iMac. All in one elegance, extreme simplicity perfect machine for the iLife suite. It looks like just a Cinema Display with a DVD slot loader on right side towards the top. Aluminum foot. It's the world's thinest desktop computer, at less than 2" thick. It's white in color, and the crowd is going wild. It has a grey Apple logo on front. Everyhting fits together right behind the display. Everyone is ging to be asking "where does the computer go?" All of the connectors are on the left side, all in a row. Again, the crowd is going wild.

The G5 module, when looking at the back, is on the right side. There are three fans in the unit, and it is "quiet as a whisper." SuperDrive. 1.8 GHz G5. 600 MHz frontside bus. 400 MHz DDR RAM, up to 2 GB. Serial ATA hard drives, AGP 8X graphic slots. The speakers are mounted on the bottom, so they reflect off the desk, up to the user. The keyboard will slide underneath the display when you are not using it. You can unscrew three screws, and the entire back comes off. The crowd loves it! "


daily link  Sunday, August 29, 2004

Jeremey Zawodny wrote a piece yesterday about the future, so when NetNewsWire picked up the post by Russell Beattie, I had to laugh. Two unrelated core thoughts brought both technology people back to tech as a metaphor for the future. 

daily link  Friday, August 27, 2004

Everyone needs a local pub. A place that you can go to drink a beer, watch a baseball game and just unwind. I'm at my pub--Patton Alley Pub in Springfield--enjoying a few pints.

Rogue Beers are a fav, especially the Mocha Porter. 

Copyright 2004 © Steve Kirks