April 29, 2008

Input

The new Grand Theft Auto looks awesome and from everything I read, the PlayStation3 is actually a really good BluRay player. It's less than the price that I'd probably pay for a good videophile-quality player, plus I can play some games on it.

Unfortunately I'm out of component inputs on my Denon. It has three, which are taken up by my DVD player, AppleTV, and satellite box. So I have to pay an extra $250 for a component video switcher just to get to use it. Argh.

Then there's the lack of a remote. No, you can't use a typical universal remote -- it's all Bluetooth! There's no IR port on the PS3! Ok, maybe I'll suck it up and buy the Sony BT remote. Wait a minute, it's black keys on a black remote, with no backlighting. How the #%@!& am I supposed to read that in the dark!? Hello? Sony? How about using some of that R&D on your remotes!? Argh.

I may still impulse-buy it anyway. GTA4 is just too damn cool.

Posted by pinkerton at 9:08 PM | TrackBack

April 27, 2008

Go Speed Racer

With Speed Racer's impending arrival at theaters, I wanted to share a bit of Camino trivia that I doubt anyone but a select few of us would remember.

There was a time, long long ago, when Camino was in its infancy and Netscape was still working hard on a product they'd eventually call "Netscape 7" (code named Mach-V). Jinglepants kept calling our little Cocoa browser "Chimera" but just to piss him off I'd call it "Chim-Chim". Back then, Camino was still a skunk-works project at Netscape and I thought it made perfect sense that it hid in the back of the Mach-V and caused everyone problems. Hilarity then ensued. Alas, my name never caught on, but if you could go back in time and find the initial public webpages for "Chimera", you'd see images of Chim-Chim and Speed Racer (put there by yours truly, shamelessly violating all applicable copyright and trademark law). Good times.

A screenshot of what Chimera 0.2 looked like, for those who never got to see it. Remember when we thought pinstripe was cool? Remember when we thought Member's Only was cool? Man, what we were smoking?

Go Sharks! (and I'm not just saying that cuz Jo made me.)

Posted by pinkerton at 7:21 PM | TrackBack

April 19, 2008

Playoffs!

There's nothing better than playoff hockey. Except perhaps playoff hockey in HD. Tonight's Bruins/Canadians game was amazing. I'm not sure if hockey translates well outside of North America (heck, most of the USA has lost interest after the last lock-out) but it really is a great sport to watch.

Please please please, ESPN. Please bid on it next year! Don't let NBC and Versus hide it from everyone. It needs to be back on a channel that everyone watches.

Posted by pinkerton at 9:42 PM | TrackBack

April 17, 2008

Camino 1.6 Released!

We released Camino 1.6 today, congratulations to the entire team of developers, testers, localizers, bug helpers, irc hangers-on, and supporting fans! As always, it's a bit behind schedule (we talked last Summer about a 2007 release), but we managed to stick to our plan and nail just about everything we wanted.

New features include:

  • Improvements to toolbar search - now it's even easier to add new engines to the search bar, with auto-discovery
  • New find bar - my own personal contribution to this release. No more red-headed step-child Find panel
  • Scrolling tabs - life really sucked before with a lot of tabs. Now it's much better (but it's still not Tabspose, we're still working on it!)
  • Software Update - finally! Always stay up to date.
  • AppleScript support - a contribution from my Google Summer of Code mentee.
  • Save passwords for multiple accounts - finally finally!
  • Web-based Feed support - want to use Google Reader (like I do)? Now it's even easier!
  • ...And tons of bugfixes and improvements so the web works better!

I'm quite impressed with this release. Give it a spin for yourself at caminobrowser.org. Now onwards to 2.0 and the new Quartz graphics layer like Ff3.


I Love Camino!

Posted by pinkerton at 6:28 PM | TrackBack

April 3, 2008

What would Ben Franklin do?

I have been growing increasingly frustrated with Rosetta Stone for trying to learn Japanese (you've seen the kiosks at the mall, I'm sure) as I enjoy the immersive method in theory, but I have a heck of a time trying to figure out what the pictures actually mean in practice. After enough repetition, I can learn by rote memory, but I don't really understand what they're showing me. Are they telling me that the dog is jumping or running? Is the boy falling or tripping? Are the women walking or dancing? Beats the heck out of me, I just learn the words that go with the picture, but really that's not viable in the long term. Let's not mention that Rosetta Stone costs about $350 if you buy it at the store (my local library offers the online version for free; many do, you should check yours if you're interested).

After a suggestion from peeja in irc last week, I took another look at JapanesePod101.com, which I had in my podcast list but hadn't really given serious thought. It's pretty amazing, actually. All of their podcasts (oh, about 4GB worth) are available for download for free, but they have a tremendous amount of education material available if you give them some money (subscription-based). It really does seem to be worthwhile after listening to some of their podcasts, it's rare you find something that justifies the cost. I'm definitely going to ditch RS and switch over here. If you dig some more on their website, you find there's a whole team behind it, from developers to "on air" talent, so I don't expect it to vanish.

I do also enjoy the podcasts from Japancast.net, mentioned a couple of posts ago. Yes, I did finally solve my forum problem. It's there, but hidden. Very well hidden. Here's a hint, if you have Flash disabled, you can't find it. Heck, even with Flash enabled, it's pretty hard to find. That said, it's clear it's a labor of love from a couple who aren't in it for the money. Sure, you can donate, but it's more a way of saying "thank you" than to recoup development costs. It bothered me, when listening to one of their podcasts a few weeks ago, to hear that they'd received some critical feedback about the amateur nature of their podcasts. Gah.

It reminds me of the people that come into the Camino forums or send us email blasting us for this or that. Hello!? Do you see an overpaid development staff? That's right, we don't have one. It's about doing something we love, not about the Benjamins. Why do some people just not get that? I hope Paul and Hitomi keep podcasting and just ignore all the idiots. They are few and far between, but they seem to stick in your mind more than the thousands of well-wishers. You just gotta focus on the positive.

(Seriously, I haven't donated my house to the local animal shelter nor have I taken up herding alpacas.)

Posted by pinkerton at 10:00 PM | TrackBack