Fact Number 7123

The sun burns. Especially when you are pasty white since you haven’t been tanning since last summer. Even if you don’t think you’re burning and you go inside when you are “tan.” Four hours later you will be sorry. Trust me on this.

iTunes Update

For those of you who use iTunes, version 4.5 is now available. It has several new features and now you can download a free single from an “emerging artist” every week. It seems like this update is made up of a bunch of small things that ellict a “that’s kinda cool” response, instead of a few “WOW” features. For example it’s kinda cool that you can watch movie trailers straight from iTunes (and of course buy the soundtracks and audiobooks). It’s also kinda cool that you can watch music videos. I’m not really a music video fan but I watched a couple and it was sorta nice, but not something I would really miss if it wasn’t available.

One new feature that is pretty useful is the improved printing options. Now you can print a list of your songs, or a list of all the albums you have. You can also print cd covers with actual album art (or a mosiac of all the covers for a mixed cd). I don’t really ever burn discs, but if I did, I think this is a really cool feature. I’m thinking about making a mix cd just to test it out. :)

All of the audiophiles out there will probably be happy with the new Apple Lossless Encoder, which promises full CD quality audio in about half the size an uncompressed audio file would require. This would also probably be a good option to back up CDs onto your computer without a loss in quality.

If you go to the iTunes site you can read about all of the other features I didn’t cover like: Radio Charts, iMix, Wish List, and now your library has links back to the music store as well.

Google Goes Public

This is cool news for those of you with extra money. Google.com has officially filed for IPO. This means that at some point in the not-so-distant future you can own a little piece of Google. The registration form they filed with the SEC is available here. Some of my favorite quotes from their registration:

  • “We would like you to invest for the long term, and to do so only at or below what you determine to be a fair price. We encourage investors not to invest in Google at IPO or for some time after, if they believe the price is not sustainable over the long term.”
  • “We provide many unusual benefits for our employees, including meals free of charge, doctors and washing machines. We are careful to consider the long term advantages to the company of these benefits. Expect us to add benefits rather than pare them down over time. We believe it is easy to be penny wise and pound foolish with respect to benefits that can save employees considerable time and improve their health and productivity.”
  • “Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served—as shareholders and in all other ways—by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company.”

Google seems like a very, very cool place to work, not to mention they have an awesome search engine. I’m sure this is going to be big news in the financial industry. I just wish I had some extra cash lying around. :)

The Little Driver That Could

I have a Powerbook G4 and I love it. I wouldn’t trade it for any of the Windows notebooks in the world. However, there is one teensy, tiny little thing I envy about all of those behemoth Windows notebooks–the built in scrolling on the trackpad. Just run your finger down one side of the trackpad, and voila! scrolling like magic. Now, I don’t need to be envious any longer because I found a driver for OS X that does the same thing and a whole lot more (ok, so really Dustin found it).

Before I go any further I must warn you that this software is BETA! If you don’t know what that means, don’t install it. Simple as that. The software is known as SideTrack and it is currently at version 0.8.
http://www.ragingmenace.com/software/sidetrack/index.html
http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/12800

Installation. Installation was fast, just run the program you download. However, when I rebooted the fist time, I didn’t think my computer was going to boot. It took a LONG time to move from the grey screen. Don’t worry, it booted normally the next time I restarted. When you finally get it rebooted, tapping the trackpad is turned off by default. Go to System Preferences and at the bottom you’ll see the SideTrack button. Then configure away. This driver has a LOT of features. Go to the link above for a good list of everything it does. I’ll just cover the features I found most useful.

Scrolling. You can set up the scroll area to be either on the left or right of the trackpad and you can set the width of the scrolling area. It takes a while to get used to the scrolling and where exactly you need touch the trackpad to get it to work. If you set the area wider it may help you get used to it. After using it for a week I can pretty much always hit the correct area. You can also set up horizontal scrolling but since I rarely need to scroll left and right, I haven’t set it up.

The button. You can set the mouse button to be either a right or left mouse click. At first I set it up as a right click, since I mostly tap the trackpad to left click (if you intend to keep it this way, you need to set the tap to “left click with drag“ or you won’t be able to move windows or select text). However, after using that button as a left click for over a year, I found it was just too hard to retrain myself to see it as a right click. So, I changed it back and found a different solution for right clicking.

Corners. You can set the corners to be a left or right click, or a keystroke, or other options. So, for right clicking, I set the top left corner to a right click. It takes some practice to find exactly where you need to tap, but you can always make the area bigger and I like it better than Ctrl clicking.

Ok, that’s what I like about it. There is really only one thing I can complain about–sometimes your mouse will freeze for a second or two. Not really too annoying but you will notice it. Overall, though, it’s very, very cool. And the thing I love the most? You can set it to let you tap to select the user to login. I never understood why tapping didn’t work in the fist place.

CSS

I’m still trying to get all of the little problems worked out with the default css but it looks like, other than that, everything is working. Now I just have to actually take the time to update more than once every six months. We’ll see…