Particle Debris And No Soup For Microsoft (Week of Sep 1)

| Particle Debris

Microsoft gets no soup, no respect, and an ad about nothing in their new advertising campaign which launched during Thursday Night Football. I formed a theory a while back that the ad would mirror Microsoft's corporate culture, and I think my prediction was fulfilled. The ad was overweight, self conscious, and unfocused, just like Vista.

It's getting so bad that BusinessWeek wrote about, "HP's End Run Around Windows" on Friday. BW wrote about how Hewlett-packard, which is feeling technical and frisky once again, formed a group of engineers to develop software that would make the PC and Windows easier to use -- or bypass. The skunkworks is pushing to even replace Vista with an H-P devised OS, possibly based on Linux and adding a touchscreen technology. Sounds like Mac envy to me.

This week I learned about a couple of new applications that intrigued me. AppleJack is a script which can be accessed after a sick Mac is launched in Single User Mode. (CMD-S at startup.)

Single user mode is a root level account that has no other users enabled and is used for diagnosing and repairing a Mac. I would recommend AppleJack for users who are fairly familiar with UNIX but don't use the UNIX repair functions often enough to jump right in with confidence like a daily sysadmin would.

I also learned about the iSquint (free) and VisualHub (commercial) partner apps for converting video files between various formats. These could come in very handy for converting between formats like .flv, ,3gp, DivX and H.264. I don't think it works with the Elgato turbo.264 however. I aim to find out.

For those who have been lusting after the flip video, there might be a better alternative. On Wednesday, I read about the new Kodak Zi6 which is much more integrated with the Mac: it saves its video natively in H.264 format and has a removable flash memory module. Better, it records in 30 or 60 fps, 16:9 and 720p. The original press release was July 10 and reviews are just now starting to appear, like Mac360. So much for Flip Video in my book. Now, I wonder, will Nikon and Canon jump into this game too?

After the holiday break, I came back to find a Don Reisinger piece published over the holiday about how Apple can gain a lot of market share. It has some food for thought, but is missing some essential elements which I'll get to in my next Hidden Dimensions. Meanwhile, an acquaintance of mine -- we were contemporaries at Apple -- Chuq Von Rospach had some sharp and accurate comments to make about the Reisinger editorial. Both are linked above for your reading pleasure.




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