Particle Debris (week ending 4/10) Busted!

One of the writers I follow on Twitter, Don Reisinger at CNET, had the hard disk in his iMac fail. No Time Machine backup and no AppleCare. So he decided to take his iMac apart and install a new drive. The article has a complete description with pictures. That was on Monday. All went well. Part II was on Thursday. Aside from being of technical interest, especially how he was able to use DiskWarrior to recover some of his data, I'll say it again. No... I won't. Ok, yes I will. Hard disks are cheap. Use Time Machine! Always buy AppleCare. You 'll be glad.

Speaking of Twitter, have you ever wondered which of the URL shortening services is best? Here's an extensive article that explains the features of each and why you should care.

Yet more on Twitterdom. Some people's first reaction to Twitter is odd - like a first reaction to the TV show House. At first, you're disgusted, then you're hooked. For those who think Twitter is shallow, here's a cute parody that takes everything to its logical extreme: "What Comes After Twitter? Flutter" No matter how you feel about Twitter, this is a good laugh.

On Monday, HomeTheater Review echoed my thoughts exactly on one of the major problems with Blu-ray. The first, of course, is greedy executives resulting in titles priced at $39. (We're done with greedy execs, right?) But the other is the screw up regarding interactive modes and the constant firmware updates required. And how hard they are for many to install. This warning should be heeded by Hollywood.

Recently, I wrote about some of the technical features of the new Mac Pro. So I was interested to read, in the Apple Discussion Forums, that the APC brand of UPS don't seem to work well with them in some cases. The issue seems to be that the APC Back-UPS units generate a stepped sine wave of AC current while the Mac Pros (and Power Mac G5s) seem to prefer a pure sine wave.

APC recommends the more expensive "Smart" series UPSs, but that might be self-serving. I've had a Power Mac G5 connected to the low end APC units for years, and have had no problems. It's no where near resolved, but something to be aware of.

I have noticed that many people, when first exposed to Twitter, take it wrong. The mantra of Twitter "What are you doing" seduces them into thinking that they must become a 24 x 7 entertainer. Also, like people who pride themselves in not watching TV, for some, it's cool to diss Twitter as a time waster or shallow endeavor. Here's one story about that approach, and here's one about the age break down.

In fact, Twitter is just another tool. Figure out what subspace frequency to get onto, listen, don't worry about your own followers, and don't become time obsessed. Everyone has interests. Finding others with the same interests will add value to your personal network. And learn to follow before you lead.

Have you ever lost your remote control and just wished there were an easier way? Here's a video from a company that's developed a gesture-based remote system. Just wave your hand! And while I'm not sure if the fellow doing the demo is a Vulcan or not, we're pretty sure at TMO that his Vulcan salute isn't part of the suite of gestures.

On Wednesday, David Pogue explained how HD radio works, how it came into being, and some of its current challenges. I've always wanted to mess around with HD radio, but I spend so much time on a Mac that iTunes radio is sufficient for me. Maybe that's part of the problem too. (Article may require registration to view.)

On Thursday, Sascha Segan, another writer I follow on Twitter, made some bold predictions about the new iPhones to be released in June. Mr. Segan is a mobile phone expert, so his guesses look pretty good. Worth a look.

Imagine this: Tina Fey on 30 Rock doing an impersonation of Steve Jobs. And here it is. The best video snippet I've seen this week. Ms. Fey is just so... [!]

Now that IBM has pulled back from acquiring Sun, people are analyzing Sun's failures. In this ComputerWorld article, Elizabeth Montalbano cites observers who point out that Sun is failing for three reasons:

"Observers identified three principal errors that, had they been avoided, might have allowed Sun to flourish after its dot-com business dried up. They are: not reacting to Linux by open-sourcing Solaris more quickly than it did, not building an x86 product line fast enough to sell alongside its Sparc systems, and not learning how to monetize the great Java technology it created.

From a business analysis point, it's interesting to see how Apple avoided each of those mistakes. As a result, one should take with a grain of salt any article that suggests Apple acquire Sun. Apple doesn't invest in failure.

Finally, for those who are running Windows in Parallels or VMware, and are wondering about Conficker, here's an article from Friday about how the malware seems to be slowly awakening and how you can detect its presence.

That's the technical debris from this week. A happy and blessed Easter to all.