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Earbug of the day/month/year: “Mahna-Mahna” June 10, 2005

Posted by brianlatimer in Uncategorized.
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You know that Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper ad with the incredibly-catchy, goofy music?

Well, as I was discussing with friends recently, it’s based on what some consider to be the best Muppet Show skit ever – that of “Mahna-Mahna and the two Snowths” (their name is a combination of “Snout” and “Mouth” – so they should really be “Snouths”). See that page for more details, and the full lyrics.

And, I’ve found links to a video of the original skit, as well as a slightly-different audio file – which is even funnier, IMHO, due to the extended Waldorf & Statler commentary. (And, as an aside, here’s the rough opposite of that commentary, as well ;-)

WARNING: Watch/listen to this song, and it will be stuck in your head for quite some time…

And note: Each attempt I’ve made to verify my belief that “If you merely say ‘mahna-mahna’ to anyone who grew up in the ’70s, they will immediately respond with ‘do-doo-de-do-do'” has worked out perfectly. Thanks for validating this, folks!

(As far as my term “earbug” – see this story)

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Well, we’ve done it now June 6, 2005

Posted by brianlatimer in Uncategorized.
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Yep, the rumors are true: Steve Jobs announced at today’s WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote that Apple will be transitioning the entire family of Macintosh computers to the Intel platform within the next 2 years. See the press release: Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006.

I can’t speak to any facet of this transition except that it certainly takes guts to announce it – and that it is certainly logical to do so at a Developer gathering. After all, it will be those Mac OS X developers who will either make or break this transition. Mac developers are the most creative, loyal, and demanding software engineers out there – and I hope that they see this move as one which will allow even more exposure to their products, and an even larger potential customer base.

We’ve known that Darwin has been running on the x86 platform all along – but although I “knew” some inside information, it was certainly surprising to see a full-fledged implementation of Mac OS X – including calculation-intensive programs, the full GUI, etc. – operating on a Pentium 4-based system. A nicely-done demo – and it was certainly a coup to get Intel’s new CEO up on stage to discuss details, as well.

Note a reference from 3 years ago, which appears to be quite appropos, right about now: Apple Keeps x86 Torch Lit with ‘Marklar’

Also: Note that Microsoft will be rolling out LongwaitLonghorn around the same time as these IntelliMacs begin to hit the scene. This could prove to be a great bit of serendipity – or a horrible roaring beast, which may drown out any other announcements or attention which Apple might be hoping for.

Mark my words: We’ve seen the start of a HUGE change in our beloved platform today. I’m hoping for the best, but preparing for some rocky roads ahead. Will users continue to buy Mac hardware (Apple’s bread-and-butter, high-margin products) now, or hold off to see how the move plays out. We’ll see…

(Aside: The worst part, as a ex-Apple,now-Intel friend just reminded me, we may have to hear that damn “Intel Inside” chime in Apple hardware ads soon. I hate that sound byte… )

UPDATE: I found at least one very optimistic take on the matter. Sounds good to me, if it comes to pass…

Metaphilm -Star Wars June 3, 2005

Posted by brianlatimer in Uncategorized.
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OK, Star Wars: Episode III has been out for a while, so I don’t think I’ll be giving too much away to say that the movie sucked.

No – I’m not going to go into details; waste your own money and find out for yourself. I will mention a great little tongue-in-cheek article regarding continuity, though, which I thought was entertaining: Metaphilm -Star Wars

Alas, many of the concerns which the author had were not resolved – and those that were, were done so in such an amateurish way. I really think George Lucas has gone off the deep end – he had so many opportunities for doing something great with the prequels, and appears to have sold out any creative vision he had, merely to make a fast buck in “kid-friendly” (pronounced: “Dumbed down to the average comprehension level of a 5-year-old”) storylines, as well as Attention-Deficit-Disorder-friendly visuals.

At least the “Star Wars” franchise is finally OVER (I hope, I hope, I hope…), and we should be able to get those overly-adamant Star Wars geeks (and Lucas apologists) to shut up, already.

Quartz Composer samples June 1, 2005

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One of the coolest features of Mac OS X is the built-in support for robust graphic image manipulation – the 2-dimensional display routines are referred to as the “Quartz” graphic subsystem.

And, with Tiger, this type of manipulation is being shown off quite well with the new “Quartz Composer” application – which allows you to do all sorts of cool things. To get an idea of just what types of things you can do with this type of power, check out the samples of these manipulations on the Futurismo Zugakousaku page (no, I have no idea what that is supposed to mean).

None of these are pre-rendered; everything shown can be done on-the-fly. Those sample movies there are abso-tively, posi-lutely incredible, IMHO. Mac OS X rocks, and these are just a few of the many reasons why.