Archive for September, 2007

Review: Jinzora Media Jukebox

September 26th, 2007

I’m always looking for better ways to access my media when I am away from the house. For a while I was using Microsoft’s streaming server because I had free access to it through a company I was working for but it was very limited. To access the music you had to be using a current version of Windows Media player which was a hassle. For the music to stream you had to actually copy the music files to the server and create a station. You basically had to create static playlists, when you wanted to add or remove a song you had log into the server to make the changes and copy the files. It was a huge hassle and bandwidth performance was pretty weak. I just stopped using it.

I have looked into a number of streaming internet radio servers that were available. There are a lot of good, open source options but at the end of the day I wasn’t looking to just stream random music. I wanted to be able to pick a track or an album and play it back.

It’s Time to Make a Resolution!

September 24th, 2007

As my more loyal readers will remember, I don’t believe is waiting for January 1st to make a ‘resolution’. I think that whenever you come to a decision you should do what you can to fix it right now. I am making a decision right here, right now (September 24, 2007) to do what I can produce my own food. I’m not saying that I am going to start a farm and produce all of my own food but by the year 2010 I want to be producing a substantial portion of my food.

The fact of the matter is, I’m not comfortable with the way food is produced these days. The living conditions of our livestock is truly horrific and the laboratory modification of our produce is somewhat frightening…not to mention the amount of work and energy it takes for out of season to veg to show up in my local grocery store.

Apple’s Support is Still Top Notch

September 21st, 2007

This morning, while eating a spot of breakfast, I noticed a crack in my Macbook. I was not completely surprised by this. I had noticed some weakness a few weeks ago during one of my laptop cleanings and I recall some mention of this issue on the Apple support forum shortly after the Macbook’s release.

(As an aside, I do not recommend you browse those forums for any reason. They are filled with 90% Whiners and haters. Nothing good will come of it. It’s like looking for political information on a conspiracy theory site, everyone is skewing something to further their motives.)

Review: iPod touch

September 19th, 2007

Well, I bought one. I heard rumor Thursday night that there were showing up in some stores so come Friday morning like a little apple lemming I dashed down to the local and grabbed what they had. In a stroke of Apple genius, the stores were only stocked with the 16GB model at $399. Ouch!

On the eve of the device release people were confident that hacking the touch would be simple. It’s basically they same as the iPhone so it was hoped that the current iPhone hacks would need a little tweaking but everything would be all set by the end of the weekend. Boy where they wrong! Apple completely redid the security of the device and locked it down pretty well. I think it’s clear that Apple is going to be fighting modifications….

Cooking: No Knead Bread

September 16th, 2007

I’m a bit of a bread guy. I enjoy a nice hearty loaf of crusty bread and I enjoy baking bread when I have the time. There is nothing like quality bread fresh from the oven. The weather up here in the northeast is starting to cool down and I’ve been able to fire up the oven without fear of spontaneously combusting so I’ve been on a bit of a baking frenzy as of late. While I was surfing the web yesterday I came across a blog post for No Knead Bread and I was intrigued. Tasty bread… little effort? Sounded like just the thing for me this weekend so I’ve decided to give it a whirl.

loaf.jpg

I mixed the ingredients in my trusty stand mixer yesterday afternoon and left it to sit on the counter overnight, covered of course. When I went to sleep the bread was within about 4 inches of the top of my mixer bowl, this morning it was about 6 inches from the top. I don’t know if that is a bad sign or not but it smells amazing. A long room temperature ferment is a good thing for bread.

Cooking: Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

September 15th, 2007

Over the past few years I have been working on creating the ultimate chocolate chip cookies. I’ve tried a lot of recipes and have finally decided on a modified version of a version based on the original Toll House Recipe. I’m a big fan of Alton Brown and one of his shows, Good Eats. In an episode called Thee Chips for Sister Martha he covered three cookie recipes the one I liked the best was The Chewy. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t what I was looking for. I did a bit of research into good cookies (Read: I ate a lot of cookies and talked to people who made them) and learned a number of things. He is what I have ended up with. Try them out, they’re very very good.

Ingredients:

2 Sticks Salted Butter
2 1/4 Cups Bread Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt (If you use unsalted butter use 1 Teaspoon)
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar (If you only have dark don’t worry about it)
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (I never measure this, I just pour a bit in)

iPod touch, why hath thou decived me!

September 13th, 2007

Apple, as it turns out, has changed its tune with the iPodtouch (Like the Pun?). This story was covered all over the web (TUAW, Engadget, Gizmodo) But, in case you missed it, they have changed their position on data input for the device. At first the apple website clearly said you could create new calendar items right on the device. Now, apple has removed that phrase from the web page. Apple support confirms that the iPod Touch will be a read only device like all current iPods and will not all you to add new calendar items.

Game over man! The device is just a glorified iPod now. All of it’s alluring PDA qualities have been squashed by the Steve and I’m not happy. I can see how adding those features could possible canabilize some iPhone sales but with the recent price drop on the iPhone I don’t think it will. I mean $300 for an iPod touch, $400 for an iPhone. $100 to add the phone features is worth it, people pay about that when they get a new phone anyways. Why did Apple have to stab us in the face like that!

iPod Touch, I yearn for you!

September 6th, 2007

Ok, in case you live under a rock take a look at the new stuff out friends at Apple have released. Apple has released a device that I have hoped for since they announced the iPhone itself back in January. They are calling it the iPod Touch, picture and iPhone sans the phone. It’s all the goodness without any of the superfluous AT&T crap. This I will own, for two reasons.

Reason one: It’s awesome looking and I have to have it. Like a raccoon I am drawn to the shiny device and must have it in my grubby hands. I will willingly admit that my current 1st gen iPod nano is flawless and still fits my needs for music and podcasts on the go.

Review: 5th Generation iMac 20″

September 5th, 2007

Yeah, I bought one. No story for why, no long explanation about it. I bought it because I needed a new desktop and I don’t regret it. With the addition of this iMac I am 100% Mac now, my Macbook for portability, the Mac Pro for the recording studio and now the iMac for my general desktop use.

I will admit that adapting to using a Mac desktop has been somewhat rough. I learned to use the Macbook with no trouble at all. Using the laptop with the massive touch pad and it’s attached 13.3″ screen fit me like a glove. I like the way it works and looks. Everything in it’s place. iChat on the left, main window in the middle, then a single column of icons down the right. It’s clean and simple. Using Expose to manage the ‘main window’ section was extremely efficient for laptop use but this is not how I use my desktops.