pMac is an 867 MHz G4 12″ Apple Powerbook purchased in August of 2003. By that reckoning, it is nearly five years old as of this writing. It has traveled extensively. It has seen limited travel within California–only about as far away as Livermore from its current home in San Buenaventura–but it has been to quite a few places in Europe: Amsterdam, Brussels, Mons (Belgium), Berlin, Muenster, Mannheim, Bad Duerkheim, Paris and Munich. Some destinations probably elude recollection at the moment.

It bears the scars of its only fall quite well. The fall happened at the platform at the Rheine (Germany) train station while en route from Amsterdam to Muenster, Germany. pMac was in its trusty Timbuk2 laptop bag at the time, and the cushioning provided by the bag was sufficient to keep it alive.

At 3.5 years of age, the original Toshiba (40 gigabytes) hard drive failed, but it was promptly replaced by a similar Toshiba model with an 80 gigabyte capacity by the wonderful technicians at CNG in Westwood the same afternoon! This replacement drive used to be the former back up drive, which contained an exact copy of the main drive thanks to the wonderful free backup utility, Carbon Copy Cloner. (Thus, I only lost about two weeks of work as a result of the failure.)

Now it chugs along nicely, albeit slowly at times, but without  any problems at all. It runs Leopard at a reasonable speed. It is now awaiting  the arrival of a MacBook Pro so that  it can be demoted to home entertainment center. The transition may happen in 2008.


Obama’s Vice Presidential Candidate

Let’s have some fun. I tend to be right on these matters, so I might as well publish these predictions and see how I fare against the “professionals”.

Barack Obama will choose either Bill Richardson or Wesley Clark as his running mate because both men are without peer in their respective fields. Richardson is peerless in issues of foreign affairs, and Clark is peerless in military affairs. Either man will round out the ticket nicely.

The most likely choice is Bill Richardson because he was the first to endorse Obama.

Sorry Hilary. You just blew it big time.


Download Day: Launch Firefox into Record Books

I still use Safari and Omniweb as my primary browsers, but Firefox is far too cool a browser to be forgotten. After all, it is the most feature rich browser on the planet by virtue of its add-ons.

So, strike a blow against inferior browsers and help to set a new internet record for the most software downloads in one day. Download Firefox 3 on Download Day. The Guinness Book of World Records awaits.

Download Day - English


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Liberty Migrates to Europe

IP Addresses Are Personal Data, E.U. Regulator Says |

The diametrically opposed directions that the European Community and the United States are taking ought to be extremely disconcerting to those who reside in the United States. The United States, the country that invented the internet and the addressing protocol that identifies computers on the internet (known as Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP), is moving rapidly to relegate TCP/IP to a means of spying on its citizens. The awful–perhaps nonexistent–regulatory regime in the US allows providers of network services to monitor what users do, to track their habits, and to share that information with just about any entity that requires. That entity could be marketers or the watchful eyes of the government.

Meanwhile, the EU is conducting the most rational debate on the status of the IP address of computers users. As the computer becomes a significant means of communication–through applications like Skype, Gizmo, Yahoo! MSN AIM and other instant messaging clients–the IP address will become as unique and as important as a telephone number. Hence, it ought to receive as much protection as a telephone number. Global governing bodies are beginning to realize this, but the different ways in which the US and the EU governing bodies are approaching the IP address’s significance is alarming.

The American government is actively extending and abusing the regulatory vacuum surrounding the IP address to let American companies and government bodies to gather information on every citizen. In contrast, the EU is actively discussing a regulatory regime that recognizes the importance of the IP address. While the US government is diminishing privacy, the EU bodies are seeking to protect and to expand privacy. Hence, the liberties in which Americans take excessive pride are being, in effect, exported to the European Union, where people can surf comfortably now and perhaps with even greater privacy in the future.