Yes, comments

Comments are back, so Chris P., you can now comment on my GarageBand-created track.
The solution? Turns out I had a blank line in my Movable Type banned IP list for retrophisch.com. This was blocking all IPs from posting. Deleted the blank, rebuilt the site just for good measure, and happy comment spamming days are here again.
Thanks to the many posters in the Movable Type Support Forums for commenting on their own comment problems. One of those forum members pointed me to the solution.

Sweet Southern Summer

So, yeah, I’ve been playing with GarageBand.

Yes, it is inspired by the southern rock, classic rock, rockabilly, and country music I grew up with. Yes, it’s all done using GarageBand loops. Yes, you can leave a comment and tell me how much it sucks, but I kind of like it. Heck, even Lawson told me the composition wasn’t bad at all, and I can always count on him to be brutally honest. Flame on!

Has the privatization of space begun?

The big tech news of the week has to be the first step toward space privatization, with the successful launch of SpaceShipOne on Monday. Pilot Mike Melvill took the craft into a suborbital flight 62 miles above the Earth’s surface, and returned safely, landing at Mojave Airport, which Dan claims is the first certified and now operational civilian space port.
Melvill had the plane in freefall weightlessness for three minutes, releasing, in now-famous video footage, a bag of M&Ms to float around in the cockpit. He landed SpaceShipOne on the same runway it had taken off from, under the launch vehicle White Knight, an hour and a half earlier.
The venture is that of renowned designer Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites, and was financed by former Microsoftie Paul Allen for a cool $20+ million. The flight marked the highest altitude ever reached by a non-government aerospace venture, and proves what commercial enterprise can do when left alone.
Scaled Composites will now turn its attention to readying SpaceShipOne for another flight, as it pursues the Ansari X Prize, which will award $10 million to the first group to launch a resuable spacecraft with three passengers in to space, return them safely home, then do it again with two weeks. With the same reusable spacecraft.
Scaled Composites’ endeavor underscores some of what is wrong with NASA and the U.S. government’s continued interest in space. The space agency is greatly interested in the SpaceShipOne mission, and is in talks with Rutan and company. There is room for healthy competition and co-opetition in the space race. Our nation has greatly benefited from space missions in the past, and this week’s event could foreshadow greater government cooperation with private enterprise as we look beyond our own atmosphere.

Joining the Cingular Nation

So at the end of May, my wife and I made the switch. With number portability well in hand, and no loyalty to Verizon Wireless since the parent company laid me off, I was looking for great coverage and a great phone. For me, a great phone meant one that I could sync with my Mac.
I had hoped to purchase a Treo 600, but our finances dictated paring my desires. With a $100 rebate, and the phone only costing $100 with a 2-year contract, I went with my second choice, the Sony Ericsson T610.
Our plan is pretty kick-butt: we share 800 minutes between two phones, no roaming, no long distance, unlimited mobile-to-mobile, unlimited nights and weekends. And I have a phone that syncs with my PowerBook via Bluetooth. I had my contact info and calendar synced to the phone about ten minutes after taking it out of the box. Drove my wife, a Windows user, crazy.
My only druther with the T610 thus far is that the contact file only holds phone numbers. It would have been nice to get everything from my Address Book contacts in there, but thus far I’m not missing them that much. And they are in the iPod, which is nearly with me all the time any way.
My wife added the Sony Ericsson HBH-65 Bluetooth headset, which has made her life much easier on the road, and I plan to obtain one soon as well.
Finally, the decision to go with Cingular indirectly benefits my dad, who works for Bellsouth, and my uncle, who is retired from the same company. All in all, we’re very happy with the decision thus far!

The meaning of iPod

The Economist has a noteworthy article on how the iPod has changed and is changing the way we listen to music. Rumormongers of the video iPod should take note of the article’s conclusion:

Are video iPods next? Strikingly, none of these shifts in usage patterns applies to video. People do not watch movies while walking the dog, make playlists of their favourite movie scenes, or clamour to buy individual scenes online. Portable video-players, which are already starting to become available, undoubtedly have their uses, such as providing entertainment during long journeys. But they seem unlikely to be the kind of industry-changing products that the iPod and its imitators have unexpectedly proven to be.
(via The Iconfactory)

Dock? What Dock?

From my days of working on 15-inch LCDs, I have long hidden Mac OS X’s Dock. After all, I wanted to maximize my screen real estate. I still do this on my 12-inch PowerBook, for the same reason. On my Cube, however, I have a 19-inch Princeton LCD and my Apple 15-inch Studio Display. Plenty visual expanse, right? Yet old habits die hard, and I have found that I do not miss the Dock at all.
I am not one of the many whom have not cared for the Dock since OS X first rolled out. On the contrary, I rather enjoyed having it. But the addition to the operating system of cool switching via Command-Tab, and my usage of–nay, addiction to–LaunchBar, has rendered for me the Dock irrelevant. If the current beta of LaunchBar 4 is any indication, the final release of this new revision is going to ensure my hands stay on the keyboard even more.
Finder usage will not be going away any time soon. I still need that for moving files about via drag-and-drop, and I have customized my Finder toolbar with various apps for such drag-and-drop operations. One example would be opening archive files of various denominations by dropping them on Stuffit Expander. I know the command-line junkies will tell me that I can do all of that from the Terminal, thus ensuring my hands stay on the keyboard even more. However, for some operations, such as the example above, I believe I am faster with the mouse than typing in pathnames to drill down to the file I want.