The end of e-mail?

I know it’s ancient history as far as the Internet is concerned (19 July 2004), but I thought Mark Hall’s “The End of E-mail” was worth noting. I’m not saying I agree with Hall, but I totally understand his frustrations.

So-called realists out there will dismiss these lamentations by saying that despite all of its problems, PC e-mail is too popular to be abandoned. Perhaps. But those old enough to remember Usenet know that even a good, useful communications tool can be abandoned once it becomes overrun by hucksters, pornographers and other pond scum floating around the Internet. Usenet is still out there, but its popularity is near zero.

Well, the so-called realists will counter, e-mail is still far too useful for companies to abandon. That’s what these same folks said about IBM’s Selectric and the floppy disk drive. Technology is abandoned whenever cost-benefit evaluations determine it’s no longer worth keeping around. And we’re getting mighty close to the day when PC-based e-mail is determined to have a bigger downside than upside.

Software Update before and after

Dr. Mac has excellent advice for preparation and post-op procedures for working with Mac OS X’s Software Update in his latest column for Mac Design magazine.
We admit we do not always back up prior to running software updates, but then again, we tend to let a few days go by after an update appears, seeing how the world outside our bowl fares with it. Regardless, it is good advice to at least back up your Home folder, or wherever you store your vital data on your drive, before running major updates, like the supposedly-forthcoming 10.3.6. It’s a pain to have to rebuild your boot disk in the event of a major problem after an update, but it’s quite another pain to lose irreplaceable data.

Desktops by co2metal

I discovered these desktops by co2metal, aka Andy, while cruising through ResExcellence last week. Now, I’m not nearly in to the whole GUI customization thing as I used to be. I don’t really bother with custom icons any more, and more often than not, you’ll find my desktop pictures to be photos from our vacations or of our little one.
Yet I’m drawn to Andy’s abstract and fractal creations. I’m thinking of making a custom Mac OS X screen saver with selections from his gallery. I hope Andy doesn’t mind!

Annoyance: CD security tape

I can appreciate the little sticky security tape on the tops of CDs sold to consumers. I realize it is a preventive measure against the CDs being stolen from out of the cases in a store.
However, I am quite sure that over the past year or so, the tape has gotten increasingly more difficult to get off. It used to be, if you were careful, you could pull up the tape on one side of the CD, and slowly pull the entire thing off. Not any more.
Now, the tape splits at the slightest hint of intolerance to being pulled. It took a good five minutes to get all of the security tape off Amy Grant’s latest. Normally, this should be a 30- to 45-second process.
I realize someone out there will say something to the effect of, You wouldn’t have this problem if you just ordered the entire album from the iTunes Music Store. I like having the physical CD, with liner notes, thank you very much. The process of opening said CD did not used to be this annoying. Now it is. That is the complaint.

PowerBook goodies

A couple of PowerBook-related goodies were announced yesterday that has the phisch bowl churning. MCE announced a new 100 GB internal drive for every PowerBook out there back to the Kanga G3. However, at US $279, it won’t be finding its way in to the phischbook any time soon.
MacMinute also noted the announcement of Targus’s Notebook ChillHub, a US $50 laptop stand that incorporates two cooling fans as well as four USB 2.0 ports. Further details aren’t yet available, but it appears that it’s necessary to lug around an extra AC adapter to power the ChillHub’s fans and USB ports. Ugh.

Mr. Bennett Goes to Dallas

Lee blogging in Chris's study

Lee blogging from the phisch bowl.

So Lee was in town for an annual conference, and spent Saturday afternoon hanging out with me, the missus, and the little phisch. A great time was had by all chewing on cow at Outback. We may be phisch, but we hail from the piranha side of the species. 😉
It is very, very cool that I have gotten to meet my best friend from the online world in person. Looking forward to the next visit!