Mac tech

XP or Vista?

So I purchased a copy of Parallels Desktop a few months back, when they were offering it at a reduced price while still in beta. I haven’t gotten around to installing it since, mostly because I didn’t have a legit copy of Windows to go with it, and I’m not much interested in dinking around with any Linux variants.
Lately, I’ve been intrigued at the prospect of running Windows from a virtual environment on my Intel iMac, mostly for web browser testing. (My sites don’t look nearly as nice in Internet Explorer as they do in, well, pretty much every other browser.) And long ago I promised I’d help out with some of our church’s web stuff, and they use FrontPage (yes, I know–ick!).
The question then is, do I get the latest version of Windows XP, or do I jump in to the exploratory waters of Windows Vista? Let me know what you think.


Good bowl viewing appears to be on the horizon

There are times when it’s nice to be wrong, and I’m glad I was wrong regarding the poll voters living in yesteryear. They did the right thing, and put Florida in the BCS Championship game opposite Ohio State. That will be a great football game.
It looks like there will be several great football games featured in the upcoming bowl season. My Tigers will face Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl, and that looks like a great match-up. Michigan is going to face USC in a classic Big 10-vs.-Pac-10 Rose Bowl, and as usual, should be a good game, though I think Michigan is going to roll right over the Trojans. The Wolverines will be looking to prove something after seeing Florida vault over them in the standings, and I’m not sure the USC ego is going to recover from losing to UCLA. I’ll set aside my normal dislike for Michigan to root for them, as my dislike for the Pac-10 in general, and USC in particular, is so much stronger. (My best friend in high school–hi, Matt!–was from Ohio, and a huge OSU fan, so I picked up the Michigan dislike from him.)
Boise State against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl should yield another great game between well matched-up teams. Likewise with Arkansas and Wisconsin in the Capital One, West Virginia versus Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl, and Tennessee against Penn State in the Outback. I know Brent is probably beside himself in anticipation of potentially seeing in person his beloved Auburn take on Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl. That should be another great game.
The only snoozer I see is the Orange Bowl. Will that many people really tune in to see Louisville take on Wake Forest? Granted, it will be the only college bowl game on that night, so I’m sure they’ll get a lot of viewers that way. (I confess, I’ll probably be one of those.) But I can’t imagine it pulling in the sort of ratings the other BCS bowls will. Louisville’s going to crush Wake Forest. I still believe the BCS needs to seriously consider the automatic bid for the Big East, and to a lesser extent, the ACC.
There look to be some good match-ups in the lesser bowls, too. Our local TCU Hornfrogs are in the bowl season opener, the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego, on December 19th. And what’s with these two minor bowls, the International Bowl in Toronto, and the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, being held after the first of the year? Get back to being scheduled before December 30th, as all minor bowls should be. ESPN has the entire schedule for your TiVo-setting pleasure.
So, go Florida! Go Michigan! Go Arkansas! Go Auburn! Go Tennessee! But most of all, Geaux Tigers!!


This year’s BCMess

Say, worshipers of the University of Spoiled Children: for there to be a dynasty, don’t you need to actually make it to the title game? Pardon me while I congratulate the Bruins of UCLA for an outstanding defensive effort, stifling the Trojans and keeping the overrated Pac-10 from a national championship shot.
So now all of the attention is on the poll voters, who will determine if Michigan or Florida deserves to play Ohio State on January 8th.
My two cents: the SEC is the toughest conference in all of the college football. To emerge undefeated from this conference, as Auburn did in 2004 (and was denied the national title shot) is one of the greatest team accomplishments in all of college football. Florida fell one game short of that goal this year, which is still a heck of an accomplishment, considering this is the SEC.
Michigan has a hell of a football team this year, no doubt about it. But Florida played one more game this year, and the Wolverines failed to win their conference, as that honor went to Ohio State. Frankly, I don’t think you should be allowed to play for the national championship if you fail to win your conference; this caused a lot of angst in 2003, when Oklahoma got to play LSU in the Sugar Bowl, even though the Sooners lost the Big 12 Championship game to Kansas State. In my mind, USC has a legitimate gripe they didn’t get the title shot in 2003, and I would hate to see the same thing happen to Florida this year.
I think the problem Florida will have with the poll voters is that too many of them are living in the glory days of yesteryear when the Big 10 and the Pac-10 did rule college football. Gentlemen, those days are over. The Pac-10 is a dim shadow of its former self, and the Big 12 has risen to national prominence. The SEC, Big 10, and Big 12 conferences are now college football’s elite. Florida and Michigan come from those conferences, but of those two, only Florida emerged as conference champion. My fear is that too many voters will overlook that fact.
Send Michigan to face USC in the Rose Bowl; you’ll get your big Pac-10 vs Big 10 bowl game to remind you of the yesteryear you seem fixated upon. Florida deserves to be in the desert facing the Buckeyes in January.


How the mighty art fallen

We’ve known for quite a while now that the BCS was rife with flaws, but there is something seriously wrong with college football when Wake Forest is going to the Orange Bowl.


ATPM 12.12

The December issue of About This Particular Macintosh is now available for your reading pleasure.
We debut a new column this month, with Lee’s Photoshop for the Curious. As he notes, this is not a “Photoshop for Beginners”-type tutorial, but rather a look at various elements of Photoshop that occasional users would benefit from. If you’re a Photoshop Elements user like myself, you will find that many of the tips translate well.
Mike Chamberlain offers his personal tour of the Macintosh blogosphere in this month’s Mac of All Trades, while Miraz puts SeakMonkey through the web-accessibility wringer. Sylvester continues looking at Activity Monitor, this time using it to plug memory leaks. (Those would be leaks in the Mac’s memory, not Sylvester’s. His memory is just fine. At least it appears that way to the rest of the staff.)
This month’s desktop pictures are brought to us by our Mr. Chamberlain, taken on his European sojourn this past summer. We continue to see the genesis of Cortland’s employment at Wieser Graphics, while dark forces prep their move to the Midwest.
Lee has a double-dose of reviews this month, looking at Rogue Amoeba’s Fission and the media device, iRecord. Matthew pokes around with OpenMenu X, while David notes one of my favorite iTunes utilities, Synergy. Finally, for all you gamers, Andrew rocks on some first-person shooters as he puts the Tankstick through its paces.
As always, this issue of ATPM is available in a variety of reading formats for your enjoyment.