BANG#!^&….. was that the Sound of a Backfire?

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 12:30
Category: Opinion

The First Amendment to the Constitution is an umbrella shared by a variety of groups. It protects the ability of the public to communicate without undue restriction from their government. There are certainly limitations to this protection and the courts move the lines around constantly. Apple Computer made a fundamental error when they moved beyond plugging internal leaks and sued Think Secret. On the face of it, Apple has every right to protect internal information by keeping it secret, but pushing some of the smallest players out from under the protection of the umbrella risks antagonizing the larger news outlets. The editorial policy of the New York Times may be quite different from that of the National Enquirer, but they do share protection from the same particular set of laws. That is why the PowerPage took notice when Think Secret was sued. While our focus may lean more towards consumer protection than it does rumor and speculation, any diminution of protection for news outlets is of concern to us, especially an attack on small internet based journalists. read on…….


No Live Feed – Don?t get Paranoid

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2005, 10:34
Category: Opinion

The idea that Steve Jobs pulled the live feed in a fit of pique is a bit too paranoid for me to buy into. I have made time to watch it in the past and have had problems with the feed on a number of occasions, so I expect that it just might not be technically feasible to expect consistent results with the numbers that are projected for this year. It would not be good to present QuickTime in a bad light. Now that so many Windows users have iPods and QuickTime, it is just not worth the risk to give them a frustrating experience that would have less to do with Quicktime and more to do with the limitations of their connections to the internet.

PPUG post-Macworld Meeting is TODAY

Posted by:
Date: Monday, January 10th, 2005, 12:47
Category: User Group

Bad news – we got bumped from our normal room and will be meeting out in the “Patio” room. This may end up being a big round table discussion instead of a presentation. O’Grady will be there.
The Philadelphia PowerBook User Group will be meeting at the Manayunk Brewery on Saturday 15 January at noon. With Macworld announcements there should be loads to talk about!
For directions visit


Rumors, Rumors

Posted by:
Date: Sunday, January 9th, 2005, 10:06
Category: Opinion

The frenzy of pre-Macworld rumors has hit an all time high! The iHome hoax, the $500 iMac, the flash based iPod, iWork, the Garage Band breakout box. Read on…………


Capacity Meter

Posted by:
Date: Sunday, January 9th, 2005, 08:12
Category: PowerBook, Software

I recently ran into problems with one of the batteries in my 400MHz TiBook. The machine dropped into sleep mode without warning with about 40% remaining charge showing in the menu bar while running on its original 3600 mAh battery, so I downloaded Capacity Meter. This nifty utility reports not only the state of charge, but the working capacity of the battery.


Burton and Motorola Sowboarding jacket

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 7th, 2005, 17:24
Category: Accessory, Any Laptop Computer

Remember when Burton came out with the Amp, that snowboarding jacket with a special slot for your iPod? Well, this is just like that, except now it’s Motorola trying to prove they can roll with the X-Games set. This time they’re the ones working with Burton instead of Apple, and they’re taking things just that littlest step further by adding a cellphone to the mix. The new jacket the two are collaborating on should be out in the 2nd half of this year and will come with two special padding casings, one for a cellphone (it sounds like it will actually ship with a Moto, natch), the other for an MP3 player, and will sport a control pad sewn into the sleeve that’ll let you operate each gadget and easily switch between them. The jacket also comes with removable speakers in the hood, but will have Bluetooth if you want to use a wireless headset. And if that’s not enough for ya, they’re working on a line of snowboarding helmets and
caps, too. (Thanks Engadget)


Complete Your Migration to Firefox

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 7th, 2005, 17:43
Category: Any Laptop Computer, Software

FirefoxLooking for a way to complete the migration from Safari? Look no further than Safari Bookmarks Exporter. If you find yourself using Firefox 1.0 and mumbling about bugs or other weirdness, try updating your version. Reinhold Penner’s excellent FireFix automatically updates Firefox to the latest nightly version. No user intervention is required, everything is fully automated.


Hack Your iPod With Your Mac

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 7th, 2005, 17:19
Category: Accessory, iPod

Want to change your iPod’s graphics using a Mac? AlterPod v0.3b from
Podite is the second release of a cool application for extracting and replacing your iPod’s display graphics. AlterPod can also backup and restore your iPod’s firmware partition to your Mac’s hard drive.
To edit the extracted graphic files you’ll need an image manipulation application that is capable of opening and saving *.PGM files (Portable GreyMap). I.E. Graphic Converter.
Sluggo at writes:

I successfully altered the “Do not disconnect” image on my 60GB iPod photo using a combination of alterPod, Graphic Converter 5.4, Photoshop and iPodIcons.
1. Backed up my existing firmware with alterPod.
2. Viewed the firmware file with iPodIcons.
3. Created a 100×100 pixel RGB graphic in Photoshop.
4. Saved it as a TIF and opened in Graphic Converter.
5. Saved it as a “PPM” (instead of PGM because it’s color).
6. Back to iPodIcons, selected the existing “Do not disconnect” image.
7. Right (or control) click and selected “Import Image”, selecting my
saved PPM file.
8. iPodIcons shows my replaced image.
9. Selected “Export Firmware” from File menu.
10. Back to alterPod.
11. Selected “Firmware Restore” tab.
12. Restored my firmware using my altered firmware file.
13. Once alterPod said it was complete, I just ejected my iPod, and it
automatically rebooted sitting in the dock.
14. Once it re-started, my replaced image was there in all it’s glory.
iPodIcons 0.2.3 is similar to iPodWizard but it runs on Mac OS X and Linux (thanks to Qt).
iPodIcons makes use of ipodedit. See for more information about ipodedit.


How to Hack T-Mobile

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 7th, 2005, 17:54
Category: Archive

From MobileWhack comes an update on T-Mobile’s
crippling of BlackBerry data access in several markets. Emory has
found a workaround, sort of. Click to read more….


Motorola's Serious Looking DVR Rolling out to Comcast

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 7th, 2005, 17:06
Category: Any Laptop Computer, Consumer Electronics

Motorola DCT6400 on ComcastIn a previous story we mentioned that you can capture digital programming from the FireWire port on the back of new cable box (Motorola 6400) being used by Comcast. If you’re wondering about how Comcast’s new Hi-Def DVR compares to say TiVo, check out this article on

I’ve been reading reviews and reports of Motorola’s dual tuner, HDTV 6412 DVR, and word on the street is that it’s finally reaching a lot of major Comcast markets. While almost all reviews of cable company DVRs have been mostly poor, due to bad software, bad hardware, or an overall low quality experience, this one looks like a serious TiVo fighter, since it packs a lot of features you just can’t get in a TiVo.

I have been using the 6412 DVR for a little over a week and have to admit to being totally enamoured with the ability to record HDTV. I also love that is has dual tuners which means that you can watch one and record another or even record two shows at once. There’s even a hack to enable the 30-second skip button. Sure, the guide blows and there’s no thumbs up or wish lists but that will come as Comcast rolls out the Microsoft TV Foundation 1.7 software to more and more customers.
So, where are you on the whoie DVR thing?