Monthly Archive for November, 2004

First Child and Online Photo Galleries

I upgraded the photo gallery software that I use to power the photo galleries for englers.org this weekend to the latest beta version of Photostack.

The new gallery is a little more classy, and should be easier to navigate through. Noel Jackson has done a truly wonderful job with this latest version of Photostack.

In the process, I rediscovered some old galleries that are just too fun:

Yes, you read that last one right… my first child was born on November 23rd, or last Tuesday. The life changes have already begun.

Movie Quiz

Here’s a quick quiz for your Wednesday morning trivia bones:

1. What movie is this vidcap from?
2. What’s the line the character is saying in this vidcap?
3. What is the character’s name?

Ian Faith from 'This is Spinal Tap'

Just watched this movie for the first time (I know, it came out 20 year ago… sorry). Hilarious, and I’ll be watching it again in the coming week or two, I’m sure, many times…

update: Added the answers and a video clip in the extended entry. Click “More…” below.
Continue reading ‘Movie Quiz’

The pervasiveness of Wal-mart

Branding is dead. I agree, buy you know when a brand is really a brand when it invades even the jokes your brother emails you:

One day, in line at the company cafeteria, Joe says to Mike behind him, “My › elbow hurts like hell. I guess I better see a doctor.”

“Listen, you don’t have to spend that kind of money,” Mike replies. › “There’s a diagnostic computer down at Wal-Mart. Just give it a urine sample and the computer will tell you what’s wrong and what to do about it. It takes ten seconds and costs ten dollars… a lot cheaper than a doctor.”

So Joe deposits a urine sample in a small jar and takes it to Wal-Mart. He deposits ten dollars, and the computer lights up and asks for the urine sample. He pours the sample into the slot and waits. Ten seconds later, the computer ejects a printout:

You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water and avoid heavy activity. It will improve in two weeks.
Thank you for shopping @ Wal-Mart.

That evening while thinking how amazing this new technology was, Joe began wondering if the computer could be fooled. He mixed some tap water, a stool sample from his dog, urine samples from his wife and daughter, and a sperm sample for good measure. Joe hurries back to Wal-Mart, eager to check the results. He deposits ten dollars, pours in his concoction, and awaits the results.

The computer prints the following:

1. Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. (Aisle 9)
2. Your dog has ringworm. Bathe him with anti-fungal shampoo. (Aisle 7)
3. Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab.
4. Your wife is pregnant. Twins. They aren’t yours. Get a lawyer.
5. If you don’t stop playing with yourself, your elbow will never get › better.

Thank you for shopping @ Wal-Mart.

Marketwatch Bought

Big news in the web world folks:

Dow Jones to buy MarketWatch for $520M

“Joining Dow Jones is a great next step for MarketWatch,” Larry Kramer, chairman and chief executive officer of MarketWatch, said in a statement. “Being part of one of the›most respected media conglomerates in the world gives us a terrific platform to grow our business and compete with the largest media companies. By combining Dow Jones’ legendary brands, infrastructure and valuable strategic alliances with MarketWatch’s award-winning newsroom and comprehensive suite of business and analytical tools, this transaction supports our mission to be the market leader in licensed and advertising supported financial news and information.”

Peter R. Kann, chairman and CEO of Dow Jones, said, “We welcome our new MarketWatch colleagues with great admiration for the success they have achieved and high anticipation of what we can achieve together to benefit our readers and our customers.”

Dow Jones historically has not been focused on the ad-sales supported Internet business. Its major assets include the Wall Street Journal and the subscription Web site WSJ.com, Barron’s magazine and Barron’s online, the Dow Jones Newswires and Ottaway Community Newspapers.

Glad to hear that Dow Jones won the bidding… it’s a perfect match, in my opinion. I hope they can integrate WSJ.com and Marketwatch.com well.

Poopoo the Male Bichon Frise

This comic was in the paper last weekend:

Pooch Cafe

That’s totally my dog! (Yes, I own a 13 pound Bichon.)

The true story of Audion

Steven Frank announced on his weblog that Panic was finally letting Audion die. Poor little guy has been dying for a few years now, but it’s nice to know that Panic is finally laying it to rest. I personally loved Audion back in the day. My buddy Misha turned me on to it and N2MP3 back then, and both were great great apps, but iTunes quickly overshadowed them in the greater Mac world, and I succumbed as well.

So, in celebration of the event, Cabel posted this diatribe on the real story behind Audion. Quite an interesting (and very long) story:

OK, sure, it might just be me. But as it turns out, even something as seemingly mundane as a Mac app can have a few marginally interesting, if not truly nerdy, stories of its own.
— Cabel Sasser, Panic

Panic truly is a great Macintosh developer, and I wish them the best with their pending announcement sometime around the next Macworld!

Opening a Sales Call

I’m reading a book right now (actually I’ve read it, now I’m re-reading it) for tips on opening a sales call.

The book is SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham of Huthwaite, Inc. It’s a good book on making large sales, which is refreshing, as I’m selling larger solutions now than I have done in the past, and every bit of training or sales advice I’ve ever received or read has been focused on small sales.

So, on “opening a sales call” effectively their advice is basically:

1. Get down to business quickly
2. Don’t talk about solutions too soon
3. Concentrate on questions

A telling sentence from this chapter (Chapter 7) is this quote:

“Often, when I’ve been traveling with salespeople, I’ve noticed that they waste time before a call worrying about how they should open it when they could be using that time far more effectively to plan some questions instead.”

It’s also telling that in this 200 page book, only 8 pages (7 and 1/2 really) are dedicated to opening a sales call.

Yep, that’s exactly what I’m doing right now: worrying about how to open a call. Silly me.

So, now I’m off to plan some questions and make the cold-call.

Thanks Neil for keeping me on track, and look for more on this weblog about selling the big client/sale in the future as I learn more.

Cuban on the Music Industry

Mark Cuban: When will the music industry do it right ?:

This is the only industry in the world that can see thousands of its retailers close, reduce the number of products it sells via cutbacks in artist rosters and albums released, cut back marketing and promotional dollars and then blame a reduction in sales on someone or something other than themselves.

Sometimes outsiders can more clearly see the problem and solution than insiders.

Old School Marines

If you’re looking for a really cool picture of some 19th Century Marines to use as a desktop background, look no further than MacDesktops. Plenty of resolutions available for you to choose from:

19th Century Marines desktop picture

Those haricuts haven’t really changed over the years have they? (I know there are a few marines out there reading this.) Thanks again Ryan.

Mac OS X 10.3.6, Safari and “localized string not found”

So, I upgraded to Mac OS X 10.3.6 yesterday, even though I knew I should wait a couple of days to see what kind of problems shook out for other people… and I noticed that Safari just wasn’t working for me at all after the upgrade.

I figured that was happening because I had Safari open during the upgrade process, and that I’d screwed it up or something.

So, I downloaded Safari from Apple, and reinstalled it.

And it worked, but I was noticing these “locaized strong not found” menu items in the contextual menus… weird, and it made Safari unusable.

Then I saw that Erik had the same problem.

So, I searched Google for a fix, and found this great post on MacMinute’s Forums. G4Dualie writes:

1. Download the latest version of Safari from Apple. Found here. This step cannot be ignored.

2. Locate the webkit files and trash them. This folder is located in System/Library/Frameworks/webkit.framworks.

3. Install Safari from your download.

4. Restart the computer.

5. Launch Disk Utility and run Repair Permissions.

6. That’s it. You won’t see the words “localized string not found” appear in your Contextual Menus anymore.

It seems that this issue happens when you’ve had the Safari 1.3 developer’s preview installed, and the Mac OS X 10.3.6 upgrade tries to overwrite the fixes that it made to Safari 1.2’s webkit files. So, if you’re seeing this problem, follow those instructions above. Hope posting this again helps someone else that faces the same problem. I don’t think the Mac OS X 10.3.6 upgrade is the reason I had this problem, but rather the fact that I was running a developer preview of Safari, and the upgrade doesn’t check for that.

Also, check Macintouch’s 10.3.6 upgrade report for other potential issues, if you haven’t upgraded yet, so you know what you’re in for.

How the Counties Voted

I’m not one to make political comments usually, but, I threw this graphic together from these two images I found on USAToday.com (while I was searching for a really good graphic I saw in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch … can’t find that cool image online anywhere, but man it was good. Why is it so hard to find something that was published in today’s newspaper on that newspaper’s website (rhetorical question … no need to answer … I know why, just venting)).

Anyways:

2000vs2004.gif

Notice how the red gets bigger, and the blues move around just a little, but not substantially, except of course for contracting. I guess all of the pundits are right about the far-right getting more people out to vote this time around.

By the way, Doc Searls has been posting some really balanced commentary on the whole election thing. Man I wish Doc had a podcast.

You have no chance to survive make your time

From J!NX and a tribute to Zero Wing:

All your oil are belong to U.S.

Gotta love it, thanks for the link Ryan.

Note to self about volume

When you are listening to iTunes through the headphones on your laptop and you turn down iTunes because it’s too loud, don’t turn it down through the iTunes application, turn it down through the system volume control… do so because the little ping that Mailsmith uses to tell you you have new mail is really fucking loud and will scare you at full volume when the sound comes out of the headphones that close to your ear-drums.

sidenote: cKy kicks ass… just discovered them.