Archive for the 'stuff' Category

Great quotes, courtesy of Peter Shankman

Read these quotes today, courtesy of Peter Shankman, on a listserv I’m on:

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. 
– Leonardo da Vinci

“Come to the edge.”  “We might fall.” “Come to the edge.” “It’s too high!” “Come to the edge. ” And they came,  and he pushed,  And they flew.  —  Guillaume Apollinaire   

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Confucius 

Fortune favors the bold. Virgil

Courage doesn’t always shout. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says, “I will try again tomorrow”. 

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. – Confucius 

Cielos Azules
(blue skies)

Just laugh. Be safe. Love life. 

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – Anonymous

“Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.” – Tom Fleming

The only easy day was yesterday – USN SEAL HQ motto

“The road to success is always under construction”

“The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones, is how we use them”

“When you see someone putting on his running shoes,
you can be pretty sure that an adventure is about to happen.”
                                                –  Winnie the Pooh

The reason someone wants to rain on your parade is because they don’t have one of their own.

Charlie Brown Ad Agency

Merry Christmas Everybody:

Bad First Page Experience – Access Denied

If someone can deep link to your site, and your site requires login, figure out how to make your “Access Denied” page more inviting. Take for example this page from SocialToo:

I clicked a link from @GuyKawasaki’s twitter feed and the resulting page didn’t tell me why I wanted to create yet another account on yet another system, at all. What is SocialToo? What am I missing out on by not being part of that community? Why should I create an account, other than to read what Guy was linking to?

I’m a busy guy… give me a reason to sign up. You’re missing an opportunity to sell your service to me SocialToo.

Teachers Make a God Damned Difference

Music Video on a Mac

This music video choreographed to match up with everything the user is doing on a Mac is wicked cool.

posting from iPhone

This is my first post from my iphone. Totally love this phone. Its not that hard to type with in landscape mode – you just have to learn to trust Apple’s smart retyper feature. Love it!

MagSafe Airline Power Adapter

Interesting. I went to the Apple Store to custom configure a new MacBook Pro now that they’ve gotten speed bumps, and include Firewire 800, and I saw this on the options that you can add-on:

A MagSafe Airline Power Adapter.

Looks like Apple’s building one now (finally) and they’re selling them as add-ons through their online store, but you can’t buy them individually yet.

Interesting though. Now, I’m wondering if all four of the stupid iGo power adapters I own will ever be useful again, or if I spent $600 on those things and will never use them again… figures. Apple and their damn proprietary parts.

I’m also curious: Is it “MagSafe” or “Magsafe”? You can see in the image above, Apple isn’t sure, either.

update: Looks like you can buy it online at the Apple Store. Found the link at TUAW.

Resetting a BlackBerry

Resetting a BlackBerry – last post, in this entry gives intructions for how to reset your BlackBerry to factory settings. Might be useful if you ever eBay your BlackBerry.

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Busier than shit

So life has been keeping me busier than shit lately. Sorry folks, that’s just the truth of it.

I’ve actually got about 4 or 5 good posts about half written, but none ready to post.

Long story short, I’m running a company now, and it’s in an industry that’s new to me, even though I’ve been “in it” for the past 15 years… Yes, I can hear BNL singing “everything old is new again” when I typed that.

It’s an invigorating time for me, and I’m loving it, but the blog is suffering. Hopefully that’ll change in a week or two.

Worstward Ho

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho

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BootCamp Reaction

My favorite reaction to Apple BootCamp announcement is this one from FuckedCompany.com:

Hell’s doors are now open

Apple’s new Boot Camp software will allow Mac users to run Windows XP.
When: 4/5/2006
Company: Apple Computer Inc
Severity: 30
Points: 130
Discuss in the Happy Fun Slander Corner

Yes, I still read F’dCompany… you don’t? It reminds me of the good old days… ;)

update: Don’t miss these pieces on Boot Camp too:

Boot Camp First Look: Half Life 2 Video + More from Cabel at Panic.

Obligaory NYTimes article

Inbox Zero

43 Folders Series: Inbox Zero – Great series on how to get your inbox under control.

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.info domain sale

.info this TaraMy friend Mark Engelhardt, owner of IntuitiveISP IM’d me last night to tell me about his $1.99 sale on .info domains. $1.99? That’s a great deal… better than GoDaddy or anywhere else I’ve seen them…

I figured it’s too good a deal to pass up, so I registered a few cool short .info domains, and will see if someone wants to buy them in the next 12 months… it’s only $2, right?

Anyways, if you’re looking for a good domain, and the .com, .net, etc. variations are taken… see if the .info version is open, and if it is, go buy it for $1.99 from IntuitiveISP… Mark’s a great guy and gets all of my domain name business and has for about 5 years now.

Oh, sale ends 4/30/2006, so register it this month if you’re want to save a little cash… Domain names make great presents ;)

Legal Rights of Photographers

Legal Rights of Photographers – good primer.

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September 2005 Zeitgeist

Here’s the top search queries that brought traffic to this website in September:

September 2005 Zeitgeist

Mac Mini for Mom

Tim Bray’s Mac Mini for Mom

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Perfect Shave

How to get that perfect shave

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Help Save PBS funding

Instead of forwarding this to all of my friends, I figured I’d post it here. I personally don’t mind my taxes being used to support PBS. My kid watches Sesame Street, and I listen to NPR whenever I’m not listening to my iPod.

Subject: This time, it’s for real: Save NPR and PBS

Hi,

You know that email petition that keeps circulating about how Congress is slashing funding for NPR and PBS? Well, now it’s actually true. (Really. Check at the bottom if you don’t believe me.)

Sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS:

http://www.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/

A House panel has voted to eliminate all public funding for NPR and PBS, starting with “Sesame Street,” “Reading Rainbow,” and other commercial-free children’s shows. If approved, this would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting, threatening to pull the plug on Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch.

The cuts would slash 25% of the federal funding this year—$100 million—and end funding altogether within two years. The loss could kill beloved children’s shows like “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” “Arthur,” and “Postcards from Buster.” Rural stations and those serving low-income communities might not survive. Other stations would have to increase corporate sponsorships.

Already, 300,000 people have signed the petition. Can you help us reach 400,000 signatures today?

http://www.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/

Thanks!

P.S. Read the Washington Post report on the threat to NPR and PBS at:

http://www.moveon.org/r?r=745

Rant about Plaxo

I just want to point out how much I abhor people that use Plaxo.

In general, Plaxo users don’t enter complete contact information into their contact records stored inside of Plaxo. This sucks because after a person adds me to their Plaxo database, Plaxo then sends me an email asking me to confirm the details that were entered.

When I see that they didn’t input my phone number, my job title, company, etc… I realize how truly lazy the person I’m dealing with is.

So, then I’m guilt-ridden about not wanting to update my contact record for this lazy fuck that didn’t enter all of my contact information in the first place…

I’ll eventually update their Plaxo record, but forevermore, I’ll remember how lazy this person was/is.

I realize that this person is generally busy, and that they don’t have time to enter all of that information by hand, but damn… All of my contact information is generally in every email I send out. Is it that hard to copy/paste?

My advice to Plaxo users? Take the time to enter all of my contact information before you have Plaxo ask me if it’s up to date. Otherwise, I’ll think you’re terribly vain and lazy.

Poor Kitties

My best friend runs HartzVictims.org.

He set up HartzVictims.org because his kitty, Riley, was hurt by Hartz’s flea and tick products back in the summer of 2001. Riley was featured on the local cable news channel, and the wrote numerous letters to Hartz, to no avail.

So, in 2002, he started up the site, to help spread the word about Hartz’s harmful products. Since then, he’s gathered about 700 stories about Hartz’s products causing harm to animals.

If you’re a cat lover, please tell everyone you know to be careful with Hartz feal and tick products. Their products have been lethal to some animals.

My friend and I hate seeing photos of kitties like poor TJ here. If you don’t want your friends’ kitties to look like poor TJ, please help publicize HartzVicitms.org, so that more kitties don’t get hurt.

Since I learned of Riley getting sick, I’ve only used flea and tick medicine that my vet prescribes, and advise you to do the same.

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.

Quick Links before July 4th weekend

I’m betting at this point that I won’t be posting again until next week, so, here are some links that I found interesting over the past month or so:

If you’re celebrating the 4th with me this weekend… enjoy. If you’re not celebrating with us Americans enjoy your weekend anyways ;)

Free MP3s – totally free

This site posts links to free MP3s as well as a few that are for sale… great stuff.

[via dasme]

Lara Flynn Boyle – lovely dress ?

I just watched E!’s best/worst coverage on the TV and had to comment about Lara Flynn Boyle’s dress:

Lovely girl, horrible dress

Can you believe she wore that? I mean, she looks great, but the dress?

[Note, I don’t normally comment on photos I put up here, but I couldn’t resist this time]

Can’t wait till next Monday night — The Practice changed nights.

[photo courtesy of Robyn]

Segway ranting…

Now Steven’s post on the Segway is just too funny:

John Robb: “Everyone who rides a Segway, wants to own a Segway.”

There has been a lot of Segway stuff showing up in the blogging community (and elsewhere) lately. The consensus seems to be that it’s a truly wonderful thingy indeed.

I wrote about my Segway experience back in October. I won’t deny that the technology is very cool, but I can’t say the experience left me wanting one.

Which is strange. Because if it’s shiny, and it’s new, I usually want it bad. So, why not the Segway?

Well, my earlier blog entry pretty much says it all. For distances less than a couple of miles, I’d rather walk (I need the exercise!). For longer distances, I have a car (or a bike, if I ever get around to re-learning how to ride. They say you never forget how. Don’t believe the lies.) This pretty much takes care of my transportation needs. I don’t really even have environmental guilt, which is popular here in Oregon. By my estimates, I drive substantially less than 5,000 miles a year.

There are something like 5 or 6 folks in our office building who all decided to jump in and buy Segways at the same time, and I see them riding down the street or the hallway on a fairly frequent basis. To put in perspective what I’m about to say, please understand that I am a geek. I was picked on all through school, picked last for every horrible P.E. game, etc, etc, but when I see these guys on their Segways, I want to push them off and steal their lunch money.

I’m not even kidding — the simple addition of a Segway turns what would otherwise be a single dork into an entire chess team on wheels. And if it can stir up this type of sentiment in a fellow geek, imagine what the baseball cap guys will want to do to you. I’m having horrible mental images of two high school quarterbacks throwing an 80 pound Segway back and forth over some guy’s head, chanting “You want your Segway? Come and get it! Come and get it!”

What the Segway community needs to do immediately, if it is to survive, is to cop a more “macho” image. Borrow a page from the Harley Davidson folks, and throw on a leather jacket. Liberally apply flame decals to your Segway. Find a way to make the Stirling engine extremely loud.

I am telling you all this as a friend. Act now, before the other side develops some sort of self-balancing wedgie machine.

On the other hand, maybe I’m just jealous.

BTW, this is my first post using the newest NewNewsWire Pro Beta from Brent Simmons (you rock Brent).

Sorry for the drought of postings

sandy girlI’ve been super busy trying to get my life in order after our move… regular postings will resume sometime soon (I hope)… dialup sucks and those open wireless nodes I mentioned a while back only work in the kitchen or so it seems (must be the rain).

and the tech industry matures…

Read this today:

Is technology maturing? HP is on the record stating that the technology industry is maturing. While this may provide cover as Carly reduces the once great innovator into a Microsoft VAR, in these recessionary days it’s worth pondering if the tech sector has any growth left. And what does “maturing” mean anyway?

Read More on Winterspeak… It’s an amazing discourse on the economics of the tech industry, in a bite sized chunk.

favorite FAQ Answer

towel anyone?This from the Mailsmith FAQ:

1. Why don’t you support [insert favorite features here]

Our initial hope had been to release Mailsmith as a version 4.0 product. However, this turned out to be an unrealistic goal and we instead released Mailsmith 1.0 ;-)

So, we weren’t able to put all of the features we would have wanted in Mailsmith 4.0 into the first release. That said, we do plan/hope to add new features to Mailsmith for years to come. Many of these will be features currently in other mail clients but not in Mailsmith 1.0. However, many of them will also be features which are entirely new to the world of email clients.

Mailsmith is a wonderful email client from Bare Bones, and I love their FAQ. The above Q&A has to be the most fun answer I’ve ever seen from a developer regarding the question of features. Too funny.

Quit pulling RSS feeds so much

HeidiAfter reading this post about RSS feeds and costs from Mark Pilgrim, I’ve decided to stop pulling RSS feeds every 30 minutes with NetNewsWire. I was pulling them so often so that I could stay up to date, but, it’s really not that neccessary to pull them that often, so, I’m decided to do my part to save everyone some cash. I’m now pulling RSS feeds once every 4 hours…

… and, actually, I’ll be checking my blogroll more often than that, so that’s enough for me to stay up to date, I think.

(btw, if you have a blog, and aren’t pinging weblogs.com when you update, I’ll probably only read your site once a week or at most once per day, cause you’ll never show up with an “*” next to your site in my blogroll. The “*” denotes that the site was recently updated with a ping to weblogs.com)

Site Down tonight

Quick note: My hosting provider, Intuitive ISP will be upgrading the server that this site is hosted on tonight between 9pm Eastern and 2am Eastern, so the site will most likely be down during that time. If you need a host for a website, I’d recommend Intuitive ISP, as they’ve always been able to do that little something extra when asked. That’s the mark of a good customer experience mantra…

Spamming the referrer logs

Kasia wrote about her recent awareness of someone spamming her referrer logs. I’ve seen the same thing here on inluminent, and didn’t know what was causing it, but thanks to Kasia, I’ve learned that at least its not just me. Kuroshin’s article on it was pretty helpful as it also backs up the fact that this practice happens, and seems to be becoming more prevalent.

On email and keeping it straight

gotta love the furAt work I use a PC, with Outlook, to manage my email. I hate it, but only becuase I can’t make myself like it, not for any quantifyable reason.

So, with that in mind, I realize that the FuzzyGroup has just released Inbox Buddy 0.9, a ‘plugin’ for Outlook. I’m downloading it right now, and hope that it does a better job than Six Degrees did for me. (read the Buddy Blog for a quick update on where it’s at in development)

(Btw, ZOË still kicks ass on my Macintosh)

Books on the ‘to buy’ list

I may not have the time to do read all the time, but these books just got added to my ‘buy soon’ list:

Small Pieces Loosely Joined

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

TiVo? Nope, PS2.

I’ve wanted a TiVo for way too long, but upon reading this story on news.com, I’m thinking that I don’t want a TiVo, I just want to upgrade my PS2. Less boxes in the entertainment cabinet is good, and a great marketing angle for Sony. Too bad that the first US release of this technology would probably come 6 months to a year after the Japanese release.

[via Marc’s Voice]

The Power of Google — now harnessed

palms anyone?I have now harnessed the power of news.google into my RSS Aggregator of choice: NetNewsWire Lite.

Thanks to Bruce for setting up the RSS Feeds for news.google.

LMAO — ‘go to hell’

I can’t steal the punchline to this one from Kasia, so go read the joke and the punchline at her site. Classic.

flattery

Monday was a good day for incoming referrers.

It seems that Tony Pierce finally stumbled onto this little weblog, and thinks that I’m doing it better than him… Thanks Tony. That is terribly high praise, in my opinion. Most of you don’t know this, but Tony’s weblog was the key inspiration for inluminent/weblog. And, I think Tony’s doing a wonderful job on his site.

Rick mused about the reader reactions to this little ol’ weblog. I maintain that the photos might not make some of the potential readers out there happy, but at the same time haven’t received negative comment one, yet, though I’m dreading the day it starts. The goal here with the pictures of beautiful women is not to offend, but rather to spice up what would other wise be considered drab content. And at the same time, hopefully more readership will push me to produce better content… who knows… we’ll see somewhere long term what happens.

Jeremy says that inluminent/weblog is ‘beautiful’. Thanks Jeremy.

Andy’s vote of confidence helps… though I’m hoping he gets a little less busy sometime soon, so he can personally write more.

Scott Knowles reads inluminent/weblog “purely for the articles”. heh… nice one Scott.

The reverse cowgirl has been nice to me from day one (though I can’t figure out why I’m not on her blogroll sidebar thingy)

512 MB CF card for $149

Just ordered a 512MB Compact Flash card from Amazon for $149 after mail-in rebates. Great deal, considering a year ago I bought a 64MB card for about $150. [via gizmodo]

take care of your lawn: Kuro5hin rocks

I meant to blog this earlier in the day, as it’s a great example of why I love Kuro5hin.org.

The other side of greener grass

I don’t know about other countries, but many US homeowners are really obsessed with their lawns. I guess growing grass around your house is better than pouring concrete. Of course, considering the amount of water, pesticides and chemicals poured on lawns annually, maybe there’s a down side… unless you go organic.

Sometimes growing things organically can be more difficult and more expensive, but in the case of your yard, just the opposite is true: For the most part, it’s both easier and cheaper.

You may think reading about lawn care is about as interesting as watching grass grow, but come with me on a short (barefoot) stroll through the geeky side of organic turf maintenance….

There are 11 main points that the author of this article makes about the care of your lawn (which is a big deal to any homeowner in a decent neighborhood) that should be read. Great article. Great community over there. I love it.

books to buy

Michelle BranchThese books are on my ‘to buy and read’ list:

Small Pieces Loosely Joined

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

Small Time Operator, 25th Ed

pelf defined

pelf \PELF\, noun:

Wealth or riches, especially when dishonestly acquired.

Pelf comes from Old French pelfre, “booty, stolen goods.” It is related to pilfer.

See Dictionary.com for more information.

upgrade your TiVo – I want one

I’m looking at buying a TiVo, or something similar (I’m tired of missing the show I like to watch, and would like to watch them faster, by getting rid of the commercials… heh… and I sell advertising for a living). I found a place to get your TiVo upgraded. I don’t have a Tivo, but read somewhere else (can’t remember for the life of me) that some guy wasn’t going to buy one becuase he didn’t think it was expandable. We’ll they are… get the kit from weaknees.com.

the Texans won… heh…

the houston texan cheerleader I'd like to ...Let me make this very clear. I hate the Dallas Cowboys. I grew up in Houston, and was a ‘Luv Ya Blue’ kind of kid back in the day, and now that I live up here in Cowboy land, I hate it. I don’t even watch the evening news because that’s all they talk about — the Cowboys.

So, to find out that the Cowboys lost the season opener to an expansion team, and the Houston Texas at that, I was exstatic. Woohoo!

Go Oilers… err… ehem… I mean Texans.

Smart Quotes with MT… from Daring Fireball

I stumbled across the Daring Fireball weblog tonight, which is run by John Gruber, formerly of BareBones. Interesting reading over there…

The best piece I found though happens to be this tutorial on how to turn your dumb quotes into smart quotes in Movable Type. I’ll not copy the entire article here, but would rather refer you to the article over there, as they’ve done a masterful job of showing you how to do it.

Thanks John, I’ll be installing this in the coming days…

Dumb iPod clone – bad execution by Toshiba

This quick post by Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing helps tell the story of why DRM in consumer devices just plain sucks for consumers. Toshiba’s got a great idea, which they implemented horribly. Again, Apple seems to be the hands down leader in the consumer electronics market, with others just trying to catch up, and failing miserably in the execution.

Great way to show ‘user agent’ from an aggregator.

victoria, isn't she beautifulThis is a small pet peeve of mine, and a few other people I’ve met through their weblogs:

Les Orchard has implemented a great ‘user-agent’ page in his personal news aggregator. Keith doesn’t like the fact that some aggregators out there use a webpage promoting the aggregator itself as their ‘user-agent’ url, as does John Wiseman. I think it’s pretty annoying that these aggregators don’t allow the user of the aggregator to include some sort of personal URL that would point out to the webpage owner being aggregated that says ‘hey, I’m reading your website’. That’s what Les is doing. He’s saying ‘hey, I like your content enoguh right now to want to read it.’ And that’s a compliment to me, and should be to all of the other sites that he’s aggregating, and for that I thank Les, but I can’t do that to any of the people reading this weblog through radio, or NetNewsWire, or any of the other aggregators that aren’t as friendly as Les’s. So, I think I’ll start parsing them out of my referrals links, until I see them playing nice in the future.

Thanks Les for showing me how it should be done.

[Later] It seems that Aggie does attempt to help the webpage owner, but its dependent on the user to configure the client properly, which I’m cool with. I haven’t checked all of the aggregators out there, but will as I see them show up in my referrers.

If you’re a news aggregator developer and haven’t added a way for the user to specify a personal page that tells a little about them, or maybe is just their weblog/homepage, then please do so in the future… it’ll help all of us weblog writers learn a little about who’s reading our weblogs, and that’ll help us write better, I’d think. It’ll also get you points in my book, and no-doubt, in other weblog writer’s books… thanks in advance.

Movable Type 2.5 is coming soon

Ben and Mena posted a list of new features for MT 2.5 yesterday. Some of the Key features I’m anticipating are:

  1. Integration of MTSearch
  2. Ability to ping blo.gs and other services that accept pings adhering to the Weblogs.com XML-RPC interface.
  3. “Keywords/Metadata” field added to entries.
  4. More accessible default templates that follow guidelines from Mark Pilgrim’s Dive Into Accessibility.

Can’t wait to install it ;)

Phil covers the releases here, mentioning that the update will obsolete some of this hacks.

BBC News Feeds

I used these feeds to find the BBC news I read earlier in the day:

RSS feed of the front page

RSS feed of technology news

RSS feed of UK news

RSS feed of World news

Meant to post those earlier, but lost them and then found them again recently on Oblomovka.

So, we’ve attacked Iraq, or have we?

I’m sitting at my desk, minding my own business, when I get an email from my boss that says “U.S., UK launch major Iraq airstrikes

100 U.S. and British planes reportedly target military facility, but both sides keep mum.

British media reported Friday that 100 British and American planes have launched the biggest air attack on Iraq in four years, possibly foreshadowing the early stages of a future U.S. invasion to oust Saddam Hussein. President Bush, meanwhile, used telephone diplomacy Friday to try to persuade three skeptical nations China, Russia and France that action against Baghdad is urgently needed.

I then turn to the BBC, as the MSNBC story is laking any depth. I find this:

Only a small number of aircraft actually released weapons: The overall “strike package” including electronic warfare planes, accompanying fighters and so on, probably numbered no more than 30 aircraft.

Then a co-worker forwards me this article from Sky.com, another UK based pub:

The planes carried out the assault after coming under fire while patrolling a no-fly zone.

Precision-guided weapons were used to hit an air defence command and control facility at a military airfield 240 miles from Baghdad.

Why do the American Media outlets sensationalize everything so much? This doesn’t sound nearly as bad as it does from MSNBC. Argh…

Quick scan of the GlennLogs

Spent a good while reading the GlennLogs last night (they were working fine versus the rest of the internet not existing) and I must say that Glenn seems to be an outstanding writer, and quite knowledgeable about the Mac OS. This post on Apple’s DDR use is an interesting read, and his post on Quartz problems is sort of mind bloggling, in that I’ve had no problems at all with Jaguar after the initial install. I’m really pissed that I can’t read his review of Jaguar though (still having dns issues I guess) but at least I could read the short version.