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Album Review: People of Earth — Dr. Steel

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Was I reviewing an album or a complete online persona? (luv the teddy)

How I found him.

I was checking some suggested artists out on LAST.FM when I came across Ronald McDonald as a suggested artist…. FTW? So, I clicked only to find Steampunk among the genres connected to The Red Haired Clown. I was surprised to find the steampunk actually existed as a music genre, and as a fan of brass goggles (not the clown), I clicked the tag and was presented with a list of thumbnails of artists associated with Steampunk… And there he was, his iconic profile, a beacon of light among the dully and morbidly Gothic profiles that were plugging themselves by adding the avant-garde  SteamPunk tag to their profile.

I’m really sorry, but even Emilie Autumn, who classes herself as Victoriandustrial, was far more Steampunk than any of the emo faces I saw here! And so I was compelled to click on the austere, out-of-place-in-his-own-genre profile of Dr. Steel.

Overview

As I always do before I listen to a new artist, I clicked on his gallery and was confronted with a menagerie of slick images. The sheer imagination, originality and production values of the photos effectively demonstrated what a consummate detail-artist he is. Not only that, but the wide range of influences, including Vaudeville, Jules Verne, Victorian, Lincoln, Industrial, Frankenstein, Tom Waits, Nine Inch Nails, Vlad Tepez and Marilyn Manson are truly a delight to behold.

More importantly, although coming across as intensely, almost pretentiously stylish and cool, there was an immediate intelligence matched with an equal aura of playfulness and frivolity  to the images that was outstanding.

On the Dr. Steel profile page of Last.fm  there was a suggestion of the Dr. Steel Show, so heading over to Youtube I soon found them and each one just has to be watched!

Dr. Steel Show

  • Ep #1
  • Ep #2
  • Ep #3 – doubling as Back and Forth music video.

Immediately beguiled, I headed over to emusic.com in the hope that his albums would be available; they were!

He has made only three albums since 2001 so was clearly not what one would call prolific, nor, by his mere 13,000 odd LAST.FM listeners could he be considered in any way mainstream…

I listened to the 30 second clips before choosing People of Earth as my first album.

People of Earth

Dr. Steel - People of Earth Album Cover

Dr. Steel - People of Earth

First up, the song titles are a mixture of Frank Black and Frank Zappa. Fibonacci Sequence… C’mon Seriously? And he made a song about it? What is this, the The Songatron?

  1. Imagination
  2. Fibonacci Sequence
  3. Planet X Marks the Spot
  4. Back and Forth
  5. Bogeyman Boogie
  6. Ode to Revenge
  7. Glutton
  8. Secret Message
  9. Atomic Superstar
  10. We Decide
  11. Winky in C Minor
  12. The Singularity

This album has a number of highlights, from the high energy glam rock opening of Imagination through to the grind-rock of The Singularity, there is a cohesion and theme which sets this album apart from a number of concepts.

The second track, Fibonacchi Sequence is a remarkably unbalancing mix of absurdism and industrial rap, which somehow manages to cover the subject with humor.

The first real highlight of the album comes with Planet X Marks the Spot, an upbeat number cleverly bemoaning the mess that humans have got themselves into. The faithful sampled Mariachi strings and brass, keep the pace and energy levels high with a catchy hook being peppered throughout the song. As the most instrumented song on the album, It also features accordion, saw and bow, music box and steel piano.

Dr. Steel rages against blind consumerism in the catchiest song of the album, Back and Forth (as played in Dr. Steel Show Part 3 – above), which combines an outstanding combination of the swinging 20’s muted trumpets and double bass on top of throaty lyrics.

The weakest part of the album is the instrumental Bogeyman Boogie, which while having an attractive Spanish Guitar riff, comes across as a pale Zappaesque imitation shot through with rather nasty Scoobie Doo cartoonish sound effects… Sorry but this one’s not a keeper.

Dr. Steel gets himself all glammed up and dramatic with the unsettling Ode to Revenge, a Gothic Opera which flits somewhere between Tom Waits at his creepiest and Joe Cocker on heroin. It spins the background story of frustration at modern (American) society and a Fight Club like desire to “Burn it All Down”

Glutton is a Metal-driven, stadium-filling power anthem which has Dr. Steel screaming his way though the track at breakneck pace. This is perhaps the only song you’ll ever heard featuring a Dalek chorus.

He breaks out a Bowie-like spread of electronica for Secret Message, a song which seems to me to suggest someone going mad and beginning to spot messages and patterns in the static.

Atomic Superstar is a curious ode to Godzilla as he rampages through the centre of Tokyo. Fun, perhaps but, but it comes across more a confused and incoherent mess of disparate styles rather than meshing like the other, superior tracks on this album. not as memorable as the other tracks on the album.

Another excellent track can be found in We Decide. Which has Dr. Steels relates a cleverly crafted story in a close miked radio croon over Spanish guitar, accordion and double bass with a simple and very catchy riff. It is notable for its lower tone, more laid back instrumentation and harmonic backing choir.

The Doctor gets all “Nightmare Before Christmas” for Winky in C Minor, another instrumental which comes across more stocking filler than wanted present.

It does however prepare the listener well for the darkest and lyrically most interesting number of the album, The Singularity, which is a darkly brooding rock track on the convergence of humans and technology and the transcendence of genetics.

All in all, Dr. Steel has produced another album, which while not being Earth shatteringly epic in any way, does set out to do what it was meant to… Entertain.

It is an excellent example of production, flair for the humorous and is very, very catchy.

Give Dr. Steel a listen on You Tube.

Categories: 2) Music & Film

iMac 27″ screen displays dark stains, spots and patches

November 15, 2010 30 comments

My iMac 27″ which has performed flawlessly since I acquired it in March of 2009, has started to develop dark patches here and there, across its once pristine façade. And this pisses me off, mightily.

It all started in summer of 2008 when my first iMac (the new Intel Aluminium 24″ iMac) started to develop dark stains on the screen…

Mac 24″ roasting with dark patches on screen (12th August, 2008)

There were various theories bandied about, such as overheating, condensation leading to mould, dust sucked into the system, etc… But my  room is airconditioned and on the 9th floor of an apartment, above the majority of dust and grime. And although the room sometimes reached 35 degrees (right on the edge of operating spec) or so, there was never any condensation and I always used air conditioning when I with operating the computer.

Before discussing, let me fill you in on a little background with this post:

Aluminium iMac 24″ screen displays patches, uneven brightness and dark spots saga recap

So you can see that I have a history of nasty screenage.

The effects are not so great that the screen is unusable, but in my experience these things never improve with age.

So, here we go again, it is with a sense of deja vu and disdain that I contact Apple this afternoon to see what can be done.

Here’s the money shot:

 

picture of imac 27 LED backlit screen showing mottling

This iMac 27" LED backlit screen has recently developed a mottled appearance

*edit* THIS WAS SHOT IN A PITCH BLACK ROOM, IT IS NOT A REFLECTION.

Aluminium iMac 24″ screen displays patches, uneven brightness and dark spots saga recap

November 15, 2010 13 comments

My Aluminium iMac 24″ started to develop dark patches and black spots during the summer of 2008. It was well into it’s second year of Apple Care, so I was glad I’d purchased the extended cover.

—> For 27″ iMac story, click here.

Here is a picture of my disfigured screen, which I posted in the original blog entry.

picture of iMac screen showing mottled patches and uneven brightness

Dark patches are clearly visible on the left with the right hand obviously darker

My Intel ‘Aluminium’ iMac 24″ roasting with dark spots on screen

I first sent it in for repairs a couple of days after that, as detailed here.

My iMac 24″ comes back from repairs in record time.

My initial feeling of satisfaction remained for almost a year, and the screen performed flawlessly for most of it. But as time progressed, I couldn’t help noticing that the bottom left hand corner was

was subdued by the quality of the second screen which was much lower than the original it replaced. I contacted Apple again and sent the screenshot below.

iMac 24" screen showing darkened left hand region

The lower left region was less than half as bright as the centre of the screen.

A call back from a more senior engineer suggested a further replacement screen.

So, I zeroed my drive, reinstalled tiger and sent it back with screenshots and explanations saved to the desktop.

The machine came back a couple of days later and no sooner had I powered it up than a horrible feeling came over me.

Second New Screen

The second replacement was just ghastly. After leaving it to “warm up” for an hour, I took the above screenshot. I didn’t even reinstall. I just put it straight back in the box, contacted Apple again and had the bloody thing replaced forthwith.

iMac screenshot showing bandind down left hand side and darker central region

This screen clearly shows striping down the left hand side and a dark central region

This time, a more senior member of staff contacted me, since this was now the third time to “fix” the problem.

She explained that the next screen would be the final screen I would be able to receive, since a screen could be replaced a maximum of three times.

So I explained to her that in actual fact, the screen would be replaced as many times as was necessary to ensure that I could do my work on it again, as I had done when I first purchased it. She seemed a little surprised by the concept.

I explained that the new screens were clearly inferior in clarity, regularity and colour balance and were clearly a different make from the originals. She would neither confirm nor deny this.

Once more she asked me to realise that this would be the last free replacement they would give, and I was once more forced to explain that this was not a favour to a mate, this was in order to fulfill the legal requirement of “fit for purpose” and obey advertising standards as on their original advert: A built-in professional grade screen perfect for editing photos and videos, and serious graphical applications, the screen was far from professional or perfect.

I asked for the screen to be fully tested and have an engineer report the fact to me before returning the machine, a demand to which she acceded graciously.

The engineer called and said that the screen had been calibrated for both colour and brightness and was found to be well within specifications.

Great! Finally, we were getting somewhere… Surely this time, the machine would have a lovely, clear screen, like the one it first came with.

The computer came back the next day.

I fired it up.

Bong. Came the chime.  It was immediately and, by this point, unsurprisingly apparent that this screen was also substandard.

iMac screenshot showing a dark band along the centre of the screen.

This screen shows a terrible, dark band on the left hand side

I contacted Apple again and this time, they put me straight back though to the lady in charge. I showed her the picture above and asked her if this was typical Apple quality.

No she admitted…

I asked her who had tested the screen and who had assured me that it was within spec. She couldn’t release the information, she said, but she would speak with him before contacting me back.

An hour later the phone rang and with an apologetic tone, the lady asked me to send the machine back in and confirmed that “some irregularities in the testing procedures had been found.”

Off it went.

The next day, a call from the chief engineer confirmed that the screen was below standard. But since there were no more screens of the original standard, the next screen might well be of the same quality or even worse. But, if I was not satisfied with the next screen, I could have the whole machine replaced.

The machine was back in my hands the next day, with another substandard screen, with almost the same patterns of distortion as the second replacement I’d received.

Screen shot of iMac showing banding and colour shift

This photo clearly shows the nasty banding on the left, a dark central region and a severely pink-tinted right hand edge.

‘Since there are no more 24″ iMacs in stock, I’m afraid we are going to have to replace it with a different model. But we guarantee that it will be of at least the same spec or higher than your last model.”

“Whatever,” I said resignedly, as long as the screen is clear.

Two days later, the machine below arrived on my doorstep.

Intel iMac 27"

The new iMac 27" with LCD backlit screen.

Now we’re talking…

Thank you Apple. It was a long and winding road, but well worth it. A machine nearly 3 years newer than the one it replaced. Although they had some quality control issues, they were constantly polite, attentive and very forthcoming with “fixes”.

Here’s another satisfied Apple customer (albeit with caveats).

Elbow: One Day Like This Featured in Apple’s new Macbook Air Commercial

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

I just watched the recent Apple Stevenote (keynote speech by Steve Jobs) and as usual, Apple chose some uplifting music for the Macbook Air advert at the end of the show, to which I found myself humming along.

Then it hit me who the song was by!

ELBOW!

Elbow Winning the Music Prize

A rather stoned looking Elbow winning the Mercury Music Prize.

It would seem that Elbow, the band named after what the Singing Detective described as the “loveliest word in the English language,” have finally “arrived!”.

Was it the Murcury Prize they won a few years back that would ear mark them for success? Nope.

Was it the fantastic performance of said song at Glastonbury in the same year? Nope…

No, Apple’s choice of backing track for their new Macbook Air 13″ and 11″ might just prove the break this epically talented band needs to get them and their remarkable back catalogue spanning 20 years or so, some much needed air time.

Here’s hoping that a day like this is just what elbow need to nudge them into the spotlight.

Album Review: Cloud Cult – Who Killed Puck?

September 26, 2010 4 comments

Cloud Cult is a band with a long history that I have just started to appreciate. They are hard to identify because of their eclectic mix of acoustic and wired instruments with genre busting arrangements swinging from lo-fi to orchestral not just within any particular album, but within a single track!

As concept or “story” albums go, this one’s story is somewhat low key. It is a loosely themed collection of songs telling the story of the birth of “Puck” his alienation from society, his initial attempts to fit and final rejection ending in death. Depressing subject matter, perhaps, but delivered with a lyricism of startling compassion and warmth that sounds more “hope springs eternal” than Armageddon.

At first I was a little underwhelmed, but having become a fan of The Mountain Goats, Elliott Smith and Lost in the Trees, I knew that repeated listens would bear dividends… And I wasn’t mistaken. What at first appears to be a mishmash of unrelated tracks, or unrelated verses within the tracks, turns out on careful listening to be a finely crafted story of the demise of a young man who had done nothing to deserve his fate.

Who Killed Puck?

  1. Where it starts – A track I prefer to think of as “I found God” since that lyric is repeated throughout the whole song. It is a coming of age classic where a boy is constantly reaching higher highs and lower lows on his trip through adolescent to adulthood. Repetitious and remarkably catchy, the simple construction belies the multilayered music that builds slowly throughout the track. It would appear to be the story of the meeting of Puck’s parents.
  2. Conception – One voice, one guitar, recorded on a tape deck and filtered to death doesnt get much lower fi than this. A killer melody tugs on the heartstrings and makes this track a Low-Fi masterpiece. Seems to be talking about the soul of Puck moving into its host…
  3. 9 Months – a meandering, instrumental track that sways from a Mike Oldfield, Amarok-style multilayered drum heavy “native” rhythm to his electric-guitar heavy, riff laden and back without going anywhere… An ode to Oldfield, perhaps… There is a sense of frustration in the song but it’s title would suggest it is the birth of Puck…. Ending inthe whispered lines “I am Human”.
  4. Pucks 6th Birthday – a Micro segue of a warbling childlike taunt…. unsettling stuff. Thankfully short.
  5. Becoming One of You – The story of a boy who does anything and everything to fit in with the crowd, ultimately ending in disappointment and rejection. The Eels could have sung the first minute or so of this song, but the almost Heavy Metal like bass and electric guitar which come into the forefront as the track progresses might give the fact away that it wasn’t. At just under a half of the way through, the song takes a left turn and heads into familiar electronica overladen guitarwork with repeated lyrics, as is common throughout the tracks on this album…
  6. Ad Brainwash (Part 1) – A minute or so is samples and sounds from the swinging sixties, highlighting consumerism and idleness which blurs into the main event:
    6 Days – One of the highlights of the album. A mutating rhythm underlies a narrated discussion on the brevity of Human existence. Based on a speech by David Brower, an environmentalist and the founder of Friends of the Earth. Nice, but I don’t see how it furthers the concept of the album.

    The lyrics are so compelling, I took the liberty of quoting them here:

    Compare the 6 days of the book of Genesis
    to the 4 billion years of geologic time.
    On this scale, 1 day equals about 666 billion years.
    All day Monday, until Tuesday noon
    creation was busy getting the earth going.
    Life began on Tuesday noon
    and the beautiful organic wholeness of it
    developed over the next 4 days.
    At 4 P.M. Saturday, the big reptiles came.
    5 hours later, when the redwoods appeared
    there were no longer big reptiles.
    At 3 minutes before midnight, man appeared.
    One-fourth of a second before midnight, Christ revolted.
    One-fortieth of a second before midnight, the industrial revolution began.
    We are surrounded by people who think
    that what we have been doing for
    one-fortieth of a second can go on indefinitely.
    They are considered normal.
    But they are stark. raving. mad.

  7. Pretty – Puck finds temporary solace in the infatuation with a girl. The key word being temporary. Starting off with one voice, one guitar, the song builds into one of the strongest, most a soaring climaxes of the album.
  8. Sane As Can Be – The song starts off as a gentle acoustic track marks the middle of the album and is perhaps the turning point in Puck’s life as he goes over the edge as he reveals his secrets and philosophy to his girlfriend, who appears to reject him. This turning point comes as the song flips to an electric guitar track with some fine Metal drumming. Comparisons might be drawn to About a Boy mutating into Susu or Spoon.
  9. Do You Ever Think About – Segue hears two people discuss suicide as its rhythms build into something which would have fit on the heavier bits of “War of the Worlds”
  10. Ad Brainwash (pt 2) – Are two segues in a row technically segues at all? Who knows.
  11. Ready To Fight – This song continues on where from Becoming One of You left off and reveals Pucks anger boil over and his rejection of society and its values.
  12. Who Killed Puck? – A “noise track” more than a song. You can quite literally hear Puck’s whole life flashing in front of him with lyrics from ‘conception’ leaking in in the background, suggesting his soul’s return to the ether.
  13. You Can’t Come Back Again / Close – A beautiful ode to the end of life… turning full circle to ‘Conception’. Again building into a climax of Mike Oldfield “Guitars” proportions.This is where the fun ends, so you might as well stop listening here.
  14. Bonus track 1: Lies – A funky yet unremarkable track about, funnily enough, Lies. If it were to fit into the album, it would have been something that Puck got angry about.
  15. Bonus Track 2: The Yin and Yan of Sex: A dull closing track. enough said.

Zend Server 4.0.6 + Framework 1.9 and PDO_MYSQL on Mac OS X always defaults to /temp/mysql.sock

December 8, 2009 Leave a comment

I always get an error like the one below when I first run Zend Server with a Zend Framework 1.9 app.

Fatal error: Uncaught exception ‘Zend_Db_Adapter_Exception’
with message ‘SQLSTATE[HY000] [2002] Can’t connect to local
MySQL server through socket ‘/tmp/mysql.sock’

Of course, recompiling PHP and so on might fix it, but I found, for time’s sake, it’s simpler to just to issue the command from the terminal. (You’ll need to be admin or know an admin’s password).

sudo ln -s /usr/local/zend/mysql/tmp/mysql.sock /tmp/mysql.sock

If you’re fed up of running this command every time you log in, just download Lingon and create a task that runs automatically on boot or login.

Some inspiring Music…

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

OK I admit this is a recycled post… It’s late, I was asked by a pal on facebook to offer some music suggestions… Half way though, I realised I was actually listing music I like…

Anyway…
I’m avoiding my mainstream faves, like Radiohead, PJ Harvey, The Pixies etc. and it’s a time limited (I gave myself 20 mins to compile this and not a minute more…) report so don’t say “sux compared to xxxx or what about”…. unless you’re offering me some hints on what to listen to…

Here’s some music by people who actually mean what they sing…

Angela Ai – She’s an ABC, somewhat Christian overtones, Piano heavy, Broadwayesque, moments of shining beauty from the darkness.

Tom Waits – Kentucky Bourbon Fried Blues from a man who practically lived on the streets to get his inspiration.

Damien Rice – Awesome emotion, Catholic upbringing, the guy literally has to be carried off of stage on a stretcher.

Magdalen Hsu Li – OMG real life slapyaindaface songs! A truly beautiful person who quite literally went through hell. Famous for her classic, “Fuck Bush” which is actually far lower quality than her usual stuff.

And the rest:
who else who else…

Sia… what a soulful woman. luv luv!!!

Imogen Heap… Best full on fem voice since the Annie Lennox of Eurythmics and solo fame.

Sarah Nixey of Black Box Recorder – Political and Social disconnect brought to life in song.

Emilie Autumn – Life vs. Death, Religion vs. Sex. Violin vs. Rock. Awesome talent, unique voice: Mega intelligent, witty, a gorgeous lolita and a great songwriter (she’s actually one of the finest living violinists on the planet) she’s also a bag of pure contradiction.

The Decemberists – Widest eclectic vocabulary of any band, mixed in with a sweeping vista of influences.

Savatage – Metal – As is often the case with metal, heavy moral/corruption overtones but played out to a T… have Two great albums, Gutter Ballet and Streets.

Gregory Hoskins: Fund this guy randomly last moth… Mix of Sting, Paul Simon and Buena Vista Social Club. The guy is gold.

Didn’t have much to go on but I hope this helps.

’nuff already. I’m off to watch Battlestar Galactica.

Rev. A iMac 17″ G5 1.6GHz doesn’t sleep or power up consistently

October 8, 2009 Leave a comment

imac-g5I’ve just been given a non functional iMac which wouldn’t switch on from a friend. It’s an iMac G5 17″ 1.6GHz first edition (Rev A) and on the assumption I could get it working, I offered her some free English lessons!

I opened her up and took a cursory look.

For those of you who have never owned a first ed. G5 iMac, they are a feat of user serviceable engineering. The interior design is as beautiful as the exterior, without a wire in sight.

iMac G5 rev. A 17 inch interior

Three screws and the back comes off, revealing a completely modular design. Practically every component is user serviceable and replaceable, which is a good thing since the Rev As were remarkably prone to failure, apparently!

The machine itself looked rather battered and yellowed with smoke (the previous user is a smoker) but was in really good condition considering its age, since she had thoughtfully opened it up once every few months to vacuum inside!

However, it just would not power up unless the power button was pressed repeatedly.

On plugging it in with the back off, the first of four status LEDs was on, showing a trickle current. But shorting out the power button connectors didn’t power it up like it should until a random number of presses.

iMac G5 17inch diagnostic LEDs

Moreover, the machine would shut down the moment it was put to sleep.

After brief research, the main culprit appeared to be power supply, or more precisely a set of blown capacitors which came from a batch of fakes sold under a Japanese brand name to Dell, HP and Apple during 2004.

I pulled out the old soldering iron and replaced them with superior rated ones, one by one, testing in between.

All was hunky dory until I went to replace the final capacitor. In my excitement (!) , I forgot  to discharge the power supply, got a spark when I touched it with the soldering iron, and all was over. The thing was dead.

I decided to give up on the repair and contacted Apple to see if they would sell me a new one. No dice. In Japan, Apple is not obliged to supply user replacement parts since consumer rights are non existent. Instead I would have to ship it to them, looked at, have random parts replaced, all at my expense. They warned me that the cost would be a minimum of 48,000 yen or about 500 dollars.

Pay that? Not on your nellie.

Instead, I ordered one from http://www.macproonline.com for $120+postage on Thursday night at 2am and it arrived at lunchtime on Monday.

A five minute swap later (details available on Aples’s G5 iMac support site) and the thing has worked perfectly since!

A little disappointing, but still cheap.

Firewire vs. USB

September 10, 2009 2 comments

The battle between Firewire (A.K.A. IEEE 1394, iLink) and USB rages on.

i switch

It’s well known that although USB 2.0 shows a higher speed on paper (480Mbps vs. 400Mbps) than Firewire, due to inefficiencies in USB protocol and the fact that USB requires the host to manage the transfer of data, Firewire is in actual fact faster on the whole.

The reason is cited as being not just the efficient, real-time, streaming oriented protocol but the Firewire controller itself, which manages much of the dirty work when it comes to data transfer, offloading the stress of controlling real-time, high speed data from the motherboard/CPU onto the device.

This offers two main benefits:

  1. The host CPU or controller has less work to do and can focus on other, more important stuff, meaning the attached host will feel more responsive and less stressed under heavy load.
  2. Because major data flow control is performed on the device itself, wasteful, detailed control data does not have to flow back and forth between the device and the host, leading to less wastage and latency.

…and two main drawbacks:

  1. The controller is relatively complex and thus expensive.
  2. The controller’s complexity can lead to difficult to diagnose compatibility issues.

Which leads to my main issue.

My Logitec MA-16FU2/WM external firewire and USB dvd burner regularly fails to mount disks on my Mac, while connected by Firewire but performs flawlessly with USB.

Basically, no disks inserted will mount at all under Snow Leopard.

Indeed “about this mac/more info…” shows no sign of any volume in this drive, whether it’s directly connected to the mini or via the firewire hub of the Princeton PHD-MM160IUH.

Moreover a second firewire / USB device will often fail to remount over firewire if I shut it down or disconnect it. Again, it works flawlessly over USB. Moreover, it even works with Firewire when connected to my Windows PC!

Go figure!

I’ve tried:

sudo kextunload
/System/Library/Extensions/IOFireWireFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleFWOHCI.kext/

and:

sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/IOFireWireFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleFWOHCI.kext/

but the external drives just shut down and restart, still without mounting the volumes.

No joy.

It’s really ironic that the Mac has worse support for firewire than Windows, especially since Apple were one of the founders of the specification.

basically, despite the ‘so-called’ superiority Firewire, I can only get my job done reliably with USB… sigh.

Mac vs. PC ad nauseam

August 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Even I have my limits when it comes to arguments.

So I would like to say:
“Will everyone just pipe down!”
I don’t care which machine is more or less secure, that isn’t an issue. Security is not the issue at all; it’s relative safety.

I have used windows since 3.1 and have never contracted a virus.
I have used Macs since os 9 and have never contracted a virus.
I have owned about equal numbers of both machines.

While nothing can protect users from themselves, we often forget that
safety and security are not the same thing.

This is why this whole thread is tosh; You trying to reconcile two
different arguments without distinguishing between them.

Take a gun for example, whether used in either Japan or the US, it is
equally deadly. But statistics say that Japan is safer. Is there
something about Japan that makes guns intrinsically less deadly? No
Are US citizens better trained at handguns on average than the
Japanese? Perhaps.
Are those from the US more likely to die when hit in the head by a
bullet? Who knows.

The PC has long since left the cliques of the University Labs and “IBM
Rooms” but the Mac still has an air of the quaint, little, local hippy
community where it was fathered, a place where everyone knows each
others’ first name.

There are still vestiges of this “Mac spirit” remaining, although they
are becoming harder and harder to find.

Still, just like I leave my house door open here in Japan more often
than I would in the US or the UK, I prefer to let my kids browse on
the Mac, just to be safe.

Sure there is a risk, but then, we all know that, don’t we… because
we’re not stupid.

This is of course changing and I will miss the Mac when it goes
mainstream, when it will be just another PC, only one running OSX
instead of W7 or Linux.

We are all on the same side here we want a safe place for ourselves
and our families and businesses.

Let’s not spend this time divided and bickering like kids in the
playground saying their father is toughest. Instead, we should use the
nous we have to hunt down the ba * ds who make the malware and
educate those around us.