Stuff Yaron Finds Interesting

Technology, Politics, Food, Finance, etc.

8/21/2007 – Primary Election – Redmond, King County, Washington

Since I do not associate with either the Democratic nor the Republican parties I don't vote in either of their primaries. So I will only be giving my opinion on non-partisan positions and various measures. I went to the King County Voter Guide which generates a custom on-line guide just including positions/issues I'm eligible to vote for. I then checked the voter guide candidate text, check the candidate's web site, check the PI, the Seattle Times, the Stranger, the Municipal League of King County and searched the net.

  • Port of Seattle – Commissioner – Position No. 2 – Thom McCann

  • Port of Seattle – Commissioner – Position No. 5 – Alec Fisken

  • City of Redmond – Mayor – John Marchione

  • King County – Proposition No. 1 – Yes

  • King County – Proposition No. 2 – Yes

  • City of Redmond – Proposition No. 1 – Yes

  • City of Redmond – Proposition No. 2 – Yes

Read More

Apple Machine Support Sucks

The minimum system requirements for iLife '08 requires either a Power Mac G5 dual 2.0Ghz or iMac G5 1.9 Ghz. My machine is a Power Mac G5 dual 1.8Ghz and my wife's iMac is a G5 1.8 Ghz. I bought my machine in 4/2004 so after just 3 years and 4 months the machine is, in so far as Apple is concerned, obsolete. We bought my wife her iMac in 6/2005 so in her case it only took 2 years and 2 months for her machine to be declared obsolete by Apple. I think that is insane. Apple takes thousands of dollars and gives us just over 2 years before declaring our machines obsolete? I am not a happy Apple customer.

And yes, I know, it is possible to run iLife '08 on these machines but we wouldn't have any official support and if there is a problem we can't even return the software since, it is my understanding, that Apple won't take back open software boxes. So we're screwed. I typically upgrade my computers every four years or so, so I was planning on upgrading my box in 2008 but even then I can't move to iLive '08 because we won't be upgrading my wife's machine until 2009 and we share iPhoto by file synching (as in, my wife's machine is the 'master' and I synch off her drive). And no, terminal serving in to my machine from her machine won't work. The whole reason we got my wife a Mac is to make her life simpler, not more complex. Besides, she downloads the pictures to her machine, not mine.

Normally Apple makes me really happy but I feel seriously screwed by iLive '08. Obsoleting a main line machine in under 3 years is just wrong.

Making LY X Produce Decent Hyperlinked HTML & PDF Files

As someone who writes for a living I have used a whole slew of word processors and generally haven't been all that happy with any of them. When I write I want to focus on the content, not the presentation. So the whole WYSIWYG generation of word processors left me cold. In fact, I spend most of my time in outline mode in Word. LyX takes a different approach. It focuses on What You See Is What You Mean (WYSIWYM). In other words, it doesn't worry about formating, just content.

When I first reviewed LY X a year ago I decided it was good enough to use (and have done so regularly since) but still painful. With the 1.5.1 release I can revise that review to say that it's only minorly irritating to use LY X but it's good points are so numerous that it's more than worth the pain if you need to deal with large documents, with math formulas or with large bibliographies. And thanks to the efforts of folks like Dr. Richard G. Heck (who has my undying gratitude for fixing HTML generation in LY X) LY X is substantially better at generating HTML.

LY X does have a learning curve and one is well advised to at least read the tutorial (Help->Tutorial). But I believe that the modern versions of LY X have vastly improved over their predecessors and the learning curve is well worth the effort.

Read More