Parallels Workstation

Today I decided to give Parallels Workstation for Windows a try, they have a 15 day trial on their site, so I gave it a go. I’ve heard so many good things about it on Mac OS X for Intel (I don’t have an Intel Mac, so never used it), I figured it was worth a try. I figured it had to be better than Virtual PC (which died when Microsoft bought it, and now free, but ancient and worthless), but could it beat VMWare?

Well, I installed Ubuntu without any incident, and it runs extremely fast. As in, “I don’t care that it’s virtual” fast. The fact that even sound worked was also rather impressive, and unlike VMWare Server (free btw) there aren’t 15 services running in the background. The only thing I totally didn’t get was the “visually stunning user interface”. I must have missed it. Don’t get me wrong, the interface is minimal, as it should be (since it’s hosting an OS with it’s own massive interface), but it’s still not “stunning”, it’s barely “visual”! Maybe I missed something, I don’t know.

I think I may have to purchase a license at some point. It’s really impressive software. VMWare better figure out a plan, or they may be in trouble.

Introducing SafePasswd.com

SafePasswd

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of tinkering. Way back when, I wrote a script to help me generate cool random passwords. I thought people wouldn’t mind one that didn’t suck… so recently I got to work on that.

The site is still in beta, and quite a few things aren’t quite done yet, and some things are still being tested out. There will be advanced options to further customize password creation, as well as some API’s for those who want to quickly plug in automated password generation into their “Web 2.0” applications. Those will be coming in the near future.

So check it out, and let me know what you think. It’s designed to be simple and helpful. It’s not Google and it’s not Digg. Just trying to make online life a little simpler.

LG CU500

LG CU500Tonight I replaced my 2+ year old LG vx6000 with a LG CU500 [Amazon]. Family plan upgrade time.

I haven’t had too much time to play with it. Perhaps later I’ll take a few test photo’s outside in daylight (if it’s not raining) and see how they look, and perhaps upload them.

I first setup bluetooth between my Mac and my phone, just paired them up. Took about 10 seconds. Then tried to do the same with my Thinkpad. Took about 2 minutes, thanks to slightly more confusing software (never did either). Next task was to transfer a picture from the phone to the PC. After about 20 minutes I had no success on my Thinkpad, kept being told “Sending Cancelled” by the phone. Went over to the Mac, and it took no more than 15 seconds.

Everything is easier on a Mac.

I haven’t had to much time to play with it, but here are some initial impressions:

  • WOW!!!
  • Call quality seems very clear. Good indoor reception.
  • Seems like stronger vibrate mode than the vx6000, or maybe mine just got tired after so long.
  • 1.3 MP camera is surprisingly good… will need to purchase a memory card (MicroSD) tomorrow.
  • Recording video’s is super awesome… again, will need that memory card.
  • Bluetooth on Mac: sweet. Bluetooth on Thinkpad: ugh (see above).
  • Mp3 player looks pretty solid, again need memory card, though this is a feature I’m not really that interested in.
  • Menu’s very well laid out, organized, clear.
  • Build quality seems exceptionally good. I’ve held a couple of them now, and all are rock solid.
  • Comes with travel charger, rather than one with a stand… prefer the stand on my desk, no option to buy that. Hooking up the cable is more cumbersome than slipping it on the stand.
  • Apparently supports 3GPP, so a movie could be saved to the memory card… note: buy memory card.
  • No voice dialing (though is that really so critical?)
  • Buttons on the side are pretty slim and take some getting used to… not good for gorilla’s who use cell phones.
  • Bright vibrant screen, great looking case, again, great build quality.
  • Photo’s have EXIF data! Unlike the vx6000, which was a drag.

GeoLocateFox 0.2 Released

Last night I pushed the bits for GeoLocateFox 0.2. The changes aren’t very many but it’s pretty cool.

  • Add HostIP look up (disabled by default)
  • Add support for newer Flock, and Firefox through 3.0 alpha

Go to the options window (open up the extension manager, right click on GeoLocateFox, and select options) and check the HostIP box. This will send the IP address of the website you visit to the HostIP.info website, and get coordinates if available. This is only used if the site provides no GeoLocation data on it’s own. It’s off by default for privacy reasons. It’s pretty cool.

Next up is a bug fix release for mozPod, no date on that just yet. It’s overdue.

Cleaning Up The Rats Nest

I have 2 computers on my desk. Despite the wireless network, keyboard, mouse, bluetooth… it looks like a rat made a nest behind my desk. It annoys me to no end. It looks like Belkin has been working on that problem with some new surge protectors that take into account cable management. Perhaps with some cable ties, and a nice surge protector like one of those, I could clean it up.

It normally doesn’t bother me to much, except when I kick something loose, which is rare, but drives me nuts. Those surge protectors look a little pricey… but just might be worth it.

Monkey’s On A Plane

Oh boy would “Monkey’s On A Plane” be a blockbuster. Just a blank tape with that title would make millions. Film a real movie, and it’s [pinky in mouth] billions.

Well, apparently enough monkeys travel on commercial airlines every year to warrant their own section in on the TSA website. I’d love to have a monkey sitting near me, rather than a small crying child. Why do I get stuck with kids near me, instead of a chimp?

Excerpt copied below to ensure this gem is never lost:

Monkey Helpers

  • When a monkey is being transported in a carrier, the monkey must be removed from the carrier by the handler prior to screening,
  • The monkey must be controlled by the handler throughout the screening process.
  • The monkey handler should carry the monkey through the WTMD while the monkey remains on a leash.
  • When the handler and monkey go through the WTMD and the WTMD alarms, both the handler and the monkey must undergo additional screening.
  • Since monkeys may likely draw attention, the handler will be escorted to the physical inspection area where a table is available for the monkey to sit on.  Only the handler will touch or interact with the monkey.
  • TSOs have been trained to not touch the monkey during the screening process.
  • TSOs will conduct a visual inspection on the monkey and will coach the handler on how to hold the monkey during the visual inspection.
  • The inspection process may require that the handler take off the monkey’s diaper as part of the visual inspection.

Source: TSA.gov

Hat Tip to JWZ.

Apple’s Report On iPod Manufacturing

Apple just published a report of it’s findings during an investigation into one of it’s suppliers (Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. aka Foxconn)after a report about mistreatment of employees.

I must say that I’m rather impressed with the report they released, it’s more thorough than I ever would have expected to see. Noteworthy is confirmation of one of the pictures showing an open area with rows of beds rather than separate rooms for workers. It’s said to be temporary and resolved soon. Pay structure was too complex (and said to have been simplified now) among other significant findings.

Most interesting was the Apple “Supplier Code of Conduct” they published. The document (version 1.0 in the footer) dates from November 2005, before this controversy.  It seems to be pretty thorough for the most part.

Lastly they state they will be using Verité and that they joined the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct (EICC) Implementation Group.

Very interesting is that Apple uses less than 15% of the facilities capacity. Considering all the stuff they make for various customers (Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola) it’s interesting Apple got singled out.  Is it really specific to the iPod line?  That’s one thing that wasn’t answered in the report. Wikipedia touches on Foxconn’s far reach a little bit here.