is a service from
a Mac-oriented service company.
They courier a box to your door, you put whatever you want fixed (e.g. an ipod) in the box.
You call up for a pickup and your device gets repaired and sent back to you.
No idea how much this costs, of course.

They have a

I’ve been wondering what to do with my dead, dead iPod.
Is there anywhere in Toronto that fixes broken iPods?
The only thing I’ve found is sending it to Apple, which could cost almost as much as a new iPod!
It’s only a 10 Gigger, too.
Soon iPod mini’s will be 10 gig. :-/

USB Flash drives

Ars Technica did a
roundup of USB flash drives
and to mee it seems that the Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go Pro is the one to get.
It’s only negative is that it isn’t bootable.
Unfortunately, the bootable ones either aren’t as cheap, or aren’t as fast.
I found it on sale at
Canada Computers
for $99.
Not bad for a 1 Gig flash drive.
I quickly chacked, and the 1 Gig iPod Shuffle was about twice as much from
Apple’s Canadian store.


is a Java-enhanced, Mac-specific version of
which as yet has no Mac-native version.

I’ve tried it out on a number of Word and Excel files and it does a bang-up job.
I would assume it shares the capabilities and limitations of OpenOffice.
I’m going to spend some time checking it out over the next few weeks.

Anyone else really tried either of these?

Canadian Government Public Key Infrastructure

Did you know that we had a government-sponsored
Public Key Infrastructure?

Ya, me neither.
So far they’re only using it for a
Customs Internet Gateway“,
which I would guess is for businesses that import/export a lot.
But who knows, maybe it will be for private individuals, too.

It’s good to see that they’re being careful about it, too:

Download the Organization Agreement, Subscriber Agreement. Generate a registration number by entering your Company information on the registration page.

Fax or courier the Organization Agreement, the Subscriber Agreement and the generated registration number to the CRA.

After verifing the accuracy of the submitted documentation the CRA will deny or accept the request.


Someone has taken
the Gimp
hacked its UI to be similar to PhotoShop.
From the posting about it:

The Gimp’s menu structure and naming conventions had been a constant source of frustration for me because I was so used to Photoshop. So, I did what any hardcore graphics geek would have done. I hacked GIMPshop together. It’s a proof of concept and it’s a little buggy, so don’t expect too much.


My original purpose for GIMPshop was to make the Gimp accessible to the many Adobe Photoshop users out there. I hope I’ve done that. And maybe along the way, I can convert a Photoshop pirate into a Gimp user.

If you’ve never used Photoshop before, you may not appreciate my GIMPshop hack. What I’ve done is renamed and reorganized GIMP’s tools, options, windows, and menus to closely resemble Adobe Photoshop’s menu structure and naming conventions. Many of the menu options and even whole menus were recreated to faithfully reproduce a Photoshop-like experience. After running my GIMPshop hack, you’ll find that Photoshop and the GIMP are strikingly similar.

So if you use PhotoShop, you might want to check this out.
Wouldn’t it be nice not to spend hundreds of dollars on this kind of thing?

Adobe Photoshop CS2

Photoshop CS2 is being released in a few weeks. It can handle the raw mode properly from digital SLRs, including 32 bit color handling. This is a godsend, as the limitations of .jpeg are quite obvious for the 10% of pictures I take that have areas of low contrast in them. This would also be helpful for astrophotography and the product also has some tools for removing .jpeg artifacts. The thing is darned expensive, however. For the 32 bit handling though, I think I might get a copy.

It works on Macs & PCs, as you know and has some tweaks for the Athlon 64, but nothing particularly important to me at this time.

Upgraded to full WordPress 1.5

I’ve been meaning to upgrade to the completely released version of WordPress 1.5 for quite a while.
It’s done now, and as you can see, I’ve copied over the theme from my home page with minor tweaks.
I’d like to go back to the white-on-black look at some point, and use this logo:

But I won’t have time for a while; maybe in May.

Hopefully comments will work correctly now instead of being attached to the post before or after.
I’ll post one on this entry and the previous one to test it out.

Open Source Mac software

I was writing a long post for the
MacCast forums,
but then my internet connection went down.
Luckily, I have things set up to access tnir’s sites locally. :-)

This is a list of open source apps for the Mac that I use and recommend.

Lets you connect to AIM (iChat), ICQ, MSN, Yahoo and Jabber all at once

Terminal on steroids.

Remotely access and control other computers running Mac OS (9 or X), Linux, Windows, BeOS, OS/2 .. just about everything.
My preferred Mac VNC server is OSXvnc
My preferred Mac VNC client is VNCDimension, even though you have to use IP addresses and *not* host names. :-/

The ultimate download client these days

Mozilla FireFox
Web browsing done right

Mozilla ThunderBird
Email done right

What I use to listen to the MacCast!

Excellent IRC client

Records mp3 streams to disk as mp3’s. The author has since taken it commercial, but the original open-source version works fine for me.

Mac-only web browser that has many very interesting features.

VideoLan Client
Plays movie files on which QuickTime chokes. Mayt disappear soon because of patent issues, though.

Audio editor and recorder

Astronomy software a la Starry night

The Gimp
Very powerful image editing

Professional level word processing application.

Coming soon…
All the power of MS Office for free.