Monday, May 18, 2009

Rick's Picks (weekly)

  • Kazuo Zaitsu (kanji: 財津和夫) of the Japanese band Tulip, is the singer of a favorite song of mine, "Saboten no Hana" or The Cactus Flower, which is a song about hope despite love lost. It was the theme song of an enormously popular 1993 drama called "Hitotsu Yane no Shita" or Under One Roof. Zaitsu san has a unique and pleasant voice that I like, and this song always brings a tear to my eye. The song features a simple piano solo in the bass register, which to me is the man's sad voice mixed with hope. I thought I'd translate the lyrics so others could understand it too. You can see Zaitsu san sing it and see some stills from the drama on YouTube. -- Rick Cogley

    tags: kazuo zaitsu, saboten no hana, hitotsu yane no shita, lyrics, drama, japan

  • Vollmer Design's superior map of the Tokyo rail and subway system is a must for any visitor to or resident of Tokyo. The map is printed on A3 paper, but is folded small to the size of "3 x 1 2/3 matches" according to the nicely-designed Informa website where the map is available. Very affordable, even inexpensive, at JPY 270 yen online, it's less than the cost of a Starbucks latte, or maybe a typical iPhone app. The map is thankfully bilingual, so a visitor can show it to a Japanese speaker and get help, while reading the romanized versions of the names. It also has clear icon markers of major tourist sites like the Tsukiji Fish Market near Ginza, and the Tokyo Tower. -- Rick Cogley

    tags: vollmer design, tokyo, map, subway, informa

  • Just like the URL says: these are awkward family photos. Really, really awkward!

    tags:, funny, family

  • An excellent article on software platforms, by Michael Mace. -- Rick Cogley | From the article: Intuit and Stanford recently asked me to give talks on computer platforms and what makes them successful. (By platforms I mean software with APIs that third party developers can write apps on top of; Windows and Macintosh are both platforms, as is Java.) Platforms are a hot topic in Silicon Valley these days. The success of the iPhone app store in mobile, and Facebook on the web, have forcefully reminded people that you can grow a tech business more quickly if you get third party developers to help you. Almost every tech company I work with is trying to expose some sort of API or platform offering in its products.

    tags: michael mace, mobileopportunity, software, platforms

  • "Drag, Drop, Disco." Good alternative to Toast for disc burning.

    tags: software, osx, mac, burning, cd, tools, disc

  • Disco is a polished, inexpensive (USD 29.95, currently 10 dollars off as of 13 May 2009) alternative to Toast Titanium. I've had mixed results with Toast, and did not want to pay the upgrade fee, so I started looking for alternatives. I've done a few burns in Disco so far, and it seems to work quite well. No problems or "coasters" yet, at this time.

    tags: disco, media, burn,, toast, cd, dvd

  • I could not find this information in the help file or on the CocoaTech forum. If you use CocoaTech's Path Finder, the Finder replacement that has a lot of extra functionality that is missing in the normal OS X Finder, you may be browsing around in a folder with many subfolders, and wish to somehow "collapse" the folders you opened, to clean up the view. Clicking the disclosure triangle of 100 open subfolders is rather tedious, so isn't there an easier way? I stumbled on a method. Here it is.

    tags: path finder, cocoatech, collapse, folders

  • I updated my MacBook Pro's OS X from 10.5.6 to 10.5.7 today, and there was a little hiccup. Here's what happened.

    tags: apple, leopard, osx, update, 10.5.7

  • Kiyoshiro Imawano, the hugely-popular lead singer of RC Succession died of lymphatic disease at the age of 59. He'll be dearly missed. One of their hits, "Ameagari no Yozora ni" is representative of his music, and you can hear it on YouTube. I thought I'd translate the lyrics to it. The original Japanese is followed by romanized Japanese, followed by my English approximation. It's full of double-meanings, of course.

    tags: Kiyoshiro Imawano, ameagari no yozora ni, rock

  • I did an experiment on my test Leopard Server to migrate User Folders from the default /Users to another direct-attached volume based on some questions that came up. The problem is, OS X Leopard Server defaults to using the system disk as the Users partition, and this disk is not often your largest disk. It can fill up quickly if users start storing their photos or music. Long story short, the trick is to use Workgroup manager to auto-create the User directories, but, before that there's some things you need to do for prep.

    tags: osx, leopard, server, user, folder, migrate

  • If you are wondering whether the SuperDrive in your Mac is dual-layer capable, or whether it can store 8+ GB of data on a data DVD rather than 4+ GB, have a look at the System Profiler app (you can Spotlight it to easily find it if you use Leopard), and check Hardware, Disc Burning, DVD-Write. If you see the tell-tale DLs in the description, you're good to go. Just buy the appropriate media.

    tags: superdrive, osx, dual-layer, DL, system profiler

  • is a very useful Web site that lets you check the shelf life of common foods and ingredients. Know your "best before" from your "expires on". Searchable database, and various tips.

    tags: food, cooking, health, reference, safety, drink, stilltasty, Cocina

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

No comments: