Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Amazon Fire – First Impressions

tl;dr – Yes, this is The Holiday Gift of 2011.

For all the hype – this is easily the best tablet I’ve played with in a decade. From the unboxing experience (less than 5 minutes from delivery to browsing my ebook library) to getting comfortable and settling in.

Amazon has:

  • minimized all the parts of Android that annoy me (back button, overall cheap feel),
  • brought in all the parts of WebOS that I like (get me to my stuff, integrate the web throughout the OS),
  • brought over all the parts of about Kindle I love (remember where I was, stay out of my way)
  • and made it easy to sideload everything – ebooks, photos, music, video, address book – via USB.

At 7″, the Fire is terribly comfortable to hold in one hand and it makes tablet computers (iPad & TouchPad) seem comically large. Like the larger tablets – this is a great size to socialize around (unlike laptops or handhelds).

Unlike the iPad – I can easily see taking the Fire everywhere. Hell – I can see buying two – one that stays in the house and one that’s mounted in the car.

Oh, and there’s the bit about it having a fantastic web browser (that even makes it easy to bookmark) and WiFi.

Oh – and the revenue model is clear (it’s an extension of Amazon’s store, duh).

how to install fontforge on os x lion

After losing the fight with a native build-from-source multiple times, my currently recommended method of installing fontforge on the Mac OS X Lion is:

brew install fontforge
sudo brew link fontforge

Update: 23 January 2012
Austin Sabel emailed, “I was having trouble getting an old cairo font document working in Lion. This saved me. However I ran into a few problems that it looks like some other users had too. The default compiler causes an error while installing fontforge on os x Lion 10.7.2. If you change the install command to the following command it will installed without throwing an error.”
brew install fontforge --use-gcc

What Color is Your Couch?

There are 2 couches in my house.

One is a dark chocolate brown and the other is a light beige-y/tan.

So, I found it interesting that I bumped into these 2 logos today.

Not that there’s any confusion between these two services. More an observation on the popularity of red couches.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

My Tea Leaves Weren’t Completely Off

Three years ago (almost to the day) I declared that Apple’s relationship with AT&T was a hedge on Apple’s part – a way to get the iPhone to market while nationwide unlicensed spectrum becomes more stable.

While we have yet to see the large-scale benefits of our unlicensed spectrum, I’m relieved to read that – according to Wired – my tea leaves were correct.

“Jobs wanted to replace carriers completely instead using the unlicensed spectrum that Wi-Fi operates on for his phone.” – Christina Bonnington, Wired Gadget Lab

I’ve still a long bet on WiFi and unlicensed spectrum as our primary telephony channel.

Today, I see Republic Wireless‘s $19/mn unlimited everything plan as the major drive in mobile WiFi-telephony.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Dave’s Opt-out Improves the Opt-in

You may remember:

“I’m on vacation, and I’ve deleted your message — really” – Dave Thomas

Dave’s follow-up:

“Since I returned from vacation, the quality of email I receive has improved, and the quantity I receive has dropped. I still enjoy interacting with all the people I need to interact with, and I still get to answer all the questions that need answering. It just seems that my inbox is somehow more focussed.” – Dave Thomas

Friday, 11 November 2011

Monday, 7 November 2011

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Sour Cider Mach II & Cranberry-Cyser

As part of the MN Homebrewers Club 2011 bulk cider buy, I picked up 10 gallons of un-pastuerized apple cider from Pine Tree Orchard (note – it’s not sold on their sales floor).

I split it into two 5 gallon batches.

1. Another take on my well received sour cider. Same yeast (dredges of 2 bottles of Orval).
Starting Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.005 (~6% ABV)

2. A Cranberry-Cyser with 5lbs of Ruby’s Bottled Sunshine Honey from Krosch Gardens, a pound of whole cranberries, and WYeast 4766 Cider yeast.
Starting Gravity: 1.076
Final Gravity: 1.005 (~9.5% ABV)