A Useful Mac Utility

Here’s a useful utility that Mac users can download from the App Store.SiteSuckerAll you have to do to document a website is type in the URL (for example, hogewash.com), and SiteSucker will go the website, download all the files, and store them locally. This allows sites that may have been taken down to be viewed again.FTRRbackupI use the program quite often.P-Obackup

Migrating to a New Laptop

I’ve been using the same 15-in MacBook Pro since October, 2009. It’s still a fine machine, but the longer battery life and some other nifty features in the new model finally got me to order one. I’m typing this post on the new machine.

It was delivered 36 hours and 59 minutes after it was shipped from the factory in China.

The retina display is marvelous!

Microsoft Understands Windows 8

While working on a project for a client, I needed to confirm that various computers were writing certain kinds of metadata to files. One thing I needed was an example of the metadata written during a screen capture by Windows 8. Since I have upgraded my recently purchased Windows 8 machine to Windows 7, I needed another source. Aha! Why not see what I can find at microsoft.com? I found the following image at windows.microsoft.com:Start_RTM_3ROW2

Windoze8_exifHere is what I found in its metadata:

Adobe Photoshop CS5.1



Thank you, Mr. Green, and welcome VodkaPunidt readers.


NGC 3185

potw1326Spiral galaxy NGC 3185 is about 80 million light-years away from us in the constellation of Leo (the Lion). The galaxy’s spiral arms swirl outward from the center of the galaxy toward the rim where they join a blue disk of young stars. At the galactic center of is a small but very bright nucleus containing a supermassive black hole. Supermassive black holes have masses many thousands of times that of our Sun, and they become active as matter falls towards them. When this happens the black hole lights up, sending away streams of particles and radiation at almost the speed of light.

ML_GalaxyNGC 3185 is a member of a four-galaxy group known as Hickson 44. NGC 3190 is a somewhat more famous member of the group. Apple uses a blue-tinted image of it as the default wallpaper for its Mountain Lion operating system.

Image Credits: NASA, Apple

It’s Not Just Not-For-Profits

The tax gatherers and their facilitators among our betters in the Congress are bent out of shape because for-profit entities such as Apple don’t voluntarily pay more taxes than they owe under the tax code. Charles C. W. Cooke explains their reasoning thus:

Along with “loophole,” “gimmick” is the voracious Left’s newest way of describing “compliance with our rules.”

BTW, Apple is the largest single tax payer to the U. S. Treasury, paying around $16,000,000 per day. The government manages to spend its daily collection from Apple by 12:03 am.

These are the folks who want to run your health care.

Security Recommendation for iPhone Users

There are many applications circulating for iOS devices (iPod, iPhone, and iPad) that are not available from Apple’s App Store. Some of them are OK. Some are not.

Apple has very stringent vetting requirements for the apps permitted for sale via the App Store. This provides users with a margin of safety and security not present with unscreened apps.

I strongly recommend that iOS users should not install apps from other sources.AppStore

popcorn4bkUPDATE—I am informed that I am to be mocked incessantly because of this post. Gee, I hope the mockery is at least somewhat entertaining.

When does the feature start?

iPad Mini?

John Paczkowski has a post over at All Things D, “confirming” that Apple will release an “iPad Mini” this fall. This will supposedly kill off Android tablets for the holiday buying season.

Maybe. Maybe not.

I’m typing this on an original-recipe iPad that I have been using since the first day iPads were available with 3G. It has replaced my Mac laptop for most applications. It completely replaced my HP/Linux netbook as a mobile device. Indeed, the only other mobile device I still use is my iPhone. All the 7-in Android tablets that I’ve tried were too small to be useful as a laptop replacement and too large to useful as a phone.

I have a Kindle Fire, and I use it around the house for viewing content available in Amazon’s ecosystem. However, I don’t see it as competing with my iPad; what it replaced was my iPod Touch. So I’ll bet that any new product from Apple won’t be aimed at competing with Android tablets in general. The real competition is from Amazon and the Kindle Fire, and the killer response isn’t an iPad Mini. It’s an iPod Maxi. There’s the product line that needs refreshing.

We’ll see.

Another Reason to Be Glad I Use a Mac

There’s a piece of malware that has infected PCs (and some Macs) that will cause users to lose access to the Internet on Monday, 9 July. It works by spoofing IP address and sending users to fake websites. The FBI will shutdown the temporary Internet system they set up as a transitional safety net for infected computers at 12:01 a.m. EDT Monday.

Few Macs were infected because Administrator privileges were required to install the malware on Mac OS X.

If you think that your computer might be compromised, go here to check your system for the infection.

Which One Are You Using?

What browser are you using? Odds are, if you’re not on a mobile device, it’s Chrome–unless you’re in the US or UK where Internet Exploder is still number one. (If you are on a mobile device, you are likely to be using Safari).

Safari and Chrome, which both are based on the open source WebKit project, really are the best browsers out there. Opera is nice, but always seems about one step behind these days.

If you’re using a Windows PC and still suffering with IE, give Chrome a try.

There’s an App for That

Back when I was single, I used to have to spend 20 or 30 bucks before a woman would tell me I was ugly. Now there’s a 99 cent app for that, the Ugly Meter. I bought it and tried it on myself. I scored 9.5 out of 10 on the ugly scale. Mrs. Hoge, on the other hand, scored zero—which is not surprising; she’s a very beautiful woman.

UPDATE—I’m told that Angelina Jolie scored a 2 out of 10.

The Apple II is 35 Years Old Today

There were earlier hobbyist computers, but the Apple II was the first real personal computer. It was introduced on 16 April, 1977.

Posted from a Macbook Pro.

UPDATE–As an engineer, I was an early adopter of desktop computing. Before the Apple II was out, I had an HP9830 in my office, and then a Tektrinix 4051, followed by an HP9836. I didn’t get a “home” computer until 1985. My ancient IBM Selectric typewriter had died, and an Apple IIc and a letter-quality printer were cheaper than a new Selectric. These days, my household contains a Mac Color Classic running Mac OS 7.6.5, a desk lamp iMac and an iBook running OS 10.4, two PPC iMacs running 10.5, an Intel iMac and a pair of Macbooks running Snow Leopard, a MacBook dual booting Lion and Mountain Lion, an original OLPC laptop, and an HP netbook running Ubuntu 9.04. And my son is still using that Apple IIc for retro gaming. [Posted from my iPad.]

Useful Browser Extensions

(H/T, Vodkapundit for both)

Do Not Track Plus It’s a free browser plugin for the most commonly used browsers. Not only does it block companies from tracking your web browsing, it really speeds up your page load times. BTW, other than asking for your email address if you comment at Hogewash!, I don’t keep track of visitors. However, DNT+ shows that four companies attempt to track me when I view this page. DNT+ blocks all of them.

Bonus for Safari users—JavaScript Blacklist It easily lets you blacklist entire web domains from running JavaScripts. For example,

  • tynt.com – modifies copy-pasted text
  • intellitxt.com – green links with double-underlines
  • kontera.com – green links with double-underlines
  • snap.com – link previews

Here are a few more that are a bit borderline. JavaScript Blacklist does not block these by default, but you can easily add them in the preferences.

  • apture.com – toolbar at top of page, with search box
  • meebo.com – toolbar at bottom of page, with links to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Quote of the Day

To create a new standard, it takes something that’s not just a little bit different; it takes something that’s really new and really captures people’s imagination—and the Macintosh, of all the machines I’ve ever seen, is the only one that meets that standard.

—William H. Gates, III

Made in USA–NOT

Over the last day or so, I’ve been seeing a lot of Internet traffic about why Apple builds its products in China instead of the U. S. I’ve seen all sorts of comments about quality, vendor responsiveness, etc., etc., but this comment on a ZD Net story explains what is going on:

On the flipside, I’m an Apple shareholder so whatever makes Apple more profit, makes me more profit. And I’m good with that.

Apple is a for-profit enterprise. The late Steve Jobs noted that his company doesn’t exist to create American jobs but to make the best products possible. When asked by President Obama what it would take to make iPhones in America, Mr. Jobs replied,

Those jobs aren’t coming back.