June 30, 2003
Favorite screenshot of the day
Andy Inhatko writes about using iChat AV, and includes the best computer screenshot I've seen in a while.
Article on Free WiFi
My officemate Glenn Fleishman wrote a good piece for the Seattle Times about coffeeshops, restaurants, and hotels that are discovering the advantages of offering free wireless Internet access (WiFi). By coincidence, I was at Herkimer Coffee the day he interviewed the owner, so I can count myself as one of the three laptop users mentioned in the third paragraph. Nifty!
June 25, 2003
iMovie 3 VQS Now Available!
My latest book, iMovie 3 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide is now shipping! This edition covers everything about editing video using iMovie 3 through the just-released iMovie 3.0.3 update (thanks to the confluence of Apple releasing the software the day before bluelines arrived at the publisher, resulting in a very hectic day of revisions).
However, note that Amazon.com lists the iMovie 3 VQS as having a shipping surcharge of $3.80 due to its "unusual size or weight". Considering that the book is 194 pages, this is clearly screwy. Other books, such as Tom Negrino's Keynote VQS show the same thing. I've let Peachpit know about this, and I have some friends at Amazon who are also looking into it. If you order a book and are actually charged, please email me so I can keep track of who this is affecting.
Update: I've just set up a new affiliate link with Peachpit to order the book using this link. If you order here, you don't have to worry about Amazon's snafu, I get a little bit of an affiliate commission, the book ships within 24 hours, and UPS shipping is free.
Update 2: Thanks to some speedy persistence by one of my friends at Amazon, we've discovered that Ingram (where Amazon gets its catalog info) listed the book as being 19.99 pounds. The problem should be cleared up within the next couple of days.
June 13, 2003
Bush Falls Off Segway
Clearly, he was leaning too far to the Right.
New Favorite Coffeehouse
Herkimer Coffee is my new favorite coffeehouse. Why?
Location: At the corner of Greenwood and N. 74th St. in Seattle, it gets a good deal of foot traffic, lots of morning coffee commuters, and there are a number of cool funky shops nearby.
Caffe Vita Coffee: Caffe Vita is a Seattle coffee roaster that's starting to make a name for itself. The blends are rich, not overly dark and not bitter.
Free Wireless Net Access: Yes, I'm biased, but having free Wi-Fi clinches the deal here. I like to work on my laptop in coffeehouses, and judging by the number of people I see here with computers, so do lots of others. The fact that it's free makes it an immediate draw for those who don't want to go to Starbucks. At some point all Wi-Fi access will be free, just as you don't pay for comfortable seating or pleasurable decor. Largely because of the free wirelessness, I've been here several more times than if they just offered good coffee.
Compare this to Diva Espresso down the street, which still ranks right up there for me but doesn't have wireless Net access. When wireless networking first started popping up, I dreamed of ways to get a place like Diva set up, going so far as to start working on a business plan before realizing that I didn't have the time to pursue it thoroughly. I've asked the folks at Diva about putting in some type of Wi-Fi, and while they seem open to the idea, they haven't yet been able to justify the added costs. (And I don't blame them: the coffeehouse business operates on slim margins and is notoriously difficult. To give you an idea: I know a guy who used to have an extremely stressful job at a technology company who decided to get out and start his own cafe; although it's been rewarding, from what I understand, he sometimes wishes he could go back to his "easy" job at the former company.)
Although I don't see Diva folding, I'll bet they're going to lose a significant amount of business to this upstart six blocks away. As a freelance writer I know who lives in this area says, "Herkimer is my new office." After all, I'm writing this blog entry from Herkimer now.
June 09, 2003
Architecture can be so vague... I wonder what this future store could possibly be? (Taken on Chicago's "Miracle Mile" section of Michigan St.; click for larger image.)
June 01, 2003
Armed Ferry Escort
I haven't taken a Seattle ferry for several months, so today I was a little surprised to see an armed U.S. Coast Guard escort of the Bainbridge Island run. I imagine this is pretty regular stuff nowadays, but it still feels like a strange sight (just like seeing Army reservists standing guard with M16 rifles at an airport for the first time). Despite the presence of 24-hour news from a variety of sources, it's fairly easy to forget the threat of terror on a day to day basis. That is, until two speedy boats with dual-mounted guns follow you. (Click on image to see a 15-second QuickTime movie.)