Why I can’t upgrade to Tiger

I’ve been meaning to upgrade my Mac to OS X v10.4, a.k.a. Tiger, for a while now. The DVD is sitting by my computer. I have updated all of my applications so that they will operate on Tiger after the upgrade. However, there is still one thing missing… Ogg support in iTunes.

My music collection currently consists of a mixture of mp3s and Ogg Vorbis files, with a few FLAC files thrown in for good measure (I used to be a free software absolutist, and I attempted to convert my entire music collection to open formats). ITunes does not natively support Ogg files, but there is a Quicktime plugin which allows me to play Oggs in iTunes, burn them to CDs, basically anything that I can do with an mp3 file. Unfortunately, the plugin stopped working with the release of Quicktime 7.0, iTunes 4.8, and OS X 10.4 (and the project appears to be abandoned, so I don’t anticipate an update). Therefore I have not upgraded any of that software, so that I can continue to play Oggs and use them to burn CDs.

This is the last thing holding me back from upgrading to Tiger (and the new Quicktime and iTunes). I need something which will play mp3s and Oggs, and burn CDs with both mp3s and Oggs. Any ideas? (Damn you Apple, for not building in Ogg support.)

Why Bloglines sucks

I just realized that I hate Bloglines, and at the same time why I hate Bloglines. It is because Bloglines is like e-mail! I *hate* e-mail!

With Bloglines, just like e-mail, if you do not read a blog post, it just *sits* there in your “inbox.” I *hate* my inbox! I still have this incredible e-mail backlog that goes back to last summer, and insufficient time & motivation to clean it out, I’m considering just deleting everything more than 6 months old so that I don’t have to look at it anymore.

I suppose that I can “clean out” my Bloglines “inbox” by clicking the root folder (which currently says “46 feeds”). That will mark all unread blog posts read. Unfortunately, the resulting webpage that it serves up sorts the posts by which blog they came from, not by the time it they posted, so I can’t just glance at the latest few posts to get a sense of what is going on and then get back to my work.

Kinja is better, but still not adequate. Why not? Because it doesn’t provide the full text of each entry, even for blogs that provide the full entry in their RSS feed. You can only view summaries.

All I want is something like my LJ friends’ list, except for things outside of Livejournal. Is that really so much to ask?

I suppose I could try installing my own copy of Planet somewhere, but surely that’s overkill. There has to be a free service that does this somewhere out there.

Silly human anatomy

Several days ago, I unhinged my jaw in order to eat a piece of food that was too large to fit in my mouth in the normal fashion. When I rehinged my jaw, it hurt! The left side of my jaw has been hurting since then.

Now, I know you’re going to say, “Nelson, you idiot, why did you unhinge your jaw? You’re not a snake. That’s what knives are for… if you can’t fit a piece of food in your mouth, use your opposable thumbs and your tools and chop it up into bite-size pieces.” However, you’re missing something… I unhinged my jaw many times when I was a child to eat large pieces of food, and it never hurt before! I guess I’m just getting old and inflexible.

Waiting for Grokster

“I want everyone in the office by 9:15,” Gigi said, and sure enough at 9:15am I check my buddy list and everyone is there. The Supreme Court hands down rulings starting at 10:00, so we won’t hear until around 10:15-10:20, but we need to be prepared to swing into action at a moment’s notice, not just walking in to the office. I have the “Your Pocket Betamax Opinion” by my side, which fellow Public Knowledge intern Kay Lu gave to me (“courtesy of the Home Recording Rights Coalition“), my mail client open on one monitor and the SCOTUS blog open on the other, and once ten o’clock hits, I’m refreshing each window compulsively every 30 seconds.

“ANNOOUCEMENTS NOW IN PROCESS – STAY TUNED” screams one e-mail from a Grokster-watcher. Slowly, today’s stories unfold on the SCOTUS blog, as each decision is handed down… the last line of the post changes from “further decisions expected” to “at least one more decision expected.” Nail-biting anticipation ensues. Is today going to be the day? It would only make sense for them to save the big decision, the decision on the future of innovation in technology and the content industry’s business model, for last.

The title of the blog post suddenly changes to “Court announces decision in Kelo property-seizure case”, and intern Jay Tamboli says, “Where do they describe the Kelo case? Am I missing something?” Soon enough, his curiosity is satiated, as the decision in favor of the government appears on the blog. Disappointingly, the last line of the post shifts to “Further decisions will come on Monday.” Out on the west coast my friends interning with the EFF roll back into bed for a few more minutes of sleep, and on the east coast everyone returns to actually accomplishing work.

But only six decisions remain before the Court in this term, so get ready on Monday for some more nail-biting anxiety!

UPDATE: The decision is definitely coming out on Monday.

feeling empty

I had this empty feeling inside… I thought, “Oh no! Why do I feel so sad and empty?”

Then I realized I had merely forgotten to eat lunch again.

Oh well… as we say at FreeCulture.org, “if you are eating before 7, it’s lunch.”

creepy construction worker dude

So I’ve been trying to contact the people who live upstairs for a while, to ask them if they would mind me playing loud music for the party tonight. I went outside a few minutes ago, to see whether any of them were hanging around, and there was this guy standing out front, who seemed really friendly, so I thought that he was one of the people who lived upstairs. I started asking him about whether they’d be OK with the party. It turned out that he was actually a construction worker, though, who is working on the building across the street, and not my neighbor. He started to ask a lot of personal questions, and finally invited himself to the party.

Creepy! Weird! And I’m too dumb and trusting. I told him my first name when I introduced myself and told him I was an intern here for the summer, etc. So, if some weird older guy introduces himself as a “friend of Nelson”, don’t trust him to actually be my friend, and don’t tell him more about me. This is how people like Kevin Mitnick do “social hacking” or “people hacking”, they find out little pieces of information, and use that to get more information.

UPDATE: To clarify, I didn’t say that he could come, he said “can I come?” And I was like, “um, that would be kind of weird” and I went back inside and closed the door. So hopefully he won’t come. If he does, I’ll just have to call the police, and fortunately the station is only a few blocks away.

The real purpose of this party

Coincidentally, Saturday also happens to be philthecow‘s birthday. So, you could call my party Lauren’s birthday party, even though she is roughly 5 hours away in New Jersey (especially since she claims to not be having a party herself).

I will be attempting to set up a webcam to show Lauren her party.

At any rate, this is yet another reason you should come, Saturday 7pm!

UPDATE: Incidentally, my apartment is in the basement, so you’ll want to come downstairs when you get here, past the iron grate.

Apartment-warming party in DC

If you’re in the Washington, DC area this weekend, please come to my apartment warming party this Saturday night! My apartment is near the Adams Morgan district in NW DC, and it’ll be happening 🙂 Since I’m straight edge, the party is BYOB, but I’ll have food/drinks/snacks. The party starts at 7pm and runs until whenever people have to leave (it’s OK if some people want to crash on my couch or floor). Bring iPods and mix CDs that are good for dancing!

If you want to come, please e-mail or IM me to RSVP and ask for the apartment location, I feel a little weird putting my address on the open web.

UPDATE: My DC friends tell me that I’m actually in Upper Cardozo or Columbia Heights, so if you’re wondering what district is to the east of Adams Morgan, now you know, I suppose.