Archive for the 'CARS' Category

09 FebThe Setup

I was asked by the fine folks at the Setup to detail my computer setup, how I “get the job done”.

THE SETUP: WHAT THE…? WAIT, THIS GUY WAS NOT ACTUALLY ASKED BY US TO DO THIS.

The Setup, as you know, “is a collection of nerdy interviews, asking people from all walks of life about the software and hardware they use.”

“People from all walks of life” is a coy way of saying “thought leaders”, people who are simply better, more accomplished than you are. Like me.

Let’s get into my Setup.

THE SETUP: WE HAVE NO IDEA WHO THIS GUY IS. NEVER HEARD OF HIM. WE DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW IT IS WE’RE WRITING ON THIS SITE. WE WERE OUT HAVING SOME DRINKS AND THEN WE BLACKED OUT AND NOW WE’RE HERE IN THIS STRANGELY TRON-LIKE WORLD.

Who are you and what do you do?

THE SETUP: HEY, STOP THAT!

I’m John Moltz and I’m one of a new breed of Internet creative content creators who create content on the Internet responding to memes, trending Twitter topics and Facebook with Web 3.0-based content on the Internet using HTML 5.0 standards-based Internet content-creation for mobile platform deployment of content, on the Internet, and Twitter.

THE SETUP: OH, COME ON. YOU’RE JUST THROWING OUT RANDOM BUZZWORDS.

Hey! I read what the other people on your site did! Don’t start changing the rules of the game now!

THE SETUP: FINE. LET’S JUST GET THROUGH THIS AS FAST AS POSSIBLE, OK? WHAT HARDWARE ARE YOU USING?

My main rig is a Huffy 3-speed with a banana seat, a sissy bar and tassles on the handles. I like to prop the end of a board up on a soap box and do some wicked jumps off…

THE SETUP: NO, NO, YOU IDIOT! YOUR COMPUTER HARDWARE!

Oh. Are you sure? I think I’m more known for my boss tricks.

THE SETUP: I AM GOING SOCK YOU RIGHT IN THE BANANA SEAT WHEN I GET OUT OF HERE.

Well, my laptop is a 13-inch 2.5 Ghz MacBook Pro. Lately, because I ride the train to my day job (long story involving the Entity and loss of funding), I’ve been working a lot on an iPad with Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard. I also have a 2.4 Ghz 20-inch iMac which is mainly a media server that has a FireWire 800 Drobo for backup. Then I have a 1.5 Ghz Mac mini I use for archiving older data and doing random tasks like long uploads. 

THE SETUP: AND WHAT SOFT…

My old 1 Ghz Titanium PowerBook…

THE SETUP: OH. SORRY. I ASSUMED YOU WERE DONE.

…sits on the desk next to the mini and I use it to copy old VHS tapes to digital using an EyeTV. I also have a G4 Sawtooth that I run headless for backup of files I really should just delete but don’t because I lack conviction.

THE SETUP: NOW CAN WE TALK ABOUT…

I also have…

THE SETUP: OH, JESUS.

…a Performa 6400 which sits in the corner and I use to access floppy disks when needed or to just play retro games like Marathon or SimAnt.

THE SETUP: …

And I have a Mac SE.

THE SETUP: …

And a Mac Plus.

THE SETUP: …

That’s it.

THE SETUP: WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?

OK, ask me about software now.

THE SETUP: UGH. WHAT SOFTWARE DO YOU USE? ASSHOLE.

On the Mac I use BBEdit for writing my numerous, highly popular web sites…

THE SETUP: [EYE ROLL]

…and on the iPad I use PlainText which is a great iOS text editor that syncs with DropBox. For reading, I use NetNewsWire on both the Mac and iOS as well as the indispensable Instapaper which is great for sending articles to that you can later delete without reading. It’s one of a new breed of guilt-lessening apps that enable bad behaviors that you either can’t or don’t want to shake. I think they’re going to be the next big thing in software development.

THE SETUP: YOU’RE USING IT WRONG.

Ha-ha! Well, one of us is, that’s for sure!

THE SETUP: IT’S YOU.

Ha-ha! Ahhh. You’re probably right.

THE SETUP: CAN WE GO NOW?

It’s like you don’t even know your own shtick.

THE SETUP: OH FOR… WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM SETUP?

Well, I think the main thing that’s holding back my game is…

THE SETUP: HAVING INHALED PLASTIC FUMES AS A CHILD?

Hey, no one told me that melted plastic – my medium of choice – was not a good idea. But, no, it’s not having a top-of-the-line MacBook Air.

THE SETUP: SO, YOU’D DITCH THE IPAD OR THE MACBOOK PRO?

Ditch? No, no. What, are you crazy? I need an Air in addition to those. I mean, if I really want to take it to the next level.

THE SETUP: TAKE WHAT TO THE NEXT LEVEL? WHAT DO YOU EVEN DO?

Look, I told you. I’m into creative Internet content creation. On the Internet. Oh, and I don’t have a Magic Trackpad. I’d like one of those.

THE SETUP: YOU JUST WANT NEW TOYS! YOU’RE NOT USING THEM TO DO ANYTHING! YOU’RE LIKE A TODDLER.

Ha! A toddler with 15 mildly amusing web sites!

THE SETUP: EXACTLY.

Oh. Right. That’s not actually better, is it.

THE SETUP: WE’RE DONE NOW, RIGHT? CAN WE GO?

Um… yeah. The door was actually open the whole time.

THE SETUP: I HATE YOU.

23 DecMacworld Pundit Showdown

Yours truly appeared on the Macworld Pundit Showdown with Andy Ihnatko, Adam Engst, Dan Moren and moderator Jason Snell.

Thrill to the sounds of vacuous Mac jerks as they pretend to compete for points and something resembling a thin veneer of respectability. The competitiveness, pathos and excitement of a professional sporting event are, sadly, completely lacking from this hour of entertainment that the Des Moines, Iowa Macintosh Users Group newsletter called “Not worth reviewing.”

For you, however, sitting in your first floor apartment, eating Fiddle Faddle and watching episodes of the original Battlestar Galactica on Blu Ray while Googling cheesecake pictures of Maren Jensen and trying to resist the temptations of the flesh, facing yet another Christmas alone having alienated everyone you once held dear, well, it might be good for you.

24 MarThe CARS Total Backup Plan

Fuuuuuuuuuuck...

“Speed reduced by disk malfunction”? Ooh. That doesn’t sound good.

My friends, have you accepted backup into your life as your personal savior?

You should.

BECAUSE ONLY BACKUP CAN SAVE YOU.

I’m John and I am a hard drive failure SURVIVOR.

(Hi, John.)

Here is my story.

After hearing from this guy and that guy last week about how important it is to back up your data regularly, I decided to embark on my biennial backup routine (“Every other year, whether it’s needed or not!”, that was my motto!) of my MacBook Pro and my wife’s MacBook (the “Pro” is for “douchebag”).

The backups completed, I returned to the couch where I lie in a prone position shoving fistfuls of Screaming Yellow Zonkers into my face and railing against the government to no one in particular.

Occasionally, however, I break from this reverie to watch various forms of entertainment with my “special lady” (my wife, just to be clear). One show that we find full of jocularity is Community which we sometimes enjoy online through a crappy-assed interface known as “Flash”. That particular point is not salient to the discussion of backups, I just like to point out that Flash sucks.

Recently, however, her MacBook had been crapping out during our viewings. At first I thought it was just the battery dying. Then I thought it might be a video card. Then I thought maybe it just didn’t like Community. Then I thought it might be evil humours. Or the doings of that witch that lives across yonder field. Or Larry.

We still don’t know the root cause of the problem, but one thing we know as of last night is her disk is royally fucked up.

In olden days they would have said “‘Twas the backup that cause ye disk failure!” And then they would have stoned the backup disk and thrown it in a well. Fortunately, these are more enlightened times when we realize the cause is entirely unimportant. These things happen. Are you going to be a victim? ARE YOU?

Of course you’re not. Because you’re going to implement THE PATENTED CRAZY APPLE RUMORS 7-STEP PLAN FOR TOTAL BACKUP SECURITY.

Which I just made up this morning.

Did you know Kinko’s now has a patent office? You can get something patented in 15 minutes, unless there’s a line.
______________

THE PATENTED CRAZY APPLE RUMORS 7-STEP PLAN FOR TOTAL BACKUP SECURITY (brought to you by Kinko’s)

1. Weekly full backups – Use SuperDuper! or the backup software of your choice to make a copy of your whole disk.

2. Daily, incremental backups – with Time Machine or SuperDuper! or whatever.

3. Offsite storage – I can’t emphasize this enough. Here’s an example: I just Googled your name and found out where you live. I could drive over to your house RIGHT NOW, gain access to your house by pretending to be your mistress (OK, I’d have to stop at Ross Dress For Less first) and while your wife went off to make tea so that we could discuss this like civilized ladies before having a pillow fight (that’s what happens in these situations, right?), STEAL YOUR BACKUPS AND SLIP AWAY INTO THE NIGHT. Or day. Whatever. The point is, in a matter of moments of gaining entry to your house, I’d be running down the street with your LaCies. In a dress.

Assuming the lure of the pillow fight wasn’t too great. Which is not at all a safe assumption.

Anyway, there are any number of facilities in the Mojave desert that will rent you gigantic storage facilities starting at just $500,000 a month. Don’t your family pictures deserve the same level of secure storage as our government’s cyborgs? DON’T THEY?

4. Rotation – This is a vital component to offsite storage. Your data will never stay fresh unless you rotate it frequently. That’s why every two weeks I drive out to the Mojave desert and turn all the hard drives a quarter turn. That may seem like a pain, but it’s nothing compared to losing a Word document of ideas (“Vanity social security numbers. Kevlar manatee. Soup?”) or a piano cat video.

5. Off-planet storage – You only have to see 2012 once to see how this pays for itself. And you really only should see it once, if at all. But don’t see it in 3D. That’s just bullshit. It’s like $6 extra dollars to see some ash falling in front of your face.

6. Alternate media – Hard drives are great and they sure are fun to whip at cars on the interstate late at night, but one giant electromagnetic pulse and kiss your ones and zeros good bye. That’s why I painstakingly write out all the ones and zeros that make up the data on my hard drive no fewer than three times a day on the wall in the safe room in my basement.

Now, people may laugh when you tell them you do this, but they’ll only laugh once.

They tend to get uncomfortable when they realize you’re not kidding and then they pretend their cell phone is ringing.

7. Sacrifice to Gorto – This one needs no explanation.

______________

Implement this system NOW. Don’t wait for data failure to take advantage of you like that college English professor!

What? You ended up marrying him?

Three kids?

Oh.

Hey, have you seen the Rickster recently? Whatever happened to that guy?!

Investment banking? Suicide? Ha-ha! Oh, man, that guy cracks me up!

10 FebMacworld Expo

It occurs to me that you guys may not know that not only will I be at Macworld Expo this week, I’ll be doing things. Not live keynote coverage, of course. Apple saw to that (now you know the real reason they don’t do Macworld Expo anymore). But I will be continuing an abusive relationship with my liver, waking up in a strange indy software developer’s booth dressed like Mr. Met and being spooned by Sinbad as well as appearing on a panel with the lovely and talented Dan Moren and some other guy. I’ll also be doing the Mac Pundit Showdown with presumably some even bigger names.

Which is weird, right?

I mean, 9 years ago I was just like you.

Well, OK, not like you. I mean, look at you. I can dress myself without matching animals and I don’t have that – what is that, a goiter? – and never got arrested for public urination.

Never got arrested for public urination.

But I was just another Mac-loving shlub who read rumor sites voraciously in a failing effort to keep ahead of the Apple product announcement curve so I wouldn’t get burned. That didn’t work out at all but now I’m going to be on stage at Macworld probably not being funny. It’s a Cinderella story. Except with more back hair.

OK, sure, some of this is because this is the post-Apple Macworld which is like breaking into the majors by playing for the Nationals, but I still get league minimum and can’t you just let me have this?

Anyway, hope to see you there. I mean that. If you see me, feel free to come up and introduce yourself. As long as I’m not on stage. Succubus-like, I feed on your adoration. Awkwardly. I’ll probably stumble through something meant to be nice that I’ll later realize made me sound like an ass and then we won’t really have anything to say and we’ll stand around uncomfortably for 45 minutes until we’re asked to get out of Mr. Breen’s dressing room. We’ll all laugh about it later. Well, except Chris.

All joking aside, I love Macworld Expo. It’s where I met John Gruber, Sal Soghoian, Merlin Mann, Leo Laporte, Jason Snell, Andy Ihnatko, Adam and Tonya Engst, Chris Breen and lots of other people who are way more talented and smart than I am.

It’s a good time. If you can, come on down. We’d love to see you.

Except Larry.

You know what you did, Larry.

04 JanWelcome to Macintosh

I neglected to mention that it was on tonight so you’ve already missed one airing, but if you were too cheap to buy it or rent it, the fabulous documentary Welcome to Macintosh will be on CNBC again Friday at midnight ET, 9:00pm PT.

I appear in it, but only in a small window so as not to frighten those of a sensitive nature such as small children, pregnant women or milk-producing livestock.

Here’s a sample:



See, that’s not so bad.

Anyway, Rob and Josh are our kind of people and you might actually learn a thing or two by watching it. I know I did.

Like I’m overpaying for my haircuts. That was one thing I learned. And goatees are out. That was another.

I also learned some stuff not related to my personal grooming. Stuff about Apple and Macs. Of course, anything I said I already knew. So, you know, those parts were wasted on me. But the other stuff was interesting.