Macintosh, opinion, video editing, audio, web design

Talkin' Smack Every (Non-Holiday) Monday!
The Rantings of Your Humble Editor and His Declining Pool of Friends

Columns from 2001

9/10: Talkin' Smack—Who Educates the Educators?
There are few things that affect your life as powerfully as your first child heading off to her first day of kindergarten. It's a time for reflecting upon one's own mortality, of envisioning one's child for the first time as a self-sufficient entity and of pondering the future in a completely new light. In short, it's a life-changing event. Read More

9/04: Prodigal Mac—The Premiere Installment
One night recently, as I sat motionless and glassy-eyed on my couch, I came across one of the older episodes of Friends. It was the one where Ross was trying to decide which girl would be better suited for him: his current girlfriend, Julie, or his dream woman, Rachel. So he made a list of what was wrong with each woman in an effort to help him choose. Long story short, he picked Rachel, she found the list, read it, got mad at what he thought was wrong with her, hijinks ensued, roll credits. As I watched this episode for what seemed like the ten gazillionth time, it dawned on me that I, too, was approaching a crisis not unlike that of my television friend Ross. Read More

8/27: Talkin' Smack—At It Again
In some ways, it's reassuring to know that some things don't change. Even if it's a lame thing. Take Microsoft, for example. Long-time Mac users should remember what it was like when Microsoft began its descent to domination of the OS market. The rallying cry was, "The Macintosh is incompatible." Remember that? Remember how your Mac, which was still to dominate the market for years to come, both in terms of software and hardware, suddenly became "incompatible?" Read More

8/20: Talkin' Smack—More Fun in the 3D World
Before we get to the topic of this week's column—to wit, the SIGGRAPH convention—I'd like to revisit the topic of last week's—to wit, my birthday. You might recall that I had demanded of you, my beloved readers, some presents this year. Of course, not a single one of you sent me anything of any monetary value. I chalk this failure up to two factors—the lousy economy and the fact that I forgot to supply you with a shipping address. Read More

8/13: Talkin' Smack—20 Years of Innovation
As most of you are aware, this week is my birthday. Last year at this time I published a wish list of my favorite technologies in the hopes that you would send some of these things along in gratitude for the fine service that all of you agree I provide to the industry. I don't mean to toot my own, you know, horn or anything; I just like getting free stuff. Read More

8/06: Talkin' Smack—The Broadband Fiasco
Some time ago I started a rant about ISPs and, in particular, my cable modem service. The argument went something like this: With all the commerce and information at stake on the Internet and with such limited choices as to how we access the Internet at high speeds, it seems almost a crime that those few companies that control access should take such a cavalier approach to service and support. I used my former cable modem service provider as an example of the sorry state of high-speed access. Read More

7/30: Talkin' Smack—The Big Conspiracy: How the Evil Triumvirate Tricked Me into Writing Last Week's Column
The topic of last week's Talkin' Smack seemed to arouse the full range of emotions in our readers, from "Dave, you're an idiot" to "Dave, your mom is an idiot for not committing infanticide when you were born." A few of you were a bit more level-headed about the whole thing, offering some practical suggestions for seeking help for my mental problems, while others offered some not so practical suggestions for where I could stuff my obviously impaired brain. Read More

7/23: Talkin' Smack—The Macworld Letdown: Or, Why Bad Things Happen to Good Mac Users
Following last Wednesday's announcements, I'm not sure what I can say that hasn't already been said a million times in forums all over the Internet—usually punctuated by a couple of asterisks between an f and a k. The blame can't be placed entirely on Apple though. After all, they're at the mercy of Motorola, which, at present, is far more concerned about its ever-declining cell phone market share than chip development for the Mac. Read More

7/16: Talkin' Smack—The Macworld Smackdown: My Annual List of Demands for the Mac Platform
Most of you know that Macworld kicks off this week. While the East Coast show is typically more consumer-oriented than the West Coast one, it does nevertheless offer the hope of some goodies for professional users as well. Of course, as the single most powerful journalist in the world, I am privy to some of the secrets that will be revealed this year—some pretty tantalizing ones at that—but you're going to have to wait for those. Read More

7/09: Talkin' Smack—The Security Scam: Digital Rights and Consumer Wrongs
So, is it just me, or does everyone hate rights management companies? You know, those guys who make the technology that other people use to keep consumers from copying their stuff. Take Macrovision, for example, since it's their technology that has annoyed me most recently. Macrovision is the company that makes that encoding technology to "prevent piracy." At least that's the claim. In practice, it's the technology that causes me to go out and buy more expensive equipment because I can't use my VCR as a media hub because Macrovision's technology doesn't understand the difference between passthrough and recording. In other words, I can't run my DVD player through my VCR and actually watch a DVD because Macrovision thinks I'm trying to pirate my DVD just by virtue of the fact that both my VCR and DVD player are turned on at the same time. Read More

7/02: Talkin' SmackBack in Black: Will Corel's New Strategy Pay Off?
Less than a year ago, Corel Corp. seemed on the verge of ruin. Its profits were non-existent; it had just splurged on the acquisition of a number of creative products from the company formerly known as Metacreations; and its directors had released a statement saying that the company would be out of money unless it could merge with Inprise/Borland, another software company. The merger never happened. Read More

6/25: Talkin' SmackQuickTime, SRS and Me: What I Learned at Streaming Media West
So guess where I went last week. Go on, guess. Give up? It was Streaming Media West out in Long Beach, home of my alma mater and some of the best bars in California. Now, I already know what you're thinking: "Dave, what in the name of the Great Bejeezus Above were you doing at Streaming Media West? Isn't that one of those annoying conventions where the only thing people talk about is how their revolutionary end to end solutions synergize with my market space paradigm?" Read More

6/04: Talkin' SmackWould Somebody Please Service Me?
We all have our gripes about customer service in the computer business. As Mac users, we probably have it a bit easier than those poor, unfortunate, pathetic creatures on the Windows side, since, on the whole, our problems are rather minor and can be fixed with a bit of educated troubleshooting, whereas their problems are rooted in their childhoods and are usually only fixed through hug therapy. Read More

5/14: Talkin' SmackHe Was Just This Guy, You Know? A Note on the Life and Death of Douglas Adams
There are probably five or six people in the world who, in my mind, should be exempt from mortality (not counting family and friends and, of course, you, dear reader). They're all brilliant writers, creative geniuses and, not incidentally, Mac fanatics. I'm sure you all have a similar list (at least unconsciously) and, I'm sure as well, our lists have one name in common—Douglas Adams. Unfortunately, the universe doesn't yet accept our input when it comes to who lives and who dies, as evidenced by the boorish manner in which it put an end this weekend to the life of one of the most brilliant writers of our time. Read More

5/07: Talkin' SmackMac Theater
Response to my last column shows that Mac users certainly have not stopped believing that we live in an amazing period in the history of technology. And, although we sometimes have differences of opinion with the mother ship and qualms with the mother ship's chip maker, rarely does a day pass when we fail to recognize what an amazing thing Apple has done for us in making the desktop computer a reality and in doing it so right. Read More

4/30: Talkin' SmackFanatical and Proud of It
It's great to be a Mac psychofanatic. I'm an enthusiast and professional user and, as an added bonus, I get to spend every day of my life writing about the Mac, playing with review hardware and software and joke around about the inferiority of the currently popular, albeit utterly inferior, competition, viz. Windows. And I do so with all the self righteousness of any other kind of fanatic, with the big difference being that my point of view happens to be correct. Read More

4/23: Talkin' SmackYour NAB Agenda
So, of course, it's NAB time again. With or without the major broadcast networks' support, the event continues, its significance undiminished by the pullout of CBS over differences of opinion on the O&O issue. Still the industry gets together and confers with itself as always; new technologies emerge to replace the old (or at least the promise to replace the old some time within the next year, give or take a few years) as always; and the show goes on as always. Read More

4/09: Talkin' SmackIt Keeps Going....
You know, you can't really win when you write for a large audience. Even your own humble editor—me—will often find difficult going when I stray from the path of nonsensical Microsoft bashing and move into the unmapped territory of thoughtful analysis of the Macintosh platform. Read More

4/02: Talkin' SmackChampions of OS X
We've seen some odd, negative announcements in the last few weeks regarding OS X. I've covered them in detail, so I won't go into them again. But after the first week of the release of Apple's new operating system, I thought it might be nice to take a look at some of the positive developments going on in the professional arena that bode well for the future of OS X as a serious tool for Macintosh creative pros. Read More

3/26: Talkin' SmackIt Works! The New Era in Mac Computing Begins
Well, Mac OS X 10.0 saw its official debut this weekend, and I was there on Day 1 to buy it in a regular old retail store just like the common man. I even have my OS X Hanes Beefy-T to show for it. I think sales might have been a bit more brisk if it hadn't lacked CD-R and DVD support, but I don't care how many people bought it. You know why? I've been waiting for Apple's "modern OS" since the first hints of Rhapsody, and now, after years of waiting, the promise has finally been fulfilled. And now I, a mere mortal from the central badlands of Orange County, Calif., have it in my possession. Even better, I have it, and it works. Read More

3/19: Talkin' SmackSynergize This! Or, Why I Skipped Internet World
It all started when I agreed to accompany my colleague to the Internet World convention, which took place last week in Los Angeles. He registered us as press, and, within seconds, I was receiving the latest pitches from exhibitors and their PR agencies to come by their booths and discover how they were going to change the world with their solutions to e-commerce. Read More

3/12: Talkin' SmackMac OS X Gold Master ... Finally
It's hard to believe it's finally happening. OS X has gone gold master and is now on its way to manufacturing for final shipment March 24. We've been waiting, what, six years for Apple's next-generation OS? And now Apple has given the first definitive sign that it will actually come together and make its way onto users' desktops in final form. Read More

3/05: Talkin' SmackHow I Learned To Love the Flower Power iMac
So it seems my subtle indictment of the new Flower Power iMac didn't go over so well with many of you. Using all the skill endowed upon me by the State of California when it granted me my master's degree in English Literature, I composed in the Horatian style—with a few intertwinings of the Juvenalian—a literary satire that hinted, ever so slightly, at my disappointment in the design of the new iMacs. Perhaps I let the word "retarded" slip in a few times, but, on the whole, it was as subtle as a good Pinot Noir with just a touch of Thunderbird dripped in for contrast. Read More

2/26: Talkin' SmackIf You Buy the 'Flower Power' iMac, I Will Kill You
I've been going pretty hard on Microsoft lately. That's just what I do when I'm in a hurry to crank out a column. Easy target, no argument from my readers. Well, except a few of the peecee users who creep in occasionally to spy on this Web-based stronghold of Mac psychofanaticism™. This week, however, I have the unpleasant task of levying chastisement against Jobs Almighty and his army of translucent angels, the iMacs. Read More

2/19: Talkin' SmackOS XP: The Innovations Keep Coming from Redmond
Like all Mac users, I can't help but feel regret at my choice of platform whenever Microsoft announces a new Windows product. Let's face it: When it comes to innovation, Microsoft is the clear leader. Take the latest preview Microsoft gave us of its future OS: Windows XP. A stunning accomplishment in the field of technology, yes. But let us not overlook the innovations in GUI design as well. Read More

2/12: Talkin' SmackThe Ultimate Peecee Virus
I receive letters occasionally from readers telling me their tales of woe and triumph. The tales of woe usually involve companies taking away a designer's Mac to replace it with a Compaq or something equally horrifying. I haven't received any of these letters lately. But I have been getting mail from people recounting the the tales of triumph in which they manage to convince someone in their company to bring in a Mac, which inevitably leads to the Great Mac Gathering. Read More

2/05: Talkin' SmackOn Peecees, the Mac and Everything: How the Mac universe looks from the inside
I've recently discovered that Mac users actually control the universe and that the Mac serves as some kind of pandimensional hub controlling the minds and wills of mankind. For almost a year now, I've sat here typing away my bile week after week, assaulting all things peecee, and I've received virtually nothing but praise for it. I kept expecting the dark forces of Gates to gurgle up from the shadows and feast on my soul, but it never happened. Read More

2/01: Guest OpinionOne Small Step Back Isn't All Bad in Delivering the Video World
One of the biggest problems with being an innovator is that, occasionally, your vision is slightly ahead of its time. Many industry analysts, reporters and competitors said Apple finally saw the light and "rethought" its position on CD-RW and rewritable DVD. Read More

1/29: Talkin' Smack—Fire from the Skies: Lessons from DirecTV's direct assault on pirates
There's something beautiful about an unexpected, unprecedented, brutal act of aggression, an act vindictive and personal, skirting the boundaries of legality, especially when it comes from a large corporation with something to lose. I'm referring to the assault from the skies last week of DirecTV, the digital satellite service provider, against pirates of its service. Seems DirecTV didn't like people viewing their premium and pay per view programs without paying for them. Read More

1/22: Talkin' Smack—DSL v. Cable Modem: So many lesser evils, so little time
Some time ago I wrote about my woes with my cable modem service, about being disconnected constantly and about receiving very poor customer service. Since I was buying a new house, I figured it would be a good time to drop that service faster than their bad routers dropped me and switch over to DSL. This was a difficult choice for me to make. Read More

1/15: Talkin' Smack—There and Back Again: The Creative Mac Macworld Expo roundup
So it appears I made it back in approximately one piece, give or take, from the great Mac extravaganza up North, a journey upon which I embarked half a fortnight ago with my colleague Paulo de Andrade, or, as I now know him, the Brazilian Fangio. Read More

1/08: Talkin' Smack—The Road to Macworld: The Adventures of Dave and Paulo in a rented Lincoln Town Car
Today I launch off on my 500-mile, seven-hour journey of mystery, self-discovery and adventure to the Mecca of Macdom—the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. I'll be heading out this morning with my colleague, Paulo de Andrade, in a rented Lincoln Town Car, up the hillbilly hinterlands of central California with but a single primary goal in mind: to stop at every outlet mall along the way in my never-ending quest for the perfect pair of Adidas. Read More

1/03: Talkin' Smack—Slash and Churn: Do Apple's price cuts mean new goodies at Macworld?
So here I am, getting all geared up for Macworld, taking advantage of the holiday excuse for not getting any work done, when all of a sudden Apple goes and slashes prices on all of its good stuff (i.e., not iMacs or iBooks). So now I have to write a column—and on a Wednesday no less! (I was really counting on a little "Dave time" this week, but, you know, the public must be served ... and all that junk.) Read More

Columns from 2000

12/20: Guest Opinion—FireWire Opened the Door for Faster, Better Business Communications
It is difficult to believe that something as small and seemingly inconsequential as a connector could change the economics of an entire industry, but that is what has happened in the five years since the first FireWire connection appeared on a Sony DV camcorder in 1995. Since then, the interconnect standard that was championed by Apple has stimulated a new breed of powerful, easy to use and increasingly economic digital video camcorders. Read More

12/19: Talkin' Smack—The Problem with Cox: A rant against ISPs
So I'm currently in the process of moving into a new house, which means, of course, that I'm out of luck in the broadband department until my service provider gets around to providing service for me. (This explains the tardiness of this week's Talkin' Smack.) I thought it would make for a good impetus for a rant against those ISPs out there who treat their customers—particularly their Mac customers—like garbage. Read More

12/11: Talkin' Smack—Back in Business: Apple's bad tidings for the new year could bode well for Mac users
Like all Mac psychofanatics, I work hard; I play hard; and I wear my mutton chops old school style. I also take bad news from Apple as a matter of course. So when Steve Jobs held a conference call last week to tell investment analysts about Apple's expected $225 million to $250 million loss for the quarter, I wasn't surprised. After all, the last three years of profits and market share growth have been, if anything, the least typical in Apple's 25-year history. We're used to Apple losing money and squandering market share. It's certainly nice to be back in that comfort zone to which we've all become accustomed. Read More

12/04: Talkin' Smack—My Favorite Year: Musings upon the one-year anniversary of Creative Mac
Hey, you know what? This week marks the very first anniversary of Creative Mac. Can you believe it? We haven't been around very long at all, but we sure have gotten a lot done in this time—more than 1,500 stories in 12 months, to be specific. That's just pretty fancy. Read More

11/27: Talkin' Smack—Gloria in Excelsis Mac OS: The Mac season is upon us
Our popular culture has handed down to us the notion that hell is full of nothing but peecees. But contrary to popular opinion, there are some Macintoshes in hell as well—mostly Umax clones, some PowerBook 520s and the few G3s and G4s that shipped with Western Digital hard drives. The Macs in hell aren't actually used by its denizens; they're just dangled over the heads of the damned as they toil away at their Office 2000 spreadsheets. (Even the worst Macs ever made are better than the best peecees.) It's cruel torture to be sure, but that's what you get for being naughty and buying Ricky Martin CDs. READ MORE ....

11/20: Talkin' Smack—Grateful Mac: What we Mac users should be thankful for this year
As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, it behooves us all to take stock of all the things that have happened over the last year to enrich our lives, bring us closer to our fellow man and protect us from the encroachments of the peecee hordes. This comes at a particularly critical time for us Mac users, since the present perhaps seems not as bright as it once did, what with Motorola unable to pull its act together in the megaHertz department, 3dfx seemingly pulling out of the Mac AGP market and OS X stagnating in R&D. READ MORE ....

11/13: Talkin' Smack—Apple's Back End Stinks: Until the Apple Store fixes its customer service problems, we ought to take our business elsewhere
I'm tempted as the dickens to squander this week's column writing about the election. But I'm a Libertarian, and my candidate has already lost. Between the two who are still in the game, I just can't bring myself to care. So I thought this week I'd actually address something relevant to all of you in Readerland: the way Apple treats its customers. READ MORE ....

11/06: Talkin' Smack—My New Mac: How a new keyboard saved my sanity and why you should never shop at Fry's
Rather than tackling such lofty topics as Bill Gates taking over my body or Steve Jobs leading us Mac users on a messianic crusade, this week I've chosen to focus on something a bit more mundane. Regular readers of this column will be all too familiar with my frustrations with the Apple hardware that ships with what are otherwise the greatest computers that have ever graced the universe. READ MORE ....

10/30: Talkin' Smack—Real Time: A spine-tingling tale of the supernatural and the supercomputer
The last week of October is always a special time for me. It's that magical time when the California state government does its one right thing for the year, namely giving me back the hour of my life it stole from me in the name of Daylight Savings. The guy who invented Daylight Savings must have been a peecee user and/or British, curse his bones! I mean, what is it with those Daylight Savings freaks? Can't a man sleep without somebody telling him they've decided that for half the year the position of the sun in no longer the determiner of the time of day? My close personal friend Robert Heinlein once wrote that 80 percent of human wisdom is learning not to meddle in other people's affairs (or something to this effect). Time might be a good place to start practicing this wisdom. READ MORE ....

10/23: Talkin' Smack—Steve Jobs Said the 'S' Word: Is this the end of the hippy CEO?
Like all Mac psychofanatics, I am fully convinced that every word that comes out of Steve Jobs's mouth is directed personally to me, and each phrase, depending on inflection, diction, accompanying gestures, etc., is designed to convey to me a secret, hidden code revealing a subtext known only to him and me. I'm not sure what the term for such transcendental communication is, but I believe on saw it on a restraining order sent to me by the good attorney's of Ricky Martin. READ MORE ....

10/16: Talkin' Smack—The Hog Is Dead! Long Live the Hog! A PowerBook user moves on; Mac prices come down; QuickTime goes live
The slack life of the dotcom billionaire suits me just fine. It's a sedentary lifestyle, one that affords me the opportunity to build a wall of Mac hardware around me. I sit around in my shorts all day, writing stories about the Mac and figuring out ways to attach more and more blinking lights to the racks and shelves of Mac peripherals that surround me in my command console. It's comfortable; it's safe; and it's my dream job. For you see, I am a fat, lazy man with mutton chops. READ MORE ....

10/09: Talkin' Smack—Everything's Getting Normal Again: With Apple stock in the dumps and Microsoft back to its old shenanigans, Mac users can rest easy once again
Well, this week I offer a mixed bag of fruits for you to chew on. First up, while I thought I would avoid the topic of Apple's stock plunge of two weeks yore, I don't think I can any longer. The stock has continued (as of this writing) to sag in the low twenties, and more and more adult education extension graduates with phony degrees—namely MBAs—continue to flap their gums about the impending doom of Apple. READ MORE ....

10/04: Road Hog—Separating the Hogs from the Sheep: 110 million clues that Wall Street is run by scared, little lambs
Ah, the self-righteous bleating of the peecee sheep. We to-oo-oo-old you so, they bleat. The Mac is doo-oo-oo-oomed. Because it kneels not before the Dark Ma-aa-aa-ster. READ MORE....

10/02: Talkin' Smack—Buffy, the Universe and Everything: How NEC brought joy to the life of a hardened editor
If you're going to go around claiming to know anything about me, you'd better know these two fundamental facts: First, I likes me my Buffy—Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that is. Second, I likes me my beer. READ MORE ....

9/27: Road Hog—Road Hog: Home Sweet Hog: Fab gear for back at the shack
My, my, my. It looks like Road Hogs have a new definition for living large, at least when they're at home. The expansive folks at Mobility Electronics have created a docking station that lets you use your Hog with an attached keyboard, mouse and monitor. So what? Big deal, you say. Ah, read on, my Hogs, as this is just the beginning. READ MORE....

9/25: Talkin' Smack—Divine Right: The glorious destiny that awaits the Mac faithful
Last week's "Talkin' Smack" seemed to have toppled many of you readers quite off your ends. The article questioned the wisdom of Apple charging $30 for beta software (OS X) and even went so far as to question the divinity of Steve Jobs. READ MORE ....

9/20: Road Hog—Road Hog Blues iGnoring iBooks, sussing SmartSound and facing the music
A couple of folks I bumped into this week asked me what I thought of the new iBooks introduced at the Paris Expo. Dramatically more powerful than their predecessors, they feature a 466 MHz...zz..zzzzzzzz..... Sorry. Must have dozed off for a minute there. Were you saying something? I didn't think so. READ MORE....

9/18: Talkin' Smack—This Headline Currently in Beta: The OS X fiasco in perspective
The price of handling sure has gone up in the last week. When Apple announced it would be selling the public beta of OS X for "a nominal fee" to cover manufacturing, shipping and handling, I never suspected it would amount to $29.95. After all, the cost to manufacture a CD is $0.60. The cost of shipping a 7.5 oz. package is about $1.87. This means that whoever's handling the "handling" aspect of Apple's "shipping and handling" is really ripping them off—to the tune of about $27.48 per unit. READ MORE ....

9/13: Road Hog—Shoot ’Em in the Knee Road Hogs teach The Terminator a few lessons in brute force
We here at Road Hog are all about gratuitous, if elegant, displays of brute force. It's why we love our G3 laptops and why I always look forward to see what carnage director James Cameron will deliver in his next movie. Sure he's got a big heart, but we forgive him for it in Titanic because he blew up so much stuff in Terminator 2. Yeah, yeah, T2 had a big heart, too, but that was displayed by shooting people in the leg instead of offing them. SO sweet. I get all weepy just thinking about it. READ MORE....

9/11: Talkin' Smack—The Mac Trips Out at IBC in Amsterdam: A celebratory column, along with the usual rants about Microsoft and popular music
If you're anything like me, you didn't miss your one opportunity to watch this year's MTV Video Music Awards last Thursday. If you did miss it, you really lost out, and now you'll never get the chance to see it again, owing to MTV's policy of never repeating any of its content. READ MORE....

9/06: Road Hog—FireWire and Fiery Wires: Some good news and some hot news for PowerBook G3 users
It turns out that that this year's flavor of G3 PowerBook (Pismo) has had some problems with its star attraction, to wit, FireWire. This is the Apple-developed data protocol also known as IEEE-1394 (the geekspeak of the international electrical standards board), iLink (Sony's brand name) and DV (barely this side of flat-out wrong, but on the other hand, close enough). It offers monstrously fast throughput, which is great for video files ... when it works. READ MORE....

9/05: Talkin' Smack—My Trip to Seybold: How I grew out my mutton chops, almost saw a UFO, lost my chance at a free PowerBook and came to hate publishing
First of all, very funny. Very funny indeed. It seems we have some comedians in the audience out there. Last week I asked you to e-mail my boss and tell him to buy me a PowerBook for my trip to the Seybold convention. I stuck it in the last paragraph of the second page of my column so he wouldn't get too bombarded with Mac fanatic venom, seeing as he's a peecee user and all. But plenty of you found it anyway. READ MORE....

8/31: Road Hog—Some Like It Soft: Essential software for your PowerBook
What put Road Hog on the map was our look at some essential hardware add-ons for the PowerBook G3, a brute on its own terms, but boosted to Beast status with a few choice accessories. There's some software that will make the road much smoother, too, as well as showing off in the way that true Road Hogs do. READ MORE....

8/28: Talkin' Smack—The Road to Seybold: Or why I deserve a PowerBook
Today I venture off to the Seybold convention in San Francisco to see how the world of print has fared since my departure earlier this year. I also go to solve the riddle that has vexed print publishers since the days when Cro Magnon man stopped chasing around Tyrannosaurus Rexes all day and started getting into moveable type. The question? Just how many times per month can People Magazine put former movie star Leonardo DiCaprio's face on its covers? READ MORE....

8/23: Road Hog—Code Name Phoenix: A flaming good deal on 5300 trade-ins
Well, it appears that Steve Jobs took last week's Road Hog to heart. He agrees with me that the G3 PowerBooks kick ass and the 5300 should have its ass kicked, and lordy has he got a deal for you: Trade in the smoldering corpse of your 5300 for a new G3/400 Pismo PowerBook for only $1,799. While they're trading stuff in, they can swap the name Pismo (Pismo? What's next? Cucamonga?) for one that makes sense: Phoenix, the PowerBook that rose from the flames. READ MORE....

8/21: Talkin' Smack—The Way of the Mac: A guide to surviving the end times
You'd have to be blind not to see the signs. Fires. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Cows being born with two heads. The moon turning blood red. Tobacco prices skyrocketing. The coming together of Britney Spears and Nsync. Truly these are the end times. READ MORE....

8/16: Road Hog—Loading up your PowerBook G3 for serious road work
Last year's G3 was Apple's first truly muscular portable, and truly portable muscular machine, several pounds lighter than its less powerful predecessors and able to hold its own against nearly any "road warrior" class machine on any platform. READ MORE....

8/14: Talkin' Smack—A Very Mac Birthday: How you can help make this year's celebration the specialest ever
This week marks my six-month anniversary here at Creative Mac. It also happens to be my birthday week. Back in the days when I was working in regular old print publishing, reporting on things I could care less about, I used to take the whole week off to escape the misery. I'd sit around in my underwear, smoke my cigars, drink my Jack Daniels, write a screenplay and tool around on my Mac. I used to call it "Mac Week." Now, in my present position, this would infringe upon the registered trademark of one of my favorite Mac publications. READ MORE....

8/07: Talkin' Smack—Invisible Men Are Stealing My Trade Secrets Too! Why I sympathize with Apple's seemingly bizarre behavior
I usually try to stay away from writing stories about Apple itself. This site is about the tools that make this platform great, not about one company. However, that said, there are times when I can't resist—the times when Apple either does something so great or so bizarre that it simply can't be ignored. READ MORE....

7/31: What Happened at Siggraph? Mac presence less than impressive at animation show
Last week's Siggraph show in New Orleans should have been the best ever for Macintosh. After all, NAB was a smashing success, with the Mac taking center stage in the minds and hearts of creative professionals. And with the recent announcement of multiprocessing G4s, to which developers have had access for some time now, you'd think this would mean big things for Mac animation. READ MORE....

7/24: The Big, Three-Day Blow: A sober, if hung over, review of Apple's Macworld revelries
We all remember the feeling we'd get when we were younger after a night or two (or three) of binge drinking—foggy, nauseous, nostrils clogged with tobacco soot and the leakage of busted capillaries, head spinning, layers of dried-reliquified-dried-reliquified sweat sticking to your Motorhead muscle shirt, your back hair matted into dreadlocks, your eyes barely able to focus on the longshoreman you woke up next to, etc. Of course, most of these symptoms declined in severity by age 14. But those memories will never go away. READ MORE....

7/17: Rising Expectations: Don't let rumors get your hopes up too much
If you're anything like me, your life is centered around a a big, graphite box (a G4, for those of you who aren't so quick). You praise its glory, standing on street corners like a doomsayer, proclaiming the end of Windows nigh. You argue with PC users. And even when your Mac crashes, and the PC users laugh at you, you find some way of pawning it off on Microsoft. ("My Mac didn't crash. Internet Explorer crashed.") You even dream about your Mac. READ MORE....

7/10: The Mac Wish List: A good thing can always be made better
It's been quite a while now since the G4s were introduced, and it's about time that even a hard-boiled Mac psychofanatic like me should step back and reflect critically upon our platform—how it's changed and where it ought to go in the interim between OS 9 and OS X. READ MORE....

6/26: The Retail Rant: A tale of woe, with practical tips for dealing with computer salesmen
Working for an online company and being a shareholder, I am, course, a billionaire. This works out well, since I like to shop a lot—especially for Mac stuff. Retail, catalogs, online: It's all good. Just me and my Visa Check Card out on the road looking for ways to turn my desktop supercomputer into a Heinlein-style fair dinkum thinkum. READ MORE....

6/19: The Return of the King: The Mac's resurgence as the premiere graphics platform
Now, I'm a D&D guy from way back. My justification for getting my first Mac SE back in the '80s was that I worked on my college paper, and they all used Macs, so I could take my "work" home with me. (I didn't really consider it work, but, you know, you have to tell your parents something when they buy you a computer, laser printer and scanner, and their only concept of computers comes from Star Trek and Twilight Zone reruns.) The real reason I wanted my Mac was to make my own character sheets with olden tymee fonts and actual printouts of my character sketches so that they couldn't be smeared and worn out through constant use. READ MORE....

6/12: Can't We Just Learn To Love? Seven steps to achieving inter-platform actualization
We could all learn a lot from our friends in the field of psychology. Were it not for them, who else would be out there trying like the bejeepers to find quick and inadequate answers to today's unimportant questions? And just because psych majors invariably resemble sweater models doesn't mean it's not a scholarly and legitimate science. So, anyway, I was kicking back with the classic masterwork of psychological scholarship, Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins (4 1/2 out of five stars on's rating system), when I came to an epiphany: Why can't we just learn to love our counterparts in the PC world? READ MORE....

6/05: The USB Rant: Why isn't USB actually universal?
We could all learn a lot from our friends in the field of psychology. Were it not for them, who else would be out there trying like the bejeepers to find quick and inadequate answers to today's unimportant questions? And just because psych majors invariably resemble sweater models doesn't mean it's not a scholarly and legitimate science. So, anyway, I was kicking back with the classic masterwork of psychological scholarship, Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins (4 1/2 out of five stars on's rating system), when I came to an epiphany: Why can't we just learn to love our counterparts in the PC world? READ MORE....

5/30: Summer of Mac
Summer is a special time out here in Southern California. It's the time when any man or woman, regardless of girth or cellulitic nodulitude, can drive his recreational vehicle up to the beach, shed his woolen layers and let the flab flow through the weave of the chaise lounge like thick nacho cheese. Romantic but true. And normally, I'd be right there with the herd of humanity ranging on California's sandy pastures. But this year's different. I've made other plans. READ MORE....

5/22: License To Paint: The trial of Mike McNeilly
This week I decided to take it easy on the sarcasm and commemorate the upcoming trial of Mike McNeilly, an artist out here on the West Coast who faces six months in jail for refusing to stop working on a mural he was painting in Westwood, Calif. It's not Mac-related, but it does concern every creative professional in the country. McNeilly was arrested 15 months ago when police told him to stop painting the Statue of Liberty on side of a building. Instead of ceasing work, he painted a tear on Liberty's cheek. Although he had the building owner's permission to paint the mural, police arrested him for working without a permit. READ MORE....

5/15: Athenian Iced Tea: Remedies in the Microsoft case
I come to appreciate Microsoft more and more every day. If it's not their antics in the marketplace, it's their shenanigans in the courtroom. Last week, of course, Microsoft proposed its own remedies in response to the government's call to split the company in twain. The self-imposed remedies were so ludicrous that the words literally reached out from my computer screen, pried my jaw apart and held it agape for several seconds. The icing on the cake of hilarity that is Microsoft's view of itself was an essay released yesterday by Steve Ballmer, in which he contended that a breakup of Microsoft would "make computers harder to use." READ MORE....

5/08: The Great Virus: How the Mac will save humanity
So were any of you out there hit by the "ILOVEYOU" virus last week? No? But how could this be? Oh, that's right, you're all using Macintoshes. It's so satisfying to me whenever one of these freakish viruses spreads panic throughout the world. First of all, I love to see people panic. There's something pure about the haunches of humanity sizzling on the barbecue grill of Chaos. They just go nuts. At this particular phase in human evolution, the response to panic and chaos, in addition to the primordial pupilary and glandular functions, seems to be the spasmodic flailing of fingers at the computer keyboard, resulting in e-mails with subject lines like, "FW: FW: Re: FW: %20 Re: DONT OPEN EMAIL CALLED 'ILOVEYOU.'" READ MORE....

5/01: If I Were Bill Gates.... The top-10 ways Bill Gates could get back at the world
I'm a vindictive person, and I have a long memory when it comes to those who slight my person or my beliefs. I can't remember where I left my keys this morning, but I remember the long-haired, pimply guy in a white Toyota who flipped me off on the freeway 12 years ago. (I'll have my revenge yet!) So why aren't I celebrating the DOJ's recommendation to break up Microsoft? After all, wasn't it Microsoft that stole Apple's GUI out from under them and then used it nearly to destroy the Macintosh platform? Isn't Microsoft that company that's never worked toward an original idea, choosing instead to watch what others are doing and then mimic them to death? Pocket PC? Internet Explorer? Windows Media Player? Way to advance technology, Bill. READ MORE....

4/24: The Mac Enterprise? Who Cares? The network should be transparent
So Apple announced that it would not be making any major pushes into the enterprise market in the near future, and that seemed to raise the dander of some folk. After all, it's utterly critical to the survival of our platform that both client and server bear the apple brand logo, right? Whatever. The Mac OS is not an enterprise system—at least not in the sense that I.T. managers think of the enterprise. I could hook up my 10-year-old Macintosh IIci and serve files to a hundred people on the network, and they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between that and a katrillion-dollar system that requires five different certifications just to turn on. What's more, I could do it with a few mouse clicks. That's not really the point, is it? READ MORE....

4/17: An American in the Paris: Vegas capitulates to the Mac
So I stayed at the Paris hotel in Vegas for last week's NAB convention. It left me with the same feeling I get whenever I leave the actual Paris—dirty, tired and ripped off. And yet, the hotel provided me with a backdrop for my first NAB experience, one in which it felt like the whole broadcasting industry had surrendered faster than a Frenchman to a new conqueror—the Macintosh—and, also like a Frenchman, welcomed it with enthusiasm. As a long-time Mac loyalist, I was awed. Sure, there were pockets of resistance, but very little worth mentioning. (I'm tempted to draw an analogy with the French Resistance, but I think I'd best just drop this whole metaphor.) READ MORE....

4/03: The Hillbillies Want To Kill Me: A preview of next week's NAB convention
It's spring. Glorious spring. The birds are singing. The crickets are chirping. The rustics are cavorting around in their idyllic pastures like little Pans flirting with the nymphs and dryads of the forest. Everything happens in spring. It heralds the renewal of life and the the next leap forward in nature's well intentioned dance of eugenics. It also signals the annual event I like to call "Kill Dave Nagel Day." You may refer to it as Daylight Savings. But such a euphemism can hardly mask the fact that April 2 marks the time of the year when the farmers get their revenge on me for all the mean things I've said about them (like calling them hillbillies) by taking away an hour of my life. READ MORE....

3/27: W Is for Western Digital: A real-life tale of passion, intrigue and murder most foul
I relay this story to you in the hope that you will learn and benefit from it. It's too late for me, for you see, I am a dead man. This is my tale. It all started when I was working late in the office. I was wrapping up the case of the proxy server gone bad, when all of a sudden she walked in. I looked her up and down, manhandling her with my eyes. She was stacked—trouble in a tight dress—with pouty red lips and gams up to here. She took a seat, and the chair squeaked in appreciation. READ MORE....

3/20: Epistles from Behind the Firewall: Fragments from the lost letters of a Mac warrior in the classical sense
[Editor's note: The following passages were discovered locked away in a graphite box somewhere in Irvine, Calif. They seem to chronicle the futile efforts of Macintosh users attempting to integrate into a Windows NT environment. Little is known of the author or of the outcome of this tragic campaign.] READ MORE....

3/13: Remembering the Good Ol' Days: A very special tale of innocence lost and lessons learned
There was a time not too long ago when things were just better. It was a time of innocence, of enlightenment—an age in which people of all races lived as one in a world that made sense. I refer, of course, to the twentieth century. Now that was a century a man could be proud of, when I was O.K., you were O.K. and the whole freakin' system was O.K. Food was fast, and computers were slow. Morals were high, and RAM requirements were low. That was a century you could set your clock to. If you weren't born in the twentieth century, you couldn't possibly understand what I'm talking about. You are the product of a meaner age. But for those of you who were there—and there are fewer of us everyday—the differences are striking. READ MORE....

3/06: The Next Mac Revolution: Desktop video comes to the masses
Last week I and a colleague of mine (Rod Ammons, producer of Digital Animators) were treated to a FireWire demonstration up at Apple's Design Center in Santa Monica, Calif. We grabbed a quick bite (and by "quick" I mean waiting a half hour for a chicken Philly and some fries down in the food court) and steeled ourselves for a lengthy sales pitch to be followed up three hours later by a drive home through the worst traffic on God's green earth. What we got instead was an awe-inspiring glimpse into some pretty amazing hardware and software followed three hours later by a not-so-terrible drive home through what should have been the worst traffic on God's green earth. READ MORE....

2/28: Thus Spake Macathrustra: Bow down before the glory of the Power Mac, O ye unbelievers!
Some say Macintosh loyalists are nothing but cultists worshipping at the altar of Steve Jobs. But that's just heresy and sacrilege. No, we Mac folk are a more secular breed—level-headed, reasonable people just trying to get by in a world destroyed by non-Mac people. (But they'll get theirs on the appointed day when Steve Jobs cleanses the earth through fire, and the streets run like rivers of blood.) READ MORE....

2/21: The Luckiest Boy in the World: A magical story of love and hope fulfilled for one special person
For many people, buying a new computer isn't exactly a dream come true. They see it as a necessary expense—for work, taxes, banking and the like. For them, there is no pleasure in owning a computer just for the sake of owning a computer. I call these people PC users. READ MORE....

2/14: Kiss My Shiny, Graphite Mac
A few of you may have read an article posted on this site last week entitled "The Mac Sucks," by Charlie White. Mssr. White, an employee of Digital Media Online Inc., the parent company of this Web site, argued against the Mac as a viable platform for digital video production and editing, criticizing the lack of horsepower underneath the shiny exterior, the ancientness of the OS and the scarcity of hardware options. In short, he opined, the Mac sucks. Judging from your eloquent, level-headed responses to Mssr. White's column, I've gathered that you may have taken exception to some of the points made by the author. READ MORE....

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