UPDATED: New Parallels doesn't need PDTweaker

EDITED: The options that the PDTweaker page recommends carry with it a significant performance hit to your VM. If you’re using your VM for anything even remotely heavyweight, make sure to select the option for optimizing caching for the VM, and not OS X.

Apparently, the new builds of Parallels desktop for Mac don’t require PDTweaker anymore.

So, make sure to download the new build and kill PDTweaker if you had it installed. The PDTweaker page identifies what settings you need to change to for your VM to mimic PDTweaker’s functionality.

UPDATED: YouTube, we hardly knew ya

EDITED x3: WOW. You know all those Daily Show and Colbert Report clips you like to pass around? Yeah, they’re gone off of YouTube.

EDITED x2: Oh, and I didn’t even mention YouTube taking down 30,000 videos because a Japanese media company told them too.



EDITED: Yeah, hot on the heels of my experience below, I find this on BoingBoing: YouTube gave user data to Paramount lawyers

It’s starting. Upon reading one of my favorite blogs today, I was directed to a Music Video on YouTube. Lo and behold, said music video has been removed for copyright infringement.

See for yourself here.

I can certainly go on with my day without seeing the video, but this does signal, for me at least, the era that Mark Cuban predicted: YouTube’s most compelling content is going away.

Since most of YouTube’s compelling content is, in fact, copyrighted by someone, this now means that I’m less likely to follow a YouTube link, for fear that the video will not be there, and I will have wasted my time. With even link that turns out to be dead, the likelihood of me going to YouTube’s site will decrease.

YouTube was never about technological innovation. It was always about providing a community to post and share content easily.

Google / YouTube think that people will not only still come to their site, despite lack of content, but also be subjected to waves of advertising ?

In what world does that make sense?

My son, the CEO

There’s a good post by Stephen J. Dubner, of Freakonomics fame, over at the Freakonomics Blog about children becoming CEO’s to run family owned businesses.

Check it out here. I couldn’t imagine being a Wrigley, Ford, or Busch and having to tell my father that I didn’t want to run the family business. Although, I am sure it would be MUCH tougher if I had to tell my son that I didn’t think he could run the business….

As for CEO performance, It’s strange, but there’s ample evidence that a good CEO isn’t necessarily responsible for a company’s success. However, I bet if we looked at a lot of failing companies, we would find a bad CEO running them. Maybe that’s the true value of a CEO: Don’t screw things up.

Being Slashdotted

Well, it happened on Monday. An article that I wrote about two months ago about running Visual Studio.NET under OS X using Parallels was posted to the front page of Slashdot. Good thing I moved my blog a few months ago to TypePad, otherwise my internet connection would have been saturated. The resulting onslaught of traffic went roughly as follows:

  1. About 13,000 PageViews ( According to Google Analytics ). I say about, because I actually think my dashboard on TypePad reset after about 12000 page views. Strange. I had to fall back to Google Analytics ( which I may do a review of in the future ).
  2. My post got onto the front page of del.icio.us and into the popular section.
  3. I was part of LarkWare’s Daily Grind for the second time.
  4. The number of subscribers of my RSS feed went from averaging around 50 a day to almost 900 on Monday.
  5. I was bombarded with people im’ing me and emailing me telling me I was being slashdotted.

Apparently, the range of my intelligence goes from brilliant to me being a danger to myself and those around me. Ha, like I needed Slashdot readers to tell me that….

The only bad part of it was now my stats are skewed. It’s doubtful that i’ll have 13k + pageviews again, so now all of the metrics for my blog point sharply on Monday, then drop off like a stock chart on Black Tuesday. Oh well, I’ll deal.

Sadly, all of the above traffic didn’t result in cash, as apparently slashdotters don’t click ads 🙁

Oh well, I will have to return to the programming doldrums…

new Guid() == Guid.Empty?

ok, Microsoft, answer me this:

If creating a new Guid using the parameter-less constructor:

Guid myGuid = new Guid();

Creates the exact same empty Guid ( 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 ) as:

Guid myGuid = Guid.Empty;

Why even bother having the parameter-less constructor? I mean, I know that Guid is a struct, and needs a parameter-less constructor, but why not just make the functionality the same as NewGuid:

Guid myGuid = Guid.NewGuid();

Argh…

I'm giving up on Entourage

That’s it I’ve had it. After 4 months, I’m giving up on Microsoft Office 2004’s Entourage email client.

Let me say this to start out: Entourage’s Project Center is the closest thing out there to a fully functional & integrated solution to GTD for your Mac. I’m in love with it.

IT’S JUST TOO DAMN SLOW

Seeing as how the whole point of productivity apps is to enhance your productivity, i didn’t figure that waiting for Entourage to search through it’s 2GB+ memory footprint just to bring up an email wasn’t making me that more productive.

So, I’m falling back to using a collection of apps on my mac. So far, here is my GTD setup:

  1. Apple Mail – fast, easy to use.
  2. MailTags – Integrated tagging for Apple Mail
  3. Mail Act-On – Flexible rules & hotkey accessible.
  4. iCal – Integrates very nicely with the above tools.
  5. QuickSilver – I remember when Butler first came out several years ago as a finder alternative. This is about 100x as powerful. Comes with plugins for all the above tools.
  6. BackPack – Interesting organizational tool that i’m just starting to get my head around. Also has an amazing plugin for QuickSilver.

As for my access to my company’s Exchange server? I’m using good old Microsoft Outlook Web Access. Also, I know Apple’s Mail can access Exchange, but it’s not true integration and it really can’t access a hosted exchange server, like my company uses.

But hey, at least I can finally start to actually get some stuff done.

I’ll post about how I use the above tools a little later. In the mean time, Hawk Wings has a great post about some other tools to get stuff done on the mac.

Social Trading – One Month Later

About a month ago, I wrote about giving a few social sites a try. Well, it’s been an active month on both sites.

First off, BookMooch. Overall, i have received 7 books, and sent out 16 books. I’ve spent about about $45 sending out those 16 books, so $45 / 7 = ~$6.50 a book Not too shabby. However, one of the problems I am having is finding books to snag. It seems that everyone wants the books that i have listed in my inventory, but not many of the 60+ books I have on my wish-list are currently in anyone’s inventory. It got to the point where I had sent out 8 books without yet receiving a book myself. I had to reject several requests for my books because I simply was spending too much money shipping books without giving. When a book on my wish-list does appear in someone’s inventory, I have to act quick because it’s usually snapped up quickly. More often than not, I don’t get the book.

It’s a useful service, but it’s not quite as robust as it could be. For example, the website has a dashboard that details books you have sent, received, will receive, and requested to be sent. However, when you click on any of those links, they all take you to the same page, where you have to scroll through several pages to get to the one you’d like. Also, the system is based on a request/receive system, so someone could technically request several books without sending any books to anyone else. They do have a requirement to keep your “mooch ratio” above a certain number, but the person making the most effort is still the sender. They have to pay for shipping, go the post office, etc… All that, and they still may not get any books on their wish-list.

Lala on the other hand is a much more robust system. So far I’ve shipped off 27 cd’s and have received 17. Lala billing runs on a monthly basis, so I’ve been billed for 10 cd’s at $1.75 a cd. Lala ships you envelopes so that you can send off cd’s to people who want cd’s you have. The envelopes are prepaid and ready to go, so all you have to do is put the cd in it’s protective case, and drop in the closest mailbox. That’s it. After that, people will do the same thing for cd’s on your wish list. You’ll be notified when people send you cd’s and when people get your cd’s.

The keys to this system are:

1. Lala takes care of shipping.

2. You get billed for cd’s you receive. It costs you nothing to send cd’s

3. You have a limit to the number of cd’s you can have in TRANSIT at any given time. So you must be actively shipping and receiving cd’s.

For me, BookMooch would work a lot better if it was like Lala. BookMooch could send prepaid envelopes to you. USPS media mail is only $2.09 + $1.59 per envelope. You could even choose different size envelopes. Then, people who receive the books are charged for the ones they receive, and have less incentive to sit back and take books from everyone. Shipping books would also be MUCH easier because you wouldn’t have to stand in line at the post office to have them tag the the book as media.

I’m sure I’ll used BookMooch, but i’ll be deactivating my account every now and then. Lala, on the other hand, will remain on and I’m loving it.

Weird Feed Edits?

Someone commented recently that in his rss reader, my feed posts show up with all sorts of crazy html and edits, even to posts that I don’t edit.

If anyone else is seeing this, drop me a line if you could with the post and how you subscribe to the feed.

Thanks.