Around the Mac Blogosphere in 32 Links
Everyone has one and no one seems to know quite what it is, or even how to define it. You knew it was big when it could raise up the unlikely and strike down the mighty. When everyone had to have one, you knew its time to shine had come.
What am I talking about? The weblog, that humble collection of links transformed into a civic-minded, voyeuristic “new medium” published for all to read online.
But you maybe already knew that. (You might have even read it in ATPM first.) What you might not already know is that if you’re a Mac user, you could stand to benefit significantly from the medium—from tips and shortcuts to purchasing advice, accessories to software, and, of course, the grapevine.
Before I get into what this month can offer you in the blogosphere, I’ll offer an anecdote, so you can imagine why this is of any meaning or use to you at all:
I had just switched my weblog, now called The Idea Salon, from LiveJournal to a Movable Type setup, and I didn’t feel like using the Web entry form to write new entries. That made it really hard to write when I wasn’t connected to the Internet. Well, I went hunting and I found only one free client, Kung-Log, with which I was not happy.
Well, I happened across a client called EspressoBlog mentioned in an entry on someone’s weblog, written by a guy who is now a friend of mine, and I tried using it. It was OK but not spectacular, and I had a few issues with it. I posted an entry to my weblog, I think only half-realizing that my remarks would reach his. Subsequently I found out that he was writing a new client that would remedy some of the complaints I had about his present product.
Without the Mac blogosphere, I don’t know that I ever would have found EspressoBlog in the first place, much less found out about Userspace, the client (still in beta) that I now use to write my weblog.
Well, then! Having said that, let’s look at some of the news from December in the blogosphere, in no particular order:
- From MacNetJournal, major news that Mac OS X 10.3.2 causes 12" PowerBook fans to run more or less continuously meant a bit of a lag on updates. The explanation is that the update changed the temperature thresholds at which the fan turns on and off. There are instructions for how to fix this too.
- Thanks to Jonathan Rentzsch in October, a hack that allowed NetNewsWire users to read RSS feeds in “widescreen” column mode started picking up steam. So Brent Simmons this month offered the feature in a beta for the next version of NetNewsWire. (NetNewsWire was favorably reviewed in ATPM 9.04.)
- After a journalist at PC Magazine, Lance Ulanoff, gloated about a vulnerability in Mac OS X discovered by William Carrel, curmudgeonly John Gruber, John C. Welch, and Rick Forno all took the challenge: why was it that the vulnerability didn’t make OS X users anywhere near as susceptible as Windows users? Lots and lots of good reading.
- Right before Apple announced an iPod battery replacement program, Casey and Van Neistat got disgruntled about the dead battery in Casey’s iPod. So they made a video of the brothers spray-painting “iPOD’S UNREPLACEABLE BATTERY LASTS ONLY 18 MONTHS” stencils on Apple’s iPod ads. This raised a collective uproar. John Gruber was funniest, twice. Best Debunker award goes to Geek Patrol for hitting the airwaves rapidly with a full listing of just what was wrong with their claims. Credit is due also to Rachelle Bowden for documenting the extent of their madness, and also to Dave Schroeder for airing his own personal correspondence with the Neistat brothers over his mirror.
So you see, it can pay off to pay attention to Mac bloggers’ buzz. You might find a new piece of software, or a new feature for a piece of software you already use. You never know when you’ll find out about something new, from the iPod battery-replacement program to “features” in the latest OS X update. You’ll never be stuck with something you can’t fix or something you just don’t understand ever again.
Better yet, you can have your cake and eat it too! Each month I will try to introduce you to more slices of the Mac blogosphere, in terms of topics and in terms of bloggers. I’d love your suggestions as to who I should be reading and what I need to focus in on, so we can make this space more useful to everyone.
That’s it for this edition of Bloggable. Tune in next month for more news in the Mac blogosphere!