The other side of the fence


The impromptu interview I did at Apple Expo Paris has now been aired, but because it's for an obscure show on BBC World, nobody will ever see it. Except, of course, you, because, if you follow this link, you can find links at the right of the page to watch the streamed version for dial-up or broadband.

Yours truly appears twice; once, round about 4 minutes in, and again somewhere around 5:30 in.

But it's an odd experience. I'm used to editing other people's quotes for my stories, and angling them so that they suit my particular take on something. To be the victim of the same is disconcerting. I'm amazed at how clear my normally mumbling diction appears, but am shocked at how negative my comments about Apple appear to be. I now have a fresh appreciation of the politician's traditional "my comments have been taken out of context."

It's even more apparent in the pullquote towards the bottom of the accompanying news story. Ah well, c'est la vie.

Free computer

There's a way to get free computer hardware. The principle is sound: You sign up for an offer online through the GiveawayNetwork, refer some friends to do the same, then you are given the goods. It's like a very direct and effective kind of advertising.
The number of referrals you need depends on the value of the item you want. I've signed up to get a free Mac mini, so I need 10 referrals.
It seems perfectly legit; one of the offers is for ScreenSelect, a DVD rental company along the lines of Netflix or LoveFilm. It's a free trial, which you can happily cancel once your referral has been registered, apparently in around 5 business days. That's what I did.
I now need to convince 10 other people to do the same. Anyone who follows my referral link at the bottom of this post, and completes one of the offers, counts towards my total. And it also means that you get onto the scheme, so you're one step closer to a free Mac mini yourself.
I'm curious to know if this works, and I guess you are too if you've read this far. It'd be great if ten of you could participate, and I'll report back here on my experiences.
Just click on the link below, and follow the prompts. I recommend the ScreenSelect offer, but if there are others which appeal more, go for them.

Caption competition



I like to tinker with different operating systems (it's OK, I have a wife already), and I occasionally even need to muck about with Windows for various reasons. To do this, I use the generally pretty excellent Virtual PC, now developed by Microsoft.

Normally, I use it in a window under Mac OS X, but I sometimes switch to full screen to take screengrabs or whatever. When I do this, I forget that it's just a emulated system, and that, for example, if I want to close a window, my hands instinctively reach, not for control-w but for the Mac-standard command-w keystroke. This, though, closes the Mac window, which is the one containing Windows, shutting it down.

A rather more disorientating thing happened today, though: as I was working in Windows, I triggered Dashboard*, bringing the OS X Widgets floating over the Windows screen. It really threw me (nasty, aliased Window text and shiny, anti-aliased Mac text side-by side), and I spend a good few seconds trying to work out where the hell I was, OS-wise.

Hell, that was a really boring story wasn't it? Must try harder, See me, etc.

* Dashboard is an application layer (honest) that brings handy little tools zooming across the top of what you're doing when invoked. You do your thing, then dismiss them. They're much more useful than I've made them sound. I'm obviously having a bad day today, writing-wise...