Commercial Software Gone Wrong

A friend of mine, who does work in video production professionally, just purchased an upgrade from Final Cut Pro 3 to Final Cut Pro 5. In doing so, he provided his version 3 serial number, paid for the software, got it delivered, tried to install it, and that’s where things got messy…

When the installer asked for the version 5 serial number, he put it in, and it then asked for the version 3 serial number. No matter how many times he tried it, it was a no go. Reboots were tried, running version 3 while installing was tried, etc. No good…

After a phone call to Apple about this, and walking through it all again, the support guy asks for the version 3 serial number, and then says that number is a hacked serial number floating around the net. Now what?

To be clear, my friend has the actual version 3 disk with the actual version 3 serial number printed on the disk envelope, and all the original packaging, etc. He bought it. He makes his living doing video production. What the hell is he supposed to do now?


iPod Recycling Program

As you may know, I’ve mentioned Apple’s various iPods on this site for years… All those words about a product I’ve never even owned, let alone used for more than a few minutes in an Apple Store.

Now that there is another new iPod (Hello nano!) it’s time for all the geeks and nerds with a few hundred bucks burning a hole through their wallet to do the upgrade dance to the newest version of the iPod.

Go on, you know you want to… And by all means you should! Get yourself that new nano, you deserve it!

But… don’t just throw that old iPod in a drawer somewhere, donate it to RasterWeb! – Our “iPod Recycling Program” is in full effect, and we’re accepting any and all old iPods, just get in touch with us for the details.

We thank you for your contributions…


DVD at Last!

Quite a while ago I ordered a DVD drive for my old PowerMac G4, and after sitting in a box for roughly two months, I finally installed it. (It was the drive sitting in a box, not me.)

SpongeBob and Patrick

What’s that now? A screenshot of a DVD playing on my Mac? But how? I remember telling my cousin years ago that Apple’s DVD Player application prevented you from taking screenshots, but there were some 3rd-party apps that could probably do it. Much to my surprise, none was needed! I’m still using 10.3.x but the following worked for me:

screencapture ~/Desktop/dvd.pdf

And bango! A PDF on the desktop. It’s the whole screen, not just the DVD being displayed, but it’s a start… (I probably got the idea from, as there are many other capture suggestions there as well.)


The New Flash(y) iPod

In Paging Jennifer Beals Mr. Gruber says that an iPod without a display is just silly. (I’m paraphrasing here…) What he doesn’t know is the new iPod will be using a display that utilizies Spin technology.

That’s right, the new iPod will display information by being rapidly spun in the air by the earbud wires. I know it sounds ridiculous, because it is. Wait. that’s just the leaked story, the real story is that it will project the display onto a flat surface just like that atomic projection clock at your Mom’s house, where you can lie in bed at stare at the time slowly changing while being displayed on the ceiling. Wait. that’s just the leaked story, the real story is that there will not be a Firewire port, USB 1 or 2 port, or even some special new dock. The new iPod actually comes tuned to your brainwave patterns and will be controlled (only by the owner) using thoughts and brainwaves. It will respond to your mood, and what you are thinking. (“Hmmm, I’d like to listen to The Clash” or “That Dawn and Drew Show is funny!”) The fact that it can only be controlled by the owner’s brain will also lower the risk of theft. Oh, also, it won’t actually have a hard drive or flash memory, it will just use the audio stored inside of your brain, talk about DRM‘d music!

Now folks, I must have made hundreds… ok, dozens… well, at least a few posts on Apple’s iPod audio player, and even though I do not own one (yet) don’t you think I’m probably right this time?


Apple and Mozilla

Apple has, Safari, and iCal. They all run on Mac OS X. Well, iCal requires Mac OS X 10.2 I believe, and I’m sure future versions of and Safari will require an appropriately recent version of Mac OS X.

(I’ll assume the “standard” apps for Windows would be IE and Outlook, both of which seem to be the source of much trouble for many people…)

For web browsing I tend to use Firefox (and before that Mozilla.) I started using Mozilla back when the versions had things like M1 assigned to them, so I’ve grown fond of it over the years.

At home I’ve been using Apple’s for quite a while, and it does an awesome job of determining what is junk, but I also use Thunderbird, which is great at doing IMAP, and I really like the way it handles multiple accounts. At work it’s all Thunderbird all the time. (I won’t touch Outlook!)

Now, when it comes to iCal, I was a bit split. When it came out, it was cool, but I resisted, because I was still using a PowerBook pretty often, and that PowerBook was stuck on Mac OS X 10.1.5, and could not run iCal. I toyed around with the early Mozilla Calendar extension, but now it’s getting closer to being the real deal in Sunbird.

So do you see a pattern? Apple does a great job of producing nice, clean, well-done applications, and if you exclusively or primarily use Mac OS X (the most recent version) you can be “all set” as the kids say. For the average user, there isn’t really anything lacking. Email, web browsing, and calendaring is handled.

But… for the folks who use Windows, Linux, etc. instead of, or in addition to Mac OS X, Mozilla’s got you covered. They put you in the “all set” mode with their offerings. Ah, one more thing, as Steve Jobs likes to say… For the hackers among us, those who like to push things further, extend. enhance, customize, tweak, and just turn inside-out, the Mozilla apps provide such a thing. The list of extensions for Firefox is impressive, and Thunderbird, and (I’m assuming) Sunbird will also follow with a nice list of extensions to do what the makers did not think of, have time for, or did not choose to do.

The Mozilla “platform” is a ripe field for the hackers to plant those seeds…

I would like to thank the Mozilla Foundation, and the supporters of these apps… They’re making computing better all the time.