Thursday, September 28, 2006

From the This American Life Update from September 27, 2006:

NEWS FLASH! This week we're introducing our brand-new custom Flash player from Pupu Platters Studios, which allows you to stream our MP3 archives for free while preserving your ability to pause, fast-forward and rewind. You don't have to do anything special – the player will open automatically whenever you click on our streaming audio links. So, if you were frustrated with streaming options this summer please give us another try. We're ready to rumble!

ALSO -- CHEAP DOWNLOADS! Our back catalogue is now $.95 a show at the Apple Music Store. Download high-quality files quickly and easily! Have TAL listening parties, and use the money you save on snack trays!

The Flash player works pretty well. It loads the whole sound file so you can jump around by dragging the time indicator. The fast-forward and rewind buttons are inoperative under Safari 1.3.2. What would be nice is if there were a menu for each episode so you could click on the different Acts to jump to them. Also there should be keyboard shortcuts for navigation. Overall this is a step up from the Real Player and the deliberately crippled m3u option.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Mindstorms of the LEGO variety

Friday, September 01, 2006

Alternatives to PowerPoint for making presentations on OS X

The best alternative seems to be Apple's Keynote as it is a) cheaper and b) better designed. Microsoft's PowerPoint program has serious issues with PDF files. If you try to paste one into your presentation, it converts it to some other format, and (as an example) you lose any transparency that you might have had in it. Keynote handles PDF's perfectly.

I tried using NeoOffice but it just seemed to require immense amounts of RAM, and was therefore unusable.

I like the idea of a completely different approach like Prosper (LaTeX templates for presentations) or S5 (XHTML, CSS, and Javascript approach), but these script-like schemes completely ignore one of the essential features of a presentation creation program: A simple drawing program. I've got the equation and plot angles covered (LaTeX Equation Editor and the publication-quality R), but a simple drawing program continues to elude me. For now I will stick with Keynote.
Star Trek Inspirational Posters:

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.