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What iTunes Really Means to The Beatles

This morning I tweeted: “I put Beatles albums in my daughter’s iTunes library years ago. Suddenly, now that Beatles are top iTunes downloads, she’s listening.” That succinctly explains what The Beatles get from the exclusive distribution deal with Apple. There are millions of Millennials who aren’t acquainted with Beatles music, and they might never be with their parents listening to it. But everything changes if their friends are Beatling.

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Prickly Situation

This afternoon I took the Canon 20D and EF-S 60mm Macro lens out into the backyard. This prickly plant reminds me of cloud formations, where the shapes take on meaning. In the photo, I see a fox to left and dog to the right. Bow. Wow. The neighbor’s dogs barked as I took pics near the fence.

I continue to struggle to find satisfaction with the Canon 20D, which has been the case since buying it. The Nikon D70 felt more like an extension of my eye, capturing images just as I saw them. I have long fussed over the Canon 20D, with some dissatisfaction regarding focus, which has always seemed soft to me or different than expected. I’m surprised by the number of times the focal point isn’t where it appears to be. I’ve encountered this problem using two different 20Ds. 

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iMac boots the Media Center

This afternoon, my buddy from down the street dropped by a new, 17-inch iMac, the hot model with built-in iSight camera, Front Row, and remote control. We had planned an Apple Store trip together, when the iMac arrived for sale. But my work schedule wouldn’t accommodate the time off. We had agreed to an even swap. He would take my Dell Media Center PC, so he had always planned on buying the iMac anyway.

The Media Center’s departure is emotional, because of the attachment to watching television. The dual-tuner let me record two TV shows at the same time. The DVR also meant more TV watching and still too much time wasted channel switching like a mindless hamster running a wheel. Going nowhere. 

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No So Do-It-Yourself Fast

Today’s New York Times story, “Why-Do-It-Yourself Photo Printing Doesn’t Add Up” presents premise: Home printing costs anywhere from 28 to 50 cents a print, depending on who you believe (manufacturers or Consumer Reprorts). Consumers can get their digitals printed elsewhere for as little as a dime a print. More consumers are choosing the lower-cost options.

The story cites some analyst numbers showing a sharp decrease in home photo printing (48 percent of the photo prints made, down from 64 percent during the previous 12 months). From the news story: “Despite the ceaseless efforts of manufacturers to convince consumers that printing at home is fast, convenient and a whole lot of fun, the evidence shows that many people are tuning out the marketing”. 

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Windows XP: Game Over

If you’ve got kids, kids’ games and Windows XP, you’ve problems. You see, Microsoft appears to have ignored an entire category of software during Windows XP compatibility testing: Educational and edutainment software for kids. If you have a closet full of hand-me-down games for that four or five year-old previously used by an older sibling, plan on turning many of them into coffee coasters.

Windows XP may have been on the market for more than two years, but plenty of kids games won’t work well or run at all on the operating system. If your kids have a beloved game for which there is no new version and you’re thinking about getting a shiny, new Windows XP PC, plan on keeping that older Windows machine around for awhile. 

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Windows gives Macs the Boot

My daughter attends an elementary school in Montgomery County, Md., where Windows PCs are booting (pardon the bad computer jargon pun) Macs out the door. Her school is due for an upgrade next year.

Montgomery County is supposed to have one of the better school systems in the Washington, D.C. area, because of the tax base of cities like Bethesda, Chevy Chase, or Rockville. Wherever the school system spends its money, computers haven’t been a priority. My daughter’s school runs aged beige (that means pre-1998) Macs and first-generation (that means 1998) iMacs; a few 1999 version G3 towers are around, too. It’s my understanding that many of the computers were purchased through a Macs for schools program—one of those deals where folks turned in receipts to a local supermarket. So, much for the tax base. 

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My 10-Year PC Anniversary

Ten years ago this month, I bought my first home PC from a friend who built them for a living. Months earlier, I had read a story in what was then called Washington Journalism Review about the coming age of digital journalism. Few people had heard of the World Wide Web when the article published, but San Jose Mercury News and other publications had started appearing on America Online and CompuServe.

That first computer was a whooper for its day: 486 processor, 8MB of RAM, 120GB hard drive, and Windows 3.11. The builder included WordPerfect 6, which was so buggy, I picked up the competitive Word 6 upgrade from my local Staples. My current cell phone, which also runs a version of Windows, has more power, storage, and memory than that first PC.