Month: July 2009

Drop the needle: Grado Prestige Gold1


Grado has been tinkering in their R&D lab. As such, they’ve been rolling out upgraded and improved versions of nearly all of their products. Headphones such as the SR125, of which I own a pair, have earned a lower case ‘i’ to their product names (e.g. SR125i). Grado’s line of phono cartridges have also been seeing some upgrades recently, with the numeral one added to their name. When I moved to Madison three months ago, […]

Buying Records: Duplicates


It’s a common experience to devoted vinyl collectors. And it’s not really an intentional thing. It just happens. Perhaps it is more common to the absent-minded among us. But buying the same record twice isn’t such a bad thing. If anything, it shows you have consistent taste. If you walk into a record store and can know with certainty that you will not accidentally buy a record that you already own, then either you have […]

Why does Canon ZoomBrowser EX always crash on Vista?


For its PowerShot digital cameras, Canon offers photo management software called ZoomBrowser EX. But for some reason, after I had upgraded to Windows Vista from Windows XP, ZoomBrowser EX no longer worked. In fact, it would crash every time I started up the application. It would display the splash screen, and then come up with a message that “Zb Module has stopped working.” After several new versions of ZoomBrowser had been released, finally yesterday I […]

Maximizing Microformats: Long Live the Semantic Web


With the ongoing debate surrounding HTML 5, some believe that it spells the demise of the Semantic Web. As long as XML remains part of the spec in the form of XHTML 5, I think we have no problem there. The only argument against XHTML 5 in its present form is that it called for being served as application/xhtml+xml. All modern browsers accept this MIMEtype including Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera. Well, all except for […]

Open Source and Multimedia


Some people subscribe to the idea of proprietary software. They live in a Windows or Mac OS X world. Some people subscribe to the notion of open source. Linux or BSD is the preferred platform, but there is also a lot of open source software available on the proprietary platforms as well. One old sawhorse that the open source world uses is that open source software has fewer bugs. That may be true in certain […]

Link Dissonance: Throwing Google off the scent


Google – and other search engines for that matter – like to know where your stuff is at. They also like it when your stuff can be found at the same location for a given (x) amount of time. That is, the longer your pages are out in the wild, the more regard Google tends to give them. In the deep history of Manufactured Environments, permalinks have stayed constant for about three years at a […]

Is Windows Media Player better than Apple iTunes?


Ever since Apple released iTunes for Windows, it’s been the best or one of the best music players for Windows. Some are attempting to gain a lead, such as Songbird or MediaMonkey, but if you’re using an iPod or want to download music from the iTunes Store, then iTunes is the natural choice. And even as iTunes get more and more bloated with more and more functionality, it remains a deliberately simple and imminently elegant […]

KeePass: Secure password protector


The question of where you store your passwords is increasingly relevant. As the number of accounts we maintain on various websites increases, so does our need for a secure method for storing passwords. Some people use the same password for every site. Of course, if one key unlocks many doors, then you’ve got a security problem. The alternatives may be to keep a written record. But do you take the list with you when you’re […]

A simplified music library: Massaging iTunes


Okay, so over time, the longer that you use iTunes, the more your music library will grow. For some of us with an acute interest in music that may the growth is made in gargantuan leaps. I recently found myself in this situation with an iTunes music library that had grown to, for me, an unmanageable size. The solution though is fairly simple: weed out the cruft. In my case, there is a strata of […]