Monthly Archives: July 2015

Thank You Mark Zuckerberg

This Silicon Valley/hipster beard thing bugs me.
It probably shouldn’t, since I have a beard. And mind you, when I was in my twenties I had a scruffy blond beard. I just had to. In those days, it was the closest thing to a “freak flag” I could manage. But when I see these young guys with the well-groomed, pseudo-Lincoln beards, usually my first thought is: “seriously?”. This was nailed in Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty“, except that those guys are “business beards”. If they were wearing T-shirts and leather jackets they would be “Silicon Valley beards”. (You could insert a photo of Jack Dorsey, here, but I only know him from his Twitter feed, so I won’t.)

Ted Scott from “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

Does it bug me because it seems these REALLY young guys are trying to grow really thick dark beards to appropriate our symbol of wisdom and experience (normally associated with age?) Are these just the huge antlers of the “young bucks”. Are these guys broadcasting their virility? It’s probably all the same thing.

From a professional perspective, it’s both.

These really young guys are replacing us in the workforce; their ideas and creativity and drive (and businesses) are valued in the billions of dollars, while our own may be overlooked or worse, because our age and experience can actually disqualify us without consideration. AND…these guys can grow thicker, darker beards than we can!!


And so, we repeat the dance of the generations… We have no choice—we dance whether we intend to or not. But we don’t have to resent the young men who are not just “stepping into our shoes”, but sometimes, booting us out the door. Let’s not resent them, please, let’s try not.


Which reminds me, Mark Zuckerberg, we don’t agree about much, but thank you for shaving. Thank you.

Apple Flashback 2001: We Didn’t Think of That

How to Update Quicktime

As I mentioned way, way back in UNPREDICTABLE #3, the Software Update Control Panel doesn’t update Quicktime! And I still can’t tell you why—but I can guess. Those whacky, wonderful guys and gals in Apple’s Quicktime development group are pretty independent. As far as they’re concerned, they’ve got Apple’s crown jewel, and all the other development groups should just BOW and BE HUMBLE.

For example, a few years ago at MacExpo NYC, Apple demoed the ‘new’ release of Quicktime 4. One of the cool features was the ability to set up Quicktime to tell it HOW FAST your Internet connection was. That way, Quicktime Streaming servers could send you movies appropriate for your speed. (To oversimplify: Slow connection? Small movie. Fast connection? Big movie.) When I saw that, I thought, “Cool. I bet they have it tied to Location Manager!”  Which would make a great deal of sense.

Location Manager – definitely an Overlooked and Underused item, is mostly for laptop users. It’s kind of a SUPER Extension Manager. It’s a way to change ALL KINDS OF SETTINGS with just one command. You can: turn File Sharing on, have a default printer named “Joe”, and use a certain TCP-IP address connected to an Ethernet LAN at WORK. Then, switch to: A default printer “Jane”, turn File Sharing off, and use TCP-IP over your modem, at HOME. Once you have it set up, all you have to do is choose ‘WORK’ or ‘HOME’ and everything snaps into place.

So I asked one of the Quicktime DUDES at the Apple booth about that. He pointed his blond beard skyward, ran his fingers through his pony tail, and said, “Hmm, No..we didn’t think of that. That might be a good idea. Thanks.”

I try to help Apple where I can. Now Quicktime speeds are tied-in to Location Manager. My point, besides shameless self-promotion, is that the Quicktime Team is in their own little world. Why should THEY have to use the Software Update Control Panel? THEY don’t like it. THEY can build their own Software Update into Quicktime. And THEY DID. SO THERE.

via Unpredictable Back Issue #8, February, 2001.

Apple Flashback 2005: Virtual PC – The best way to run Windows!!

Virtual PC —The safest, most stable way to run Microsoft Windows.”

“May the TAO give you all it’s blessings if you have never had to deal with Mac/PC compatibility issues. Many of us (especially if we work in BIG DUMB CORPORATIONS) need to PROVE our Macs can DO ANYTHING and FIT IN ANYWHERE no matter what absurd obstacles the Dark Riders put in our paths. One tool for doing this is Virtual PC, which actually puts a Windows (or Linux if you prefer) PC on your Macintosh in Emulation. That is, it is a software Program (from a company called Connectix), that runs just like an Intel PC, in a Window on your Mac. Can’t get your accountant to use M.Y.O.B.? He insists on QuickBooks under Windows?? If you must, you can get Virtual PC and run Quickbooks on your Mac. Current versions of Virtual PC are Applescriptable to the keystroke level, so you can actually automate Windows programs that are too dumb to do it themselves. (I know, I know, I’m pretty snippy on this topic. I’m trying to lighten up, but that’s me. Get over it.)”

From the Geek Speak Review, Unpredictable Mac circa 2005

* If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look here. – TW