It's Duckalope Season

Get your swim trunks, we're going out to catch the elusive duckalope.


Close the Year with Some Freebies

Anyone out there like free stuff? What about lots of free stuff? What about a free Mac application every day throughout December? If that piques your interest, than than head on over to Mac App A Day whose creators have pledged to give away 5,000 copies of a different Mac application each day in December. The giveaway starts each day at 12 AM PST, an ungodly 3 in the morning for an East Coaster like myself, but it seems interesting enough that I'll stay up to try and snag a copy, at least on the first day. The owners are attempting to entice even more people to check out their site by offering some exclusivities to those who post about it on their blogs, which might not be the wisest course of action if their servers come down at 12:01 from all the traffic. At least camping out for this won't be as cold as waiting in line for the Wii come Saturday, snug in bed with my iMac close by.


Throwing Out Your Toaster

The Disco beta was released a few days ago, and the beauty of this app makes me want to dance. Sorry for the late posting, but I was busy eating some $100 burnt toast. The beta isn't open to everyone, people who preordered it from MacZOT or posted about it on their blogs get it automatically, but you can request a beta by emailing beta [at] The first thing you're going to notice about Disco is the beautiful Dock icon, a disco ball with black flames coming up around it. A little quip I have with the icon is the small size. With so many circle icons in my Dock (OmniWeb, FireFox, Safari, Dashboard, iTunes, iSync, etc.), it just looks out of place. Something else that would just be amazing is if the icon would spin and have flashing lights while it's burning. Even if it would lose the epileptic market for Austin and Jasper, it'd definitely be a selling point for those of us not spasming on the ground. After the icon stops bouncing, one small window pops up, telling you to insert a disk or drop files on it. With the black and gray colors, exquisite use of transparency, and simple interface, Disco would already be a winner in the books of people who haven't been obsessively following Disco since it was only a tantalizing hint on Jasper's blog (read: me). Because I'm out of blank discs, I can't test out the rest of the features, but it goes to show you how well an application must be to have me ripping apart my drawers in search of a CD-R.


Voting Opens for My Dream App

After weeks of anticipation, elimination, and creativity, voting has finally opened on My Dream App, the contest for ideas to build, you guessed it, my (or in this case, their) dream app. Although they didn't accept my excellent ideas as finalists, some of the concepts out there are amazing, such as Hijack and Ground Control. This first round of voting will eliminate 6 of the 24 finalists, who will walk away with more than dashed hopes, since they'll be receiving new iPod shuffles. Although voting is open until Friday night, it might already be decided who stays on
and who goes. Quite a few of those ideas are basically pointless, such as Puppet Constructor, and I'm kind of glad to see them go. Some of the others are pointless to me, like iGotPets, which also looks like it's going to be eliminated. Savant Carde and Bubble Fish, although not my favorites, both have potential to be really useful, so I hope they can make it back from their current deficit. If anyone is reading this, post your own favorites and thoughts on the contest.


Revolutionary Rodents

Yesterday, I picked up Logitech's newest marvel, the MX Revolution. I had heard about it when it was released a few weeks ago, but after trying it out on the display at Staples, I knew I had to have it. The ergonomics are amazing, it just fits perfectly into my hand. The scroll wheel is astounding. My only quip with my "old" MX 1000 is that scrolling majorly sucks: it's clunky and terribly slow. Given that Staples had a $20 off deal on it, I just couldn't pass up the offer.
The first thing you notice about it is its amazing packaging. The front is magnetically latched on, and lifting it up shows you the mouse incased in plastic, just begging for you to set it free. Once you cut open the plastic seal, the mouse and its casing lift up, revealing the charger and dock within.
After using the mouse for a day, I just love it. Until you use the amazing fast scrolling, you have no idea how much time you're wasting on it. With a flick of my finger, I can fly down a page in an instant. In my iTunes library of 3831 songs, I can get from 311 to the White Stripes in two flicks. When I'm working on something like an essay, just a click of the wheel brings it to the same click mode you'd find on a less revolutionary mouse. It's pretty nifty how when you're in Click mode and you scroll fast, it can switch to Seamless Scrolling by itself.
The feel and general usage of the mouse, other than scrolling, is pretty much the same as my MX1000. I'm still trying to figure out how to set the second scroll wheel to switch iTunes songs, rather than bring up the Application Switcher. I've had to map my Quicksilver iTunes commands to the function keys, but hopefully Logitech will allow keystrokes for the side wheel in an update, since the lack of functionality is caused purely by software.
If you're looking for a new mouse, definitely give this mouse a whirl, and even if you're happy with your mouse, as I was, if you're a heavy computer user, take into consideration how much time this could save you.


Of iTunes Discontent

A lot of people are complaining a lot about the UI changes Apple made for iTunes 7, but a few people, like me, like the new changes. It seems a lot more professional than other interfaces, with more subdued colors. The candy look of Aqua is nice, but distracting. By focusing on the most important areas of the application, you can choose tyour song without being drawn in by the magical pulsing scroll bar. The two big issues I have with it are the new icon, and the capitalized letters in the sidebar.
The new icon is terrible. Already, tons of icons in my Dock are blue, but before, iTunes distinguished itself by daring to be green. I mean, why blue? I love blue, but what's wrong with having a multicolored Dock? And the gloss is horrible. Try as I might, I can't get a CD to shine like that, even under bright lights. The old icon was glossy, yes, but had nowhere near the atrociousness of the new icon. The esteemed Adam Betts has made a replcement icon freely available, which fixes the terrible gloss and the glow, but not the blue.
The capitalized letters in the sidebar are just so ugly and out of place. As someone else said, the only other place in all of OS X you'll find a word in all-caps is the OK in save dialouges. Someone posted a fix for the capitalization at macosxhints, but it displayed gibberish for me, so I'm stuck in the suck. I've been using Uno for a while now to make everything more unified-er, and that now works with iTunes 7 as well, so it fits in better. For anyone who wants a total fix for the UI, here are some awesome resource replacements which make it look all Aquaish again.

Well, I kind of sidetracked, but I really hope the iTunes UI gets adopted by all applications for Leopard. Vista looks a hell of a lot better than XP (they got rid of all the blue), and it's definitely competing with OS X in interface design, no matter how many ideas they stole. What better way to pounce ahead of the competition than by offering a more professional looking interface in 10.5?

Dancing the Duckalope Disco

Hey, I'm Richard, and I like duckalopes.
You may wonder what exactly a duckalope is, but the imaginative among us could probably figure it out. For those lacking an intuitive mind, here's a picture of one (not mine).

I made this blog for two reasons: I'm really annoyed by Xanga, and I couldn't pass up a chance at a pre-order of Disco.

Disco is an unreleased Mac application being developed by Austin Sarner, the developer of the immensely popular and unexpectedly useful uninstaller, AppZapper, as well as Jasper Hauser, the creator of some of the most beautatious icons ever, including those for AppZapper and Vienna. With developers like that, it's unsuprising how much attention an application we know next to nothing about has received.

From the little tidbits of info the developers have given us, such as a blog post titled "We're having Toast for dinner", it seems Disco is a CD/DVD burning app. That itself isn't very specific, we have no idea if this is going to burn backups for you, or movies, or replace Finder's disk burning. We do know, however, that it's going to make disk burning fun. In other context, I'd be very skeptical of how burning discs could be fun, but given how Austin made uninstalling applications, of all things, fun with AppZapper, I'm definitely eager to see how they're going to do this. And if Jasper makes another positively lickable icon for it, how could anyone resist?

What's amazing is that they did a preorder on MacZOT back before anyone had any idea what Disco even did. The preorder was limited to 2,000 copies, which sold like hot cakes, so I missed a chance at getting it cheap. Guess it goes to show you that lots of people share my curiosity about what an app coming from the creator of AppZapper can do.

My expert opinion on Disco:
I can imagine something like an animated version of what the disc would be doing as it's burning, with files flying from your hard drive to a virtual disc, but that's as far as I can get in the fun category.

I'm iffish about the UI they've been showing in the little previews, since it's not really standardish.

With everyone riled up about iTunes 7, is it prudent to release an application with black close buttons? Perhaps it's just a Shapeshifter theme that they've been using?

Also, on ZOT, they said Disco will utilize the motion sensor on recent Apple notebooks somehow in the application. I'm thinking that it's kind of a bad idea to be shaking your MacBook around while you're writing to a disc, both for the disc itself and your DVD drive.

Well, I'm going to wrap this up, since I'm betting the 50 blogging slots are going to fill up pretty fast, but I'm definitely going to work on this blog and keep posting.


Edit: Figured out how to attach a URL to text, wrote more stuff 'bout Disco, got Firefox because OmniWeb doesn't work well with Blogger.