Tapirtype Blog: Index

January 20, 2009

From Sasha Kopf:

We can has new administration

We has a new prezdent.  We has one.jpg

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November 4, 2008



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September 3, 2008

Dialing it up and down

I have a vivid memory of being driven to my first day of High School by my mom. I was nervous to near panic attack proportions that I was going to be late. A worry that lasted until we got close to the school and I replaced it with a panic about being too early.

I’m finding writing a paper to be very similar. “Oh my god, oh my god, I’m never going to have enough data. There isn’t enough stuff here! I don’t have enough to show! … Oh, crap! I’ve got 9 figures. I have to cut!” With barely a pause in between.

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August 29, 2008


It’s amazing how many people there are who moan about the lack of participation of younger generations, or for that matter of people in general, without lifting a finger to do anything about it. But what is more amazing is how many of them turn right around screaming “Get off my lawn!” when a few of them have the temerity to show up. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so amazed, but then I was born long after the end of the Vietnam war, so obviously no one should take me seriously. The more so if I refuse to play my part and stay at home doing nothing so I can stand at ready for whenever a scapegoat for our problems is needed.

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August 27, 2008


Totally obscure pro tip: If you own a spyder2express monitor calibration thingy you may have been annoyed that the software only allows you to target 65k as your white point rather than using the native white point of your LCD screen, but felt that this wasn’t enough reason to spring for the pro version. Turns out you can still download the old (2.2) software that defaulted to native white point if you go and register for their support site.

Now you can launch either version of the software to select the “option” of which white point you want.


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June 21, 2008


I saw naked people today.

We had a lab outing, renting kayaks from Agua Verde. The initial plan was to go out by the Arboretum, but Faith’s significant other’s son, was with us and we decided that the cut would be a little dangerous for him, so we decided to paddle down toward Fremont instead.

It was also the Solstice which meant that the Annual Fremont Solstice Parade was going on. Paddling past Gas Works Park, we looked up and, yup, sure enough, there they were, naked as the day they were born. Assuming, of course, that they were born wearing shoes and body paint. Which upon reflection most of them probably weren’t.

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April 28, 2008

Flash Ads

I’ve become convinced that those flashy blinking ads are designed to drive page hits. How? I just found myself reloading the New York Times web page five times in a row in the hope that I’d get an ad that wouldn’t compel me to hold my hand over the screen so I could read the actual content without being distracted.

(And yes, I know there’s software to fix that.)

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March 20, 2008

From Sasha Kopf:



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February 20, 2008

Quick thought regarding the silly 24 hour iTunes rental limit

So we all know that the 24 hour limit sucks. That (along with the fact that you can only get HD content if you have an Apple TV, what could otherwise be the killer feature for me) certainly prevents me from me from even considering it as an option beyond something to keep in the back of my head for last resort instant gratification.

Netflix, by contrast is of course quite happy to let you keep DVDs for as long as you like. As a subscription outfit, they just make more and more money off of you. But plenty of people would certainly prefer to pay per rental and herein lies the problem as renting on a long enough time frame becomes indistinguishable from buying.

The solution: Instead of putting an arbitrary cutoff time after hitting play, there should be a virtual check back in. You’d a allowed to have, say, 10 movies checked out at a time, paying for the rental when you download them and keeping them as long as you like, but you wouldn’t be allowed to download the 11th until you “check in” one of the 10, rendering it unplayable. Certainly this would introduce some more security holes and would set an upper limit on how many movies you could take with you on a trip if you don’t want to access the internet from the road, but it would prevent wholesale abuse. On the whole I think it would work much better for most people.

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January 16, 2008

This just in: New MacBook Air is for portable computing.


Or well, you’d think it would be “duh.”

I’m not big on ultra portables. I use a mid sized MacBook Pro 15” (named Mallory by the way) because I like to have (and well, can afford) one machine that I largely take from desk to desk going from work to home to wherever else I need to be. I’m a large enough guy that carting Mallory back and forth from work isn’t ever much of a problem, and making her smaller, even much smaller isn’t going to magically solve the ergonomics of using her away from a desk.

So I’ve watched the complaints that Apple doesn’t offer a decent ultra-portable form the sidelines as a somewhat disinterested observer. Ok, I get that for people with desktop machines who use their portables as portables instead of “transplantable” computers might like something super small to take to the coffee shop or the plane or class or meetings or wherever it is that they go when not sitting at their desktop.

So Apple comes out with just such a machine and all those same people, the people who derided the 17” and so clearly don’t subscribe to the “transplantable” computer idea, complain that there are not enough ways to tether it down? Honestly? You really want lots of ports so you can park this super, super thin computer on a desk with wires sticking out of every end so you won’t notice how thin it is because you can’t pick it up without unplugging a bunch of things anyway? You’re really concerned that you need to install software on it with the help of a larger computer? Do you really do much installing of software on the road? If you, like me, aren’t willing to sacrifice much in the way of power for size then, news flash, you don’t actually want an ultra portable. You want a general purpose portable, and congratulations, Apple already sells those in a variety of size-power-price points.

Update: Many people are further making the comparison to the Cube. I think that’s deeply flawed as while both machines made compromises on price in order to achieve small size and exciting form factor, many people appreciate those things in a desktop, but few really benefit from them. Anyone who uses a laptop will benefit in very concrete ways from the lightness and thinness of the Air… even if many don’t feel the trade off is worth it. I strongly doubt that anyone out there would find themselves buying a computer they otherwise wouldn’t because they could fit it on a smaller desktop. There are definitely people out there who would choose to bring a computer with them at the weight and thinness of the Air that would decide not to bring one at all otherwise.

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