The MacCast » Random Thoughts

My Movember Macstache

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff, Random Thoughts

MacstacheThis month thanks to my co-worker Sean I have been doing something I have never done before in my life… growing a moustache. Now, I can tell you that being a geek I am not the most, shall we say, “manly” of all men (yes I can admit it). As such, my “stache” is neither full nor attractive. So why would I jeopardize my nerdy good looks and ruin all this years Holiday photos? One word: Movember.

What is Movember?

Every year 1 in 6 men in the United States will develop prostate cancer and every year in the U.S. 28,000 men will die from the disease. The sad thing is that if detected early 90% of prostate cancer is curable. All it takes for early detection and all that requires is a simple exam.

So, during Movember (the month formerly known as November) I have growing a Moustache to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation and their fight against prostate cancer. The money raised is donated directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and will be used to fund high-impact research to find better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer.

How to Donate

To donate to my Macstache you can either click this button and donate online now using your credit card or PayPal account
Donate now!

Or, write a check payable to the ‘Prostate Cancer Foundation’, referencing my Registration Number 1695001 and mailing it to:

Prostate Cancer Foundation
Attn: Movember
1250 Fourth St
Santa Monica, CA, 90401

All donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Thanks for your support,


Is iPhone 3G’s Scott the new Jenny?

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff, Random Thoughts

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Those of you who are old enough will maybe remember the 80’s hit Jenny by Tommy Tutone. The song repeated over and over again 8675309, the supposed phone number of a fictitious girl named Jenny. Back then the song drove anyone across the nation with that phone number nuts as they were overwhelmed by annoying random phone calls.

Today, most movies, TV shows, songs, commercials, etc. use a “555” number to avoid this type of issue. So imagine how strange it was for me last night when I saw one of Apple’s latest iPhone 3G ads prominently featuring what looked like a legitimate phone number. In the new Work Friendly ad for the iPhone 3G there is a point when they display a contact entry for Scott Frankel and right there in the middle of the screen is an actual (408) phone number. Two actually, because there is also a bad edit in the middle where the screen magically changes mid-shot and adds a second “office” number. After my initial shock wore off I began to wonder. Why would Apple use a “real” number in an iPhone ad? Was this simply a mistake by the ad agency? A clever marketing campaign? I could see by the zip code it was a Cupertino number, so was this a secret hotline into Apple’s headquarters? Well, any Mac geek can probably guess what I did next. Of course. I grabbed my own iPhone and started dialing.

The first number, Scott’s “mobile”, simply had a call failure each time I tried it. The second “work” number went straight into a generic voicemail box. Now, I didn’t leave a message, but I have to wonder what would happen if you did. What is the point of all this? Is there a point? In the back of my mind I was kind of hoping this was a great viral marking scheme and the start of some cool iPhone/Apple treasure hunt like the kind of campaigns the folks over at Mac Heist have crafted in the past. But alas, it doesn’t appear to be so. Seems like a missed opportunity. Truth is, it’s probably just a prank on some poor unsuspecting intern who works at Apple. This guy is now wondering why he gets like 3,000 voice mails a day and why the folks in marketing snicker at him as he shuffles out of his cubicle each day to go have lunch. Maybe he should give Jenny a call and see if she’s available to join him?

So over the last week Psystar has created a lot of buzz, controversy, and skepticism with their new Open Computer. They claim their system will run an unmodified retail version of OS X Leopard on non-Apple hardware. Now, EULA breaking legal issues aside, we know from the OS X86 Project, that it is possible to cobble together a beige box PC clone and make it run OS X. The thing is, to date no one has done it commercially and, as far as we know, Psystar has not shipped an Open Computer running OS X yet.

Today, Psystar tried to put all naysayers to rest by posting this video on their web site. They claim it shows their Open Computers running OS X Leopard, Ubuntu 8, and Windows Xp Professional. Now I am not refuting their claims, but as I watched the video I did notice some things that seem just too wonky not to point out. Besides I always love a good conspiracy theory.


As the video opens we see the alleged Open Computer running OS X on the far left. There is a bundle of small cables under the desk below the system and it looks like they are probably Ethernet cables. Nothing too unusual but, as you will see, they later seem to disappear. Even more unusual is the space below the desk on the right where there is an empty wire rack shelf system. Note that at this point in the video there seems to be nothing there. Also note that the area to the right of the display is empty. These two points will become significant later.

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As the camera pans right we see the Ubuntu machine and the Windows box. Both have several cables coming out the side of the computer and running to the right toward the monitor.


Now notice the Mac system… no cables coming off to the right like with the Ubuntu and PC systems. Also notice that the bundle of Ethernet-like cables pointed out in the opening scene no longer seem to be visible.

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Next the video transitions into showing the Open Computer supposedly running Leopard and the Mac version of Quake 4. What is interesting in this shot is there now seems to be an extra cable running from the right of the monitor toward the area of the desk where the empty wire shelf system sits. That shelf is also no longer empty as it looks like it now has a strange blue box sitting on it. At first I thought the cable near the monitor might be the mouse cable, but in the Quake demo scene you can clearly see the mouse cable moving with this mysterious second cable above it. The thicker cable does seem to be the monitor cable and it is going off to the right not the left. Remember, the Open Computer that is supposed to be running OS X Leopard is to the left of the monitor, not the right. Interesting.


Finally, the closing shot shows the exterior of the Psystar offices. When reports of Psystar and their Open Computer (initially called the Open Mac) first surfaced on the web, several reports noted that they changed their address as many as 3 times. Now that fact alone is strange enough, but throw in a phone number with an oddly high number of 6’s, plus the fact that they seem to want to keep things private and you have the makings of a full blown conspiracy.

Can someone ring up Fox and see if he is available to come down to Florida?

We are on a new server!

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff, Random Thoughts

Good news. GoDaddy recently updated some equipment and the Maccast server and it’s OS were the recipients of some tweaks. At the very least things should perform a little snappier around here. Thanks GoDaddy!

So I talked about this on a recent episode of the Maccast Loop, but in case some of you missed it I thought I would mention it here. The other day I was watching the Pixar film “The Incredibles” and noticed it had a scene that could have possibly inspired the Macbook Air. If not, it at least has an eerily predictive nature about it. Since Jobs was in charge at Pixar at the time it just made me wonder if maybe the scene inspired him to think up the Macbook Air or was it just random coincidence. Maybe the ad agency just borrowed the concept for the commercial, who knows?

In the scene Mr. Incredible gets a secret message delivered in the form a ultra-thin tablet-style computer which he slips out of a manila style envelope. Take a look at the two images below (thanks Robert for the caps) and you’ll see what I mean.

iPhone: Six Months After The Fact

Written by: John Fiore

Categories: Editorial, Random Thoughts

When the iPhone first came out, you couldn’t go any website without seeing loads of stories surrounding it. People loving it, people hating it, people having love/hate relationships with it, everyone had something to say (even MacCast writers). Some of the major complaints have been addressed with recent updates and iPhone now has a remarkable hacking community. Nothing has changed with then news sites, iPhone is everywhere and there is nothing you can do about it. This post/rant is a newbies perspective on why the iPhone is the best, and worst piece of technology in recent years, hope you find it interest

I’m twenty years old and a total geek, but I’ve only had owned mobile phone for about 3 weeks. My first phone was a V3 Razr, which was okay, but after owning the (hacked) iPod Touch and always thinking “I could click this number and call it if this were an iPhone” the Razr felt very limited. Even more so when browsing the web with the Opera browser or playing any games. Then came Sunday January 19th, the day I lost my iPod somewhere in New Jersey. The next day I went out and bought an iPhone.
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Twitterpated (updated)

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Random Thoughts

twitterpated.pngGuess it’s not good to follow too many people on Twitter. This limit seems too small to me. How do Leo, Scoble, and Calacanis manage this?

Update: Thanks to all who commented and provided feedback. Looks like this error is spawned by my Twitter client checking the server feed too often. I changed the setting and all is right with the tweets!

Life with an old Mac

Written by: Charles Sporn

Categories: Random Thoughts

Despite being a blogger here for almost 6 months, I have not posted at all for many reasons, one of which will soon become clear. Therefore, an introduction is in order. My name is Charles Sporn, I am a Mac-head, I run a website called (can you guess the domain name? If you guessed, you are right!), I also have a semi dead podcast called “Fredric’s Fantastic Freeware.” For the past 9 months, my main computer was my MacBook. I used it for my video editing, audio production, and more photo editing than I ever thought I would be doing. Not to mention I used it at school. Then about 2 months ago, the screen broke. I still don’t know how it happened, all I know is that it wasn’t covered under my warranty. Because of that, Apple wanted to charge me $800 to fix it. I decided against that because the computer cost $1400 new. That left me with the problem of my broken laptop. Since I needed a computer for school, my mom got me a PowerBook G3 which I have been using for the past 2 months.
My first question when I got it was could it run Tiger, and if so how well? Well it runs 10.4 very nicely in fact. It won’t win any speed competitions, but it does run.
The next question is what can and can’t it run. Well, all the software I need for school runs very well. That software amounts to TextEdit and OmniOutliner (I ditched MS office for mac 2 years ago and urge fellow Mac users to do the same, but that is neither here nor there). What it doesn’t run is anything iLife or iWork. iLife I don’t care too much about since in my day to day life I do my photo editing in Photoshop and Aperture, and I do all my audio production in Logic. However, not having iWork is very annoying.
The last question I had was the battery life on it. It being an old computer, running a modern OS usually means 10 minute battery life. Not so here. I get about 3 hours to 4 hours depending on what I am doing.
If I had to pick one thing about it that I would change, I would add a wi-fi card. That is obvious. I miss web surfing while reclining on my bed.
So how has my life been with an old Mac? Not bad, but far from great. The biggest upside, It will make me applicate my future MacBook Pro more. Do any of you readers live on an old Mac? Post your experiences!

Vista Get a Mac Ad (Online Version)

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff, Random Thoughts

Listener Paul from Mac Break Weekly Picks let me know about this on-line version of Apple’s latest “Get a Mac” ads that is running over on the Engadget web site. I thought is was very clever how they integrated the video and the web banner.

Tech Halloween Horror

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Cool Stuff, Random Thoughts


For Halloween this year I decided to go as one of the most feared creatures in all of techdom. The dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSoD). Bwahhaahhahhhhh!