Posts categorized “General”.

Reduced support for next 10 days.

Just a quick note to let you know that CaseDetective support may be a little reduced over the next few days as I’m attending REALWorld 2006 in Austin, Texas next week (with a lot of hopping from plane to plane before and after).

In theory I’ll be able to check and respond to my email during that time, but please don’t be too upset if you don’t get a response until the week after.

MarsEdit 1.1b5 Released

Just a quick note to all you MarsEdit fans out there to say how good it is to have a new version of MarsEdit at last.

Brent’s MarsEdit 1.1b5 announcement.

I’ve been on the private beta program for a few weeks and been using MarsEdit betas for posting the few entries I’ve made in that time without any problems at all.

The one thing that I really needed fixed was that in previous versions of MarsEdit when working with a WordPress blog you had to encode all the paragraphs and line breaks yourself or else the preview wouldn’t show the correct structure, and when a post was pulled back down from WordPress all that structure would be lost (but not the tags). Basically white space was lost.

That’s all been fixed, I only need to write what I want write now, no more inserting paragraph or breakpoint tags for me!

The second biggest bug-bear I had with MarsEdit 1.0 was the way it kind of went a bit loopy when you selected multiple lines with the up and down cursor keys and then tried to move the end of the select left or right. That’s all fixed now too, which makes such a difference.

I don’t know about the new features, it just works perfectly for me now, so I’m super happy.

Go see what’s changed and pick up a copy from the what’s new in MarsEdit 1.1 page.

Oh, and just in case you didn’t already know, Brent had done a good portion of the work for MarsEdit 1.1 over the summer, but what with the deal with NewsGator and stuff ended up asking Gus Mueller (he of VoodooPad) to finish it off for him while he concentrates on NetNewsWire.

So that’s why this post is still “on topic”, ‘cos Gus is a MicroISV! ;-)

Why the UK iTunes Music Store rip-off?

A recent email reply to a friend by me on the subject of the new iMacs and iPods with video capability, with a couple of little corrections…

On Wed, October 12, 2005 22:48, Gordon Robertson wrote:
> 1. Can you load that Front Row thing on your ( living room ) iMac?

Couldn’t find the software for download last night, so I assume it’s a bundle-only thing at the moment. Maybe it comes with the remote, which you can buy individually?

> 2. When are you buying another new iPod?

Next year, when the 80Gb version comes out!

> Gotta hand it to them. They haven’t lost it. And how the hell do they manage
> to keep it under wraps so well?

It’s been a rumour for ages, and some noticed the new video icon used in the playlist panel in v5.0 and sudden lack of new music videos being posted to iTunes store, so rumours really started flying then.

The price is a little high for those videos though, in the UK anyway. In the US it’s $1.99, which ain’t bad, just twice the price of a song. But in the UK it’s £1.89, which is:

a) 2.4 times the normal UK price for a song (£0.79).

b) equivallent to $3.30 (yes, that’s 3.3 times the price of a US music purchase, not twice). Even factoring in VAT, $1.99 * 1.175 = $2.34 = £1.34 <> £1.89.

In the same vein, music should really only be £0.66 ($0.99 * 1.175 = $1.16 = £0.66).

All calcs based on today’s exchange rates of 1 USD = 0.571951 GBP or 1 GBP = 1.74840 USD.

This pisses me off, why do us UK peeps have to pay extra over and above our sales tax, it’s not like data bits have a hard time travelling over the Atlantic or anything.

It’s just not on! And that’s why I’ll not be buying any music videos or TV episodes from the UK iTunes music store, not until the price comes down to below £1.50 anyway (£1.39 would be great, but I’d live with £1.49).

I’ve bought a lot of music from iTunes, even at that rip-off £0.79 price, simply because it’s cheaper than buying a CD, which typically cost £11.99+ new. So I figure I can live without the case etc and save a couple of quid by buying the music from iTunes (albums are usually £7.99) and backing up to a cheap CD-R. I only listen to music via my iPod or computer these days anyway, so it makes sense.

But that price for videos is just too much, it’s way out of step with the USA, and I just don’t need them that much that I’ll pay that kind of money.

Maybe when we get a proper Apple “iMedia” in the shape of an Intel based Mac mini with TV tuner (although I’ve got an Elgato Eye TV which would do), Front Row software and remote for tucking under the living room TV, I might find the downloadable videos a little more interesting.

It’s early days I suppose.

REAL World 2006

This weekend I registered for REAL World 2006, so next February I’m off to Austin, Texas for a few days to learn lots of stuff about RealBasic and hang out with like-minded geeks.

Should be fun, some of the sessions already posted look very interesting, and I’m really looking forward to meeting the RB staff and other developers in the RB community.

I haven’t booked my flights and hotel yet though, mainly because the wife and I haven’t decided whether she’s coming along or not. Thought it might be nice to extend the trip a little to see the sights (and sounds) of Austin as it looks like a nice place to be for a few days. Then again, Mandy won’t see me for a good three whole days while I’m at the conference as there’s evening socials as well as daytime sessions. But apparently there’s some good shopping to be had in Austin, so Mandy says she should be able to keep herself occupied for a few days, as long as the credit card holds out! :-)

Yay! Free alcohol!

I got a delivery today of a nice little box with the word “fragile” written down it’s sides, it could only be one thing … Yay! Free alcohol!


Thanks to Hugh Macleod at bloggers in the UK and Ireland are getting the chance to sample some Stormhoek wine supplied by Orbital Wines. Each bottle comes with a little booklet and a personalised label:


Ordinarily I’m a red wine drinker, it has to be pretty good and plenty chilled before I’ll usually enjoy a white.

I’ve just returned from a hard game of squash and we’ve just had our first glass of Stormhoek with dinner, with the bottle having been thoroughly chilled in the fridge since lunch time. What a lovely wine, it really does taste very fresh and fruity. Mandy (my wife) says “it’s alright”, which believe me is quite a compliment!

So it’s a thumbs up from the Jones household, we’ll be keeping our eyes out for Stormhoek when next shopping for wine.

Just like buses…

Just like buses, no posts for ages and then three come along at once!

So, apparently it’s Blog Day today, you’re supposed to link to at least five blogs. So I’ll highlight a few blogs that have recently entered my regular feed list from my “New Subscriptions” quarantine list, all related to making a business out of writing software, in one way or another.

.NET Undocumented is a mixture of .NET (well, dah!) and entrepreneurship. Bit too much about .NET for me really, but there’s a fair bit about business to keep me interested. is the blog of MasterList Professional developer Safari Software. Nice interviews in the Micro-ISV Tip series of posts, plus productivity and general business and blog related stuff.

I guess Tim Weiler is as busy as I’ve been recently, so hasn’t updated in a couple of weeks, but his Syncura blog tells his microISV story.

Realmac Software – Blog. This one goes into my “Apple” category. RapidWeaver is what I use to create my company website, I like Realmac Software’s products and the fact that they’re a small UK company that listen to their customers.

Talking of RapidWeaver, if you want to see a great website built with it and some superb photography to boot, scoot on over to Pixels Everywhere.

If you’re writing software you’ll appreciate OK/Cancel and Bug Bash.

Sometimes an iPod on random is sublime

Led Zeppelin – Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
Prince – Sign O’ The Times
Eals – Fresh Feeling
Sex Pistols – Problem
Supergrass – Lenny
AIR – Mike Mills

And there were many more before. Superb.

We've got the 2012 Olympic Games!

We’ve (London, UK) got the 2012 Olympic Games!

Superb, can’t wait. Well, I guess I’ll have to, but you know what I mean! :-)

The horror!

Warning, this picture may make a grown man cry.

Do (North) Americans really like British accents?

Today’s comic from the Dilbert archive surprised me, do our friends across the pond really find the British accent sexy or feel that it infers intelligence?

I just don’t get it, why is this so (if it’s really true for the majority)?

It’s funny, I listen to a lot of PodCasts, and one of my favourites is the MacCast. Quite often Adam will play audio comments from listeners, and occasionally there’ll be a British one, it sounds totally weird. I’ve got so used to listening to North American accents in PodCasts and Audio Books, both from all over the USA and Canada that when a British (or even Australian or New Zealand) accent is thrown in it feels out of place, really jars. And what’s really strange is that when I hear a continental European or Asian accented English speaker, I don’t have the same reaction, it doesn’t jar at all. Why is that?

Another of my favourite PodCasts is Steve Lacey’s A Brit Abroad, again, it’s strange to hear a English accent in a PodCast, but this time you’re prepared, as the title suggest you’re going to get a British accent. I wonder, do American women swoon at his feet when ever he talks?

One day I might throw out a PodCast, if I ever get the time and something relevant to say (maybe I should have done so for this post, too late now), I wonder what people would think of my accent. I’m born and bread south coast of England, a real “suvana”, but I’ve spent the last eight years in Scotland. Although my accent is still very much English, I do catch myself saying the odd word that is typically Scottish (aye instead of yes, wee instead of small etc), and sometimes accent things with the harder vowels of the area I now live. I wonder how much my accent has really changed.

My friend that I play squash with every week will probably say that I still very much have a English accent, he often takes the piss when I call the score, putting on his best Cockney accent when repeating, trying to put me off my game. But I’m pretty sure I don’t have a Cockney accent, just a middle of the road south east England one.

It’s amazing how many distinctive accents there are in Britain, I wonder which would be most “sexy” to North Americans?