Monday, March 05, 2007

Oh, the Machinery! (2007-03-05)

First, DST:

You probably already know this, but we're springing ahead (ahem) a few weeks early this year in the U.S. -- this Saturday night/Sunday morning (and falling back later, but that's not for a few months yet). Here's a pretty good NYT story on the "mini-Y2K" aspects of the new definition for Daylight Saving Time.

Extra points for word-nerdliness if you looked at the spelled-out DST above, noticed the lack of a trailing s, and knew it to be correct. I'll not go on further about this. [Added: Or will I???]

… pause for obnoxiously loud sighs of relief from the grammar wonk haters in the peanut gallery …

Here's a handy MS link (here's another, which should point to the same place, ultimately) that gives you the details concerning the Windows version of the mini-Y2K drama that may or may not be looming. Basically, if you have Vista, you're okay. If you have XP SP2, and you've been regularly updating Windows lately, you're okay. All others (like me on my main blogging machine): follow the link and optionally run diagnoses, download patches, etc. Probably you need to do this with IE, and not any other browser, for full functionality.

I've looked at, but not run, the fix for my Win2k machine. I'm going to let it go and see what happens. (Fortunately, my machine is not hooked to any power plants, airline reservation systems, automated drug dispensers, or dam controls.) I'll let you know if anything exciting happens. I expect my ancient VCR will be befuddled. It remains to be seen whether the cordless phone, cell phone, and other computers are up to snuff. I'm pretty sure the cats are DST-compliant -- they've been yowling for food ever earlier lately. Photophiles.

Quicktime security update:

Latest Mac OS X updates: a security patch and bug fix update for Quicktime, which brings you to v7.1.5, and a feature enhancement for iTunes, which brings you to v7.1. "Better sorting options" is one of the advertised iTunes features, so that made it worth it for me. I'll suffer through the Quicktime download, for security's sake.

Warning for you last-minuters: The iTunes update is an irritating 27 MB download, and Quicktime's patch weighs in at its usual svelteness: 44 MB! (Never think MS is the only company suffering from bloatware.) So, budget a little time if you're not on a very high speed connection. (70 MB takes about half an hour on my cheap DSL line (256k), probably 10 minutes on mid-range 768k DSL lines, a few minutes over most cable modems, and until the Rapture if you're on dial-up. (TC, I feel your pain.))

Get them both through Mac's Software Update, off the Apple menu.

On my PC's version of iTunes, I showed v7.0.2.16, and "check for updates" said that was the latest for the PC. Checking for updates through Quicktime's Help menu seemed to hang, which felt vaguely familiar. Acting on this memory, I downloaded and installed the new version of Quicktime, which … surprise! … turns out to be the iTunes installer file! Well, you can't have iTunes without having Quicktime, even on the PC, and hey, what's another 40 MB between computers?

After the download, versions show as for iTunes and 7.1.5 for Quicktime. iTunes's "check for updates" again says it's completely up to date, and Quicktime's again seems to hang.

… pause for a long, long moment of wondering why I maintain this broken software on my PC in the first place …

Who can tell me about playing .MOV files on Linux? I'd like to know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This may not be so bad for dial ups because as I understand it the Rapture is at hand. W is trying to get Armageddon started on his watch. I expect that those of us sitting at the computer waiting for the download to complete will be easy to find and thus we may be snatched up first and walking in the land of milk and honey waiting for you hard to find speed freaks buzzing around from here to there. Blessed are those who are patient and cheap. We will get our reward, but if not, we're already used to waiting patiently and God never gives you more burden than you can bear. lol