Magnatune, take 2

I had pleasant email exchange with John Buckman of Magnatune yesterday.

Check out what John said about blogs and Magnatune:

Something like 80% of my daily traffic comes from blogs. That’s actually a point wired didn’t make — Magnatune has been successful entirely because of blogs, from boingboing to slashdot.

This really shouldn’t surprise any of us, but it’s good to hear because it just makes sense.

4 days post-BloggerCon and I’m still beat. Staying up until 3am last Friday night repairing a database server definitely did not help. But it had fallen down and couldn’t get up. What’s Web nerd to do?

The next project looms, a site launch for MIT Sloan using the .NET tools we’ve been developing over the last year. It’s nice to see the code finding itself a customer. Two weeks and counting.

Wired: “As the major record companies scramble to put a lid on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks like Morpheus and Kazaa, an upstart California record label is trying to revolutionize the industry by taking the opposite approach: making file sharing the heart of its business.”

This is big. The company is called Magnatune. Support them if you think the entrenched interests are leading us down the wrong path.

RSS Uptime feed

Here’s a little experiment.

I periodically log in to the server that runs this weblog to check the machine load, uptime and disk usage. It occurred to me that it might be nice to see this information in my news aggregator.

The result? The amazing RSS Uptime perl script.

I’ve cronned it up to run a few times during the day and subscribed to the feed.

Of course there are a zillion ways to monitor a machine, so this isn’t exactly a new idea. But perhaps the aggregator is a natural place for this kind of information. We’ll see. Try it out for yourself!

Stunningly beautiful paperweight

My mac, which I got back from the repair shop last Friday, is out of commission again.

Macintosh people love to go on about how beautifully designed and user-friendly macs are. But in my hands they are failure prone and difficult to use (no equivalent of Alt-Tab that lets you cycle through all windows regardless of what application they’re running in, no equivalent of Windows-D that hides all windows, reliably). At BloggerCon this weekend I mentioned my woes to a recently departed Apple employee. He said, “yeah, the 15-inch titaniums fail a lot. You want one of the new aluminum 15-inch powerbooks. They did a much better job designing the hinge on that one.” Gee, thanks.

But wait, there’s more. When you close a powerbook, the keyboard comes into contact with the screen and transfers all kinds of wonderful stuff from your fingers to the LCD surface. The more scrupulous mac owners I know carry around a thin cloth or piece of foam, to protect the screen. I tried this for a few days, before my mac conked out again, and found all of the fiddling around to be kind of a schlep.

This raises the question: am I just unlucky, or are the mac people delusional?