Archive for February, 2004

More Power

I’m no longer powerless; my new powerbrick for my Powerbook arrived today. Six more days of warranty support. And no, I didn’t buy Apple Care.

I’m a little behind on my reading and blogging; but I’ll try to get caught up over the next few days. Nice to be back on my Powerbook.

Identity Crisis

The latest release (0.8) of Mozilla Firebird is now available, but it isn’t Mozilla Firebird. The browser has be (re-) re-named Mozilla Firefox. This change comes hot on the heels of the last renaming, from Phoenix to Firebird, and leaves the associated mail client project, Thunderbird, without a good reason for being named for a cheap brand of wine.

The name change (redux) is not without reason, as explained briefly by the Firefox Brand name FAQ and at more length by Mozilla Firebirdfox lead engineer Ben Goodger. The short version: the first renaming was due to trademark issues around the name Phoenix; the second renaming was due to a name collision with another open source project that may not have been a trademark issue. I won’t go into an IP rant, others do a better job. I will say that while this was probably the right thing to do, and the time it took was unavoidable (read Ben’s account above), its unfortunate that all of the name recognition already built by Firebird has to be tossed.

Along with the new release comes a new focus on marketing, beginning with a Button Campain. Snide remarks about how well web-word-of-mouth worked for Howard Dean aside, I think it’s a good idea to get a unified branding effort out in front of the public. I am a little perturbed about this text from the bottom of the buttons page:

Mozilla Firefox™ and the Firefox logo are trademarks of The Mozilla Foundation. The Firefox logo is not licensed under MPL and may not be used without the prior consent of The Mozilla Foundation.

Does this mean I cannot create my own badge, or modify existing badges? I might consider using the little one, but the colors do not fit my layout (I use white text on a gray background). It looks like I don’t have the right to make a new button, only to use those provided. Update – see end of post

Lastly, if you look over the provided buttons, you’ll see a confusion of message: there are three different taglines/slogans. These are:

  • The browser, reloaded
  • Web browsing, redefined
  • Take back the web

I think the project should select one and can the others. The last thing this project needs is another identity crisis. It’s time to send a single, unified message.

Update: Ben was kind enough to leave a comment. He said that the marketing message is still being refined, which is great. Even better, he provided clarification on the use of Firefox iconography. In a nutshell, the logo can only be used in conjunction with the official project (as opposed to 3rd party custom builds, etc.) This means that I can create a variation of a Firefox button, as long as it is used to reference the Mozilla Firefox project. When you put it that way, it makes plenty of sense. I’ll try to get a color-adapted version up on the site tonight or tommorow.

16 Candles. Times 2.

Today is my 32nd birthday. My buddy Sean got me a dual G5 Powermac… sort of.


It started yesterday, at the office. I had been waiting for a time-sensitive email on my personal account, so I had my Powerbook on. When the email arrived, I began sending a reply. The “reserve power” warning came on; ten minutes of power left. I kept typing. Suddenly realizing I had only 4 minutes left, I grabbed my copmuter bag and pulled out my power supply. Plugged it into the wall, stuck it in the Powerbook, and nothing happened.

Three minutes. Look at all the apps that are open… never get everything closed down in time. Why didn’t the light come on? Trying to bend reality to my will by ignoring it, I unplugged the cord from the Powerbook and plugged it back in. Nothing. Two minutes. Grasping the cord near the powerbook, I lifted the brick to see if the AC cord was plugged in snuggly. My foot was on the AC chord, however, and I ended up yanking the brick to a halt in midair, like a child on the playground with a friend grabbing each arm, tugging in opposite directions. Then the green light went on. And then off.

One minute. I jiggled the cord a little, brick still suspended in the air, and the light came on green. After a moment, it turned yellow… the battery was now charging. Slowly, gingerly, I lowered the brick to the floor. Power continued to flow. Immediate danger passed, big problem remaining.

This happened late in the day; when I packed up to go home, the PB was not fully charged. Later last night, I took it out and sat on the couch and read some email, caught up on some blogs. Eventually, the partial charge ran down, and it was time to plug in again. I grabbed the cord, earlier problems forgotten until I plugged it in, and nothing happened. Remembering the prior fix, I gave the cord a jiggle. On-off. Jiggle, shake. On-Off-on. Lower slowly. Off. Sharp wrist snap, On. Lower slowly. Still on. Resume computing irritated.

Of course, by morning I’d forgotten all this (where is my head, anyway?). I tossed the PB and cord in the bag and headed to work. I was again expecting an important email, and pulled out the PB around lunch time to check for it. It rolled in a little later, along with another email telling me something I ordered had shipped. Ooooh…. Fedex Tracking Numbers! I left the Powerbook on the desk the rest of the afternoon, occaisionally waking it to check my tracking numbers (obsessive? compulsive? don’t be silly) and my email. I never did bother to plug it in. Still had a little charge left when I headed home.

At home on the couch, eating dinner and surfing, I decided to run OS X Software update. As the update was winding up, I was running out of juice. Dinner finished, I decided to put the Powerbook in the office and let it charge for a while. Of course, when I plugged it in, no juice. I tried the jiggle trick, and the light flashed on and off a couple of times, and then nothing. I’ve fooled with it three or four times for 10 minutes a pop, and I can’t get it to charge. It’s powered off, but only 10 minutes of juice remain.

The good news is, my 1yr warranty is good for another week or two. The bad news is, I sure don’t want to wait for Apple to ship me a new cord… it this point I’ll be powerless all weekend. The closest place I know of to get a replacement is Compusa, which I’m boycotting for eternity. The next closest place is the Apple store, over an hour away; and I have about 0 chance of getting there this weekend with my parent coming to town for a visit.

So, for now, I’m unable to check email (I’ll be alot more desparate before I use webmail), I’m falling behind (further) on my blogs, and I probably won’t be posting much.

This is Your Link!

Welcome once again to “This is Your Link!” And now, here’s your host, Art Linkblogger!

  • Chessops is an excellent way to study chess openings.