What Were They Thinking? 

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Flat Eric Doll

Sometimes you find things on Ebay that really get you fired up. A great find. You win the auction. Things are a little wishy when they start requesting more shipping (from the UK to the US) and then what you've been anticipating, arrives. And the gap between reality and bidding seems pretty far apart.

We've been fans of Flat Eric, the doll puppet from the Levis ads from around 2000. We found this puppet in near mint condition on Ebay from a UK seller (The Seller in Question is "chris n jane" and their email is: ). Seems that Flat Eric was big in the UK and there's lots of swag still floating around. So we went for it. The picture above was what was portrayed.... and I quote from the auction:
Fantastic! So. We finally get our prize in the mail. You'd think, with a mint collectible, that you'd box up the item and ship it. No, not this person. They wrapped some paper, saran wrap and taped the hell out of it and shipped it off via International Post. It's kind of like buying a rare stamp and having the person lick and stick it to the envelope to ship it to you.

Needless to say, it's a FAIL. It's safe to assume that this seller got less than stellar feedback. Next time use a freaking box if you're going to ding someone for extra shipping. And if you're advertising it as "New", take the time to remove the blonde hair that's covering it and air it out a bit. Smelled like it was doused in cheap perfume.

Here's how it arrived:




 05/12 - MadCow 
 The Trouble with Hollywood Clients 

Outside of the problems that we've outlined in previous posts regarding consulting and performance contracts, there's another pitfall of Macintosh Consulting. One, we might add, is pretty specific to just Los Angeles and the "Hollywood" mentality. How do you deal with a previously good client that just mysteriously stiffs you for work performed?

Al Seckel's Illusionworks

Case in point. Al Seckel is/was an upright guy that we performed a fair amount of work for. During this period, Al fell upon "hard times" - legal problems that involved his taste in women (and we'll leave it at that). At the time, a large chunk of his income was being derived from book sales and online activity - so it was critical that he have stable access to internet resources. Seeing as how our relationship was good up to that point, we agreed to "float" the work we did (about $900) until he had things straightened out in his life and all things financial were back on track. During that time period (about a year or so) we actually agreed to testify on his behalf to help resolve his legal problems.
So, when all is said and done, we're a little amazed that once Al had his life back and things were rolling along, that he'd pay his bill. But you know what? He never did. He did continue living in that nice Malibu home and he still is able to come up with the $$$ to attend TED 2007. That's Hollywood for you. You'll run into people that have this sense of entitlement that seems to make them ask -why should I have to pay this? And they don't. We suppose that it's just the cost of doing business in Los Angeles. Sometimes you get burned.

 12/04 - MadCow 
 When No Other Business Card Will Do 

Card Macnet Large
Metal Business Cards:
Want your prospects and customers not only to keep your business cards, but also be impressed by them? Then try metal business cards, they stand out, get noticed, and do not get thrown away. We can create an engraved version of your current business card or you can design a special business card that takes advantage of the unique look and properties of metal.

I have a couple of these cards in my stack, trust me, they get noticed. Apparently, you can get just about any shape and layout done - that includes raised, etched, cut-outs and others. They also aren't cheap, coming in at $1.80 for 100 cards + a $100 one time setup for photo etch film. But they are so cool.

Oh, and they'll love you at the Airport with these, too.

 02/04 - MadCow 
 YouTube - Gates vs. Jobs 

Sometimes you just have to laugh. Of course the PC FanBoys are going nutz with this.

 15/02 - MadCow 
 Tiger was the benchmark for Windows Vista... 

 Images Logo Vista

Internal emails are surfacing from Microsoft that indicate that the Vista Development team was sweating back in 2004 when Apple began rolling out OS X 10.4 Tiger features at the WWDC.

Allchin acknowledged that the company may not be able to match the performance of Apple's Spotlight desktop performance: "I don't believe we will have search this fast," he said in an emailed reply in late June. Apple developer conference was held just weeks prior.

Other Microsoft employees also realized that Apple's operating system was setting the bar against which Microsoft would be compared. Microsoft evangelist Vic Gundotra, who also attended the Mac OS X Tiger demo, was also impressed by other components of Apple's operating system, including video conferencing, Apple's desktop Dashboard with Web-based Widgets as well as other aspects of user interface rendering.

Now put this in perspective. Microsoft just shipped Vista, and that was compared to Tiger - that shipped 2 years ago. Apple is now prepping final stages on their next OS Leopard. Are kicking some Redmond butt or what?

 10/02 - MadCow 
 Rock n Roll TV 


Rock n Roll TV:

Have to shout out some crazy assed props to Share and Bam at Rock and Roll TV. They produce a mad crazy Podcast that covers the Rock & Roll scene. Bam goes way back in the music industry (drums drums drums) and his delightful wife Share (original bass guitarist for the 80's babe metal band Vixen).

Check out their podcast and check out their band site, "Bubble".

Of course they use Macs! Up the Irons!

 08/02 - MadCow 
 WarDriver Tools: ZyXEL AG225H 

 Uploads Product Img Ag-225H112628537314
LIVEdigitally » ZyXEL AG225H review:
The ZxXEL AG225H is designed to be able to do three related functions. First, and foremost, it can detect WiFi networks. Second, it can be used as a WiFi adaptor with a USB interface. Third, it can work as a wireless access point. To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing on the market that combines these three capabilities into one device.

$99 is a bit steep, but it's an amazing device for the money. And did we mention, OS X is supported, too!

 16/11 - MadCow 
 Thank God For Apple, But Don't Rest Too Easy... 

There's times that not having a Window machine really makes me a happy camper. However, don't think for a minute that "they" aren't looking for ways of making this work on OS X, too. Read on...

Mark's Sysinternals Blog:
I entered the company name into my Internet browser’s address bar and went to I searched for both the product name and Aries.sys, but came up empty. However, the fact that the company sells a technology called XCP made me think that maybe the files I’d found were part of some content protection scheme. I Googled the company name and came across this article, confirming the fact that they have deals with several record companies, including Sony, to implement Digital Rights Management (DRM) software for CDs.The DRM reference made me recall having purchased a CD recently that can only be played using the media player that ships on the CD itself and that limits you to at most 3 copies. I scrounged through my CD’s and found it, Sony BMG’s Get Right with the Man (the name is ironic under the circumstances) CD by the Van Zant brothers. I hadn’t noticed when I purchased the CD from that it’s protected with DRM software, but if I had looked more closely at the text on the web page I would have known:

 31/10 - MadCow 
 Kismac Wireless Stumbler 


We've been huge fans of Kismac for finding those hard to locate free wifi spots while on the road and in the field. It's steady progression of growth has matured it into a very useful tool for both road warriors and security professionals alike. Kismac is the brainchild of Michael Rossberg.

What is Kismac?

KisMAC is a free stumbler application for MacOS X, that puts your card into the monitor mode. Unlike most other applications for OS X it has the ability to run completely invisible and send no probe requests.
KisMAC supports several third party PCMCIA/PCCards cards with Orinoco and PrismII chipsets, as well as Cisco Aironet cards. Original Airport Cards are supported too.

Please note: This program is not intended for novices, but for professional users. Take this as a warning

» Read More

 17/10 - MadCow - Add comment 
 State of the Mac: Blogging Tools 

This discussion came about from the reviews on Macworld of Macintosh Blogging Tools.

A simple, easy to use blogging system has been our holy grail now for about 2 years.

The Blog WYSIWYG editor that rocks is
Frequency from Brad Rhine. This, used in conjunction with Radio from Userland Software, makes for a pretty easy to use system. It does allow you to configure the page to match your site. Technically, it's not something that a "normal" user will want to get into. It's not that fun to setup, though the day to day use is very easy.

Recently, we discovered
Nucleus, an open source Blogging system that is so robust that we're thinking of eventually converting the whole site over to Nucleus. However, for now, the news section is under Nucleus. The software is fairly easy to install, the documentation is easy to follow and the user community is nice and friendly. We hired a user from the forums to "skin" my page. Deborah Lau did an excellent job for a very reasonable fee. If you're good with PHP, you'll have no problems. For the WYSIWYG editor, Ecto does a great job. It allows you to simply type and post with a word processor type functionality. Picture posting is as simple as drag and drop. It rocks.

 06/10 - MadCow 






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