First off, no, not dead. I've just stopped programming [full-time]. Yes, I suppose that's a relatively big deal. I have to admit, between the inefficiencies of the government to the "cash before the business" attitude of the corporation to the complete mismanagement I experienced with a small business, well, I've moved to the point that I'm ready to wait for a great situation to fall into my lap (or it's a necessity financially) before I work 45-50 hour weeks for someone else again. I do have at least one major project going on in 0 & 1 land and if it takes off I'll be doing awfully well (and will likely produce more wonderful freakinname content as I'm working), but let's just assume I'm taking a nice break from that career for a while. If I was going to do as much work as it'd take to make the companies I've worked for as efficient as I'd like, well, I'd do better to put that extra work towards starting my own company.

I realize that sounds awfully big-headed, but I've now seen what it takes to stay in business. It ain't much. You've really only got to do one thing -- sell. If you can turn out C+ work for low cost, you'll keep selling and stay in business (which I've found that I'm morally opposed to doing; shoddy work embarrasses me, spelling and grammar in this blog excepted). If you actually produce quality, you'll be, as they say, in business. And I've seen enough done wrong -- from unnecessary overtime spent on a task to make up for lack of talent to treating customers poorly to make an easy buck to straight lying to customers -- that I'm finally to the point that I could sell (in the true spirit of commercialism) my own stuff, something I'd never even considered doing when I started. Used to be I figured, "If you do good work, the people will eventually come to you." Now I know, "If you do good work and want to make a respectable (morally, not just compensation-wise) living, you'll ensure that your market knows about you for both of your goods."

With that out of the way... my freakinname blog for today is a lament regarding Apple. I like the Airtunes concept and have thought about getting an Airport Express for a while. The problem is I haven't shelled out for 10.3 for my Macs yet. Though I have an iBook and a 17" flatscreen iMac, I don't have any way to set up the Airport Express basestation with either. Nor can I, as I understand it, set up a networked USB printer using my Macs.

Strangely, however, my $600 Gateway laptop that I purchased about two and a half years ago does. Heck, even my 533 MHz Celeron tower that I parted together years ago (before either of my current Macs' purchase) can set up a wireless network with the $129 Airport Express.

To add insult to injury, I can't even use Airtunes (the feature that allows you to "control"/output to your stereo with iTunes) using my three-grand worth of Macs (purchase price, anyhow). I can, as you guessed, use my Celeron white box to power my stereo using AP Express, however.

I like that Apple's paying more attention to Windows, especially with the iPod/iTunes Music Store combo doing so well. The quick lesson I'd like to give Apple is pretty obvious -- please, stop catering to Windows so well that you do a disservice to your loyal base. I enjoy OS X and will continue to use it, likely using updating to Tiger as a partial excuse to purchase a new laptop in a year or so. But I expect Apple to extend to OS X users the same hospitality and backwards compatibility they extend to Windows users. I shouldn't have to upgrade my OS every year and a half to fully enjoy Apple products with my Mac -- and, more to the point, I should never be in a better position with an older Windows product than I am with my relatively up-to-date Macs.

That said, I can't wait to see G5 iMacs and dual-core G4 Powerbooks. Man, it's going to be a great time to be a new Mac owner. This 1 GHz iMac does very well and Apple turned a corner on speed with this hardware, but it occasionally seems a little slow. Poor speed will all be a bad memory in about a year...