The Null Device


What is MacOS X?, a fairly detailed and technical look at OSX, covering how an OSX system boots, how the various components hang together, the main differences between OSX and other unices, and what exactly it's doing when it says it's "Optimizing".

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I saw The City of Lost Children at the Astor last night. One thing I've noticed is that the subtitles on the Australian theatrical release (which I've seen about thrice over the past decade) and those on the US (Sony) DVD release use different translations of the dialogue (for example, the first line of the clone's singsong in the US DVD is translated as "I am a gnome, a bag of bones", but appears in the theatrical release as "I am a midget, a flibbertigibbet"). Funnily enough, the translation used in the theatrical release appears to be American, or at least in American English (for instance, the clones address their stepmother as "Mom").

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Sony announce new, improved MiniDisc. Remember those? Well, the new ones will be able to hold 30 hours of sound, and to store video. Of course, since Sony is beholden to the copyright industry, the format will be crippled from birth; you won't be able to mount one as a disk (as you can do with, say, an iPod) and copy files to or from it, as that would allow the user (who, by definition, cannot be trusted) to steal music. The best you will be able to hope for is something like "NetMD", a deliberately proprietary, crippled and nonfunctional protocol running over a USB cable and allowing you to laboriously check in/out some media, and only if you run Windows too. And don't even think of a USB/FireWire/IDE MiniDisc drive, as there's no way such a threat to global economic stability would ever be allowed to see the light of day. In any case, it doesn't sound like the New, Improved MiniDisc is going to do much to threaten the supremacy of MP3 players/recorders (including the upcoming mini-iPod).

(MiniDiscs? Yes, I remember those. I've even got a MD recorder gathering dust somewhere. I haven't used it at all since getting my Archos Jukebox Recorder.)

Meanwhile, the same section of The Age has a press release article about Personal Paint coming out for AmigaOS 4.0, just in time for the Amiga to reconquer the computer world. Personal Paint is supposed to be "a mainstay of the application base for the Amiga platform", though it's the first I've heard of it; wasn't Deluxe Paint the most popular Amiga application throughout that platform's working life?

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