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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Macbreak Weekly

Pick of the Week: VLC Remote Interface Widget

Download VLC Remote Widget v0.2

(On each MacBreak Weekly, guests choose a "Pick of the Week" -- a piece of software or hardware, a web site, or just a cool trick -- that they want to share with the audience. Here's Merlin's pick for this week's episode)

For my money, VLC Media Player is the coolest OS X digital video player out there. It's free, open source, frequently updated, and seems to have no trouble running most every kind of video I've thrown at it.

Currently, one way I use VLC is to play movies on an old (pre-IR remote) PowerBook that's S-video'd up to our TV. This works like a champ, but, if I want to pause or fast-forward the movie, I have to haul my lazy ass over to the Mac to do so. To the rescue comes VLC Remote Interface Widget.

This is a very simple, (currently beta) Dashboard widget that lets me access the VLC controls on a Mac over my local network via a second Mac that's sitting on my lap. Just tell the controlling Mac what the IP address of the movie-running Mac is and to which port it should send the commands ("8080" should work fine), and presto: your laptop turns into a $3000 remote for your $3000 PVR. And all for free. :-)

It would be cool if future releases mirrored more of the VLC key commands -- e.g., I've gotten very fast at CTRL-CMD-left arrow for a TiVo-like instant replay -- but this has been performing solidly for me, and it just might scratch an itch that you have too. And, even if you don't (yet) have a use for the remote, do give VLC a spin. It's powerful stuff.

MacBreak Weekly Special: the iTunes & EMI deal

MacBreak Weekly Special Edition: Fixing A Hole

Hosts: Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, Alex Lindsay, and John Gruber

A special edition discussing the Apple EMI announcement. Look for our regular weekly MBW on Tuesday as usual.

Direct Download MP3 file

Here's a few links related to this very cool story:

read more »

Vox Pop: What's your "Mac Whine?"

We've started a new feature over on MacBreak Weekly that I really hope becomes a regular thing: "_Mac Whines_!"

Yeah, sure, I'm an unapologetic Apple fanboy (I, mean duh), but some stuff about my Mac experience makes me crazy. Have you got a beef with your Mac or OS X you want to shout from the shiny counter of the "Genius" Bar? Yeah, me too.

I'll open with:

  • inexplicable iCal "snooze" options (per MBW 30 -- which, incidentally, may also be my favorite MacBreak Weekly to date)
  • near-hangs whenever a mounted network volume is no longer available
  • no way to (temporarily) enable password-free user switching
  • The Finder. The goddamned Finder.

What's your Mac Whine?

MacBreak Weekly taping tonight at 21st Amendment

MacBreak Logo

Upcoming.org: MacBreak Weekly Live @ 21st Amendment at 21st Amendment (Tuesday, January 9, 2007)

Directions to 21A, from Moscone Center

Just a reminder that tonight's live taping of MacBreak Weekly takes place at 21st Amendment starting at 6pm. If you're planning to come to the taping, my advice is to get there early, because we're anticipating a capacity audience (that's a big reason everyone agreed it was better not to do this event at the Apple Store on Steve Day).

Leo, Alex, Scott, and I will be discussing today's announcements and may even have some guests.

A propos of nothing, I will also take this opportunity to remind Mr. Bourne of his (often repeated) promise to buy everyone on MBW an iPhone on the day that they come out. Just saying.

If you come out tonight or see me on the Macworld show floor with MacBreak today, please say hi and introduce yourself.

Collection of our MacBreak Weekly application links

Oh, man, I'm so glad someone is doing this. If you want to see the apps we recommend each week on MacBreak Weekly, now you're good to go:

read more »

MacBreak Weekly 12: “Smokin’”

MacBreak Weekly 12: Smokin’

Hosts: Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, Alex Lindsay, and Scott Bourne

Apple updates the MacBook Pro, and Scott buys one. No wonder they've got such a great bottom line. And our application picks including Disco and Tangerine.

Running time: 1:03:36

read more »

Post your MacBreak Weekly ideas to del.icio.us: "mbwideas"

I'll steal a page directly from Amber's book on this one -- if you have something that you think might make a good story for us to cover on MacBreak Weekly, you can add it to del.icio.us with the tag "mbwideas". We check that page pretty regularly (I actually look at it once a day or so), so it's an easy way to get your favorite Mac and Apple stories of the week into the queue for consideration.

read more »

MacBreak Weekly: "iPhone Home"

MacBreak Weekly 11: iPhone Home

Hosts: Leo Laporte, Amber MacArthur, Scott Bourne, and Merlin Mann

The iPhone starts to look like the real thing, and Scott Rejoices. iPod celebrated five years... with a Windows Virus. And dating tips from Steve Jobs.

Running time: 1:22:45

read more »

MacBreak Weekly: "Look What They Done To My Boy"

MacBreak Logo

MacBreak Weekly 10: Look What They Done To My Boy

Hosts: Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, Alex Lindsay, and Scott Bourne

New Mac ads, why does Adobe hate Intel, and iTunes TV store woes...

Running time: 54:15

Links to some of the stuff I mentioned in the podcast:

read more »

Merlin on MacBreak Weekly: Wax On, Wax Off

In which Alex is still on about the notional iPhone (and its current-day antecedents), Leo loves his lumber-swinging MacPro, Scott is completely full of beans, and everyone rags me mercilessly about my fondness for new age nap software.

read more »



An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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