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April 2004
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June 2004

Too much storage?

I just couldn't resist picking up a new hard drive at Fry's today. It's a whopping 200 GB and will cost me just $70, provided the rebate check actually arrives.

Much to my disappointment, however, my Power Mac G4 is unable to recognize drives that are larger than 128 GB. I didn't know about this limitation before I bought the drive, and now that I have it installed (took about 10 minutes, thank you Apple hardware engineering!) I'm tempted to just pretend the unaccessible 80 GB doesn't exist.

But that sucks. Heck, that's as large as the other drive in my Mac, and it's just sitting there unused. Apparently I could put the drive in a FireWire enclosure instead and that would allow me to use the whole platter, but then I'd have an external drive. With the accompanying noise, device, and cable clutter.

Whine, whine, whine...


Your home, via Shell Oil

I don't know if anyone has postulated a theorem like this yet, but if not please allow me to plant the seed:

Given enough time and money, all multinational corporations will eventually attempt to bring home automation to the consumer market, either directly, or in a partnership with a technology company.

The Shell Home Genie is the latest entrant in the race, with starter kits just under $900 and monthly-access at around $25. Professional installation is required.


Inside Mac Radio Recap

Earlier today I had the privilege of sitting in on Scott Sheppard's Inside Mac Radio broadcast. I had a great time talking about home automation using Mac OS X. An archive of the show will be up soon, for on-demand listening.

Here are some links for the products mentioned during the show:

XTension by SandHill Engineering
Indigo by Perceptive Automation
WeatherMan by AfterTen Software

If you need an X10 starter kit or modules, visit Smarthome, Inc.


Phlink gets better and better

MacNN News summarizes the changes in the newest version of Phlink for Mac OS X.

Phlink is a very useful tool for home automation. The depth and breadth of its flexibility is astounding, and this new version can automatically route incoming faxes to Panther's fax software. That's a great feature, and I think I'll finally be able to retire the dedicated hardware that I use for this -- a box that cost me twice the cost of Phlink, by the way.