Songbird alpha downloads available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux

Songbird is to music players as Firefox is to web browsers for a very simple reason: they’re built on the same code base. Because of that, it addresses one of my main complaints with iTunes, which was the web browser. The one in Songbird doesn’t suck. While Songbird isn’t quite ready to replace your iTunes installation just yet, it will be soon, because of one thing. Extensions. All the extensions you could dream of, and a bunch that you can’t. Go download the alpha and check it out.

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Windows Vista Beta 2: My first look

Well, I’ve downloaded and installed Vista Beta 2, and I’ve had a chance to play around with it a little. Admittadly, I have only spent about 15 minutes with the OS, but it was long enough to leave one distinct impression, which was:

It has taken Microsoft the last four years to develop this?

Don’t get me wrong. The eye candy is nice, and the installer is great. I mean really, really, totally awesome, compared to what we had to work with in the past. But overall, it feels like Windows XP on steroids. And not even good steriods, either. Just kinda run-of-the mill stuff. I know this is still a beta, and we should expect improvement, but I’m not holding my breath. The sidebar (or deskbar, or whatever the hell they’re calling it) is totally useless. The default desklets are an analog clock, a slideshow of stock photos (featuring open fields, babbling brooks, and blooming flowers, which are all things I associate software with), and the one useful item of the bunch, an RSS reader. Which really only opens IE.

It’s a competent operating system. I’m sure that it will perpetuate Microsoft’s dominance of the desktop market. But as far as I can tell, there is absolutly zero reason for any user to upgrade from XP.

Mac OS 10.4 Rules… on an Intel D915GLC PC

So I’m posting this from a shiny new installation of Mac OS X 10.4, but there’s no Mac in sight. A guy we all need to give props to called “deadmoo” has managed to post an .iso to the world which allows running Mac OS on an Intel box. I’m currently typing this from a PPC build of FireFox running under Rosetta emulation. It’s extremely cool. Now, before anybody goes and accuses me of being cheap, or stealing someone else’s work, let me stress that the only reason most people (myself included) do this is to say that we can. Yes, it runs great, but don’t expect to see me post from this OS again, at least not on this computer. I’d love to buy a copy of OS X to run on it, but until I can, I’ll be saving my pennies for a trip to the local Apple store.

Anyway, in a year, when 10.5 is out, complete with Red Box (which they still swear doesn’t exist, but mark my words), I’ll be buying a PowerBook. I’ll sell my car if nessecary.