Scripting News for 10/14/2006

Yeah the Mets didn’t look like World Champeens tonight. :-( 

Army News Service: “Big Brother is not watching you, but 10 members of a Virginia National Guard unit might be.” 

Congratulations to the Detroit Tigers, American League champions. 

I’m getting tons of email saying the Mac Mini does have digital audio out.  

James Robertson says some of my recent political writings may have crossed a line that I said I wouldn’t cross. It’s possible, and I’d add, deliberate. Here’s the problem, when an opponent takes repeated advantage of your honesty, and people are dying because of it, and you believe that many more will, you start thinking about those lines, and whether or not they’re serving you. The only people I really will trash personally here are the leaders of the Republican Party, the President, VP, etc. I don’t feel good about it James, but I feel even worse about what could happen if they retain control of the US government. I’m also trying to do what I can to make “Republican” a dirty word, but that’s not an ad hominem, because it’s about a party not a person. You may disagree with it, and that’s fine, that’s what makes our country great. But I won’t stop doing it. “Republican” once wasn’t a dirty word, and maybe someday it won’t be again. But the criminals who run that party now are responsible for its sad state, if you have an issue about that, take it up with them (no better way than to vote them out of office, btw). 

Frank Shaw: “In this world of citizen journalists, who covers the city council meetings?” 

Nick Carr is a snarky dude, that’s for sure. I have a straight comeback. If we’re still in Iraq in ten years, we’ll be getting our news from regular people in the Iraqi populace, delivered via the web. Otherwise known as bloggers. Nick thinks he’s disproving my point, but he’s making it.  

AP: “Sniper fire, roadside bombs, kidnapping and murder are among the risks that Western journalists face covering the war in Iraq. Their Iraqi colleagues must cope with more: Families attacked in retribution for what they report, and possible arrest if someone believes them linked to the violence they cover.” 

If my receiver had an integrated HTTP server, I could tell it to switch to play music from my Mac Mini (that’s Aux 3, btw). Then I could send iTunes a network Apple Event (does it support XML-RPC?) to play my Grateful Dead for Travelers playlist. I could do this from my desktop computer, without even having to get up. I’m very close to audio-visual nirvana. When Apple partners with Denon, we’ll be all the way there. Or maybe Apple will go all the way and make an amp and speakers, better quality stuff than the boom box they’re selling now.  

BTW, curiously, I don’t need my receiver to have an FM tuner built in, because all the stations I’m interested in have Internet webcasts. That’s mainly three NPR stations: WBUR, WNYC and KCRW. There might be a couple of others that don’t yet have a net presence. The Mac Mini gets it for me. Cross another analog item off the list. 

Here’s something that seems pretty silly — there’s no digital line connecting audio from the Mac and the Denon. My settop box has this kind of connector, so when Fox broadcasts baseball in Dolby 5.1, my stereo plays what the mikes are picking up at Shea Stadium. The effect is stunning. It’s as if my ears are right there in Flushing, but it seems as if my head is as big as the stadium itself. Anyway, here’s the Mac, 100 percent digital from top to bottom, and the bits have to be converted to analog to be played through the digital stereo. Also, I see the day coming that MP3 compression isn’t going to be good enough.  

ConvergeSouth starts today in Greensboro, NC.  

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by -Andy- on October 14, 2006 at 9:54 am

    I haven’t tried to attach my Intel Mac Mini to my stereo yet (right now it’s running Windows XP in another room) but according to Apple it DOES have optical audio in/out:

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=303376

    or are you talking about something different?

    Reply

  2. Dave, given that you have decided to “tune out the ad hominems,” isn’t it reasonable to expect that others (including those you are attacking) have made the same decision? I have. So I use my tune-out filter to skip past those things in order to get to the other interesting things you’re saying. It’s tiresome (but obviously a chore I’m willing to undertake since I’m still reading!)

    Reply

  3. Your Mac mini has Digital Audio out of the Analog port. … You just need to get the adapter, and the fiber optic toslink cable to your audio setup. … It is pretty amazing. … Digital audio, and analog audio out of the same mini plug hole.

    Reply

  4. Posted by j james on October 14, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    how do you currently connect your mac to your amp? the mac mini does have a optical out, it’s the same physical connector as the headphone/audio out.

    Reply

  5. Or you could just get an AirPort Express and hook it into your receiver (it has digital too–just like the Mini). It works like champ. Audio streaming over APX is only officially supported in iTunes, but there is a nice little shareware app that lets you send any audio to the APX. It’s even cross platform.

    http://rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/

    For complete automation you could get an IR controller that is AppleScript-able. That would be able to set up the receiver automatically.

    Reply

  6. Some Sony minidisc players (the portable units) have been combining ports like this for years. The digital and analogue in are in the same physical jacks.

    Reply

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