A few more short-takes (in lieu of actual posts that take time or energy to compose!) — consider this fair warning that they’re all a little on the geeky side.

  • Holy crap, the folks behind the kick-ass app Parallels have released a new beta version for the Mac (download here) that takes things to a whole new level. You can now interleave Windows and Mac windows on the same screen, modify shared folders while a virtual machine is running, and drag and drop between the Mac and Windows installations, and it looks like a slew of interface issues were fixed as well. It looks like you can also boot from a Boot Camp installation of Windows, but from the comments in that discussion group thread, there might be dragons so it might be worthwhile hanging back and waiting to see how that works itself out. (Thanks to Dan for letting us know about the new beta!)
  • I’m a sucker for a programmer weblog that focuses on issues of usability and logic rather than the nitty gritty insides of some technology or language. (Think Raymond Chen’s Old New Thing or Joel Spolsky’s Joel on Software, both of which are like crack for me.) Because of this, I was happy to discover today that the authors of the Head First line of programming books have a weblog, Creating Passionate Users, that solidly fits into this same mold! I’m a fan of their books, and am glad to be adding the site to my reading list.
  • Speaking of weblog reading lists, earlier this year I switched to using the web-based feed reader reBlog, and was ecstatically happy about its general level of hotness. Over time, though, it’s demonstrated a bunch of flaws — such as suboptimal parsing of pages and feeds (at times leading to feed lists rendered so poorly that the app’s own control buttons become totally nonfunctional!), feed items showing up dozens of times as new despite having been archived, and keyboard commands that randomly shut off — all of which have made me eagerly anticipate the release of a new version that incorporates bug fixes and whatnot. We’re now nine months later and no new versions have crossed the wire, so I decided to post in the forum asking about the status, and learned that the authors aren’t working on it anymore and there won’t be any more versions. That’s sad; I have a lot of data locked up in the archives of my reBlog installation, an app that’s becoming harder and harder to use with any reliability, and no real path forward… time to start looking for options.
  • And finally: my feet are famous! (Mine are the ones in the Apple socks; Alison is a good friend of ours, and the socks were a thank-you gift for some computer work I did for her.)