• “Walk Away” by Kelly Clarkson is a heckuva a song. Available on iTunes even now. (As are Coldplay’s “Brothers and Sisters” and “One I Love.”) I’ve gone and downloaded that and a host of other songs thanks to a gift cert from Dave. I be rockin’! Here’s a free iTunes Sampler album so you can be rockin’ too. You’re welcome.

• I’ve upgraded Mystic to Mac OS X 10.3.7 without issue. I had a system shutdown under 10.3.6 which prompted movement. The crash logs seem to indicate a problem with QuickSilver—a program still in beta—so I did a little digging only to find that although I had downloaded the latest version I was running an older copy. Dunno if that was what caused the outage, but my uptime is at 24 hours and counting, so so far so good.

• Speaking of QuickSilver, I continue to recommend this free software as near essential for any Mac user who considers himself even remotely a power user. It is so much faster than using other launchers or, god forbid, the Dock, that it almost feels like a return to Mac OS 9 speeds. Don’t take my system crash above as a reason to forgo use of QuickSilver—I’m not really sure it’s QS’ fault, after all. Trust me, if you get this thing into your workflow, you’ll operate your Mac OS X Mac faster than ever.

• I’ve been borrowing Dave’s new BlueTooth Flic Scanner and after some initial difficulties syncing it with the PowerBook, I’m prepared to say it’s an incredible gizmo. Using Delicious Library for the database I catalogued 120 books in about 20 minutes with it. Here’s the workflow: Scan the barcode on a book, the information transmits wirelessly to Delicious Library in a couple of seconds, Delicious Library takes the transmitted ISBN number and looks it up on Amazon.com, and autofills all the book information and speaks the title so you know you have it. Really fast and really cool!

• If you’ve not played around with BitTorrent, you’re missing out on today’s Napster. I kid you not.

• I played with Unison from Portland-based Panic so much in the first evening after MacWorld that I blew through my UseNet bandwidth allocation until February 10. I consider Unison a $24.95 well-spent. (I have the same feeling—though perhaps even stronger—about Panic’s FTP program Transmit.)

• I’m prepared to say that at $5 I probably overpaid for James Bond 007: Nightfire. Despite obnoxious system requirements (64 MB VRAM, anyone?), game play and graphics were much weaker than the deserved smash hit and lower-spec’d Call of Duty. With the latter title, run run run don’t walk to your nearest Mac retailer should your Mac meet the system requirements (867-MHz G4, 32 MB VRAM). That’s right, ignore stop signs and run over pedestrians. No jury in the world will convict you. (Though admittedly, I am not a lawyer. I may be wrong about that last bit.) Still, it’s an incredible game.

• Anybody want their web browser to run faster? Since I can’t imagine someone offering a negative response, here’s a tip for Safari users: Quit Safari and type

defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitInitialTimedLayoutDelay 0.25

at the Terminal. If you’re like me, you’ll notice a difference. For an even better browsing experience, use the über ad-blocker PithHelmet. I’m pretty sure you won’t be sorry.