Biggest Cruise Ship in the World…

stThomas.jpg
We spent the last 7 days and 7 nights on the Mariner of the Seas touring the Caribbean and getting some sun (burn) on the islands of the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Marteen. My favorite island of the three was St. Thomas–it was the most tropical and I liked the fact that it was American–I felt more at home there than in Nassau or St. Marteen which is French and Dutch.

Jenny got a 10gb iPod for Christmas, making a grand total of 1,300,001 iPods sold this Christmas. I’m very curious to see what the new, smaller iPods that are supposed to be released in a couple weeks will look like…. I can’t wait for an Apple handheld either.

Best OS for Web Design and Development

In this article, I’m taking Linux (Debian and others), Macintosh OS X (Panther) and Windows XP and comparing them to find the ideal operating system for web design and development. After using Windows, Macintosh OS X and Linux (in various incarnations) each for extended periods of time over the last 4 1/2 years, here is what I’ve found.

Linux
Advantages: The obvious advantage to developing on Linux is that you’re working on the OS that you’ll probably be running your site on. It’s nice to be able to save locally and view your content on a local webserver. This is also possible in Windows and OS X so it’s not necessarily a major advantage but it’s nice.

Other advantages of Linux are that it has great text editors (Quanta, Kate, gEdit to name a few) and there is no lack of FTP tools. In my mind, that’s about it as far as advantages go.

Read on for disadvantages of Linux and my insights on OS X and Windows.

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Kung-Log

If you use Movable Type, Nucleus or Blogger for your weblog and you work on a Mac, check out Kung-Log. It’s a desktop application that will retrieve past posts as well as enabling you to post new entries to your weblog. I’m using it now and if you’re reading this… it worked :). This is another feature – it lets you insert the song you’re listening to in iTunes. I’m listening to: To Protect The Family Name from the album “Winners Never Quit” by Pedro The Lion

Best Pocket PC Readers

After using the Pocket PC for awhile now and looking high and low, here’s what I’ve come to the conclusion as to what some of the best and most useful pocket PC readers are (in order of usefulness):
µBook – http://www.gowerpoint.com/ – One of the best all around readers. Supports several file types, auto scrolling, annotations and highlighting. It’s fast, skinnable and free. There is also a full desktop version available.
YanCEyWare Reader – http://www.yanceyware.com/ – If you’re LDS, this scripture reader is the best. Fully featured, but only works for books in the .ybk format. It’s also free.
Vade Mecum – http://vade-mecum.sourceforge.net/ – The only eBook reader that reads the Plucker (http://dave.pluckerbooks.com:81/) format. It supports highlighting, annotations etc. It’s still in Alpha, but it’s the most stable alpha software I’ve ever used.
MobiPocket – http://www.mobipocket.com – Commercial software. The standard reader is pretty pitiful as far as features go, but it opens several formats and you’ll find lots of content geared specifically towards this reader. There’s a pro version for $20 but I haven’t purchased it.
Microsoft Reader – http://www.microsoft.com/reader – Slow and bulky and a pain to install and authorize. I personally can’t stand this reader but unfortunately many eBooks you purchase only work in this format because of DRM issues.

Best Tool for the Blog

From last night:
Installing MovableType… starting at 10:45…. finishing at exactly 11:45. Wow. That took longer than I expected, but alas it’s done. I probably would have been find sticking with Blogger, but in my never ending quest to have the latest and greatest software, MovableType was a necessity.

Now I have this itching wonder in the back of my head why I can’t upgrade MCPAN. That will have to wait for another day…

Mind Mapping

Both my father and father-in-law have spent time extolling the virtues of Mind Mapping–basically brainstorming on paper. I have come to realize the benefits of doing it, but for me, doing something on actual paper is just too reminicent of high school or filling out a form at the DMV or something horrible like that. I prefer to do things the digital way.

The other day, I discovered Nova Mind for Mac OS X which is a way of doing it digitally. I was pretty impressed with the functionality, but due to the fact that I don’t have a Mac at home (yet) it’s not much use. Plus it costs $59 dollars, which I suppose isn’t bad, but it’s more than I’m willing to pay. I also found Concept Draw but their MindMapping software is $149 and not quite as elegant as Nova Mind, though probably more functional.

Tonight I discovered a couple Windows products–both freeware/open source that look like they will do the trick. The first is appropriately titled Freemind. It’s very functional, decent looking and you can do pretty much whatever you need to do with it right from the keyboard so there’s no interrupting your train of thought by reaching over and missing the mouse. In addition to it being great on the desktop, there’s a feature that lets you publish fully functional mindMaps to the web in without even having to export them. Here’s an example.

The next one I found was called KeyNote (not to be confused with Keynote. It’s more of a tool for outlining and creating hierarichal documents (like this blog for example). So far, I’ve been impressed with it. It’s seems about as fully featured as any Office XP application, including Macro capabilites. Hmm. maybe I should write a macro to enable publishing to this Blog. Then it would be some serious competion to MacJournal.

I’m happy. If you’re interested, I’d say check them both out. You can’t go wrong with free :)

Benefits of Fatherhood

Today was one of those days where being a daddy seems like the best and easiest thing in the world. We took a trip down to Williamsburg to visit friends and house-hunt and Max was an angel. He sat in the back seat talking, singing and sleeping the whole time.

Having a baby also makes trips to Burger King much more fun/interesting :) He loved it! We enjoyed watching the faces he made as he tried ketchup and mustard and how he reacted with the other kids in the play room.

I suppose it’s all part of the parental rollercoaster previously mentioned here. I love the peaks like today.

X11 on Panther

Today, in an effort to connect to the corporate exchange server from my Mac at work, I’ve decided to try to install Evolution [http://www.ximian.com/products/evolution] an open source product similar to Microsoft Outlook. It’s been an interesting process.

If you decide to try it, you’ll probably have to take these steps (assuming you’re using Mac OS X 10.3 Panther)
1. Install xCode (comes with OSX). NOTE: Make sure you install the X11 SDK – it’s not selected by default.
2. Install Fink -[http://fink.sourceforge.net/] Just go to the download section and pick the binary package and install it. The process is pretty straightforward. Make sure you drag the FinkCommander application that comes bundled with Fink to your hard drive. I found a couple projects that seem to try to do the same thing as Fink, but none seemed as complete.
3. Find the package you want to install and wait awhile.
4. Open a Terminal and you should be able to type the name of the program you installed and have it run.

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Rollercoaster Rides

Having a baby has been more of a rollercoaster ride than I ever imagined. It’s insane to me how many times a minute he can go from completely happy to screaming mad–forgetting altogether the emotion he was feeling in the previous second but leaving his parents somewhat befuddled. For daddy, it’s a feeling of strong love, then confusion and eventually… I’ll admit, strong frustration. What can you do?

He doesn’t understand in the least what he’s doing, It’s just how babies are. I think as time goes on, my patience lasts longer and longer, but when it gets to a point, I just have to leave the room. Ahh… the life of a first time daddy :).