Laptop Love

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I’m in the car on the way home from a business meeting in Philadelphia. One of my friends (Mark) let me borrow his 12″ 867mhz Powerbook and I’m officially sold on it. Ive only had it for 2 days so far, but I’ve absolutely loved every minute of it. The size is perfect. I’ve used it twice to watch movies with my wife in bed–the screen is great and the battery lasts through a full DVD with plenty left for browsing sites about the movie afterwards. In the morning I used it to do some studying (again from bednotice that theme) before work. It has built in wireless which connected effortlessly to my LAN.

The keyboard is great. It has very good tactile feedback, its also very quiet. I’m not a huge fan of the tiny arrow keys, but since Im not much of a gamer, it doesnt bother me too much. The trackpad is alright I’m absolutely not a fan of the one button conceptespecially on a laptop, where you cant just unplug it nad replace it with a two button mouse, but its something I can deal with.

Probably the best thing about it though is the feel. It feels solid, well built and stable. With the screen up I can hold it at pretty much any angle (no, Mark, I didnt try this :) ) without it moving or jiggling at all. The metal case is nice.. it looks aharp (and has gotten quite a few comments). It does NOT have color coded ports all over the sides and back, instead there are a few ports on the left hand side that hardly are noticable. The fan is quiet, the slot loading DVD drive has worked perfectly. Theres even a little button on the battery on the bottom that has five lights that indicate the charge level before you even open the cover of the laptop. Once you do open it, theres no waiting for it to boot up. To put it to sleep you close the screen, to wake it up you open it. Its almost like having a PDA that comes on instantly. I just chedked the uptime 10 days. A laptop which has been carried around extensively with an uptime of 10 days.

One of the nicest things about the size is that its actually conducive to carrying around. I rarely ever took my previous laptop off the desk because it was such a production. By the time Id unplugged everything and packed it up it took too long, was too big and heavy with too short a battery life to make it worth it. Not the case with this laptop.

Just as an example. In the time its taken me to write this entry Ive been watching the Truman Show on DVD, had the laptop asleep for about 3 hours before I started using it, worked on a spreadsheet for about 15 minutes before starting to write this and the battery is still at 80%. Nice.

iTunes ++

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This is just a reminder to myself that to make the iTunes window smaller on OS X you click the “+” button. + == – . If you’re on a PC, press ctrl+m to make the window small.

I have used OS X for about a year… maybe I’m alone in this, but I can’t get used to pressing “+” to make something smaller. Not a big deal, but it’s kind of strange to me.

E-Commerce Sites – How to Lose a Customer in 5 Days

Today, five days after placing an order on Buy.com, I got this email:

Hello Marcus,

Thank you for shopping at Buy.com.

At Buy.com we strive to provide the widest assortment of high-quality products at the lowest prices on earth. However, sometimes circumstances beyond our control affect our selection.

We were recently informed that the item listed below from order #55555 is no longer available from that supplier. Please accept our sincere apologies for this inconvenience.

Your order for this product has been automatically cancelled and you will not be charged.

….

Sincerely,
Customer Support Team

I can see getting an email a day after I placed the order, or maybe even two, but a week later? Sorry, I’ll go elsewhere to avoid waiting a week for something then, about the time it’s supposed to arrive at my house, find out it’s been cancelled.

Which OS Are You?

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I like operating systems, but I never thought I would BE one. According to bbspot I’m OS X. Nice… I’ve known was destined to use a Mac since OS X was released.

I found the link on PocketPC Thoughts, my favorite PocketPC site. If you’re interested in Operating systems (or if you take the test and get labeled as an OS you’re unfamiliar with), check out OSNews (I’ve been published there several times). It’s a good blog for all things operating systems.

Transfer Email from Outlook to Entourage

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Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, did not use a the same file format for email between Outlook and Entourage (their Mac version of Outlook). The solution I’m using to get mail from Outlook to Entourage is to first upload the mail to an IMAP mail server in Outlook, then download it again in Entourage. Nothing is lost–attachments, formatting, everything is retained. I’m going from Outlook to Entourage, but I’d guess the process is the same both ways.

If you’re like me, you probably don’t have an IMAP server sitting in your closet. Luckily, there are alternatives. I found St. Georges International Email Service. They offer 3gb (yes, gigabytes) of free IMAP email. No ads, no crazy sign up process, nothing. How they do it, I have no idea, but I’m using it to transfer mail and it’s working fine.

Back to Business – New and Improved

My weblog sabbatical is over. In the past few weeks I’ve done the following:

  • Started work on Maqx Software Awards which is still very much in development both conceptually and technically. I didn’t plan on linking to it yet, but it looks like it’s going to take awhile before it’s perfect. In the meantime, I figured there’s no harm in opening it now.
  • Started work on Queenthings–my wife Jenny’s weblog. Again, this one still has quite a way to go as far as design but she’s already writing on it and it’s some good stuff.
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    Switched. Yes, I got a Mac. It is good. The difference in speed between my 1.6ghz G5 at work and the Dual 2 at home is incredible. The price wasn’t bad either. I did my homework, compared everything available and for the speed and quality, nothing in the PC world came close. I got mine refurbished so it was less expensive than the ones on their site now, and I’m feeling good about the whole thing.

    If you keep reading this site and Maqx.com there will definitely be more on the software I’m using and specifics on why I’m pleased with the switch.

Other stuff has happened as well, more to come. Many more good things to come.