My week in Tech.

Its been quite a busy week this week with quite a bit going on, so I’ll just try to list up whats going down.

Triple dose of Knightwise.com
Coincidentally (or via devine intervention) those who would like to get their dose of Knightwise every week, might find out that they can OVERDOSE this week. Recently I was interviewed by two fellow podcasters : The lovely Alison Sheridan of the Nosillacast
Podcast over HERE AND by David Allen for the Mac
20 Questions podcast.
So for those of you who want to here my thoughts
on Cross-platform computing OR shed some light on the apple-fanboy allegations that have been thrown my way : Please check out these 2 great apple-centered podcasts.
I had a wonder full time as a guest on both podcasts and could not help myself in teasing some fellow "Belgians" in the Pod-o-sphere.

Upgrade-Day.
This weekend I also kept myself busy installing Snow leopard on most of our macs in the house. I passed by the Apple Store in Maastricht and asked them for the price of the new Snow Leopard cd, cause I heard that they did an ‘upgrade promo’ for about 29 euros. Turns out  that this promo is a "constant price point" and that the so-called "upgrade" version is in fact a complete retail version of Snow Leopard. Ok, if you are already running Leopard, 30 Euros might be a little much for a "service pack’ ( Cause lets face it, it is an "enhancement" to the current leopard distro) but for those of you who come from a 10.4 version, its a nice price point. The family pack ( 5 licences ) was only 49 Euros, so that’s definitely a bargain. Looking at the alternative ( Downloading a torrent of the os from some hack site and risking a piggy-backing Trojan)
the price for Snow Leopard did not make it worth the wile to pirate it.
So i bought it and installed it on the systems at home. I think this is
the only way you can market an OS these days, for 30euros its a very cool deal (or 50 euros
for a multiple licence) make something so cheap, it isn’t worth the
risk of pirating it.  The installation ( I did and upgrade on theuni body MB pro and a bare bone install on Nyana’s
MB) did give me a system that was faster and had a smaller hard-disk
footprint then its predecessor. The ability to directly connect to my
Google Calendar (and preform a seamless 2-way sync) gave Icall
the right to exist in my dock. I love the fact that Apple is finally
integrating cloud based services like Google into their OS, this way
you can have the convenience of the Mac OS tied in with the
cross-platform abilities of your cloud data. As an addition I threw
fiveeuros at the Itunes store for the 3.1 software version for the touch. So far i LOVE it ! I can play podcasts at double speed, hop back 30 seconds in a podcast at the touch of a button AND shake my Ipod
when I don’t like the song its playing. I’m pretty pleased with all of
these new upgrades because they enhance the capabilities of my existing
hardware and let my tech work for me .. a little better.

Rethinking the way we work.

In our old house in Hasselt,
i had "an office" . The biggest room in the house was devoted to my
computer office that sported a giant desk and a lot of computers. After
about a year we dragged in a Sofa and a TV so Nyana
and I could hang out together while I was computing. In our new house
the computer corner was integrated into our hobby room, but soon enough
that was rendered obsolete as we moved the 24 inch Imac down to the kitchen. These days we spend most of our computing time at the kitchen table. Nyana behind the Imac, Me behind my Macbook Pro. All though I miss my "screen real-estate" of the 19 inch external monitor, I can still fallback to the Imac whenever I need to.  Extended periods of working on the Macbook
are made more comfortable by dragging my notebook-riser and external
keyboard downstairs. This however turns our kitchen table into a
computer-desk that does not give us a lot of room to eat dinner. So
since we are looking to ‘re-organising’ our living room, the issue has
come up that we might need to to somehow incorporate a "laptop
workstation" that you can sit at and work. So the idea of "the
computer-room" has become ancient history, but also the idea of "the
computer desk" ( a static setup for the computer) is no longer valid.
So now we are looking at a small,convert able solution to sit at when
you want to use your laptop. (and perhaps use and external screen,
keyboard and mouse) without being to "intrusive" for our little living
room. Ikea has some nice idea’s on that so we might go and check them out on Saturday for somthing like the GUSTAV

Tablet-time.

Purely by accident I stumbled across a personal add on some Belgian bargain site from a guy who is selling his Hp Tc1100 Tablet pc. Now i have owned one of these before (not for very long) because at the time the concept of the ‘tablet pc‘ was not very attractive to us. Ok , I pushed it in Nyana’s
general direction and let her use it for a couple of weeks as her "main
system" and to be quite frank : she did not like it one bit. True : The
tc1100 is
more of a gadget then a die hard computer and if you look in the
"ergonomics" department, long time exposure to the TC1100 might make
you blind AND give you the biggest case of RSI of all times. The
"Tablet" functions of Windows XP are worthless, and when you’ve seen my handwriting, you know a stylus is not a good idea. So why reconsider ? well, for one : Ubuntu linux Netbook Remix ! How about a "netbook sized" touchpad that you can operate with the stylus ? How about turning that TC1100 into a portable media player OR a linux
server that you can mount on your kitchen wall (and operate via a
stylus). But the important note here is that i can get it at a cheap
price and would like to give my geeky-ness a go on a system like this. And to be honest : 12inch is a very nice size to work with when it comes down to computing. Whist fully thinking back to my Ibook
days I can remember that the portable A4 like size did offer you a
decent-size keyboard while still offering a compact screen and form
factor. So why not try out this Tc1100 as a netbook alternative ? Apparently Ubuntu 9.04 supports all most all its functionality out of the box .. So lets try it out !

 

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