Category Archives: Technology

One wrong move

This past weekend Steven and I bought a referbished Mac Mini to use as a media center (instead of a Apple TV). To help offset the cost we were going to fix the iBook hard drive that died a month back.

This sounded like a goodvidea to begin with, but after re-assembling the laptop and plugging it in, we fried the motherboard.

Well this is bad, but at least we can sell the parts off for people who undertake similiar home repairs.

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Strange “tip” from WordPress.com

My blog is currently hosted on WordPress.com.  One of the nice features is that they offer you occasional tips on how you can improve your service.  I however received a cryptic message from them today.

WordPress tip: You have uploaded 16,777,216 TB of files, exceeding your quota by 16,777,216 TB. Consider deleting some files to free up more space, or purchasing a space upgrade so you can upload more.

I didn’t know that I have been such a prolific writer!

Black MacBook (Sold)

So this weekend I sold my black MacBook. This was maybe one of the few machines I did not hate by the time I sold it. Surprisingly it also held it’s value. In June it will be 2 years old and it only lost 1/3 of the original total value. For a well-used laptop, this isn’t bad. Continue reading

Make a Micro-Cybermat – aka BristleBot

First Generation CybermatI stumbled upon a how-to article on how you can make your own micro robot. The funny thing is that the robot has an uncanny resemblance to the first generation Cybermat on Doctor Who (a creature that has yet to make a re-appearance in the new Doctor Who series).

Well it turns out that you too can build a Micro-Cybermat using a toothbrush, a watch battery, some wire, and a pager motor. I would love to see someone make a few (maybe glue on the head of a fly) and spray paint them silver for the full effect. Find out more below:

Professor Layton and the Curious Village

The Chinese New Year holiday gave me plenty of time to relax and get some Advance Wars Dual Strike play in, but on the last two days I was blessed with a new game, Professor Layton and the Curious Village.

This game is a collection of mini-games and puzzles all following the main plot line of a mysterious treasure. The person who finds this treasure will be left the entire estate, which coincidentally includes the entire village. Along the way Layton encounters additional trials including solving a murder and finding out what the strange tower is in the middle of the town.

The great thing about this game is what it contains:

  • A strong plot-line
  • Puzzles that range from simple to complex
  • A built in hint system for less skilled users
  • A free weekly puzzle that can be downloaded from the internet
  • Full-motion animation and voice acting
  • A quirky retro art style

I recommend anyone who is fond of puzzles (including Martin Gardner fans), mysteries, and logic games check this game out. The great thing is that the website has a fully interactive demo which demonstrates the play mechanics of the game, meaning you can try before you buy.

The 31st came and went with no Adobe Acrobat updates in sight

I guess I should not be too surprised that Adobe isn’t supporting the Mac platform to the fullest. The thing I don’t understand is how they were unprepared for the Leopard 10.5 update.

When Leopard was first updated Adobe released a notice concerning their support for the latest version of Mac OS Leopard. Interestingly enough this report was published as an Acrobat file. Now why is this interesting? Well, one of their comments was that Acrobat 8.0 will encounter issues on OS X 10.5. Well how could you view this support article? Well, acording to Adobe you couldn’t use Acrobat, but don’t take my word for it:

[Adobe Acrobat Professional] Requires update to 8.1.2 for full compatibility. Expected to be available in English, French, German, and Japanese in late January 2008. Additional languages expected shortly thereafter.

Adobe had a similar comment for their free Adobe Reader application:

[Adobe Reader] Requires Adobe Reader 8.1.2 for full compatibility. Expected to be available in late January 2008.

Well January 31st came and went and there was no update from Adobe. Sure, the press gave a pass to them, but what about the “Creative Professionals” who rely upon these tools? Well, I guess Adobe has been giving similar signals for the past few years and it seems like they would rather all of the Mac users just switch over to Vista because the 12% of the market Mac users will have by 2011 is too small of a market for them.

The thing I do not understand is how MacWorld can claim that Adobe is one of the closest developers to Apple and they don’t cry foul when Adobe was unprepared for the stealthy and minimal release of Mac OS Leopard. I guess Adobe thought that no-one would upgrade, and I guess MacWorld was worried about losing advertising dollars from Adobe. That’s journalism for you.

Warming up to the MacBook Air

MacWorld recently released a review for the MacBook Air where they gave the machine a rating 3.5 out of 5.  I am in fact a bit more inclined to purchase one now though, for two reasons.

  1. They tested the 1.6 GHz version, and the 1.8 will be faster
  2. They said:

The MacBook Air came on the heels of using a 2.16GHz MacBook, and I found its speeds in day-to-day use to be perfectly sufficient. … Using Photoshop CS3 to do some minor image tweaking seemed perfectly fine.”

The 2.16 GHz is faster than my laptop, meaning someone using something faster didn’t notice anything. MacWorld then goes on to say:

Then there will be those who … will adopt the MacBook Air as their primary Mac—simply because they’re laptop-only users who want that laptop to be as small as possible.

This is how I feel – I honestly am not so happy with all of the reviews out there who say the machine is “slow” because that is based on an opnion, and as nice as opinions are, they are irrelevant.  If I perceive the machine to be as fast as my current machine, I know I will be happy.