hithlum log.

(part of brett's logjam.)

Entries about my Powerbook G4, Hithlum

21 August 2008

PowerBook For Sale

PowerBook For Sale

My PowerBook G4 is for sale.

11 April 2008

A Boy and His Electronic Toys

I’m tickled pink about all the visitors around this site. Thank you for coming! I’m really happy you’re here; please feel free to drop me a line or twitter me and let me know how it’s going.

I started writing about the computers under my care really for just one reason: so that I would have some record of what I’d done, so I could stop making the same mistakes over and over again.

I don’t know if I’ve accomplished that, exactly, but at least it’s been entertaining watching me try.

Since many of you are new around here, and this is an admittedly quirky personal site, let me point you towards some other computer logs that may interest you:


The following computers are currently in service.

Speaking of which…


These computers have left the building:

You will no doubt notice certain themes in the names.

Each computer has its own category, some with more information than others. Hopefully you’ll find something you like.

Thanks again for visiting!


11 March 2008

New Computer Weekend

In a strange display of synchronicity, Merrystar and I both ordered new laptops in the last 24 hours.

While I’ll let you know initial impressions and put up new computer pages next week, Merrystar and I have important decisions to make while we wait.

Namely, what are we going to name them? A quick nomenclature refresher:

Hmmm. Lots of thinking to do here.

20 January 2008



That can’t be good.

(This is for both my Tiger and Leopard external backups. Looks like “Ignore ownership on this volume” somehow got checked.)

Update 11:11pm: Found the bug that caused it in the first place. That’s the good news.

The other good news is that I can restore permissions to the Tiger backup with the next backup, which is currently running.

Bad news is that I’ll probably have to reinstall my test Leopard system on the external drive to fix it, but that’s less critical than having a bootable backup right now. (After I fix this one, I’ll retrieve the offsite one to see if that fixes it.)

Also, I don’t want to talk about the Green Bay game. That’s the last time I ever root for a team because of expediency. It backfired with Texas, and now it’s backfired with the Giants.

1 January 2008



If you’re a fan of the command line on OS X, I suggest you take a look at Visor, originally from the good folks at Blacktree. It’s a quake-style terminal window that instantly appears; I’m finding it even more useful than Quicksilver while working on shell scripting.

(So much for ‘sticking with the defaults.’)

26 December 2007

Leopard on a Powerbook G4

Considering upgrading your Powerbook G4 to Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard)? After running with Leopard since its release, let me give you some unsolicited advice:

Skip it.

No, really. Just wait, and get it on a MacBook instead.

It comes down entirely to performance vis-a-vis Tiger. Here are Hithlum’s Geekbench scores:

While Spotlight performance in Tiger may be slower than in Leopard, overall chip performance is 17% better. I knew that 10.5 was optimized for the Intel chips, but that’s crazy to think that that sort of degradation is acceptable.

By way of comparison, machines with Intel chips running Leopard do significantly better than PowerPC chips. Most of the MacBooks are around 2500-3000, with some of the Mac Pros clocking in over 8200. Leopard seems to be a pretty good investment for Intel-based Macs.

But combined with the Disk Utility problems, random crashes, and overall sluggishness I’ve experienced with Leopard, the upgrade isn’t worth it on my older PPC machine. I’m certainly not going to upgrade my mother-in-law’s G5 iMac to it after this.

So, it’s back to Tiger for me on my Mac. Experiment over, back to work.

Anyone want to buy a Family Pack Leopard DVD set? I’ll trade you for Tiger DVDs…

23 December 2007

It's Not Me, Leopard, It's You

I don’t know how I missed Primate Lab’s article on Leopard Performance, but it provides numbers that corroborate my own experience on my Powerbook G4 — Leopard is slower than Tiger.

Mostly, it just leaves me grumpy that I purchased the family pack. I’m not going to upgrade any of my family’s G4s or G5s at this point, and may very well go back to Tiger on Hithlum until it’s time for a new laptop in a year or two.

4 December 2007

Thoughts on Upgrading

Ain’t broke? Don’t fix it.

Now, if only I could heed my own advice.

  1. I was seriously considering upgrading the software that runs a few of my sites to Movable Type 4.x to allow the use of the the iPhone/MT interface plugin. Yes, you read that right: I’m considering installing an entire CMS to get an interface for my phone. This plugin makes posting from the iPhone very, very easy. And a clean install of MT 4.x is actually quite easy as such things go.

    But upgrading from an old version, with an extremely custom template and unsupported database? Very, very difficult.

    So difficult, in fact, that I gave up trying to upgrade the existing installation and instead evaluated how much effort it would be recode several sites on the clean install.

    And the answer? Way more effort than it’s worth.

  2. I’m of a similar feeling of my second recent upgrade, of that to Apple’s Leopard on my G4 Powerbook, Hithlum.

    My first upgrade attempt resulted in an unbearably slow system. This was not the desired outcome.

    So, after several hours debugging processes, killing off all sorts of little performance-stealing problems, I opted for a clean Tiger (10.4) install and trusted my backups. Tiger was great in all the areas I remember, and weak in all the other areas I remembered (cough cough Spotlight cough).

    After a few days of that, I thought that since there were enough other people having success with a clean install, that I would give it a try with a clean upgrade back to Leopard. In other words, I lost my marbles.

    You know what? I have not been entirely happy with Hithlum since I started meddling. And really, there’s no turning back.

    Leopard may be faster than Tiger, but it doesn’t feel faster. The 10.5.1 update helped stabilize some of the applications, and I’m sure that on a newer machine that I would be happy as a clam with Leopard. But instead I ask, was this really worth the time, effort, and money I spent?

    I suspect that the answer is no.

So: Future Brett! Listen up! I will make this simple for you. NEVER UPGRADE! Okay? Never.

(I don’t know why I bother. Future Brett never listens.)

26 October 2007

OS X 10.5 Leopard

OS X 10.5 Leopard

Well, there goes my plans for a productive weekend.

18 October 2007

Macintosh Software, Part III

A 17-inch PowerBook G4.

Yep, it’s time to inventory the Mac OS X apps I have running on Hithlum again. (Parts I, II.) I’ve added a few new programs to the mix.

Still in use:

Rarely used, but still useful:

The following were installed, but have recently been ploinked:

6 September 2007

Swiping a Toughbook

Trip was playing with his dvdvdvdeees tonight when he saw that Merrystar was on her computer. He walked over, climbed up on the couch, and looked over her shoulder.

Her: “That’s Noah, and that’s his mommy.”

Him: “Dats Noah, and dats his mommy.”

Her: “Would you like to see pictures of Trip?”

Him: Makes agreeing noises. Merrystar calls up his site.

Him: “Backhoeses!”

And then he reached out and tried to swipe the page on Merrystar’s Toughbook, just like it was an iPhone.

Me: “You’re going the wrong way.”

Her: “You hush.”

Him: “Boats! T-t on the boat!” more swiping motions, more of the page not going the right way.

I find it both wonderful and a little scary that my son knows that much about using my iPhone already.


After Trip had gone to sleep, we had the following exchange:

Me: “Finally, I found something your computer can’t do.”

Her: Swipes at my laptop screen. “Doesn’t look like yours can, either.”

Have I ever come out ahead in these?

Don’t answer that.

29 August 2007

iPhoto 7

By the way, iPhoto 7 was totally worth the wait.

28 May 2007

The Perfect Powerbook Accessory

It’s not more memory, or a bigger hard drive, or a snazzy case, or laser-engraving.

It’s an icepack. Boy, do these laptops get hot!

22 March 2007

Data Backup and the Command Line Ninja Brigade

In the past couple of weeks I’ve had roughly the exact same conversation with about five different people. Paraphrased, it goes like this:

Me: I’m glad drive prices are dropping. I just got another hard drive for my laptop.

Them: Oh, you’re upgrading?

Me: No, backing up. This will make it three total.

Them: Why not just burn everything to CD or DVD?

Me: Er, because they fail and take your data with them?

Them: What?

Me: Gesundheit.

I then follow up with my tragic story of how I archived my entire digital life to CD/DVD, but when I got my Mac and started loading everything back, I discovered the sad truth: CDs and DVDs will degrade over time, and you don’t know it’s unusable until it actually goes. About half of the disks I made within the last five years were gone, so I resolved to go with a strategy with visibility, redundancy, and easy access: everything on a hard drive. CD/DVDs are only throwaway backups or installation disks in my house. The conversation would usually end with me talking again about the cost of hard drives coming down, me realizing I’d just spent 5 minutes ranting about the failure rates of optical media, and then a polite change of subject.

Now, I admit, I haven’t handled this conversation particularly well. I feel particularly guilty for having had it with my Mom and not immediately following it with concrete, practical, written advice as to what you should do to prevent data loss. It’s complicated by my running on a Mac, and nearly everyone else I’ve talked to using Windows. It’s further complicated because I think of my Mac as a UNIX box, so I can’t just say “go download X program and set it up.”

Instead, I have to say something stupid, like, “I have a series of interlocking scripts that automatically archive critical files and rsync incremental backups between external and offsite drives to ensure that the data lives in as many protected places as is practically possible.”

In other words, I’m part of the Command Line Ninja Brigade of Mac users, which appears to exist in a different online world than the Sweet Delicious GUI Army of Mac users. I don’t understand why this divide exists in the online Apple community, but it seems like you’re either for the Terminal, or against the Terminal, and never the twain shall meet. The opinions each hold are strikingly different, yet the crossover between the two is so easy. That’s why it’s a Mac!

I honestly don’t understand it. But there it is, Horatio: yet another undreamt of thing.


Here’s my concrete, practical, written advice for backing up stuff, no matter what you run, or how you personally feel about the command line.

I even wrote the backup script in haiku. Just for you.

9 March 2007

Macintosh Software, Revisited

A 17-inch PowerBook G4.

I was recently updating my about page when I realized that I’d really not kept up with the good things on Hithlum, only the bad.

And that’s unfortunate, because my Mac really rocks. I’m glad that I left the switching-distros-solves-problems world of Linux behind, even though I look at Tsiolkovsky with an admittedly covetous eye.

(But if Apple put out a ruggedized subcompact MacBook Pro with an optical drive? I am so there.)

So I thought I’d start by revisiting my original list of software that I’d posted a year ago and see what I’m actually using, versus what didn’t work out for me. A lot of these applications have been good to me. Maybe you’ll find them useful, too.

Here are my standards, the applications that make Hithlum a joy to use:

There are a few other programs I use on a regular basis, just not every day, which I consider essential.

Then there’s a large group of specialized programs that are useful in one way or another, but not part of my normal mundane computing existence. Or, I haven’t grokked them yet.

Finally, we have the discard pile. These just weren’t for me, thank you, come again.

Next up, I’ll have to document my love affair with the command line.

28 February 2007

And Just Think If They Were All Single Posts

I’d like to apologize for the automated links for 2007-02-28 post that will show up sometime later today. Tonight was a banner night for web surfing, as I tried to both catch up on my feeds and try out Camino’s speediness with some traditionally slow sites in Safari. Like, cough, Google Reader, which bogs down in Safari under the weight of the hundreds of posts I’m trying to process. For weeks I’ve wondered about the users who raved about its snappy response; the UI is well done — tap tap tap goes the spacebar with no clicky-clicky required — but after the first 20 articles I spend more time waiting for a response than actually reading.

(Most everyone reading this already knows that I can read really fast: really, really fast when the occasion calls for it. Scanning news is one of those things.)

Camino handled the load far better than Safari did, letting me page through posts quickly, if not as fast as I might like. There’s only so much one can do to cut through all the AJAXy overhead. I grow less fond of AJAX with each passing day. I may soon find myself using AJAX in the same way Merrystar uses Flash — avoid, disable, and enable only when absolutely required.

The only drawback with the Safari → Camino switch is an aesthetic one: small Helvetica type isn’t weighted as nicely in Gecko browsers as it is in Safari, particularly at the lighter weights and smaller sizes. (Sub-10pt italic seems particularly affected.) Also, the line height seems to be crowded in text blocks, so that words seem crowded in a paragraph. It’s very subtle, but I’m known to be picky about my fonts.

(The partial solution is a simple ⌘+ to increase the font size, which makes the web a nicer place to browse anyway. The line height is still awkward, but less distracting than before. It’s still not as good as Safari.)

I’m happy to say that Camino really is chugging along well, and I may keep Safari off the dock and in reserve for specialized tasks. But it’s probably too early to see if there’s a significant difference.

But, back to the apology. The downside of this web browsing is that I’ve been hitting my del.icio.us links pretty hard, and the next post is likely to be pretty big.

Hopefully, you’ll find something interesting in amidst it all.

8 February 2007

xscreensaver as your desktop?

Last night I stumbled upon BackLight, a free program for the Mac that allows you to pipe any screensaver into your desktop. While it’s not perfect (it’s a GL layer on top of the existing desktop, so there are issues with Exposé, for instance), it allows for some great effects. Want to run Matrix-style effects in the background while you work?

GLMatrix Desktop via BackLight

No problem. (GLMatrix is part of the xscreensaver package, now available for Macs, too.)

Don’t get me wrong; this is totally useless. Screensavers aren’t the most practical things. (When was the last monitor you owned seriously susceptible to burn-in? 1986?) But this is very cool eye-candy. This one goes in the ‘keep’ pile for now.

Updated: Found another way that doesn’t require an additional application:

/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources/ScreenSaverEngine.app/Contents/MacOS/ScreenSaverEngine -background &

Will try it out and see how it works.

4 February 2007

A Little Bit Jealous (of Ubuntu)

Merrystar’s finished restoring Tsiolkovsky to operating condition, having installed obscure dependencies required for 30-year-old astronomical software and restored data from the ill-fated HissyDrive backup fiasco.

And because of Ubuntu, it’s turned out much better than before. No, honest.

So, I confess. I’ve grown a little bit jealous. I want a brown system! I want to see the OS that Just Works! I want to use it!

Oh, wait. I run Mac OS X and have all of that, minus the brown part. Okay, I really just want to tinker around with Linux again… but know better than to mess up Merrystar’s system this close to Valentine’s day. So I downloaded Xubuntu for PowerPC and ran it on Hithlum, instead. (I’ve long been interested in the XFCE window manager.)

It was nice: fast, UNIX-y, snappy. Not as nice as OS X, but I can now say I’ve gotten Linux to boot on my Mac without frying the system. I could get used to it. But then I remembered that I really didn’t need to do any of this. I have a perfectly good OS now, and I don’t need to go re-learn Linux ‘just because.’ Ubuntu is pretty simple and looks to be low-maintenance, so my technical support duties will likely be light now. Aside from helping to clean up the Windows partition — a reinstall may be in order, because, you know, the Registry doesn’t scale — I’m out of a job on that computer.

Bravo, Ubuntu. It Just Works, like it’s supposed to. Nicely done.

19 January 2007

Out with the SuSE, in with the Ubuntu.

Merrystar upgraded Tsiolkovsky to Ubuntu today from SuSE 10.0. Normally, I wouldn’t phrase a distro change as an upgrade, but this one qualified. Even though my first experience with SuSE was positive, the honeymoon was soon over, and recent events have been less than satisfactory. (Then there’s that whole Novell-Microsoft deal that still makes me go Whaaaa?)

Initial impressions of Ubuntu are very, very good. Wireless works out of the box, power management is great, and “Gnome doesn’t suck,” to quote the primary user. More details once we resolve the hissing backup disk drive issues (note to self: why did I not get out my noise cancelling headphones today?) and AIPS is functioning again; Tsiolkovsky’s Linux writeup could use some refreshing, especially considering how many hits it receives every day.

Did I forget to mention that Hithlum is back from Apple? I guess I did. Well, she’s back, but can’t read any data from the hissy drive, and if you think I’m letting Tsiolkovsky anywhere near that thing? Steve Jobs is more likely to use a stylus.

I know enough to not tempt computer karma: copy the data off the hissy drive as fast as the network will carry it, but don’t mess with the settings.

One small victory today is enough.

4 January 2007

A Fool To Hope

I knew I was a fool to hope that I’d get Hithlum back by tomorrow, no matter what Frank From Austin, TX told me.

Tonight I received the following email from Apple:

…Thank you for your email.

We are sorry for the delay in servicing your PowerBook G4 and apologize for the inconvenience it may cause.

Your PowerBook G4 is currently at our repair facility. We are waiting on a part to complete the repair. This part (17” Display) is scheduled to arrive on Jan 4, 2007. We expect the repair to be completed in the coming days. Once the repair is completed, your product will be going through a series of final tests, and should these tests be successful, the computer will be
shipped back to you.

Your patience is greatly appreciated.

What I find most frustrating is that, in all the time my PowerBook was awaiting a part, no one could tell me what that part was. Knowing that the problem requires a new LCD screen actually eases my mind, because it validates the original AppleCare purchase. $350 for AppleCare or $800 (or more) for a new screen? Easy math. I may not be happy about the delay, but at least I don’t feel like I’m getting no value out of the extended warranty.

But it took over two weeks for Apple (and 3 escalations from me) to tell me which part they were waiting on to get to this point.

Perhaps my next laptop really will be a Panasonic Toughbook. (Pity I can’t run OS X on it.)

2 January 2007

Well, isn’t that interesting?

This morning I emailed Apple to let them know that they hadn’t called me back as promised in their support email.

I just got off the phone with Frank at Apple in Austin, TX, who let me know they’d escalated the problem and expected repairs to be complete by tomorrow (as long as the unit passed QA, of course.)

Dare I hope that I’ll have Hithlum back by Thursday?

1 January 2007

PowerBook Part Watch: Day 19.

It’s now been 19 days since my PowerBook G4 Hithlum’s LCD failed. Let’s recap.

Let’s compare and contrast with Merrystar’s experience with Panasonic and her Toughbook Tsiolkovsky, shall we?

The Panasonic support rep was knowledgable, efficient, and thorough. The Apple reps — with the execption at the Genius Bar, to be fair — have not.

What’s worse is that I’m paying $350 to Apple for this service for 3 years. Panasonic’s cost? $0 for the same period of time. I’ve used it three times and each time has been this easy.

This is seriously leading me to question my next laptop purchase. Perhaps it’ll be time to switch back to Linux?

29 December 2006

Merrystar’s Toughbook W2 Tsiolkovsky is back from the shop today. She sent it in on Tuesday. In the afternoon. Got it back today. 3 days from door to door.

Panasonic’s support continues to impress.

Apple’s? Not so much. (15 days and counting. I called their support again today, and they have no idea what part is needed or when it will be in. Sigh.)

23 December 2006

for the record...

ext3 can still bite me.

And the part for Hithlum? Backordered. No ETA.

Man, I miss my PowerBook.

16 December 2006

powerbook G4, now with black screen!

Finally! Time for me to experience Apple’s Customer Service first hand. Up to now it’s all been ordering and whatnot. But now I’m having video problems on my 17” Powerbook G4. Joy!

Last night, Hithum’s screen wouldn’t light up upon waking from sleep. I opened the lid, and … nothing. She was obviously on, but I couldn’t see anything. Huh.

This has happened a few times before, but closing the lid and reopening it usually fixed the problem. So that’s what I did. Still nothing.

Maybe a restart? Well, I was in the middle of a backup, so I just let that run all night. I could SSH in and shut down lots of processes, monitor things, make sure that the backup went as scheduled.

But after the backup completed, I rebooted… and got the black screen. I can see — very faintly — the details of what’s on the screen, but there are no lights. The apple on the back also doesn’t light up. Everything else is good.

Okay, so off to the internet I go. Zap the PRAM? Check. Reset the video card? Check. Nuke the PMU? Check.

Turn it on… and black screen. Argh!

Fortunately, I got the extended AppleCare protection plan, and I’m one of the <10% who have automated backups, so I’m just irritated at the inconvenience, not freaking out. So I called Apple this afternoon.


They asked me what I wanted to do. Well, I’ll be in The City on Monday, so I can drop it off at the Tyson’s Corner store. But only on Monday. Otherwise, I’ll ship it in and have you ship it back.

“Well,” the helpful agent said, “I can book you for 3pm, 4pm, 7pm or 8pm tonight, would that work?”

“No,” I replied, “Monday is the only day I can do it. I’m on the other side of the state from that store.”

“Oh, okay. Let me put you on hold for a minute.” I’m on hold for 4 minutes. Dum dee dum.

“Are you an ProCare member,” he asked upon his return?


“I’m sorry, sir, then I can’t make appointments for you on Monday then. I can only make same-day appointments for you,” he said.

“Whaaa?” I said. I think I actually said that, too, with my voice going up and all.

“I’m sorry, sir. But you can call the day of and make an appointment then.”

“Okay. You’re 24×7, right? No problem. I’m up early.”

“Actually, sir, you can only make a reservation starting at 9.”

“For a store that opens at 10?”

“Yes sir.”

(You can see we were getting along brilliantly. At least he called me sir.)

So: Off to a wonderful start, as you can see. I will call from the road on Monday morning, set up an appointment, and drop off Hithlum at the store to get fixed. I expect that I will have a short temper by the time I am all done.

But still.

At least I have backups.

15 July 2006

software that doesn't suck, 2006.

It’s been a while since I switched from Linux to Mac OS X, and a week ago I got a new Windows laptop at work which needed to be rebuilt from the ground up. So: it’s time to review some software.

Mac OS X

I confess: I use a lot of the default Apple software. I started out fresh last November and gave the prepackaged software a try before switching back to my Open Source standbys.


Encryption and Security:



Yah. I still use Windows at work. Here’s what I’m using these days.

Okay, lazyweb: let me know what else I’m missing!

23 June 2006


Restarting Safari doesn’t fix it.

Neither does restarting the Mac.


(Maybe this is a good chance to try out the other browsers on this machine?)

Dear Fellow Mac Users,

Anyone else having problems with Safari not loading pages? I certainly am.

This started yesterday: Safari goes along for a while, merrily loading tabs, until some sort of threshold is reached and it decrees no more pages for you. I then have to restart it. Usually I end up launching Camino and copying the open tabs over there.


21 June 2006

Merrystar has taken over Hithlum (my 17” PowerBook) for a project she is working on. It’s always amusing to watch her using it, because it is wider than she is. The proportions are all wrong.

Some of this is due to her own choice in laptops; her 12” Panasonic W2 (Tsiolkovsky) is very small, very light, and very well suited to her size. (Very pretty, too! she will no doubt add, when she reads this.) Merrystar has an excellent sense of proportion.

Which is why, as I’m now using Tsiolkovsky, I am left wondering two things:

  1. How can she put up with these god-awful jaggedy non-anti-aliased fonts?
  2. How do I put up with them every day at work and not notice them?

Don’t believe that they’re a problem? Let’s review.

Exhibit A:

Here is how this site looks on Hithlum using Safari. The font is different (Lucida Grande), but even with the default Trebuchet MS, the anti-aliasing and smoothing is really apparent.

Exhibit B:

Now, the same site, but on Tsiolkovsky using Firefox. Notice the jagged fonts.

Can you see the difference? Does it bother you?

In Merrystar’s case, and I’m completely speculating here, it’s that she spends most of her day using Linux, so Window’s font display is on par with the environment she’s comfortable with. Or, and this may be more likely, Windows is so alien that it just fades into the background of strangeness. It is very odd living with someone who doesn’t equate CTRL-X/C/V instinctively with the Cut/Copy/Paste sequence. (When I asked her how to paste just now, she couldn’t answer until I specified the program and OS.)

In my case, I think it’s because there’s such a division between my work and personal computer use. Everything is different between the environments; not just the OS and hardware, but the sites I go to, the applications I use, everything is different. I assume that the sites I read at night just look better.

Isn’t that odd?

I’ve tried changing some of the display settings on Tsiolkovsky to make it better. Changing smoothing in the Display Control Panel from Standard to ClearType helps, but turns all the type fuzzy. I can see why it’s not the default.

Were properly-proportioned fonts part of my decision to switch to a Mac? Not at all. Is it one of the small things that turns me into a passionate user of my glorified screwdriver?

You betcha.

(Merrystar, are you done yet? I miss my fonts.)

31 March 2006

The binge continues.

(I should probably just point people at the directory and be done with it. But I get such nice email about my music choices!)

21 February 2006

Once I switched, it was only a matter of time.

18 January 2006

First official waste of freakin’ time on OS X! Bluetooth no longer works to connect my Mac to my phone. And after an hour, I still don’t know if the problem’s with the phone or the computer. Argh. Grrrr.

The more things change…

10 December 2005

Today was one of those tough, fast, hard days at work: everything seems okay until it really, really isn’t. And then? Shit → Fan. Not pretty.

So, in response, after losing myself in my family when I came home, it’s now time to kvetch about computers. It’s either that or move furniture around, and there’s a sleeping baby to consider there.

I got a lot of responses to my switch to a Mac, mostly positive. I think it’s worth making the point that once you’ve switched off Windows for Linux, you’ve already gone through the cognitive gauntlet of a foreign OS. That Windows → Linux transition is missing all the nice pretty shiny parts that OS X brings to the table. Aqua is definitely a step up from KDE or Gnome.

That said, I still have some issues with the Mac. (Why are you not surprised, dear reader?)

And now for the heresy:

See? Much better than talking about work.

19 November 2005

New Flotsam: switch.

15 November 2005

I’m going to close up the Daily Photo site. The daily format has its strengths (see Jim Brandenburg’s Chased By The Light for the idea in print, and Dean Allen’s Daily Oliver for a great online version), but it takes a lot of time and effort. The textpattern engine made it possible to put the site together quickly, but there are a lot of steps to process each picture. Each batch of photos took several hours every month — hours I could be taking more pictures!

I need something easier than that. That’s why I switched to a Mac — if I’m going to run UNIX, I may as well have it tightly-coupled with the hardware I get instead of spending days trying to get Linux working on a laptop. I’d much rather play with my son than play with an OS.

So, since the Daily Photo isn’t delivering what I want, I’m taking it down. Sorry.

I’m trying out the gallery software for solving the whole picture issue. Again, there are good things about it, and some things I don’t like one bit. So, the jury’s still out on it.

(You can take a peek at it if you’re interested. New Trip pictures!)

I suspect that when this is all said and done I will go and handroll something to create static pages on my home server and just call it done. Unless there’s a package that can automatically:

and all while displaying the pictures in my own picky, idiosyncratic style.

Perhaps I ask too much. Any suggestions?

7 November 2005

I finally had had enough of trying to get Linux to work on 6-year old equipment. The problems I’d been having with Arbonne were the last straw. So, last weekend I went out (with Merrystar’s encouragement) and got a Powerbook (17-inch) and couldn’t be happier with it.

Of course, my network decided to retaliate against the interloper:

That was last weekend, which I am never doing again. I MEAN IT THIS TIME.


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