Archive for January, 2005

Cleaning out the junk

I’ve been cleaning out my junk pile of old parts at Trademe. You’ll probably have to read though my feedback in order to see exactly what I’ve sold.

Anyway there really is a pile of junk at the bottom of my stairs. Old software and hardware bits dating back to 1996 and earlier. 5.25 inch floppies, zip drives, 14.4K modems, all crapola.

Most interesting thing I’ve found so far is my old InfoMagic Linux Developers Resource – April 1996 six CD pack. My second install experience with Linux, the first being an aborted attempt to get Redhat 3.0 going, on a SCSI system. I think at the time I finally installed Slackware 3.0 on Linux 1.2.20, but the disk also contained Debian 0.93R6. I don’t think I start using Debian until the end of 1997, after a brief fling with Stampede.

Pieces of history.

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Mac Mini Review

Very detailed Mac Mini Review. Includes some facts about DYI upgrading the HDD and memory.

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So you want to be a consultant?

An insightful look at being a consultant: So you want to be a consultant…?

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Powerbook Battery Life

A study on 15″ Powerbook battery life: 15″ PowerBook Battery Life Tests.

Author makes some interesting suggestions about portable vs desktop Mac laptops.

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Postgres over MySQL

The author of CD Baby makes some comments about Postgres strictness vs MySQL data corruption in this article: CD Baby rewrite in Postgres and Ruby, Baby!

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Hacking Open Office

An article about Hacking Open Office style sheets. Worth reading.

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It’s small

Short review of the Mini Mac at OS News: The Mac Mini Experience. Check the picture on the first page, I didn’t realise how mini the Mini actually was. Its not much bigger than the tape.

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Care and feeding for your laptop battery

A Friend and I were discussing laptops, in particular Apple Powerbooks. He recently acquired a Powerbook from his work, plus he has an old G4 under his desk, used as a server. He usually has insightful comments, so we often have conversations about this and that new geek gadget. During the discussion we started talking about battery life and the best way to charge. I purchased a R30 for my brother two years ago with an additional Ultrabay battery. It still often gets 8+ hours of hard office-type use running WinXP. Every comment I’ve read and my experience has show that IBM hardware kit just works. This should be the inspiring goal for any laptop battery system. Although following the “Conservation of Greatness” rule, I’ve been told the IBM’s service often sucks. Luckily I’ve never had to deal with them.

Anyway we started discussing batteries, and how to best care for your battery. Based on a page I’d read several years ago I’d always been of the opinion with Lithium Ion batteries, that constant charging is a good thing to do. This page had stated that Li-Ion batteries have a finite number of ‘deep’ discharge cycles. Thus it was better to keep the battery charge to preventing the ‘deep’ discharge cycles occurring.

Richard’s opinion was the opposite of this:

“Nah I got into talking with a laptop guy on this one, and it’s the continuous connected to the mains stuff that destroys them. Doesn’t matter the battery type, if it’s continuously trickle charged it will die.”

I figured it was time to do some goggling.

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The True Cost of Mac OS X

Short rant by a Mac user on The True Cost of Mac OS X.

Articulates one of the things that concerns me, at least about my use of OSX. In order to gets to the point were it “Just Work”, there is a modest outlay on these new applications. Not that this is a problem, but its something that has to be factored into the budget cost benefit analysis.

Plus the fact I’ve spent a large amount of time finding tools that work on Linux, that I enjoy using. Invest both time and money look at new applications is some thing I’m considering. That said, if I find one or two apps that really make life fun, I’ll probably swing. After all Fink and Darwin make it a breeze to install emacs or vim if I want too. 😉

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How to Use a Printer Attached to a Windows XP Computer in Mac OS X

Was at my brothers today showing him some prints from our new colour laser printer. (More about that in a later post). His wife has a G4 running OSX, we were trying to figure out how to connect to the two machines. The last time we tried was when the machine was running OS 9. Obviously it did not work, a wasted effort. However, OSX now has the wonders of Samba and BSD to draw on. Connecting to a file share on the WinXP boxs, was simple as saying cheese. Very slick I must admit.

Our second problem was trying to get it to connect to a print share. The Epson C70 inkjet they have is not strong as our old C800, after 18 odd months of moderate use the USB plug has broken off. No good for the Mac! Anyway its not an easy process, certain not some thing Apple talk about in their help file. So its Google to the rescue, moments later and a sure fire method is discovered: How to Use a Printer Attached to a Windows XP Computer in Mac OS X.

I’m quite glad this happen today, reminded me that I have a machine that is accessible so I can do some experiments to see if OSX is good enough for me to want to change from x86/KDE. Especially Liquid Ledgers. I like the look of the unlimited undoes. Seems like a simple but complete package that will be perfect for my mother to look after her finances. I’m interested in see how much better than Gnucash (for myself) or Money (for my family) it is.

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