Archive for February, 2005

Virtual PC and G5

Went down to Magnum Mac today. Both to get out of the office for a moment, plus to have a look-see at the powerbooks. Unfortunately they didn’t have the newer Powerbooks on display, but I did get a chance to feel out the older models.

Anyway, I was also playing around with a large Dual G5 Powermac with a 30″ screen (very nice). Later I noted to a friend that on this machine Virtual PC had been very laggy. VirtualPC will probably be important to me, as I have a few business applications that need to run on a x86. Its unfortunate the Crossover Office is not OSX compatible. πŸ˜‰

He pointed me to this: Virtual PC and the new G5.

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XUL and Rails

An interesting extension to the recent Recipe tutorial on OReilly, adding a XUL interface.

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PowerBooks and External Monitors

Some detail from Apple about External Monitors resolutions.

When the flat-panel display and an external video monitor are operating at the same time, each is allocated 32 MB of video memory in 64 MB VRAM systems or 64 MB of video memory in 128 MB VRAM systems.

Seems the desktop spanning is built in by default for the Powerbooks. The question is, does having only 32Mb allocated to each screen make a difference?

Update: According to this page:

WHAT ABOUT QUARTZ EXTREME? Some of my programmer friends theorized that the extra video memory should speed up Quartz Extreme functions. I disagreed. I argued that graphics processor speed is the key, not graphics memory size, since Apple’s documentation states you only need 16MB of video memory for Quartz Extreme functions.

I saw an interesting graph on Apple’s Quartz Extreme Page from a benchmark called “Window Move.” I was able to get a copy of a similar application that creates hundreds of buffered, semi-transparent windows in various sizes, shapes, and locations.

This test showed no difference.

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Gesture Keyboard

Both these Ergonomic USB Keyboards with Intuitive Gesture and Pointing Builtin from TouchStream look like very clever. Plus there is a model, MacNTouch, for Powerbooks

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Steven Johnson’s Tool For Thought

A research work flow look at DevonThink an interesting OSX application: Tool For Thought.

One of the things I’ve wondered about tools like this with Related or See Also search mechanism, is extending their use by Bayesian word analysis. Similar to what is done with spam detection, but as a way of finding related groupings of concepts. Extending this further and allowing local library of tagged information to sync with remote libraries. You might find ways to grow more interesting search tools that look for concepts rather than keywords.

Of course being a professional write its easier for Steven to take notes and key then into his research tool. Seeding his locally tagged concept space. Some times I think it would be nice with one of the various paper books I was reading, of me to use point at a passage, vocalise some notes and have it store itself automatically some where.

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Powerbook vs iBook

Couple of discussions regarding the Powerbook vs iBook question:

* Apple – Discussions – PB 1.33 vs. ibook > noise & durability
* New PowerBook vs. iBook – The shootout.

Good summary in the later link:

* 12” iBook – it’s cheap and very good. If you can’t afford more, get this one.
* 14” iBook – it’s bigger, heavier, and more expensive than the 12”. I still trying to figure out why this is in production.
* 14” Super iBook – it’s bigger, heavier, and slower than a PowerBook. No idea why they make this one either.
* 12” PowerBook – it’s a really expensive, slightly upgraded iBook.
* 12” PowerBook w/ Super Drive – this is a nice model and you might need the Super Drive.
* 15” PowerBook – This is a great computer for the price.

Furthermore, there is some mention that the screen of the 14″ iBook can be blurry. Maybe both a 12″ iBook and a 15″ Powerbook is the sweet spot? πŸ˜‰


* Clamshell mode? – iBook likely to overheat with clamshell closed.
* 6hr Battery Life – Some reports of 6+ hour battery life. Impressive.

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Powerbook battery tip bits

Here some tip bits on Powerbook batteries:

Update: A nice page at macintouch with much anecdotal stories about Apple Laptop batteries.

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fex is a File Exchange Daemon. Userland based “replicating filesystem for disconnected computers similar to intermezzo (and not so similar to coda).” Provide a secure link over ssh. and user-directed conflict resolution via filename renames.

Some thing for my to-do list.

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Freebsd and XEN setup guide

Howto setup FreeBSD and Xen.

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SNAP video drivers

A review of SNAP video drivers for Linux. SNAP are a set of commerical drivers for X11 from Scitech Software. The reviewer says these are useful in the event you need to get decent performance with one of the new ATI laptop video cards.

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