The good news I have is not the imminent release of Apple's new version of OS X.
You see, I really like my HP TC1100 tablet PC. But it was getting very sluggish, sometimes flaking out on me during presentations etc. Unfortunately, there has been very little in terms of an upgrade to that particular tablet; HP have moved away from the tablet formfactor and only have 'convertibles' these days. And I was not looking forward to Windows Vista on the new machine either. But I finally gave in and ordered a HP 2710p. I am still in the process of transfering my daily life to the new machine, but there's enough to like to this machine. I am keeping the TC1100 around though...
The great news for Mac lovers around the world is, that after a couple of days of use I am starting to get used to the ugglyness and inconsistencies that are Vista. So now that Leopard is picking up some of the same transparency ugliness and inexplicable inconsistency, there is hope for you yet: You'll get over it!
Microsoft released beta 2 of Windows Vista to the public. Curious as I am, I decided to see if I could download the 3.12 GB DVD image. I got a decent 200-180 Kb/s (hey, the whole world is downloading the file), but look at the progress I am making:
Negative 22 percent? The number actually went down when the download progressed (ie: it started at -1%). Internet Explorer must be cleaning up my computer before I can download Vista. Or someone's using a 'signed long' for the filesize and download that should be unsigned... A signed long can represents a maximum number of 2 'giga' (2*1024*1024*1024). Values above that are represented as negative. Ofcourse, the really interesting question is, what happens in IE if you try to download a file larger than 4 GB?
When Apple released the Mac Mini last year, I immediately wanted one (and bought one too). Over the past couple of weeks, rumors arose that a new, Intel based mac mini was to be released at yesterday's Apple Special Event. And it was.
Few people may have noticed though, that there are clear signs that the end of the world is upon us. Steve 'I-wear-sneakers-because-I-am-vegan' Jobs presented a leather pouch for the iPod, and the mac mini has a green led! Or has it?
My mac mini finally arrived last friday. First impressions: man, that's mini!
I convinced myself I'ld need a mac mini to testdrive my panoramic viewing engine. Unfortunately the 32 Mb of video RAM is really the lower end of the range of what's acceptable on OS X for my stuff. OS X also takes up quite some video memory to achieve it's spiffy Exposé etc tricks. However, other hardware accellerated panorama engines are starting to appear for OS X, and they have a bit better performance even on this mac mini, so I should be able to squeeze a bit more out of it myself...
Note: this post is a bit long and windy, but there's an hilarious tech support reply in the end...
A couple of weeks back I bought a new computer. Nice and fast, nice and cheap. In an effort to make the computer as up to date as possible, I decided to upgrade the BIOS. Using Asus (ugly-as-sin) Windows based flash utility, I upgraded to the latest non-beta BIOS. Unfortunately that resulted in a problem with my CPU fan, so I wanted to use the same utility to get me back to my original BIOS version. Turns out that it can't downgrade your bios. So instead I decided to try to see if the fan-problem was fixed in the available beta BIOS. Not only didn't that bios fix the problem, it also made my floppy drive inaccessible. 'A floppy drive?' you would say, 'what do you need that for?'. Well, for flashing your bios outside of windows...
I'm generally loving my TabletPC. It's just such a great tool to do one-to-one presentations on: you can just hold it in your hands while discussing, hand the whole machine over and let the other party see/experience what you want them to see and they can in turn show you what THEY mean...
This weekend however, for the second time in a row, I had problems using my TC 1100 tablet with a projector (one-to-many presentation...). It works for half a minute, and then the projector will seem to loose the signal. I had to continue my presentation on an external monitor instead of off a projecor... Bummer.
How's Tabitha doing these days? Just fine actually. I'm using my Tablet quite a lot, and doing presentations from a tablet (tethered to a projector) impresses the hell out of people ;-). I like walking around a bit while presenting, and the TC1100 lets me do just that. After about one and a half hour she gets a bit heavy, but other than that the formfactor is just perfect. I just gotta train my left arm a little.
I've even been using Tabitha to get some stitching done while traveling. This kind of works, though picking controlpoints is a bit tricky in a moving train. When using photoshop though, I could use some additional buttons. The TC1100 has 3 reprogrammable buttons and a rocker switch, but unfortunately it only has system-wide settings; I need different buttons/keys when I am using Photoshop than when I am eg using my SPi-V engine. I have been trying to set up Girder to make the buttons behave differently for different applications, but I'm not there just yet.
So, after 2 weeks of having Tabitha around, how do I like it? Turns out I like it/her so much, this is the first time in 2 weeks I find myself behind my main computer; I have to get some development done, and I have all my development stuff on my desktop PC (Clarisse). That, and I like having just that little bit of extra screen realestate. (1280*1024 vs 1024*768 resolution). But other than that, I liked working with Tabitha so much that I didn't touch my desktop much. Perhaps the mess on my desk vs the clean and quiet living room table where I put Tabitha has been of some influence too ;-)
My tablet arrived. Now I'll be the first to admit the lyrics to the N.E.R.D. song I quoted for the title of this post are a bit odd outside the context of the song, but she is sexy! She will be known as "Tabitha".