17
Aug
07

IMPORTANT!

I’ve moved the blog over here: http://www.brad.socialplay.org.

No fresh start. We’re continuing from here.

28
Jul
07

A Macbook Review For Human Beings [Part One]

After living in front of an Apple Macbook for close to three months, I decided to write this concise review, in dedication to anyone who is even considering buying one. I hope you enjoy it, as it’s been a writing project of mine for a little while.


After months of waiting and saving for the Apple Macbook, I scurried down to the local Futureshop to pick up my new beauty. Since then, it’s been my pride and joy. Three months later, I decided that I’d given it enough use to review it for the public.The Apple Macbook is a combination of great design and stability, so I’ve given this review a section for each of these two things. Before we jump right in to the review, I just wanted to note that I am using the 512mb RAM version, and not the 1gb RAM one. I bought the Macbook before Apple replaced the 512mb version.
Design

One of many great things about apple’s products is that the design team will never let you down. The Macbook, of course, follows this statement exactly, offering a sleek design in its white or black editions.


You will find that there are design features that are useful in the sense that they give you some status information without having to use OS X at all. You will notice that when your Macbook is in a “sleeping” state, there is a flashing white light on its bottom trim, to the right side. The purpose of this flashing light is to, obviously, let you know the Macbook is sleeping. Also, if you look at the bottom of your Macbook, you will find five lights. These are battery indicators; if your battery is at full charge (100%), all five lights will be shining green, and vice versa. There is a brilliant little feature built into this, though. I lay my Macbook flat on my computer desk in my room, which is to the right of my bed (that’s right, now you know where it is if you want to steal it). When lying in my bed, I can actually see the battery indicator clearly from my desk, as it reflects nicely.

One small pet peeve with the overall Macbook layout is the side in which the ports are on. Now, this would be a treat for a left-handed owner, but as I am not, it is a bit aggravating that, in order to use my USB mouse, it requires me to bother with wrapping the mouse’s wire around the backside of the Macbook in order for me to use it with my right hand. Of course, I could train my hand to get used to left-hand mouse work, but that’s just out of the question…

Stability

Another great thing about the Macbook is that it isn’t necessary for me to take any extra care with it (even though I do, because after all, I dished out more than a grand for it), as it comes out of the box with the feeling that it is very strong and will sustain any involuntary movements I may have to make with it.

Many times I have just taken it with me almost simultaneously as I port myself from sitting in my computer chair to my bed, and that feeling you get with many laptops in that the screen is going to actually separate itself from the body of the laptop is not there at all. I can move it about quickly and you won’t hear hardware shuffling about or the screen making creaky, sketchy noises.

One thing that makes me a little weary is that when I use the Macbook on my lap (as intended with any laptop), it gets hot, hot, hot. It isn’t a heat I simply can’t bare, but believe me, when lying down on a couch with pajama pants on or, heaven forbid, underwear, prepare to find that, after using it, your thighs are left with a pit of heat to tend to.

Final Notes
To sum up this part of the review, I want to add that, like any white laptop or computer should, its colour does start to fade or show use. However, with the use of Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser, your Macbook’s pearly white colour can be restored. 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed part one of this concise Macbook review, and found it useful. Stay tuned for part two – it is coming very shortly.

27
Jul
07

Stress

Lately I’ve been stricken with an unbeatable stress. It’s been seeping through my mind, and keeps me back from feeling other, positive thoughts. Lately, client work has been terrible. I am currently dealing with two clients who I think I am being under-paid for, and I’m really close to calling off the deal. This is also a humongous time for Blabber. With it almost being time for us to release it to the public, we’ve really had to work long and hard on finishing up the little things we didn’t get done earlier.

I really don’t know what to do. When you look at it, money is nice, but when you’re unhappy with the work you are doing, it’s not really worth it. And, in retrospect, I don’t even think I’m being paid the correct sum of money. I’m currently doing a case study section of a clients web design portfolio with some javascript effect for $20.00, and a total CMS recode for $75. I really think both prices are the result of me being kind.

I’m going to look into getting myself a portfolio. This will open me up to enough jobs to say, “Hey, I’ve got enough work right now that I can throw away the clients that are making me unhappy”. Right now, however, I think I really need this money, despite it being slightly less than $100, which I think is ridiculous.

Ah well, I guess when you think about it, I should just get these projects over with.

11
Jul
07

Ubuntu: It’s Here!

I was coming home from out and about with friends today and decided to take a look in the mail. Luckily, I found a package containing the Ubuntu Live CD I ordered. I was surprised at the professional packaging it came in. It’s even packaged better than windows!

//ImageHo.st
The Ubuntu Live CD case, along with a set of 4 stickers.

I’m going to install it tonight and post a few screenshots. Should be exciting!

11
Jul
07

Twitter

After I used Pownce for a while, I decided to give its competitor, Twitter a try. It’s not near as complex as Pownce, but Pownce’s notes are very similar. Twitter lets you tell the world what you’re up to. But it’s not hard to use – believe me. You can use Twitter on your mobile phone via text messaging (with some activation), through an IM client (also with some activation), and if you’re on Mac OS X Tiger, you can even use a desktop application called Twitterific. These external sources make Twitter simply a home for your status updates, instead of a tool which requires that you update your status on the website itself. Very neat. But of course, there is a fancy AJAX alternative built in to the twitter.com site itself.

For those of you who have ever wished Facebook allowed you to update your current status without the “is” prefix, seriously – give Twitter a try. And it’s not like your Facebook friends won’t see what you’re up to, either! There is a Twitter Facebook Application available!

I’m not taking this blog post to compare Pownce to Twitter, just to let you know. Pownce is much more diverse, and even though its Notes feature is similar to the functionality Twitter offers, it really isn’t enough to compare the two. However, I really recommend you all use Twitter!

Also, an FYI for you geeks – The folks behind Twitter are the same crew who created the popular blogging tool Blogger, which was since bought by Google.

04
Jul
07

Birthday Calculator

http://www.blabbernet.org/dev/birthday.php

/discuss

02
Jul
07

Pownce

I’ve been using the new start-up from Kevin Rose, Daniel Burka, Shawn Allen and the lovely Leah Culver for the past few days, and I must say, it’s really, really nice.

Pownce is a new way to send information to your friends. That information could be in the form of a simple message, an event invitation, a link to a website, or even a file. And it’s all in Web 2.0 and AJAX fashion. Very cool.

https://i1.wp.com/imageho.st/thumbnail/48624picture1.jpg.png

Above is a photo of the top of your Pownce homepage. As you can see it follows a kind of minimalistic pattern, in that the banner is small but effective, and not taking up a large fraction of the page. As you can see, the left side shows you your current photo, and some of your profile details, such as gender, and location.

https://i0.wp.com/i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/bto/20070627/pownce-air_270x337.jpg

Though I haven’t used it, an Adobe AIR application also comes alongside Pownce. It makes for a quick way of creating new notes, sending files, events, etc. to Pownce, without having to use the website. Definitely looks useful. I should install it, but I have heard that AIR eats CPU, which is a downside.

The rest really needs to be discovered for yourself. It’s really a great website, and I’d like you all to try it out. I’ve got 6 invites left, so if you want one just let me know; I’ll get you in. 🙂

Brad