Oct 27, 2011
CNET: MacBook Air vs. Ultrabooks: The first wave
I think the most interesting thing is the price. At $900 to $1200 they are not much cheaper than the MacBook Air. So it does make one wonder, why would you buy a Rolex knock off when you could own a Rolex for the same price?
Methinks I would rather get the Air and just run Bootcamp.
Oct 25, 2011
Ask Dave Taylor: Finding Restaurants with Google Maps
He includes all the steps including screen shots.
Oct 24, 2011
Samsung Laptop with Intel Pentium Processor, 4GB DDR3 Memory, and 320GB Hard Drive, $349.99.
Best buy has this as their laptop deal of the week.
Oct 21, 2011
Oct 20, 2011
Here is the list of matte anti-glare laptops for the week of 10/19/11. More details for all models. I have also found Dell offerings and added them to the list. Next time I'll try to add HP machines.
As always, Apple provides the best laptops on the market. All systems come with Mac OS X but thanks to Bootcamp, can run Windows just fine.
15 inch Macbook Pro - $1799. 15 inch anti-glare display. Quad Core Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM, 500 GB Hard Drive, 1440x900 resolution. 5 lbs.
17 inch Macbook Pro - $2499. 17 inch anti-glare display. Quad Core Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM, 500 GB Hard Drive, 1920x1200 resolution. 6.6 lbs. The screen resolution can be tough on middle aged eyes for this machine.
Vostro 14" - $549. 14 inch anti-glare display. Dual Core Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, 1366x768, 4.8 lbs
Vostro 15" - $549. 15.6 inch anti-glare display. Dual Core Intel Core i3, 4 GB RAM, 320 GB Hard Drive, 1366x78, 5.2 lbs
T420 - $799. 14 inch anti-glare display. Dual Core Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM, 320GB Hard Drive, 1600x900 resolution display work as an option. Under 5lbs
E520 - $549. 15.6 inch anti-glare display. Dual Core Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM, 320GB Hard Drive, 1366x768 5.5 lb laptop
Oct 18, 2011
Solution: Open your Applications --> Utilities folder. In there, start the Console application. This little app captures all the error messages and warnings thrown by the operating system. Try starting the process again. You should see the error message display in the console. From here, you can start figuring out what is wrong.
You will get the most benefit from UI enhancements if you are using a trackpad. Switching desktops, and calling Expose (now called Mission Control) can all be controlled with a three finger swipe. Very cool.
Another feature of note is the direction of scrolling has been flipped. The idea is that scrolling should match the direction you use for a touch interface. However, my Mac doesn't have a touch interface. In addition, I'm constantly switching between Windows, Linux, and OS X. So changing the scrolling direction on one OS is really annoying. Thankfully you can still turn this off.
Well it turns out the iCloud feature that I really want to use, music syncing, will not be available until the end of October. So enabling the feature has been a bit disappointing. You can sync bookmarks, address book, and calendars. However, unless this will work on other operating systems its kind of useless for me. GMail already keeps all my iOS devices synced and it works on any platform. I still need to do more investigation on syncing between Mac and Windows to really understand what works.
Installing OS X Lion removes Java from your machine. You can download it from Apple and get it back easily. I did find this a bit odd. Also my Apache Web servers no longer worked on upgraded machines. I had to comment out the FastCGI plugin so Apache would start.
It has some nice enhancements and pretty much is not that different from Snow Leopard. All my apps seem to run fine (knock on wood), and stability seems to be good. So far so good. But I have to say, it sure was a lot of work just to be able to use iCloud. :)
Oct 13, 2011
Solution: Although your iOS device syncs every time it connects to your computer, your iTunes software does not check for an iOS update on every sync. iTunes only checks for software updates every few weeks. This way, user updates are spread out over time. The good news is you can manually force an update check from iTunes. Perform these steps.
- Sync your iOS device.
- Click on your iOS device on the left column of iTunes. This will display the sync overview page.
- The second section on this page is named Versions. In this section you will see a Check for Updates button. Click this button and your download and update should start.
Troubleshooting Problems with the Update
Apparently a number of users had problems with their update yesterday, including me. Before you start the process make sure you have installed all the lastest operating system updates. My mac would not perform the update until I installed the new security patch from Apple.
Also, I recommend you reboot your machine. It is amazing how this magically fixes many issues.
The other problem I ran into was time out errors connecting to the update server. Whenever you update your device, it "phones" Apple over the Internet to check some stuff out. (What it is checking, I'm not sure). Anyway, when the server gets overloaded your request to connect fails and you get an error message. If this happens, just wait 30 minutes or so and try your update again.
MacWorld has the details here. The story has a picture of the error message and a little more detail.
Oct 11, 2011
The TV industry should be shaking in their boots. Because in about 10 years they could become pretty much irrelevant. Do you think the next generation will relax by watching TV? I think fewer and fewer people will. Games like World of Warcraft or similar content will become the TV of the 21st century.
Oct 10, 2011
Macworld had a small blurb in the November issue. Not only do you get to shoot zombies, but you get to save people at the same time! It doesn't get much better than that. Details on the iTunes store.
Oct 8, 2011
Last week I took a few days off and and decided to see a few local sites. There are a number of tours and such you can see in the greater Denver area. However, I took in a couple of the cooler science/tech related tours.
First, NCAR is the National Center for Atmospheric Research. They are a non-profit organization backed by the National Science foundation and a number of universities for study of the atmosphere. They do basic research and also develop tools for other scientists to use to study the atmosphere.
The NCAR Tour is offered daily at noon. Basically the tour focuses on some of the research that has been done by the organization and is currently being done. The tour mainly looks at some of the exhibits on the main floor, 2nd floor, and computer room. All open to the public. The tour hits the highlights and you have time for a deeper dive in any area of interest after the tour.
A few things stood out for me. First, the cafeteria is open to the public. It has one of the best views in the city. Grab a lunch, and sit inside or out to enjoy the amazing vistas available from the location. Second, near the cafeteria downstairs is an original Cray 1. One of the first real supercomputers. You can actually get up close and personal with a machine that sold for $5M to $8M. NCAR was Cray's first official customer and if you are a computer geek, this is a must see.
To get to NCAR, just take to the Boulder/Denver Turnpike (US 36) to Boulder. Take the Table Mesa exit and take Table Mesa Drive west. Just keep going west and eventually the road dead ends at NCAR.NOAA Tour
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admininstration (NOAA) has one of its main research labs in Boulder. NOAA is probably most famous or its tracking of hurricanes on the east coast. In addition, they do things like monitor tsunamis, and of course do all sorts or research on all things oceanic and atmospheric. Tours are offered weekly on Tuesday at 1pm. A security search is required to get in. Also you have to have a driver's license or passport. Please see the tour page for directions and entrance requirements.
The first part of the tour features the some really cool control rooms. The first is the Space Weather Prediction Center. You get to look over the shoulder of the team that monitors solar activity for the US. Lots of monitors with cool pictures and flashy lights. The second control room is for the National Weather Service (NWS) for the Colorado region. They monitor and predict the weather for Colorado mainly. Lots of cool monitors and images again, although not quite as fancy as the space gang.
The third and coolest part of the tour is Science on a Sphere. This is a system developed by the folks at NOAA, to display global data on six foot sphere. A number of different types of data is shown. The world wide airline flight data is really cool. It shows all the airline flights in all the world over a 48 hour period. A data set that shows all the ocean currents and how they move around the globe is also very cool. This system is available at many museums around the world. I know the Denver Museum of Nature and Science has one. Definitely check it out if you get the chance.
Both tours are definitely worth the time. Check them out if you are in the Denver/Boulder area.
Oct 5, 2011
NCAR Weather Photos
The sites has a number of weather related photos including some great lightning pictures.
NOAA Photo Library
A variety of photos from the ocean to space.
Nasa Image Library
Nasa's general image site. Space images along with astronauts and space vehicles.
Nasa JPL Space Images
Want some really cool hard core space images? This is the site for you.