Tag Archives: macbook

The iPad mini

iPad mini white

I have this weird thing where I’ll keep a tab open for days, weeks, even months, if there’s something even potentially interesting that I can’t deal with right now, but want to do something with eventually. Before you ask, yes, I have heard of bookmarks, but ask any nerd and they’ll tell you they do a similar thing with their browser tabs. It’s not uncommon to have umpteen tabs open at any one time — and of all the stuff I have backed up, I’d be pretty devastated if I lost all my tabs. I could potentially get them back, but that involves trawling through days, maybe even weeks of internet history.  When you visit as many websites as I do, it’s hard to tell what you had open as a tab and what you were merely browsing out of curiosity.

But I digress. I’ve had two tabs open for close to a year now, and as much as I’ve wanted to write something substantial about the iPad mini, there just isn’t anything worth writing about. Not because the iPad mini is boring or anything, but because I just haven’t been inspired to write anything worth publishing. Because when it comes down to it, the iPad just isn’t as interesting as the HP TouchPad was, back in the day. WebOS was just so bad and so good at the same time, you know?

I’ve owned an iPad mini since it was first released around this time last year. It wasn’t my first tablet, but it is my first iPad. I honestly don’t have anything else to say about it that hasn’t been said elsewhere, but with the new iPad Air coming out riding on the coat tails of the iPad mini, I thought I’d take a moment to write about how I’ve been using it.

I think the most telling thing about the iPad is that it hasn’t replaced my computer. That’s telling because I see a lot of older, mature folk replace their clunky Dells with futuristic, touch-enabled iPads, even if they don’t run the same programs as their old computer used to. Why? I’m not sure, exactly, but at a guess, it has something to do with how intuitive Apple has made iOS (and then turned everything upside down with iOS 7, but that’s for another time).

But as much as I enjoy using the iPad, it hasn’t replaced my computer. If all I’m doing is light web browsing and catching up on my Instapaper backlog, then sure, I’ll pick up the iPad over the MacBook Pro any day; the iPad is lighter, has a much longer battery life, and lets me concentrate on one thing at a time, for the most part. It’s kind of like the Kindle, in that regard. For everything else, there’s the Mac: for switching between any of my umpteen open tabs, writing content into browser text boxes, and doing any other kind of serious work.

I tried writing one of the MacTalk daily news posts on my iPad mini one time, and while it was OK, the software keyboard really hindered the process by needing to switch between the various keyboards to access special characters. I could have worked around the issue by using a hardware keyboard or using an app that offered an extra row of characters, but that would have required a little extra preparation on my part, something I wasn’t able to do at the time.

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Why Does Every PC Notebook’s Trackpad Suck? (Or Why Microsoft Is Building its Own Hardware) | PandoDaily

But when you move away from those machines into computers that are more like appliances, you get the sort of clunkers that now clog the ultrabook market. They’re cheaper than the Air, they have better specs than the Air, and yet—because of things like terrible trackpads—they fall far short of the Air.

via Why Does Every PC Notebook’s Trackpad Suck? (Or Why Microsoft Is Building its Own Hardware) | PandoDaily.

New Shiny! Welcome, Hermione!

This is is somewhat of a follow-on to my previous post about the farewell of my old MacBook. Read that too, if you want.

Yeah, that Hermione. As in Hermione Granger? As in Hermoine Jean Granger, one of the very best witches in the Harry Potter series? Who is played by the stunning Emma Watson in real life? Yeah, the one and the same.

I’ve blogged about this before, but any geek worth their salt has changed the hostname for the computers. Those geeks that really know what they’re doing even have themes for their names, and it just so happens that I have Harry Potter-related names for all my computers (I don’t think you can change the hostname on an Xbox 360, otherwise I totally would). Say what you want about the Harry Potter theme, just don’t go downplaying the impact it has had on my generation; so much so that (my potentially very naive self thinks) it’s really quite comparable to even Pokemon in terms of global impact and how much money has been spent on associated merchandise…

Anyway, sectumsempra was the old name of my old white MacBook, named after the seemingly-harmless spell in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that turned out to be not-so-harmless. In the most tangential of ways the real sectumsempra has a similar story to my old white MacBook, but that’s for another time. Severus (yes, that Severus, as in Severus Snape) is the name of my ultra-powerful gaming rig. i7 930, EVGA X58, GTX 480, Vertex 2 SSD, 6TB of internal storage. Like I said, pretty powerful stuff. It’s hooked up to a Dell U2711 for the most part, except when it needs to pull LAN duty when it gets the pixels of a tiny 20″ to push.

Previous computers me or my family have owned have taken on such names as Fawkes (after the phoenix), Protego (the spell), and Sonorous (also the spell). They all have stories behind their names, but that’s definitely for another time.

Which brings us to Hermione.

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Farewell ye olde MacBook, you shall be missed.

old white macbook

Oh, sectumsempra. That is the name I gave to you on that fateful day, right after pondering something that would be appropriate for such a machine of your… nature. I remember how we met — you were there, dressed all in white, and I was there, dressed in blue and black. I remember how badly I wanted one just like you, perhaps even one of your slightly younger sisters…

I remember tossing and turning late at night over the decision that I would come to realise as completely trivial in the grand scheme of things. You were slightly slower, but that didn’t matter. If anything, I would describe you as having matured well. The only thing your sisters really had going for them was a higher upkeep and that youthfulness that so many strive to achieve but few actually do.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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MacBook Users: Turn off This Bluetooth Default Setting Now

In the Bluetooth preferences, it’s the box checkmarked “Allow Bluetooth devices to wake this computer.”

[…]

Also, I say it’s unintelligent that this feature is turned on by default because for notebooks, it’s useless. Usually when we sleep our notebooks, we close the lid. On a MacBook, opening the lid wakes it back up automatically. There’s no need to use the Bluetooth mouse to wake up the notebook. This setting should certainly not be turned on by default.

MacBook users? If you own a Bluetooth mouse, disable this setting now.

via MacBook Users: Turn off This Bluetooth Default Setting Now | Gadget Lab | Wired.com.

Ahhhhh – so this is why my Macbook keeps waking up from sleep whenever my Logitech V470 bluetooth mouse goes to sleep (thus initiating the “lost connection” dialog, and waking up my Macbook).

Thanks, Wired!