Monthly Archives: August 2010

MacBook – Part 2

I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with my 17″ MacBook Pro, so I went online and purchased a 15″ antiglare refurbished one. The problem was that I needed it before I was going to return my 17″ to MicroCenter, so that I could transfer everything over. But then this happened.

  1. MBP was placed on hold, for no reason. I got no phone call, no notification whatsoever, so my next day shipment never arrived so I called to find out what was up.
  2. I was transferred to voice mail.
  3. I was hung-up on, twice.

I decided to just cancel the order and not to get another MacBook. Lenovo Anyone???

My Dell e6400 Woes

About 8 months ago I started having problems with my e6400. The problem was with the video display. Had bad colors, bad response to drivers and intermittent Blue Screens. So I sent it to the Depot to get fixed, the video worked out but then I started having other strange problems. I did not work on it much for the past 6 months but when I tried to switch from Desktop to Laptop w/dock here’s what happened.

  1. Machine Locked up with external mouse/keyboard.
  2. DVI Display started blinking on dock.
  3. Memory Failure

After the memory failure I took off the back cover to discover my 800MHZ DDR2 memory had been replaced with two different generic knock-off memory chips. Yes, I sent them good memory, they kept it for themselves and gave me 667Mhz crap memory in exchange.

So I sent it to Dell again to get repaired, let’s see what I get in exchange.

Switched Back to PC

I had the MacBook Pro for about 5 days total before I returned it. Here’s the reasons:

  1. 17″ was too big. It was awkward and a little heavy.
  2. The Glossy Screen. I did not like the glossy laptop screen, Anti-Glare/Matte is the way to go.
  3. UI/Metaphor. Not so much here. I could get use to it, but I did not like the way Office looked on it.
  4. VMWare Impossible w/4GB of Ram. I actually had the computer lock up once and I got locks/swirling wheel of death a few times while trying to run my VMs under VMWare Fusion 3.01.

I’ll get another PC, just not a Dell, see in my next post.

Made The Switch to Mac

This morning I was all excited about installing new software on my new PC set-up and while installing / downloading something from iTunes, CRASH! The memory on my Dell e6400 stopped responding and just crashed. The Dell would not boot, it would not do anything.

I was not certain as to what I was going to do but I had to travel a little today to go see family and during the trip I just decided how exasperated I was in dealing with this issue, I did not know it, but when I walked into MicroCenter, I walked straight to the Apple section and looked at a few of the Mac Book Pros. The one I saw which really caught my eye was a 17″ model from earlier this year, it’s got the Core 2 Duo, not the i5 or i7, but for a rock bottom price of just $400 more than another crappy Dell, I decided then and there to walk out with it and stop fighting my PC/Dell.

I still have my PC for games and some development, but things are changing….

Desktop Retirement

I’ve gotten to the point where having a desktop in my home office is not as practical as it once was. A few things have made me switch to laptop + a monitor.

  1. SSD Drives – This has made the performance of my laptop just as fast as my desktop (gaming withstanding). I’ve purchased my 2nd OCZ Agility 2 60GB Drive.
  2. Cable Madness – While I still have a few cables at my desk there’s none on the floor.
  3. Zero Power Cables On Floor – Since Lilu started crawling around it’s been increasingly difficult to keep here away from the desk.
  4. 3 Monitors – Not as useful as it once was. I am finding that I’m just moving everything over to my large monitor anyway and the extra monitors are more distractions than help.
  5. More Room for my iMac – With the 3 monitors I had very little room for my Mac, since I’m doing iPhone development, having the extra desk space is nice, I can just hope over and do some work.
  6. eSata – This allowed me to put a 1TB drive next to my laptop and store all the goodies I needed.
  7. Less Clutter / Distraction – This simple system is allowing me to be a little more organize and when I take the laptop with me, I’ve got my work with me for the most part. Though I might be finding myself moving to a portable 1TB drive in a month or two based on convenience and portability.

Big thanks to MicroCenter for helping me out.

Some of the issues I’ve had:

  1. eSata Eclosure/Dock – MicroCenter (Trip 1) The first one was labeled in correctly (Thanks China) and it was USB2.0. MicroCenter (Trip 2), after returning this I found an older enclosure, but without an eSata cable, so I returned the USB2.o one, and purchased a cable, up installation the SATA connector to the HDD broke. MicroCenter (Trip 3), after returning the cable, I decided to get a dual eSata Dock, but there was a small piece of paper saying that your computer must have a “port multiplier”, my Dell e6400 does not have one, so back to MicroCenter. MicroCenter (Trip 4), after returning the dual eSata Dock, I just got a single eSata Dock. Success!!!
  2. Old PC refused to boot. It hung on an automatic update and never turn off, so I killed it, and no reboot. So I had to copy everything over manually…
  3. Old 1TB Drive did not work in new eSata Dock, WTF!!! So I had top copy over via my Ethernet while it was in a USB2.0 dock… Going on now and through the night.
  4. 24″ Monitor DVI blinks on my e6400. I’ve narrowed this down to either a crappy monitor, or my e6400 can not drive 1920×1200, fortunately I have a 1920×1080 that seems to be working OK on the DVI port.

In conclusion it’s been a long day, about 14 hours in all, minus about 3 hours playing with Lilu. I’m glad it’s done and I hope there are no surprises tomorrow!

8/22 Update – Two More Reasons

  1. Power – My old PC and 3 Monitors used on average about 260 Watts, this laptop and single monitor uses about 100 Watts. The cost savings is around $12/month.
  2. Noise – I am surprised at how frigging quiet my office is. Even with an insulated case the lack of hum is really noticeable.

Why Facebook Places is a bad thing?

Facebook places is another geo-location service, now provided by Facebook. Now combine these two things: 1) Most crime is committed by people you know. 2) Now your friends know when you’re not at home and where you are. I don’t think I will ever understand why people want to broadcast their location to the world. Maybe I’m getting old…

Actually… This post is not so much an article about Facebook Places as it is about curiosity, or rather a curiosity gap. You see whether you like it or not, the title of this post alone created a gap in knowledge between what you knew and what you didn’t. This article is just a small experiment to combine this fact, with a Google trend reporting “Facebook places” in the top 2 of search results…

You can read more about the curiosity gap here and find out about the dirtiest hotels of 2009.

4 Hour Work-Week Math – It doesn’t add up!

The biggest problem with The 4 Hour Work Week is the math, you see the entire book is just built on this faulty premise: a 10 cent PPC or Pay Per Click.

When you start to add up how many impressions you would get from such a low PPC you would need keywords totally in the hundreds of thousands per month to get hundreds of clicks per month.  Then with a conversion rate of a generous 2%, you might get 4-5 sales per month.

To really make anything meaningful you need to have a PPC between $0.75 and $1.00, but at these cost you only really get profitable at over $100 profit per sale, this is because your advertising cost per sale are between $75~$100.

So while I loved the book, I wish I would have read this PPC assumption before I had to figure it out by spending a few hundred dollars…