Blog entries from May, 2004

I want a 12-inch PowerBook…

Saturday, May 29th, 2004 at 08:01pm

Today I made my way over to the Malvern Computers Now store to, for the first time, see a 12-inch PowerBook in the flesh, well, in it’s brushed aluminium alloy.

Two people at work have a 15-inch and until recently there was another who had a 17-inch. However I never saw them together and I was struck today with the realisation that the 15-inch and 17-inch aren’t really that differenct size wise. It’s just that the 17-inch in isolation looks ungainly. What struck me even more was how much smaller the 12-inch appeared compared to the 15-inch.

While I was there I asked about education prices and they confirmed that even though I am just a general staff member (versus an academic) at Monash Uni I was still eligible for education prices. Very good.

Since I recently got a DVD burner for my home box I’m not even considering a SuperDrive version. So what differs between the base 15-inch ($2902 EDU) and the base 12-inch ($2286 EDU)?

  • The 15-inch has a better video chipset, not really much of an issue as the most intensive thing I can envisage I’ll use it for is watching via the TV out.
  • The 15-inch has gigabit ethernet while the 12-inch only has 10/100 ethernet. Another non-issue as I don’t have any gigabit gear and on the rare occasion that I’ll transfer large amounts of data time is not an issue. There is also firewire target disk mode at 400mbit/sec.
  • The 15-inch has Firewire 800 as well as Firewire 400. Since I don’t forsee any usage of the Firewire 400…
  • The 12-inch has a Mini-DVI output which means that an adapter will always be needed for VGA, DVI, S-Video, Composite, etc. But the 15-inch needs an adapter for anything other than DVI or S-Video…
  • The 15-inch obviously has a larger screen. However I understand that they have the same pixel density…
  • Physical size differs.

For each of the differences I have a reason why the difference isn’t a factor.

The most critical issue for me is portability. I need a laptop that is small enough to fit in a backpack for my ride too and from work. The 12-inch and an STM Glove fits the bill.

Some of the people I have spoken with about this over the past weeks have commented that the 12-inch is too small for prolonged use. I totally agree with that. There are two places that I will use it most; at my desk at home running through my 19″ CRT, or at my desk at work either with another 17″ LCD or VNC to my current dual 17″ LCD setup. And then when I want to use it in other places (while watching tv at home, in meetings, on the train, outside on the grass) it is small enough to just pickup and go…

$2422 (education price for base 12-inch PowerBook with additional 256MB RAM) is not really that much money. If the amount of tax I’d save by salary packaging it is taken into account it ends up being around $1700…

This whole post has been justifying to myself why I should get a 12-inch PowerBook. Maybe in a week or so when I’m in my next credit card billing cycle (so I have the full 55 days to pay it off) and the sting of paying nineteen grand to the tax office (HECS debt voluntary repayment) wears off a bit…

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Stephen Edmonds AACS

Monday, May 24th, 2004 at 10:03pm

After I got home from rovers I discovered a package had arrived for me today from the Australian Computer Society telling me that I have been granted the grade of Associate which entitles me to use AACS after my name. I suppose that I am also entited to use BCS after my name as well…

I’m note sure what I’ll get out of being an associate of the ACS but as it was only $55 if I submitted my application within twelve months of my graduation (8th of May 2003)…

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Perl Best Practice

Monday, May 24th, 2004 at 06:06pm

Today was the first of two days of having Damian Conway in at work to present his Perl Best Practice course.

So far most of what we had been arguing over at work for at least the last six months was ratified by Damian.

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New web host

Friday, May 21st, 2004 at 07:47pm

Due to a lack of response to my queries I finally decided that I should change my web hosting provider.

If you see this post then the DNS change has propogated…

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Thinking of a laptop

Sunday, May 16th, 2004 at 11:31pm

On the train home from Melbourne.PM last Wednesday I spend most of the time recording my thoughts the low tech way; in a notebook with a pen. What was really frustrating was that I got to a point where I had to write down possible ways that we could wrap Log4Perl for use in the portal.

If I had a laptop, say a nice 12-inch Powerbook, I would have been able to actually code some of them up while it was all fresh in my mind. Over the last couple of days I have spent a fair amount of time reading comments about it on the MacNN Forums

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82 days, longest uptime for Gromit

Friday, May 7th, 2004 at 11:03pm

Tonight I decided to cut the longest uptime for Gromit, my linux box for network services, short at 82 days so I could add another 128MB of RAM (to the existing 128MB, it is only a P3 667) that I have had lying around for quite a while. The second longest uptime was 54 days that started back in October 2000 with kernel 2.2.12 (I know this thanks to uptimed).

Before the upgrade one of the processing script I would run at least once a week would take almost an hour because it was constantly in swap due to the 100MB of data that was loaded into memory. Now it takes a little over ten minutes…

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Under resourced AND under utilised

Thursday, May 6th, 2004 at 07:42pm

Work is getting pretty frustrating at the moment as I am assigned to a project that must be in user testing by the second week in June. That means that coding really needs to be complete by the end of this month.

Despite this deadline the project has always been way under resourced and the must frustrating thing is that the allocated resources (basically me) have nothing to do. Over the past two weeks I’ve only done about a day of actual work…

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PAUSE account. Woo!

Saturday, May 1st, 2004 at 07:10pm

Um, yeah…

I finally got around to applying for an account on the Perl Authors Upload SErver. I suppose now I have to actually finish some of the things I have started, such as a subclass of News::Newsrc, and upload them to the CPAN…

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