Tuesday, March 25, 2008
A Best Buy automated telephone system just called me about the HD DVD player purchase I made in their store late last year, to let me know they're sending a $50 gift card. The communication from Best Buy after the (unfortunate) death of HD-DVD has been great - That's one email and one phone call from them.

bestbuy1.png

It's already been widely discussed that Best Buy is doing this, but I wanted to point our the smart business sense that someone there seems to have. It's good to see a store, one which I rather enjoy doing business with from time to time, recognizing the opportunity before them: A chance to both do the right thing and further their sales and relationships with customers that fall into the oft-neglected early-adopter category. Those are exactly the word-of-mouth people you want feeling good about your store, especially in the world of electronics and other products that Best Buy sells.



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Tech
Tuesday, March 25, 2008 12:51:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, March 23, 2008
I saw an interesting post yesterday (with a couple pics) indicating that Mono, the open-source implementation of .NET, has been ported to the iPhone, or at least it's been started. That's pretty interesting, and it makes me wonder two things: First, are .NET apps realistic for the iPhone? And second, WWSHD?

It's certainly interesting to think that all those talented .NET programmers out there could have a chance at programming for the iPhone, and that any of a variety of apps could be ported or even natively run in the future.

A little proof:
# hostinfo
Mach kernel version:
         Darwin Kernel Version 9.0.0d1: Wed Oct 10 00:07:50 PDT 2007; 
root:xnu-933.0.0.204.obj~7/RELEASE_ARM_S5L8900XRB
Kernel configured for a single processor only.
1 processor is physically available.
1 processor is logically available.
Processor type: armv6 (arm v6)
Processor active: 0
Primary memory available: 116.00 megabytes
Default processor set: 26 tasks, 164 threads, 1 processors
Load average: 0.00, Mach factor: 0.98
# export MONO_DISABLE_SHM=1
# ./mono hello.exe
Hello Mono World
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Apple | Mobile | Tech
Sunday, March 23, 2008 10:18:01 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, March 22, 2008
I'm noticing a not-so-subtle change in the force. I spent the better part of the week listening to Barack Obama, and I'm a moderate-to-conservative guy. Policies aside, he's a persuasive man. Anyhow - I'm also a Windows guy for the most part, but have been known to ride (and occasionally cross over) that fence, as well. Recently, a new business/work venture has me experiencing the need to be ultra-portable from time to time, meeting and working potentially from who-knows-where. So, given the current tax situation and the "workability" needs, I broke down and dropped by the Apple Store last night and - after having visited the store four times and carefully considering the available options - I bought a MacBook Air. My friend Matt patiently watched while I substantially delayed our arrival at the movie theater. Good sport, that Matt.

In case anyone's keeping track, the current game score in the Hughes household Windows vs. Apple system showdown is: Windows 2 (technically 3 if you count the roomie's machine), Apple 2 (or 3 if you count the iPhone). I'm not a Switcher, but I am an Adder.

VMWare Fusion, a very cool app that will let me run Windows apps on the Mac, is coming soon. I will write up my experiences at some point with that process, with a focus on how it works from the perspective of an IT guy. There are - plain and simple - certain apps that are only available on Windows that I need to use, so it will provide me with both worlds, at the same time. You can learn about Fusion here.

Everyone and their brother have already posted reviews and articles about the MacBook Air, so no point in me rehashing the obvious. Here are my initial highlights:
  • Keyboard - Backlit, brightness auto-adjusts, nice keys, quiet typing.
  • Screen - Excellent backlight, also auto-adjusts, bright and contrasty.
  • Thin - Well, duh. And light, too. That was what got me to look in the first place.
  • Battery - Not going to get the advertised 5 hours, but I have pounded it pretty hard for about 2.5 and its still advertising an hour left on the battery (first charge)
  • Close-lid-sleep-wake-up drill - Nice and quick. I like that.
Also, I picked up the "incase" brand neoprene sleeve case they had at the Apple store, which is really very nice. I am already liking it. Great protection and hey, it's all black. :)

I got home, opened it up despite being very tired, ran through the setup (nice, easy and cool), eventually climbed into bed and watched this past week's episode of Lost in HD on the 'net. The Air is a great computer for that, too. I like.



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Apple | Mobile | Tech
Saturday, March 22, 2008 11:35:52 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, March 21, 2008

Got iTunes, or anything else Apple on your Windows computer? If so, when the Apple software checks for updates, you'll probably AppleUpdateSafari1see an option (which is enabled by default) to install Safari - even if you don't already have it installed  on your computer. Safari is Apple's default web browser (and actually not a bad one at that). But since people are used to seeing - well - updates when the software checks for updates, you might not realize you're installing new software.

Just making sure you're paying attention here, is all.

Sure enough, when I check for updates on my Windows machine, where Safari has never been installed, I'm presented with the option to install it...

AppleUpdateSafari2

As Tom Krazit tells us... Just un-check the box if you don't want to install Safari. Simple as that.

"It seems that at some point people became conditioned to downloading anything that shows up from an official source, like Microsoft, Apple, AOL, Yahoo, or whoever. Remember, it's your PC; spend your installation capital wisely." (link)

It's always important to pay attention to what you're clicking on. Fact is, Apple's probably counting on the fact that a significant number of people will just click without thinking - And that's indicative of a whole slew of problems, with users, companies, you name it.

For my part, I made the educated decision to install it. I actually kind of like Safari on the Mac, so I'm interested din trying it on Windows.



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Apple | IT Security | Tech | Things that Suck
Friday, March 21, 2008 12:47:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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A quick non-techie post for all my carbon-focused brethren scattered around the world. Yesterday "it" couldn't decide whether to rain or shine, and this morning "it" couldn't decide whether to rain or snow. Yes, there is a common denominator there, but hey - It is Oregon.

(I'm not saying Oregon is "it," just that it is Oregon, after all. You decide.)

A couple pics... Yesterday afternoon and this morning. Originals linked - note that they are quite large.

Thursday Rainbow  Friday Spring Snow



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Photography | Random Stuff
Friday, March 21, 2008 11:46:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, March 20, 2008

We recently conducted an interview with Michael Manos, Senior Director of Data Center Services at Microsoft, on RunAs Radio. Microsoft's been working on a substantial set of data center build-outs, and so Richard and I figured there's a lot we can all learn from someone like Michael. Not many people have to think as carefully or in such a large scale about how to best tackle the data center design and build issues.

Microsoft has been doubling their data center capacity each year, and they have to think about maximizing efficiencies, "greening" the data center, locations, power - you name it.

If you're in any way associated with data center design, architecture or operations this show's for you.



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RunAs Radio | Tech
Thursday, March 20, 2008 2:06:13 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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