pandora_parrot: (computers)
Every now and then, I stop to take stock of how freaking awesome the world is in terms of technology.

This morning, I was in my pajamas, sitting on my couch, Macbook on my lap wirelessly connected to the internet, controlling a coworker's Windows machine in the UK.

Just think about all of the awesome going on there.

My laptop was operating wirelessly. It contains its own power source and communication antenna. I had my cell phone, also wireless, sitting next to me. With the power of satellites, both communication channels were being bounced through global networks to arrive somewhere in the UK. Routed through voice systems, my wireless phone (also containing its portable power source) was able to give me a real-time conversation with someone on the other side of the planet. Meanwhile, my computer's communication with my local wireless access point was being bounced over there to connect to his laptop sitting on a trade show floor, where he was also wirelessly connected, I expect. Despite the fact that we're both running completely different systems with different hardware, software, and operating systems, I was able to connect to his computer and remotely control it. I could see everything on his screen and even control his mouse and keyboard. I diagnosed the problem by looking at his configuration, checked a few other things to be certain of the fix, and then logged off. All while resting on my couch in the comfort of my own home with my pajamas on.

I love living in the future. This shit is so cool. Even to my modern eyes, it looks like magic to me. Holding a device that doesn't seem physically connected to anything, I made something happen on the other side of the planet. Wow.


Jan. 13th, 2009 11:59 am
pandora_parrot: (computers)
Well, it looks like openVPN is working on my home system. That means that I can access any of the machines that are on my home LAN from anywhere in the world, so long as I'm doing so from this laptop.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of not enabling remote desktop on my PC, so I can't restart the web server which seems to not be running at the moment. Shoot. Ah well, my domain will be down for the day, then. At least its not popular or anything.
pandora_parrot: (computers)
EArlier today, I went to the Apple Store and bought a DVI monitor cable so that I can use an external monitor with my Macbook. My desk kicks so much ass right now.

Read more... )
pandora_parrot: (computers)
So, to prove that I've become a complete Mac convert, here is my dashboard:

Big picture behind cut )
pandora_parrot: (computers)
I'm using a program called "Synergy" to share my mouse and keyboard between my PC and Mac. I basically just move my mouse from screen to screen, just as if I were using multiple monitors on a single machine. The results are just awesome. I'm sitting there at my home computer, three monitors glowing at my face, and clacking away at my Model M keyboard that I absolutely adore. *Clackity clackity clack.* It fits some sort of awesome aesthetic of mine or something. I'm using a similar setup at work, with my work laptop hooked to two monitors, my mac acting like a third, and all three screens using an external mouse and keyboard hooked to my PC laptop.

So... I've only had the Mac for a few days, but already I absolutely adore it. It is simply an incredible computing device. All of the design decisions feel deliberate and clean. Like someone was actually considering the user experience when designing the OS. Things make sense and are clearly defined. I love it. I love all the little things on this, like the fact that the power cord uses a magnet to connect to the system, to make it trip-safe. Or the fact that it uses a single key for the functionality of backspace and delete. Then there's the million different ways you can use the multi-touch trackpad, which just make me giddy. This computer is the *easiest to use* computer I have ever had in my life. They've cut out a LOT of crap and have just left everything simple and straightforward.

I particularly love the dashboard. On windows, I have all these status widgets built into my Firefox browser. Weather, Twitter, email, etc. It drives me nuts when I'm not using the web and I have to load the browser to check the weather. I love being able to just hit F12 to open the dashboard and see my status on everything I'm working with.

There's still a lot of software I plan to buy for this thing, like MS Office, Adobe Flash and Photoshop, and much more. But for now, I'm so very happy with this machine. And I've already been getting a lot of use out of it. While at the Yule party on Saturday, I was able to spend a bunch of time working on my programming project. I also had my entire music collection with me and was able to play DJ for everyone.

So... I guess I drank the kool-aid. I'm just a few days into using this thing, and already I'm a convert. I'm even considering not dual-booting windows, as the only reason to do that is to play some of my games.
pandora_parrot: (computers)
I really want to do some iPhone development at some point in the near future, so it is becoming imperative to get myself a Mac-based computer. Since I've rediscovered my personal motivation and drive to work, I believe that I'm in a good position right now to encourage this and get moving on doing something there.

I'm trying to decide between getting a Mac Mini or a Macbook. Both are sufficient for my needs in terms of development work. The difference between them is really just cost and mobility. The Mac Mini costs about $600, but is not mobile. The Macbook is mobile, but costs $1300. There is an issue of power, but the Mac Mini is really not that much less powerful than the Macbook, relative to my needs.

So what does this mean?

Well... Cost is an issue because of a number of reasons. As usual, I am supposed to be focusing my money on getting my debt paid off, but also as usual, I'm failing to do so. There are just too many important things to spend my money on, all of which have frankly been absolutely worth it. But... the Mac mini is better on my budget than the Macbook. I also have a friend that may be interested in selling me his Mac Mini for even cheaper. Because of saving up and stuff, I probably won't be able to buy the Macbook until late January or early February, unless I want to use the power of credit debt... but we've already seen how bad of an idea that can be.

Mobility is a different issue. My objective is to begin doing the "Thursday night coding" thing. That was actually working really well when [ profile] andrea_lambda and I were doing it on Wednesdays. So I would love to restart it. However, I am currently tied to working on my coding projects in my bedroom on my desktop computer. If I were to have a Mac Mini, I'd continue to be tethered to that desk.

That's not to say there's anything WRONG with being tethered there. It works out quite well, really. But it limits me in terms of human interaction. See, I find that I work better when I have human companionship. Someone to touch or talk to every now and then. It's odd. It's like I really thrive in "t-alone" time, meaning being together with someone, but also focusing on my own things "alone." Without mobility, anyone I want to do this with has to cram into my bedroom. With mobility, I can sit with people in the living room, go to coffee shops, and do "project nights" over at the homes of other people. It's an extraordinarily valuable thing to have, and will probably help keep me maintain my self-motivation.

Of course, I do already have a work laptop, but then I would have to do all of my iPhone work on my desktop with the Mac Mini. Plus, I really don't like the idea of putting too much in the way of personal stuff on my work laptop. That's for work, not for personal stuff.

I'm strongly leaning towards the Macbook, but I may buy a Mac Mini as a stop gap if my friend has a pretty low price on selling me his.
pandora_parrot: (computers)
*glances at icon*
*makes note to change icon to something more appropriate to recent style changes*
EDIT: Change complete.


I've been working on my version of "Set for Java" for a year now. Mostly NOT working on it, really, as I've been too busy with other things to put a lot of time into it. But I have been tinkering with it here and there. The current version lets you almost play a single player game of Set.

There are a few new things going on with my project. First, I have a project homepage at Google Code now. Google Code is a surprisingly useful resource. It combines an issue tracking system, wiki page, downloads page, and subversion repository all into one interface. It's great, and it provides everything I need. The only drawback is that they force you to do open source. I'm a little embarrassed by my code on this project, because I'm not really focusing on making pretty or efficient code. I'm just trying to teach myself how to make a pretty UI.

Another thing that has changed is that there are other people working with me now. We've only gotten together once so far, but [ profile] andrealambda and [ profile] lilyth_lindorie are going to join in the project. We all need programming practice, so a biweekly programming get together really works out very well to keep us motivated to actually work on this stuff.

We'll see if this works out or not as we try it out for a few weeks. At the very least, I'm excited enough about the project to actually put some effort into it again. And of course, I now have a delightfully pretty issue tracking system, and those are always fun for me.

Shared News

Jan. 9th, 2008 05:43 pm
pandora_parrot: (computers)
I really love Google Reader's share function. From that link there you can see all of the news articles I deem most interesting, and you can set up your own to do that too. If you have Google Reader, we can actually "friend" one another and share news links.

It's really neat. :)

I <3 google.


Nov. 28th, 2007 06:06 pm
pandora_parrot: (computers)
Next time I go to Canada, remind me to bring my webcam and mic. *grumble grumble*


Jul. 23rd, 2007 11:36 am
pandora_parrot: (annoyed)
Internet service won't be installed until Friday. There was an annoying miscommunication with Comcast. Their "internet setup" requires you to call them, and I was not informed of this.

Ah well. :-/
pandora_parrot: (computers)
Talking about "quickspec" groups for this software package $CURRENT_JOB is working with, in my resignation letter. It says it's misspelled. Amongst the possible suggestions is the word "Cocksucker."

pandora_parrot: (shattered)
AOL Releases user search logs.
This is among the most fucked up things I've ever seen...

Edit: Now you can search the database all you want... Ugh.


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Pandora Parrot

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