Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Macbook PRO 17'

Wow! woke up this morning to (1) an email from Parkes stating that the Macbook Pro 17' has been released and (2) this being confirmed by Google Homepage - Appletalk Australia portal. Well, I had planned to purchase a Macbook Pro in early May (to leverage off Duty Free GST concessions and to reduce my taxable income - will talk about this next blog) - so suddenly which model do I buy?

Alternatives to consider:

candidate A - (aka workhorse)

15'4, 2GHz, 1440x900 resolution, 2.5kg: a v.handy laptop which is not small and not large. Up until now, it was the only spearhead of the Macbook Pro family - a ream of Macintosh software. Advantages - good, reliable, work-man like computer, ideal for generic use (eg. Microsoft Office); disadvantages - not many, 1680x1050 resolution is standard for laptops (so its resolution slightly sub-par); $4400 with 2.16GHz

candidate B - (aka behemoth)

17', 2.16Hz, 1680 x 1050 resolution, 3kg: alternative to a desktop. I must admit I prefer larger laptops - why? well I am not highly mobile with work, but occasionally need to travel to work with a laptop, travel interstate to visit family, or indeed just want wireless connection on the weekend getaway. With a larger laptop one can watch TV/DVD on it, have ++ real estate for applications (eg. IDEs, multiple applications, games), and they are typically fast (i.e. have fast processors, etc.)!

Well upon investigation, some differentials which are appealing with the 17' model - 120GB HD (+ 20 GB), 3 USB ports (+ 1 port), 5.5 hours battery life (+ 1 hr), 800 firewire port (ok stretching it with this, as I presume I will never use this), and default (+.16 GHz processor).

candidate C - (aka project X)

It is inevitable that Apple will release an iBook/Macbook Pro which will be a lightweight laptop (i.e. 12', less than 2kg). I wish it was out now, but since not, I cannot consider it - I saw the 12' iBook and thought it was ridicuously small (thats not going to fit me watching episodes of Prison Break!).

Currently, favouring candidate B, as I have only 5 weeks to purchase ... will visit Apple store mid-week to investigate.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bye, bye blue

DSC00642, originally uploaded by markyjones.

Well, it is a sad day - 24.04.2006, I sold my Subaru, MY05, World Rally Blue, WRX. Owned for 19 1/2 months (purchased September 10th, 2004) and sold for $33K.

Interestingly, I read an article in Smart Investor, April edition, 2006 which quantified the cost of a car, in terms of the loss of its value (i.e. depreciation) daily. From the article, the cost of other cars (and the cost of what my car ended up being) were:

evils of depreciation ...
Porsche 911$111.23/day
BMW 330i$49.59/day
Holden Commodore VZ$37.12/day
(my) Subaru MY05 WRX$15.17/day
Hyundai Accent$14.77/day

Some interesting concepts are raised by this including what a car actually costs? This is what I broke it down to being:

and more costs!

Sheesh! so according to this my car cost approximately $25 a day - thats more than what I pay for rent - that is a fairly expensive total cost of ownership (TCO) - and I haven't even mentioned the environmental costs - something for a later blog.

I will say this, however, it was a great ride - see you later subie ;)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Web 2.0 ~ beta site

Ok, for those non early-adopters the second movement of the Internet is here (Web 2.0) - but how can you tell? well these are the characteristics of a Web2.0 site:

Rule 1 - if the web site doesn't have beta in its description then it is not Web2.0! According to beta relates to preliminary or testing stage of a software or hardware product; 'a beta version'! I can't wait until business adopts beta projects. As mentioned in this 37 signals article, beta mode is where new companies want to be. That is, focusing on core funcion and then delivering it quickly (with the possibility of errors). Phew, I can't wait - no more deliberation on the correct colouring of table border X, text box Y; I wonder what the requirements gathering/documentation artefacts are for a Web2.0 project - no doubt there is a project collaboration tools (aka Basecamp, Writeboard), central repositories (aka Wikis) where all content is stored dynamically, and sophisticated issue trackers (aka Jira). Bring on this paradigm shift!

Rule 2 - very quick response user actions, and UI functionality not associated with the web (e.g. drag-and-drop); underpinned by AJAX, asynchronous request/responses. I haven't developed an AJAX web layer, but are we all going to become procedural Javascript developers (yuck!)

Rule 3 - an inability to bookmark any page apart from the initial page

List of Web2.0 sites I use: GMail, Google Groups, FlickR, RememberTheMilk, Ta-da Lists,, and the latest Google Calendar!

I will have a look at Google Calendar over the next week; now when will Google Maps be available for Australia!

TAGS: Web 2.0, Google, Ajax

Monday, April 17, 2006


Ok, so I am a full member of FlickR; which is an awesome photo web site/repository. I just thought I would see how it integrates with Blogspot for my upcoming travels - not bad eh? now if only I could take as good photos!

end of the road, originally uploaded by Rikki

TAGS: FlickR

Google as my homepage

Firstly, I am a HUGE fan of Google (GMail, Google Desktop - will discuss these in future posts); I know this is not saying much as most people are. Nonetheless, I thought I would talk about using Google for your homepage as I have swtiched over from The Age (possibly the best newspaper in the world!) to this over the weekend. The advantages? well a homepage should be a portal where customised information can be accessed. This is what I like about Google as a homepage - it is somewhat customisable (always impressed when there is drag-and-drop on a web page) and the way I have configured the page, it displays:

  • a stack of recent email messages from GMail
  • information on news/interests
  • weather
  • no ads; not even Google ads!
This has saved me at least 3 clicks a day and I still have my 'Newspapers' favourite on Mozilla Firefox!

TAGS: Google

Saturday, April 15, 2006

version 0.3

Third time lucky? yes this is my third attempt at writing a blog - so why will this version work? Well, I have decided that it will not have any topic, but rather be a diary of some of my thoughts, occurrences, and observations. The audience I am targetting? - myself; something to look back on when I am older and wiser ;) - of course if some of my friends read this every now and then, it will save me writing a lot of emails!

So here we go again ...