July 2005
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Day July 28, 2005

About recent posts…

My posts here have been more personal lately, and less substantive along the usual lines. That’s been somewhat unavoidable, but it’s temporary. In addition to getting the new laptop and spending time switching, I’ve been working on another longish essay for Progressive Commons, and that takes time before anything is really visible for readers. I do plan to have one longish essay for PC in August, and am hoping for another in September, and perhaps if I get lucky, another in October. This may keep my posting on Extended Phenotype fairly light and oriented towards books and wine for awhile, although as each essay goes up on Progressive Commons I’ll cross-post here.

On the reading front, I’ll have a couple of fun books to report on fairly soon, but on the “serious” front I’m deeply…hmm…engrossed? mired? in Michael Sandel’s Democracy’s Discontent, along with a slew of reading in support of the essay projects. These will take a little longer. Sandel’s book is excellent but is a fairly “active” read as I look up references and refer to other works along the way.

End of public service announcement…now, back to our regular programming.

More on the Mac…

I’ve completely switched, at this point, to using the Powerbook as my primary machine for both home and work. Didn’t really plan it that way, but who needs to lug two machines around? There are still some things I need the Windows laptop for — some work related, like Crystal Reports development, and a great UML editor (Enterprise Architect). Others are personal — PartyPoker.com doesn’t have a version of its software for the Mac, and neither does Fedex-Kinko’s with their Internet printer driver. I use the latter fairly regularly to send large PDF’s to be printed at the local Kinko’s so as not to stress out the work printer. Law review articles almost always get this treatment, since they’re typically very large.

I did install VirtualPC and WinXP since it came with my copy of Office Professional for Mac, but man, is it slooooow on my 1.0GHz G4. Perhaps if I had a dual G5 and a ton of memory it would perform better, but who knows. I gave up trying to print a Cass Sunstein article to Kinko’s within VirtualPC today, and will just fire up the Windows box whenever I need to do this sort of thing.

I finally decided on an outliner/note-taking program, and in a surprise move (even to me) I chose OmniGroup’s OmniOutliner Professional 3. The export options and printing simply worked better, plus the ability to create multi-column designs gives flexibility to create summaries and action item columns. Naturally, I’ve got Quicksilver and all the other accoutrements of being a modern Mac user, but I have to admit to not using Quicksilver much at all — perhaps as a launcher it’s OK, but the vast majority of my searches are email/document searches and Quicksilver doesn’t shine here. Spotlight will shine for me, I think, but not until Spotlight/Entourage integration works. In the meantime, I yearn for Google Desktop Search.

Ecto is still the blog editor of choice for me, it’s so good both on Mac and Windows that I can’t imagine what I was thinking, writing in w.bloggar all this time.

For some reason, WIFI at Cafe Allegro isn’t working for me (I get an error message) but I can see it’s working for the guy two tables over with a 15″ powerbook, so who knows. Five minutes of fruitless searching didn’t yield anything in /var/log that is indicative of the error, and the error dialog is singularly uninformative. So no bandwidth for me…we’ll see how long I can stand it before the shakes set in…