Subjects » Computers » Mac » Hardware
Mon, Apr 6, 2009, 2:03pm Dust-Up Over Video Card
My love-hate relationship with my Radeon x1900 video card continues, but today was a good day for us. I have been noticing that my MacPro has been getting louder and louder, driving me nuts. I assumed the reason was because I had added two more internal drives in the last few months, and no doubt that is part of the problem, but I really noticed a problem every time I asked the video card to do anything more than drawing standard windows. Then it would really kick up a fuss of sound that was just too much to deal with. I remembered hearing that the x1900 sucks in dust like a vacuum, but forgot to both take it seriously or to check it once in a while. Well, today was that day. [Read more…]
(in Computers » Mac » Hardware)
Thu, May 8, 2008, 4:17am An Almost Ideal PDF Display
Not sure why this thought hit me, but I figured out almost exactly what I want out of computer hardware in order to comfortably read PDF documents (and I have a zillion of them I want to spend time pouring over). The image shown to the right is of my 15" PowerBook, tipped over so that the screen is flush with the desk and the rest of the machine is sticking up in the air (see photos below). As it happens, the PB is sturdy and stable enough in the hinge mechanism to prevent it from falling over while the machine just sits in this odd position.

The other half of this formula is opening a PDF in Preview and then rotating it by 90°, making use of the slideshow feature and then hitting the full-screen control. Voila, a beautifully readable PDF document, even for intricate PDFs with lots of mathy goodness. [Read more…]
(2 comments, in Computers » Mac » Hardware)
Fri, Apr 4, 2008, 4:07pm A New Dev Laptop?
I think I "need" a new development laptop machine. I have no mobile Intel Mac, and good weather is approaching. I must be set free to roam and code.

Here's a chart of the models I'm considering, and some of the factors important to me on each. The prices shown are not transparent from the chart, but are accurate (they include some custom configuration and Apple Care changes, and not with tax, shipping, etc). Any thoughts? I'm leaning toward option MacBook Pro a or b. [Read more…]
(7 comments, in Computers » Mac » Hardware)
Wed, Aug 29, 2007, 2:39am Post-iPhone OS X Handheld
If Apple made a device like the iPhone, but not just an enhanced iPod, in the same form factor as the iPhone, that ran as full of an OS X version as possible, without any (traditional) phone service, and let people program it (complete access) — that would be insanely great. My fear is that they just release an iPhone-like iPod, which is nice, but not exciting. I want OS X in my pocket, to be able to program with and on it, to do multi-person audio iChats, video chats, screen sharing, audio/video recording, mount networked machines, etc. [Read more…]
(1 comment, in Computers » Mac » Hardware)
Wed, May 30, 2007, 2:03am SETI@mac — 479th so far
Not knowing what to do with all these cores in my Mac while I'm not on it, and even if I am, I let it churn on some SETI@home work units. BOINC, the master controller that includes any number of distributed tasks like this, is one of the few programs that actually can crank all 8 cores. And yet, it still leaves your machine as usable as if it were not running in the background — except for the extra heat generated out the back of the machine. (I was using BOINC for Einstein@home, but the work units take so much longer and I have a short attention span.) [Read more…]
(1 comment, in Computers » Mac » Hardware)
Thu, Apr 19, 2007, 2:39am Order Has Shipped
I did say a few weeks ago that if Apple popped two of those quad-core Xeon chips into a Mac Pro that I'd get one, and I meant business. It's on its way! I haven't had a new desktop machine in quite some time, and there are a bunch of projects that I have lined up for it. The long-awaited OctoMac (and I've been wanting something like this for many years) cometh.
(2 comments, in Computers » Mac » Hardware)
Mon, Oct 30, 2006, 1:06pm Keyboard Cleaning Day
So, yesterday I fool-heartedly embarked on cleaning my PowerBook G4's keyboard. I ran across this link on Making Your Own Dvorak Keyboard for a PowerBook G4 which happened to go over how he took off all his key caps in order to rearrange them. I didn't have the nifty gadget he had to do the job, but was sufficiently motivated to figure this out. [Read more…]
(6 comments, in Computers » Mac » Hardware)