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I am trying this out because I can. Maybe I will write out an entire LJ entry this way. Or maybe not.

Okay this app, WritingPad, is interesting. You slide your finger along the onscreen keyboard and it guesses what you want to say.

It is surprisingly effective. I am struggling a bit because I am unused to the idea so I keep hitting space unnecessarily but this makes it easier to type without needing two hands.

As I get more comfortable with it I an gradually becoming more daring and trying to "I type" (touch swipe?) looking purely at the output box rather then at the keypad.

I get nervous but the more I use this the more I feel like I should be able to trust it to pick out my words for me.

Can add words too and choose capitalization. Unfortunately it does not do camel case so I cannot add LiveJournal easily but it is doable by joining together two separate words properly capitalized. And now it is easy: LiveJournal LiveJournal LiveJournal yay.

One interesting thing, after using it for awhile I found it easier to think of typing as a sequence of words instead of a sequence of letters. This is reinforced by how backspacing deletes the entire word if it has been newly entered.

I wonder how it would work for someone without fine motor control? Would it be easier our greatest than a normal keyboard input? And did I find out about this app from AtMac?

Two minor complaints: keyboard needs polish and some misspelled words made their way into the dictionary (exsist, unfortunatly) but these are minor given just how solid the underlying application is.
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Leopard is pretty. Lots of tiny touches that are shiny.

I've only been playing with it for a few minutes. Here's what I've noticed, compared to my old PowerBook G4 (running Tiger, with only about half the memory :p)

I came into my room, saw the box on my bed. It's much tinier than the PowerBook box, which is still at the foot of my bed. I didn't want to touch it yet! So I went to the bathroom and washed my hands to make sure that I wouldn't dirty anything.

Opened the box. Errr, even the styrofoam packaging is pretty (with a neat regular pattern of circles, and "MacBook" branding). The first thing I saw was my new laptop, wrapped in this cloth which made me pause and feel nervous for a moment. So much care given to her to make sure she arrives in mint condition! I don't want to ever dirty or scratch her! Even if it is unavoidable.

Lifted her out of the box; below her was a compact much smaller box containing the manual and the two Leopard installation disks. Poked through those a bit, and only then did I notice the plugs (adaptor + duckhead, extension cord with uglyhead; bighead).

Unwrapped her! Carefully! I didn't want to tear the sticker but I was impatient to get at her, so I tore it in the end. I don't care. SHE'S PRETTY. SO WHITE. HOW?

(As a side note: I'm going to miss the cool metallic smoothness of my PowerBook. I used to stroke my hands over it while thinking. The MacBook is glossy on the outside and somewhat textured matte on the inside. Altogether a different tactile experience).

I opened up the shell, and there was a protective layer between the screen and the keyboard. ASDFGHKJLK; I felt like such a dork, I know I know, but I didn't want to remove it. Looked at the manual for battery calibration instructions. Didn't find any; assuming that it's not necessary for some reason?

Played with the plugs a bit, swapped out duckhead for uglyhead, plugged her in. I have wanted the magnetic plug for so long, ever since the time I accidentally tripped over my PowerBook's power cord, sending her crashing to the floor, and damaging one corner so badly that it couldn't be repaired (I still used her, but there was a gigantic *hole* for her front-left corner). Battery indicator says that she had about three bars battery. And and and battery button is so white, it blends right into the bottom of the battery case, unlike the button on the bottom of the PowerBook which is a separate shade of (still-stylish *cough*) gray.

I went down briefly for dinner, but I was so excited that I couldn't stay downstairs long. Only stayed long enough to keep my dad company, but even then, I rushed upstairs before he was done with his fruits. Still so excited!

Went browsing through the manual a bit more. Found no surprises. Turned her on...

Leopard video *grin* With the words in different languages in space and all that. Pretty, but I wasn't opening the laptop to see that, so I didn't pay much attention. Then it was on to setting up. First language, then location, then keyboard input I was a bit awkward because I'm not used to typing in QWERTY. I wish that keyboard input and location had been switched around. But I was pretty glad that it came so relatively early in the setup process, because only one or two screens were awkward for me to get through.

I think that at some point it automatically registered the laptop for me, which is great! Then a bunch of stuff and features, such as MobileMe registration, which I skipped, and finally it was time to set up the root administrator account.

There was a screen where you can take a picture of yourself to associate with your account. I thought that quite cute. I'm still not used to having a webcam on my laptop, but I'm sure I'll figure out something to do with it *grin*.

Remembering old lessons, I made a new user account to use as my primary day-to-day account (but first I opened up Terminal and SSHed to my server so that I could poke people over IRC for a moment). And that's where I am now!

Lots of stuff that I'm still getting used to, including the feeling of the keys. Someone warned me that the MacBook's keys don't feel that responsive, but they respond about the same as my old PowerBook's. However, the trackpad button doesn't feel as responsive or as "click"-y as my PowerBook's. I have to press down and double-check on the screen to see whether a click happened.

Luckily, this is easily solved by opening up System Preferences -> Keyboard and Mouse, and enabling "Clicking" for the trackpad. I enabled dragging as well, for good measure. Saw what looks like a neat new feature, of tapping with two fingers to right click and enabled that as well!

I didn't think there was anything you could change with system dropdown menus, but apparently there is. It looks like they have rounded corners. I think this is kind of neat, actually ;-) (And I just noticed that menubar menus also have rounded bottom corners. Top ones can't be rounded for obvious reasons)

So far, the only applications I've opened have been Safari, to type in this entry; Terminal, to SSH so I can chat; and System Preferences, so I can reset some settings, including the beep sound.

Having to set up my preferences again is somewhat frustrating, as things that I am accustomed to working a certain way no longer do, and I have to remember that it's because I'd edited a setting somewhere. Same as when I was transitioning to Firefox3, it's the little things that I took for granted that I feel the most now.

Terminal is much much better. It has tabs! Translucent background with decent default opacity! Found settings to set the option key as meta (same as before) and to send ctrl+H for the delete key (one up on before?). Also restarted it so it would recognize the unobtrusive "Pop" beep instead of the jarring default beep alert, and I'm almost all set. I just need to remember what I did to enable pageup and pagedown in screen, and then I'm all set.

Hmm, kay, taking back my excitement about Terminal tabs. It looks like cmd+1, cmd+2 switches between windows not tabs within windows. Thank goodness for cmd+}, but....

I cannot wait to get my old laptop back home so I can start transferring settings. It's currently in the car which I'd meant to take on the way home, so that I could work on stuff. However, there was a change of plans, and I ended up being in another car and coming home earlier, so the laptop is still wandering the streets, wandering the streets, wandering the streets my poor laptop...
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I decided this evening, over dinner, to get a new laptop to replace my aging PowerBook G4. (Three years and two months! She's dinged, keyboard is a mess, HD's been replaced a few times, but has held up surprisingly well given how much I (ab)use her ).

I was originally planning to borrow money from my parents and pay it back over the next year or so. I approached my mom with that idea, and I was actually beginning to budget everything in my head (if I pay 10k pesos a month, every month, I'd be done in about half a year. But then that would leave me little money for daily expenses, so maybe I could pay 5k, but that would mean I'd be paying them back for more than year. So maybe if I alternate between 5k and 10k, or do 7k a month...), and suddenly my grandfather, who had been watching the conversation with interest, asked me how much it would be (I estimated around 60k-80k), and then he offered to pay for it.

I was speechless. Went wide-eyed. Said thank you. Almost died. OH MY GOD.

I've given up my desire for the MacBook Air (though it's pretty, and better in all respects than my current machine, I can't justify the leap in the price, considering I'm not actually paying for the laptop myself. And I wouldn't be able to afford the leap in the price, if I were paying for the laptop myself).

It looks like I'm getting the high-end MacBook ;-)

I need a name! And and and and to catch up with the changes between Tiger and Leopard, as I've been ignoring all Leopard related news since I was stuck with Tiger.

And, and and, oh god I'll miss my PowerBook (I call her "macaroni". I'm tempted to name the soon-to-be laptop "cheese". Maybe they'll be good friends!)

I need to decide whether to buy now, or whether to wait until July/August/September, which is when the rumors say that an upgrade will come out. I'll regret it if something comes out in July or August, but September is too far away, and really even September is not a sure thing...
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Oh, I just realized that you can click in the binary section of the Mac OSX calculator to flip the bits and enter binary numbers. All this time, I've been wondering why there was no binary input mode (there's Hex, Oct, Dec, but no binary). So, whenever I needed to convert from binary to decimal, I'd convert it in my head, and then enter the decimal number, and then double-check against the displayed/converted binary.

It turns out all I needed to do was click in the right place(s)...
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I'm trying out Firefox 3(.0b3) right now! I decided to download it on a whim; I was hoping that it would be less of a memory hog than Firefox 2. Because trying to run that plus Aptana (Ruby IDE) at the same time was bogging down my system horribly. For the record, it seems to be running more smoothly, but the test may not be fair since most of my extensions were disabled for being incompatible *g*

I love the new features, including the improved downloads interface, additional interfaces (such as the new Applications item, which is the filetype-to-action mapping) and what look to be better error messages. One of my favorite things is that there is now a shortcut for the JavaScript console. It may not seem like much, but the inefficient way to open the JavaScript console has always been one of those little things that irritated me to no end.

It is somewhat strange to see the form controls be styled like Safari's. And the window is a darker gray than I'm used to. I am not enamoured, but I guess I'll get used to them.

There are a few rough spots; sometimes the rendering is weird and elements show up in the wrong place on the page (the header for Vertigo does this often on the Explore page). Also, the cmd+shift+T shortcut does not seem to always work; I often have to use the menu instead. I'm hoping that these kinks will be worked out by the time it makes it to release.

I'm excited about their moving the preferences storage backend to SQLite instead of writing to the textfile (prefs.js) only when closing the browser properly. I think this affects the values saved by Greasemonkey as well; if so, then that means I won't lose the data from the current session if the browser suddenly crashes. I am almost tempted to try to crash something so I can test :-)

I'm also excited about the improved search and bookmarking (with tags) functions -- searching through the address bar brings up results based on the address, the page title, bookmarks, bookmark tags, and I'm finding it pretty useful. (For example, when doing Support work, I can just type "entryprops" and get the URL I want, instead of having to type "", selecting whatever URL comes up, then deleting the end and triggering autocomplete again with "entr..."). There's also apparently auto-resume for downloads, though I have not tested it yet.
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I just found out that you can select multiple mailboxes in Apple Mail. I found out entirely by accident, and initially thought that some of my messages had been misfiltered.

It's a rather interesting feature; I'm trying to figure out if/how I can use it.
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I've been bouncing from computer to computer all day, taking whichever is free at the moment. The problem is I tried to install Safari 3 beta. I saw the warnings but thought that worst case, I wouldn't be able to use Safari. I didn't realize it would cause my entire computer to be unresponsive!

The last time I had a computer that unresponsive, I was on a ten year old computer with crappy RAM and a rusted hard drive.

It's taken me two days, but things are a bit better. Things still are not as responsive as they used to be, but at least I can click on tabs and switch between applications without having to wait literally minutes in between.

I found instructions to rollback to Safari 2, so I tried it out. Problem was that the system was so unresponsive, I couldn't run the instructions at all. Finally, I decided to repair Disk Permissions first (that took almost 14 hours. It's normally over in less than ten minutes). That fixed the system enough that I could actually click through folders.

There was a scary moment when it wouldn't recognize either of my two accounts as admin users. Thought I'd permanently b0rked up the system. Restarting fixed that -- thank goodness!

Still cleaning up stuff. Hopefully I figure out what's still broken, because a couple of my favorite programs are still limping.


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June 2009

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