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Technology

Updated WordPress Theme

06.29.07 | Permalink | Comment?

I juts updated to the 3.01 version of this blog.txt theme.  I couldn’t find a complete change list, but it’s supposed to be more compliant with WP version 2.2 and higher.  I need to upgrade to WordPress 2.2.1 soon.

Guy, you use this same theme, so get the update.

Technology

Mobile Browser Detection

06.27.07 | Permalink | Comment?

Posted by mobile phone:
I recently tried switching from IE to Opera Mobile on my 8525. I have noticed that most websites don’t detect Opera as a mobile browser and therefore display the desktop version of a page. I haven’t looked at the user agent but would have to assume that it says mobile somewhere in it. At a minimum the OS should read a Win Mobile 5. Also, have have noticed that www.mizpee.com doesn’t prperly detect either IE nor Opera, which is very surprising as its a new app focused on the mobile market.

Technology

Apple Sure Knows How to Sell

06.22.07 | Permalink | Comment?

Apple LogoI could not have been more impressed by the process of buying a Mac and dealing with Apple. At it’s core (no pun intended) Apple is just another company trying to sell shit and make a boatload of cash in the process. They way they do this is not 100% different from every other retailer, I mean it’s not like they barter for product or only accept wooden tokens or anything. They make something you want, they offer a couple of channels to buy that thing and they separate you from your money efficiently.

I knew that that I was going to make the switch from a Windows PC to a Mac, so I started researching online. Apple offers pages and pages of content on their site about not only the benefits of owning a Mac, but also help for the transition.

I was ready to make the purchase so I walked into the SF Apple store with the intent to buy. It wasn’t my money, my new employer was paying the tab, so that offered me a little more freedom. I was greeted by an attractive 20-something blond girl who led me around the store for about 30 minutes. She really knew her stuff. I asked a few questions and she patiently answered them while demo-ing apps. She pointed out all of the attributes of the Apple Store including suppor, training, etc. The sales process really increased my confidence in my upcoming $2000 purchase.

Apple Stores are so well designed. The stores feel very open and inviting making them a destination as well as a point of purchase. It adds to the experience to have a lot of young people around playing with the product. An empty store would feel like Best Buy ;-) The staffing is also well done. Apple hires energetic, knowledgeable, attractive 20-somethings and they all really want to help. There’s a lot of them, so you can always just turn around and get a question answered.

So, I was ready to make the buy. The salesgirl walked me down to the cash-taking-area and completed the sale herself… another part of the puzzle that helps the experience. I was handed a well-designed box containing the MacBook as well as a box for the free printer that came with it. Walking out, I felt like I was part of some new club and I felt like people were noticing the MacBook box and thinking “wow, that lucky guy”. I was right, because on the BART train ride home some stranger congratulated me on the purchase noting that my timing was perfect since Apple just upgraded the MacBooks.

To my surprise, I received an email from Apple a few hours later with a PDF of my receipt. How did Apple have my address… I didn’t give it to he salesgirl. Ah! Apple has both my credit card and email address on file through my iTunes account.  Apple continued it’s “customer touch” over the next few days with welcome emails and online surveys.  I really appreciated this attention.

Yesterday, I visited the Apple store again for some tech support.  I was able to go online and book a reservation for one-on-one attention so that there was no wait.  I was helped by yet another knowledgeable and friendly  20-something.  While sitting at the Genius Bar, I watched a bit of a presentation on Keynote.  The theater is yet another great part of the Apple sales job… offer free, quality education for end users to turn novice user into power users because a power user is less likely to switch off of a Mac, is more likely to purchase additional software and accessories, is more likely to pay for an upgrade and is more likely to recommend Apple to their friends.

Technology

Switching To a Mac

06.20.07 | Permalink | 1 Comment

Apple Logo

I’m halfway through my third week in a new job. I’ll write more about that in the next post. The new place is primarily a web design shop and everyone here uses a Macintosh notebook. Not one to buck a trend, I have switched, professionally at least, from a Windows PC to a MacBook.

I chose to use a new MacBook. I was fortunate in that the week before I bought one, Apple release a new revision with faster processors. I have a black MacBook with a Duo Core 2.2 GHz CPU, 2 GB of memory and a 160 GB disk drive. The MacBook sports a small 13” screen running as 1280 x 800 resolution. I have been interested in downsizing from a 15.4” screen for a while, and after thinking long and hard, I went small. I really wish that the screen ran at a higher native resolution as I don’t have vision problems and really prefer a high-res and tight pixel count. My last PC was running at a super-high 1920 x 1200 pixel count and I loved the reaction of people… “how can you read that thing?!” I have adjusted to the screen size and resolution and since I now travel to and from work on a train, I can appreciate the smaller size and lighter weight.

I have been battling the learning curve in jumping from Windows to Mac.

  • Things are in different places.
  • Different keys do different things.
  • Things are different things.

I am finding the learning curve to be much simpler than expected and I attribute some of this to my outlook. I am making the switch with a extremely optimistic outlook as I am actually excited about making the switch. I have been very, very interested in moving to a Mac for a few years. Originally the Unix underpinnings of MacOS X was appealing to me as I know Unix syntax pretty well and having it on the desktop attracted my inner geek. More recently, the fast Duo Core procs and the the ability to run Windows was an added attraction.

I decided to use Apple Mail as my mail client. I tried Thunderbird, but it ran into difficulty import my corporate and Yahoo! address books. Also, many in the office use Mail. I am using iCal as my calendar client. I am not thrilled with either and will probably try out a few others including Microsoft Entourage and Zimbra over the next month. I was going to use Safari as my browser by Y! Mail doesn’t support it and it’s got a pretty bad opinion amongst those who work on Macs.

For web development I am excited to try Coda. Historically I have used EditPlus and Dreamweaver. After using Coda for a couple days, it is really built for the way that I work. There’s no design view, which is fine. It uses a tab-metaphor for working on multiple files and also has a built-in terminal for working on local and remote Unix servers. Code has a built-in JavaScript debugger and reference books as well. I found myself previewing in FireFox and using the FireBug extension instead of previewing with Coda today since it doesn’t do pop-up windows and the JS debugger seems immature. Coda licensed the SubEthaEdit engine for code sharing, so I’m excited to try that out soon.

Let’s see, some other software that I’m running in no particular order:

Sorry Steve Jobs, but a single button mouse is just dumb. The mighty mouse is a step in the right direction, but still no good for me. My hand have expected all mice to fit like the Microsoft Optical Mouse 5000, so that’s what I am using when tethered to a desk. I’ll tell you though that I do like the two-finger gesturing supported on the trackpad for scrolling and such. I am also using an external 20” widescreen flat panel at my desk and this is something new since I opted to just use the 15” screen of my laptop as a primary display for over a year.

Wndows Logo

Of course there’s those one or two apps that only runs on Windows and for that, and for browser testing, I am running Parallels. Coherence mode is freaking amazing. The ability to drag and drop files between Finder and Explorer rocks and the ability to have both Safari and IE up side-by-side is a terrific. So far, the performance of Windows XP under Parallels virtualization has been great. My big test is to install some graphics and memory intensive games and see how they perform.

In coming up to speed on the Mac, I have referred to friends and colleagues and to the web. I found sites such as iusethis and Marc Andreessen’s blog helpful and have subscribed to mac-heavy feeds like 43 folders. I am listening to the MacBreak Weekly podcast and just immersing myself into the Apple world. Will I become a Mac fanboy? I doubt it. I was never a Windows fanboy. I’m not one to spend a lot of energy on the religion of computing since I can typically see both sides. I am just one who is always wanting to try out new things ad what could be more new than a switch from Windows to Mac?!

General

The First Bike For My Kid

06.17.07 | Permalink | Comment?

Posted by mobile phone:
The First Bike For My Kid
Today Tracy and I stopped into baby store named Giggle in Walnut Creek, shopping for others. I found bike lust in a very unexpected place here. This the the first bike for my kid. I need to find out who makes it!

p.s. I think that the experience of being in Giggle was terrific… something I am noticing more now that I work for Adaptive Path.

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The First Bike For My Kid

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