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New Soul

posted in Tech Talk on November 14th, 2008

A couple of months ago, I woke up to a a world of hurt: a bad cough and a busted graphics in an aging laptop.

Having faced an identical busted graphics card problem about a year before, too, I knew that repairing my rig would cost me approximately $1,200 to $1,500, depending on the availability of the items that are needed and the amount of man hours required to replace the parts.

While my Toshiba Tecra M4 has served me very well, I am not crazy enough about it to invest such a sum into a device that is 2.5 years old and quite honestly: who would, besides NASA.

The downside of my decision is that I have been laptop-less for close to six months now and since my Tablet PC acted as my primary computing platform, I am actually finding myself in a position where I get less work done in more time, simply due to the lack of adequate processing power.

Before I set out on my trip to the US, I was eying a couple of devices, such as the Asus EEE PC and even though I do not consider myself a geek, just being able to say that I built a web application with the help of the hottest sub notebook currently available, would have been a fun idea.

From a prosumer point of view, however, the EEE PC is definitely not able to cater for all my wishes and as such would not have been much than a secondary backup, computer as opposed to being my (primary) weapon of choice and as such, the hunt for new hardware continued.

Every few years in my computer life, I come to a point, call it a crossroads if you wish; a point where I decide to (radically) alter the way I go about doing things and go in directions I have not gone before, mostly in an effort to make my computing experience more pleasurable, but also: more efficient.

Seven years ago, this meant going the Pocket PC route and I have not regretted this one bit. Five years ago, it meant foraying down the Symbian Smartphone route, then back to Pocket PCs again.

This, eventually, lead to flirting with a Windows Mobile Smartphone, which worked well, due to its form-factor, but essentially changed my mobile computing habits from “creating” to “reading”, in other words: my productivity dropped, so back to Pocket PCs it was, once again.

During that period, I also ventured into the area of Tablet PCs, a technology that appeared interesting to me on a number of levels, mostly due to the fact that it altered the way I would be using my device henceforth.

After having used a Tablet PC for 2.5 years and having followed the scene since literally Day One, I can, wholeheartedly say that I did my best to accept it, love it and not hate it, but it just did not work out the way I hoped it would.

The applications that were killer and hot two years ago, are still the same ones that are hot today because, all in all, the Tablet PC ecosystem has not nearly seen as much influx as everyone predicted.

Their impact on the market is, still, negligible at best: Tablets are used by medical professionals and a few other niche areas, but for me, there is no future in this platform and as such, the hunt for new hardware continued, once again.

I knew that my next device, like my aging Tablet PC, would have to be a true Desktop replacement, because switching devices AND keeping them in sync all the time gets annoying really quick.

Another thing I require from my device is that it just works, in the sense that I do not have to install extra software when I hook up a projector, or, even worse: reinstall my whole operating system, because neither the built-in display adapter nor the external display provide me with any (visual) feedback whatsoever.

Naturally, just having a device that works is not all I want, I also wanted to try something new, venture into, for me, uncharted territory, so to speak. The last time around, this ended up being a Tablet PC, which basically was just an extension to the current operating system I was using at the time, this time around, I am inclined to switch operating systems too.

All in all, and more importantly, to bring this story an end, I have decided, that the best I could make is Apple’s new MacBook Pro and I am looking forward to, as one friend called it, experience that working with your computer can actually be fun.

Of course, while I made the decision on my own, I feel that there are two people I should thank, for putting up with my geekness during this trying time:

First and foremost, my biggest thanks go out to Nate Nelson who helped me put together my order, helped me change it, helped me order more stuff and even got me some nice extras to play with, thanks bro’!

Secondly, Kevin Pilasky for devoting the last three plus years of his life to make me consider and try out the OS X platform and finally have the guts to move to, and I quote: the system that will work for you!

* for the Apple fanboys who scuff at the mention of “New Soul” in combination with a MacBook Pro, I am sorry, I know the song is meant to be used for the MacBook Air, but it was just too tempting.

iPhone Price drop

posted in Rants on September 5th, 2007

iPhone prices dropped by one third yesterday and apparently customers started reacting. This is just crazy:

In response to yesterday’s iPhone price drop, a number of shootings in Apple stores across the country have been reported. Preliminary reports suggest that at least 15 people lost their lives in the line of duty.

Only two hours after the shooting, local police forces, working with the security firms that provide perimeter security to Apple stores, have been able to identify all the assailants and while no video footage has yet been officially released, our sources report that all gunmen appear to be early adopters of the iPhone platofrm.

Eye witness reports from different stores all claimed that the gunmen stormed into the store, armed with customer-level submachine guns and filled the iPhone demo stands with bullets. When approached by so-called Apple Geniuses and asked, in a calm, manner, to stop the shooting and put down the gun, many of the attackers seemed to snap and started shooting at the store’s employees.

Although many police departments deployed SWAT teams on-site almost immediately, the massacres could only stopped after the shooters ran out of ammunition, all the while police forces had to watch helplessly and try to contain the situations as good as possible.

Due to the large scale of this rampage, the FBI has taken interest in the case and will be conducting investigations.

A FBI spokeswoman would not give us any more comments at this time, stating that until a thorough investigation was conducted, everything was simply speculation. The FBI also would not comment on the backgrounds of the killers and their, possible, affiliations with each other.

Once again it becomes evident that Apple’s way of toying with it’s customers is not the right way to treat customers. Liberated in thinking by famous customer-related weblogs such as The Consumerist, this time, customers really did bite back, with lead.

I wonder when companies will realize that the first adopters are, in part, the most important customers a company has, not only because they help iron out any bugs that made it through quality assurance, but also because these are the guys (and, of course, gals) that help create a buzz around your product and ensure that more people feed the machine…

Please note that the above article is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. No harm, misrepresentation, libel, malice or copyright infringement is intended. At no time is this meant to be construed as reality.

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