Because of continuing problems with my wrists, l bought a Wacom Bamboo, a tablet and pen (input device). I’m trying to see how well Apple’s handwriting recognition software works for sending text to various applications—like my browser for posting on Le Blog. It works OK, but not great. It likes to add two or three spaces between my words and it has problems with distinguishing my capital letters from my non-capitals, but otherwise, it’s pretty good.
Mind you, I’ve corrected all the mistakes in this post. And I won’t likely be doing much more of this—typing is MUCH easier. But it)’s still fun to play with.
It’s finally happened.
After nearly three years of regular abuse, my trusty 12″ Powerbook is becoming a bit gimpy. The handrests are pitted all to hell, the case is a little bent in places, and the power supply connection is getting finicky again. I’ve discovered that the angle of my screen can dramatically affect the strength of the wireless signal I get at home (though that might a have non-hardware-related basis), and the little light that’s supposed to show when the computer is asleep (right at the latch) has all but stopped working.
In other words, I’m thinking it might be time to get a new machine.
This one is out of AppleCare in June, so I probably want to get something before then. I don’t necessarily see the need to spring for the Macbook Air (though, gosh, it sure is pretty), and I’m not sure I need the power of a Macbook Pro. But the regular Macbooks are awfully heavy for their size, and I’d rather maximize my screen real estate. I’m also not as concerned with durability as I once was since I won’t be carrying the new computer back and forth to school every day. (Note: if I were buying right now for law school, I’d definitley go with the plastic case of the Macbook rather than the aluminum case of the Macbook Pro, just for the sake of durability.)
The only other limiting factor I have is that I will be getting a Mac. I really don’t want a PC; if I need to use a PC for any reason, there are plenty of those floating around my house, thanks to Mr. Angst; I am deeply comfortable with the Mac interface; and I really, really don’t want a Dell.
With those constraints in mind, what do you think? Should I get a Macbook? Macbook Pro? Throw practicality out the window and get the Air? ((In the meantime, I think I will take my little 12″ into the Apple Store over Spring Break (while I’m out of town, hopefully) and have them do what they can with the fritzy light and the finicky power supply connector. Since I still have a few months of AppleCare, I might as well use it.))
I got a new toy over the weekend. It’s the kind of toy that’s supposed to aid my productivity, by allowing me to get more done when I’m not at my desk. Instead, it’s encouraging me to get less done on my commute. Instead of reading that book for The Task I’m posting this. Oops.
Most days, I get anywhere from 50 to 100 school-related emails, plus an additional 50 or so personal emails. Spring break, therefore, has been a very nice little rest from that. I’m getting maybe 10 or so emails a day, and most of those can go right into the trash. ((This does not count the 20 emails I got from Westlaw today, after I requested several articles be sent to me.))
I think for a long time, I lived in a world where I didn’t really use email for anything important. I worked in small offices where important things could be discussed in the break room, where urgent questions required nothing more than a walk down the hall, and where getting everyone’s opinion usually meant the boss walked into our shared office. But law is different–there are so many things I’m involved in that don’t have any centralized organization. I am sure it won’t be better in practice, either, especially not at the firm I’m going to, where matters are often staffed across offices.
So I’m trying to be better about using email efficiently, about cleaning out my inbox, about sorting things into folders and flagging important messages so they don’t get forgotten. But it’s a struggle. I can’t manage to keep fewer than 150 emails in my inbox at any given time, and right now, I have 400. (I don’t have time to sort and organize them; I’m writing a seminar paper, remember?) I’d love it if I could keep about 20 messages in the inbox, and file the others away, but if they’re not in the inbox, it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” For all that I’m a HUGE proponent of technology making my life easier and more efficient, I can’t manage to use GTD ((Getting Things Done)) software to save my life.
Because Target doesn’t have any in stock in the local stores, and the website says it’ll take up to six weeks if I order one that way, I decided it was time to spend some Lexis points instead. I just unloaded most of my (paltry) Lexis points for one of these. (I got a nano for Christmas, since my 3-year-old 2nd generation iPod was giving me about an hour and a half of battery, and now I need to stock up on accessories.)
I know, I know, it’s going to take two to four weeks to get the thing–and that’s almost as long as it would have taken from Target, where I also have store credit–but it feels like it was more free, getting it with Lexis points, than spending my store credit at Target. Maybe that’s crazy, but that’s just the way my brain works. Lexis points=free, my friend, free. (You could argue that stuff bought with Lexis points is MORE than free, since you learn stuff while you earn them. I’m not necessarily making that argument, but I’m saying you could make that argument.)
Google? Is getting a little too intimate with me and my searching. Today I was looking for an article, so I googled the title, hoping to find out something about it. I didn’t find THAT article, but I got links, through Google Scholar, to a couple of other articles that seemed promising, like they might cite to the article I was looking for.
So I clicked on the link to the first article, the link at the top of the Google search results page, that says “Scholarly articles for [my search here].” When you do that, it takes you the result on Google scholar, with more information on where it is, and what it is. And, for me, searching for this article on campus, it includes a link next to the title that says, “Find it @ [My school].”
Huh wah wah?
Google Scholar has apparently sniffed out either my IP address or my secure connection to my school’s network, and is pointing me to results that I can only have access to if I am affliated with my school. Like, results on HeinOnline, or JSTOR.
THAT is freaky. I’m not sure how I feel about that, either.
I had this great post I had written, all about our weekend travel plans and the progress of a year and growth, and Safari went and crashed on me. Safari sucks. (Usually, I use Camino, but for some reason, I chose Safari this time. Apple, phooey on you!)
What I had written about was the family reunion we’ll be attending this weekend, an affair that can be both tiresome and exhilerating. This year more than others, I know we will have plenty to talk about: it’s our first year above the Mason-Dixon line (though that Line doesn’t stretch this far west, as far as I know), we both finished our first year of grad school, we’re about to adopt a dog….we’ve had a lot of firsts this year, and they’ve all been really exciting. To us. Of course, the great thing about family is that you can talk about all that kind of stuff as much as you want and they will put up with it even if it IS boring as salt. (Is salt boring, actually? I know that’s not really a turn of phrase, I just threw it out there, but salt is so ubiquitous that it seems it would be boring. Yet, salt? Never boring. Always makes things better. So, not such a good turn of phrase.)
So that’s what’s going on with me. Maybe this post (and the one that disappeared before it) is just my way of saying posting will be light for a few days. And maybe it won’t. I actually don’t even know what hotel we’re staying at, so I can’t say if I’ll have internet. Even if I do, though, I still probably won’t post much.
God love backups.
With the move and all, I had forgotten to charge up my Palm Pilot. For quite a while, I guess. If you don’t charge your Palm, though, it gets so low that it shuts off and deletes all your data. I pulled my Palm out this morning to check something and it was dead. Dead dead dead. So I plugged it in, let it charge up enough to turn on and see what was going on, and discovered that, yep, all my stuff was gone. I even had to reset the date and time and time zone.
So, yeah, all my data was gone. The address book and calendar stuff I wasn’t worried about, since I have all that on my computer. But I had some add-on applications that I’d installed on my Palm, and I was a little upset that they were gone. Like, the niftiest crossword puzzle application, that downloads daily puzzles when I remember to sync every day. And a better memo application with better tools for categorizing and exporting. And some games. Sigh. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get any of them back, since my Palm is…old. I mean, REALLY old. Black and white screen old.
But never fear! Apparently, the Palm Sync software backs up even those things–applications, too. So it’s all reinstalling right now. I am much less upset. And I have all my data! Happy, happy, joy, joy!
This post brought to you by the letter A. For Apple. And for Amazing. And for Astonishing.
Why? Because my computer? The one I dropped off less than 48 hours ago? Is here. In my lap. With a working power input. And all my stuff still on it. (Yay for repairs not requiring wiping of the hard drive.) And it was a covered repair. Totally free. Expedited shipping. Back in my arms again.
Yay Apple! I know a lot of people complain about their service. Right now, I am not one of them. I’ve never needed to have anything repaired before, but this experience was so good that I won’t fret so much if I have to have something else fixed in the future.