WaitState

Will technology ever catch up?

Archive for January 2nd, 2007

Mac: Getting started with your new Mac

Posted by cascadehush on January 2, 2007

If you have a new Mac, you’d do a lot worse than to check out TAUWs nice beginners guide.

Getting started with your new Mac – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Toss aside the included mouse…and get yourself a real mouse… If you received a portable Mac you should also pick yourself up a mouse. The included Trackpad is nice, but a mouse is much nicer.

Apple continued insistence on the one button mouse is just silly. The fact that it forces the use of 4 modifier keys (shift, control, option and apple) instead of 3 is downright criminal. It is without a doubt the worst feature of OSX.

Of course, as the article suggest, you can use a 2 button mouse, almost any standard PC mouse will do.

As far as the trackpad goes, I don’t agree with Scott. I love the trackpad on my iBook. Most trackpads do suck. I’ve used a lot of different PC Laptops from most major manufacturers and they are all terrible. For whatever reason the one on my iBook works perfectly. Two finger strolling in all directions is fantastic. I find the action much easier on my wrist, since I am mostly just moving my fingers. I am happy that my main computer is a notebook Mac.

I’d like to add the following to my list of must-haves for the new Mac user:

Firefox
Firefox is a most unlike-OSX application, for this reason some people prefer Camino. But at the end of the day you owe it to yourself to have either of these browsers on your computer even if it is only a fallback for when Safari doesn’t render a page properly. You might want to look around for an old 1.5 version of Firefox. I’ve been having problems at work with version 2; links fail to work on many web pages, which kinda breaks the web. I still use version 1.5 on my one computers.

NicePlayer
It took me a long time to find a Video Player for the Mac which I could live with. The free quicktime player that comes with every mac sucks. It’s even worse than Windows Media Player and that takes effort. I don’t like VLC on the Mac, but it’s good to have as a fallback.

NicePlayer plays any video format supported by Quicktime; borderless, full screen or windowed, with sensible keyboard controls. The XinePlayer Plugin will allow NicePlayer to play almost any other movie type not supported by Quicktime.

Posted in OSX, Software | Leave a Comment »

Hardware: Digital V6 KVM over IP

Posted by cascadehush on January 2, 2007

Digital V6 – The Engine of Innovation:

Kaveman is a revolutionary remote server management tool to remotely control servers, either over the Internet or your local network. Kaveman fully emulates a screen, keyboard and mouse, giving the user complete control over the attached computer.

I have no clue why the idiots who created this website can’t just use normal english.

This box is a single port KVM to remotely control any PC or Mac over a network using VNC. The would get a lot more hits from googlers if they’d use language like that.

There is nothing revolutionary about this device, it seems like a no-brainer to me. The focus on server management seems shortsighted. Any server should already have remote management in software. Of course KVM stuff is usually considered high end and is often ridiculously overpriced given that there are quite good, often free, software alternatives.

As a PC tech I regularly wish for a plug and play means to remotely control a PC temporarily. This would appear to be the answer. It’s a pity that it’s just too expensive.

Intel are introducing vPro which will build this type of thing into the motherboard. This would be nice, except I’m not a fan of Intel chipsets, and don’t like intel motherboards. Plus there are the security implications. Having your PC open to remote control even when it is switched off, before the OS is loaded, even being able to change BIOS settings… I don’t like it.

What would be nice is a cheap KVMoIP device that us techs could use day-to-day. Surely someone could manage that. Perhaps someone has, let me know if you find one.

Posted in Hardware, Opinion, OSX, PC, Security, Troubleshooting | 3 Comments »

Internet: Ten non-Google map innovations

Posted by cascadehush on January 2, 2007

Technophilia: Top ten (non-Google) map innovations – Lifehacker:

However, there’s a lot more mapping fun in the world than just Google’s (really!). Keep reading for ten of my favorite non-Google map mashups.

Interesting collection of various map related internet sites.

Posted in Internet | Leave a Comment »