Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fresh + Clean

Well, I finally got my new laptop. I think it's pretty incredible how far this technology has come along. I ended up getting a Toshiba, as the feature-to-price ratio seemed to be in line. I got the Core 2 Duo 5450, which is not ideal, but still WAY better than my single processing Pentium M that I have in my current laptop. It's pretty light (5.3 lbs), has a big (200GB) disk, and 2GB of RAM, which I haven't come close to taxing yet.

It's a relatively attractive machine, with a nice quiet keyboard, great bright video, and pretty decent speakers (not the Harman-Kardon speakers that the more pricey Toshibas come with), but I don't honestly use the laptop speakers very often. The complaints I saw in reviews centered around the touchpad, but I think it's really just fine. Maybe the one I have now sucks so bad that I am preconditioned to think that touchpads always suck.

I got subversion setup for my side venture this week. I used wush.net, which offers plans costing only $20/quarter. This gives you a web client, RSS feeds for changelist tracking, and a pretty decent amount of space and transfer bandwidth. So far it's been plenty fast, and they offer unlimited user access to a single repository, which is good enough for us.

This leads me to a "Wow technology is cool!" moment:

It's always amazing to me when you can sit on your couch on your laptop that costs half as much as the laptop you bought 2.5 years ago that sucks in comparison, programming in a free IDE like Eclipse or Netbeans that is full-featured and full of neat little tools that someone donated to the world out of pure nerdness. Finish your work for the night on the laptop that is not tethered by any cords, and commit your changes - then sit back as the changelist floats through the air to your router, where somehow those packets of data start their enchanted journey to an IP address that is mapped magically to the DNS name you specified. It gets there and checks itself in to this repository in god-knows-where using source control technology that is open source and freely available. You can then hop on the internet and see what you just did. Now we, as 'Web 2.0' users, do this every day, like this blog. I just take for granted that what I wrote before hitting "Publish Post" will show up exactly as it was when Iwrote it. That's a testament to the amazing intellectual creations over the past few decades - that you just know it'll get there, because all the incredible technology that is involved in that data getting from your fingertips to its destination is nothing to sneeze at. Fascinating.

Hmm, what else is there to talk about. Well I finished my Dick Francis rag, and now I am onto the next batch of books I just got from Amazon (they take A LOT of my money). First up is Wikinomics, by Don Tapscott. So far it's interesting in a "Tipping Point-like" well-done statement of the obvious. I will let you know when I get further into it if it's as good as people have told me it is.