Lots of screen resolution = sweet

Just purchased a Benq E2200HD LCD monitor. It’s a 21.6″ widescreen with 1920 x 1080 resolution. Has d-sub, DVI and HDMI 1.3 inputs.

All I can say is that running at native resolution is unreal. It’s like literally having dual monitors, as the screen resolution is so high.

Will have to hook up the work laptop to it when I am working remote, as it will make life so much easier. Very impressed.

All I need now is for the onboard ATI 3200HD video card to be much more widely supported on Ubuntu/Linux. In the meantime 2D use works well enough so I think a Ubuntu 8.10 desktop install will be in order, as I think a Ubuntu/Linux system would be good on this system. Will then run VMware Workstation for any Windows XP Pro guests I need to use.

Monitor was a good price too, they retail for about $239 – $249 which is a good buy, considering a few years ago my first 17″ analog LCD monitor was $705 or so (which is still going).

Operation iPhone 3G

Of course today was all about the iPhone. As you would expect considering Australia finally got the iPhone 3G.

My wife had a plan of attack which involved going to work earlier then usual, so that she could go join the queue at Apple Store Sydney. All was going well until she woke up a little earlier then she needed, and the queue was reported to be about 25 or so people. So she made the decision to go another hour earlier then planned.

I woke to find her in the process of getting ready and offered to drive her into the city, rather then catch a train at 4am. So I got up and changed, then headed in. The traffic was great, as we had none. Of course you’d expect that for 4am in the morning. Dropped her off out the front just before 5am. She joined the queue estimated she was about 26th or so. Felt really happy about leaving earlier and getting a reasonable spot.

By the time I got home at about 5:40am, she was telling me the queue had doubled. Didn’t surprise me. She also mentioned camera crews came down sometime later and the queue just kept getting bigger.

Eventually store opened at 8am, and she managed to get in and directed as required. Unfortunately she didn’t come out with her iPhone 3G 8GB until about 11am. If people didn’t hear, the Optus backend systems had some serious performance issues, not to mention network connectivity. So it took basically from 9am to 11am just to process her application etc.

Even with the wait, she was still excited. She was totally happy to finally have gotten an iPhone 3G. Plan seemed to have work. Now she has her iPod and phone in one device. Exactly what she has been waiting on.

I must say, I do like it too. Never had a chance to play with one before in detail and now I have. It is as good as the keynote from Steve Jobs last month.

Won’t post any pictures, as we all know what it looks like. It’s currently sitting in an iPhone dock on her desk. She bought one of those too, along with a nice leather cover and some screen protectors.

And the funniest thing to happen today would be the sms she got while setting up her contacts from a number in which we hadn’t associated with a contact yet. It read “How is your iPhone?”. She replied and said “Who is that? and how do you know I have an iPhone.” Turns out the person who sent it is a friend of course and they saw her on the Channel Nine news standing in the Apple Store line for iPhones. Channel Nine did a quick story on the iPhone and showed the start of the queue out in front of the store from the morning. And they seen her. Hahaha.

Apple iPhone 2.0 Applications

I am blown away by the number of applications that will be available by the Apple App store. The keynote that shows a sample of these applications is simply amazing.

This device is going change how a lot of us work and communicate.

I’ll consider the purchase of one in the near future.

VMware Fusion 2.0 Beta1 observations and opinion

I’ve had VMware Fusion 2.0 Beta1 installed now for a few days and managed to give it a good test in that time. Below is a few screen grabs which show some rather nice changes to the products GUI, unfortunately I cannot show it in comparison to what they use to look like. Unless I wanted to reinstall it and capture them.

VMware has revamped the Virtual Machine Library window, and I must say I do like it. Although I think the image shown to the right could do with a bit of work to make the scaling of it work a little better. It looks a little wrong.

Further more, they have improved the dialog for editing the settings for the guest operating systems and I do like this too.

Unfortunately one thing I do think that is lacking is the that when I add another Hard Disk, it doesn’t prompt you to create a vmdk that is split or not. This is a bit fustrating, as it only appears to do this during the inital configuration of a guest from scratch. Something that needs to be improved.

It would appear we still haven’t had the development of a network configuration tool to manage the virtual network interfaces, it would appear we still have to edit this stuff via the command line.

On the whole, an improvement. But I would love to see certain things fixed as suggested (and I hope they do in future builds).

Mac Mini and ACD 20″ Sold

We’ll for the first time in a long time I am down to a single system. I recently decided to sell my Mac Mini 1.66 Core Duo. The machine had served me well and was 2 years old. Since I was using it a little less then I had hoped, I figured why not just sell it so someone else can use it more then I do.

I had every intension of selling it in a years time anyways, so I just did it earlier. I also decided to sell my ACD 20″ Display which had served me extremely well. So both items got a new home.

I use my iMac 20″ 2.16 Core 2 Duo for pretty much everything, so this machine will continue to be used for everything day to day. The plan has been to pickup a MacBook to replace the Mac Mini (and use the MacBook for day to day stuff which doesn’t require me to be tied to the desk at home). I think it’s going to be fairly important to break free of the desk as much as possible and use computer via wireless as much as possible (especially when we have kids).

So I am expecting to purchase white MacBook mid-range model and bump it to 4gb ram, since ram is so well priced atm. This machine will suit me perfectly. The way extra ram will allow me to continue running a number of virtual machines via VMware Fusion with ease. I don’t really need a MacBook Pro for the beefed up Video. Maybe I can step upto this at a later stage if and when it’s required. Maybe to replace the laptop + iMac down the track. We’ll see what happens.

1Tb Time Capsule

Our 1Tb Time Capsule arrived last week. I immediately got home with the unit and opened it up.

Not much inside the box, configured the unit. Then set 2 machines to backup to the unit. Things have been going fine since then.

Speed wise from the ethernet based machine seems okay, from the MacBook Air it tends to vary a bit. It works well enough and hopefully future firmware revisions improve things.

I’ll do another post in a few days time that includes screen grabs from all the options that can be configured as seen from Airport Admin Utility, which I couldn’t find on the net before I purchased.

New toys – MacBook Air

Well my wife finally got her new notebook/laptop. She opted to get an MacBook Air. I must say I am very impressed so far.

Job for tonight is to do a reinstall and remove the extra install items that we don’t need so we free up some space. Then I will move over all her data which is currently sitting on my iMac.

Unfortunately, the 1Tb Time Capsule I ordered with it has been delayed. It appears Apple are having troubles making enough of them for demand. So the reseller is filling orders as they arrive. So eventually we will make it to the front of the order queue. I believe they said they got 5 units in stock earlier in the week and fulfilled 5 orders. I am looking forward to this item arriving, then I will be happy to know the MacBook Air is being backed up every so often (without the need to manually do it each week).

Replacement Seagate drive arrives

The replacement Seagate drive arrived earlier today. It appears the RMA process is pretty painless and works very well.

Replacement drive shows up as having the same period of warranty remaining, so all good. The interesting thing to note on the new drive is the label, I’ll take a photo tonight and post it on this entry. Basically the label indicates the drive was reworked.

Now I just need to buy an external case to make use of it, since it was replaced with a Samsung 500GB almost immediately when it died. So no external case available any more to use the Seagate in.

Drive Failure

It would appear the Seagate 320Gb drive I’ve been using in an external case decided to start giving some errors. It ONLY started to happen once the drive got certain capacity. Lost a number of days of recorded TV as the drive is used as my recording drive for my Mac Mini.

Ran Seatools over the drive it has about 90+ LBA surface errors. Repair completes, but short test fails again with a new one. Looks as though it is terminal. I managed to pull most data off the drive, but the recorded programs in the section of the LBA surface errors would not be obtainable. Oh well.

Replaced it with a Samsung 500Gb drive which I purchased yesterday. This new drive is SO quiet, not to mention very well priced.

Absolutely Brilliant

Picked up an Apple AirPort Express, and I must say the thing is absolutely brilliant.

We wanted a way to send music from our iTunes to the Home Theatre setup in the down stairs lounge room. So we decided to get an Apple AirPort Express. It works really well. I’ve configured it to connect to an ethernet port in that room so I can extend the wireless network from the office upstairs. So it’s configured to do this, as well as do AirTunes to the Home Theatre. We have a speaker set in dining room and outside entertainment area from the Home Theatre setup. So perfect for entertaining etc.

All in all it works really well so far. Was super easy to configure, as the AirPort Utility is pretty damn spiffy.

Highly recommended. I guess I better continue to import all our audio CD’s as I have been doing on and off for months now since moving into the house.

Reinstalled iMac and tested out new Apple Keyboard

I decided 2 nights ago that I would backup my iMac and reinstall it. It didn’t really needed it, but I was in the mood to give it a good tidy up. I’d managed to clutter it up a little in recent weeks and wanted to give it a fresh bit of life. This time I will be more aware of what I install on it.

Further more I also wanted to test out the new Apple Keyboard, so I hooked it up and was using it. Needed to install Keyboard Software Update to get the special keys to work. But it seems to work fine, I don’t mind it at all. If I had to pick something about it, I would have to say the location of the USB ports on it. I prefer the location of the USB ports on the older model keyboard.

I’ll do a post in a few weeks time with all the fancy applications I use. Some of them are free, which is good. I’ve found applications in the past only by chance or by someone recommending it. So hopefully by doing the same, I can enlighten someone else.