Archive for July, 2007

Mac and a Movie

Today’s post is in two parts – and they really have nothing to do with each other. I mainly didn’t feel like writing two different entries. Part one is an update of my experience with my new Mac mini. Part two is a few brief words about a movie I saw for the first time today. So read one – or read both. The choice is yours.

Things are going “okay” with the new Mac. I decided to try and get some business applications up and going on OS X. I found and installed both the Cisco VPN client and the Lotus Notes client. You can see a picture of this over at my Flickr account. Maybe this isn’t interesting to anybody but me. I know Macs have been around for a long time, but as a Windows user looking in – it always seemed like there was no software available for the Mac. I’m starting to prove to myself that I can find viable software options for OS X. Along the same line, can anyone tell me if there is a simple default text editor on my Mac? When I work in Windows, I often use the most basic programs (like Notepad, Wordpad, and MSPaint) as opposed to full applications suites (like MS Office). Anyway – point me in the right direction please.

Moving away from technology posts … I saw a fantastic movie today for the first time called “Children of a Lesser God” starring Marlee Martin (at that time, age 21). This is one of those films that I wonder how I never ran across it before. Very powerful – about love, accepting others “as they are”, and finding that common ground. The funny part is I have seen Marlee on other shows – specifically her role as Joey Lucas on “The West Wing”. She is incredibly talented, and I will certainly keep an eye out for her future appearances. It was great to see her earlier work. I would encourage you to rent the film (or catch it on HDNet movies like I did).

That is it for now. I’ve got to grab a late lunch and get started with laundry.

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Southwest Industrial Gases – Explosion

There was an explosion around 9:30 AM this morning near downtown Dallas.  It made the front page news on CNN.  I grabbed my camera and shot this video from my office window on the 32nd floor of 1700 Pacific Avenue.  You could feel the shockwaves from each explosion in the office window glass.



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Wireless printing with a Mac

I have been on a quest to set up wireless IP printing from a Mac for one of my coworkers at their home.  Tonight we finally found the magic combination of hardware to make it work.  We had tried using their existing Netgear wireless print servers (which had a USB printer attached) without any luck.  The Mac would print, but the correct print drivers were not available under the IP Printers section.  The solution was to pull out the Netgear print servers and replace them with Apple AirPort Express adapters.  The Mac uses Bonjure for printing, and the Windows PC’s can still IP print using a standard TCP/IP port.  Everyone is finally happy!  Just goes to show that Apple computers really only play well with other Apple hardware.  I’m just happy to have put this one behind me.

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“I’m a Mac AND I’m a PC”

When Apple first started putting Intel chips in the Mac, I knew my days were numbered. You may remember me making fun of Apple Bootcamp when it first came out (software that allows you to run Windwos on a Mac). What can I say – I guess everyone has the right to change their mind. So I am now the proud owner of a Mac mini. I’m dual booting between OS X and WinXP. Very cool stuff. I’ll post more details later (including pics). For now, I can tell you I don’t hate Mac OS as much as I thought I would. Hardest part is getting used to the idea that application menu bars are docked (and dynamic) at the top of the screen. No kidding – I opened iTunes and couldn’t figure out where my menu bar was for about 30 seconds. I’m sure that will pass soon. Anybody know how to rename the hard drive partition icons on the desktop? One says “Macintosh Hard Drive” and the other says “Untitled”. I want to rename the “Untitled” one to “Windows”. The Windows user in me tried right-clicking, but that did not work. More later. I’ve got dinner plans – must go and get ready.

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Back from Brazil

What an amazing trip! Just got back from five days in Rio de Janeiro. The main purpose of the trip was to attend the wedding of my good friend Christian. The wedding was beautiful, and I just want to thank Christian and Isabel for welcoming me into their home. It was an honor to be a part of the wedding party – sharing this special day with you. All my love and best wishes as you start the rest of your lives together.

But we had time for more than just the wedding. There was the bachelor party (all details held in confidence – don’t ask – just trust me that it is very different than U.S. bachelor parties). We also ate a lot of good food. Thursday evening we had dinner at an Arab buffet that included a great show will belly dancers. Friday night we ate at Porcão, my favorite churrascaria (Brazilian barbecue). My absolute favorite Brazilian meal is bacon-wrapped filet with a side of creamy cheese rice. I left the Feijoada to Christian and Sandy! And we had plenty of Skol (beer) and Caipirinhas (made from Cachaça).

You will find plenty of pictures of the wedding (as well as a visit to Christo) on my Flickr account. I guess this means I only have six of the seven wonders of the world to left to visit.

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Wish you were here?

 

More pictures on Flickr.

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Live Earth

I decided to take in some of the “Live Earth” coverage on NBC this evening.  “Going green” and “carbon neutral” are certainly buzz words these days.  Even the company I work for is seeking LEED certification for our new office space.  We even signed a contract for renewable energy.

So the one thing I keep hearing over and over again is that we should all switch out some of our light bulbs for CF bulbs.  It sounds good on the surface.  They consume less energy and they last longer.  What could be wrong with that?  Mercury – that’s what is wrong.  Take a look at this PDF file (top of page 2).  It explains what you should do if you accidentally break a CF bulb.  Step number one alone should be enough to scare you … “Open a window and leave the room for at least 15 minutes.”  Read the whole section – you will be shocked.

I’m all for helping the environment when it makes sense.  I have used light rail to travel to work 5 days a week for the last seven years.  Not only is it easy, it is cheaper than driving.  If you don’t have light rail in your town, consider taking a bus, riding a bike, or establishing a carpool.  For now, I’m sticking to regular light bulbs.  I’m unwilling to create a hazmat zone in my home in order to save energy.  Think carefully before you blindly follow Al Gore’s advice and “Answer the Call.”

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Arizona Vacation Photos



 
 

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Arizona Vacation (Part 1)

On Saturday evening, we went just around the corner to a local telescope store called Starizona. Several nights per week, the store owners as well as patrons bring out their telescopes and interact with the public. We saw some amazing views of the moon and the planets through Celestron telescopes like this one.

On Sunday evening, we went to see the Tucson Parks & Recreation performance of “Much Ado About Nothing,” This is the 20th year for their Shakespeare Under the Stars program.

Today we drove from Tucson to Phoenix. A friend of the family is the plant manager for the local Coca-Cola bottling facility there. We were taken on a private tour through the bottling facility (which was most impressive). Did you know that the shelf life of canned soda is about 90 days? Diet soda has a shorter shelf life. I also learned that Coke made in Monterrey, Mexico is produced with sucrose (instead of the high fructose corn syrup used here in the United States). Anyway – it was a blast.

Tomorrow we are headed to Kartchner Caverns State Park.

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