Posts Tagged ‘new’

This is not Pavement.

This is not Pavement.

Twice in the past week I have had discussions about the phrase “new and improved”, mostly starting by someone saying that an item cannot be both. Let us look at this.

The way I see this phrase is that an object can hold the characteristics of new as well as the characteristics of improved.

If I have a drawer full of forks that are all used and slightly worn and someone gives me an identical model fork but right from the factory it is then a new fork. Even though I have many like it, this one has not been uesd.

Now if I take an existing fork and tape a guiding laser along the tines the fork is very much improved.

So if someone gives me a new from the factory fork that is the same as all the rest, except that it now has a guiding laser would it not then be new and improved?

I can see where the phrases can be contradictory and it is really all tied up in how the word “new” is interpreted. If it is read as being the first ever made or never before experienced then something cannot be new and improved. If improvements can only be made on existing items and new items cannot have existing before then there is indeed a contradiction.

But if I improve something in a new way then this particular object is new by improvement. Wouldn’t that be new and improved?

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It is easier to transfer files over for a new typewriter.

It is easier to transfer files over for a new typewriter.

Before I received my new laptop I had to make a decision: rely on Migration Assistant to move everything over or do it myself. I had a large library of photos so I decided to do it by hand.

With a large hard drive at hand I had to decide what to move over. Aside from the obvious such as documents, music and such I went through the Libraries (User and System) along with applications to see what I could move over. As well as what would actually help.

I grabbed what preferences seemed important and some application support files (Doom 3 keeps the save games in the User/Library/Application Support) and a handful of other I thought to be useful (RSS reader, Safari folder). What I forget to grab that turned out to be important: Keychain. I have a lot of useless websites with passwords saved and it is just easier for the computer to remember these.

Mail did not like being transfered over through a direct copy. In the end I just re-setup three of my e-mail accounts on the new laptop and archived the older folder. Luckily all of my accounts are IMAP so it just required a massive download (I don’t really clean or organize my e-mails).

The other tricky bit was Time Machine. I wanted to just plug it in to the new laptop and have it resume where it left off. No dice. I even tried to change the MAC address based on this Mac OS X Hints article and that did nothing.

I did find out that option-clicking on the Time Machine icon allows one to access other Time Machine’s on the give disk. This let me go into my Powerbook’s TIme Machine, delete some things taking up space and start a whole new Time Machine for my MacBook Pro. The only disadvantage of this system is that the Powerbook backups will not be deleted to make room so I need to keep an eye on it myself.

So far nothing was missed, then again I tended to keep an organized system to begin with, no personal documents outside the User file except for some save games in the applications folder.

We will see in a week or so if anything critical was left behind.

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There are a lot of windows out there.

There are a lot of windows out there.

With my new fancy x86 process I went and installed Windows on my MacBook Pro. I was unsure of how I wanted to go about doing this and in the end found a good method.

First my needs: I wanted a system that could run Windows programs alongside OS X and I wanted to be able to boot into the system to play games (Fallout 3). I thought that I would have to make two installs, one through Boot Camp and the other through Parallels. To my fortune I found that Parallels can run a Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine while still allowing a person to boot into it when the need arises. I was set.

The only concern with this is that it sees it as new hardware every time the boot method changes, luckily there is a workaround through Parallels to avoid this.

I created a 32GB FAT32 partition through the Boot Camp assistant for my Windows XP install. The only tricky bit is that when the XP installer asks if you want to format the partition you must say yes. The install failed my first time through.

Booting into the fresh Windows install I used the OS X install DVD to get the drivers and some boot camp software. Those helped as my resolution jumped quite a bit and the trackpad started to work better (though not perfectly). First thing I did was run windows update and install AVG Free Edition. With those completed and running smoothly I switched back to OS X.

Now the moment of truth, I started up Parallels. It instantly recognized the Boot Camp partition and started to convert it to one parallels could use. After what seemed like an hour it was ready and I started the virtual machine up. I installed Parallels Tools just to make things easier. I then booted into Windows to check if it still worked, it did! So back to OS X and the virtual machine, I installed a line of basic (free) software every computer needs:

  • AVG Free Edition – Anti-Virus, fairly non-intrusive and runs well
  • VLC – Video player
  • iTunes – Music player and internet radio
  • Firefox – A web browser to use instead of Internet Explorer
  • Lavasoft Adaware – For removing ad-ware when things start slowing down
  • Flash – To play all of those addictive flash games
  • 7zip – Unarchive .rar, .zip and all of the various archive formats out there
  • ImgBurn – For burning CD’s and DVD’s
  • Dropbox – A good way to keep files synched between computers and OS’s.

With those installed happily I moved on to customizing the Windows install to get away from the blue theme with rolling grassy hills in the background. For this I relied entirely on the Lifehacker article on customization.

I should also mention that my Parallels Virtual Machine settings are:

  • Half the System RAW (2GB)
  • One processor (at 2.8 GHz)
  • Half the dedicated video RAM (256 MB)
  • Assigned to Space 4 (I use a 2 x 2 grid for Spaces)

In the end when I am in OS X this is what my Windows space looks like:

My Parallels window of Windows.

My Parallels window of Windows.

Overall I am very happy with how Windows is running on my new computer. Planescape: Torment runs well in Parallels and Fallout 3 runs superbly in Boot Camp. Eventually I will try some other games and other programs. Until then I will enjoy a smoothly running system.

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As I leave UCSB I depart with my trusty Powerbook.

As I leave UCSB I depart with my trusty Powerbook.

Today I leave my trusty Powerbook G4 for a new MacBook Pro. As part of my graduation gift I need to set up my Powerbook for my Brother and trust that he will take as good care of it as I have.

It is an oddly sentimental parting, I know that the Powerbook will remain in the family, in fact I can see it every day.

And yet…

It is traveled the world with me, spent four years of college and I have changed so much since I received it after my high school graduation four years ago.

This is also the first time I am not migrating my hard drive I have been migrating, upgrading or archive and installing all of my computers since OS X was initially released. So simply moving my files over and reinstalling the applications seems like a fresh start in a way, yet at the same time it feels like I am losing something.

I will miss the stubborn latch, the custom feet made of painters tape, the noisy DVD drive and all of the dents and dings that I felt personally when the computer received them. I have become so used to the hardware that using the new MacBook Pro makes me feel slightly fumbling and awkward.

Now I need to move forward, embrace my new laptop and customize it so it feel like mine again.

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