Monthly Archive for February, 2009

Safari 4 Beta – First Impressions

  • I like the new tab management, i.e. tabs on top, drag and drop and no more title bar. It’s more intuitive and reminds me of another Webkit browser — Google Chrome.
  • The address bar (or address field) is smarter now, reminiscent of Firefox’s awesome bar.
  • Top Sites which displays screenshots of your frequently used shots when opening a new tab is nifty and reminds again of Chrome. Safari4 just makes it prettier with the perspective and shadows and black background. Although I think Opera was the first to have that thumbnail grid interface.
  • Just like Firefox, it now has full-page zoom, but it seems to be slow when rendering a zoom in. I tested it on Safari’s feature page and there’s some kind of lag when zooming in.
  • On OS X, it now natively supports Ctrl+Tab when switching tabs.
  • There’s  cover flow for bookmarks and history, which I think is a nice way of trying to find something you’ve visited specially if all you have is a visual memory of how the site looked like rather than keywords.
  • It’s supposed to have better developer tools although I have yet to explore them, although looking from the feature list it’s almost everything Firefox+Firebug can do .
  • I still need to run the sites I usually more to see if it can actually be my main browser on OS X as Google Chrome is still nowhere near available. But, overall it’s a refreshing experience.

Reading Malcolm Gladwell

One of the things I wanted to do this year is to read at least one book a month. So far I’ve read two books and about to finish another. All of them by Malcolm Gladwell. I first read his latest book — “Outliers,” which illustrates that circumstances are as important as effort in being the best or successful at something. Then I read the one before that — “Blink,” which explores how sometimes quick decisions can be better than pre-mediated ones, that we are much smarter than we think we are. Now I’m reading and about to finish his first — “The Tipping Point“,  which tries to explain the factors that can make ideas, news, trends, etc.  become an epidemic. I like the way he writes — very observant. I think it’s similar to how I think, how I take in experiences and process them. Sometimes though I hope I can explain things the way I process them.

My laptop’s back and then some

My laptop’s back from the service centre and it looks and feels new again. They had to replace the whole top case to replace the LCD. So my laptop’s now shiny new and the hinge is still tight. It’s good to note that they were quite fast. Their supposedly standard wait time was 5 working days. So kinda got on a mindset of having no laptop for a week. But I got it after 3 working days. I brought it in Tuesday lunch and it was already available for pickup by Friday. I only got to pick it up Saturday since I didn’t have time to go to Funan on Friday since it’s always a busy day for us at the office.

Continue reading ‘My laptop’s back and then some’

One week without a laptop

I’ve sent in my MBP for servicing because of a grey spot that looks like a smudge inside the LCD. It’s not that noticable before because I’ve always kept my dock on the left side of the screen to maximize the vertical space available for my apps. Lately however, I’ve been using an external monitor so I had the luxury of putting the dock at the bottom. When I disconnected it from the external monitor so I can use it on my lap, that’s the time I saw the smudge. I wonder how it got there though. The lady at the service center told me it’ll take around 5 working days before I get it back. I hope I get it soon though. I’ve heard of stories that it can take a month or two for LCD screens to be replaced.

Last.fm Radio

I’ve read a lot about Last.fm Radio before but never really got around to using it. I was just content with last.fm being able to keep track of the songs I play (on iTunes or my iPod) and recommend me things I might like. Today however, I decided to try and play my radio station since I forgot to charge my iPod. Right from the first couple of sings it played, it seemed like my whole library is actually online. And everything it’s playing is a song that I like. It’s a good thing “broadband” here in Singapore is really broadband so I can practically have non-stop music now based on my musicial preference.

Happy Valentines Day

<3

Of Mice and Wrist Rests

Since I’m starting to experience symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome again, I’ve decided to get my self keyboard and mouse wrist rests by Fellowes. Seems to be helping a lot for now.

I’m still contemplating on what my main pointing device should be for my home setup. Currently, I’m using a Logitech VX Nano Cordless which can become a bit uncomfortable for longer periods of usage. I originally bought it as a portable mouse for my MBP so I don’t intend it to be my main pointing device. I’m thinking of getting a finger operated trackball — a Logitech Cordless Trackman Optical or a Kensington Expert Mouse (if I can find one in Singapore). When using a finger operated trackball, my finger movements would be similar to how I use the trackpad. I should get the hang of it quite fast. I’m currently using a Logitech Trackman Wheel at work and the joints of my thumb seem to be a bit more sore these days.  Or I might just go for a Microsoft Arc Mouse since it’s pretty and I can carry it around. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Books and Programming

Kinokuniya had a Lunar Year Sale. Everything was 20% off storewide. Thus, I decided to invest in books that would help me practice and gain more programming (or scripting) skills. I got phrasebooks for Python, JavaScript, Apache and MySQL. I already have a PHP phrasebook that has proven to be quite handy when I’m stumped and Google can’t seem to help me. I also got a Python + Django book so I can get a better feel of Python from a web development paradigm, since I do mostly web things although I’m hoping to do more mobile stuff soon (iPhone, S60 or even Android if opportunities permit). I also got a book on Dojo Toolkit so that I have an alternative to jQuery.

Some people might argue that you can learn a lot more about programming on the web. Although I also subscribe to that belief, I think I learn a lot faster when I’m reading from a book. Somehow, a book helps me have full focus on what I’m trying to learn. It helps me avoid my penchant to multi-task, specially when I get distracted by all the wonderful things I can see and do on the web.