Legit Software

I'm sad to admit that I'm actually surprised at how much legal software I've got here on the new ThinkPad. Windows Vista is legal on it, and I have now got my legal copy of Adobe Creative Suite (1) on here, and last night I found and took advantage of a pretty good deal on Microsoft Office 2007, the Ultimate Edition, straight from Microsoft, for $80usd. So… here I am on the ThinkPad, with all legal music and all legal software. It's cool, and it was surprisingly affordable, especially given that this used my Windows software collection, which is, as we all know, extensive and varied. I like this setup though, especially since it allows me to move some of the responsibility away from the iMac, which I want to be my graphics/gaming computer.

On another note, I really do quite love Microsoft Office OneNote 2007, I've already started using it for notes for my classes, and I intend to keep using it for other things, such as keeping track of tasks, and other pieces of information I want to have handy. It'll definitely be something I use on a regular basis while I'm doing NaNoWriMo and other similar projects, I think.

Speaking of NaNo, I've got a bit of an idea, and I'm working on developing it a bit more through the end of September and into October. Hopefully by mid-October I should actually be ready to start writing, although what I'll do then is just start plot-sequencing onto notecards or some similar media. (like OneNote, since I'll be using the computer all the time anyway.)

In other news, I think I am going to expand my collection of DVD-RW media, I'd like to be able to use them to back up the ThinkPad, which means I should need about 30 total, maybe fewer. It'd be something I'd do not-too-often, maybe monthly full-system backups onto DVD-RW and weekly or nightly backups of just the changes onto the 40gig drive in the external enclosure. We'll see.


Fire Alarm

Well, it's happened. Gabaldon Hall has had a fire alarm that I've been here for. Apparently, according to Jim, it has actually happened multiple times, but this is the first time I've been here for one. It was about midnight, and luckily it didn't seem too serious, although it was quite interesting. Although, I didn't see Meaghan or Glenn, presumably they either were elsewhere, or just didn't come out. Oh well.


Epic Song

Jim was browsing 7-Chan today, and we discovered this most-epic song. Here is a YouTube video of it.

I love the Internet.

In other news, I discovered something called Ruckus. It's kind of stupid and kitschy at first, until you realize how much awesome, free music can be attained from it.


Well, I suppose it is time once-again to update the ol' Blog. Of course, since my previous update, many things have transpired, all of which I would desperately love to let the world know.

But my time is purportedly more important than updating the blog everything minor (or major) happens in my life, even if it's one of those things that I consider to be of utmost importance.

One of the things for which I especially feel the need to update my blog is whenever my arsenal of computers is updated or changed, or I experience some major computing difficulty. (Silly dead hard discs.) In the past week, two major computing-related events have happened.

The first major event was that I got a ThinkPad. It's an old one, from mid-1995, a ThinkPad 760CD, which has a Pentium 90 or Pentium 120 processor, 8 megabytes of memory, and a 1.2 gigabyte hard disc. It's a nice little machine, has an okay keyboard, it was in amazing condition when I got it, and it's got a working battery, that yields about 3 hours of runtime, including fairly frequent hard disc access for things like opening and saving files, and freaking out trying to figure out where OS/2 Warp 3 puts some command I wanted. It feels like a very durable little machine, and the battery life on it is amazing. OS/2 Warp 3 isn't even that unusable as an operating system on it, and it does have some cool features like a "notepad" app that keeps groups of "pages," in what basically amounts to a book of notes and things, It's definitely a nifty notion, and I like the idea, but it's somewhat outdated, and it's difficult to move that data to a newer computer or put it online.

The second major event of which I will write, is that I got a ThinkPad. No, I'm not entering some crazy time warp where I repeat the same day over and over again. I got a second ThinkPad. It's a much newer one, and I do think I got a pretty good deal on it. I was at Staples with Megan, and naturally started wandering around, and the ThinkPad was there. It's the low end model, but it's at the bottom of a very high end series of computers, touted for their amazing durability and reliability. It was one of the machines I was already looking at buying, and after seeing the specs and the price, with both an instant reduction and a rebate, it was extraordinarily tempting. So I went ahead and got it, the Pismo is falling apart anyway, and the other ThinkPad, while a novel little thing, isn't exactly an effective machine when it comes to moving data in and out.

I did get a warranty from Staples, but I think I am going to go ahead and call Lenovo and see if they've got a warranty, if they do I will probably cancel the warranty from Staples. After the rebate, this machine will come to about $700, almost $200 cheaper than I could've gotten it for straight from Lenovo, even with the Educational discount.

It's not the slim X61 or the mighty T61, but it's got approximately the same computing power, and I don't mind the extra bit of chunkiness anyway. An added benefit is that this is a model that's got the ThinkPad RollCage, which is a nifty implement that will hopefully keep this thing running a long time.

Well, I'm sure there's more, but I've been sitting on this post for nearly three days. I've got to post it eventually.


Word 2007

Today, I'm working the desk in the South LAC as well as the ACHD phones. This certainly provides an interesting opportunity, as I am now having some time up close and personal (for the first time) with Microsoft Office 2007. I would still like to get my own copies of Vista and Office 2007, but at the very least, this is proving to be an interesting foray.

It'll be the first time since its release that I've had Word 2007 opened for more than a few minutes. I find it interesting, actually that the first thing I find in Word 2007 is the blog post function. I can see the usefulness though, it's a nice simplified view that provides mainly the functionality that I would need/want while writing a blog post. I can see actually, how somebody doing this for a living might want something like this.

One of the biggest changes is the ribbon and that new Office button. The ribbon provides what could be an excellent and much simpler interface to Word functionality. Although, it could also confuse a lot of veteran office users to no end. Plus, with no "traditional" menus such as File and Edit, I happen to have received several "how do you print?" questions about Office 2007. Once I got over myself and my Office 2003/2004 expertise, I realized that this is a great program. Presumably, it's suitemates in the Office 2007 systems are also worth their weight, but I haven't tried them yet.

I suppose this means that I am holding out, and instead of switching all of my office tasks over to Apple's new iWork '08 suite, I am going to be looking at Office 2007 and Office 2008 more closely. I am even considering just only using a PC for Office tasks, were I to get a newer mobile computer that happens to have the ability to run Windows. (Thinkpad T61, R61 or X61!)

Another interesting tidbit is that the monitors here at the S-LAC can be raised pretty high up. I can see how for somebody concerned with ergonomics, or rotating the display, that would be a pretty important little tidbit. It is accomplished on these (and other similar Dell LCD monitors) by pressing the button on the back of the base, and lifting the display up.

Also: I've linked my blog site to the blog of one of my online friends, Aeroraptor.


Of Pismos and ThinkPads.

The Pismo has developed a few more lines on the screen. It's now got a vertical red bar 3 pixels wide in the middle of the screen, and just a few pixels to the left of that, a 1px white line. Add to that, the screen's hinge hasn't been getting any tighter in the past few months. (Although the lower half is, in general, quite reliable it seems. :P)

I was therefore thinking about possible replacement of the Pismo, just because it turns out that having a fairly reasonably-well working mobile computer is actually extraordinarily helpful.

And then "The Eternal Question" popped up. Would a Pismo replacement be used or new?

I don't need all the functionality of a brand new laptop, so something even as old as the Pismo would be just fine, but I do wonder whether or not the added cost of a new one would make it worth waiting longer and getting a new one.

I suppose the benefit of a brand new laptop is that (unlike a used laptop), I'm here in 2007 at the very beginning of its life, instead of here in 2007 possibly at the close of what could have been a very long life.

Recently I asked somebody online about an IBM ThinkPad T20 mobile computer they were offering for sale. It was a fairly upgraded unit, having 512mb of memory and a 40 gigabyte hard disc, as well as a CDRW/DVDROM Combo drive, and some PCMCIA expansion cards. However, what I observed from this is that older ThinkPad computers are inordinately expensive, purely because of their longevity I suppose, similar to how overpriced some PowerBook G3 models are, I suppose.

The funny thing here, I suppose, was that if I could afford the T20 at its asking price, I was already more than a third the way to a newer laptop computer. (A Lenovo ThinkPad even.) Unexpected, but welcome benefits include not having to buy extra batteries straightaway, less fumbling with expansion options to do the same things, and more room and speed for more, and more sophisticated programs. Of course, there's also the whole thing about it lasting for so long.

On the other hand, getting another older laptop (even the insanely priced T20, or an insanely priced PowerBook G3) saves me a little bit of money, ensures I'll stay on-task while in classes, plus the whole thing is less valuable in case it's lost or something else awful happens.

Plus, with a new laptop, I lose the reputation of being efficient enough that I can do everything or nearly everything I need to do with the 8-year-old laptop. (It's 7 now, but it turns eight in January or February of next year, less than 6 months away.)

I suppose the real solution is just to wait until the Pismo dies, and I actually have enough money for a newer mobile computer. The Pismo isn't preventing me from progressing in my life, and admittedly while those lines are disconcerting, they don't prevent anything from getting done. I wouldn't be surprised if (even with the degrading condition of the screen) the Pismo really does still have another year or so left in it as my main mobile computer. So it's possible that at some point, I'll be "the guy with the ten year old laptop!"


Speaking of wild expectations...

Two posts in two days. Nice. I'm kind of unhappy though, right now. It turns out that I now have to drop my COM383 class, which in addition to my VC251 class brings me to about 12 credit hours, I think. Nice given my job, but unfortunate given the fact I really wanted to stay above 15. I think it might not be that bad, probably with EMF252 I'm sitting at 15 or 17, I'll look on LOUIE when it comes back up.

Although I suppose the advantage is that this gives more free time, and reduces my course-load, which will let me focus better on my other courses (many of which are actually important for my major) and of course my interpersonal relationships.

To be fair, my COM382 buddy had already dropped, so now we can be COM382-dropping buddies.



Well... I'm going out with somebody now. Megan, of course, is her name. Anybody who knows me will probably be fairly familiar with her, and astute readers of this blog will probably have read about her before, whether or not I actually mentioned her by name before. I met her before my freshman year at NAU, along with Glenn and Ally, also hailing from Tucson, at new student orientation.

I really do care about Megan, and I'm looking forward to a good relationship with her as "more than a friend." Last night, we spent a good chunk of time together, had dinner, went to the Flagstaff downtown art walk, watched a movie, and then just reclined for a few hours.

So it's with this blog post that I officially add the "Megan" category to the blogspot blog here. You'll probably be hearing more of Megan. ;)