What I Look for in a Laptop

After having a slight scare with the “h” key on my trusty Vostro 1400 (the key mechanism was binding slightly so that it had to be firmly pressed from the top to register), I began casually perusing the laptop market to see what was available.

Since I’ve had this laptop for over 3 years now, it is nearing the end of its normal service life. Lithium Ion batteries are only good for 3 to 5 years. Based on previous experience, I probably have about a year left before the battery stops holding a charge. Even though I could just buy a replacement battery, getting something new may be a better alternate (already have a fatigue crack near the ExpressCard slot).

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New Box Build

Originally, this year was the year to get a new laptop or a tablet (ASUS Eeepad Transformer). However, due to another rash of BSoD’s and memory issues with the desktop, and a real lack of laptops worth buying (more on this later) it was time to replace the desktop. Part of me really wanted to push this off until AMD’s Bulldozer launched this summer, but I needed a stable desktop.

Truth be told, this wasn’t a fully new build. I only updated the following components:

  • CPU: C2D E8500 => i7 2600K
  • Memory: DDR2 800 4GiB XMS2 with DHX => DDR3 1600 8GiB Vengeance
  • Motherboard: DQ35JO => GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3
  • SSD: 80GB x-25m G1 => 120GB Intel 320

Is it fast? Of course. The processor and memory upgrade is the most noticeable, especially for tasks such as video trans-coding. However, the transition from the x-25m to the 320 was not a big upgrade. Under load, the system runs significantly cooler than the old C2D based system. Part of this may be due to replacing the front exhaust fan (the PC-A05NB vents to the front) with a PWM controlled one that can move much more air if needed.

Overall, I’m enjoying this new build, and can once again rely on my desktop for important tasks such as programming.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Colorado Trip 2010 – Buena Visa Area

Old Monarch Pass

Now that I am back from Colorado, it is time to post some of the images taken with my Canon S90. There are only 180 of them, which ate about 2.3GiB of space on my SD card—it looks like I did not need that second 4GiB card that I brought with. This is less than I took last year, which was again, down from the year before.

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Goals, Week 2

Since I managed to complete the four goals I set out to do last week, I’m creating the list again for this week.

  1. Complete custom post type support in Breadcrumb NavXT. The testbed and cases are ready, the initial code it there. I just need to finish it up. This may be a two week goal due to the amount of work required. (done)
  2. Create a screencast that demonstrates the work flow of WP Lynx. Last week this didn’t make the list, but was something I wanted to get done. (Can’t seem to get audio to work correctly.)
  3. Clean up the code to Quick Key NavXT and submit it to the WordPress.org plugins database. This was something I wrote a long time ago and never released. It was inspired by an idea from Charles Stricklin when he was still doing the WordPress community podcast.(Cleaned up, available here)
  4. Run at least 3 times this week. Last week I did it, time to repeat. (done)

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

This Week’s Goals

Since this year has been very bad for me keeping promises, and achieving short term goals, I’m going to lay out what I need to get done this week. I’ve always found having a task list has made it easier for me to complete tasks and accomplish goals.

  1. Submit WP Lynx to the WP.org plugins repository. Well the cat’s out of the bag now. I have hinted at it a few times before, and it has been tested under great scrutiny by JD. By tomorrow evening there will be more information on this. (done)
  2. Fix some visual bugs in Berry 2. In many circumstances there are visual bugs in Berry 2. There are a few issues in the Android browser, and some in Firefox for Linux that I’m going to concentrate on fixing. Additionally, I found that the gallery image spacing is not quite what I want. (done)
  3. Work on Breadcrumb NavXT’s custom post type support. I’ve already begun diving into this. By the end of this week the SVN trunk will be volatile again. At the moment I need to write code that uses the new custom post type API so that I can write and test code for Breadcrumb NavXT (previously I used WP trainer for this, and maybe it will show up someday). (started)
  4. Run at least 3 times this week. Last summer I really slacked off when it came to running. After graduation, I’ve managed to run on average twice a week. I’d like to get this up to a minimum of 3 times a week, ideally 6 times a week. (done)

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]