MacBook Battery Life Less than I’m satisfied with

August 26, 2009

I am enjoying my new Apple MacBook–a change of technology a choice deliberately made following the crash of my Sony Vaio laptop hard disk crash. However, it is disappointing how short-lived the battery is.

As I write this the machine is just off being powered with a full charge, and it reports 2 hrs 36 minutes of power left. I could get 3-5 hours on the regular Sony battery, and up to about 6-7 using the over-sized one I bought.

I’m pleased this is the “old” MacBook that has replaceable batteries. I’ve bought 2 extra.
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Galileo Recognized

August 17, 2009

Originating my my childhood reading (and I read a lot then), I have a number of heros. One was and is Galileo Galilei. It was refreshing to read about him again in The Economist. He used the power of his telescope and his mind to recognize that the “accepted” science–the science that was not under debate, had “been decided”, and was no longer is an issue of “debate”–was wrong. He changed the world, and paid a price for his understanding of that world.

Something we should remember in the 21st century.

Healthcare Debate in USA

August 17, 2009

I have been following, from afar, the debate in USA about healthcare. This is of great interest to me for a number of reasons–the most significant being that I have experience with both the UK and USA “system”. It is disappointing to read in the USA media about what some in USA say is so terrible about other countries including the UK.

I understand the need for politicians to create issues; alas, but what a waste of time to create issues based on false information and lies. And shame on the large number of people who appear to believe these lies.

Paul Krugman writes on this more eloquently than I in today’s NY Times in a article entitled “Swiss Menace”. Killer point:

But a Swiss-style system of universal coverage would be a vast improvement on what we have now. And we already know that such systems work. So we can do this. At this point, all that stands in the way of universal health care in America are the greed of the medical-industrial complex, the lies of the right-wing propaganda machine, and the gullibility of voters who believe those lies.

This illustrates the biggest change in the rhetoric of health care reform over the past year. Last summer, during the campaign, Obama succeeded in focusing attention on the real problems of the patchwork insurance-and-care system as it actually exists: rising costs, bureaucratic inflexibility, perverse incentives, inevitable delays and de facto rationing, implicit decisions about life and death. Now, various opponents of a reform plan have succeeded in shifting attention to the imagined problems of a post-reform system: rising costs, bureaucratic inflexibility, perverse incentives, inevitable delays and de facto rationing, implicit decisions about life and death. It is an achievement to ponder.


SharePoint Explained Simply

August 16, 2009

A very creative video which explains what Microsoft SharePoint is all about.


Project Planning

August 13, 2009

Been using Microsoft Project for years. It’s a great tool. One reason it stays in my repertoire is that I am continually learning new things about it. That being said it’s a stagnant product. While Microsoft has grown the market by building and selling Project Server, Project is pretty much the same as it was in the last century. But still with many things to learn about!

I learned recently there are a few competing tools out there that until now I didn’t know anything about. Yes, Primavera is out there (too big, expensive, with much legacy) and now that Oracle has bought it who knows where it will go.

Two recent discoveries: OmniPlan by the folks who brought me OmniFocus and OmniGraffle–both of which I use daily. US$150. And a “free” open source project which produces OpenProj which appears to be using Microsoft Project as their design basis.

I also really like and use Risky Project as it changes everything. I consider it “Project Planning 3.0” and has a great future.

I’m going to be experimenting with OmniPlan and OpenProject over the next few weeks in prep for attending the Microsoft Project Conference in September. [I am still a little puzzled why Microsoft, a global player, is limiting the “free” licensed copy of Project Professional 2010 to only those participants at the Conference who are from USA or Canada!.}


Physics for Future Presidents

August 12, 2009

I am reading a tremendous book. It was written by Richard A. Muller, a Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. The book jacket does not mislead when it says “Physics for Future Presidents is a fascinating, lively, and nontechnical primer on precisely those topics that a future president and the electorate must master.” And since I can’t say it any better than the book jacket already does, “After treating the physics behind terrorist weapons, from airplanes to anthrax, Muller goes on to examine energy, nukes, space, and global warming. He turns many previously held assumptions on their ear, assumptions which, if uncorrected, could lead policy makers to serious mistakes.”

I’m about half way through and I’m fascinated with his explanations of what radioactivity is, how it works, how it decays, how it disperses, how it affects human tissue, how human tissue responds, and how it is measured. He is explaining the physics of it. What’s even more fascinating is how the physics is complete different that how I believe most people believe. And that leads to the large risk of mistaken political decisions.

Highly recommended.


Upgraded Apple Safari, Killed my Access to my bank

August 12, 2009

Apple released a small upgrade to Safari this week and from I read includes security improvements. My bank has decided they don’t like that version and report “we do not support this browser”. Sigh.