You will be assimilated, and you'll like it

O'kay, so that new toy comment from my last post... I bought a new computer. I thought about it and decided that it was time that I untethered myself from my desk. So I am now the owner of a new MacBook. I thought about getting the Pro for the firewire port, but I have an iMac and a Windows PC with firewire, so it's not like I don't have access to systems with that support. I opted for the lower of the new aluminum models. The cost/price balance just put me there. Extra RAM can be added later, as can the HD swapped out. I don't really care all that much about a backlit keyboard, so why spend the extra money for things I don't need? Right?

Anyway, since buying it I've been let out of work early most days and have been taking my new gear to a deli near work with free wifi and chilling out with a nice sandwich. Also, I transcode video pretty frequently and things that were taking 5 to 8 hours on my G4 iMac are taking an hour or so on the new system using the exact same software. Speed (as my employer likes to say in their commercials) is beautiful.

I was stressing out a little over how to manage my calendars and address book between my two machines, as I don't want to make either one my primary system. I also don't want to spend the rather exorbitant cost for a .Mac (or MobileMe as they call it now) account just so my information is the same across both computers. Well turns out that I don't have to worry at all, I just have to be a little more diligent about syncing my phone... to both computers. Problem solved.

Speaking of phones, a few months back I became the owner of an iPhone 3G. I know, I know, just sinking deeper into the Cult of Apple; paying homage to my leader, The Great and Powerful Steve. hehe. What can I say, I like their hardware and their software. I'm not so much a fan of their business practices but I am all about choosing the lesser of the two evils, or how many other evils there might happen to be to chose from.

No, I haven't jailbroken the phone... may, may not. Not sure. Other than tethering the thing I haven't really come across anything just yet that I might want to do with the phone that I can't get an app from the official app store to do. We will see.

In regards to my iPhone, I picked up a Griffin AirCurve the other day from their website. They were offering free shipping, and from Griffin's Facebook page there was a discount code to take 25% off, so it was only $14.99 USD, and I got it in less than 48 hours. yay! It's a stand for the iPhone that channels the sound from the built-in speaker through a waveguide which increases the volume about 10dB without any electronics. Works really well. I use my phone as my alarm clock. With the iPhone, my choices have been low volume and right next to my bed or high volume across the room. With low volume next to the bed, it was really easy to turn off the alarm before I was actually awake. With high volume, there was the risk of damaging the speaker. Now that isn't a problem.

Now I called it a stand and not a dock because by itself it isn't a dock. There is a path through the center which you can feed a charging cable to make it into a dock, which I have. The nice bit about that is that you can just pick the thing up and take it where ever you might need wide audience sound without any extra power but the option to power up is there with the use of pretty much any USB iPhone charging cable you might be able to find. Obviously, Griffin's fits best but the Apple one works pretty well, too. Belikn's seems to be patterned after Griffin's so I'm assuming that would work just as well.

Lastly Netflix just announced that they are opening beta testing of Watch Instantly via Microsoft Silverlight. The nice bit about this is that means that Mac users with Intel based systems can now use it. I just recently became a Netflix user and with my new Mac, this is a good thing. I tested it tonight by watching episode 1 season 1 of MI:5. I've caught bits of that show over time and always wanted to see the whole thing. Now I can. Season 1 and 2 are available until December 1st, so watch quickly if you're interested. I would like to be able to watch these things directly on my TV but no go just yet. The current iteration of the Silverlight player has a lot of obvious image tearing, even in low action scenes. It's beta, we'll see.

In less than 6 hours the polls open in my district, I'm not going THAT early but I will be there. If you're in the US, and you haven't already voted absentee, I beg you to get out today and do it. Do I care who you vote for? Sure, I would prefer that you voted along with me but more than that I would prefer that you vote. This country is too screwed up to just sit back and let other people continue to make the decisions.

That is all, you may return to your irregularly scheduled lives, already in progress.