An open letter from a cyclist to 99% of drivers

953282_

The news always seems to be carrying some story about a cyclist and a driver getting into a fight or of a cyclist being struck by a car while they are riding. When these stories are discussed in the comments section of a news site tempers flare and heated arguments about sharing the road break out. The pattern is so consistent that you can predict it pretty accurately: … [Read more...]

The Accidental iPad and How I Use It

ipad_hero_20100403

When Steve Jobs announced the iPad a few months ago I didn't think "Wow, I gotta have me one of those...". Though I was intrigued by the form factor and slightly motivated by Steve Jobs' demonstration of the device, it didn't scream out at me as something I needed. I was actually more amused with all the criticism surrounding the choice of iPad as the name for the device. I yawned and went on with my life. Nearly a month ago I walked in to our local Apple store with my family. We weren't … [Read more...]

Macs and Failing Hard Disks – an early detection tool

smart_icon

The other day I was sitting at my desk when I started to hear a faint clicking sound. I pushed the noise out of my mind for a while and continued to work on the task at hand. Before long the clicking started to get louder and louder; it was clearly a consistent mechanical noise and was coming from under my desk, right where my Mac Pro is parked. I popped my head down there and sure enough, it sounded like one of my 4 hard drives was starting to go. Usually if you hear a clicking sound coming … [Read more...]

Switching to Mac – Two Years Later

wintomac

It's now the two year mark for my switch from Windows to Mac. Over the last two years I've gone from a Windows developer exploring the Mac as a compliment to my Windows and Linux machines to a full time Mac user that spends the vast majority of my time in OS X. I didn't wake up one day and say "Wow, I hate Windows. I'm going to switch to Mac". I bought a little white MacBook, put it on the desk next to my primary Windows machine and started playing with it. Though technically underpowered … [Read more...]

Using Mac Preview for a quick slideshow – fail

I generally like to put up blog posts that talk about cool things I've discovered on my Mac, or problems I've overcome and how I did that. This time it's about a pet peeve I have with my Mac: quickly viewing a group of images. I believe there is a tiny change Apple can make that would have a huge impact on usability, especially for non-technical users. Preview is a very cool part of OS X. Small and light, I can load lots of different files and off I go, scanning through them quickly. As a … [Read more...]

Apple solves my MacBook Pro battery problem

IMG_0245-250

After finding that my MacBook Pro's battery required service and would no longer hold a charge I made an appointment with the Genius Bar at my local Apple store in Reston, VA. After a short wait Vilma (the Genius) called me up and asked what the trouble was. After I filled her in on the issue she reached into a drawer and grabbed an iPod Nano that was labeled "Battery Diagnostics":     Once that was plugged in and she rebooted the machine she loaded up a diagnostic … [Read more...]

A MacBook Pro and a Dying Battery

MA348-100

I've gotten a lot of e-mail lately asking why I haven't been updating my blog. Frankly it's because of two reasons: my business has kept me busier than a one-armed wall-paper hanger and my Macs have just worked. With my adjustment period from Windows to Mac firmly in the rear view mirror and a well rounded set of applications available for use, I haven't really had any issues to speak of.   That is, until this last weekend when my MacBook Pro's battery decided to act … [Read more...]

Upgrading to Snow Leopard

51w7n+tXwgL._SL160_AA115_

The UPS truck pulled up yesterday and delivered my family upgrade pack to Snow Leopard. Though I'm a software developer I really stick to the web side of things and have not participated in any of the developer versions of Snow Leopard. As a result, I've only done modest reading on it and I am approaching this upgrade as many consumers would.   Rather than jump in with both feet, I decided to upgrade my MacBook Pro first, holding off on my primary machine (a Mac Pro) until I had … [Read more...]

I hate my Mac!

iwork

I was chatting with some friends yesterday, some folks I hadn't seen in a while. As they were getting ready to leave Donna looked over at my MacBook, propped open and sitting on a table.   Donna: "Ugh. Macs."   She had a disgusted look on her face, as though something unpleasant had just been released into the air. This caught me a bit by surprise. You see, Donna had called me earlier in the year because she wanted to replace an aging XP based laptop and knew I was a … [Read more...]

TNT doesn’t like Mac users

tnt_logo2

I was sitting on the couch the other day and relaxing when my wife yelled to me from the other room: David! My Mac's not working! I love those highly specific descriptions of a problem. I asked for a little more clarity. I'm trying to watch a video and it's not working! I dragged myself off the couch and over to my wife's MacBook. She was on the TNT site and trying to watch an episode of Raising the Bar. She would click on "watch a full episode" and … [Read more...]

The application Mail quit unexpectedly – GrowlMail problems

growlicon

One of my favorite–yet least mentioned–free utilities is Growl, a universal notification service for Mac that lets applications notify you of events. Now instead of each application deciding on how they want to present notifications for things like new mail, incoming tweets, etc. you can control it in a single place, assuming the application supports Growl or an extension has been written for it. Such is the case with Mail.app. Though Mail.app is not written to support Growl the developers … [Read more...]

Book resources for learning Ruby on Rails

rails

I've now been using Ruby on Rails for a little over a year and have found it to be a fantastic environment to build web based applications. The last year has not been without some serious pain and learning curves and while I hardly consider myself a master of the environment I've found a number of resources that may help you if you are considering using RoR as a development platform. Sure, you can access nearly everything you need to learn RoR online but I am personally still … [Read more...]