Project Status

Ok, we’ve got several things going on; some things stalled out. Here is a quick update on some recent posts:

Windows 2008 Server Beta
I installed this on my spare office workstation over the weekend, and then chickened out on cutting over because that is the bookkeeper’s workstation with QuickBooks, and the bookkeeper was due that Monday. If there is anything I’ve learned about finance, you don’t want to upset the staff. When its not the financial staff’s machine, that machine is used by the Spousal Unit as their workstation… and the same thing applies.

One thing that was kind of nice is that Win 2008 automatically installs as a dual-boot configuration if it finds another version of Windows on the installation machine. It automatically creates a dual-boot menu, with itself as the default choice, and “Legacy Windows” as an alternative. You can go into the “System” applet in the control panel on Windows XP, and turn that back to Legacy Windows, so that the aforementioned personnel don’t even realize they are using a dual boot machine. Bwaaaahaaaaa!

Apple Macintosh MacBoook
Using a Mac is an enriching experience; a little like learning a foreign language. What’s good?

  • The Hardware. The MacBook is hands-down the most elegant laptop around. It looks and is sleek; relatively light weight, and has a 3-4 hour battery life. It includes built-in wireless, and I find myself wandering around the house, or the campus with just the book, unconnected by an umbilical cord. This is the way portable computing should be. Oh sure, I’d like an eight-hour battery life and two pounds..but this is an order of magnitude better than what I’ve had before.
  • The built-in camera and microphone. They work great.
  • The keyboard. After really suffering with the Dell keyboards with the cursor jumping around like a jumping bean, I can actually type at length on the Mac keyboard. I’m still learning the quirks; the “Apple” key, the weird behavior of the delete key, which I would have called a backspace key, but mechanically, it works well.

As for the Apple software, the core Leopard operating system functions seem to work fine. As for the applications, like iLife and iWork, they really don’t seem that much better or worse than similar Microsoft applications. So if think you’ll change your life by switching, you won’t, or at least I haven’t. What is nice is that I seem to be able to switch back and forth between Windows and the Mac with out a great deal of confusion or downtime. I’ve resisted installing Windows as a dual-boot or virtual machine, partly to force me to work with the Mac applications. I’m waiting for Mac Office 2008 due early next year. I think that will be worth a look.
I don’t mind the glossy MacBook screen, which has gotten decidedly mixed reviews. Of course, I’m still always happy to go back to dual 20″ monitors for programing. And all the grousing about Leopard, the recent update of the Mac OS is blessedly irrelevant, because I never used the earlier versions of the Mac.

Trixbox
Stalled out. This is the IP PBX phone system that I’ve been fooling with for over a year. I bought their “appliance” a couple months ago. I’m thinking about replacing the fan in the Trixbox box with what I hope would be a quieter version. My few tests with internet phone calls have been favorable, and the box appears to stay registered with my VoIP provider VoicePulse. Further work includes installing the Sangoma card to interface with my regular phone line, and I’ve now got two possible remote office connections that I can test for making extensions.

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