Archive for March, 2009


March 31, 2009

I frequently work with spreasheets and presentations, which makes me one in a… one-dot-three (or maybe less). I don’t work that much with word processors (and when I do, I mostly use latex but this will be the subject of a different post).

So, I installed microsoft office and openoffice and here are my first impressions:

  • open office is not really Mac OS X look-and-feel. I heard that NeoOffice is a more mac-like version of OO but I haven’t tried it yet.
  • MS Office: it’s big, it’s complex and last but not least, it’s microsoft… Yeah, I’m prejudiced, so what? Oh, and it has these annoying toolboxes that are always in the wrong workspace. Maybe the toolboxes are not the only ones to blame but that’s a tale to be told at a different time. 


March 28, 2009

You’ve got to hand it to the designers at Apple: the macbook is a beautiful machine.

Well, it is true there is some debate over the quality of the glossy screen, in particular concerning reflection. Interestingly enough, right now I’m sitting with my macbook in front of me and an old CRT screen behind it and I can see myself in both of them… But, I guess that this is not much of an argument.

Here’s what I think. I became conscious of this problem when I bought the macbook. The fact that some colleagues were teasing me about it, didn’t help, of course. After working with it for a few weeks, I’m rarely affected by it. Of course, I can see my reflection if I concentrate.

And, if you can get past the reflection issue, the quality of the image is really good.

Of course, there are also some ways to reduce the reflection effect.


March 27, 2009

I’ve recently started to use A.nnotate to make annotations to documents that I’m discussing with colleagues.

But, the “easy” perspective on things struck again. I was reading a document on Preview and I started getting that “I wonder…” feeling again. I checked the Tools menu and… there they were: highlight, strikethrough, underline, draw rectangles, post notes and add links. It’s all there. Easy!

Then, I thought “Hmmm, I wonder if I’m the first to realize this…” Suprise, surprise, I wasn’t. And Preview actually does more than that.

the “easy” perspective on things

March 26, 2009

Selecting files is really a nuisance:

  1. click the browse button
  2. navigate to the directory containing the file
  3. click on the file

If this is something you must do often, as is my case, it is really a lot of wasted time. But, I’ve been used to doing this for so long, that I didn’t even question if a better way was possible.

After using my macbook for a few weeks, I – almost unconsciously – dragged a file which I had visible on a Finder folder, onto the “browse” button and, voilà, it worked. 

I guess it is the “easy” perspective on things that is starting to grow on me.

Then I realized that other OSs must implement the same behavior. However, I found that there is a plugin for Firefox that does the same, so, I guess that not all OSs must have this functionality…



March 25, 2009

No! All my applications just froze. I had to do a hard reboot! I can’t believe it. Quick, must blame it on Microsoft… Yes, I was running Excel (several worksheets were open) and Powerpoint. That must be it. Those damned MS Office applications…

…but not always

March 25, 2009

I’m guessing that OS developers have some pact with the devil: every system they develop, no matter how simple to use it is, screen capture can only be made by an exotic combination of keys, such as [CMD]+[ALT]+c (3 seconds), followed by [CTRL]+[FN]+% (2 seconds) and then jump three times on your left foot…

Why not a simple option in the finder menu?


March 25, 2009

Now, this is a word that people are not used to when talking about computers.

But, suddenly, many things have become easier for me: connecting to a wireless network, installing a printer, …

In case you are wondering, I know my way around a computer and I know that these are pretty simple operations. However, my working activity is split among three places, so life with my previous laptop – running window 2000 – was not really easy. 

At one of the places, in particular, the BOFH makes sure that nothing is simple to do, even for simple things as printing, and the configuration that works today may not work tomorrow.

I took my macbook to all of my working environments and, things were, well, easy… Ok, to be really honest, this is not 100% true, but I’ll come back to that later.

todo… or not todo

March 23, 2009

Yes, it’s true, everybody knows it and the situation is not about to change in iphone os 3.0 (some have even argued that it’s a feature, not a  bug): iphone has no todo application.

I’ve been a todo-junkie since I started using a handspring PDA, 10 years ago (probably some masochistic instinct that gets its thrills out of finding how late I am on so many tasks), so the news came as a shock when I used it for the first time (yes, I bought it on an impulse 🙂 ). 

I know there are plenty of todo applications you can get but I still didn’t set my mind into it and it is not easy to schedule it without a todo application…

Iphone, Imac

March 21, 2009

Day 0

I’ve recently bought a MacBook after many years of Windows+Linux (and a few of windows mobile…). I’ve also bought an iPhone. It’s being a bumpy ride, so I thought that my experience could be useful to others. We’ll see..