This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



April 2004

New Apple Laptops for Me!

On Feburary 27th my 500Mhz Powerbook G4 Titanium had it’s 3rd birthday. Which triggered my “time for a new laptop”. I’m on an every 3 year replacement schedule. But, a few factors were in place. First, I was still unemployed. Not the best time for a big cash outlay. But second, one look at the MacRumor’s Buyer’s Guide made it clear that the Powerbooks were getting close to the average time between updates. It was long enough since the last update (in September) that it would pay to wait for the next update. I’ll only buy when that guide says “Buy Now” or “Neutral”. If it says “Buy Only if you need it – nearing end of cycle” or “Don’t Buy – Updates Coming!” then I’ll wait. So, even if I had been employed, I would have waited. And so, when I did get a job, it was still a waiting mode.

Finally today, the updates came:

Powerbook G4

Starting at just $1,599, the newest PowerBook family offers more. More power. More speed. And more advanced capabilities. Whether you prefer the ultra-compact 12-inch model, the coveted 15-inch powerhouse or the breathtaking 17-inch stunner, every new PowerBook G4 features faster PowerPC G4 processors — with speeds topping the charts at 1.5GHz. Like to burn up the road? The new PowerBook models offer 4x-speed SuperDrives. And each new PowerBook comes standard with both AirPort Extreme — offering the fastest speeds in wireless networking — and Bluetooth.

This is not yet a Powerbook G5. Looks like that will bve at least one more update in the future. Maybe early 2005 or late 2004. Drat. My current machine is falling apart though. I do need replacement, and a rule is a rule. It is the next update after the 3 year mark. I should buy a new one now.

Of course, there is another issue. I am in the process of trying to move. I’ll need to be putting a downpayment on a house and all that. Plus I am still recovering from the short incomeless time between when my severance ran out and when I started my new job, and the lack of a January bonus this year. So, before I can order the new Powerbook, I have to move and buy my new house. That comes as a higher priority. And my car is dying too. I probably have to get a new car first too. That is also a priority.

And the model I would want would be the 17″ with almost all the options. Which would put it at $5483. Ouch! (ALL the options from the Apple Store Online would put it at $8198, but I don’t need the external Cinema Display and such… but I did include a case and a new iPod and extra batteries and the like in my price. :-) So, unless my machine dies completely (in which case I’ll order the new Powerbook that day) I’ll be waiting a bit longer before getting my new computer. And who knows, by then it may be time to wait for the next upgrade again. Ugh!

But I wants it! :-( Oh well. First things first. House, car, then computer. Oh, and my GPS may be dying too, in which case I’ll need to replace that as well. Everything is dying at once! Sigh! Until all the other stuff is taken care of, I’ll keep this old Powerbook running with glue and tape and the occational replacement part.

Meanwhile, Apple also updated the iBooks.

iBook G4

Like to carry around a notebook that delivers exceptional power at an affordable price? Then pick up an iBook G4. With a faster PowerPC G4 processor running at speeds up to 1.2GHz — optional DVD-burning SuperDrive, expanded memory capacity, advanced wireless networking capabilities, and the impressive stability provided by Mac OS X version 10.3 “Panther,” iBook G4 brings truly impressive performance to everyday life. And with pricing as low as $1099.

My mom is in the market for a laptop by June. I was hoping this update would be in time for that, and it is. I’m thinking an iBook would be good for her rather than a Powerbook, but both are possible. In a few weeks I’ll take her to a physical Apple Store to play with them and pick what she likes, then figure out the best we can do in whatever her budget is. (Oops, have to ask that I guess.) I’ll be rooting for the 14″ iBook with a bunch of the options. We shall see.

Anyway, I want that 17″ for me. But I have to wait. I hate waiting! :-)

Prez Selector Revisited

Took the presidential selector quiz for the first time in a few months. It has been updated with new questions since I last took it, and of course a bunch of Democrats have dropped out of the race. As usual, I unclicked the checkmark that excludes 3rd parties, but left the checkmarks excluding people who have dropped out or not announced they are running. Here are my new results.

Presidential Selector

1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
2. Libertarian Candidate (62%)
3. Sharpton, Reverend Al – Democrat (47%)
4. Kerry, Senator John, MA – Democrat (46%)
5. Kucinich, Rep. Dennis, OH – Democrat (45%)
6. Bush, President George W. – Republican (43%)
7. Socialist Candidate (39%)
8. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. – Democrat (32%)
9. Constitution Party Candidate (27%)

The top candidate again is the unnamed Libertarian candidate. (SelectSmart has not put in the two Lib candidates, and I guess is instead waiting to put in the name of whoever gets the Lib nomination at their convention.) And that is the ONLY candidate with a greater than 50% match rate with my own views. Everybody else running I disagree with more than I agree with them. Bleh. It really would be nice one day if one of the two major parties actually put out a candidate I felt I could vote for.

Sing a Song

Went back to Florida last night. This time I took Song Airlines (run by Delta) from Newark to Orlando. Just wanted to say that of the various flights I’ve taken up and back over the last month or two… on American Airlines, AirTran, Continental and USAir… this was the most pleasant and enjoyable. OK, yeah, I had to pay if I wanted anything other than a glass of soda as a snack, but that was no big deal. They have a sense of humor, from the pleather seats in primary colors, to the head steward making bad jokes, to the safety briefing being done with a Flemenco music background by a lady with a think Spanish accent. I liked that. That was fun. And they had 20 some channels of live satellite TV available at each seat for free. (I know a few airlines have this now, but this was my first flight with that feature.) And they had the channel with the live GPS track of the plane’s flight too. I *really* like that. I’d been on flights with that before, but not in awhile, and I really geek out on that feature.

Anyway, I like “Song”. I will fly them again if I get the chance. And if they show up as the cheapest direct flight on Orbitz again. :-)