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Love’s Power

Regardless of how much you don’t think it will affect you, love is one of those things that can take your breath away when you least expect it.

Yesterday, while watching Lost, I couldn’t help but stare at my fiancee. Instead of paying any attention to the marathon session I’m putting in to catch up with the rest of the world, I was too busy staring at the woman that I’ve vowed to spend the rest of my life with.

It will be four years this year. Four years of some of the most amazing and trying times I’ve had in my entire life. I’m overwhelmed by that fact. When I think about what we’ve been through, I can’t help but feel that this was meant to be. I can’t say one way or another if anything we do is pre-destined but I do know that her and I were meant to be together. Perhaps it was just circumstance or perhaps it was an act of things I can not hope to understand. Either way, we are here, together and happy.

Love is something I will never understand. I don’t think I want to. I just want to feel it.

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Primotechnology has posted an excellent review of the Wii game NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams. Here’s an excerpt:

NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, a sequel to the 11 year old Sega Saturn game NiGHTS: Into Dreams that was Sega’s answer to Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64, tells the tale of Will and Helen, two children who find themselves trapped inside the dream world Nightopia. With many of the key development staff returning to again flesh out the NiGHTS’ muilti-verse, all of the trademark themes are here: cute nightopians, devious nightmarens, enchanting music, and imaginative visuals.

Click here to read more.

For those interested in reading about my journey into Apple-hood, please go to my other blog, Confessions of an Ex-Windows User. I plan to update the blog a few times a week with notes about features I’ve discovered or Apple products I’ve bought or tried that I enjoy. It’s for the beginner Mac user who isn’t looking so much for a guide on features as they are wanting to read an honest man’s opinion about his transition from Windows to OSX.

I am now guilty of Apple snobbery.

This revelation came to me at work. It’s not that I think I’m better because I use a Macbook and OSX, it’s just that I now understand **WHY** people make “the switch”.

Ever since I bought my Macbook, I haven’t been on my Windows machine. It’s a bit out of date, which would lead me to snubbing it, and it’s also in the office, and the benefit of the Macbook is the ability to bring it anywhere. It goes beyond that, though.

One of the best features that OSX offers is Expose. It’s a feature in OSX that allows you to separate all of your windows. (See below)

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The benefit of Expose lies in the way it quickly displays all relevant information so you can quickly get to and from any program you like without resorting to Command+Tab (or Control+Tab in Windows). Windows XP, the more stable, albeit long in the tooth version of Windows, does not offer anything remotely resembling this. I’m not as studied on Vista, so I can’t comment, but the way OSX does this has been a godsend.

At any given time, I have between 4 to 6 programs open, those being my web browser, email, NeoOffice, Adium, and sometimes Flickr Uploadr or some other. Command+Tab is a mess, though OSX displays exceptionally clear, beautiful icons when you use this method. Expose eliminates that, quickly bringing all of your windows up so you can look through them. Hover your mouse over them to see exactly what a window is.

This goes one step further when you use Spaces. (See below)

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Spaces allows you to quickly create separate desktops so you can place items there. I’m currently writing this in desktop 2 while my email, chat program, Finder windows, and other assorted goodies are in desktop 1.

In conjunction, Expose can be used to move program windows from one desktop to another in Spaces. This requires only 2 button presses.

A final thing about Expose that has changed the way I organized and interact with my desktop is the “Clear the Desktop” mode. (See Below)

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Under the Expose Preferences in your System Preferences, you can set up Expose to regulate specific duties to the four corners or keys that are pressed. I have “Desktop” selected for my lower left corner. When I roll my mouse into this corner, all of the programs move out of the way and I can immediately see and interact with my desktop, which includes allowing me to grab icons. At this point, I roll my mouse back over the corner. If the program I want to drop the Icon into isn’t in focus, I press my Expose key, highlight the program, press it again, and drop it. It’s that simple.

We use Windows XP at work and, while I have been a Windows user all of my life, the little things about XP that were a tinge of annoyance before have begun to feel like someone stabbing me in the eye, particularly in the way it handles program availability. Because I’m so accustomed to Expose and Spaces in the few short days I have been an OSX user, I find myself struggling with the XP interface and it’s lack of finesse. This becomes particularly annoying given the fact that I have far more windows open at work than I ever do at home.

Today, while working, it dawned on me that I hate Windows XP. I hate it with a passion. It feels like a complete step backwards. Working with the OS makes me think of the days I was working in DOS, trying to get things to run while maintaining some sense of sanity as the command-line interface spat out error messages that were nigh incomprehensible except by the most studied of MS-DOS users. OSX is just a cleaner, more usable interface.

I will be a snob. I can’t help it. I’m rebuilding our Windows machine, which is mainly used so my fiancee can do graphic work on a bigger monitor. I don’t see that happening too often, however. Unfortunately, I see us hooking our 19” flat screen to the Macbook and just using the Macbook for all our graphic needs while the Windows PC sits lonely in the office until it is eventually replaced with a beautiful 24” iMac. That is the way of the world… Apple has ruined me… and I think it has ruined me for the better. Lord help me, I’m turning into the people I used to hate… and I think I like it.

 

Ever since I started freelancing, I’ve felt more creative and productive than I ever have in my entire life. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m taking control of my own destiny or the fact that I’m writing on a consistent basis, something that even novel writing doesn’t always afford, but I seem to open typing programs more. I used to freeze up when I saw the blinking cursor. I thought that only handwriting my work first would give me the creativity I needed but now I’m finding that I enjoy typing again.

 

Freelancing is fun. Doing research on something as simple as a news item has become something of a game for me. I set a deadline for myself and I stick to it. Reviews have definitely been the most eye opening. I’m playing games and reading magazines, not just because I enjoy doing both, but because I want to hone my abilities to adequately give feedback on what I’m doing, while also maintaining a high quality of work associated with that medium. I think it will pay off in the long run.

 

Thus far I’ve built something of a solid portfolio for myself, though I’d like to write a number of articles to add to the growing news feeds and reviews that I’m currently doing. I’ve been kicking around a number of ideas but I haven’t put any of them to paper yet. I don’t want to give anything away but one can be credited to my buddy Shane from work. We had a back and forth about the topic awhile ago and it got me thinking about the limitations of technology, both over-arcing and item specific. If possible, I want to work on that one first, because I think it has a good basis and solid footing.

 

I thought that freelancing would cut into my other projects but I’m finding that those projects are even more productive than they were before. Perhaps it’s because I can’t afford to waste time on frivolous things or maybe it’s because deadlines have helped me rein in my penchant to work on too many projects at once. Either way, I’ve finished things that I didn’t think I could finish and am well on my way to building a solid short story portfolio as well.

 

I wonder what the future will hold. No one knows, of course, but I feel as if I’ll get everything I desire. Maybe not everything, but definitely a good number of things. One can only hope.


I’ve been hungering for a Macbook for a long while now. I fell in love with Apple last year, after finally deciding to see what all of the fuss was about. I played with OSX on both a Macbook Pro and an iMac and I was blown away with how smooth and beautiful it was. From that moment, I knew I had to have a Mac.

 

I waited and saved. I planned on getting one when my tax refund came, so I bided my time by looking at Apple.com and other sites to see what sorts of deals they would have. It only fed the hunger.

 

Earlier this week, our tax refund came. I’d been checking Apple.com religiously the week prior, looking at the price of the refurbished units and plotting which one I would get. I’d decided to get the standard Macbook instead of the Pro. Though I will eventually buy a Pro because I will want to dip back into PC/Mac gaming, it’s not a necessity at the moment. I just need something that is portable so I can do my freelancing and novel writing in a place other than my office. The standard Macbook is a perfect fit.

 

Ordering the Macbook was easy but we ran into a few problems because of rules our bank had. Unfortunately, Apple.com and the customer service providers weren’t helpful in remedying our problems, which I won’t get into here. Suffice it to say, instead of waiting to get the Macbook next week, we were forced to go to our local Apple Store to make the purchase. Though I had to spend $100 extra that I didn’t want to spend, I still got 6% off because of my corporate discount. We walked out of our local Apple Store on Friday with a brand new Macbook and the standard 1 year warranty.

 

Starting it up was amazing. It loaded extremely fast. We were able to create two accounts with ease and it connected to our network without a hitch. I started immediately fooling with the preferences and ironing out any little kinks. Since I come from a strictly Windows background, there are things that will be hard to unlearn. Fortunately, OSX is a very flexible OS and has been a joy to use. Spaces and Expose have opened my eyes in terms of screen real estate.

 

After finishing some basic things, I started transferring my more important files. I wasn’t sure how hard that would turn out to be but thus far it’s been simple. Simple enough, in fact, that the standard organization I used under Windows now feels archaic and messy… and I was a very organized guy.

 

Once I transferred my writing and graphics, such as wallpapers and photographs, I started fleshing out my applications. I have iWork and MS Office for free for a month but I don’t want to become dependent on them, so I downloaded Neo Office instead. Neo Office is extraordinary in terms of features. It’s everything I could ask for. I was hesitant about using it for my Excel files, since my spreadsheets hold our financials, but it’s been a blessing. I also grabbed a few other applications that people on Neogaf suggested and each one has been an eye opener.

 

The switch is essentially finished now. I have everything I need. The rest of my things are on our two 120 GB hard drives in my old computer, an 80 GB hard drive in Allie’s, and a 30 GB hard drive in our spare computer. At the moment, I’m moving roughly 40 GB worth of information to Allie’s computer and restructuring the other two hard drives. I plan to get enclosures for the 2 120s and the 30, leave the 80 in our Windows machine, and hook the other three up to a USB hub. Once we get a new router, I’ll let them stream off the router. Since we’re not dependent on streaming video, the lower throughput shouldn’t be a problem.

 

I’m the owner of a brand new Macbook and I couldn’t be happier. I’m finally sitting in my living room on the floor, where I’m most comfortable, and typing to my heart’s desire. Life is good. What more could I ask for?


I am now the proud owner of a new Macbook laptop and I am extremely pleased with it.At the moment, I’m getting myself up to speed as well as transferring all necessary files onto my 80 GB HDD. There’s not much else I have to say on the subject. I’ll definitely comment more on a later date when I have time. Between doing this, doing a game review, posting some news, and spending time with Allison, my weekend is completely booked! I’ll try to sit down and type up a bit about my experience and what I like and don’t like thus far with my new machine later tonight. I may get to it but chances are likely that I’ll completely forget and be absorbed in something else entirely. Unfortunately, that’s how my brain tends to work.