The Computer Blog

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

OWC Delays, iPhone Glitches, and Other Things that Go Bump in the Night!

The last computer blog I did concentrated on benchmarking the Macs I have in the house in the hopes of demonstrating some of the strengths and weaknesses of the Nvidia and ATI GPU’s currently being used in the Mac line. Right after the first of the month, I ordered an ATI Radeon 3870 HD video card along with some items I need to upgrade a family member’s G3 iBook from OWC. It’s now the 15th, and I’m still waiting on that order. The hold-up is the ATI Radeon card, and OWC Customer Service told me yesterday it would be six more days until the order shipped! Obviously, ATI didn’t release the card for retail as promised at the end of June. That’s really screwed getting a timely analysis of the impact of the new GPU up on my website. So, hang on, that analysis and article is coming and hopefully will be up in the next two weeks. In the meantime, you can check with websites more important than mine (like Barefeats) that already have the card and are using it.

I never had any feelings I wanted to jump on the iPhone 3G bandwagon as soon as it emerged; and considering the debacle that the first day of iPhone 3G sales turned into, I understand why. More than likely, we will move to the new 3G phone within a week to 10 days but not until I’m sure everything is working smoothly AND I get a chance to look at one of the new phones. The new screens are “warmer” than the ones on the current phones, and I need to make sure I’m going to be happy with that before we switch. I’d rather not switch, even to get 3G and GPS, if I hate the interface. I suspect I’ll be okay with it, but I really won’t know until I see it in person.

I waited until Saturday evening to attempt to upgrade our current iPhones to version 2.0, and I’m pleased to report that went well. I really love the new functionality and am very happy Apple gave this to us for free.

Frankly, the jump in gasoline prices is definitely affecting my computer purchases. Every time I look at the credit card where I put the 24 inch iMac purchase, I feel more and more like buying it wasn’t a smart move, as beautiful as it is. I know that financially I’d be better off if I had just stick with using my MacBook Pro as my desktop even if I’d bought another 23 inch screen to use with it. The other thing about having a third machine is I no longer have copies of Adobe CS3 Photoshop, Illustrator, and In Design on all the machines I’m using; and I can’t afford to buy another copy of the stuff to run on my third machine. Tempering that regret is the satisfaction I feel every time I use the thing and that I felt when using it to hook up via iChat with my son Michael and his new fiancé, Dava. The iMac did a great job of hosting that video conference. I’m not sure my quad 2.66 GHz Mac Pro would have done as well.
For the first time in our lives, we’re using our iPhones as our primary phones and have disconnected our landline. This is an experiment to see if we can get along with wireless phones and Internet alone, and I suspect we can. It’s been blissfully quiet in the house since we made this move; we’ve had no more spammers trying to intrude on our evening or our dinner. I do make sure I keep a charged iPhone near the bed in case we hear something go bump in the night. It’s even handier than our regular phone was; but not quite as useful as our Yellow Lab, Rocky, who sleeps at the foot of our bed.

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