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12″ PowerBook G4: Final Destination?

October 12, 2012 Leave a comment

via sophist1cated on Flickr

With my 12″ PowerBook sitting in my work desk for months and months getting no use, I made the decision to gift it to my retiring father-in-law. It was showing its age, and wasn’t getting the usage it needed, so on to someone who can actually use it.

A clean reinstall of Tiger OS X 10.4, with latest combo update package… whatever version was the last, and armed with the Camino 2.1.2 browser my father-in-law is now browsing the web whenever he wants. I’ve installed Libreoffice, but have not gotten the language pack to install properly… gotta figure that one out.

Anyway, good ol’ 12″ PowerBook is still in-house and getting some use. I’m sure it has a few years left in it.

Vaio P Challenge: Day 2

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Today was utter failure. Outside of checking my e-mail in the morning I was on my MBP for the entire day, and will be tomorrow as well. Maybe it was the wrong week to start the challenge. Oh well, we’ll get it worked out eventually. Heck, I’m posting on my iPhone! Fail!

Categories: Mobile, Technology, Vaio P Tags:

Vaio P Challenge: Day 1 (Tues)

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

vaio p

I’m off to a fairly descent start, but not without some roadblocks.

A busy Tuesday, lead me to use my MBP for the afternoon. It had all the files that I needed, and didn’t have the time to copy everything off. I also wanted to use MS Word, which is only on the MBP. I’m still not used to OpenOffice or what capabilities it has. After coming home from the office, I had the MBP with me, so I just ended up using it to write a blog post to be published tomorrow.

On the positive side, I woke up this morning and the Vaio P was the one I booted up to check my e-mail and twitter. This evening, I installed Picasa and edited the photos I’m using for said blog post, then uploaded them into WordPress, and added the final edits to the post. So far, I think everything will work out fine for a smooth transition to the P.

Tomorrows barrier will Adobe PDFs, anyone know if Adobe Reader is able to save filled in PDF forms like OS X’s Preview? I guess, I’ll have to try it out.

Image Source: yugatech.com

Categories: Mobile, Technology, Vaio P Tags: ,

Vaio P, my personal challenge.

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Sony Vaio P Gold Color

Are you the type of person that buys stuff just because it’s new and cool, perhaps there’s something nostalgic that draws to you buy? If so, you’re like me.

Before my fate purchase of my custom Vaio P, I had pipe-dreams of days long ago. Upon returning from Japan many years ago, my computer setup was a Vaio PictureBook VR-BP, severely underpowered but small and compact. I installed a 60 Gb hard drive, and given my computing habits it was fine for what I wanted to do. Eventually, moving into a new job, it chugged along as my work machine and in order to effectively use Microsoft Outlook, but I had to hook up to an external monitor for more desktop space. Skip forward to more present times, and in order to reduce “stuff” and offset moving expenses I had to depart with my beloved PictureBook.

Today, I find my much loved Vaio P in dire under-use. An expensive paperweight, it sits on the side of my desk plugged in waiting for me to need some ULTRA-portable computing, as my main computer is a early 2010 13″ MacBook Pro. Last week, I contemplated making a little switcheroo, temporarily using my Vaio P as my main machine. Only, with all my data on my MBP and being so used to OS X now, I’ve just been procrastinating. Thinking about it, there’s no reason for me not to be able to just swap out; the barriers are only mental. I can use two computers if I needed, heck my iPhone is synced to my MBP and I’m not going to change that.

So what do I normally use my MBP for?

  1. Net surfing (check)
  2. E-mail (check, use browser or install mail client)
  3. Addressbook and calendar (hmm… must look into)
  4. RSS (check, use browser or install software)
  5. Skype (check)
  6. Writing (check, online or OpenOffice)
  7. Twitter (check)
  8. Movie watching (check)
  9. Music (can do, but limitations)
  10. Photos (can do, but limitations)
  11. Video editing (can do, but difficult and limited)

So let’s take a look at items 9 through 11. Basic music playing and photo editing should be just fine on the Vaio P, but the big limitation is hard disk space. With only an 80 Gb hard disk, there’s not enough room for my current music and photo libraries. I’m not about to crack this baby open, and replace the hard drive, so one option would be an external disk. It would be a lot of work to manage the different libraries across OS’s, something I’m not interested in doing at the moment. For the time being my iPod and internet radio can fill the gap, but for photos I’ll need to work out photo management for my blogs and personal library. For video editing, I use QuickTime X to cut clips from my digicam and Sony Bloggie and upload them to YouTube. I’m sure there are options for Windows 7, but I have not investigated them and I’d imagine they will not be as easy or may too taxing on the P’s Intel Atom.

On the hardware side of things, the high-resolution of the Vaio P’s screen is great, but I have the resolution lowered for non-eye squinting reading. On the desk, I’ll be hooking it up to a 20″ widescreen LCD sitting unused. Around the house or on the road, as-is will work just fine. Touch typing on the P’s keyboard is fine with my small hands, so I’ll just have to get used to the small right-shift key. And although I do not mind the touch-point nib mouse while on the go, at the desk I’ll be relying on my compact Bluetooth mouse. I do have the feeling I’ll miss the MBP’s multi-touch track pad.

The Vaio P is an amazing piece of hardware, and I cannot sit around any longer for it to fall into obsolescence. Reading the forums, there seem to be quite a few people using the Vaio P to its fullest potential, and I’m excited to join that crowd. Let’s see if I can get my act together and set everything up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Any tips to help guide me or to share your experiences, please leave a comment.

Vaio P: Yes, he did!

December 17, 2009 Leave a comment

After parting with my Vaio PictureBook, I’ve felt a sort of emptiness that wasn’t satisfied by my vintage 12” Apple PowerBook. The PowerBook is a nice machine, for sure, but Apple just does not ultraportables. As I’ve been traveling around recently, I came to yearn for a ‘puter that I could carry almost everywhere, without taking up much space in my bag, or weighing down my shoulders.

Much to my joy, the ultraportable market has been quite vibrant thanks to the original Asus EEE 701. There are lots of options available today, but I was always drawn towards the PictureBook’s descendent, the Vaio P. Of course, there are less expensive options when it comes to ultraportables or netbooks, but the P pretty much had everything I desired: a perfect form factor – small and thin, with a keyboard that fits my hands perfectly. It absolutely is the next generation of my beloved PictureBook series.

For probably half a year, I had be playing around with Sony’s Vaio configuration tool, and had decided on a model that I felt would meet my needs well. However, with a price north of $1200, it was definitely too much to spend for a “toy.” One fateful day a couple weeks ago, I walked into 100 Man Volt where they have a Sofmap U-Front store for used computers, just to see. They’ve always had used Vaio P’s for sale, and I’ve even considered buying one, however this time was different: they had MY machine. It was practically the exact configuration I wanted, complete with English keyboard! To me it was a sign to buy, so I pulled the trigger.

My PictureBook replacement is a newer Vaio P, VGN-P91S to be exact, with the following online customized specs:

  • Atom Z530 (1.60gHz) Processor
  • 80 Gb 4200 rpm HD
  • 802.11 b/g/n wifi and Bluetooth
  • Champagne gold color
  • English keyboard in Brown

Included parts:

  • VGA/Ethernet adapter
  • Wall plug

While the P is not a high-spec speed demon, it does have better specs than store models. The total MSRP for this puppy would be well over $1100, and for me, I walked out of the store with mine for 57,300 yen + 1500 yen for an Elecom case. Not bad at all.

Categories: Mobile, Technology, Vaio P

Powerbook: a new lease on life.

August 10, 2009 Leave a comment

In the past, getting a full year out of my laptops was always a problem. Something newer and cooler would always be just around the corner just screaming, “buy me!”

After a little over a year with my current last gen 12″ classic, I was thinking it was time for an upgrade. That purchase is now shelved, as I just got a new 320gb IDE harddrive, well two actually.

Combined with a second new battery courtesy of the Apple battery recall, I should be content for a few more months, or at least until Snow Leopard is released.

Categories: Technology

In-ear headphones… is it just me?

January 31, 2009 Leave a comment
Hate you.

Hate you.

So I just bought a new pair of in-ear headphones for my iPhone, they were not my first. Several years ago I bought a pair of Sony’s that sounded really nice, but bit the dust after a couple months.

My new cans, just like my old Sony’s had a problem… a freaking annoying problem that I believe occur with any in-ear headphone. While they suppress ambient noise very well, they operate like stethoscopes. Every step I take, every move I make [sic]… freaking sends sounds through the cable into my ears!!! What’s a worse distraction when listening to Sting, ambient noise from cars driving by, or crunching on a potato chip with your ears plugged. I really can’t imagine those $300 – $1000+ varieties to operate any better, either.

I don’t want to say it, but I will… I’ll never buy another pair of in-ear headphones again. Now I have my eyes set on these babies.

Categories: Stuff, Technology Tags: ,