Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year- The Mac Adventures Continue

I had a brief hiatus on the blog due to a) the holidays and associated hustle/bustle, b) some minor health issues (out of commission for a few weeks), and c) Modern Warfare 3 / Skyrim on the Xbox 360 (a guy has to get some down time!).

The good news is I am back in the swing of things and thought I would do a "Happy New Year" post, along with what I've been up to over the last few months.

You may remember my last blog left off on my joys with using Final Cut Pro (version 7). I have continued to dabble and play around with media editing- including video and photo. But I've also been continuing to all but eliminate my PC from the mix.

For the month of December I have to admit I reverted back to the PC on occasion.  The PC has the larger screen and I found myself jumping on it vs. opening up the laptop. There really wasn't any reason other than enjoying the nice big screen... and one other semi-critical thing: the printer driver. Tis the season to print coupons... as much as I hate to waste paper.

Since I had some time off at the end of the year, I decided to make a couple more adjustments to my setup. I went over to best buy and purchased the adapter to extend my desktop to the larger screen.  It's still not quite the same because my keyboard is on the laptop screen... but now I can easily do browsing, netflix, etc.

After that I decided to try and get my Lexmark Prevail 705 Pro printer going. I had some difficulty trying to figure it out myself (similar to the PC) so I gave the technical support chat a try. I was up and running within 5 minutes.  Great experience and I really appreciate Lexmark's customer service. The printer seems to work just as well on my Mac as it does my other PC's.

I also finally took the plunge and found a great price on a memory upgrade $40 for 8 GB. I'm still patiently waiting for external thunderbolt drives for my VM's, but those aren't quite out yet (at least according to the Best Buy salesman).

On a related note, I did some ASP.NET development from my VMWare Fusion in Unity mode... It worked great, even with only 4gb RAM. It was good enough to write a small web application (single web form), complete with debugging.

Still quite happy with the purchase and I don't have much reason to keep the PC on at this point. It's still there for a few things like the Microsoft Zune software, because I havent' taken the time to load that into VMWare Fusion yet. It also has the external USB drives tethered to it for backing up over the network. I think I may leave it primarily for that task for the time being, at least until I get a good USB hub that I can easily plug in to the MBP.  Would be nice if there was a good docking station solution so I don't have all the cables to contend with.  Apple has a nice monitor that is thunderbolt and has a lot of USB connections so that may be the answer- I would just need to plug in my thunderbolt and power adapter and be all set. But then that's more $$$ that I don't want to spend right now... :)

It's good to be back and I plan on publishing a few more articles.  What is coming next?


One of the things that I look forward to every year is a conference called codemash (   This conference was started several years back and I had the fortune of being one of the people that helped with some of the initial ideas (I think it was Drew Robbins who got everyone on a conference call to hash out the details of the v1.0, if memory serves correctly). I think the first year there might have been 150 or 200 in attendance. The event has grown to over 1200 (probably 1500 by the time you add in all the speakers and vendors) and registration sold out in 20 minutes this year.  I am not involved in the planning but did some speaking in the early years on topics such as ASP.NET and Agile, and have been an attendee ever since. It's great to see how the conference has grown over the years.

Anyway, I digress and I'll get to the point. The attendees that go to Codemash are a varied bunch. Other than enjoying bacon and hot sauce, the whole point of the conference is not to get religious about which programming language is better... in fact it is just the opposite. It's to see what other technologies are doing, how to leverage some of those concepts, and of course to meet some of the sharpest / most interesting people in the industry.  Many of those people use Macs (even the .NET guys like me) and tend to be innovators. So, I'll be keeping an eye out for anyone using an MBP.  Who knows, maybe there will even be an "open spaces" topic for people wanting to learn more about development on an MBP.  I will be taking notes and plan to post what I hear / learn on this blog.

And yes, if you see me there I will most certainly have my MBP and will be leaving my Windows 7 work laptop in the room (if I even take it at all).

Happy New Year and enjoy 2012!!!

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