Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Macbook Story So Far...

Okay, I ordered the Macbook on Tuesday. Got it on Thursday. It had a trackpad bump. They gave me a new one. iSight didn't work, but I fixed it. Here's what else happened.

It's All About Connections

I had a damned of a time getting the MacBook to connect to my home network Thursday night. It was fine with an unencrypted connection, but as soon as I turned on encryption, it refused to recognize the router and tried to assign itself an IP from the on-board Airport card (which resulted in a whole lot of fail).

It took me a long, long time, but after a lot of searching and reading, I finally was able to get it unfucked -- I had to update the firmware on my router (a D-Link DI-624, which is now "end-of-life" -- if it happens in the future, I'll probably need to get a new router), and it started working normally.

(I guess that explains why my sister was never able to get a wireless connection with her Mac laptop. Sorry about that.)

Back That Azz Up

Now, I can't find my license key for Retrospect Express to do an auto-restore from my external drive. But I figured I could use this opportunity to do some cleanup, instead of copying everything straight across the Evergrowing Pile of Unexamined Crap. So I manually restored what I was able, and I'm in the process of getting updated versions of all the other programs I need.

I'll be doing a lot of fine tuning and tweaking over the next few... years... but I'm basically up and running. The only hardware I need and don't have right now is a printer, so I see a lot of Kinkos in my near future.

What's the Word? Thunderbird!

The main thing I'm wrestling with now is getting Thunderbird to work across my various and sundry accounts. Moving my personal mail to Thunderbird is a big step for me -- outside of an extended tryst with Eudora way back in the day, I've pretty much been using PINE for everything. (Pine Is Not Elm.) The command line is just so much faster, but I'm tired of bouncing HTML mail to another address so I can see everything.

Since my only experience with Thunderbird to date has been on the corporate network, I'm still trying to figure out how to get the IMAP from over here, and the SMTP from over there. Oddly enough, hooking it up to my AOL account (which I have back now), was fairly painless... well, once it grabbed 3,000 sent mails and 20,000 received mails (and that's only from 2004 or so).

Sign Here, Please

Even though I'm not 100% running yet in T-bird (I can still use PINE, so it's not a big deal), I did spend an inordinate amount of time twiddling with my e-mail sig. I'm trying to use elements from my old, text-only sig, and mash them up with stuff from my newer HTML sigs (including the Feedburner headline animator) -- here's what I got so far:

 ### | Joe Loong | | AIM/GTalk/etc: Joelogon
-0n0-| "...the Recording Angel, making occasional adjustments
 \-/ | in the direction of the interrogation..." -- William Gibson
     | Dumb Things:

hair on fire

Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Four lines of text, an ASCII picture, and two animated gifs. I know, I'm a bad person, and I risk angering the antispam guardians. Also, the ASCII pic looks especially vulnerable, since the non-breaking spaces aren't sticking. We'll see if it lasts.

I also removed one of the quotes I've been using for a dozen years or so (sorry, Bert), though here it is for posterity:
"*shake shake shake* HELLO? The Web is not a reference source! It's a cesspool of dubious information!" -- barton
Even in a world of Google and Wikipedia, I think it mostly still applies.


bookncoffee said...

I tried thunderbird and liked it all except for some reason it was very slow to send out my AOL mail. I ended up just sticking with to retrieve mail and use the AOL software to download and send seems to work best for me with the .gif and the PSP files. Lots of good stuff written about the performance of Thunderbird. I recently converted to Firefox and love it....and that is why I ended up trying Thunderbird. Good luck with the set up of everything. It drives one crazy til you get everything like you want it.

suicide_blond said...

hey sugarpie.. im in the middle of downsizing my office in reston..will prob have a few xtra printers if you want one.. free to good home.. i should know for sure about the inventory by thursday-ish

Joelogon said...

Bookncoffee: I like the extensibility of T-Bird (in theory, I haven't tried adding any extensions yet); I'm still playing around.

Suicide Blond: Young miss, you can't beat free -- I will follow up in mail.

cswiii said...

re: wireless router - you might look to see if DD-WRT supports that device.

re: email clients - consider taking a look at claws-mail, which is quick and has a significant lack of UI (in a good way, re: pine/mutt/etc.)... I have been using it (mostly) for the past few weeks, and tend to like it. There are mac and 'doze ports.

Barry said...

Wireless routers can be such a pain. May I suggest a Linksys WRT54GL. This is not the WRT54G model that is available EVERYWHERE. I've installed about 15 of these in the last year. Rock solid. Great enhanced firmware like Tofu and Thibor is available because the GL is based on Linux.