My Mac Mini

by Gene Harris 7. November 2014 10:29

I've been using a MacBook Pro at work for some time.  It's an 8 MB i7 with a 750 GB hard drive.  It's not one of the new Retina's, but it's definitely a nice laptop. I decided to purchase a Mac for my home.  I'm not in the mood to spend $2500 for a 15" MacBook Pro.  No doubt it's a great machine, but I just want something to dink around with.  I ended up deciding on a Mac mini.  I purchased a 3 Ghz i7.  I upgraded the RAM to 16 GB.  I've been really pleased with how well this little box works.  The software is very well thought out.  I purchased Parallels for OS X and installed Windows 8.  It's really nice to be able to work on Windows (specifically Visual Studio 2013) and X Code at the same time.  I didn't imagine loading up the Windows machine, but I am constantly adding new developer functionality, specifically SQL Server 2014 and IIS in a spiffy new VM with Windows Server 2012 R2.  It's very cool and with 16 GB, I have enough RAM to run both machines simultaneously.  It's not like having dedicated hardware, but it is good enough for my needs.

I'll continue to post as I discover new uses for my Mac.  I'm already hooked on iPhoto, but I understand that's probably going away.  However, the auto import and faces functionality is really nice.  


Infrastructure | Life | OS X

Whither My Home Network?

by Codewiz51 7. November 2014 07:39

I have a small home network that I use for hobbyist programming and R & D on new (to me) technologies.  I lost one of my servers (which also acted as a backup domain controller) a couple of days ago.  There was no real content on the server that I needed to save, and fortunately, the disk drive is OK, it's the motherboard that went out.

I'm debating about continuing to maintain this home network.  It's constantly an issue in terms of maintenance.  If the internal DNS server goes down, my wife gets mad.  If the print server starts acting up, my wife gets mad at me.  I'm working with really old hardware, which could go out at any moment.  You get the picture...

So, I'm debating about just shutting down the home network, removing the two workstations I have from the domain, and going back to being an average hobbyist.  I primarily need access to a SQL Server and an IIS Server.  I have a couple of options.  I can use the services on WinHost as my primary environment. I also have an MSDN account through my company that allows me to set up sophisticated environments for development.  In other words, I have the capability to continue developing, while simplifying my life.

I'll think on this a little more and hopefully get some things implemented over the weekend.



Infrastructure | Life

Twitter vs Blogging

by Gene.Harris 7. November 2014 07:33

I find I'm posting snarky little comments on Twitter as opposed to composing interesting content on my blog.  I'm allowing my bad habits on Twitter to interfere with the development of meaningful content, which users may utilize to solve their own problems or advance their knowledge.

I'm going to attempt to change this by foregoing most of my useless Twitter posts, and spending some time actually developing real content.  Hopefully, the search engines will do the rest.

As for Twitter, I'll try to limit myself to posting links to content I find around the internet, or content I develop.




Vacation, Staycation and Coding

by Codewiz51 2. July 2014 08:13

I'm taking vacation this week, and honestly intended to do more coding.  However, I find myself doing a lot more around the house than I envisioned.  The weather has been unseasonably cool in Oklahoma and I find myself on my mountain bike a lot more than I anticipated.  I like to ride for distance at Lake Hefner, and I ride for excitement on the Bluff Creek trail.  I am in sore need of decompression time.  Sometimes, you get wound up in your job so tightly, you forget to balance your work and personal time.  Perhaps, this afternoon when it's supposed to get hot, I will retreat indoors and do more than vegetate on the couch.  (Or maybe, I will just read some science fiction.) Cool

Update: I made 2.5 laps today on the bike trail at Bluff Creek.  Not a stellar time, but at least I made it.  Not hot, but very humid.

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Life | Programming

The Puzzling Size of Refrigerators

by Codewiz51 15. September 2013 07:52

I've gotten a bit hung up on HGTV Network's "House Hunters: International" serial semi-reality/semi-fantasy series.  One of the big questions I have for the series comes from the size of refrigerators.  Generally, it seems as though almost every other country manages to survive with refrigerators and freezers that are one third the size of American refrigerators.  Why is this?

  • First of all, Europeans must not need to/not be able to "stock up" on perishable food.
  • Do they need to shop more often?
  • Do they eat out more?
  • Do they purchase take out food more often?
  • How do Europeans in rural areas obtain food?
  • Do they have to make long treks to villages that are big enough to have markets?
  • Do they eat lots of canned food?
  • Do Europeans waste less food because it doesn't rot in the refrigerator?

My own personal experience says that we purchase lots of healthy fresh perishable items.  Then, we are too tired to cook during the week, or too over scheduled during the week to cook, or simply too lazy to cook during the week.  We end up trashing a fair amount of food items because they go bad in storage.  Maybe, if we were realistic, we would only buy a couple of days of perishable foods, ostensibly we would have more realistic expectations of our time.

I know this is an inane question, but I'd really like to understand how other cultures get by with such tiny refrigerators.

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