Last night, I was investigating some alternative operating systems to the instability I have experienced with Ubuntu 12.10 on my Lenovo ThinkPad X230. Because of virtualization software, I need some form of Linux that works well with Intel HD 4000 graphics and is pretty stable. I installed Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon two days ago on my X230 and I am somewhat impressed. On a forum post, I discovered something even more interesting.
I am rather surprised by Google’s interesting move into the high-end laptop space with its new Chromebook Pixel. The specs resemble the entry level 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro in some respects but the Chromebook Pixel has a touchscreen, slower processor, less storage, less memory, and the option of built-in LTE. I’m impressed with the design and would buy one immediately if I knew I could run OpenBSD or at least Ubuntu on it. Why is Google moving into this space?
If you haven’t, like me, been to a BSDCan Conference before, this might be the year to go. The schedule looks great with lots of excellent presentations. This is also the 10th annual conference and the schedule looks excellent. All the details are available from the BSDCan web site. I’m not sure if we will be there yet but we shall see how the next few months pan out.
Today marks the start of 2013. This year will contain an amazing number of changes to our lives. As I mentioned a few days ago, we will give more details as to what the major change will be in the next several months as everything falls into place. As far as technology goes, the coming changes are requiring me to be more mobile and less tied to a desk so more articles are coming about working in mobile settings and without the typical peripherals and advantages of a desktop computer.
Jeff Carlson’s Thoughts about the iPad mini for Photographers points out some great points about how the iPad mini is an excellent tool for photographers just as the iPad with Retina Display is. The lack of a Retina Display is helped by the smaller physical pixels in the iPad mini’s 1024x768 resolution display as opposed to the iPad 2 with its larger 1024x768 resolution display.
Which to buy? It’s a hard choice. In every way but the display, I would prefer the iPad mini. I expect that in the next revision or two, the iPad mini will also get a Retina Display. Once that happens it will be no contest and I would definitely recommend the iPad mini for nearly all scenarios. For my uses, the iPad mini will be my choice. I am currently using a 3rd generation 32GB iPad with Verizon 4G LTE. This will shortly be replaced by a 64GB iPad mini with Verizon LTE.
Back at the beginning of September, I ordered a Lenovo ThinkPad X230. I have been using mostly desktop systems but decided to get back to using laptops more due to some changes coming next year. I chose the X230 for a few different reasons. I also picked exactly the options I wanted since this laptop will be used for OpenBSD and Linux and will not see Windows at all.
Today marks the first Christmas for our fourth and youngest child. I remember each Christmas since my wife and I were married a few days short of five years ago. I’m in a different place in my life as I appreciate the quiet time with our kids more than I have in the past. Each year is precious. They grow up so quickly.
I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I hope that all of you have been able to focus on family, friends, and God, the source of all our blessings. In the next few days as 2012 winds to a close, remember the things that have been most important to you over this year and each year before it. Cherish the most important things in life.
Altough this is old news now, Build and Analyze, the excellent iOS and mobile development podcast with Marco Arment and Dan Benjamin, ended on December 17. I’m disappointed it ended for several reasons but especially because the podcast gave some insight into iOS development from a successful developer’s perspective. Marco’s Instapaper app and service has been a favorite of mine for several years now. I use it daily to save articles and information to read later.
I’m happy that Marco is still planning to be involved in podcasting as he stated in his November 18th post:
After Build and Analyze ends, I’d like to take a few weeks off for the holidays, be a guest on other shows, and then experiment with new shows, topics, and formats to try to figure out what I want to do next in the world of podcasting.
I’m looking forward to what’s next in the new year.
On Monday, my ThinkPad X230 arrived. One of my goals for the system is to run OpenBSD with an encrypted root filesystem. Fortunately, the support exists in softraid(4) but it wasn’t immediately clear how to accomplish this and allow the system to boot properly. Through a bit of trial and error, I figured it out and it works very well.
I’ve been wanting to learn a major programming language for years now but I’ve always been too busy with other projects. I’ve decided that now is the time to start learning. To that end I picked up an introductory book on C called Head First C. I also decided to look for a few other good books and ask some developers what they would recommend.