May 21, 2006

Mac fixes itself, GTD, and FP updates…

Posted in FountainPens, GTD, Mac, Pipes at 9:10 pm by a11en

I have a few interesting tales to relate, and wish I could spend more time, this might spill over into two posts instead of one.

Macintosh Weirdness

Recently I've been experiencing a frustrating thing with my PB, 15", high-res: lack of battery charging. So, my batteries drained, and I had to work on a power cable constantly… and anytime I pulled the power, it would shut down… this became quite frustrating to say the least, but I still had my work, and still could work. Not as bad as it could have been. So, I read and post on the Apple Discussion pages, and I'm sad to learn the problem is most likely what happened to my Wallstreet, a faulty DC/Sound-In board. I run the AHT side of my install CD, everything checks out. That's good. But, the DC-board is dumb, and apparently the Logic board is semi-dumb. So, the logic-board is only half-out of the woods as the problem. Anyways, I start to track it down… I try another adapter (only a 45 watt- not enough to charge it possibly), it doesn't charge the battery, I now don't really suspect my powerbrick… I buy and try a new battery… no charging… hmm… most likley it's the DC board. On an off-chance, and to help ensure my batteries stay good, I enlist the help of a fantastic gal, Abby. She has the same computer as I do, and I assure her I'll pay for any problems this test might cause. She takes my old battery, and tries to charge it. A week later, we meet up for some coffee to talk about various things (among them Morgellons disease), and my crazy computer woes. She says: "I'm sorry, the battery doesn't charge, Allen." Darnit. Maybe my computer fubarred the battery… out $116 easy… perhaps $116×2 as I have been using the new battery. I vow to take my computer into the university apple techs that day. [time passes, and my readers wonder why they're still reading…] I head to the tech center after a great apple-tech has assured me that she won't have to steal my computer from me for 3 weeks <whew>. She takes the machine back (before I got the battery back from Abby, she had told me that she couldn't charge it, and so I had stopped using all batteries)… she plugs the thing in… power, good… she plugs the battery that Abby tried in… And the thing FREAKIN charges!!! I'm amazed.. jaw drops… the tech laughs… We leave it for a while (worried it was a fluke, and wasn't charging)… and low and behold, it is charging! Numbers going up, charge holding… she drops the battery out and puts the new battery in. Charging. 🙂 I'm amazed. So, I ask her what sort of voodoo do you do… 😉 and she laughs. She explains that one of Apple's suggestions with batteries when there are problems, is to take the bad battery, and throw it in a good computer, and then throw it back in to the bad computer… bammo things work. Excessively strange. So, she checks for a few loose connections, says things look good so far, and says to call her on Monday if there are problems. I now have a working computer again, and all thanks to Abby's computer, who by some freak viral-software has fixed my computer. Weird, but, Excellent.

GTD goodies – Levenger's Ballistic Pocket Briefcase

I've ordered a few things from Levenger recently, and I have to say that even though I really wanted to hate their products because they're the price of a small slave-boy from Madagascar, or at least a hand-tanned, hand-sewn, personalized leather satchel made by slave boys who live in Madagascar… I have to say I freakin' love my new Ballistic Pocket Briefcase [2]. I've toyed with the 3×5 hPDA input device, and have to say it harkened to being useful… my back-pocket Moleskine and Cahier never really worked… the Cahier was flexible, but I destroyed it quickly… the Moleskine was hard-backed, but it made me sit sideways in my chair and I looked a bit more crazy than I actually am, (and it hurt a bit after a 12 hour day)… so, enter the Pocket Briefcase. I print my calendar out on 3×5 cards from iCal (see other post in this blog), and I also print out my kGTD (see mac software on the right hand-bar) lists onto 3×5's… so it all slides into my pocket briefcase. As well, I keep blank cards available for notes or inputting new items into my mobile inbox. Best of all, it has gorgeous leather, and easily bends with my fine butt… well, ok, some say is nice… so I don't look like a freak sitting sideways. Add to the mix a Jimi wallet, and I'm now much less frustrated with items in my back pocket.

GTD- Miquelrius and FP's

Right around Mother's day, I was talking with Mom about fountain pens, and we hit upon some pens she had forgotten when she was a girl. Apparently she was given Esterbrooks and hankies when she was a girl for her birthdays and various other events. She said she used to love them a lot, and used to do crazy things with them (like take out their nib and sac and squeeze the sac with her fingers). I was able to find one in town at a local antique store, but unfortunately it needed some minor repairs. I paid a bit more for it than I should have due to this, but since it was only a day away, and I needed something, this was near-perfect. That night I spent some time polishing it with some excellent plastic polishing compounds and cleaning out the old ink from the nib, feed and barrel, etc. She loved it.  I just finished the repairs on Sat., and the pen writes really well.  I had to alter the J-bar sent to me, but other than that the repairs were fairly straight forward.  🙂  A ton of fun!

The nice thing about Esterbrooks is that the nib is replaceable and there are a ton of nibs out there for them. [I just wish one had some serious flex.] So, I ordered items for it's repair from Pendemonium, and they came in recently. Amongst them was also a Miquelrius [2] notebook I had ordered. Wow, is this thing huge. A5 format with 300 pages. Gridded (perfect for graphs or data tables etc.), and absolutely fantastic paper. No bleeding at all with my FP (major problem with Moleskines), and smooth as silk with my polished Pelikan m150 Fine nib. This notebook is so very large, I have no fear of reaching the end before I have everything in it that I need to. So, it is now designated as my notebook for thesis studies. When I read a book or journal article, I will now have this guy with me, and the input will go into a table-of contents in the beginning. I'm so very happy with the purchase. I strongly suggest you trying out the notebooks if you are an FP user.

Pipe Goodness

Visiting the local shop in the last few days, I picked up some Samuel Gawaith Squadron Leader. Absolutely fantastic simple and coherent English blend. The latakia is superb in the blend, and it is excellent for an all-day English with a bit more passion than some of Dunhill's old blends. I'm still gonna love my Namasté from Russ O, but Squadron Leader is a nice little change. Doesn't have the orientals that Namasté have, so it lacks that sweet citrus room-note, but is still quite excellent. The tin art is wonderful as well. Excited about my end-of-semester gifts as well. A Pete System Deluxe will soon be paid off, and my ASP pipe-lighter will eventually come my way after another 45 are ordered or so. A good way to celebrate the end of the semester.

Wishing everyone a fantastic start to their week!


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