Friday, October 10, 2003

A few thoughts as the week draws to a close

I wonder if there was an empty chair at last night's Democratic debate - and if there was, did anyone notice it or wonder who was missing? That's about how much impression Bob Graham made on the field.

PocketMac is one of those "love it or hate it" Mac apps. It allows a Mac to use a PocketPC as if it were native. The first version of OS X was "OK", but kind of flakey. Version 2 had a bad rep, but I didn't use it - I had sold my iPaq at that point.

Well, version 3 just came out, and my iPaq 1935 just arrived, so I paired 'em up right out of the box. With a couple of (small exceptions), PocketMac 3 rocks! Not only is it seamless to use, not only does it sync with a whole mess 'o new methods in the background, but (unlike Palm) it even offers OS X support for AvantGo and Vindigo. Sync is far improved, the whole app runs out of the menubar if desired, and connection seems much more reliable. It mounts the PocketPC's My Documents folder directly on your desktop, as well, and can allow you to access a installed storage card.

Here's my only two minor quibbles: First, the included tool for extracting .CAB files from Windows installers has been all but useless. I haven't found the installer it could read yet. So until that gets more polish, I'll use my Windows box to install software. The second is potentially a little rougher, but may have to do with the way I installed it - I installed the app, then instead of rebooting I installed both the released patches that were available first. After rebooting, my root directory was write-protected (not over all, just to my user ID). I've seen that with a handful of installers, and it's easily rectified by running Disk Utility and repairing permissions. But it's a pain to do,, and a lot of "joe average" users might not know to do that. However, it may have been due to my installing in a non-standard fashion, so I won't quibble too much with that. Overall, a much improved app that makes a PocketPC a truly viable alternative to Palm for Mac users. I'm not sure what the price is new, but the upgrade was $5.

In other news, we realized yesterday that David has suddenly become too tall for size 4 diapers. They're hip huggers now. So we're going to bring back the 3 cases for size 4 and exchange them for size 5 - we've got about a half-bag (20 or so) of the smaller ones left which we should have used up by early next week.

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