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Feb 20, 2002: Back from Boca

Although it wasn't exactly beach weather, it was great to visit mom and dad (hi folks!) in Florida this past week. Now to the home stretch for our book manuscript. February 28 looms way too large. In the meantime, a few little things:

Recommend a new laptop for Lou. It's time to retire my Dell Inspiron 3500. It's been a great workhorse, but it's quite heavy and scoliosis sounds way too much like halitosis. The replacement would be used for travel, work, home, everythang. I'm looking for something that's light (< 5 lbs.) *and* durable (does that eliminate the Sony Vaio?). 14" monitor is plenty. And with a DVD for long flights. What do you recommend?

A couple of CM pitches. If you don't already know about CMSWatch, you no longer have an excuse. And while we're at it, go hear brainy Bob Boiko keynote at ASIS&T's Content Management Symposium this June in Chicago. Or submit your own talk.

Michael Angeles for President. Just a year old, it's amazing how quickly IAslash has become indispensable to so many of us. Equally amazing how Michael didn't burn out after six weeks. Buy some IAslash stuff to show Michael that you care.

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Comment: Lou (Feb 20, 2002)

Woops: forgot to mention that I'm looking for something PC-compatible, unfortunately.

Comment: Victor (Feb 20, 2002)

The Dell Latitude LS I use at work is pretty good. I graduated from a bigger Dell is this one, despite it's Vaio-like appearance, has actually been more reliable (the old one suffered one disk drive and two screen failures). The only drawback is the lack of a disk drive, but you could pack an external for flights.

Comment: Michael Angeles (Feb 20, 2002)

I wouldn't want to be part of any country that had me for its president :). Thanks, for the birthday wishes. I'm just happy that I get to communicate with so many people whose work I admire because of that blog. Knowing that I now have you all in my address book and can bug you every now and then... what power!

Regarding burn out. I've often feel like it's too much work to devote more than an hour a day to reading stuff on the web. My benchmark lies somewhere between Tomalak's realm and WebWord. With as much as I tend to blog, I honestly don't know where they get the time to read as much as they do.

Comment: Brad Lauster (Feb 23, 2002)

In the past four years, I've used at least 6 different laptops - all for several months. I've used Toshiba and IBM on the PC side and the iBook and PowerBook on the Mac side. Overall, I think the new iBook is the best laptop. Right now, if I was looking for a "desktop replacement," I'd get a PowerBook. The IBM (T Series) was more rugged than my PowerBook and it had a great keyboard. If you're set on the PC, I think IBM is way to go.

I'm not a Mac fanatic, but I really think you should consider a Mac. Battery life is way better and I think for what you get, they are a better deal. About 8 months ago I switched from PC to Mac. It was an easy transition. It would be even easier now that MS Office for OS 10 is available - which would solve any problem you might have had with sharing files with PC-using co-workers.

Feel free to send me your questions. Happy Shopping!

Comment: Andrew Hinton (Feb 23, 2002)

Ok. I already emailed Lou about the PowerBook, but he insists he needs Visio, etc. I still don't know why Visio isn't available for the Mac. Ugh. Even though it has superior battery life and OS X is absolutely amazing as a notebook OS (instant on-off when you open/shut the lid). Although it is possible to use Virtual PC, as I often do to read Visio and MS Project documents, it is pretty slow still in OS X due to the multithreaded architecture, though I've been assured that the speed will be increasing with each update of both the app and the OS.
Anyhoo, I still think that in the PC universe either Dell or IBM Thinkpads are the way to go. If you want super power with slim design, the ThinkPad may be the best option. I've enjoyed the ones I've had, while the Dells always seemed too big for what they offered. (The Latitudes aren't bad though).
As for Handhelds, I'm liking my Clie n760c. If you don't care for the MP3 capability, the 615c is perhaps an even better choice.

Comment: sean patrick coon (Feb 24, 2002)

hmm... i'm trying to *sell* my G3 desktop to make a similar purchase. if anyone's shopping? (sorry lou, couldn't resist)

Comment: Miriam Frost (Feb 24, 2002)

You could get a Titanium iBook and run Virtual PC for times you need Visio. All the wonderfulness of the Mac (plus iTunes, iPhoto, blah blah) and you can run Visio when you need it.

Comment: Lou (Feb 24, 2002)

Geez, you people may have convinced me to go back to a Mac.

But geez, based on a few pricing forays, it seems that they are so much more expensive than a PC! Am I missing something? Or should I just expect to spend double for an Apple?

Comment: Michael Angeles (Feb 24, 2002)

Yes, it's more $$ for a TiBook. You can do what I did to buy mine. I checked dealmac every day. I got my refurbished G4 TiBook for $1700 -- it's the most beautiful piece of gear I've ever owned. I love it.

I have to admit, however, that I have a separate PC laptop that I use for work -- damned VPN software only works for Windows. I've been slowly trying to move away from using Visio and have been diagramming in Omnigraffle, just so I can use the powerbook.

Comment: Joe Sokohl (Feb 24, 2002)

no doubt about it--get the PowerBook G4 Titanium 667 Mhz with the stock 512MB RAM...buy an Airport base station so you can surf while you wander around the house...and with the biggest screen available for laptops, you never need a desktop. Plus, add Virtual PC and you can not only test different OS renderings of UIs but also use the few Wintel-only apps you might have to run.

Comment: Victor (Feb 25, 2002)

Macs are more expensive initially, but many feel the cost of ownership over its lifetime is lower because of ease of use and lower support costs.

(Although I use a PC at work, I thrive on my G4 Mac at home)

Apple's propoganda: http://www.apple.com/creative/collateral/ama/0102/qa.html

Comment: ~brian (Feb 26, 2002)

Yes, I concur. Titanium PowerBook G4, hands down, Lou. I converted from PCs now 3 years ago. After the first month had exactly zero interest in going back, and equal need. Same for the tens of others I've helped make the leap (or rather, comfortable step up) to Mac. I've worked with both platforms extensively, I have zero compatibility problems. You could run Visio in VPC, but why not investigate some alternatives like OmniGraffle (http://www.omnigroup.com) or the Norpath program everyone's buzzing about. (http://norpath.com/)

Addressing the issue of cost, you can't compare the specs of a Dell to those of an Apple. Apple has better stuff in theirs. Spec v spec, Apple's are less expensive than their competition. Firewire is unbeatable. Sony comes closest on the PC to the same quality of components, and the only PCLaptop I'd consider (for whatver reason I'd consider a PC). Plus thanks to the new Unix underpinnings, there's a ton of free- and share-ware coming out daily from those camps to OS X, plus tons of fun stuff written in native OS X code (cocoa), which make up the majority of my software. Using OS X could wind up saving you more money in the future, too!

Comment: Ross (Feb 26, 2002)

This just came in this e
ening (

om TidBITS). ConceptD
aw is an excelent p
am, well up to the tasks that you a
e p
obably handling with Visio:

aw Updated to 1.7.5** -- CS Odessa (once again a TidBITS sponso
), has
sion 1.7.5 o
the $125 ConceptD
aw Standa
d and $250 ConceptD
aw P
essional (see "Making the Connection with ConceptD
aw" in TidBITS-553_
iew). New
es include expo
t to PDF and suppo
mouse sc
oll wheels in Mac OS X; CS Odessa also made changes to imp
e the inte

ace, extend the Stamp tool's capabilities, and enhance outline mode in the P
sion. Ve
sion 1.7.5 also
ixes a numbe
bugs with HTML and EPS expo
t, p
int sizes, d
ag & d

om lib
ies in Mac OS X, editing text, and mo
The update is

s o
sions o
aw; it's a 5.1 MB (Standa
d) o
7.4 MB (P
essional) download. [ACE]


Comment: Ross (Feb 26, 2002)

Sorry about that last comment. Looks like Opera doesn't like the entry form. Anyway, what I was trying to post was a link to the latest release of ConceptDraw, the best thing for Visio like functionality on the Mac.

This came from TidBITS:

**ConceptDraw Updated to 1.7.5** -- CS Odessa, has released version 1.7.5 of the $125 ConceptDraw Standard and $250 ConceptDraw Professional (see "Making the Connection with ConceptDraw" in TidBITS-553_ for a full review). New features include export to PDF and support for mouse scroll wheels in Mac OS X; CS Odessa also made changes to improve the interface, extend the Stamp tool's capabilities, and enhance outline mode in the Professional version.


Comment: chad (Feb 27, 2002)

I must concu
with all the a
ementioned p
the Titanium Powe
Book. I just got one o
the new ones and I must say it's the nicest machine I'
e e
had. OS X doesn't c
ash -- I will lite
un it
weeks without
ting. Batte
y li
e is g
eat, wi
eless netwo
king is al
eady built in, CR-R/DVD d
e. OmniWeb
s HTML pages like PDFs and e
en O

ice is p
etty sweet, especially Entou

Comment: chad (Feb 27, 2002)

You might think I would have read Ross's comment about Opera not liking the fields. You'd be wrong...

I must concur with all of the aforementioned praise of the Titanium PowerBook. I just got one of the new ones and I must say it's the nicest machine I've ever had. OS X doesn't crash -- I will literally run it for weeks without restarting. Battery life is great, wireless networking is already built in, CR-R/DVD drive. OmniWeb renders HTML pages like PDFs and even Office is pretty sweet, especially Entouage.

Comment: mini-d (Feb 27, 2002)

well, new ibook 14" is a sweet deal.

I am a mac user and all i need is... to be full pc compatible...

Dave 3.1

and thats all...

the rest there's a lot of alternatives for software on mac... and i am using X since 2 months no more OS 9... go go mac.

Comment: peterme (Mar 1, 2002)

just don't get another dell. i really don't like my inspiron 4000. substandard quality.

my next laptop will be an iBook. not a tibook. i want it small and cute.

Comment: Paul (Mar 1, 2002)

Another vote for the Ti powerbook or iBook, more for the money, more battery for the long haul flights.

The Ti G4 running VirtualPC 5.0 does Windows nicely, but not nearly as nicely as a two year old Thinkpad does.

By the way all the new Mac laptops come loaded with OmniGraffle, a Visio substitute, but then I do my diagrams in Quark and Illustrator so I'm not really qualified to call it a substitute.

Comment: John (Mar 2, 2002)

Aside from Form + Function superiority (Why work on a Ford when you can choose a Passat.); think of how cool you’ll look at the coffee shops with your new TiBook or wonderfully portable iBook.

Comment: Lou (Mar 5, 2002)

OK, you Apple nuts have gotten me 98% of the way there!! Even though I'm not thrilled to be spending so much more. Looks like I'll go with a Titanium, which is lighter than the 14" iBook.

My last question: I have a LinkSys wireless setup at home. Want to continue using it (my wife will continue using her Dell laptop on the wireless network). Does anyone have any experience linking a Mac to a LinkSys? From what I understand, it's the same technology, but beyond that I'm clueless and ignorant.

Thanks everyone for your help; I'm overwhelmed!

Comment: chad (Mar 5, 2002)

Setup on Linksys stuff is usually done through a web browser, so it's platform independent. I have a Linksys DSL/Cable router, and haven't had any problems using it with the Macs on my home network.

And you know that TiBooks come with an Airport card preinstalled, don't you? :)

Comment: Lou (Mar 5, 2002)

OK, now 99% of the way there. ;-) Thanks Chad.

I think this is my last one: I'm a heavy Outlook user (calendar, address book, email). And I sync my Palm regularly to Outlook.

Will moving to Entourage present any initial problems (i.e., exporting/transitioning from Outlook to Entourage) or ongoing (i.e., syncing the Palm to Entourage--can it be done)?

Comment: luke (Mar 10, 2002)

Entourage doesn't yet support synching with your Palm. The Palm desktop and hotsynch software for OS X is still a very, very rough beta.

M$ says Entourage will support synching once Palm's software is more reliable. The Mac users I know of who are addicted to their Palms boot into OS 9 to synch.

I'm sitting on the fence right now. I want to get a Mac laptop (love OSX at home on my cube), but the keyboards are quite horrible compared with the Thinkpads (I have a lot of hand problems).

Comment: Jason (May 31, 2002)

IBM A31P. Is there any laptop better? NO!!

Comment: Philippe (Aug 25, 2002)

Somehow I end up here after a tring week looking for a notebook. A friend of mine who passed away some time ago would have called such an crossing 'synchronicity'. Perhaps an information architect will have ideas I haven't been able to manifest myself.

So my story begins here. I was looking for an IBM Thinkpad A31p. Three weeks ago I found refurbished models selling for about $2k on "uBid". Since I don't mind purchasing refurbished, this was ideal. Those have since disappeared. This week I was ready to purchase, and to my deep dismay, the most reasonable price I came accross was $3k! What intrigues me is the contrast in price. So soon after this model debuts they flash flood uBid and then make like houdini and disappear.

Anyway, I can't imagine why this might be of any interest to those on this log but *I* find it quite mystefying.

Peace to all, and good fortune in your travels.


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