Hard Drive Upgrade Complete

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

It took a quick trip to the hardware store in the rain to locate a Torx T-8 screwdriver, but my MacBook now has more than double the disk space it started with:

Little Boy

The hard drive is the new Western Digital 640GB 5400RPM Scorpio Blue. Western Digital makes make a couple of even more capacious 2.5in drives, but those are a few millimeters too thick to fit in the MacBook. It’s a little noisy, but I think that’s just because Time Machine is doing a complete backup of it. It should quiet down once Time Machine is done.

Possibly I should have gone with a 7200RPM 500GB drive instead, but the extra space was too tempting. Or I could have gone with a wicked fast SSD drive, but that would have traded space for speed. I used SuperDuper and an AcomData USB enclosure to copy the old hard drive to the new one before swapping them around. That seems to have worked reasonably well so far. Firefox gotten a little confused trying to restore its sessions, but that’s minor.

Now I can get serious about combining my Windows apps onto this one laptop, using either Parallels or VMWare Fusion. I’ve actually been spending more time in Windows lately for two critical apps: Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Aion.

Both Parallels and VMWare say they’ll import my existing PC onto the Mac, but I’m not sure that will work since Dell cheaped out and installed an OEM edition of Windows Vista instead of the full version. I’ve got full install discs of Windows 2000 around here somewhere, but I’m not sure that will run all the software I want. Anyone know the cheapest way to get a copy of Windows (XP or later) for the Mac?

Prospect Park November 1

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

I spent a few hours in the park today, mostly just to experiment with the camera, but I still managed to tally 26 species including my first Buffleheads of the year:

  • Mute Swan
  • American Black Duck
  • American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid)
  • Mallard
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Bufflehead
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • American Coot
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • American Crow
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • Hermit Thrush
  • American Robin
  • European Starling
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Northern Cardinal


Help Me Pick a New Host

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

I’m finally getting serious about moving away from pair.com. I’m not sure who to host with though. Minimum requirements are:

  • WordPress support (i.e. I can install it; they don’t have to provide it though it’s cool if they do).
  • Full root access to WordPress: I can install my own themes and plugins and do my own database dumps.
  • No fixed bandwidth, storage, transfer, or CPU time quotas (I’m willing to pay for more as I go up in usage, but I need to be able to handle spikes without the ISP turning off my site.)
  • Hosted under my own domain name.
  • Regular, reliable backups

The more I think about it, the more I suspect I don’t even want a shell account. I really want a managed WordPress account, preferably hosted in at least three data centers on different continents with hot switching. (Is that even possible? ) Who offers this?