Iconic and a kind of software review

  • So here I am, sipping a latte and typing on my laptop. I've always thought this was an iconic picture of...what? Modernity? Coolness? Someone who's got her priorities wrong? Today it's just functional, because (a) I just woke up from a much-needed nap and now need coffee, and (b) I screwed up the "big" computer yesterday. I decided it was time to install Undercover, the computer tracking software made by Orbicule, on the big computer and on the laptop. No problem. It's easy to install and you can even test it. (The reports you get of the current location of the computer are amazing and cool, but caused Man to exclaim, "I'm not touching that thing ever again!" :-)) Anyway, that was all fun and games.
    The Undercover people do suggest you set a firmware password, so thieves can't wipe your hard drive/start up the computer using another hard drive, and they give you clear instructions how to do it. OK, so I did it. Also no problem. But something happened with the reboot of the big computer and I got the flashing folder of death (I hope none of you has ever seen the flashing folder of death).
    Apple Care was helpful, at least after somewhat chidingly saying, "Oh dear, firmware passwords are rather advanced for the average user..." (grrr), but unfortunately the flashing folder of death remained. So the big computer is being sent to the top nerds* even as we speak. At least it won't be stolen from my house, haha. 
  • Let me stress that the laptop is completely fine, so it's not Undercover's fault. This isn't much of a review in that I can't tell you how great the software is for recovering your stolen computer (you can find enough of those stories if you Google a bit), but I can say that it was very easy to download and install, that the informative site and the site you use to report your computer missing are just about perfect, and that the Orbicule people were very sympathetic and helpful when I reported the boot problem (just in case they had any ideas) and they want me to let them know how things turn out.
  • As a side note, I also got the Kensington MicroSaver DS keyed lock for the laptop. I'd read reviews saying that certain locks don't work in the MacBook (I have a regular unibody MacBook.) This fits fine. 
  • And in other news: I sat outside today, looked at clouds, and played with my dog. Much needed recreation, especially after about six straight days of rain, during which my outdoors time was purely functional. 
* Disclaimer: I use this term in the most positive way possible. My way of life depends partially on the help of nerds on various subjects. I love my nerds.

A feel-good photo

  • One of the loveliest photos I've seen of the whole Wills/Kate trip. Love that little girl's expression!

So let's just let the veins rest for now. Wifi/mifi experience!

  • Everything's fine with the veins, so we'll just move on for now until someone has a question. :-)
  • I'm just getting into mobile internet and researching the various possibilities. I'm not the type of person to have my laptop (no smartphone yet!) open all the time, or even with me, so the thing for me is affordable internet access for occasional use.
    I got an unlocked wireless modem (Huawei E585, as small as a cell phone!) and a prepaid laptop internet sim card from T-mobile, a provider I had no experience with yet. (It was the cheapest option.) Oops. The sim card did not work. The laptop and the wireless modem could see each other and wave, but internet was not happening. Didn't even get to the point of the software download/installation they said would happen. Still corresponding with the T-Mobile on that one; I want my money back. So far they are refusing and are basically washing their hands of the whole thing. Recommendation? Don't go for T-Mobile.
    Decided to go ahead and get a small mobile internet plan (not a prepay) from my 'own' provider, since people who already had an account with them could get it for half price. Stuck the thing in the modem en bam, internet. (Obviously the modem is not the problem; hear that, T-Mobile?) Well, not bam; it's not as fast as I'd like, but it should be fine for my purposes. A friend's sim card (from yet another provider) worked as well. (Getting it yet, T-Mobile?) What I'm hoping is to get a local prepay sim when I travel to other countries; that's why I got the unlocked modem.
    We've rented a thing for an upcoming trip over the border, just in case I don't get the sim thang going right. It's a pretty good deal: mifi to be used in the country of choice, for a reasonable price. I'm looking forward to comparing it with my own setup.