Sunday, January 20, 2008

Reversed Course on Planned Apple Purchase

After making a solid plan to buy a Macbook Pro very soon, I have changed my position and received confirmation that it was the right to do.

The markets collapsed to a degree on January 15th and everything has been a little too wishy-washy to accurately predict the short-term outcome.

Some words shared with others also came back to me and one thing that I have learned over the past 2 years is that a complete solution is far better and less stressful than a partial solution.

This means that to buy the needed HD replacement is a far cheaper solution and represents an "over and done with" moment versus going through the multiple payment option even if there is zero-percent interest available.

The funds required for the multiple payments can produce a greater harvest and then the buying will be within the proper season.

A visit to the website where I was going to buy the MBP then indicated that the price had dropped $500 but there are no multiple payments available. The price drop alone justifies buying Leopard as an individual purchase. But the Ghz on the chip was lower than the one I was eyeing.

So I am content staying on the sidelines still other than replacing the hard drive with a larger one.

A lot of online friends are creating content that includes video, so getting the larger HD will work best to incorporate video on the Macbook when the timing is right for video content for me. I believe that it will happen in 2008 for sure.

Today's bottom line is that through my activity within the financial markets, changing course happens every hour.

At times, one can feel like a hypocrite for changing your opinion so often and so fast. But without allowing the position to be dropped in favor of a larger trend, financial losses can put one out of the game forever.

It is better to let pride go down the toilet versus capital earned through hard work. So getting the HD is a decision I can live with:)


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Audio from Bible Study Series "Christ Jesus and His Anointing" Available Online

Recently I had the pleasure of teaching a Bible study series within our church Bethesda Baptist Church in Austell, GA under the leadership of Senior Pastor Charles B. Goodman that blessed everyone including myself greatly.

The series "Christ Jesus and His Anointing" answers many questions that new Christian converts and even those raised and functioning as members of congregations for decades have wondered about in terms of properly identifying and understanding the ministry, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The content is not always taught within traditional Protestant churches.

Feel free to listen at your pleasure and ask any questions at anytime. If you wish to obtain a CD or DVD of the audio, just let me know.

The weekly Bible studies at Bethesda usually include songs, prayer, and testimonies before the lessons are taught, so all is included for you to have the full experience as if you were there.

The three parts are uploaded as wave files and they vary in length and part 1 is approximately 1:19 in length. I do plan on uploading the files as MP3s soon also.

Listen and enjoy!


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Down Goes Macbook Hard Drive Like Frazier!

On Friday, I learned that my Macbook hard drive had indeed bought the farm to push up daisies and all contents went back to the Architect's construct for lost data.  Call it a sign of technological maturity or simply being blessed far above what I could ask or think because I have not been fazed at the development in the least bit.

Everything is clearly out of my hands and one of the biggest surprises learned is that there are no differences between hard drives for the PC and Mac.  This tidbit meant that I could do the repair myself and skip paying Apple $300 to $500 just for the hard drive alone plus the labor charges or to any authorized Apple repair shop.

Since my Macbook is already out of warranty, there is nothing to lose on the repair itself since it is within my repair range.  I have fried enough computers to know:)

I had a great day on Friday and had my oldest daughter with me the entire time.  She had a full week of winter break left and most kids had already returned to school. 

Earlier within the day we had gotten our new 2008 tag sticker with a zero wait (walked straight from the door straight to the counter) and I picked up a wireless mouse made by Microsoft that I am still loving with each touch.  After hearing my favorite oil change place try to fry me on a relatively simple repair, I knew that I was not going to pay a lot for this hard drive repair.

With any suitable hard drive serving as a candidate for the repair, I have discovered that there are prices easily below $200.  I am going with Western Digital as the manufacturer regardless of the actual size of the hard drive and could have purchased one today right at $150 but I saw one online at $134 (before taxes are applied on each quote).

The Macbook Pro (MBP) is available at my favorite online store for music equipment and Apple computers with multiple payments available, so I plan on obtaining one within a week and postpone the hard drive repair until February or almost indefinitely.

The Macbook may become a system for either my wife or my kids to use.  As a result, I am inclined to keep the size of the hard drive to be bought higher than the previous, original hard drive space (80GB) but under the maximum seen so far (320GB).  My target price is looking good at $134 for the 250 GB HD.

250 GB is still no joke and it is awesome to see how storage space is really the new commodity that is to be taken for granted these days.

I always fought to no avail the hard drive wars of limited space and one can buy terabytes of space for what used to cost sub-gigabyte storage space.

But I will need to confirm why the MBP is needed and what advantages are being picked up versus repairing my Macbook.

The repaired Macbook will clearly have more HD space than the MBP does at 160 GB.  I already knwo that the MBP will not have Leopard even though the price is the full price for MBPs sold by Apple, but Apple does have a program called "Leopard up-to-date" that provides a free upgrade to Leopard in the post-iPhone fiasco that occurred last year.

The multiple payments at zero-percent interest are simply phenomenal and are loosening my mind and wallet at the same time.

The portability factor is the real asset being purchased because being able to work, surf, produce, or invest anywhere that has wi-fi is an asset that is really not fully understood until the capability is obtained.

Limitations melt and new opportunities are revealed to the initiated.  Doubters or the not-easily-convinced will never know how much they loss as an opportunity cost for not "getting it" earlier.

Just from the flow of this blog entry tonight, the debate of the HD space is pitting the MBP and Macbook head to head harder than they went at it earlier today.  90 GB of HD space is the real difference, so I need to put a price tag on the 90 GB.  The time required to obtain the HD for the repair is 3 business days after the order is placed and there is an unknown time limitation if the multiple payment options disappear as it did after I bought the Macbook.  So what's a geek to do?

Through the risk and money management that I have been practicing and still learning more in this new year, I see the solution coming over the horizon.

The 250 GB HD will be obtained first and we will see how the repair goes.  If the repair goes smoothly and without any hitches, the MBP ---whoa, whoa, whoa!!!!

The MBP has to be purchased first because of the "Leopard up-to-date" program that expires on January 26th I believe.  I almost do not feel like buying Leopard now or later for some reason and the Macbook did not have it.  But I know that the HD space limitation was a reason why.

So dude, you're getting a MBP!  LOL:)

The only data loss of the original HD is one song that was still being developed but I've lost greater masterpieces before.  I am just glad that my FlickrBeats were not lost since they represented not only a creativity breakthrough, but an investment of time and effort that cannot be recaptured otherwise.

I will share the new car smell of the MBP soon!  At least there will be multiple laptops with the iSight cameras that will allow me to create "at the computer or desk" videos that would have been too prohibitive with my time schedule for anyone else to be involved.

So it all works out in the end one way or another!


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Still Not Enough to Wreck 2008: Macbook Is Blind to Hard Drive

Today I have a surprise recreational afternoon planned for my girls and since the place has wi-fi, I thought about taking my Macbook.

The Macbook froze during its last usage in 2007 with my wife and I was too busy to invest much time in it until today.

I installed the original CD and RAM to no avail.  It is simply not recognizing the hard drive.

I have an appointment scheduled at an Apple Store on Friday to have it checked out.

I already knew that adding more Macs to our lineup was going to be necessary and I am just curious at this point what is going on with it.

First generation technology is never easy on you once the original warranty runs out.

I now know to avoid such early purchases especially with Apple from now on but 2008 is already going so great and although it would have ripped me apart on some level before, I can take this technology glitch or hardware massive coronary in stride this time around since I backed up everything late November 2007 after seeing the initial warning signs:)

A friend recently shared his backup plan with me and it was so broad in scope that I may implement it as well since multiple backups and remote storage increase the security and reduce the potential stress levels tremendously.



Saturday, January 05, 2008

Tivo Adds Google Picasa & Photobucket for TV Viewing of Photographs

Here is a blog entry that I was creating on December 3, 2007 and just got too busy to finish it in a timely fashion.

I just tried out the new capability on Tivo's digital video recorders (DVR) and came away with mixed feelings in the short-term but positive feelings in the long term.

I had to look for the feature repeatedly today and found the new Photos & Slideshows menu item far below the area where the now non-existing Yahoo! Photos still appears unfortunately.

The menu item should have been placed either at the top of the list or at least viewable on the same screen without scrolling down.  It falls into the background and without any emphasis currently which is unfortunate.  The Yahoo! should be totally removed.

My earlier search this morning upon receiving the news was a failed attempt due to the placement of the new features.

I already had accounts with both Photobucket which is owned by MySpace and Picasa which is owned by Google and entering the appropriate login information was very straightforward.

I got distracted by my daughters while entering my information for the Picasa account and was pleasantly surprised to see that I did not have to start completely over.

You are able to stay logged into both accounts to view photos without going through a cumbersome process to switch between the services.

Picasa has the capability of viewing photo albums within your account and I will need to do further research to see if Photobucket offers the same capability.

There is basically no competition between the services other than the ownership of the services.

While viewing the photographs on the television, they did take on a new personality due to the increased size and seemed richer in depth.

The slideshow capability allows the transitions to be changed to either display the captions and photo titles or not as well as the amount of time between each photo.

Before I believed that Tivo would be acquired by Yahoo! but I now believe that Yahoo! has already missed the train and resulting opportunity.

Amazon has stepped into the picture and the Amazon Unbox service is very cool and we have rented and downloaded paid and free stuff over the weekend.  No trips back to the video store is a good thing!

Amazon could acquire  Tivo in a far better move and with greater synchronicity than if Yahoo! acquired  Tivo.

I doubt that Google is interested since they are more interested in the advertising aspects versus the content side.  On second thought, the data generated by  Tivos would be a goldmine to Google but Google has not moved far enough in this direction still.