ASUS PL30JT First Impressions

I’m very excited to be typing this on my brand new ASUS PL30JT. When I was looking for user reviews of this machine over the last couple of days I didn’t find many, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to help others interested in this machine, as well as test out the keyboard a little more extensively. Please keep in mind that my last laptop is an Apple Macbook Pro circa 2005, so a lot of the standard features on new laptops are possibly novel and exciting to me.
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Windows 7 RC1

After hearing a few people mention Windows 7 RC1 over the last week, my curiosity was piqued. I had heard and seen a bit about Windows 7 up until this point, however my busy schedule forced me to ignore the prospect of playing with it. I’m now glad to say that this post is being written with the aid of Windows 7 RC1. Not only that, but it is now the sole operating system on my main machine at home. That’s right folks, I blew Vista away yesterday without so much as a kiss goodbye and I haven’t regretted it for a second.

I don’t plan on doing a lengthy review or how-to now (or probably ever), I just wanted to share how easy it was to move to Windows 7 from Vista. First things first, you need to get yourself a copy of RC1. To do that, visit Microsoft’s download page and follow the links to download it. You’ll have to choose between the 32 and 64-bit options (I chose 64-bit) and you will also be asked to sign-in with a Hotmail, Messenger, Passport or Live account to proceed. Once you’ve jumped through the hoops, you’ll be given a product key and can start the download. At just over 3GB, you may be waiting a little while. Once that’s done, you’re ready to install!
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Apple Support FTW!

I just wanted to give a shout out to Apple customer support. My Macbook Pro recently started powering off without warning while the OS was still reporting 30-50% battery remaining. As it’s still under an extended warranty through David Jones (i.e. not Apple care), it went to The Mac Doctors for an appraisal. They reported it was a battery fault, which understandably, my extended warranty doesn’t cover. The Mac Doctors also asked Apple if they’d come to the party and replace it for me, given that the battery had only cycled 59 times (apparently after 250 cycles is when you should expect your battery to be dead) and it wasn’t a straight forward case of not holding charge. Apple declined to come to the party when asked by The Mac Doctors, however The Mac Doctors advised me to call Apple personally and explain myself. Taking their advice, I called Apple. After a brief conversation with a general support guy, I was put on hold for a bit (not too long) before I was forwarded to a product specialist. After confirming some details about the battery, as well as explaining that I’d installed any updates from Apple, the product specialist informed me that my battery was prone to failure more often than it should. He then went on to say that becuase I updated regularly, the only explanation was a somewhat known hardware failure, which meant Apple would replace the battery for me.

In addition to the excellent outcome, both of the support guys I spoke to were very professional, polite and patient. As well as Apple support being excellent, The Mac Doctors must also be given “mad props” for going to the trouble of asking Apple to cover the battery, and then advising me to talk to them myself. So to everyone involved, thank you muchly, and well done.

Electrical Fireworks

A few nights ago I was setting up my new fileserver (post to come soon) when I heard something like fireworks on my street. Upon further investigation I saw big flashes which were going off in time with the exploding sounds. After a little while I saw that people were down on the street watching whatever the show was, so I went down and got some footage. For the record this was in Kenmore Hills some time around 2-3am on 14 Jan 2009. If anyone knows what this is, please let me know via email or in the comments.

Bow to TOBO

I’d like to put my hand up for the manliest man award.  Not only did I change a tyre on my car today, I also built some furniture.  Ok, “built” might be taking things a bit too far given that it came flat-packed from IKEA.  Nonetheless, I screwed things, I hammered things, so to me it felt like building.  In any event, this is all irrelevant, because I’m here to preach the virtues of what I built, not how I built it.

TOBO, my beastly new TV unit, is a proud addition to my IKEA collection and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a reasonable sized cabinet for a televison and consoles.  He will proudly hold a 46″ LCD, PS3, Wii and a small collection of discs, and that’s without making use of his two generous drawers.  TOBO is a shining example of IKEA’s much improved design, both in terms of aesthetic and ease of assembly.  TOBO, I salute you.