The OS Quest Trail Log #44: Long Overdue Edition

picture of a steam engineEgads! It’s been over 2 months since the last trail log. I also came across an old comment where I’d being doing the trail logs weekly. A week, two months, barely a difference. Unfortunately the real world has been intruding on the quest more than I’d like so while there have been a lot of changes (Windows 7, Snow Leopard, more…) I haven’t really had the chance to dig into the new features they offer.

Website Changes

The most recent change was to the design of this website. It was another spur of the moment thing and I went into it without much testing first. So my apologies if you were visiting the site Saturday and ran into some problems. Feel free to point out any broken links or formatting, or just comment on the design in general. Expect to see more changes as I settle into the new theme.

I’ve switched to the Thesis theme by Chris Pearson of DIYThemes. This is my first premium (paid) theme and at $87 for a personal license and $164 for a developers license it is on the pricey side. I’m not ready to say it’s worth the money, I’ve only used it for a couple days. But I’m hoping the extensive configuration options available through the admin panel along with a solid design will make it worth the price. While not exactly a child theme structure like Thematic was it does segregate all changes into separate directories and files as protection when upgrades are done.

Another change is that ads within the individual posts should be suppressed for regular visitors. So once you made a few visits to the site the Google ads should stop appearing. The ads in the sidebar will still be there, at least for now.

Thesis has some features which I’ll be taking advantage of going forward, but I’m not going to go back redo old articles unless they really look bad. So far everything seems to have come into the new Thesis theme just fine.

Apple Updates

Apple continued to give me grief, although things seem to be sorted out at this point. I had problems with the OS X 10.5.7 upgrade which weren’t fully resolved until OS X 10.5.8 was released. And then a couple days after that Snow Leopard was released and I upgraded to that immediately since I still had the backups from my earlier problems. My problems were minor, more annoying than anything, but Apple finished of Snow Leopard by soon releasing the first update.

But Apple wasn’t about to stop there. iTunes 9 was released but I held off installing it. I ordered an iPod Touch and wanted to get iTunes 9 installed before it arrived, so I went ahead and installed it. This caused all sorts of sync problems which were all resolved when iTunes 9.0.1 was released.

It’s gotten to the point where problems are expected for every “dot zero” software release from Apple. This is more depressing for me since I purposely try to keep things as true to the program defaults as possible so that I can avoid problems. I don’t hack software I use daily so that I don’t have problems.

iPod Touch

I broke down and bought one of the new iPod Touches, the 64GB model. As long as the iPhone remained exclusive to AT&T I won’t be getting one.

I’m liking it so far. I’ve put a few apps on it but I’ve avoided the urge to go app crazy. I’ve had it enough to understand the benefits of the iPhone being always connected (well, at least as defined by AT&T)

Windows 7

Going through my recent posts I see I haven’t written about Windows 7. Well, I’ve been running the final release (via TechNet) for a couple of weeks on my main machine. It’s been rock solid and I really like it. It goes days (over a week) without reboot and no instability. The only reboots are for software installs or uninstalls.

Now I admit I’ve only scratched the surface since I haven’t had time to dig into it. I use Windows XP on my day job and these days that  just seems old and clunky compared to Windows 7. It’s also been much more stable than my iMac these days.

The only problem I have is with the screen saver/screen energy saver. They just don’t seem to want to kick in when the time arrives. Yet, when it comes time for the PC itself to go into sleep mode it does so just fine. I just have to remember to turn off the monitor when I leave the PC. Probably not a bad idea anyway.

The official Windows 7 release is less than 3 weeks away although it’s already begun to appear in some places like TechNet, MSDN and at OEMs.

Wrapping Up

That wraps up this week’s semi-monthly trail log. I’m not quit sure what’s on the agenda for the weeks ahead. There’s a lot on the list that I want to do, just not enough time to do it. I have to remember to buy those lottery tickets so I can quit my day job.