It is warm and windy today, more like early November than late December. It's 51 degrees outside and the winds are blowing at ~25mph with gusts of ~40mph.
How long did my "I'm not buying any software for my iBook" stance last? Only three months.
Today I purchased that perennial Macintosh favorite, BBEdit. BBEdit is an astoundingly robust text editor, even better than OmniPad, the windows-based text-editor of which I am so fond. A text editor doesn't have all the bells-and-whistles of a word processor, doesn't aspire to be a page layout application; it simply allows the user to edit text documents. A robust text editor like BBEdit, though, provides many methods to work with the text. For example, OmniPad recognizes whether I'm working with HTML or Perl or C/C++ and formats the text accordingly (color-coding HTML tags, etc.). BBEdit accepts third-party plugins. I prefer text editors to word processors because they are less presumptuous and generate create cleaner files.
Why have I rescinded my vow not to buy software for the iBook? Simply put: this iBook is the best computer that I've ever owned. If by purchasing a few carefully selected tools I can spend more of my time in on this machine and less time on a Windows machine, the money is well spent. Once I've purchased Quicken, this computer will be able to support 80% of my computing needs. (The remaining 20%? About 15% in mp3 storage and manipulation, and about 5% in gaming.)
I keep learning new things about my iBook. Last night Paul Carlile demonstrated the power of Sherlock, which I had dismissed as a light-weight search engine. It actually provides a number of useful features: stock watch, movie info, yellow pages, eBay auctions, flight planning, dictionary, language translator, and more. Sherlock does have one flaw: it doesn't use google for its text and image searches of the internet. This is absurd!
(The iBook's lacks easy access to google. Sure, I could just type the URL or to follow a permanent link from my web site. But I'm a googleholic, and use the google toolbar constantly when working in Windows. The google toolbar isn't available on the Macintosh. Yes, there are browsers that incorporate some google capabilities into their interface, but many of these browsers are still under development, and don't provide all of the google toolbar functionality.)
An example of Sherlock's power (and ease-of-use): Paul and I wanted to determine what movies were playing nearby. Normally we'd use Oregon Live for this, which means paging back-and-forth, hunting for a movie and a theater, and endless exposure to advertising banners and pop-up ads. With Sherlock there is no advertising. We click on 'movies', click on Chicago (or some other movie I want to see), and Sherlock reveals which nearby theaters are showing the film, displays the playing times, provides a plot summary, shows the movie poster, gives the rating and running time, and, best of all, displays a Quicktime trailer. Wow. (Of course this all works better with a high-speed connection than it does over dial-up.)
When Michael and I went to lunch last week, he mentioned Your Money or Your Life, a book that has helped him work toward a simplified lifestyle. This is also a goal of mine, one on which it is difficult for me to remain focused; I am, by nature, an acquisitive person, drowning in the clutter I accumulate. I expressed interest in the book and voila: yesterday I receive a package from Amazon which contains the book. Thanks, Michael!
Kris and I spent yesterday evening with Paul. We shared another fine dinner at South Park. I had a some interesting (but good) warm dates stuffed with almonds and wrapped with jamon serrano, followed by a delicious paella with chicken and chorizo. (Best paella I've ever had, actually.) After dinner we tried to see Catch Me If You Can, but it was sold out. Instead we drove back to Canby and then Paul and I spent the next several hours playing mp3s and talking about music and soccer and books and life. It was great. It felt like old times. This is the Paul that I like: interesting and thoughtful and filled with challenging ideas.
We contemplated making a bluegrass mix, then an electronic mix, then an a capella 80s mix. In the end, we found a mix that I made in October that Paul liked:
Passengers: A Driving MixIt's a great mix, actually, well-suited to late-night driving. The highlight is the six-song sequence from U2's second greatest album, the little-known Passengers: Original Soundtracks 1. (U2's greatest album? All of the albums from the 80s are good, but The Unforgettable Fire is my favorite. For more on my love for U2, check out this archived entry.)
- Announcement (Arling & Cameron)
- Voulez-Vous (Arling & Cameron)
- Lebanese Blonde (Thievery Corporation)
- Hell is Around the Corner (Tricky)
- Nights Interlude (Nightmares on Wax)
- Breathe (Telepopmusik)
- Intermezzo (Arling & Cameron)
- Gorecki (Lamb)
- Days Go By (Dirty Vegas)
- Signs of Love (Moby)
- Battersea (Hooverphonic)
- Sea People (Emiliana Torrini)
- Slug (Passengers)
- Your Blue Room (Passengers)
- Always Forever Now (Passengers)
- Different Kind of Blue (Passengers)
- Beach Sequence (Passengers)
- Miss Sarajevo (Passengers)
- Tears in Rain (Vangelis)
My primary goal this weekend is to sleep. And then to sleep some more.