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Back to My Mac is inspiring.

I tried this program that works with Apple’s new OS called Leopard and their subscription service called .Mac the other day, and wow, I am impressed. I used to use a free program called Chicken of the VNC and also tried a shareware program called SpyMe with HamachiX, and they worked, after some fiddling, but Back to my Mac is amazing, and I think I an guess where Apple is going.
Back to my Mac let’s me click an icon in my computer that represents another computer I have and select share screen button which instantly opens up a window with an excellent scaled version of the screen of the computer, giving me remote access to it as though I were using it directly. Because it’s built into the new OS, I don’t have to download 3rd party software and worry about upgrades and compatibility so much. The thing that struck me was when I clicked the green resizebutton in the window, it resized it to a 2″ square, and I could still use the mouse at that tiny illegible size to drag items around on the desktop and click icons on the dock. This resizing used to be a pain with other programs I used previously and even using the mouse and clicking things was irritating due to the lag time between the click and seeing what happened when the sreen refreshes like a slow strobe effect. Apple must have put some time into making this all very flexible.
I think that there’s gotta be a back to my mac icon coming to the iPhone by January to show off that you can now control your desktop at home with your iphone from anywhere in the connected world. After seeing that it’s possible to control the desktop in such a tiny window, I know it can be done, with a little magnifier and some panning and zooming capabilities. They just need to make sure the .Mac service as easy and reliable as the desktop experience I have had. This would make it useful for everyone while waiting for native 3rd party application approval by Apple for the iPhone.
I tested the usability of the Back to my Mac by controlling my Macbook Pro’s screen from my old ibook g4, and accessing the Windows version of Palm Desktop on my bootcamp partition through VMWare Fusion’s window That’s a lot of hoops to jump through and control in a way that felt close enough to real time and native that I was sold on the possibilities of doing that through a future iPhone. I am waiting for the iPhone to open up a little to do all the stuff my Palm Treo 650 currenty does natively, except for the automatic soft resetting feature, of course.

Waiting for Leopard

I was planning to purchase a new laptop since Spring this year, but wated to buy it after the new operating system from Apple was launched. Since it has been delayed, I have been following all Apple Hot News, Mac Break Weekly, The Mac Round Table, Mac Attack, This Week in Technology, Engadget, NPR Technology, and recently Google Technology News.
I assume that no matter when I purchase a new laptop, I will be disappointed if I hear a new announcement shortly after with a significant upgrade that makes my system seem relatively useless. I must have quite a bit of restraint up to now, however, since my current laptop is a 12″ ibook G4 Power PC with 1.07 GHz I have had for 3 years or so. I did upgrade the hard drive from 30GB to 160GB so I could install Final Cut Studio (which required 40GB at the time all by itself) and the memory from 256MB to 768 MB of RAM. I just wanted to have all of my software on one machine, slow and limited as it was (it took 3.5 days to render a 12 minute HD video slideshow in Compressor, but it did it!).
Since I am using professional applications, it made sense to plan to get the “pro” series of macbook. I was thinking of holding out for a 12″ macbook pro, without a DVD drive and a secondary 32 GB Flash Drive which would supplement RAM and speed up the system startup process. I may even hope for some pressure sensitive touchscreen features if they got Wacom Technology on board in their development process, but that may be asking for too much for less than a year from now.
I am writing all of this down perhaps for bragging rights if that’s exactly what Apple does, and perhaps to get it out of my mind, so I don’t feel compeled to talk to non-Apple fans about what they care nothing about.
Then I will wait for the first CDMA iphone to be announced in the spring/summer of 2008 with 3rd party applications opened up so I can turn off the phone and use a future Bible application offline, without worrying about text/email distraction.
Thanks, I feel better now.
-Ezra

Competition

There is no competitor greater than one who can’t be discouraged, won’t budge from his path and never stops. Such a competitor should not be fought with, rather joined. With an ally like that, there is no other competion.
Time is such a competitor. I have fought with time for too long, and now need to learn better how to ally myself with him.
God is not beat by time, so He’s even better, and gives me a purpose for trying as well. Then I am working for a goal and for the benefit of others. Only God can help me prioritize time and encourage me to keep moving in positive direction.
I fail when I ignore time and when I ignore God. I need to be more generous with both, not hoarding my attention away from the boundaries given by both.
That reminds me, my break is over. Back to work.

one thing about my city…

I received a postcard in the mail that informed me that the city of Antioch passed some laws that it intends to enforce in the near future to improve the appearance of the community.
Some of the most common problems are:
1. visible waste bins
2. overgrown lawns
3. visible trailers
4. autos in disrepair
These topics were illustrated with photographs of the aforementioned ‘crimes’ existing in driveways and sideyards of single family homes.
I received a letter shortly after informing me that a City Inspector whose duty it is to report such evils has identified my home as a nuisance. I had been storing my recycle bin and waste bin on my extended driveway’s edge, which can be viewed from the sidewalk & street. No, trash was not strewn about, no piles of junk, just two 64 gallon bins neatly parked next to my driveway’s edge.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand why many people choose to live in planned communities and country clubs, paying for strict controls on what color you can paint your house trim and forbidding residents from parking on a driveway, (which after all is designed only to drive on, not to park on, that’s what a garage is for, technically). They keep it necessary for residents to pay an RV storage facility to keep their RV and boats out of public view, and so on. I intentionally avoided such yuppie ghettos for the peace of mind that home ownership should give. Although I smirk at the properties with hot pink paint jobs and peeling trim, I don’t complain, because they remind me that I could be stuck in a neighborhood where I would be hassled not only by a mortgage payment every month, but also mello roos taxes & a homeowner’s association, with it’s fees and fines for landscaping that only the recently retired and gardening enthusiasts could never fear.
I was informed I could be fined $1000 for not putting my bins behind my fence. After some thought and reflection, I moved the bins. (…coward, I know) I choose my battles, and I don’t have time to fight this battle, and it cost me nothing but time to roll them to the sideyard. I am now a slightly more informed voter. I guess the majority of deciders at whatever council meetings happen are in homeowner’s associations, themselves.
Avoid those who think more legislative control will be the best solution to our city’s problems, and support those who promote job opportunities for locals and businesses to want to do business in our good city.

-Ezra

http://www.ezraengle.com/

Spirituality

If only it were so easy,
To be righteous in your sight,
To read the entire message,
To resist the urge to delete,
If only it were so easy,
To pass the test that Paul failed,
By sending the message on to everyone I ever knew- and some I really never did,
The story did intrigue me,
And it made a decent point,
I laughed at that one part,
And was surprised at the end after I scrolled past the three pages of spacers,
But honestly,
Is this is a test from God?
And I will be one of the seven percent who don’t delete it?,
The elect chosen people of God?
The sheep, the ones who please Him?
Who resist the violent flow of this dark world and courageously forward this message to their entire list of contacts?
I sadly recognize my need for more courage, and the general need for more discernment.
To fear God more than man,
To recognize when an email is addressed to me from a person,
And to know that my pride in my faith is better exercised in my community where I can meet the needs of others, because love costs something. Encouragement is of value, but more so when it is directed personally to a known individual, whom has some trust in the encourager.
Satan is the accuser.
I don’t want to join his team,
I have enough to do as it is,
I am busy preparing for the grand finaly,
Where he gets dropped into his eternal bucket of dismay, and God’s suffering children will be exalted to His prescence, where we will praise Him in a way only the angels knew how to before.
This earth had better get out of her guilt, on to conviction, repentance, and from forgiveness to righteousness. God is waiting, and I don’t know how long His patience will last.