Vincent Cheung

Vincent Cheung's Blog

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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

MacOS X in WinXP! and Mac's

I'm running MacOS X 10.3.4 in WinXP!

PearPC emulates the G3 hardware like how VirtualPC / Wine / etc. emulates X86 hardware. The software's open source and at a really, really early stage, not to mention slow, but it works...

The installation is long and complicated, but luckily I found an image off BitTorrent that had MacOS X 10.3.4 installed for PearPC! The installation was a snap. Just a few modifications to the config file and off I went!

It doesn't currently have network capabilities under WinXP, and the installation was pretty barebones (no iTunes, and other stuff, well, maybe, I haven't looked around too much).

I want to get a laptop this summer and am thinking of getting a Powerbook or maybe an iBook. I used to have a PowerMac, but left it behind when I came to Toronto. I like Mac's. It's a nice change from all the Windows machines and nicer than Linux, but with a Unix backbone. Mac's have everything I need to do research (Java, Matlab, bioinformatics stuff (BLAST), Offic) and play (movie players, iTunes, games, misc apps (Azureus runs on Java :))). They run fast and smoothly with few problems. The laptops are quite nice. The Powerbook I'm looking at is a G4 1.5 GHz with built-in 802.11g (for my home network), Bluetooth (potentially useful, maybe use with my Bluetooth mouse and keyboard), USB 2, Firewire, 80G HD, 512MB RAM, TV-out (movies), VGA port (video projectors), 15" screen, kick-ass video card (not that I'm too into that though), DVD and CD burner (the Superdrive), but the battery life is only 4.5 hours (with Wi-Fi on, like 3 hours, DVD watching is like 2 hours...) plus about $3000. The iBook's a little worse off (slower, less memory and hard drive space, no DVD burning, no Bluetooth), but cheaper ($2000) and surprisingly, longer battery life, apparently 6 hours! But doesn't look as nice (white plastic casing as opposed to aluminum and a tad heavier) and the screen's only 14" instead of 15", with a lower resolution - 1024 x 768 instead of 1280 x 832 (not sure about the res of the 15", but something close - it's a wide screen). I don't plan on doing too much computationally on my laptop, but would end up running some stuff on there. Apparently, it runs BLAST quite a bit faster than with a DELL P4 3.2 GHz desktop (which is what I have at school :p).

I gotta figure out how the laptop stuff'll go soon since I'm going back to Winnipeg on the 17th (London (the real one) from 10th - 16th with my sisters). My prof said previously that all phd students get their own laptops, I'm gonna be transferring into PhD soon, but want laptop now. Not sure if I have to get one through him or if he can reimburse me (which would be preferred cuz then I get to choose my laptop). Not sure how much he would reimburse, cuz the Powerbooks is definitely one of the more expensive laptops, not that my desktop is cheap, c'mon, 2 GB of RAM!

Anyways, night time.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Mozilla has the Google Toolbar (well, close enough) and Thunderbird

I just found out that while Google's Toolbar doesn't work with Mozilla Firefox, there's an extension that does it! Goolgebar

That solves my problem that I can't get text highlighting and easy searching (as I was able to do with the Google toolbar in IE).

I've all but converted to Firefox and Thunderbird (the Mozilla e-mail client) now. Thunderbird can't check Hotmail accounts, but my Mailblocks account checks my Hotmail accounts for me and use a challenge-response system to eliminate all my spam! (I love my Mailblocks account). Thunderbird handles IMAP servers better than Outlook Express. Plus, it has junk mail filtering (not that I really need it, but it's nice to train), and a bunch of little things that Outlook Express doesn't have (OE hasn't been updated for a while now....).

I do have a few quirks with Thunderbird. One, you can't have it check all your e-mail accounts by pressing one button. It'll check all your accounts when you start it and every x minutes, but there's no button you can click to have it check it all. I got an extension that apparently does it, but I'm not sure if it actually does or not. Another thing is that I liked it when OE showed you which servers it was downloading from as it checked your mail (rather than just flashing it on the status bar). The newsreader is better than in OE, but still doesn't handle binary files split across multiple messages. I've been using NewsBin Pro for downloading off newsgroups, which I don't really do, except occasionally.... My last beef is that you can't password protect your inbox. That is, anyone can just open up Thunderbird and read all your e-mail. OE has a profile thing where you can password protect the entrance into your e-mail. Thunderbird has a profile thing, but doesn't let you password protect it and exiting a profile is kinda funky - sometimes when I go "file, close" it kicks me out and next time I load the program, it asks me which profile I want to load, and other times it doesn't.... It also seems to take up a lot of memory.... It also splits up your POP3 e-mail into different folders. You can't consolidate all POP3 e-mail into one giant inbox like with OE, but it's also kinda good that way - you know what e-mail came from where, but for me, I don't really use any of my POP3 accounts, and dumping them all in one place is fine for me..... oh well.

That's all for now. So, I've fully converted to Firefox and Thunderbird. I only use IE to access my INGDirect account and some pages on Supernova that don't seem to work with Firefox and I haven't opened OE for a while (either at home or at school).
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