13 inch MacBook Air

I ordered a new 13 inch MacBook Air from Apple.com on Black Friday. Apple.com was dangling a 10% discount on select items. The 13 inch MacBook Air was one of them. I’ve decided long ago that I’ll go for a MacBook Air. I just didn’t know which model to choose. When the opportunity came along on Black Friday, I went for it.

The 10% savings was equivalent to about $101, a bit less than the amount that I’ll pay for the California sales tax. With that discount, I went ahead and doubled the RAM memory from 2GB to 4GB. The upgrade was well worth it. I’m excited. I can’t wait any longer for this laptop to show up on my door.

Apple gave me a FedEx tracking number. It’s interesting to watch this product shipped, from its origin of Shanghai, China, to Anchorage, Alaska. Soon enough it will be in the Bay Area and to my doorstep. I can’t wait. I said that already.

WordPress on Your Smart Phone

If you own several WordPress blogs and you want to manage your blogs from your smartphone, there are several WordPress applications that are available for the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Nokia.

WordPress for the iOS is an iPhone application that will let you manage your blog from your iPhone and the iPad. You can create or edit posts and pages, and add images, videos, and comments to your blog with ease. Download the WordPress for iOS from Apple’s website for free. You can also visit the WordPress for iOS blog.

WordPress for Android is an Android application that’s available in the Android Market. Just search for WordPress and install the application that’s published by Automattic. You also might want to visit the WordPress for Android blog. Here’s a preview of WordPress for Android app in the video below. See how easy it is to manage blogs from the Android.

WordPress for Blackberry is an application that allows you to write posts, upload photos and videos, edit pages, and manage comments in the Blackberry phone. The application will run on BlackBerry devices starting with the 8700, Curve, Pearl, Bold, Storm, Storm2  and the Tour. BlackBerry Device Software (OS) Version 4.5 minimum is required. Visit the WordPress for Blackberry blog.

WordPress for Nokia is an application that allows to edit your existing blog content, add new posts and pages, or simply manage comments from your Nokia smartphone. WordPress for Nokia allows you manage your blog from your S60 or Maemo-powered Nokia phone. Visit the WordPress for Nokia blog. Download the application. Older phones may not be supported.

Ubuntu 11.04 Will Be Drastically Different

The next Ubuntu release, version 11.04, code name Natty Narwhal, will be so drastically different than any Ubuntu release, that you may not recognize it at first glance. The changes are going to be so dramatic. First of all, the Gnome Shell we are all accustomed to seeing, will be replaced by the Unity interface, which is already the standard in Ubuntu Netbook releases. Here’s a sneak peek of the Unity interface.

The Unity interface’s main strength is having easy access to applications. The familiar Gnome pull down menu taskbar at top of the screen will go away, to be replaced with Unity’s icons on the left side of the screen. The Unity interface comes with social media in mind. Unity users will be able to access Twitter and Facebook straight from their desktop.

In terms of office suite, LibreOffice will replace Open Office as announced earlier by Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu releases. In addition, Firefox 4 will be the default browser, along with Banshee, which will replace the Rythmbox Music Player.

Finally, here’s a sneak video of Ubuntu running the Unity interface.

Netflix: Unlimited Movies and DVDs for $10

The other day, I received an important note from Netflix, stating that my monthly subscription has increased by $1. The monthly will jump from $8.99 to $9.99. For an additional $1 dollar, Netflix will now show unlimited movies and TV episodes on my computer, as well as unlimited DVDs by mail. I bolded the words unlimited in case you haven’t noticed. It’s actually a great deal.

Here’s the actual note from Netflix:

Why the changes? Our selection of TV episodes and movies available to stream has grown dramatically, and as a result most members want us to deliver unlimited movies and TV episodes two ways: streaming instantly over the internet plus DVDs by mail. The price change will allow us to continue to offer the popular plan choice of unlimited TV episodes and movies streaming instantly along with unlimited DVDs. The new plan, which does not include DVDs, is a great option for the increasing number of members who only want to watch instantly.

In addition, Netflix is also offering unlimited TV episodes and movies online for just $7.99. This plan does not include unlimited DVDs by mail.

I saw a little disclaimer saying:

All the titles you can watch instantly on your current plan are also available on this new plan, and as a reminder, not all titles on DVD are available to watch instantly.

In any case, for $9.99, this plan is a great. Just to be sure, I logged in to Netflix’s website, and saw that all movies seem to be available for online play, and that includes the most recent films. There’s one more thing on my wish list. I just wished Netflix will play on my Linux desktop. I can watch Netflix on the Xbox 360, a Windows XP desktop, my Windows XP netbook, but not on my Linux desktop. Bummer.

Kindle vs Nook

Here’s a side by side review of Kindle vs Nook. I’m leaning more towards the Kindle since its only $139. For that price, I can have an e-reader that stores up to 3,500 books, with a battery life of over a month, and a monochrome screen since that’s a lot easier on the eyes. I just wished the Kindle supported the ePub format. That’s all.

Going Back To CodeIgniter

It’s has been months since I played around with CodeIgniter. I say, it’s time to head back into it. Or should I say, jump back head first. I just realized how much easier it is to whip out an application or two, by just piecing together a few lines of code.

The resulting code is light, fast and fairly efficient. I tried other PHP frameworks, like CakePHP, but for some reason I can’t really explain, I just couldn’t latch on to it. It’s a weak try on my part, but I just feel much more comfortable with CodeIgniter. Maybe, it’s the simplicity.

In any case, both CakePHP and CodeIgniter requires some heat, starting a fire, and some baking. But, first off, I need to get reacquainted with CodeIgniter.

I’m back reading The User Guide.

Edit Google Docs in Android, iPhone, iPad

If you have an Android smartphone, Google just made editing Google Docs possible on your smartphone. The new application will work on any Android 2.2 powered device as well as the iPhone or iPad running iOS 3.0+.

I’ve been using a lot of OpenOffice and Google Docs the last year. I don’t miss MS Office suite at all. Now that editing Google Docs are available on smartphones is an added bonus. Edits can be made in real time. If someone edits a document, you can see the results as well.

Editing tables and spreadsheets are a breeze. Just choose a spreasheet cell and edit away. You can also enter text using your voice. That’s the coolest part of the whole app.

National Unfriend Day

Jimmy Kimmel declared tomorrow, November 17, as National UnFriend Day at Facebook.com. Kimmel says, “Remember five years ago when no one was on Facebook and you didn’t know what the guy you took high school biology with was having for lunch?  Remember how that was fine? Let’s go back to that.”

I’m not sure if this will gain any traction, but he does have a point. Someone will unfriend you, if give out way too many status updates!

Beatles Now On iTunes

The dispute is over. Apple Computers, Apple Corps and EMI Group Ltd. have finally agreed to sell Beatles songs in iTunes. The companies could have benefited from the iTunes digital downloads a long time ago, but the trademark battle didn’t help the cause. But it’s all settled now. This is just icing on the cake.

In any case, Beatles songs are now available on iTunes to the delight of fans worldwide. Downloads are priced at $0.99 cents each.

I’m still amazed that Garth Brooks, Kid Rock and AC/DC are still holding out on iTunes.

Finally, remember this record label? The good old days …

Calculate Voltage Loss Over Cat5 Cable

Have you ever woken up one day with a question, “How do I calculate voltage loss over a Cat5 cable? No? I haven’t either, but it’s a very interesting question. This question will most likely come up if you’re working with Power Over Ethernet.

POE is used on network devices such as wireless access points, ip telephones and cameras to power devices where power is not readily available like a high wall, a ceiling or an outdoor location.

Sending power over Cat5 is possible because Cat5 uses only two out of the four pairs of wires to transmit and receive data, the orange and green pairs. The blue and brown pairs are unused.

The unused pairs are used to send low DC (direct current) voltage to power these networked devices. Just like everything in the electronics world, there’s dropoff in voltage if the cable run is long.

So, how do you figure out what power do you need to sufficiently run a POE device?

This calculator will simplify things for you. Just enter the voltage, amps and cable length. The calculator will tell you the voltage drop and the required power supply will you need.