Technology

New Fitbit

I switched from a Fitbit one to a Fitbit Charge HR last summer after I lost my Fitbit One.  I liked some of the features on the Charge HR but missed the battery life of the One.  The Charge is supposed to be able to go something like 5 days on a charge but I usually had to charge it after 2 or 3.  Recently my Charge HR started to fall apart and I called Fitbit and they gave me the option of a replacement or 30% towards a new tracker.  I decided to upgrade to a Charge 2 and am anxious to see if I can get better battery life out of the new one.  The Charge 2 also replaceable wrist bands so I am looking for something besides the stock band that it came with.

Apple Headed the Wrong Way

I am currently using a 2011 MacBook Pro and right now it seems that I may not buy another Apple Laptop. I am not even sure if I will buy another Apple Desktop. Apple seems to be obsessed with making systems thinner and lighter and forgetting that there are people that are more concerned with performance over portability. In their drive to make things smaller they have resorted to soldering in memory and drives so that users can't even upgrade their hardware anymore. My 2011 MacBook Pro has been upgraded several times and still works great. Making hardware that cannot be upgraded is making things more expensive and they are alienating more and more customers. They make great hardware but not everyone wants the smallest system or to store everything in the cloud. I am anxious to see if they upgrade things this fall. I hope they change their direction but I doubt it.

 

Sonnet Echo 15 Impressions

I have been looking at Thunderbolt Docks for my MacBook Pro for some time and finally took the plunge. I decided to purchase the Sonnet Echo 15. It was the most expensive of the docks that I looked at but I decided to get it because of the extensive functionality it offered. It would give me USB 3 on my older MacBook Pro and still has FireWire and esata. It also included an optical drive and room for a hard drive.

When I first unpacked the dock I liked the look of it. It did not look cheap like some others I looked at. I plugged in my peripherals and monitor and things worked right away. I didn't start having issues until I loaded the driver and rebooted. When I rebooted I found that I first had to login to my MacBook and let it finish booting up before I could use the keyboard and mouse. I have a usb keyboard and mouse and when I have them plugged into the Mac instead of the dock I can boot up and login on the external keyboard and display.

The second issue that I found was that when I plugged my speakers into the dock I only got sound out of one of them. I then unplugged the input cable and plugged it back into my MacBook and sound returned to normal.

The fan on the dock is not loud but is noticeable. If that was the only problem with the dock I would keep it but it's not. For a dock that costs almost $500 I expect to have no issues. I will be returning the dock and will be back to my original setup.

 

Goodbye to Drupal

I started learning Drupal about 8 years ago when I decided to update our Parish website from a Dreamweaver Solution to something that I or others could update without having to have a proprietary program on their computer.  Drupal has a rather steep learning curve but it is rather powerful and has a pretty great community of supporters that help develop it and make it better.  I am saying goodbye to Drupal as I will no longer have time to develop the Parish Website and the people that they are looking to develop a new site for us plan to use WordPress for the new site.  I can’t say that I blame them.  WordPress has a huge market share and there are many more developers that work with WordPress and in turn the sites are usually less expensive to develop.  I had switched my blog from Drupal to WordPress sometime back because I had less time and was looking for something simple to allow me to blog when I felt like it and add a couple of other pages.  WordPress makes this very easy for us amateurs.  I enjoyed the platform and the community but now it’s time for me to move on.

More Macbook

So after a week of stress testing my Macbook and not being able to replicate the failure that I had but noticing that it is still running hot I took my Macbook back to the Applestore and explained the situation to them.  Since it was still under Applecare for a couple weeks they agreed to send it in to their depot to be repaired.  I had it back in 3 days and so far it is running much cooler.  At the depot they replace the logic board as well as both fans.  I am hoping that this will last for sometime since my Applecare runs out in 11 days and I would really like to keep using this Macbook for at least a couple more years. For the most part it has run well for me and I don’t want to spend money on a new one for at least another year minimum.