Hunt for a new notebook

I’ve been in the hunt for a new notebook for ages now and I’m finally getting tired of it. There are just so many models to chose from and it seems that “the perfect one” just isn’t out there, or at least I can’t find it.

If it got everything I want (nice screen, at least 1GB ram, DVD burner, 80GB HDD, Windows Vista), it’s battery life sucks – how come that a NEW super-duper notebook with kickass technology has a battery life of 2 hours?! Are you serious…my 6 year old notebook used to run that long…sigh.

Then again, if the battery life is awesome, something else just doesn’t seem right. Sigh.

This is really getting annoying and I think I finally settled on a model. 14.1″ WXGA (1280×800) seems the perfect match for me as I don’t like the cloggy 15,4″+ screen models…either I want a notebook or a desktop-replacement…and I don’t see myself hauling a 15,4″ notebook around. Downside: 14.1″ WXGA screens are not the norm (which would be 15,4″ these days) and so those models are usually quite expensive. Sigh. So I had a long look around all the different models and I ended up with the Samsung R20-Aura line. Now the only question left is…go with the highend (2x2GHz Core 2 Duo) or subtract a little cpu power and 1GB of ram (same chipset, same mobo, same DVD, same hdd, but 2×1.83GHz Core Duo) and save 500 Euro…decisions, decisions. I’m leaning toward the Core Duo model though…yes, it’s not the latest cpu, but hey, it’s more computing power than imagine myself using on the road anyway and saving 500 Euro, seems like a good thing to do…

Now I only need to wait for the Samsung people to get back to me as the specs are screwed up on their sites and flyers…one is saying that the CPU is 2×2.16GHz, which can’t be right, but no shame in asking, same goes for the battery…there’s a normal battery (38,48Wh) and a longlife battery (76,96Wh)…but there’s no mention about which battery is included? The normal one, the highcapacity one, both? I guess I’ll find out soon enough if their email-support get’s their behinds into gear…

End of the year, time for some upgrades

Well, it’s been a while since I last upgraded my pc…almost 3 years…

So, I decided it’s time for a new one…some funky dual core stuff or something and yup, there are lots of possible configurations.

First decision: Intel or AMD?

I know that Intel’s Core 2 Duos are powerful, fast and sexy…but they’re a little more expensive too…so I thought I’d go with AMD, yet again…(my current system is an AMD Athlon XP, the one before that was an AMD, …)…

Second decision: Fastest/expensive, medium/alrighty, lower end/cheap

I decided to go with middle ground…an AMD x2 3800 it is, the Energy Efficient version of it – that’s perfect for a smaller case and it’ll help me save some energy costs, after all my pc is running most of the time. Combined with a funky mATX board, 1GB of ram (for now), 500GB Samsung SATAII (16MB Cache), DVD-burner, DVD-Rom and a nice mATX case by aplus…

aplus blockbuster

The case arrived today and I’m hoping that the rest will arrive tomorrow (it was sent off by the shop today)…it’s going to be fun to build a pc, haven’t done that in a while…

Ooooh and I almost forgot, I ordered a new copy of Windows XP Pro…117€ including an Express upgrade coupon to Vista business….sounds like a good deal :)

I’ll post some pics once I’m done building…

New MacBook

Wow…so it’s finally here…the new MacBook (the laptop formerly known as iBook ;-) ). Available in the classic white and now, new, in black too. Cool stuff there. I’m so getting one soonish!!!

Specs of the three models:

  1. White, 13.3-inch widescreen display 1280 x 800 resolution, 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo, 512MB memory (2x256MB SODIMMs), 60GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard drive, Combo drive (DVD-ROM, CD-RW) – 1.099$ / 1099 €
  2. White, 13.3-inch widescreen display 1280 x 800 resolution, 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo, 512MB memory (2x256MB SODIMMs), 60GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard drive, SuperDrive (DVD±RW, CD-RW) – 1.299$ / 1299 €
  3. Black, 13.3-inch widescreen display 1280 x 800 resolution, 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo, 512MB memory (2x256MB SODIMMs), 80GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard drive, SuperDrive (DVD±RW, CD-RW) – 1.499$ / 1499

Now I don’t get the difference in price between the white and black top-model. 200$/€ more for a 80GB HDD along with another color? Seems a little strange to me?!

Mac Mini updated

So, finally Apple has updated the Mac Mini. Welcome to the Intel age. There are currently two models available – one with a Single Core (1.5GHz, 512MB, 60GB HDD, Built-In WLAN+Bluetooth, Apple Remote, 599$ / 639 € ) and one with a Dual Core (1.66GHz, 512MB, 80GB HDD, Built-In WLAN+Bluetooth, Apple Remote, 799$ / 849 € ).

I think I’m going to wait for some tests and then I’ll try to get my hands on the top model… :-)

Roundup

Wow, it’s been a while since I last posted something around here. With all the christmas, new year and different other stuff coming up, it was hard to find the time, but now I’m back.

Server, Domains, etc: Although Ingoal’s Insight… is still hosted with Dreamhost, I’ve got my dedicated server up and running now, finally. So, I’m probably moving this site over sooner or later, as there’s no point in paying twice, although Dreamhost’s hosting packages have just been updated once again: quatrupled (space) and octupled (bandwidth) to be precise, so you can get 20GB of space along with 1 TB of bandwidth for as little as 7.95$/month. Check it out!

Apple: Does MacBook Pro ring a bell? Intel Core Duo (dual core Pentium M) along with the possibility to run Windows (although not officially supported by Apple). This is certainly good news, and I’m really considering switching to a Mac in the near future (although I’ll wait for the update of the iBook, MacMini and PowerMac series before I make a decision about which way to go).

Fantasy Footie: After the good run in the old year I started to drop in ranking again and it’s going to be a hard fight until the end of the season, I’m not sure I can surpass Mr. Price, but at least I’m giving it my best shot – and one way or another, it’s has been fun.

Uni: I’m currently taking some time off and I’m in the need to find an internship, as this is the last thing on my todo list before I head into the final exams in March/April…then I can start my diploma thesis, which I can hopefully complete before the end of the year.

Ingoalnetwork: The sites are finally completed and some network sites have been added, for news about the network head over to the new network blog.

Chitika: After the bad experience in October I stuck around and since then they’ve been working hard at improving their overall solutions (the product of emini-malls themselves, almost real time audits, etc) and I’m happy to report, that their reports are now much more accurate and with the addition of european support the clicks and hence the revenue has really been stabilised. On another note: I receive the first payment (for november) just days ago, so I’m really satisfied now, I’ll keep you updated about it the following months…in the meantime feel free to check their blog and our give their emini-malls a test run.

Poker: For all the newsworthy stuff about my new passion poker head over to my poker-blog.

Postchristmas update

So much to report, so little time. It’s been a while since my last decent post, but don’t worry…everything is fine, although I tend to not find the time to post in recent days. So, what else is new?

The new server

This blog along with some other sites is still hosted by dreamhost, but sites are being moved to my new dedicated server piece by piece. As mentioned in my Nov 25th roundup I just had to get myself a new dedicated server as the low-end AMD Sempron just didn’t cut it, especially due to the “low bandwidth deal” I had on that server (“only” 200GB). So I ordered an Opteron beast, but they couldn’t deliver it right away so I was stuck. After a lot of haggling with the technical support I got an interim server (AMD Athlon 64) free of charge until my real server would be ready. Happy news: the server was finally shipped and installed in the ISP’s datacenter on December 24th…! It took me a while to set it up with all the domains, DNS, mail accounts, etc etc but I got the job done.

Tech Specs:

  • AMD Opteron 146, 64bit server cpu
  • 1GB Ram
  • 2x160GB
  • unlimited traffic! (as this is with one of germany’s leading hosters this is a real deal, although unlimited should really be called unmetered as there’s no such thing as unlimited, it’s 100MBit NIC max data rate * days in a given month)
  • 160GB backup space in another data center

I’m running the box on Suse Linux 9.3 with Plesk 7.5 Reloaded, which is really comfortable especially due to the preinstalled Plesk modules (Courier IMAP, both Antivirus + Antispam solution, etc). I tweaked the linux install a little – now I’ve got stuff like apt-get known from debian for easy updating and installing of packages.

As I plan to migrate all the stuff over from all the different hosters one of the first things I thought about was data security – or in other words: BACKUP! So I thought a while of how to accomplish what I really wanted: daily backups of all the home shares, mail accounts, databases and configuration files. I came up with a shell script which will run once every night and which will backup all the stuff, zip it and move it to both the second hdd and the remote backup location (in another data center) automatically via cronjob. This way I’ve got daily backups which will be valid for one week, then they will be overwritten…

Here’s the code:

#!/bin/bash

MYUSER=myLocalUser

MYPASS=myLocalUserPassword

FUSER=remoteDataCenterUser

FPASS=remoteDataCenterPassword

mkdir -p /backup/mysql

WOTAG=`date +%a`

rsync -az –delete –delete-after /home /backup

rsync -az –delete –delete-after /etc /backup

rsync -az –delete –delete-after /var/qmail/mailnames /backup

rsync -az –delete –delete-after /var/www/vhosts /backup

cd /backup/mysql

mysqldump -AaCceQ -u$MYUSER -p$MYPASS -r mysql.dbs

cd /backup

tar cjf etc_dirs.$WOTAG.tar.bz2 etc

tar cjf homedirs.$WOTAG.tar.bz2 home

tar cjf maildirs.$WOTAG.tar.bz2 mailnames

tar cjf vhosts.$WOTAG.tar.bz2 vhosts

tar cjf mysqldbs.$WOTAG.tar.bz2 mysql

cp *.bz2 /mnt/zweite/backup

ftp -u ftp://$FUSER:$FPASS@remoteDataCenterLocation *$WOTAG*

IngoalNetwork

As you may have noticed there’s this whole network bar thing at the top of this blog and at the top of all the other sites which I own…I had the idea to put them all together under “one roof” by creating this network, the network bar and the corresponding website. Today I finally finished the Ingoalnetwork Webpage(s) – IngoalNetwork.com, IngoalNetwork.de – as you may have guessed the .de site is the german version and the .com site is the english version. Both are coded in valid xhtml transitional. I’m especially proud of the lovely AJAX enhanced contact form.
WordPress 2.0
I backed up everything here at Ingoal’s Insight this afternoon, so I’ll continue and upgrade as soon as I’ve finished this post. On another note: I’ve already done two upgrades today and both went really smoothly, so I don’t expect any complications…Update: done, no problems

Shopping spree – Part 2

Just couldn’t resist: 512MB DDR400 ram module…just under 40 Euro… :mrgreen:

Now my main machine is finally running with 1 GB ram, not a major improvement, but I’m already starting to feel a slight improvement – I’m a sucker for multitasking, so there are always numerous programs running at a time…so the more the merrier :wink:

New Apple Powerbook

Alrighty, so some rumours were true and some weren’t. The new Powerbooks aren’t equipped with the G5-CPU and they aren’t equipped with a dual-core G4 either (at least not yet).

What do you get? Check it out at Apple.com or Apple Germany

Basic parameters:

  • 1.5 or 1.67GHz G4
  • 512MB Ram (finally a decent amount of ram as standard equipment!)
  • 12,1″ or 15,2″ or 17″ TFT
  • Prices starting at 1489€ (Germany) or 1499$ (US)

Mac Mini

So the rumours were true after all! There will be a super sweet Mac Mini available at your Apple store soonish (January 29th over here in germany). This might be my first Mac – just need to get some money first, as the base price of 499 Euro can easily be raised to near 1000 Euro if you add some extras (dvd-burner, memory upgrade, mouse + keyboard, bluetooth + wireless lan) :neutral:
Maybe this isn’t my first Mac after all – the iBook seems to be the better deal, at least for me…

Mac Mini – Apple.com
Mac Mini – Apple.de

AMD vs. Intel uptime stresstest

The german division of Tom’s Hardware Guide is doing a major head to head burn-in stresstest. A AMD64 3500+ system is running head-to-head with a P4-system. Both systems are equipped with the latest boards and components and are really packed. Both systems are running round the clock with numerous test applications (benchmarks) to really stress the components to the maximum.

The created a site which shows both systems and a shot out of their computer lab and stats about the current up- and down-time along with the number of reboots (see here)…so far the AMD system is “in front” with 0 reboots and 0 downtime (current status: AMD, up 3 days 0:08, 0 downtime, 0 reboots; Intel, up 0 days 4:59, 0 downtime, 1 reboot).

Plextor S-ATA DVD-Burner

Plextor is about to released it’s newest DVD burner PX-716SA which has got the same features as the PX-716A but is a serial-ata (s-ata) device – so no free ide-port needed. Groovy…now if I only had a S-ATA port ;-)

Anyway, I’m more than set with 2 dvd-burners in place, so I guess this one (or a even newer generation one) will certainly be an option for my next computer.

Tuning

Well, it was about time that I bought something bargain style again. So I won an auction on ebay for an additional paper-feeder for my color laser printer (Apple Laser Writer Color 12/600PS – old school but still running very good and cheap with page prices of under 6 cents). What did I pay? 2.50 Euro :-)
It was sort of backbreaking to get the printer on that thing, but now it’s up and running and my “beast” is now fully equipped (maximum stage of expansion: 40MB Ram, 2×250 paper-feeder, etc).

As I was on a roll, so to speak, I decided to put my spare dvd-burner Sony DRU700a to good use by inserting it into my second pc (AMD Athlon XP 1800+ machine). Now I can burn “stereo style” – not that I really need it or something, but this way I can be sure to get almost everything burned regardless of the medium used (my LG had written everything I had thrown at it so far, but today it rejected some grade B media branded “Gate 24” – now I’m happy that I’ve got the second burner, because the Sony likes them).