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John Gruber at Daring Fireball recently posted a quote from Steve Ballmer of Microsoft.

“Apple gained about one point, but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction. The economy is helpful. Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment — same piece of hardware — paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that’s a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be.”

What Ballmer doesn’t understand is that is not the only reason people buy Apple products. If you could (legally) buy any PC and run OSX on it flawlessly for the same price as a PC with Windows, I’d be willing to be that Microsoft would see Windows’ OS share drop dramatically. People aren’t buying Apple products for the logo. They aren’t spending more money on hardware. They are spending more money on a great OS, great support from the manufacturer, and an all-around great computing experience. That is what Microsoft doesn’t get.

I recently started backing up my computer with Jungledisk. I previously used Mozy to backup but Jungledisk intrigued me for a few reasons. One is you can add your storage as a mapped drive. You couldn’t do this with Mozy. That will be handy if I want to backup something at work and download it at home. Also, once you purchase the $20 software, you can install it on as many computers as you’d like. Mozy charged for additional seats. Jungledisk will also work on Linux, which I’m thinking about switching to because Vista is annoying me. Mozy has no Linux client. Another thing I’ve been very impressed with is the speed of the uploads. While you’re limited to the speed of your ISP, Mozy never used the bandwidth to its fullest. Jungledisk backs up much quicker.

I still have several more days before my 60GBs are backed up, but when all is said and done, I’ll have backed up almost twice as fast as I did with Mozy. Jungledisk costs bit more than Mozy’s $4.95 a month for unlimited storage. With Jungledisk you pay the one-time $20 fee and then $.15 for every GB used in storage and $.10 for bandwidth. After the first month I’ll be spending about $10 a month instead of $4.95. The extra cost is worth it for the speed and features of Jungledisk’s software.

I installed the Ubuntu Hardy Heron release onto my desktop via wubi. This isn’t a how-to on how I did that. You don’t need a how-to, the installation was that easy. You burn the cd, put it in the tray and follow the installation procedures that follow. It’s like installing any other program in Windows. Once you’re done, you reboot and choose which installation you want to run, Windows Vista or Ubuntu in my case. The install doesn’t touch your Windows files, doesn’t change your boot record, and if you want to get rid of your Ubuntu install when you’re done trying it out, you just remove it from Add/Remove Programs in Windows’ Control Panel like you do with any other program. I’m quite pleased by all of this.

As for Hardy Heron, there isn’t much new to talk about. It’s very similar to Gutsy Gibbon that came out 6 months ago, with the addition of some new program defaults (Transmission for Bit Torrent, among others) and some under the hood changes that a casual desktop user won’t notice too much. Ubuntu is definitely making it easier and easier to transition from Windows to Linux with each release. If you were ever afraid to take the plunge, now is your best time. You have nothing to lose by installing it via wubi and trying it out.

Let me start this post by saying I love my MacBook. I use it every single day and am not disappointed in my purchase in the least. In fact, unless the next Windows blows me away (or the current version of Linux out there) my next desktop computer will probably be a Mac. That being said, I just love how Apple’s mantra is (or was) It just works. I’ll give you an example that I came across yesterday of it not working.

We all know that OSX Leopard update 10.5.2 came out on Monday. I upgraded, welcoming all the new fixes and updates. They changed Stacks a bit, which is good, but I still wish they would make Stacks how it was originally supposed to be. I want to create a stack on the dock for, say, all my communication apps: Adium, iChat, Colloquy. I want to click on that stack and have it expand to show those apps. The video for stacks before Leopard came out did exactly that, then the feature was removed. This post isn’t about that though. Stacks worked for me, even if it isn’t how I want it to work. My problem was with Time Machine.

I don’t keep my MacBook hooked up to the external drive at all times. In fact, I only hook it up when I want to make a backup. After updating to 10.5.2 on Monday I decided to make a Time Machine backup. The only changes that really occurred since the last Time Machine backup were adding maybe two files to the Documents folder. So I run Time Machine and it said Preparing backup. 30 minutes later, it still said the same thing. After about 45 minutes I decide to cancel the backup and try again later. Tuesday (on my snow day) I try again. It sat at Preparing backup for an hour before I canceled it. I go do some searching on the Apple forums and find numerous other people having problems backing up since 10.5.2. One solution that a user found was erasing the drive and starting over. I figured, why not, everything is still on here, it won’t hurt to erase the disk so I can backup again. So, I do it and what do you know? Time Machine works again. So, Apple, you release updates to fix the broken and you wind up breaking more stuff. Seems like a lot of Apple things don’t just work lately. Keep it up and I’m going to start calling you Microsoft. ;)

So, Dell finally called me back Friday night. That’s three days after they were supposed to call. Three days after they said they would call. Guess what the outcome was? Well, the “tech” told me to do the exact same things he told me to do on Monday. I told him no, because we already did all that and the buzzing in the monitor was still occuring and I wasn’t going to waste my time doing it when the buzzing was still there and it would get us nowhere since he was going to tell me “he’d call back the next day” just as before. So, he says he was going to look for possible solutions with his supervisor or whatever and call me back in 10 to 15 minutes. I guess 10 to 15 minutes in India is the same as three days, because I still haven’t heard back from him. This is unacceptable.