Microsoft Office for Mac is on its way

Microsoft has released Outlook for Office 365 ( link ) today which will hopefully result in the rolling out of Word, Excel and PowerPoint along with an updated OneNote in the first half of 2015. To be honest I’ve been holding out before taking the plunge and I hope that the massive changes they’ve made with more code being shared between the Windows and Mac version that we’ll eventually see more frequent updates and better Mac integration without the ‘issues’ when it comes to Office for Windows and Mac incompatibility issues that sometimes arise. I’ve been concerned with the move to a subscription but when I crunched the numbers I can pay $165 per year and gain a whole heap of goodies ( link ) if I go for the Home edition which includes 1TB of online storage plus Skype minutes as well as the ability to also run Office on my iPhone as well as my two Mac’s. If the move to a subscription model means regular updates and upgrades then it is a small psychological hurdle that I think I can over come for the sake of something that appears to be pretty good value for money.

So far so good

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog but I’m around 95% of the way there to pay off my debt so I’m going to change where my pay goes into from Westpac to ASB Bank then hopefully by the end of next week I’ll have it fully paid off and no more debt to worry about which should make life a lot less stressful. When I’m stressed I gain weight and sleep horribly so hopefully I can focus on getting my diet and exercise under control along with losing a few kilos which is much needed.

I’ve bought my bike licence for the next three months with a scheduled maintenance going the done around half way through November and then when December rolls around I’m hoping that a few extra dollars up my sleeve will mean I can go and purchase an iPhone 6 – although I am tempted for the 6 Plus there is a huge lead time (3-4 weeks if bought from the Apple online store) and given my experience with an HTC One M8 that has a screen of similar size I’ve been pretty happy with it so far. Although normally I’d prefer buying it direct from Apple or through a carrier, if Harvey Norman have stock available which enables me to ‘cash and carry’ a 6 Plus then I’ll go for that option instead.

Going to start cleaning up my home ready for an inspection in the next couple of weeks but I’m going to have to borrow my sisters vacuum cleaner or buy myself a new one because the one I have now has next to no suction power. On a good side I’m going to get some time off next year over the summer to paint the inside and outside of the house which will enable me to patch up the places where the old telephone outlets were along with painting over where the panels heaters on the wall used to be. I’m still contemplating the idea of getting a heat pump but that comes down to where I can put it because I would prefer to have the outlet in the hall way because if it is installed in the living room the heat pretty much will stay in that room and I’ll be in my bedroom being a little bit cold.

I’ve got work tonight so I’ll be heading off to sleep and I might head in early tonight to grab something for dinner.

Apple bashing is becoming an illness

Just reading through the headlines and it is pathetic how hating Apple has gone from merely being something a noisy fringe participated in to now large mainstream websites get in on the game for the sake of generating page views, traffic and revenue from advertisement – and to hell with whether what is being reported is actually accurate. Take this one with the hysterical title ‘Apple’s OS X Yosemite slurps UNSAVED docs into iCloud’ ( link ) but of course such idiots ignore the fact that Apple never made it a secret. Honestly, how the heck do these people think continuity works? how do they think there is the ability to pick where one has left over and resume? do these hysteria prone security analysts (a term I use loosely) and fear mongers in the media some how believe that what Apple has promised is delivered with magic and pixie dust? Honestly, this is bad as the hysteria regarding Spotlight and ‘information being sent to Microsoft’ when in reality Apple never hid the fact that when you used Spotlight and there was a usable connection available that it would return search results from local as well as online via Bing’s search service. Honestly, the straws that journalists grasp at to get those punters clicking on links is amazing yet sad at the same time.

Admiring the beauty of UFB and OS X

Just looking through ‘System Information’ specifically the Frameworks and it is amazing how modular OS X is – it seems that although Apple has put a lot of effort to talk about the razzle-dazzle of the consumer facing side of OS X but there is a lot of work that has been done under the hood to improve the system – the gradual piece by piece cleaning things up and fine tuning. Although Windows 10 has made some giant strides I still feel that by their failure to go back and start with a clean slate or at least a strong foundation such as adopting FreeBSD (then building in features from OpenBSD, NetBSD and DragonFlyBSD) that we as the end user will always experience the rough edges of Microsoft trying to turn the ship around whilst still trying to keep everyone happy – especially those cheapskates with 30 year old software and demanding that he industry pivot on every whine, whinge and complaint they make with each new release of an operating system when their ‘important legacy software’ doesn’t work flawlessly.

Things are looking well with the iPhone 6 Plus and it appears the lead time is improving so hopefully by the time the end of November to Mid December the lead time will drop to 7-10 days and then it’ll eventually go ‘ships in 24 hours’ in the new year. It truly is astounding even with all the doom and gloom along with the dipsticks who wear skinny jeans bending their phones that it is the best selling iPhone yet. It is amazing the number of people who are flocking back to the iPhone after deal with Samsung only for the sake of a larger screen. The latest financials that have come out from Apple was not only positive sales numbers for the iPhone but also the 20% growth in shipment of Mac’s – the halo effect is impacting their other divisions.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with UFB – I received the letter stating that they’re working on installing UFB in my area but there isn’t exactly a time table given but from what I understand they try to re-use the existing ducting rather than tearing up the footpath and road where they avoid doing so. According to their now updated website they’re aiming to get UFB up to 100Mbps installed by January 2015 which means that I’m probably better off sticking with Spark for that fibre goodness or otherwise I’ll have to deal with Vodafone, it’s constantly broken HFC network not to mention the 2-3 hour waiting times on hold when ringing up to get something fixed up or billing resolved. They’ve started going up the street marking off where all the utilities are laid – power, water, gas and so forth which will hopefully mean that once UFB becomes available I’ll keep my existing Huawei hg659b 802.11ac wireless router since it is already UFB compatible and sold by spark as a business grade router which does a pretty good job already. By that time I would have cancelled by Sky subscription and gone flat rate naked UFB which will still end up saving me $40 per month – money I’d sooner spent on WordPress and Vimeo Premium. If things go well with Lightbox (Spark’s TV on demand service) then that might also be a good deal to sign up for as well. Oh well, off to sleep I go and read for another long night at work.

1 day down, another 4 days to go

Well, another day has come and gone but on the good side I’ve been told I’ve only got one more week travelling out to Porirua for work then I’m back to my old store and to be honest I prefer to be in an environment where things are predictable. I enjoy the crew where I work and the customers are great – not having to deal with customers who complain because they like the sound of their own voice and then come in only to treat those behind the counter like the person serving them is beneath them in some sort of hierarchy they have sitting in the back of their mind. Side note, before saying anything I suggest that a good number of people out there need to hear the sound of their own voice and then ask whether that voice really represents who you are as a person.

I’m going to purchase a 3 moth rego rather than a 12 month because it gives me enough breathing room for the next three months to finish off my ‘pay down the debt’ drive then in January when that expires then I’ll just purchase one for 12 months because by that time I’ll have the spare cash left over to make it possible.

Just having a look through on Apple’s online store and pricing things up – the iMac 5K with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, upgrade the CPU to an i7 4.0Ghz along with a MD Radeon R9 M295X then I priced up a MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and 3.0Ghz i7 CPU.  As for my old computer, I’ll probably sell the laptop but I might just give my old desktop to my sister since she’ll appreciate it a lot more than if I just went out and sold it to some person on the net then get stung with a massive trademe fee.

I’ve been putting my 802.11ac router through its paces along with my HTC One M8 which is 802.11ac compatible and although there isn’t a massive sped improvement I do find that the signal is a lot stronger given that my network is sitting on the 5Ghz frequency. The big question now is what I do once Vodafone has completed its upgrades by the end of November and whether I make the move to Vodafone – hopefully by then Apple will have more iPhone 6 plus in stock by that time.

Just been watching a series called Helix and Strain – both of them science fiction apocalyptic series – great way to just chill out after a long day ant work, vegetate in front of the laptop watching some episodes direct from the US. Goes back to my original thinking whether it is even worth having Sky – maybe I’m better off having an Apple TV and using that to watch television from overseas – hopefully Netflix will finally get its act together and come to NZ after creating a laundry list of excuses as to why they can’t come to NZ and the issue surrounding data caps and bandwidth being very much a non-issue.

Almost there…

Almost there to my goal of having all the debt paid off by the end of November then freedom! well, more freedom than I have these days. Here is the current screenshot of my computer:

NewMacScreenshot

I’m wanting to put a ‘Radmir Floral Ornament’ inspired background on my desktop but alas all the sources so far want to charge me $49 for 5 downloads – I guess if I do get really desperate and want to make my computer pretty I can always go ahead and do that then re-use the pattern downloads for a print out for a feature wall or tiles or something for my house in the future. There is something I do like that Apple provides but I find it not dark enough – I prefer to have a dark background and when it comes to reading through a website I prefer a grey/off white because it is less of a strain on the eyes especially when you consider the new transparency ‘thing’ that Apple has going on with it’s latest operating system.

Just reading through Arstechnica about the new iMac 5K and the early reports in so far that the speed and responsiveness is very good so that puts to rest my concern that the GPU didn’t have enough grunt to run the screen. Now, the big game is holding off till I pay off my debt, purchase the iPhone (hopefully in a month there will be more supply) along with the eventual upgrade of my MacBook Pro then moving to Vodafone for that 200Mbps flat rate internet connection once I’ve closed off my sky account (which will save me $60 per month).

On a good side my parents will arrive home after going to the UK for 6 weeks so I’ll head over to have dinner with them on Monday (my day off, unfortunately it is a split weekend). As much as I dislike having go to go back to work after a nice two days off I also realise that another day at work is another day to paying off my debt.

Side note though, I’m looking at re-uploading my HTC One video to Vimeo and in the long run I’m looking at deleting off my Gmail account. Oh, funny thing, checked my power account and my power bill for the month that has just gone is $89 – not too bad lol.