Macs have problems too.

Last week my Macbook failed to come out of sleep mode, and wouldn’t boot. I dropped into single-user mode (Command-S + Power On in case you wanted to know) and found that I had a disk problem. I managed to start it from that point anyway, backed everything up, and by leaving it on all the time I got through the week.

On Saturday evening I reformatted the drive and reinstalled everything. A fairly simple process really – a fair bit easier than Windows if I recall correctly.

Yes Macs have problems too, but they never seem to be quite as painful.

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Cleaning the garage.

I spent last Sunday cleaning my garage.

Over time all kinds of things pile up to the point that you can’t even remember why you have them in the first place. Then one day you realize that so much of it is just clutter, in your garage and ostensibly in your life. So we started to look ruthlessly at everything and throw out those things that we were saving just in case bu ackowledging the fact that we were never going to use them.

When we were done, not only was the garage much cleaner, but we actually felt lighter. All that clutter doesn’t just take up space; it takes up energy too. A clean garage is just a metaphor for a cleaner, less cluttered life.

Next weekend – the basement!

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The Apple Tax.

Microsoft has unleashed a new marketing campaign. It’s all about the "Apple Tax" – the additional cost to make your Mac run Windows applications. Unless, like me, you don’t want to run Windows applications.

According to Brad Brooks, Microsoft vice president of Windows Consumer Product Marketing:

There really is a tax around there for people that are evaluating their choices going into this holiday season and going forward. There’s a choice tax that we talked about, which is, hey, you want to buy a machine that’s other than black, white, or silver, and if you want to get it in multiple different configurations or price points, you’re going to be paying a tax if you go the Apple way.

Read the whole thing at The Industry Standard.

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Learning to network.

I had the pleasure today of meeting several students from the Business program at Conestoga College. They were at the LaunchPad $50K Pitch Competition with an assignment to network – to meet people and ask about the biggest challenges faced by their businesses.

I noted that my biggest challenge was finding customers.

It was interesting watching them. Some jumped right in and introduced themselves. Some glanced tentatively, looking for a way to say something, so I invited them to join the people I was with and we all chatted.Either way, these students faced a difficult situation, and they did it very well.

Networking can be a painful process. Though I’m sure nobody would believe it, I’m very shy and introverted, so it’s very difficult for me. But I force myself to do it and I get to meet a lot of interesting people, so that makes it all worthwhile.

The truth is that the person on the other end of the conversation is probably as shy as you are, so do the best you can to make it easy for them and they’ll appreciate it too.

Congratulations to all of the students who were able to overcome their fear to do that today!

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Seriousness isn’t all there is.

Tim O’Reilly wants software developers to get serious:

Computer-book publishing magnate Tim O’Reilly is urging young geeks to stop making software that lets you throw sheep at your friends on Facebook or drink beer on your iPhone and to instead start making a difference in the world. He is daring them, in the words of James Collins and Jerry Porras, authors of the business classic "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies," to take on "big, hairy, audacious goals."

But isn’t there room for a little lighthearted fun in our lives too?

We are bombarded constantly by the daily horror stories in the press – the constant stream of bad news. Yes, there are problems that need to be solved, and they should be. And there are people working on these problems.

But there is not a fixed amount of software in the world. People are constantly dreaming up new ideas. And maybe it’s good that some of those ideas are purely intended to let us have some fun, blow off a little steam, or recharge.

That way we’ll be able to deal with solving the difficult problems we face.

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Warning: Malware from UPS.

Not from the real UPS though.

I got an email today purportedly from UPS, but the sender address was tek2@rql.kiev.ua, and not ups.com. The subject was "[NO-REPLY] UPS Tracking Number 52672890" and the email said this:

Unfortunately we were not able to deliver postal package you sent on Sept the 18 in time because the recipient’s address is not correct. Please print out the invoice copy attached and collect the package at our office

Your UPS

Attached was a ZIP file. I’m going out on a limb here and assuming that the ZIP file contained a bit more than an invoice. Yet because I was expecting a UPS package I almost opened it without thinking. Of course since I use a Mac than wouldn’t have been too much of a problem.

So if you get email from UPS, read very carefully before opening.

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