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MacBooks again


And congratulation of a different sort to Jenn, who bought a new MacBook! (And needs help naming it.)

I too bought a new MacBook last night, but because I went the customize-to-order route, it may not arrive at my house for another two weeks. Want instant gratification NOW!

I feel a little silly about having ordered online, 'cause I could've just bought the stock black MacBook and then gotten third-party RAM and disk, both of which are easy to install in the new MacBook. But with a brand-new machine, I'm more comfortable having Apple do all that.

For those who do want extra memory, you can get 2GB of MacBook RAM from RAMJET for $260, as opposed to the $500 Apple charges. (Note that, as that page puts it, "Memory for the MacBook must be installed in matched pairs.") The friend who pointed me to that says that RAMJET is well-known and considered reputable by the Mac community.

Anyway. I suppose I can put the two weeks to good use by converting all my old FrameMaker documents to a format I'll be able to read on the new machine. But still don't want to have to wait.


Thanks, Jed! And do you already have a name picked out for your new toy? You mentioned that you had a specific naming convention...

Thanks also for the link. The MacBook seems to struggle with the default 512 MB RAM, as you had warned me, so I'll be purchasing the 2GB soon.

The biggest bummer for me is that I'm now unable to use my most excellent Brenthaven messenger bag, since it only fits a 12" machine. Boo.

What options do you have for converting those old FrameMaker documents? I used to be a big FrameMaker user and I'm getting a little anxious about the fact that nothing else can read those docs...

Jenn: I don't have a name for the new MB yet. My naming convention is imaginary places; I think that started with "Laputa" for my first PowerBook (as in Gulliver's Travels; the mobility and the lodestone and the scientists all seemed relevant, though a friend once thought there was a space after the "la" and thought I'd named my computer with a derogatory Spanish phrase).

I've lost track a little of what names are applied to what at this point. I think I was going to use "Uqbar" for my work PowerBook, but I don't think I did. So maybe that'll do for the new MB. Not sure.

Alas for the Brenthaven bag not fitting! Surely they'll produce a new bag for the new machines, though. (My favorite backpack, which was designed for 15" PBs, started falling apart a while ago; I've been using my Dreamweaver backpack, but even though it's the same design as the one I like, it's uncomfortable and awkward. I really need to find a better one.)

David: I think my plan is to export each of the FM documents to RTF, and also to PDF, and also to MTF, and to keep the originals around just in case. Unfortunately, I have quite a lot of old FM files (I used it as my word processor for about ten years), and I'm not sure I have a way to batch-convert them -- I might need to invest in a copy of FrameScript or something. Annoying.

And I'm doing it again -- these days I'm using Pages as my word processor, and it too uses a proprietary format that nobody else can read. But none of the other Mac word processors I looked at (other than Word, of course, which has its own problems) had anything close to the power and robustness of Pages. So I just don't know. I was pretty tempted by the OS X version of Nisus, which uses RTF as its native format, but the version I tried was too buggy.


To defend Pages, I think its file format is just XML. At least, it was in Pages 1. So even if nobody actually has an importer for it, in theory one could write, say, an RTF converter if one really needed to.

Nifty! I had no idea it was XML--somehow I thought I had opened a file and seen binary gibberish, but now that I try it, that's definitely not true. (I now see that it's a Mac package file which contains several items, including a gzipped XML file that contains the document layout and text.) Okay, that makes me feel a whole lot better about Pages. And the gzip part explains why saving/opening is so slow.


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