Staying out deep water – the Giant Mudskipper

I'd finished a meeting at Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve last Saturday (28 Feb 2009) and both my muddy students were there as well to conduct mudskipper observations. Theresa Su (TSLT) came by and feasted on the excellent mee siam provided for the meeting and after that we checked in on the other student, Trina Chua, at the Visitor Centre boardwalk, who was conducting high tide observations. This is one of the mudskippers we were watching and they always bring a grin to our faces, even after a decade of noticing them. We're finally taking a closer look these days.

Feel free to use the image as desktop wallpaper (follow the link to the larger file) and see if your colleagues are familiar with this animal – mudskippers are reasonably well known, judging from audience response at talks. Some might still need convincing that they are fish.

Battery calibration, MacBook Pro and others

My current battery arrived on 23 May 2007 and its capacity is currently 1840mAh, down from the 5,500. This can’t last me 30 mins unplugged so I’ve finally caved and bought a new one that’s still unpacked.

Now that I have a new battery, its time to run that calibration sequence again, tucked away in the Apple Knowledge Base: Calibrating your computer’s battery for best performance. I checked an old post which has suggestions about timing. So I’ll do this on Saturday or Sunday.

A note on standard maintenance:

For proper maintenance of a lithium-based battery, it’s important to keep the electrons in it moving occasionally. Apple does not recommend leaving your portable plugged in all the time. An ideal use would be a commuter who uses her MacBook Pro on the train, then plugs it in at the office to charge. This keeps the battery juices flowing.

If you use a desktop computer at work, and a notebook for infrequent travel, Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once per month.

In addition to this, I’ve added the monthly reminder to discharge/charge the battery in iCal. It’s the usual drill with a new battery until performance erodes to the point you needn’t care anymore. Let’s hop this means more than a year. It would be nice to avoid Keynote quitting on me during a presentation if I ever forget to bring my power adaptor – especially since my spare is in the shop.

Update: calibration in progress: