Who tried to kill the iBook?

I heard a slight noise this morning, not uncommon with cats in the house and it didn’t sound like a warm body so I only investigated hours later. Turns out it was the 14.1″ iBook landing on its side, ouch! Since its screen was open when it fell, it now bears a crack where it impacted the magazine rack!

This refurbished iBook (thanks to Adrian Lim) has been a boon for the road and at meetings, workshop demos and talks – it’s because it has a super-duper battery life (~5 hours) which frees me from looking for a power source or screen dimming, links to wireless networks in strange places effortlessly and mirrors LCD screens perfectly without scaling problems – such a relief during demos.

The screen was flashing RGB colours before going dark after a restart so I shut the screen to let it settle down. Seems illogical but having gone through an array of battered devices, let’s call it experience. True enough, the Leopard desktop appeared hours later, yaay! It’s still useable for all the purposes I mentioned earlier. I hope the damage is contained and that the battery isn’t affected by the knock. I’ll just have to ensure the cats don’t get to it again.

I think the iBook fell when the feline culprit launched himself off the small table it was placed on. Of course when I checked on the three boys, they all looked very innocent. I guess this is something even Catnip couldn’t prevent.

iBook saves the day (my freshwater crab talk)

I moaned and groaned (internally) about my freshwater crab talk for some reason, probably because my engine was running low after the activity of the past two weeks. By 10.30am (last Saturday morning) I finally dragged my self out of bed to get going and raced to create a Keynote out my outline.

I hammered out a text draft of the talk painfully amidst a blazing headache the previous day – that outline was enough for a two hour talk. So that Saturday morning I trimmed and revised some content, added images, section headings and transitions. I also did some reading up to confirm certain ideas.

My museum kakis Swee Hee and Heok Hui had dug out some fine looking images which clearly illustrated the six freshwater crab species from Singapore. A second batch from Choy Heng Wah was relayed by Swee Hee that same morning and I even printed out some photos. I was looking forward to sharing the gorgeous photos with an audience that had dragged themselves to the Botanic Gardens on a Saturday afternoon.

In the last 15 mins before I left, Keynote refused to accept the images! Huh? I decided to cut my losses and Graphic Converter’s slideshow. Then the video adaptor for the MacBook Pro went MIA [I later found it artfully hanging from my wall, right under my nose!] So I fired up my 14.1″ iBook – with its five hour battery, I used my 8GB Imation thumbdrive to transfer all the files from the MacBook Pro to the iBook in the taxi on the way to the venue. This even as coordinator Wei Ling calls to check if I am “on the way”.

In the theatrette, it took mere seconds to plug and play in the incomparable style of an iBook – and what you see is what you get, none of that mirroring nonsense! Some dramatic transitions were unable to render on an iBook, but otherwise things were okay – the Keyspan wireless was accepted without complaint and no power cables would get in the way either.

I struggled with the start of the talk but picked up after the early bird Urban Legend I offered them with. The few whom I later asked said it was okay and that’s usually means it was good enough. Dinesh then gave me a lift to Hup Leong to recover my bicycle and gave me a ride home. I was grateful for the lift and wondered aloud at my tiredness. An hour later in bed I realise I had caught the flu once again from that miserable student (ORY) of mine! Fever, body aches and raspy throat – how could I miss the symptoms?! No wonder I had been so reluctant to do the talk and was sleeping instead of working on the keynote on Saturday morning!

I pulled out of a 80km Sunday bike ride on Sunday and had to miss SAJC’s valiant efforts against a much better ACS (I) rugby team in the ‘A’ Division Police Cup finals at the Padang on Monday. I hate the flu!

After three additional hours of work the previous night and one the next morning, I presented a trimmed-down and more geographical version of the talk to the Freshwater Crab Symposium in NUS on Thursday morning. This time it was a much smoother talk and Keynote accepted all images once again – even threw in an an old map I had just photographed.

So why had Keynote been sulking?