Archive for February, 2010

Laptop Upgrade & Transfer

My Dell Inspiron 6000 has served me well over the past 5 years.  It is sadly coming to an end.  Many issues, such as only a 30GB hard drive (Christy’s iPod is the same size) very little processor memory and a slow processor means that it can take several minutes just to load Gmail or some other simple site.  It often lags while switching between programs and there are many things I can’t do with it. No battery life means that accidentally knocking the power cable out means I lose all the work I was working on.

So with an e-value code from Parade magazine or some other newspaper flyer I bought a brand new Dell.  It was cheaper to upgrade to the Dell Studio 15 from another Inspiron.  Studio is the next level up the ladder and has a lot of media functions.  I upgraded a few things and still got a great deal that will hopefully last for at least another 5 years.  As my current laptop was my first I’ve learned a few things, like letting the battery drain itself completely on a somewhat regular basis.

For those geeks who follow this, here are the components:

  • Studio 15 Laptop
  • Intel Core i3-350M 2.26GHz (3M cache)
  • 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1066MHz
  • Standard Keyboard
  • 15.6 inch High Definition (720p) LED Display with TrueLife and Camera
  • Dell Webcam Software 1.4 Application Kit
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD
  • 500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Disk Drive
  • Black Chainlink cover
  • Windows Live Search,Multiple User Interface
  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
  • Cyberlink Power DVD 8.3 Playback
  • 8X DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive
  • Integrated High Definition Audio 2.2
  • Dell Wireless 1520 802.11n Half Mini Card
  • 56 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery

No affiliate links were hurt or used in this post.  Hope to chat with you soon on my new toy, I mean productivity tool!

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A Walk in the Woods
Image via Wikipedia

It is a little crazy to attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail (AT).  A good friend of mine completed it last year (see his adventure at and another friend is attempting it this year (follow along here). Both are raising money for charity as a motivation to complete the 2200 mile journey.

Bill Bryson, author of A Walk in the Woods, didn’t have such a noble purpose when he started out on his quest to hike the AT.   His book serves as a motivating point for many people’s attempts to thru-hike the trail and other smaller adventures.  I’ll admit that while reading much of the book this desire crept into my heart as well.  I could probably hike 2200 miles, but that is what the thousands of people who never finish say too!

My favorite parts of the book were the narratives from the trail.  The “story” part of the book.  Bryson described the adventure and it came to life.  While I can’t imagine the views or the pain and agony of weeks on the trail, I do have an understanding of bits and pieces of what he went through and felt like I was with him and Katz as they hiked, somewhat together!

I wasn’t a fan of all of the rabbit trails  or tangents that he took along the way.  Just the like the AT has a myriad of side trails or “blue blazes” Bryson took many throughout his writing! They related to some part of trail history, lore, or some political point he was attempting to make.  While much of it was interesting and much of it sad, it was a little frustrating to “leave the trail,” especially for the more rantish tales.

I enjoyed A Walk in the Woods and appreciated the ease of reading, even the side trails were easy to read.  I would recommend this if you need some motivation or just desire a little adventure.

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This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links.

We went to the St Paul Winter Carnival‘s Snow and Ice Sculptures today. Pictures are on Flickr (ice and snow). ‘
It was warm and rained while they were making them and we went a week after they were finished, so it wasn’t quite as nice as previous years.

Here is one picture of each, both won 1st place:

Bird Cage

1st Place

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The 2010 Art Sled Rally was another great Minneapolis event. Held a mile from our house we met some friends for lunch at the Midtown Global Market and walked over to Powderhorn Park for the fun event. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. Temps around 15 with a bright sun kept us fairly warm. You can see a lot more pictures at my Flickr or with the 6 minute video below:

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