Y and I got back from our trip to Europe earlier this week. We traveled to Poland for the annual Science Fiction Research Association conference, which was held in Lublin this year. We also traveled to Switzerland and France to visit friends and to vacation. We had a very good time abroad, and I will write about our experiences, soon.
Since we returned to Kent, we have been trying to get caught up on many things. Cleaning house. Applying for travel grants. Playing with Miao.
Another thing that I was looking forward to was powering up my MacBook for the first time in three weeks. We brought our iPhones and iPads to Europe, but we left our proper computers at home. Additionally, I knew that Apple was about to release Mac OS X 10.7 Lion this week. Unfortunately, I had a terrific migraine on Wednesday, the release day, so I had to wait until the evening to download my copy of Lion. After I did, I followed these instructions and I copied Lion to a flash drive so that I could perform a clean install on my MacBook instead of merely upgrading my existing Snow Leopard installation.
The reason that I chose to do this is that I wanted to experience Lion “out of the box” even though no box was involved. I wanted to see what Lion was and how it worked without any of my preset preferences or file structures. I haven’t had much time to fully explore Lion, but I can say that the scrolling behavior is the hardest thing for me to master despite my regular use of an iPad. Lion rolls much of iOS’s touch behavior into the user interface, which I believe is a good thing. However, the touch behavior on computer mice have replicated mechanical processes of rolling rather than touch movement as we have in Apple’s iOS-based products. It is interesting that I keep getting caught by this behavior, but I am sure that eventually my brain will rewire itself to accommodate this new across-the-board behavior in Apple’s UI.
As I have already documented today between bouts of research here, here, and here, Y and I were trying to get Dish Network installed. Unfortunately, the installer feared that we would not be able to have an installation for the Taiwan Mega Pack which required one set of satellites in one direction and it was uncertain if we would have enough line of sight coverage for normal HD Dish Network channels on satellites in another direction. Tonight, our fate was decided while I was out getting din-din from Thai Gourmet in Stow.
When I returned, I saw a white side panel van blocking our driveway, so I figured the installer’s manager had arrived to do a walk around. I pulled into the neighbor’s driveway, and after getting out of my car, I saw that Y was talking with the Dish Network representative.
I walked in the front door and I was very cheerfully greeted by Freddie from Dish Network. He had already explained things to Y and chatted with her for awhile before I got home, but he took the time to tell me about the problem with the trees, our geographical location, and the satellites’ positions. He gave us the option to install a pole at the front corner of the property right next to the road, but this would not be acceptable to our landlord and it might not work as well as we would like. To illustrate his point, he brought out, not a sextant, but his Android phone with an augmented reality app that displayed the satellites’ path and position over the image captured by the phone’s built-in camera. I thought that was a slick idea that carries the astronomy apps with similar functions to a more practical work-a-day plane.
Before leaving, we talked a little bit about a familial connection. Apparently, his family’s last name is Ellis, too, and they originate from South Carolina. I believe that my Grandfather’s family also come from South Carolina after arriving from Scotland. I will need to verify this with my Dad and Aunt Lettie Anne. I also showed Freddie my home built UHF antenna, which it seems will continue to serve Y’s and my TV viewing needs until we decide how to get the TV programming that we want for an affordable price.
So, we watched NCIS: Los Angeles with salt and pepper squid, beef satay, and stir fried rice thanks to our reliable aerial.
Things went from bad to worse with Dish Network which began here and here. However, the worse is not their fault–just the surrounding flora.
Andy, our Dish Network installer, showed up at 3:30PM, which was 3 1/2 hours after the far end of our appointment window. When he greeted me, he was nice, but he had a troubled expression on his face. He proceeded to walk around the house to see where it would be best to install the dish.
I knew that if the dish was in the front yard that we would be able to point it towards the SSE where the main Dish Network satellite is. Unfortunately, I did not know that you have to connect with a different satellite to the SSW for the Taiwan Mega Pack service.
Andy came back to the front door with an even more worried expression. He explained about the satellite direction problem associated with our wanting the Taiwanese Mega Pack. This is a problem for us, because we have trees surrounding us on all sides except between E and S.
Andy was very nice and apologetic for making us wait all day, and he said that he would have his boss come out later today to verify that an install would not work at our location. Once that is verified, we will get a refund on my credit card. This sucks, because Y needs that TV coverage for her dissertation. I will have to come up with a Plan B.
iOS 4 installed without a hitch. R2-D2 is proudly displayed as my new wallpaper underneath my home screen apps. I had already backed up my iPhone with iTunes 9.2, so the update process took about 10 minutes, which it did seamlessly while I was doing some writing in Pages. I will play with the phone more today, but I will say now that the app transitioning is nice, fluid, and fast.