Graduation Day

Posted 2009.12.25 14.04 in Aquaria by Stephanie

Hard to believe, but it was about four months ago when I harvested a big mess of zebra fish fry from my fish tank. There were about three dozen of the little wrigglers, each no more than a little line with a dot at one end. Only about 3mm long, not yet free-swimming, they were tiny.

The first month or so was hard on them, with a couple big die-offs, and then they were re-housed a number of times as I kept trying to come up with a better solution. Finally there were just two left when I set up a dedicated 1-gallon nursery ‘tank’, and then before long, only one of them was left.

That last one has held on though, and thrived in the nursery. With the advent of several clutches of snail eggs, the nursery was upgraded to a 5-gallon tank, and the solitary juvinile zebra fish has continued to thrive and grow.

Now, at age 4 months, he’s roughly one inch long and big enough to be a serious threat to any other fry that go into the nursery. (Did I mention my corydoras were breeding like crazy?)

So today is graduation day. Today the sole surviving zebra fry is graduating from the nursery and rejoining his parents in the main tank. He’s big enough not to get eaten, and he knows how to socialize with others. (For a week I put one of the adult zebras in the nursery with him to make sure he could deal with it.)

His name is Les, because he is a survivor.

After moving Les to the 23 gallon fish tank where he hatched from a tiny egg 4 months ago, I watched him for a while. He actually seemed happy and excited – swimming in the big tank, with the big fish.

I must admit, it made me feel proud.

Merry X-Meh.

Posted 2009.12.25 9.32 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

So it’s the morning of Dec. 25th. I got my big gift – a new iMac! (It was a present from myself. Thanks me!) and things are looking pretty good so far. Nice bright screen, wide format, very sharp resolution, everything very fast and snappy.

The Magic Mouse is actually pretty darn neat, if only they’d come out with a Magic Trackball then I’d be happy. Anyhow, it’s very cool and I’m going to keep it, even if I don’t use it. It’ll be the first Apple mouse I haven’t thrown out or given away.

Transfering my data and settings over from my previous iMac was as effortless and flawless as usual, albeit a bit time-consuming. Well I guess you can’t transfer 75GB in an instant.

The new iMac’s hardware is so far pretty good. 4GB RAM is the standard, and I got the one with a 1TB hard drive. While I had upgraded my previous iMac to these specs, the new one still seems faster – perhaps because of the faster processors, faster bus, and/or faster graphics processor.

The new iMac also has a built-in SD card slot, which is a great idea. I haven’t tried it yet, but with most digital cameras nowadays using SD it’s a perfect choice to facilitate the transfer of photos to iPhoto, Aperature, or whatever you use.  I’d love to see a Micro-SD slot on the next version of the iPhone, in fact – it would be a great way to boost the capacity of the iPhone, at least in terms of storage space for music, videos, and a good place to store photos taken with the built-in camera.

I haven’t had time to play around much with the new OS (Snow Leopard, OS X 10.6) but compared to 10.5 it seems so far pretty similar.

Outside of the good and the ambivilent, there has been one huge disappointment. For reasons known only to Jobs, Apple has decided to change the external display adaptor yet again. I didn’t realize that they had changed this, so my “Mini DVI” cable that worked with my previous iMac is not compatible with the “Mini Displayport” on the new iMac. Had I known of this, I’d have ordered the adaptor when I ordered the computer. Now I’m stuck until I can get to an Apple Store, during the busiest shopping week of the year. Thanks Apple.

See, I run my computer with ‘dual heads’. That is, you have the built-in screen on the iMac itself, then I have a second screen next to it. This lets me use the smaller (21.5″) iMac but end up with more space than the 27″. My secondary display is a 19″ all-digital monitor. It was a great monitor in its time, but nowadays it serves admirably as a secondary display. Running dual-heads means I can edit / view things in full size on one screen, while having my tools, palettes, etc. all open on the other. So I can edit, tweak, change, etc. without having to page back and forth between windows or panes. It is glorious – once you’ve gone dual-head you can’t go back.

However, for the next day or two or three, I’m stuck with the single display.  Grrrr.