The Uptake

by Brad McCarty

Lessons learned, words written

Page 10

Decision time: Retina MacBook Pro vs Air

I keep having this fight with myself in my head, when it comes to what my next computer will be. My current, 2009-model Pro is showing its age, and it’s the effects of having been dropped down a flight of stairs. There are a couple of anomalies that are now at the point that I know I have to buy something new or risk being caught off guard if it dies.

The Retina MacBook Pro is amazing. It’s no less than spectacular. There’s no argument there. But I have to question whether or not I actually need that much processing power. My daily work barely taxes my existing machine.

Then there’s the matter of price. The Air that I’d want specs out at $1,699. That gives me the dual-core i7, 8 GB of RAM and the 256 GB SSD. I really don’t need more hard drive space than that, given the accessibility and performance of external storage, plus the fact that I presently run an 80 GB main drive SSD

Continue reading →

Never stop dancing

I remember this feeling. I’m glad to say that I remember it because I still have it. Congratulations to Nilay and his wife on this step in their lives.

Never stop dancing.

View →

Happy father’s day?

You’ll probably read a lot of touching, heart-felt words on the Internet today. Every time that father’s or mother’s day rolls around, it happens. But my own take-away from father’s day is a bit different. Here are the things that went wrong, and what I learned from them.

My parents divorced when I was 3 (or maybe 4, I don’t remember). My dad had to make the difficult decision to move away, because his career was going nowhere. I saw him once, or sometimes twice, in a year. It was hard.

For years I thought that I was nothing more than an inconvenience in his life. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I realized how wrong I was.

My mom insisted that I call my step-father dad. That always seemed strange to me, but he did eventually earn the title. He was (and is, I hope) a good man, who taught me many important lessons about life.

But one interesting thing is that, by enacting a lesson

Continue reading →

The best thing you’ll listen to all day

A group of college students, as a last hurrah, decide to turn one of their houses into a recording studio for a day. This is the result:

The song is for sale, for $1, on Bandcamp.

View →

Adobe Air is trash. We need cross-platform sans compromise.

As I was just banging out that last post about using a Windows machine for 2 weeks so that I could game, it got me thinking - Why don’t we have better cross-platform options?

When OnLive first came around I was hugely excited because it seemed like a real solution. It’s probably better summed up as being a step in the right direction.

Adobe Air held promise, but the resource-hogging monstrosity is just way too bloated and heavy to be of much use.

For those of us who use Macs on a daily basis, the option that remains is either to use something like WINE or to use Boot Camp. But these two options are fundamentally flawed. WINE works…sometimes. Boot Camp requires you to essentially run a Windows machine.

I fully understand that the programming languages are different between Mac and Windows apps. But it seems to me that there is a definite gap in the system when there isn’t a good

Continue reading →

2 weeks on Windows – Thank God it’s almost over

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks on a vacation. Or at least not working for The Next Web. While my main goal was just to spend time with my wife and kids, a secondary goal was to log some serious gaming time. Because of that, I had to move back to a Windows machine for most of my activity. This two-week period has taught me exactly why I prefer OS X.

The vast majority of the work that I do translates very well across Windows and OS X machines. Chrome, Evernote, Skype, Dropbox and Spotify are where I spend most of my time, and they are equally at home on either OS. But it’s the little things that I have come to miss over the past few days, and I’ve found out that those little things translate into something much bigger when it comes to my workflow.

It doesn’t make any sense to me why, to take a screenshot of a specific area in Windows, I’d either need a third-party application or a

Continue reading →

Why is GoToMeeting being a scumbag?

I thought that we were past the days of keyword stuffing and cheap tricks to build our business. But apparently that’s exactly what GoToMeeting is doing. Proof? Look here:

Google search for MeetingBurner

There’s simply no denying what GoToMeeting is doing here. They’ve bought ads against the MeetingBurner keyword. While that’s common practice, the fact that they chose to deliberately mislead people by saying “Meeting Burner Software” in the ad is nothing short of stupidity.

I’ve been a fan of what the MeetingBurner team has been doing for quite some time. I’ve written about them on TNW on a couple of occasions. So when one of their people sent me a screenshot of the misleading ad, I had to check it out for myself.

The original ad, as it was sent to me, was even worse.

Here's what was sent to me

For MeetingBurner it’s actually a good sign. It means that GoToMeeting is feeling the heat, or at the very least sees MeetingBurner as enough

Continue reading →

For Anna

It’s Wednesday morning, and I’m sitting here still reeling over the idea that you’re getting married in three days. You were the second grandkid on the Gipson side for my generation. For 15 years, I was the only one, and then you came along. I guess I’ve always felt a special connection to you because of that.

I remember watching you grow up into the beautiful woman that you’ve become. Mom once described you as “pretty is as pretty does”, meaning that you were as beautiful in your actions as you were in your look. I’d have to agree.

When I got married, we lost touch somewhat for a few years. But every time that we’d see each other, you’d light up and give me the biggest hug. It warmed my heart, and still does right now as I think about it.

I’ve always had big hopes for you – that you’d do amazing things with your life, that you’d be everything that you dreamed. It seems that, on

Continue reading →

Oh look, it’s a tech geek doing automotive reviews

This is a work-in-progress for TNW. Also known as “how I survived not blogging for 2 weeks.”

The email went something like this - “Hi, we’d like to give you a new Kia for a week to see what you think about it.” Well…OK!

Sure, I work at home, but I also have kids that live 3 ½ hours away. That means that every other weekend I’m doing a 7 hour round trip on Friday and then again on Sunday. I also work from the road (it’s pretty cool, living in the future) and hop downtown pretty often for meetings with startups and other folks. So I have a few requirements for a car and my trusty 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis just isn’t fitting the bill anymore.

So I took Kia up on its offer, figuring that I’d give the Soul a go to see if it could fit my mobile geek needs. Along the way, I’ve kept a daily diary of my findings, and now I’ll share that with you.

More to come on Monday. I’m still figuring

Continue reading →

Important Distractions

Holy crap. I’ll start with saying that. It’s been three weeks since I’ve updated this blog. This is a problem for two reasons - First, because I made a promise to Dustin that I’d update it weekly. Second, it shows that I’m too far involved in other things to do something that I really love.

It got me thinking about the different ways in which we spend our time. Largely they can be split into two categories: Important tasks and distractions. But sometimes there’s a third area too - important distractions.

I spend a lot of time each day reading things. Increasingly those things have been tied to the Svbtle network, and they’re not always related directly to my job, but they’re still important. Reading the work of others helps me gain insight, and also pushes me to be a better writer.

I went to the GLUE Conference last week in what could only be described as my biggest display of

Continue reading →