A Mac User

It’s official, I am now a Mac user.

First impressions: This thing boots up in about 10 seconds. And once it’s up, it’s up. No loading programs in the background. At least, if there are programs being loaded, it doesn’t affect the OS response one bit. It also shuts down in about 5 seconds.

The GUI is nice and nothing’s difficult to use, although apparently Finder does not have an edit->cut and then edit->paste option. You can drag to move files, but no Apple-X Apple-V. Edit->copy (or Apple->C Apple->V) works, though. (By the way, does anyone know what they call that weird four-sided curly thing?)

I really miss having a right-click on the trackpad. As it stands, I have to hold down control and then click to get a right-click. I think there may be an easier way, but I haven’t found it yet. The cool thing about the trackpad is that you can use one finger to move the cursor and two fingers to scroll. I got used to that real fast.

The voice recognition is great! I can say, “Computer” and then give commands that will be followed. It’s almost as good as Star Trek, but still not quite perfect.

Agh! My Z key is stuck or something. I have to push it really hard to get a z. All the other keys work OK. Although something’s still a little weird with the home/end and page up/page down keys. (They’re doubled on the arrow keys.) Sometimes they work with the Apple key, other times they work with the ‘fn’ key. The tab key is also kind of funny in Firefox. It only selects text boxes, not buttons or checks. It feels like I have to use the mouse more than I should.

I love iTunes with the remote control. That is a very nice feature.

More reactions later…


Life at Vandy

or, Reflections on Leaving the Lipscomb Bubble.

I must confess that after spending four years at Lipscomb, I was afraid that Vanderbilt would be the den of Satan and that I’d constantly be confronted with evil all around me. And to be sure, some things are different. My department served alcohol at a meet-and-greet on-campus, and I’ve also seen plenty of undergrads smoking as they walk around campus. (I’m not saying these things are evil, although smoking is pretty stupid.) It also turns out that Lipscomb students actually did a really good job following the dress code.

But there are other things that are surprising – in a good way. A banner in front of the Student Center inviting students to a “Christian Acapella (!) Singing” on the quad Sunday night. And one of my fellow program members who I just had a great conversation with about God and Christianity. Turns out at least a few of my fellows are Christians or are actively seeking God. This shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. I think I was starting to succumb to the arrogance that the only Christians were at Christian Universities. In any case, I’m going to invite a few of them when we get our weekly fellowship started.

I know this seems crazy, but is anyone opposed to Friday nights?


MacBook Pro

And honestly, a little scary. Even with a student discount and Vandy paying for a good chunk of it, it’s a big investment. It shall arrive by September 5th, along with a free iPod Nano.

I’m so happy Mac switched to Intel chips. I’ve always admired Apple, but before BootCamp I really couldn’t justify a switch, as there was always the possibility I would come across some vital piece of software for school/work that was Windows-only.

I can’t wait to try this thing out! It kind of feels like a dream I had sometimes (NERD ALERT) where I got this really awesome computer for my birthday or something and felt like it couldn’t be real and then I was sad when I woke up because it wasn’t. (The last time it was real was as a kid when I woke up Christmas morning after Dad had spent all night building a Pentium 75MHz with a CD-ROM and sound card and everything! That was a good Christmas.) In any case, I have that same butterflies-in-the-chest feeling and I’ll probably be pinching myself for a few days after it gets here.

And now for some specs:

  • 15.4-inch glossy widescreen display
  • 1440×900 resolution
  • 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo
  • 1GB (2 x 512MB SODIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • 80GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard drive
  • 4x SuperDrive
  • ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 128MB GDDR3 memory
  • One FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports

More info here.



This is what happened to my beautiful, faithful car a few weeks ago. My wife was stopped at a red light, minding her own business, when a 16-year-old in his parents’ SUV plowed into her. I thank God she was not hurt! (Not even a little whiplash!) My car, as you can see, did not fare so well. The repairs are about $3,800, but their insurance is paying for it. As long as they don’t total it…

Grad School

Well I spent most of this week in TA orientations. I got a little practice at teaching, and I learned a few things along the way, but I think the best part was the basketball video they showed. Here’s the deal: There are two teams each weaving around and throwing a basketball between themselves. One team is wearing white shirts, the other black. Your job is to count the number of times the white team passes the ball between themselves. (You can ignore the black team.) Once you’ve watched the video, check the comments to see if you got the right answer. No cheating. Video link

Everybody’s coming back to Nashville tomorrow! Stella and I are very excited. Good luck to all of you (and us!) in class this semester. I have some more orientations Monday and Tuesday, and then I start classes on Wednesday.

In light of PB’s latest post, when do you guys think you’d want to get together for some Christian fellowship? Our good nights are Sunday, Monday, Friday, and Saturday. (Wednesdays and Thursdays already have plans, and Tuesdays would be a little hectic…) Feel free to use this blog as a sounding board for ideas!


Well lookie here. The Gourd redid his blog.

The Gourd Speaks is now a self-hosted blog through the power of WordPress and WAMP5.

Everybody update your bookmarks! http://jmgregory.no-ip.info/blog/

Please note that you must register to leave comments, but registration is pretty painless. I only need your social security number, birth certificate, and soul.

OK, maybe not your soul.

And yes, this does mean I’ll start updating again.  Happy blogging!


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