Gear Unicorns
5/12/2013
It seems that my standards are too high, because I've been researching models of various pieces of gear that I'd like to buy at some point and I end up realizing that nothing in the market meets my needs, or if it does it's out of my budget.

Unicorn: Findings:
A: The colour laser printer.
  • ~$250.
  • Reasonably priced toner (haha.. ha.. *sigh*).
  • Good print quality.
  • Robust wireless.
  • Full size A4 tray.
  • Reasonable foot print.
Pretty much everything falls flat on the toner price. But if I remove that filter it's still hard to make all the other checkboxes fit at the same time.
At this point I've given up for a while.
B: The still / video camera.
  • Great DSLR style stills.
  • Good low light performance.
  • Longish zoom... x5.. x8?
  • Fast auto-focus in stills and video modes (inc zooming).
  • <$1000? (Maybe)
  • Smaller is better (might help with longer zoom).
  • Tethered shooting of video.
  • HDMI output.
  • Mic input.
There are a number of micro 4/3rds that kinda come close. And the EOS-M is again, kinda close. But I don't see any of them ticking all the boxes.
Pretty much decided on a Panasonic GH3 for this.
C: Replacement Mac laptop.
  • >= 8GB RAM.
  • USB3.
  • Firewire (I still regularly use a firewire audio interface).
  • At least 1000 vertical lines of display resolution.
  • Upgradable hard disk and RAM (current laptop lasted 7 years because I could fix things myself).
  • Dedicated graphics card.
  • ~$1000
The non-retina mid-2012 models seem to fit this criteria if they have the optional display upgrade, which makes them rare as hens teeth. Which has the side effect of making them much more expensive. Might just wait a while till the used prices drop.
So the old Macbook died an untimely death at my hands and so while I didn't have all the cash to spring for a mid-2012 model I decide that if I dropped the USB3 requirement I could get a much older / cheaper Macbook Pro that still ticked a lot of the boxes.

Or near enough... in fact the display is only 900px high but thats a lot better than the 13" Macbook's display. Ended up getting an early 2008 for $250 + shipping. Probably will need a RAM upgrade but at that price I can afford it.
  • 2.4ghz C2D
  • 2GB presently, 6GB when upgraded
  • 1440 by 900px screen
  • 7200rpm WD black HD (from old machine)
  • 2 x Firewire
  • 2 x USB2
  • Wireless A/G/N
  • GeForce 8600M GT (Dunno how good that'll end up being?)
I'll probably update this as times goes on and I refine criteria.

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Scribe v2.00 Final
2/12/2013
Unless someone finds some major problem with the Windows v2.00 Beta46 release I'm going to be calling that the final official release of v2.00 in 2 weeks. It's not perfect but most of the issues are minor or only happen very rarely. I'll be trying to get the Mac port up to scratch in the mean time. There are a few known issues and that I need to sort out. (The filter bar is a mess, the edit and checkbox controls should REALLY be native). Then I'll post that hopefully before Christmas.

What that'll mean for customers of InScribe is that your v1.xx key that has been working for all the v2.00 beta's is not going to work for the v2.00 final. For existing customers the upgrade pricing will be $5 USD (50% off the normal price).

Once the v2.00 final is out and the upgrade process is nice and smooth I'll be turning my attention towards the security side of email. I've been watching the news lately and to be honest the revelations coming from Snowden have been eye opening. I think it's time to make privacy the main point, and as the author of an email client I feel it's my responsibility to make that happen. So the stable v2.00 branch will increasingly be focused on seamless encryption of email, and the surrounding RFC standards.

As a side note I'm not super happy about the performance of the Sqlite database layer that makes up the mail3 folder format. So I'm actively playing with options in that space. The client can easily support plug and play storage systems via a simple API (currently implementations are mail2, mail3 and IMAP). So adding more is feasible. Maybe some experimental implementations will appear in the v2.xx releases.

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