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A quickie update

Hi All. It’s been a busy and hectic few days for me so apologies for the lack of posts. I’m still finishing my reading for a seminar tomorrow so I only have a few minutes to submit a quick post about a few things I have outstanding at the moment:
• Firstly I’m done with the ‘road test’ for the first app of the PSI Mindmapping Special - ConceptDraw’s MindMap. I was hoping to have the full review posted during this weekend but I’m afraid it’s a no-go. I’ll try to get it finished and posted up during the next week. I’ve got to say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using MindMap during this first ‘road test’ phase but it remains to be seen if it will become my primary mindmapping ‘weapon of choice’ at the end of the series. My road test moves on now to the very interesting and completely unique 3d TopicScape. I’m looking forward to using it exclusively for the next two weeks.
• The Mac Mini I ordered, and have been feverously talking about :o), arrived at the start of the week (on Tuesday which was incidentally the expected delivery date. Spot on Apple…well done. Just a shame the despatch, as I've already moaned about, originated from the Czech Republic). First impressions - I’m pretty much blown away with both the machine and the Mac OS and although it’s taking me some time to figure out how to do even the most simple of tasks in this new alien (for me) environment, I’m already doubting that I’ll ever go back to a Windows rig as my primary home-based computer. Of course I intend to spend a lot of future time talking about this new machine in relation to my paperless operations and being so new to the world of Macs I’m of course anxious to hear your thoughts and recommendations.
My Freeloader solar charger is now packing a fully juiced battery (100% courtesy of the sun..awesome) and is getting carted around daily in my gadget bag. I’ve not had the need (or rather opportunity) to use it yet but it’s there for when I do need it and the reassurance this gives me is priceless. I want to use it more thoroughly (at least enough to charge and discharge it a couple of times) before posting an in depth review but you can be assured to expect one as soon as I can warrant it.

Mac purchase - Coming to a home near you...eventually

Macetour
Am I being too naive in expecting that my soon to be delivered (hopefully) Mac Mini would have shipped from somewhere here in the UK? I must be because a quick input of my order ref. number on apecode (a great place for getting a lot more tracking info than even Apple themselves offer) dutifuly informs me that my precious package, having now finally hit British shores, has worked its merry way across mainland Europe having originated from the Czech Republic.

Macmini_cargo Ok so I'm well aware that all computers more or less originate from distant shores anyway (more often than not the Far East) but I find it somewhat disturbing that each and every Apple order is individually shipped. Given the popularity of Apple merchandise, maybe that isn't a problem. Although I've got an image in my mind of my poor lil Mac rattling around on its lonesome in the cargo hold of a plane I'm perhaps way off the mark and in fact every shipment that leaves Apple's distribution centres does so en-masse with cargo containers packed to the gunnels. At least that's what I hope is the reality.

Of course the more cynical among you may think I'm only venting because my eagerly anticipated order is taking so long to get  to me. Well I'd be lying if I said it wasn't, at least a little bit, but mainly I'm venting because I've got this overbearing sense of guilt that all of this environmental damage due to shipping is being caused on my account. I'm just thankful that  Greenpeace are continuing their concerted efforts to encourage Apple to turn their operation a lot greener. Although  Greenpeace's campaign is primarily targetted on Apple's manufacturing processes, one can only hope that the knock effect, if successful, will also see a change to the greener for Apple's logistical policy too.      

Freeloader – A few ‘unboxed’ pics

Floaderlayout
As it’s going to take me a while to 'field test' the Freeloader solar charger before I can post a full review I thought I’d upload a few initial pics of the unit to my Flickr account so that you can get a better idea of its construction. Aren’t I nice? :o)

Expect to see my full review of the Freeloader soon.

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