When I own a MacBook Air, this leather bag will be its home

2802_aristamahogany.jpgHaving the sexiest laptop in your possession, it’s only fitting that one get a equally uber-cool bag. And in general, there should be a law against putting a $2000 work of art in a $20 black laptop bag. After looking through hundreds of bags from around the world, I’ve settled on what I believe to be the best mix of form, function, and beauty – “the Orbino Arista featuring handstained mahogany leather”:http://www.orbino.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=257 (pictured at right).

In the resources below I have included links to many of the sites I looked through in the quest to find my ultimate MacBook Air laptop bag. They should give you a good starting point for finding the bag that you love most.

It should go without saying, but I will anyway – as with anything fashionable, women have a much larger selection of cool, stylish and funky MacBook Air cases than men.

Here are some typical, safe, laptop bag alternatives if fashion isn’t a concern: “uggghh”:http://www.buy.com/prod/case-logic-15-4-slimline-laptop-case-nylon-black-case-logic-15-4/q/loc/16234/202778691.html, “‘khaki pants and sneakers'”:http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?type=product&id=1218011398693, “death by extreme black-neoprene boredom”:http://www.officedepot.com/ddSKU.do?level=SK&id=564380.

h3. Resources

[updated 2009.03.19] – added Kenakai.com to the list

h4. “Orbino.com”:http://www.orbino.com/ – look no further than Orbino for stunning leather cases for iPods, laptops, handbags, etc.

  • “Arista landing page”:http://www.orbino.com/store/index.php?cPath=30_128

h4. “kolobags.com”:http://www.kolobags.com/home.php?cat=36 has an incredible selection of men’s laptop bags.

  • “knomo by kolobag”:http://www.kolobags.com/product.php?productid=918 is my second favorite. It’s a very stylish choice, though not sized especially for the Air.

  • “knomo picture – tan”:http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/knomo-bungo-oil-tan

h4. “Waterfield Bags”:http://www.sfbags.com/ has a large selection of different styles, all look very high quality.

  • “Waterfield HardCase”:http://www.sfbags.com/products/hardcase/hardcase.htm

  • “Waterfield HardCase review”:http://blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/?p=1381

  • “Waterfield Vertigo”:http://www.sfbags.com/products/vertigo/vertigo.htm

  • “Waterfield SleeveCase review”:http://blogs.zdnet.com/Apple/?p=1280

h4. “Tom Bihn”:http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/CTGY/MACBOOKAIR has a small selection of bags for the Air, most are technically complex.

  • “Ristretto Messenger is a fav”:http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/MACBOOKAIR/TB0223

h4. “Built NY”:http://www.builtny.com/showPage.php?pageID=1518 has some fun cases fashioned from neoprene, if you’re into that sort of thing.

h4. “MacCase.com”:http://mac-case.com/MacCase13.html carries a whole bunch of stylish cases for the Air.

h4. “Mobile Edge”:http://www.mobileedge.com/ offers a huge selection of well made bags, Unfortunately the ones for men are more on the safe side of fashion, though the women’s cases are cute.

  • “Mobile Edge men’s laptop bags”:http://www.mobileedge.com/mens-laptop-bags

  • “Mobile Edge Paris bag”:http://www.amazon.com/Mobile-Edge-Paris-Backpack-Microfiber/dp/B000B54H6C/ – very European

h4. “LaptopStuff”:http://www.laptopstuff.co.uk/ has a nice selection of funky and hip bags and cases.

h4. “Case-Mate.com”:http://www.case-mate.com/laptop/MacBook-Air-Cases offers mainly sleeves for the Air.

h4. “Brenthaven”:http://www.brenthaven.com/ has some interesting styles, including several which are airport-scanner friendly.

h4. “Timbuk2”:http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/laptop/ offers a solid line of tough, durable bags and cases though mostly of the messenger-style. If you really want something special, try their Build Your Own Bag wizard.

h4. “IGIO.com”:http://www.ogio.com/products.php?category=30 leans towards the boring side, but their Brain Bucket Mini (in color Wasabe) is ok.

  • “Brain Bucket mini in multicolors”:http://www.amazon.com/Ogio-OGIO-Brain-Bucket-Mini/dp/B000FHE9K0

h4. Only sleeves

  • “Kenakai.com”:http://www.kenakai.com/ has some fabulously rich sleeves for MacBooks, unfortunately not MacBook Air specific.

  • “Wrappers”:http://wrappers.typepad.com/ has fun sleeves for different things.

h4. Aggregators, blogs, etc.

  • “BizRate.com”:http://www.bizrate.com/computer-bags/ is a store aggregator. They list products from elsewhere.

  • “squidoo.com computerbags”:http://www.squidoo.com/computerbags is small page with important goodies (for women).

  • “Six Cool Sleeves for the MacBook Air”:http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/hughes/22543

Finally, my move to WordPress!

I have finally changed over to WordPress ! I have been taking my time because I am still on the hunt for a way to display my photos and I haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for. Despite that, I decided to change over anyway. For now that means no photos.

Moving to WordPress

It’s time for another blog / website changeup. This time I’m moving from RapidWeaver to WordPress. I think it’s going to be much better for me and my needs.

Please update your RSS feed links: http://blog.davidmccuskey.com/feed/

I will make the switch permanent in the next couple of days.

Thanks !

Ditching Zope and Plone for simplicity and creativity!

To be fair, I had found a theme plug-in that was a template which could be used to create your own theme. I knew that I could do it, but also knew that it was going to take time. For the photo gallery, I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, but knew that it was a combination of my old photo gallery (which didn’t run on the current Plone) and two other gallery plug-ins I had found.

I was dishearted because I knew that to find a solution to the data issue was going to take even more time; time I didn’t really want to spend. The theme was going to take time, the photo gallery was going to take a lot more, but this data problem could be the grand-daddy of all timesinks. I weighed a lot of factors in my decision: from the cost of hosting, to the flexibility in changing user interface, available themes, etc.

The decision to switch to an application running on my desktop means that I can no longer edit my site anywhere in the world using a web browser, but I really never did anyway. And, because the sites created by RapidWeaver are static and not dynamic, I can put them just about anywhere, including a server residing at home.

I think that Zope and Plone are amazing pieces of software, but together they comprise a full content management system and they were overkill to run my small web site.

Great 3D sidewalk art by Julian Beever

batman-robin.jpgI stumbled upon some web sites with photos of 3D sidewalk-art by English artist Julian Beever. Click here to see a larger image.

All of the images I have seen show the artist interacting with his work, which are amazing, three dimensional chalk drawings. The one shown on the right is one of my favorites, here Julian is teetering on the edge of a burning building while Batman and Robin come to save him.

You can see lots of other examples at Julian Beaver’s web site. Also here are some other web sites with photos of his work:

Ho Hum on the Apple front, but I still want a Mini

I am glad that Apple has upgraded the Mac Mini with the new Intel processors because I wanted to get one to use as my web server. Awhile back I read something which stated that Python runs slower with FreeBSD on a Mac. I can’t remember if it was a combination between the language/processor or language/OS, though I’m hoping for the former. The latter would mean that the processor change wasn’t going to help the bottleneck in the multi-threaded environment (or whatever the issue happened to be). Now that the upgrades are a reality perhaps I can dig into the problem again and see if it’s is no longer an issue.

The performance of Python is important because my web server of choice is Zope and it’s written in Python. Within the next year I’d like to have my web sites on a hosted server instead of sharing space, and I’d rather it be running on a Macintosh. I like the idea of having a Mac because they’re easier to administer when you’re not a system administrator in real life. On the other hand I’d hate to buy a Mini and have it sitting in a dark colocation somewhere with no one to fully appreciate its classy exterior. It would better serve me running Front Row, sitting on top of my entertainment center right next to my Airport Express, and then I could ship a “Dull” to the data center.

When did Linux become mainstream?

I read an “article on lxer.com”:http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/54858/index.html which talks about perceived changes in the culture of LinuxToday.com. It blames the widespread adoption of Linux as the culprit which shooed away the hard-core geeks from the site. Of course Linux adoption was a slow, gradual process brought out by a series of events in the computer world. The article gives several examples including IBM embracing Linux at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in 2001 and a congressman from Venezuela telling Microsoft to drag its underhanded business practices elsewhere because he was going to adopt Linux for use in his country.

I personally think the shift started back during the United States vs. Microsoft case. I can’t remember, but I think it was Ballmer who stated, “We’re not a monopoly, because there’s that Linux thing.” Well, that statement unleashed the curiosity of the American media, gave Linux plenty of free press on national television, and launched it into the mainstream.

Why? Linux had been around for almost a decade, existing only as source code passed around the Internet between only the most hard-core of geeks. But now Aunt Helen, located in a little town somewhere in the Corn Belt of America, found out about Linux by watching Fox News even before she was able to get broadband.

This is one of the few times I will say, “Thank you, Microsoft”.