Discrete graphics switching, MacBook Pro Retina, Google Chat and you

MacBook_Pro_Retina_nvidia-3Getting a new toy work laptop was one of the best decisions I made last year. My old 17″ MacBook Pro was getting tired and could not keep up with the computing I needed to do for my job. So when I got the 16GB of RAM 15″ MacBook Pro Retina (MBPr) late last year I was so pumped. I could run Parallels to run the windows programming environments as well as Firefox, Chrome and the web development apps all at the same time with plenty of room to spare.

One of the greatest things about this type of MBPr is the ability to do graphics switching on the fly. Apps that need more graphic card juice can get it. However using the NVIDIA GeForec GT 650M sucks the battery faster than a cheetah in hot pursuit. So in an effort to reduce and monitor the times my MBPr switches to discrete graphics mode I downloaded the awesome gfxCardStatus app for OSX. It lets you know when graphics switching occurs and most importantly what app turned on discrete graphics. Very handy and I suggest anyone with a graphics switching mac to download and donate.

All of that to say google chat in gmail and google+ has been the most annoying graphic switching app to deal with. I just want to check email in gmail or look at my google+ feed without having graphics card switching on and off. And if I want to leave gmail up and running it would be burning the battery down just to have the convenience of the web app up and running. This had to stop. So I started looking into why google chat was using discrete graphics. It all narrowed down to the google voice and video chat plugin. I uninstalled that plugin and no more graphics switching. Ok figured out why it was doing that. But there are times when I may want to use the video and audio features of chat in google+ or gmail. So I reinstalled the plugin and was able to find a way to disable chat in gmail and temporarily disable it in google+ with adblock plus as I wrote in my Removing Chat in Google+ article. Now I am switching graphics cards way less often and managing battery life much better.

Hopefully this will help someone in a similar position because I could not find anyone else by google’ing this issue. If you haver an questions or additions to my thoughts here please leave a comment. Thanks!

300k Miles!

So this morning I hit 300k miles in my 1993 Honda Accord SE! I’ve owned my car since 1999 and I got it with 78k miles on it. So I’ve driven it an average of 22,200 miles a year. At my current miles per gallon of 25 at the current gas prices I would have spent over $1580 a year or $15,800 over the last 10 years. I could have bought a new car 🙂 I had my Flip Video MinoHD (that Carla got me for my birthday. Thanks beautiful!) with me so I captured the moment of going from 299,999 to 300,000. A momentous occasion I’m sure.

Like I mentioned in the video I’ve had a great time driving my little Honda. Maybe I’ll get another 100k our of it!

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Yes it is dusty 🙂 I haven’t cleaned in awhile.

Leveraging Online Social Networks to Increase Business

I follow the LinkedIn blog in google reader and watched a video about how a small Investment Banking company managed to make over $300k+ by leveraging their contacts on linked in. Ron Lissak, a managing partner of the company, talked about how he was able to search for the right people and find many opportunities through LinkedIn. I’m trying to learn more on how to leverage online resources for my business so I thought I would pass the information along. The LinkedIn blog has been a great read and has presented many ideas for me to expand on. You can read the original article or watch the video below.

LinkedIn Users – Investment Banking

Other resources for using LinkedIn:

Beach Day and Father’s Day

Yesterday we went to the beach with the kids. The Upper Ferry Rd ferry was running so we were able to go over that. Aliza thought going on the “boat” was neat. We then visited a little beach in Nanticoke, MD down Nanticoke Rd. Its a great beach for other kids as the water is warm and shallow with small waves. By the end Aliza was laying in the wake and jumping all around. Here is a video of the day from my wifes blog:

Today is Father’s Day and it was just as good as yesterday but without the kids. Carla and I left the kids after church with the grandparents, went to lunch, took a nap at home (lol), went to the mall, and stopped for starbucks. ALl in all a great day with the wife. Looking forward to a great week this week.

Earth Day at the Salisbury Zoo

Chrissy recommended that Carla and I take the kids to the zoo yesterday because it was Earth Day. So we all went down to the zoo to check things out. My mom and dad were down for the weekend so they followed us. Matt and Chrissy met us there for the fun as well. Parking was crazy because the zoo was packed full, but we found a spot near the bridge and walked a ways to get there. It WAS packed yet we could get were we needed to go without to much hassle. We saw all the usual animals as well as alot of others that they brought for the day. My personal favorite was the baby screech owl. *read in Napoleon Dynamite voice* Matt said he saw a SWEET hawk before lunch that I missed. *end ND voice* We finally wrapped up a great day by visiting the Backstreet Grill around the corner on rt 12. I had an awesome bacon cheeseburger!

So check out another animoto video I made of our day.

And check out my pix on flickr:

You lookin at me, punk?

Look mom animals