Just switched back from the 27″ Apple Cinema display (latest with Thunderbolt etc) to the 30″ one after a couple of weeks.
The 27″ has a nice picture. But it is useless. I am ready to write it off and put into a corner. It looks nice. When it is turned off. Or when one glances over pretty pictures.
But for any work that requires reading it is not usable. A glossy screen is in the end a mirror. My brain sees the content on the screen and the reflection of the room behind
me. For me that causes un needed strain after a couple of hours. Maybe that’s related to the fact that I also get to see myself
I find it amazing that the 7 year old 30″ design is still the best screen that Apple ever made. There were hardware bumps etc. No wonder they go for a high price on eBay.
The whole glossy saga let me degrade my 13″ MacBook Pro’s into Backup and Wife usage. Back on the 17″ non glossy display I must say that it was really worth the switch.
A shame since the 13″ is a neat little machine. With 8GB Ram and a recent CPU it is quiet a bit of punch. Back on the Aircraft Carrier I realized that I missed all those pixels though.
iTunes just rejected to play a song that I purchased 3 years ago, since it told me I need to authenticate my current computer.
Instead of trying to figure out what is broken with the Apple authentication for that song I just went ahead and bought it again on Amazon. Without CRM.
Apple is notorious for having one of the worst user management systems for their online services. The documentation of my Apple ID changes and resets
spans many pages. There are none for other systems and services that I used equally long.
Funny how one company can be so great in a couple of areas and fail so consistently in others.
On a recent Macbook Pro (i7, Macbook Pro 8.1) post Feb 2011 I did not have much love from a kernel driver. Oddly google was not that helpful.
/var/log/system.log system log complained along the lines of:
/System/Library/Extensions/HuaweiDataCardActivateDriver.kext failed to load -
(libkern/kext) requested architecture/executable not found;
check the system/kernel logs for errors or try kextutil(8).
The fix was pretty simple: Just boot the machine into 32bit mode. Turns out the default boot mode is 64bit on later hardware. One way to find out which OS mode you run is to go to:
About this Mac
More Info …
click directly on the Software item on the left.
You will see 64-bit Kernel and Extensions: “Yes” in the second last line.
If you hold the numbers 3 and 2 during boot then you will be in 32bit mode and get probably much more love from 32 bit extension. In my case it was an Aldi Surfstick S4012 based on a Huawei one that caused some grief in 64bit.
Since not many 64 native machines are out there it explains why this topic is not easier to google right now.
While holding the Home button, press and release the Lock Sleep/Wake button. Your screen will flash letting you know that the screen shot was taken.
I had no idea that it was that easy to take a screen shot on the iPhone. The way this works is just perfect. It is easy to remember since it references the ‘you push the button we do the rest’ habit of taking a picture. It works and gives proper feedback. Sometimes Apple gets it right. Sometimes they manage to get beyond the thinking of engineering and make things really work. Technology companies get often stuck on the technology level. Nice to see when it gets transcended occasionally.
When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because
that’s what you needed on the farms.” Cars became more popular
s cities rose, and things like power steering and automatic
transmission became popular.
“PCs are going to be like trucks,” Jobs said.
“They are still going to be around.” However, he said,
only “one out of x people will need them.”
I agree on the part that iPad like devices will liberate
people from using computers that didn’t want them in
the first place. And there are more than we think.
I think Apple will make a killing by recognizing this with
I like the historical analogy. However I find this one
to be more fitting: Computers are like kitchens, and
iPads are like micro wave ovens. A microwave will
work against your hunger. You are dependent on
pre made things that you have to purchase at a price.
It is easy, but you have not much chance to control
A kitchen is more complex to operate than a microwave.
But the food tastes better. It is healthier and cheaper.
And the varieties of experiences is endless.
An Apple TV box stopped reacting to the IR when being back in the Apple interface. The light was still changing colors when a button was pressed, but nothing happened. This forum post describes perfectly shows how to get the IR working again. Since it would be a shame if these clear and wonderful instructions would fall prey to data rot here a (slightly amended) copy of them:
1) if you have not already, patchstick the ATV
2) ssh to the atv
(Steps 3 and 4 will fail if you have set the ATV to not auto update its software, since mesu.apple.com will resolve to 127.0.0.1)
3) download the IR firmware update utility: wget http://mesu.apple.com/data/IR/061-3045.20080708.Aq12D/IRReceiverUpdaterTool2
4) download the firmware image: wget http://mesu.apple.com/data/IR/694-5586.20081119.2AvT3/irrxfw-0×0312.irrxfw
(you probably will need to do chmod +x IRReceiverUpdaterTool2)
5) run the firmware patch: ./IRReceiverUpdaterTool2 irrxfw-0×0312.irrxfw
6) if the process worked you should see this message near the end of the output:
Apple published a “Thoughts on Flash”. The piece is amazingly well crafted and written. The real reason for Apples bold move attempting to keep flash out of the mobile space only shines through. If Flash would become the engine for mobile, then applications could run on Apple and other devices. A mobile software eco system would grow outside of the Apple space.
Apple realizes the potential of preventing this. Out of the box the iPad can NOT do any of the following:
= perform as a calculator
= perform as an alarm clock
= read PDFs
Yes, I am sure, ‘there is an app for that’. Which is the model of the device. And in order to create software for this you have to adhere to Apples programming standards (objective C) and use their distribution channels. They are in control. Letting flash grow in this space would not allow them to control this.
For Apple this makes perfect sense. And it is amazing that they had vision that they would be able to dethrone a system that always could claim greater than ninety percent proliferation.
After a couple of days with OS X 10.6 aka Snow Leopard I have to say that it is not worth bothering with. It breaks things. Nothing major, but there are no rewards for that hassle. ZFS would have been nice, but it is not there. Applications that would use more than 2/3/4 Gigabytes of memory would have been nice. But even the recently updated FinalCut is using 64bit yet to address this much memory.
All those glorious changes under the hood? Well, all I notice were the things that are broken. I am so glad that I kept my main machines at 10.5
an OS X server got unhappy and seemingly did hang on bootup on the gray screen with the rotating ‘progress’ indicating.
Booting it with text mode enabled (holding command V) revealed that the machine would loop with the following error message snippets:
posix_spawnp ... /usr/sbin/mDNSresponder ... no such file or directory
ls -lsd /
0 drwxrwxr-t 43 root admin 1530 Dec 20 03:57 /
Booting into single mode (command -s) and then doing the suggested fsck and mount -uw / revealed that the permissions actually were set to:
Meaning that others have not even read permissions. This makes the mDNSresponder seemingly unhappy. I would guess that it quickly gives away its root privileges after launch for security reason. Running what the internet suggested
I have no idea why, and it os most likely me. But traveling with the same user to another laptop .exrc stopped being looked at for vi. Strange. .vimrc still works. So I put my settings in there and continued to work. Not sure what’s going on. Not time to investigate.
So now I am on laptop number 5 ( Titanium, 12″ G4, 15″ G4, iBook G4, 15″ first gen Macbook Pro) and I am considering to get a second one to put it away so that I can keep on using this kind of machine once I have worn this one out. Storing a computer for 4 years before you use it for the first time is a stupid thing. I still consider it. Apple might have peaked with this machine.
I got a refurb Al 17″ (pre unibody) and it works like a dream. It’s non glossy 1920×1200 screen is gorgeous. Hey even the trackpad works, and the keyboard is a match to the fingers. All things I didn’t like about the unibody flavor. And the price is pretty sweet for a 4GB Ram (nice one) 300GB drive machine I paid $2100.
Being able to drive a 30″ screen and the better sound of the built in speakers are other benefits that I did not consider but certainly appreciate. And the thing is cool. The 15″ was heating my fingers. But only when it was cold. I hope this gfx card lasts longer than the one in the machine before.
Just a few weeks ago I bought iWork08. It would cost me another $100 to get the recent iWork09. That ‘Numbers’ is pointless I already realized. I hear keynote is alright, have not used it. I just tried to use Pages. Again. Making something as fancy as a ‘table’. Oh, boy! Annoying and stupid. But then I wanted to enter “99.999%”. The INTERDUBS uptime. Leaving the input focus of that field “Pages” decided to change that it to “100%”. No, really. Kid you not. Had to do it thrice to believe it. I am sure there might be some preference somewhere. But Pages has wasted enough of my time already. Amazon is shipping Mac office any day now. I can wait for that. Waiting happily to use a Microsoft software. What has the world come too!!
I am an casual office software user. I write things in vi or text edit. And yes, that’s how they sound. I never was that big in to spread sheets. But graphing solutions I need. I had written my own things for SGI, but even though OS X is OpenGL as well, it is just too much work to maintain.
Since my kids now start using office software I thought I’d get them iWork. Big mistake. Pages is ok (compared to vi and text edit). Numbers however is just outright lame. I hate the fact that Apple is able to pretend that this pile of junk is software that you can make an attempt to sell. Trying to graph anything in this turd of a bloatware reveals how 0.5 ass this thing is. The problem is that crappy software is worth negative money: It took me hours to figure out that it was actual this ’spreadsheet application’ that was just unable to do even simple tasks.
“Numbers” has no understanding of time. I will download now Mac Office 2008. Which is even reasonably priced these days. Looking forward to use Microsoft software. How weird is that!
Apple makes awesome products. Since years I spend most of my waking hours on their respective recent laptops. That part works so well. The iPhone is alright. I had better phones that worked much better as a phone. But that might be AT&Ts issue. And it kinda works.
Apples online user management is ridicolous though. I keep lots of passwords to lots of sites. And nowhere do I have the amount of trouble that Apple gives me. It never is clear if their different services share the same credentials. Changing / retrieving it is a nightmare. The whole user experience is just broken. I think that happens if you have one part of your business doing really well: You can afford to be sloppy in another. And I am sure that Steve never has to reset his password. And many people are having trouble managing their passwords. So they will not blame Apple for their broken system. I can, since things work on all other major sites and system for me. But not in Apple Land.
I never was intrigued by .mac and so I skipped looking at MobileMe. Which turned out to be a good thing. I wonder if Apple will be able to turn this around. But looking at their websites and it’s vast collection of broken links and outdated developer documentation I have serious doubts that this will be ever better.
No wonder the introduction of “mobileMe” was such a disaster. I, like most people, have registrations with many websites. From pointless things to online banking. Even though there is no official or firm standard for registration on websites certain practises emerged. And overall things work.
With one exception:
Their web site registration mechanism for developers is broken. Not by one main outage or problem. More in the million paper cuts kind of way.
* passwords expire
* passwords have odd ’security’ restrictions. Of course you have to try a password to see that the system complains about something
* loging in to one part of the system does NOT mean that you have access to another, or that you just changed password would be working there.
Apples own website is pretty dismal overall, once you go beyond the home and apple store pages: Broken links clutter the whole thing. Links that go nowhere are an inherent problem of the internet. But having them within a company website is just lame. A million paper cuts. Not fun to repeat each one of them. But the mobileMe disaster did not come not as a surprise.
Other areas of Apple are vastly ahead of the game and the competition. The internet is certainly not one of them.
For the longest time I ran Firefox 1.5. 2.0 had nothing to offer and from what I heard was a real dog. Finally I switched my main browser over to 3.0 and it has been a nice experience. I love those little things. Like asking if you like to save a password AFTER you entered it (and therefor know if it worked or not). While FF3 seems to be worth it I have serious doubts about Safari 3.0. So many things behave now somewhat different. Quirkier. Surprisingly FF3 plays for instance much nicer with Quicktime than Safari 3 in many cases. One would expect the opposite. It might just be that Apple engineers test all sites that they know their boss will visit. Outside of that the importance probably falls off pretty quickly. I am sure that His Steveness thinks that the thing ’scrolls like butter’. It probably does. For him. I wonder if his switch to MobileMe went well …
Got refurb iPod nanos from Apple for the kids. $99. Tooble is a somewhat buggy but overal working application that will get youtube videos and put them into iTunes and therefor the nanos. Handbrake takes care of DVDs and works actually much better. Overall it is pretty impressive with how little effort, config and engineering I was able to give my kids all the music videos that I thought would be interesting. Quality is dismal, but I heard no complaints.
By far the worst online user management is done by apple. I felt I could use an Airport Express. But I did not feel dealing with Apple’s broken password management yet again. iTunes kinda works most of the time. But their developer connection and online stores are plain pathetic. I am sure it works for Apple employees, and Apple devotees maybe get even a kick out of the interaction with their beloved brand. But I have better things to do. Like buying stuff on Amazon.
With a MacBook you pay around 50 extra to get it in black. Now with the iPhone 3G there will be a white version. But that will only be available for the larger 16GB version. I never ever have filled up the 4GB I had. So you have two choices now with the iPhone 3G: pay too much because you can and don’t show people (get the black one) or let people know that you don’t need to care about the extra 100. The new price of 199 is pretty low, compared to last years launch. But I would guess that the 20$ a month extra for 24 months rule is still in place. You pay AT&T or whomever, but you pay. That’s 480 dollars extra that any iPhone will cost you. So the price started out at 1079 for the 8GB / 979 for the 4GB and now has arrived at 879 / 779 respectively.
Turns out that the data plan is now $30 and not $20 any longer. So the total price for an iPhone2 is $1019 / $919.