macbook pro usb hub

hyperdrive

I haven’t bought my mba replacement yet. It’s still working and the frankly the reviews for the new mbp do not impress me.

But, if I had gotten the mbp or about to, I’d invest $69 for the hyperdrive, a fast usb hub with usb-c, usb 3.1, sd card and hdmi port. One hub instead of the bagful of dongles needed to convert to existing equipment.

It’s sad that the kickstarter raised $1.6 million. Not sad for the makers of the hyperdrive, just sad for mac users in general that it’s even needed. As petapixel said:

This is mind blowing when you really think about it.

I speak from the perspective of a long term apple user. When macs were expensive and compatible with nothing; before the windows version of itunes came out thus making the ipod mainstream. Increasingly, I’m feeling disillusioned about mac products. Seems like we’re an afterthought in amongst the plethora of iphones, ipads, watches and airpods that greet every customer in an apple store. I even seriously read the article that asks is it time to swap your mac for a windows laptop. I’ve owned a couple of windows laptops, but the last non-mac computer I’ve owned that was my primary machine ran DOS. So, it’s unlikely I’ll switch. I’ll just use my existing machine for as long as possible to maximise its value.

iphone 10th anniversary

iphone3gs

Ten years ago, 9 January 2007, Steve Jobs revealed the iPhone. To say it was revolutionary, that it would change the world, is not an exaggeration. Before that, I had a series of Nokias and I was super happy with them. I didn’t get the original iPhone when it came out because it was US and Europe only initially. I also had to wait till I had an address in Chicago before I finally managed to get my first one, the 3GS in 2009. Aside from that S model, my progression so far has been the even numbered versions: 4 when I moved to London and 6 when it got water damage and I had to get a new phone.

There’s a brilliant 10 year anniversary in pictures that gives a nice description of all the models. It’s also interesting to look back at what the original reactions were. Have to laugh at NPR:

It’s a cell phone, it’s a music player, it’s a camera, it’s a Web-enabled device, and much more. Ask yourself if you really need all that high-tech bling

Naysayers included Steve Ballmer at Microsoft (duh), my favourite Guardian and Techcrunch, with such a confident headline:

We Predict the iPhone Will Bomb

Others were more positive, taking a long view that even if this particular device failed, it would pave the way for a changed tech landscape. CNET:

this is about more than Apple. Even if it’s a flop–perhaps even more so if it’s a flop–the iPhone will change the way mobile devices are designed

And of course, it won Time’s 2007 invention of the year, because it took computing and platforms and design and usability to the next level:

computing doesn’t belong just in cyberspace, it needs to happen here, in the real world, where actual stuff happens

So, looking forward. I’m excited about the rumours that iphone 8 may be made from forged stainless steel. Drool.

iphone screen crack

bbiphone6cracked

Normal office day. Project almost finished so I told B I’ll be in next week and then off for the rest of the month.

Ran a couple of errands before lunch. On the way to the post office I tripped on one step, fell and my iphone fell face first on the pavement. It had no chance. Argh!! So many cracks! It was barely held together by the screen protector. Luckily it seemed to be working fine. Was able to get a same day appointment at the genius bar. It’ll cost an arm and a leg to replace the screen.

This is when I’m super glad I have 2 iphones. Swapped the sim card into the spare one and I’m good to go. Couldn’t get LINE connected so switched to Whatsapp. Strange that Whatsapp is linked to the phone and the spare number rather than my regular number. I didn’t want to lose the data so I told all 4 people I normally communicated with (mum, sis, gis, mm) to use the spare number.

Thing with the spare iphone is that the battery behaves strangely. I was at 80% battery when it buzzed once and the screen went blank. Had to plug in the external battery and the red low battery icon came up. After a few minutes it started up again and was back to 80% battery. It doesn’t matter. It’s a spare phone and I have an external battery.

Logged into pokemon go on the spare phone and went to the park where there was an omanyte nest. Got enough to evolve, a good end to a day that could have been horrible.

bbmm computer and dinner

Went with mm after work to the computer centre to get her mbp repaired. Her hard disk is almost dead and last time at the genius bar it was taken out of the body completely. So the aim was to a) get the HD into an ext casing and see if it still works; b) install a new HD into the mbp. Got quotes from a couple of places and went to the first one. The technician was very helpful and knowledgeable, we wandered around the mall for an hour whilst they did the repair. I bought a new screencover for the iphone, the old cover had cracked.

As usual, mm had a million questions but the technician was very patient. Almost 8pm when we left. I was pretty tired and hungry by then.

thaidinner20160922

Went to a nearby building and first looked at a korean restaurant then decided to go to the thai place one floor down. Had beer, chicken wings, grilled squid, whole grey mullet, cabbage greens and roti. The squid, greens and roti were good, the chicken wings and fish less so.

Walked to a nearby gym and got our golds. Didn’t even know there is a park at that location.

mbp recovery

macrecovery

Went to the apple store with mm, her mbp won’t startup. The genius booted it up using a recovery startup disk and it seems her hard disk is damaged. Ouch! To make matters worse: a) she doesn’t have a backup for her files and b) most of her files are not organised, she just dumps them on her desktop.

Luckily using the recovery startup we were able to access them. I’d bought an external HD for her in case we had to copy files. We had to do it folder by folder to avoid spending time copynig her huge movies and other unnecessary files. Still took a couple of hours at the genius bar.

The biggest problem was the damaged bits included her 2 biggest files: itunes library and iphotos. The genius told us the only solution was to remove the HD, put it in a casing and copy it to another machine. Then it’s a matter of replacing the HD.

At least there’s a plan of action. We decided to go away and think about it first. She has her lenovo to use for school work, that’ll be the focus for the next 2-3 weeks.

applesauce cake-bread

applesaucecake02

This applesauce bread-cake recipe is from cooking on a bootstrap, formerly known as A Girl Called Jack. Jack Monroe is a writer, cook and activist who first came into the public eye as a blogger sharing recipes from trying to survive as a single parent on £10 a week. Now a media personality due to activism against poverty (and the Tory govt) and after coming out as non-binary transgender. Interesting person to follow on twitter, there are always good stories on politics, family and cooking.

This is a vegan recipe that is supposed to cost 9p per serving. It’s always good to come across healthier recipes.

2 apples (whatever kind)
1 tsp lemon juice
100ml vegetable oil
225g plain flour
1.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sugar (if using tart apples)

Dice apples and cook with lemon juice until soft. Leave the skin on for texture. Leave to cool. The recipe says to drain but I didn’t have any liquid in the pan.

Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, add applesauce and oil. I found the mixture very dry so I added a little water to loosen it up.

Bake at 180ºC for 35-40mins.

applesaucecake04

The result was nothing like I expected. It was quite dry and almost like a crumble. I think it needed one more apple and lots more liquid. Or I hadn’t cooked the apples mushy enough. It was nice though, if I didn’t think of it as being like the apple equivalent of banana bread. I was missing the richness of butter; flavourless sunflower oil simply isn’t as good.

Served with vanilla ice cream, which was gave more sweetness and acted as sauce (took it out of vegan territory, but it’s not important for us). I’m thinking we can also use custard, jam, honey, fruit compote or coulis. It definitely needed a sauce or accompaniment.

#1 upgrade macOS

snowleopardpatch

Task #1 of 101.1001 is to upgrade macOS at least once. When I set the challenge, I thought I’d follow the normal upgrade route to 10.7, 10.8 etc. We’re at 10.11 now.

I’m still running 10.6, because of old software and old hardware. I normally upgrade when I get a new mac, and credit to the little mba, it’s still running well after more than 5 years. I’m quite happy with status quo, making me one of around 5% of mac users still on 10.6.

In a way this is a slight cheat, but my challenge…my rules. Last week there was an upgrade to snow leopard, a small patch to ensure continual compatibility with the mac store. Not that I use the mac store, but I upgraded anyway.

This is all because I want to delay getting a new machine for as long as possible.

I May Need To Upgrade Soon

macbookproair

I bought the mba in 2010, just before I left Chicago. By the time I fully switched over, the previous mbp was 4 years old. So the mba is 5 years old and I use it nearly every day. The apps are getting long in the tooth now, people send me xlsx, docx, pptx and I have to use openoffice to convert before I can use my office 2003. I use photoshop cs2, and other old software. I’m still on snow leopard.

Recently I’ve noticed it to be struggling in some tasks. Firefox gobbles huge amount of memory and the fan goes crazy. If I have to temporarily reinstall flash for whatever reasons the fan goes supercrazy. Things came to a head over the weekend when I had to run a webex meeting. It’s another service, not webex, but similar. I simply could not get the meeting controls to work, it kept teling me I had to pick an application to open the controls, then it crashes. Digging through the help documentation, I found out that the minimum requirement is 10.7, although to use all functionalities I need 10.8 or newer.

So annoyed. I had to borrow mm’s mbp, albeit at 10.7 it’s only marginally newer. She was working in the uni library and wasn’t getting home till 8pm and I had to get home by 9pm. It was a rush, to meet up with her, test the mbp briefly and I had to get a taxi home. Expensive way of running that meeting.

The seeds of thought are germinating. Sooner or later all computers become obsolete. Possibly time to start thinking about replacing the mba. Another mba or the macbook. I’d love to get the mbp, it’ll be great for speed and power but too heavy. May be by next summer, see what 2016 refreshes are like.

 

apple watch sports

Super Low-Tech Apple Watches
super low-tech apple watches by flickr user hiné

I haven’t really paid a lot of attention to tha apple watch, apart from acknowledging that it’s out and people are wearing it. I’m still testing out the mi band that we wore to Europe and I’m waiting for my atlas which is a year late (long story).

I do wonder what it’s like to actually wear the apple watch. If I were to get one, I’d most likely get the sports version. There’s some good reviews from people who are serious about exercise on how it stacks up as a fitness tracker:

Part of the allure here is owning a single device that tells time, alerts you of notifications and triples as a fitness tracker.

It’s probably not advanced in its current form to use as anything other than a tracker of casual cardio exercise. If Six-to-Start get their act together and fix zombies, run it’ll be a great integration with the Watch.

Will I get it? No, not now. I’m not obsessed enough about the minute details of my exercising and I don’t care about notifications. Battery life isn’t good. There are a ton of competitors (like the aforementioned late Atlas and the really good Pebble time). I just can’t see the purpose of smartwatches.

iphone6

iphone4and6

It finally happened. The touchscreen on the iphone, or rather the left hand corner of the touchscreen, stopped working. I can’t type the letters e, s and merely touching a gives me a bunch of letters in the vicinity. Apps kept opening by themselves. The keypad doesn’t register, so at times I can’t unlock the phone. I left it overnight and it worked for about 1 minute before going haywire again.

It’s time to get a new iphone. I wasn’t planning on getting it this cycle, was hoping for another year or two. C’est la vie. I guess 4 years of constant use, being dropped multiple times and exposure to the elements are factors that led to the failure.

Debated between 6 or 6 plus. The 6 plus was too big to fit comfortably in pockets so 6 it is. I’m struck by the comparison in size between the 4 and 6.

Went to the messy computer mall to get screen protector and case. App and data transfer was easy, just restored from icloud. For some reason the camera roll didn’t transfer so I took the opportunity to clean it up by selectively restoring from dropbox. Spent 3 hours on software update though, a combination of slow internet and slow itunes.

iphone freak out

iphone4power

Excuse me while I have a fit. I was getting my haircut and happily exchanging stickers with mm when the iphone started acting stupid. Apps kept opening, I couldn’t bring up the keyboard and when I did, I couldn’t type. At one point, the keypad wasn’t working so I wasn’t even able to unlock the phone. I’d press one number but it either didn’t register or it’d register as 1. All in all, a complete mess.

I do not need this just a few days before the trip. I went to the phone shop and was this close to getting a new phone. The customer service person said may be it’s the screen protector. I took it off and it seemed to behave for a little bit. Will test for a couple of days.

steve jobs tribute 05-october

I cleaned out some old folders recently and found this video I took of the Chicago Apple Store in 2011; Steve Jobs died three years ago today.

It’s also really nice of Tim Cook to email apple staff with a tribute.

It just occured to me, how similar the tributes around Apple Stores around the world 3 years ago are to the message walls scattered all around #occupycentral protest sites this week.

SteveJobs8 oclp073msgwall
flickr / image on left via user morgan schmorgan, image on right is mine

Simple, elegant, heart-felt. That’s the power of a small post-it note and a pen. 

#2: new ipad

ipadmini2

Task #2 in 101 in 1001 is to get a new idevice. Originally I thought it’d be an iphone 6 or later, seeing that my iphone is 3 years old. Then my kindle stopped charging. Nothing wrong with the battery, I just wasn’t able to get the pin to connect to the jack, something inside seems to have shifted and no amount of wriggling or even turning the device upside down could get the parts to click together. It seems to be a common problem with many complaints and a repair that involves taking it apart and soldering the jack to the motherboard.

I could claim that the kindle problem is an excuse, but it isn’t really. I was always going to get an ipad mini, it was just a matter of time and which generation. I was gonna get it at Christmas but never got round to it. Now this is supposed to be an early birthday present from parents and sis. I paid for it myself, I’m sure they will reimburse me.

First order of business, make sure I have epub versions of my ebooks. I usually buy in epub format, even when I only had the kindle — I would just convert to azw in calibre. But it wasn’t as easy as just uploading the epubs into ibooks. I have to complain to publishers one of these days, there are 2 things I really hate that they do: a) what possess them to add tags to their books? If I want tags, I’ll add them myself. Plus having tags for “science fiction,” “sci-fi,” “sci fi,” “science fiction fantasy” and all the different permutations by different publishers is NOT helpful; and b) do they think I am stupid when they automatically give their books 5 stars?

The least said about the DRM on kindle books, the better. Hate. That’s why unfortunately I don’t have books by authors who are primarily only available at amazon.

The most time consuming part of setting up is to get the apps in. To stay consistent, the ipad has the same apps and the same layout as the iphone. There are a couple of apps that are iphone only, and of course there is no phone on the ipad. If there is an ipad version, I went through the trouble of downloading it.

So far, works like a dream. Reading is just as good, and it’s a lighter and thinner device so a plus. I have to start games from the beginning, which is a good thing, I like going back to level 1 on angry birds and making my way through the series.

iphone power pack

iphone4power

The iphone battery has been acting up lately. Either it doesn’t charge or it never reaches 100%. I don’t know if it’s the age of the iphone (3 years), the charger, the usb wire, the power strip, the socket, the electrical circuit, or some other reason. I bought an external power supply for travel, but what has actually worked is this power pack that slips over the iphone just like a regular case. Charge up the pack, put the iphone inside and I’m good to go for the whole day. Probably a little thick to slip into my jeans pocket but better than the external power pack. And best of all, it came free when mm bought a couple of bulk packs of batteries.

iphone temptation

Last week we went to the apple store and got mm upgraded to the iphone 5s, from her iphone 3g. It’s really light and very sharp with the new case we found. My target upgrade is the iphone 6 or 6s, perhaps even 7 if my iphone lasts that long. The reason for waiting is I want to get an ipad mini first, and I’m not one of those recent apple converts who need to own every idevice.

That is, until I start spotting cool things and apps that are only compatible with iphone 5 or 5s.

This lightstrap cover is a new kickstarter project, and is basically a flash built into the case. A bit expensive though, and I don’t understand why the lower donation amount gives earlier access to the product.

nikeplusmoves

Like many people this Christmas, I’m on the hunt for an activity tracker, and was thinking of getting either a fitbit or a fuelband. The fitbits and newest fuelband sync through bluetooth, which requires iphone 4s, sigh. And the nike+ moves app, which doesn’t even need a band, needs the iphone 5s’ M7 processor.

Argh! May be I’ll just go to the sports store and get an old fashioned pedometer for the time being and stop thinking about iphone 5s stuff.

will i buy the ipad mini

ipadmini

Will I buy the ipad mini?

Please rephrase.

When will I buy the ipad mini?

Thought so.

Unless someone offers it to me for Christmas, I’ll save it for a special occasion. What special occasion? Not sure yet, I’ll leave it open for my own discretion.

I’ve had the kindle for a while now, and it’s been completely indispensable. I take it everywhere, but I don’t use it except for reading and games as I haven’t put many apps on it. Paid for angry birds (for the 3rd time, that’s an issue) but all other apps are free. An ipad mini will be even more perfect, if apple gets the multiple device app purchase issue sorted out.

Steve Jobs at Macworld Expo 1997

Yes, it’s 45mins long. Yes, Gil Amerio drones on for the first part. Be patient. Wait till 6:55, when Steve comes out on his return to Apple. The contents of his speech may be outdated (NT, Director, LaserWriter) and who remembers NeXT computers anymore but he was already talking about apps running on cross platforms. The conviction and charisma is there. Still compelling. I watched all the Steve bits and fast forwarded the Gil bits.

thank you, steve jobs

stevejobsboingboing

The first mac I used was a mac plus; the first one I owned was an LCIII; the first ipod I owned was the cigarette case model (pre-windows). I got news of his passing on whatsapp on my iphone. I’m typing this on my macbook air. Without Mr Jobs, the world would not be what it is today. Thank you.

(This is the bb tribute theme. What power CSS.)

ipad 2 vs macbook air

ipadmba

I’m probably getting an ipad 2 next time I’m in the US. I gave my ipad to my niece and sometimes I miss it. I use the mba mostly at home but I think that it will more likely bridge the gap between the mba and the iphone. There’s a really interesting article from Business Insider on The Atlantic about how people really use the ipad. Usage has increased; almost 40% of respondents use it as their primary computer and over 70% use it to read books. Perhaps the one chart that I will use as justification is that over 70% of people think that ipads and macbook airs are not mutually exclusive.

writing instruments

timecapsule

I kinda want to start writing a little again, but need to get one of these first. Alright, I don’t need a time capsule to write, it’s just that I’ve set up the mba in the kitchen and the mbp stays on my desk and I thought I can make the study (ie use the mbp) as a writing area. The wifi isn’t that strong in the study so a time capsule as router plus an airport express as repeater will expand the network to the back of the apartment.

Did that sound like a lame babbly excuse to buy even more apple products?

macbook air

macbookproair

I spent the weekend setting up the macbook air, which I bought in Chicago and only unboxed this week. Unfortunately migration assistant didn’t work, and after spending hours and hours trying to fix it, I had to go with the more traditional manual method of backing up and restoring from an external hard disk. The one advantage here is that I can pick and choose which application to transfer over, so it’s like starting over again.

The painful part out of the way, I set about downloading firefox, adium and the rest. For the most part I could copy the existing setups and bookmarks from the library. Documents were straightforward to copy across, including Calibre e-books and the iphoto library; my itunes library is always on the external disk. Updating software took forever, not because of the machines but because of the pitiful virgin wifi speed.

The most obvious difference between the 2 macbooks is size. Compared with the thin, thin Air, the Pro looks like a Biggest Loser contestant. The 13” screen is smaller, but at the same resolution and way sharper so it doesn’t take me long to adapt. Do I want a bigger screen? Sure, but not at the expense of size. If I wanted a bigger screen, I would have stuck with the Pro. The keyboard will take some getting used to, it takes more energy to type, and each keystroke is accompanied by a click that isn’t so easy for touchtyping. This is my biggest complaint, plus that it isn’t a backlit keyboard.

It’s fast. Booted up by the time the apple logo came on at the Pro. Applications opened quickly, the finder navigation is an improvement.

Overall, I’m really liking it. It feels great and outperforms the Pro. It was time to get a new mac, and I think going with the Air was a good decision. For good measure, I updated both iphones so the new iphone4 is now fully functional.

ipad 2

video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b661ovU1rPU

I’m so glad I didn’t buy any ipad cases, I’d just have to buy newer ones for the ipad 2.

iphone 4

iphone4

I blame the American practice of locking phones. It’s so alien and moronic and all the other words for stupid. My iphone has been stuck in airplane mode since December, and I’ve been using my blackberry. I worked out the costs. If I get an iphone 4 in HK, even with a plan that I’ll only use once or twice a year, it’s still cheaper to get it and then get a SIM only plan in the UK.

So that’s my new toy. Not synced yet cos I didn’t bring my external drive. Not bothered, I downloaded cover orange, it’ll tide me over till next week.

itoys

itoys2010

My itoys: ipod original, nano, classic, iphone, ipad.

Yes, I went and bought an ipad. The wifi version, not the 3G. This one is actually for Mum. I can’t get one for myself yet — it’s not compatible with Tiger so I have to either upgrade to snow leopard or get a new mbp first.

Anyway, look at how huge the original “cigarette case” ipod is, especially next to the nano. This one has a lot of memories for me. I bought it with mm’s sis, and in those days ipods were mac only. In a way, I’m glad apple opened it up to PCs, cos it shows that the revenue has gone into further research and design. Of course we’re all having to adjust to more people in the apple space nowadays.

macbook hotair

mba

There was a rumour that the macbook air might get refreshed this week, citing a source that was reliable in the past. And that the refresh may come as early as Tuesday. Well, Tuesday has come and gone and no announcement. Sigh. It seems more likely that any refresh will be later this year. According to ars, who spoke with intel,

low-power Arrandale-class processors “for the ultra-thin segment” are coming later this summer

I am very tempted to get an mba in addition to a new mbp (may be even an ipad) this year. Walking around London for 4hrs with the mbp, the e-reader, adaptors, wires and 3 books in my backpack was good training, but I can do weights at home and an mba would have made it feel less like hiking expedition. Big apple year this may end up being.

i touched an ipad

We were at best buy and I couldn’t help it. Played with an ipad for a bit. Yep, it’s just like a larger ipod touch. It’s still a bit too large for my liking. It can’t fit into my back pocket like the iphone, and it’s kinda too big and heavy to carry around. My maximum size tolerance is the ereader and it’s bigger.

Way cool though. No doubt I’ll get one eventually.

Will it blend? Looks like it does. I watched this with horror.

iSigh

ipadhero

Why I will buy it:

  • so pretty
  • just touch it
  • easy to use
  • better than b&w e-readers
  • apps!!
  • I can see it replacing the netbook
  • pretty, pretty, pretty

Why I won’t buy it (yet):

  • can’t multi-task
  • no flash
  • no webcam or camera
  • no usb, not even an sd card slot
  • adaptor isn’t magsafe, ie need yet another power supply set
  • additional 3G cost — unless there’s a bundle for iphone+ipad
  • it’s just a larger iphone / ipod touch, can’t take the place of the mbp
  • price will drop

iphone, tablet

apple

mm just called to tell me that she got her iphone. In white, so we’re now “a pair”. Heehee. I told her about the apple event tomorrow when every single person in the world knows that the tablet will be announced. I’ve deliberately avoided posting about it, cos I know it’ll just be post after post of how I want it. But, well, I want it.

24 hours with the iphone

iphonewall

I can’t get away with just yesterday’s one line post about the iphone right? Of course not.

So, i’ve had 24 hours with it, is there anything new I can add to the millions of words already out there about the device? No, not really. All I want to do is add this: SQUEEEEEEEE!!!

In a way, I feel like I have 2 years of catching up to do. That I couldn’t be a part of the early adopter crowd, or the 3G excitement last year, only to partake vicariously. But, c’est la vie, I wasn’t living in the correct part of the world. Then again, I am glad that this is my first, that I won’t be holding onto a 2G or a 3G and wishing I can get a 3GS.

Early impressions:
pros — fast, fast, fast. apps. easy to use. easy to sync. apps. beautiful. great functionality (see that apps wall at WWDC this year?)
cons — my fingerprints are all over the screen! luckily i have one of those sticky protectors. and it’s a bit big for my pockets, especially when wearing work clothes, i probably need to get a holster.

Basically, I can see why Apple sold 1 million in the first weekend. I know i’m guilty of disdain / contempt at people who’ve recently jumped on the Apple bandwagon — that i’m no longer the anomaly with the cool computer — i guess it’s either swallow my pride and be one of the masses or get on another train. I suppose I could have gone the Gina Trapani Android route, if it were any manufacturer but Apple i may have. As it is, I’m seeing a long and mutually enjoyable relationship with my iphone(s). And I haven’t even been tempted to jailbreak it yet.

iPhone 3GS

iphone3gs

I was following the liveblog of the WWDC keynote. Price reduction on mbp! Snow Leopard out in a few months! All very exciting. But of course everyone was waiting for iPhone news. That there’d be a 32GB model, compass, video, cut & paste, new OS…it’s all been leaked already. But it’s still nice to have it confirmed. Now the question is, how soon after 19 June can I wait?

mac netbook rumours

Seeing that there seems to be more, more, more and even more rumours of a mac netbook, I’ll hold off getting an mba this year. May be upgrade to the new mbp, but I still need a smaller machine.
ars talked about why apple will or will not bring out a netbook. There are cases for an apple netbook: it’s all the rage, and there’s too many rumours and “we’re not doing it” statements…and we all know about these statements. OTOH a netbook means stripped down functionality, which apple doesn’t go for. Besides, it’s arguable that the iphone is a good netbook-quality small computer already.

new iTunes

I bought a new external hd, a small 320gb one for travelling. It transferred the mp3s alright, but when I opened up itunes somehow it was still wanting to locate the files at the old drive. So I did something drastic and deleted the whole library (keeping the files of course). What i forgot was to take a copy of the library database file, so i lost all my playlists and more importantly, play count, import date and ratings — the soft data so to speak. Sigh.

I guess it’s no big deal, some of the playlists date back to my first ipod, and are ratings really that important? I’ll just treat it as a new beginning.

At least it’s good news that drm is coming off itunes soon.

ipod nano

ipodnano

I just kinda decided, spur of the moment, to get an ipod nano. I’ll probably still end up getting the iphone, but the nano will be useful for travelling and running.

I got the 16GB black one (what else). Now that my iTunes library is over 50GB I have to be selective, so I spent this morning sorting songs and moving to a nano playlist for copying. It’s easy.

I also created a playlist for running: 60 favourite songs, rated at least 4 stars. And I did take it out running. And it did make the running easier and more enjoyable. Nice.

macbook pro non-fever

mbp2008

The reason I hadn’t been all googly-eyed and want!want!want! with the new mbp is that I know I am getting it. Soon. 3 years is a decent run, and the old mbp won’t go to waste — Mum will get it, and she’ll be slowly weaned off her PC and become a mac person.

apple store

My first experience at an Apple Store.

My colleague wanted to buy a mbp for her friend, and I went along to offer support. We found a nice sales associate who punched in the order in a macbook. There were some small specs including bumping the RAM to 4GB and installing iWorks. Seemed to us very straightforward.

Until we were told to come back in 3 hours to pick it up.

What?

3 hours? It doesn’t take that long, surely.

I bumped my RAM to 2GB (max), and they wanted to take an hour to do it. Again, what?

But we had no choice, so we came back. My overall impression of the Apple Store? Lots of nice young sales people, how indoctrinated they are about the Apple culture I’m not sure. I guess they know their products but they seem more like shop assistants than mac geeks, you know?

iPhone 3g

So, iPhone 3G is coming in June. Exciting.

Well, I’ve never been too bothered with 3G. It’s been available here for donkey’s years and I still only have a 2G phone. But what got me excited was this:

Apple will announce their new model at the WWDC Keynote on June 9th. The second-generation iPhone will be available worldwide right after the launch

Does it mean it’s no longer tied to a particular provider? That it’ll be available unlocked, like every other phone out there? If so then it is truly exciting news. I just have to remember not to be tempted and wait a couple months for the price to drop or a newer version to come out.

a couple of random links

Here’s a couple of links I’d saved during thing-a-day month.

how glasses affect your image — via digg, how adding glasses seriously affect how one is viewed.

Danish police don’t know no iMac — via boing boing, the police visited this blogger’s home accusing him of using a stolen credit card to buy stuff online. He explained he has an open wifi connection. That’s not the funny part.

We moved into my roommate’s room.
She has an original iMac.
“We have your roommate’s permission to confiscate her computer,” the Ichabod Crane one said.
“Whatever,” I said. They had already assured me that we would get our laptops back that afternoon, so I figured the damage had already been done. Ichabod started rooting around under her desk.
“Where’s the computer?” he said.
“On the desk. That’s the computer,” I said.
“No, the computer.”
“That’s the computer, dude.”
“That’s the screen.” He had lapsed into the voice you use when you explain to your 6-year-old cousin how the toaster works. “I mean the compuuuuuter. Understand?”
“Dude. That’s the whole computer. Right there. The blue object the size of an armadillo.”
“No. Where the daaaaata goes. The computer part.”
“That is the computer. For Hell!” Danish swear words aren’t as satisfying.
“So that’s the entire computer, right there?”
I was standing there with a look on my face like I was watching a dog walk on its hind legs.
“New technology, huh?” he said.

Remember, the original iMac came out in 1999.

macbook air lust

Look. Aside from the one post with four screengrabs of last week’s Stevenote have I said a word about the macbook air? No. I have been very restrained. I’ve gobbled up every review I can find, and I exchanged emails with tues about it … no wonder since we were early mbp adopters. But have I gone all geek about it? Hardly. A small mention, yes.

chatcar

I’d be deluding myself if I said I needed it. It would make travelling better, since my backpack tends to get heavy with mbp, wires, camera and book. Taking thickness and 2lbs from that certainly helps. The problem is the lack of ethernet port since the hotels I visit, though 5-star standard, doesn’t seem to be too “in” with technology and are mostly still on ethernet. Or actually, they want us to pay the $19.95 a day internet connection charge cos they’re conning us. It’s disheartening to read that:

While most midprice and extended stay properties include Internet access as part of the overall rate, most upscale properties still charge extra for the service.

But I digress. I’m talking about the mba and why so many people (or may be just the techie bloggers I read?) are waiting, waiting for the mba to come out. So how to deal with gadget envy? The choices are stark: a) resist, with difficulty or b) give in. lifehacker readers suggest everything from getting married to mooch off geekier friends, though the consensus is practical — analyse need vs want; and don’t impulse buy using money you don’t have.

Now that I’ve established I don’t need the mba; and I don’t have money issues, how can I be spared the gadget lust? My saving grace will likely be — I’m lazy and a homebody. It may take me ages to actually get myself to the shop to check it out. By that time I would have read more reviews, the price could have come down and Apple could be adding more features to the product. I got kinda burnt getting a early mbp with the battery and heat problems, so if I get a mba it’ll be a 1.1 or 1.2 version.

One of the suggestions was to use the girlfriend factor. If she gives “The Look” it means the wallet stays in the pocket. Heh, may be that might work.

ipod

ipod 2007
All of a sudden, I decide that I want a new iPod. And as we were walking around the electronics store today I was extremely tempted. The reasons I didn’t:

  • I didn’t want to get it at that particular store. My usual Apple reseller will probably give me a small cash discount.
  • I want to get the nano, the classic and the iPod Touch — it’s hard to decide on one
  • Macworld expo in 2 weeks. One thing for sure, don’t buy anything so close to dates when Apple is likely to announce new products. It’s unlikely that they’ll significantly upgrade the iPod range, but there may be bumps in memory sizes, especially for the models that use flash memory.

so no. I didn’t get one.

10.4.11

When Software Update prompted me to install the Tiger upgrade, I was doing something else and closed the prompt. But like a good mac citizen I finally got round to upgrading the other day. The reason I’m even writing this post is because it didn’t go as smoothly as I expected.

My experience with any automatic upgrades, which are mainly Apple and adium related, have been simple: download, install, reboot. Download and install went fine, but when I came to reboot, the mbp was stuck at the grey spinning wheel (aka grey screen of death) forever. And the fan was whirling around like crazy.

After a few minutes of this I got tired of waiting and did a hard powerdown (held down the power key for a few seconds). After that reboot, everything went fine.

It’s the first time an upgrade hasn’t been 100%, and looking at the Apple forums, other people have worse problems.

There’s been a lot of attention, not all of it good, on Apple lately. Even long time loyal fans are becoming slightly disgruntled — the iPhone price reduction, iPhone bricking, Leopard teething problems amongst others. I know no one or company can be perfect, but kinks are definitely appearing in Apple’s previously impeccable armour.

system preferences — the road to leopard

Over on tuaw (the unofficial Apple weblog, in case you were desperate to know), there’s an article about whether or not to upgrade to leopard. Basically.

If you have only one computer and it’s your production machine, don’t upgrade.
If you work with Adobe software and need your software to work reliably, don’t upgrade.
If you work with Windows, don’t upgrade.
If you have a lot of system customizations, don’t upgrade.

In theory, I shouldn’t have issues upgrading. The mbp is my production machine, and I use Photoshop and Dreamweaver, but neither extensively. I also have good upgrading instructions from John Gruber, so I should be okay.

But I’m gonna wait for a while.

I’ve decided I’m not an early adaptor, even though in theory I can be. The only early adaptor action I did was to get the mbp soon after it came out, because I really really needed to replace the pb1 then. I don’t think not having leopard will affect my daily routine and I want to wait for a few dots before shelling out my $129 equivalent. There’s also the niggling notion that I want to wait till there’s a 10.5 version of cleardock because guess what? I’m one of those apparent minorities who have the dock at the side rather than at the bottom.

What will I get when I upgrade? I believe the new features will be worth it. The os has come a hell of a long way from the b&w mac plus days, sigh. Sometimes I get a little nostalgic at the old look and feel … I’m still looking for that playable version of bandits (fat chance …). How better to wax nostalgic lyrical than to look at how far system preference panels have evolved. There’s this nice Apple Insider article / illustration. Look at how it changed from System 1, through System 4 and how it looks on System 10.5 now. Thank you, Susan Kare.

system1   system4
system10.5