Small favors

Well, that day came on monday night, the call telling me my Dad passed away, the only small favor I managed was that my preparations of my mobile communications has worked out as planned. The Nokia 6300 on linked up with the AT&T network in Chicago and using the Palm T/X, I managed to connect to the Edge network on the Nokia to check flight changes, I also checked my email from my MacBook through the 6300 as well without having to pay for WiFi in the Airport. And when I had to make some phone number changes on the phone, the three (Palm/Mac/Nokia) synced up and shared the changes. Almost like they were made by the came company, standards, who knew, I suppose that’s why I don’t use Microsoft products. The only down side, the boss in Dublin knows my phone number, so if the shit hits the fan, I’m still on call.

Apple Leopard platform phase-out

This last 10.4.9 release of Mac OS-X has me again wondering about what platform’s will be set for end-of-life when Leopard is released. I’ve made the assumption that my old 500MHz G3 iBook would be on that list, with Tiger being the end of the road. But with my old iMac G4 the glaring problem is not the CPU but the lack of support for USB 2.1. If I were making that determination I think that any G4 with out USB 2.1 hardware would be the cut off point. This would put a hardship on me as then both my computers would need upgrading, or that it would save me the expense of buying yet another release of Mac OS-X. In any case both my machines are getting a bit long in the tooth. But I’m not too worried, my investment was a good one as both of these were ordered in January 2001 making them both 6 years old. I wonder how many PC owners have held out as long?

Long live the Tiger!

Apple update 10.4.9 for Mac OSX

One of the glaring gaps in Apple Mac-OSX is the near total lack of support for USB webcams. I often browse the PC shops hoping to see a OSX label on one of the fancy webcams, but it never happens. So when Update 10.4.9 came I was hopeful that the bullet point “Includes iChat support for USB Video Class webcams” that there would finally be support for webcams other than the Apple iSight. But not a single word of which ones were supported. So still no hope for video for my old Mac’s and with the removal of all iSight webcams from Europe I will never do video Skype, or iChat.

OS-X on ARM, opens up the world.

With the advent of the iPhone, comes the notion that OS-X now runs on ARM, the chip powering the iPhone. Something more interesting than that notion, is that OS-X now runs on an ARM chip inside an embedded device! Treo, Palm and many smart phones with windows mobile 5 and PDA’s are all running ARM cpu’s. That means OX-X running on just about anything. It may also be the reason that third party apps will not run, as there is no ARM/OS-X development environment (I’m a registered Apple developer). At best you need a compiler in the current developer package that can compile an ARM application. The current duel compile app (intel/PPC) could be used to deploy such a thing, but in a small embedded system would be wasting too many resources in that environment. Wait for for a Appet development package for ARM, then you will see third party apps.

Then wait for an applet to switch Mobil networks. 😉

Apple Mac OS-X L2TP VPN Sucks

I come to the conclusion that the L2TP VPN native to OS-X sucks. Besides the fact that it sucks, it doesn’t connect to anything. It doesn’t even make the attempt to connect. I have no idea what it’s doing when it spinning that wheel, but it sure doesn’t connect. I have removed routers, and taken down firewalls, standing naked on the internet and still nothing, even dialup, nothing.

It’s no wonder that Apple is never used in business, they won’t communicate with the windows, linux or unix systems.

If you have ideas, leave them in the comments.

Mindless reporting, Scare Tactics

It’s almost as if no one in the Media, or for that matter, any reporter, makes any connections with the facts. As an example:

Connecting these two articles,

Mac OS vulnerabilities increased 200 percent McAfee rains on Apple’s smug parade

and again

Cold water thrown on Apple TV claim

Leave it to McAfee to rain on those new television commercials Apple Computer is running about its virus-free computing.

and this article?
Vista to hit anti-spyware, firewall markets

New security features in Windows Vista will largely eliminate the need to run separate antispyware or firewall software, according to a new analyst report.

Spyware-killing Vista could take out rivals

The first two articles, while feeding on themselves, never makes the connection that McAfee, or for that matter any anti-virus company is facing elimination at the hands of the Microsoft Monopoly Monster. And that for them to survive they, like President Bush, must find a new enemy, and a new platform that needs their protection. It has very little to do with Apple needing virus protection. And everything to do with scare tactics as a marketing tool.

The Stockmarket as Reality

I always love this Microsoft delays launch of Vista and Apple Stock price drops. With this kind of reality, it doesn’t matter how good Mac’s are or how much better OS-X is (now and in the Future) than Vista. If Vista fails to ship, Apple loses.

It’s like if the sun does not rise, neither will the moon. What kind of people trade stocks anyway. Apple will be making a killing on the Vista delay, heck, with Vista out of the running for the fall Christmas season, there will be only one computer to buy for the back to school crowd?

MacTel FireWire

I’m constantly amazed about all the fuss about only one FireWire connector on a Laptop, iBook, or PowerBook. It just speaks to the ignorance about the difference between USB 2.0 and FireWire 400/800. USB is a one to one serial connector, Firewire is a Bus connection much like SCSI only serial. Therefor you can connect up to 72 devices on a daisy chain. And in fact most FireWire devices are built Daisy chained. USB must be hubed together. FireWire 800 supports Firewire 400 devices, and can do so at the same time. USB when connecting 1.1 and 2.0 on the same port, slows down to the slowest device on the link.

So having only one FireWire port on a Laptop is NOT the same as having only one USB port.

Slashdot Com

I have been a long time reader of as a source of geek information. I was a reader a long time before I even became an official registered member. And I often read it still, but the disscussions always degenerate, and even when I think I have something to contribute, I don’t bother, as I don’t think anyone would read it. Or it would get ‘mod’ed down some how.

Too bad, in the age where blogging has taken hold slashdot is fading. Is this happening to other types of ‘forums’ as well?

Windows replacement

My wife’s school has just been donated with 5 used PC’s. Not great ones, but much better than many of the existing ones in the school. Most are around 600 Mhz, 128MB and 15GB systems with monitors.

The rub is that they have no Operating systems. The company has suggested that she contact Microsoft for a deal on an OS. But between my wife the Principal of the school and her husband, Linux will be what we try. The problem is choosing which distribution to use.

I just tried installing Debian (Sarge) 3.1 on my Virtual-PC version 5 on my Mac to see how it works, it looks nice, but it took hours to install. I’ve been looking for a free Lycoris, Xandros even Linspire as they would be easier on the teachers if it looks like windows and is easy to install.

The installations for most of the other distro’s have been the breaking of them. When is someone going to make a simple installation for Ma and Paw, and Mabel the teacher.

I know, this is a hot topic in the Linux world, I hope for a fast solution.

Apple DRM

Again I agree with Daring Fireball about the TPM chip in the Mactel developer systems. And I’ll say again, what makes you think that the CPU or any other part of the Mactel production systems will be like a generic Dell PC?

Not going to happen!

Mac OS-X.4 upgrade

I Just recently upgraded my old first generation iMac (Flat panel, 800Mhz) and I have to admit I’ve been lazy. I have never run ‘disk permissions repair’ or ‘disk repair’ in the three plus years I have used this Mac. This is mostly as there appeared to be nothing wrong enough to use these tools. I started out with 10.2, upgraded through 10.3.9, but when I tried to move to 10.4, it failed citing ‘software errors’

So I actually had to try a ‘permissions repair’, no problem, it found a couple miner issues and fixed them. Then came the ‘repair disk’ under first aid, bad news, it could not repair the disk. And I thought, S__t I have to back it up. Good thing I have this external Maxtor, and I started a full backup. 20 Hours later it finished. Fearing the worst, I started a cleanup and moving some of the my important files, (iTunes songs, ect) to DVD-Roms. When I started to clean up some of my Virtual PC disk images (version 5) I had a disk copy failure on an image file of a Lycoris install I had created for testing. I finally managed to delete it, and got inspired to try the disk repair again, and bingo, it fixed the problem.

Now if the disk repair application could have told me I had a bad file, I could have saved a lot of time, heartburn and grey hair and I could have just removed it. It wasn’t that hard in my opinion, so why didn’t the disk repair just not offer to remove the offending file. I have no clues.

Other than that, the install was easy. And I’m a bit wiser. Backups are good, backups are wise.