Archive for the ‘apple’ Category

Milla Jovovich broke my iPad

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Not in a came over to my house, kicked down the door, and smashed it to pieces in front of my startled eyes kinda way, which would be awesome to experience, even if I had to buy a new iPad afterwords =p  As long as she stopped and said hello before leaving.

Nah, it’s her music album, The Divine Comedy, iTunes Match, or, most likely, some iOS7 update to the built in music player.  Whomever’s fault it is, any time I try to play any track off that album (OK, to be fair, I only tested 6, but they are the ones I want to listen to, why would I test ones I don’t care about?), the music player goes poof.  When you re-open it, it’s at the last song I tried to play before I tried to play a Milla track.

The same tracks play OK through iTunes match on my OSX machine, which makes me suspect iOS7 is at fault.  That and the way it crashes my iPad to black-screen more than once a day still.

iOS7 wastes millions of hours

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

I am still working my way through iOS7’s changes, but I’ve already found at least one item that seems like a horrifically anti-end-user attack on one’s most precious resource, time. When unlocking the phone or returning to the homepage, you are now forced to sit through a silly animation of all your icons flying into the screen from the sides. I’m not going to sit down and time it exactly, but let’s be generous and say it only wastes 1 second per iteration. The problem is it is an operation you will be doing lots, so the waste starts to add up. At a conservative 60 times per day, you end up wasting 36.5 hours of your life over the course of a year, waiting on a lame tech demo to finish. Multiply that by the millions of iPhone users, and Apple is directly responsible for destroying thousands of man-years of human life, life that could have been spent doing worthwhile, or at least enjoyable, activities. But instead, we are all forced to watch the same animation again and again, for no purpose, to provide no value to the end user. Hell, it’s not like Apple even gets any useful data out of this; they literally just decided to waste millions of peoples’ time, just to stroke the ego of some internal developer.

There ought to be a mandatory set of ethics for embedded developers who will impact millions of lives, which includes “don’t waste people’s lives just to make a new developer toy”.

OpenSSH UTF-8/16 bug

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

As I’m setting up a new music server, transferring files around with the scp that comes on OSX (Mountain Lion, I think?), and noticed that they have a tiny little bug in their handling of filenames with multi-byte characters. As files are transferred, a progress indicator is displayed, which leaves behind a line for every completed file. Usually these lines have several aligned columns, filename, percent complete, filesize, etc. But as a handful of classical pieces with french characters in the names go by, I see they are counting the multiple bytes, assuming they are all visible, so some of the columns were off for 5 files in a row.
As long as scp transferred the files intact, it’s a minor quirk/issue, but I do find it amusing, because I know I tested my old employers scp client with the same set of files, and it didn’t have this issue.

AT&T iPhone plans designed to deceive?

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

I got my first AT&T iPhone bill in the mail yesterday, and boy was I pissed. Instead of the $55/month I was told my plan would cost, it’s actually $95/month. That’s before taxes and hardware installments. Seems AT&T has deliberately designed their system for maximum confusion and profit. There’s the data plan you pick out in store, but there’s also an extra $45/month “iPhone plan” that you are required to have as well, which isn’t mentioned during the sales process at all, at least not by my sales rep at one of the stores in Seattle.

It is annoying that she deliberately misled me on the pricing, but luckily the bill came before the 14 day return period was up, and I didn’t have them port my old number. I didn’t really trust the change to go smoothly, and wanted to be able to back out, looks like I thought ahead rightly.

I’m amazed that they are able to sell any iPhones under these plans, given the much more rational pricing by their competitors. Are there really that many people that, after having been deceived on the price of their plan, just say “fuck it”, and let AT&T charge them twice what they agreed to?

AT&T telephone support was worse than useless, unable to do anything but read the line items that I already had in my hands, back to me.

Needless to say, as much as I like the phone, I’m sure I’ll like the exact same phone, the exact same amount, when I buy it from Virgin Mobile, and pay the $55/month that they advertise, and I suspect actually support.

And if she messed up the unlimited data plan on my iPad during this fiasco, sigh, I will be even more annoyed.

Pointless connections

Monday, September 16th, 2013

The Apple MacBook Pro comes with the infamous, “MagSafe” connector, whose purpose, as I understand it, is to prevent you from accidentally trying to walk away from your desk with your laptop still plugged in. Other than the early-version fire hazard, it sounds like a great idea.

But then you get to the new Apple Cinema Display, which comes with a single wire for connecting to your laptop, that splits into two separate connectors, one, the MagSafe break-away guy, and one a traditional-style-plug, the Thunderbolt. You have to use both (I could have sworn there was a way to get power over Thunderbolt, but maybe the Pro needs more juice than it can provide?), so you still end up with the potential disaster of one break-away cable, and one that requires careful hand-disconnecting. Seems silly to me.

Malice or incompetence irrelevant

Monday, September 16th, 2013

It has long been a pet peeve of mine, that phone developers refuse to implement number-blocking at the base level. The reasons are obvious, if you offer the ability to block known bad numbers for free, no one would pay $5/month to their provider for the same ‘feature’. Given how frequently it’s asked for, it’s hard to imagine the lack is anything but deliberate malice. But even if it is just incredible arrogant incompetence by both Apple and Android developers, there are solutions.

I’m ashamed to admit, I didn’t think of this one before, creating a silent ringtone to assign to unwanted callers. Creating your own ringtones for current generation i-devices is more annoying that it has to be, but still within the realm of even the least technical person, so it really should have occurred to me sooner.

Now I’m just annoyed that I can’t make the silent ringtone till I get home, and some idiot spammer will call me who knows how many more times today, before I can get it set up.

Mac-mini lock-up

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

I’m happily working away on other things, when I notice the mac-mini at my desk has the fan going full blast.  This seems odd, since the machine has been idle for weeks.  Since nothing is visibly running crazy, I go to reboot the machine, see if that clear up any runaway background processes.  Instead, the machine hangs during the shutdown phase.

It did start up OK after I forced power off by button, and restarted.

iMac HD recall experience

Monday, October 29th, 2012

When I found out that they were going to warehouse my mac for several days, instead of doing a while-you-wait repair, I was annoyed, but went ahead, figuring better now than later. They emailed that the box was ready for pickup yesterday, and with a minimum of hassle, I made it into the apple store, and out again, repaired machine in hand.

Based on their statements prior to the repair, I expected to have to reinstall the OS from scratch, but they evidently put the same version on the new HD, as was on the old HD. Do they have a stack of pre-installed drives for people who’ve upgraded since original purchase, or did they image after the install? Who knows. There was a moment of WTF, when, after the Time Machine restore process completed, the initial registration screen listed a zabbix account, but after reflection, I’m 99.9% sure that I had once attempted to install Zabbix, to monitor temperatures remotely, and it must be a leftover from that. I had to manually fix up the machine name, and I haven’t yet figured out what I did to get X11 sharing working between the mac and my CentOS machine. Right now, terminal windows have no DISPLAY set, and attempting to install XQuartz just ended up with a bunch of error messages in /var/log/system.log.

But all the firefox stuff is working as before, and I’m overall impressed with how easily the process has gone so far.

Now watch the replacement drive crater on the first day. =p

Twitter and ustream = ipad fail

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

If you try to follow a link to a u-stream video feed, from the Twitter app, it basically locks up the entire iPad. Had to completely power it down, as it had stopped responding to double-home, so I couldn’t even just kill the offending app.

Dear Apple

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Dear Apple,

Steve Jobs is dead, can we finally get beyond his silly hangups and allow merging of Apple ID’s? Or do you not want the Cloud to succeed, and were just playing along with him until he died, and now are deliberately trying to destroy his dream?