Posts Tagged ‘MacOSX/Apple’

Some Apple upgrades that I’m not enjoying

10.8.5 has been largely a disaster in terms of usability.

The FaceTime camera basically doesn’t work with apps that aren’t Apple-released on my MacBook Air. This means Google Hangouts, Skype video, all don’t work. Grr.

iTunes (11.1) podcast library scans like crazy, and the performance is terribly slow. I can’t delete iTunes podcasts, because everytime it tries to connect to the Internet and show me what else is there. Guess what? It seems that when I’m offline, iTunes just works. Annoying because I can’t listen to podcasts with ease now.

I updated my iPhone 4 to iOS7. It seems to just work, its slow as always, but I’m noticing apps crash, the camera can cause the phone to reboot. My father updated it automatically (without a backup) because he just said “yes”. It kind of bricked his phone when he couldn’t remember his iCloud password. Rather annoying. 

I think its great that updates can happen “over-the-air” since some iOS releases ago. But I should also be able to disable this, because I don’t want to remotely debug an issue. Try telling a businessman he can’t use his phone for half an hour?

What is kinda cool? FaceTime audio. This has huge potential.

In other news, I broke the up arrow key on my MacBook Air. This machine is about 6 months old. Replaced at the Apple Store, the Genius sorted it out within a minute. I’ve been using Mac laptops since about 2002 and this is the first time a key has broken. Designed in California, Made in China.

A battery management app I’d like to see

Today I killed Dropbox and Copy, then I killed Skype, turned the WiFi off, and my 13″ MacBook Air was getting about 6.5 hours worth of battery life. This is very close to the 7 hours that Apple claims will work (though they do say 7 hours of wireless usage). Chrome, Firefox had tabs running, I was working in Mail and Terminal a lot, as well as Keynote (with 15 apps running when i mac+tab)

So what’s missing is battery profiles.

When plugged in, CrashPlan, Dropbox, Copy, etc. run.

When on the battery, CrashPlan, Dropbox, Copy, Time Machine, etc. stop running.

When on the battery with no WiFi, maybe Evernote sync stops, Google Drive stops, etc.

This app should make sure its all configurable.

Why hasn’t this appeared yet?

Maybe OS X Mavericks will rock in this sense since the CPU usage is only for the current running app, not those background running apps.

I’m willing to bet this kind of app makes sense even on Linux and Windows. We’re using apps that increasingly sync to the network. Some are badly behaved.

Road warriors need better solutions. And I bet they’d pay for it.

Homebrew (Mac OS X) and MariaDB 10.0 series

Today I performed a brew update. I noticed that MariaDB now exists as stable (5.5.30) and devel (10.0.2). Brew formulas also exist for MySQL (5.6.10) and Percona Server (5.5.30-30.2) now. 10.0.3 is around the corner but I wanted to run 10.0.2 now. This is how I did it:

brew unlink mariadb
brew install --devel mariadb

It’s that simple!

X11 now via XQuartz

I tried running Inkscape and it wouldn’t start. It seems that OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) doesn’t ship X11 any longer, and you have to use XQuartz.

You’re then forced to log out & log back in. Once that is complete, Inkscape and others work again. This problem doesn’t exist with The GIMP any longer as that is now native. Here’s hoping Inkscape moves with the times too.

df on OSX now has inode statistics

On OS X Mountain Lion, df now has lots of extra inode information. This is the new default according to the man page (turning on -i). The workaround to get the old df output is simple – just use -P. So df is now aliased as: df -Ph

byte@lovegood~$ df -h
Filesystem      Size   Used  Avail Capacity  iused    ifree %iused  Mounted on
/dev/disk0s2   465Gi  237Gi  228Gi    51% 62130995 59797234   51%   /
byte@lovegood~$ df -Ph
Filesystem      Size   Used  Avail Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/disk0s2   465Gi  237Gi  228Gi    51%    /

Much friendlier.

Upgrading to OS X 10.8 and a new MacBook Air

Yesterday I unboxed my new MacBook Air 13″ (full-spec) laptop. I used a USB3 disk to backup via Time Machine the old laptop (which maxed out at USB2), and then did a restore using USB3 last night and today it seems that the laptop is ready to use. This is my first experience with OS X 10.8.2 as well – I was previously on 10.7.5. What did I have to change?

  1. I had to re-login to Dropbox, but at least it didn’t have to perform a full sync (there was some data exchanged, but it wasn’t the entire Dropbox folder).
  2. I had to re-login to Google Drive. This required a full sync as the old folder was not recognised as an original.
  3. I had to make sure settings for iCloud were sane again (as there was a popup).
  4. I was asked to re-download MsgFiler and login to the App Store.
  5. I had to change the caps lock key to become a control key manually again.
  6. The Mail.app version changed and it has to reimport/reindex messages again (this takes some 1 hour 15 minutes on my machine with 33GB of mail).
  7. The F4 key for some absurdity goes to an application called Launchpad (that makes it look like an iOS device). I used to have Dashboard on F4 and I much prefer that. It seems the only way without a third party app like Functionflip is to press Fn+F4 to get my Dashboard. I think this is rather silly of Apple – changing muscle memory is difficult.
  8. My scroll continued to work from the old settings (I’m no fan of a natural scroll).
  9. Time Machine allows you to “inherit backup history”, thus using the same drive that brought you over to be the new backup drive.
  10. There now exists a Notification Centre. A little odd thinking that iOS styled notifications have made it here. Do I still need Growl which constantly reminds me that there is a (paid) update waiting?
  11. Seems the screensaver and the lock after it has been enabled needs to be re-enabled.
  12. CrashPlan would not work as you need Java SE 6 so you’d have to install it – seems odd that Apple decided to drop this rather significant piece of software. Then again, considering who drives ownership, and the recent security scares…
  13. sudo tmutil disablelocal – the local backups were enabled again, and I only want Time Machine to have backups to an external disk.
  14. I couldn’t print as there needed to be new printer drivers. Many apps had to be updated in the App Store. Gasp.
  15. Turn off most notifications with Notification Centre. I really don’t want to be “beeped” when mail comes in.

Initial impressions of the laptop? The machine is fast. It has a lot to do with the SSD disk, as well as the 4-core i7 processor. Out of the box, the battery capacity is meant to be 6700 mAh, though I’m getting 6669 mAh. Battery life is one of the strongest reasons why I picked up a 13″ over a 11″ – I just didn’t want to have to deal with flaky batteries a few years down the road… 7 hours brought down to say 5 is manageable, but 5 hours brought down to say 3 is annoying.

Another reason is resolution. Using a 15″ MacBook Pro to a 13″ MacBook Air has no change in resolution for me either – its all 1440×900. It seems 512MB of virtual RAM is reserved for the Intel graphics card (so I guess this Air won’t suffer the same fate as the first ever MacBook Air which was dog slow in terms of graphics).

Its good to note that the Thunderbolt port is also MiniDisplay compatible – all my old cables work. The only catch is that it is no longer on the left side of the laptop but the right side.


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