The good, the bad and the ugly

Just reading through Macrumors regarding the latest 10.9.3 seed (13D45a) ( link ) and it truly amazing seeing some of the dopey shit people post. One person whining about ‘I hope this build fixes the crashes with the latest build’ and yet gives no information regarding his/her computer (model, system specifications, clean install or upgrade?) nor any information regarding the crash such as the applications which case it etc. which makes me ask why do such people even post in the first place other than to start up an argument? wouldn’t a person who wanted an answer firstly post in the support section of the forum and secondly would actually provide the damn information to the forum without having to extract it out of the poster over a series of individual posts? Honestly, why even post if you’re not interested in an answer or at least some help to mitigate the problem until a more permanent solution is found?

On a good side though it appears that development is picking up, bugs are slowly being addressed in 10.9.3 which hopefully means that the last of the great whiners will cease making the noise or at least admit their their problems are mostly self inflicted rather than the result of some nefarious conspiracy courtesy of our good friends at Cupertino. WWDC 2014 is still slightly over a couple of months away but I’m looking forward to the keynote address and the sessions as they’re uploaded onto the server – giving a good insight into the future direction where as mere mortals we might see OpenGL being updated to 4.4, OpenCL boosted to 2.0 which should make things rather interesting. I have to admit, in light of all these happenings, I am fondly waiting for either broadwell or skylake being launched – although broadwell will provide a great improvement over my Ivy Bridge laptop and desktop I’m going to hold off till skylake where DDR4 will be introduced, possibly a giant leap in GPU performance and lots of neat extensions being added along with PCIe 4.0 which should provide the possibility of even higher speed thunderbolt connection.

Rumours are abound regarding an iPhone with a larger screen but my greater concern is whether it’ll support APT LTE 700MHz (the LTE 700Mhz in APT is incompatible with the 700Mhz in the US) because from what I see on the net the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 are the two leading phones that are shipping today which support the APT LTE 700Mhz. In New Zealand the ETA on launch has been speculated to either some time during 2015 but more realistically 2016 but it all depends on factors such as handset availability, the ability to monetise services quickly as to reclaim back money invested etc. Funny enough around the same time the fibre roll out will be in full swing – it’ll be going past my house so it raises some questions particular for light internet users whether LTE 700Mhz will be ‘good enough’ for what they need which brings up issues regarding the viability particularly if big players like Telecom offer nothing more than what exists today but at a slightly faster speed.

Good news, iOS 7.1.1 has just been released and everything is going well – keyboard input is snappier than before. In terms of lower level changes – the baseband firmware for the modem is the same and nothing else has changed. It appears that this is fixing up some minor annoyances as to give Apple some breathing room before now and the eventual launch of the next version of iOS which will hopefully receive mention at WWDC 2014. Security Update 2014-002 1.0 also also suddenly appeared which includes system update along with an update for Safari bringing it to 7.0.3.

Wow, just a long time since my last post

Sorry about having not made a decent post in a long time – work, chaos with work, my scooter going haywire thus I’ve been rushing to trains and grabbing rides back home with work mates at the end of each night but hopefully by the end of this week everything will be all good. Replacing the back tire and working on the engine seems to be losing power – possibly something to do with when I came off my bike around a month ago? personally I wouldn’t really care one way or another but given that the power loss means I can’t even make it up Ngauranga gorge it makes life more difficult that it needs to be.

I’ve been reading through on Windows 8.1 Update 1 and as much as I’d love to see Microsoft succeed I can’t help but think this is yet another ADD moment for them – they’ll get half way through this “everyone on the WinRT train” only to lose interest in it like so many other frameworks and technologies in the past. Lets assume that they’re being serious this time (like how they said all the other times, “Oh, we’re really in it for the long haul this time! trust us! honest! give us a second chance!”). Along with that came the usual inkling of having a look at the latest range of ultra books out there by the big names such as Lenovo and Dell – and I was surprised to see what not only were the laptops more expensive but the processes used had a weaker GPU than what the MacBook Air had to offer (the MacBook Air would be the replacement laptop I’d buy to replace this MacBook Pro in the future (maybe when broadwell CPU comes out?). Then I checked out the cost of putting together a home built computer and to be honest the ‘fun’ of tweaking and building just isn’t there – I just want the damn thing to work with minimum ballsing around and god knows the horror stories I see on forums about peoples custom builds tells me that I’m at the stage when I don’t give a crap – I just want to flick a switch and have the thing working when I want it.

Assuming all the stuff does fit into place it reminds me of the issues I had to deal with after putting aside the adjustment I made originally when I put on Windows 8.0 on the laptop and desktop way back when I used to have the Lenovo setup. For example, really basic shit like capturing from a webcam was bloody horrific – dealing with crappy capturing software (built in ‘modern’ capture lacked options such as capturing uncompressed, the Windows Movie Maker was just as bad) then going out to purchase Debut Video Capture Software which ended up dropping frames left, right and centre, never mind the falling out of sync when it came to audio/video which made post editing and compression a giant pain in the ass. Then there is access to software such as ffmpeg where the Windows version is always behind the curve because of Microsofts infinite wisdom of being incompatible with the rest of the known universe you end up very few people willing to go through hell and back just to get an executable compiled for Windows. So when you’re in my position and Microsoft can’t even get the basics right then everything is just undermined from that. On OS X however I fire up QuickTime Player X, create a new capture, adjust it to lossless video and audio, then voila I click record and I’m in business. It is those simple things that Microsoft keep screwing up and the reason why I stay with OS X for all its faults and ‘issues’.

Onto happier news I’ve had a look at the Drobo 5D that I’m interested in hooking up to my Thunderbolt port, then throw on 5 x 4TB drive and I’ll be able to sleep soundly at night knowing my back up of my music CD’s is all safe and sound. The 10.9.3 update also seems to be taking shape – hopefully the issues regarding SMB compatibility will be resolved but given how complex SMB is let alone SMB2 actually is (Microsoft too have had issues with SMB2/SMB compatibility between different versions of Windows on the client and the server so it isn’t all ‘sunshine and lolly pops’ even in an organisation that uses end to end Microsoft software) I’m not surprised there are issues – things weren’t easy in the early days for SAMBA either but eventually it matured and I’m sure Apple’s own ‘in house’ SMB/SMB2 implementation will reach maturity but it just needs more time. With that being said there are alternatives – install ‘Services for UNIX’ (SFU) and use Netatalk to run an AFP server so that OS X clients can access resources without too many problems or another one would be to use the build in NFS server as part of SFU which is also native for OS X and has a lot let issues.

Random thoughts

1) Interesting to see what a change at Microsoft has bought to their position in the eyes of so many Microsoft fans who were turned off by what was served up in the form of Windows 8. With the release of Windows 8.1, then update 1 along with the sneak peak into the next update it appears that Microsoft is learning something that Apple pointed out earlier on – don’t try to push one interface on multiple devices and expect people to be happy with the end result. Are universal applications the be-all and end-all? no but their movement back to creating a start menu and windowed ModernUI applications go along way to admit that maybe touch isn’t the be-all and end all in every situation – that maybe in some situations that the keyboard and mouse are the best option even if it isn’t ‘trendy’ or ‘hip’ or ‘cool’.

2) WWDC 2014 this year was put into a lottery and those selected were given the ability to purchase a ticket. For me I’m neither here no there (nor do I have enough money anyway) so I’ll be sitting at home in the comfort of my own bed watching the WWDC 2014 keynote via the internet at the low, low price of $0. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds – I do hope that they spend 10.10 (or what ever they call it) as a time to clean things up especially when it comes to SMB2 which has been troublesome for some many end users.

3) Work has been going great, just received the latest P&L statement through and our GP was good for the month and over all profit was healthy so hopefully if we stayed focused we’ll get a good result for the year this year.

Update on some things

1) Apologies about the lack of a ‘Technology in Review’ video for this week – nothing really much has happened and I’d like to hold off till 10.9.3 is released along with a few other things occurring at least in NZ before making a video. I could have rambled on about the new Office for iPad but I don’t think the video would have been all that interesting so I thought I might as well hold off.

2) Work this week Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday but I’m fearful that I’ll need to work longer on Sunday morning assuming there is no chance to get a manager to do an opening shift (man will I be completed buggered by the end of that shift!).

3) End of the month was good – I don’t think our GP will be as high as February but the waste wasn’t too bad over all so hopefully we’ll be all good for the month.

The incoherent ramblings of a gay misanthropist from Wellington

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