Admiring the beauty of UFB and OS X

Just looking through ‘System Information’ specifically the Frameworks and it is amazing how modular OS X is – it seems that although Apple has put a lot of effort to talk about the razzle-dazzle of the consumer facing side of OS X but there is a lot of work that has been done under the hood to improve the system – the gradual piece by piece cleaning things up and fine tuning. Although Windows 10 has made some giant strides I still feel that by their failure to go back and start with a clean slate or at least a strong foundation such as adopting FreeBSD (then building in features from OpenBSD, NetBSD and DragonFlyBSD) that we as the end user will always experience the rough edges of Microsoft trying to turn the ship around whilst still trying to keep everyone happy – especially those cheapskates with 30 year old software and demanding that he industry pivot on every whine, whinge and complaint they make with each new release of an operating system when their ‘important legacy software’ doesn’t work flawlessly.

Things are looking well with the iPhone 6 Plus and it appears the lead time is improving so hopefully by the time the end of November to Mid December the lead time will drop to 7-10 days and then it’ll eventually go ‘ships in 24 hours’ in the new year. It truly is astounding even with all the doom and gloom along with the dipsticks who wear skinny jeans bending their phones that it is the best selling iPhone yet. It is amazing the number of people who are flocking back to the iPhone after deal with Samsung only for the sake of a larger screen. The latest financials that have come out from Apple was not only positive sales numbers for the iPhone but also the 20% growth in shipment of Mac’s – the halo effect is impacting their other divisions.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with UFB – I received the letter stating that they’re working on installing UFB in my area but there isn’t exactly a time table given but from what I understand they try to re-use the existing ducting rather than tearing up the footpath and road where they avoid doing so. According to their now updated website they’re aiming to get UFB up to 100Mbps installed by January 2015 which means that I’m probably better off sticking with Spark for that fibre goodness or otherwise I’ll have to deal with Vodafone, it’s constantly broken HFC network not to mention the 2-3 hour waiting times on hold when ringing up to get something fixed up or billing resolved. They’ve started going up the street marking off where all the utilities are laid – power, water, gas and so forth which will hopefully mean that once UFB becomes available I’ll keep my existing Huawei hg659b 802.11ac wireless router since it is already UFB compatible and sold by spark as a business grade router which does a pretty good job already. By that time I would have cancelled by Sky subscription and gone flat rate naked UFB which will still end up saving me $40 per month – money I’d sooner spent on WordPress and Vimeo Premium. If things go well with Lightbox (Spark’s TV on demand service) then that might also be a good deal to sign up for as well. Oh well, off to sleep I go and read for another long night at work.

1 day down, another 4 days to go

Well, another day has come and gone but on the good side I’ve been told I’ve only got one more week travelling out to Porirua for work then I’m back to my old store and to be honest I prefer to be in an environment where things are predictable. I enjoy the crew where I work and the customers are great – not having to deal with customers who complain because they like the sound of their own voice and then come in only to treat those behind the counter like the person serving them is beneath them in some sort of hierarchy they have sitting in the back of their mind. Side note, before saying anything I suggest that a good number of people out there need to hear the sound of their own voice and then ask whether that voice really represents who you are as a person.

I’m going to purchase a 3 moth rego rather than a 12 month because it gives me enough breathing room for the next three months to finish off my ‘pay down the debt’ drive then in January when that expires then I’ll just purchase one for 12 months because by that time I’ll have the spare cash left over to make it possible.

Just having a look through on Apple’s online store and pricing things up – the iMac 5K with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, upgrade the CPU to an i7 4.0Ghz along with a MD Radeon R9 M295X then I priced up a MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and 3.0Ghz i7 CPU.  As for my old computer, I’ll probably sell the laptop but I might just give my old desktop to my sister since she’ll appreciate it a lot more than if I just went out and sold it to some person on the net then get stung with a massive trademe fee.

I’ve been putting my 802.11ac router through its paces along with my HTC One M8 which is 802.11ac compatible and although there isn’t a massive sped improvement I do find that the signal is a lot stronger given that my network is sitting on the 5Ghz frequency. The big question now is what I do once Vodafone has completed its upgrades by the end of November and whether I make the move to Vodafone – hopefully by then Apple will have more iPhone 6 plus in stock by that time.

Just been watching a series called Helix and Strain – both of them science fiction apocalyptic series – great way to just chill out after a long day ant work, vegetate in front of the laptop watching some episodes direct from the US. Goes back to my original thinking whether it is even worth having Sky – maybe I’m better off having an Apple TV and using that to watch television from overseas – hopefully Netflix will finally get its act together and come to NZ after creating a laundry list of excuses as to why they can’t come to NZ and the issue surrounding data caps and bandwidth being very much a non-issue.

Almost there…

Almost there to my goal of having all the debt paid off by the end of November then freedom! well, more freedom than I have these days. Here is the current screenshot of my computer:

NewMacScreenshot

I’m wanting to put a ‘Radmir Floral Ornament’ inspired background on my desktop but alas all the sources so far want to charge me $49 for 5 downloads – I guess if I do get really desperate and want to make my computer pretty I can always go ahead and do that then re-use the pattern downloads for a print out for a feature wall or tiles or something for my house in the future. There is something I do like that Apple provides but I find it not dark enough – I prefer to have a dark background and when it comes to reading through a website I prefer a grey/off white because it is less of a strain on the eyes especially when you consider the new transparency ‘thing’ that Apple has going on with it’s latest operating system.

Just reading through Arstechnica about the new iMac 5K and the early reports in so far that the speed and responsiveness is very good so that puts to rest my concern that the GPU didn’t have enough grunt to run the screen. Now, the big game is holding off till I pay off my debt, purchase the iPhone (hopefully in a month there will be more supply) along with the eventual upgrade of my MacBook Pro then moving to Vodafone for that 200Mbps flat rate internet connection once I’ve closed off my sky account (which will save me $60 per month).

On a good side my parents will arrive home after going to the UK for 6 weeks so I’ll head over to have dinner with them on Monday (my day off, unfortunately it is a split weekend). As much as I dislike having go to go back to work after a nice two days off I also realise that another day at work is another day to paying off my debt.

Side note though, I’m looking at re-uploading my HTC One video to Vimeo and in the long run I’m looking at deleting off my Gmail account. Oh, funny thing, checked my power account and my power bill for the month that has just gone is $89 – not too bad lol.

iMac and iPad refresh

Well the keynote has come and gone – I was expecting a ‘Retina display’ on the iMac for the masses but found that it is very much a niche product that I’m sure enthusiasts will find useful but for me when I put my rational purchasing decision hat on found that I’m actually better off getting a high end standard 27inch iMac, then doing a custom build with a 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM, up the GPU to a 780M then swap the wireless keyboard to a full wired one and go for the touchpad rather than having a mouse. When it comes to the laptop – I’ll go for the MacBook Air, 512GB SSD, 8GB memory, up the CPU and thus have something with minimal moving parts that’ll last years to come.

Yosemite and updates to the iWorks suite was announced and released today – checking through the comments section it appears that Apple is releasing it in ‘waves’ rather than releasing it to ‘one and all’ only to result in all hell breaking loose. I’m hoping that by the time I wake up today at 7pm (before heading off to work) it will be ready for download for me along with the updates for iWorks. I’ll upload a video review of Yosemite in around a week or two time when I’ve had more experience with it – looking forward to the integration with iPhone 6 Plus once I finally get one in two months.

Another day, four days to go

I’ve just realised, looking at the date for today here in NZ, by the time I get back tonight on Thursday I’ll have to stay up until 9am (got work at 10pm on Friday) which means I’ll be able to stay up for the keynote (yay!) maybe some investment in popcorn might be in order. I’m looking forward to two things coming out – MacBook Air refresh with maybe a Retina display and an iMac 27Inch with a Retina display – both of those would be great to hear and given that it’ll be three months before I jump onboard and purchase it I will have plenty of time to put some money aside for it but I’m going to get an iPhone 6 Plus, move to Vodafone and get an Airport Extreme base station before I make that big move. I’m all excited that by the end of November I’ll be debt free and able to move on with my life in a better direction – more money left over each week knowing I’m not servicing a massive burden of debt and feeling a whole lot better for it.

My boss wanted to know whether I was interested in moving to Porirua because he wants someone there who has strong analytical skills when it comes to understanding sales and stock data but to be completely honest I certain do not want to be travelling out from Avalon to Porirua each day – it is an hour there and hour back – something I don’t want to make a habit of especially given that I most likely won’t receive a pay rise or anything to compensate me for the extra travel. In the end I’m happy over at Johnsonville so I’ll stay there for the long term – or until the dream job comes along and I can cash up that 2-3 months worth of holidays I’ve been saving up lol.

Scooter is going well and I’ll be looking at taking it in for a service at the end of November but before then I’ll have to get my rego sorted out so if I have some spare cash I’ll probably get the yearly one but if things are tight next pay day I’d sooner buy some time (say three months) then once my debt is paid off I’ll buy up a yearly rego for my scooter. Funny enough though my back tire has a puncher leak but because I put some of that foamy stuff in the tyre itself the leak was plugged up and things are going well – I’ll wait till November and when they do the servicing I’ll get them to go for gold and replace the back tyre at the same time so I can hit two birds with one stone. A nice new back tyre and I’ll tell the guys at the shop to do a top to bottom servicing where I’ll drop it off on Monday and then pick it up on Tuesday. I’ve been using the Castrol Activ 2T which has been pretty good so far and the engine seems to be purring a long nicely. I used to go into Wellington to grab the oil from the store I bought the scooter from but the Castrol is good enough for what I need and it is a good brand as well with a good reputation.

Just having a look through Vimeo – US$59.95 for a subscription and I’ll probably upgrade my WordPress subscription to ‘Wordpress Premium’ which works out to be US$79.95 per year. Both of those will be great upgrades but I’ll keep with my iCloud service – the keychain, bookmark and other synchronisation facilities I’ve become so dependent upon I really can’t give them up. I need those niceties. I’ve just checked out the cost of the iCloud storage options – the US$4.99 per month looks tempting. Maybe when I get the flat rate internet I’ll find many creative ways of filling up that iCloud Drive – back up my music collection? given that Vodafone is upgrading their HFC network to 200Mps it leaves a lot of possibilities to take advantage of.

Going well, going well indeedy

Everything is going great so far with the latest Public Beta of OS X Yosemite having been released before the weekend (Public Beta 6) which was a 55MB download which seemed to touch all the frameworks place the kernel and a few extensions – the final touches on OS X Yosemite before the rumoured announcement on 16 October for its public final availability. During this time I was hoping to be able to avoid having to use Flash but in the end I found that for all the benefits of HTML5 video it wasn’t able to elegantly handle a dodgy connection – especially given that a server is located on the other side of the world and I’m down here in NZ where it isn’t possible to get a consistent streaming connection where as with Flash 15.0.0.189 (which is Yosemite compatible) I’ve been able to watch my favourite television shows without stuttering etc.

Debt paying is going great with the goal of getting it all paid off by the end of November – once all sorted out I’ll be looking at moving back to ASB Bank (including my Kiwisaver) then purchase an iPhone 6 Plus once it has been made available – I’ll pass along my HTC One M8 to my brother as either a Christmas present or a late one to replace his Samsung Galaxy S3. In the long run I’m looking at replacing my iMac and MacBook Pro with hopefully a Retina MacBook Pro and Retina iMac along with moving over to Vodafone once their 200mbps cable network comes online. Then some time down the track I’ll look at purchasing a 150cc scooter to replace my 50cc one which I’ll use in conjunction with getting a learners motorcycle licence which will provide me with greater mobility in the long term especially when it comes to travelling long distances at a reasonable speed (anything above 60kmph and I’d be a happy chap).

Looking forward to moving back to my iPhone but I’ve already moved back to iCloud then once I move back to an iPhone plus I’m going to delete my Gmail account then jump to using Vimeo for my video hosting of which I’ll do the occasional video but it won’t be on a weekly basis because to dedicate an amount of time to making videos takes quite a chunk out of the day especially when one considers getting the material ready, practicing, re-doing the video when there are mistakes etc. which all take time. Vimeo does some good video hosting and it avoids the trolls plus the videos keep their original quality a lot better than when I upload to YouTube. Hopefully once I get flat rate internet with unlimited downloads then it’ll become a greater possibility of being able to do move videos and other bandwidth heavy stuff for my blog in the future.

Anyway, got a closing shift tomorrow then back to the usual store for three days then back on Sunday to do an end of week at another store – feeling a bit like a ball in a pin ball machine being bounced around between different stores. Oh well, each pay packet gets me closer to paying off my debt and being debt free by the time Christmas rolls around – about to splurge on some presents without any guilt associated with spending up without accumulating any debt.