Weary of Trying to Defend Apple

truck slide that showed during apple eventFirst there was streaming of the Apple event, which will forever go down in history as the Truck Slide event. I defended them for the disaster saying that just too many people were trying to watch, but then later found out it was a mistake they made in their coding of the website that caused the problems. I had trouble defending the Chinese translation overlay, that was just a n00b mistake that was an utter embarrassment made more shocking by how long it lasted – I think it was a half hour, wasn’t it?

Then there was the disaster of trying to order phones. Sure 6M people succeeded at pre-ordering but one wonders how many tried and failed to get in or lost patience? Again I apologized for Apple – it was just a sign of how hard their servers were getting hammered. Odd that for 2 straight hours their site never resolved at my house though. Odd that AT&T’s site was actually functioning the same time. But still, I defended them.

Now photos and videos of iPhone 6 Pluses bending under pressure are surfacing. It even made the national news. I laughed it off and talked of how much I’m looking forward to how Saturday Night Live will spoof this: “Look! I put it in a vice and bent it with a sledge hammer and it actually bends! This is a terrible design!” I pointed out that when I put my glasses in my pocket and sit down, they bend and break too. What do they expect from Apple? To defy the laws of materials science? Sheesh, it even made the national news when there are huge crises in the world to talk about.

But then my apologies and explanations ran out. They pushed out iOS 8.0.1…and iPhone 6/6 Pluses lost cellular connectivity and their TouchIDs failed. Seriously? Your flagship phones. The ones you just sold 10 million of over the weekend. You didn’t TEST this update on them? Really? Somehow you found the time to test on iPhone 5s and below, but you forgot about the new ones? This botched update was so bad they had to pull the update back. I don’t think they’ve ever had to do that as far back as I can remember.

This is an inexcusable failure on Apple’s part and I’m done apologizing for them.

And for a more forgiving point of view (thanks to Louis Trapani for sending):

iPhone 6 & iOS 8 First Impressions

imore poll showing 49.3% iPhone 6, 50.7% iPhone 6 PlusI’m sure by now each of you either has a new iPhone or are waiting for a new iPhone or are never getting the new iPhone and in any case are tired of the conversation around which one to buy, so I’m not going to add to it! iMore did a poll of their readers asking which phone people were intending to buy and after 17,315 votes…the answer was split almost EXACTLY 50/50. I thought that was simply fascinating! That means no one can tell you which you’re going to like so we don’t need to keep endlessly droning on about which one is better!
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How to Upgrade a Drobo The Hardest Way Possible

drobo5n in someones handsYou’ve heard me complain about the Drobo for a long time, and it’s really not the fault of the Drobo. Steve and I bought a Drobo FS many years ago but I didn’t think we really needed it, I felt we succumbed to the convincing advertising of our podcasting friends. I didn’t think we had a problem for it to solve. After a few years though, Steve and I have both started to use it. I offload things that don’t need to be local, like my old uncompressed audio files of the show (which I probably never will need but you never know), and disk images of OS installers. I also have started scanning in bills and such and I don’t want those on my laptop so the Drobo is a nice spot for it. Steve does a lot of video using Final Cut Pro X and he was never able to save his project files because they’re HUGE. He started saving them when he realized he had gobs of space on the Drobo.

So over time, a soft spot in my heart has grown for the Drobo. Over the past couple of years, we’ve had 3 hard drive failures, and it’s rather pleasing to get an email notification and to see the red light on one drive, and then simply pull it out and replace with a new drive and await the notification from Drobo that now all is well. I’d rather not have drives fail but it wasn’t a catastrophic situation.
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How to Turn a Nokia 635 Smartphone into a Nokia 635 Touch

NC_2014_09_14I’ve really been enjoying how much it’s made people nuts that I a) bought a Windows phone and b) that I actually kind of like it. Part of my reason for enjoying it has been the constant help by Joel Rushworth, who I met through Chris Ashley of the SMR Podcast. Joel isn’t pushy at all, he’s just there with the gentle suggestion, the helpful hint, the “hey have you tried this yet?”

A week or so ago he asked me if I’d moved my SIM card from my iPhone to my Nokia 635 so I could give it a real shakedown, using it as my primary device. I told him I hadn’t because the iPhone uses a nano SIM and the Nokia takes a micro SIM card. He told me that he was buying some of the adapter carrier thingys and he’d be glad to send me one when he got his. Good as his word, the adapter showed up a few days later. During one of the endless podcasts I was on last week (I shouldn’t complain, I loved every minute of it) I used a paperclip o pop out the nano SIM on my iPhone. The adapter/carrier thingy from Joel was a little piece of plastic the shape of a micro SIM, but with a pocket in it the shape and size of a nano SIM. Let’s call it a an adapter for brevity.
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AppleTV Problem FIXED

another screenshot saying 7 hrs and 10 min till I can watch my movieLast week I whined yet again about my AppleTV woes, where every time we try to start playing a rented movie, it tells me it will be hours till the movie is ready to play. Several people over the last few months have suggested that I call Apple but I poopoohed that idea. I did write to customer support on iTunes but while they happily kept refunding me my rentals, they didn’t know a darn thing about why this kept happening.

This week Lynda wrote in and really pushed me to give tech support a call. I did my usual arguments about how it’s not under AppleCare so why would they help me, but then I realized I had nothing to lose by trying. Heck, I’d tried everything else, right?
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Our Sadomasochistic Relationship with Apple

graph showing crossover of the two plans at 18 monthsI don’t want any normal people to read or listen to this article. If you hear about a new device from Apple and you think, “hey, maybe I’ll check that out some time after all the nut cases buy it”, then I’m not talking to you. If you find yourself wondering six months after a new device is released whether the bugs have been wrung out, not you either. But if you hyperventilate while watching Apple Keynotes, or if you stand in line on day one of a release, or if you sit home pacing in your front room looking for the UPS/FedX person to bring your precious home, I’m talking to you. If you HAVE to have the new Apple device on day one or you’ll DIE, then this is for you.

I read and listen to people scoff at us and wonder why we get so nuts about this stuff. I was talking to Switcher Mark on Twitter the morning after the release of pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and he made what I thought was a very insightful observation. He said, “I’m doubting we needed to endure the torture this morning. We do it because we want to.” He’s right. I’m no clinician of psychology but the concept of a sadomasochistic relationship with Apple sort of rings true to me.

Why did I stand in line for 13 hours to buy an iPhone 4 in 2010? Surely I didn’t want to stand in line that long and as rational people later said, “I NEVER would have done that” all I could reply was, “Me neither!” I didn’t KNOW it was going to be 13 hours when I lined up at 6am for an 8am door opening. I thought it would be a few hours, maybe 3 tops to get the new hotness. Once you’ve invested 4 hours though, you know it can’t possibly be much longer, right? Right? Little did we know that we would start by huddling under blankets in the early morning cold and end up sunburned and cold again as the night fell and we still didn’t have our phones. We didn’t know.
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Deeper Lets You Control OSX Hidden Settings

deeper_logoHave you ever been annoyed by a default setting in OSX? Let’s say for example you take a screenshot; the default for a long time (maybe it still is) was to save the shot in TIFF format which is HUGE. You wish it would save it in a more manageable format like jpg or png. If you query around how to change this, invariably someone will say, “well all you do is launch the terminal and type in default write and a bunch of gobbledy gook after that.

For years I’ve kept a list of all the various gobbledy gook that changes all the defaults on OSX to the way I like it. After a nuke and pave, or a new machine, I run through them all to make sure OSX is tailored to my every whim. One of my favorites is that the brainiacs in Cupertino thought it would be awesome to have copy email address to not just copy the address but to also copy the html around it. I change that one with some boolean gobbledy gook. We all KNEW that set theory they forced down our throats in grammar school would come in handy one day, right?
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$23 Roker Sound Cube Portable Bluetooth Speaker by Donald Burr

Roker Sound cube looks exactly like a jam box, with textured sreen edges made of parallelogramsRoker®Sound Cube Portable Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Speaker review
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H3JTT30/?tag=otakunocast-20

The problem to be solved

  • I like to listen to podcasts while doing chores, relaxing in the poul, etc.
  • iPhone 5 has a fairly loud speaker, but it’s not quite loud enough to cut through the noise when doing certain chores (washing dishes, laundry, yard work, etc.)
  • Needed an external wireless speaker, because I tend to need to remain mobile while doing chores, so can’t be tied down by a wire.
  • In the case of the pool, I have a waterproof case for it, but you can’t hear the speaker through the case, meaning you have to wear earbuds. I know they have waterproof earbuds but I’d just rather use a speaker.
  • There are a plethora of Bluetooth speakers on the market. Prices have come down a lot, and decent ones can be had for around $100. Unfortunately that’s a bit over my price range at the moment.
  • While browsing Amazon I found these Roker speakers at $22.99, and since they were Amazon (i.e. no-hassles return policy) I figured I’d roll the dice.

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AppleTV Continues to Fail…Sort Of

photo of my TV showing 5 hours and 3 minutes till I can play my movieI’ve complained about my AppleTV for a long time and I thought it would be good to do an update. If you haven’t been playing along with our home game, it might be fun to do a review.

Steve and I bought the original AppleTV ages ago, and I pretty much hated that thing. It didn’t do anything I wanted and even with the hacks available still we hated it. I hated it so much that I tweeted out that for $50 I’d send it to anyone I wanted. Jonathan Cost jumped on the deal and I shipped it off to him.

When the AppleTV 2 came out, we gave it another try and it wasn’t at all bad. In fact, it was pretty cool to be able to rent movies and such with the device. Life was good. In fact so good that we bought a second AppleTV 2, and eventually bought an AppleTV 3. When Airplay came out, it became even more fun. Disappointed that Steve’s Macbook Air was just a couple months too old to have Airplay, but AirParrot works sort of ok, unless he wants audio with his Airplayed content of course.
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How to Turn Off Auto-Play Videos in Facebook

If you’re as sick of auto-play videos in Facebook as I am, you might appreciate a little tutorial I created (guess what tool I used?) to show you how to shut the darn things off. It’s not too hard to find in the web-version of Facebook but oddly the fix is only available in Chrome, not Safari. Once you fix it using Chrome, it shuts them off in Safari. On iOS it’s hidden in a completely different place, maybe because Facebook uses Webkit as does Safari so it’s the same problem. In any case, here’s a link to my tutorial. You can thank me later!


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