Tuesday, September 21, 2010

idon't hate snow leopard as much

I'm not sure if I've just gotten used to the spinning rainbow, or if I've lowered my expectations, but Snow Leopard seems to be running better now. I know it's been A WHILE since I've posted anything out here, but I checked back in and realized how negative I was.

My latest mac upgrade is a 27" iMac that I use for an external monitor. One apple display cable goes from video out on my MacBook Pro to the video in/out on the 27" iMac, allowing the iMac to double as a huge external monitor. And the added benefit is that I can use it as a standalone computer, and the kids can use it when I'm on the road. Nice.

I still get the spinning rainbow, and I still have issues with software not working exactly right. But overall it's not so bad. I'm only having to do a hard reset about once a week now. I imagine that some of those recommended updates probably are correcting some of these quirks.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

ihate snow leopard 7

Now I've decided that there must be a conflict between iTunes and Finder. That's the only two programs that were running today when I twice had to do a hard reset. I know it's asking a lot to put together a burn folder at the same time I am inserting a CD. I should slow down and only do one thing at a time. And be happy with what I get.

Apple has put out a piece of junk.

I was really becoming a believer with Leopard.

It's really worse than that, too, because the seeds of doubt are already full on saplings. The reason I say that is because I see a pattern emerging. I also have an iPhone 3G. Not 3GS. 3G. When I first got that thing it was beautiful. It was fast and responsive. I got better internet speed. But ever since the 3Gs came out, the iPhone 3G has gotten worse and worse and worse. I have discussed this with several 3G users. My first assumption when electronics break down is that I've done something to mess them up. But every 3G owner in my informal survey has used the word "cranky" for their phone since the 3Gs came out. The user interface freezes, then jumps around to catch up. Google maps takes forever to load, as do other web pages. It doesn't slide smoothly anymore except on rare exception--now it skips to the next page in 4 or 5 hops, or it just skips the transition altogether and appears after a delay. All user input screens take forever before they accept any keyboard input (search, "instant" message, etc.). I would LOVE to make a commercial for AT&T/iPhone about how you can be on the phone at the same time as you order a pizza as you check your calendar. Unfortunately no one would buy their product/service if I did because no one is willing to sit through a 10 minute commercial.

Anyway, I thought it was me. But it's not. Everyone else I've talked to that had an iPhone 3G both before and after the 3GS came around has described the same experience. And why did this happen? Aha. When the 3GS came out Apple made a new Operating System (3.0) for it to exploit its improved hardware.

The iPhone got snow leoparded.

Is this what we are to expect from Apple in the future? If so I'm bailing and going back to PC. If I have to scrap my existence out of the dirt I may as well save a bundle doing it.

ihate snow leopard 6

I like my mac and all, but should I really have to turn the thing off to get a cd out?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ihate snow leopard 5

Hey. Apple...

FIX IT!!!!!!

We're all TIRED of the spinning rainbow!

Friday, November 6, 2009

microsoft writes lousy software

I started to say Microsoft writes lousy software for the mac, after spending all day in Word for Mac. But really, Microsoft writes lousy software. They get lucky sometimes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ihate snow leopard 4

I can't tell you how tired I am of that damn spinning rainbow.

Friday, October 23, 2009

headset cleaning

If you have these expensive apple iPhone headphones...the ones that came with the iPhone...
and if you wash and dry them in something like this...

they still work!!!

Disclaimer: I do NOT recommend doing this. But if you happen to find them hanging around in the drier, cross your fingers and give them a try.

Monday, October 19, 2009

ihate snow leopard 3

The other thing that's bad about Snow Leopard is the lack of good multithreading. What I mean is that if one application "hangs" it affects others. For example, I connect to a remote desktop using the Citrix ICA client for Mac OSX. If that application has a problem, I frequently can't switch to my VMWare fusion image until the rainbow wheel is finished spinning a minute or two later. Entourage also has "hanging" issues that spill over.

I don't have a problem so much with an application hanging. Apple surely can't be responsible for crappy code from other companies--Microsoft may not write good software for the Mac. Neither may Citrix. Neither may the one-man shop with the coolest app ever.


Apple is absolutely responsible for creating an operating system that allows one application's issues to hang the others. And if the reason for this is, "Apple upgraded the operating system and all its pre-installed software to a new 64 bit architecture and made all the existing applications run in some compatibility layer--once those applications are upgraded they will no longer hang themselves or anyone else..." then I say a pox upon you, Apple. You shot all these programs in the foot that were working JUST FINE before I "upgraded".

But maybe that's not the reason. Maybe my computer is sick with some virus or is crippled by something dumb I did without knowing it. But then, wouldn't that make it a PC?

Friday, October 16, 2009

ihate snow leopard 2

Do you remember this?
mac sprint equationThose days are over. Since the "upgrade" to Snow Leopard my Sprint card either (a) does not work at all, or (b) takes up to five minutes to initialize (WWAN menu only has one entry on it that says Initializing...).

The good news is that if I hold the power button down for about 10 seconds, the whole computer powers off. Then I can power it back on again. And after I log in, the Sprint Card will start working PDQ (less than a minute). Of course the flip side of that is that I lose all my unsaved changes and risk corrupting my loaded vmware images. But at least I can get out to the internet and check my email!
I hate Snow Leopard.

ihate snow leopard

I hate Snow Leopard. It's cranky. It's cross. It's sluggish. I get that damn spinning rainbow wheel again and again and again. I never had any of these problems with Leopard. And I have hard reset the blasted computer at least once a day since the upgrade.

I don't know if Snow Leopard just isn't ready for prime time, or if Apple wasn't successful in getting developer adoption - meaning getting everyone who has written software for mac to upgrade or patch their software for the new technology.

Anyway, I hate Snow Leopard. I hate the unpredictability and instability of it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

double-dipping again

I had a weak internet connection (Sprint Aircard in a concrete building). As a result, Microsoft Entourage got confused again and doubled all of my emails and calendar appointments. Nice.

How many times can I get dipped before I get out of the water?

Friday, September 4, 2009

iPhone conference call problem revisited

Just a quick update on this topic for anyone who may stumble on this page with the same problem.

ALL AT&T cell phones are supposed to be able to initiate 5-way conference calls. Even though AT&T and other providers commonly refer to this feature as "3-way calling" (a throw back to the 1980's when the feature was first introduced for home phones), all AT&T plans support multi-party calling with up to 5 lines. If your iPhone is not able to do this, and if your battery begins to run down too quickly, it's the SIM card. Go to the AT&T store and get a new one.

If they try to charge you for it, prove to them it's defective by having them try a new one in your phone, or by taking your SIM card and putting it into another phone. Feel free to direct them to my previous post about this, or to print it off and take it with you. It's here: http://macshine.blogspot.com/2009/08/conference-call-problem.html

Now that I got a new SIM card I am happily hosting 4-way conference calls again, and only recharging my phone at night (instead of 3-4 times a day).

snow leopard's footprint

One of the coolest things about Snow Leopard is that it's lighter on its feet than Leopard. This is quite unusual. It's unusual for an UPGRADE that performs better, has an enhanced User Interface, and has more features to be HALF the size on disk. According to Apple I think it's 15 GB for Leopard and 7 for Snow Leopard. The pickup is apparently because they've re-engineered the OS and it's components to take full advantage of Cocoa and the other OS X standard API's.

I put it to the test last night by upgrading to Snow Leopard. I made sure I was backed up, and then ran WhatSize (a cool little utility you can get pretty cheap here). Here are the results (before then after):

Before installing Snow Leopard: 186 GB used, 46 GB free

After installing Snow Leopard: 178 GB used, 53 GB free

So, all I did was put the Snow Leopard install disk in, double click the icon to start the upgrade, supply my admin password, and then sit back and wait about 50 minutes while it removed Leopard and added Snow Leopard - all automatically. I logged in and voilĂ . It's a new world. With more room.

The other thing I noticed is the Developer tools are smaller, too. Apparently they get the same lift. For example, the iphone 3.0 SDK for Leopard is 2,000 MB, while the same package for Snow Leopard is 450 MB. Nice.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

iPhone conference call problem

I was having problems with my iPhone's conference call feature. I could call one person, call a 2nd person, merge those calls, call a 3rd person, and...not merge the 3rd call into the first 2. I used to be able to do this. But it quit one day. This is kind of a problem since I host a weekly conference call with 3 other people.

My business partner's iPhone 3G had no problem doing this, so he has had to host the calls for a few weeks.


Especially since I knew that everyone is going to blame everyone else for the problem, and someone was probably going to even question whether the iPhone 3G supports a 4 way conference call. Sure enough. All of the above.

When I was at the Apple store a few weeks ago buying my son a Mac Mini, the salesperson suggested that I do a restore. I did that Sunday night. When it didn't resolve the problem I scheduled an appointment at the apple store genius bar.

My appointment at the genius bar was for Monday at 5:40 pm. At 6:30 pm, the genius, who had clearly been on her feet all day and was exhausted, called my number. I told her the problem. She straightaway said that she had seen this before, and that every time it was resolved by the customer calling AT&T who flipped a switch or something.

We talked about it for a bit because I wasn't convinced. I wasn't upset or anything, I just wanted to talk it through. She called for a test phone. Someone presented a clean iPhone 3G from the back. She pulled my SIM card and installed it in the clean phone. Sure enough the problem followed the SIM. I was convinced. It was an AT&T problem. Great. Now I had to call AT&T.

After 35 minutes on the phone with AT&T, talking to 3 people, and telling the story 3 times, the technician finally had an aha moment and realized that it must be the SIM that needs to be replaced. Ya think? So he added a note to my record and told me to go to an AT&T store, where they would swap out my SIM card for free. They did and now it's working!

I don't expect the receptionist or customer service rep at AT&T to be able to solve my technical problems. And I do understand that they can't send everyone with an issue straight to a technician (there's plenty of I.D.10.T problems out there). But I do expect the "technician" to have access to more internal resources than I have on Google. After "researching" it for about 10 minutes he came back to me and said that he couldn't find anything to suggest that the iPhone plan I was on supported more than 3 lines on a conference call. He came to this conclusion because the name of the feature on the plan was 3-way calling. OMG. If I were at my computer I could have sent him the link to the AT&T web page that clearly showed that the current 3G plans all support 5 line conference calling, but that AT&T has discontinued their formerly offered plans that allowed up to 6. But fortunately I was not at my computer. I knew better. For my mental health I was in my car driving in rush hour traffic. With nothing better to do than wait on hold.

I also expect Apple and AT&T to work together, since they are partnering to provide the iPhone product offering--the monthly plan and the pricing and the bundle is practically a joint venture. Apple proved to me that it wasn't a problem with the phone. They were willing to give me a brand new one, and almost did because I'm also having some (possibly related) issue with my battery draining too quickly. And Apple rescheduled me a genius bar appointment for tonight to give me a new phone in case my issues are not resolved. As for AT&T, I was told, "Oh sure, Apple blames it on us." Those aren't the exact words, but it is a very good translation from what TWO different people I talked to at AT&T said.

Finally, I would like to recommend to AT&T and all the companies out there with customer service centers that you DO NOT play commercials with a perky girl trying to sell me more of your stuff while I'm waiting on hold for excessive amounts of time. Every time that thing loops I want to strangle her. Instead, try to play something soothing. It could really help people calm down and not count the seconds of their life they've lost while your people try to work the system you've subjected them to. And I'm not talking about elevator music here. Good music. With a really long loop so I don't hear the same thing over and over.