i don't
quite know


Macs, Movies, Games, Books, etc. The Rants of a Mad Man.

Archives Posts

Snow Leopard Box Art = Crapola

September 9th, 2009 by Raj


Call me crazy but I absolutely despise the artwork that’s on Apple’s latest Mac OS X release. I mean come on, seriously, did Apple fire all of their graphic designers as a part of brew-ha-ha around the Global Financial Crisis or did someone decide they could just phone-it-in one day whilst the overseeing lord El-Jobso was away sick leaving Tim Cook & Phil Schiller dropped the approval ball?! I have never been so appalled by Apple’s efforts in an area that has always set them apart!
It would appear I’m not the only one with a grudge to bear as the folks over at Gizmodo are even running a contest on who can design something less shitty!

As for Snow Leopard itself, it’s had its problems, but overall I’m quite happy with how things are chugging along. But still, it’s no excuse for that google image, stock-photo, clip-art, crapola of a picture that adorns the box. Pull up your socks Apple!

Filed under Mac having 4 Comments »

Archives Posts

A Hard Drive & A Time Machine

July 7th, 2009 by Raj

timemachineUnfortunately it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to do anything particularly nerdy let alone blog about it, thankfully for my adorning masses I’ve chosen to make my “back-in-the-saddle” return with a jump straight in to the deep end. That and quietly going for the record of how many cliche metaphors one can use in the same sentence.

You see just this week gone by I found myself in the unusual position of nerd boredom. I hadn’t done anything really “hands-dirty-nerdy” and my little girly hands were an itch with possibilities. The new Apple Macbook Pro’s had just been released for starters and it took all my will power to not just dash out and buy one for example but I was blessed (or smote) by the good lords of geek with the ghastly sound of a hard drive platter scraping from inside my Macbook Pro’s Aluminium enclosure. Again, scrounging every last fiber of restraint to not run out and buy a new laptop I decided to take the high road and upgrade the hard drive and keep my existing rig, both satisfying my need for nerd and keeping my costs at a 20th of the cost.

Normally, had I opted to purchase a new machine, I start from scratch, reinstalling everything, copying over Mail Libraries, Photos, etc manually and giving myself a fresh start, but as I was only giving the old girl a new ticker I thought I’d do a straight copy restoring my file hierarchy to its full glory via the use of my Time Machine backups. A trick of the Mac trade I’ve yet to make use of.

The hard drive install was as straight forward as can be, a few screws here a torque screwdriver there and Bob’s your Grandfather’s Nephew she was humming to the new tune of a 500GB 7200rpm drive. The next and what i’d also envisaged to be the more lengthy portion of the process of the restoration process then began.

Mac OS X install DVD whirring away in the drive, we arrived at the “Migration Assistant” portion of the install offering the option of “Restoring from a Time Machine backup”. Excellent, that’s exactly what I’d like to do thanks. A click or two later I had a screen asking me what user accounts and applications I’d like to restore, selecting them all and clicking Next I began the two hour wait for the copying process to complete. One movie length break later I returned to see that the progress bar and status text had indeed indicated that everything was all tikity-boo but I was unable to continue on to the next step. I thought I’d just let it whir away for a while, sometimes these progress bars are less than accurate (at a stretch) and I figured it’d all be over soon enough. Two episodes of Deadwood later and there was still no movement to which I threw it in and restarted the `puter myself. Everything booted up fine, even had my user account there for me to log in to but that was about the end of the good news. A Dock riddled with question marks and no mail to be found it looked like the only things that had actually been copied successfully was my Network System Preferences, connecting to my Wi-Fi as soon as it logged in. Balls.

By this time it was about 10pm and I couldn’t be ferked sitting there doing a manual copy so I thought, “You know what Time Machine/Migration Assistant Restore Process, I’m going to give you one more crack of the whip. Balls this up again and the engagement is off!!” So after reformatting and going through the OS X install process again to begin the restoration it was about midnight and I left it all to whizz away as I dreamt of ponies and unicorns battling to death in the Roman Colosseum; as you do.

Waking the next morn to find a beautiful dew adorning my bedroom windows there was a smell of success in the air. Perhaps it was the restoration had worked and I was about to be full of glee, yet again it could’ve been the new air freshener I’d purchased the day before permeating its aroma through out the house? Fortunately for my sanity and the now back on again wedding between myself and Apple technology it was the former and there before me stood the exact same desktop as a day before, same wallpaper, same icons, same file system, same launch items on login, had Time Machine fulfilled its end of the bargain to my wildest dreams?! It would appear so!

Everything appeared to be exactly where I’d left it prior to the transplant. Wrapped! No idea exactly how long it took to complete having let it go whilst asleep but we can safely say it was over two hours (120Gb of data to copy via USB2) and less than twelve (I slept in!) But really, who cares, IT’S ALIVE!!!

Now all of that was a few days ago… and while everything seemed perfect from the casual observers point of view, it would seem that deep down in the bowels of a file system that I roll with there have been a few “issues”, allow me to list them for you now…

  • Pretty much anything out of the normal “Mac” root folders gets missed. For instance my SVN repository in /svn hasn’t been backed up or restored.
  • Similarly all of the stupid OS X apache example files are back in /Library/WebServer/Documents and my /etc/httpd.conf file has been overwritten
  • Aperture wouldn’t launch, my photos were fine but I had to reinstall the application
  • I had to do OS X updates all over again from 10.5.2 (Which was on the discs that came with the Mac)
  • My Nortel/Apani VPN software had to be reinstalled and didn’t work at all to begin with

All in all, a very small price to pay, and not a lot of work to get things back to normal considering all of my preferences, my mail, calendars, contacts, images, movies, music, applications were back and working. So I guess the question is whether or not I’d use this method the next time or not. Well, yes I would, but if it was a new Mac I was about to obtain I’d most likely stick to my tried and true method of a fresh install & manual copy. Why? Well, I come from an old school and tend to “clutter” a machine over time, an issue your average ham sandwich [person] is unlikely to have.

So go forth, propagate your Mac’s hard drive Guy Pearce style and feel safe about doing so, the process actually works.

Filed under Mac, Tech having 1 Comment »

Archives Posts

Review: iLuv i189BLK & i552BLK iPod Audio Systems

April 13th, 2009 by Raj

iLuv iPod Docks - i189BLK & i552BLK

Another day, another review written for MacTalk… but this time you’re in for a treat, it’s not just one item to satisfy your Apple accessory addiction, no this time I’ve written a big 2-for-1!

Jump on over to hear my thoughts on two of iLuv’s new iPod Audio Systems, the larger i552BLK “Portable Audio System with Radio” and it’s smaller cousin the i189BLK “Stereo iPod Dock with 3D Sound”. It’ll be fun… I promise!

Product Link: i552BLK, i189BLK
Article Link: http://forums.mactalk.com.au/…

Filed under Mac, Reviews having No Comments »

Archives Posts

Review: The i316 Micro size Bluetooth Headset from iLuv

April 8th, 2009 by Raj

iLuv i316 Bluetooth Headset (Front)

In my latest review for those happy chaps at MacTalk I tackle the new iLuv i316 Micro size Bluetooth Headset, which you’ll find distributed by iWorld Australia. She’s a little beauty and I do say “little” emphatically as you’ll notice it’s small size in the photo above. So head on over and check it out, if not for the article do it for these cool photos that I’m quite proud of if I do say so myself. Enjoy!

Product Link: http://www.iworldaustralia.com.au/…
Article Link: http://forums.mactalk.com.au/…

Filed under Mac, Reviews, Tech having No Comments »

Archives Posts

Review: The Agent V4 HD webcam (over @ MacTalk)

February 27th, 2009 by Raj

The guys at MacTalk keep sending me crap to write about. Most recently it happens to be a USB webcam that you can plug in to your Mac or PC called the “Agent V4 HD“, something you probably surmised from the title of this post already.

So if webcams are your thing and you’re in the market for one then it’s probably worth you jumping over to the article and taking a look see. In fact, even if they’re not I think you should take a look anyways if only to say hello to my lovely assistant Sooty!

Product Link: http://www.liquiddigital.com.au
Article Link: http://forums.mactalk.com.au/20/67805-review-agent-v4-hd-webcam.html

Filed under Mac, Reviews, Tech having 2 Comments »

Archives Posts

I review the Aeropad Mini over at MacTalk

January 16th, 2009 by Raj

Macsense Aeropad Mini

If wireless networking for legacy Macs is your thing, and I’m almost positive it is, then you might be interested in checking out a review of the Aeropad Mini from Macsense that I’ve written for MacTalk Australia.

The Aeropad Mini is a nifty little device that plugs into your computer’s ethernet port enabling it to connect to any 802.11b/g network without any software needed to be installed. It’s a great solution for Mac’s in particular because 90% of the wifi USB devices out there don’t work on a Mac (or need a lot of screwing around).

If this kind of thing floats your boat check it out here.

Filed under Mac, Reviews having 3 Comments »

Archives Posts

Apple Expo Paris cancelled

December 18th, 2008 by Raj

After having attended two of these events myself over the last few years I’m sad to see it go. Apple Expo and the US based MacWorld’s are a mecca for the Apple elite of the world and if you ever had the chance on visiting them and seeing his “Steve-i-ness” deliver a keynote it was like reaching the pearly gates themselves.

That said MacWorld SF still hasn’t been cancelled but with the announcement that Apple will no longer be exhibiting at it after 2009 I can’t see it staying afloat too much longer.

It looks like the only way you might get to capture some of that Expo thrill again is by signing up as a developer and tagging along to the WWDC.

Source: Apple Expo Paris cancelled | Macworld

Filed under Mac having No Comments »

Archives Posts

Canadians screwed on iPhone stock at launch

July 12th, 2008 by Raj

No iPhone for you!

As if Canadians weren’t already the butt of the iPhone world, being America’s North American co-inhabiter they’ve been denied the iPhone longer than anyone would’ve thought. Today however that was all meant to change, I say “meant” because as any of the hundreds to thousands that lined up this morning were sorely disappointed in a severe shortage of stock.

Out of the four stores that I walked between checking out lines and chatting with their patrons I didn’t find a single store with more than 30 phones and then each store seemed to have a 50/50 split of 8GB & 16GB another move I find strange.

So who’s to blame? Well you could say Apple, they are the ones who’re distributing the device across the world today but the majority, whether they’re right or wrong, will say Rogers. Let’s for the moment forget the fact that Roger’s contract length is 3 years, a period that will surely go well beyond this generation of iPhones life-cycle, and again forget that they have a huge monopoly in being the only GSM provider in the country; what really puts the nail in the coffin for these guys is the past week’s worth of controversy in regards to their exorbitant pricing and that “supposedly” Apple decided they’d teach them a lesson by not supplying much stock.

Now there’s no “official” word that this was the case but all fingers point to Rogers. That said I can understand where they’re coming from, this things a cash cow for them. The 3 year contract, high rate plans, it’s money for jam, not to mention they have no competition why would you make your plans cheap? I’ve worked for a telecommunications company for 7 years and trust me the one thing that drives good pricing is competition and Rogers has none.

So blame who you will, it’s unfortunately not going to change the fact that there’s little to no iPhones out there today and you’ll most likely be waiting another week to get a “Jesus Phone” in your hands. Sorry Canada.

Filed under Canadian Tales, Mac, Rant, Tech having 2 Comments »

Archives Posts

My thoughts on the 3G iPhone

June 12th, 2008 by Raj

iPhone 3G

It’s OK people, put down the pitchforks and dowse the torches I’ve finally gotten around to documenting my reactions to good-old-Steve’s announcement on Monday for the 3G iPhone (Apple’s worst kept secret ever). This is how it’s going to work; I’m going to run through the bigger features of the phone and basically pick at stupid tiny mistakes just like every other blogger out there in teh internets using my trademarked sarcasm tone. You know you love it ;)

3G over EDGE
In Apple’s haste to launch the iPhone last year they pretty much forgot the rest of the world and built the phone using around it’s US-centric core market (as usual, but fair enough) meaning that if you were to use the thing in any other country you had data speeds of a mule. Granted the phone wasn’t actually supposed to be available outside the US (for the most part) but besides 3G being better and faster it actually opens up the Asia-Pacific market as well as more of Europe. Personally they should’ve had this in the first place if you ask me.

The App Store
For those of you who’ve unlocked your iPhone already you’ve probably got a great app on it called “Installer”. Well Apple have basically ripped it off and chucked in some DRM and a costing structure to provide a more “approved” style of application deployment. It will be interesting to see just how many people still unlock their phones now that this has come about (other than to use it on other networks) and just what will happen to the booming developer market utilising Installer. I’m sad to say it but I think it will disappear pretty quickly, but who knows hey?

Exchange (ActiveSync) Support
This is a biggie and RIM (the Blackberry dudes) will be shitting themselves now. It was bad enough that the iPhone last year encroached on their market share without having Exchange integration where as now they’re looking at a massive dip should everything actually work the way it’s supposed to. If I had shares in the poor Canadian lads I’d be jumping ship rather quickly, it’s not like they didn’t see it coming, we all knew Apple licensed ActiveSync from Microsoft some time ago which explains their soon to be released touch screen based Blackberry Thunder. Good luck RIM, you’ll need it!

“Exchange for the little people” as I like to call it. Forget that crap .Mac that Apple has been blatantly screwing people over with for years, this might actually be worth the US$99/year! MobileMe essentially syncs address book, calendar and email between your phone, web and computer. Better yet it’s fully supported over Mac’s & PC’s which shoves another hot poker in RIM’s ass. On top of that they’re bumping up their only DAV storage (iDisk) to 20GB and then you have the other stuff in there still like web hosting still, but no one really cares. Oh and what’s with “MobileMe”, the marketing guys take a few months off when you came up with that one?

Now this is what I really wanted. I have no use for GPS really but I’m a sucker for the technology, it just makes me all warm & tingly! Whilst Apple’s implementation of GPS in the new iPhone is basically locating you on Google Maps and geotagging photos wait until 3rd party guys really get things going. True there’s yet another social network that already have an app out (loopt) but give me car navigation, star maps and all that junk. I can’t wait!!

Black & White
Apple has a long history with white products, the iPod was one of the main reasons that Apple are still around today and they owe the colour a lot of praise for that; however, in recent times the colour white has been used more as a marker to separate consumer based products from professional. With that in mind I think it’s a pretty smart move for Apple to offer the choice. You’re student will generally like to stand out with the latest fashion of white while your law firm exec is most likely going to take the more perceivably accepted black approach. Also they’re only offering the white on the more expensive version, again another trademark (and clever) Apple move.

What’s missing
1. A 2nd video camera, for those six people out there that actually enjoy using video chat on your 3G phone you can’t do it. Personally I could care less but I’m sure you’ll hear lots of bitching about it.
2. There needs to be more memory! Yes it’s bumped up to 16GB, yes you get better battery life, and yes the thing’s supposedly cheaper but 16GB? Come on!! Minimum, MINIMUM 32GB please!
3. MMS or “Picture Messaging”. So the American’s might not use it much, the rest of the world does. I guess we’ll just have to resort to 3rd party apps again that have crippled functionality when it comes to that department for the time being.

Well I think that just about covers it all. I know there’s things like battery life I didn’t talk about much but I’m fine with the current life and it’s boring, so there. You’d have to be from another planet to not understand that I’m getting one the day they’re available on July 11th I mean come on people, it’s the iPhone 3G!!!

Filed under Mac, Tech having 7 Comments »

Archives Posts

How to get TVShows (the app) working again

May 14th, 2008 by Raj

For the unfamiliar TVShows is a fantastic (and more importantly free) application that does a wonderful job of monitoring a series of RSS feeds and downloading the latest torrent for your beloved TV shows.

Up until recently TVShows would run in the background checking tvRSS.net for new torrents at a predetermined interval, downloading a new episode’s torrent if there was one to collect. Unfortunately that was until about a month or two ago when all of a sudden it seemed that nothing was being retrieved anymore even though it was sitting there plain as day on tvRSS.net.

Not knowing what was going on, and not having a clue when it comes to Ruby programming I jumped into the SourceForge forum and found that I wasn’t the only one having the problem. It seems (although it’s not confirmed) that tvRSS.net has decided to block the application from connecting to the site and scanning it for new episode information. Fortunately, and full credit goes to the forum here, those wiley geeks have found a way around this and will have you downloading torrents again faster than you can say “sesquipedalian“.

Here’s how you do it…

  1. Open up the main guts of TVShows in your favourite text editor. The file you want is:
    /Users/[your username]/Library/Application\ Support/TVShows/TVShowsScript/TVShows.rb”
  2. At line 172 you’ll see: (this is all on 1 line, just in case your browser has wrapped it)
    rawEpisodes = SimpleRSS.parse(open(FEED % @exactName,”User-Agent”=>”TVShows/#{@preferences[‘PREFS_SCRIPTVERSION’]}”))
    Change this to:
    rawEpisodes = SimpleRSS.parse(open(FEED % @exactName,”User-Agent”=>”Apple-PubSub/65.1″))
  3. Save the file and you’re done. You might have to reboot to restart the daemon but I didn’t.

To give you a quick explanation of what’s actually being changed (as far as I can tell) is that we’re simply telling the tvRSS.net webserver that we’re actually using a Safari RSS reader instead of another application. Simple.

Filed under Mac, Tech having 2 Comments »

« Previous Entries Next Entries »