Category Archives: Apple

iPhone Problems

Brandon Paddock has been twittering about how the iPhone currently (indefinitely?) does not support 64-bit installations of Windows. I’m less inclined to believe this is a conspiracy, however. There’s a reason I’m still on the classic 32-bit version of Windows today. Then, this note just came in from Lockergnome subscriber (Iowan!) Mike Gatzke:

I have written to you from time to time in the past. In reading your latest postings, you asked that anyone buying an iPhone to let you know their experiences. I bought one yesterday. I didn’t wait in line for hours on end, but I did wait for an hour and a half at the AT&T store in Ankeny, Iowa (interesting experience).

My experience so far is that the phone is working as advertised. Don’t get me wrong, there are a couple of “situations” that required some investigation and resolution and there are some features that I think still need some ironing out. However, so far, a very satisfactory experience.

Situations arose that other iPhone customers might run into: I have my computer set up running DEP (Data Execution Prevention) to prevent Buffer Overruns. However, the new version of iTunes required for the iPhone wouldn’t run with DEP turned on. So, I went into my Control Panel, System Settings, Advanced, Performance, DEP and allowed iTunes, the iTunesHelper and Outlook as exceptions to DEP. Once I did this everything seemed to run smoothly. Also, the iPhone doesn’t want users to manually control their music library. The iPhone, currently, will only use the Sync option with selected playlists. It does not yet function like iPods where you can drag your music to the device and play albums individually.

Other than these two items, everything seems to be working flawlessly, quickly, and has been quite a positive experience.

20 Reasons I'm Not Getting an iPhone Today

  1. It rains a lot in Seattle – no phone is worth getting pruned over.
  2. I don’t need to give people another reason to beat me up.
  3. Despite the Apple brand, I’m confident iPhone 2.0 will be more my cup of tea.
  4. Going from 3G to Edge is like going from DSL to dial-up.
  5. Can’t replace the battery? Is that a feature?
  6. I’d rather find a sponsor for it (and the plan), instead.
  7. Buyer’s remorse will set in after bragging rights are no longer valid.
  8. Still unclear on Windows / Outlook integration.
  9. Do I really need to make Steve Jobs any richer than he already is?
  10. Do I really need to give AT&T any more of my money?

    Apple iPhone -  Most Ripped Gadget Ever?

  11. I’m already sick of the hype.
  12. My current mobile device (a Blackjack) is working just fine for me.
  13. My current iPod isn’t broken yet.
  14. I’ve tried touch-screen phones before and hated the experience.
  15. I’m afraid of dropping something worth more than my TV set.
  16. No support for the SlingBox yet.
  17. Unsure of the iPhone media recording experience at this point.
  18. There’s no iTunes content subscription service yet.
  19. Waiting to see how many Apple fanatics return theirs.
  20. Why should I? Seriously, WHY?!

The First Computer

When you ask me about my first computer, I require clarification. I’ve had many “first computers” in my life. They’re all considered classics at this point, and I’m searching for decent emulators (and accompanying legal ROMs) to relive those days.

My first family computer was a Commodore Vic20. As explained in the video below, my grandparents had it set up in the back room of their house. It was connected to a black and white television, so most of my color POKEs were seen in grayscale. That was my introduction to the color “cyan.” He had a Commodore cassette tape drive, but we never really used it.

My first school computer was an Apple ][e. Are you surprised? Of course, we only had one machine for the entire school – and the only game we cared about was Oregon Trail. At least, that’s all I can remember playing with the proctor in the hallway. The Altoona Public Library also had an Apple ][e.

My first home computer was a Commodore 64, which “Santa Claus” brought us one year. It wasn’t mine, but I was pretty much the only one who used it for something other than gaming. I did a bit more BASIC programming, and quickly realized that I really didn’t care for programming logic.

My first self-owned computer was crappy (even by the day’s standards). I picked up a $200 glorified dumb terminal from a “For Sale” ad on ISCABBS, if only so that I could access our University’s modem bank from the sanctity of my own dorm room over a 14.4 modem (even though the bank’s highest capacity was 9600).

My first “real” computer purchase was made after the release of Windows 3.11. I learned quickly that Packard Bell was cheap for a reason (though the 486 DX2/66 set me back a whole $2200). Still, I was pretty happy with it.

How to Convert Vinyl to MP3

I’ve been thinking about getting an Ion LP-Ripping Turntable with USB Output to digitize all the albums from my childhood. Then again, it may be just as easy to find someone local to my parents (in the Des Moines, Iowa area) to convert the LP records to high-quality MP3 for us.

Convert vinyl to disc with our innovative Ion USB turntable! Ion USB turntables transform your treasured vinyl LPs into convenient MP3s for use on your computer or player. Then burn your new files to disc and create old favorites on CDs. With a USB record player, it’s easy! Buy one of these LP turntables with USB ports today and give your classic records new life! USB turntables give old records a new spin! Simply connect your Ion USB turntable to your PC or Mac. The included software records and digitizes your favorite music. You can also connect your cassette deck or other audio source to this ingenious USB record player and save that music, too!

No matter what, I’ve gotta get it done – if only to save those classic tunes from being destroyed by time. Has anybody ever tried a mass conversion of classic media to any degree of success?

Safari Font Problems

Rich Menga had a Safari font problem in Windows:

I know you’re a busy guy, but if you or someone you know could find the answer as to why this is occurring, it’d be greatly appreciated. I have read on other blogs that people have been able to use this without any problems. I’m hoping you or someone else could find out why the blank-out’s happen.

I wasn’t sure, quite honestly. He wrote back today:

Safari issue fixed. If you have a lot of fonts installed, Safari won’t index all your fonts, and you’re left with no font rendering at all. Manually modify C:Documents and Settings [username] Local Settings Application Data Apple Computer Safari Fonts.plist.

Just edit out enough of the fonts that you never expect Web pages to call upon directly.

His discovery lead me to a solution to the font problem that *I* was having with Safari. Even though I already had a version of Lucida Grande (and Lucida Grande Bold) installed on my machine, Safari insisted on using its own versions. With Safari 3.0, I could simply remove the TTFs from the Safari.resources folder – but Safari 3.0.1 is intelligent enough to restore deleted files and folders automatically (and yes, I’m impressed with that feature – even though it didn’t help my situation).

My font conflict caused all Lucida Grande characters in Safari (window UI and Web pages) to appear like garbage. I looked at the .plist file, per your suggestion – but that didn’t fix anything for me. Even though my Fonts folder in the Windows shell showed but two instances of Lucida Grande (one being the Bold derivation), I had to open up a command shell, browse to the C: Windows Fonts folder, get a directory of all the “Lucida Grande” files, then delete the duplicates. Indeed, each file had been duped 3x over.

With just one Lucida Grande / Lucida Grande Bold installed (Apple’s version), Safari looked as it should have in the first place. I blame Windows font management for this shortcoming, not Apple. Like anybody would have known to open up CMD.EXE and delete files that the Windows folder didn’t display!?

Tweak Your ClearType Font Settings

There’s all this talk about Windows Safari fonts looking fuzzy. Duncan Riley:

Yes it’s quick, but it doesn’t support Aero in Vista. And then there is the font rendering. WTF? Chris Pirillo tells me on Flickr that it’s something to do with settings so I’ll have to play with it some more but the first impression Windows users are going to get is terrible: fuzzy, hard to read fonts.

The explanation given by Joel on Software:

Apple generally believes that the goal of the algorithm should be to preserve the design of the typeface as much as possible, even at the cost of a little bit of blurriness. Microsoft generally believes that the shape of each letter should be hammered into pixel boundaries to prevent blur and improve readability, even at the cost of not being true to the typeface.

I actually found the text in Safari to be far more to my liking than what I’ve grown accustomed to in Firefox / Maxthon. Maybe I belong on OS X, after all? Until then, I wanted everyone (Duncan!) to realize that you can easily modify Windows ClearType thickness – as no monitor renders text alike. Try either ClearTweak or Microsoft’s own online ClearType Tuner. Find the setting your eyes most appreciate!

Safari on Windows? Yawn.

Along with friends, I’ve been tuning into the “live” WWDC coverage. MacRumorsLive has been doing the best job out of all the fan sites, even though it’s not a rich experience (so to speak)…

Leopard shipping in October. Basic version, $129. Premium version, $129. Business version, $129, Enterprise version $129. Ultimate version, $129.

How could Apple do this?! I mean, how will users ever understand the differences between Leopard Ultimate and Leopard Basic!? Oh, the humanity – the HUMANITY! 😉 Oh, and Leopard’s new “Quick Look” feature is a total rip-off of what I told the Windows Shell team to do well over a year ago. How dare someone else implement it!

Sarcasm aside, it seems that Apple is opening up a new browser holy war with the release of Safari for Windows. Is it just me, or is this particular announcement about three years too late? It’s difficult enough to get a site to look fine in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera! I’m excited, but I’m also not looking forward to it (and I’m also not very likely to switch from Maxthon).

Downloading Vioxx Online

I seemed to run into font conflicts with Safari for Windows, as I already had a version of Lucida Grande installed on my system. It was “normal” after I removed Safari’s version of Lucida Grande (found in the ‘Safari.resources’ folder). I’ll have to demo ‘er for one of today’s videos. My initial impressions? It’s really only for iPhone widget developers.

Dual Monitor Display Increases Productivity

I’m tellin’ ya – if you haven’t gone dual, you’re not ready to rule.

Someone who goes by the handle “imafrayedknot” left a comment for my Dual Monitor vs Single Screen video:

Productivity is about more than just the brute number of pixels. Using multiple monitors allows me to efficiently organize my desktop resources by using each screen as a partition. I use this triple monitor display.

With 2 monitors you would have a black bezel right in the middle of your line of sight between the two monitors. Three monitors eliminates this problem. Furthermore I’ve found that my personal workflow is natively three pronged – I put my central focus task up in the middle 21.3″ screen and support it with resources on the two rotated wing displays. I run photoshop or dreamweaver in the middle, with firefox on the left and internet explorer on the right, or outlook on one side, a spreadsheet on the other and word in the middle. It just helps me synthesize information efficiently. I love it and would never consider going back…It would be like working with one eye closed or something.

Once singletons see any two screens (or more) in action on the same machine, they’re always jealous. It’s not the size of the monitor that matters, it’s what you… nevermind.

Make Your Intel Mac a Fast Mac with Less Fat?

This is pretty amazing, thanks to a new supporter (“JC”):

I saw your you and your wife use a mac. You mentioned in one of your videos and I also saw it in the video too. I am not sure if yours is one of the core duo or core2duo chips inside of it. If it is be sure to get xslimmer. It’s a great program. What it does it removes the old powerpc code that you don’t need from the universal binary programs. I have noticed my programs start up faster, and use less ram. Also I get back lost hard drive space. The only drawback is the program costs $11.95 but I think its worth it. Sorry to waste your time if you have heard about it before.

Wicked, but does it really work?

What's Missing in an Operating System?

Mooreyameen Mohamad, in response to Operating System Choices:

I don’t understand what is the big deal with operating systems. So Apple has Mac OS X and PCs have Windows Vista and a bunch of other stuff such as the much heralded Ubuntu… but at the end of the day it’s the applications (Google Apps?) that a computer user would / should be most concerned about, right? Internet browsing experience depends pretty much on the internet browser, which is largely independent of the OS and the bandwidth of the internet connection.

Changing from one OS to another surely is not as easy as changing from one internet browser to another. And seriously, how many people would even think about it, what with all the baggage of applications, hardware already ‘attached’ to a particular OS, so to speak? Ubuntu is supposedly great because it’s open source but seriously for the average user, Open Source just means ‘No technical support’. Granted, perhaps because of the diversity of the “community” that develops the open source OS, it might end up being a ‘stronger’ OS than say, Windows, but it just feels like I have to wait for a child to ‘grow up’…as it goes through the various trials and tribulation of trial and error of being coded by random geeks with free time on their hands.

What say you, Chris? Surely choosing an OS would depend on what applications you need to use for your purpose, how much ‘support’ you need?