I'm like a superhero with no powers or motivation, and she's my Lois Lane.
Apple Gaming Geeky General Hacking Opinion
Thanks for iPad 4.2, I want Rotation Lock back!

Dear Apple,

Thanks for 4.2 on my iPad, but I really want the switch on the side to lock the screen again.

For the vast majority of the time I use my iPad without any sound, and spend a good deal of time locking the rotation via the switch. I’d like that feature back. I find using the multitask switcher clunky and awkward.

I’m also reminded of the Camera+ application when they re-assigned a volume button as a shutter button for photos. Your company rejected the app from the store because, it uses the volume buttons in a “non-standard way, potentially resulting in user confusing,” Source: AppleInsider

That is exactly what you have done with this change. Without reading the release notes, and after using my iPad for 6 months, how exactly was I to know why the button changed? So, where is the consistency? Do as I say, not as I do comes to mind.

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Apple as a Cellular Company

Do you really want to know what makes Apple stand apart from other cellphone companies? Two words, Customer service.

Compared to my experiences with other phones, Apple’s iPhone support has been vastly superior. For example, I had a Nokia phone (I’ve had Motorola & Ericson phones too, but I only ever had to get the Nokia fixed), it needed repairs. My cellular company, Rogers, sent me to one of their so called authorized service dealers, after a long argument that the phone was indeed faulty. And an even longer time with the repair center on the phone to Nokia; they gave me a loaner phone. There was no offer to transfer my phone numbers so I grabbed the few I thought I needed, and transfered them to the new phone. Three weeks later, I get a call to come pickup my repaired phone. Total time spent probably 3 hours.

Apple, on the other hand, in both my and Staysea’s experience have been the model of customer service. I booked an appointment online. Showed up at the store. Showed them the dust under the screen. The nice lady, Carina went over to her drawer, pulled out a new iPhone gave me some papers to sign and off I went. 30 minutes, tops. The same level of service was provided when Staysea complained about some hairline cracks in her white iPhone case. A common problem that is recognized by Apple.

Thank you Apple for standing behind your products and making the decision to buy from you again that much more easier.

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Install Tiger in Target Disk Mode

So, my friend bought an old Firewire iBook, the very colorful ones, this one is blue. Anyhow, he also bought the latest OS X, Tiger, and it only comes on a DVD. But I was able to install it using the DVD drive on my iBook. Here is how I did it.

  1. Make sure you have the latest firmware installed, you’ll need 9.1 installed to update the firmware. (link)
  2. Boot the old iBook in Firewire mode, hold down ‘T’ and power on the iBook.
  3. Connect a firewire cable between the two machines.
  4. Start the installer on the machine with the DVD drive.
  5. Choose the firewire disk as your install destination.

That’s it. When the install is done, you should be able to reboot the old iBook and it should be running Tiger. Not too slowly either. Hope this helps some people out there who don’t have DVD drives on their older Macs.

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iTunes to have Podcast Support

So, Apple has noticed that podcasting is here to stay, and are planning to integrate support for RSS feeds with audio content in their next version of iTunes. Should be interesting, although, I must say that I will continue to use iPodderX. Just like I use a separate news reader for my RSS feeds. It’s nice that the support is in Safari, but I don’t really use it to read my news. iPodderX does a superb job of getting the audio I need, converting it and provides me a wonderful directory of content. Plus a much faster development cycle over apple.

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Apple Store Canada opens it’s first

So, it’s official, after getting up at 7 am and arriving at 8 am, I’m in the apple store a mere 2h 50m later. Lots of nice people in line, and quite the layout. I’ll post up some pictures of the line and such, when I get home, it’s a little crowded in here. I was actually around the 400th person to enter the store. Definitely worth the wait.

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3 Mondays ago, I ordered my brand new iBook. I have yet to receive it. How very, very frustrating. It has now been 12 business days, and it should have been 5-10 according to the store I ordered it through. I should have just ordered it through Apple, but since I did a trade in initially, then ended up selling it privately there was no way to change the order.

This has totally sucked all the fun out of getting the new iBook.

UPDATE: The store just called with the information from FedEx who apparently sent my iBook from Ancrage to Taiwan to Memphis and it just left Winnipeg. Suddenly Cast Away is becoming less and less believable.

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New Weekend Job?

So, it would appear that Apple is finally opening a store in Toronto, Yorkdale mall in fact. So I can go play with all the cool new apple stuff, instead of drooling at my computer looking at the website. Oh happy days. I wonder if they have an employee discount. Maybe a part-time job is in order here.

Apple Canada Jobs

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New iPod

I’ve had an iPod as for a long time. I bought one of the 5 Gig ones when they where first released, and it has been a faithful friend ever since. Now it’s been passed on to Staysea and I’ve gotten a new 20 Gig 4th generation iPod. This was possible thanks to the $125 discount audible.com was offering to new clients. I need to start off that I wasn’t impressed with the button layout on the iPods between my old one and my new one.

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Where’s my iTunes Music Store?

Europe got their iTunes Music store today. Germany, UK, and France can now download songs at 0.99€.

Today, I was able to download my first song, with McDonald’s free Big Mac tunes. I have to say that, it was awesome! I’ve wanted a copy of one particular song for a while now, but never got down to a music store and now I have it, at least on my Windows machine. Not compatible with my Mac or iPod.

Apple? You listening? I downloaded “Where is the Love?” by Black Eyed Peas. Where is the love, Apple? I want my online music service.

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My iBook is Sick

My poor iBook is sick. It’s hard drive died yesterday. It likes to ‘click’ when it tries to boot, then it won’t boot or it will boot and then it likes to ‘click’ again and lockup. Today I go to buy a new hard drive in hopes of breathing some life back into my good little friend.

Thankfully, I found the technical manual for my ibook. Just do a google search for ibk_dusb.pdf and you should be able to find one, so you can disassemble your Dual USB White iBook and replace your hard drive, or anything else that might need fixing.

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Blame Royalty Demands

So, why is it that the Canadian market, brethren to the American market doesn’t have iTunes Music Store? Maybe you should ask the Canadian Music Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA). They have decided to set the royalties for online music sales well above the rate set out for CDs, from 7.7¢ to 10¢ per song. This is much higher than other regions such as Europe who collect 8¢. This seems to be a much clearer reason for the launch of a European iTMS than a Canadian one. As it stands, it looks like the newly reborn Napster will be the first to join the Canadian market from another market. So the Record Industry and the CMRRA are at odds as to how much to charge, as a result it may still be a long while before we see services such as iTunes in Canada.

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Busy day for Mac

Lots of cool stuff to play with for Apple users today, iTunes 4.5, Palm Desktop 4.2.1, Quicktime 6.5.1 and an iPod update, that even supports my first generation iPod.

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I’ve been working on ripping a bunch of movies to take with me on my upcoming trip, so I have something to watch and I came across this nice application for encoding DVDs to smaller files that you can store on your laptop. Just pop in the DVD, choose audio language, and the end size you want the file to be, and it does the rest. The quality is quite good, I reduced a 2 hour movie to just 400 Megs (from 4 Gigs). Plus, this way I don’t have to worry about forgetting my movie somewhere thousands of kilometers from my home.

HandBrake: ReviewDownload

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Other Launchers for OS X

I talked about Quicksilver previously here and I stumbled across another article about various other alternative launchers (including Qucksilver) here: Launchers for Mac OS X

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Quicksilver – A must have Mac App

quicksilverQuicksilver was shown to me by Ray, it’s an OS X app that allows you to fast find anything and launch it. Be it songs, contacts, applications. A single hotkey brings up a search window. Very nicely implemented. Setup is easy, and requires a quick scan of your resource files and you are up and running. It’s easy enough that I can clean out most of my dock of the occasional apps I run. Go get it!

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iTunes Remote

x-itunesI love iTunes, but I hate having to switch to the app to change the song, or the volume. Enter X-iTunes (download). A custom key combination overlays a full remote for your iTunes. Release the combination and it fades away. Very nice. I’d love to see ratings added to it too. A great free download.

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No more timeouts in Safari

I know this is an older app, but I just recently rediscovered it, SafariNoTimeout. It removes the standard 60 second timeout in Safari and replaces it with 10 minutes (default) or any amount of time you set. I find it invaluable when rebuilding all my Blog entries.

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Goodbye Kung-Log, Hello Ecto

When I post to my blog, I’ve been using Kung-Log, an excellent program written by Adriaan Tijsseling. Today I learned that he’s released ecto. I actually posted this entry with it, and I must say I like the improvements. If you’re a Mac user and blog, I’d suggest you check it out.

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iPod Mini

I was really surprised when the iPod Mini was announced at the MacWorld Keynote in January. It was 4 Gig, small and $249!?!? The price was a little high, only $50 more and you can buy a 15 Gig iPod. Then I read this article, and things came into light. Take a look!

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Battery Woes

My iBook battery has decided that it no longer wants to hold a charge, well not so much hold, but fill all the way up.
The culprit seems to be the capacity listed here:
That capacity used to be in the 3200 range. As far as I can tell it’s a direct relation to the run time, charge time and overall performance of the battery. I’ve scoured over the net have been unable to find a reasonable explanation for this strange drop in my capacity. Apple claims that by unplugging and removing my battery then pressing the reset button, the issue can be resolved. Not true. They also claim that draining the battery completely down and then recharging it will also fix this little conundrum. WRONG AGAIN! This has been very frustrating.
Then I found this comment on MacIntouch, by Rob Wyatt, he has the same iBook as me and did everything that I did as well, and offered the solution of entering into the Open Firmware by holding down (Command + Option + F + O) and typing “reset-nvram”, “set-defaults” and then “reset-all”. The last command will reboot and, success!
Not great but a little better!

UPDATE: The battery needs to be in a very low battery state, in fact, I’d recommend draining it all the way down, leaving the machine in sleep until it doesn’t even have enough power to sleep. Then do the above procedure.

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Speed up your Panther 10.3.2 Boot

I can’t remember where I found this little tweak, but during boot up, there is a file missing from Panther’s path, typing this:
sudo cp /System/Library/Extensions/BootCache.kext/Contents/Resources/BootCacheControl /usr/sbin/
Will cut your boot time by ALOT. THis copies the BootCacheControl into the sbin directory so that it can be found during boot. What ends up happening is that the boot screen snaps from ‘Network Initialization’ to login in a second.

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MacWorld SF

The San Francisco MacWorld keynote address is today. Steve Jobs will be up on stage in his turtle neck wooing the crowd and Mac fans with his company’s latest offerings. You can watch the event here.

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Panther Review

Don’t know what Panther is? It’s the latest release of Apple’s OS X operating system.
All I have to say is that if you have a Mac and you where thinking of buying a faster one, just spend the money on the OS upgrade. It increased the speed on my 600 Mhz G3 considerably.
I won’t get into details, since they are all better sold on Apple’s site. But I guarantee that it is going to make your life easier and FASTER.

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I want my online music store
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iTunes for Windows Review

I’ve been using iTunes for over a year, since I bought my first Mac, and I was thrilled to have it available for my Windows machine too.
First thing, I imported my 9,993 tracks from my CD collection. Didn’t take too long. The end result, a very easy and fast database of all my music. I can even go through the daunting task of fixing some of the ID3 tags that are still wrong. Plus, when I’m done, I’ll turn on the consolidation feature and reorganize the entire directory structure so that they are all neat and tucked away in their own Artist/Album directory hierarchy.
Music still sounds great and the burning feature works great. Plus Smart playlists, I love that feature.
My only complaint really, is that the visualization performance is crap. I was looking forward to watching 60 fps on my Radeon 9600. Sadly, this was not the case. Instead I was treated to 10 fps. Why Apple? Why? And no OpenGL support? For shame!!! It’s in the Apple version. Even DirectX would have been nice. Or left it out entirely.
But this is still the, BEST at equalization, and organization. Now if only I could use the online music store. COMMON APPLE CANADA!!! GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER!!!

iTunes for Everyone

Apple released their music player for Windows users today. That means all those windows people can now buy music from Apple’s Music store.
IF YOU LIVE IN THE USA!!! No news for Canadian music fans. Still no online store that sells compatible Mac files.
Common Apple Canada, step up and finish the contracts. I want my music!

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Dell Copies Apple

So, Staysea ordered a new laptop. It’s very nice. But it has a lot of ‘new’ features that where part of my iBook over a year ago. Nice things like a swappable fitting on the power supply so you can use a long cord or plug the transformer in right at the wall, although the Apple power supply is half the size. They also added a button to their batteries to check the power level, hmmm, I’ve seen that somewhere before too!

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Panther (OS X 10.3)

I recently got a chance to get a good look at Apple’s upcoming operating system release Panther. As a rule whenever installing a new operating system in the past, (mostly Windows) the experience has left me wishing I had better hardware and as a result spending more money to use the features of a $200 software upgrade. But in this case, the same hardware gave me faster performance. Leave it to Apple to break with convention of effectively forcing hardware purchases hand in hand with OS upgrades. Good Job Apple! I now eagerly await the release of Panther so I can go buy my copy.

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OSX Scripts

So, Ray and I have finished the system stats scripts for OS X. We grabbed the original BSD scripts from Ag0ny. They just needed some shell changes and a couple of tweaks to get the information out that we wanted.

We now have graphs for; Load (Average Number of active processes in 1, 5 & 15 minutes), Memory Usage, Network traffic, Airport Signal Quality, Hard Drive usage and Battery Usage. Very cool. They should be available some time tomorrow on The SDF1 Developers Network

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