86 posts • joined 7 Jun 2011
Why never any employees
Ok admittedly this tour was after hours, but why in all of the "we're such a cool employer, look at our fun shit" pictures do you never see any employees utilising this "fun shit"
By the way I'm perfectly prepared to be corrected should somebody provide a picture of some Oompa Loompas diving down a slide or something.
My mum is the antithesis of this
A year ago I went back to England and visited my mum. She was complaining that she couldn't get WIFI for her iPad in her conservatory. A quick check showed that she'd need a WIFI extender of some description and I said that I'd sort one out before I went back home. Things conspired against us in this and I was unable to carry out my promise.
One year later I arrived back at my mums place to find her happily using her iPad in the conservatory.
I asked who installed the WIFI extender, to which she answered "I did"
Looking at her quizzically I asked how. Given her reaction at this point I'd obviously got her back up and she replied "Do you think I'm thick? I read the manuals you cheeky bugger. It's not bloody rocket science, is it?".
Que big hug and "I love you, Mum"
Be careful what you ask for.
I've recently had the pleasure of spending a good few hours in a professional recording, mixing, and mastering studio at the invitation of a forum member (not this forum) who got wind that I was screwing around with music as a hobby these days.
I learnt a hell of a lot while I was there, but that's by the by. The thing relevant to this article is this:-
Sitting on axis with top notch studio monitors I was played a vocal piece and it literally and I mean literally like the singer was there, this was way more convincing than any HIFI setup I've heard and I've heard some topping 50k. The problem was that after 30 mins or so with various musical pieces it became really tiring to listen to, simply because you could hear everything in all detail.
I mentioned this to the guy (a professional producer) and asked him what he used at home. He answered "you're right and I don't use these, you can't use them to enjoy music or a film, they're just too revealing, but they're what we need to do the job". He then mentioned that he uses far cheaper gear at home because it's more enjoyable and more forgiving.
With regards to the article I'm wondering if people really want hyper accurate speakers - I'm sure they think they do, but when the reality dawns that they're simply not that nice to listen to after a half an hour or so then they may regret their purchase.
Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.
Coding is a flexitime job
One day you might pull 12 hours and the next perhaps 16 - that seems pretty flexible to me.
It's not just gaming where this is rife
It's slowly creeping into the content creation apps as well, and these are apps where often you'll stump up 20 or so quid before you even get to the IAPs
Freemium apps I don't really have a problem with as I see a lot of these as a demo version, and if you see the use you can buy the whole thing through an IAP. However there are now some that are coming on the market where unlocking the app is on a subscription basis meaning you have to cough up every year for continued use. Much like the hated office 365 and adobe's creative cloud system.
I've not come across anything other than games which use truly consumable purchases, but the cynical imagination in me expects some jackbooted developers to limit the use of a particular function to say 10 times before you have to buy a "bag of gold" to gain access to that function 10 more times.
Bad days for software users IMO
Me: "What was the last thing you were doing with the computer before the problem occurred?"
Me: "Well, if you were doing nothing with the computer how do you know there's a problem?"
I think this is very much a pre-emotive strike by Apple. I live in one of the affected countries and work closely with a number of AASPs and Resellers, and so far I've heard of no failures of the type described by Apple. Normal dead chargers yes, but nothing about overheating and going up in flames.
On the good news front I have heard from a reliable source that Apple is pre shipping replacement chargers to all AASPs so exchanges can take place on the spot and not hinder the customer.
Selling apple kit is a loss leader, almost
The margins that the authorised Apple resellers have are very small, so small it's effectively a loss leader when business costs are taken into account. Most of these guys who have a successful Apple business make their money on pre-configuration, support, and selling the accessories and peripherals.
The only people who make money purely out of selling Apple gear are Apple themselves.
I've been the industry for a couple of decades now so trust me.
Re: That's what my boss used to shout
At least the update was offered, which is sadly not the case with many android handset manufacturers.
However, whether you should take the update offer is another story entirely.
Uh, swiftkey - I've tried using it, but it seems that it can't handle multiple languages properly. I've just typed this in swiftkey and while my keyboard is set to English it insists upon correcting in German. Likewise when writing in German with the Swiss German keyboard activated it often provides corrections in English.
These developers should bloody well get the idea that not all of us are language locked.
Re: Downloaded and installed
"One slightly annoying thing on this install / upgrade to 10.10 was that my MBair sounded like a jet engine taking off for the first 8 minutes of the installation. Other than that it went very smoothly."
Nothing to worry about - basically due to the speed of writing to your SSD the processor was able to run at full tilt doing various tasks such as decompressing stuff, managing the installation, and maybe doing a bit of compiling as well. Hence the fan was needed to do a bit of cooling work.
I generally experience this with most large installations on Mac laptops that last more than two or three minutes.
Re: Home NAS?
I agree with you in principle, but I've never been a fan of true self contained NAS devices. Like many of you guys here I've got old and broken computers kicking around the place, and I tend to repurpose those as home servers for private cloud.
True, doing that can up the amount of leccy that you use, but currently I run an old laptop with a busted screen as a home server with external drives for backup, and it doesn't seem to suck much more juice than a modern NAS system. Not to mention it can be far more more flexible as well - it even includes it's own UPS system, otherwise known as a battery.
Re: SMS EMERGENCY UPDATE
I just spat beer onto my iPad upon reading that
Thank you very much, Don. I couldn't give a toss about the iPad, but I will be expecting recompense for the wasted beer.
Re: Can anything be on my Christmas list?
Apple, for some reason, seem to be getting away with it. I can't remember a micro USB adapter being included with any of my recent devices.
That said, I do live in Switzerland which is outside the EU, but which adopts certain EU practices - if it's to their advantage. So that may be the reason.
However, I'm sure Apple will sell me one at a jackbooted price should I require one.
I can see where MS are going with this
The consumer tablet space is saturated. MS was way too late to the party to make any impact in that space, so they've done the obvious thing and gone for the business space. I'll admit if you're a serious business user looking to use a tablet as your primary compute device then it looks good, but...
...How many serious business users would really consider a tablet as a good solution. Ok you can get full MS office on it, but the thing weighs in close to ultrabook weights and the pricing is getting well into mid range to premium laptops the higher the spec you choose.
I think most people, myself included, think that tablets in business are a partner to a main productivity system - not the productivity system itself. I really don't see this as a laptop killer for those who actually have business needs, I see it as a very competent sidekick, but the pricing possibly puts it outside of a convincingly realistic sidekick compute device.
I'm sure it will be popular amongst upper managers and bosses, but that's a small market segment.
It's a tough one, on the one hand it certainly appears to be a very useable device in business, and I know people who swear by the surface 2. On the other hand I think the market segment is way too small for MS to really have a success with this tablet.
They've already done that. It just wasn't branded that way.
Go pro audio
I fell into HIFI about 30 years ago when HIFI was still relatively grounded in the real world. However even then there was snake oil creeping in. Today it's just bullshit at the mid and upper end of the market, filled with what is essentially quackery and snake oil
Fast forward 30 years and I now have all the money in my bank account (thanks, IT) to buy a stupidly expensive system, but you know what, I wouldn't walk through the doors of a HIFI shop if you held a gun to my head, well I would, but only to have a laugh. These days I go straight to a pro audio outfit. 1 grands worth of pro audio kit will kick a 20 grand "HIFI system" into the dirt - no contest. Sure the pro audio kit lacks the "stylish design" of the HIFI gear, but I couldn't give a shit about that.
As for headphones, I wouldn't touch beats with the proverbial barge pole. My weapons of choice are the senny HD25-II for portable use and the AKG Q701 for home use plus mixing and mastering. Funnily enough the Q701 is actually a celebrity endorsed headphone, but it's just a K702 with a different badge and it has a fantastically detailed and spacious presentation while retaining a fabulously good flat frequency response.
Basically if the headphones aren't from Germany or Austria (Sennheiser, Beyer Dynamic, AKG) then I'm not interested, apart from a couple of notable Japanese exceptions - Denon and Audio Technica.
iOS 7 is actually pretty cool IMO
iOS 7 is actually pretty cool, I think. I've no problems running it on any of my iToys, even my ageing 4S handles it with aplomb. I do like the minimalist look of it, and it feels like it's there to get the job done rather than try to represent the physical world (I can never spell that skeuwy word)
Mind you, I would have preferred something like LCARS - now that's minimalist, even if it does look somewhat dated now.
Back in the eighties...
Back in the eighties the degree that I was studying COBOL was a good part of it.
Never used it after I was finished with the degree, but the one lasting thing it did do was to teach me how to spell "environment" correctly. Without COBOL I'd still be misspelling that word.
If there's anything that iOS needs...
If there's anything that iOS needs it's a proper file management environment, desperately.
Text edit is effectively redundant as everybody I know uses notes, or Daedalus ,for basic text and note taking. Also given that pages is free for new devices it kind of validates it's redundancy. Don't get me wrong I love TextEdit on the mac - it's a quick and dirty word processor, but I don't see how it would fit in the iOS world
Preview, oh god, yet another PDF viewer. Seriously I've lost track of how many PDF files I've got duplicated between apps.
Seriously iOS needs a Finder equivalent. To be fair iOS is workable without, but by god I don't just want workable, I want flexibility. Goodreader is good in that it gives me access to my servers and can sort of function as a file management system, but I really want something native that doesn't require the duplication of files in order to open them with a different app.
Re: will it have downloadable maps?
I have my doubts as to whether it'll support that, but I've found "citymaps2go" to be an alternative on iOS. Pay a couple of quid for the app and then download the maps you need. I'm not sure it offers turn by turn, but as I can actually read a map it's not that important for me.
It's not the the map app was crap
It's not that the map app was, in itself, crap, it was the data being fed to it that was seriously lacking in some departments. Although it could be said that the map app is still overly simplistic.
To be honest I never had a problem with it. Probably because I don't blindly trust whatever navigation system I'm using, and that I only really use it to locate places in urban areas - although I've got to say that google maps is still more accurate.
Then again I'm old "Skool" I guess at my age. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was navigating London with a well thumbed copy of the A to Z and was thus used to finding things that were not quite as they were when my copy of the A to Z was first published.
Map apps in general are a great assistance but nobody in their right mind should treat any of them as gospel. Unfortunately this is what some people do, and when this is added to a lack of common sense disaster ensues.
Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?
You're kidding right. My firm shoves around 50 White MacBook models into recycling every month. If you want to use it a 2007 model will still run Lion, or Linux with bootcamp ;-)
A laptop's useful lifetime is around 3 years, 4 years tops. A 2007 MacBook is now over 6 years old. I really fail to understand what you're complaining about.
Linux is a fractured mess
Ok, I use Linux every day, but the whole ecosystem is a fractured mess. It will never gain traction outside of the server room due to the fact that everybody important involved with desktop Linux will eventually throw their toys out their pram and fork it.
This is bad for any business as quite frankly there are no believable roadmaps for any of the desktop environment providers. Gnome screwed up with v3, ubuntu screwed up with Ubiquity etc. Nobody knows what's coming next and whether it's going to screw up their current perfectly running system.
Basically anybody running desktop Linux is a beta tester, actually an alpha tester if the truth be known.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy using Linux and I do experiment with the various flavours and desktop environments, but it is experimentation. If a client wants to put in a Linux server then no problem, but if they want to do a Linux desktop rollout then I'm "hang on, you really don't know what your asking for". Sure it can be done, but it's not going to be that smooth.
Well, this old fart has gone in the opposite direction. Basically at the start of last year I conceded defeat at trying to find what I wanted on CD, and started downloading from iTunes. The reason is that record shops here in Switzerland basically have the top 30 (and remember this is Switzerland so a good portion of the top 30 is made up of Hans-Ueli doing his latest covers, or DJ Bobo - the less said about him the better) plus a smattering of well known bands back catalogues
Trying to find anything alternative was a wild goose chase, yeah sure there are alternative record stores but their mostly filled with gangsta c-rap. iTunes was effectively a god send in terms of being able to obtain new music.
As for the quality of the sound, well I can't complain. 256 AAC VBR is transparent to my ears. Basically I can't hear the difference between that and the original CD, and I've put this to the test with some very esoteric headphone kit. One thing to note is that iTunes music downloads haven't been DRM'd for a long time now so you can do whatever you want with the file, although they do come with metadata that identifies the purchaser, but that's easy to strip.
Filtering through the crap
Filtering through the crap is by far the biggest challenge facing anybody using any App Store. There are plenty of great apps that just fall to the bottom because they cost a little bit. People will take free but crap apps in favour of good but cost a couple of quid apps.
As an example I've been looking for a suitable calculator for my iPad. Sure there are plenty of free calculators out there that do the job, but they were all basically simulating a traditional calculator. Up until recently the best I could find was the TI-nSpire app which was more of a CAS app than a calculator, meaning it can be heavy going. Then just after the new year I noticed something in the iTunes app store as a new addition called Tydlig which has now replaced all calculators on all of my iOS devices. However it costs around 3 quid which means it'll probably and undeservedly fall out of sight because people are too tight arsed to pay for a bit of quality and innovation.
Check it out, just google Tydlig - it's probably the coolest calculator for iOS out there.
By the way I'm in no way associated with this app, although I did have an email conversation with the author regarding a very obscure and minor bug that I found.
Oh, FFS, now Apple can't trust anybody to be anything other than a fumbling moron. Mind you, given my professional dealings with Apple that does just about sum up their attitude to anybody not directly employed by them, or anybody at all for that matter.
This might be my next phone
Ok, as the title says this might be my next phone should it come to fruition.
The reason I'm still using a 4S is that the 5 and 5s offer no real improvement in terms of screen real estate. Sure it's bigger, but it's not that much bigger and it's bigger in the wrong way, at least for my purposes.
At the moment I'm packing a 4S in conjunction with an iPad mini. I would really like to consolidate these devices into one and if Apple is going to offer a phablet then I'm in. I already look like a prick carrying two Apple devices so I can't imagine an Apple phablet will make me look more of a prick, who cares if it does anyway.
That said, the biggest problem could be that a phablet is a poor phone because it's not as easily pocketable, and a poor tablet as it lacks the screen size to get anything really useful done. I dunno, I'll consider my prickdom as and when such a device exists
Cool, if ever I need to off somebody I now know exactly how to do it without getting caught. Basically tap the local hoodies for a few wraps of this and that, get the guy plastered with spiked drinks, and then empty my recycling bin on his bed.
Who'd have thought it'd be so simple, and that the powers that be would give away their clandestine assassination secrets so easily
*tongue is firmly in cheek*
Re: Given that only the unwashed would try sudo rm -rf /* ...
Unfortunately the truth is that the vast majority of mac computers have only one account, and that is the account the user created upon first turning the machine on. This is always an admin account and therefore always part of the sudoers list.
I actually think that I'm the only mac user that has a managed account for day to day computing and an admin account for well, you know, admin thingies.
I think the problem is the working culture
To be honest I think the problem lies with the working culture in China. The poor guy probably worked till he literally dropped even though he would have been showing symptoms simply because that's the culture there. If you can walk you can work.
I actually believe Apple, in that they are going further than pretty much any other company with manufacturing interests in china in trying to improve the safety and working conditions of the workers, but I can imagine even Apple are probably hitting their collective heads against a brick wall when it comes to the ingrained culture of the Chinese.
I also suspect that Apple are going further in this mostly as a result of the negative press they receive whenever one of these unfortunate incidences happens.
That's not a false widow.
The pic is not of a false widow. False widows have a bulbous rear end. I'm no entomologist, or whatever they call spider worriers, but the pic looks very much like it's a bog standard house spider.
It's not really a surprise
As I sit here I have a pile of dead OCZ drives which were actually replacements for other dead OCZ drives
If this bankruptcy goes my way then I can just throw them in the bin, which is where they should be in the first place, and write off the loss. My time is better spent doing other more productive things than spending it requesting endless RMAs for OCZ drives.
I'm sorry for the people involved and all that, but OCZ has been nothing but a headache for me with 40%, or thereabouts, failure rate. Quite frankly I'm glad to see the back of them.
Don't blame Cumberbatch
First off an admission - I haven't seen the film and nor am I likely to. Quite frankly from what I can understand there's a significant lack of lasers, phase cannons, Uzi 9mms, warp drives, quantum influx inhibitors, TARDISes etc, for my liking.
However, if the film sucks then it's as a result of the script writers, producers and director screwing up. An actor can only work with what they're given, and if you give them a turd a good actor like Cumberbatch can probably work with it and polish it handsomely, but it's still a turd, and it still stinks.
This sounds like a mess
As the title says, this sounds like a bit of a mess and a bit of a bodge job. IMO any storage device aimed at the laptop market that needs proprietary drivers to get it to work is something that in all honesty needs to be avoided.
This article is vague in terms of how the drive actually presents itself to the system - I'm not interested in user land. Does it present itself as two separate drives, or is it simply not visible until WD's proprietary drivers are installed? If it's the former then it should be useable in Linux and Mac OS environments, and theoretically it would be possible to roll your own fusion drive with it on a mac if that's the case. If on the other hand the drive is simply a dead duck without the specific drivers then it's a pretty bad investment - who knows if the next windows service pack will break it.
Nice idea but it seems somewhat screwed up at the moment.
"As we are paying billions to have GCHQ collecting data about us, could they not simply..."
...provide users that are hit by this with a backup of their data that they've already snaffled through nefarious means.
Re: yeah right.
That's very nearly what happened to Apple in the mid nineties - hell they even needed a 150 million dollar bailout from Microsoft.
Too confusing - really?
"The GNOME developers think the typical trio of buttons is just too confusing."
Er, really? On an operating system where most of its users are quite happy bashing away in the terminal the gnome developers think we're going to get confused by having 3 buttons on window, which we've had pretty much since WIMP environments first took off. You have got to be kidding me.
With the amount of dumbing down going on across the board by all parties involved in the major OSs my bloody goldfish will soon be able to sign up for a Facebook account, but I won't be able to do a damned thing that's in any way useful and productive.
This has screwed up a lot of people
I'm going to ignore the anti apple comments here as they don't bring anything to the discussion
However, a number of my clients have been totally and utterly buggered by this as they work in remote locations and often have no or very intermittent internet connection at best for weeks at a time. I'm currently advising my clients NOT to upgrade to Mavericks as a result of this issue, and for those that have, but are remote or do not want to use iCloud, I'm suggesting that they use their time machine backup to restore their computer to the last 10.8 state it was in and then bring the changed files, via time machine, over manually.
I've been reading that developers were informed two years ago of the fact that the sync services, which iTunes uses for contacts and calendars would be deprecated. However I'm not a developer, and neither are my clients so how the fuck would they, and I, know that such a critical part of using an iToy would be totally and utterly broken by the Mavericks update.
Apple really fucked up with this one.
Had one today - on a Mac
Had his bootcamp partition infected, refused to pay the demands, the time lapsed, and wanted it fixed, get this, under warranty. It was explained to him politely that only hardware is covered under warranty, and that software and data was effectively his responsibility. He had no backups, because in his own words "I've never had a problem before"
When the situation was fully explained to him about what had happened and that there was little chance of getting anything back yelling, screaming, and finally tears ensued - his entire life and business was on this single partition of the hard disk. Without it everything was gone.
While you can argue more fool you for not having a backup, and as tech people we're inclined to do so, seeing this happen right in front of me, brought me finally to the conclusion that these evil bastards ruin innocent peoples lives.
Treat third party drivers with caution
As a long time Mac user I tend to treat with extreme caution any disk system, be it singular or RAID, that needs it's own driver software to initialise volumes, and thereafter run the drive.
Bascially I dump any manufacturers software straight away and use Disk Utility for any formatting needs. Some RAID systems do require proprietry software for the intial RAID setup, but thereafter everything is formatted with Disk Utility.
These days you shouldn't need a 3rd party system level driver to do something as basic as initialise and run a disk. If a disk product does absolutely need a proprietry driver on a Mac then run away fast.
Competition is indeed good, but when a lawsuit can exist on a patent of "Bouncy scrolling" then something's bloody wrong with the entire system.
Steve W sees the tech world as it should be, he is an engineer after all, unfortunately businesses, especially greedy ones, always seem to get in the way of how things should be.
You could buy Apple gear which is notoriously stingy on storage, and yes there are currently a couple of models that only offer 500GB of spinning rust.
PCs / Laptops will ultimately become a niche market
Yeah, 3 years ago I wouldn't have ever believed I'd be writing a title like that. But the fact is that outside of business and creative tasks such as photography, videography and music (high tend gaming as well) there is little need for a desktop, or even a proper laptop.
If all you do is consume, rather than create, then to a large extent the traditional high powered laptop, or desktop becomes for the most part redundant.
Take my mother for instance - she was always upgrading her computer every 3 years, because that's what you do when you've got two sons in IT. When she visited me last year in Zürich we found some bargain basement iPad 2s and bought a couple of them. One for me and one for her. Since then the only time she actually turns on her PC is to backup the iPad, or install new apps or new iOS versions.
There are millions of people out there that simply require web, email, Facebook and Twitter. Previously you needed an expensive computer to do that, these days you only need the cheapest android device that you can find.
The PC as a device in the home is facing death.
Without Apple we wouldn't have had all the competition
Love or hate Apple, the fact of the matter is that they upped the bar for smartphones in 2007 / 2008 and really forced other manufacturers look hard at what they were doing, they made Google say "fuck, we gotta do something about this". In 2010 they released the iPad which is the first tablet to ever acquire a mass market adoption, making other manufacturers say "fuck fuck fuck, we've got to get a piece of this"
The truth is that if it wasn't for Apple we wouldn't have the diversity and choice that we have in these markets today.
I guess you could say the best thing about Apple is how they forced the competition to respond. I am unashamedly an Apple user, but quite frankly I'm relieved that there are options available to me to be able to move away from the Apple ecosystem should I so desire.
I don't buy into these pathetic Android is better than iOS, or vice versa, arguments. There is no better, but just simply what works for you.
If Apple had done it right
If Apple had done it right the there would have been 2 options: the first to turn of the parallax effect, and the second to prevent the zooming.
I only objected to the parallax effect as it served absolutely no useful purpose whatsoever, and in the process probably consumed battery. The zooming on the other hand was only a brief bit of eye candy, and also usefully indicated which app you had just "backgrounded", but ultimately was also a waste of processor cycles, as quite frankly is the fade effect we have now.
Either way it's no biggie for me. My main problem is that since the update to 7.0.3 my iPhone won't actually finish syncing. Well, it does, but iTunes doesn't seem to think so. Mind you I did upgrade to Mavericks and update iTunes before I installed iOS 7.0.3, so maybe I'm just simply asking for problems. That's life at the bleeding edge though.
Re: Not possible.
Actually my betting is, based on what I've seen lately, is that it's likely to be the drives manufactured by toshiba. I've seen about 5 of them crap out in macbook airs, at which point that simply report that they are a sandforce drive, and that the capacity is 32k
Fortunately the repair is quick to do. Unfortunately if you have an SSD in that state then your data is well and truly gone.
Seriously, like it's not fucking obvious
Anybody in the market for an iPhone is willing to spend money, be it right or wrong, or good or bad value.
That plastic fantastic, also known as the iPhone 5C is not going to appeal to the traditional apple buyers because it's, well, cheap. It looks cheap, in fact it looks fucking awful. Although Apple might have got away with it if they'd produced a black version.
Those who aspire to own apple products, but could never afford them before, are equally likely to not be interested because it's, well, too damned expensive. Why would they spend a fortune to acquire what has effectively been marketed as a second rate product.
There, I've said it. Apple screwed up on pricing and marketing, and as a result nobody will want a 5C, other than those with enough money for it to be a "festival" phone as an accompaniment to their 5S day to day phone.
It's still going to be a free lunch for the operator, it's just that the consumer and businesses will be paying for it now.
I'm also a bit concerned, and annoyed, that governments can hold their respective populations to ransom over what is essentially wobbly electromagnetics. I'm all for the operators creating and paying for a non profit regulatory body to ensure that nothing interferes with other things, but for a government to be making billions out of this is absolutely criminal.
If I was in the UK at the moment, which thankfully I'm not, I'd be half expecting to see a demand to pay a license fee based on how good my colour vision is - which would be a tax on my ability to receive what is also essentially wobbly electromagnetics.
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