All posts filed under “mac

Hackintosh phantom wake from sleep

For some reason since updating Mountain Lion on my hackintosh my computer would mysteriously wake up in the middle of the night. As sleeping and waking had never been 100% I figured that it was just down to a quirk of having a hackintosh. But I did some digging and after some searching and log investigation I found the following entries:

Which lead me to believe it was a config issue, and a quick look through the preferences un-earthed the following:

Energy Preferences

Disabling “Wake for ethernet internet access” has solved my problems and there haven’t been any phantom wake from sleeps since.

Missing menubar icons in OSX 10.6.2

A whole load of menubar icons disappeared after installing 10.6.2. Seems it’s a problem related to me doing a small hack in the past to disable Spotlight. Steven Seeger’s fix restored the menubar to it’s full glory.

If I was Microsoft

Microsoft recently started their new ad campaign where seemingly normal people try to buy a new computer. They’re given a budget and if they find one that fills their requirements, they can keep it.

The first advert follows Lauren with a budget of $1000. She wants a laptop that’s fast, has a comfortable keyboard and a 17” screen. On her quest for a laptop she visits the Apple store and comes out saying they are over her budget and that she’s just not cool enough to be a Mac person. She has no trouble finding a suitable laptop in regular electronics store and ends up purchasing a HP Pavilion. The second advert follows Giampaolo with a slightly bigger budget of $1500. He wants a laptop that’s portable, has good battery life and power. Once again there is a poke at Apple. This time they are more about aesthetics rather then power and that he doesn’t want to be paying for a brand. And once again he ends up with a HP Pavilion (Oh, HP, that’ll be the brand you just paid for then).

My problem with the adverts isn’t the poke at Apple, but rather they are promoting a non-message. If I’m going out to buy a new computer and I don’t want a Mac or want a Mac but don’t want to save for it, I have no choice but to buy a PC. I can’t see them swaying the people who have made the choice to switch and have the money ready to buy a Mac. So who are these adverts aimed at? There’s no competition in the sub $1500-$2000 range, so is it even worth doing at all. Honda make ads to stand out amongst Toyota, Ford etc. They don’t make adverts in the hope that they’ll stop people that are thinking of splashing out on an expensive sports car, and sway them to settle for a Civic instead. This and the previous ”I’m a PC” series of adverts just end up legitimising Apple’s presence. Apple is a tiny dog biting at the heels of a giant, yet Microsoft feel like they need to gear their entire consumer TV advertising campaign to take them on. The campaign may well be just insurance for Microsoft. How many heads would roll if they decided to ignore Apple completely, or not even bother advertising to consumers, and then their market share tanked. Perhaps it’s better to appear to do something, then to not do anything at all. On the other hand though, could all that money be better spent doing something else.

All of which leads me onto what I would do if I was Microsoft. Simply, I would advertise Windows 7 and IE8. I’d give people hope once again in Microsoft products (Hopefully the products would match the hype). But I’d ram it down people’s throats day and night. “Forget what you thought about Vista, Windows 7 is coming”. “Experience the web like you’ve never done before. IE8 has arrived”. That sort of stuff.

Perhaps that’s what I find so alluring about the “Apple way”. When you see them in use, you feel like you’re being taken to a time and place beyond the normal preconceptions of how technology works. Microsoft used to have that. Microsoft used to ask “Where do you want to go today?”, with the promise of taking you there, no matter how far fetched your dreams were. Now they just state “Your potential. Our passion.”, which leaves you with the sinking feeling that really over the years a massive void has grown between us and them.

Removing Coding Horror on Twitter

After reading the Jeff Atwood’s arrogant post on IMVU’s brilliant technical success’s, reading this was the final straw in clicking the remove button on his Twitter feed. What does arrogance have to do with making a business decision not to do a netbook? Sometimes things just don’t make business sense. When you brand yourself in a certain way, why would you want to potentially harm that perception with a bad product. It only takes one bad decision to unravel years of good ideas and brilliant execution.

They’ve learnt well from their own past and other people’s mistakes of trying to do everything and be everything to everyone. They’re not a “me-too” company, and becoming one would probably be the end for them. They don’t need to do X and they don’t need to do Y just to satisfy investors or the public at large. They owe no-one a netbook.

Safari 4

It’s been a day with Safari 4 and I’ve yet to find a reason to switch back to Firefox. With it’s new developer tools, my discovery of FoxMarks for Safari and the Delicious Library bookmarklet I’m pretty much where I was with Firefox. The only thing I am currently missing is adblocking. I’m not sure if PitHelmet currently supports Safari 4, but Glimmer Blocker looks really good. It’s interesting that it works on the network level rather then as a browser plugin.


Normally when I come across something “beautiful” on the interwebs, I’d bookmark it in Delicious. The only problem is doing so isn’t entirely practical when looking for ideas or inspiration. Opening each site in a new tab and then browsing through them. No thanks. An alternative is to take screenshots of everything, but it’s just hassle keeping them organised and available somewhere. Problems be gone! LittleSnapper handles all your snapshots and makes it extremely easy to browse through past snapshots. It even knows what site each snapshot is from, so you can choose to visit if you wish to explore some more. It makes all your snapshots uniform and allows you to snap a whole page (even when it scrolls off the bottom), just a portion of a page and also the regular full screen and window variants. This is just another one example of an application that I wish existed on Windows.

Steve Ballmer on the Mac

I’m very sensitive to exactly what mouse I have on my laptop. Can you find a range of choices? [for the Mac] Of course you can’t find a range of choices. You know, anyway — can you find the applications you want on the Mac? Well, you don’t really get full Microsoft Office.

Steve Ballmer

Seriously, come on. Next he’ll be telling us how you can’t even right click on a Mac. It’s tiring enough to hear this sort of BS from everyday Windows users, but from the CEO of MS? yawn

Mac Spore Startup Freeze

If Spore freezes on the splash screen when you start it up, with one running process and one non-responding one, then all you have to do is*:

  1. Browse to the SPORE application in Finder
  2. Right-click the spore application and select “Show Package Contents”
  3. In the new finder window browser into the the MacOS directory and move the “cider_noui” file away to another location, like your desktop.
  4. Launch Spore again and keep your fingers crossed.

I found this piece of information through MacRumors.

* I do not take any responsibility for any damage these steps may cause. You follow them at your own risk and understanding that they may cause further issues and that they not work in all circumstances.

iCal Magic

I only just noticed that the iCal icon actually updates to show the current day’s date! No more bringing up my calendar widget. The 3rd is my birthday by the way :D

Apple employees unite!

Although when you do compare employee head counts between Microsoft (91,000) and Apple (21,000), it’s essential to note that at least half of Apple’s employees work in its retail stores.

Daring Fireball

How does Apple seemingly achieve so much more then Microsoft with only a ninth of the workforce? That Reality Distortion Field must be one strong mo’fo.

UPDATE: I just read that Nokia has over 114000 employees. Which makes the market shattering iPhone even more impressive.

A month with the mac

It’s been pretty much exactly one month since I got the iMac and still when I sit at work I day dream of getting home using it. Since then, Apple fanboy level has reached factor 11 for sure. The main factor for switching when I did was the release of the 3.06Ghz iMac. I really didn’t want to “downgrade” from my PC to a slower machine. So with the release of the latest iMac there was no excuse not to. I ummed and arrrred for quite a while before just sucking it up and getting the thing, but from the moment I heared the startup chime, I haven’t looked back once, not even for a nanosecond. Ok, that’s a bit of a lie, because I did look back… I looked back and laughed.

When I initially made the decision to switch I was prepared to put up with niggles or annoyances to see if OSX was really that good and without hesitation, I believe it really is. There was a time when I would mock Apple advocates. I mean come on, Apple mice have one button! I remember the first time I used one back in ’97 and having to maintain a few of them in the office. Yeah they looked great, but back then I wasn’t interested in the atheistic side of stuff so much. They seemed to cause more problems then it was worth back then. Windows 95 and Mandrake Linux were enough to satisfy me. Fast forward to a few years ago when I started taking an interest in conceptual and coding elegance, clean and simple UIs and above all else usability being the core of any product. After years of make doing with the clunkiness of MS interfaces, I longed to feel good about the tools I was using. Using a computer shouldn’t be a chore, it should be a delight.

So it all began with those pesky Rails videos…

I don’t care what anyone says about scalability or whether it’s “enterprise” ready, but Rails rocks, if not simply for the fact that it opened my eyes to how coding should be. After years of living the code -> compile -> test endless loop, Rails was like a fresh of breath air. I’m a neat freak and Rails was the cure to my itch for a cleanly defined standard to creating a webapp. These bits go here, those bits go there and here’s your finished web app. Tasks took a fraction of the time to achieve in Rails compared to Java and Struts. It was earth shattering. And that’s where the videos came in; I would watch videocasts and everyone was using Macs, and the more I watched the more I’d get a glimpse into the life of a Mac user. It felt like everyone doing all the cool stuff was at an Apple party and I wasn’t invited. Then the more I looked into OSX and its applications the more I saw that the people developing on it and for it really cared about the stuff that mattered, the kind of stuff taken for granted on other platforms. Apple people are the sort of people who care if the corner of a bevel isn’t rendered properly. Anal? Yeah of course, but it’s that attention to detail that makes OSX such a pleasure to use.

I know I annoy people with my fanboyism and I feel the urge to defend Apple at every opportunity, but the same people who like to point they can get a better spec machine for the amount I paid are the same who like to poke jibes at Rails but don’t have the guts to try either. I just smile and day dream of getting home to my iMac.