Monday, June 30, 2008
So, the Swedes are saying that us Canucks don't have it all that bad, actually. So are the Danes. I suspect the rollout of people whinging about their iPhone plans will just get louder as the days go on. And still they'll buy em. Not me. Nope. Can't. Sorry. No Rogers.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
A little bit of a rant.
Here's the deal. My Drobo? Doesn't really work properly unless it is plugged directly into my Macbook. My Epson Printer will print if it is hooked up to a Hub, but, because it is not like the 2200 at work, it doesn't tell you on the printer which cartridge to replace. Guess what? The printer utility doesn't recognize the printer unless it is hooked directly into the Macbook. So. That leaves me with my iPod charger, my card reader, and my mouse that are plugged into my hub...except my hub isn't plugged in.
So, what good is a hub, if half the devices won't work if they are plugged into it?
Sigh. I knew I'd be feeling the limitations of a laptop, I just didn't think I'd be feeling them so soon....
Friday, June 27, 2008
Here it is, straight from the Roger's site. The iPhone plans.
So, your thoughts? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Anyone notice that there isn't any "unlimited" plan? Now, truth be told, the AT&T unlimited plans were known to hit random caps in some places, but still...
$60 for voice and data, 150 minutes of voice, 400 MB of data. From my own personal usage, that's not unreasonable, but how would usage patterns change with an iPhone?
Rogers Launches Flexible Price Packages for Apple iPhone 3G
Starting at $60 for voice and data combined TORONTO, June 27 /CNW/ - Rogers Wireless, Canada's largest wireless carrier with Canada's fastest wireless network, today announced a variety of voice and data pricing plans for the much-anticipated Apple(R) iPhone 3G set to hit stores on Friday, July 11. With monthly plans starting at $60 for voice and data combined, Rogers offers a wide selection of high value price packages to meet the needs of Canadian iPhone aficionados. All price plans require a three-year contract. iPhone 3G combines all the revolutionary features of iPhone with 3G networking that is twice as fast(*) as the first generation iPhone, built-in GPS for expanded location based mobile services, and iPhone 2.0 software which includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and runs the hundreds of third party applications already built with the recently released iPhone SDK. "As Canada's leading wireless carrier, Rogers is thrilled to not only bring the iPhone 3G to Canada but to make it affordable and accessible to as many customers as possible," says John Boynton, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Rogers Wireless. "We've designed a pricing structure that offers affordable, flexible voice and data packages so Canadians can truly unleash their iPhone 3G experience on Canada's fastest wireless network." <<>> About Rogers Wireless --------------------- Rogers Wireless provides wireless voice and data communications services across Canada to more than 7.4 million customers under both the Rogers Wireless and Fido brands. Operating Canada's fastest data and most reliable voice network with the clearest reception and fewest dropped calls, Rogers Wireless is Canada's only carrier operating on the global standard GSM and highly advanced HSPA technology platforms. In addition to providing seamless roaming in more than 200 countries/areas with its GSM based services, Rogers Wireless also provides wireless broadband services across Canada utilizing its 2.5GHz fixed wireless spectrum. Rogers Wireless is a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI; NYSE: RCI), a diversified Canadian communications and media company. For further information, please visit www.rogers.com.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
So. The iPhone isn't due to drop for another couple of weeks, and there's already a petition around Roger's unannounced pricing, based on what may or may not have been a leaked memo.
Hey, if they're locking you into three year contracts, I'll sign, too, but I'd like to know what I'm protesting before I protest.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Not Princess Bride Related. No. This time, it's Andy I in his gushing review of Firefox 3.0.
He says, and I quote: "Also damned ginchy".
Hmm. Must not be Canadian, because where I come from that's a word for underwear, not a cool new feature.
One of the features in Snow Leopard Server is ZFS. ZFS is a file system that has lots and lots of benefits over the current HFS system. The rumours were flying hot and heavy that it'd be in the current version of Leopard, but it never made the final cut.
It's not currently listed as a feature for Snow Leopard, either, but it is on Snow Leopard Server, which means that it is one hop away from being on the next version of Leopard.
ZFS is basically what my Drobo does, but without having to worry about that bloody slow USB 2.0 connection. It's redundant, expandable, cloud computing on your computer. Here's a nice article about what the announcement means.
A couple weeks ago, Joshua over at Macgasm lamented that the new iPhone was going to be the death of the iPod Touch.
"Would you buy a Touch knowing that for a couple more dollars you could get a phone, with 3G technology?" said he.
The trouble is, that's probably not going to be the case. If you go to www.apple.ca/store, you will see the iPhone listed, but with no price. That's issue one.
Issue two is, if you click on the iPhone, you are offered a link to find out "where to get an iPhone", which refers you to Rogers and Fido.
Meaning that in all likelyhood, you're not going to be able to buy an iPhone without signing up for the cell service.
Now, if the leaked memo quoted elsewhere is accurate, you'll only be able to sign up for a three year plan. And, if the rate plans are accurate (and again, this is speculation), then the cost of owning an iPhone is actually over $3000 over three years.
My iPod touch? Cost $299 (I got it on sale.) Cost of ownership over three years, minus any media I might choose to put on it? $299.
Right. Well, since a few dollars more is $3000, I think I'll stick with the Touch, especially since I am still outside of Rogers' coverage area.
Of course, these numbers are still speculative. I'll do a final cost analysis once the real numbers are out. If I remember.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Most Mac pundits live in big cities. Like San Francisco, for instance. Because they live at ground zero for technology, they don't realize that other people who live elsewhere (like, oh, say Tumbler Ridge BC) aren't going to be all that thrilled with 3G, when the closest 3G capable tower is 800 km and a couple mountain ranges away.
But Gruber is one of the first to notice that not everyone lives in San Fran. He also raises a couple other questions that are quite valid. If I live in a place where I get no 3G love, do I still have to pay 3G data plan rates, or will there be a lower data plan for me? He references a "leaked" memo, but as mentioned before, I distrust leaked memos....
Only a couple more weeks to find out.
There is a copy of a leaked memo purportedly showing the prices for Rogers iPhone plans currently making the rounds.
I haven't posted it here because I tend to view these things with great suspicion.
(However, the folks over at Macgasm have no such compunction; if you really want to see what the rumoured rates are, head over there.)
Me, I'll just wait for the official announcement before I find out how painful this is really going to be. But I'm not holding my breath. Rogers has always been a company bent on extracting every last cent from it's vict--consumers.
For those of you waiting for some news on the Wireless Auction...nothing yet. We're in round 90, and the bidding is slowing, but is not yet done.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
So, I went to download Firefox 3 yesterday, and wound up with a copy of 2.x.x instead. Whoops. Went back later in the day, and after some issues, finally got 3 down and installed. Thoughts so far? It's a browser. Sorry. I use it to browse. I haven't noticed any of the new special features being new and special. Give me a while and I'll let you know what I think.
People lament the movie industry for ruining the books of our youth, so let me be the first to lament the fact that the video game industry has just taken the cycle one step further by ruining the movies of my youth.
Okay, so ruining is perhaps a little strong, but I for one maintain little hope for a game based on Princess Bride. which is one of my all-time favourite movies (hush, Magnus). I love stories and movies and games and comics that take the stereotypes and tweak them or turn them on their ear, and Princess Bride was one of the first to play fast and loose with the stereotypes, though not as fast or as loose as later movies and books.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I mentioned Psystar a while back, and haven't mentioned them again, because the thundering fist of Apple's legal department has *not* descended upon them.
Viewing this as an opening, EFix has created a USB dongle that'll allow you to install Mac OSX on any PC. (On their website they say they had a lot of issues in the development, including sabotage. Methinks there hangs a tale... though speaking of website, there's a main page and a contact page, and nothing else so far, so this could be vapourware, too for all we know....)
And still nothing from Cupertino.
And I'm wondering if this is, you know, a viral sort of thing. You know. Let people install copies of OSX on PCs, and then, next time, they might just decide to buy a mac because, while OSX was great, there were some issues caused by hardware, and easier just to buy an iMac....
As always, I'll be watching this with great interest....
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The iPhone will *not* be Roger's exclusive. According to the Apple.ca website, Fido stores will be stocking it, too.
Yay! At least we don't have to hear about the stranglehold Roger's has, blah, blah, blah.
The bad news? Fido is a Roger's subsidiary, so they share the same network. Don't be expecting Fido up North any time soon.
We're *still* waiting for the results of the wireless auction (round 51, $3.5 B and still going on). Will there be someone to challenge Roger in the GSM market? In Tumbler Ridge? Not bloody likely. But one can always hope.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Well, if you are one of the literally dozens of people who doesn't live in Greater Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and 20 other centers across this country, you, yes you, will get no 3G love with this new iPhone update.
And, if you live where I live...well, you get no iPhone love at all.....
Wikipedia says: Weighing usually 35 kilograms (77 lb) to 55 kilograms (121 lb), the Snow Leopard is slightly smaller on average than a leopard.
That's the promise for the new version of the Mac OS, too. While we're still a long ways out from the release, the Apple page promises that the new version of the operating system will have a smaller footprint.
You know what? I'm pretty happy with this decision. For two reasons. One, making a smaller, faster, more stable more secure operating system is a great idea (yes, I see your hand up over there, Linux, and I know you've been doing that for years. Nobody likes pompous open source software. And you wonder why Vista is always cold cocking you in the line-up for the water fountain.) And two, when 10.7 comes out three years from now, they're going to have a really cool list of features that they've been working on for three years.
So, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Just not here today, please. It's really miserable out.....looks like it'll be sunny tomorrow! Yay!
I have a tendency to open up, like, 40 tabs in Safari. After a certain points, the tabs are no longer displayed in the tab bar, but are accessed from a drop down arrow at the far right end of the bar.
You can close the tabs that you can see in the bar by clicking on the X, but how do you close a tab that isn't visible except from the drop down menu? Command-W. If you're a keyboard shortcut junkie, you can use that to close a visible tab, too.
Chas has a post over at ehmac taking issue with the whole "rumour mongering" thing.
Personally, I view rumours the way I view those emails I get stating how I will attract dozens of women if I click this link. Sounds nice in theory, but I'm not actually going to click the link.
That said, I'm still looking for that new 30 inch display with built in iSight.....
Monday, June 9, 2008
Just after 10. Things are happening at WWDC. Don't know what, though. Oooh, this is exciting.
I'm watching Twitter, Macworld, and Mac Rumours. And a clip from Wall-E. (C'mon. Updates don't happen that quickly....)
I'm so excited. Wall-E is *the* movie of the summer. I love Pixar. Boy, that Jobs knows what he's doing. Whoops. Better check the updates.
10:11 Snow Leopard is official. Last rumour out of the block, first one confirmed.
Here's the official Twitter Feed from Appleinc: "Steve is spewing out numbers about the iPhone SDK and the betas.
I like that. Steve is "Spewing out numbers." Someone is gonna get fired, I think.
10:20: Yawn. Enterprise iPhone stuff. I am not Disney or a Fortune 500 company. Good to hear that it's doing well, but....
10:22: Someone has a cell phone in the keynote, and is streaming the audio...And they're talking about XCode and simulating the iPhone in your Mac. Whew. I know, it's the WW DEVELOPERS Conference. It's to be expected, but still. New Macs. New Monitors. New iPhone. C'mon Steve (okay, it's not even Steve talking). More STUFF!.
10:36: They're talking apps for the iPhone, dragging up developers to show off stuff. Without the video, it's not very exciting. So far we've had Monkeyball, E-Bay and now Typepad.
10:44: AP, Pangea...Steve has been strangely absent from this Keynote so far....Twitter has been crushed under the weight of people. The audio stream is working great, though.
10:47: Some Brit has written a music program or something; it's tough to hear over all the cheering...whatever it is, people seem to like it.
11:00: An hour in, and they *say* this is the last developer that's going to be paraded. Everyone is going on about how easy it is to develop for. The last one has done some fantasy game in less than two weeks.
One more round of applause for our developers. Hopefully, we're moving on to stuff...
Feature request from developers that isn't available. Talking about background processes. "This is the wrong solution that some platforms jump to."
What's the iPhone solution? "A Push Notification Service". Third party notification service can push three types of notifications to iPhone.
SDK Update is over. Steve's back on stage. Finally. "A few new features in iPhone 2.0 software."
iWork support, Microsoft Office support.
Alt, Delete, and Move have been added.
11:13: Something totally new. Mobile Me. It's like having exchange for the rest of us.
Someone else is up on stage. "Not all of us have exchange servers, but boy, would it be nice to have those services. Now you can."
Mobile Me replaces .mac.
Cost is $99.
me.com still isn't live yet, though....
Steve's back. Talking iPhone....
And there you go, 3G network. More countries. "We've sold iPhones in six countries so far, but believe me, they're in use in other countries."
People can't afford iPhone. So, as we arrive at iPhone's first birthday, today we're introducing iPhone....WILD APPLAUSE. Didn't hear what he said.
Showing off iPhone 2.0.
Coming to Canada July 11.
And...we're done. No Mac news. No iPod news. Just iPhone, as he said off the top.
But boy, is it big news.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
A fellow named Gernot Poetsch has some shots up from outside the Moscone Centre as Apple sets up for WWDC08. Some interesting signs up there, including one that says OSX iPhone. We've always known that the iPhone ran OSX, but this is the first time I've seen Mac advertize it as such. Is it because this is a developer's conference? Are they trying to grease the path for developers who signed up for the iPhone SDK: "Why not program for the Mac? You're already soaking in it..."
Whatever it is, it will be revealed in four days. I can't wait. Can you? I can't.
While folks like Gruber are reporting that the iTunes store in the States is still renting for 24 hours, a recovering American (who still has his American iTunes account) over on ehmac is saying that he just rented an American iTunes movie and had 48 hours to watch it.
Can anyone verify this?
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
In the CBC story about the iTunes movie store coming to Canada, they mentioned that Bell had started an online video service a couple weeks ago.
Which was a complete surprise to me, as I didn't realize they had done that.
So I went and looked, and sure enough. There it was.
And the first thing I see?
"Download to any PC or laptop (Mac/iPod compatibility not currently available)"
Right. *That's* why I didn't hear about it, and don't care about it.
But, hang on. They've got Television listed. What do they have?
A Lot of kids stuff (Franklin, Babar), and a bunch of other stuff that is about as interesting as what iTunes currently has....
Also, a quick perusal of their movies shows that they have 680 titles available. Two weeks head start, half the movies available. Can't use on my Mac or on my iPod. Man, they really know how to sell themselves to folks like me....
Rejoice! Rejoice! The movie store is here!
Yes, after months of waiting and at least a dozen posts kvetching that they were taking their time, movies have come to the Canadian iTunes store!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
A few specifics.
Buying a catalog title? $9.99
Buying a recent release? $14.99
Buying a new movie? $19.99
Renting a library title? $3.99
Renting a library title in HD? $4.99
Renting a new release? $4.99
Renting a new release in HD? $5.99
1200 titles to buy, 200 to rent. Or at least, those are the numbers. Sorting by "All Rentals" gets to a page with over 700 titles listed, but not all of them can be rented...yet. Sorting by all movies goes to a page with just over 1100 movies listed. Some of which may be HD, but I haven't seen any yet.
The Canadian Store is not a mirror of the US store. The first thing that I notice that's different is that the movie 300 is available in Canada, and is *NOT* available in the states.
And who said Apple didn't like Canadians....
Heck, Canadians have 48 hours to watch a movie, as opposed to 24 hours those Damn Yankees have. See, I knew Steve would make it up to us. Here's the official press release.
In other news, the selection at the Canadian iTunes TV store still sucks.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Another quick one: Cutting and pasting stuff into Stickies and getting tired of popping back and forth between programs. There are programs out there that can help you, but if it isn't something you do all the time, you might just want to keep the Sticky note on top of all open windows. How do you do that? How about by selecting it and hitting apple-option-F.
Coming out of left field for a week's worth of rumour mongering, yes, it's Mac OS 10.6, code named Ocelot. Or was it Puma? Never mind. TUAWs is saying that it heard from sources that talked to Steve Job's secretaries long lost brother that 10.6 will be getting its first seed at WWDC. New features are rumoured to be minimal, with the focus being on security and stability.
Well, right there we know that this rumour can't be true, as new OSes are always feature driven.
Anyway. I don't make em up, I simply tell you that other's are....
On the rumour meter, this one is plausible, but unexpected. Apple was having a tough time a year ago building an iPhone and releasing an OS; what with iPhone 2.0 around the corner, one wonders if they've managed to hire on a few extra developers. If so, then there is a good chance that this one is true.
Haven't been watching the spectrum auction? It's still going strong, and has climbed to $2.5-billion in bids. There's a couple companies who are about ready to sit it out, but it could be a while yet before we know who is going to be Roger's new competition in GSM.... Multiple companies carrying the iPhone in Canada? Oh, to dream!
So .mac mail has been down for the better part of the morning, and the .mac home page is down, too.
Technical difficulties, or is it down for a rebranding? Only your mother knows for sure, and if you call her to ask her, she's going to pretend she doesn't, so why bother.
I'm thinking even if it is something, it's not going to show up in the service until next week's WWDC, because that's just they way Apple is.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Speculation abounds as to whether Apple is going to change the name of .mac to "Mobile Me" or me.com or something like that (as the company that hosts the Me.com domain is the same company that hosts apple.com. Coincidence? Could be.
Now rumours are starting that Apple is going after a bunch of new domains from Montenegro...extension? .me .
Again, this could all be coincidence (nobody made a fuss when Apple went and got apple.ca or apple.fr or apple.jp or apple.any other country suffix. Bt the timing is suspicious. Of couse, the .me domains are only now becoming available (will be available to register on June 6 and the top level domain goes live July 17.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
A couple or three weeks ago, I picked up a 250 GB internal drive to replace the pathetically mall 50 GB drive that came in the wife's older model Macbook.
A couple days ago, I finally got all the stuff off my old Firewire drive and onto the Drobo, which meant that I could take and use the firewire drive as a clone.
This was the step that I had been waiting for, and has been the cause, or rather the catalyst for a number of recent problems I've had. (The G4 NAS stopped working while I was trying to transfer stuff from the Firewire drive).
I tried doing a clone with Super Duper to a sparse disk image, but I couldn't get the computer to recognize it, so I had to clean the drive off and clone to that.
And I'm so happy I went to the effort. Because it turned into a bit of an adventure.
Changing hard drives on a Macbook is dead simple. Loose three screws. Pull out an L bracket. Pull out the old drive. Attach new drive to sled. Insert new drive. Put computer together.
However, when I was putting in the new drive, something went wrong. Maybe I aimed wrong. Maybe I didn't tighten the screws enough. But the rubber guides that the drive slides in on came lose and bunched up at the end of the drive bay. Great. After trying to see if I could gently get the drive in with these lose, I gave up and pulled the computer apart and glued the rubber guides down (or rather, the wife did; I'm so proud of her. She has much finer motor control, so she was much better working with the 3 mm screws....)
That took all of four hours to finally get working and then, and then, after all that hassle, I couldn't find the install disks for my wife's machine. No problem. I'll use my install disks. They're both Macbooks, right? Wrong! Because hers is an iteration or two back, I got "could not install on this system".
What to do?
Boot from the Firewire drive (holding down F; option key wasn't working), and then clone the old system back onto the new drive.
It wasn't pretty, and I really wanted to do a fresh install on the OS (as there are some issues with her machine), but she's got her computer back, and she's not going to kill me.
So, thank you Super Duper! for being dead simple to use, and, in my experience, pretty well bulletproof.