Archive for the ‘MacOSX’ category

REVIEW: My First 5 Minutes with OS X Yosemite

October 18, 2014

Holy Caw! This beast is… SLEEK.

I didn’t think I would like the non-skeumorphic icons. I’m not crazy about them on iOS. Yosemite will probably carry me over that hump.

Right off the bat I was concerned about app compatibility. We’ve all been stung by that with these updates. Yet, here it is 30 minutes in. I’ve launched all my go-to apps and I only have 8 requiring update via Software Update. Yet, they launch fine, docs open, save, reopen. Try THAT Windows!

I’ll run Yosemite for a while on this production machine before I take anything else past Maverick. But, there’s plenty of reason to appreciate the polish Apple has applied to this latest version of OS X.

First impression of the UI is the login screen after installation. That’s a really nice “Hello”. Very subtle. Very beautiful. Very elegant. Very… Jonny Ive (honestly).

Next, and particularly impressive, is Safari. I’ve nearly exclusively moved over to Chrome (and Firefox for one very specific site cpanel). Safari hasn’t factored for a long time in my daily use except on iOS. Th new OS X Safari *may* lure me back across the aisle. Realistically, I doubt that… I have too much configuration invested in Chrome at this point to really seriously a permanent move. Kudos to Apple for getting their browser tight and right though. (fwiw, I still miss RSS)

There are so many fresh new nooks and crannies to explore. I’m genuinely looking forward to this one. Those who know me well, know I just plunge into these updates with a reckless pursuit to see what’s waiting on the other side and know the price for that will (usually) be picking up the broken pieces of busted apps and such. And, usually, that’s apparent within the first thirty minutes. Judging by the stability, ease of migration and lack of core apps misbehaving I have to say right now, barely 10 minutes in this is going to be one of the easiest updates I’ve been through of all the OS X releases. It does make me wonder what Yosemite Server must be like. That hasn’t happened in a long time. Which also makes me wonder about ZFS implementation (or lack of) in Yosemite. More on that later if there’s anything to pass along. A boy can hope 🙂

LoJack Alternatives?

June 23, 2008

Wondering what alternatives are out there for Mac laptop security in addition to LoJack, DynDNS and the staid but true Kensington laptop security cable.

I’ve heard there are some accessories that can be installed in the computer to effectively pin-point its location for recovery purposes. Wonder if these are PCMCIA or if they fit inside the laptop and work their magic? Also, I’d be interested in ways to script a wiping of the entire home directory in the event the machine fell into the wrong hands.

I’m sure the audience won’t disappoint. Supply links for extra credit please 🙂

Odometer hits 400,000

January 26, 2008

Last November I blogged about reaching 300,000 visitors here at the gWHIZ blog. While I was taking a hiatus from blogging/tweeting it hit 400,000. That took less than three months. For some, that’s a couple hours or a long day

Here sometime soon I’ll pass the 925 posts mark on posts too. That’s roughly one entry per day since I started blogging. I can feel good about all that.

A couple of interesting bits of tid:

  • There are 825 comments on the gWHIZ blog (a ratio I’d like to improve). But, it means we do have discussions sometimes (gasp!);
  • The gWHIZ Technorati rank is at 110,648. I’d love to break into the top 75,000… Favorite us and help that along please? (shameless, I know);
  • According to Google there are only 31 links into the gWHIZ bl0g (could use more…doh! shameless again);
  • The single biggest day on the gWHIZ blog was  17,479 visits on October 30, 2007;
  • I’ve used 635 tags (half of which are misspellings I can’t seem to delete);
  • And the gWHIZ tag cloud says I’m HEAVY on Apple, Leopard, iPhone, iTunes, MacOSX and WWDC;
  • Surprisingly there have only been 7,572 spam comments (all caught and killed by Akismet);
  • And the all time post “views” leader is sitting at 124,346 views. (over 1/4 of the total traffic) and it’s not that good a post…

Now, I’ve been totally winging this and posting on an “as I can” basis. I’m not a professional journo and 110% sure I don’t want to be. The beautiful thing is… most of the people I enjoy reading aren’t either. They’re either subject matter experts in interesting fields, highly opinionated and interesting on that alone, or they have something unique to offer.

A couple of things learned in the last several months: Pick a handful of topics and work them like mad; Digg and StumbledUpon are super helpful; Tagging is super helpful; Writing often is super helpful; Insightful commenting on other peoples blogs super duper helpful; Trackbacks to other blog entries indispensable; Most of all LINK OUT liberally but with good reason and pure intention; Establishing an alternate FeedBurner feed is super helpful.

To follow up that last point… RSS Feeds… I happen to be of the mind to ALMOST always offer a full rss feed. There have been two exceptions I can think of recently. I highly recommend full-feeds. Once I did that… traffic went ballistic (by my standards).

I also highly recommend WordPress.com as the engine behind your blog. Free with some primo options you can pay for… Very nice. The number of times people have said, “Wow, you stayed up through the big Digg.” Yeah, because I have great infrastructure (for free).

Why this post? Why now? Blogging is gaining in speed, popularity and acceptance. My post earlier this week on helping a local family with some serious needs wasn’t a massive success in traffic count, but it was a help in getting the family some relief and additional attention from people who were in a position to be able to help in big ways. Blogging did that. Sure, the emails I sent out helped. But, they simply linked back to the blog.

This post is for people who don’t yet blog who wonder what they can expect in the way of traffic, participation and how long it will take to build a following. The real answer to all the above is, “It depends.” of course. Look at Fake Steve Jobs blog. That went nutso crazy. It’s unique and super hard to duplicate. There are precious few blogs out there focused on the Apple platforms right? 🙂 So, I’ve found my place by focusing on things others don’t, but things I like. Reviewing high-end software (Daylite, DivX), writing detailed How-To’s, all things Apple Developer Connection (ADC) and live blogging the big events. Podcasting and XServes are really my passion in the middle of all of this and I’ll focus more on that in the coming year.

Leopard Install… Upgrade? Fresh + Migrate?

December 18, 2007

MBPro has been running Leopard for many moons as my main development machine. It was bought stock with 10.4.x and promptly wiped in favor of 9a### revs of Leopard until launch.

Not so with the PowerBook. It still has 10.4.11 and I’m contemplating the move to Leopard this week. I’ve heard some people had problems “upgrading”. Wonder what the groupthink is on this one…

Upgrade over Tiger? -or-

Fresh install and migrate stuff over?

Installing Leopard 9A559

September 25, 2007

Wouldn’t it be fun for Apple to snooker us all and launch Leopard this Monday, October 1?

Hell, might as well fan the flames of desire here a bit. C’mon, dontcha think?!

They’re calculating like that. Take for instance, the iPhone. They deliberately launched it late 2Q2007. All just to get a pop for the quarter on ye olde stock ticker (AAPL) and punch up the Q2 results.

I can see them trying to milk Q4 for everything it’s got in it with an October 1 release. Yeah, I know, it’s all blue sky speculation and tin-foil-hat tom-foolery. But, still, they’re sly like a fox that way and I could totally see them kitting up the DVDs for the past two weeks while they feed us three or four week old images throwing us off and onto a cold trail. Why would dear old Apple do that pray tell? ‘Cause they can Timmy. Cause they can.

This release has been given the back seat while iPhone an AppleTV took center stage for the first half of 2007. As of 9A559 Leopard’s tight. REAL tight (especially Server). I’ve been using the latest greatest as my production machine for two solid weeks. So, it wouldn’t shock me in the least if Apple came out swinging for a full Fourth Quarter performance. Get this right and get it tight as a drum before the holiday season, gin up word of mouth and I see AAPL posting some mighty fine numbers on unit sales all the way around. Leopard has the teeth in it to drive some killer innovation across their product lineup (iPod, iTunes, iPhone and of course Macs).

Beating Bejesus Out Of OSX Leopard

September 4, 2007

I keep giving Leopard Server aka 9A528a (and now Client aka 9A527) a pounding like never before and it just takes it and responds SO-O-O-O-O very well. Got Server blasting 5×5 on an Intel XServe and OMG! This is it folks. Apple’s probably got one more pre-GM release in them and we’re off to the races. 9A527 on a MBPro is a screamer.

The 300 soundtrack while coding on Leopard is PRECISELY the right tempo. Especially “Fever Dream” by Tyler Bates

Simple Maintainance For Your Mac.

September 2, 2007

Do you turn your Mac off at the end of the day? Said another way… Is your Mac not on in the wee hours of the night/morning?

If not… important cleanup is not happening on your mac which would normally be taking place late a night.

Fear not there are ways to make this happen whenever you like. Cocktail is my app of choice for lots of general maintenance on my personal machines (servers are another matter). Cocktail will make a LOT of other things on your Mac bend to your will (Safari and eradicating the favicons of your bookmarked sites which will make Safari zippy once again for instance).

For the purists, and sometimes I must admit I like tinkering in the Terminal, there are manual ways to trigger these same scripts.

Open Terminal (usually located in Applications -> Utilities directory).
Type this exactly (without the quotes) “sudo periodic daily weekly monthly”
Press RETURN
Type your login password if it’s requested (if you’re not the administrative user of your Mac this might not work)
The scripts will run in sequence and Terminal will NOT give you any feedback. You’ll know it’s done when the prompt comes back. It may take several minutes if you’ve never let it happen naturally.

If you’re curious to know what these scripts are up to you’ll find some detail here.

Totally loving Ooh La – The Kooks (link will launch iTunes).