Category Archives: Computers

Update the iStat Pro to work in Mountain Lion and fix the processes issue

If you’re like me and still use Dashboard Widgets in Mountain Lion, as well as loved the widgets from Bjango (previously iSlayer) you may be disappointed to find that iStat Pro doesn’t show a list of running processes any longer.

Thankfully, the widget itself is mostly Javascript and the issue is actually very minor. In the two files, one for the “tall” view and one for the “wide” view, you simply have to insert a space at the particular points where the Process ID is searched for.

Details are in this post on MacRumors.

Via: Refined Robot.

How to prevent Mac OS X users screwing up their system if they rename their user folder

<Branes> You know how bloody often people ‘d screw up their install by changing the shortname of their home folder in /Users?
<OzDave_mbp> ok
<Branes> Fix: make a symlink of their home folder, put the symlink at root level, then hide /Users completely :)
<OzDave_mbp> neat!
<Branes> Then they can change their home folder as much as they bloody well like
<Branes> changing the name of the symlink doesn’t reflect in the destination

Why Apple’s win against Samsung is a win for innovation and bad car analogies suck.

In a post by Matthew Yglesias on Slate, he attempts to suggest that if Apple’s victory against Samsung would apply to cars, it would be bad for the consumer, suggesting a similar case in the car industry would, among other things, prevent manufacturers using steering wheels, for instance. This is a lousy analogy. Let me explain why.

The fundamental actions one does on a phone are not at stake here. Smart phones can have touch buttons, use a numerical touch pad to dial numbers, have a qwerty keyboard to input text, pop-up menus and all the other fundamental common features. What is being addressed here are software features that Apple spent years designing, such as pinch-to-zoom, which the big companies can simply licence from Apple or not use (it’s not like they can’t afford to). A better analogy would be Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, which, like Apple’s ideas, can be licensed. Does anyone attack Toyota for patenting their system?

If you want to see a world where companies like Apple cant take the huge risks they did to bring the iPhone to market, you only have to look at the world of PCs, where everything is pretty much a copy of everything else, and companies are were afraid to do anything unique until Apple came along and changed things with the iMac, or, more recently, the MacBook Air and iPad. In the PC world, companies were still making machines with very out-of-date VGA, PS-2 and serial ports for years after they were essentially redundant — because everyone else did so and they had no serious innovation (except increases in processor speed and hard drive size) to push them forward.

Even more telling was the phone market before the iPhone. The only interesting design that came out for years was the Motorola Razr, and the software for it has always been rubbish. We had to put up with being locked into whatever software came with the phone with no chance to get upgrades or new features without buying a new phone. While this is still true now, partially, the world of 3rd party software has exploded to a degree that may even exceed what is available for regular PCs, making it a moot point. This vast improvement has come about because of Apple taking huge risks. If companies weren’t allowed some sort of protection against their innovations being directly copied, we’d have little innovation at all, as everyone would just copy everyone else, and that would most definitely be a huge loss for the consumer.

As Google has pointed out, Apple’s win against Samsung isn’t about Android. If it wasn’t already obvious, it is about Samsung trying to steal from Apple’s successful ideas rather than make their own. We’ve already spent enough time, first with PCs and then with phones suffering from a lack of genuine innovation. That there is anyone out there who would rather go back to that time truly astounds me.

Conversation on IRC just now

Conversation on IRC just now:

[03:43 AM] <marfin> so i have an iphone 4s
[03:43 AM] <marfin> and its blocked
[03:43 AM] <marfin> does anything unblock imei?
[03:43 AM] <marfin> redsnow or some shit?[03:45 AM] <summatusmentis> what do you mean blocked?
[03:47 AM] <marfin> imei is blocked by uk networks
[03:47 AM] <marfin> :(
[04:03 AM] <CPng|N> stop using stollen phones?
[04:13 AM] <summatusmentis> marfin: yeah, if it's blocked by the network there's nothing to do
[04:14 AM] <marfin> summatusmentis, nothing to do? no pwnage to change it?
[04:15 AM] <Currawong> marfin: do you think people here are going to help you with a stolen phone?
[04:15 AM] <summatusmentis> anything you'd be doing to change it would be illegal
[04:15 AM] <summatusmentis> that's not only against the rules of this channel, but of freenode (saying nothing about the laws in your country)
[04:16 AM] <CPng|N> stealing cell phones is pointless unless you just want to use them as ipods
[04:18 AM] <marfin> its not stolen
[04:18 AM] <marfin> i found it in a club last night
[04:18 AM] <marfin> it works in autralia at least
[04:18 AM] <marfin> so i need to move to perth now
[04:18 AM] <Currawong> so you found a stolen phone? 'sif
[04:18 AM] <marfin> guess so
[04:18 AM] <marfin> but i dont steal
[04:18 AM] <marfin> so kthx
[04:19 AM] <Currawong> so you admit you're too dishonest to hand it in?
[04:19 AM] <marfin> i woke up with it
[04:19 AM] <marfin> i was too fucked up to hand it in
[04:20 AM] <Currawong> you aren't fucked up now
[04:20 AM] <Currawong> go and hand it in. Or have you erased it already?
[04:22 AM] <marfin> your pussy is too dry to be riding my dick like this
[04:22 AM] <marfin> i havent erased it
[04:22 AM] <marfin> i guess i should hand it in
[04:22 AM] <Currawong> good on ya
[04:23 AM] <Currawong> you should be grateful. Karma is a bitch
[04:23 AM] <marfin> yes it is
[04:23 AM] marfin left the channel.

645 PRO app for iPhone offers access to lossless camera output (but not Raw): Digital Photography Review

645 PRO app for iPhone offers access to lossless camera output 

App developer Jag.gr has launched 645 PRO, a flexible photography and processing app that provides access to the lossless output of the iPhone’s camera. The company grabs the processed camera output before the phone compresses it, and saves it as a TIFF file. These files, which it slightly optimistically calls ‘Developed Raw,’ can then be accessed via iTunes. The app also offers a series of features such as spot metering and exposure, focus and white balance lock, as well as a series of film simulation options and aspect ratio options, but it’s the uncompressed output that is, as far as we are aware, unique.

What is more amazing is that the app comes with a comprehensive manual explaining all the settings. The very fist thing it explains are the settings for emulating different types of film stock that professional photographers use, as well as the different picture ratios it can capture. Though it only outputs TIFF files (RAW is not possible), this has taken photography on the iPhone to a new level.

10 Real Reasons to Switch to to a Mac from Windows.

The Macalope recently trashed an eWeek article by Don Reisinger called Ditch Microsoft Windows In Favor of Mac OS X Lion: 10 Reasons Why. Since the article is so poor, I thought I’d write my own list, taken from over two-and-a-half decades of experience with computers, so here are …

10 Real Reasons to Switch to a Mac from Windows.

1. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you get an ecosystem that keeps all your critical things in sync easily.

Not to say that you can’t do this with Android, Google or 3rd party software, but Apple simply makes it too easy and adds music, apps photos as well, all wirelessly, via iCloud.

2. The hardware is excellent.

People may say “But it is just the same hardware in any other PC in a fancy case.” but do PC makers buy up all of a particular kind of laser just to drill microscopic holes in the case for a single light to indicate the camera is on? Can you find an Ultrabook as good as the MacBook air that doesn’t have serious compromises? Even if we’re not talking computers, just look how popular the iPhone 3GS is, still! Not only that, but …

3. The hardware will last you 5 years.

Try getting parts for your HP or Dell in a few years. Good luck. Try getting up-to-date drivers for a PC notebook too. Good luck! With a Mac, you’ll be able to install the latest version of the operating system for at least 5 years, because, not only does Apple control both the hardware and software, but they have …

4. System software that is straight-forward.

No serial numbers, no activation. If you buy Mac OS X you can install it on all the computers you own and Apple doesn’t check. Un-intalling most apps simply means dragging them to the trash, as uninstallers aren’t needed. Even if you install, say, an internet plug-in, the files installed will all have meaningful names and you can easily uninstall most system add-ons by dragging their files to the trash. Even if you do buy a new Mac …

5. You can upgrade to a new computer or re-install the system and be up-and running quickly and easily.

You can re-install without wiping your critical data and all your apps will still work. Even if you erase the disk or are starting from a new machine, you have a number of options to import from an older Machine or hard disk via the Migration assistant. You do back up, don’t you? Regardless, on a Mac …

6. Time Machine will look after you.

Because not only does the system ask you if you want to use a disk for Time Machine, those backups can be used to migrate everything to a new install or Machine. You can be somewhat selective about what you want to import too. Of course, if you accidentally nuke an important file or files, you’ll be thankful you had hourly, daily or weekly backups, automatically taken care of in the background.

For iPhone or iPad users, backup is now done to iCloud as well, whenever you plug into the power, so you don’t have to worry about it.

7. Safety and security.

When you do need to re-install, it is usually because of a hardware upgrade of some kind. Rarely is it because of system problems, let alone malware, all of which definitively requires, like all programs, user permission to run.

8. You don’t get a computer not bogged down with OEM rubbish.

How often have you seen a brand-new PC loaded up by the manufacturer with loads of crap that you’ll almost certainly never use.  Then, even if you do put on a fresh copy of Windows, you don’t have much useful software, unlike Apple computers, which come with …

9. Most, if not all the software you need from the start.

With iLife and iWork free, you can do most of what you need to do right off the bat. Even if you do want or need mores software, you can get ..

10. Software that doesn’t suck.

Sure there is a huge ton of software for Windows, but how much of it doesn’t suck? Ever hunted for good software and had to bear bizzare and ugly user interfaces and ended up trashing the program anyway? This isn’t a problem in the Apple world, as if someone writes sucky software, because the user base is smaller, it doesn’t sell. Not to mention, with Apple’s App Store, all software is approved by Apple, so you know you’re not going to end up with rubbish, but instead, there are many apps out there written by people who love Apple and are deeply dedicated to designing the best software possible. Also, now that the iPhone and iPad have pushed software prices right down, even excellent software is quite cheap. Since use software is 100% of what you do with the machine, through the hardware, this is the most important thing.

Is the Smart Phone Aiming to Kill the Tablet?

The Gadget Guy David vs. Goliath:

For many people, tablets aren’t yet strong enough to replace laptops, what with a solid physical keyboard being easier to type on and a wider availability of work-grade applications. At one point, it’s likely that this section of the market will converge, and instead of just having tablets, we’ll have notebooks – probably the thin and light ultrabooks – with capacitive touchscreens, a technology combination that invites both kinds of input: keyboard and touchscreen.

But if your phone was big enough and could let you do much of the things that a tablet would let you do – apps, big screen movies, and web pages with lots of screen real estate – why would you want a tablet?

I’m not the first to suggest it, but much of it could be the appeal to customers in the shop, as the bigger phone is going to look more impressive at first viewing. Unless the focus is primarily on improving the user experience though this could end up back-firing.

I don’t personally think that ultrabooks will have as much impact as Intel hopes though, as nobody can match Apple’s quality for the same price. When they do, then I’m sure they will, if MS doesn’t screw up Windows again.

I use an iPad for work, along with Apple’s Bluetooth keyboard. The keyboard only comes out at work, as outside, on the train and the like the iPad by itself is very handy. If MS or Apple could do a proper OS that can work both with just your fingers or with a keyboard and mouse, then I reckon things will start to get very interesting, as I’d love to have The One Machine to do almost everything.