10.5.2 Disparity between old and new

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So we all updated Mac OS X 10.5.1 to 10.5.2 the other day.

Updated both my iMac and iBook, both weighed in at 180MB. Among the fixes are a couple of UI tweaks, one of these is the ability to return the menu bar to the good ‘ol opaque days. But can you see little snag in the screenshot above? The left and behind is the iMac’s desktop property dialog and to the right is the iBooks. Both are 10.5.2. Hmm, I guess iBooks have no business having opaque menu bars.

Hope that screenshot fits in my blog theme OK, it’s a bit large.

I’m going on holiday Little Sister

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You idiot, I’m going to Somerset for a week tomorrow, taking Eddie ‘cos he needs lots of country walks to get rid of some of them extra tires.

I’ll be leaving my beloved iMac in a dire state.  Last August my iMac’s superdrive went up shits creek, it wouldn’t eject a disc.  Got it replaced but… Well it happened again today.  I should have known it was coming because the drive had started making the same wheezing sound that it was making the last time I had it replaced.  ‘Cept now it’s beyond warranty land and I’ve kinda forgotten to purchase Apple Care.

Thankfully someone on macintouch has the answer, many have had the same problem and apparently turning the iMac on it’s front and initiating eject whilst jiggiling the slot with a credit card does, after many attempts get the bitch to pop its head out.

I’m annoyed because after the last August’s events I had cut down my use of the internal drive by using a standard dvd drive, rescued from my last PC form many years ago via a IDE->USB affair.  I’ve pretty much only used my internal drive for burning. Yet still the drive hasn’t lasted.  Something tells me that the combination of Vertical+Slot-Loading+Slimline+Pioneer isn’t a good thing.

ColorVision Spyder

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My iMac Core Duo 20″‘s screen hasn’t aged gracefully. Either that or it’s always been this way and I haven’t noticed until recently.

I quit smoking way before getting it, mind you, the cealing it pretty damn nicotine stained, but I don’t think that will damage an LCD being long since ex-smoke. Also, only the rear of the mac is facing a window, so there can’t be sun damage either. And yet, the default profile now looks like hideous brown poo.

I’ve profiled it using both superCAL and the built in apple affair, they help tons but I don’t necessarily trust my own eyes to do it correctly.

So I’ve bought a Colorvision Spyder Express. It’s a piece of plastic goodness that contains some kind of sensor. Plugs into the comp via USB and you dangle it infront of the screen and the software flashes different shades of colours and measures what the sensor is seeing to create a nice accurate profile.

Well, it worked great on my iMac. I thought it looked a little blue at first but that’s probably because i’m used to the poo. Now, after starring at it more it looks great, if maybe a little dark, I’m used to gamma 2.2 so it isn’t that, but I think maybe all the fudging the poo causes less light to get through.

Next I tried the Sammy TV I have the mac connected to via DVI-HDMI. With the express this shouldn’t be possible because you are supposed to go pro for multi-display set ups. But if you rename the profile file and also change the “desc” property in the profile you can trick it into letting you have more profiles on the same machine. I set the TV to “Movie” which is the only screen mode that disables the dynamic contrast, sure to confuse the spyder. Then let it roll. But hmm, it made a right mess. Gray’s were all over the show. I didn’t mind too much though because being a TV I’m sure its made for overly vivid video rather than accurate stuff.

The arrgh I’m having is to do with my iBook G4′s Display. I kind of expected a little trouble because this iBook screen has a very very bad viewing angle. But I’ve done it several times, I’ve even wrapped plaster tape around it to keep it nice and flush with the display but it always makes me a profile with tons of pink. Especially the OSX brushed metal windows show up the pinkness.

What am I doing wrong? Grr. I know for a fact that the one person who reads this is a graphic designer by trade, and so I presume he has done many a monitor calibration in his time. So… help!

A mouse secures its information

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Why I must have strange neighbours and a neat way to store your personal info.

kiwi-mouse.jpgYesterday I was using my iMac when suddenly a bluetooth dialog popped up offering a jpg, I was the only one in the house but still I instinctively scanned my surroundings.  No poltergeist had gotten out it’s PDA.  Still, I nervously accepted it. And that image you see was the fruit.  Very…Odd.  I especially am concerned that judging by it’s wonkyness it appears to be a poster.  So now I’m thinking, is this stuck on my next door neighbours wall?

Even worse I didn’t think I had bluetooth enabled, I’d hidden the menu icon, but obviously not actually disabled the functionality.  Well I have now.

I’ve come up with a neat idea.  Use keychain acess on the mac to keep personal info, like pin codes and shit that you might often forget.  I haven’t read about this anywhere else so I can only presume that i’m either a genius for coming up with it, or there’s some major security based reason for not doing this.

If you open keychain access, which is probably in Applications/Utilities, but it’s just easier to quicksilver it, you can manually add keys.  Click the wee +.  And look, the password box is multi-line, you can write an entire paragraph in there if you wanted.  So go do it.  You seem to need to manually enter your login name and i’m presuming its best not to forget.

Also important, after adding a new one, you need to immediately open the new item and go to the access control tab.  Click Ask for keychain password.  Also, whenever you revisit this item always click “Allow Once”.  If you accidental click “Allow Always” or you discover that it seems to be letting you view the item’s password box without entering the password go back to this access control tab and remove “Keychain Access” from the list of applications.

There’s a list of Categories on the left, but i can’t seem to get them to do anything, my keys always just end up in “Passwords”

Hey, I should have investigated this more before turning to wordpress.  Seems there’s a special item for making notes.  “File->New Secure Note Item”.  Hmm, mind you, unlike the password type, I cannot see a way to undo having accidentally allowed access always.

Windows Vista RC2

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Windows Vista RC2 was released this weekend, it is supposedly the last milestone until it’s released for manufacture.  Although, knowing Microsoft they’re probably find a way to release another beta even after it’s gone to retail.

I haven’t really been bothered to play with it but I wanted RC2 for the bug fixes, I just wanted to get it set up quickly as I had gotten it with RC1.  I kept fluffing up the drivers though, I kept trying to find the latest and greatest graphics and sound drivers but somehow I always got into a muddle and ended up having re-install it again, if I just tried to roll-back the driver I ended up with curious unknown device dialogs popping up left right and centre.  In the end I just gave up trying to update drives and left it at the ones Vista installs by default, I’m not even going to bother with the Apple driver cd now.  So I ended up staring and that screen in the photo for a large slice of the afternoon.  It’s set up nicely now, touch wood.
You can still use the Beta 2 serial, which is neato.  Hey, imagine if they let me carry on with this serial even with a retail copy!  Ha wishful thinking.
Was impatient to get windows back up and running because I’ve gotten back into Elder Scrolls: Oblivion again after not bothered to touch it for months.  In fact, it turns out I wasn’t all that far from completing the main quest, none of story made any sense because fantasy plot-lines never do to me, I don’t have the necessary equipment brain wise to fathom any of it but it was certainly entertaining regardless.  Seemed to end all rather suddenly though and in no time at all, in true RPG style you’re left alone wondering… hmmm, what shall I do now?  Kill some boars?
Speaking of RPG’s, I watched that South Park episode again and I think my favourite line is “Kenny, get ready to turn on trueshot aura, at that moment I will use intimidating shout.”  Probably struck something in me because I seem to remember using intimidating shout a lot when used to play it (seems like ages ago now somehow) and it gives me a bit of an embarrassed sshudder to hear Cartman saying it.  haha.

Hey!  I’ve I just this second accidentally had 3 camera raw files (.orf files from my camera) selected in finder when I double clicked on them and in the process discovered to my surprise that you can open more than one raw photo at a time in photoshop’s camera raw import dialog and it looks like it will process multiple photo’s with the same adjustments in one go.  Ha, how cool!

Freaking big iMac

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It’s even worse than I feared!!!  I cannot believe it, i’m totally gutted.  They’ve released a new iMac that’s 24 fucking inches and it’s freaking the same price that mine 20 inches used to be!  With a Core 2 Duo as well.  I feel like crying.  How much do you think I’ll get for this one in ebay?

I need comforting on this traumatic of all days.

iMac Fans

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I’m convinced that since getting my iMac back that the fans are running more loudly than before. It may of cause be my imagination, so anyway, i’ll probably be obsessing over the constant slight hum I’m hearing right now for the rest of the week, driving myself slowly insane. The polystyrene blocks than you sit the iMac between when you box it up don’t seem to be quite as snug as they should be, maybe the box has bulged a little, but it means that whilst you carry it… by the handle the insides rock back and forth a little as you walk. So now i’m thinking all the walking with it has made the fans inside a little loose or something.

Yeah, i’m obsessing. I bet you it isn’t even any louder. It certainly doesn’t compare with the turbines you hear from the average PC. Also, a slight problem with the iMac is that its at the same height as your head, so any noise it emits is right in front of your ears.

I still can’t get my iBook battery serial to validate on the battery recall page. I would take a photo of it so that you can all have a go yourself in case I’m miss-reading one of the letters in a foolish manor. But i’m not sure if there are any implications to telling the world the serial. I can’t think of any reason not to, its not like someone can go on a spending spree with a battery serial number. But somehow it doesn’t feel right to.

Apple Battery Recall

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Apple have recalled their battery’s. Basically you can say all of them because the numbers in the wild that aren’t affected, macbook’s and macbook pro’s must make up such a small percentage when you’re talking 5 or 6 years worth of products. It’s got to be funny though hasn’t it? I had just got my fixed iMac back home (hurray!) and then straight after I hear about this. So does this mean yet another trip to the Genius Bar? Ugh, I freekin hate trips to meadowhall, it’s a non-stop journey of traffic and roundabouts from the south of Sheffield to that place.

Funny really, I was all for gushing about how fantastic Apple’s service is, how I only took the iMac in on Tuesday and it’s already been done. They’ve also been super super friendly in the store and quite informative too. Ah well. They’re gonna have fun collecting up all them batteries. Damn Sony. OMG yeah! How awful are Sony now? Have they done anything right in the last few years? First the Rootkit fiasco, then the sweat inducing pricing for the upcoming PS3 and now the guilt of having supplied a plague of dangerous batteries to most of the popular laptop manufacturers of the world. Shame on them.

UPDATE: I’d better add that the person who told me about this exaggerated a tad, and in the style of Chinese whispers I’ve ended up making out that all batteries on earth need to be replaced. Any poop, it turns out just 1.1m in American and 700k elsewhere are being recalled. Unfortunately I’ve just had a quick check and mine is one of them :-( Mine’s a model A1061 with a serial of 6C533xxxxxxx. Ah pooies.

UPDATE 2: The recall page is being super super slow, so I guess it’s getting battered by battery fans. Thing is try as i might I cannot get my battery’s serial number to validate, it says “This serial number is invalid or does not qualify for the program.” and I am so sure i’ve got it right, i’ve re-checked it about a million times. Dagnamit, I wonder if this page is only for checking US models.

UPDATE 3: I gave up trying to convince their website so I called Apple’s tech support and the battery did indeed need replacing, so they’re sending me one (4-6 weeks lead time, thats quite a long time to not be allowed to use it off battery). So, methinks Apple should double-check their validation code on the website, and if you suspect you have a recalled battery but the website says it isn’t valid don’t take that as meaning it doesn’t need replacing.

Fix my iMac damnit

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MrsidesaddleThis is Mr Side-Saddle, double barrelled name, very posh. Oh, could be a sweet-heart and vote for my podcast at Podcast Alley. Knowing my reach that means no votes but hey ho.

Being without the iMac is difficult, I’m suffering cold sweats. I checked the repair status but alas nothing has been noted yet. I hope they are treating it well :-(

I’ve finally managed beat that bastard with the helmet in Zelda, I must have only been lacking by about one swing of the sword all them failed attempts, the relief was massive. So cannot wait for the Phantom Hourglass on the DS.

iMac Superdrive Antics

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My iMac’s Superdrive is no longer very super. Last week it started making some worrying scraping sounds whilst both spinning up, and spinning down. Also, around the same period the eject mechanism became clunky, in fact one time it ejected with such force that the disk fell out and plopped onto my desk making me jump with fright. Then, it started rejecting some disks, for example I tried to re-rip “blue lines” by massive attack, but when inserting the disk it made just a quick mechanical moan and ejected it, and no amount of persistence would get it to keep it inside.

The last straw came today when, after burning a dvd the eject mechanism failed to dismiss the disk. Each time I held eject it would make the obligatory clink-clunk.. pause and then clunk-a-junk it back in again. Well that ain’t much good now is it?

I hate speaking on the phone, I sweat and pant and panic and go dizzy. But I really wanted to know if I could wait for the meadowhall store to get a replacement drive in before I made a trip up there, and plus if I did so I wouldn’t be without the iMac for too long. So I hunted out the branches number but upon the automated menu I made the mistake of choosing tech support rather than waiting for an operator and was redirected to some call centre to be greeted by some woman with a peculiar accent who also spokeveryquickly, I think I said “pardon” about 50 times, really really embarrassing and it doesn’t do my phone anxiety much good at all. In the end it turned out that the tech support line can’t actually access the stock info of branches, so I hung up and tried again. This time I learned from my mistake and got to speak to someone at meadowhall. Unfortunately they told me that they haven’t my particular optical drive in stock and even still they can’t order one until checking mine out :-(

So I’ve taken it in and now i’m minus iMac :-( Tell yer what though, having an Apple Store in town is soooo useful, the 20″ iMac’s box is freaking huge so it would be an absolute nightmare having to ship it off to some far away repair centre.

I did want to open the iMac myself to see if I could just get the disk out and somehow whack the drive back into life but apart from the memory’s cover the iMac has those odd looking astrisk shaped screws, a sure sign that you’re not meant to open it up.

I’d like to add that Apple are in an unfortunate position with the optical drives on the iMac, if you hold a normal PC’s internal optical drive against the current iMac it’s immediately obvious that Apple would need some of the doctor’s Tardis technology to fit it inside because not only would there be no room left but it wouldn’t actually be possible even if the iMac was empty inside. So they have to use the slim-line drives, like the ones in laptops, which are slow(ish) noisy and very unreliable. But that doesn’t tend to matter so much with a laptop because you don’t use the drive all that often. But I use the drive on my iMac all the time and slim-line drives just don’t last well. It’s a problem.

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