Adobe: It’s time to wake up!
Apr 30th, 2010 by scaredpoet

Speaking about Mr. Jobs’s assertion that Adobe is the No. 1 cause of Mac crashes, [Adobe CEO Shantanu] Narayen says if Adobe crashes Apple, that actually has something “to do with the Apple operating system.”
—Wall Street Journal

Seriously, Mr. Narayen?

You really think that when, you have an operating system based on technology that’s been stable for generations, even before Apple existed, and it runs all of Adobe’s other products just fine, but only Flash seems to repeatedly eat up CPU cycles and crash, over and over and over again, that you can keep a straight face while blaming the operating system?!

It’s time to quit defending a very poor decision.  Adobe’s products were expensive but wonderful, before Flash was allowed to infiltrate your product line. Now, they’re even more expensive, but bloated and lack innovation or serious thought to updating your code to modern standards.  You’re basing your future on a product that people hated from its very inception, isn’t stable no matter how much you wish to insist otherwise, and frankly, we’re tired of it. No one believes you. It’s time to quit barking, and fix your broken product!

PsyStar: Attention-seeking whore of the tech world
Oct 26th, 2009 by scaredpoet


You know, there’s a part of me that really wants to like Psystar. On the face of it, their motives seem nice enough: allow anyone with a commodity PC to run Mac OS X, without having to buy the pricey Mac hardware currently required to run it. Legal? The jury appears to still be out on that. Moral? Well, you’d certainly think that’s an awfully nice thing to do, right?

Unfortunately, I keep having to question Psystar’s motives, and logic. And the answers don’t seem very comforting.

For the past year or two they’ve been selling the Open Computer, a line of desktops and servers that will run OS X…. or Windows or linux, if that’s what you really want [wink wink]. Problem is, for all their touting of how they’ve broken the Mac closed-hardware model wide open, there’s still a lot of hassle involved in getting a Psystar machine to work. They send you a real, genuine OS X install disc, but you don’t actually use it on your Open Computer. Instead, you have to rely on Psystar – who’s already declared bankruptcy once as a legal tactic to try and dodge Apple’s lawsuits – to provide you with hacked-up, patched up versions of OS X for updates and upgrades.

But it gets better! Psystar isn’t really doing the grunt work here… they’re actually borrowing a LOT of code and development effort from the OSx86 project, which offers solutions for booting OS X on home built PCs. With a little customization and having to put up with the inconveniences of waiting for hacked-up version of OS X updates, you can do the same thing that PsyStar gives you, for less.

The OSx86 developers, by the way, have said that PsyStar hasn’t gotten permission to use their code, and reworked their license to prohibit commercial use.

Okay, well… stealing from Apple might be seen as a good, noble, Robin-hood kinda thing in some circles. But pissing off open source developers and stealing off their efforts is a third-rate, asshole move right there, regardless of how you look at it. Even so, PsyStar still sorta made sense in a way. There’s a segment of folks out there who would like to use a Mac, aren’t able or are perhaps unwilling to spend the premium to buy mac hardware, but lack the time, motivation or skill level to assemble their own kit. if they’re willing to put up with the Hackintosh annoyances, they might just flock to PsyStar.

But you see, PsyStar just isn’t done being an asshole yet!

Just this past Friday, they released Rebel EFI, a program that permits – wait for it – anyone to use a home built PC to boot OS X. Sound familiar? Rebel EFI doesn’t really provide anything different from the OSx86 solutions. You still have to deal with wonky updating issues. Various PC configurations still aren’t supported or tested, so there’s really no guarantee that the hardware you have will truly work. But, there are some important “enhancements” though:

  • Rebel EFI is free to try and download, though it will have limited hardware functionality and a run-time of two hours. So your hardware will only run for two hours at a time, and you can’t really test out if your machine will truly work thanks to the “limitations.”

  • To get a fully unlimited version, you have to pay PsyStar $49.99 for them to send you an “Activation key.”

A little irony here: To get OS X Snow Leopard, you pay only $29, and it’s not locked by a key. Don’t have Apple hardware? Well, OSx86 will do the same thing, no charge. And, it’s probably the same thing you’re getting from PsyStar at a premium, anyway.

So uhhh, what exactly is the benefit here to buying Rebel EFI?

Dealing with finicky Safari
Jun 4th, 2009 by scaredpoet

So, let’s just say that you happen to be a Mac user, and browse the web on Safari, only to have this frustrating problem where some of your favorite websites are mysteriously starting to look like this when they load:

Missing CSS

What’s worse, once it happens to that one site, it starts happening on every site you navigate to. The only way to stop this silly behavior is to quit Safari (sometimes a Force Quit is necessary), then relaunch and go back to what you’re doing… until it starts failing on you again.

It seems like only certain specific, image-heavy sites cause Safari to act up, making you wonder if the problem is Safari, or a badly-coded website. What’s worse, this problem (typically) doesn’t exist on FireFox or Opera.

If you look in the browser’s Activity/Debug window, you might see error messages popping up like crazy in red, that read something like:

POSIX error: Too many files open

Sound familiar? This problem can be really annoying for some of us who like Safari and some of its features, and would really rather not have to switch browsers.

But don’t fret. There IS a solution. Read the rest of this entry »

25 years of being Insanely Great
Jan 24th, 2009 by scaredpoet

Wow, the Mac is 25 years old today. The above video is of an event that arguably set the tone for computer going forward.

Two things strike me as I watch this:

1. Holy hell, computer graphics SUCKED back then!

2. Holy hell, Steve Jobs looks insanely different!

For those who want to reminisce, there’s a whole website dedicated to the personal accounts of the Apple design team. From the feature inclusions, to the story behind the Mac, to the Drama and Jerkdom that can be His Steveness.

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