annathepiper: (Final Test)

Internets, I swear to gods, I am deeply grateful to have enough income to spend on Shiny Things. I DO love my Shiny Things. But wow, sometimes transitioning from one set of Shiny Things to the next is positively crazymaking!

As I’ve mentioned on the various social networks, I opted to get me a MacBook Pro rather than a MacBook Air–and among the many reasons for this was to allow myself budget to also upgrade my iPhone. The phone was still working okay, but as it was a 3GS, it was getting long in the tooth and pokey. I didn’t like the idea of being about to fall off the support queue for devices that could run current builds of iOS, and I was quite sick of the erratic performance of the 3G network in Seattle.

I swear on a stack of the complete works of Tolkien, though, that I I did not lose that phone just to have an excuse to get a new one. It was nevertheless deeply, deeply aggravating to lose my phone at work, pretty much necessitating me having to buy the new device. The old one, I note, never did make its way back to me.

Meanwhile, I got the new laptop yesterday! Which was shiny and lovely and all… but then things started getting aggravating when I tried to migrate data off the old laptop, Winnowill, onto the new laptop, Aroree. Mac OS provides a lovely Migration Assistant utility that’s supposed to let you hook two computers up and slurp data from one to the other. I had this going over an ethernet connection last night, and it was chugging happily away… until it hung at the “40 minutes left” mark.

It stayed that way for well over an hour, up until I finally decided screw it, I had to go to bed. So I put the laptops in our guest room, so that their cords would be out of the reach of the cats. And I went to bed.

Got up to discover that Winnowill’s hard drive had gone to sleep–but that when I woke her up again, she was still stuck at the “40 minutes left” mark. AUGH, I said, time to break out of the Migration Assistant and try Plan B. Aroree was happy to do this and return me to Mac OS.

Winnowill, not so much. When I broke out of Migration Assistant on that box, she froze up. I had to power cycle the box. At which point it completely refused to boot, and I got a flashing gray folder with a question mark in it. Mother Google informed me that this is Mac-OS-ese for “your startup disk has vacated the premises, your file system is fucked, and you better pray you have a good backup”.

AUGH, I said. But, my belovedest userinfosolarbird, possessor of wit and wisdom, proposed the plan of grabbing the external drive off our Time Machine server and slurping data out of my last backup directly from that. We enacted this plan. THAT worked, and I have as of this writing recovered the vast majority of my data off of Winnowill. I’m happily typing away on Aroree. There are still some kinks to be worked out, but by and large, I’m back in business.

Winnowill, though, is toast. Dara further cleverly proposed tonight that we take Winnowill’s hard drive and try to boot it in her older laptop, Kiliandra, just to test whether another computer could boot the same drive. This test failed, though conversely, Winnowill was able to boot Kiliandra’s drive. Relatedly, I had just replaced the battery in Winnowill; it was starting to bulge with heat damage. Our working theory at this point is that perhaps the battery going bad in Winnowill adversely impacted the drive, and I happened to get just lucky enough that the drive held out long enough for Aroree to show up AND for me to recover data out of my last Time Machine backup.

We have no way of knowing at this point, but that’s a real plausible theory.

And in conclusion, HOLY CRAPWEASELS, damn good thing I had a working Time Machine backup, innit?

Now to let Aroree’s first, gigantic backup (214.17 GB, baby!) complete. Then I’ll need to finish smoothing all the other little rough edges left over from the data transfer–and THEN I can get back to work.

Couple all of this with how a major project at work has been making my entire team kind of crazy, and I swear, I’ve been spending this entire week trying to remind myself that no, it is not advisable to throw ALL OF THE COMPUTERS OUT THE WINDOW. It only helps a bit that I was also amusing myself by bitching about this in French too. Because some things are irritating enough that you need a whole extra language to contain the bitchery!

Aren’t computers FUN?

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Uhura Squee)

This is definitely one of those times where I need me an icon of Professor Farnsworth from Futurama, because he’s totally in my head right as I type this!

But the news, oh, it is good. It is SHINY. Internets, I’m getting promoted! QA Engineer II, baby! This comes from an excellent year of slurping up Python and finally bending my brain around class-based coding–this is what I get for having learned how to code long enough ago that object-oriented programming wasn’t really a thing yet, so it took me a while to get the idea down. But it’s in there now and WOO! PROMOTED!

*does a little dance*

There is compensation involved, a raise as well as a bonus, and oh, there will be a Shiny Thing. A very, very Shiny Thing. It’s about time to upgrade my Macbook, and this news is going to let me do it!

Winnowill, mind you, has served me well (and only those of you who are fellow Elfquest fans will understand the number of giggles I get out of typing that phrase, ha!) and does hold the record to date for longest-operating laptop I’ve ever owned. I got this MacBook back in December of 2007, which means that as of this December, Winnowill will be hitting her five year mark.

However, that’s an eternity in laptop terms and Winnie IS getting a bit long in the tooth. Specifically, she is just a touch too old to be able to run Mountain Lion. So I want a laptop that’ll let me continue to be upgradable along with the OS, at least for the next five years or so! The only question is going to be, whether I commit to a higher-end Macbook Air (because SO SHINY), or whether I go with a Macbook Pro.

There must be much comparison of specs. And thinking hard about what I need out of the next Laptop of Awesomeness to join the Murknet.

Though I gotta admit, if I wind up with an Air, that box is totally getting called Aroree. <3

As to what I’ll do with Winnowill–actually, I’m not convinced yet I’ll be decommissioning her. Winnie DOES dual boot between Lion and Win 7, and having Win 7 around is handy sometimes, not only for testing purposes but also just for playing our games! And as Mac OS continues to develop, it’ll be handy as well to have a somewhat older version around. So we’ll see. If I wind up with an Air, Winnie could also continue to be my iTunes box since I DO have a certain number of bands for whom buying physical CDs is still absolutely essential! (Great Big Sea and Le Vent du Nord, of course!) So many choices before me!

And SHINY THINGS! And promotions! And another awesome year to look forward to at Big Fish! Which, I might add, is now the longest job I’ve had EVER, as I’ve passed my previous record of 3 years, 7 months–which was how long I was at Attachmate. This coming January will be my four-year mark!

EEEEEE! \0/

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Uhura Squee)

This is definitely one of those times where I need me an icon of Professor Farnsworth from Futurama, because he’s totally in my head right as I type this!

But the news, oh, it is good. It is SHINY. Internets, I’m getting promoted! QA Engineer II, baby! This comes from an excellent year of slurping up Python and finally bending my brain around class-based coding–this is what I get for having learned how to code long enough ago that object-oriented programming wasn’t really a thing yet, so it took me a while to get the idea down. But it’s in there now and WOO! PROMOTED!

*does a little dance*

There is compensation involved, a raise as well as a bonus, and oh, there will be a Shiny Thing. A very, very Shiny Thing. It’s about time to upgrade my Macbook, and this news is going to let me do it!

Winnowill, mind you, has served me well (and only those of you who are fellow Elfquest fans will understand the number of giggles I get out of typing that phrase, ha!) and does hold the record to date for longest-operating laptop I’ve ever owned. I got this MacBook back in December of 2007, which means that as of this December, Winnowill will be hitting her five year mark.

However, that’s an eternity in laptop terms and Winnie IS getting a bit long in the tooth. Specifically, she is just a touch too old to be able to run Mountain Lion. So I want a laptop that’ll let me continue to be upgradable along with the OS, at least for the next five years or so! The only question is going to be, whether I commit to a higher-end Macbook Air (because SO SHINY), or whether I go with a Macbook Pro.

There must be much comparison of specs. And thinking hard about what I need out of the next Laptop of Awesomeness to join the Murknet.

Though I gotta admit, if I wind up with an Air, that box is totally getting called Aroree. <3

As to what I’ll do with Winnowill–actually, I’m not convinced yet I’ll be decommissioning her. Winnie DOES dual boot between Lion and Win 7, and having Win 7 around is handy sometimes, not only for testing purposes but also just for playing our games! And as Mac OS continues to develop, it’ll be handy as well to have a somewhat older version around. So we’ll see. If I wind up with an Air, Winnie could also continue to be my iTunes box since I DO have a certain number of bands for whom buying physical CDs is still absolutely essential! (Great Big Sea and Le Vent du Nord, of course!) So many choices before me!

And SHINY THINGS! And promotions! And another awesome year to look forward to at Big Fish! Which, I might add, is now the longest job I’ve had EVER, as I’ve passed my previous record of 3 years, 7 months–which was how long I was at Attachmate. This coming January will be my four-year mark!

EEEEEE! \0/

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Little Help)

This one’s for any of my fellow Apple users out there who have a Mac running OS X 10.7.2 (the latest update of Lion), and an iPhone or iPad running iOS 5.

I’ve got an iCloud account set up to sync reminders between my devices and my computer. This is working beautifully between my iPhone and iPad, and the reminders are also showing up in iCal on my Mac. But the problem is, on the Mac, I cannot edit them. I can’t even click a reminder to mark it as done; I have to go over to one of the iThings and do it there.

Here’s a screenshot of what I see when I try to doubleclick on one of my iCloud reminders from my Mac!

This don't make no sense

This don't make no sense

userinfospazzkat, who also has his Mac laptop and his iThings updated to the same revisions that I do, has not experienced this problem. However, the main difference I’ve been able to note between his system and mine is that he has a full MobileMe account, including an email address, that he set up to talk to iCloud. I don’t have a MobileMe account; I’ve got iCloud using my Apple ID, which is my gmail address, to log in. I would like to HOPE that this shouldn’t be causing my reminders to be showing up read-only on my Macbook, but hey, I’m QA–I know how theoretical functionality doesn’t necessarily line up with what the code is doing, even after it ships.

So what say you, fellow Mac geeks? Any of you experiencing this problem? Any of you know how to solve it?

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Little Help?)

This one’s for any of my fellow Apple users out there who have a Mac running OS X 10.7.2 (the latest update of Lion), and an iPhone or iPad running iOS 5.

I’ve got an iCloud account set up to sync reminders between my devices and my computer. This is working beautifully between my iPhone and iPad, and the reminders are also showing up in iCal on my Mac. But the problem is, on the Mac, I cannot edit them. I can’t even click a reminder to mark it as done; I have to go over to one of the iThings and do it there.

Here’s a screenshot of what I see when I try to doubleclick on one of my iCloud reminders from my Mac!

This don't make no sense

This don't make no sense

userinfospazzkat, who also has his Mac laptop and his iThings updated to the same revisions that I do, has not experienced this problem. However, the main difference I’ve been able to note between his system and mine is that he has a full MobileMe account, including an email address, that he set up to talk to iCloud. I don’t have a MobileMe account; I’ve got iCloud using my Apple ID, which is my gmail address, to log in. I would like to HOPE that this shouldn’t be causing my reminders to be showing up read-only on my Macbook, but hey, I’m QA–I know how theoretical functionality doesn’t necessarily line up with what the code is doing, even after it ships.

So what say you, fellow Mac geeks? Any of you experiencing this problem? Any of you know how to solve it?

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)

So yeah! Decided after reading the ginormous Ars Technica writeup of Lion, and after reviewing my system this afternoon to see what PowerPC apps I still had (answer: nothing I couldn’t live without), I decided to go ahead and install Lion tonight. It was definitely the easiest OS upgrade I’ve ever done, I’ll give it that.

And in no particular order, here are things I’ve noticed about it:

One, once I rebooted into the new OS, things were quite a bit sluggish for several minutes–but there were two reasons for that. One, Spotlight went and reindexed everything on the drive. Two, I launched Mail as pretty much one of the first things, and that also needed to do significant updating of its database. So things were pretty pokey until both of these finished up their business.

Two, trying to launch iTunes got me an error message about not being able to open an iTunes Library file, but this was easily fixed by doing a quick check for software updates and downloading iTunes 10.4. iTunes then proceeded to load as per normal.

Three, goddamn, Mail is very… gray now. I’m not sure I approve of that, but we’ll see if it grows on me. Ditto for the new gray scrollbars.

Four, I quite like Launchpad, a new icon at the top of the Dock that’s basically a quick and dirty way to get at all of the apps on your system. If you’re an iPhone or iPad owner this interface will look very familiar, and it lets you swipe through it as well if you have a touchpad on your laptop like I do. You’re supposed to be able to organize the icons into folders like you do on iDevices, but I haven’t tried that yet. I like it less because of the similarity to iOS and more just because it means I can lose several less commonly used icons off my Dock.

Five, I discovered entirely by accident that you can set individual desktop backgrounds on the individual desktops available in the new Mission Control feature–which is cool. It’s a much nicer version of Spaces + Expose and even after playing with it for only a few moments, I’m grooving on it. And now I can go fwip-fwip-fwip-fwip through the Dashboard and all four of my desktops in a quick line, and I see LION! ELEPHANT! ISLAND! GREAT BIG SEA! It’s neat.

Six, if I have a Terminal window up and I’m connected to the MurkMUSH and I get paged, the icon starts bouncing at me and showing a little number on it indicating there’s something that needs my attention. Didn’t do that before.

Seven, hrmm, the Ars Technica review was talking about the dots on icons on the Dock that indicate which ones are launched going away. However, I still see mine!

Time Machine is now doing a massive 9.52GB backup–over our house LAN, no less, so this’ll be a while. But on the whole the upgrade appears to have gone swimmingly. I still need to verify that I can reboot into Win7 as needed, and that I can also launch Parallels to run that Win7 install as a VM, as before. (I did update Parallels since they deployed an update to talk to Lion, or so they took pains to inform users.)

Also still need to see if Safari’s new Reading List feature will seduce me off of Firefox, and what the new document handling model will be like once I get a hold of a version of a word processor that can talk to it. (Mac Word 2008 does not.)

But so far so good. And oh yes, speaking of Mac Word 2008–if you’re using Mac Office on your system, you WILL need 2008 or later if you want to upgrade to Lion, what with Rosetta support being removed. Be on the lookout as well if you’re at all reliant on Microsoft Query, which is part of Excel. That was one of my few PPC apps left on the system, and a bit of judicious Googling showed me that Microsoft has word out that they’re advising anyone reliant on Query to not upgrade yet until they fix that. They’re also reporting that Outlook is having trouble importing data out of Mail once Lion is installed, so people this might affect should keep an eye out for that.

AND! Since I am a Big Fish employee, it does behoove me to point out that older Big Fish releases, being PowerPC games, won’t run on Lion either. Be on the lookout for our powers that be to issue word on what Mac customers should do about those specific games. If there are particular games you don’t want to lose the ability to run yet, you might hold off a bit on the OS install.

More as I observe it! (And dammit, why don’t I have a Lion icon for posting to LJ and Dreamwidth?)

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)

So yeah! Decided after reading the ginormous Ars Technica writeup of Lion, and after reviewing my system this afternoon to see what PowerPC apps I still had (answer: nothing I couldn’t live without), I decided to go ahead and install Lion tonight. It was definitely the easiest OS upgrade I’ve ever done, I’ll give it that.

And in no particular order, here are things I’ve noticed about it:

One, once I rebooted into the new OS, things were quite a bit sluggish for several minutes–but there were two reasons for that. One, Spotlight went and reindexed everything on the drive. Two, I launched Mail as pretty much one of the first things, and that also needed to do significant updating of its database. So things were pretty pokey until both of these finished up their business.

Two, trying to launch iTunes got me an error message about not being able to open an iTunes Library file, but this was easily fixed by doing a quick check for software updates and downloading iTunes 10.4. iTunes then proceeded to load as per normal.

Three, goddamn, Mail is very… gray now. I’m not sure I approve of that, but we’ll see if it grows on me. Ditto for the new gray scrollbars.

Four, I quite like Launchpad, a new icon at the top of the Dock that’s basically a quick and dirty way to get at all of the apps on your system. If you’re an iPhone or iPad owner this interface will look very familiar, and it lets you swipe through it as well if you have a touchpad on your laptop like I do. You’re supposed to be able to organize the icons into folders like you do on iDevices, but I haven’t tried that yet. I like it less because of the similarity to iOS and more just because it means I can lose several less commonly used icons off my Dock.

Five, I discovered entirely by accident that you can set individual desktop backgrounds on the individual desktops available in the new Mission Control feature–which is cool. It’s a much nicer version of Spaces + Expose and even after playing with it for only a few moments, I’m grooving on it. And now I can go fwip-fwip-fwip-fwip through the Dashboard and all four of my desktops in a quick line, and I see LION! ELEPHANT! ISLAND! GREAT BIG SEA! It’s neat.

Six, if I have a Terminal window up and I’m connected to the MurkMUSH and I get paged, the icon starts bouncing at me and showing a little number on it indicating there’s something that needs my attention. Didn’t do that before.

Seven, hrmm, the Ars Technica review was talking about the dots on icons on the Dock that indicate which ones are launched going away. However, I still see mine!

Time Machine is now doing a massive 9.52GB backup–over our house LAN, no less, so this’ll be a while. But on the whole the upgrade appears to have gone swimmingly. I still need to verify that I can reboot into Win7 as needed, and that I can also launch Parallels to run that Win7 install as a VM, as before. (I did update Parallels since they deployed an update to talk to Lion, or so they took pains to inform users.)

Also still need to see if Safari’s new Reading List feature will seduce me off of Firefox, and what the new document handling model will be like once I get a hold of a version of a word processor that can talk to it. (Mac Word 2008 does not.)

But so far so good. And oh yes, speaking of Mac Word 2008–if you’re using Mac Office on your system, you WILL need 2008 or later if you want to upgrade to Lion, what with Rosetta support being removed. Be on the lookout as well if you’re at all reliant on Microsoft Query, which is part of Excel. That was one of my few PPC apps left on the system, and a bit of judicious Googling showed me that Microsoft has word out that they’re advising anyone reliant on Query to not upgrade yet until they fix that. They’re also reporting that Outlook is having trouble importing data out of Mail once Lion is installed, so people this might affect should keep an eye out for that.

AND! Since I am a Big Fish employee, it does behoove me to point out that older Big Fish releases, being PowerPC games, won’t run on Lion either. Be on the lookout for our powers that be to issue word on what Mac customers should do about those specific games. If there are particular games you don’t want to lose the ability to run yet, you might hold off a bit on the OS install.

More as I observe it! (And dammit, why don’t I have a Lion icon for posting to LJ and Dreamwidth?)

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Viva Las Vegas Smug)

I am upgrading my computer’s OS! And my beloved userinfosolarbird has provided me appropriate headgear for the occasion.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Viva Las Vegas Smug)

I am upgrading my computer’s OS! And my beloved userinfosolarbird has provided me appropriate headgear for the occasion.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Grin)

Something that has really come to light for me in the last couple of years is that I’m really, really, really tired of the “my choice of technology is better than your choice of technology” attitude so many of my geek brethren espouse. Whether it be “Linux is better than Windows” or “Macs are better than PCs” or “Open Source is better than paid software” or “my smartphone is better than your smartphone”, I have yet to see that this is anything more than the simple human tendency to divide up into camps and loudly proclaim how one’s camp is superior to everyone else’s.

And you know what, folks? When it comes to geek technology, this is really kind of silly.

When you get right down to it, no matter what operating system it runs, a computer is pretty goddamn awesome. So are smartphones–I mean, c’mon, you guys, we are all carrying around tiny computers in our pockets. And when I think about this, especially when I think about how computers used to be gigantic boxy things that would take up entire rooms, it’s even more amazing to me.

I’ve been thinking about this this week because I’ve gotten the expected amount of shit for the fact that I’m getting an iPad. But really, I’ve been thinking about it ever since a coworker of mine showed up at work preemptively expecting that the team was going to give him shit for having a Windows phone. That struck me. If you’re going around automatically expecting your fellow geeks to hassle you about the device you’ve chosen to purchase, that really takes a lot of fun out of having it. And it shouldn’t, because again, computers are awesome. And smartphones are just tiny computers.

So I would now like to take this opportunity to celebrate all technology, no matter who makes it. I invite folks to join me in the comments to express love of whatever technology you have and why you love it. I’ll start!

I love my MacBook because it’s clever enough to dual-boot between OS X and Windows 7.

I love Windows 7 because it’s a version of Windows that is not only not sucky, it’s elegant, doesn’t get in your face with the UAC dialogs, and able to play nicely with Bootcamp.

I love Linux because I’ve found it to be an excellent platform to write Python code on. Also, excellent for running our home servers at the Murk, and for playing Nethack on, and hosting my web pages and blogs!

I love Open Source because of healthy respect for the ethic of creating programs just because you love to code.

I love paying for programs I need or games I want because I myself work in the computer industry, and I love supporting my fellow geeks for their work.

I love Firefox because c’mon, FOXES, how can I not?

I love Safari because it’s fast.

I love Internet Explorer 9 because whoa, hey, a version of Internet Explorer that’s actually fast and compliant to recent web standards? Awesome! Well done!

I love my iPhone because it’s a tiny, tiny thing and yet it lets me do so much.

I love my nook because it lets me carry around an amazing number of books with me, and in one small sleek package.

I don’t own one but I love seeing other people’s netbooks because small, cute technology that can go toe to toe with bigger laptops is awesome.

I don’t own one but I love hearing from friends who own Android phones or Windows phones just because a friend saying “I have a toy and it does this really, really cool thing” is awesome, too!

I love flatscreen monitors because yay for occupying less desk space, not to mention no longer throwing radiation at my poor neck.

And I’ll save telling you about why I love my iPad after I’ve actually had some time to break it in. :D

Your turn, people! What technology do you love, and why? (And remember, this is not about ‘I love technology X because it’s not technology Y’–please, let’s not snark. Let’s make this a celebration of all things that are awesome. Thanks!)

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Grin)

Something that has really come to light for me in the last couple of years is that I’m really, really, really tired of the “my choice of technology is better than your choice of technology” attitude so many of my geek brethren espouse. Whether it be “Linux is better than Windows” or “Macs are better than PCs” or “Open Source is better than paid software” or “my smartphone is better than your smartphone”, I have yet to see that this is anything more than the simple human tendency to divide up into camps and loudly proclaim how one’s camp is superior to everyone else’s.

And you know what, folks? When it comes to geek technology, this is really kind of silly.

When you get right down to it, no matter what operating system it runs, a computer is pretty goddamn awesome. So are smartphones–I mean, c’mon, you guys, we are all carrying around tiny computers in our pockets. And when I think about this, especially when I think about how computers used to be gigantic boxy things that would take up entire rooms, it’s even more amazing to me.

I’ve been thinking about this this week because I’ve gotten the expected amount of shit for the fact that I’m getting an iPad. But really, I’ve been thinking about it ever since a coworker of mine showed up at work preemptively expecting that the team was going to give him shit for having a Windows phone. That struck me. If you’re going around automatically expecting your fellow geeks to hassle you about the device you’ve chosen to purchase, that really takes a lot of fun out of having it. And it shouldn’t, because again, computers are awesome. And smartphones are just tiny computers.

So I would now like to take this opportunity to celebrate all technology, no matter who makes it. I invite folks to join me in the comments to express love of whatever technology you have and why you love it. I’ll start!

I love my MacBook because it’s clever enough to dual-boot between OS X and Windows 7.

I love Windows 7 because it’s a version of Windows that is not only not sucky, it’s elegant, doesn’t get in your face with the UAC dialogs, and able to play nicely with Bootcamp.

I love Linux because I’ve found it to be an excellent platform to write Python code on. Also, excellent for running our home servers at the Murk, and for playing Nethack on, and hosting my web pages and blogs!

I love Open Source because of healthy respect for the ethic of creating programs just because you love to code.

I love paying for programs I need or games I want because I myself work in the computer industry, and I love supporting my fellow geeks for their work.

I love Firefox because c’mon, FOXES, how can I not?

I love Safari because it’s fast.

I love Internet Explorer 9 because whoa, hey, a version of Internet Explorer that’s actually fast and compliant to recent web standards? Awesome! Well done!

I love my iPhone because it’s a tiny, tiny thing and yet it lets me do so much.

I love my nook because it lets me carry around an amazing number of books with me, and in one small sleek package.

I don’t own one but I love seeing other people’s netbooks because small, cute technology that can go toe to toe with bigger laptops is awesome.

I don’t own one but I love hearing from friends who own Android phones or Windows phones just because a friend saying “I have a toy and it does this really, really cool thing” is awesome, too!

I love flatscreen monitors because yay for occupying less desk space, not to mention no longer throwing radiation at my poor neck.

And I’ll save telling you about why I love my iPad after I’ve actually had some time to break it in. :D

Your turn, people! What technology do you love, and why? (And remember, this is not about ‘I love technology X because it’s not technology Y’–please, let’s not snark. Let’s make this a celebration of all things that are awesome. Thanks!)

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Grin)

Wonder no more!

Winnowill's Heart is a Scary Place

Winnowill's Heart is a Scary Place

My laptop had been making these weird rattly noises for a while now, as well as running periodically far hotter than it seemed like it should. Replacing the hard drive didn’t help (although it did double my hard drive capacity, which of course was awesome). Neither did taking a can of electronics cleaner to the interior of the machine. So finally I decided, due to the location of the weird rattly noises I kept hearing (i.e., pretty much smack center under the keyboard), that I probably needed a new fan.

There are three places locally I found that I could have taken the box to to have a new fan installed: the actual Apple store, an unrelated chain called The Mac Store in the U-district, and a place in Shoreline that does Mac repairs. In all three cases, though, I’d have had to pay for the cost of the part as well as probably $80-100 in labor. Screw that, I decided; I’ve taken apart plenty of computers in my time, and I was pretty sure I could just install the damn fan myself.

This proved pretty much trivial thanks to ifixit.com. They’re a site specializing in repair manuals and parts for Macs and iPods, and I gotta say, the site was incredibly helpful. Not only do they have a variety of step by step manuals on how to take your Mac apart and how to install different parts, they also sell those parts for you to order. And since the new fan I ordered for Winnowill arrived today, I settled in tonight with Dara’s help to get that put in. It went very simply and without aggravation!

So I highly, highly recommend this site to any of my fellow Mac geeks out there. If you’re up for fixing anything wrong with your own computer and saving yourself the cost of paying somebody else to do it for you, check this site out. They can probably help you get the job done.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Blue Hawaii Grin)

Wonder no more!

Winnowill's Heart is a Scary Place

Winnowill's Heart is a Scary Place

My laptop had been making these weird rattly noises for a while now, as well as running periodically far hotter than it seemed like it should. Replacing the hard drive didn’t help (although it did double my hard drive capacity, which of course was awesome). Neither did taking a can of electronics cleaner to the interior of the machine. So finally I decided, due to the location of the weird rattly noises I kept hearing (i.e., pretty much smack center under the keyboard), that I probably needed a new fan.

There are three places locally I found that I could have taken the box to to have a new fan installed: the actual Apple store, an unrelated chain called The Mac Store in the U-district, and a place in Shoreline that does Mac repairs. In all three cases, though, I’d have had to pay for the cost of the part as well as probably $80-100 in labor. Screw that, I decided; I’ve taken apart plenty of computers in my time, and I was pretty sure I could just install the damn fan myself.

This proved pretty much trivial thanks to ifixit.com. They’re a site specializing in repair manuals and parts for Macs and iPods, and I gotta say, the site was incredibly helpful. Not only do they have a variety of step by step manuals on how to take your Mac apart and how to install different parts, they also sell those parts for you to order. And since the new fan I ordered for Winnowill arrived today, I settled in tonight with Dara’s help to get that put in. It went very simply and without aggravation!

So I highly, highly recommend this site to any of my fellow Mac geeks out there. If you’re up for fixing anything wrong with your own computer and saving yourself the cost of paying somebody else to do it for you, check this site out. They can probably help you get the job done.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Winnowill)
Throughout pretty much all of January, I have continued to slog through the Great Mail Migration of 2008. This has been incredibly time-consuming, not only because of the need to evaluate each folder of mail to see if I actually wanted to keep it, but also because of the need to get rid of all the duplicates generated by failed export and import attempts.

Things have been further complicated by the fact that if it deals with a mailbox that's got too damn much data in it, Mail.app slows down like a great big slowing down thing. Which in turn means that any operation I want to do with that mailbox takes all that much longer.

This past week I finally had this thought: Mail Moving: You're Doing It Wrong.

Gmail, I thought. Gmail talks IMAP. Why didn't I, I asked myself, just use Gmail as an intermediary between Outlook and Mail, and drop Thunderbird and Eudora out of the loop entirely?

But [livejournal.com profile] solarbird did me one better. She has actually now installed IMAP on murkworks.net, so not only can I have all my mail on our own server, I can have it accessible from whatever client I like and at local LAN speeds. This is what is known in these parts as a Win.

I'm still not done reorganizing all my mail. Now at least, though, it'll go a lot faster.
annathepiper: (Winnowill)
I posted before about how I've installed Parallels on Winnowill so that I can run Windows as a virtual machine within OS X. Well, it turns out that Parallels has something called "Coherence Mode". I didn't know what this was, so I experimentally activated it.

My VM window vanished completely, and suddenly I had the OS X Dock over on the left and the Windows taskbar down at the bottom of my screen. In this mode I can access both at the very same time and have a Windows app running side by side with an OS X one.

This is strange and weird and really kind of cool, even if it does turn my computer into a weird amalgamated Frankendesktop and makes me keep thinking of the Invader Zim episode when Zim's captured by the stupidest aliens in the universe:

"You shouldn't have fused him! You've made him twice as powerful--twice as deadly!"
annathepiper: (Winnowill)
I pretty much took it easy this weekend, and worked on more tweaks to Winnowill; this was about all that I had energy for, and it was a relief to not have to do anything pressing. (I'm sad that I didn't get to go down to Rustycon with [livejournal.com profile] solarbird, especially since she was well received with her big flute and the pieces she played, but oh well life's like that; hopefully I'll be up for Conflikt.)

This weekend's task: getting the Windows virtual machine installed. Yeah yeah yeah, Windows haters, shouldn't pollute the machine with Windows, etc., etc. I still need to run Money until I find a suitable native Mac-side alternative. And I still need to be able to VPN in to work, and have no word yet on when that'll actually work in Leopard.

A lot of techie details back here... )

And it amuses me to run one OS inside another, too. If I had a Linux VM running inside the Windows one, that'd be kind of like turducken.

Meanwhile, I have to note that it is a very odd sensation to have a sunburn on my underarm. That is a portion of the body not normally meant to be sunburned, and it's getting rather distracting and a little painful. I'm going to have to ask the doctor and the duty nurse about bumping up to some heavier duty cream for the last two weeks of zapping.

And I just reached Minas Tirith. Now I'm on my way to the Morannon, to help Aragorn lay the smackdown on some dead guys. This should be fun.

Miles since the 7th: 14.1
Miles out of Hobbiton: 2584.5
Miles out of Minas Tirith: 5.5
Miles to the Morannon: 132.5
annathepiper: (Winnowill)
I have now moved into the phase of trying to get all my old mail transferred over to the Mac. My mail archives go back quite a ways--1996, at least for the stuff that's still in mail-readable format--so this is quite a daunting task.

It's complicated as well by how I apparently have quite a lot of duplicates of mail, having previously saved stuff out into this or that archive file and not having kept track of what was where. And, the various methods I have been trying of porting mail from the PC over to the Mac seem to have different degrees of effectiveness, so I've been having to try a couple at the same time to see which ones actually do the right thing.

I've found duplicates of mail showing up where I previously hadn't had duplicates--time-stamped eight or so hours later than the actual time I sent the mail. So one of the processes I'm using, either the Outlook2Mac program or else the Outlook->Thunderbird on PC->Thunderbird on Mac->Mac mail transfer path, seems to have been doing weird stuff with splitting up non-plain-text and plain text sections of email and defaulting to GMT for the plain text section it spits out.

And, Thunderbird has interesting ideas about how to interpret some of the mail headers, too. I've seen mails come through with mangled address lines. Granted, a lot of this stuff is ancient at this point and it's hardly likely that I'll need to reply to it, but it annoys me on general principle.

So I'll be at this a while, I think. But I needed to do a major spring cleaning on the mail archives anyway, and I think that in the future I will be following [livejournal.com profile] solarbird's sage example and storing everything in mbox format anyway.
annathepiper: (Winnowill)
Emerging, finally, from the long hard slog of rebuilding my music collection in iTunes. [livejournal.com profile] fleetfootmike is a lifesaver; the recommendation of the Senuti tool made this entire process a lot less of a pain in the ass. I still had to proceed an album at a time through the collection as I pulled it off the iPod, though. The tool had a few interesting ideas about what to name albums and/or individual tracks, and so I had to doublecheck what was happening when I pulled them all back into the library. But doing it an album at a time rather than a song at a time still made it a lot faster. So thanks very much, Mike!

There were only a few casualities of the entire affair. I had to re-rip the new Heather Alexander/Alexander James Adams duo album, WinterTide, but fortunately that was easily done. A few free tracks I'd pulled down off of iTunes thanks to those free song cards they were handing out in November have vanished, but eh, I can live without those. None of my purchased music was lost, and most importantly of all, none of my Great Big Sea. *^_^*;;

As part of this entire process, though, I also took the time to update the album art on some of the albums--especially the filk ones that weren't otherwise in the iTunes online library. And for giggles, because I could, I found a tool that converts mp3 files to audiobook files, and have tried this out on the ripped mp3's from my purchased box set of the audiobook version of Storm Front--the one read by James Marsters. We'll see if this works okay!

So now I'm dumping the entire collection down to DVD-ROM before I *touch wood* finally sync up the iPod with iTunes on this new machine. I've got four DVD's worth of music and related files like album art and the like. Over 14GB. Wow.

After that, I'm going to move on to verifying that the move of my mail over to Winnowill has worked correctly. I'm pretty sure the mail is all okay at this point, though I do have a few nitpicky challenges involved with reinstating all the mail-sorting rules I was using in Outlook. And my various Outlook Notes haven't survived the move, either. Googling around finds me no immediately useful solution, so I suspect I may just have to re-transcribe them into the Mac mail client.

More annoying, though, is that I have also discovered that the sync software I purchased to sync up with my frob is essentially useless. Not only does it not sync email, it also fails to actually convert the files back and forth between the formats for Pocket Word and Pocket Excel and the formats for the actual versions. This is less of a problem for Word than it is for Excel, for me. I do all my writing in RTF format anyway, and I can open that straight up in Pocket Word. But I also use a lot of spreadsheets for tracking word counts, and I don't have a solution yet for those.

I'm seriously considering whether I'm also going to have to check out the competitor product, PocketMac. It seems to be the only other available solution for my needs. Bah.

Also still to do: get Pixelmator and see if it's the graphics program I want, and go through iCal and make sure that the duplicate alert problem I've got is fixed. More tomorrow, when I have more brain.
annathepiper: (Default)
So I ran into a couple of snags that will prevent me from being able to shift completely over to the Mac for another little bit.

One is that the test drive version of Office 2004 that's on the box is a couple of revs too old to be able to talk to the software I've purchased for syncing the Mac with my frob. Grf. The test drive version is 11.2.1; the software wants 11.2.3. Which means I can't really properly set up Entourage as my main mail client, not yet.

There's also that I am having difficulty getting my offline mail out of Outlook and over onto the Mac in a format that's readable by either Mac mail or by Entourage--because Outlook pretty much only exports to PST format, and nobody else in the world talks that. I have so far tried to use Thunderbird to import from Outlook, which was only partially successful--Thunderbird screwed up a couple of folders, possibly because they had slashes in the name, and completely failed to actually pull mail in for other folders. Like, say, the Inbox. I need to figure out if I can suitably rearrange the folders to make them less complex and try Thunderbird again, or if there's another option. Suggestions on this are hereby solicited.

I also managed to torch a good bit of my computer-side music collection, entirely by accident. All is not lost--all the files are still in the hidden directory on the iPod, as I discovered by accessing it from the terminal shell when it was plugged into Winnowill's USB ports. However, if I want to cobble my computer-side library back together, the only way I've found to do this so far is to go painstakingly through each and every file off the iPod and import it into the library. This is because the iPod stores the files with random four-character names, so I can't easily tell which song is which until I actually load 'em up. Doable, but super-tedious. I'll be working at this probably throughout the week.

Fortunately iTunes defaulted to manually managing the sync with the device, possibly because it's Windows format still. I'll have to be grateful for that, since it's what's kept me from having to re-rip every single song I own. I just wish I'd figured this out before I tried to slurp some of my music files off my machine at work!
annathepiper: (Get My Tail)
It's Winnowill, the latest machine to join murkworks.net!

Blow-by-blow accounting of getting the machine online )

For now, I'd damn well better fall into bed so I can get up and go to chiro in the morning!

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