Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Vista x64 on a Mac Pro

Don't fucking bother. Worst experience that I have ever fucking had in my life. Half the devices don't work properly, and all it seems to do is read and write to the hard drive excessively.

I first tried 32 bit Vista a few months ago and it saw 1.9 GB of my 4GB memory, even with PAE enabled, which is a sack of shit to be honest, which was why I ditched it then, god knows why it does that, it may be a limitation in the Apple EFI emulated BIOS, or more likely a limitation in Vista.

So...................tonight, I was bored and thought 'Oh yeah, lets try Vista 64, it may be better than 32 bit.' Big Mistake....read on.....

I installed it, and in all fairness it installed fairly quickly. Checked the Performance Index, 5.9 on all counts, so far so good....

Then.....update time....47 updates available.... it seemed to take an age to download them, my network usually works at 1500kb/sec, but for some reason in Vista, I was getting 400kb/sec at most. It then took the best part of 40 mins to install those, which was rather annoying, then came the reboot, which took equally an age to complete the 'Windows is configuring updates' shit...

Finally, upon reboot I tried to find a driver for my Kensington Trackball....no 64 bit drivers available....GREAT, which meant that anything that required scrolling, you can't do in a quick manner. :-(
Then, I realised that the sound wasn't working. It had detected the hardware and installed drivers....but no sound at all...so I pissed about with it for 10-15 mins, no joy.

Then I found out that MacDrive doesn't work with 64 bit Windows, so my 500GB of data on HFS+ drives was inaccessible. 

So.....I thought fuck it, and did the sensible thing, and erased the partition and went back to an OS that 'just works'.....maybe not as well as Apple try to make out....but much better than Windows. :-)

End result....don't bother, it's really not worth it.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Facebook 'viral' ads....more privacy concerns...

Facebook has released it's Facebook Ads initiative:

"Called Facebook Ads, the new program is threefold: advertisers can create branded pages, run targeted advertisements, and have access to intelligence and analytics pertaining to the site's more than 50 million users. Partners can participate in all three components of Facebook Ads, or a combination of them."

"Additionally, Facebook has unveiled targeted advertisements that will allow marketers to target by any information inside Facebook profiles, from relationship status to favorite television shows. Zuckerberg demonstrated the interface by targeting a hypothetical running shoe ad toward women aged 18 to 30 in New York who have listed "running" among their interests."
From: c|net 

The thing that concerns me is the 3rd one "have access to intelligence and analytics pertaining to the site's more than 50 million users"
To me, this basically reads, they get shitloads of information about you, in order to piss you off with adverts, spam and general annoyances.

I don't want companies generating a database of information about me, surely that is for me to decide. Where is the 'opt out' button? It seems that Facebook are playing this off as some kind of good thing, well to their users anyway, saying that we have asked for it. Er....no. 

Basically, as far as I am concerned, there is enough junk in the news feed already, without bloody advertising to boot. 
Anyway, I have found the solution. Simply zap all your apps, turn your privacy settings right down, so apps can only see very limited data about you, and then re-add the apps, assuming you want them.

Heres a couple of stories about this issue:


Personally, I view this ad system to be as bad as adware installed on a PC. Basically, it's stealing your personal information in order to "track" your habits, and "offer" you shit you don't want.
Programs like Adaware and Windows Defender remove things called tracking cookies, which basically do exactly what this is doing, but at a much reduced level. 

The simple fact....don't trust Facebook. At all. Period.


Leopard Roundup....

Ok, so...i've had Leopard for 2 weeks now.

Problems that I have had have been minimal, a few app incompatibilities, but nothing major. To be honest, it's not much different to using Tiger, the reliability seems to be similar, and the bugs are annoyingly similar. 
Such as the SMB bug, when connecting to a Windows machine and the connection hangs up for some reason, Finder hangs and there is no way of recovering it, hard reset is the only way. I experienced that one last night, which pissed me off somewhat. :-s
I have an idea how to get round that one though, make sure you have a terminal window open so you can kill Finder or halt the system if it happens. ;-)

Apart from that, that's the only complete system hang that I have had since the iChat backgrounds facade 2 weeks ago.

Memory usage is pretty stable, Safari seems to eat a lot now and again, but then seems to release it back too now and again, but thats web browsers for you in general. Load wise, the system isn't really doing much, and the load is minimal.

Few app incompatibilities have been noticed, such as X-Lite (softphone) not working at all, but apparently a new update will fix that. ClamXav's scheduling also doesn't work properly, although, I don't really care. I'm quite capable of updating virus defs manually.
Everything else appears to be working fine.

Time Machine is brilliant, I have used it several times to go back to prev versions of files that I have been hacking about with, and I also used it to do a full system restore, which worked flawlessly.

It seems though, many other users have not been as fortunate as me, if you go on the Apple support forums, it's full of people with various problems. My honest belief is that these people are creating the problems themselves, by doing upgrades for a start. Who in their right mind upgrades an operating system? God, no...not a good idea. Always start fairly clean at least, I think archive and restore is the way to go personally.
Also, people don't think to remove all the silly hacks they implement. If you want hacks, at least expect some system instability. It seems that many users prefer to mess about with the internals of their systems, which is up to them, but, what do you expect when you do an upgrade?

Silly people.

Also, macosxhints.com, I don't think they have actually published a decent hint for Leopard so far, most of them have been complete crap, or ugly hacks that are most likely going to be zapped by 10.5.1.
So, if you want my advice, don't bother.

10.5.1, by the way, has been seeded to developers, so i'm sure it wont be a million years till it's out. It may well come out at the same time as 10.4.11 and Safari 3 Final. In fact, 10.4.11 will probably include Safari 3 final on Tiger.

I'll post some more at some point when I can be arsed, but those are my thoughts for the moment.


Bye for now.

x

Prince is going to sue thepiratebay.org

What a complete nobhead.

Say no more.

For comedy, read this lot:



x

Monday, 5 November 2007

Why Linux Will Succeed On The Desktop

Just a quickie, here's an interesting story that I read this morning.

To me, it makes sense.

Enjoy ;-)

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Leopard Security....

Come on Apple, you can do better than this:




Not very good is it...what was all that touting about security?

And while we are on a similar subject, where the FUCK is Java 6 in Leopard? Why the hell is that obselete Java 5 still included? 

Apple, stop fucking about with phones and pissy ipod's and sort your priorities out, you know, the things that got you started in the first place...


Porn trojan on OS X

Fortunately, this won't be bothering me, because of 2 simple reasons:

  1. It's highly unlikely that I would ever be looking at pictures of Britney Spears, dubious or not, or any more straight porn for that matter. ;-)
  2. I'm not a fucking idiot.
Amusing though...even more amusing that some dumb users have actually installed it, weird desperate bastards. It proves to me that even some users shouldn't have a "more secure" mac. The computer is only as secure as the user, and the user education....oh and the fucking common sense.

Taking the piss out of Microsoft...again.

Sorry, I just can't help it.... ;-)



xx

Monday, 29 October 2007

Mail....problem solved!!!

Ok, the other day I was whining about mail.app v3 not working with IMAP and MDaemon 9.61.

With the help of somebody on the Apple support forum, the problem has been solved.

The solution is simple:

  1. Shutdown Mail.
  2. Delete or rename: /Users/username/Library/Mail
  3. Start up Mail.
Mail will come up with the update dialog again, and then after that should work correctly. However, you may need to shutdown and start up mail again for this to work. 
It may take a while to synchronise your folders, but it will do it eventually.

This seems to be related to the automatic update that Mail.app v3 makes to the v2 mailboxes.

Hope this is helpful to somebody.... :-)

Funny...and so true!

Windows: n. 32-bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16-bit patch to an 8-bit operating system originally coded for a 4-bit microprocessor, written by a 2-bit company that can't stand for 1 bit of competition.

Leopard, a few days in.

Ok, so....i've had Leopard for 3 days so far, theres been a few minor problems, but nothing particularly deadly.

The main issues I have had are as follows:

  1. Occasional random Finder crashes, unsure what is causing them, it could be 3rd party, but unlikely as the only thing I have installed 3rd party that interacts with Finder is ClamXAv - com.apple.launchd[110] ([0x0-0xa00a].com.apple.finder[143]) Exited abnormally: Segmentation fault - is what keeps appearing in the logs.
  2. Weirdness with file and folder permissions, easily fixed by running chgrp and chown a few times. ;-)
  3. Complete UI lockup when using iChat's video background feature, whole user interface unresponsive, mouse unresponsive, keyboard unresponsive. But NOT a kernel panic, something else. Needed to hard reboot to sort that problem out.
  4. Excessive memory and swap usage when Secure virtual memory is enabled. In fact, it managed to make 2GB of my memory active when no processes were using it, and it also managed to use 1 GB of swap, which on a 4GB machine, is ridiculous.
  5. Mail.app v3, still a pile of shite, don't know why it won't talk to my server, mail v2 did with no problems what so ever, so god knows what they have fucked up with that update. Unfortunately for me, I can't even get mail.app v2 working on Leopard, as a temp workaround, because one of the required frameworks is missing. :-(
  6. The new SMB settings, yes, very nice Apple, but no fucking good if you can't change the workgroup. The workgroup input box just blanks itself out every time, and /etc/smb.conf is not the samba config file anymore, it reads its input from /var/run/smb.conf, which is dynamically generated...so there doesn't seem to be a workaround for that either.
  7. Finder...again. Lol, has a problem finding network computers, possibly because of the SMB workgroup issue above....it doesn't seem to like finding them at all in fact.
  8. top keeps reporting stopped processes, and when I go do a ps auxc I find several processes with U next to them, which are still running....bugger knows what's going on with that.
I'm sure there's more, but these bugs could do with being fixed, nothing major really, just minor annoyances, except Mail....it means i've got to use that piece of Mozilla junk Thunderbird, unless someone can suggest a decent alternative client... :-)

Going to bed now....work tomorrow. :-(

Night. x

Friday, 26 October 2007

Mac OS 10.5 aka Leopard - My experience

Installation:

When I installed it, I decided to go for the archive and restore as opposed to the upgrade, as I thought this would give me a faster, cleaner system.

So, I started the archive and restore process, everything went fine until it tried to restore my files at the end and it came up with an error saying 'Install Failed'. So, I rebooted, and tried the upgrade after that, and that seemed to work ok, apart from the fact it created me a new user account and didn't copy any of my stuff over. 
However, I needed all my files, and to be honest, couldn't be bothered customising everything again. 

So, I set to work finding out what was causing the migration assistant to fail, which, by the way is the program that the Leopard installer uses to complete the archive and restore. I traced the error to a strange cache file, which appeared on disk, but didn't exist. Using rm -rf in the terminal didn't work, so, I enabled the root account, trashed the entire cache for my old user account, then ran the migration assistant again. Fortunately it worked that time. :-)

My advice, is if you are upgrading from Tiger, and wish to archive and restore, trash the Cache directory first. :-)

After a bit of mucking about moving user files about, I finally got my system the same as it was under Tiger.

User Interface, User experience, settings:

The whole user experience seems very smooth under Leopard, except for a couple of UI glitches where finder Windows open too high up and appear to go under the top menu bar, which is odd. I''m sure they will be ironed out by 10.5.1 though.

The system preferences are definitely much improved from Tiger, they have added an option to use folders other than your home folders for SMB shares, which is definitely a good thing, specially on my system, which has 4 hard drives, and 750 GB of files in various places. 
Netinfo manager has gone, but the same settings are available in various different places, such as in System Preferences, and for NFS and mounts and shit like that, the settings are in Directory Utility.

Stacks are great, some have been quite critical of the grid, but I disagree, it beats having to open a Finder window. 

The coverflow thing in Finder looks nice, but yet is quite pointless as far as I can see, why bother having that when you get previews for every file, and you can hit space bar to get a full preview with Quick Look. Finder, in general seems to be a lot better, the new icons are very nice too, and it will do an icon preview of most files, including avi's which it would never do before.

Spotlight seems scarily faster than Tigers spotlight, and will do much more efficient boolean searches.

Time Machine, very customisable, you can back up whatever you want, and it seems to be quite efficient. It's extremely easy to restore from a backup too. I have it backing up to my smallest hard drive, and although it has produced about 25 backups so far, it hasn't used much more space than it did with the first backup.

Spaces is a very good idea, and it appears to be a good implementation of it. I have set it up so Vmware fusion uses space 2, so it doesn't clutter up my main workspace with Windows, not that I use Windows that often, but it's nice to have for Office 2007 and msn webcam support if nothing else. It's very easy to switch between them and it multiplies the available desktop space a lot. Definitely very useful, but nothing new, because it has been in Kde for ever!

In general, user interface wise, it is much cleaner and tidier than Tiger, and it seems to be easier to get to places that you need to get to.


UNIX:

The UNIX backend of OS X is very much as it was, nothing much really has changed. Memory management seems to be much better however, and the whole system backend and a lot of the frontend is allegedly 64 bit now so it can address more memory on high memory systems.

The terminal app retains all of its power, you can even have tabbed terminal sessions now. 

One thing you might notice, is that all your user apps now run under launchd, instead of running under windowserver like they did previously. I believe, but don't quote me on this, that this is the sandbox feature that protects your system better from malicious software.

I haven't really had a look round inside to see what unix components have been updated, but i'm assuming that many of them will have been updated components. Samba is at 2.0.25b, which is pretty recent.


Problems:

Mail 3.0 does not bloody work properly with my MDaemon imap server. It will not download the headers, and basically wont do anything. :-( So for now, i've had to download Thunderbird (yuk), until Apple come up with a fix for it, which hopefully will be soon, as I have put in a detailed bug report.
Last.fm application doesnt work properly, and its shit anyway, so I downloaded iScrobbler instead.
Couple of UI glitches specially with Finder windows.
Front Row uses an excessive amount of memory, and doesnt appear to terminate itself once you exit it. Might be a candidate for being disabled if it persists in that behaviour. :-p


Anyway, thats about it for now, if theres any more, i'll either do an edit or a new post....


;-)




Thursday, 25 October 2007

Storm worm turns antivirus software into a useless ornament.

It seems that the infamous Storm worm has got even more clever now. Instead of simply terminating antivirus programs, it patches their memory so they run fine, but if you think they are protecting your system, think again, because they ain't.

Real handy that isn't it? A virus scanner that is nothing but an ornamental icon sitting in the system tray.

The Storm worm botnet is huge now, estimates vary between 6 and 15 million PC's...all running Windows surprisingly enough.

The scary thing is, this thing actually acts like it is alive.
  • It knows when somebody is investigating it, and launches a denial of service attack against them in retaliation.
  • It hides itself on a PC using a rootkit so that the average dumb Windows user can't find it or remove it - Which also changes every few weeks to avoid detection.
  • It renders security software useless.
  • It changes its program signature every 30 mins to avoid antivirus software.
  • It can defeat so called secure networks.
  • It has the ability to launch massive Distributed Denial of Service attacks/spam floods against anything that its owner/herder wishes.
  • All in all, it's one scary piece of "software".
And why has this happened? It's down to the idiocy of users for downloading every shit thing on the internet, not having up to date antivirus definitions and generally not following BASIC security practice when using the internet.
Last but not least, it's also down to Microsoft, for pushing their shoddy, bug ridden junk that they call an operating system, namely Windows.

I think it's time for anyone with half a brain to switch to an alternative operating system and call time out on Microsoft and it's shoddy software, which is a threat to us all.

Thanks for listening.

x


The original post which I got the inspiration from is available here.