A passionate programmer’s findings in the world of internet.

Archive for the 'Exploring Mac' Category

Mac OS X Lion

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

One Apple product after another. Just upgraded to Lion from Snow Leopard on my Macbook Air. Postponed the upgrade for until now due to limited space on my 64GB SSD, also partly due to new process spawned in my personal life.

Although most of the new features are exciting, I find some features in Lion annoying. Apple likes to make decision and thinks that everyone would be happy with their product, either they like or they will have to get use to it then like it. I agree that this approach is the only way to keep things simple and nice.

One such annoying feature would be "Reopen windows when logging back in". I have heard about Mac users who never shuts down the machine because they want to keep their halfway work. This feature will be a great addition for these people. It's not for me, I always like to turn off everything and shut down at the end of day and start from fresh the next day. This feature does not allow me to do something as simple as this!

I will have to untick the checkbox on every shut down. I really need Mac to remember my last input during previous shut down.

As for the good, one main exciting feature for me would be the enhancement to Mail.app that made it works like a real email client.

Other notable feature would be the "natural" scrolling. It actually feels very unnatural in the beginning. Only after you recall how iPad works, it feels much more natural. But scrolling backwards with a mouse doesn't feel natural at all. Had to get the free Scroll Reverser to reverse mouse scroll.

So, was it worth my USD29.90? Maybe. At some point I think Apple is charging more than Microsoft because this is merely increment of 0.1 version instead of a whole new version.

Would be very interested to know what is the conversion ratio from Snow Leopard!

iPad from Singapore

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Apple iPad

Apple products are really tempting. I can't imagine myself being one of those geeks who would travel all the way to another country to purchase an Apple product just because I couldn't get it in my country.

Before I left for Singapore 2 days ago, we (my wife and I) have decided not to get iPad, reasons being:

  1. The first version of everything could potentially has undetected flaws. As a developer myself, I always believe end user testing would be the best testing, and iPad has not been in the market long enough and I don't want to be white rat.
  2. There are much more iPad competitors coming up very soon, mainly the Samsung Galaxy Tab that runs on less restricted Android platform.
  3. There are also rumours saying Apple is going to launch a mini iPad which could be much more convenient to bring around.
  4. There is no reason to get an brand new device and jailbreak it the second day, then lose it warranty. I have subscribed to home broadband, office broadband and BlackBerry unlimited packages, and I will need to get another 3G broadband for my iPad. I need to get iPad to tether with BlackBerry and that is not possible unless you jailbreak it.
  5. There are also rumours saying iPad will be in Malaysian Apple store very soon. Why the hassle?

There are much more reasons for not getting iPad at this moment.

All the reasons suddenly dismissed from our mind when we saw the Singaporeans travelling in MRTs surfing net with iPad. We saw some GeekCamp attendees surf net with iPad.

We also thought it wouldn't be easy to find iPad as it could have been wiped out by the Singaporeans, especially the entry level 16GB wifi units.

However, we really can't deny our luck when we found it at the fourth Apple store, and we have to get ourselves the iPad which damaged us SGD729. Not too expensive but not cheap too.

After owning it for less than 48 hours, I have a mixed feeling with the device.

It really changed the way people uses computer. Apple has done it again. It makes me feel like laptops will not stay for long, or the market share of laptop will drop tremendously.

I believe there are more than 50% of the users who are using computers solely for internet (or Facebook). Big portion of this user group will definitely go for iPad or similar device if they did not fall for netbooks earlier when it hit the market a year ago.

The only downside of the device, is the touch screen keyboard which I was unable to get used to it yet. Although it's hard to type on screen and I keep on getting typos, can see that the iPad is working hard to help me correct the spelling as I type. If much more effort were to be put on typo corrections, users will definitely enjoy the device more.

With all that being said, I don't think it suits me. The problem is not the device, the problem is me.

I do not see it replacing my BlackBerry or MacBook Pro. I'd still prefer to read on my BlackBerry while I commute on public transport because it's not small enough to be carried around. I will still have to use my MacBook to get my work done. There is no point adding a third device into my already heavy bag.

It shall only serve as a device for some light surfing at night, or for some urgent work in the shopping mall, on a non-working day. It's much more for my wife (for her favourite Angry Bird game) than myself.

Digi Blackberry on Mac

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

I remember it took some time to setup my Maxis Blackberry on my Mac. But for Digi, I didn't expect it to be so tough, probably Digi is considered new comer in BlackBerry market, I was unable to find any resources online.

After installing the BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac and connected your BlackBerry to your Mac with an USB cable (cable is preferred than Bluetooth to keep your BB alive), you need to do some configuration in Network settings in System Preferences.

First, you will see a new device detected as RIM Composite Device. Then, these are the things that you'll need to enter:

  • Telephone Number: *99#
  • Account Name: digi
  • Password: digi

Go to the "Advanced..." settings, and set the APN to diginet.

These are the configurations that you will need, which you can't find even in the Digi's FAQ or anywhere (as of posting date). I spent more than 30 minutes talking to different Digi support guys and still they are unable to provide me with these configurations.

As for Maxis, though you can find it elsewhere, these are what I have configured:

  • Telephone Number: *99#
  • Account Name: maxis
  • Password: wap
  • APN: internet.com

Hope these configurations work for you. Make sure you have subscribed to unlimited data package before you do this. You might end up paying big sum of bill because some software on your Mac doing some updates.

Have plans to switch to Digi soon and I could save at least 50% of bill per month.

On My New Macbook

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

After spending few weeks with Macbook Pro, there's so much to share about it. Managed to migrate everything over from PC/Windows and able to do everything I normally do in Windows. I must say, it's a struggle in the beginning. There's a point of time that I almost feel like dumping it and get another PC, instead of wasting time with this piece of junk.

It's not as "advanced" and user-friendly as it was advertised. I still feel that it's strictly for geeks, unless you are using that machine like a netbook, then it wouldn't be much problem for you.

As a programmer with some 3 years working in Red Hat terminal, still I need some time to get use to the file structure as the things are not placed exactly what it were in Red Hat.

Since I normally prefer to get use to the software that comes with the OS, I find that Finder (or you may call it file explorer) is the hardest thing you need to get use to. Many in the web would suggest you to use alternatives, but some how, I managed to adapt to it already.

Switching from Ctrl key to the Command key is the worst part of the whole migration process. Using Windows for more than a decade, why would anyone press Win Key + C to copy a thing?!

However, with all those complaints, it's not really that bad actually. I managed to adapt to the "damn" machine in less than a month. More than 10 years of working in Windows, and I could adapt myself to Mac in less than a month.

My praise for the machine is mainly on the hardware. It's really stable. There's once when some metal accidentally went into the USB port and caused a spark. The Snow Leopard just tell you gracefully that the USB port uses more power than it should be, then it automatically disable to port.

When you are in Windows, it only tells you that you can't remove your pendrive because something is still using it, but in Mac, it tells you exactly what needs to be closed so you could remove your pendrive.

I must say that Apple have put much effort on the little things, and it is these little things that makes them grow to what they are today.

The exterior of the machine, the screen, the keyboard. It all look so perfect that you would always try to protect it, even the power adapter. Apple put so much effort to every small things, like the magnet of the power adapter that suck itself to the port, the sensitivity of the touchpad.

The endurance of the battery is perfect. I have a feeling like using a phone which you would normally charge for a few hours at night and using it for one whole day on the second day. Did you ever bring your phone adapter with you on a normal working day? It almost achieve that, with at least 6 hours of wireless productivity, compared to my last AMD laptop that only runs for at most 2 hours.

I highly recommend people to switch to it, if you don't mind to spend a struggling month to adapt, but once that's over, it's really a great machine to work on. The price of owning one is no longer that high, compared to few years back.

Switching to Mac

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Have been looking at Apple products for months, but couldn't make up my mind until now. Finally got myself an entry level 13-inch Macbook Pro.

I must say it's not a cheap deal at the price of RM3,899, but comparing it to high-end Sony, Fujitsu or Lenovo laptops, it's still acceptable.

After spending few hours with it, I think I barely know anything about Mac. Even something as easy as opening command prompt (or it's called Terminal in Mac) requires a google search.

I didn't expect that setting up my Blackberry to work with Snow Leopard would took me almost an hour. Had to explore everything from scratch again. Luckily I had 3 years experience with Red Hat and vi.

Hopefully the Mac would make me revive this blog again, writing some post as a log to remind myself on how to configure my new machine to fit my needs (in case I format this machine some day).

Share with me in the comments (or laugh at me), if you find me posting anything wrong. I'm surely a noob in this new world..