Information about computers
Information about computers
In the spirit of my dislike of Apple and everything they stand for, I have decided to compile a list of Apple’s greatest blunders of 2008.
Even though apple enthusiasts want to believe Apple can do no harm, it is not always the case. I know, all the mac users out there are screaming, BLASPHEMY! Apple did mange to make it on Fortune’s 21 Dumbest Moments in Business this year. While a tiny bit embarrassing, it’s nothing that Apple hasn’t been able to brush off and continue to provide us with ipods and iphones in our pockets. Oh iPhone, how magically we love thee.
The first dumb moment is the “I Am Rich” app. This little glowing red gem of joy cost costumers $1000. It scammed about 8 people out of their cash. Unfortunately, we here at Mac|Life pooled our money together and got the app for our mascot Salty. He hasn’t been the same since. Apple quickly pulled the app without the masses getting a chance to experience buyers remorse.
Apple’s next epic FAIL had to do with the untimely passing of CEO and Apple World Leader, Steve Jobs… Oh that’s right, he didn’t. There was the faux obituary posted on Bloomberg’s website, and then some snot-nosed kid decided to publish a story about Steve having a heart attack on CNN’s iReport. And like the media we have grown to love and respect, they didn’t check any sources before posting it. That’s right, CNN went hog wild with this and posted it without confirming the information.
Here are some other blunders Apple made is 2008.
iPhone 3G launch
Apple’s blunders revolve around the launch of Apple’s iPhone 3G. Though it has been wildly successful, surpassing even Apple’s own ambitious sales goals for 2008, the launch in July had serious issues, namely problems with iPhone activation. Since that iPhone 3G is subsidized by most carriers, a contract is required at the time of purchase. This eliminated the straightforward online activation process used with the original iPhone, leading to extremely long lines for weeks after the July 11 launch. To make matters worse, the servers responsible for activations went down early on July 11, and took a couple days to be resolved.
In addition to activation woes at launch, Apple’s MobileMe service, the revamped .Mac service which works intimately with the iPhone, suffered service outages, slow access, and syncing problems. Though not everyone was affected (I count myself as one of the lucky ones), Apple eventually offered users as much as 120 days of free access to make up for all the problems. Recent updates have made the service finally stable for most, if not all, users. Still, it was a big letdown for many hoping to rely on the over-the-air data-syncing for their iPhones.
Another iPhone-related blunder was Apple’s initial refusal to lift the non-disclosure agreement attached to the iPhone SDK. This refusal led to difficulty in getting assistance with iPhone programming issues, problems with iPhone-related developer conferences, and the inability to publish books on iPhone programming. Developers made a loud noise (including a certain obscene battle cry), which eventually led to Apple relenting and lifting the NDA. Developers rejoiced, but it still made Apple look pretty bad.
I can’t wait to see how Apple makes it onto next year’s list, but they won’t, because Apple does no wrong. Right?
You know how everyone has ‘A GUY’ that knows a guy that can get something done, or has the answer to a question?
Well I have come to a realization in my life that I AM THAT GUY! When I was a kid my parents used to call me a know it all because I had an answer for everything and was able to solve most problems. I always looked at everything and wanted to figure out how to make it better than it was. Through my years I have never really owned anything that I left stock. Always tweaking, modifying or editing things to make them better and function the way I wanted them to.
As I got older and began working different jobs I was always able to look at process and procedure and figure out a more effecient way of doing things. I was never shy about giving myt opinion or answering a question for people. Most of the time I was just ignored when I gave my opinion on a topic or a situation. If not ignored many people just said things like “What do you know?”, “It is what it is!”, “Your too young, in a few years you will see that this is the best way.”
A few years have past and I have said the words “I told you so…” far too often for my liking, so for a while I stopped giving my input and helping people. The funny think is though that my phone keeps ringing with people asking me if I know how to do something or if I can help them with something. I am that guy that people call when they need an answer to something or to ask if I have a connection. I have come to welcome the fact that in my years I have learned a lot about many things. I am not a specialist in anything but a “jack of many trades” as some would call it.
Being in the computer industry I have people constantly calling me or asking for assistance in specific areas or to figure out how to do something. There are so many people that I meet in my business that initially don’t beleive the amount of knowledge I have and the ability I have to design/redesign procedures to make them more efficient.
Other than tooting my own horn of course I have decided that to help unload this knowledge and share it with people I will start using this blog as a place for anyone to ask me a question about anything and I will offer up my opinion or solution to a problem. If you have a question or a problem that you need a solution for then feel free to leave a comment on this post and I will try to offer up my solution. Take my feedback, use my advice or just ignore me it really does not matter but the offer is there!
Just me trying to give back a little to the world…
I don’t know about you but this smear campaign that Apple is continuing with, attacking Vista over and over again is getting on my nerves. Steve Jobs needs to accept the fact that PC has beaten the MAC over and over again. Windows is more versatile and accepted than Mac ever will be. You have to defense other than to smear Microsoft’s new OS. Yes Vista was laden with bugs and problems when it was first released and it caused a lot of people grief. Microsoft has since release SP1 and a host of other fixes that have made this OS a great addition to the windows family.
At my multimedia company I am using Vista64bit vista on the main workstation and Vista Home Premium on 2 laptops, Vista ultimate is installed on the tablet. There are two other computers that are running Windows XP and to be honest I nor others in the company even work on them. Vista has become almost everything that is was promised to be. There are features that have made my life at the office easier and more efficient.
As far as the mac goes I find it interesting that Apple cannot produce anything that is worthy of advertising so they have fallen back to trying to convince the world they are better than Microsoft. Seriously people get over yourselves you are beaten.
When people ask me what I do and I tell them I own a multimedia company, the most common question is “you must use a mac?”. While trying to refrain from falling on the floor laughing I explain to them that maybe in the past Mac was the platform of choice for media developers but our company is exclusively PC based. There are applications that I use that won’t run on a Mac. I need heavy GPU power for 3D applications and gaming neither of which are an Apple strength. When it comes to the brute processing power required for some of my applications there is nothing better than my Quadcore Extreme 2.66ghz Cores, 8GB of RAM, 8800GTX w/768MB DDR RAM. A $3000 machine capable of handling whatever I can through at it including playing the latest games.
Hm let me check can I get an Apple with those capabilities for $3000. Hell no that would cost tens of thousands to get that power in an apple machine. Even with the processing power the Mac would still not be able to handle playing modern games and many of the applications I use would still not run on it. So to everyone who thinks that Mac is so great and nothing compares to a mac for graphics, you are welcome to your opinion no matter how skewed it may be. At the end of the day all you Mac people can grab your I-Pods and shoe horn yourselves into your smart cars eating a tofu sandwich while the rest of us are going to have a LAN party laughing at your pretty little paper weights sitting on the desk that can’t join in the fun.
OK so I was a little harsh with the last paragraph but I am seriously fed up with seeing these ads on TV. Apple should get out of the computer game and stick to I-Pods and I-Phones it seems that its the only thing they do well. Leave the computer industry to the people that really deliver what we want and not what you tell us we want. PC is the force that drives the computer industry, lead by Microsoft Windows face the fact that Apple can’t compete.
That’s my 2 cents…
P.S. Those who live is glass houses should not through stones. As far a great release blunders does anyone remember the Mac Mini ? I didn’t see a huge smear campaign from Microsoft or the PC manufacturers when you morons thought that the Mini was a good idea. And what about the I-Lamp I mean I-Mac well what ever that stupid LCD on a desk lamp concept was. The PC companies just laughed and continued to build kick A$$ boxes.
Well Google has released a beta of its new browser. At first I was skeptical thinking OMG first of all Google desktop was not very good now they are working on a browser. Then it quickly dawned on me that who would be the best people to develop a browser than the internet leading company Google. With that revelation I clicked the link and downloaded the Beta of the new browser.
Install was a snap and it detected my current default browser Firefox and imported the passwords and book marks from it into the new browser. Being a beta it did not make itself my default browser. 2 thumbs up on that one Google. after install the browser opens and man is it clean and simple.
The look of the browser is very clean, there are no clunky buttons and the address bar has a very smart auto fill in feature similar the the new Firefox 3 address bar. What it lacks in bling it makes up for in web page viewing real estate, and really isn’t that what a browser is supposed to do?
The really interesting thing was when I reopened the browser a second time and there was some thumbnails of my most visited sites for quick reference. There was also the previously missing bookmarks tools. Now that was an impressive find. Also my recently added book marks were listed on the right side of the homepage. There was also a history search tool. All of these are great features and I can see them becoming quite useful overtime.
So far I have only found one glitch with the browser and that is when it is maximized you can no longer get the vista start bar to come out of hidden state. I have to use the windows key to get the start bar to show up again.
The new browser looks like Google is onto something and I can’t wait to see what additions they add to it. I hope they will have the ability to develop and download add-on tools like Mozilla does. Keep up the good work Google I can see IE loosing even more market share.
A link to detailed information about the browser and why Google has decided to develop one is located here>>
Well the much awaited release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2009 is out and now that I have my X-Box 360 copy and have played my way through a portion of it, I figured it was time for a review. The game applied an update to my system in order to play the game. (No need to download from server, update was on the disk).
The graphics seem to have gotten an update and are more realistic than in previous versions. I still find that the graphics are lacking vs. the PC version with better anti-aliasing and color reproduction. The characters textures are a little more detailed than I have seen in previous versions. The water is terrible however, with today’s technology you would expect that the water in the game would be of much higher caliber.
The course graphics and textures seem to be a lot more photo real however there are still shots that show really bad detail such as texture stretching and pixelation. Certain views have a close up of the planar mapped trees with the low quality alpha channeled edges in the forefront of the camera. The grass geometry is lacking in closeups, on the PC versions their seemed to be much more grass detail all but hiding the polygon surface making up the ground.
Animation and sound is much better than previous versions, the sounds are less annoying and the clubs strikes are more accurate sounding than I have seen in other versions.
This is where the major changes were made in the game with the inclusion of the instructor with custom drills, automatic attribute adjustments and club tuning. The AI seems to have been left the same as it was in 2006 till now. The same feeling of predetermined outcomes during certain events on balanced mode. An easy shot to win the whole during the Tiger Challenge and you strike the ball perfectly on the swing plane. The ball does not follow a proper ball flight and ends up out of bounds or in a sand trap, only to have the CPU opponent make an unbelievable shot to win the hole. The opposite also happens when you miss hit a ball so badly but it takes the right line and drops for an unexpected birdie. The A.I. gets even more annoying as you progress through the game into the higher opponents when making that shot is even more important.
*UPDATE* Now more than 50% into the game I have never seen such terrible A.I., it is completely inconsistent and illogical. More and more shots are just completely off what the physics of golf should be. The putting line that you can use one time is all but useless on a lot of putts. For example it tells me the ball is going to go 20 feet past the hole if I hit it full power. I drop the power to a leave it short of the hole because it is down hill and the ball still rolls all the way off the green and down the fairway 200′. The slope on the green was not even that much. The same thing happens the next round on that same hole the ball travels the same distance yet I reduced the power to nothing more than a tap. Mario Golf has better A.I. (Physics) at times than TGW2009. I feel like EA is just going through the motions on this one and releasing the same game with some very minor updates each year.
I am not really impressed with the latest release in this franchise although I am enjoying playing it on the X-Box. I think that has more to do with the big screen LCD and being able to lounge on the couch while playing than it does with the game play itself. With some real effort needs to be put into this this franchise to make it become photo realistic and more accurate simulation, in the near future. Some real though however does need to be put into the A.I. Or maybe EA just needs some competition in this genre of game?
I have found no glitches other than those listed in A.I. review. However I did find that the game would freeze once in a while during loading events in Tiger Challenge causing me to have to restart the XBox360. *After some more testing I found that the freeze occurs when you are offered the drills after a round and you complete one or more but not all of the drills. If you only complete a portion of the drills listed and then press “B” to get back the previous menu the loading will freeze.
I would give the game a 5.5/10 there are some things that are just not as nice as the PC version. And I cant get over the rubberband illogical A.I.
In a previous article I wrote about Web designers that rip off clients where I rant about some of my clients that have been ripped off in the past with web design.
I have just taken on a new client that is in the same situation. They have a poor site that they paid far too much for and I am now cleaning up the mess for them. My rates are not “cheap” and nor is my work but when I hear from people how much they paid for their sites it disturbs me. Where is the customer service? Where is the drive to maintain a long and prosperous client relationship?
My company Mk2 Business Solutions has been running since 2006 and in this time we have never lost a client due to poor product or service. Myself I spent many years working in customer service both in sales and management so I learned how to make sure my customers were happy.
The more time I spend in the industry the more I want to effect change in how we deal with our clients. They rely on us to help them grow their business. It is not in anyones best interest to “grab the money and run” providing poor quality work. My clients are able to reach me (except when on vacation) anytime. I respond to emails as soon as I get them and many minor edits on text etc. I do not charge them for.
Here is some of my clients sites if you are interested in viewing them. My company also offeres a referral payout to anyone that refers busines our way. So if you are impressed with our work and know someone that could use the service we offer please pass on our name.
wildernesstrekking.com | avocet3d.com | yourgolfstats.com | ditomassogroup.com | funnyguy.ca | gann.ca | zensport.ca | internationalalpacas.com | sukkhothai.com(in progress) | craigwalters.net | speakwell.com | ezfi.com | commercialpropertyloans.com | animaxdesigngroup.com | guttersuckers.com | adventuretech.ca(in progress)
We are currently taking on new clients. I will be on vacation from August 14th to 29th but someone from the office will be able to take questions and information for my return. As the founder and president of the company I make sure to meet with every client personally before moving forward on a project.
If you need HIGH quality and efficient work then contact us.
Well I made the mistake today of typing in new.facebook.com and it logged me in to the new improved (*cough *cough) facebook layout. For starters this new look has even more wasted space than the previous version. The what are you doing right now is HUGE and takes up as much space as some header images I have seen on other sites.
The home page where you receive your news feed is completely amateurish in design and layout with the newsfeed having entirely too much white space. I see no real point to the change it is really not adding any value to the look and feel of the application. A company like Facebook with the amount of money they are worth could at least produce a better design than this for their “NEW” launch. At least when Myspace changed the look and functionality they made a vertical move and improved the site.
While in the profile view I noticed that there is now a tabbed browsing menu for navigating through the option such as applications. This AJAX style loading system is great when implemented properly. Not so in this case. The loading icon is lame and it seems to take a while to switch views when navigating through the sections. The upper navigation is a nice feature with the drop down selections applications etc. I have noticed that there is some odd padding(spacing) issues on the site which is not appealing to the eye. Main example is down the left side of the screen the edge of the Facebook logo does not line up with the edge of the content creating a weird indented look on the content.
The only redeeming quality I have seen with this new layout is that it is now optimized for 1024X768 instead of 800X600. About time I say considering for a few years now 1024X768 and above resolutions have been dominating the internet.
Facebook.com and new.facebook.com need to hire some new designers and stop letting the programmers design the look of the website. We will see how it progresses in the near future, for now I am giving it a and will be switching back to the old one now that I have found the link to go back.
Well Future Mark the premiere benchmarking for gaming systems has released yet another of their benchmark applications. The trends in these benchmarking tools has been pretty solid getting progressively more appealing as the hardware is able to handle more information and graphics. The process of installing and running the application is getting more tedious as the versions get pumped out. The latest in the franchise is a Vista DirectX 10 benchmark utility. I was excited to try this one out and could not wait to see what advancements they had made in the visuals using DirectX 10.
Download and Install
The download was extremely quick using the free download path and ran upwards of 500kbs. It took a few minutes to download the 450MB file. When running the application it installed with no problems to the x86 directory on my 64bit Vista install. When I tried to run the application it loaded the window and then displayed a page not found error. When running benchmarks I disable all firewall and anti virus to maximize free cpu and ram. After a couple more attempts to run it the page finally displayed. Much to my dismay it was a page with ordering options and no prices. The free trial is now only a one time use, the multi use if $6.95 and the rest I didn’t bother looking at. So I register the onetime use for free, open the email and copy the registration code into the text field. INVALID REGISTRATION CODE. WTF this is the code they just sent. I try it again with the same copy paste and it works. So far not a very stable application and quite annoying to get running.
Intel Quadcore QX6700 Extreme 2.66ghz
8GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 Ram
Geforce 8800GTX 768MB DDR3
Gigabyte DQ6 Mainboard.
WD 74GB 10K rpm Raptor OS Drive
Windows Vista x64 Business
After what seems an eternity the tests load up. I sit back to watch DirectX 10 at it’s finest. The first test was a pretty lame scene in a watery room with some characters running around. The models and textures are reminiscent of Lara Croft a few generations back from the current game. Poor weighting on the models and low quality textures. The water is non reflective and terrible. The bloom and anti aliasing was horrible and looked like it was way over done to hide the poor workmanship on the scene. An average frame rate of 12fps was had, On my system I was not impressed at all, I mean seriously I play Crysis on this system at a higher frame rate.
The second test was a space scene that had the same over bloomed effect. The scene felt like it was a look how many asteroids with poor textures we can fit in one scene. A cheap camera fly through in the scene and a couple of ships flying by. The planet in the background was neat however it seemed as though there was a poor texture seam on the mapping. Frame rates on this test were bouncing from 8FPS to 22FPS. Still not very impressed with the benchmark so far.
Test 3 is some airplanes doing a pylon race. OMG the graphics are horrible there seems no point in even having this test in there. It is testing the CPU capabilities using a crappy background and some lowpoly planes buzzing around dough nuts. Totally unimpressed. The final test was a similar scene to test PhysX using CPU and software rendering. Pointless looking test and brought the system to a crawl.
Well now that I won’t get those precious minutes of my life back and being permanently scared emotionally by the garbage graphics I just sat through. I anxiously await my score. Click here to view your score online, Oh yeah I forgot that FutureMark stopped showing your score unless you go on the site and compare against other testers. I click the link and nothing happens, the application hangs and then displays an error pop-up. I click the link a second time and finally the page opens after what seems like an eternity. The results where disheartening to say the least. My machine was a middle of the road setup, and to add salt to the wound the software did not even recognize my CPU as the EXTREME edition.
Two thumbs down on this waste of bandwidth. Actually I think this garbage has ruined FutureMark for me all together. I will never again use this benchmarking utility again. This is a prime example of what happens to so many great tools and applications. The more popular it gets the worse it gets as versions are released. Maybe it is bureaucracy or greed getting in the way. Whatever it is shame on you for letting a great benchmark tool degrade into such crap.
Well as I began using the Windows Vista SP1 update and putting it through its paces on my laptop. Some major concerns have come up which have now caused me to uninstall the service pack and wait till Microsoft gets it right before I install it again.
I predominantly use Firefox as my browser but after installing SP1 Firefox began hanging when loading pages, especially during tabbed browsing sessions. I tried to recreate this problem in IE7 but I could not recreate the problem. The router and modem are working fine and tested well on other computers in the network. After uninstalling add-ons and trying an upgrade to Beta 5 of firefox I still found the same problems occurring. Therefore I concluded that this is a conflict between Firefox and SP1, where does the blame lie? I would put the blame on Microsoft myself considering that Firefox was working fine before the update.
When shutting down the laptop the system would hang at “Shutting Down” at one point I left the system to see how long it would hang but after 45mins I decided it was time to hit the power button. After fixing some registry entries the main one being this:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control] On the right panel look for the “WaitToKillServiceTimeout” string and change it value to 5000 by right clicking the string and selecting Modify…
Default Value WaitToKillServiceTimeout=20000
Modified value WaitToKillServiceTimeout=5000
This sped up the shutdown time a little but it would still hang on some shutdowns. With these to issues I have had enough of SP1, a service pack is supposed to enhance the usability of a system not cripple regularly used programs. At this time I am going to wait until the update is available through windows update. [NOTE] On my x64 VIsta system in the office I have not seen these problems, all though on that machine the update came through windows update. The x64 system is also a desktop and built with newer components.
Thats it for now, I patiently await a REAL service pack from Microsoft for Vista.
Well its here and ready to install, Windows Vista SP1. I grabbed the install from the downloads because its not available for Windows Update until April18, 2008.
This install took approximately a 1/2 Hr. and was uneventful, this installation was on my Fujitsu 6025 Lifebook. Reboot worked without out fail and there it was. Some of the first things that I noticed was that the delay in file transfer estimation was gone as I transferred some large files from one partition to another. The file transfer rate on the 5400RPM laptop drive was approx. 5-6MB/Sec but the update bar is more consistent than it is in the non SP1 setup.
When using FireFox and trying to open html links from within applications like Mail there is an error that pops up saying that the page cannot be found but then FireFox loads the page anyway. It is more of a minor inconvenience than a major problem. There is a driver compatibility problem with SP1 and the Fujitsu shock sensor. A quick check on the Fujitsu site netted me an updated driver that seems to be working properly.
I am still finding that the network detection tools are still weak, often when clicking network my router is not in the list so to log-in to the router I have to go in via http. Other times the router appears and the standard Right Click>View Device Web-page is available. Network access is quicker when navigating through shared folder on the XP machine in the network.
There was supposed to be fixes in this Service Pack for display adapters running multiple displays from a notebook. I have not yet seen the fix I was looking for, when I plug my plasma T.V. into the laptop via VGA I can use it as a second monitor but when I unplug it from the laptop the task/start menu bar goes invisible with a thin outline of where it is supposed to be. In order to get it back I have to stop the dwm.exe (Desktop Window Manager) from the task manager and let it restart the service for the start menu to appear again. Still no fix for this error in the new SP1.
So far I have seen one of the fixes that I was looking for in HDD file transfer and Network access but other than that there is not much of a change to the general functionality of Vista.
Well that is my first glance, I will make updates to the post as I delve into the update a little more.