IOS 11 Dock Tip and a Files App Shortcoming

In iOS 11, you don’t only have to use the dock for single apps. You can drag an app group into the Dock as well. I just found this out by “trying it out.” That makes it much more useful for app switching when you swipe up from the bottom.

I’m really liking iOS 11 a lot. It sold a new iPad to me… an iPad Pro 256gb 12.9”. I just had to have it. I can almost turn it into my work machine, but the Files app let me down. I couldn’t rename a file extension with the Files app. I needed to do that and it hosed me since I couldn’t. I reported that though 🙂

Microsoft is doing better

It looks like Satya Nadella’s strategies are paying off. Microsoft reported some gains in Windows 10 and its cloud business.

That’s good news for overall competition. I’ve also witnessed Microsoft become more and more “Internet friendly,” by way of embracing multi-platform applications and developers. This is what needed to happen.

Just think if Ballmer was still around… maybe Microsoft would be folding by now.

They do need to do something about the Windows handset business, but I’m betting that Satya has a plan for that.

Still, I’m firmly entrenched in my Apple camp because with this hardware, I can have the best of all of the OS worlds. If Microsoft could arrange licensing for OS X to run on their hardware, they would really have my attention.

The Tone of the WWDC Keynote

One thing I wanted to mention in my post about WWDC last night… did anyone feel that the tone of the overall keynote was different? It felt a little more relaxed and fun. It seems like Tim Cook has encouraged his staff to be more relaxed and at ease with what they are doing. There was more humor and more open honesty.

I think Tim is trying to strike a keen balance between old school Apple secrecy and a new humane approach to the work they are doing. I think he’s listening to the consumers about how things should be (iCloud Drive is a likely example of that).

I like Tim Cook. I like where he’s taking the company. All of you who keep crying about Apple’s lack of innovation need to look back at Microsoft’s record the past 20 years. Give Apple some time and they will surprise you. They like to lay a lot of foundation work before they spring a surprise on anyone. This WWDC was foundational. I expect a lot of interesting things this fall.

OS X 10.10 and iOS 8 Thoughts

I should be at WWDC 2014 this year, but I’m not. I work for a Microsoft-centric shoppe right now and they just don’t see the value in it. Nevertheless, I put my name in for the lottery and I didn’t win anyway.

I watched most of the keynote from afar and parts of the State of the Union address. All of it is ultra exciting. If they get Continuity, iCloud Drive (FINALLY OMG) and Messages right, this will be a killer OS combo with iPhones, iPads and Macs.

There’s a plethora of articles out there explaining what’s up. I highly recommend Anandtech write-ups in almost every scenario.

Also, I’m really interested in Swift – this new programming language. It seems quite daft. Too bad I’m not as proficient with Obj-C as I wanna be yet. When they announced the new language, my first thought was all the people who are groaning about the iOS and Mac programming courses that they have to remake… or, more likely, how excited they are that they can make another round of these things and a windfall of cash.

There’s great things to come in the world of Apple. I’m looking forward to seeing where the home automation stuff goes too.

Who cares about an iWatch and TV? Whatever.

Owies

I’ve had a challenging few weeks.

It started off with a typical sinus infection… or allergies, I’m not sure which exactly. All I know is that I had a sore throat, stuffy nose and semi-regular headaches. I managed it with cold medicine and nose spray the best I could. I continued my normal workout regimen because usually, working out actually helps with congestion. This wasn’t the case this time around.

The problems hung out for a few days. It started to clear up on Friday around my birthday. On Sunday, we decided to go on an 8.5 mile bike ride. It felt great to be out in the sun and spring air. When we got home however, my right ear instantly filled up. It’s like someone poured glue in my ear. It started a high-pitched squeal.

The worst part was the pain. The pain was epic. I’ve never had pain in my ear like that before. It was so brutal that I would try anything to get rid of it. I tried all kinds of home remedies. Nothing worked. A few days later I finally went to the doctor and he confirmed it was just a massive ear infection. They gave me a shot of some plant spores in my ass and sent me on my way.

A day or two later we were sparring in Tae Kwon Do class. I was fighting one of my classmates and decided to do a regular, clean roundhouse kick with my right leg. I brought it up. So did he. We kicked at the same time. Our shins met and clacked like swords. The pain was instant and terrifying.

The bruise was even worse. Fifteen minutes after sustaining the hit my leg was already bruising.

IMG 2216

The pain subsided a little bit. I suppose it was adrenaline kicking in or something. Who knows. It really didn’t feel that bad. Then I got home and noticed my leg was burning. I looked down and discovered that it was pissed.

IMG 2218

This really wasn’t turning out to be my week.

I forgot the best part. While this fantastically shitty week was going on… I was working from home because of how awful I felt and the fact that I was deaf in my right ear. I just wasn’t fit to be around people. I had absolutely zero joy to share with the world. I was working along on and then decided to take a break. I went downstairs to grab a drink or a snack or something. I don’t remember. I came back upstairs and my Macbook Pro was completely black. The fans were running… loud. This wasn’t good. This usually only happens when I’m booted into Windows 8.1.

I pressed a key. Nothing.

I powered it off. I waited a few minutes. I pressed the button once more to turn it back on. I was confident this was all going to be okay.

IMG 2212

Nope.

Yeah, that’s my Macbook Pro with a blue screen of death.

I made a genius appointment. They took it in and held on to it for a few days. They contacted me back around three days later and proclaimed that the Data Doubler part I had put in to run the secondary SSD was faulty. As soon as they unplugged it from the logic board everything was fine. “Weird,” said I, since this had been running fine for three years. I picked the laptop back up. I turned it on. Sure enough, it was fine.

Fifteen minutes or so later, it died again.

thanks apple

I made another genius bar appointment and brought it back. This time I had replace all of the original parts in the MBP.

During this time I worked off my iPad as the primary machine for a few days and then switched to my 2008 Mac Pro. This was fine because I wanted to work from home anyway, thanks to my medical challenges.

On Saturday that week they returned the MBP with a brand new logic board. It’s been working fine ever since. This time, I thank Apple… without the sarcasm.

My leg and my hearing were still bad. At this point I’m in week two of a nightmarish way to start my 43rd year. I was having trouble walking for sure and my leg developed hematomas all over the place from the injury down to the bottom of my foot. I was icing it regularly and doing my best to keep the swelling down. The swelling is what was hurting the most. The injury itself wasn’t that bad.

Now it’s about three weeks later and my hearing has gotten better. I ended up visiting an ENT thanks to a friend of mine who works there. I had been prescribed another round of antibiotics from my regular doctor.

He also put me on blood pressure medicine.

Out of all of the maladies, this was the most crushing I think. I felt like I had failed. Three years ago this doctor had told me to lose weight or face high blood pressure and diabetes. I lost 80 lbs. over the past three years and I’ve managed to keep most of it off. I was putting weight back on this week because… this week. I wasn’t given a choice on the blood pressure medicine. This saddened me for a few days, but the more I think about it, the more I think it was a good idea. We’ll see.

Overall it’s been a really tough week. I’m getting through it. I’ve not really worked out in 2-3 weeks and that’s been tough. I hate feeling like I’m a lazy bastard. I hope the worst is behind me and it’s nothing but up from this point forward. I probably needed a break anyway.

Lync 14.0.6 update may not install

This morning I was alerted to Microsoft’s update of Lync 2011 for Mac. They’ve released 14.0.6, which apparently fixes three relatively minor issues. However, the bloody thing doesn’t seem to install.

I clicked the link in the update notice and discovered that it’s going to the 14.0.5 update. I already have 14.0.5, so that makes little difference to me. Microsoft blew that one. Seems like my Mac was trying to install 14.0.5 and kinda failing since I already have it. It gets better though. I found the real link and noticed that buried deep inside the article is a little note:

Before you install the Lync for Mac 2011 14.0.6 update, you must uninstall any version of Lync for Mac 2011 that is earlier than Lync for Mac 2011 14.0.4 on your computer. Additionally, make sure that the computer is running Mac OS X 10.5, or a later version of the Mac OS X operating system.

If you’ve not been updating Lync as soon as it comes out, make sure you’re at least on 14.0.4!

Usage logs show Apple has begun testing iPhone 6 running iOS 7

I’m sure Apple is testing something, but this is a given. Why would we try to glean something from this? Silly people.

Usage logs show Apple has begun testing iPhone 6 running iOS 7:

Apple’s new iPhone and iOS software have begun surfacing in app usage logs…

(Via MacDailyNews)

Mac Productivity Tip: Tagging Files

Here’s a little productivity tip for those of you who may need it. In OS X, one of the features that I find is vastly underused is Spotlight comments. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a way to tag your files quickly and easily with say… a “TODO” tag or something so you could easily find them and remember to work on something?

Using Automator, you can do this very quickly. Open up Automator and build out a Service that looks like this:

Automator TODO

Like I said, you did this as a Service. So Save it. Now, anytime you have a file selected, the Service to tag this will become available in the top menu bar.

This is useful, but let’s make it more useful. Let’s assign a keyboard shortcut. Go to System Preferences/Keyboard and select Keyboard Shortcuts. Choose “Services” on the left-hand side and scroll down to your new Service. Tick the checkbox and assign it a keystroke. For me, I assigned it CTRL-CMD-T.

Now, when you select a file, hit your keyboard shortcut and the file will automatically be tagged.

That’s neat, but let’s make it EVEN NEATER.

Now go to Finder and make a new Smart Folder. Tell it you want to display files that meet criteria of a Spotlight comment containing “TODO”. You’ll end up with a view like this:

Finder TODO

See the comments field? Now you can see the tag there. If you really wanted to get fancy, you could make Services with other tags and carve out smart folders for them. Good stuff.

Quick Apple Mail Fix for HTML font size

Hi, just dropping in from raiding the lands of healthy heroes and creamy young virgins to let you in on a quick Apple Mail tip.

Do you use Apple Mail in an environment with Outlook?  In particular, do those Outlook users prefer HTML mail?  Do you receive mail from them with a microscopic font size?

Thanks to the tip I found here you can correct this issue.

  1. Close down Apple Mail (command-Q)
  2. Open the Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal)
  3. Type the following command: “defaults write com.apple.mail MinimumHTMLFontSize 13” (note: without quotes)
  4. Restart Apple Mail
  5. Squint no more.

Hope this helps.  Flying back out to meet up with my sister Vermithrax and raid a few kingdoms today.  Wednesdays are always fun like that.

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60 more days of MobileMe for free

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

The net is abuzz tonight as MobileMe users recieve more notices that MobileMe still isn’t what Apple had hoped it would be, so it’s offering 60 days more for free.

Paul Thurrott has already played the part of the cynic and provided a rather insightful metaphor, but I’m going to come down on the positive side and say that MobileMe has been a wonderful experience for me.  Not only has it been wonderful, it’s turned my iPhone into something I can only describe as a thing of glory.

Combining home data sync over MobileMe with work data sync over ActiveSync, all on the same device, has been absolutely wonderful.  I realize, however, that the experience on Windows just isn’t that fab.  That’s okie with me though, Windows users need to be using Apple products on Apple products anyway.

Kinda like Microsoft products work best on Microsoft products.  It’s just common sense.

At least I think it is.

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