Oct. 5th, 2011 06:51 pm
azurite: (apple)
I thought my co-worker was joking when he told me that Steve Jobs died today. It sounds mean, but he's joked off-color things with me before, and I've been told I have a weird sense of humor, so I sometimes expect people to try me to see my reaction.

But it was for real. When we get folks asking about the iPhone 5 or whatever, we say "Until it's on, it's not official." So I go to, and there he is: Steve, with a stupidly short date range. I click through to see a short message.

For the remainder of my 15-minute break, I wavered between abject shock and a morbid curiosity to see what others have said. I checked websites and Google news. There's no way this is a rumor, no way this is a bad joke.

I've had a hard time not crying ever since I found out, and I've failed on numerous occasions, leading my co-workers to ask me what's wrong. This just makes me feel pathetic, because clearly I'm no good at holding my emotions in...not like I used to be, or like I thought I did. It also makes me mad, because I feel like it should be obvious why I'm upset, why everyone in the store should be upset.

But it's business as usual, and it's GOT to be, because that's what we're doing, honoring all of Steve's hard work, his memory, right?

It still sucks. I'm halfway tempted to take up the HR Admin's offer of telling the leadership I don't feel well enough to work, but we're short-staffed as it is, and I don't want to seem even more pathetic in the eyes of my co-workers. It's bad enough that when I cry, I get red-faced all day long, but to top it off, I decided to wear mascara today, so now I look like some insane zombie raccoon.

Given time, I might come up with something halfway decent to send to the Remembering Steve email address, but for right now, here's all I know:

My planned entry for the Adobe Imagination Challenge will still feature Steve. My plan was to put together a scene featuring the silhouettes of people/characters that have inspired me, and of course Steve is among them.

I'm sad because Steve really did inspire me. Even with horror stories, even with failures, even negative press, I still admired the guy because I saw something of myself in him: someone who was creative and believed in the possibilities that technology could bring to everyday people, not just super-geeks. Steve was (I hate the past tense right now) the kind of guy that pushed everyone's limits, that demanded the best, that had high standards. I'm like that too, and I get a lot of flack for it, but thinking of Steve helped me think that there's not something "wrong" with me for being enthusiastic, for being determined (and yes, sometimes very stubborn), and for taking all the things that I feel haven't gone my way in life and trying to make something positive of them.

I don't want to let go of my crazy dream that I've had lately, and that's to be a bit more like Steve, to make a footprint by making a difference: by having a crazy idea and sticking with it, no matter what. I want to stay part of Apple, not just because of the amazing people, the energy and creativity that flow throughout every part of the company, or because of the iconic products, but because of the foundations that Steve laid out. What we have today, what we take for granted in the forms of Apple Stores around the world, and iPods, iPhones, and iPads in every Starbucks and on every street corner, is because Steve thought something along the lines of "I don't care what people think. This is a good idea and I'm going to make it happen." And he did.

I'll admit to still being a bit afraid of giving more of a voice to my dream, of sharing the specifics with anyone I don't wholeheartedly trust (to keep their mouth shut but to provide me the support I know I'll need to get there), but it's a lot bigger than just "be like Steve." There are probably a lot of things people could counter that notion with, like how exacting Steve was, how private, how difficult to work with. If I'm not those things already, they're things I can empathize with, that I can understand and respect. I'm not saying I want to be Steve 2.0 or anything like that, but who could blame me for hoping to live up to the amazing legacy he set forth with his ideas, his products, his ventures?

I'm also not saying Steve did everything. He's not the sole inventor of all things Apple. But there is a reason why he's so iconic, why Apple is what it is today, and why a lot of those other people have jobs at all.

I wish he were still here. I wish I could have paid the Apple campus at 1 Infinite Loop a visit and just breathed the same air as him for even a moment, made a complete fool of myself by squeeing or turning into a statue instead of knowing how to say "Hello, you're an inspiration to me and I want to thank you for everything you've done." I wish I could have known him and he could have known me, and he could have told me that I'm just at the beginning of my road, that no matter what roadblocks manifest (of my own invention of otherwise), I can succeed, because he did, too.

Several years ago, I hated all things Apple. Steve Jobs didn't mean anything to me. My goal was to "topple Bill Gates." Things change. People change.

In his commencement address at Stanford in 2005, Steve made a lot of references to death and dying. Observations from various people throughout the years noted that he seemed to have an obsession with making an impact, because he thought he would die young. And he did. Fifty-six is young. I know he did a lot, and maybe that means he accomplished a lot more in those short years than anyone else has or could have, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have done a lot more.

That he died of a rare form of pancreatic cancer just means that even the greatest among us are still human, that money can't fix all problems, and that you can make a huge impact even if you're stubborn, even if people think you're a lousy leader or a pathetic programmer, and even if you set the bar incredibly high for yourself.

Thank you, Steve, for everything.
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
So May is the month for humor, apparently, because Wired's Humor Issue features not just SNL's Andy Samberg, but also the uproarious kicker "How Android Beat the iPhone." Being the curious sort (and someone who has been using Android phones for over 2 years, currently works for Apple, and just switched to her first-ever iPhone), I flipped to the article, and I have to admit, I'm a bit mystified. Is it really humor, or are they being serious?

A few points that they make as to why Android is "better" than the iPhone's iOS platform:

There are approximately 170 devices on the market that run the Android OS.

Uh, is more supposed to be better? I think it makes it more confusing! Sure, there are more carriers with Android devices, but how do you know who has the better PHONES? If the software is so awesome and the carriers vary depending on where you live and how much you pay, doesn't it really come down to the hardware, and how capable it is?

My mistake was sticking with a carrier that I loved, and that had good coverage where I lived. I heard good things about Android, but T-Mobile simply didn't have phones with hardware capable of running the software properly. I got stuck with a myTouch 3G (the HTC Magic), which SUCKED. It's hardly worthy of the moniker "smartphone," and is only a hair's breadth better than its predecessor, the G1.

Android gives the carrier 30 percent of app sales, minus credit card processing fees, while Apple keeps that 30 percent for itself.

Someone please explain to me why the carrier deserves ANY of the cut of app sales. Here's how apps work:

(1) A developer makes an app to work on the software's platform. Either Android's OS or Apple's iOS.

(2) The developer submits it to Apple for review, or Android for placement in the Android Marketplace.

(3) If/When it's accepted/posted, people can then download it. Paid apps result in the developer getting paid for their idea and hard programming work, while free apps sometimes include ads, and other times just test out if a good idea can compete. People download apps while on a wireless network (usually "free," as-in, a home Internet service, an office network, or a local wi-fi hotspot like at an Apple Store, mall, or coffee shop; sometimes "paid" as at an airport and hotels) or using their carrier's 3G service. Since most apps are fairly small, this barely takes any time at all--maybe a few minutes, maximum--on either network.

(4) People rate and review the app, it gets more attention, and the developer makes more money, yay! And normally the other developer--the one that built the code base that the entire phone runs on--would get the other chunk of the profits. This is how it is for Apple, but Google gives their code away for free, and they don't "need" the money, apparently, so they give it to the carrier...because the carrier is SOMETIMES used to download things like apps (or apps which result in heavy load on their networks, like Netflix) to offset the cost of things like network maintenance. Bwah? What if someone downloads an app that never needs any additional network access, for anything? What if it's an app that requires the faster connection of Wi-Fi, not the carrier's 3G? Or what if it's an app that connects, but only at the user's discretion (when they connect to Facebook to download friend lists, for example), or only downloads a minimum amount of content--not streaming movies or whatnot?

This is what I don't get: if your network is too shitty to handle the load, upgrade your damn network! Don't try and pass that cost off (in any form) to the end users, who already pay you for their service in the form of ridiculously-priced data packages, overage limits, roaming, etc.! I guess it's Google's prerogative to give what should be THEIR profits away to whomever, but honestly? I think if they want to give something away, it should be to the developers who bother to use their crappy system (because yes, it's crappy. I would say it's "the Windows of smartphone operating systems," except Windows HAS their own smartphone OS, and it's probably even shittier than Android)!

I'm so sick of carriers whining about how they have all this work to do because people are flinging their money at them, making contracts and getting plans and then wanting to use the networks the way normal, connected people do nowadays. Get with the program! The hardware (network and phone) needs to be able to handle what the software (Android or iOS) throws at it. Apple's devices never seem to have a problem with this; why do the Android's partner manufacturers?

You could argue that Android runs on AT&T and Verizon, but also on Sprint, T-Mobile, and heck-knows-how-many other carriers out there, and this is true, but bad software--whether it's the apps themselves or the Android OS--will have more of a ping on an unstable, outdated network in small numbers than great software running on the best hardware currently available on the two largest, fastest 3G networks in the country. And if Android's marketshare is growing, that's even worse--all these carriers will have to upgrade to keep up, because people are going to demand BETTER networks, networks they deserved to have from the beginning. How is it the end user's fault if the carriers underestimated the phone's capabilities, even though the hardware manufacturers and software developers (well, the OS developers, anyway) should have known better?

I guess what makes it all the more humorous is that the article pretty much concludes by acquiescing that Android has all these failings--too many crappy apps in the open Marketplace, no guarantee that any given app will work on a phone, even if it has the latest Android OS available--all because carriers muck things up in their own way. It says that the Android OS doesn't have the largest marketshare of smartphones now, even though the growth is pretty amazing, and sales did, at one point, surpass sales of the iPhone. But then again, if you're only looking at iPhone sales vs. Android on ALL its devices (smartphones and tablets), that's not really a fair comparison, is it? Better to compare the sales of all iOS devices to the sales of all Android-powered devices in the same period, and then see who comes out on top. And yes, since Android is on more devices in general, on more carriers, it may very well win...but is that marketshare the same six months down the line? Has it increased or plateaued? How long do users put up with Android's bullshit? I know I did--for too long, and now I'm happy to have finally switched.

If Android has "beaten" the iPhone, it's by pulling one of those hitting-over-the-head-with-a-chair moves like in the WWE. And the iPhone may stagger a little bit, but it's far from out for the count.
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Not having nor really wanting to own an iPhone so long as it's tied to AT&T in any size, shape, or form, I missed the news about an Apple employee accidentally losing a prototype of the new iPhone, and how someone else found it, tried to return it, got stonewalled by Apple (because they don't even tell their own employees everything), and then ended up selling* it to tech blog Gizmodo for $5K.

(* This is kind of disputed - keep reading.)

Until tonight, when I watched Jon Stewart's "Appholes" clip on a referral from a classmate. I didn't know it had escalated to the point where, though the phone had been returned by the Gizmodo editor who bought it (Jason Chen), Apple got San Mateo authorities to raid Chen's house on the suspicion that he had actually STOLEN the device, despite Chen's compliance with Apple's formal request to get the device back, and Gizmodo's posted (I think) reports on the device and how they acquired it.

Of course, Gizmodo's initial report DID leave some things why they paid $5K for it (supposedly this was an "exclusive access fee" and that Giz would help to return the device after their report. Still not cool, still legally gray, if not outright illegal in that it seems to be aiding in the "theft" of something that's clearly not theirs, bricked or not. Why did it take more than a month between the loss date and Gizmodo's first posting about the device? WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE MEANTIME? Or did it take weeks for Giz to even get the device, and it was the scuzball source who took so long hanging onto property that wasn't his?)

The person who found it had tried to contact Apple instead of the Apple employee whose name was so readily findable on the phone through the Facebook app, and was stonewalled due to Apple's own policies, but to go from there to trying to sell the device to tech blogs? Where the hell's the logic in that?

I can understand, at least in part, why Apple decided to call it "stolen" at that point: the employee lost it, couldn't get it back at the place where he lost it (presumably), couldn't get the contact of anyone who had found it (presumably), and was relying on that person to find him. Did they? No, apparently not, despite having access to his FACEBOOK account! (For at least a little while before the phone got bricked, anyway. But maybe not long enough to remember and find any useful contact information, but geez, there's way more to be done than that when a device like that is lost. But I guess people rightfully don't have much expectation of others being at all generous when their phone is lost or stolen, especially these days....)

So, who's in the wrong here? Well, one, for Gizmodo, for buying the phone and continuing to report on it, instead of directly contacting the guy who'd lost it or trying harder than their source to get in touch with Apple immediately. In that sense, they were handling stolen goods, rather than just something that was lost and found.

Two, the source, for not trying hard enough to contact the original Apple Engineer, for trying harder to get ahold of someone higher up at Apple, and of course, for selling the damn thing, which automatically seems to make the person less of a good samaritan and more of a profiteer. (Disclaimer: he was drunk when he found it, probably not-so-sober when he may have glanced at the Facebook app and seen the owner's real name, but not thought to write it down, and too late the next day when the phone got bricked. Could he still have done more? Yes, in my opinion. But maybe I just have high expectations/standards of people. Figure it this way: if you'd want me to go the distance for you and your property, I would: if you would for me. I don't have to know you, but I would, because to me, it's common decency.)

And yeah, Apple's in the wrong for pushing on the San Mateo authorities to the point of STORMING a journalist's home and taking his personal electronics, data, etc. (Maybe. It's possible that Apple really had nothing to do with it outside of providing them with the information that here was this guy who'd obtained a phone that they'd determined was Apple's property and he may have aided in a crime by purchasing it. Apple reports potential crimes! Good for them. Or something.) Supposedly they charged in during dinner--no knocking ahead of time, no calling on the phone. (ETA: "Dinner" being "out of the house." This wasn't made clear initially, so thanks to [ profile] azhp for clearing it up. And Chen was told he could get reimbursed for his bashed-in door. Why don't police just hire a lockpick?)

I agree with Stewart: "Appholes!" But I personally dislike them more for their partnership with AT&T than for this, because no matter what they told the SMPD, it's the police's fault for following bad information and for acting the way they did.

Gizmodo is staying silent on the issue of Chen's house more or less being raided on the iPhone posts, but they did share Chen's experience with the search online. They're also apparently promoting those blog posts/comments that agree with their POV and standing by Chen. On the one hand: good. They should stand by their reporter. Don't pretend that he's not/Gizmodo's not, because then Chen getting raided is only the result of their already dumb behavior, especially in regards to the Apple employee's identity and activity that resulted in the loss of the phone in the first place. (But the phone was bricked the day after it was lost right? Does that mean that Gizmodo's source didn't pass on the info about the Apple employee whose name was in the Facebook account?) They have a chance of fighting the SMPD's behavior toward Chen and possibly Apple if they stand by the fact that they're journalists and protect their sources with the shield law. But I don't know if their "source" deserves that kind of protection, even if Giz is otherwise a news organization.

Rival Engadget is not making a big deal out of this issue, likely because people already know that they were offered the same deal to buy the lost phone as Gizmodo was. Good for them.

Some people are thinking this was all a huge Apple PR stunt. I disagree: they're notorious for their secrecy, and I doubt that would abruptly change just to garner hype for an upcoming device. They do have controlled tests of their products, some of them going out into public in the hands of employees, and I think this was along those lines. The veil of secrecy gig works much more for them than "leaked product!1!!" does.

I'm basically confused here, because on the one hand, as a journalist, I value the shield laws more than the average person might. But I'm also an Apple fan, iPhone and AT&T opinions aside, and I know their attitude when it comes to corporate secrets. I don't always agree with it, but I know that if I trusted an employee with something, he accidentally lost it, and I tried to get it back, I'd defend him and anyone who didn't get in touch with either of us comes across as a thief.

I'm more pissed at the source that hung onto the phone than anyone else, and even as a journalist, even if I treat Gizmodo as a news organization despite THEIR poor decision-making, what benefit does it serve ANYONE to protect that source? I say: let 'em burn. He deserves whatever lawsuit is coming his way.


Aug. 4th, 2009 04:03 pm
azurite: (back to the future - save the clock towe)
So, I'm chilling here at SFO (San Francisco International Airport, for those that don't speak airport code). I shelled out $7.99 for a T-Mobile Hotspot Day Pass, because even though I don't visit airports (or Starbucks, or even Borders) quite often enough to get a Hotspot account/shell out $40 a month, sitting here for 3 hours nursing a Coca-Cola and reading the August issue of Wired just doesn't cut it for me. I need to be connected, which is kind of sad. I sort of miss my childhood. :P

Tech jargon )

More win and OSM )

I'm actually somewhat looking forward to going home, if just to sleep on my own bed (though the AeroBed Mom got was pretty damn comfortable, no matter what Eva said about it being too soft) and have steady Wi-Fi in all my usual haunts. Also, MAIL! And money. And work for a week, until I have to get my butt to DC. And in-between all that, family visits and the Orange County Fair. Should be fun.

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson's "Beat It" is stuck in my head, along with a plotbunny for a multichapter Sailor Moon fic I meant to write for [ profile] sm_monthly and never got around to. I mean really, ANOTHER multichapter? I wish I could churn stuff out as fast as [ profile] moodwriter, with her "Hate, Prejudice and Secret Intentions" (I think I got that title right) Dramione fic that I've been reading lately. Good stuff! I've also got to catch up on Stargirl's "Tsuki no Namida," an AR of the Silver Millennium, since the latest chapter is up for critiquing on one of [ profile] the_circlet communities. I'm not a big fan of walking into a long-ish multi-chapter fic blind, so I'll start with the beginning and go from there. So far, it's got an interesting premise but some grammar issues that irk me. But hey, SAILOR MOON FIC. I ought to get writing!

Naze ka?

Dec. 5th, 2008 01:09 am
azurite: (poor bi grrl gamers)
So I remembered hearing about this eatery that specializes in breakfast at the end of one of the metro lines here in San Francisco. I want to check them out online, find out exactly where they are, what their hours are, etc., so I go to their site.

...Which is probably the sparsest website I've seen in a VERY long time. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for simplicity. Not everyone (or every business) requires a Flash-heavy, Java-rich, super-interactive explosion of complicated code and database handlers (that aside, I do want to learn PHP/Flash/Java at some point in the not-so-distant future). But still... to have a SCAN of the menu that doesn't even fit on a 1440 x 900 resolution screen (you need to scroll)? To not list an email for contacting the web designer/maintainer? To not show the restaurants' (there are two locations in S.F.) hours of operation? To not tell MORE about the restaurant's history?

Seriously, folks.

Mom and Dad both say I'm too critical, but Dad says that I can put that to good use being a consultant. This is the second or third example of a business that I think I could help become so much better than it is just by revamping their existing material. Before it was the bookstore that Baba and I went to, and also kind of this Thai place that Mom and Gary like. A few simple (likely inexpensive, in the long run) changes, and BAM! Better exposure, better business. Better business PRACTICES!

So it'd be a bit awkward to contact these people and say "Your site sucks" or "Your menu sucks" or "Your bookstore sucks" and then proceed to say how, if they pay me, I can make it better. It's not like I have any experience in this-- it's just an idea, just a thought. A very optimistic thought. I can't guarantee that me revamping a website or a menu or a bookstore's practices will truly bring in more business or be more "efficient." I wouldn't necessarily know how to measure that last one, anyway.

But I kind of want to try for the "editing" experience at all (and in a way, it's also journalism/interview experience, because I'd have to "consult" with the business owners to find out their needs and wants, limitations and hopes for the future). So, how does one approach this?

I've already considered setting up an e-business of sorts to offer my editing/computer services-- a freelance site, if you will, where the offers come to me instead of me trying to hunt down the offers. Admittedly, without my name previously out there, it might not actually happen, but I'd be looking to edit people who don't look in the "usual" places-- help college students with their papers or projects, tutor people in web design or computer programs, etc. I'd be a lot more inclined to doing THAT than, say, writing a 500-word article for a freelance article site. I signed up for those, but I could never get around to writing the articles because I didn't feel they were original enough compared to what was already there, even if I did have a niche to write in.

I already have a possible domain name, and maybe even a site design picked out, but no business structure, no plan-- so I'm not letting out too many details just yet. But what I have let out, does it sound plausible? Interesting? Useful to you or anyone you may know?

A possible new structure for Seventh-Star.Net )

I've started using Apple Mail to read my Friends' page as an RSS feed. Problem? I don't think it can get protected entries. When I added the "&checkcookies=1" to the URL, it didn't get ANYTHING. I removed it and got 50 entries... which I'm missing more of. I haven't read my FL in a while. I don't even know if Apple Mail uses cookies for RSS. Help?

Also, I'm probably going to nix my ProCare subscription next year. To be honest, I don't think I get much value out of it, even when I do use it to make near-instantaneous reservations for a Genius Bar spot at an Apple Store. It was pretty freakin' awesome that they rushed my keyboard repair to under an hour (when it was supposed to take 48), but I think I'd get more out of the One-to-One, if I did end up replacing the ProCare. I did think it was stupid when they separated the two, and I barely had the chance to use them when they were together (because I was in Japan).

That said, I renewed my MobileMe/.Mac subscription today, because I do feel THAT is worth $99, even with all the stupid problems MobileMe's been having. Actually my subscription was due up in September, but all the issues got me a 90-day extension. I forgot about it until they sent me an email today asking for an updated credit card. -_- I'm still broke. I shouldn't be spending $99 on anything, let alone something intangible and replaceable like an email address with calendar and address book sync capabilities. Sure, I've also got web hosting from them, but I pay MUCH less than $99/year for my usual hosting and I like Surpass plenty (not necessarily MORE than Apple, because their products aren't really comparable, but you get the idea). But the switching thing would be a pain in the ass.

But I'm disliking what I have tried to use on MobileMe's site end-- I tried out iWeb for shits and giggles, but the movie I have embedded on my photo gallery slideshow page NEVER loads, and because I can't inspect the code or the site structure in iWeb, I don't know why. Is it because it's large? Is the file in the wrong place? What? Plus, I deleted the files of my old Japan blog off the .Mac server, but it keeps trying to find that site whenever someone goes to the main index of my MobileMe site. VERY ANNOYING.

Also annoying? Playing my old SNES games with my PS2 controller using the new SNES9x 1.5 or what-have-you (the latest version of SNES for Mac OS X). Suddenly Sailor Moon's Fuwa Fuwa Panic feels like SUPER BALLOON POP MAYHEM ON SPEED! I'm getting my ass whooped in this game (it shames me to admit it), because I swear to DOG, it was never this fast before. On the bright side, I do still kick ass at the Sailor Moon puzzle game (where you flip over hearts, zap daimons, and try to collect the 3 Talismans before your opponent). Also, I've been replaying Super Mario World (I think I mentioned that before, actually). I started out playing it using a Super Mario All-Stars + World ROM, but none of the cheats for SMW worked (but I got all the way through the Forest of Illusion, anyway!)-- so I got a new ROM (hey, I own the cartridge!) and BAM! Crazy-Invincible-Green-Face Mario! That doesn't mean everything's easy, mind you, but it sure is fun to change Mario colors and walk right through Big Boo! (Figuring out just which cheats work and which don't is a pain.)

Meaningless Memes )
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Apple finally released the long-awaited and very-much-needed 10.5.2 update to Leopard, the newest "big kitty" in Apple's line of OS X operating systems.

The only problem is, there are STILL problems. Well, it's probably impossible for any given update, on any given OS, to solve ALL the reported problems with the previous version of said operating system, but I was hoping that at least supposedly-dinky things (especially those things that had been FINE in Tiger, 10.4.x) would get resolved in Leopard.

The problems I've been experiencing with my MacBook Pro (2.2 GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB HD) include:

* Problems syncing my Motorola RAZR v3re using iSync. For some reason it keeps syncing OLD information that is not on my iCal (e.g. last semester's schedule). I'm not sure if iSync is interfering with something in the phone itself, and the phone is copying over old data (e.g. from last year), but it's really annoying not to have my alarms on my phone. I've already tried to do this, and it's STILL fucked up. In 10.5.1, I already tried deleting the device from iSync, but it's done no good. If there's a way to reset calendar data on the V3re, I don't know what it is... I don't have the manual(s) on me, and the on-phone browser help... DOESN'T help. Not surprising, frankly, but it pisses me off more because this is A NEW PHONE.

* Problems creating PDFs from Word documents (and presumably other programs); the Adobe 8.0 PDF printer simply "couldn't be located" and the only work-around I found was something that spit out the PDF but kept the PDF printer in a perpetual "paused" state.

* I have an HP 1210xi PSC (All-in-One) that I bought with my original MacBook Pro two years ago. Two years isn't that old for a printer (I feel), but HP seems to think it is, and has "no plans to release a fully-featured driver for Leopard." Fully-featured meaning I can actually DO what I paid for the printer-- printing, scanning and copying! Supposedly I can print, but from my experience, it's only with the printer directly connected into USB, not via Bonjour (using my AirPort Extreme Base Station). I can't test whether or not 10.5.2 fixed this problems; Apple says they released more drivers for compatibility with this very issue, though; they just didn't specify which drivers.

* Firefox would "hang" (not respond, crash, whatever you like to call it) a lot more in Leopard than in Tiger. Of course, Firefox has its own updates, and recently updated to, so it's entirely possible that the hangs are program-specific and not related to 10.5.x at all... but I doubt it, because I've had no such problems on any PC I've used (and I use Firefox all the time at work), and not on older Macs (like the iMac at work which uses 10.4 or 10.3 or something. In any case, it still has Sherlock). Plus, forum threads I found about the issue mention something about Leopard incompatibility with certain DNS servers...? It sounds bizarre to me.

* Dashboard has been a right BITCH since I updated-- sometimes I have widgets that won't go away, even when I click the X in the corner in Manage Widgets mode, and sometimes I have widgets that never "update" (e.g. weather, Apple Store updates, etc.) Very annoying. Sometimes a good ol' fashioned restart helps... but I'm always afraid it'll happen again during a period when I really need my widgets. People came up with odd solutions, like using the Leopard install disc to "Archive & Install," while others did some sort of Terminal command. A restart did the trick for me, so I hope 10.5.2 means I won't have to worry about those other potential solutions-- I don't want the problem to be an issue anymore. So far, so good... I've gone into Dashboard a few times and not had any issues.

* Finally, since I couldn't get my phone to work with iSync, I tried my iPod-- I didn't know it had Calendar, Address Book, etc. capability until I started playing around with iTunes one day. But it seems to have the same problem as my phone, grabbing dates that frankly ARE NOT in iCal. To make matters worse, when the alarm goes off, the iPod will stay ON, which means my battery drains a lot sooner. I'd like ONE device or another to just WORK with iSync, PLEASE? I'll have to test this when I get home, since I don't have my iPod cable with me. Maybe iPods ought to be able to sync with Bluetooth?

But I guess in the long run, all of this is stuff I was never able to do with any PC I ever owned or use, and compared to the problems I see every day in the Walk-In Center with spyware, viruses, and other B.S., the Mac is still a godsend. So for all my bitching and ranting, I still love my Mac. :)
azurite: (sailormoon - galaxia sun)
So I called Amtrak today, and indeed, the North American Rail Pass (the one that's good for 30 days and has unlimited travel) is $899.10 student discounted (that's as low as it can get). The easiest way to buy it is over the phone, but you have to have AT LEAST the first segment of the trip planned. And for me, that means knowing I have the money available, places where I can stay (and reservations, if necessary), and so on. I've got a lot more planning to do, and I've got to see if I get that NSCS credit card-- if not, I might end up getting a WaMu one. I don't LIKE the idea of being in debt -I mean, moreso than I already am just for being a college student with loans- but I don't want to just shove this great idea aside. I can and I will make it possible-- somehow.

In the meantime, I got my ticket to Philadelphia with the rest of the NSCS; the unfortunate thing is that they didn't have enough Rewards Points to cover my hotel/convention registration. I'm hoping I win this Geico essay competition that will pay for it. Even those that are getting some portion reimbursed are only getting $50 out of the $314 round trip tickets. It's on Delta, which is "meh" in terms of airlines in my book, but we could have taken a cheaper flight if only everyone's schedules weren't so restrictive. Unlike a lot of other members, I'm not taking summer school, and my work's fairly flexible about taking time off.

...Still haven't heard from Apple one way or another, which frankly doesn't surprise me. It's kind of sad that it worked out that way, though...

Ooh, and Erin said she's getting my CS3 *today*! I hope I see her soon so I can get it. That would be cause for much yayness.

In the meantime, I've got enough to keep me occupied, so I'm glad for that.

ETA: Just one teeny tiny software/journaling question )
azurite: (rhapsody_dragon - wdky9)
Good Web Site: YPops.
If you have Yahoo! Mail and are sick of not being able to download your emails to your computer, get YPops. It works with practically every email client out there, and it does what Yahoo is making people pay $19.95 to do (what it used to do for free). This also works if you don't want ANOTHER email, or maybe you just can't get another one (GMail, anyone?)

Bad Web Site:
No matter how hard I try, I can't download the Apple iTunes for Windows update (4.9). I have viewed the page in Avant Browser, IE, and Firefox, but I still can't see any download button (one time I caught a brief flash of it, but it disappeared). I have made sure that no images, flash files, or ActiveX files are blocked without notification, and I've gone through ALL of my McAfee logs for Privacy Service. Nothing. Bupkis. I finally submitted a feedback to, but since it's not the kind they can reply to, who knows how I'll fix this problem.

Same goes for the iPod software. There's supposed to be a button there, but it just ISN'T. And somehow, other people don't seem to be having this program. Allow me to voice: WTF!?

All praise Saint Mamono, Goddess of the Code! I don't know how she did it/thought of it, or whatever, but she got me both the iTunes and iPod updates by digging around in the source code. And amazingly, IT WORKED! Thank you, Mamono! (Hey, I want more WDKY icons, or I won't show you the finished Winter icon I told you about!)

I also want to get the album artwork for my songs, but I really, truly can't figure out how, and all the tutorials on the Apple site seem to refer to the newest version of iTunes, which doesn't have half the menus described (that I have). apparently has something to do with all this, but what the heck do I know? I have a lot of album artwork in my My Music folder (don't know how it got there), but I think that was for another program...?

Wait, wait... the tutorial I read was mis-Googled and referred to a Widget for OSX only, iTunes Catalog, which has NO PC equivalent. Still, I'd like to get the artwork... (Got this program called iTunes Art Importer, which accesses's database. It's a pain to work at times, but it DOES work!)

Okay, so I have icons to work on, communities to update, fics to write and edit and post (WDKY coming at ya!) and things to find... er, remember all those Google parody sites we found a while back? I know one was, but what was the other one, where you could search names and come up with stuff like Seto Kaiba is god and things like that?!

WHEE I WON! My first ever eBay auction and I won a pair of beautiful Azurite earrings. I'm totally thrilled, because I was under the impression that finding jewelry from my namesake (least, I think that's what it is) would be expensive or impossible. But I won these earrings, and I'm in the running for an Azurite and Hematite bracelet. All that's left is a necklace! ^_^v

What Doesn't Kill You Chapter 17 is now up at FFnet. Go read it, fo'shizzle.

That FO post I was talking about is a skosh bit delayed, but still coming. I guess you're looking forward to it?

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