Archive for October, 2007

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Your Apple ID requires harvesting?!

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Harvesting?!

While at the Leopard launch last night Mike picked up an 8Gb 3rd generation iPod Nano for his daughter. While over at their house this morning I was amused to see he was having trouble registering the Nano. Every time he tries to sign in with his Apple ID he gets the puzzling error “This person record requires harvesting.” (click the image above for a full sized view).

While I’m sure it has a valid technical meaning it’s a strange message to show to an end user. It almost makes me wonder – what kind of harvesting is Apple talking about here, a kidney or a crop?

Life’s little pleasures: Leopard, IMAP, and Puzzle Quest

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

The past 24 hours has brought a number of great things into my life. Yesterday night I went to the Bell Square Apple Store for the Leopard launch with Mike and picked myself up a copy of the shiny new version of OS X.

The launch event itself was an interesting experience. Apple really does know how to work a crowd, and the energy and passion it’s employees (retail and engineering alike) bring to work with them makes for a really positive experience for Apple’s customers.

Leopard itself is a neat little upgrade. The upgrade itself actually works really well – I didn’t lose any of my documents, settings, or preferences. Aside from Quicksilver being stuck in my dock (not the menubar where it really belongs) everything works flawlessly on Lanshark – Photoshop even stayed fully activated. Leopard is nothing revolutionary, but it really does add a lot of polish to OS X and makes for a worthwhile upgrade.

For the first time ever I actually kind of like the Finder. Quicklook (the ability to preview just about any document without the overhead of opening it’s parent application) is handy and makes confirmation that you have the document you are looking for brain dead simple. Spotlight is vastly improved featuring much faster searches, operators, and network search abilities.

Aside from the Leopard launch I was also thrilled to find out my Gmail account finally got IMAP enabled. The IMAP implementation is well done, and it makes Gmail’s iPhone experience as slick as their browser experience. Being able to have Mail.app cache my gmail account is handy as well for having my webmail searchable via the OS just like the rest of my personal knowledge store.

The final great thing to enter my life yesterday was Puzzle Quest for the DS. Puzzle Quest is a fun little RPG/Puzzler game that a couple of friends had suggested and it’s quite fun. It offers quick-in, quick-out gameplay – a fun addition to my go bag.

Gutting my baby for the better

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Last night I had the opportunity to experience the joy of Applecare. iChoad finally finished dying so I took him to the Apple Store (again) to drop him off. Unfortunately the University Village Apple Store is closed for renovation so I had to fight traffic up to Lynnwood. Luckily for me it was a reasonably pleasant experience. After a little diagnosis they agreed that the motherboard and video card had issues, and ordered the parts to replace them. I’ve had a few stuck pixels for a while so they also agreed to replace the LCD screen. All in all I should be getting him back early next week, with pretty much every component replaced.

The traffic I faced last night was in stark contrast to my ride in to work this morning. Some asshat scheduled an early morning meeting on a Friday so I was driving in at 7:10 – with practically no traffic. There is something weird about driving at 60mph in the dark on a freeway I rarely get to accelerate past 20 on – it felt forbidden and exhilarating.

Leopard launches tonight. Excitement!

Gmail getting IMAP

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Gmail is getting IMAP support and I need it now! I already have switched my whole life over to Gmail and the thought of having IMAP access to Gmail for my iPhone gives me tech-wood. Turn it on for me Google, I love you long time!

QuickPack

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Wow, simply wow – Quickpack, an elegant fusion of Quicksilver and Backpack. Quicksilver now not only rocks the OS X application management and work flow automation, but now it’s also my key information capture action. With a few keystrokes it’s easy to add a note or list item to any page in your backpack. I run my life out of lists using a semi-GTD approach and being able to add list entries quickly and without effort means I can keep my momentum going on tasks as new ones pop into my head.

Backpack: Get Organized and Collaborate

YAY! My life is better having discovered QuickPack. Go technology!

Funeral for an aunt I never knew

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Sitting in the crisp cold of an open-air stone mausoleum in Walla Walla lays the ashes of Tami Anderson, the estranged aunt I never knew. I’m a little confused as to how I should feel about the whole experience – I never knew her, talked to her on the phone, or really knew of her aside from knowing that my mother had a sister.

After getting the call nearly a month ago informing me that ‘Tami has died’ I’ve gone through a strange progression from barely knowing of her existence to slowly lifting the shroud of mystery that has long covered my mothers side of the family. I’ve reached to my mothers half-brother (trailer-park loser), searched the internet for her abusive and estranged father (rotting in a California Veterans Center, broke, drunken, and worthless), and sifted through death records looking for other half-siblings and blood relatives.

The more I learn the more I realize how my mother is a shining star – an amazing person who has made a name for herself, becoming a loving wife, mother, and friend. She has propelled her career to lofty heights, is a well-respected pillar of society here in Walla Walla, and has a network of friends that care for her. When I look at the rest of my mothers estranged family and compare it to the family I know and love it’s obvious that the two are night and day.

After attending the funeral today I feel strange about the experience. It’s weird sifting through all the photos of Tami and looking at her lives leftovers I feel like I should feel something, but I still not a spark of emotion or connection stirs.

I know my sister has some desire to reach out to the side of the family we never knew, but my brief brush with them has left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I have no desire to dig deeper into the depths of that particular branch of my family tree, preferring to leave it to slowly age from this earth, myself and my sister it’s only real legacy.

And then all hell broke loose!

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

3:00 PM
Outside the most unique storm I’ve ever witnessed is keeping me from napping and recovering from my sickness. It’s bright, sunny, 61 degrees, and the wind is blowing at 45-55 miles per hour. It’s weird to call such a bright, sunny day a storm, but a storm it is. The storm has raged so hard that my sliding glass door is shaking and the building has lost power, cable, and phone service. The loss of all connectivity (save for my precious iPhone) is a first for me as normally the buildings underground power and communications connections are pretty resilient to storms.

Now that the power is out to much of Seattle I’m hearing the police and fire sirens start. More and more of them keep springing up – what with my computers battery backup beeping in the corner, the rushing wind, and the steadily increasing sirens it really is beginning to sound like the end of the world.

The good news in this stormy weather: I went to see my doctor this afternoon and he thinks I just have a bad cold. He told me the usual: get lots of sleep, drink lots of fluids, and I’ll be fine in a couple of days.

4:00 PM
The sirens have faded into a distant memory. The wind is still there, but it’s died down quite a bit from where it was at earlier. Power and DSL are still out, although I’m getting reports that cable is back on in some parts of the city. I’m avoiding boredom and helping my body heal by napping lightly.

Why can’t I turn off the death beep of my UPS? WHY? I know that the power is out – it’s incessant beeping only serves to anger and frustrate me.

6:00 PM
I feel downright primitive. I think this is the first time in years that I’ve felt this out of touch or bored. Normally I have a cornucopia of things to amuse me around the house, but I’m now realizing that they pretty much all need power to work. Even the few good books and magazines I keep around the house can’t really be read in the dark. If the power is still out in the morning (and it’s out at work) I’ll likely just drive to Walla Walla early – no sense hanging around here staring at blank walls…

6:40 PM
Wow, I’m really bored. The sun is now too low to read even the largest print books, all of my UPS units have run out of juice, and my Macbook Pro only has about an hour of battery left. Time seems to travel much slower when one does not have clocks, amusements, light, or the ability to communicate with the outside world.

7:00 PM
I just realized I have 4 (four) laptops here. I’m an idiot. Watching DVD’s now on laptop 2 of 4.

7:57 PM
Power has returned! The end.

Not the best of days

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Today is not my day in any way, shape, or form. I’ve gone from thinking I might be sick to actually being sick. Upon waking this morning I spent a good 15 minutes in the shower hacking up one of my lungs. Thank goodness I had a spare.

To make matters worse while driving to work today the check engine light lit up on my dash. With an impending trip to Walla Walla tomorrow for a funeral I’m a little nervous about it. I am currently calling University and Barrier Audi trying to get an emergency appointment so I can find out if it’s a serious problem or not.

Update: So I’m still sick, but I finally made it home to be sick in bed which is a marked improvement. On the way home I stopped by Barrier and they hooked up their diagnostic console to my A6. The good news is that it’s only an exhaust leak – perfectly safe to drive with on my way to Walla Walla this weekend. They set me up with an appointment for next week so I can get it fixed, and the only downside in the interim is that I’m spewing slightly more CO2 into the atmosphere than I normally would.

Off to bed – I need about 24 hours of solid sleep!

Say hello to my little Lanshark

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Apple-Macbook-Pro-Santa-Rosa

I am pleased to announce that I am typing this post up from my shiny new workstation. I’ve decided to pretty much go all mobile again so it was time to trade my Marbles the Macbook in for it’s daddy, a nicely equiped 15″ Macbook Pro. I’ve dubbed my new aluminum friend Lanshark – a name inspired by my beloved pit bull Skype (the one and only real land shark.

When Apple announced their Up-to-Date Program that offers recent purchasers of Apple hardware the Leopard update for $10 – normally priced at $129, or included with any new Mac. I worked a little financial magic, confirmed the sale of Marbles for a reasonable price and dropped down to the Apple Store to pick it up.

A few first thoughts on Lanshark:

And now back to your regularly scheduled Portal playing action.

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