October 29, 2011
So in the continuing story of "I don't know what the fuck i'm talking about, but I know I'm right", Marco Armenti says something that is to me, the most hilarious and unintentionally stupid thing I've seen in a dog's age. (Pro tip, when someone says: "I don’t know the business, but " in an article, you know there's going be some awesome shit.)
Marco says, with regard to how publications have excessive costs they don't need:
If all readership is on the website and an iPad app, how much of the layout staff is necessary?
This is followed, of course, not a paragraph later by this:
or would most of the readership still pay the same amount for just the text and a few optional photos in a nice, reusable template? That’s how most websites publish their content, and we’re all fine with it. In many ways, such a structure could result in much better apps: adjustable fonts, text selection, highlighting, and many other reader-friendly features become much simpler to implement in such an environment. Higher quality, lower cost. (And this is a business that I can speak authoritatively on.)
Hey Marco? That shit you just described? THAT'S LAYOUT.
But here, just to put a fucking knife in the "who needs layout", let's see what happens without it. First, the version with layout, my SNMP article from some years back. Now, this is not a lot of layout, but there is some, and I actually spent some time on it, especially the screenshot samples, because I wanted them to work. I spent time on making sure I had the right formatting where needed, etc. I am not a layout expert, but I did the best I was able to. Now, here's the same article with anything that even slightly resembles formatting and layout stripped out.
Yeah, you go right the fuck ahead and try to tell me layout staff isn't needed or it's a waste of money, or whatever. People value good layout, it has real value across the board, and no, marco's minimalist tastes on layout is not all anyone ever needs. (WTF is up with geeks and this "EVERYONE ONLY NEEDS WHAT I NEED" shit.) For a lot of people, Marco's "all you need is white space and a pretty font" shit is indeed, all they need, but for rather a lot of other people, no, it fucking isn't, and their needs are exactly as valid as Marco's.
Of course, because I used "bad" / "loaded" words, nothing I say here has any validity, right Marco? (Dude, seriously, how can anyone expect me to forget such a moronic tribute to justifying ad hominem as a life management skill?)| Comments ()
October 27, 2011
Richard Stallman's "Lifestyle"
October 8, 2011
How I pre-ordered 3 iPhone 4S's and had zero problems
No, really, I did. On 7 Oct. It was pretty easy. (Note: I normally hate, hate, hate the "pre-" affliction. However, in this case, the alternatives are not significantly better, so "preorder".)
First, this was for a business account, so when my boss, who set an alarm for 3am tried to do it via Apple, he couldn't. I wasn't surprised. Then, as I'm on my way to Krispy Kreme, (I pick up donuts for work every friday. It starts the weekend off right), and asks where our AT&T account info is. I tell him, and while i'm getting donuts, he's on hold, on hold. I say "look, there's an AT&T store RIGHT THERE, let me do this. It's got to be faster, there's no hold." I go in, and not coincidently, this is the AT&T store where I do as much of our phone business as possible. Not that I hate online, but they always do fantastic work for me. (It's the AT&T store on the corner of Magnolia and Park in Tallahassee. Go there, spend money there, they've been really good people to me.)
Absolutely they can hook me up. Since none of the phones we're ordering are eligible for upgrade, we just have to find three numbers to upgrade. (Because it's a preorder, the options here are smaller, this was the best one by a mile.) Dude takes about 5 minutes to do that, and then takes the time to make sure I understand how the SIM swappage will have to go. Since the numbers he's using may be on 3GS's, he makes sure I have a set of regular SIM cards, just in case. Awesome.
So, now we hit the only thing that might have been a problem. There's a limit of one per order. This is easy to deal with, once he confirms he can do this. He simply runs three separate orders. Boo. Yah. No redoing a web form. No worries about connection or server overload. He does all the work, I hang out and play Scrabble, and run my card when he says to. Simple, easy, and zero frustration.
While we talked, he also explained how AT&T stores get in new Apple product, and how I'd want to work things if I wanted to pick one up for myself from that store. Ah, the knowledge you pick up in face to face conversations that never make it into a web form. (I learned this from a book on Kevin Mitnick. His genius wasn't in computer skills as much as talking to people and getting them to drop these little tidbits of knowledge. A conversation with the (somewhat lonely) engineer who did a lot of design work for Bell got Mitnick the hard-coded root password for pretty much every phone switch in California. People skills kids, learn them.) I may have to bring the AT&T store folks some donuts some time. One never knows the returns a couple of bucks of sugary confection can bring.
So yeah. Web forms got you pissed off? On hold forever? Try actually going to a store, and being pleasant. Do this regularly, so when you walk in, they know you as a true regular customer. The real kind. Who actually regularly spends money there. Not some dipshit who buys something once every couple years and wants perpetual ass kissing over it. You'd be amazed at what you can get out of it.| Comments ()
October 5, 2011
So I'm a little in shock here. Steve Jobs is dead at 56.
I'm not surprised per se. He had a rather nasty form of cancer, and it was not being kind to him. He had the "good" form of pancreatic cancer, but that's kind of like saying you only broke 5 bones in a fall rather than 7. I've lost a rather huge swath of family to cancer, so no, i'm not "surprised" in that sense.
But I'm still surprised, because fuck, it's like he gave everything he had to Apple, and like John Henry, died of it. He hadn't earned that, you know? To me at least, he'd earned some serious back yard time with his family. Maybe he still got that, I'd like to think he did, but it still wasn't enough. It never is.
The thing is, it's really hard to talk about how Steve loomed in my world. I mean, as guy who's been into computers for as long as I can remember, Steve entered my world when I was ten or so, and he's been there ever since. I mean...shit, I dunno, only Neil Armstrong may loom larger in my world than Steve did, and he pretty much had to walk on the moon to do that. I had a chance to actually talk to him once, but he was busy and I respected that and left him alone. I don't regret doing that now, I still think it was the right thing to do. I more regret never having had a chance to actually talk to him though.
I do know, having heard from some sources that I'll deem reliable, that he had read a few of my ravings here, mostly the Flash ones from what I understand, and he had a chuckle over them. I'll take that and be happy with it. If I amused him a bit here and there, that's probably more than some forced "Hi, I'm cocking up your morning and I have nothing to say, but you were RIGHT THERE, so I decided to barge in on you." thing.
Still...not enough time to enjoy this world he helped transform.
You know, I owe a lot to him. His work helped me, and a lot of people do good in this world. Not just computers directly, but I look at the books I've written that wouldn't exist without him and Apple. The friends I've made because of him and Apple, the family I've made because of him and Apple. I know my compatriots at Macworld magazine are saying the same things, I'm watching it go by on twitter. I kind of think I now have a grip of what folks must have felt on 22 Nov. 1963. It's not the same of course, but it's close. This guy who shaped an industry, shit, shaped THREE...who helped change the world not once, not twice, but three times. Four if you count the iPad. And now, between one minute and the next, he's gone.
Life is fragile, I know this. But everytime someone who was in my life, on really any level goes, i'm reminded that it is fucking fragile. And yet, people are not. Life is fragile, people, people are tough as hell, and given how little time he had post-Apple, I imagine Steve was crawling through metaphorical glass by the end of his tenure, to get as much done as he could. Steve Jobs was one tough sonofabitch, he showed that in how he pushed for his vision, in how he refused to accept bullshit or settle. I admire that, I always did.
I hope it was as painless as possible, I hope it was quick, but not so quick that there was no time for the people who needed to be with him to get there.
When I was at that 9-10 stage, I was just discovering that my dreams of being Chuck Yeager were done. Hereditary myopia killed them, and I was as broken-hearted as a kid that age can be. It was profound, what that had done to me, and for a while, "what do you want to be when you grow up" was a shattering question, I didn't have an idea. I didn't want to be a fucking fireman, or a cop, or any of that. I wanted to be a test pilot, then an astronaut. In that order. That was what mattered to me. USAF -> NASA. All gone after a goddamned eye exam.
But then the little storefronts with Apple IIs and the like showed up. Suddenly, places like Computerland existed, and Radio Shack had this stuff, these computer things. Within a year or so, I had, maybe, another dream. To do something with these computers. Fuck if I knew what, at that time no one knew what the fuck you did with a computer. But I was going to do something with them. Didn't know what, but fuck yeah, something. For the first time, that pain I felt about dreams was not so bad.
So in a real sense, Steve gave me back my dreams. He gave me a new world to replace the one that had been taken from me, and this time, neither crappy eyes, nor being poor, nor being a fat little smartass could take it away. There was nothing in my life so bad, so awful that I couldn't go wander by all the places with computers, and lose myself for a few hours either on computers, or reading books about them, and none of that science fiction shit. This was real.
There aren't words to describe how grateful I am for that, or how Steve loomed in my world because of that.
So yeah. Shit. In shock.
Thanks Steve. Thanks for all you did, thanks for who you were.
And to all my friends at Apple, I got nothing but this, and how sorry I am that this couldn't have waited a decade or three.| Comments ()
Lion Kerberos fun
So, some things i've found recently in my adventures with Lion.
- If you have a brand new Lion server, that is, not upgraded from Mac OS X 10.6 Server, and when you go through the binding process to attach it to a Mac OS X 10.6 Server Open Directory, it seems to not work after a reboot, (i.e., you reboot, and you can't troll through the LDAP directory via dscl), try copying an edu.mit.kerberos file from a Mac OS X 10.6 machine to the Lion server as /etc/krb5.conf. (make sure you remove the two autogen lines.) I did this, and a Lion server that just would not have a functional binding is now working correctly.
- Heimdall uses UDP more than TCP for Kerb connections. In addition to causing you fits with Active Directory, it's also going to cause you problems with kadmin. Trying to use kadmin from a OS X 10.7 Mac against an Mac OS X 10.6 Server Open Directory is probably going to fail. I get
kadm5_init_with_password: init_sec_context failed with 851968/-1765328189errors when I try it. The reason is shown in the Kerberos5 page of the FreeBSD handbook:
The major difference between the MIT and Heimdal installs relates to the kadmin program which has a different (but equivalent) set of commands and uses a different protocol. This has a large implications if your KDC is MIT as you will not be able to use the Heimdal kadmin program to administer your KDC remotely (or vice versa, for that matter).
Fun times. Maybe Apple will get around to documenting this. Maybe not, but at least we have a start.| Comments ()