Oh the joy of technology

So, I was planning on releasing Coaster 0.1.5 either this weekend or next, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. My laptop’s hard drive seems to be dying (again). Whenever it starts to get a little hot (after about 45 minutes of being on), it starts to miss IO calls to it. It culminates into nothing working and the basic tools (like ls, ps, etc.) tell me there’s an IO error while the rest of my hard drive in inaccessible. After shutting it down and waiting for it to cool off, it works again. If I remember correctly, about this time last year my hard drive did this same thing. Maybe it’s the alignment of the moon or something. Luckily, I enrolled my laptop in AppleCare, so this should be covered. Now to back up everything on my hard drive to my desktop computer and hope it doesn’t heat up too much in the process… should be a blast. 😉

Weirdness

As I wrote before, I’m at the Willow Creek Arts Conference… there are a couple of things I can’t do on their network:

  • IRC: this I can see why since they probably want their employees to focus on work
  • SSH: port 22 seems to be blocked which means I can’t port forward around the IRC block.
  • Update my time using NTP: it seems they block the incoming ntp packets… no clue why they do that…

Other than those anomalies, I’m thoroughly enjoying the conference!

Still hope

So, it looks like Cowon/JetAudio/iAudio is coming out with a sweet looking Ogg/Flac/Mp3/etc. player with a color LCD display called the iAudio X5. It’s nice to see that someone can make a nice looking player that supports open formats (unlike some other companies). You can also order it from a German website :).

Flash sucks

I knew there was a reason I don’t like Flash. I can’t create a South Park version of me in Linux on PowerPC without using MacOnLinux to emulate OSX. Macromedia still refuses to take one PowerPC machine that they develop their OSX plugin on and install Linux so they can compile the Flash player/plugin for Linux for all of us PowerPC Linux users. This just goes to show that we really need a truly free (as in freedom) Flash player/plugin.

The wait will kill me

I just ordered a new iBook battery from the Apple Store (since after running a script in OSX that someone told me about, I found out my battery is at around 39% capacity) and I have to wait 2-3 weeks for it to ship. That’s nuts. I also ordered Radtech’s Pawz to replace my iBook’s non-existent feet. This should help with the heat of my iBook a lot. I had to refrain from buying any other cool toys for now… at least until our tax returns come in ;).

A slow death

So, I’ve figured out that my iBook’s battery is dying. I’ve tried recalibrating it (several times, in fact) with no luck and I’ve even tried resetting the PMU and that doesn’t help either. I get about 2 hours of battery life in OSX and 1 1/2 hours in Linux. When I first got it I was getting around 4 1/2 to 5 in OSX and 3 1/2 to 4 in Linux. If my battery isn’t covered under my AppleCare Protection Plan, I’ll have to use $127 from my tax returns to buy a new one. Hopefully a dying battery isn’t an act of God (see section 2.e.ii).

In the Market

I’m looking for a new laptop backpack or carrying case. It has to have enough room to carry a few books (like my Stroustroup) a mouse, the power cord for my iBook, and some other miscellaneous cables (plus my 12″ iBook!). I took a look at a few bags and I’m quite pleased with the options I have. The first place I looked was RadTech (because I’m going to get their laptop feet since my iBook’s are long gone) and found a couple bags I liked. I also saw a cool glove. Then I checked out Apple’s store to see what they had, and I found one that looks promising. Does anyone out there have any suggestions for me? Also, what other cool iBook accessories do people have that they can’t live without? Let me know :).

Splash screen

The splash screen contest has come and gone. Some (like me) like the splash, and others don’t. I agree with Nat’s comments about the splash being uninteresting to users, but I still like it. Perhaps a list of finalists with a short frame of time to express opinions about the chosen splashes would have been better (suggested by Andrew Johnson today), but we can learn from this and maybe we can do that next time.

I’d like to point out one entry that Jakub liked that I don’t think met the criteria. This entry doesn’t conform to the “No English text” rule. I know, it’s sign language; but the sign language used is American Sign Language. This is a specific language to the American deaf community and is NOT universal. There are many different sign languages around the world with their own alphabet. Some, like British Sign Language are very different from American Sign Language’s alphabet. I know it’s a nitpick, but if we’re going to say that the splash can’t have English text because we don’t want to translate the splash for users that speak another language, then we can’t have a language other than English (ASL) on our splash because we’d have to translate that as well.