Keep calm and trust the iCloud?

December 31st, 2016

Although I’ve used Dropbox over the years, I never fully trusted it for documents that were too personal or private in nature. A few high profile compromises later made me accept those gut feelings were correct.

On the other hand… iCloud document syncing has always been a bit of a gong show. The Apple iWorks suite had intermittent issues where documents on the Mini would fail to open or otherwise be out of sync. Dropbox certainly had the reliability advantage.

Dropbox was eventually relegated to only accommodating my 1Password synchronization. With 1Password for Teams I ended up dropping Dropbox entirely.

Fast forward to macOS Sierra. Document created by the iWorks suite seem to be syncing pretty reliably these days. I recently picked up a shiny new MacBook Pro (touch-bar) but find myself going back to my aging 2010 Mini for no other reason than it’s where a ton of my files are stashed.

Sierra has been encouraging me to place my Documents and Desktop folder into iCloud. Maybe this would actually be a decent idea? Ultimately it’s something that Apple will need to get right if they haven’t accomplished this feature already. Going to a particular machine or relying on local storage is starting to feel pretty archaic.

HDCP nonsense

January 2nd, 2016

A day after Boxing Day I failed to fight the temptation of a new TV to upgrade my circa 2008 52″ Sharp.

The prospect of a 70″ 4K TV, an LG 70UF7300 was too much to resist.

No early adoption of consumer electronics goes unpunished, however.

The industry’s insistence on incompetentently rolling out anti-consumer tech ends up ruining the pleasure of such frivolous spending. 

History repeats itself. Early adopters of HDTVs predating HDMI got screwed by the lack of HDCP in their DVI ports.

Likewise, this TV and countless others like it will likely be unable to interoperate with soon to exist UHD Bluray players.

I’m having difficulty confirming definitively, but it doesn’t appear this particular 4K TV has support for the latest HDCP (High Definition Customer Penalization) standard.

Using my 4K TV as a 4K TV will require thumbing my nose at the conservative’s misguided copyright reform (Canadian DMCA equivalent) and circumventing HDCP (the “Digital Lock”) altogether. Fortunately such devices, HDCP strippers, do exist. I’ve ordered an HDfury Integral either proactively or prematurely, depending on the eventual outcome, to do exactly that.

The situation is rediculous. No intent of copyright infringement has ever been thwarted by such poorly conceived garbage. Legitimately paying customers (suckers like myself) will continue to be harmed. Many otherwise capable displays will end up on the e-waste pile prematurely. Why is this tolerated? Isn’t this what class action lawsuits are for? Aren’t there any consumer protection laws that could be invoked against the intentional crippling of very expensive gear?

Apple TV (4th generation)

November 1st, 2015

Picked up a new Apple TV (fourth generation) from the Southgate Apple Store on my way home on Friday. I actually pre-ordered fairly early Monday morning in hopes of having one dropped on my lap come Friday. My pre-order, however, is stuck in that awkward “too far along to cancel but it isn’t going to be here on launch day” limbo.

Who has the willpower to wait when you can just pick one up off a shelf? Had I known they’d be that easy to get my hands on I probably wouldn’t have bothered with the pre-order. I can return it when it arrives but I may keep it. The two I have are 2nd generations. They’re getting pretty long in the tooth, only 720p and unsupported software wise for some time. They don’t even work with YouTube anymore.

Alright, new toy! Let’s play…

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A tale of two AirPorts

September 28th, 2014

The concept of a “guest” WiFi network, open to anyone but isolated from the rest of my home LAN has always been appealing… The feature has existed in the AirPort Extreme routers since the third generation (circa 2009).

Originally the feature would disappear the moment you turn off router functionality and place the AirPort in bridge mode. This combined with my insistence on letting my FreeBSD box serve as the Internet gateway for my household negated my ability to use the feature.

In a firmware update some time ago, this feature re-appeared, even while the router was in bridge mode… I tried it once, discovered I could get no traffic to flow through it, shrugged it off and disabled it…


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I should write more…

September 5th, 2014

Too many moments happen in between the rigorous fits of self documentation I disseminate here. My older (of two) daughters is about to turn seven (tomorrow!) and I have a new born son that doesn’t exist if you base your facts on said missing ramblings.

It’s easy enough to make excuses, some more legitimate than others:

I do have the odd blog post in recent years, but they mostly share a common theme: “Let me jump on my soapbox, I feel the need to whine about my current first world problem!”

Some of my older entries have been more enjoyable… More personal… If nothing else, useful for my own reminiscing… I’ve satisfied that itch with the occasional entry in Day One, but I wonder… Maybe, like opensource software, the fear of embarrassment will force a higher quality if I just hang it all out there…

Failing that, maybe this can, at least, serve as a cheap thrill for the voyeuristic impulses of random passer-bys.