apple of my i

Musings of an Apple fanboi

10 reasons why OS X is better than Windows

  1. Solid UNIX foundation: strong performance, stability and developer tools availability
  2. Elegant, fluid, consistent, and easiest-to-use UI
  3. Better system performance and power saving
    • Faster OS X vis-à-vis Bootcamp’d Windows performance
    • Faster boot-up, shutdown, sleep and wake-up performance
    • App Nap
    • Timer-Coalescing
    • Compressed Memory
    • GCD, ARC, and OpenCL
  4. Amzaing bundled apps
    • iLife: Garage Band, iMovie, iPhoto
    • iWork: Numbers, Keynote, Pages
    • Calendar, Mail, Notes, Preview, Photo-booth, Safari, iTunes, Quicktime, Dictionary, etc
  5. Advanced features
    • Time-machine
    • Spotlight
    • Airplay and multiple-displays
    • PowerNap
    • AirDrop
    • In-built sharing/remote accessibility options: NFS, CIFS, SSH, Remote Desktop, etc.
    • Finder (tags, smart folders, tabs, spring-loaded drag-n-drop, etc.)
    • Mission control
    • Password-protected virtual disk images
    • Automator (workflows)
    • Misc: dictation, social integration, notifications, emoji support, quick accented character typing, pdf exports/editing, etc.
  6. App store, simple app management, and no performance degradation over time [no registry cleaning or disk de-fragmentation required]
  7. Tight integration not just between Mac and OS X, but also across various services on multiple iDevices through iCloud
  8. Security: Gatekeeper, ASLR, Find My Mac, FileVault, rare viruses/malware
  9. Plays nice with Windows etc.
    • Dual-boot option: Windows, Linux, whatever
    • Can read and write to NTFS, FAT32, etc.
    • Can do SMB/CIFS (Windows share)
    • Built-in MS Exchange support
    • Office docs interoperability in Pages, Numbers and Keynote
    • Native MS Office for OS X available
  10. Starting with Mavericks (10.9), OS X is Free!

Dear Fandroids, be excited about the iPhone 5S

You fandroids are amazing. You first ignore or ridicule Apple’s design choices and innovations, and the moment it’s copied by your favorite Android vendor, you completely forget about the originator of those innovations, and in fact start bragging about the copied features in spec-terms, as if those specs alone would actually lead to a superior user experience.

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Fingerprint, M7, 60fps, true-tone flash, A7, 64-bit.. don’t they excite you? Don’t you think these are big steps forward, for all of us? I say all of us because sooner or later, you’ll get those as well.

Now, I’m sure there are those in the crowd who’re saying - wait a sec, Apple wasn’t the first to bring fingerprint into a phone. Yes, probably Motorola was (?). But do you know that Motorola seems to be laughing at this very idea of putting fingerprint sensor in a phone now! The fact is, Motorola never believed in this technology or the idea, let alone perfecting it. There’s a difference between innovation and shooting in the dark. And now as always, since Apple has shown the way, rest are sure to follow. There were fingerprint sensors before the iPhone 5S and there will be fingerprint sensors after the iPhone 5S; the difference - people would actually start using it now. You’d probably remember that there were smartphones before the iPhone and tablets before the iPad, and how they looked and functioned until iPhone and iPad came along. Apple’s contribution is to show the world how it is done, and that’s what you need to thank Apple for.

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And before we get into a flame-war, let me make one thing clear - while I am obviously an Apple fanboy, I’m not a bigot. I say what I see. I thank Google for its maps each time I need to get somewhere (reliably), and I thank Google for its search and mail revolutions.. yes, revolutions.. Google just re-defined those categories forever! It’s another thing I don’t use gmail because I hate its UI and ads but I don’t say outlook or iCloud is so cool and Gmail sucks. We owe it to Google for re-inventing those spaces. And as much as I loathe Android, it has empowered people who couldn’t afford Apple products, and it is keeping Apple on it’s toes.

My only request is that please be objective and open with your appreciation of innovation you see outside your camp and before you start comparing a true innovator and leader with petty thieves and laggards, realize that Android or Samsung owe their existence in the smartphone/tab space to the iPhone just as Windows and PC-makers owe their existence to the Mac.

NTFS write on Lion or Mountain Lion

What works

Tuxera and Paragon sell paid NTFS solutions on a Mac that just work with the best performance. I however used the free version of NTFS-3G on Snow Leopard without much issues. When I moved to Lion though, there were some errors.. and MacFUSE wasn’t maintained anymore.

What almost worked

So, I tried fuse4x with ntfs-3g and while it works fine most of the times, sometimes I got errors with writing large (>1G) files on an NTFS volume. Also, automounting didn’t work fine—I didn’t bother to troubleshoot that though. If you want to try this approach, I suggest you do this through homebrew, which is a wonderful package manager on Mac.. sort of like apt-get on Ubuntu. Once brew is installed, just do `brew install ntfs-3g`. This is what I remember doing.. and I think it pulled up fuse4x, and associated kexts etc. Anyway, I did `brew remove` for ntfs-3g and fuse4x.

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Developing on jailbroken iPhone 4S (5.1.1) with Xcode 4.4.1

First of all, the intent of this post is not to discourage iOS developers from creating a $99/yr developer account. Ultimately, all serious developers would and should. This post is meant to assist hobbyists or budding developers in their initial experimentation with a jailbroken iPhone to run their own apps.. at least until the time they get into serious iOS development. If you’re an Apple developer, chances are you love Apple and so, don’t do anything that harms Apple or the eco-system (includes developers).

The post is an update to http://www.alexwhittemore.com/developing-jailbroken-iphone-ios-401/. I sincerely thank Alex for writing a detailed post that helped me in successfully running my test apps, developed under Xcode 4.4.1 on Mountain Lion with my iPhone 4S (5.1.1). As I discovered, there were a few (minor) changes required for 5.1.1 on Xcode 4.4.1 since the original post was targeted at an older version of iOS (4.x) and Xcode.  I sort of struggled to get a definitive guide anywhere on the Internet, and many stated methods just don’t work with 5.1.1. If you notice any technical errors in the post or have suggestions, please add a comment or feel free to write to me at v dot tmp at me dot com.

Essentially, there are 10 broad steps to accomplish this task. I’m not providing detailed descriptions of these steps here and assume that you understand most of it—you’re a developer after all.  If you need further clarity, do refer to the original post by Alex Whittemore.

            1. Jailbreak your iPhone 4S

              You can follow the instruction at the Greenpois0n site for jailbreaking your iPhone 4S (5.1.1). Works like a charm.. but do take a backup!
            2. Install AppSync for iOS 5.0+

              Open Cydia, and add http://cydia.hackulo.us as a source. I installed version 2.2 by Dissident.

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Windows Surface: Just a shallow copy

Good artists copy, great artists steal.

And then there are those who just try to immitate, and suck at that too.

Microsoft Surface Tablet

Google was able to copy iOS.. well pretty much, but hasn’t been able to steal the idea from Apple. Microsoft on the other hand is trying hard to “imitate” Apple’s moves. And so, I wonder if the name “Surface” is a metaphor or some kind of self-deprecating humor. Having said that, I do believe that even with traditional BSoDs, Microsoft will probably enjoy some success with this product, if and when it comes out. Especially, at higher corporate altitudes where air is thin and intelligent life is difficult to find, and where MS Office is the raison d’être for most.

Watching the Surface launch event was both amusing and annoying to me. The part I found hillarious was watching Microsoft talk about design intricacies: 22 degree tilt, kick-stand’s click sound, etc. Microsoft and design in the same sentence!!??? Yep, the times, they are a-changin’. And what annoyed me of course was that Ballmer was so sober. I hope this isn’t a real change, just infatuation.. I really do.

There are reasons why I feel Micosoft Surface isn’t going to a successful tablet in the consume space:

The PC Baggage

Microsoft hasn’t for some reason understood the Post-PC paradigm yet. It just thinks in terms of PCs, and even after 2003 or 2010, it continues to believe that a tablet is just another form-factor for a PC. Here’s a quote by a popular frequent flyer named Ryan Bingham or George Clooney, as most of us might remember:

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Decided to finally take the plunge.

Decided to finally take the plunge.