Some great OS X Firefox links

Weeks ago I wrote about my migration to Firefox as a web browser. While it is great it still lacked some of the really nice OS X features of Safari. Tonight while reading through some of the daily sources I read, I came across a post on Hicksdesign that has several great extensions and outstanding themes.

A new Apple Store

The grand opening of the newest Apple Store, Apple Store FlatIron Crossing, is bittersweet. Had we not left Colorado the store would be just across the street from the office. As great as that might be it is probably good for the pocketbook that its not so easy to get to a store.

About age or tradition

Daring Fireball writes about the reasons people who, in spite of dissatisfaction with Windows, won't switch to Macintosh. The article debunks some omnipresent myths such as the idea that Macintosh is more "locked in" to Apple than the Wintel platform is to Microsoft. A footnote suggests the iPod effect may have to do with "young people who haven't yet matured to the age where they're overly fearful of veering from the familiar. "

Possibly. But I'm not buying wholesale. I think there is another big difference between the lack of maturity to place where the familiar is uncomfortable. Rather it seems that teens today have a greater comfort level with various types of technology. Much more than those of us passing the three-decade mark, those of the next generations encounter a lot more technology a lot sooner in life. Along with a greater familiarity comes a much greater comfort in figuring out how different technology works.

A second important shift that accompanies growing up with technology. In older present generations, computers and technology are something new to learn. So much time has been put into trying to learn a few months behind those who created the technology that we've managed to loose site of the fact that our kids and their kids will come to know computers more as we consider mechanical pencils and ball-point pens.

Apple Store dis-service

I haven't blogged about this before hoping it would go away. Today however it became even worse. About six weeks ago I got a new iMac iSight. The computer is great. For the first few weeks it worked fine. Then the DVD drive stopped working. Kaput. Done. So just over two weeks ago it went in to the Apple Store Fashion Show in Las Vegas.

This was the first problem. I'd called Apple Care. They had diagnosed the problem. We were pretty sure what the problem was. I called the Apple Store to see if they had the part in. They patently refused to help save one of their customers a 100-mile drive to a pre-Christmas mall teeming with people. Using the flimsy excuse "what if it's not the optical drive" but a cable or some other part. So we already know that the primary purpose is to make the customer bend to the rules of the shop.

Wednesday night they finally call, as promised, and say the part is in. Today the machine goes in. The 10-minute job of replacing the optical drive, OK make it 40-minutes with extensive testing, will apparently take the store two-days. So they will have the machine back in a week. A week to replace the optical drive component in an iMac G5 - a minor variation on the machine that Apple allows customers to do themselves.

So the new computer that I need to get work done has been inoperable for half the time I've owned it.

Of course I could have saved all this headache by simply buying their Pro Care offering which would have cut the repair time to overnight. What this really means then is that the Apple Store, once a customer has spent thousands on computer equipment, and purchased an extended warranty, is made to wait three weeks for a repair that if I'd pay the extra fee of Pro Care for would be overnight. Somewhere along the line they have failed to take into account the thousands (hundreds of thousands that is) of dollars that have gone Apple's way at my direction over the past few years because we normally avoid just such these tactics.

Christmas eve

The computer is consipring to make sure I don't work too much on Christmas. The two-year-old 15" PowerBook has decided to stop working... mostly. Of course it works just often enough to convince me that it might be salvagable. In the end it seems to be a problem with the display though. We're also taking advantage of the slow time before the new year to make some infrastructure changes. If all goes well the changes will be little noticed. If not the site will possibly be down for a time. Either way email may be a bit slower than expected and instant messenger will be abandoned until next year.

iPod blues

I've been working on a friend's iPod recently. The otherwise healthy iPod has started freezing every time you move songs to it. Choose a batch of 20 songs and 5 or 6 will transfer fine and seven will die. The real problem is that it is not just the iPod that freezes but the whole computer. The machine (running Mac OS X 10.4) will stop completely. A few processes are "stuck" but even attempting to shut-d. own or restart the computer don't work. The only solution is to power down the computer and restart it. After a restart the whole scenario plays out again.

After several tries with other iPods and the computer it seemed to be a problem with the specific iPod. A trip to Apple Care and back and they report the iPod is just fine. Upon transferring the next set of songs the familiar freeze was back. The iMac locked up completely. Had Apple Care missed something? Why did this computer that works with other iPods not work with this iPod.

Eventually I decided to reload the iTunes library to make sure there wasn't a problem with the library itself. After taking all the files out and re-importing them there was no difference. Could it be the cable? The cable had been used for a couple of years and had never really been taken anywhere or used in any other way. However, it occurred to me at that point that the "other iPods" that were working fine were all USB models. Plugging the ill-functioning iPod into the USB cable it performs flawlessly. Somewhere along the line one of two things has happened. Either there is a problem with the firewire cable, which I'm still skeptical about, or there is a problem with the OS on the iMac and how it recovers from firewire errors.


Subscribe to Macintosh