First let me say I am loving Apple’s new iPad. One of the first “killer” features for me is the ability to quickly and easily respond to email while sitting on the couch or in bed. In the past I have used my iPhone for this, but because typing on that device isn’t ideal I would often respond with more terse emails than I would have liked. The iPad’s on-screen keyboard is much more “typeable”. It resolves the issue but as I discovered this morning nothing is perfect. Checkout what awaited me when I finished my work and turned off the iPad.
Yup. A nice greasy virtual fingerprint keyboard. The iPad, like it’s smaller siblings the iPhone and iPod Touch, loves grease (and cat hair BTW). Luckily it also has the same oleophobic coating as the mini pads too. A simple wipe with a soft lint free cloth resolves the issue. Still kinda funny. For sure you’ll want to keep a cloth around and handy for when you finished fondling your favorite new iThing.
Well gang, sometimes with great pleasure also comes great pain. I was all excited this evening to get home and upgrade my Apple TV and I actully did just that. And much rejoicing ensued. The upgrade went smoothly and I was getting ready to view some content streamed off my Mac Mini (the one I use to produce the Maccast) when I noticed a problem. The Mac Mini wasn’t responding. I went downstairs to check on it and discovered a frozen Mac with the spinning beachball of death staring me dead in the face. Strange, but no big worry, right? I powered down and booted back up. On boot there was a long delay on the grey screen with the Apple logo and then mysteriously the Mac Mini just powered off. Hmmm. Try again. Same result. Uh oh! Ok, restart and boot into single user mode. Run fsck. Now freak out.
The scan results in a kernel: disk0s2: 0xe0030005 (UNDEFINED). staring back at me. A quick Google gives a mixed prognosis. Everything from needing to simply to a fresh reinstall o OS X to a possible total hard disk failure. However you look at it, not good. My gut reaction is that I am a victim of the dreaded Seagate 2.5″ 7.01 firmware defective drive syndrome I told you about on a past Maccast (read here if you need to jog your memory). I had confirmed my Mac Mini drive was one of those models, so it seems likely. Tonight I am out my production system and it will have a date with the Apple Geniuses in the morning.
So now I have bad news for me and bad news for you. First the bad news for me. While I do have a full TimeMachine backup to restore from when the Mini returns from Apple, at the time the Mac Mini broke down I had been in the process of re-creating a new SuperDuper backup with the new Leopard compatible version. Trouble is, it had failed earlier in the day (I actually ran out of drive space) and so I don’t have a full Super Duper clone. Not a huge deal, but I can’t do a quit boot from external to get back up and running again quickly. Now my bad news becomes your bad news because I was hoping to get a show out today going over all the new Apple TV goodness among other things. So sorry, but there is going to be another delay in getting out the next episode. I’ll know more tomorrow when Apple tells me how they are going to fix the Mini. So hang in there and I will hopefully be back up and podcasting again soon. Keep the faith.
Looks like an observant Maccst listener, Fred, may have found the source of that secondbMacBook Pro wake from sleep issue I told you about on the last show. Despite the recent patch from Apple, many of our listeners were still experiencing a problem with their MacBooks where the trackpad and keyboard would become unresponsive after waking from sleep. Fred discovered that in his case his Remote Buddy software (a great app that I have recommended on the show before) may be causing the issue. He wrote the developer and sure enough there seems to be a bug in OS X’s handling of the USB bus when waking from deep sleep. If you want to know all the down and dirty facts there is this post up on the Remote Buddy support forums. In my understanding is that there appears to be a bug in the IOKit with connections made using the IOUSB*UserClient. This issue seems to effect the newer “Santa Rosa” (I still hate this term as it is technically not correct) MacBooks. In these models the USB bus for the internal trackpad and keyboard is shared with external ports. When waking from sleep OS X goes through the USB bus and re-establishes it’s USB connections. The issue is the timing of events. If a 3rd party app makes a call to reset the USB bus at the wrong moment during this process, it may inadvertently lock-up the IOUSBController rendering the USB ports, internal trackpad, and built-in keyboard unresponsive. Annoying, but should be relatively easy to patch in the next OS X update. For now the workaround would be to turn off deep sleep mode or to un-install any 3rd party apps that may be triggering the issue.
The lesson… always check Apple.com right BEFORE encoding and posting the latest Maccast. Thanks Apple.
Looks like ifoApplestore and the other rumor sites were right when they claimed to have confirmed October 26th as the launch date for Leopard. See you at the Apple store in about 10 days, 10 hours, 41 minutes, and 10 seconds.
Last week, on the first “I have something to say” segment, we discussed some strategies for convincing our PC using friends and family to make the switch to Mac. In that conversation we briefly touched on what I consider to be maybe the best method for creating a switcher; get them to use a Mac. Now, that can be a challenge as many would-be converts would prefer to try before they buy and most are not willing to drop $600 plus bucks up front for a Mac test-drive. Luckily, many of us have a secret weapon hiding in the spare bedroom, the closet, or tucked away in the garage. It’s your old Mac and chances are it’s still a decent little machine. Anything with a G4 or better processor can pretty much be dusted off, loaded up with Tiger and iLife, and compete with just about any currently sold bargain basement PC. It’s a great way to go. So what are you waiting for? Pass on that OS X Mac goodness. Listener Eric did it and checkout what he experienced.
[Email to the Maccast, 7/29/2007]
I actually converted my parents to Mac when I was in college. Two years ago I gave my mom my year old laptop that ran Windows when I purchased my Power Book for school. My parents are as far from computer literate as they come… they had a computer that was running Windows 98 and was turned on about 3 times a year before I gave them my old laptop. Continue Reading »
Just in case you haven’t noticed, Maccast.com is feeling the pressure of some heavy activity from DIGG. This is awesome, but obviously unexpected. I have ordered some more processing power and memory, but it won’t be added until early tomorrow morning. This is just heads up to let you know that until then the site performance may be a bit spotty and you may even see the occasional error. Of course, there will also be a brief outage around 10:00 AM PST tomorrow while we upgrade the server. Sorry for the trouble.
I told you about the latest iTunes UK promotion involving a billboard in Piccadilly Circus on the latest MacCast. In case you missed it, Apple and Coke have partnered and placed a billboard at Piccadilly Circus in London. The billboard will occasionally display a code and when you use your UK cell phone to text the code to a special number you have the opportunity to win free songs on the UK iTunes store. Recently listener Brandon was able snap a few shots of the new signage (see Flickr links and YouTube video below) and the Coke+iTunes team handing out samples and vouchers for 5 free iTunes songs. According to Brandon if the billboard code word doesn’t change daily UK listeners can text “vibe” to 85100 up to 3 times for free music. Enjoy!
Update: Added the video of the billboard from listener Matt
A couple shows back I told you about the Apple Digital Store in Manchester, UK which opened just this past weekend. Well, listener Peter was kind enough to checkout the UK’s newest independent Apple store and sent in his thoughts and the photos below (check ‘em out on Flickr). As you can see the store is small but, as Peter points out, very well designed. It is situated right in the heart of Manchester and has all the Apple products any Mac Geek could want. Plus, the staff seems to fit the Apple hipster bill too. Peter says he found the staff extremely knowledgeable and helpful and notes they plan to distinguish themselves from the Apple Retail Stores by offering cheaper upgrades and great financing options. If you happen to be in the area this store looks like it definitely warrants a visit.