Functional Entropy

Chaos breeds order, sort of.

Category: Apple-er

Tired Guy Dumps Links

I spent most of the last week solo parenting and decided that most of what I'd written during the course of the week (and didn't post) was primarily garbage. Sleep deprivation isn't the inspirational force of nature that it used to be for me so most of what came out was gibberish. The kid likes to delay bedtime as late as possible and wake up the moment that sunlight pierces the horizon. I think he runs on some alternative power source that I don't understand. I'm going to dump some links instead:

I'm unsure of my confidence in Ubuntu's new package management scheme. If they're truly going to break with the Debian repos, then I'm a little less concerned. I have a feeling that this is part of a Canonical marketing push to make Ubuntu a little more appealing for virtualization. Since I don't have to touch Ubuntu anything on a regular basis I'll probably have to fire up a VM of my own in order to check it out once it's post-dog food. A lot of the promises made are insanely difficult to actually deliver, but smaller updates and atomic installations/removals do sound pretty good.

Even though I've been off the iOS crackpipe for a 4+ years now, I agree that Safari as the only browser choice for iOS devices is myopic as all get out and needs to change. Safari is a perfectly fine default for simple web tasks as it's still pretty snappy performance-wise, but is a little long in the tooth for sites dependent on more modern features. I used Safari the first day it was released and I wasn't a huge fan then, but at least it was a viable option to the dreaded IE5 on the Apple platform and was under active development. Marooning users on a platform that is coasting along seems like a bad idea.

Unsurprisingly, there was a shitstorm on Reddit which is reaching 4chan levels of obnoxious. Ah, well, it was (bad) fun while it lasted. The clue here is that while making the elimination of harassment a priority is a good goal, firing one of the people who make the site attractive to those outside the neckbeard majority is a bad thing. I imagine the trolls will soldier on until Reddit becomes completely worthless. Godspeed or something.

Any Port In The Storm?

Some of my friends no longer have any excuses about being left out of group conversations because they don’t/won’t have Facebook accounts or have deleted them in response to the various privacy/whatever concerns over the years. Facebook Messenger (at least in a handful of countries) doesn’t require a FB account anymore which is awesome. It does, however, use your phone number to sort you from the myriad grandparents looking for pictures of their grandchildren. I’m just happy to have a ready alternative to SMS which is rapidly becoming a status-laden shit show of unreliability as messages get wrapped in proprietary fluff instead of just being, you know, a text.

A Generally Irritating Thing Is Worse When Systemic

I’m skimming a lot of things today in between re-sysprepping a machine and trying to get my Fog server to actually, you know, image machines. It’s been a frustrating morning largely consumed by waiting for long periods of time and then starting a PXE boot while crossing my fingers and cursing softly. I guess it’s the nature of what I do for a living. The changes in how sysprep interacts with Windows 7 is a topic that I could personally rage about for a couple of hundred words so I’ll leave that for another day.

One of the things I read concerned one of my all time favorite topics: the distrust and near antipathy between proponents of the various desktop operating systems. I’ve been particularly critical of the Apple camp over the past 8 months or so due to their OS release schedule that included things like completely breaking the SAMBA stack (and leading people to formulate all sorts of wacky workarounds to get SAMBA to do the things it was made to do) and making sure that Centrify (the Active Directory binding that doesn’t mysteriously/randomly fail) was completely broken and accounts with administrative rights were useless. Each and every time a new release was announced it filled me full of dread. At the time I was supporting a company that used a Netapp appliance for NAS duties so the SAMBA broken-ness was especially painful. It’s the kind of pain that makes me want to avoid deploying them for folks who actually use their computers for something other than email and web browsing and avoid recommending them as a platform to people: Sooo, do you anticipate needing to get to resources on the network? It was heartbreaking at least when Mavericks was released; a couple iterations into Yosemite and it was just expected behavior. That doesn’t make me wring my hands; it just pisses me off.

Anyway, the quote from that article I linked up at the top that sums this all up very well for me is this one from Linus Torvalds (albeit paraphrased and journalism-ified a bit):

All in all, Torvalds concluded, Jobs “didn’t use very many arguments. He just basically took it for granted that I would be interested” in collaborating with Apple. “He was clueless, unable to imagine that there could be entire segments of the human race who weren’t the least bit concerned about increasing the Mac’s market share. I think he was truly surprised at how little I cared about how big a market the Mac had—or how big a market Microsoft has.”

That pervasive post-Jobs perfectionism reminds me a little of XP era Microsoft when they simply stopped giving a shit about anything other than engineer’s whims and assumed that market dominance would be eternal.

Pretty Meh About iCars

I know a lot of folks are super excited about the rumors of the impending Apple car mainly because it will likely be pretty and highly integrated with their other products. Apple is refusing to field any questions which is very typical until the official announcement.

Eight years ago I would be really excited about that sort of possibility but now I just feel like, if the auxiliary Tesla rumors have any basis in reality, it’s going to be more aggressive branding and narrowing the ecosystem than anything else. I’m basing my lack of excitement on the general direction that Apple has pursued over the past couple of years. For me, the generalized broken-ness of Yosemite was the final nail in the coffin of serial disappointments. I think the larger and more influential Apple becomes, the more concerned it becomes with end to end ownership of the platform. These days I’m less easily impressed with minor interface revisions and the press void preceding the announcement. This isn’t at all to say that packaging Tesla technology into a optionless and fixed chassis might not be a fabulous idea; I’m just tired of the sorority girl snooty monoculture. 

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