Apple

iPeople

iPeopleNot all people with iProducts irritate me, only the pretentious iPeople drive me bat-shit crazy.  There seem to be more pretentious iPeople, than ones who actually make use of their Apple products.  My brief time of owning a Mac proved to me that I’m a Windows person.  I can do more of what I like to do with it, and I can do it for so much less money.  Hell, most of the time I do what I do for free.  I’m a handy person.  I can use Windows, Mac, Linux and Unix.  I do almost daily.

You heard me right.  I am a Windows person.  I know I’ve used the term, “I am a PC” before.  But if you think on it, it’s a dumb term.  Thus, I am not a PC.  PC is short for Personal Computer.  That means a computer that is owned by the average everyday person.  Generally in their home.  Regardless of what operating system (Mac, Windows, one of the hundreds of flavors of Linux and/or Unix and various other types that are floating in the software world.).  Even a tablet (this includes iPads you weenies) is a personal computing device.  Which goes to say that even your smart phone is essentially a personal computing device.  So, literally speaking, everyone is a PC.  Saying all computers other than Macs are PC’s, is like saying all cola is “Coke” and every internet search is a “Google”.  That’s something else that drives me crazy is how people use names of products rather than using the real term.  And not all tissue is “Kleenex”.

What kills me is the reasoning these iCrack addicts use to some how validate their choices.  Granted at the end of the day, it’s their money, they can spend it how they like.  But from my viewpoint, a person who has medical conditions, medical bills to pay, plus lives by myself so there’s no one helping pay the rent, utilities and food.  Who works for real America, and not some corporation owned by profit hungry demons.  Does not make a huge salary.  If I truly wanted too, I could.  Fairly easily.  However the benefits I get are priceless in comparison to a huge salary and my boss allows me to work from home to be with my children in my remaining years.  So it for some reason drives me crazy to be harped on by those with money to spend on items they barely use.  Especially when they come at me with their condescending tone and say things like, “You don’t have a Mac (iPhone or iPad)?”.  As if I’m somehow lesser for not wanting one.  Oh sure, teenagers and young adults are glued to their iPhones and iMacs all day long.  But what do they really do?  Facebook, text, YouTube and email are the top four things.  In that order.  I know this because that’s all they ever call me about when they can’t do one of those.  I hardly ever hear about not being able to complete their thesis on how politicians suck.  Sometimes I get calls when their word processing skills and printing skills go hindered.  So what this is saying to someone like me, is that you spent $800 to $2000 (depending on what iProduct is it) that could have been done on a $99 Android tablet.  Hey, it’s not Windows (if that’s in your reasoning) and certainly more affordable.  If anything, it’s justifiable.

And don’t give me this crap of how your iPhone was only $99.  Unless you bought it used, you have a contract plan with your provider that costs you a lot more than it should.  Basically saying your making payments on the phone.  I think AT&T is the only company that doesn’t hide that fact.

Wireless Plan

My Windows Phone 8 cost me $50 on Amazon, new in retail packaging.  Dropped in my 32GB Micro SD card and now it has nearly all the same features as an iPhone.  My no contract plan is only $40 a month as I hardly use data.  While iOS always brags they are the most innovative mobile operating system, they still don’t have native swipe typing.  Talk about speeding up texting.

To the individuals that actually put those expensive pieces of equipment to real use, I applaud you on your decisions to buy them.  The rest of you should be given a right good kicking for wasting the money you could have donated to a worthier cause like hunger relief or cancer research.  Perhaps a better education for your kids.  I hear college is expensive these days.

I grew up appreciating the value of a dollar.  Which doesn’t go nearly as far as it did when I was a kid.  My kids are just now seeing that the dollar is soon to be even more worthless in the years to come as they progress in their adult lives.  So when I make a purchase, I’m going to try to get the most out of my money.  I could have bought a new iPhone 5s for $800 retail.  I could have bought an iMac for $1500, instead of my Windows computer with comparable hardware for only $650.  But I didn’t.  This allowed me to save money for a nice, professional musical instrument that I play 1-3 hours a day.  Plus I can bet I do more with my Windows Phone than most of you iWeenies out there do with your iPhone, iPad and iComputers combined.

Don’t give me this “I CAN do with my iCrap”.  I’m talking what you actually do.  Yes, you CAN do all the things I can do.  But the majority of you DO NOT DO.  Which pretty much reduces your iDevice to nothing more than bragging rights and a status symbol.  If you want to brag about how much money you spent, great.  I can help you spend more.  I got some bills that need paying.  I’m always happy to help those with too much money to spend.

I’ve already made a huge list of what I do with my computers.  Here’s what I do with my phone besides the obvious of Facebook, texting, YouTube and email (oh and of course Pictures):

  • It’s my GPS (Again saving money on buying another device I don’t need.)
  • My MP3 Player when I walk and exercise
  • Remote support tool  (Friends, Family and Customers can get help from me no matter where I am.)
  • What full length HD movies (Not Netflix, but actual movies I put on the SD card.)
  • Watch Netflix (see 🙂 )
  • Replaces all those damned plastic store cards that were once on my keyring
  • Buy and sell items on Craigslist
  • Explore new music
  • Edit and update my financial files across all my devices (Built-in MS Office suite is sweet!)
  • Keep track of my appointments, bills and medications
  • I never forget my shopping list anymore 🙂
  • Keep tabs on all emergencies in my area
  • I bought my phone, using my son’s Windows Phone via Amazon Mobile 😀
  • See what’s in the area Theaters, watch trailers and purchase tickets on my phone (for supported theaters)
  • Play games
  • Record videos – See Adam singing to Laura.
  • Take credit card payments
  • Pay bills
  • Wireless Hotspot
  • Cortana kicks ass!  (I’ve updated to Windows Phone 8.1 Developer)

OK, so I’m bragging.  But I’m bragging about how many things I actually do with it on a regular basis and still save money doing it.  Not posting stupid stuff on Facebook like a teenager going “I GOT AN IPHONE!!! WOOT!”.  Yay, you got something incredibly expensive.  Whoopty Doo.  You could’ve saved that money for college.  Instead your maybe working part-time at the local convenience store, texting away when you should be taking care of customers.  Yes, I’m talking to you blond girl at the Rite-Aid.

Remember when personal phone calls weren’t allowed at work?  Then again, I remember entire handbooks and rules about hygiene (no Gene, I’m not making a joke about you, so keep your panties straight), hair styles and jewelry.  Standards have really lowered over the years.  But that’s a rant for another day.

The Worship of False Gods

Steve JobsI just finished watching yet another movie on the life of Steve Jobs.  It kills me how this man was practically worshiped like some sort of God, even though they also show how much of an asshole this man was.  The majority of the people I meet that own Apple products, talk as if anyone who doesn’t have an Apple product is somehow a lesser being.  In many cases, they talk down to the non-apple elite.  It drives me crazy.  It’s like they think they are better than everyone else.

Kills me even further that people who own these products, and have had them for years.  Call me up, a person who no longer owns an Apple, and I can fix their problems.  Why is that you suppose?  Further more, most folks who buy these Apple products, spend insane amounts of money on them, just to use them for email or Facebook.  Not only do they not know how to use them, but they are economically challenged apparently.  Of course not all of them are like this.  Just the ones that need to call me.  The rest do amazing things with their Apple products, require little to no help and God bless them for the things they achieve.

But the way these Apple product owners go on and on about how great they are an how Steve Jobs was some sort of icon in their lives.  It’s like he could do no wrong.  The only other entity I see get that much attention is God himself.  When Steve Jobs died, it was like a part of the world itself was in mourning.  I just don’t get it.

No matter how many films or documentaries I’ve seen, or articles I read about this guy.  I don’t buy the bullshit.  As far as I can see, Steve Jobs was a stoner, who whined about being abandoned.  Then denies his own daughter for half of her life.  He was a complete d-bag to most of the people he knew.  Talked a lot of shit and made a religion out of owning devices.  Granted, if it weren’t for him, things wouldn’t be the way they are, but I don’t see it as another opportunity to worship him as a false god.  Another person who is like Steve Jobs?  Try Mark Zuckerberg.

Apple’s millions of obsessed devotees more than support the notion. The company inspires cult-like behavior because of its product’s impeccable designs. Period.
Source: Gods of Advertising

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve owned an Apple computer.  They have made great products.  They have also nearly gone out of business making crap products as well.  But honestly, what you find on the inside of an Apple today, wasn’t made by Apple.  Majority of the parts are openly available.  The rest that aren’t are specifically made for Apple, not by Apple.  Steve Jobs was indeed a great person for taking others ideas and shaping them into his own products.  But honestly if it wasn’t for Steve Wozniak, there would’ve never been an Apple company.  Wozniak was the true brains behind the initial products.

Was Steve Jobs an inventor?  No.

Was Steve Jobs a humanitarian?  No.  That iPhone you love so dearly is made by children who would rather kill themselves, than make the product you have in your pocket.

Then again, perhaps only assholes can be rich and famous.  Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg… Justin Bieber…

Mac Gaming Gaining Ground

This is just my own personal observation.  As I’m hunting for a new game I’d like to play, I started noticing the flood of games with Mac Betas or fully operational Mac versions, where there was none before.

Games such as the new Guild Wars 2, and old favorites such as Lord of the Rings Online are joining the bunch.  I have also seen a few lesser known names joining the push.  I may be wrong, but I kind of doubt it.  Seems they all share the same impression I have about the new Windows 8 Metro bologna that Microsoft is force feeding the general public… (take breath)  Is only going to have faithful computer lovers move to operating systems that don’t suck.  Hence Mac with their overly “pretty” OS X desktop environment.  However, it is boatloads easier and more comprehensive to use than Metro.

As well as with the unbelievable amount of kick-ass games now available for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), such as Order and Chaos Online (Android / iOS) and Dark Legends… Many people will simply give up on PC gaming all together.  If anything was going to kill PC gaming, Microsoft’s new abomination, Windows 8 has certainly started this decline to eventual oblivion.  I for one, do not want a giant ass tablet environment as my “desktop”.  I’ll just use my tablet for that nonsense.

Although, this makes me think that if desktop computers has been more like mobile devices are now, people wouldn’t have such a hard time using them.  Installing and removing apps are a breeze, you can have wonderful moving desktops and smooth operation.  I guess that’s a blog for another day.  I know there is an Android Desktop PC kind of gadget, but I feel it could have so much more potential.

This is also a great opportunity for Linux.  However, this in my thoughts, would require the Linux Community to come together and have one unified Linux distribution.  If they ever want Joe User to come to the dark side, it will take more than cookies to bring them in.  They will need an easy to use, and standardized way of doing things.  As I’ve noticed, if I say I like Ubuntu.  My friends will tell me to try Linux Mint.  If everyone is using different distros, no game developer is going to want to waste time on Linux at all.  It’s aggravating to see install options for Redhat, Ubuntu, and other flavors just to run one application.  Fuck that, unify people!

I digress, but only a little.

As a side note, I am looking for a single player game that plays like an MMO.  Hang on now.  I know what response you want to give me already.  As with everyone else, you will want jump on the acronym of MMO and immediately tell me what an idiot I am.  As MMO’s are community driven blah blah blah.  I want the mechanics of the game to be like an MMO, not to joining parties and go raiding.  I want a game with quests, the ability to explore freely, an inventory, some crafting, but mostly I want skills that I can assign to an action bar.  This is hard to find apparently.  Most games I find, you are stuck with a specific skill set, like it or not.  Which makes everything a text book, figure it out and play.  I’d rather be able to pick and choose my skills, arrange them as I see fit and try different strategies to get through the game.  Maybe run through it two or three times with different builds.  That is what I mean by MMO style.  Any suggestions?  As for MMO’s, I want to get away more form the PC, so I’d rather a game I can play for 10 minutes or so, hit “Save” and quit.

Got a suggestion?  Email Me!

I concur, Windows 8 Sucks!

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.  But Michael @ Michael’s Techbox said it as elegantly as it comes.  Windows 8 sucks more now in the Customer Preview even more than it did as the Developer Preview which I reviewed a few months ago.  (My Developer Preview Review)

Just to give you an idea, all the ranting and raving I did over Mac before I owned one, and even my final frustration with Mac is nothing at all compared to what Windows 8 has in store for the general populous of internet loving citizens the world over.  Having played with the Customer Preview myself the past few weeks…  In my opinion, it may very well be the final push needed for Mac to take over top dog in the desktop market with Linux still in 3rd place, but gaining ground quickly thereafter.  It’s enough to make a grown, seasoned tech cry for mercy and question his/her very existence.

Lets take a look at what both Michael and I agree on:

The biggest thing is Metro.  No one without a touch screen is going to bother to upgrade to Windows 8.  The few who might do it not thinking, will quickly revert or learn new curse words.  Or touch their screen a little too hard in frustration.  Metro in the Developer Preview was something you could bypass and regain your start menu and use Windows just fine.  It looked good and ran very well.  It seemed like Metro was just a program that was simply “hooked” into the OS just as a replacement to the start menu.  The Customer Preview, Metro is now heavily integrated into the OS and just shutting the PC down is a multi-step process in agony.

If Microsoft insists on everyone buying new hardware, this is hardly the time to mandate that.  The economy while not completely tanked, isn’t in a position to run and buy new gear.  That alone won’t work in their favor.

If they insist on making the Desktop a Tablet, they need to ease users into it the way Mac is doing.  Mac has a wonderful desktop, but you can get to your applications with a tablet movement on the mousepad or touchpad which can be attached to the computer.  Rather than making all their users run out and buy touchscreens at a much higher price point.  When they did that in Lion, it was a bit of a culture shock, but within a couple of weeks it was no problem.  Having Windows 8 CP the past few weeks.  I have even less love for it than ever.  It’s not a learning curve.  It’s forget all you know and learn again.  Knowing customers love of “upgrades” and learning new things, on average, this is going to be more unwelcome for them as it is for the folks like me who have to help them.

If Microsoft wants to make a tablet OS, then fine.  I’m all for it.  Use it on tablets and phones.  Just like Mac does.

I can see once my Windows 7 is finally ready to die, I may very well become a Mac weenie all over again.  At least their stuff talks to all other devices with Mac OSes of one sort or other.  Although I still think Mac has a ways to go, they may have one hell of a foot up on the desktop market very shortly.

Especially if Microsoft doesn’t give us a way to shut Metro off so that upgraders and power users can have a PC they can still enjoy.  While the rest of the world just gives up and goes to Android and Mac tablets.  MS loyalists can just suck it and live in their pretend world that Windows 8 will be a revolution.  I’ve never been that loyal to MS.  Just enough to say I am a PC.  Though… Looks like that might change.

Infected Apples

Just as I predicted, Apples across the globe are becoming infected by malware at an alarming rate because of the mass mindset that is the Apple owner.  The “My Mac does not need antivirus, it’s a Mac!” syndrome.

As I’ve said, “Security is still something most Mac users take for granted.  They don’t understand that prevention is better than patching a known problem.”.

I also said, “As I’ve said before, Macs have viruses too.  And with the current growth rate, the bullseye is only getting bigger on Apple’s flagship product.  My personal opinion is if you have a Mac and don’t think you need an antivirus software, you’re an idiot.”.

If you think that your Mac laptop/desktop is safe, think again! The (misplaced) confidence of Mac users, about the security of its operating system may backfire, as happened again, recently in the case of the  BackDoor.Flashback.39, also known simply as Flashback Trojan. More than 600,000 Mac machines have been affected and with no appropriate guidelines from Apple on how to counter that or stay safe, the count may be on the rise. It is said that the infection rates are comparable to the Conficker botnet, which infected many Windows machines.

Source and read more @ The Windows Club

This is one of those times when “I told ya so!”, makes me feel so evil and good at the same time 🙂

The mindset Mac owners have will be their undoing {evil laugh}

This is not by far the first virus for Macs and it certainly won’t be the last.  However, I wonder what this will do for Apple’s growth rate on the market.  I’m also curious when the iPads and iPhones will be struck next.  Even though my phone is a Droid, I use antivirus.  Not because there are known issues, but to prevent having issues.  It’s called thinking ahead.

So… What’s so great about Macs?

Now that my “shiny new toy” syndrome has worn off, and have had a solid 6 months to actually learn and use a Mac…  I’m seriously failing to see what is so great about them.  Granted, my budget doesn’t allow me to get an iPhone or an iPad to check out the features you get when you mix them up on the same network or using the AirDrop feature.  Still, I’m not sure that would “wow” me.  Here’s some of the reasons I say this.

Insert, Home, End, DEL, CTRL & Printscreen

As an HTML and PHP person, the Insert, Home, End and CTRL keys are an absolute must for me to get things done efficiently.  They are also very handy for playing Warcraft.  The lack of these keys frustrate me to no end.

There is a CTRL key, why the hell can’t I use it!?!  Well, I can, but it seems only if I Remote into my Windows computer or if I use terminal.  OK sure I use both on a daily basis.  But then I want to copy and paste items or text, I have to use the Command key instead.  Why not just make the CTRL key work for that too?  Seems pointless to have both keys.

The delete key is also very deceiving.  It does not work the same as a Windows machine.  If you expect it to delete, it backspaces instead.  You have to use a FN or function key to make it delete rather than backspace.  Directionally challenged are they at Apple?  Tis backwards and piss me off much it does.  Also, why a FN key?  Kind of confusing against the already present F1, F2.. etc keys.  That… you have to use the FN key to utilize as they too are set to other functions rather than F1, F2.. etc…  My head hurts just thinking about it.

Printscreen!  Dammit I want to printscreen!  Oh wait… no I need to do origami with my fingers and do SHIFT+COMMAND+3 to get a screenshot.  Oh sure, there are apps that make screenshots easier but that means I have to download and install something that is already native to the OS, but it’s causing me to develop arthritis using it.

A Software Comparative

For the most part, I’m able to use my Open Office and other programs much like I do on my Windows PC.  However, there are a few software items (such as my text/code/html editor, my web design software and photo editor) that I use daily that either are not available for Mac or their Mac counterparts are slow and/or suck.  For example, I do miracles with graphics and photos in my free Paint.net for my PC.  On Mac, I’m either faced with a bastardized version of GIMP (and I’ve always hated trying to use GIMP) or I can use Pixelmator which for the most part looks the part and has many similar features, but the learning curve makes me just say “Eff this, I’ll do it later on my PC”.  So I’ve paid $30 for a software I barely use.  Just going back to use my freeware that works wonders.  My only other choices are Pinta (that needs some serious work, but is shooting to be a Paint.net clone), or Adobe Photoshop and I sincerely think only professionals can afford it and I still believe they are bat-shit crazy to pay $700 for graphics software.  Sure it’s the shizznit.  Bring it down to $199 and I’ll jump at it.  But again, it’s like paying $1800 for a Macbook Pro when I did just fine with my $500 Sony Viao before hand.

Games

I’m a PC gamer dammit!  This Macbook Pro has just as good of hardware as I have in my desktop.  (well… save for the graphics card.  but it’s darn close!)  I can play Warcraft and some older games that were recently “ported” to Mac.  But I can’t play my newer games because software developers still aren’t on the Mac bandwagon for the most part.

Although, Mac still may be the way to go over Windows 8

I’m dreading it.  Not only from an end user standpoint but also as a tech.  I’m just waiting for customers to run out and buy a shiny new Windows 8 machine on a ARM processor type of hardware build and find that none of their software will work because they didn’t pay attention or have the knowledge to know that they needed an X86 based processor.  I don’t understand making an OS that can run on two totally different architectures when most of the software won’t.  Which in my mind, will drive more people to Macs when they get frustrated over this.  I don’t think Microsoft realizes not everyone will want to go out and buy all new software that may not even meet their needs.  So when the time comes, Mac may be the way to go.  For them at least.  However, I may be wrong in my assumptions of Windows 8, but from what I’ve gathered…. Yikes…

Patches, Security and Maintenance

After having this Mac for several months now, I don’t see how anyone can complain about Windows patches and security.  The OS and other software get updates and patches just about every week.  I check them everyday.  As I do with my Windows software and what-not.  Patches are patches and are needed to keep things secure and/or running smoothly.  Seems they are running neck and neck for patches.

Security is still something most Mac users take for granted.  They don’t understand that prevention is better than patching a known problem.  Patches only come out after something has been found to be wrong and already exploited on hundreds or even thousands of computers.  Possibly millions if patched too late.  Then that’s even if the end user has bothered to check for updates and patches.  OR if the end user even bothers installing the updates or patches.  Nothing like hearing “every time I run an update something else breaks”.  Sounds like something was already broken, and the update only made it more prevalent.  It’s not like they are pushed every few minutes like a security software would do.  With an antivirus, most use Heuristic scanning techniques and/or Sandboxing.  Heuristics basically means if it smells like a virus, or tastes like a virus or behaves like a virus, it’s a virus until proven innocent.  Sandboxing is let me see what it does virtually before I let it do what it does for real to prove it’s safe to play with.  As I’ve said before, Macs have viruses too.  And with the current growth rate, the bullseye is only getting bigger on Apple’s flagship product.  My personal opinion is if you have a Mac and don’t think you need an antivirus software, you’re an idiot.  As well, like I said previously, my Mac came with the Firewall turned off.  It should be turned on so that any known open exploit in the OS can’t be easily found by some hacker.  A firewall helps keep unwanted outside traffic at bay.  Leaving others who don’t bother to run their firewall software to be a bigger target than you.

Maintenance is something Mac users also take for granted.  I take calls from Mac users just like PC users saying “It’s running so slowly!”.  Macs make all these silly little files for what reason I’m not really sure.  But however, they build up and while I’m not an expert on Mac OS stuff, I do know that there are tools to help folks out with this.  Onyx is a tool to clear up unused silly files that build up on Macs and I can attest that it works like a charm.  I’ve also added a beta of CCleaner, the same thing I use for my PC to clear up junk files as well.  It even comes in handy for uninstalling programs.

So overall, I’m still doing just as much work to use and maintain my Mac as I do my PC’s.  As well as I only use my Macbook Pro half as much as I did my Windows based laptops, and I’m not getting much joy from it either…  So what’s the big deal?  Other than it is nice to look at, and it has solid tech support, it’s still 4x the cost of a PC.  Sure you’ve got brand style.  You probably also drink Starbucks and eat at Bonefish Grill everyday too if you can afford such a thing.  I drink brewed coffee and bring my lunch to work like most folks do.

apps… Apps! APPS!!!

Holy Mackerel!  Everywhere I turn it’s apps… Apps!  APPS!!!  Talk about a run away train!  You’ve got apps for your Smart Phone, apps for your Tablet  or iPad, you’ve got apps for your PC and Mac, you’ve even got apps for your toolbars!  Now, I opened up Google Chrome for the first time in days and I get attacked with “Get apps for your browser!”!  Are you flipping kidding me?  I need apps in my browser?  It’s not good enough to have toolbars and addons, now I need apps?  So I want to start my OS, get logged onto the internet and then start apps in my browser?  It’s like having an OS inside my OS because for some reason I need to run programs inside of programs that are run from programs.

Then there’s this ever growing issue of you can use some of your favorite apps on your Smart Phone, but not your PC.  You can use some apps on your Tablet and your PC but not on your Phone.  You can use some apps on your Phone, iPod and Tablet but not your Mac.  Or your PC, Mac and Phone but not your iPad.  Or some other idiotic combination or other.

My head hurts.

Or this app can do this, but another does that for the previous.  Like I see there is apps for Netflix for example that one plays Netflix, another organizes it and others let you do other things with Netflix.  What the hell is that about?

Having so many different platforms and devices and this madness to have apps installed on all of them is mind wrenching.  Makes me wonder how the everyday Joe that calls me who can’t tell me what version of Windows or Mac they use, gets by…

Got my OS X Lion Free!

Mac OS X LionJust out of dumb luck actually.  I had no idea when I bought my MacBook Pro, that they had a new OS coming out for it in 6 more weeks.  Six weeks have come and gone.  I’ve learned loads about OS X and why folks like it so much (or hate it depending on what side of the fence your views stand).

In all my research, I happened across a link that said I might be able to upgrade to OS X Lion for free.  When I first read it, I thought since I work for a computer parts distribution company, I had to apply for the upgrade via the company.  Though since they are not an authorized Apple dealer, that wasn’t going to happen.  After re-reading it a few times, I realized I may be in luck as I registered it on the day I got it, which was 6/8/11.  I figured it couldn’t hurt to try when the time comes.

The time came today, and to my amazement, it was super simple to fill out a quick form and voilà!  I got to download OS X Lion absolutely free!  Just saved $29.  Though as I always rib others for, I could’ve saved $1800 had I not bought it in the first place.  😆  Though then, I’d still be a Mac Hater, instead of someone who is very much impressed with it.

Of course, being a digital download, I wanted to make a hard copy backup of it for “in case” future issues.  Quickly found a nice step by step guide.  Sadly, what they didn’t tell anyone, is that you must do this before installing Lion…  So I learned what not to do the hard way.

The install itself was super simple.  Reading the EULA took an eternity, but “oh so worth it”, so as I don’t go agreeing to having my lips sewn to someone another person’s asshole.

 Lion Upgrade

Lion Upgrade 01

Lion Upgrade 02

Lion Upgrade 03Click for Larger Images

Sadly though, when all was said and done, it looked pretty.  I could ping, do name lookups and everything.  But no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get Safari or Firefox to surf the net.  SO.. here’s my chance to re-download (and back up the Lion Download this time before installing it) and try again.  Hey, so far the trip has been smooth.  First hiccup during an OS major upgrade.  Stuff happens.

First 30 Days with my Mac

Mac First 30 DaysWell, I finally went and did it.  It’s actually a very big step for me.  I’m actually out in public right now, writing up the draft of what will be my overview of owning a Mac for 30 days.  (7/4 & 7/5) I’m at the local Starbucks by Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA.  The social recluse is starting to go out into public.  Let’s see if I can start making this a regular thing.

Go ahead Tyler.  Snicker all you like.

Anyway, so it’s been 30 days since I first opened the white box and saw the machine I’m using right this moment.  So what do I think?  I can say my opinion of Mac’s has changed drastically.  However, I’m not going to be the misled sheep that you so often find connected to one of these things.  I’m also not the goof who will run around boasting I’m safer and better than everyone else.  There are some limitations I have yet to overcome with this Mac.  And yet, there is a world of good things to say as well.  So I’m right now I think I am a level headed medium of computer ownership.  It sincerely depends on what you want, versus what you need and can afford.  Though mostly what you will do with the computer that makes the absolute difference.  Though I can tell you that next time I sit to write a blog from a coffee shop, I’ll choose a more comfortable chair.  This wooden one has already made my bum fall asleep from the lack of comfort.

Design

The MacBook Pro is certainly designed to be elegant and yet super functional.  Having worked in a Machine Shop for a couple of years and working with CNC machines, I can sincerely appreciate the dedication and time they put into making the Unibody.  Though it’s far from being one piece in my opinion since the “body” should be all parts encompassing the inside parts.  Though it surely cuts down on amount of parts and does give the laptop a huge amount of panache.  It’s sleek and sexy and certainly says “Look at me”.  And since I’m not very pretty, at least my Mac will turn some heads.

Software

Again, the included software left a whole lot to be desired.  When you spend $1800 for a computer, you’d like to see more productivity software included and not so much social networking.  That should be left to the iPad and iPod Touch or the sub $1000 computers and laptops.  Thankfully being a resourceful person and über-geek-extraordinaire, I was able to quickly overcome most of the obstacles.  So I can have an office suite, coding and programming tools as well as some games to successfully waste time when I have it.  Which lately, is a lot (and I’m on vacation 😉 ).  I did have to purchase a decent Zip Program (File Compression) which I managed to catch at 50% off in the “App Store” for $9.99 and still need to pay for the Pixelmator (Photo Editing Program).  I’m currently using in demo mode.  While it’s not as nicely laid out or free like Paint.net (which is all I need on a PC), it is only $29.95 which is infinitely cheaper than Photoshop by Adobe.  Which is currently going for a stomach wrenching $699.  How do folks get duped into paying that much for software?  If I were to pay for it, I had better get a life servant/lover out of that deal.  I tried to use a Paint.net clone for Macs, Pinta, but it has miles to go before it can be considered a decent clone.  Thankfully both of the programs I need to buy are worlds cheaper than their Windows PC counterparts.  Odd huh?  You’d think having to pay a lot of money for an American designed, assembled and supported machine, the software would also be astronomical.  Thankfully it’s not.  At least not the majority of it.

Security

Well as I stated before, that has been a myth for years as documented by this fine website.  Recent events have proven just how “not so” it is.  Honestly, people should think about it.  If such a thing were true, all the worlds governments simply need to switch to Macs and we can live in safe peace forever.

Seriously though.  They claim to have safe guards in place, but why was my firewall turned off by default?  Any known exploit would easily be used the moment an unsuspecting user connected directly to the net with their cable modem.  You’d be surprised how many folks do not use routers.  They have firewalls (turned on) by default.  Cable Modem + No Firewall = Bad

These “safe guards” are only good if the customer ensures to check for patches for their OS daily.  If an exploit comes along and they aren’t patched.  The end user is going to be unhappy to say the least.  Besides, “safe guards” still don’t account for lack of common sense to protect one self from Phishing, Identity Theft and Viruses.  You still need security software.  Just to prove it, I tested my Mac using the Beta of Avast! for Macs.  Just to see if the little bugger worked.  Avast as always, has never let me down and I’m still safe to say my Mac is still safe and sound even though I went looking for trouble.

Other Thoughts

As for using it, I’m more than comfortable using the Mac.  I feel very confident I can start giving technical support and helping people make good choices for their Macs.  And that was the goal for me.  I’m 80% ready to go in that field.  I’ll be 100% in no time.  Maybe even get myself qualified as a “Genius“.  I do frequently tout myself to be one for PC’s, why not officially for Macs too!  We’ll have to see if my self training pays off first I guess.

I still struggle with the whole “command” “control” key thing and I sincerely miss my HOME, INSERT and END keys.  I’m sure my fingers will adjust in time.

It’s certainly a beautiful machine.  It is very impressive in design, video and play some mean 3D video games.  I’m very glad I made the decision to buy it.

I do need to pay it off yet and still need to come up with another $350 to get the extended AppleCare Protection Plan.  For a machine like this, it would be well worth the purchase as it’s built to last, both internally and externally.

So ah… Any website design or WordPress theme work would be welcome to help me pay for all this 🙂

OS X Lion or Windows 8?

Windows 8 - OS X LionOh god what is happening to me?  Is my the bad things happening in my home life spinning me toward madness?  Let me explain what I mean here.  As you read before, I’m not too keen on either the new Windows 8 or OS X Lion for certain reasons.  However, I’ve spent the past two days with unexplained muscle aches and a strange fever, yet no cold or flu symptoms to speak of.  So when I wasn’t taking pain relievers and sleeping, I did some research as sitting still to play games hurt.  At least I could pop on a video and lay in bed and absorb info on the upcoming OS’s.

Before I go too much further, as an über geek and computer tech, I will be buying both Windows 8 for my current home Desktop PC and OS X Lion for my newly acquired MacBook Pro so that I can have the latest technology to better help my customers.  However, my thing here is it seems like OS X Lion may have more to offer than Windows 8.  At least for the everyday computer user.  For computer gamers, not so much.  Though, Macs seem to be gaining ground in that too.

While Windows 8 appears to be coming up with OS X like features with their new fluid movements, sorting and other capabilities…  I wasn’t necessarily wowed by the changes.  I hate the new blocks on the proposed new start screen.  Their new “Swipe” technology is meant for a touchscreen.  So if you don’t have a touchscreen, you are basically boned and seems that the features are kind of useless.  You can see the first Microsoft Video on Windows 8 below.

Yesterday I re-watched the Worldwide Developers Conference for Apple.  I was absolutely blown away with the upcoming features the showed off for the new OS X Lion.  Granted, I’ve always been one for saying people need to learn how to use a computer properly if they plan to own one.  Just this morning I dealt with a backwoods good old boy who just couldn’t explain anything to me, and it was a nightmare just to get him to tell me he was running Windows XP (and had been for years), let alone getting any kind of error message.  He was stuck on “it’s not workin'”.  But I digress.

Shown here below, it’s like everything I ever wanted for myself in working with my computer.  Yes OS X Lion has swiping and gestures too, but this can be done via a touchpad which comes on all MacBooks as well as they have a magic mouse or touchpads for desktops as well.  Much cheaper than buying a touchscreen, though I imagine they can do touchscreens as well.

Looking at it, Launchpad is handy to find any application rather than scrolling through endless drop menus in Windows start menu.  Mission Control is handy to work on multiple things at one time.  The new mail is actually useful to me.  Granted, Gmail did conversations first, but Mail 5 will present it better and make it easier to find messages.  Autosave will “save” everyone from the dreaded “I forgot to save, and now that the power has gone out I’m doomed…” feeling.  And Multi-Touch Gestures is just freaking cool!  Not too mention $29 for an OS?  That’s simply unheard of!  (Not sure if that’s just the upgrade or if that’s the full price, but either way it’s still unheard of!)

Even if none of this works out, looking at Apple as a company.  Makes me want to buy stock right now.  If only I could afford to do so.  Just looking at them in the past years.  They’ve had a 28% growth rate while PC’s have actually lost 1%.  Apple has gained substantial ground in market shares for the past few years.  Granted, this does not mean that the world is saved by OS X and life is peachy and virus free.  However, it does appear that Apple has got something going on and I think it’s time for folks to take a serious look.

Oh my god… I’m becoming a fanboy…  sort of…

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