2014.10 News: Apple's Tim Cook Lays a Brick

It hasn't exactly been a secret that Apple CEO Tim Cook is gay, but — once again leading the way in true Apple fashion — in his first public statement on the subject, he's not even remotely apologetic about it, saying it's made him more empathetic and a better executive as a result.


2014.10 News: Another Trophy on the Zune Shelf

Apple has its own backtrail of failed devices (Newton, anyone?) and services (eWorld?), but perhaps more impressive is the string of corpses it's piled up from other companies that tried to displace Apple from its favored position in the hearts and minds of tech consumers. Perhaps the most famous of these was the Zune media player, which Microsoft introduced to great fanfare as the iPod killer and supported with all of its considerable resources. Indeed, Microsoft kept propping it up long after tech analysts everywhere had pronounced it doomed.

Well, it now has company on that shelf: Amazon's Fire Phone, which not only didn't displace the iPhone, it made it look even better by comparison.

It's not really schadenfreude if they deserve it, is it?


2014.10 Report: Upgrading to Yosemite

I know that OS X Yosemite's release number (10.10) is mathematically equivalent to the original 10.1, but it sure looks a lot cleaner. I like the new "flat" appearance; lots of plain, simple lines, without the 3-D feel of earlier versions. Nice new system font, too; easy on the eyes.

Be forewarned: It takes 3.5 hours to download it (even in the lower-traffic dead of night, which is when I set it up to run while I'm sleeping) and another half hour to install it. (The installer started off claiming it would take 22 minutes; that message was on screen for 5 minutes, followed by another 4 minutes pretending that it would take 21 minutes. After that, things seemed to go as announced.)

This is way earlier in the release cycle than I usually upgrade to new software. My normal practice is to wait a month until all the early adopters have run the gamma testing and the company issues its bug-fix X.X.1 release, but I have a major database client who had just upgraded the OS on his computers, so I figured I should probably be able to reproduce any situation he might encounter, and I bit the bullet. So far, so good.

BTW, Yosemite is off the hook for a problem that I'd been experiencing with disappearing keyboard shortcuts in FileMaker Pro. I first noticed it after upgrading to Yosemite, and the simplest explanation was that Yosemite had co-opted them for its own purposes. However, a different computer, still operating under Mavericks, had the same problem crop up. So it’s some oddity in FMP. It can’t be custom menus, because I’m not using them. Nor am I using any utility that remaps keyboard shortcuts.

Intermittent errors are, of course, the worst kind, but at least this is one with a readily available workaround: simply use the still-available menu command.

Next time it happens, I’m gonna relaunch FMP and see if that fixes it.

I am looking forward to my first opportunity to try the feature that I believe will endear Yosemite to me more than any other: the interoperability of AirDrop with iOS 8 on my iPad. Finally I'll be able to just get my photos off my iPad and onto my iMac, which is just sitting there, mere centimetres away, deaf and blind to the iPad's plaintive lament that it would dearly love to send it a file but can't make the connection.